pyesetz: (woof)

Recently, the world-famous blogger Pharyngula (who is actually Professor P.Z. Myers of UMinn/Morris) noted that the president was running an online survey, so he asked his minions to screw it up by choosing their answers to "go against the result the poll is engineered to generate".  I generally like Pharyngula, although he is sometimes too willing to conflate "scientifically proven" with "true".  (Newton's laws were scientifically proven for over 300 years, but they were false the entire time.  F = m⋅a is a statement about the universe that you can only "prove" if your equipment isn't very precise.)

So anyway, I clicked on the link to the poll, even though it seems politically incorrect to visit a page that has "DonaldJTrump" right there in its URL.  Oh noes — my address bar is displaying Voldemort's name!  But really, the poll isn't so bad, if you are willing to let the president speak his own icky Republican language.

The poll asks 25 questions, for 13 of which I am able to give the answers that The Donald wanted to evoke.  That's over half!  Maybe this guy isn't so bad.  I suppose it's time for me to bore you with my rundown on his poll.

Read more... )

In other news, Craig Deare has lost his job at the National Security Council and returned to his previous job of Dean of Administration at the National Defense University (née the National War College).  Deare had to go because he is an expert on Mexico and Trump doesn't want to hear opinions that disagree with his own — and Deare couldn't keep his mouth shut about that, which was fatal.  Now *this* is the Trump Administration that I was expecting!  It doesn't matter that Trump's initial cabinet is the "worstest ever" because many of these people will not last long on the executive payroll.

LJ quiz

Aug. 21st, 2015 01:16 am
pyesetz: (woof)
I copied this from some other fur's journal, but theirs was friends-only so I won't mention them here =:)

Age?  52.  There are furs active in the fandom who are young enough to be my grandkids!

Myers-Briggs?  ISTJ, the "most abundant" personality type.  Cold-hearted logician.

How long have you had your LJ?  12 years.  I got it because "everyone" was abandoning the group on USENET, which was sinking beneath the waves of spam.

What does your username mean?  It means arctic fox in Russian.  A professor once told me it was a good name for me.

What is your favorite thing about LJ?  The comment system here is better than anywhere else.

What is your least favorite thing about LJ?  It's dead, Jim.  The furs have mostly moved on to other pastures.

What is your motivation on LiveJournal?  I try to avoid thinking about motivation.

Have you ever met anyone on your F List in real life?  Yes.

Do you have a paid subscription?  I used to, but money got tight so I dropped it.

Is you LJ private/friends only?  No.  I post writings at LJ so people can see them.

Where do you live?  Ontario now, New Jersey when I started at LJ.

Do you have an accent?  Yes.

Who do you live with?  Wife, kids, and dog.  There is no need for me to mention that this question should have begun with "whom".

Do you have pets?  This question is redundant.

Did you go to University?  Yes.  I got a Bachelor's and Master's in Computer Science, plus another bachelor's in Russian+Linguistics.

Do you work?  Not at the moment.

Where/What do you do?  Software engineering.

Do you have more drama at home or at work?  My home is thankfully almost free of drama.  Rising drama at the office is generally a sign that I should leave.

Who do you often write about?  Who(m)?  Shouldn't this question be "What do I write about?"  I don't write about people all that much.

What else should readers know?  How to tie their shoes, change a baby, disarm a time bomb, etc.
pyesetz: (woof)
[ profile] porsupah mentioned this writing-analysis test from IBM's Watson.  I fed it my Mass. trip report '14 and it said:
You are inner-directed.

You are calm-seeking: you prefer activities that are quiet, calm, and safe. You are unconcerned with art: you are less concerned with artistic or creative activities than most people who participated in our surveys. And you are deliberate: you carefully think through decisions before making them.

Your choices are driven by a desire for discovery.

You are relatively unconcerned with both achieving success and taking pleasure in life. You make decisions with little regard for how they show off your talents. And you prefer activities with a purpose greater than just personal enjoyment.

Humor Labs

Sep. 26th, 2014 11:19 am
pyesetz: (woof)
I'm on the free-public-email list for Humor Labs.  They haven't updated their website recently, but they're still cranking out the daily joke-emails.  Except they're on vacation right now until October 6th so they're re-mailing old lists.  Here is the one from July 10th, 2001:

The Top 5 Least Popular Street Names:
⑤ Vicious Circle
④ Psycho Path
③ Peoples Ct.
② Diminished Sex Dr.
① Nofriggin Way

What a blast from the past, eh?  Such a simpler time, when the Internet was new and there were still people working for the US government who could allow it to be known that they had decency and functioning moral compasses.  Not like our world today.  I had a job making pocket electronic computers that members of the public actually used — and the newly-popular Internet message boards allowed me to talk directly to my end-users!

And now, everything's gone to Hell.  Nobody wants me anymore as a greymuzzle programmer.  The Pope says World War III *may* have already begun.  Volcanoes and earthquakes and negative interest rates, oh my!  It has been publicly admitted that all sides in the Iraq war are now using weapons bought by the US taxpayer — can you say "bread and circus", boys and girls?
pyesetz: (woof)
Today, almost at random, I clicked on an old bookmark for "The Hacker Key Guide (version 4)" and discovered that it no longer exists and its website has been resold to someone else.  So I Googled and found The Hacker Key Guide (version 5) from 2011.  It's a nice Geek Code, but one of the design goals for version 5 was that you should be able to use the thing to make PGP keys, yet the lengthy URL makes it difficult to fit everything on an 80-char line (does anyone still care about that?)  Another problem: unlike WinterWolf's Furry Decoder, there is apparently no website for automagically decrypting these things.  Of course, I could write one, but then I would have to advertise it...

Anyway, here is my Hacker Key, with bolding for readability(?):
Because no web-based decoder is available, I cannot tell if my code is correct.
pyesetz: (woof)
So LJ updated its formatting today.  That shouldn't be the end of the world!  How come nobody is posting anything?  Anyway, here are some "smart jokes" from Reddit:

What do you get if you cross a mosquito with a mountain climber?  Nothing. You can't cross a vector with a scalar.

How many Chicago School economists does it take to change a light bulb?  None. If the light bulb needed changing the market would have already done it.

Why was epsilon afraid of zeta?  Because zeta eta theta.

Did you hear about the guy who froze himself to absolute zero?  He is 0K now.

Why stand in the corner when you're cold?  Because a corner is about ninety degrees.

Why do programmers always mix up Christmas and Halloween?  Because Oct 31 is Dec 25.

Why are flights to Poland only boarded on 1 side?  Because poles in the right side of the plane are unstable.

Pavlov is sitting at a bar when another patron walks in and a bell on the door rings. Pavlov stands up, says, "I forgot to feed the dogs," and leaves.

A dog goes to a telegram office, takes out a blank form and writes, “Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof.”
    The clerk examines the paper and politely tells the dog: “There are only nine words here. You could send another ‘Woof’ for the same price.”
    “But,” the dog replies, “that would make no sense at all.”

Paddy leaves Ireland and gets an interview for a building job in the city. The interviewer says "Look Paddy, no offence but we've had some dumb pricks applying for this, so I've gotta give you a little test. Paddy says "OK shoot" "What's the difference between a girder and a joist?" asks the interviewer. Paddy hesitates, scratches his head. The interviewer looks pointedly at his wristwatch, waiting. "No, no, wait" says Paddy. "I have it...... Girder wrote Faust and Joist wrote Ullyses!"

One day my girlfriend asked me if she was pretty. I told her "you're definitely a 6". Now I don't have a girlfriend... I tried to explain that 6 is perfect, but she was never one to understand number theory.
pyesetz: (woof)
1. Had sex?  Yes — I have two children!
2. Bought Condoms?  Yes.
3. Gotten somebody Pregnant?  Yes — same girl both times.
4. Failed A Class?  Yes — I got an "incomplete" in Cryptography when I was in grad school, which is what caused me to take that job at Company ℱ.
5. Kissed A Boy?  Yes.
6. Kissed A Girl?  Yes.
7. Used A Little Paper Bag for Lunch?  Yes — they were a dark purple colour, for some reason.
8. Had A Job?  Yes — several.
9. Slipped On Ice?  Yes, but no hospitalizations.
10. Missed The School Bus?  Often.
11. Fucked a girl?  Yes — see question #3.
12. Bullied Someone On The Internet?  I have made people feel bad from time to time.
13. Sexted?  I do not "text".
14. Sex In Public?  No.
15. Played On A Sports Team?  Only in gym class.
16. Smoked Weed?  Yes.
17. Smoked Cigarettes?  Yes.
18. Smoked A Cigar?  Yes.
19. Drank Alcohol?  Yes.
20. Watched porn?  Yes.
21. Skipped class?  Yes.
22. Gotten Arrested?  No.
23. Done meth?  No, unless somebody slipped me some and I somehow didn't notice.
24. Been To A Wedding?  Several, including my own.
25. Fell in love with a best friend?  What is "love"?
26. Been On The Computer For 5 Hours Straight?  I generally get up for a stretch every hour or so.
27. Watched TV For 5 Hours Straight?  Ditto.
28. Been Late For Work?  Often.
29. Been Late For School?  Often.
30. Kissed In The Rain?  Maybe.
31. Showered With Someone Else?  Yes.
32. Failed My Drivers Test?  No.
33. Cheated on a ex?  If they're an "ex", how can you cheat on them?
34. Been Outside My Home Country?  Mexico and the Netherlands.  Oh and Canada in 2002, when it wasn't my "home country" yet.
35. Been On A Road Trip Longer Than 5 Hours?  Yes.
36. Had Lice?  No.
37. Gotten My Heart Broken?  It continues to pump the blood around.
38. Had A Credit Card?  Yes, but the chip is no longer working so I have to get a new one.
39. Been To A Professional Sports Game?  I've been to parking-lot tailgate parties at my alma mater, but didn't actually watch the game.  I've watched someone else's kids play hockey on a house team, which isn't "professional".
40. Broken A Bone?  Never got it diagnosed, but my toes act like they've been broken one or more times.
41. Am I Straight/Bi/Gay/Lesbian?  Yes.
42. Won A Trophy?  No.
43. Cut Myself Unintentionally?  Yes.
44. Had An STD.?  According to Urban Dictionary, this could mean "Somewhat Tasty Doughnuts" (yes) or "Smirnoff Triple Distilled" (no) or "Spontaneous Torrential Diarrhea" (no) or "Save the Date" (a card that announces that an RSVP will be coming later — I think I might once have gotten such a thing) or "Something To Do" (yes, I've had those)
45. Got Engaged?  Yes.
46. Done ecstasy?  Apparently it's called "thizz" nowadays.  I just learned that moments ago by looking up what "STD" can stand for.
47. Tried Out To Be On A TV Show?  No.
48. Rode In A Taxi?  Yes.  I'd rather walk.
49. Been To Prom?  No.
50. Played A Drinking Game?  Yes.  Beer tastes much better after you plunk a quarter into it!
51. Stayed Up For 24 Hours Or More?  Probably not since grad school, when I went to a "24-hour bad sci-fi movie marathon".
52. Been To A Concert?  Yes.
53. Had A Three-Some?  No, although my family dog apparently wants to.
54. Had A Crush On Someone Of The Same Sex?  Is that a wrestling move?  I do not wrestle.
55. Been In A Car Accident?  Yes.
56. Had Braces?  Yes.
57. Learned Another Language?  No, although I studied Russian for seven years, Hebrew for four, French for one, and a smattering of others (Italian, Bulgarian, Spanish, Arabic, etc.) for even shorter periods of time.  But I can't converse in any of those languages.
58. Killed An Animal?  Yes, I once watched a shrew's death-throes after my mousetrap was successful on it.  Somewhat sickening.
59. Been At A Yard Sale?  Yes, but didn't make as much money as hoped.
60. Been To A Japanese Steakhouse?  No, just sushi.
61. Wore Make Up?  No.
62. Talked To Someone Via Webcam?  Yes, some fellow homeschoolers who had moved away.
63. Lost My Virginity Before I Was 16?  No.  Why does only this question have an age limit?
64. Had My Wisdom Teeth Taken Out?  Just one of them.  I still have it in a plastic baggie.
65. Kissed Someone A Different Race Than Myself?  No.
66. Snuck Out Of The House?  Yes.
67. Bought Porn?  Maybe once, but really there's no need — the world is full of free stuff!
68. Had A Virus On My Computer?  I use Linux.
69. Had Oral Sex?  Yes.
70. Dyed My Hair?  No.
71. Gone Skinny Dipping?  Yes.
72. Graduated From College?  Yes.
73. Wore Someone Else’s Clothes?  Yes.
74. Voted In A Presidential Election?  Yes.
75. Rode In An Ambulance?  Yes.
76. Rode In A Helicopter?  No.
77. Caught The Stove On Fire?  Stoves are made of metal and such, to try to make it impossible to catch them on fire.
78. Got In A Verbal Fight?  Yes.
79. Met Someone Famous?  "Famous" is a relative term.
80. Been On Vacation?  Yes.
82. Been On A Boat?  Yes.
81. Been On An Airplane?  Yes, but not since 9/11/2001.
83. Broken Something Expensive?  Yes.
84. Had Surgery?  Yes.
85. Beat A Video Game?  Yes, but the game's storage media was undented.
86. Found Something Valuable On The Ground?  Yes.
87. Made A Survey?  Yes.
88. Stalked Someone On A Social Network?  "Stalking" is in the eye of the beholder, so maybe somebody once thought that of me.
89. Prank Called Someone?  No.
90. Been To A Library Outside Of School?  Yes.  I used to like books, but the Internet is better.
91. Spent Over $100 Shopping In One Day?  This happens often when buying groceries for a family of four.
92. Cut My Hair And Hated It?  Nope, didn't hate it.
93. Peed Outside?  Yes — this is normal male functionality.
94. Went Fishing?  I've been along with other peoples' fishing trips.
95. Helped With Charity?  Sort of maybe.
96. Taken A Pregnancy Test?  Not using my own pee, no.
97. Been Rejected By A Crush?  More like "they didn't even realize I was trying to get their attention".
98. Been Suspended From School?  No.
99. Broken a mirror?  Yes.  The "seven years' back luck" thing is only if you're a servant wench in some aristocrat's household.
100. Thrown up on someone?  Maybe.
101. Lied to your parents?  Yes.  Sometimes it's just too difficult to tell someone a truth they really don't want to hear.
pyesetz: (felix)

Actually, I used GIMP rather than PhotoShop.  You can tell by the pixels: look just below "No need to shower" and just above "I bathed you while you slept".  On my computer, the shopped version fits better on the LCD while the source version requires excessive scrolling.  Downside: the height of the Ceiling Cat is not as imposing in my version.

pyesetz: (Default)
Ganked from [ profile] loganberrybunny.
  1. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?  My house is 142 years old!  What is this "closet" of which you speak?
  3. Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel?  No.  I try not to "collect" things, even toiletries.
  5. Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?  Sometimes this changes during the course of a night.
  7. Have you ever stolen a street sign before?  Before what?  I don’t think so.
  9. Do you like to use post-it notes?  No.  I prefer email.
  11. Do you cut out coupons but then never use them?  Yes.  Sometimes I go to the Customer Service desk and get the coupon deducted from my receipt after the fact.
  13. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of a bees?  Bears have much bigger brains and it seems much more likely that I could convince him/her to call off the attack.
  15. Do you have freckles?  A few.  My chinfur has a reddish tint.
  17. Do you always smile for pictures?  No.  For some US government purposes, any photo with a smile in it gets rejected.  Happiness is not allowed!
  19. What is your biggest pet peeve?  Why does my pet dog choose to throw up *next* to his puppy pad???
even more drivel )
Really, this isn't the post I had planned to make today, which was more along the lines of: "Approximately two of you will care that I have given up on finding a local source for a 100µF/450V capacitor and have purchased one from an Ebay seller in Florida."
pyesetz: (mr_peabody)
PZ Myers brought to my attention a page on the web called Battleground God.  I won the game, but it didn't make me feel good.

1. God Exists.
Easy: Don't Know is the only legitimate answer.  You can have faith that He exists, or you can be certain that not believing in Him is your best move as a citizen of modern society—but neither of these proves anything.

7. It is justifiable to base one's beliefs about the external world on a firm, inner conviction, regardless of the external evidence, or lack of it, for the truth or falsity of these convictions.
Only True or False are permitted, but both answers should be acceptable.  This is basically asking, "Was it Plato or Aristotle who was completely correct about the nature of the universe?"  To humour the program, I chose False but any resulting inconsistencies would have been the program's fault for requiring a forced choice here.

8. Any being that it is right to call God must know everything that there is to know.
What does "there is to know" mean?  Does this include the phase angle for a pair of entangled photons?  I would have preferred "God knows everything knowable" because it may be (indeed, seems quite likely nowadays) that God's universe includes facts that are not knowable, even to God.  So I chose False.

10. If, despite years of trying, no strong evidence or argument has been presented to show that there is a Loch Ness monster, it is rational to believe that such a monster does not exist.
Yes, but this says nothing about whether Nessie actually exists.   For two thousand years it was impossible to prove the atomic theory of matter, but "absence of proof is not proof of absence".  For two hundred years it was impossible to disprove Newton's F=ma equation, but the equation was still wrong all that time.

11. People who die of horrible, painful diseases need to die in such a way for some higher purpose.
Another question with a forced true/false answer.  Since I answered Don't Know for the first question, I should answer the same here, but the program doesn't allow that.

13. It is foolish to believe in God without certain, irrevocable proof that God exists.
This could only be true if people were abstract thinking machines without physical bodies.  If your brain contains various pieces that evolved separately for separate reasons and work better together if you have an overall belief in God, then your justification is based on utility and you don't need "irrevocable" proof.  (And how can you "revoke" a proof?  How could a real-world proof of anything ever be "certain"?  There is always room for error!)

14. As long as there are no compelling arguments or evidence that show that God does not exist, atheism is a matter of faith, not rationality.
I do think that atheism is a matter of faith, but not for the reason given, so I answered False.  Atheism is the answer No for the first question, whose correct answer is unknowable.

15. The serial rapist Peter Sutcliffe had a firm, inner conviction that God wanted him to rape and murder prostitutes. He was, therefore, justified in believing that he was carrying out God's will in undertaking these actions.
This is apparently one of the "gotcha" questions designed to make you "bite a bullet" by adopting an unpopular position.  I answered False to dodge the bullet, but really I do think he was "justified", just as the police were "justified" in stopping him.  What does justification have to do with anything?

16. If God exists she would have the freedom and power to create square circles and make 1 + 1 = 72.
There's a whole bunch of these "my God can beat up your god" questions.  There's no way to know what God can or can't do.  Suppose God changed the value of π.  How could we detect that?  After God made the change, it would seem to us that π had always had the value we now perceive it to have because otherwise nothing in the universe would make any sense.  And everyone who's anyone knows that 1+1=10 in binary.

17. It is justifiable to believe in God if one has a firm, inner conviction that God exists, regardless of the external evidence, or lack of it, for the truth or falsity of the conviction that God exists.
No, it is justifiable to believe in God because that is how our brains work.  This is the same reason why it is justifiable to believe that the Earth is flat while planning a car trip across town—but if you're crossing the continent then you really do need to use the fancy math to avoid wasting fuel.  So I answered False because the question contains an invalid subordinate clause.
pyesetz: (arctic-fox)
Below is a meme copied from [ profile] loganberrybunny.  I am posting this because Wifey complained yesterday that I don't post enough, but none of the topics she suggested (We've withdrawn kid #2 from Boy Scouts because the local troop leaders refuse to follow Scouting safety rules, we're planning a trip to the States next month, Wifey found some bacon made out of beef, just sitting there ready to buy from our local grocer's meat case!) really seemed suitable for me.

This post will get no comments because today is a weekend.

Age: I have a toothache, so I'm feeling old today.  It's been a little bothersome for weeks.  On Wednesday I had my teeth cleaned; now the tooth might need an extraction.  This particular tooth is about 40 years old and was expected to fail last year, so I guess I got my money's worth out of it.

Where you grew up: Massachusetts in the time of Nixon's resignation, so it was an extra-liberal period in a liberal enclave of a right-wing country.

A body of water, smaller than a river, contained within relatively narrow banks: stream, brook, rivulet.  There are additional words that I recognize ("rill") but am very unlikely to use myself.

What the thing you push around the grocery store is called: Shopping cart, but the locals here call them "buggies".

A metal container to carry a meal in: lunchbox, but I also recognize "lunch-pail" for construction workers.

The thing that you cook bacon and eggs in: I never cook bacon, but Wifey uses a frying pan (a.k.a. "skillet").

The piece of furniture that seats three people: Couch or sofa.  Supposedly the locals say "Chesterfield" or "divan" but I haven't heard those.

The device on the outside of the house that carries rain off the roof: I have to remember to say "eavestrough" because the locals don't recognize "gutter".  Since Logan in UK also says "gutter", I wonder where the Canucks got "eavestrough" from?

The covered area outside a house where people sit in the evening: Nobody does that anymore.  My house has a porch, but we almost never sit on it.

Carbonated, sweetened, non-alcoholic beverages: soda.  Massachusetts people often say "tonic".  The locals have no idea what I'm talking about unless I say "pop".

A flat, round breakfast food served with syrup: Pancakes.  I also recognize "flapjack".

A long sandwich designed to be a whole meal in itself: Sub.  I also recognize "submarine", "hoagie" (esp. in Philadelphia), "grinder", and "hero".  I prefer a dry sandwich and Italian bread rather than a French baguette, which is too stiff for that usage.

The piece of clothing worn by men at the beach: Lifeguard uniform? Bathing suit.

Shoes worn for sports: Sneakers, but the locals call them "runners".

Putting a room in order: Cleaning?  This is not an activity with which I have much experience...

A flying insect that glows in the dark: I used to call them "fireflies", until Cartoon Network had a Bugs Bunny marathon called "June Bugs".  You can guess what time of year that was.

The little insect that curls up into a ball: It's not an insect!  It is the only land-dwelling crustacean!  Just hours ago I saw the largest one I've ever seen.  I have no idea how old it is.  Wikipedia says woodlouse and I agree.  I've also heard "pill-bug" and "sow-bug" and "roly-poly".

The children's playground equipment where one kid sits on one side and goes up while the other sits on the other side and goes down: See-saw, teeter-totter.

How do you eat your pizza: Hot.  I often put slices in the microwave to reheat them, because pizza with congealed cheese is unappetizing.

What's it called when private citizens put up signs and sell their used stuff: Capitalism.  Also: garage sale, yard sale, rummage sale (Boston area?).

What's the evening meal? Dinner or supper.

The thing under a house where the furnace and perhaps a rec room are: It's not a "thing", but a "place"! In fact, I'm sitting in it right now.  I generally treat the words "basement" and cellar" as interchangeable, but the by-laws of my township make a distinction: mine is too deep to be a "cellar" and is legally a "basement".

What do you call the thing that you can get water out of to drink in public places: Water fountain, bottled water vending machine, Dixie cup, glass.
pyesetz: (spirograph)
Apparently this week's episode of Writer's Block has a furry theme:
What animal best represents your inner spirit?  If you had to wake up as an animal, which one would you choose, and why?  Are your two answers the same?  Why or why not?

I think I'll copy [ profile] danruk's approach and ask my readers (and random passers-by) what the answers should be.  I've heard so many over the years:
  • Doggie
  • Housecat
  • Arctic fox (= 'pyesetz' in Russian)
  • Tiger
  • Anthropomorphized Homo erectus
  • Horse or Ox
  • Ass/arse/donkey
  • Alien from the planet Vulcan
  • Robot
  • The Blob
  • Sloth
  • Weasel/ermine/stoat
Whaddaya think, folks?
pyesetz: (Default)
My accountant can't read the copy I emailed her of my 2008 US return, so I wrote back with a word description of how it differs from the 2007 return that she was able to read.

Maybe tomorrow I can mail the suckers out!

Meanwhile, here is a Joke of the day:
Q. What is the difference between Bird Flu and Swine Flu?
A. For bird flu you need a tweetment but for swine flu you need an oinkment.  Yuk yuk yuk!
pyesetz: (Default)
Here.  My score is 81% progressive.  The American average is 52%.  A "Liberal Democrat" is 62%.  An "Obama voter" is 61%.  A "Conservative Republican" is insane.

Because the survey is being conducted by American nationalists, there is no data offered on how my score compares with those of other Canadians.

A few of the questions are a little hokey:
The primary responsibility of corporations is to produce profits and returns for their shareholders, not to improve society.  Yes, but only because that is how most corporations are set up (exceptions include "ethical investment funds" and the like).  Corporations exist as figments of the legal imagination; their responsibilities are whatever the law says they are.  So should I answer this question in accordance with how things *are* or how they *should be*?

America's security is best promoted by working through diplomacy, alliances, and international institutions.  Depends on whether the assumed alternative is military or corporate.  Diplomacy is much better than war, but not as effective as "cultural exports" in promoting American security.

The gap between rich and poor should be reduced, even if it means higher taxes for the wealthy.  Yes, at the moment, but this is not true of all times and places.  Just rolling back the tax cuts on the ultrarich to the 1990 level might be enough, or perhaps back to the 1970 level under Richard Nixon.

It is unpatriotic to criticize our government leaders or our military during a time of war.  Only if the war is going very badly and is about to be lost.  For a government to say that it cannot afford to allow criticism is an admission of weakness.

Healthy economic growth requires eliminating budget deficits, which discourage private investment and raise interest rates.  No, but almost.  Budget deficits should be reduced in order to encourage private investment and lower interest rates, but interest rates are exceedingly low right now because private investment is beyond discouraged and heading into "scared shitless" mode.  In our current situation, reducing or eliminating the budget deficit not only isn't *required* for economic growth, it is likely to *prevent* growth, as Roosevelt discovered in 1937.

Social Security should be reformed to allow workers to invest some of their contributions in individual accounts.  Social Security needs reform, but turning it into a mandatory-IRA system won't help.  The problem is that Roosevelt lied when he set up the program.  He told people that Social Security payments were money that they had "earned", like an annuity.  Actually, Social Security is basically a duplicate Welfare system.  We should just cancel the thing and let oldsters collect Welfare without having to fill out those weekly "Did you look for work?" forms.
pyesetz: (felix)
Pharyngula linked to Bobbie Jean Pentecost's snarky "50 Reasons Why I Reject Evolution".  Her previous post was "100 Things You Probably Didn't Want to Know", reproduced here with answers replaced:
  1. How old will you be in five years?  I will be eligible for membership in AARP (which, despite its name, also accepts Canadians and Mexicans).
  2. Who did you spend at least two hours with today?  Does sleepy-time with Wifey count?
  3. How tall are you?  Yes.
  4. What do you look forward to most in the next six weeks?  My next paycheque can't get here soon enough.  Also: Passover!
  5. What's the last movie you saw?  Don't remember.  Possibly some "Chanukkah Family Video Night" thingy.
  6. Who was the last person you called?  Using a telephone?  My dentist.  Owwwie!
  7. Who was the last person to call you?  Wifey asked me to come to the kitchen to help her find a jar-opener.
  8. What was the last text message you received?  Some spammy ad years ago, back when I had a cellphone that could receive such things.
  9. Who was the last person to leave you a voicemail?  Dentist.
  10. Do you prefer to call or text?  I like email.  It just sits there until I feel like dealing with it (if ever).
  11. What were you doing at 12am last night?  Working.
  12. Are your parents married/divorced?  My mother is a widow.
  13. When did you last see your mom?  Several years ago, a few days before she boarded the plane for Israel to live with my sister.
  14. What color are your eyes?  Brown.
  15. What time did you wake up today?   Sort of earlyish for me.  It was 10:45 AM, which immediately became 11:45 AM after I adjusted my watch for daylight wasting time.
  16. What are you wearing right now?  Just clothing.  I have not annointed myself with any intestinal secretions from male cervines.
  17. Do you like Christmas songs?  Not especially.
  18. Where is your favorite place to be?  At the keyboard.
  19. Where is your least favorite place to be?  Falling out of a spaceship, accompanied by a bowl of petunias that says "Oh no, not again!"
  20. Where would you go if you could go anywhere?  The future.
  21. Where do you think you'll be in 10 years?  The maximum likelihood estimator seems to be that I will continue to be living on the Earth at that time.
  22. Do you tan or burn?  I do not process animal hides as a hobby.
  23. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child?  Neurotransmitter secretions from the amygdala axis.  The horror!
  24. What was the last thing that really made you laugh?  What does "really" mean?  If it wasn't memorable enough for me to immediately put my paw on it, then it wasn't "really" funny, right?  So if I have to go searching for it on the web, then it's the wrong answer, right?  Well, there's this bit of silliness…
  25. Make up your own question.  Is abortion a heinous crime or an inalienable right?  Neither; this is like asking whether photons are "really" particles or "really" waves.  They are both and neither; the question is undecidable as long as you insist on choosing between two wrong answers.
  26. yes, there really are 100 of these )
pyesetz: (spirograph)
(From [ profile] momentrabbit)
  • Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
  • Turn to page 56.
  • Find the fifth sentence.
  • Post that sentence along with these instructions on your LJ.
  • Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.
The cloest book is Scribble Pad which contains one hundred 9"×12" sheets.  The pages are unnumbered and anyway they're all blank.

The next closest is Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History.  I have never read this book and have no idea why it is sitting on my bookshelf.  The fifth sentence that starts on page 56 is
Second, and more significantly, how can belief be commanded?
pyesetz: (Default)
Copied from a feathery's journal (unnamed here, friends-only post).
WHAT IS YOUR NAME?I'm just a dog
GIRL NAME:Princess
A COLOUR:Rawhide
BEVERAGE:Tuna-can juice
FOOD:Yes; any random garbage I can find on the street
PLACE:At the foot of the bed
REASON FOR BEING LATE:Found some nice grass to roll around in
YOU SHOUT:Bark!  Bark!  Bark!  Bark!  Bark! Bark! BARK!
Apparently the meme was supposed to be Scattergories, but I'm just a dog.
pyesetz: (Default)
The zit porn link in my previous post did not work.  Didn't anybody try that one?  Bueller?
pyesetz: (arctic-fox)
Since [ profile] momentrabbit took my bait, I am now obligated by the rules of LJ memeage to post in my journal:
Everyone has things they blog about.  Everyone has things they don't blog about.  Challenge me out of my comfort zone by telling me something I don't blog about, but you'd like to hear about, and I'll respond (if I can stand the searing pain your suggestion causes in the back of my head).
It's too bad that Moment and I aren't furiends.  If he were (and if I am reading the tea leaves properly regarding his whereabouts), he would be my second-closest furiend after [ profile] solstice_sings.  Well, [ profile] tehpyrex might actually beat Solstice for proximity if I friended him, but let's not go there today...

So what's on my furry to-do list?  Thanks for asking!  Let's see:
  • Bark Bark Woof Woof is still waiting for an answer to his email asking about how things are working out for me in Ontario (he lives in Miami FL but visits Stratford ON every summer).
  • [ profile] shy_matsi (who just got out of hospital after having chest pains at age 29½) asked me for more detail about what it's like being married to a she-bear (see [ profile] she_bears nope, that's a different kind of "she-bear").
  • [ profile] loganberrybunny sent me extensive commentary on the complex situation of citizenship in the former British Empire, but I still don't quite know what to do with the pull-down "Country" menu at my employer's website, so I should reply to him again.
  • [ profile] giza wrote a comment on my journal.  I need to find some way to respond that defends my point (because I still believe in it) without denigrating his much-greater experience in website design and maintenance.
  • [ profile] tgeller wrote an entire post (last December!) in reply to one of my off-the-cuff comments.  I still haven't dared to look at the links he found.  BTW, on BoingBoing recently they showed a clip of zit porn.  I don't know about you, but somehow my zits just never look as *voluptuous* as those!
I also have non-furry to-do items, but you probably wouldn't want to hear about those.  Oh, you would?  Super!
  • "Mr. Bear" keeps asking when I'm going to hire some local college kids and start a little software-for-export business.  That's because I keep complaining about the "bodies" he hires who produce too little work for too much money.  But running a business is such a pain!  I could then join the local Chamber of Commerce, where I could hear all the town gossip myself instead of getting it second-paw from my dentist who is a member.
  • The government of Ontario hands out money to academics in April.  I really should apply 'cause it's free gravy.  And time is running out!
  • Most of the sewage pipes inside my house are clogged and they probably all need a good hard reaming.  Does that make you think of buttsex?  Enjoy your laugh if so.  But I would like to officially announce at this point that no human male has ever inserted any original-equipment piece of his body into my anus while thinking of me as being a creature named "Pyesetz".  Of course, the preceding pronouncement says nothing about my lurid (and nonexistent) life as a Topman.  As for frottage, my equipment is just not shaped properly for that activity (though I suspect it might be possible in a zero-g environment?)
[ profile] swift_fox got some good responses when he posted this meme.  But of course I won't.


pyesetz: (Default)

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