Category: Politics

  • DOMA’s Gone! A Good First Step

    This Thursday morning I tweeted that I would need to take a look at the actual ramifications of the Supreme Court’s 26 June decisions before I did too much celebrating. I was right to have a tempered reaction. As is pointed out in the Rolling Stone story on the decision, all the overturning of DOMA […]

  • The Ideological Turing Test

    Over at Popehat they presented an interesting article about the Ideological Turing Test. The regular Turing Test says that a computer passes if you can interact with it and you don’t know you’re interacting with a computer instead of a human. One of the closest things we have right now are the chat bots whose […]

  • Life Isn’t Fair: Housing Edition

    One of the earliest demands for justice children make is that of fairness. What parent hasn’t heard the complaint “That’s not fair!” uttered by their children? Scarlett isn’t there yet (shoot, she’s barely speaking so far), but I imagine one of the hardest things I’ll have to do in her toddlerhood is to explain to […]

  • Strongbox

    There’s an interesting tension in democratic nations. For democracy to work there needs to be transparency. A lack of transparency leads to corruption via information asymmetry. Humans, being humans, tend to exploit this to bad ends. Sometimes they have noble intentions and sometimes they have evil intentions, but the results are the same – an […]

  • Unintended Consequences: Pot Legalization

    In my 20s I learned something important that changed my idealism when it came to how the world would be awesome if all the politicians would listen to me – the law of unintended consequences. I came across an interesting example in a 22 May story Planet Money did about the uneven Marijuana Laws in […]

  • REALLY?!?

    The Executive Pranch of government is a complex place; way more piecemeal than it seems when it’s described/depicted in media. It’s like a bunch of separate companies in which the President’s office has a controlling share. Still, given the ridiculous nature of the conspiracy theories which Right Wing News Organizations irresponsibly do nothing to counter: […]

  • System Failure or System Working Perfectly?

    I keep hearing that the gun bill was killed in the Houses of Congress despite 90% of Americans wanting it to pass. Now, we know that polls can be rigged based on how the questions are asked. But, if we take as a starting point that this poll is accurate, what does that mean about […]

  • May The Genie Trapping Attempts Begin

    Remember earlier this week when I said the gun control debate was now pointless? Apparently the State Department wants to pretend that what I said isn’t true. In a complete misunderstanding of how the Internet works, they have compelled the website holding the CAD designs for the 3D gun to remove the CAD file.  The […]

  • Too Big to Fail? Perhaps not for long

    Matt Taibbi wrote a story on 1 May about how there is a possibility of the end of banks that are too big to fail. The biggest issue I have with the way the financial crisis has been dealt with is the complete hypocrisy. Now, I’m not so naive as to fail to realize that […]

  • Politics: Illicit Acquisition of Game of Thrones in Australia and the Death of CISPA

    A bit of a news roundup for this week’s political post. Apparently, illicit acquisition of the Game of Thrones is making things awkward for the United States Ambassador to Australia.  He’s asking Australians to please stop getting the show off the Internet. After all, the US is quick to put (or threaten to put) other […]

  • Podcasts I’m Listening to 2011

    It’s been a little over a year, so I wanted to make a new, updated list of the podcasts I’m currently listening to.  For shows I covered before, I’m just going to copy the description over, verbatim. Science The Naked Scientists – This has nothing to do with nudity.  It’s a British thing, like The […]

  • Examining Nuclear Motivations

    Usually for my blog posts, I write them in isolation and try to guess how my regular readers might respond.  However, for this topic, I spoke with Dan about it as I wrote it.  As someone who’s visited Hiroshima, Dan has a pretty unique perspective on the topic compared to most Americans.     I […]

  • Egypt, Israel, and Palestine

    With the current revolution in Egypt I’ve been hearing a lot of speculation on NPR’s Talk of the Nation about who will come to power when the current government falls.  There’s been a lot of talk about the consequences of a government run by The Muslim Brotherhood.  The fact is that some key figured in […]

  • Maybe it *is* genetic?

    John Waters was on NPR to talk about his new book, Role Models.  In the course of talking to Terry, he mentioned dealing with people with Alzheimer’s.  He asked a friend of his, a nurse who works with Alzheimer’s patients – “People forget who their family is, what they did that day or even five minutes […]

  • Review: Inglourious Basterds

    It’s been 65 years since World War II ended. We seem to be more obsessed with it than ever. There are two big reasons for this. First, WWII is the last war we unequivocally won and which had a clear, morally reprehensible enemy. Korea was a tie, Vietnam was a loss, and our only other […]