Sunday, May 22, 2011

Today's rec.humor.funny.reruns

[The following, possibly apocryphal story appeared in this morning's
(28/03/91) Glasgow Herald.]

Lord George Brown, when the band struck up at an embassy function,
asked: "Beautiful lady in scarlet, will you waltz with me?"

"Certainly not," was the reply. "First, you are drunk. Second, it
is not a waltz, but the Venezualan national anthem; and third, I am
not a beautiful lady in scarlet, but the papal nuncio."

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In defense of flogging

An interesting read. Is flogging barbaric, or is locking people up for years? Not sure what the right answer is . . .

The opening gambit of the book is surprisingly simple: If you were sentenced to five years in prison but had the option of receiving lashes instead, what would you choose? You would probably pick flogging. Wouldn't we all?

I propose we give convicts the choice of the lash at the rate of two lashes per year of incarceration. One cannot reasonably argue that merely offering this choice is somehow cruel, especially when the status quo of incarceration remains an option. Prison means losing a part of your life and everything you care for. Compared with this, flogging is just a few very painful strokes on the backside. And it's over in a few minutes. Often, and often very quickly, those who said flogging is too cruel to even consider suddenly say that flogging isn't cruel enough.

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The problem with a living constitution

is that in addition to judges creating parts that you like, they might also ignore parts that you like:

The court basically says that it's "against public policy" to require a warrant . . . .

It appears that law enforcement in Indiana is wasting no time in recognizing the power this gives them. Radley Balko points us to the news that one Indiana Sheriff, Don Hartman Sr., from Newton County, has now stated that it's legal to conduct house-to-house warrantless searches (see update below).

Let's take a look at the original:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Good think we've evolved as a society to be rid of barbaric notions about being secure in our persons, houses, and whatnot.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

The dangers of Facebook

I noticed this plea on webapps.SE:

My account is not deleted, but disabled instead. I've tried to contact Facebook, but all I get in the reply is that my FB account was blocked because I've breached Facebook TOS. The last letter said "This decision is final and cannot be appealed".

Be careful and back up your data if you think you may be rocking the boat!

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rosetta, we hardly knew ye

What most users should want in 10.7 Lion is support for PowerPC (PPC) apps that require Rosetta. There is a failure by many to understand what an absence of Rosetta means.

If you run Word for Mac 2008, which is Universal Binary and was only superseded in 2010, you won't be able to install it on Lion. Why? Because Word 2008 uses PPC code in its installer. So you'll have to buy another version of Word.

If you run Adobe's Creative Suite 2 (CS2) and have the upgrade CD to the current CS 5, you won't be able to install CS2 on to your new computer which runs 10.7, to then be able to install the update to CS5 if it does not have Rosetta. Why? Because updater CDs only work if they can find a legitimate copy of an earlier suite. If you can't install CS2, which is PPC, then the updater won't find an earlier version to update.

Not particularly relevant, but it does seem to me to be something of a commentary on how disposable computers have become, along with the software that runs on them. I'm still running WordPerfect 12 once in a while, which probably says more about me than anything else, but hey, it works.

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Liturgical referees

An idea whose time has come.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

New CPI measures!

Instead, I learned that people are debating whether housing plays too big a role in the CPI; specifically, the “problem” is that the housing portion of the CPI is exerting upward pressure on the overall number. Y’know because consumers typically live somewhere and pay for that privilege.

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Another nun-to-be looking for help with student loans etc.

I believe Mark Shea put this link on his blog originally? I'm a bit disordered at the moment.

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Torture saves lives!

Oh wait, it doesn't. Hmm, we'll need to come up with another angle to cover our crimes.

John McCain has a piece in the Washington Post today, definitively refuting the Republican talking point that torture helped find Osama bin Laden

Hat tip to LGF.

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What sort of life?

I went to the Festival of Ideas to find out what the (mostly) young New Yorkers of today hope for the New York of the future.

So far, the city of tomorrow looks a lot like college life in the Pacific Northwest. It also looks a lot like hipster and brownstone Brooklyn.

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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Who blew up the housing market?

What emerges from new research is something quite different: government agencies now look to have guaranteed, originated or underwritten 60% of all "non-traditional" mortgages, which totaled $4.6 trillion in June 2008. What's more, this research asserts that housing policies instituted in the early 1990s were explicitly designed to require US Agencies to make much riskier loans, with the ultimate goal of pushing private sector banks to adopt the same standards."

Oops. Quick, propose bringing back the short sale tick test, that should distract them!


Math can be hard

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