Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Shyster, please

Check out the big standard on Steve!

The question is, Are we prepared to say as lawyers that a man who is no longer considered moral enough to be a journalist is moral enough to be a lawyer?

In fairness, Steve is described as "Stephen Gillers, a law professor of legal ethics at New York University." So maybe, you know, ivory tower, and so forth.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Yes, we can all wail about the partisan divide

And sure, it's easy to agree that primaries for Congressional seats tend to be dominated by small groups of activists, and that this can lead to outcomes like Senator Ted Cruz. This is the dark side of that Margaret Mead line.

But if your best supporting example is that in a state without a "sore loser" law, Joe Lieberman was nonetheless able to get reelected after losing in the primary . . .

Well, I will just say that your argument is unpersuasive, Mickey Edwards, and so here is a cat riding a Roomba, wearing a shark costume, chasing a duck.

The problem is not extremists getting elected, because of the primary process. The problem is Republican extremists getting elected, and that is something the GOP is going to have to figure out for itself. Meanwhile, as you do point out, you can hold up Christine O'Donnell as a counterexample to Ted Cruz -- come the general election, democracy sometimes works.

Also, points to you, sir, for this:

For one thing, the political “center” is not always the right place to be (it certainly wasn’t in the pursuit of civil rights and women’s rights, or on issues like slavery and child labor). Compassion toward candidates who find their political prospects cut short is also of little interest to me.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Follow-up to earlier tweet

Shortly after posting this ...

... I happened across Dok Zoom's latest "Sundays with the Christianists." In a change of pace, this week he has published some emails from readers who were "educated" with the sorts of textbooks he usually reviews in that space. Definitely worth a read, if only to lament how many children don't recover from the early brainwashing.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A very fine photo

Go see what M. Bouffant took.

And after some moments of examination of the embedded pic, don't fail to click it for a bigger version.

(This is far from the first very fine photo appearing on that blog, by the way. But for whatever reason, this one really spoke to me.)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Help stomp out robocalls [updated]

(Update at bottom of post.)

TC sent along an article about a free service called Nomorobo that claims to block robocalls. He wondered how it worked: "If you're not bundled with everything together, how is your computer going to answer your phone when it rings? There's no connection between the two as far as I can see."

So I looked into it a bit, and I figured I'd post (a mildly edited version of) my reply to him, since it seems like potentially useful information.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Well, if I count all of the different brands of leftover shampoo ...

I turned 66 last week and started worrying that maybe I really was getting older, but whenever that sort of thing happens I hold my head erect and whistle a happy tune.

Just messing with you.

What I did, actually, was walk into my bathroom and take the Wadler Sure Fire Accurate Aging Test, which I hope to be marketing soon. It goes like this: You count up the number of hair products you own, then you count up the number of digestive aids, and if the hair products are in the lead, you are still young. (I understand this test may not work as well for men; I’m open to suggestions.)

I do not actually own any digestive aids (I buy bourbon and cognac for other reasons, although admittedly they do tend to settle the stomach), so I guess I'm still infinitely young, amirite, Joyce Wadler?


Also, I call men get to count razors and shaving cream as hair care products, especially if they're opting to Be Like Mike.

(pic. source)


-- or --
Had Photoshop been around when Gary Larson was a boy ...

(Swiped from Christian Heilmann)

Wednesday, January 08, 2014


Dhananjay had posted his problem on StackOverflow and promptly got an answer that wasn’t really solving or explaining the issue, but at least linked to W3Schools to make matters worse ...
    -- Christian Heilmann

Monday, January 06, 2014

Bad day for the snarkosphere

Looks like we won't have Liz Cheney to kick around anymore.

Good riddance.

[Added] TBogg is already in mourning.

[Added2] Yr Wonkettes, also.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

"... a subject in which popular beliefs often do not reflect scientific evidence."

I've had this same thought myself:

Some compare the hostility to G.M.O.s to the rejection of climate-change science, except with liberal opponents instead of conservative ones.

And I've shared this despair:

Popular opinion masqueraded convincingly as science, and the science itself was hard to grasp. People who spoke as experts lacked credentials, and G.M.O. critics discounted those with credentials as being pawns of biotechnology companies.

A longish article, which I have not yet finished, but which I do wish to share based on the opening paragraphs: "A Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops."

Related: if you're still not persuaded to be a bit more open-minded about GMO food, how do you feel about modifying a plant so that it produces more low-carbon biofuel?