Friday, January 16, 2015

News of the Weird

This has to be one of the funniest things I've seen in a while. An all-women, liberal arts college decides to cancel the Vagina Monologues because it does not include women without a vagina. I can think of a few reasons to let the play slip into obscurity but to drop it by applying such sublimely leftist logic is unexpected.

Women's College Cancels 'Vagina Monologues' Because It Excludes Women Without Vaginas

Thursday, January 15, 2015

America Needs a Senator like This

A Australian Social Democrat named Gary Burns argued that multiculturalism is the law in Australia. Senator David Leyonjhelm replied with a simple and direct, "Go fuck yourself you communist turd."

"Go F**k Yourself You Communist Turd" Senator Says To Anti-Free Speech Democrat

Good for him.

Judging from the Wikipedia article on him, Leyonjhelm is a libertarian who supports decriminalizing marijuana, legalizing same sex marriage and charging a fee for permanent residency in Australia. He is also pro gun and supports legalizing assisted suicide *.

And he doesn't like communist turds.

* Suicide is legal in Australia but only by your own hand. Apparently, no one is permitted to assist in any way so those too weak to manage the deed alone are sentenced to whatever lingering death nature arranges for them.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Ridicule is Still the Final Test of Truth

Today (Jan 8, 2015) USA Today's Opposing Views posed an article by Anjem Choudary entitled:

Why did France allow the tabloid to provoke Muslims?

Choudary is described as "...a radical Muslim cleric in London and a lecturer in sharia."

Read the editorial but the answer to that question should be obvious to everyone in the Western World: Freedom is an inherently offensive state of existence. No matter what you may believe, there will be someone who will ridicule it. Someone will burn a Koran, dip a Crucifix in urine or photoshop the Flying Spaghetti Monster into the creation image of the Sistine Chapel. However, as HL Mencken wrote, "..the razor edge of ridicule is turned by the tough hide of truth." If you really think what you believe is true then what is there to fear? Your pet theories or dogma will survive if truth is really on your side.

Muslims who cannot stand to have their peculiar neuroses ridiculed deserve to be shot by their intended victims.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Harvard Punished for Protecting Civil Rights

The US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced that, "... it has entered into a resolution agreement with Harvard University and its Law School after finding the Law School in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 for its response to sexual harassment, including sexual assault."

Harvard Law School Found in Violation of Title IX, Agrees to Remedy Sexual Harassment, including Sexual Assault of Students

Following its investigation, OCR determined that the Law School's current and prior sexual harassment policies and procedures failed to comply with Title IX's requirements for prompt and equitable response to complaints of sexual harassment and sexual assault. The Law School also did not appropriately respond to two student complaints of sexual assault. In one instance, the Law School took over a year to make its final determination and the complainant was not allowed to participate in this extended appeal process, which ultimately resulted in the reversal of the initial decision to dismiss the accused student and dismissal of the complainant's complaint.

During the course of OCR's investigation, the Law School adopted revised procedures that use the "preponderance of the evidence" standard for its sexual harassment investigations and afford appeal rights to both parties, in compliance with Title IX. The Law School also complied with the Title IX requirements relating to the designation of a Title IX Coordinator and publication of its non-discrimination notice.

In short, Harvard violated Title IX by respecting the legal principle of "beyond a reasonable doubt" for rape accusations. Think about that for a minute: The OCR is claiming that Title IX requires an administrator or "council" only need to be 50% plus a bit certain to expel a student. No more of that pesky beyond a reasonable doubt. I shudder to think what kind of lawyers an environment like that will produce.

Adding irony to stupidity, these policies only seem to be gender neutral but in fact are pure misandry in effect and probably in intent. That make them a violation of Title IX. I sincerely doubt that OCR will be investigating that anytime soon.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Chase Online still vulnerable to POODLE for TLS

Like a lot of companies, Chase Online (owned by JP Morgan) uses the F5 BigIP to handle SSL/TLS for its web services. If your web services run on IIS that is a pretty sensible decision but only as long as the F5 is secure. As of the morning of Dec 18,2014 the Chase site is still vulnerable to POODLE for TLS. What make this worthy of a blog post is that there is a patch for the F5 box and it has been available since Dec 8, 2014. I applied it to my employer's machines on Dec 13 and it brought our score on the Qualys SSL tester from an "F" to a much more comfortable "A-".

This will not affect me directly because I don't bank with Chase and I recently canceled my last credit card with them. Still, I think it displays a contemptuous attitude toward customers not to expedite patching such a highly visible system.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Thought on Ferguson

If the people of Ferguson believe they are being governed badly and the usual avenues of redress have failed them, then -- by all means -- they should take to streets and shake up their overlords a bit. People flourish in freedom and freedom flourishes when the rulers are more than a little afraid of those they purport to rule. However, I don't see too much of that spirit in the current mess in Ferguson. It's more an explosion of narcissism fed a diet of entitlement then crossed with drunken frat boy. Not the finest hour for the city's residents.

Free men and women know when to build and when to fight; they also know what to build and what to fight. From where I sit, the boldest act of rebellion and independence in Ferguson would have been to start a business rather than looting and burning them.

Massachusetts Under Siege from...Gangs of Turkeys?

So it would appear:

Brookline residents on the lookout for aggressive turkeys

BROOKLINE, Mass. (WHDH) - Residents of a Brookline neighborhood are on the lookout for turkeys, and not just the best deals at their local grocery store. A flock of turkeys has been harassing residents and even attacked a group of school kids.

“The turkeys started to run after my kids and then they pecked at a car,” Jay Hafner said. “They just attack whatever comes by, they're territorial I guess.”

Brookline Animal Control says they've had several calls about the seasonal birds.

Police say a crossing guard had to call for help this morning after one flock got into the road.

Marilyn Carmona says the turkeys tried to attack her last week.

“There was like six or seven of them, and as I went around the mailbox they went around and they started chasing me into the street and I screamed for help,” she said.

Last year police had to remove one male turkey that went after a mail carrier in town.

Massachusetts was one of the places where the unique American version of individual liberty was forged. It was home to men like Sam Adams and Paul Revere. Now the residents are disarmed and so intimidated by their overlords that they have to fear gangs of roving turkeys.

I hope you have happy Thanksgiving anyways.

Friday, November 21, 2014

I May Have Just Found My Next Rifle

The Firearms Blog recently reported on some new offerrings and lower prices for their scout rifle:

Steyr Updates Scout Rifle Offerings

Originally these rifles had an MSRP of about $2,700 with street prices solidly over $2,300. Usually more than $2,400. Way too expensive for my income. Now Steyr has dropped the MSRP to about $1,700 with an additional $200 off until year's end. Street prices will hopefully be in the neighborhood of $1,300. That is still pretty expensive for a bolt action rifle but within my purchasing power right now.

I've only fired a couple dozen rounds through one and it was a heckuva rifle: Under 39 inches long, less than 7 pounds and very accurate. More than accurate enough for a field rifle. Plus it is just about the coolest bolt gun on the planet today.

The only the rifle I am interested in right now is the Varmint Express in .17 HMR. It will be a race to see which becomes available first.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Silk Road 3.0 Opens for Business?

According to this article a new Silk Road marketplace has opened up:

Silk Road 3.0 Opens for Business

I have no idea how long it will last nor I am I convinced it is not just a lure for entrapment of buyers. On the other hand, I don't think Silk Road sells anything I am interested in so that difference is probably moot. On the gripping hand, it may turn out to be an interesting example of how a free market responds to attempts to suppress it.

In reality, history is a process and has no side. That claim is just anthropogenic nonsense promoted by people who believe that their way of seeing the world is so righteous it doesn't need defending. Nevertheless, if history did have a side I like to think the DEA and FBI are operating on the wrong side of it.

Friday, November 7, 2014

It's not Just Feeding the Homeless

At first glance, this article seem to be about an outrageous exercise of state power. After all, despite cynical assertions to the contrary, Americans are among the most charitable people in the world. Who could object to feeding the hungry?

Fort Lauderdale Charges 90-Year-Old, Two Pastors for Feeding Homeless

Homeless activist Arnold Abbott, 90, and Christian ministers Dwayne Black of the Sanctuary Church in Fort Lauderdale and Mark Sims of St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church in Coral Springs were handing out meals in a park on Sunday, two days after Fort Lauderdale's ordinance took effect, when police approached them with their sirens flashing, Black said. The three were issued citations and face a $500 fine or 60 days in jail.

"This is not how our government is supposed to work," Black told NBC News. "These are people who need to be fed, and we will be feeding [again] today at 5 o'clock."

The ordinance — the fourth one that Fort Lauderdale has passed this year concerning the homeless — requires groups handing out food to homeless to be at least 500 feet away from residential properties. It limits feeding sites for homeless to one in any given city block, and prevent feeding sites from being within 500 feet of each other.

First, let me be plain. There is no such thing as a "proper exercise of state power". That said, the institution is not going away quickly so the best I can hope for at this time is that government will act in a manner consistent with how a hypothetical owner of so-called "public property" would act.

So, in that light, how is government supposed to act? The fellows mentioned in the article are feeding the homeless but that action has foreseeable consequences. Handing out meals certainly encourages the recipients to congregate in the area. In addition to needing food the homeless will also need places to sleep as well as places to urinate and defecate. I doubt the owner of any property would encourage such activities on his on land. Since the taxpayers of Ft. Lauderdale are forced to pay for the property the homeless will occupy between feedings, the government has a responsibility to manage that property as if it was owned by those taxpayers.

So, while not perfect, restricting the ability of charities to feed the homeless is government working as it is supposed to.