Searching for “finally got my Emacs setup just how I like it” yields excellent results.

Searching for “finally got my Emacs setup just how I like it” yields excellent results.
By jwz

(An old Google Japan Apr 1 gag.)

Other fine specimens include:

And these bitches:
Of course I grew up with:

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

September 29, 2016 at 09:35PM
via jwz

Ostrander, An Early Frost

Ostrander, An Early Frost

Ostrander, An Early Frost

a/k/a Hinterland

September 29, 2016 at 01:36AM
via LiarTownUSA

How to Crash Systemd in One Tweet

How to Crash Systemd in One Tweet

I’m not vehemently against systemd, but this is a great examples of reasons to be, and especially to be against “systemd subsuming all services”.

September 28, 2016 at 04:53PM
via My Reading List: Unread

Fucking Politics, How Does It Work?

Fucking Politics, How Does It Work?
By Scott Lemieux


There are really no good arguments for voting third party for president in the currently existing American electoral system. To the extent that third-party voting has any justification at all, there are three bad categories. The first is to argue that it doesn’t really matter because the major parties are essentially the same. Dr. Jill Stein, MD makes this argument:

Admitting Trump is the worst possible thing that could happen to the country, she also says that the binary options amount to “death by gunshot or death by strangulation.”

The main problem with this argument, as applied to the election of 2016, is that it is reflects massive dishonesty, massive stupidity, massive ignorance, or some cocktail of the three. American political parties are polarized to an unusual extent, and the Democrats are far better on a wide range of issues and worse on none.

If one admits the obvious truth that there are material differences between the two parties, there are a couple of terrible arguments one can trot out. The first is the hieghten-the-contradictions routine, which deliberately makes things worse in order to make things better. One example is Jill Stein’s contention that the lesson of Nazi Germany is that it’s better for fascists to take power than to form a coalition with liberals. Rarely has an argument been more convincingly self-rebutted. If one recognizes that heighten-the-contradictions arguments tend to be not merely wrong but monstrous, the next move tends to be “vote Jill Stein — it has no chance of affecting anything whatsoever, but will allow you to pat yourself on the back for being too good to be part of a mere political coalition.” Which doesn’t strike me as a very attractive argument, but whatever. It’s not really one that’s easily available to Jill Stein, however. So there’s another variant, the MORE EFFECTIVE EVIL theory:

“Donald Trump, I think, will have a lot of trouble moving things through Congress,” Stein says. “Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, won’t … Hillary has the potential to do a whole lot more damage, get us into more wars, faster to pass her fracking disastrous climate program, much more easily than Donald Trump could do his.”

The ignorance of basic facts about American politics that this reveals is astounding. The idea that a Republican-controlled House would pass Hillary Clinton’s climate change legislation is as stupid as the idea that Hillary Clinton’s climate change agenda consists entirely of “MOAR fracking plz.” Even worse is the idea that agendas are determined solely by presidents, the assumption that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have no agenda of their own when in fact they have a longstanding agenda they would pass and Donald Trump would allow to pass into law because he has no interest in public policy. The idea that Congress would stop Trump from pursuing military adventurism is comically ignorant of history. Then there’s the fact that she ignores the people Donald Trump would staff the federal judiciary and executive branch with, and also ignores that the only circumstances under which the Senate would fail to confirm is if Trump accidentally chose a non-wingnut. And so on. Although it least she doesn’t make the “sure, Republican presidents will do more bad things, but these bad things will generate more Uncle Sams on stilts” variant of the argument.

If you must vote third party because you’re too good for mere politics, I would again recommend writing in someone more knowledgeable about basic facts of American government, like Harambe.


September 26, 2016 at 01:02PM
via Lawyers, Guns & Money

Donald Trump’s Cruel Streak

Donald Trump’s Cruel Streak
By Conor Friedersdorf

Donald J. Trump has a cruel streak. He willfully causes pain and distress to others. And he repeats this public behavior so frequently that it’s fair to call it a character trait. Any single example would be off-putting but forgivable. Being shown many examples across many years should make any decent person recoil in disgust.

Judge for yourself if these examples qualify.

* * *

In national politics, harsh attacks are to be expected. I certainly don’t fault Trump for calling Hillary Clinton dishonest, or wrongheaded, or possessed of bad judgment, even if it’s a jarring departure from the glowing compliments that he used to pay her.

But even in a realm where the harshest critiques are part of the civic process, Trump crossed a line this week when he declared his intention to invite Gennifer Flowers to today’s presidential debate. What kind of man invites a husband’s former mistress to an event to taunt his wife? Trump managed to launch an attack that couldn’t be less relevant to his opponent’s qualifications or more personally cruel. His campaign and his running-mate later said that it was all a big joke. No matter. Whether in earnest or in jest, Trump showed his tendency to humiliate others.

Talk-radio host Hugh Hewitt, who is supporting Donald Trump in this year’s election, was subject to the cruel streak months ago while moderating a GOP debate. “A year ago you told me on my radio show—the audio and transcript are out there on YouTube—that you would release your tax returns,” Hewitt said to Trump. “First of all, very few people listen to your radio show,” Trump replied. “That’s the good news. Let me just tell you—which happens to be true. Check out the ratings.” Trump took pleasure in puffing himself up by being gratuitously cruel.

What quality within him causes him to lash out this way? It was on display again when  Trump attacked the wife of his primary opponent Ted Cruz. Here is the tweet he sent:

This is vile behavior.

What kind of person attacks a rival by mocking the appearance of his wife? For the whole of his presidential campaign, Trump has gleefully launched gutter attacks like this. And while a cruel streak directed solely at rivals would hardly be excusable, Trump doesn’t even have that excuse. After Chris Christie endorsed him, Trump attended a fundraiser with the New Jersey governor, and said this to the crowd: “I’m not eating Oreos anymore, you know that—but neither is Chris. You’re not eating Oreos anymore. No more Oreos. For either of us, Chris. Don’t feel bad.”

That’s who Trump is: If he’s in front of a crowd with an ally who has a weight problem, he’ll find an excuse to bring it up, to humiliate the ally, for no apparent reason.

And this penchant for purposeless cruelty goes beyond the political realm. “Heidi Klum. Sadly, she’s no longer a 10,” Trump said once for no apparent reason, baffling the model. “I’ve known Donald for many, many years. Personally I don’t know why he did it,” Klum said. “I don’t know what I have to do with a presidential campaign.” Imagine knowing someone for years, then having them attack your appearance for no reason on national TV. You’d think they were a sociopath.

The people closest to Trump have painful experience with this same quality. In September 1990, Marie Brenner wrote at length in Vanity Fair about how the billionaire humiliated Ivana Trump.

Conservative writer Mona Charen reflected on the same era in National Review:

I first became aware of Donald Trump when he chose to make cheating on his first wife front-page news. Donald and Ivana Trump broke up over the course of months. Not that divorce is shocking, mind you. Among the glitterati marriage seems more unusual. Nor is infidelity exactly novel.

But it requires a particular breed of lowlife to advertise the sexual superiority of one’s mistress over the mother of one’s children. That was Trump’s style. He leaked stories to the New York tabloids about Ivana’s breast implants—they didn’t feel right. Marla Maples, by contrast, suited him better. She, proving her suitability for the man she was eager to steal from his family, told the papers that her encounters with the mogul were “the best sex I’ve ever had.” It wasn’t just Donald Trump’s betrayal that caught my eye, nor just the tawdriness—it was the cruelty.

What kind of person treats the mother of his children that way? Is there anyone to whom he wouldn’t be cruel? In fact, none of the examples offered thus far captures the depths of Trump’s cruelty. Understanding that requires hearing the story of the late Freddy Trump, the candidate’s older brother, who died an alcoholic in 1983. After college, Freddy had tried to join the family business, but his heart wasn’t in it. He became an airplane pilot, showing talent in the profession. When his heavy drinking posed a safety risk, however, he quit, and wound up living in an apartment owned by his father and working on one of his maintenance crews, even as his kid brother Donald began to make a name for himself.

Here is the jaw-dropping conclusion to the story, as reported in the New York Times:

In 1977, Donald asked Freddy to be the best man at his first wedding, to the Czech model Ivana Winklmayr, an honor Donald said he hoped would be “a good thing for him.” But the drinking continued, and four years later, Freddy was dead.

Over the next decades, Donald put the Trump name on skyscrapers, casinos and planes.

In 1999, the family patriarch died, and 650 people, including many real estate executives and politicians, crowded his funeral at Marble Collegiate Church on Fifth Avenue. But the drama was hardly put to rest. Freddy’s son, Fred III, spoke at the funeral, and that night, his wife went into labor with their son, who developed seizures that led to cerebral palsy. The Trump family promised that it would take care of the medical bills.

Then came the unveiling of Fred Sr.’s will, which Donald had helped draft. It divided the bulk of the inheritance, at least $20 million, among his children and their descendants, “other than my son Fred C. Trump Jr.” Freddy’s children sued, claiming that an earlier version of the will had entitled them to their father’s share of the estate, but that Donald and his siblings had used “undue influence” over their grandfather, who had dementia, to cut them out. A week later, Mr. Trump retaliated by withdrawing the medical benefits critical to his nephew’s infant child.

“I was angry because they sued,” he explained during last week’s interview.

I have to ask again.

What kind of billionaire withdraws the health insurance of an infant with cerebral palsy in a fit of pique? A person comfortable being cruel to others. “This was so shocking, so disappointing and so vindictive,” his niece Lisa Trump said at the time.

* * *

There are lots more stories to tell about Trump’s cruel streak. In the present campaign, he mocked John McCain for being captured and tortured while fighting for the United States in Vietnam and attacked the Gold Star Family that spoke at the Democratic National Convention after losing a son in Iraq. Many people know that years before Trump was a politician he feuded with a talk show host. “Well, Rosie O’Donnell is disgusting both inside and out,” he declared. “You look at her, she’s a slob. She talks like a truck driver… If I were running The View I’d look right in that fat ugly face of hers and say, ‘Rosie, you’re fired.’” What few people know is that later, when O’Donnell got engaged, Trump went on Twitter to write this:

What kind of person rekindles a feud with insults on hearing that someone got engaged?

I could talk about Trump being cruel to others for another 20,000 words. But deep down, even many Trump supporters already know this truth about the man they’re supporting. They’re just so acclimated to his cruelty that they’ve stopped noticing it.

Enough. Wake up. Look at this man with fresh eyes.

People disagree about the ideal traits to have in a leader. But almost no one wants a president who has proven himself an addict to being cruel, mean-spirited, and spiteful. For decades, Trump has been deliberately cruel to others, often in the most public ways. He behaves this way flagrantly, showing no sign of shame or reflection.

What kind of person still acts that way at 70? A bad person.

It is that simple.

Giving a cruel man power and expecting that he won’t use it to inflict cruelty is madness. To vote for Trump, knowing all of this, is to knowingly empower cruelty.

Better to recoil in disgust.

September 26, 2016 at 07:57AM
via The Atlantic

If Facts Don’t Matter, Presidential Debates Are Just a Reality Show

If Facts Don’t Matter, Presidential Debates Are Just a Reality Show
By David Atkins

Janet Brown, the executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates has declared that the debates should be a fact-check-free zone:

“I think personally, if you start getting into fact-checking, I’m not sure. What is a big fact? What’s a little fact? And if you and I have different sources of information, does your source about the unemployment rate agree with my source? I don’t think it’s a good idea to get the moderator into essentially serving as the Encyclopedia Britannica.”

This is terrible on many levels. Debates are supposed to illustrate how the candidates would respond to a variety of policy challenges. Those challenges depend on having a shared set of facts: a 10% unemployment rate would create a very different policy environment from a 5% unemployment. If each candidate is claiming different unemployment statistics, you don’t have a debate. You have a noisy argument that sheds a lot of heat and no light. It’s a useless exercise.

Moreover, the example she gave is frankly bizarre. It’s one thing to dispute, say, models of economic growth or the efficacy of various foreign policy approaches. But the unemployment rate? That has a single reliable source: the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is literally the only legitimate source for unemployment numbers. There is a small debate within economic circles as to whether the BLS unemployment statistics appropriately reflect the reality of economic pain within the country, in terms of not counting people who stopped looking for work or potentially ignoring too many of the underemployed. Some people use a U6 model for unemploymentrather than a U3 model. model. But the starting point for any reasonable discussion of the unemployment rate is the official BLS number.

If one candidate says that unemployment is at 5% and the other candidate says it’s much higher, it’s absolutely the job of a moderator to inform the public that the official BLS statistics support one candidate’s assertion. The candidate trying to claim an alternate reality should then be pressed to say why they disbelieve the BLS, proving either that they’re a conspiracy monger, or potentially that they have a sophisticated critique of the government’s economic model–which would certainly be an interesting and informative conversation, but one that can only happen in the context of a single, authoritative factual source acknowledged by both candidates.

Republicans are still furious that Candy Crowley fact-checked Mitt Romney’s lies about Benghazi in 2012. But Crowley did precisely the right thing. When the candidates are presenting not just different perspectives but different versions of easily verifiable reality, it’s up to the press to ground the debate in fact.

Otherwise it’s just a spectacle, and one that damages the fabric of the country further as our country’s ideological tribes inhabit not just different cultures and geographies, but different understandings of reality entirely. That serves no one, and it’s the opposite of objective.

September 25, 2016 at 03:09PM
via Washington Monthly

savedbythe-bellhooks: Source: Made of Shade: Dr. bell hooks On…


Source: Made of Shade: Dr. bell hooks On…


Source: Made of Shade: Dr. bell hooks On Zimmerman Effect

September 24, 2016 at 11:16PM
via saved by the bell hooks

The Keith Lamont Scott Execution Video

The Keith Lamont Scott Execution Video
By John Cole

I still, for the life of me, can not figure out why they did this. Why did they have to have him out of the damned truck. he wasn’t who they were looking for, he was in his truck minding his own business, and they dragged him out and shout him. He didn’t do anything threatening. His hands were at his sides. North Carolina is an open carry state. The cops were undercover. He probably thought he was being jacked or something.

There was literally no reason for them to do this. They could have easily backed up, secured the area, calmed down, assessed the situation, and de-escalated. There is no reason for this. None.

If anyone in the military behaved like this anywhere in the world, they would be court-martialed, dishonorably discharged, and probably sent to Leavenworth. There would be a thorough review of training policies, and tens of thousands of man hours would go into making sure something like this doesn’t happen again.

Now the cops are making a big deal about the blunt they found. This is the picture they released:


I didn’t know whether to laugh and roll my eyes or just cry when I saw that. I bet if you fucking scroll back the douchebag will be wearing a hazmat suit. It’s not even a half gram of weed. I haven’t smoked pot in, well, a while, and that’s not even enough to get a person high. Maybe a mild buzz and a craving for a milkshake. They wouldn’t even prosecute this- a half ounce (that’s 14 grams for you squares) gets you a $200 fine. It’s a class 3 misdemeanor, which, btw, just to remind you, is not punishable with the death penalty. They’d most likely just make you shred it in front of them if they caught you with it.

I mean, we’ve all heard the phrase “killer weed,” but they don’t mean it literally. But now, because a bunch of hotheads with gun and a badge killed a man for no reason, this pitiful joint (it’s a shitty roll, too, if that matters) is now causus belli for a public execution. And they didn’t even know he had it. And they wouldn’t have if they hadn’t fucked up and rolled up like fucking commandos on a dude at a bus stop waiting for his kid to come home from school.

September 24, 2016 at 09:03PM
via Balloon Juice

Should we treat Chicago gun violence as a public health problem like HIV?

Should we treat Chicago gun violence as a public health problem like HIV?
By Greg Camp

In the past, I’ve expressed my criticism of sloppy analogies between gun violence and disease, but that doesn’t mean that I see no valid ways to approach the use of guns to injure or kill thousands of Americans each year as a matter of public health.  If we can keep the factors straight that are of the same form, making an analogy between two seemingly dissimilar situations can shake loose new ideas from the ruts in our thinking.

One example of this comes from Yale professor of sociology, Andrew V. Papachristos, who suggests that we look at gun violence as though it were a blood-borne pathogen, something like HIV.  If he had said that gun violence is like a cold virus or is analogous to cancer caused by cosmic rays, that would be a bad attempt at comparison.  But AIDS is a disease that results from a specific set of actions or negligence, well understood these days, or from accidental exposure.  The latter—infection from the blood supply, for example—is much less frequent, thanks to the precautions that have been taken.

And in these respects, gun violence has a lot in common.  The argument made by Papachristos, whose work has focused on gun homicides in Chicago, is that murder typically isn’t a random event, isn’t something like picking up a cold virus by opening a door or passing through a room.  That should sound obvious, though much of gun control does treat gun violence as the sort of thing that just happens because guns are present.  Advocates of control claim that we need to reduce the availability of guns in the same way that so many obsessively wipe every surface with antibiotics—even though, both in analogy and in the literal sense, such things are useless.

The problem is that Chicago’s violence has a lot about it that we don’t understand.  Currently, the number of murders stands at 500 for this year, with no promise of peace in the remaining months.  The laws are close to those in New York and were essentially identical for a long time.  Unemployment is lower now than last year.  New York had “stop and frisk,” while the Chicago police force has engaged in their own forms of aggressiveness.  And yet, what has been tried hasn’t worked—if the goal is reducing violence, that is.

Papachristos says that the solution has to be of a similar nature to public health approaches to fighting AIDS.  We don’t blanket the city.  We treat infected persons and search out their sexual partners.  He provides data from Chicago showing that forty percent of gun homicides occur in only four percent of the population.  Working with those four percent would achieve much greater reductions in violence than the traditional strategies have done.

As Papachristos cautions, though, we must especially avoid the policies like the aforementioned “stop and frisk,” policies that use stereotyping as a substitute for good police work.  We’re handed a choice here, to use good science to achieve the stated purpose of saving lives or to cling to failed methods in the hopes that punishing good people by curtailing their rights will work—this time, for the first time.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of

The post Should we treat Chicago gun violence as a public health problem like HIV? appeared first on

September 21, 2016 at 03:37PM

Inside the Final Days of Roger Ailes’s Reign at Fox News

Inside the Final Days of Roger Ailes’s Reign at Fox News

September 22, 2016 at 07:58PM
via My Reading List: Unread