Sat, 05 Apr 2014

On Tolerating Intolerance

Over on Twitter, @RussB (Russ Beattie) and @jzb ( Joe Brockmeier) are promoting the argument that you can tolerate everything but intolerance, and that is the only logical position to take.

No. That is baby thinking. Because intolerance is the combination of 1) disagreement and 2) action. Which part of intolerance is unacceptable? The disagreement part? Let us all hope that tolerant people tolerate disagreement, otherwise the word has no meaning. So is action unacceptable? "It's okay if you disagree with me, but as soon as you do anything about that disagreement, you are wrong and I am right and you must be stopped?"

Sorry, no, that is intolerance.

This is prompted, of course, by Brendan Eich's dismissal from Mozilla. I must of course (unless I want to be intolerated) note that I disagree with him, and that I support gay marriage. But I also support people's freedom to disagree with me and take action on that disagreement.

And (I think this is the crucial point) I support imperfect leaders. If you want to insist that every leader be perfect and without flaw, then you will have only liars and frauds as leaders, because nobody is perfect. I cannot see how having liars and frauds as leaders is a good thing.

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Fri, 28 Jan 2011

Mohammed as a dog

Without comment, I present to you this realistic image of Mohammed as a dog.

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Mon, 01 Sep 2008

The end of Troopergate

So much for Troopergate.

Posted [09:20] [Filed in: politics] [permalink] [Google for the title] [Tags , , ] [digg this]

Tue, 18 Dec 2007

Government from our rights

I refer you to this Non Sequitur cartoon:

Note the wry observation: "government keeping us safe from our rights." I love it! I've never heard it put that way before, but it's perfectly right. We are born with rights, and only a government (or other band of thugs capable of greater violence) can take them away.

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Wed, 28 Nov 2007

Voting on what's for lunch

You may have heard that "Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch." (It's not from Ben Franklin.) I don't think that's quite accurate. I prefer this one: "Democracy is one wolf and two sheep voting on what to have for lunch -- and lamb still ends up as the entree."

You don't change the nature of things merely by voting.

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Tue, 11 Sep 2007

IRS and Emperor Palpatine

We pay quarterly estimated taxes because I work for myself. The September 15th payment is due shortly. My clever wife put the Emperor Palpatine stamp from the USPS Star Wars Series on the envelope the IRS provides. In spite of the First Amendment, the IRS punishes you if you write political speech on either the envelope or enclosed form. I can't see, however, how they could stop us from choosing a stamp with a motive of political protest!

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Tue, 17 Jul 2007

TSA Divide By Zero

I made myself an external battery set for my Compaq iPAQ. I took a Radio Shack(tm) battery case, attached a Radio Shack(tm) coaxial power connector to some Radio Shack(tm) speaker wire, insulated it with some Radio Shack(tm) black electrical wire, and filled it with Radio Shack(tm) Nickle-Metal-Hydride batteries.

Tried to take it (back) through the Portland Oregon airport after OSCON three years ago. Frigging moron bottom-of-her-class TSA inspector #1 decided it looked like a bomb. I foolishly said that I was uncomfortable watching her handle my possessions as if they might explode. She called the cops on me because I said the E-word. Frigging moron nearly-bottom-of-her-class TSA inspector #1 swabbed it and claimed that the spectrometer said that it had traces of C-4 explosive. I helpfully pointed out that the energy density of a modern battery was the equal of any plastic explosive. Not to be sexist, but a male TSA inspector came by and said "this is all stuff from Radio Shack(tm), what's the problem here?"

So the Portland cops came and bitched me out for having a bad attitude and making threats potentially subject to a $500 fine. I explained EXACTLY what I had said, offered to apologize and that was accepted. The airline representative had to be asked if he would allow me on his airplane. He was like WTF, and piss off a customer, oh, yeah, right "Yes, of course you're welcome to fly."

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Sun, 03 Sep 2006

A War on Retreat

We need a War on Retreat, and a War on Flanking Charges. After all, we have a War on Terrorism. Why not have a war on every possible tactic?

Is there anybody else out there who thinks that attempting to eliminate a tactic of warfare is not possible? Or even if possible, not wise?

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Tue, 06 Jun 2006

Casualty of the Drug War

My wife reports that allergy medicines no longer contain pseudoephedrine. Unfortunately, she also reports that allergy medicines no longer work for her. Why is pseudoephedrine deprecated? Because you need pseudoephedrine to make methamphetamine.

UPDATE June 9: Several people point out that you can still get it in a free country like Canada, or from behind the counter. My point is not personal, my point is that we are dying a death of a thousand cuts.

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Wed, 17 May 2006


First they came for the terrorists, and I said nothing because I wasn't a terrorist. Then they came for my phone calls, and I said nothing because I had nothing to hide. Then they came for the cryptographers, and I said nothing because I coulldn't even spel the word. Now I can't hide anything.

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