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  • Jan 10th, 2017 @ 10:44am

    Re:

    That's...brilliant! And exactly true.

    I'm not one to get hysterical about what are mostly stylistic affronts emanating from Trump, and consider his election an ill-considered if understandable yuge orange middle finger directed at a self-appointed elite.

    That said, the appointment of Sessions for AG is an absolute worst-case scenario. Sessions' comments about civil asset forfeiture (or, more accurately, "random spontaneous law enforcement tax surcharge collections") are perhaps the most "divorced from reality" on any subject I have ever heard. Not just from politicians, but anywhere. And I've read YouTube comment threads!

    Surely it will be a test of Trumps' own ability to do simple political calculations. Cops only have so much political power. Their victims, and the tens of millions of American citizens who obviously WANT THEIR DAMN DRUGS have many multiples of that power. If Trump reconsiders this appointment, or allows it to fail without doubling down or investing much political capital in pushing it, that will be a welcome sign, of, at least, a degree of pragmatism and rationality.

    IF, otoh, he really thinks Sessions should be AG...well, it will mean some of the hysterically-expressed fears of the Trump administration were justified. The silver lining would be the increased likelihood of a single-term Presidency.

  • Dec 30th, 2016 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Re:

    One would hope that "syphilitic zombie" would be part of the sentence for Hansmeier et al, but I suspect it was just a coincidence in Capones' case.

  • Dec 30th, 2016 @ 1:34pm

    (untitled comment)

    This ^ x1,000. Corruption in a European bureaucracy? Say it ain't so!

    And it also explains why some of us are always, intuitively and without knowing all the specifics, distrustful of "bigger, better, (and always more powerful) government". No matter if the urge to produce such a governing force begins with moral high ground, best intentions and people of good will...it always ends up with people rationalizing a sell-out. When they bother with rationalization at all.

    Given that technology is finally bringing into focus the Holy Grail of totalitarians everywhere: the ability to know what everyone is doing, all the time; people need to understand the starkness of our choices. Total top-down control ("Don't worry citizen. We'll have top men in charge. Top. Men.") or a messy chaotic freedom that will have its' own failures and casualties.

    And while I can't advocate anyone else search for wisdom in the ouvre of a middlebrow movie director, I'll admit to being inspired by, and adopting, Capt. Mal Reynolds' declaration in Firefly: "I aim to misbehave."

    Choose wisely.

  • Dec 30th, 2016 @ 1:21pm

    Re:

    "Wish all who are reading this a better 2017 with less morons in politics and more sanity in the world. Cheers"

    Hope never dies, indeed. :-)

    AND a happy New Year to you and all, also.

  • Dec 30th, 2016 @ 11:17am

    Re:

    " Let's blame somebody else, anybody else as long as I get to hold someone who has a lot of money responsible!"

    FTFY

  • Dec 22nd, 2016 @ 8:29pm

    Re: Re: When messaging causes physical harm

    Hmmm...given that, are the antics we see on college campuses (fainting, hysterical crying, uncontrollable fear and rage) in response to "offensive" speech/writing/opinion, setting up a precedent in which speech can be legally treated *as* violence??

    One hears it frequently, that the pain felt makes the stimulus indistinguishable from physical assault. Indeed, such an argument of equivalence is sometimes also used when claiming that *triggering* speech is at fault when the 'triggered' person commits actual physical violence in response.

    I would hate for such equivalence to become 'precedent-by-decree' through the kind of administrative interpretation various FedGov agencies (and Presidents) more and more resort to. Pretty sure the actual LAW doesn't work that way. A fact for which we should all be grateful.

    That Some Good May Come of This Dept:
    For any government power that might be used to do good, right wrongs, "level the playing field", etc., etc, I'd like people to imagine that power in the hands of Trump or a Trump Administration. Government power should not be increased based on the assumed, or hoped-for, morality and enlightened nature of those wielding it. Nopenopenope.

  • Dec 17th, 2016 @ 11:09pm

    Re: Re:

    Are you suggesting a similar fate be arranged for Mssrs. Hansmeier and Steele? Coz I'm pretty sure that's cruel and unusual.

    Cruel, unusual and tempting.

  • Dec 8th, 2016 @ 9:16pm

    Re: Re: Snopes?

    Yeah, I never thought they were too bad and usually seemed to have a sense of humor about stuff.

    They *did* wrongly debunk the story about the "Emory U Chalk Trump Crisis". Though in that case, the article writer's excuse that it sounded so ridiculous he assumed the story had to be a mean-spirited invention actually kinda rings true. I thought much the same.

  • Dec 8th, 2016 @ 9:03pm

    Re:

    "Honestly I think the best solution is to start teaching critical thinking in schools and start teaching it young."

    Amen to that. And why is this not done??

    I strongly suspect (supported by personal experience) that the folks doing the teaching have found that turning young people into critical thinkers too early doesn't result in the kind of students/people/citizens they want to produce.

    Not a conspiracy, just the way things work out. An observation that has explanatory and predictive power, which usually suggests a strong element of truth.

  • Dec 8th, 2016 @ 7:55pm

    Re: Well, but you know...they ARE idiots.

    Yes, this is true.

    The error that frequently follows after the inarguable conclusion that half the people are of below average intelligence, is that all the ones above that line share your every political position.

  • Dec 8th, 2016 @ 7:38pm

    (untitled comment)

    Much as I generally hate the horror stories we hear of CPS overreach, I guarantee you that "violation of her Fourth Amendment rights" may well be the least-bad thing that happens to this little druggie.

    I've been on the street, participated in the robust black market economy and drug trade and believe me, while there are tons of decent people there who adhere to Dylan's injunction "To live outside the law you must be honest", teenage girl runaways don't end up in that part of the subculture. If you can't imagine the ugliness that people entirely unmoored from societies' behavioral expectations and the law are capable of, that reflects well on your own mental health. But it doesn't help the girl.

    So while we celebrate this 'victory', give some thought to what can be done to ameliorate the self-destructive behavior of so many teens. CPS is certainly better occupied trying to help these kids than 'saving' children from waiting in a car for five minutes or walking unsupervised to a nearby park.

  • Dec 8th, 2016 @ 8:49am

    (untitled comment)

    I know this is an old thread, but the "Vinotemp Saga" in the linked thread is fascinating, in a can't-look-away car crash kind of way. (http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=29900)

    It ended THIS YEAR (disputed purchase was in 2010), but the noble protagonist, who was put through insane duress by the company, FINALLY won a court case...and by "won", I mean "got a settlement done before trial", which involved an NDA apparently. Public record though, shows "Dismissal via settlement with prejudice". Basically, a pre-trial "You have failed to intimidate or financially crush the defendant, and you are clearly in the wrong. Do the fucking math." message. But it took the poor woman YEARS and hundreds, maybe thousands of hours of effort, in addition to legal fees (which, I suspect, she DID recover).

    So if your corporate opponent, even though clearly in the wrong by any common sense moral reckoning, goes after you, you CAN win...but you have to not give up, no matter what.

  • Dec 8th, 2016 @ 7:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "...lack of more centralist or right wing voices"...

    Yeah, that ought to be considered problematic since the "...seismic political developments" referenced in the article were caused by the huge, underrepresented mass of unannointed plebes whose fervent desire is to bail on the One World project as currently constituted. And said academics are all down with the project, just not the part where a few people get insanely rich.

    Those of us (on both sides of the Atlantic) who have little desire to emulate the success of socialism in, say, Venezuela, don't even mind if globalism lifts the prosperity of people in the Third World (which it has). What we DON'T want is more centralized decision-making enforced through a panopticon state. Which the socialists don't seem to mind at all as long as they are given ever more power to "do good".

    F. That. When the people forgo a competent well-meaning president to elect a giant orange middle finger directed right at you...pay attention!

  • Dec 6th, 2016 @ 1:33pm

    Is it inappropriate, or an exaggerated...

    ...emotional response, to feel actual gut-wrenching *hatred* for those responsible for taking a relatively intellectually sound bit of governance like "granting creators exclusive use of their creations for a limited time" and turning it into...this? And by "this", I mean the near-indescribable cesspit of copyright (and not excluding patent and even trademark) law.

    It seems harsh to hate them, even considering that the people responsible for the travesty and who benefit from it are almost exclusively NON-creators.

    Meh. Considering the lawyerly rationalizations and weak moral excuses for such greed, I'm okay with hatred. Wish it carried more consequence for them...maybe someday.

  • Dec 6th, 2016 @ 1:33pm

    Is it inappropriate, or an exaggerated...

    ...emotional response, to feel actual gut-wrenching *hatred* for those responsible for taking a relatively intellectually sound bit of governance like "granting creators exclusive use of their creations for a limited time" and turning it into...this? And by "this", I mean the near-indescribable cesspit of copyright (and not excluding patent and even trademark) law.

    It seems harsh to hate them, even considering that the people responsible for the travesty and who benefit from it are almost exclusively NON-creators.

    Meh. Considering the lawyerly rationalizations and weak moral excuses for such greed, I'm okay with hatred. Wish it carried more consequence for them...maybe someday.

  • Dec 3rd, 2016 @ 11:22pm

    There should have been a lesson learned...

    ...long about the 350 thousandth time that depending on government to regulate those greedy corporatists backfired. The only thing that drives down prices and improves service and product offerings is competition. i.e.: some OTHER greedy corporatists jumping in and saying "You're screwing over your own customers (because you can), but if we don't, they'll soon enough be OUR customers."

    And, yes, of course they eventually change, the disruptive and innovative people behind the challenge to entrenched players cash out and the new players themselves then go to gov't for preferential treatment and suppression of competitors...but the thing is, the initial innovation and disruption is *never* a product of government intervention. Sometimes (rarely) government inattention or incompetence *allows* said competition to occur, but it isn't something to expect. So the wistful tone of the article ("Gosh, if only the CRTC would make them give us what we want at the price we want!") is kind of mystifying.

  • Oct 26th, 2016 @ 7:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No more head in the sand for the left?

    Yeah, the Dems have no hand in the corporatist kleptocracy we now live under, nothing to do with the FDA ensuring Big Pharma profits, didn't insist on policies that created the housing bubble that led to the 2008 crash, never helped turn IP-hoarding into a creativity-free gold mine, and know nothing about the taxpayer-raping pension crisis coming rapidly down the pike.

    *gah* I posted about the reality-warping stress created when people try to pretend there's a good guy/bad guy dichotomy somehow represented by these two political parties before I saw your posts, Thad, but thanks for providing the fine example.

  • Oct 26th, 2016 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: No more head in the sand for the left?

    All of the illogic, sand/head submersion, pretzel-twist reasoning and denial are the result of both sides trying to pretend there are "good guys" and "bad guys" in DC.

    The world makes more sense, and you can actually make logical constructs with predictive and explanatory power if you will only accept a single fact: THEY. ARE. ALL. BAD. GUYS.(even the wimmens).

    They ALL trade off support and votes for questionable legislation, they ALL accept the "assistance" (and, not coincidentally, the campaign contributions) of lobbyists in writing legislation. They ALL read off positions given them by groups whose agendas are not consistent with the legislators' stated purpose of REPRESENTING THE BEST INTERESTS OF THEIR CONSTITUENTS. (not just the wealthy and powerful ones)

    Once you stop trying to excuse the actions of "My team", things tend to fall into place. And yes, many of the individuals involved are, personally, decent human beings. But "Senatores boni viri, senatus autem mala bestia"

  • Oct 26th, 2016 @ 7:03am

    Re:

    He must be very busy.

  • Oct 26th, 2016 @ 6:25am

    Re: Oh Noes

    O t'will be harsh, hysterickal and loud, yet e'en so, sweet in portent as the musick o' the spheres.

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