Individuals matter. Individual rights, and individual responsibilities. People can meet those responsibilities or not. That's going to happen anyway, because that's how reality works. Submerging your identity into the group around you and allowing the group identity to take precedence over your own is basically an admission that not only do you think you can't manage on your own, but that you are unwilling even to try.
I suspected this was going on, and it's one reason (among many) I don't use Facebook. I'm not willing to trust someone else to "curate" news for me; that's why I use tools that let me pick my own sources to trust and evaluate what I see for myself.
I think there's a market opportunity here for someone who's willing to not curate news, or at least curate it honestly.
... yes, they are already doing it, just based on topics and news sources rather than specific candidates. This is a big reason not to use Facebook, or any site that attempts to "curate" what people see based on anything other than the user's specific choices and input. For a site like Facebook, the only trustworthy way to run the algorithm is simple: what you subscribe to is what you see. The moment you start trying to adjust your user's moods, or encourage them to vote (or not to vote), or hide things from them they want to see, or show them things they don't want to see, you lose the trust of the users as soon as they notice.
That's why this sort of manipulation has to be done in secret.
Obama moving forward with social security based firearms prohibition
This will effect 4.2 million people, targeting by definition those with the least time and financial resources for long court battles to vindicate their rights. It's a cynical abuse of the elderly, blocking their civil rights and quite possibly confiscating their property when such individuals present essentially no criminal threat at all.
There's a law on the table in Congress to stop it, but obviously Obama will veto the law on its own, so the law will need to be attached to a spending package he needs to sign -- and he might well say to hell with it since he's going out of office and keep vetoing until Congress backs off. I don't see either Hillary or Trump caring about fixing this problem either. The courts may eventually rule that this is unconstitutional, but the law will be hard to challenge for the reasons listed above.
A browser plugin to self-censor from the Brady Bunch
I don't think this is the right track for us at all. Sure, the root cause argument has some validity, and it's better than attacking guns. But I suspect this is mostly an excuse to get a Brady plugin installed on your browser, and I would question just what else such a plugin might do? Censor NRA spokesmen and gun rights advocates? Automatically block them on twitter? Change the wording of the 2nd Amendment?
And the idea is completely senseless anyway, because censoring such names from your own browser does nothing about the media coverage itself, and cannot possibly reduce the number of mass murders unless the people installing the plugin (ie, anti-gun activists) are themselves at high risk of becoming mass murderers if they see enough media coverage of mass murderers.
Speaking of punishing political opponents by naming and shaming...
On the one hand, this is clearly one of those name & shame efforts by the Democrats. On the other hand, the list might be a useful resource for parents who don't want their daughters sharing showers with men who think they are women. Because when you're talking about a college with dorms and gym facilities, it's not just bathrooms...
Waco was also what got me into the gun-rights movement and cemented my generally libertarian attitudes. Joe is reminded of his feelings by David Hardy's series of posts on Waco and the investigation afterwards. Follow the link above and read them (I've only linked one before, but they are all worth reading if you didn't know... and even if you did).
Government official makes weak arguments for Constitutional protections
Is anyone surprised that a "privacy advocate" that comes from the government and whose resume includes the words federal prosecutor would fail to convince the FISA court to take privacy seriously? This privacy advocate has been so effective that the FISA court has approved every surveillance request in 2015. Every single one.
California AG finally slapped down for privacy invasions
Believing that the concerted efforts by the California AG, various Wisconsin prosecutors, and the IRS in Washington are simple "careless mistakes" is a stretch, to say the least. But I think the courts are starting to catch on.
UPDATE: Looks like Trump won Indiana, and Cruz is stepping out of the race. That leaves Kasich, who as far as I can tell is basically hoping that the party elites will change the rules at the convention to let him win despite Trump's overwhelming delegate lead. Cruz had a chance at the convention if he could keep Trump from 1237; Kasich probably can't even force a convention fight. Unless Kasich knows something we don't about what the rules committee is going to do to stop Trump, he can't win. And if the rules committee does stop Trump in favor of Kasich, that result would be so stunningly elitist and anti-democratic that I don't see how anyone could possibly support it.
Cruz can go back to trying to fight the good fight in the Senate, where he may be able to do some good.
God only knows what's going to happen in the general election. We have three insider candidates, one of them a liar, one of them completely corrupt, and the third completely insane. The hard part will be figuring out which is which!
I don't know what I'm going to do as far as my own vote. I can't be an enthusiastic Trump supporter. I may vote for him on the theory that he's the better lizard, but the problem with that is that I'm really not sure he's the better lizard and I don't want to reward nominating lizards. I may vote for Gary Johnson or whomever the Libertarians nominate. (I've been a card-carrying member of the Libertarian party in the past, and switched to Republican only when the Tea Party primary battles started to look like they might have some influence on the party).
It's all going to depend on what happens between now and the first Tuesday in November. The only thing I am sure of is that I am completely disgusted with the Republican party for taking a large slate of candidates, some of whom were pretty good, and giving us Trump instead.
Supreme Court approves FBI authority to search any computer anywhere
"Network Investigative Techniques" basically means hacking into your computer remotely and searching it in secret. Note, though, that "searching" here doesn't just mean they are looking around; it also entails the power modify the contents of your computer, ie, to plant evidence.
Law enforcement should not get to be the bad guy, and should not be allowed to operate in secret, even if that means they catch more criminals.
I approve of the idea... but it doesn't really address the real problem. People should have the ability to donate money to causes they support anonymously, but mostly, they shouldn't have to feel the pressure to give anonymously. That is, unless a cause is truly evil, giving money to support that cause shouldn't result in death threats and ostracism from business relationships and polite society. That making a donation to a relatively non-controversial cause like supporting traditional marriage can result in threats, intimidation, and even losing an important job is contrary to the principles of free speech and open debate.
While addressing the issue by withholding that information from the IRS is a good start, the real problem is with the segments of society that abuse that information and the culture that supports their misbehavior. Until we fix that, we're going to have a continuing problem.
You would think that these would be the people you would most want to keep locked up and, when their sentences are served, release as far away from the country they aren't supposed to be living in as possible.
The rules look reasonably decent, allowing most students to conduct their normal activities armed if they feel the need. I doubt such students will cause any problems. (Their professors might object, of course). The exception for sporting events seems odd. What on earth is the problem scenario there?
Honestly, I'm not too worried about this, because functional smart gun technology doesn't exist. There are "smart guns" that don't work in a variety of different ways, but there are none that could possibly pass a fair evaluation. I don't think lame-duck Obama could force through a major firearms purchase for any law enforcement or military buyer without raising a tremendous stink when the firearms being evaluated failed to fire repeatedly. The most he can realistically do is throw some otherwise unallocated money at the problem, and hope Hillary wins with enough Congressional coattails to approve whatever comes out of the process (for the military) or that local politicians override common sense advice from their officers to stay away from guns that are designed not to fire.
That said, if you're a police officer or serving in the military, you should know that Obama thinks you are of more use to him as a dead guinea pig in his social experiments than as a living, breathing person doing your job.