I lived and worked in Japan for a while, but never did learn to understand their culture. And, judging by this, I never will.
Well, it was bound to happen: Florida Man Demands Right to Marry Computer. Excerpt:
Chris Sevier, a man from Florida, believes he should be allowed to wed his Macbook.
Mr Sevier argues that if gays should be allowed to marry, then so should other sexual minorities.
Mr Sevier states he has fallen in love with a pornography laden computer.
This appears to be not a passing holiday romance, but a lifelong commitment.
If gays have the right to “marry their object of sexual desire, even if they lack corresponding sexual parts, then I should have the right to marry my preferred sexual object”, he said.
I’ve made my stance on social issues (including marriage) very plain in the past, and will do so again here: I don’t give a damn what people do, as long as they leave me alone. With that said, I am of the considered opinion – considered again after reading about the nutbar Chris Sevier – that marriage, to avoid becoming a complete farce, should be limited to consenting human adults.
No matter how societal attitudes towards marriage have changed, it is still universally seen as a statement of deep commitment, entered into freely and willingly (at least in Western countries) by consenting, competent adults. It’s not, as Mr. Sevier so fatuously complains, just an attachment “to their object of sexual desire.”
So is it “intolerant” to think that it’s appropriate to keep it within the species?
On the other end of the tolerance spectrum we have our “allies,” the Saudis; in the Kingdom the founder of a “Saudi Liberals” web site has been sentenced to 10 years in jail, a thousand lashes and fined one million riyals. Why? Read for yourself:
His website included articles that were critical of senior religious figures such as Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, according to Human Rights Watch.
Mind you this is country that does not permit women to vote, drive, or leave their homes without a male relative as an escort. Raif Badawi, the webmaster in question, originally also faced charges of apostasy – a crime that carries the death penalty in the Kingdom.
Civilized people do not conduct the business of state in this manner; but then, civilization has always been in short supply in this part of the world, at least for the last thousand years or so.
Harry Reid, utterly predictable: Every time he opens his mouth, something stupid comes out. Seriously, Nevada, what the hell?
Putin Backs Off. He’s up to something. This guy was a KGB Colonel and would love nothing more than to see the glory days of the Soviet Union come back, and everything he does is calculated to the inch. He’s figured out some way to get what he wants.
Check Your Usage of “Check Your Privilege.” Seriously, what is this privilege I keep hearing about? What did being white get me? My Old Man was a farmer, later a middle-management type for John Deere – far from a rich guy. I went to college on the G.I. Bill. I started several businesses that failed and had a piece of one that sold before I hit on the one I still run today, a one-man consulting operation. I’m not in the 1% but I sure as hell am in the 10%, and nobody gave me shit – I worked for every last damn dime of it, and wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for taking some serious risks along the way. So where did the big advantage of my Scots/Irish/English/German ancestry come in?
Why the hell do people insist on defining folks in groups? Everyone is an individual, unique in and of themselves, with a host of unique traits and attributes, skills, talents and abilities. “Race,” to a biologist, is an utterly meaningless construct. And yet people are goddamn obsessed with it.
Moving on: Is America’s Air Force Dying? No – it’s being starved to death.
And, more good news: Everyone will have armed drones in ten years. Well, that’s encouraging.
On that note, we return you to your Thursday, already in progress.
Stupidity at this extreme should be physically painful: Sen. Introduces Bill To Test Out Taxing Motorists For Every Mile They Drive. Excerpt:
KCAL9’s Bobby Kaple reports that Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, introduced a bill to test out the vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax because the state’s gas tax was no longer bringing in the revenue it used to due to people driving more fuel efficient vehicles.
The program is modeled after ones in Oregon and Washington.
“We want to do as Washington and Oregon have done in a much bigger state with much longer commutes…to make sure that we find out whether it would work, whether the public would like it or not,” DeSaulnier said.
See also PJMedia scribe Bryan Preston’s piece on the topic here.
Stupid Point #1: Voluntary? Who the hell will sign up for this? 1/10th of 1% of the population? Do they actually expect to see any real revenue from this, or is it (more likely) a cheap piece of political theater?
Stupid Point #2: Who the hell will support this idea, knowing (as any thinking person should) that when the increasingly nutty California legislature sees zero revenue, or as close to zero as makes no difference, will make it mandatory?
After all, it’s only your money when the government is through taking what it wants, right?
Stupid Point #3: Why the hell does anyone with any sense, any ambition, or any inclinations towards productivity stay in California any more?
A few science-y stories today.
White Holes Could Exists – But That Doesn’t Mean They Do. Presumably a white hole is the other end of a black hole – not that anyone is anxious to go through a black hole to test that theory.
It seems the first Earthly colonists to Mars may be bacteria. Only a few years ago everyone assumed that harsh conditions in space would kill any Earthly hitchhikers, but that’s no longer a safe assumption; discover and study of extremophiles has shown that some bugs can live damn near anywhere.
Lawrence Livermore has discovered element 117. The new element has not been named; given the predilection for naming these super-heavy elements after Roman dieties, I would suggest the name Penianium after a minor Roman god of poverty. Why? Because it’s funny, in a mildly juvenile way. Sound it out. Right?
While I’m on the topic of immaturity, it seems a certain protein can return aged brains (and bodies) to youthful vigor – in mice. Still, an interesting find. How long would it take to get this protein into mass production?
On that note, we return you to your Tuesday, already in progress.
It’s waaay too early to start handicapping the 2016 Presidential elections, but the 2014 mid-terms are not all that far off – and they don’t bode too well for the party that currently holds the White House and the Senate. This just in from the Washington Free Beacon: Shellacking II: The Sequel. Excerpt:
Less than a third of the country says America is headed in the right direction. The Democrats maintain the slimmest of leads—0.8 percent—on the congressional generic ballot, but Republicans are known to do better on Election Day ballots than on generic ones. The Real Clear Politics average of polls has Obama’s approval rating at about 44 percent. That’s where it was on Election Day 2010. Disapproval of Obamacare is also about where it was on Election Day 2010. That day saw the best performance by Republicans in a midterm election since 1946, and the best performance by Republicans in state legislative races since 1928.
Let’s be empirical. The Democrats, according to one political science model, have a one percent chance of recapturing the House in 2014. According to other models, the Republicans are either “slight favorites” or just plain favorites to control the Senate next year. (On Thursday, the New York Times forecast a 54 percent chance of a Republican Senate takeover.) The models can change, of course. That’s what models do. And models can be wrong—they often are, in fact. But, for the time being, the same models that our educated classes trumpeted during the 2012 election predict a happy day for Republicans on Nov. 4. And so I, in turn, am happy to base my analysis on them.
Mind you predictions are notoriously hard to make, especially when they’re about the future. Mid-terms tend to go badly for the party in power, but so far – and only so far – this mid-term looks like it’s shaping up to be a 1994-style debacle for the Democrats.
There’s one big difference, though, between 1994 and 2014. Bill Clinton was in the White House in 1994, and President Clinton was and is one of the canniest political operators of our time. He was capable and smart enough to realize that, when his first mid-term went so badly against him, a change of course was in order. He did change course, tacking back to his left-of-center, southern Democrat roots, and was largely successful for the rest of his two terms.
Not so for Barack Obama. Never in yr. obdt.’s lifetime has a President been so tone-deaf to the electorate; even after his 2010 shellacking he did not change course, but stayed true to his Hyde Park urban liberal roots – a longs way to the left of mainstream America.
However, there is hope for the Democrats: As the Beacon concludes:
Will the clouds still be out for the president on Election Day? After the experience of 2012 I am venturing no predictions. Some unexpected event will have to occur, something bizarre will have to happen, to bring the Democrats good fortune, to brighten the sky for Obama and for his party. Fortunately for him, there is a major, long-lived American institution that specializes in making life easier for liberals.
It’s called the Republican Party.
And boy, ain’t that the truth.