A nation of over-reactors

The predictable result of somebody jumping over the White House fence and running up to the front door has been, of course, media hysteria. Rather than the Secret Service being commended for their restraint in that they captured the intruder without killing him, some are seeing even that as a failure and saying that the intruder should have been killed. Why? Because this is America, dammit, and anyone who goes on someone else’s property without permission must be shot dead.
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War is good business

Defense industries make money in two ways. One is by persuading the government that the weapons they already have are becoming obsolete (even if they are not) and that they need to upgrade to more expensive systems to fight future threats. The other is by having governments use their weapons in wars so that they are used up so that they make profits by selling more. So wars are really good business
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We’re doomed

It is astonishing to me that the US, which owes a lot of its dominance in the world to the science and technology that it produces, has on its main policy-setting body, the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, people who seem to be determined to undermine the very things that the nation depends upon. They may do this for a variety of reasons: venality because of the people who give them money, stupidity, or religious fanaticism but the end result is the same.
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Zephyr Teachout

I did not follow the race for the New York Democratic primary because the odious current governor Andrew Cuomo seemed assured of an easy win. But although he did win as expected, his opponent with the unlikely name of Zephyr Teachout made a very good showing, getting 34% of the vote, despite the fact that she had very little money and Cuomo completely ignored her and refused to even debate her.
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Rejecting political pandering

It is very hard for local governments to resist religious pandering, especially when it is combined with patriotic pandering. All it takes is for one elected official to propose something like putting up the Ten Commandments or starting meetings with a prayer or the Pledge of Allegiance (with the words ‘under god’ added of course) and this puts other members in a bind. Even if they think the idea is stupid, offensive, or even unconstitutional, few want to speak out against it for fear of being labeled anti-religious or unpatriotic. This is why most such practices end up having to be litigated, wasting everyone’s time and money.
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Liars lying about their lying

The brazenness of some very senior Obama administration officials is astounding. First they lie, even while under oath. When confronted with the lies, they first try to avoid admitting it, then when the evidence is overwhelming, they admit it but plead that were taken out of context or ‘misspoke’, then when even that fails to hold up, they admit they lied and apologize.
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Interesting developments in thwarting government spying

According to recent reports, Apple’s new operating system iOS8 makes it impossible for it to comply with NSA requests to hand over people’s data.

Apple said Wednesday night that it is making it impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police — even when they have a search warrant — taking a hard new line as tech companies attempt to blunt allegations that they have too readily participated in government efforts to collect user information.
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