Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Onion is better than most US news media....

 On the Penn State child rape case:

In the wake of the sex abuse scandal that rocked Penn State earlier this month, a coalition of 10-year-old boys from across the nation held a press conference Saturday outside Beaver Stadium, home of college football's Nittany Lions, to remind Americans that if they see someone raping a prepubescent boy, they should contact the police immediately

This should, of course, go without saying.  But if you watch mainstream media coverage, the simple things like this are pretty well concealed.  More here.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Youth wages

Are a bad idea.  If you can do the work, you deserve your wage.  The only reason suggestions like this ever get off the ground is that young people are politically impotent... a natural consequence of not letting them participate.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Polygamy in Canada

B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Bauman upheld the law. He concluded that while the law does infringe freedom of religion, the infringement is justified because polygamy is inherently harmful.
Full story here.  Will be interesting to see how this plays out if it goes further through the legal system.  Inherently harmful is a claim that could at least potentially be used to shut down many controversial minority cultural practices.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Gabe Newell on Piracy:

"We think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy," Newell said. "Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem. For example, if a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24/7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country three months after the U.S. release and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate's service is more valuable.

Thanks IGN .

This is at least partially right.  It might be that piracy is also a pricing problem, but for things like television shows, movies, games, books....  Yes, living in Australia, it annoys me no end that various purchases are region locked, don't arrive, extortionately priced by local businesses, and so on.

Of course, the problem isn't limited to software.  I tried to buy the new kindle a couple days ago (not the Fire, the e-ink touchscreen).  They won't ship it to Australia, they will only ship the crappy ones.  This is stupid, Amazon.  But then, the piracy solution doesn't really exist for hardware...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Enfranchising Permanent Residents

Seems like a good idea.  New Zealand does it, many other places (Australia, US, UK) do not.  Why not?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Exam marking:

Respect for economic rights is essential to democracy because without it you get socialism and communists suck.

I'm not sure how many marks to give an answer that starts like this.  Many, perhaps.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Public Accountability

Might succeed where other things have failed, at stopping malicious authority figures abusing their positions:

As the officer began spraying the group of students, onlookers screamed, "Don't do it! Don't you do it!"
A news account captured the officer on camera spraying the students. The account names the officer as UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike. He did not return a voice mail message nor an email left Friday night. His voice-mail box eventually filled up to capacity as his name and phone number were posted on Twitter.

It is so much more effective to be critical, when you know who the bad guys are.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

#ows needs more coverage:

I'm happy not to be in the US right now, local governments there seem to be getting quite militant on the #ows protesters.  Amanda has some good detail on it here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Students at Penn State

Have got their priorities all sorts of messed up.  Things you probably shouldn't do include: Holding violent protests against the firing of the guy who covered up child rape allegations.

I'm sure there is a background issue related to the professional nature of college sport in the US, and the revenue the football team provide, plus all sorts of rubbish about community pride, but all of this should fall aside when you consider the whole aforementioned child rape consideration.  No sensible person thinks the guy who covered up child rape is worth defending, no matter what he has done for you in the past.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Really, Oakland PD?

You are stupid enough to shoot (with a rubber bullet) the guy filming you from  reasonable distance while repeatedly asking you if it is ok for him to do so?  Of course there is video, he was filming you!

Monday, November 7, 2011

There is a name...

For what is wrong with left leaning protest movements:  Black Bloc anarchists.  These people are why I am not optimistic about the prospects of mass public protest as a catalyst for change.

Friday, November 4, 2011

People who need to never hold public office again:

Judge William Adams.  Do not watch this video, it is sickening.  Do, if you are in the right kind of place, do everything you can to ensure this man never holds any office again.  (I take it that legal ramifications for his actions are unlikely to come to pass, as he is a judge and the wrong kind of Christian).

Discussion at Pandagon, by Amanda, is highly worth reading.  The post title, 'The Culture of Christian Child Abuse', about sums it up.