Friday, February 27, 2015

The Lattanzi Ten - 2/27/15

End of the week stories and reactions...

1. The Fun Of The Euphemism Game...

"Net Neutrality" was passed in an FCC vote of 3-2. This is even more oligarchical than the Supreme Court, which at least has public oral arguments. The reclassification of the internet to a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 is only going to benefit a few:

1) Those who play ball with whomever is in charge

2) Civic ISPs who can undercut commercial ISPs by forcing the latter to pay for them. Of course, by "the latter", it will come in the form of a) higher costs of the service and b) taxes on the bill, just as we have on our phone bills.

This is going to be part of an eventual move to a) institute decency standards, since the internet will be treated as public airwaves, and b) institute a "Fairness Doctrine" of sorts. I realize this sounds paranoid to those who think this is merely about making sure Comcast can't charge Netflix a higher rate, but when one reads the plenary powers of the FCC under Title II...well, let's just say it isn't for the faint of heart. It won't happen today, tomorrow, or even next year. But the proverbial nose of the camel is now in the tent.

Related is this piece from Reason, showing the development of internet infrastructure by private ISPs in contradistinction to the logic offered by the FCC for ruling the way they did.


He's at it again - this time using executive orders to ban 5.56 mm ammunition for the AR-15 rifle.

But of course, government agencies can still buy it. Why should I have expected anything else?

This is nothing more than backdoor gun control. What he couldn't get done by Congress, he exercises his tyranny "executive power". After Newtown, I wrote a very long piece criticizing the nature of gun control and the President's tantrum:
I get why a government would want to restrict gun ownership; an armed populace is the ultimate check on unfettered government power. It's a form of the old Cold War doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). The Second Amendment is not primarily about sport, hunting, or even protecting oneself from criminals. It is about the tyranny of the overbearing State - as all the amendments in the Bill of Rights are, which is why gun-control advocates that says the Second Amendment being either a) a collective right or b) outdated are being disingenuous at best, and outright liars at worst.
 Gun-control is about people control, because even the most irrational gun-grabber (like Michael Bloomberg, Andrew Cuomo, and Martin O'Malley) understands (or maybe he doesn't), that a gun is an inanimate object that can't load, cock, and fire itself. It's a tool (like all objects) that is useful in the hands of one who understands its purpose, and is harmful in the hands of someone with bad intentions or no knowledge of its use. No law is going to change that latter fact.
But hey, as long as I can see dresses on the internet and continue to play Angry Birds...


ISIS is destroying everything in its path, including historical artifacts. This is the behavior of savages - no appreciation for history and very short-sighted and linear in their thinking.

And yes, they are Islamic. Islamic Bronze Age troglodyte savages.

...his real name, according to friends and others familiar with his case, is Mohammed Emwazi, a Briton from a well-to-do family who grew up in West London and graduated from college with a degree in computer programming. He is believed to have traveled to Syria around 2012 and to have later joined the Islamic State, the group whose barbarity he has come to symbolize.
If they were only starting businesses instead of beheading people...


This is a tragic story, and shows once again, there is no clearer irony than proving the point of the individual you seek to kill:
[Avijit] Roy "was the target because of his crime against Islam," the group [Ansar Bangla 7] said on Twitter.
Roy was a prominent voice against religious intolerance, and his family and friends say he had been threatened for his writings.
About 8:45 p.m. Thursday, a group of men ambushed the couple as they walked toward a roadside tea stall, with at least two of the attackers hitting them with meat cleavers, police Chief Sirajul Islam said. The attackers then ran away, disappearing into the crowds.
Savages attack with meat cleavers. There is nothing to "understand" about them or their alleged "grievances".


Writing a book calling for a carbon tax and supporting tyrannical EPA regulations is apparently not enough for a politically-driven "witch hunt" (Pielke's words, not mine) in the name of raiding our wallets caring for the environment.

I sympathize with Pielke, to an extent. He seems to be pretty honest in his research and conclusions (though I disagree with his prescriptions). I do wonder if he ever thought he'd be targeted, or as long as he agreed with the central premise, he'd be untouchable? This is the thing that is going to take people the longest to which they ought to awaken - no one is untouchable. We have Pharisees who are testing for ritual cleanliness, and the slightest bit is an eliminator, no matter how much you support their mission.


In a just world, this would automatically disqualify a candidate for president, and quite frankly, she ought to be brought up on charges of bribery and influence peddling. One cannot claim to represent our government and then take money from foreign governments. I don't care that it went to lining their pockets "charity," it's still completely unethical and needs to be investigated thoroughly. If Hillary Clnton goes on to become the president despite all of this, then we have a political that is broken and beyond repair.


I know, following the Affordable Care Act as written is so passé. However, a plain-language reading of the law says that the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell should win their case 9-0. They won't, of course. That being said, the subsidies are the hook, and if they are gone in states without exchanges, then the law falls apart on its own weight as people will feel the full pain of overpaying for the ability to have another company pay for the cost of their medical bills.


I think this is a relative non-story, but in our oversensitive age, it gets more press than it would have even 15-20 years ago. I think the apology ought to be sufficient, since he didn't slap the daylights out of the kid.


I saw this on social media last night briefly, and wondered what the deal was. THEN, I heard the morning hosts on Baltimore's sports station (Steve Davis and Ed Norris) talking about it and I thought the whole world had gone insane. It's. A. Dress...

We're not doomed because politicians say or do stupid things. We're doomed because we expect government to be our mommy, providing for all our needs, wiping our asses, and making sure we're taken care of so we can go off and get distracted by moronic things like the perceived colors of dresses.

By the way, under Net Neutrality, would websites need to have equal time for comments saying it's blue/black and white/gold? Just asking. You know, for a friend.


Ok, I'll admit, I got caught up in this one, at least for a while. It was just funny watching people try to capture llamas the old fashioned way. Only when the lassos came out were they finally brought in. Dumb as hell, but the stories are right, it did captivate the nation, for some reason. I'll leave that to you to figure out what that actual reason is.


Presented without comment. Live long and prosper.

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