Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Digital Lynch Mob

Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, Donald Sterling, Brendan Eich, Vivian Schiller, well you get the idea and the actual list is long.  In some cases it involves a violation of the law, in others it is no more than a contrary opinion, in all cases the subjects were tried, convicted, and sentenced in the court of public opinion. One could call it a mob, or more accurately it should be referred to as a pack, a pack of rabid ravenous wolves.

In Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice's cases they've committed acts defined as criminal by society, acts that if and when committed and convicted result in punishment defined by law and limited by the constitution.  The lynch mob is different, the end results often extreme, far exceeding the crime in terms of viciousness and brutality and certainly in excess of the limits imposed on the state in the administration of punishment.  

In the other cases they're guilty of a far more heinous crime, holding a contrary opinion.  Ask yourself, is Vivian Schiller's crime half as bad as Hester Prynne's? Aided and abetted by the paparazzi, social media and the internet is the whiskey that fires this mob complete with digital torches and pitchforks.

Is this the society you want to live in?  Is this the path to civilization or to bedlam? Left or Right, no one is safe from the inquisition. Ray Rice punched his fiance, Adrian Peterson whipped his child with a switch, both abhorable acts, but who should decide punishment? The State or the Mob?

What are your thoughts?


Monday, September 15, 2014

Did he really say that?

“I was not here in the run-up to Iraq in 2003,” he told a group of visitors who met with him in the White House before his televised speech to the nation, according to several people who were in the meeting. “It would have been fascinating to see the momentum and how it builds.” NYT

Yeah, fascinating.

What's fascinating is how inept he comes across when he doesn't have a teleprompter in front of him, speaks volumes.

Sunday, September 14, 2014



A Simple Question

Is there a correlation between increasing cases of Enterovirus D68 and the influx of undocument, unaccompanied minors from Central America flooding into our communities and schools?

Enterovirus sickens more than a dozen in New York
15 kids in Kings County may have Enterovirus D68
Rare virus has sickened hundreds more children

You may never know

As the federal government refuses to disclose the locations to which the majority of undocumented minors are being sent.

Nebraska's governor says 200 children who entered the country illegally were sent to his state without warning and that federal officials are refusing to identify them or their locations. WSJ

Human rhinoviruses and enteroviruses in influenza-like illness in Latin America.

We collected nasopharyngeal swabs at clinics located in eight Latin American countries from 3,375 subjects aged 25 years or younger who presented with influenza-like illness.

Our subjects had a median age of 3 years and a 1.2:1.0 male:female ratio. HRV was identified in 16% and HEV was identified in 3%.

Limited data is available from Latin America regarding the clinical presentation and strains of these viruses in respiratory disease.  


National Institute of Health


EV-D68 infections are thought to occur less commonly than infections with other enteroviruses. It first was identified in California in 1962. Compared with other enteroviruses, EV-D68 has been rarely reported in the U.S. in the past 40 years. ChildrensMN

Back to my first question:

Is there a correlation between increasing cases of HEV-D68 and the increasing number of undocumented, unaccompanied minors from Central America?

Or better yet: Do you think your government would tell you if there were? 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Saturday Sessions: Scottish?

On September 18th the Scots vote for or against independence from the United Kingdom. Here are some bands you may or may not have known were Scottish.

Friday, September 12, 2014

No Glassholes Allowed

And the fight begins.  

There is a script available to knock Google Glasses off your local network and a device called Cyborg Unplug that can knock selected devices off your network... or apparently (shhhh) any network. 

As wearable devices and audio/video recording becomes miniaturized and widespread many questions are raised regarding the legality and propriety of using such devices.  Laws vary widely from state to state and country to country.  What do you think?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9-11, ISIS, Terrorism

Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster.

War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.

This war differs from other wars, in this particular. We are not fighting armies but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war.

If the people raise a great howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war, and not popularity seeking.

My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.

William Tecumseh Sherman

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Doomed by Mindless Stupidity

Photo: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll revealed a serious flaw in the way we Americans think.   Setting aside the presidential ratings:

65% of us think we are "seriously off on the wrong track" while only 31% of us think we are "generally heading in the right direction".

77% of us disapprove of the way congress is doing its job.

61% of us disapprove of Democrats in congress.

72% of us disapprove of Republicans in congress.

Yet 45% of us approve of the job our own representative is doing vs. 41% that disapprove.

Let's face facts... it can't be everyone else's representative  that's screwing things up.

There may be a slim margin of hope in the result that only 23% say that they will reelect their current representative and 67% are "inclined to look around".  But honestly, how many of you think that voters are going to cross party lines or seek an independent or third party instead of just voting how they've always voted from sheer inertia?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

World's Oldest Hashtag

Photo: John Cummings

In Gorham's Cave...

... on the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar has been discovered what is believed to be a Neanderthal abstract engraving in the rock under 39,000 years of detritus amid a collection of some 300 Neanderthal tools.

Photo: Stewart Finlayson, Gibraltar Museum
The experts that know such things say that it is an intentional carving, not the byproduct of some other activity like cutting meat.

“The production of purposely made painted or engraved designs on cave walls is recognised as a major cognitive step in human evolution, considered exclusive to modern humans.” National Academy of Sciences

This discovery is forcing academics to rethink our perception of Neanderthals as is the discovery that anywhere from 1-4% of the DNA in Eurasians is Neanderthal DNA. Live Science   The last interbreeding between modern humans and Neanderthals is believed to have occurred perhaps as recently as 37,000 years ago.