Without any apprehension Trump screwed McCabe out of his pension He never gets tired Of saying "you're fired" Or increasing national tension Said Donald, "I just had to try it" So Stormy got paid to be quiet Republicans blamed her Evangelists shamed her Trump did what he does -- he denied it Controlling guns seems a lost cause The NRA writes its own laws Trump plans to do naught 'Cause his ass is bought It's an endless parade of last straws
A YouTube viewer who goes by the name Todd Taliaferro posted a comment on YouTube that showed a prolific hand at making limericks (link here). His series of limericks goes on for some 45 or more stanzas. I was so impressed, I am going to post three of these per week.
Trump's "University" was a scam It put Trump once more in a jam Sure, Donald's reptilian But twenty-five million Makes even rich bastards go "Damn!" McMaster done sealed his own fate By bad-mouthing Donald's soul mate Though his words were true Trump gave him the screw Which helps make America great Trump's secret is Putin's paid trolls Their propaganda fooled the polls With Trump's sneaky lies They tricked the unwise Who still choose to act like assholes
Humans are a curious species. We like to ask the questions about why things exist/happen/not happen, and so on.
When I built my search engine questions, I began with the word “WHY”, then gradually built on that, one word at a time. Now, I pass on the list of questions to you.
If the list of Google autocomplete suggestions which is to follow is taken to be the true distillation of human thought, we seem to be very preoccupied with aches and pains, bodily functions, and weather events, and not a whole lot outside of that.
⦁ is the sky blue
⦁ don’t we
⦁ him cast (sic)
⦁ do whales beach
⦁ am i so tired
⦁ are you running
⦁ do cats purr
⦁ am I always tired
⦁ do we yawn
⦁ my cat lick me
⦁ my dog lick me
⦁ it hurt when i pee
⦁ salt melt ice
⦁ ice float
⦁ my stomach hurt
⦁ my head hurt
⦁ my jaw hurt
WHY DOES IT
⦁ snow in Canada
⦁ always rain on me
⦁ hurt to swallow
⦁ hurt to poop
⦁ hurt to have sex
⦁ hurt to breathe
⦁ hurt when I cough
WHY DOES IT SEEM
⦁ like everyone is rich
⦁ impossible to lose weight
⦁ impossible to get a girlfriend
⦁ hard to breathe
⦁ hard to swallow
WHY DOES IT NEVER
⦁ work out with guys
⦁ snow in London/Manchester/Swansea/England/Florida
⦁ snow on Christmas
⦁ rain in California
⦁ get dark in Alaska
WHY DOES IT ALWAYS SEEM
⦁ to be (Phil Collins lyric)
⦁ to rain at night
⦁ to rain on the weekend
⦁ to rain on Good Friday
⦁ to be my fault
I just want to go over some of the phrases I have heard to describe weather. So far, we have heard of
- thunder snow
- polar vortex
Of course, this is in addition to those boring old hurricanes, avalanches, whiteouts, monsoons and tornadoes, which are so “old school” that perhaps nobody cares anymore. And now meteorologiests have invented something else for us to worry about:
- bomb cyclone
I swear they must pay someone to sit in a back room somewhere to create some way to sensationalize the weather with invented terminology. The fact is, it is enough that tornadoes alone this year have given us much to worry about along the redneck rivera states (a new term I am expanding on to include Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi — states along the Gulf of Mexico — here is the “known” definition) and other states in the Southern United States. So have droughts, which led to the forest fires all along the west coast of North America, from southern California to British Columbia.
I am aware that these extreme weather conditions are a part of global warming, and I am not going to deny that. I am against inventing new terms when perfectly good ones exist. Using existing terms, along with some kind of quantification (like wind speed, air pressure, temperature, wind chill, and so on) gives us a way to compare these weather events with earlier ones so that we can make up our own minds. Giving things a unique name obscures any attempt at comparison, which I think results in disinforming the public rather than informing them.
There are a lot of notable people who have passed away this year, but I think I got sidetracked on the ones that have died just this month. Here are some of the people whose lives I have found most interesting, alphabetized by first name:
Hungarian topologist and discoverer of the toroidal polyhedron that bears his name, was given much recognition of his achievements over the years, passed away at age 93.
Alexander Harvey II
An officer during World War II, Alexander became senator, then nominated as federal judge by then-president Lyndon Johnson. Died at age 94.
Founder of Canadian generic drug company Apotex Pharmaceuticals. The billionaire drug manufacturer and his wife Honey were found dead at their home. The deaths are being treated as “suspicious”, although there appeared to be no obvious evidence of a break-in. Bernard was the 12th wealthiest Canadian, worth some 3.5 billion dollars. Honey Sherman was 70, while Bernard was 75.
Played Adam Cunningham in the Canadian drama series Traders. He was in Star Trek; he was in soap operas such as The Edge of Night and All My Children. But he is most famous for playing the father of the groom Rodney Miller in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
A Long Isand-born professor emeritus from Brandeis University who did research into motor proteins. Those are the kind of proteins that turn chemical energy into mechanical work. Examples are proteins that drive flagellum in single-celled organisms. Motor proteins also help conduct cell division in all of our cells. She was 88.
An investigative reporter who got caught writing a fake autobiography about the late Howard Hughes. While the controversy was very public and the charade quite compelling, the fake autobiography was never published. The hoax was uncovered over phonecalls from Hughes himself to the few people left who knew the voice of this reclusive billionaire. After his trial, conviction and release from prison, Irving continued to write various books to what appears to have been a forgiving audience. All of his papers, memoirs, and even journal entries while serving in prison have now been made publically available in the years since. He was 87.
Composed theme music for The Outer Limits, and The Flying Nun. He also composed for movies such as Hang ‘Em High. However, he was in trouble legally because he had also scalped tickets for the 1980 Super Bowl on a fairly large scale and then failed to report the proceeds to the IRS. He was 86.
First Asian-American mayor of San Francisco, elected in 2011 and served until his death at age 65.
Felix “Fil” Fraser
Montreal-born broadcaster, was a radio announcer in seemingly all parts of Canada, including Toronto and his native Montreal. He was 85.
Gerald B. Greenberg
Film editor involved in blockbuster films such as The French Connection, Apocalypse Now, and Scarface. He was 81.
Historian of Canadian Jewry, died at age 84.
American mathematician who studied wave motion. He enjoyed sailing, and was remmebered as being well-dressed, deeply cultured, and open-minded about science and math ideas. He was 95.
American Biochemist, known for his studies in germ warfare with the American military. Also wrote several books on Americana, un-related to biochemistry. He was 78.
James Robert Thompson, founding chair of the stats department at Rice University in Houston. Known for his sage advice to his doctoral students, and involvement in military defence, he is survived by his wife Ewa Thompson, also an emeritus professor of Slavic Studies. James was 79.
Roos was a math professor from the University of Stockholm in Sweden, who was one of the few who seemed to make it to the status of math professor without a whole lot of formal math training beyond high school. He was 82.
News editor at the New York Times, known for her humanity and adaptability in adverse situation involving the reporters under her watch who were given assignments overseas. She succumbed to cancer at age 61.
Specialized in computer studies, and getting computers to talk and write like people, and by extension, adapting to end users. Passed away suddently at age 55.
First female mayor of Toronto, starting in 1991. There is a public park in the Davisville neighbourhood named after her. She died at age 93.
Iconic jazz singer who is best known for singing tunes such as: “That Old Black Magic”, “I Got You Under My Skin”, and “Bel Mir Bist Du Schoen”, and recording on dozens of albums over 5 decades, died at age 89.
Founding chair of the math department at the University of California at Santa Cruz whgo published his lectures on topology. He was 81.
Otherwise known as Pam the Funkstress, was prominent on the San Francisco Bay Area Hip Hop scene. She died of organ failure at age 51, following an attempted transplant.
The lead singer and songwriter of the American band The Smithereens, had succumbed to numerous health issues and injuries over recent years, and has died at age 62.
A murderer in France, whose life imprisonment was instrumental in events leading to the abolition of the death penalty in France in 1981. He died at age 64 of lung cancer.
Federal environment minister Catherine McKenna entered a heated exchange yesterday with a right-wing nobody from a far right-wing website which nobody reads that I can’t bother to look up the name of. This happened in Vancouver in front of a small scrum of journalists which included more recognizable outlets such as the CBC, CTV, and The National Post.
The far right-wing nobodies referred to her as “climate change Barbie” on their website. No one would have cared about or known about this had McKenna acted as their publicist by giving this crank website the kind of publicity they could never have purchased at any price: a public outing and heated discussion in front of national media that attracted all kinds of attention. It really doesn’t matter if the journalist at the brunt of the discussion is ashamed to work with such a pack of neanderthals (he should be), or even admits to being ashamed (which is not clear). It doesn’t matter whether the journalist was part of the problem or part of the solution in spreading sexist descriptions of female politicians. What matters is that this backwoods website had been catapulted into the national consciousness and national conversation and thus have the appearance of being taken seriously, when it was completely un-necessary.
Why give vent every time some third-rate reporter from some obscure website utters something offensive about women? If they were ignored, no one would care. After all, this is how journalists on the left had been ignored for years. This technique has been well-known to politicians for a long time; but I guess someone forgot to tell McKenna.
Filling out “What is _____”?
The rule is: write a word or two about the first topic I see from the autocomplete dropdown.
Antifa: antifa=”anti fascist”
Bitcoin: (I swear, I am just following the first thing I see!) an alternate currency used to purchase items online. (blockchain, a term related to bitcoin, came in third)
climate change: Big topic. Good luck with that project, kids.
DACA: The acronym for an Obama-era immigration programme called “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals”, currently under threat by Donald Trump.
eid: A Muslim festival
fentanyl: a painkiller, too powerful for humans
gout: pain, too powerful for most people. Just try not to use fentanyl.
hpv: human papilloma virus
instagram: a way to share photos and videos via your smartphone
justice: a clothing store for young girls.
kombucha: a fermented Chinese tea
lupus: people seem to have a morbid interest in nasty diseases so far, don’t they?
nafta: an agreement which drains manufacturing jobs to Mexico, while causing Mexican to do the same work in squalid conditions for a fraction of the wages.
osteoporosis: a leaching of calcium from the bones, causing them to weaken.
pinterest: why is this at the top of google? I would bet that the site is something like “pinterest.com” — isn’t that worth a try to find out first-hand?
queer: a gay or lesbian person. The Google dictionary did not offer that as a definition, by the way, which is rather queer, to use the Google definition.
room temperature: 68 fahrenheit or 20 celsius.
Sarahah: Great. Another app which provides a way to harass others anonymously.
transgender: sense of personal identity does not relate to thei r biologically-assigned sex.
uber: Outstanding or Supreme; also a transport company.
vpn: virtual private network
whole milk: milk with around 4% milk fat
xanax: a mood drug
your name: yes, that really came up first for “y”
zip code: doesn’t apply to me, I don’t have a zip code
Various ISPs have prevented the hate blog “Daily Stormer”, widely described as a “sewer of humanity”, from passing through their routers, or at least slowed it down. I applaud this move, despite the American’s love of free speech. Americans have free press, but as the cynical adage goes: free press belongs to those who own one, even in the United States. Those who own the telecommunications equipment can determine what passes through their routers and what gets blocked. It gives one a sense of optimism that society and businesses can do what the American govermnment can’t legally do, Trump notwithstanding. ISPs and domain registrars are not bound by the constitution, but instead are generally bound by their own terms of service. Hate speech is generally seen as a violation of the terms of service for most internet-based companies. In this case, the hate speech was especially tasteless, involving verbally attacking Heather Heyer, who was the one who died in Charlottesville, Virginia after being rammed by a car driven this past weekend by Alex Fields, member of Vanguard America, a hate group based in Charlottesville.
Daily Stormer had their “.com” domain name removed by their domain registrar, GoDaddy. Google Domains declined to register their domain name as well. They were even denied after they tried to register their domain with a Russian domain registrar, using a “.ru” TLD (top-level domain).
There are a couple of problems. While being denied a TLD is a good move, it is not the same thing as blocking internet traffic. It just makes finding the website slightly more difficult. Neither domain registrars held their content. The content was on off-site servers, where any web pages, videos and images would have been held. Anyone determined enough could access the website through their IP address, and leave it that way, bypassing any need to know the website name.
Second, there is another cynical adage that every prohibition produces its own underground. The Daily Stormer can always migrate to an alternative internet called “the dark web”. When that happens, anyone with a TOR browser can visit the website. And worse, the IP addresses of those participating in the communication will be undetected and undetectable, through a series of masqueraded IPs that can even obscure the country of origin of the people communicating. And actually, Ars Technica reports that Daily Stormer has already registered a “.onion” domain, a URL on the dark web.
For some more depth, see Ars Technica.
From the responses to Chris Cillizza’s request on Twitter (@CillizzaCNN) that people submit their own state motto. Fair use, since none of these were authored by Chris Cillizza, but submitted by the general public.
|Alabama: first in football, but last in everything else.|
|Alaska: Worst deal in history. Give it back to Russia!|
|Arizona: Sunny, With Sucky Senators.|
|Arkansas: Come dig for diamonds and leave with Cotton.|
|California: the land of fruits and nuts|
|Colorado: So fricken high they voted for Hillary|
|Connecticut: Just a restroom between Boston and New York.|
|Delaware: Have you seen Delaware? It’s more like a Dela-won’t.|
|Florida: underwater shark bait|
|Georgia: Without Atlanta, It Would Be Another Alabama|
|Hawaii – when you only want to be “sort of” American|
|Idaho: “Where did you think Vodka came from?”|
|Illinois – Land of the only President I rank above me.|
|Indiana: Where Indiana Jones comes from|
|Iowa: Gateway to Nebraska|
|Kansas: “Great band! I am delivering on my promise to bring the U.S., the whole world actually, to the ‘Point of no return.'”|
|Kentucky: New Jersey Charm with Mississippi Sophistication|
|Louisiana: We’re Alabama with Better Food|
|Maine: Basically Canada — except Paul LePage|
|Maryland: The Wire was real, you know|
|Massachusetts: Vegans and Massholes|
|Michigan – The rusted-out can you buy viagra female over the counter gauntlet of the Great Lakes.|
|Minnesota: Always getting out over our skis.|
|Mississippi: more ‘I’s than teeth|
|Missouri: First in meth houses.|
|Montana: The cool stuff died 65 million years ago.|
|Nebraska: First in Friendship, Second in Cat and Dog Obesity|
|Nevada Home of High Rollers and Low Lifers|
|New Hampshire: A drug-infested den (Trump)|
|New Jersey: ‘I don’t own it, they’re just paying to use my name’|
|New Mexico: the only Mexico paying for my wall|
|New York: “At least we’re not New Jersey.”|
|North Carolina: Gateway to Virginia and its many great Trump properties!|
|North Dakota: For when you are bored of South Dakota.|
|Ohio…we put the O in opiates.|
|Oklahoma: 1st in earthquakes and tornadoes, 49th in everything else.|
|Oregon: The home of the witch trials.|
|Pennsylvania: They said I had no chance.|
|Rhode Island: Small state, small hands.|
|South Carolina, the rusty buckle of the Bible Belt.|
|South Dakota: Gateway to North Dakota|
|Tennessee. Above Kentucky in everthing but the map|
|Texas: Thank God for Mississippi.|
|Vermont: communists and cows.|
|Virginia: Make-Believe Southern State|
|Washington: Too much cyber.|
|West Virginia – Come for my Cousin, Stay for the Coal|
|Wisconsin – The Curdled Milk State!|
|Wyoming – Not sure where it is, but I think I won there.|
Why do jewellery commercials have to be so tasteless and annoying? I single out jewellery commericals, since they are more annoying even then furniture commercials, their main competitor for the gold standard of tastelessness.
But no. We have sharpers like Russell Oliver, and others who will go on TV and radio and in the most garish manner known to man, tell you how you can trade in your jewellery for cash, in a way that seems to rob your most prized possessions of all the dignity and memory they once had. But I don’t believe he is the worst.
On the radio station I listen to, which doesn’t play a lot of ads, I admit, there is that infernal commercial from Spence Diamonds. Oh, that Scream! I didn’t know that it has been dubbed the “Spence Scream”, and even hashtagged #SpenceScream since at least 2014. It has even attracted some imitators, and an attempt had been made to vote it out of existence (Spence didn’t listen and it still persists to this afternoon). Since it was Spence that initiated the vote, I believe that maybe they thought it was too memorable, and couldn’t come up with a less annoying idea.
I am annoyed because I am already married, been there, done that. Having been through it, it is a tad degrading to hear it. The marriage (mine, at least), was about love. Clearly, Spence is agaisnt this idea. They want it to be about their diamonds.
Curiously, the comment sections of the YouTube videos of Spence promos have curiously well-worded and lucid critiques of Spence’s advertising practices. These are not your normal trolls. These apparently well-educated and erudite people seemed to have a lot of time on their hands, and are gravely preoccupied with dignity and class.
I think: look, the couple sounds very much in-character on the radio, just get rid of the scream.
100 worst … youtube channels
There are thousands of “worst channels” all tied for last place, if it must have definition.
- Channels with no videos or playlists
- Channels with no videos but no original content
- Channels that slander or promote racial bias or hatred
- Channels that are advertising, disguised as entertainment or information
… pick up lines
- That might be a worthwhile topic, but only if it’s funny, since a bad pickup line could be just boring
… video games
- For me, they are the ones that are either
- Impossible to win
- Impossible to lose
- Involve battlefields (since I always seem to get stuck in a place with no combat)
… movie lines
- Be careful there … sometimes the worst lines are the best ones of all
- While this is subjective, we could pick songs that were either
- Auto-tuned to death and are not singable by any human
- Bad quality audio, or sung/played badly
- And, yes, the usual bad lyrics
… Spongebob episodes
- I have a hard time distinguishing good Spongebob episodes from bad ones. I thought they were all bad.
… games/games of all time
- We already mentioned video games, but same criteria
… pop records
- Bad songs that were hits. Another worthwhile topic. Let’s see if Disco Duck and Who Let The Dogs Out make the list.
- Because the list is long, a lot of tunes make the list because they were simply overplayed over the years (and become horribly annoying for that reason), but are actually decent songs:
- Ebony and Ivory
- My Heart Will Go On
- We Built This City
- Tie a Yellow Ribbon
- Love Will Keep Us Together
- Seasons in the Sun
- A survey conducted by listchallenges.com (http://www.listchallenges.com/100-worst-songs-ever/) showed in its results, what I imagine to be people who tended not to pick songs they didn’t recognize (obviously) – except there appeared to be agreement on what is not recognizable. I don’t recognize any of the 30 or so songs at the bottom of the list, but I recognize nearly all of the songs at the top 30 of the list. We tend to perceieve as “worst” songs, songs that are actually hits (usually big hits), but are overplayed. The top 10 songs appear to be nearly all rap/hip hop tunes (except for Achy Breaky Heart, My Heart Will Go On, I’d Do Anything For Love, and We Built This City)
These are some rambling thoughts on things I have found lying around on YouTube and other locations.
My jazz station plays too many jazz covers of hit songs. If I wanted to hear Woodstock, I would tune into an oldies station to hear the original.
Americans are being offered Tim Horton’s Poutine doughnuts. Yuck. My biggest worry is that Americans are thinking “Canadians eat this stuff all the time!”. It is not offered in Canada.
Youtube is littered with spectacle and it threatens to over-run the good stuff on there. Videos currently tread on the topics of dog tricks, Trump vids are ubiquitous, Cyanide and Happiness, the Kardashians, Marvel comic characters, and other trivia.
One topic buy tramadol 100mg that comes up at least as often as these is regarding search engines as a topic, usually discussing the absurdity of auto-complete. One person did a vlog on someone who google’d himself, and another more constructively (but not much more) did a vlog on the web’s most searched questions. It just ends up being goofy.
Popular musicians for the next hour or so according to YouTube appear to be Ed Sheeran (1.6 billion views on one video); The Chainsmokers with Coldplay; DJ Khaled; French Montana; and Bruno Mars. There are many others, most of whom I have barely heard since I started preferring to listen to Jazz and Classical music.
From several news sources, we’ve heard that the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts (home to both Harvard and MIT), has voted nearly unanimously to call for an impeachment to Donald Trump. One article from here gives a synopsis of the event. I chose this website because of one awesome commentator who only goes by the name of “CSB365”, who replied to a Trump supporter who says that Trump has done nothing wrong. CSB365 then replies there is no reason to impeach Trump or accuse him of illicit ties to Russia, …
except for the Flynn thing
and the Manafort thing
and the Tillerson thing
and the Sessions thing
and the Kushner thing
and the Carter Page thing
and the Roger Stone thing
and the Felix Sater thing
and the Boris Ephsteyn thing
and the Rosneft thing
and the Gazprom thing
and the Sergey Gorkov banker thing
and the Azerbajain thing
and the “I love Putin” thing
and the Donald Trump, Jr. thing
and the Sergey Kislyak thing
and the Russian Affiliated Interests thing
and the Russian Business Interests thing
and the Emoluments Clause thing
and the Alex Schnaider thing
and the hack of the DNC thing
and the Guccifer 2.0 thing
and the Mike Pence “I don’t buy online tramadol know anything” thing
and the Russians mysteriously dying thing
and Trump’s public request to Russia to hack Hillary’s email thing
and the Trump house sale for $100 million at the bottom of the housing bust to the Russian fertilizer king thing
and the Russian fertilizer king’s plane showing up in Concord, NC
during Trump rally campaign thing
and the Nunes sudden flight to the White House in the night thing
and the Nunes personal investments in the Russian winery thing
and the Cyprus bank thing
and Trump not releasing his tax returns thing
and the Republican Party’s rejection of an amendment to require Trump to show his taxes thing
and the election hacking thing
and the GOP platform change to the Ukraine thing
and the Steele Dossier thing
and the Leninist Bannon thing
and the Sally Yates can’t testify thing
and the intelligence community’s investigative reports thing
and Trump’s reassurance that the Russian connection is all “fake news” thing
- and Spicer’s Russian Dressing “nothing’s wrong” thing
so there’s probably nothing there since the swamp has been drained, these people would never lie — probably why Nunes cancels the investigation meetings. All of this must be normal; just a bunch of separate dots with no connection.
The news cycle is replete with bogus stories:
- Trump appoints Ivanka to head anti-nepotism task force.
- ‘Trump has decided gravity is not real’, says Sean Spicer, while clearly suspended by wires.
- “Putting Shakespeare to Rap music helps students revise”, say leading educators.
- World’s Largest aircraft APR001 to house a swimming pool, gym, and park.
- Ask Google Gnome what to feed your marigolds, or if your marigolds can feed you.
- Ireland’s Trump Dublin completion expected by 2018
Multiple choice question: One of the above six stories is actually real. Click here if you want to see the “true” news article for the answer.
Humor can be a place where we celebrate what we as a human race value: honesty, love, safety, racial equality, fairness, peacefulness. We usually do this by poking fun at the times when any of these values are violated by public figures such as world leaders or celebrities. Usually these violations happen once or twice, but what if it happens all the time … ?
It’s been an amazing month on the talk show circuit regarding how Trump and his administration have been lampooned by seemingly every stand-up comedian and talk show host — and don’t forget Saturday Night Live. It will also be interesting to note how much mileage you would get out of the political satire.
Melissa McCarthy will have to work hard to try to make the caricaturing of Sean Spicer fresh for the next four years. The same can be said for Alec Baldwin, or anyone charged with hosting a nighttime talk show, like Bill Maher or Stephen Colbert.
But I guess, it is not just Trump that is a laughingstock. It is also a large swath of his administration and his appointees. It looks comedians are already lampooning Education Secretary Betsy where can you buy tramadol DeVos, Chief Strategist (and probably the real (unelected) president) Steve Bannon (who right now appears on SNL as a kind of Grim Reaper), Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and of course Mike Pence (the Vice President), Jeff Sessions, the list goes on. The field is so ripe with those who shall be referred to as “characters”, that it could also turn out that the supply of satirical material will be nearly unlimited. It would be a surprise if somewhere there is a quiet, boring place in government where things just go on as usual, under this administration. A department inside of a department that no one has ever paid attention to and no politician cares about. Oh, the hilarious possibilities in that!
It is worth noting that I have not really been a fan of SNL for some time now, as many haven’t, but seeing that their ratings have been the best since the days of Wayne’s World, and possibly since the days of The Blues Brothers, it doesn’t look like they are going to slow down the pace any time soon, and it might be high time I start tuning in.
As a response for participating in the survey, I finally know who I am, because the government told me so. Apparently I am a pragmatist. In an earlier one of these online surveys, I was someone on the loony left. These labels are, on some level, amusing. It’s kind of like reading a Horoscope characterization of yourself, with about the same level of scientific accuracy. Most things on this list as so broadly-defined that they can apply to just about anyone. I will just show this characterization below without comment:
YOUR VIEWS MOST ALIGN WITH
- My democracy is balancedand straight-forward
- Pragmatists generally want governments to strike a balance between decisive action and compromise. They tend to prefer a clear line of accountability to voters, but not at the expense of collaboration between parties.
- Pragmatists are split about whether special measures are needed to help increase the diversity of representation in Parliament.
- Pragmatists typically prefer that election ballots are easy to use and to understand.
- Pragmatists generally view voting as a democratic duty rather than a personal choice and are slightly more inclined to support mandatory voting. They are among the least likely archetypes to support online voting.
Who are Pragmatists?
- MEDIAN AGE
So far, in the last post, I had revealed an example of sampling bias as being the fact that the questions only hint at particular alternative voting systems without coming out and suggesting one and how it has been implemented elsewhere, so that a more intelligent response to the questionnaire could be made possible. A casual questionnaire participant would look at these questions on offer and probably say “sounds like a great idea” without understanding the details of the proposed voting system that would make him or her think otherwise.
It is also my understanding that certain groups of people (i.e, government and industry) are often breathless in their praise of computers. Now mind you, computers are a great technology (my blog runs on one), but the most trustworthy technology have been voting with physical paper ballots. It is hard evidence that a vote took place. Pushing a button or pulling a lever or interacting with a computer sends electrons through conductors that have no memory and leave no trace of themselves behind. The “memory” on a computer would then only be as effective as the program running that is counting my vote. On the other hand, a pen mark on a paper ballot will last a hundred years.
This is to say nothing about our experiences with federal elections south of the border. Since the voting machines came in, there have been accusations, not without merit, of corruption in the American voting system, due to the way the machines counted the votes, leading to people ask how they were programmed. But when called upon to surrender their source code, companies like Diebold refused, citing patent infringement. If this were government-owned source code, they could make a clear case for public accountability, and demand that the feds surrender the code and make it public. But Diebold is a private company, so they can’t make that demand. This in effect gives companies like Diebold unaccountable power over election turnout in the United States.
On the “Cooperation” scenario is that allowing opposition parties to participate in developing policy places the Prime Minister as the lone president of “Canada, Inc.”, thus Americanizing the Candian system (I know you all want that), since this also allows the PM to be elected on a separate ballot (not a bad idea in some ways). Of course this proposal of separate ballots for the PM is nowhere on this questionnaire. Everything is just hinted at, hoping the participant doesn’t think any bit deeper.
We would have to say farewell to the bloodletting of Question Period, and if we ever hated big governnment before, it would be worse this way, with no effective opposition, and no avenue for citizen input in the lower chamber. The government would have 338 elected employees (formerly called MPs) working for it, rather than some of them in opposition. That would only leave the upper chamber, the senate, to speak for anyone with an opposing view.
There were then these binary questions asked, in the form of “which do I want more?”:
- A government where one party governs and can make decisions on its ownOR a government where several parties have to collectively agree before a decision is made?
- I like how the question makes you want to answer in favour of cooperation. Cooperation leaves no voice of opposition, and no accountability. But if I favour the first option, am I supporting dictatorships? Also, was there ever a problem with “cooperation” and policy making in the past that would lead us to demand a total overhaul?
- I don’t define governing with an opposition party on the other side of the house “governing on your own”.
- One party governs and is solely accountable for policy outcomesOR several parties must cooperate to govern and they share accountability for policy outcomes?
- This question is really the same as the first, and makes no suggestion as to how accountability would be held in the second scenario. “Shared accountability” leaves open the question “to whom?”. There has to be an elected body that holds MPs accountable. Up until the last election, that role was filled by the MPs in opposition.
- This brings up the murky topic about the senate being elected …? I like the senate and understand what they do. They are not just a rubber stamp on Parliament, they speak for minorities, and for the long term. That is why they don’t run for election. They are there to think of policy’s effect over decades and vote based on “sober second thought”. The lower chamber and elections have the problem of only thinking as far as the next election for the effect of policy. Senators do not have to do the bidding of the lower house or of their party or of the Prime Minister. Policy is something we must live with for decades into the future, and we need that additional deep thought by detached individuals to help the lower chamber change its policy so that things work into the future. It has served us well in the past, and again, the only complaints come from self-interested groups who want to see a more American system. Remeber, our senators right now have no committement to party loyalty whatsoever, and is thus detached from the lower house. The American system is still bound to party loyalty.
- Ballots should be as simple as possible so that everybody understands how to voteOR ballots should allow everybody to express their preferences in detail?
- Simple is always better.
- Members of Parliament that do what their party promised, even if it means going against what their constituents wantOR members of Parliament that do what their constituents want, even if it means going against what their party promised?
- Voters usually vote for their party and their platform. The local platform is far less publicized, even locally. So, I think party promises should come first, since that is likely what got their party into power. And to the extent that the party strays from the original platform, MPs should become the voice of their constituents.
- No further action needs to be taken to ensure that those elected to Parliament better reflect the diversity of the population they representOR further action needs to be taken to ensure that those elected to Parliament better reflect the diversity of the population they represent?
- Diversity is determined by voters. What on Earth could the government do to change that? Telling some people they can’t run and saying that others can? The voters have to decide that. And if a under-represented member of a minority wants to run, then let him or her, and wish them the best of luck. Was there ever anything preventing this from happening?
- Canadians should have the option to cast their ballots online in federal elections, even if the security or privacy of online voting cannot be guaranteedOR Canadians should continue to vote using paper ballots at a polling station, even if it is less accessible for some voters?
- Again, we have always accomodated disabled people at the voting station. I say that as the husband of a wife who has been in a wheelchair for over a decade. It is another non-problem. The huge problem is from the first choice: the lack of security in online voting. This is always the problem in improving convenience for people in computer software: security is always sacrificed. To make the voting system trustworthy, I believe it is worth a little discomfort for a few minutes at the voting station in filling out a paper ballot. Again, I have heard of no one complaining about not using computers. I have heard a whole lot more about us speaking of American elections as a laughingstock with their computer voting.
- Voting in federal elections is an obligationOR voting in federal elections is a choice?
- Voting is our right. That includes a right not to vote. Sorry to say that, but that is the reality. If the candidates are all sub-optimal, then I should not be forced to cast a choice. The politicians must simply learn to be more in touch with the people who elect them. This is a simple human expectation.
- Having many small parties in Parliament representing many different viewsOR having a few big parties that try to appeal to a broad range of people?
- I don’t think that can be answered with this questionnaire, nor is it the purview of our government to do anything about that. It should be up to the voters. It would help if the government lowered the official minimum seats for official party status from 6 down to 1.
- And if the party was treated less as an extension of the PMO as it has been in recent decades, and more of a looser-knit set of politicians speaking for those who elected them, this idea of “representing many different views” would never have been a problem. Nobody asked for all party MPs to vote as a block on every possible legislation. Simply stop doing that, and we will be fine.
- Members of Parliament that spend more time in their constituency working with constituentsOR Members of Parliament that spend more time on Parliament Hill working on the issues that matter to their constituents?
- I don’t see what problem this solves. If you are in your constituency office, you are spending less time voting on legislation in Ottawa, and less time in Question Period. If you are speding more time in Ottawa, you are spending less “face time” with your constituents. Wouldn’t we have already worked this problem out a long time ago? Why is this question being asked?
- Members of Parliament that always support policies that they think are best for their constituents, even if their constituents disagreeOR Members of Parliament that always support policies their constituents want, even if the MPs themselves personally disagree?
- Also, wouldn’t an MP already know why they were elected and not let their personal opinions contaminate their support of policies? I would treat the voters as always being right, and would never be so paternalistic as to feel that I know better what my constituents need.
What a year. A lot of really well-liked musicians and entertainers have shuffled off this mortal coil. Indeed, it was a depressing year for celebrity deaths, and increased global warming and Trump winning the election didn’t help things. We witness the cosmically interconnected deaths of multiple people within the same sitcom; both Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia in Star Wars) and mother Debbie Reynolds (Co-starred with Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain) die within a day of each other. And the actor behind R2-D2 in the same year. This is to say nothing about ’70s and ’80s music icons. This list of more than 45 people who died this year are just the ones that most easily come to mind. It still seems like a long list. Of course, if you are an “in memoriam” junkie, there is always the much, much longer list at http://www.nndb.com
Abe Vigoda – One of two former members who passed away this year, from the now-syndicated TV comedy series Barney Miller. Abe played detective “Fish”.
Alan Thicke – Sitcom actor mostly known for his role as a father in Growing Pains. He was also host of the talk show The Alan Thicke Show
Alvin Toffler – Author of the much read and much studied ’70s social commentary “Future Shock“
Arnold Palmer – Recognized as one of the greatest golfers in sports history.
Billy Paul – Writer and singer of the soul hit Me and Mrs. Jones, and possibly the originator of the word “jonesin'” whenever someone has a romantic obsession with someone else, or with an idea.
Bob Elliott – one half of the duo “Bob and Ray“. Bob and Ray was a radio comedy program which was popular during the 1940s and 1950s. And many of their skits have stood the test of time. Ray Goulding died in 1990.
Bobby Vee – Early 1960s pop singer, with over 10 hits in reaching the top 20.
Brock Yates – Contributor to Car and Driver magazine, and invented the concept of the Cannonball Run, which inspired many 70s car-oriented movies such as Smoky and the Bandit, and the actual movie named Cannonball Run.
Charmaine Carr – Played the eldest von Trapp sister Liesel in the movie The Sound of Music.
Edgar Mitchell – the 6th man to walk on the moon during Apollo 14.
Fidel Castro – President of Cuba for around 55 years. He turned American holdings into public holdings while thumbing his nose at the American government. Along the way, he killed off a lot of his opponents, restricted free speech, but also had free education, and free healthcare, which was the envy of Central America, causing average life expectancy to extend beyond those of Americans. So, while reviews are mixed, he is, on balance, revered as one the great leaders of the 20th century.
Florence Henderson – Played mother Carol in The Brady Bunch.
Frank Sinatra, Jr. – Son of Frank Sinatra.
Garry Shandling – Played host on the quasi-reality-sitcom The Gary Shandling Show.
|Gene Wilder – I prefer to remember him for his roles in the Mel Brooks movies Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles. More here.
George Kennedy – Most famous for his starring roles in Naked Gun, and all four sequels of the Airport films, based on an Arthur Haley novel.
George Michael – Lead singer of Wham! and later soloist. Died of heart failure.
Sir George Martin – Producer for The Beatles.
Glenn Frey – Solo musician, and former lead singer of The Eagles.
Greg Lake – The “L” in ELP (Emerson, Lake, and Palmer). Before that, he was the drummer for King Crimson. Died on 7 December.
Gordie Howe, OC — Played in the NHL for just over a quarter century, and another six years in the WHA. Known as “Mr. Hockey”.
Harper Lee – Author of To Kill a Mockingbird.
Henry Heimlich – American physician and inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver.
Henry McCullough – Played lead guitar for Joe Cocker and for Wings. He was also a solo performer at the original Woodstock festival in 1969.
Jack Riley – Played the neurotic patient Elliott Carlin in The Bob Newhart Show. He also has a movie career that dates back to playing a doctor in the original version of the movie Catch-22.
Joe Santos – Played Lt. Becker on The Rockford Files; also played in Magnum P. I., and The Sopranos.
John Glenn – First man to circle the globe in a space capsule, aviator, astronaut, and Ohio state senator.
Kenny Baker – The man inside R2-D2.
Leon Russell (Claude Russell Bridges) – Soloist and session musician to some of the best names in ’60s and ’70s music: The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, John Lennon, Eric Clapton, The Carpenters, Jan and Dean, Dave Mason, B. B. King, and Rita Coolidge, to begin to scratch the surface.
Leonard Cohen – Folk/Pop singer, poet, painter.
Marvin Minsky – Father of artificial intelligence.
Maurice White – Founding member of the 70s dance band Earth, Wind and Fire.
Merle Haggard – Country and Western singer.
Morley Safer – News anchor for CBS’s 60 Minutes. He was in television journalism for 61 years.
|Muhammad Ali – Three-time world heavyweight champion in boxing. More here.
Pat Harrington – Played Duane Schneider on the sitcom One Day at a Time.
Patty Duke – Played both Helen Keller and Ann Sullivan in both best-known film adaptations of the movie The Miracle Worker. She won an Oscar for the first one in 1963. She has been either on film or TV fairly steadily between 1958 and 2012.
Paul Kantner – One of the founding members of Jefferson Airplane.
Peter Shaffer – British Playwright best known for Amadeus and Equus.
|Prince (Prince Rogers Nelson) – Prolific pop musician, talent scout, and record producer. More here.
Richard Adams — Author of the children’s novel Watership Down.
Robert Vaughn – Starred in Man from U. N. C. L. E. He also had a number of movie roles throughout the 1970s.
Ron Glass – Played Detective Harris on the sitcom Barney Miller.
Scotty Moore – Elvis Presley’s first guitarist.
Steve Young – Wrote Seven Bridges Road, which became a hit for The Eagles.
Susannah Mushatt Jones – World’s oldest living person at time of death, born in Alabama in 1899 to sharecroppers, and was the granddaughter of slaves. Since high school, she spent most of her life in Brooklyn, New York City, and had retired since 1965. She attributes her longevity to never having smoked or consumed alcohol.
Umberto Eco – Professor of semiotics, University of Boston
Vanity (Denise Katrina Matthews) – Singer, Songwriter. Boy-pal Prince was about to introduce her and her lingerie-clad all-girl band to the world as “Vaginia and the Hookers”. Late into the night, she persuaded Prince that her stage name was to be called “Vanity”, and her lingerie-clad all-girl band was to be called “Vanity 6”. Prince said: “Wha’? Why ‘6’? There’s only three of you”. The group lasted for one album and one tour. Two years later, she would land several movie and TV roles. Among her other boyfriends during her life of glamour were Adam Ant and Nikki Sixx. By 1996 she had renounced her drug use (oh yeah, she was also battling drug addiction) and all ties to the entertainment industry by finding God and creating her own ministry.
William Christopher — Played Father Mulcahy in the hit TV series M*A*S*H.
William Patrick (W. P.) Kinsella — Canadian novelist known for Shoeless Joe, which was adapted to film.
Zsa Zsa Gabor — Hungarian-American Beauty queen, socialite and actress.
Our feds came up with a survey that had some useful questions in it, but also had some questions that gave the overall impression of how they wanted the questions answered. They are asking me to agree or disagree with statements that have not been discussed a whole lot in the media, and really require complex answers. The “questions” usually came in the form of statements such as:
- Canadians should have the option to cast their vote online in federal elections, even if it is less secure.
- How innovative! Are they thinking of repeating the mistakes in the American elections? Ballots may be low tech, but they are completely secure from hacking, which seems to occur too frequently in Europe and America to allow our democracy to be guided by it.
- There should be parties in Parliament that represent the views of all Canadians, even if some are radical or extreme.
- The question is worded in such a way so as to make the repsentation of all Canadians itself a “radical” concept. The far left has had political parties for generations, but I am sure that the Marxist-Leninists and the Communists are completely out of the question. And the Greens are just slightly out of our consciousness. The far right is mentioned far more often in the media, and is what most people might be thinking about in this survey, making this question sufficiently repulsive enough it its wording to encourage people to disagree with the statement.
- “The views of all Canadians” is something that should be respected anyway. There have been, as of late too much corporate influence, but that can be changed by changing how parties are funded, not by changing how we vote. But for another thing, the number of seats for official party status should be lowered to 1, allowing Ms. Elizabeth May to represent the Green Party officially. The current minimum is 6, so the BQ would still have official party status.
- Governments should have to negotiate their policy decisions with other parties in Parliament, even if it is less clear who is accountable for the resulting policy.
- The government elected should do the job it promised. “Negotiations” change the platform the parties were elected on into something else, making it harder for governing parties to fulfil their campaign promises, and be held accountable. Policies would be enacted that no voter ever agreed to. There is already a negotiation process anyway. That’s when MPs have “first reading” and “second reading” in the House of Commons. Policies can change to secure the votes on both sides of the house in that process. I don’t recall anyone complaining about that, except that it’s slow. The proposed measure sounds like it would be far slower.
- Then there’s the question of “what if it works”? If it works, it clearly works in favour of the ruling party, since voters are likely to keep the same system operating, and opposition parties would be motivated to make the system fail on purpose in some way, so they can win the next election.
- A party that wins the most seats in an election should still have to compromise with other parties, even if it means reconsidering some of its policies.
- No. You end up with a hybrid that neither the ruling party nor the opposition voted for. Doesn’t sound democratic.
- The voting age for federal elections should be lowered.
- Isn’t it already at 18? Why are we considering buy tramadol online cod children to vote?
- Voters should be able to express multiple preferences on the ballot, even if this means that it takes longer to count the ballots and announce the election result.
- I’ve heard of this before, it sounds good if the choices are structured as “first choice”, “second choice”, and so on. This hints at an electoral method that involves runoffs. Counting the votes means correlating who voted for X and Y. The lowest gets eliminated, so if X is eliminated, his votes are counted for Y. Mind you, this questionnaire never comes out and mentions a particular voting system. It just hints at things. So, what motivates these questions is itself an open question.
- That being said, it doesn’t sound like a human can count this, since this means associating #1, #2, and #3 vote choices for each voter. My choice and your first choice might be the same, but if that person gets eliminated, your second choice might not be the same as my second, and we both need to be respected so that my vote then goes to my second choice as does your vote to yours. It takes computers to make such fine-grained associations for millions of voters, and computers are corruptible. I would only trust it if the government hired programmers to write the code (so there is no patent infringement as Diebold so often cited in the States for its hacked voting computers), then make the source code public and free for anyone to download and examine, and compile to see that it runs the same way as the copies used in a voting kiosk.
- It is better for several parties to have to govern together than for one party to make all the decisions in government, even if it takes longer for government to get things done.
- This call for multi-party “cooperation” in developing policy sounds like a jump into those school group activities where all children have some skill to bring to the group that causes the group to produce better results on a project than the sum of their individual efforts would have. I expect a huge generational difference in opinion here, depending on what kind of education you had, and what decades you attended school.
- All fine. Wouldn’t we all want to see our members of parliament cooperate on both sides of the house for a change? But this has a problem of placing the opposition parties into the realm of accountability where there is nobody left in the house to hold the government accountable, since everyone is now a policymaker, and what would be the purpose of elections then? As much as I like Trudeau, we need the Conservatives and the NDP to ask him and the Liberal Party tough, pointed questions during Question Period. You can’t be a critic on the opposition side if you are also cooperating with the governing party. I need an opposition MP to complain to about policy as a citizen, and it doesn’t help if their party was consulted in drawing up the policy.
- Members of Parliament should always support the position of their party, even if it means going against the wishes of their constituents.
- No, we have had enough of that. Constituents voted for the MP, they should matter more. But they should, out of loyalty, vote for policies that their party ran for on their platform. Loyalty should extend no further.
We should see more headlines like this. This past day’s election should have been Hillary’s to lose, not Trump’s to win. But this is what it has become. In the media, it was always about Donald. Donald says something outrageous, then the media and the world react, like a Greek chorus. Hillary, singing alto, would be part of that chorus, never having the opportunity to campaign on the issues themselves. This made the media’s job easy, since it became a story about character — Trump’s character — rather than policy, to the point where all other issues (health, education, the economy, employment) didn’t seem to matter anymore. All that mattered was Trump’s hubris. To balance this, Hillary spoke nothing on the issues either, but the political theatre unfolded to make her more of a sympathetic character, who couldn’t rather than wouldn’t.
Trump never had an idea if any of his promises would materialize, because in many ways he didn’t fully understand government. One thing that came out is that he was never reported to have put his investments in a blind trust, so that he doesn’t use his presidential insider knowledge to enrich himself. We have had the honor system for this, since there is no actual law against using presidential information to enrich yourself, although taking bribes can still land you in prison.
The Democrats did take a beating on all three houses of government. I am not sure what Dems had in mind as a party when they chose Hillary as the candidate. It is almost like they were part of the coronation of Trump. Given even a mildly favourable candidate with a clean record, defeating Trump should not have been a difficult thing for the Democrats.
Bill Maher is a comedian who tried to balance out the attempts to equate the weaknesses of the two candidates. It is a valiant effort, and well-executed, except that he insults the people who buy into it as non-thinking fools, thus defeating his own object of exposing Trump’s divisiveness by invoking some of his own. Maher doesn’t like excessive political correctness, but he appears to misunderstand how it could have worked in his favour.
Anyway, all I can do now is thank the late Dwight Eisenhower for imposing the 22nd constitutional amendment, the one that imposes limits on the president to serving only two terms.