As the frustration with Trump boils with many accross the country, a touch of perspective is needed lest the outrage defeat the purpose of opposing Trump's agenda.

But how to communicate that to those who have gone so far as to brand all opponents (and sometimes those who aren't oppesed enough for their tastes) as "evil"? How does one demonstrate that showing compassion for Muslim refugees and others who may fall victim of Trump's policies is consistent with not demonizing Trump and his supporters?

I think Penn Jillette does the job as well as anyone can in his latest podcast, Penn's Sunday School: There’s No Such Thing As Evil.

Overcast link to the part of the podcast where Penn starts talking about this

Direct link to the mp3 file. Begin at 26:42.

Warning: by 44:35, he'll be done making his point and start to make references to jokes made earlier in the podcast that... well, they'll make no sense and may come accross as disgusting without having heard the earlier part of the podcast. So given that, you may want to listen from the start.

(It'll probably still be disgusting, but it will be funny with context)

Quote of the Day

from Scott Shackford at Reason Magazine

So what I would recommend to anybody calling for an alliance between libertarians and the left (regardless of whichever side is making the call) is not look at Trump as some particularly remarkably bad outlier and anomaly (though he is certainly giving every sign he's going to be remarkably bad), but as an expression of the constantly present dangers of authority that cares only about the "right" outcomes and nothing about legal foundations and limits to power based on defenses of human liberty and civil rights.

(please do read the whole article)

Any alliance between liberals and libertarians against Trump, cannot be predicated only upon resisting Trump alone. At a minimum, must be based in limiting the powers of the presidency, and preserving due process under the law.

Anything less is asking libertarians to accept an imperial presidency, so long as it's a Democrat one. No sale.

Quote of the day:

…from Glenn Reynolds:

…normally when one has lost the Executive and Legislative branches to the other party is not the time to call for government censorship of political speech on vague and mutable grounds.

Democrats have been advocating more and more power to government without giving thought to how that power would be used in the wrong hands.

It seems some Democrats, in spite of the results of the election, still aren't thinking in those terms.

Hot tip from a Libertarian: Treat your rivals the same way you want to be treated BY your rivals.

Related:

Source: https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/251347/

Ketchup and the Two-Party Problem

A defense of third-party politics.

Seth Godin wrote about third parties in a blog post "Ketchup and the third-party problem". He says that those of us supporting third parties or their candidates are doomed to failure, and miss our chance to really influence the political field.

Needless to say, I find the arguement lacking, and merely a more passive aggressive method of saying that we should all vote for Hillary because otherwise we'll be doomed with Trump. I've snarked about it on Twitter. But I feel this deserves a bit more detailed of a rebuttal.

Read More

The new Ghostbusters: I liked it so much...

…that I wrote over fifteen hundred words about theories about wether it was really a reboot or not.

Click through to read it, but bewarned there are SPOILERS!!! 

But also NO POLITICS!!! (You're welcome, though I may get into that in a later post)

Click through only if you've seen the movie.

Read More

A non-fiction comic that's an insult to comics.

Apple is currently holding their annual World-Wide Developer Conference in San Fancisco. As part of this, Apple has released a new version of the guidelines that developers have to follow to submit apps to their various app stores.

These text of these guidelines are available on Apple's developer website. But it also is available as a comic book, by Motion Books, a motion comic company with apps on various platforms.

If you want the comic, you can find a link to the PDF here. However, I'd advise against wasting the bandwidth on downloading it.

In the App Review Guidelines Comic Book, this Pokemon-like fight has nothing to do with the captions or "dialog", not even as an extended metaphor. The art does nothing to help the reader understand the concepts in the text.

In the App Review Guidelines Comic Book, this Pokemon-like fight has nothing to do with the captions or "dialog", not even as an extended metaphor. The art does nothing to help the reader understand the concepts in the text.

This "comic" is pointless. It's merely superimposing the App Store guidelines over visuals that have nothing to do with the App Store, or anything in the common with the text at all. It's comic art that may actually be used elsewhere in the service of an actual story somewhere else in the world, as each section of the guidlines is in a different art style and story genre (none of which are non-fiction).

Compare with Google's 2008 comic that introduced the Chrome web browser to the world, and the technologies within. It was a good book that illustrated the concepts behind the Chrome browser, written and drawn by Scott McCloud, well known in the comics world for his other non-fiction comics on understanding the visual grammar and structure of comic books, most notably "Understanding Comics".

In this sample from Scott McCloud's Google Chrome comic, the visuals serve the narrative of explaining the nature and benefits of sandboxing in Google Chrome.

In this sample from Scott McCloud's Google Chrome comic, the visuals serve the narrative of explaining the nature and benefits of sandboxing in Google Chrome.

The App Review Guidlines comic is a pointless non-sequitur that does nothing to improve understanding or knowledge of the App Store Review guidelines over the text itself.

It's like listening to the legal disclaimers for a drug ad while an action movie scene plays on screen. Two things that have nothing to do with one another.

Since it was created by Motion Books, a motion comic company with apps on various platforms, I imagine it was meant as a means of promoting themselves. They failed in my eyes as this shows them to have no creativity or communication skills at all, if this comic is any indication.

It's insulting to the audience, and to those who have actually produced real non-fiction comics. I'm stunned that Apple agreed to put it on their developer site.

via iMore

Culture War Profiteer exposed

In case you are wondering what I meant by "culture war profiteer," in the previous post, I refer you to Todd Seavy at Splice Today

The anarchist law professor Butler Shaffer, a friend of mine, quietly takes the very radical yet reasonable view that most institutions, no matter what their initial purpose was (stopping online harassers, spreading the word about Jesus, what have you) end up, through a simple evolutionary filtering process, having the same de facto mission in the end: self-perpetuation. Think about that for a few minutes and then become very skeptical if you weren’t already.

That tendency toward the self-serving is worth keeping in mind the next time you find yourself asking, as decent, naïve folk naturally do, why on Earth would campus anti-racism activists secretly scrawl racist graffiti? Why would a leftist gay person fake receiving an anti-gay cake? Darwin used to be popular on the left before the feminists took a dislike to him, and he knew the name of the game is usually self-preservation. Adaptive camouflage is just one tactic.

The article is primarily about a feminist posing as an anti-feminist online to gain sympathy and support for herself, and to hurt her rival feminists.

Bonus points for the post's sub-heading, "SHIELD is Hydra. Hydra is SHIELD."

Trump on the North Carolina Pissing Contest

How weird is it getting? Trump's acting like the reasonable one here.

From Reason:

Asked about the big culture-war issue of the moment, public restroom access for trans individuals, Trump said he thinks North Carolina should have left things alone. "North Carolina did something that was very strong, and they're paying a big price," said Trump. But if it was up to him, he would "leave [bathroom access] the way it is! There have been very few problems. There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate, there has been so little trouble."

Yeah, both sides have been making WAY too much over this "issue". I suspect there are culture war profiteers on both sides trying to stir this up.