Friday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Gustopher says:

    Meatloaf has died.

    He was quite a showman, and I don’t think we will ever see his kind again. I hope someone has a collection of unreleased songs ready to be put out entitled “Leftover Meatloaf”

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I gotta call my son today and tell him to stay the F off the Pontchartrain bridge.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    It’s a brave new world:

    AirTags are wireless, quarter-sized Bluetooth devices that retail for $29 each. Apple launched the product in April 2021 as tracking tools that users can pair with the company’s Find My app to help locate lost belongings, like backpacks or car keys.

    Yet AirTags have proven easy to abuse – police in New York, Maryland, Idaho, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Texas and elsewhere both within the US and internationally, have reported instances of AirTags being used to stalk individuals, as well as to target cars for theft.

    Last week, the New Jersey Regional Operations & Intelligence Center issued a warning to police that AirTags posed an “inherent threat to law enforcement, as criminals could use them to identify officers’ sensitive locations” and personal routines.
    …………………………
    Near the end of 2021, the company released a new Android app called Tracker Detect, which was designed to help people who own Androids discover suspicious AirTags near them – yet the app must be proactively downloaded and kept active to be effective, and is only compatible with Android 9 or higher.

    The outcome of more anti-stalking mechanisms is that more people are realizing they are being stalked.
    ……………………….
    Indeed, stalking affects an estimated 7.5 million people in the United States each year, and one in four victims report being stalked through some form of technology, according to the Stalking Prevention Awareness & Resource Center. And it’s on the rise: a 2021 international study by the security company Norton found the number of devices reporting stalkerware daily “increased markedly by 63% between September 2020 and May 2021” with the 30-day average increasing from 48,000 to 78,000 detections. There are thousands of different stalkerware variants, such as Cerberus, GPS tracking devices and Tile, a Bluetooth-enabled AirTag competitor that announced a partnership with Amazon last spring.

    Whatever happened to the good old days when it was possible to confront one’s stalker? I suppose it’s inevitable tho. I can see getting some of these trackers for my luggage but every new tech gets abused for nefarious purposes.

  4. Scott says:

    Clowns to the left, jokers to the right.

    Rep. Madison Cawthorn decided that a hearing on burn pits was a good time to clean his firearm

    Perhaps nothing says “what you’re saying is important to me” quite like deciding to start cleaning your gun in the middle of a conversation — which is exactly what one congressman did this week during a hearing on toxic exposure.

    “Here we are taking time out of our day, including the representatives, to talk about a very important issue — a life or death issue for many veterans — and it’s like, I’m sorry am I boring you? You’re not paying attention,” Jen Burch, an Air Force veteran who currently works with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and who spoke during Wednesday’s hearing, told Task & Purpose.

    Maybe we are getting the government we deserve.

  5. Scott says:

    This matches my packing checklist for staying at a Comfort Inn.

    Inside the Oath Keepers’ Plan for an Armed Takeover of the US Capitol

    A day before the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, people from three different states wheeled cart after cart laden with weapons and ammunition through an otherwise unremarkable Comfort Inn Ballston hotel located in Virginia, just a stone’s throw from the Pentagon, according to prosecutors.

    The guns were stashed in several hotel rooms and in cars parked inconspicuously outside, along with enough food and water to last 30 days. The group, all affiliated with the Oath Keepers, were preparing for battle.

  6. Scott says:

    Who will make the movie pitch? Slapstick comedy or heart warming, life affirming drama?

    New Mexico asks Guard troops to sub for sick teachers amid omicron

    New Mexico is the first state in the nation to ask National Guard troops to serve as substitute teachers as preschools and K-12 public schools struggle to keep classrooms open amid surging COVID-19 infections.

    Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Wednesday the unprecedented effort to reopen classrooms in the capital city of Santa Fe and shore up staffing across the state.

  7. Jen says:

    @Scott: My first thought was basically a modified version of “Kindergarten Cop.”

    What shall we call the screenplay–
    Captain Elementary?
    General Studies? (I’m partial to this one)
    Middle School Major?

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Craig Spencer MD MPH
    @Craig_A_Spencer

    I stand in solidarity with our nurses. They’re the true heroes at the bedside.

    This @nytopinion
    video explains why nursing is in crisis. Patient ratios were unsustainable pre-pandemic. Covid and the ‘business of medicine’ has only made their jobs harder.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    As the tide rose, it began to look perilous for Millie the jack russell-whippet cross, who had defied the efforts of police, firefighters and coastguards to pluck her from treacherous mudflats.

    So the rescuers had to think imaginatively, and came up with the idea of attaching a sausage to a drone and hoping the scent of the treat would tempt Millie to safety. It worked gloriously and Millie has been reunited with her grateful owner after following the dangling sausage to higher, safer ground.

    Millie disappeared after slipping her lead in Havant, Hampshire, and after frantic public appeals was spotted on the mudflats, in danger of being engulfed by the tide. She resisted efforts to encourage her to a safer spot until a drone pilot suggested attaching food to one of the unmanned aerial vehicles that had been used to track the dog.

    “It was a crazy idea,” said Chris Taylor, the chair of the Denmead Drone Search and Rescue team. But they pressed ahead and after checking Civil Aviation Authority regulations, and the MTOW [maximum takeoff weight] of their machines, the rescuers calculated they could attach a single sausage to a drone.

    Taylor said: “One of the local residents on the beach where we were flying from supplied us with the sausages – I think they were from Aldi. The woman cooked them up for us and we attached them with string.”

    To the joy of the rescuers, Millie took the bait.

  10. Mu Yixiao says:

    The crack* militia that attempted to overthrow the government.

    So well planned!

    Four days before the riot, the Oath Keepers were still trying to figure out what they would do if the bridges across the Potomac River were closed

    “Can’t believe I just thought of this: how many people either in the militia or not
    (who are still supportive of our efforts to save the Republic) have a boat on a trailer that [could] handle a Potomac crossing? If we had someone standing by at a dock ramp (one near the Pentagon for sure) we could have our Quick Response Team with the heavy weapons standing by, quickly load them and ferry them across the river to our waiting arms.”

    So ready for any contingency!

    The Oath Keepers were supposed to wear khaki or tan pants, which proved to be a problem. “We don’t have any khakis,” an unnamed “co-conspirator” told Ohio Oath Keeper Jessica Watkins on January 3. “We have jeans and our b d u’s [battle dress uniforms].”

    So keenly honed as a team!

    In an interview with The New York Times last July, Rhodes complained that the Oath Keepers who entered the Capitol had “gone off mission.” He said “there were zero instructions from me or leadership to do so.”

    How could they have possibly failed??

    ===========
    * Or maybe crack-smoking.

  11. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    There’s a big difference between fat old men who fetishize guns and want to play soldier and actual soldiers.

  12. Sleeping Dog says:

    Paranoid ideation. From Politico

    THE DOUBLE DIPPER — DONALD TRUMP has floated the idea of doling out dual endorsements in some of the key midterm races as he becomes increasingly suspicious of his advisers who are pushing competing candidates.

    The GOP kingmaker-in-chief has grown so distrustful of all the advice he’s getting from various aides — and so wary of being lured into picking the wrong horse — that he’s floated an idea that would essentially dilute his endorsement.

    “He feels like he’s being penned in,” said a person close to the former president, explaining that Trump’s logic is that dual endorsements would mean, “I get two chances to win.”

    Another source of Trump’s endorsement apprehension: He isn’t clear about which advisers have significant personal or financial ties to the candidates they’re bending his ear about.

    “He’s at times suspicious of the recommendations that people give him when he knows they’re being paid,” an adviser to the former president added. “He’s been asking who is paying who.”

    A few examples of the conflicting advice he’s getting in high-profile races:

    — In the Missouri Senate race, PAM BONDI, who heads Trump’s super PAC, has advocated for her longtime friend, state A.G. ERIC SCHMITT. But KELLYANNE CONWAY is advising Rep. BILLY LONG’s campaign, and KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE serves as national chair of former Gov. ERIC GREITENS’ campaign.

    — In Ohio, tech billionaire PETER THIEL has been lobbying Trump to pick J.D. VANCE for Senate, while Conway works for BERNIE MORENO’s campaign. Neither candidate is a clear frontrunner.

    — In the Pennsylvania Senate race, former White House aide DINA POWELL is pushing Trump to endorse her husband, hedge fund magnate DAVID MCCORMICK. But SEAN HANNITY is urging him to back celebrity doctor MEHMET OZ.

    — In Arizona, Thiel and Trump’s top political aide SUSIE WILES have been pushing BLAKE MASTERS in the GOP Senate primary. Wiles works for Masters’ super PAC. But former Trump ambassador RIC GRENELL has endorsed JIM LAMON.

    Trump was already getting gun-shy about endorsements after feeling burned by several of his early nods. The biggest bust was SEAN PARNELL in the Pennsylvania race, whom Trump backed at the urging of DONALD TRUMP JR. only to see the candidate drop out amid scandal. Trump is also starting to have regrets about his June endorsement of Rep. TED BUDD (R-N.C.) for Senate. Trump’s former chief of staff MARK MEADOWS pressed for Budd, but he’s now struggling in the polls.

    Then there’s Rep. MO BROOKS (R-Ala.), whom Trump endorsed in April at the urging of STEPHEN MILLER. Brooks has not only lost ground in that state’s Senate contest, he also angered Trump when he said at an August rally that people need to move past Trump’s 2020 loss and focus on 2024. Three people close to Trump said that he’s so furious with Brooks that he’s weighed rescinding his endorsement.

    Another person close to the former president said he does not expect that Trump will ultimately endorse two candidates in the same race. More likely is that he will shower praise on multiple candidates or offer them some other form of acknowledgement, such as granting each a visit to Mar-a-Lago to pose for a picture with him.

    While Trump could choose to sit out some Senate races, some in his inner circle worry that not endorsing at all would cede power to his nemesis, MITCH MCCONNELL. The Republican Senate leader and Trump have not always seen eye to eye on which candidates offer the party the best hope of winning competitive Senate races.

    Cue the Capt. Queeg references.

  13. gVOR08 says:

    @Mu Yixiao: From the blockquote –

    our Quick Response Team with the heavy weapons

    That line bothered me the first time I saw this. OK, these guys were cosplaying and they probably meant their pimped out pretend assault rifles, but generally “heavy weapons” means at least heavy machine guns, mortars and up. Did these guys have anything stashed we don’t know about to back up their peaceful protest?

  14. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I laughed out loud at this, thanks for sharing it.

    The sheer stupidity behind all of this…”dual endorsements” really takes the cake.

    This is what happens when you don’t know what you are doing. The fact that he is so incurious and doesn’t read is clear here, because endorsements shouldn’t be dependent upon who is “bending your ear.”

    What a clown he is.

  15. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    It probably depends on who slobbers the most when expressing his undying adoration of Trump.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    THE DOUBLE DIPPER — DONALD TRUMP has floated the idea of doling out dual endorsements in some of the key midterm races as he becomes increasingly suspicious of his advisers who are pushing competing candidates.

    The GOP kingmaker-in-chief has grown so distrustful of all the advice he’s getting from various aides — and so wary of being lured into picking the wrong horse — that he’s floated an idea that would essentially dilute his endorsement.

    You know what he could do? His own research.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…
    Gasp…
    wheeze…

    Sometimes I just crack me up.

  17. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    And the Trumpkins will blindly follow right along behind him. If Trump decides he hates some0ne he professed to love yesterday, so will his fan club.

  18. Mu Yixiao says:

    @gVOR08:

    Did these guys have anything stashed we don’t know about to back up their peaceful protest?

    Highly doubtful. If they did, the DOJ and law-enforcement would have been bragging about confiscating the stuff.

  19. Sleeping Dog says:

    Of course the weakness in TFG as mafioso style don, is he lacks the ability to truly strike fear in the grifters who are closest to him. After all, none of his sycophants have been found in a car’s trunk with a bullet in their head. So they piss him off one day, retreat for a bit and then return to his good graces, rinse and repeat. If it wasn’t so serious it would be humorous.

    Over the next couple of years we can hope that TFG destroys himself. The press keeps reporting on this type of inanity, he continues his rallies, all the while continuing to obsess about 2020. Already the press has stopped reporting on the rallies and is only focusing on the crazy. His cult won’t abandon him, but 30-35% of the electorate won’t return him to the WH, but may keep someone more dangerous, like DeSantis, from getting the R 24 nomination.

  20. Sleeping Dog says:

    CATO has determined that Cow Hampshire is the freest state in America, a dubious honor at best. But what has me wondering is how FLA ranks second using CATO’s own criteria? After all isn’t FLA the state that has consistently passed legislation and issued executive orders to restrict business from operating as the they see fit? After all regulations are regulations.

    Oh yeah, CATO’s a joke.

  21. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    The Incredibles Principle: when everyone’s endorsed, no one is.

    One of Michael Shackleford’s commandments of gambling is never to hedge one’s bets. Why? Because you either lose your bet or lose the hedge.

    The point of kissing the ring is you don’t let everyone do it. Otherwise a visit to the unholy land or an audience with the wannabe don, is as impressive and significant as drawing breath.

  22. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Even for someone as desperately needy for adulation as Trump?

  23. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’ve had such trackers for the past 3 or 4 years, long before AirTags came out. I used Tiles, but there were a half dozen other brands. I saw the occasional article about how car thieves were using them to target specific cars because they were significantly cheaper than the other trackers they had been using (LowJack?) so if they didn’t actually steal the car they weren’t as worried about losing the tracker.

  24. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Ah, F@#k. Does this mean another influx of Free Staters? I hope not.

    That Libertarian Walks Into a Bear book should be required reading here.

  25. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I don’t know why this is being called stupid. It’s my exact same Roulette strategy, and it’s worked 99 times out of 100.

  26. just nutha says:

    @Scott:

    Maybe we are getting the government we deserve.

    Pretty much everyone does. The social contract is only as good as the people forming and executing it.

  27. just nutha says:

    @Jen: I like General Studies, too. The other thought was the Vin Diesel movie where he assumes the role of caretaker for the agents kids after the failed rescue attempt, but “The Pacifier 2” doesn’t work. 🙁

  28. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Well I guess he could endorse every R candidate to ensure the he picks winners.

  29. Sleeping Dog says:

    It happened at Shooter’s Pub, so it’s alright.

    At least no one was hurt.

  30. just nutha says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I would think that Republicans might give more weight to Mitch’s preferences than those of a guy who would follow Donald Trump, Jr.’s advice, but I’m probably giving more credit to Republican ability to reason things out than is warranted, too.

  31. Moosebreath says:

    @CSK:

    No doubt there will be stories of Trumpkins saying that if Trump endorsed 2 candidates, it means they are required to vote twice.

  32. Gustopher says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Whatever happened to the good old days when it was possible to confront one’s stalker? I suppose it’s inevitable tho. I can see getting some of these trackers for my luggage but every new tech gets abused for nefarious purposes.

    There are a lot of ways the Apple Tags could be designed to make them less useful for stalkers, but the company has no interest in doing so.

    Think about your luggage — it is typically at your home, or near you. If you didn’t have access to the tag data once it was far from you for more than N days without a police report, it would cut the usefulness for stalking someone not in your household, but not impact the common, reasonable use cases.

  33. CSK says:

    @Moosebreath:
    Ha! I didn’t think of that.

  34. just nutha says:

    @Kathy: In the original sense, hedging was laying off a known or knowable loss, by passing if off on another gambler. There was an episode of Mr. Lucky where Andamo hedged a bet by convincing another gambler to bet on Lucky in a pool contest where Andamo knew Lucky was going to throw the match. Thereby making back part of the original bet that Lucky had already planned on throwing.

    Eventually, it all came out and the guy who was the intended victim of the original scam (the guy Lucky had agreed to lose to bet a mobster that he would win–unlikely unless a fix was in and Mr. Lucky was known never to cheat, so the mobster suspected nothing) ended the show by saying “Well, that was fun, but if either of you guys try something like that again, I’ll kill both of you.”

  35. Kathy says:

    @Gustopher:

    There are a lot of ways the Apple Tags could be designed to make them less useful for stalkers, but the company has no interest in doing so.

    The company doesn’t want to lose a hole market. Stalkers are people, too.

  36. CSK says:

    If I understood the CDC chart correctly, a booster shots afford 90% protection from hospitalization for Omicron.

  37. grumpy realist says:

    @CSK: I’m cautiously optimistic, since Illinois’s reported Covid cases (7 day avg) have stopped going up and have fallen. Let’s see what happens after another two weeks. If it’s a real effect we should be seeing a similar drop in hospital admissions.

    The other question is what’s the next variant to take over from Omicron?

  38. Jen says:

    As @Sleeping Dog noted last week, we have a secessionist movement afoot here in NH. 2/3rds of those who showed up were Free Staters.

    A driving force behind the separatist movement appeared to be allegations of a decline in personal liberties caused by federal politicians and bureaucrats.

    Committee Chairman Rep. Al Baldasaro, a Republican from Londonderry, asked at one point how many members of the public who came to testify were members of the Free State Project, which seeks to attract libertarian-minded individuals to move to New Hampshire in an effort to gain political clout and strip away aspects of state government. About two-thirds of the hands in the room shot up.

    UGH. Via NHPR.

  39. Sleeping Dog says:

    @just nutha:

    You’d think. But that is the party of Cawthorn, MTG and Guns Bobert. If rationality were a characteristic of today’s R party…

  40. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jen:

    Jen, we want this to come up for a vote and then demagogue the hell out of it in the fall. The 7 sponsors come from safe R districts, but they can be made toxic enough that it crushes their nominal voter and we want to know if there are any sympathizers. Like your state rep. It won’t come to a vote, Packard bury this so deep that it’ll never see the light of day. It must of killed Packard and Baldasaro to even have the hearing.

  41. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: It’s just all so unnerving. This libertarian nonsense is getting too entrenched, and the issues with it are all hidden under a veneer of anti-tax stuff that of course hits home with voters, especially right now with prices everywhere going up.

  42. Kathy says:

    @Neil Hudelson:
    @just nutha:

    Roulette is the classic example. if you bet red and black, at best you break even, at worst you lose both bets if 0 or 00* hit. You can’t win.

    This does not apply to unrelated bets. For instance, betting red and also a number.

    The former is like buying $10,000 worth of credit default swaps on mortgage securities, while also investing $10,000 on mortgage securities. The latter is like buying $10,000 worth of credit default swaps on mortgage securities, and investing another $10,000 in oil futures.

    Fixing outcomes is a different matter.

    * There are some triple-zero games out there. Stay away from them.

  43. gVOR08 says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Oh yeah, CATO’s a joke.

    I give you Ilya Shapiro , VP of Cato, looking for a lawyer to sue his kid’s school over masks, pro bono.

  44. just nutha says:

    @Kathy: I worked with guys who used to go to Vegas on junkets where the casino would offer a $100 bonus as an inducement to play table games. (Obviously, this was a long time ago.) They would play one spin on roulette to turn the hundred back into cash that they could use for other games/purchases. Most of them eventually “reinvested” enough on various games to offset the $100 starting stake no matter what.

    The interwebs inform me that the payout on 0/00 for roulette is 17:1. That’s not enough of a payout relative to risk considering that the company doing charity casino nights that I worked for in Spokane paid 36:1 for that pair. (I never advanced beyond being a blackjack dealer. Craps and roulette were hard games to run quickly and smoothly. Hold ’em hadn’t become a thing yet.)

  45. just nutha says:

    @Jen: A Republican from Londonderry? No wonder it’s a mess.

    Wait… You’re NOT talking about Northern Ireland? Oh! My mistake. 🙁

  46. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jen:

    Aw Jen, if you were a local 🙂 you’d realize that things were worse back in the old days when Meldrim Thomson ran Concord and Lou Smith, long time owner of the defunct Rockingham Park horse track, owned the state legislature. Back in the day, the entire Dem legislative caucus car pooled together from Manch to Concord.

    Look at the libertarians as cheap entertainment.

  47. Kathy says:

    @just nutha:

    I began to say betting the pass line and then placing a bet on 6 and 8 when the point is 4, 5, 9, or 10 is not a hedge, but that assumes a lot of prior knowledge.

  48. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Back in the day, folks used to say that New Hampshire needed a Thomsonectomy and a Loebotomy, William Loeb III being the publisher of the Union-Leader.

  49. just nutha says:

    From this morning’s TNR Daily:

    President Joe Biden brought the word chunks into the discourse on Wednesday, when he suggested that the Build Back Better Act could be reduced to its component parts. “I’m confident we can get pieces, big chunks of the Build Back Better law signed into law,” Biden said. But breaking the bill up into chunks—you’re getting sick of that word, aren’t you?—would kind of defeat the purpose of attempting to pass it through the reconciliation process.

    Yes. And more importantly, it will reveal the fact that the Democrats can’t get a single f**king item on the agenda through Congress. At all. I’ll leave it up to minds that care more than I do anymore to decide whether that comprehensive failure is a good thing or not.

  50. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Look at the libertarians as cheap entertainment.

    I’ll certainly try to, but they currently have their eyes on cutting things important to me (like the library). I don’t think they’ll succeed this year, but…I’m nervous. Our town taxes are set to go up a considerable amount this year, and people are freaking out.

  51. just nutha says:

    @Kathy: It looks to be good odds, but it’s definitely not a slam dunk. Also, what you’re describing is why other relatively high reward to risk ventures are routinely called “crap shoots.”

  52. Kathy says:

    Yesterday very late at the office (past 10 pm), I got really annoyed when a manager asked me to “put the prices file in the file server.” I only save my work for the proposals in the file server, because it all has to be accessible to everyone. I snapped at him that it was there already. So he replied “But which one is it?”

    So in addition to an excel file named PRICES FILE, I added some named “this isn’t it,” “this one neither,” and a word one called “this is it,” which displayed “Ha, ha! You fell for it!” if you opened it. For another proposal today, I named it I WONDER IF THIS IS THE PRICES FILE. If this keeps going, we’ll end up with THIS IS THE PRICES FILE OR IS IT, but that suffers from lack of proper punctuation.

    The whole thing made me wonder not whether, but how many historical documents have wrong, misleading, or outright ridiculous information, because some scribes decided to get back at the boss.

  53. just nutha says:

    One more observation and then I’ll quit picking on all y’all.

    Biden acknowledged Wednesday that the expanded child tax credit may be one of them, despite data showing that the credit reduced child poverty by nearly 30 percent.

    On the other hand, “they’re not MY children, so why is this my problem?” IS a sentiment as American as baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet, to riff off the old commercial.

  54. Kathy says:

    @just nutha:

    When the point is 4, 5, 9, or 10, 6 and 8 are more likely to hit than the point. All are less likely to hit than 7, which kills off all bets.

    Point is you can win the 6 or 8 and the pass line bet, or you can lose both, or win one and lose one. The odds are against you*, but you can win.

    I see gambling as occasional entertainment. I tend to gravitate to lower edge games, because money lasts longer (likewise in slow games like Pai Gow Poker), but I’m fine with people playing high house edge games if they enjoy them. Just be mindful that you’re spending money for thrills.

    *In the casino, the odds are always against you, with some rare exceptions. The House runs a business, it does not gamble.

  55. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher:

    There are a lot of ways the Apple Tags could be designed to make them less useful for stalkers, but the company has no interest in doing so.

    That’s hardly fair. They have already changed it twice since its release to make it less useful to stalkers and released a free Android app that can alert non-Apple users.

    Tile is the pioneer here and they knew about this problem for years. I’m pretty sure they didn’t do anything about it, but if they did they didn’t notify their users.

  56. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen: Having an infestation of Libertarians is like having black mold in your house. It takes a long time to realize it’s a problem and by time you too the place is wrecked.

  57. Gustopher says:

    My shrink might not be doing well these days.

    Shrink: “Last time you were here, we adjusted your medicine down a bit. How’s that going?”

    Me: “I have more ability to focus, still no more desire to focus, and I’ve been more easily irritated.”

    Shrink: “Well, to be entirely honest, everything is a lot more irritating lately, so that’s probably all that is… (insert small rant about pandemic) are you still using such-and-such pharmacy? Let’s just refill that and check back in a few months.”

  58. Gustopher says:

    @MarkedMan: Marginally less worse than the competition is not a high bar. If a technology is prone to abuse maybe don’t release it until it is way less attractive for abuse?

    We control drugs that can be easily abused, and we have regulations for lots of other unsafe products, I don’t think we should be anything other than hard on Apple for not designing a better product. It should not be everyone’s responsibility to install an app and check it regularly to ensure that they are not being stalked with Apple’s products.

    I hope that when a woman is stalked and killed because of this — and it will happen, and it will be a woman — her family sues the shit out of Apple.

  59. Gustopher says:

    Thich Nhat Hahn has also died today, although there is no word on whether he was ever seen at the same time as either Meat Loaf or Louie Anderson.

    He has been one of the most influential teachers of Buddhism and mindfulness in the West, after having been barred from returning to Vietnam after a speaking tour, because of his opposition to the Vietnam war. His teachings downplay the religious trappings of Buddhism, and focus heavily on interbeing and “engaged Buddhism”.

    In 1967, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize — no prize was awarded that year, as the Nobel committee decided to give war a chance.

  60. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: I’m a luddite, always way behind the tech curve. Reading of them I could instantly see a use for me. I was however intrigued by the “stalker angle” of it. Over the years I’ve had a few confrontations, and ftr that is all they were, and I was just struck by the fact that confronting one’s stalker is even harder if you never see them.

    When I was a very skinny 17, I learned in the Chicago Greyhound bus station that confrontation is the last thing most of these fcks want.

  61. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: Think about your luggage — it is typically at your home, or near you.

    Not if I’m on an international flight. Ever lose your luggage and been dependent on an overworked underpaid airline employee to find your caving gear that you brought along for a once in a lifetime expedition? Not fun.

  62. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @just nutha: “Hey, I raised MY kids without it, whatcha btching about?”

    But I have granddaughters so I still favor any and all help for parents.

  63. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    Yup. The grim reaper improved things in NH

  64. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher: Hmmm. Just out of curiosity, do you think they should have released the mobile phone?

  65. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yeah. That’s another classic line. Another is a Mrs. Luddite classic: “I don’t see why we should do this now; I didn’t get any advantages when I was raising my daughter.”

    And if merely having granddaughters makes you want advantages for other people’s children, you’re simply a better person than lots of others. (And I really really wish that was a higher bar to jump. 🙁 )

  66. wr says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “Ever lose your luggage and been dependent on an overworked underpaid airline employee to find your caving gear that you brought along for a once in a lifetime expedition?”

    I’m thinking it’s been a while since you took this kind of flight. I’m sure that luggage still occasionally goes awry, but the airlines’ computers are now really good at knowing where it is. I can even track my luggage on the United app…