Gas station without pumps

2020 October 10

Two maps

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 08:34
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These maps seem to be red in many of the same places. Coincidence or causal connection?

2017 July 12

Join the Day of Action for Net Neutrality on July 12th

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 07:57
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Today is the “Day of Action” for net neutrality—a day when people and businesses everywhere can speak up for the important role that regulation plays in ensuring freedom of speech.

JULY 12TH: INTERNET-WIDE DAY OF ACTION TO SAVE NET NEUTRALITY
The FCC wants to destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies control over what we see and do online. If they get their way, they’ll allow widespread throttling, blocking, censorship, and extra fees. On July 12th, the Internet will come together to stop them.

via Join the Day of Action for Net Neutrality on July 12th

It may seem strange that regulation is important for freedom, but freedom of speech and freedom of the press requires that those who provide the infrastructure (historically the public marketplaces and parks, nowadays the internet) not be allowed to censor based on content or who is speaking.  This is precisely the principle of net neutrality, which does not allow ISPs to charge different fees or provide different services dependent on whose data is being sent.

My Internet Service Provider (ISP) is a small local one, and they are very strongly in favor of net neutrality—it is only the very large, monopolistic ISPs like Verizon that favor being allowed to take bribes to give some services preferred access to consumers.  Trump appointed a Verizon executive to remove net neutrality and concentrate power in the hands of the monopolists, but today is a time to push back and insist on freedom.

Go to Join the Day of Action for Net Neutrality on July 12th to find out more about net neutrality and to sign a petition asking Congress to defend it!

2016 June 1

Poll data and electability

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 19:03
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I’m a bit worried about the possibility that Donald Trump might win the Presidential election.  I don’t personally see how any sane person could vote for him, but US politics never seems to have been ruled by sanity.

I was looking at the poll summaries at RealClearPolitics:

I hope that the “superdelegates” at the Democratic national convention are watching these polls also and doing everything they can to make sure that Trump is not elected, even if it means that their favorite candidate doesn’t get the nomination.

2016 January 16

Lawyers to avoid

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 10:40
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If I were ever stupid enough to run for public office, I know one group of lawyers to avoid at all costs: Seattle-based Garvey Schubert Barer.  Apparently the bright boys there decided to issue Wikimedia with a take-down order for putting up pictures of copyrighted campaign materials from the Bernie Sanders campaign. (source: https://boingboing.net/2016/01/15/facepalm-bernie-sanders-campa.html)

Never mind that the whole point of campaign stickers and buttons is to have them displayed as widely as possible.

Never mind that including pictures of campaign materials in an encyclopedia is clearly covered by fair-use doctrines.

Apparently Garvey Schubert Barer hires idiots.  I wonder whether they will make a public apology for doing something stupid, but they’re lawyers, so I doubt it—they probably still think that they can make a case for it being the “right” thing to do.   The takedown order has been withdrawn, but the media storm about it is just about to start.

If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would conjecture that this was not the act of an incompetent and idiotic lawyer (though, in the real world, that is the most likely explanation). Instead, I would conjecture that the lawyer who did this was paid under the table by some rich guy who feared that Sanders might win the election, after all the money he had spent to buy Clinton’s favor.  (The Republican candidates were all bought and paid for decades ago, and their handlers are unlikely to attack Sanders in this way, because in their bubble chamber Sanders can’t win—he has no billionaires backing him, and everyone in their world knows that anyone who isn’t a billionaire is a loser—just ask Trump.)

I understand that the Clinton campaign is starting to attack Sanders, which I think is a strategic error.  Part of what has been making the Democrats electable is that they have been behaving like adults, rather than petulant toddlers like the Republican candidates. In fact, I think that a lot of Democrats have been secretly hoping for Sanders/Clinton double-bill, with the primary mostly about who gets top billing. I know it goes against the grain of American politics to have a competent person as a vice presidential candidate—but it would be nice to have two competent people, either of whom would make a good president, working together as President and Vice President.  If the Clinton and Sanders campaigns start throwing mud or engaging in dirty tricks, then it will be nearly impossible to put together such a winning ticket.

Personally, I’m rooting for Bernie, as is most of the town I live in (Santa Cruz has been described as The Leftmost City), as I am tired of center-right politicians like Obama and Clinton being described as leftists or socialists.  Why does the media allow the wingnuts on the far right to redefine the “center” far to the right of where the center really is?

We need to get more progressive politicians at the state and national level, to undo the  damage that has been done by the concentration of wealth and privilege in the hands of a very small group of greedy men.  Bernie Sanders is one of the few progressives who has survived Washington with his honor mostly intact.  (Barbara Boxer is another, but she seems to be withdrawing from electoral politics and has rather tepidly endorsed Clinton, as a show of support for female politicians.)

 

2012 October 27

Antiscience beliefs

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 18:04
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Scientific American has recently published an article by, Antiscience Beliefs Jeopardize U.S. Democracy.  The article provides some historical context for anti-science politics in the US, but is mainly an opinion piece about the dangers of the growth of anti-science positions in mainstream US politics.  It is an article well worth reading if you worry about the future of the US (and the world).

The article also points to an evaluation of the two presidential candidates on several key science-policy questions.  Neither candidate did particularly well, but there were some clear differences between them.  If there are any scientists still undecided about which candidate to support, the article is worth reading.

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