Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Persistent Existence of Lunatics

A group of Georgia lawmakers got a briefing on the details of Obama's secret mind-control plot.

President Obama is using a Cold War-era mind-control technique known as "Delphi" to coerce Americans into accepting his plan for a United Nations-run communist dictatorship in which suburbanites will be forcibly relocated to cities. That's according to a four-hour briefing delivered to Republican state senators at the Georgia state Capitol last month.

I don't think there's much to be done about stuff like this other than laugh. There will always be a fringe group of people who hold out crazy notions (see also Birthers, Truthers, Grassy Knollers, etc.) The problem in the 21st-century is that the internet gives them an easy way to reach out to each other and connect, thereby reinforcing their foolishness.

About the only thing that can be done is to know the facts and be prepared to speak to them when those close to you start espousing nonsense. These people aren't going to be persuaded by the truth by anything they see on TV or read in a book. The only possibility is when it comes from someone they know and trust. Not that it's a guarantee, but it's a lot more likely than from someone else.

Also, for your own mental health: laugh. Because, really, this stuff is damn funny.

That Sparkly Vampire Movie

Tomorrow I am being dragged along to that movie about sparkly vampires, the dudes with tight abs that don't like them, and the wilting flower caught between them. The things we guys do for women. I probably won't be permitted to offer running sarcastic commentary, either. Damn.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

News in the Online Age

Some time back, the local paper here, the Billings Gazette, decided that it was going to start limiting online access to its website to people who were not subscribers to the paper. It's not the first paper to do this; the New York Times announced a similar plan earlier this year. Naturally there are typically ways around these firewalls. I understand that this is a turbulent time for newspapers, but this seems exactly the wrong way to deal with the problem. As a result of the Gazette's actions, I am not purchasing a digital or hardcopy subscription. I am just getting my local news elsewhere. With no disrespect to the people that work there, the Gazette just isn't that good of a paper. It does a perfectly serviceable job, but it's just not good enough to part from me $69.50 for a one-year digital subscription.

Again, I understand that it's hard out there for old-school journalism, but this is not the way to save it. The Gazette is no doubt counting on the fact that it is the only daily newspaper in the area right now. But counting on that is no way to ensure a successful future. They need to get a lot more creative than just limiting online access to meet this challenge.