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how to influence friends and win people

I rarely comment about politics, and rarely regret not posting, but this is one of those times I thought about saying something earlier and didn’t, and now I regret it. This should have been said months ago, but there will be more elections to come, so better late than never. It’s about talking to people, but don’t worry, it has nothing to do with respect.

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Posted 2016-11-14 01:38:18 by tedu Updated: 2016-11-14 01:38:18
Tagged: politics thoughts

who hacked madam?

The second season of Madam Secretary devotes several episodes to the hacking of the flight controls on Air Force One and the ensuing cyberwar. It’s fiction because nobody in real life is hot as Téa Leoni. Therefore it is totally unrelated to current events.

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Posted 2016-07-30 01:08:57 by tedu Updated: 2016-07-30 01:08:57
Tagged: moviereview politics


Strolling through the book store, among the new titles on display in the politics section was Ratfucked by David Daley. What could this be about? The subtitle, The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy, conjured up images of telepathic lizard men so I passed it by. A little while later, though, I saw the New Yorker’s review and summary which sounds a lot better. It describes a plan to target particular districts in local elections, win control of the state, then aggressively gerrymander the map to ensure future victories as well. Of particular interest, the summary focused on some local Pennsylvania elections and the damned Arlen Specter library. Sounds great, this is worth a read. In fact, the cover image subtitle for the Kindle version, How the Democrats Won the Presidency But Lost America, is much more accurate and less sensational. (The book title is actually stylized Ratf**ked because the author is a pussy.)

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Posted 2016-07-12 13:41:55 by tedu Updated: 2016-11-09 00:32:02
Tagged: bookreview politics thoughts

best of seven elections

Here’s a proposal for a new voting system that solves the problems of day after regret and “I didn’t think it mattered” common to current voting systems. Over the course of seven days, seven independent elections are held, each with the same ballots. The results of each election are calculated separately, and the ultimate winner is the best of seven, or four. As an added wrinkle, each voter will be restricted to voting three times, although they may choose any three of the seven to participate in.

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Posted 2016-06-25 21:05:59 by tedu Updated: 2016-06-25 21:20:26
Tagged: politics rants

videre vincere est

Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker is underway. The basic facts, that Gawker published excerpts from a video showing Hogan having sex with a wife that was not his own, are not in dispute. Hogan alleges that publication of the video of his intimate affair is a violation of privacy. Alas for Hogan, he can’t make a copyright claim because the video was recorded by the home security camera of the cuckolded husband, Bubba the Love Sponge.

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Posted 2016-03-08 03:29:17 by tedu Updated: 2016-03-29 18:40:05
Tagged: politics


Time and Esquire both went full Trump this week, with cover titles of “How Trump Won” and “Hater in Chief”, respectively. Not to mention very similar red, white, and gray color themes.

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Posted 2016-01-20 22:51:32 by tedu Updated: 2016-01-20 22:51:32
Tagged: magreview politics

the popepocalypse is nigh

The Pope is coming. And so, unlike the earthquake and two hurricanes Philadelphia has recently weathered, everything must be shut down. And what’s not shut down must be locked down.

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Posted 2015-09-23 15:12:42 by tedu Updated: 2015-09-23 15:12:42
Tagged: philly politics

health insurance nightmare

I used to have health insurance. I suppose I was pretty happy with it, although I didn’t think too much about it. It was, in the truest sense, insurance. I paid about $100 per month in exchange for coverage against unforeseen disasters (cancer, dismemberment, ebola, etc.). The premium was pretty low because it didn’t cover must of the day to day things; my doctor’s office copay was also about $100. Apparently somebody in the government decided my plan was unethical or unaffordable or subbronze or something, because it’s been cancelled.

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Posted 2015-01-16 04:53:39 by tedu Updated: 2015-01-16 04:53:39
Tagged: politics

Alpha House

As more or less direct competition for Netflix’s House of Cards, Amazon has Alpha House. It’s a comedy, but still manages to capture a lot of what’s wrong with modern politicking. Gary Trudeau’s involvement helps. It may even be a more accurate portrayal in some ways, because it’s not laser focused on power and corruption. The light hearted approach leaves room for some less diabolical absurdity.

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Posted 2014-11-26 03:23:12 by tedu Updated: 2014-11-26 03:23:12
Tagged: moviereview politics

least worst golden key

The Washington Post seems to have kicked a crypto hornets nest recently, with their suggestion that Apple (and other phone manufacturers, though I’ll stick with Apple as an example) should include a golden escrow key to allow law enforcement to decrypt suspects’ phones. This provoked the expected reaction from everybody who gets it that escrow is a terrible idea. Fair enough. But what’s the least worst escrow system we can devise?

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Posted 2014-10-11 16:11:48 by tedu Updated: 2014-10-11 16:11:48
Tagged: politics security thoughts

opting in to airport scanners

For the past few years, I’d been opting out of the new airport scanners. Initially I had several reasons for this decision, but over time things changed, and after some reflection I realized the most compelling rationale I now had each time I opted out was “I opted out last time.”

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Posted 2014-10-07 23:43:45 by tedu Updated: 2014-10-07 23:43:45
Tagged: politics rants

your data

A few thoughts reflecting on Sen. Wyden’s not quite proposal. As noted on HN there’s some question of exactly what your data is. Is it information you created (or otherwise control) or is it information about you? Is it an email you composed by typing on a keyboard or is it a log entry created by an autonomous system of whose existence you are unaware? The thornier issues of what the government can or cannot do are best deferred until this basic question is answered.

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Posted 2014-08-18 21:23:05 by tedu Updated: 2014-08-18 21:23:05
Tagged: politics software thoughts

the wrong way to beg for money

Because it’s summer and therefore nice and warm (or terribly, impossibly warm) out, I go outside and walk around the city. Because it’s a city, that means people ask me for money. Sometimes it’s grizzled old men sitting on a stoop. Sometimes it’s chipper young people who jump in front of me. Guess which group this post is about.

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Posted 2014-06-20 19:34:46 by tedu Updated: 2014-06-20 19:34:46
Tagged: business philly politics rants

catastrophic weather movie alert

Went to a movie this afternoon because it was raining. Because it was raining, the government issued a puddles of unusual depth alert, causing everybody’s phone to blow up mid movie, within the space of a few minutes. The weather catastrophe alert tone could have been a credible sound effect, coupled with some great positional surround sound, but all the lit up screens gave the trick away. Then it kept happening as the less important people were notified and started interrupting the movie. There’s always a few idiots who can’t turn their phone off, but the number of alerts received made it seem likely the alerts can override vibrate or even silent settings.

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Posted 2014-06-10 23:08:33 by tedu Updated: 2014-08-08 19:21:34
Tagged: gadget philly politics rant

please do not poke the bears

“Instead, he seems to have seized an opportunity to poke a giant bear with a stick. The bear then ate him and his users.” - tptacek

Posted 2014-04-17 04:59:25 by tedu Updated: 2014-10-03 18:29:00
Tagged: politics quote