Laugh line from Apple 7 announcement: Courage

Last Apple event the laugh line was when the new stylus for the iPad pro was going to be called “Apple Pencil”. This year, the eyerolling lol moment was when the removal of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 was due to Apples “courage”. Specifically, Phil Schiller said “It comes down to one word… Courage. The courage to move on and do something better for all of us.”

The phrasing of the statement was goofy but the sentiment is not incorrect: It *does* take courage to eliminate a standard in technology and be the one company pushing forward a new format. It could be a disaster. It’s hard to lead and leading, yes, takes courage. The memes teasing Apple imply that unless you’re risking your life, there is no such thing as being courageous – which would be a re-defining of the word away from its standard understanding to mean “that which may be difficult or risky but is done anyway”. Sorry Internet, but that applies to this decision.

Here is Jobs commenting on progress and getting rid of old technology (in 2007 commenting on the iPhone not supporting flash): “Sometimes you just have to pick the things that look like they’re gonna be the right horses going forward”. If it isn’t something that is part of making a great product “we’re gonna leave it out” and “instead focus on *these* technologies”.

Why Gretchen Carlson is probably going to hell

Former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson settled a sexual harassment lawsuit with the network for $20 Million over a single comment she decided she didn’t like and a nebulous tone with her morning show co-host she found to be displeasing to her. The lawsuit cost the networks founder and Chief Executive Officer Roger Ailes, the accused party by Carlsons lawsuit, to have to resign from his position and the company.

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Gretchen Carlson seems like a nice Christian woman so it is my hope that there is more to this story that for some reason her and her lawyers decided to keep secret from their public filings because otherwise she is a horrible human being that almost surely is going to hell. Whatever anyone thinks of Fox News or of Roger Ailes and regardless of whether he is a nice guy or a jerk (I have no idea so I have no non-profession-related opinion on him), his deposition from the network he built over Carlsons stated accusation is a reprehensible mortal sin and extreme miscarriage of social justice.

When I first heard of the lawsuit I erroneously assumed that Carlson was alleging something that actually happened… Nope… The lawsuit makes no claim of Carlson being touched, sexually propositioned, or harassed in any way whatsoever. This made it odd that she received $20 Million in a settlement of a “sexual harassment” lawsuit when no harassment, sexual or otherwise, was even alleged. Instead, the allegation in the lawsuit that falsely masquerade as being of “sexual harassment” (bringing shame to her and her lawyers for cheapening the serious charge and term) is just one big conspiracy theory based on one alleged inappropriate comment her boss Roger Ailes allegedly made, one alleged time, 9 months before her contract wasn’t renewed at Fox…

The single comment in question was Ailes allegedly saying to her “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better.” That’s it. and that ain’t harassment. That comment might be rude, it’s almost surely not wise, and it might even be wildly inappropriate – but it ain’t “harassment”, it isn’t a demand or threat, and it for damn sure isn’t worth $2 let alone $20 million. To think otherwise, you have to believe that that sentence is so damaging to ones ears and psychological stability that they would pay 20 million dollars in order to not have it said towards them. Since no one anywhere, ever would ever think that – Carlsons pay day becomes not a vindication of an abused woman who wouldn’t take crap from a lecherous corporate jerk abusing his power but rather a scam that ruined someones livelihood for the personal gain and obscene enrichment of an individual who wasn’t harmed and suffered no damages to justify such a payout. Don’t Christians believe that to be a sin?…

Of course, Carlson didn’t bring the lawsuit over that one sentence alone – she claimed the lawsuit was justified because her contract with Fox News Channel was not renewed this past June and she says that lack of renewal was because of Aile’s comment and the implications she drew from it (evidently only 9 months later and not at the time) that she was fired. She doesn’t specify exactly what implication she drew from the alleged comment but presumably she interpreted “we should have had a sexual relationship years ago” to mean “if you don’t have sex with me, I will fire you in 9 months if your ratings do poorly”. Or maybe “even if your ratings AREN’T a huge disappointment to the network”?. Idk. But a good way to avoid the gray area in this situation would have been for Ailes to have not made the comment and for Carlson to have been a better on-air Talent because then the contract renewal wouldn’t have poor ratings or a verbalized sentiment that “we should have boned back in the day” as the culprit.

Unfortunately for Carlsons eternal soul, the evidence supports the Roger Ailes side and depicts her to be a vindictive greedy lying liar. Ailes claims that she was let go because her “disappointingly low ratings were dragging down the afternoon lineup” and that the lawsuit was just petty retaliation for FNC not taking on her drag. Carlson claims that her ratings were great and the real reason she was fired was in retaliation for rebuffing her boss’ sexual advances.

Okay then… lets examine those claims…

RATINGS
Carlsons lawsuit claims that she was fired from FNC despite her show doing well in the ratings in contrast to Ailes saying that her ratings were “disappointing”. The reality? Her ratings were in fact disappointing. Her show, The Real Story, didn’t completely flop by every standard – just by the standards of the network she was employed by – i.e. – her shows performance disappointing. My personal take on it was that it was one of the weakest most dull pieces of programming that Fox News had to offer, but my opinion doesn’t matter – the collective’s does. Well, SURPRISE – the collective agreed with me: Gretchen Carlsons show trailed nearly all of Fox News Channels other programming. Carlson tried to spin this as a good thing because the time slot improved over last year, but so did all of cable news because it is an election year. Also don’t forget the part where regardless of the time slot improving along with the rest of the network and the rest of all cable news – her show remained one of the least watched shows on the whole network… Fox is held to a higher standard with its #1 position in the cable wars and it shouldn’t be a surprise when the weakest link is excised from the chain. Further, Carlson didn’t just lose to her above-average performers at her own network, but she actually lost to the competition. “CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin” beat “The Real Story” by 2% in the eminently important 25 to 54-year-old demographic in June (the month Carlson was not renewed).

SEXUAL HARASSMENT
As stated above, Gretchen Carlson filed her lawsuit over losing a show that was one of the worst rated on her network and lost to the competition in the key financial demo due to a conspiracy theory and unspecified tone of not being appreciated (she claims, because she is a woman). Her entire case against Ailes was the “we should have had a sexual relationship years ago” line that she found so wildly distasteful and offensive that she… continued working for him, thanked him in her book for all he’s done for her, and wrote him hand written notes with smiley faces thanking him for his support and asking to be put on the air in prime time more – which Ailes granted her, presumably without any sexual requirements.

Gretchen Carlson further alleges that her co-host Steve Doocy wasn’t nice to her, or something. In what sounds like an entitled 7th graders attempt to get a teacher to reprimand a boy she doesn’t think is giving her the attention she deserves, Carlson alleges her Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy of “attempting to put her in her place by refusing to accept and treat her as an intelligent and insightful female journalist rather than a blond female prop.” Notice there is no actual allegation – just nebulous whining with no example to support the claim whatsoever. Not even a single quote of Steve Doocy ever saying anything that would even hint at anything resembling the sentiment she alleges (“blonde female prop” are her and her lawyers words, not anything Doocy is alleged to have ever said. Sounds like a personal self-worth issue to me). Just a completely irresponsible unsupported smear.

If Carlson really thought that Roger Ailes was demanding that she have sex with him to keep her job, why did she stay at that job? If Carlson thought that her cohost Steve Doocy didn’t respect her then why didn’t she ever bring it up with him? and if she thought that she was being treated in a sexist fashion towards Doocy off-air, why did she think it was okay to treat him in a sexist fashion ON-air, including the time she made small-penis and erectile dysfunction jokes about him in a segment on Fox & Friends in where she surprise gifted him “Turkish Viagra”?

CONCLUSION (HOW SHE GOT AWAY WITH IT)
Given the evidence, and lack thereof of anything being alleged, you might be asking “how the hell did this phony get away with a $20 million settlement and why did Roger Ailes have to leave his position at the network in seeming disgrace?”…

Because of the bad press and damage to the company. I’ll once again note the possibility that an internal investigation found something improper that Carlson didn’t even allege in her legal filings and by pure coincidence Ailes got caught Al Capone style in this mess and deserved the outsting – but from the available public evidence, it merely looks like Gretchen Carlson complained publicly and loudly (and legally) about things entirely un-complaint-worthy (as evidenced by her own action at the time and afterward) and put the company in a situation where they had to either suffer millions of dollars worth of bad publicity in an election year when everything else is otherwise going great only to spend tens of millions in a legal battle that some idiot judge might actually award against them anyway – OR – usher Ailes out and pay off Carlson $20million for no reason other than she blackmailed the company for it. Remember: she alleges no harassment, no physical contact, no improper solicitation, and no evidence to support unjustified non-renewal of her crappy show on the network. Her accusations amount entirely to (paraphrasing) “Roger Ailes [whom I had a great relationship with, was friendly with, wrote hand written smiley notes to, and publicly thanked for giving me great opportunities] said a crass remark one time and then 9 months later when my show lost to the competing one on CNN in the ratings and did so poorly that it drug down the rest of the shows around me, my contract wasn’t renewed. Also, another on-air talent, Steve Doocey, didn’t appear to respect me very much. Give me $20 million dollars because I’m a victim now”.

People, me included, typically think that if a settlement like that takes place and the person in question resigned from their position, they must have been wildly guilty – and i’m shamed to even add the caveat (unsupported by any current evidence available) that that may be exactly the case for all I know – because “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”.

Know where there’s also allegedly a lot of fire? In hell, where vindictive liars who make tens of millions of dollars off of fabricating grievances to assassinate peoples characters and end their careers in revenge for their own professional failures.

Video: Mean parents won’t let adorable child keep a dead fish as a toy

As ridiculously cute as this viral video is, it kindov hurts my feelings to watch.
This kid went fishing and is so fascinated by one of the fish that he wants to keep it as a toy. That part is hilarious, but I found it heartbreaking to watch him unravel as he sees himself losing the appeal and not understanding why.

Obviously this had to be milked for at least a little while by the adults for the comedy gold, and I totally support that, but I wish they would have then explained a better reason for the “no” verdict on why he can’t put the dead fish in his toy box and keep it as a toy. My fantasy version of this is that after the camera was turned off, he got a full scientific explanation of the decomposition of organic matter to make him understand that the cool thing he’s holding now will not stay that way, making him accept through realization that he’s not being arbitrarily denied a reasonable request but rather that his intentions are simply unfeasible.

No offense but your gun control arguments are kindov dumb

Cultural trends have made it an American tradition to freak out over gun laws as the culprit for the blood spilt after there is a mass murder with a gun (while mass murders using other more legally obtained objects like box cutters on 9/11 don’t share a similar discrimination after the event) and the Orlando gay club massacre was no different.

Obviously this is dopey, since murder is the bad part of the situation – not the thing a murderer uses to murder. So why is it so not obvious to so many? Emotional confirmation bias, mostly, is my guess. Because when you actually examine the prudence of what gun laws in America are vs the claims of what they should be, you don’t come up with a lot of murder prevention but you do come up with a lot of “protecting against getting murdered” prevention. The truth is that the so called loopholes in gun laws aren’t aiding any kind of pattern of gun abuse, and of course the blaring fact that America is awash with guns and crime is at a record low. So what’s the deal, yo?

Even though I don’t like guns and kindov want them all illegal, I don’t see the prudence in restricting them to the mass public when there are so many in the free flowing market to those with murderous intent. If you think laws are the answer to gun murders, why don’t you just make murder illegal, you dumb hippies? What makes people think that pre-meditated murder can be curtailed by laws offering punishment on the use or access of special kinds of weapons used to murder is beyond me – but more importantly – it’s beyond the people who think that as well, evidently. I know because I ask these people all the time and the lack of having thought about the fact that there is already a life sentence or lifetime imprisonment penalty in place on pre-meditated murder is always the most glaring take-away from the exchange.

As much as I don’t love being on the so called “gun nut” side of the issue, it seems fairly clear that more gun control measures than not are shady attempts at 2nd amendment suppression than they are stopping crazy people from getting deadly weapons in service to the public safety and I’m more interested in solving problems (see: preventing murder) than I am feeding my emotional distaste for weapons that easily (with the squeeze of a finger) take precious human life.

But these arguments that keep popping up all over the popular punditry and social media in the wake of a mass shooting are so non-persuasive that I get disappointed at those persuaded by them.

For instance, the idea that “semi-automatic”(“fully automatic” –aka- machine guns aren’t legal for civilian use) guns shouldn’t be legal. What? People should have to reload their weapon after every shot? So if you have multiple attackers you just have to call a time-out in between reloads? And I’m tired of hearing the canard about the 2nd amendment being made for (and thus only applies to) single firing muskets… Ignoring the history that that’s not even accurate since there were “multiple shot without having to reload in between every firing” firearms – or what we now call “semi-automatic” in existence at the time of the 2nd amendments drafting – the logic just doesn’t hold up to level-one scrutiny.

The right to protect yourself with projectile weaponry (that doesn’t require you to be physically strong, agile, or studied in martial arts or swordplay) is not changed by modernization any more than the right to speak freely without obstruction or persecution from the government is changed by modern methods of broadcasting and distribution. You dummies who think you’re so clever saying the 2nd amendment only applies to muskets that need to be reloaded after every firing are accidentally arguing for the First amendment to apply only to paper distribution of words and real-time vocalized speech (making it extra ironic when people make the “2nd amendment was for muskets” argument on digital distribution platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube – which I’m more than 90% sure wasn’t in circulation around the time the first amendment was drafted).

Usually the fall-back argument for this and every other Government led freedom restriction goes back to saying “you don’t need it though” as the crux of the argument justifying taking something away. It’s basically the essence of Leftism in one sentence, really: “I will decide what you need and then use the force of government [backed by guns] to make sure you don’t get more than what I have decided you need”.

A less totalitarian, less civil-liberty encroaching argument would be a focus on “if you are X, Y, Z [criminally ineligible to access firearms] then you cant have a gun” rather than the argument of “*you don’t need* [a gun that I think looks scary]”.

Why isn’t all of this obvious? The scary part is that I think it is but its just that emotional issues let individuals emotions redirect from the obvious.

I find that a lot more terrifying than non-restrictive gun laws.

I endorsed destroying everything that made America great today

“I voted for Bernie Sanders today” was not something I expected to ever be guilty of saying but I desperately wanted that “I voted” sticker and the polling place had free donuts (I’m only human, after all).

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If you’re excited at my ideological conversion from Liberal to Leftist-Marxist (i.e: away from thinking “individual liberty” is a superior value to “equality of outcome”), then don’t be.

Democratic Socialism remains such a bad idea that people regularly flee from, not to it (a subject a little too Real for the Bernie buddies), but Bernie was the only choice in the race since Trump is a waste and Hillary is horrible + horrible policies, meaning I throw in with the guy who has a savvier campaign and isn’t horrible (for a Politician) but has horrible (really horrible, illogical, not even half as good as claimed, vapid) policies.

While math will ultimately be the force that crushes the Sanders campaign today – Let it be known that the Bern was felt in 2016 across Richardland.

Asus announces terrible house robot

This might be the worst futurist thing I’ve ever seen. I like the idea, but…wtf does it DO? This seems to me to be no more of a step-up from late 1980s “robots” that did nothing but walk and perform one rube-golberg-ish task yet were marketed as being virtually autonomous living friends.

Now comes the JIBO… For $600 ($599), you get a rolling updated version of the iMac from 2001 (an iPad at the end of a Pixar lamp on wheels).

Am I missing something awesome here? Watch this terrible 8 hour video promoting it and tell me i’m wrong:

Why you probably shouldn’t crowdsource the naming of something

Alternate headline: Why you definitely should…

If you’re open to having the public potentially knee you in the groin over it, then fine, but if it’s something you actually care about, a public vote may not be the best idea.

“A British government agency” (vague and ominous, because “Natural Environment Research Council” sounds too boring), decided to let the prestigious Internet suggest a name for a $300 million polar research ship and, God bless this beautiful planet – the winning name was Boaty McBoatface.

In 2014 Mountain Dew asked the internet to name a new flavor via a “Dub The Dew” campaign and the leading candidate was “Hitler did nothing wrong”. Others in the top 10 included “Moist Nugget”, “Diabeetus” and 4 different spellings of the phrase “Gushing Granny”.

Now, an Austin Texas elementary school, caving to pressure to change its name from Robert E. Lee Elementary falls into the same trap. Among the glorious suggestions? Schoolie McSchoolface.

Unfortunately though, unlike Boatie – the board members of the school districts governing body will have the last say, so it will probably be named something stupid.

UPDATE: The new name is Pacific View Leadership Elementary School.