Jesus and Mary in the burning bush

In this picture, I am the sheep.

In this picture, I am the sheep.

“Why are Mary and Jesus in the burning bush?” asks one sheep. “What does all that mean? What’s happening?” “Dunno,” says the other sheep. “Don’t worry about it. We’re just sheep.”

You can read more about it at:

Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (a holiday in some countries.) As far as I know, that has nothing to do with this icon.

French people

It seems they are not all alike.

“Zombie Catholics share certain symptoms: Not only do they hail from regions where resistance was greatest to the French Revolution, but they also have taken advantage of the benefits that flowed from that seismic event. Highly educated and meritocratic, they also privilege a traditional ordering of professional and domestic duties between husbands and wives; strong attachment to social, community, and family activities; and a general wariness over the role of the state in private and community affairs, including “free schools” (Catholic private schools). — France’s Zombie Catholics Have Risen – and They’re Voting

The SFMTA hacker got hacked himself

A security researcher was able to guess the answer to the secret question on the hacker’s email account, and reset the hacker’s password. Bian Krebs observes,

Finally, as I hope this story shows, truthfully answering secret questions is a surefire way to get your online account hacked. Personally, I try to avoid using vital services that allow someone to reset my password if they can guess the answers to my secret questions. But in some cases — as with United Airlines’s atrocious new password system — answering secret questions is unavoidable. In cases where I’m allowed to type in the answer, I always choose a gibberish or completely unrelated answer that only I will know and that cannot be unearthed using social media or random guessing.

Fake news

The reason why Allied deception operations were so effective against Hitler was because Goebbels had reduced German reporting to a lie machine, thereby destroying its credibility. Allied news, even Allied deception was more believable by comparison. — Fake News, by Richard Fernandez

UPDATE 29 November 2016: Another reason might have involved the water-cooled vacuum tubes.

The alt right

Here’s Doc Rampage on how alt-right-wingers are different from conservatives.

In game theory there’s the idea of a “dominant strategy” – everyone who doesn’t adopt it looses to it, until at last the only players left are those who use that strategy. The dominating strategy becomes universal. The strategies of the far left have worked so well that they’ve been adopted by some political opponents of the left. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, they say.

Only two years until the midterms

Republicans win

So, Donald Trump won. Maybe more significantly, the Republicans won big at all levels; they have the House and Senate as well as the Presidency, and very many state and local offices. One might note they don’t have a filibuster-proof two thirds of the Senate, but they do have Harry Reid’s “nuclear option.”

This will be the time to see what the Republican platform really is – not what they tell the “base” in campaign season, but what they actually do when they can do about anything they want. So we’ll see. It’s safest to regard the next four years as a breathing space – a delay in the slide left and down.

Losers riot

The debate moderator asked the wrong man if he would accept the results of the election. Now that Trump has won, dissent is again the highest form of patriotism. Maybe so, but if a man won’t speak English, burns the American flag, and insists that Trump is not his president, it sounds like he’s stumbled into the wrong nation by mistake. We should reach out to him, and help him get back home.

Reporters sad

The network news and the major papers simply are not reliable sources of information. Readers of Dilbert ended up with a better sense of the political situation. I thought it would be close, but that vote fraud would give Clinton enough of an advantage. “Trump Did Better With Blacks, Hispanics Than Romney” – says NBC News, so it may or may not be so, but nicely illustrates the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect.