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A bunch of startups didn't have money to create usable facilities, and they were often hiring students who didn't know better (about what private space was) and worked out of coffee shops, so they created "Open Offices".

Planners who failed at life decided that if Google/Facebook/etc. succeeded in spite of a horrendously distracted working environment, then everyone should suffer -- and Corporate America (especially Tech) started shifting to Open Office Floorplans; to the annoyance of tech workers everywhere. This was sold as "more collaborative", but there's no worker with a triple digit IQ that actually buys that, and there have been multiple studies that bear out the skepticism: workers get more quiet to keep from disturbing others (and hide away in meeting rooms or with headphones to create faux privacy). But the one-size-fits-all is attractive to the small-of-mind, paired up with the financial folks that could increase population density, without fixing facilities for parking, loading/unloading or eating. And the results have been productivity killing, increased employee friction, increased illness/sick-time, less face-to-face interaction, and more start working from home or as remote as can get away with. This will go down as proof that companies that ignore management fads operate much better than those that follow them.
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There's this common myth that Air Rifles ("BB Guns" or "Pellet Guns") are toys, however, while they don't have quite the velocity of our top of the line modern rifles, they easily exceed black powder rifles that brought down buffalo and won the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. People hunt Buffalo and Elk with them, and they have no problem going through humans. Fortunately, since the gun-ignorant don't understand their threat, they aren't highly regulated (one last bastion of liberty, for now), and mass shootings and crimes are usually committed with gunpowder-based weapons. Which makes them especially popular in countries/place with hoplophobia.
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Anyone that says any variant of "Just ban assault rifles", "no one should own military grade weapons", or "it's not all guns, just these killing machines" shows they are completely ignorant about assault rifles, or bans. This article breaks down why you can't ban "Assault Rifles", and why it would be moronic to try.

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I work with both Google and Apple, and so I get to use both their hardware -- and I'm an opinionated agnostic: I just want things that work well (for me). So the other day I got a Pixelbook on an incredible discount, which Google had someone deliver to my house (same day, with 30 minutes of setup help): an incredible customer experience. As a long time techie, I'm a bit of a power user, and while I've only had the Pixelbook for a little while (iOS for 10 years), my quick assessment is the Pixelbook is better than an iPad but worse than a MacBook, with a ton of caveats. The iPad rules in App selection, single app workflows, as well as consistency with iOS and integration with Apple's other devices and ecosystem. Since I have an iPhone and MacBook Pro, I'll still use the iPad more often. But as soon as you want to work in multi-app workflows, use the keyboard/trackpad, browse or use it as a laptop replacement, the Pixelbook dominates. But if you really want to get work done -- then my MacBook Pro is still my go to device.
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While there's no single cause for more/bigger/fires, there are many cumulative ones -- and virtually all of them made California worse through Greens/Democrat/Left's policies. California politicians and greens told common sense to fuck off: they decided to do a few things in the name of "environmentalism". Rational people warned them that their policies would result in bigger wildfires. Now that they have those exact consequences, instead of owning their mistakes and learning, they want to blame Global Warming, Trump for insensitively repeating what their own reports said, or they make excuses like "we don't technically own all the land we manage/regulate". But if warming is the new normal, then why do they spend 10x as much on electric car subsidies, or 100x as much on trains as clearing dead trees and managing the forest? And if ownership matters more than regulations, why do they regulate against harvesting trees in the first placer? It's one thing to be foolish, it's another thing to do it with a megaphone.
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Story of 25 years together, my wife and I. Photos, trips and stories. (This is about how long we've been together, not just married).
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There's these different meme's about perspective -- and some are true, some aren't (or are true to only a point). Yes, what angle you look at an issue, can alter what you see. But that doesn't always make it right. In the image, one sees it as a circle, the other sees it as a rectangle, and since neither are seeing the bigger picture, they mess that it is a cylinder. So many will take away the message that both are correct from their view. But both aren't correct -- both are incomplete and wrong -- the truth is bigger than either of their views. Often there needs to be room for more than one perspective, but ultimately, on many issues there's also a right and wrong.
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The progressive left has fostered disinformation and sensationalized problems with evil freedom/capitalism for so long, and regurgitated it through the media/educational institutions, so much, that their kids are buying the bullshit. Thus, they keep moving further and further into loonie left land. And none exemplify that better than Alaxandria Ocasio-Cortez, a limousine socialist that won the NY Primary against Joseph Crowley: a 10 term establishment guy. While Crowley was far left Representative, he wasn't far left enough for the DNC's new generation, and so Cortez beat him out, a goes to the general, where she's a likely shoe-in, with her party platform being no less than abolishing profits, "abolishment of capitalism", abolishing prisons, and abolishing borders.

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Trump did an interview with Axios where he said he can end Birthright Citizenship (an imagined right) by executive order. This drove the far-left nuts (not a long trip), just like they happens when he says anything. They claimed in unison:
  1. this was unconstitutional and he was violating the constitution -- that's 100% wrong, at worst, it's debatable. But evidence supports his side (which they omit).
  2. they claimed that Presidents should have constraints against their executive orders -- something they were silent on for the 8 years while Obama was doing far worse
  3. they claim all sort of imaginary injustices if this is ruled this way -- most are hand-waiving distractions to what was the original intent of the authors.

If we're at all honest (they aren't), they would admit it all revolves around original intent of the 14th Amendment, and what it meant by "Jurisdiction", but the Chief Sponsor of the 14th Amendment (Jacob Howard) put the clause so that (to quote him), [The 14th amendment] will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the government of the United States. Who are you going to believe, the Sponsor of the 14th Amendment, or the FakeNews outlets like NYT, CNN, and so on?

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The Blue Wave falls far short. Election results are coming in, and what did we learn? (Knowing that you probably shouldn't over-read too much into any one election). Well that the Democrats, Media and #Resist movement, didn't get what they wanted and promised. Trump held up far, far better than Obama or Clinton did in their first mid-terms: especially with those he supported or supported him. Obama and Hollywoods efforts were self defeating with high losses and few gains. And this despite being what should have been a much weaker election for Republicans because they were a divided and somewhat ineffectual house for the last 2 years (with #nevertrump'ers diluting and dividing things, unlike the Democrats historical lock-step goose stepping). So while we end up with some serious losses for civility and intelligence with Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, and their ilk making noise and playing the foils as evil rulers in the house -- this actually gives Trump someone to legitimately point fingers at that isn't FakeRepublicans/Conservatives in his own party.

Recent Reviews

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Gosnell is the Citizen Cane of our generation. Not that I think it was the best movie ever made (but then I don't think that of Citizen Cane either), nor just because one of the lead actors in the movie is Dean Cain. But that the forces of collectivism and certain powerful personalities tried to suppress it being made, and it told an important story about that suppression. As it stays truer to the facts, and is almost a reenactment documentary, it's even better than Citizen Cane.

As the director (Nick Searcy) said, "There are three aspects to this story that are fascinating. What happened; why it was allowed to happen; and why no one wanted to talk about it after it happened." So no matter what side the Abortion issue you come down on, and whether you support Roe v. Wade or not (I'm pro-choice myself), this was a fascinating story on how much the "abortion at any cost" crowd allowed, in the name of their agenda. Since I value truth more than a political agenda, I found it very worthwhile, I suspect many that put their agenda above bad behavior will hate the movie.

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The Mule is a LATE 2018 American crime film (that I saw in early 2019), produced, directed and lead acted by Clint Eastwood. The move is based on The New York Times article "The Sinaloa Cartel's 90-Year-Old Drug Mule": a true story an octaganarian World War II veteran who became a drug courier. Clint does a good job of sort of the early Breaking Bad type amoral anti-hero, someone you kind of want to sympathize with, and sort of like, but is a bit of a self-centered dick, with a lot of regrets in life.

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Islam: A Short History is a 2000 book by the British writer Karen Armstrong, a former Roman Catholic nun and author of popular books about the history of religion. Her book tries to offer context and corrections about the negative stereotypes: extreme faith that promotes authoritarian government, female oppression, civil war, and terrorism. While some of that reputation is earned, it's not always for the reasons people think.
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Kevin Leffler did a documentary on Michael Moore. The original movie (back in 2007 or 2009) was called "Shooting Michael Moore", an edgy title that played on him video shooting others. This somehow got repackaged in 2018 as an Amazon Original, "The Un American"... I think a little moore material was added (pun intended) -- the Internet was semi-scrubbed of the original release, so I'm not sure how much of the original project got trimmed and how much was added. But the latest cut is interesting and worthy of watching.
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Bosch is an Amazon Original TV Series (started in 2014), that's one of the best crime-drama shows of the last few years. My wife and I binged watched 4 seasons in about as many weeks. Basically, it's very old school, and predictable in some ways: tough guy Harry is ex special forces, the veteran detective, who sometimes bends/breaks the rules... but over time, you learn that he's fairly ethical outside of a few shortcuts, and is trying to right the wrongs of the world, because he was brought up as an orphan, after his prostitute mom was murdered, and he was stuck in the system.

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Searching is a 2018 American thriller film that came from the Sundance Film Festival (Jan 2018), and went into limited release (like only 9 theaters?) recently, and will be one of the most memorable movies of the year for me. As a thriller it's pretty good (not great) story about a father (John Cho / Harold of Harold and Kumar), trying to find his missing teenage daughter, with the help of a police detective (Debra Messing). What makes it fresh and interesting is that it's a story about a Dad learning about his daughter through her social media and computer accounts, and is shot from the point-of-view of watching someone's life play out via Social Media. So everything is seen through the computer screens/windows or smart phones (video chat, video and news clips, search results, and so on). This isn't as disruptive as one might think, at least for people that are used to doing this stuff regularly. I'm not sure I'd want every film shot in this style, for but this one movie it worked well for me, and my wife -- and wasn't disruptive or disjointed at all. It made it fresh, with good enough acting and story to get a 91/86 on rotten tomatoes -- and I felt it deserved more than that, just for a unique take on a well worn genre, as well as the messages contained within.

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Dinesh D'Souza's latest movie is "Death of a Nation". And it perfectly exemplifies the bias in movie reviewers. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 0/90. Not a single reviewer liked it, 90% of the audience does - and that shows how of our touch or biased the reviewers are. Remember, this is the first of his movies to open in over 1,000 theaters, and his documentaries easily out-earn most (usually putting him in the top handful of documentaries of all time).

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