Kentucky’s Democrat is pissing us off

Allison Lundergan Grimes needs a spine (from the Washington Post):

Alison Lundergan Grimes (D), who is trying to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) this fall, appeared before the Louisville Courier-Journal editorial board on Thursday to make her pitch for their endorsement. The life-long Democrat, whose father represented Kentucky for the party in the state House and who herself has been on the ballot in the state on the Democratic ticket, was asked a simple question. Did she vote for President Obama in 2008 and 2012?

And she didn’t answer. Repeatedly.

As much as I hate Fox News, I have to use this video clip:

Hey, Allison. Two things:

1) The answer is yes. Democrats running for state office vote for Democrats as president.

2) If you want to give a Republican answer, you should have run against Mitch McConnell in the primary.

Anyway, this is the correct answer:

“Yes, I voted for him,” you say, “but I’ve been disappointed by a lot of the things he’s done, particularly on COAL and JOBS and GUNS” or whatever. It’s simple. And then you can say, “but I backed Hillary in the primary” and so on and so on. 2008 was a landmark year, a wave for Democrats, when Obama’s approval was sky-high. Of course she voted for him! Dodging the question looks like she’s trying to hide her position, which is never the face you want to show .

Machines understanding humans

As we rely on computers more and more, at a certain point we’re going to have to make sure they’re programmed for our benefit.

That sounds simple, but as technologist Nell Watson points out here, there is a danger if the machine’s thought process can’t evolve:

This is the basis of science fiction. Think of HAL and the pod bay doors. Think about what happens when Skynet becomes self aware. Think about the Matrix.

We have human-controlled drones engaged in war. We have cars that drive themselves. And computers have complete data on our lives, from our shopping lists to our medical records. When computers start to think for themselves they’re going to ask, “what do we need humans for, anyway.” That will last about a millisecond and then all hell will break loose.

Al Stewart: The year of the cat

So I’m listening to this song and wondering, when is the year of the cat in the Chinese zodiac?

Turns out in China, that year doesn’t exist, because (according to Wikipedia):

Legends relating to the order of the Chinese zodiac often include stories as to why the cat was not included among the twelve (symbolic animals). Because the Rat tricked the cat into missing the banquet with the Jade Emperor, the cat was not included and thus began the antipathy between cats and Rats.

OK, but somewhere in all of this, doesn’t the cheese stand alone? I may be mixing up my legends here.