45 percent of Trump voters are idiots

The incredibly depressing results of a recent poll summarized by John Aravosis (via Daring Fireball):

Among other findings, only 45% of Trump voters think Donald Trump Jr. met with Russians last year to discuss their offer to help his father win the election.

And 32% say it didn’t happen at all.

This is after Donald Trump Jr. already admitted publicly that he met with the Russians, and Donald Trump Sr. tweeted the fact that his son met with the Russians. After all that, only 45% believe it.

I’m not sure what is worse: the 45 percent of Trump voters who are too stupid to discern reality or the 55 percent who apparently do not care about it.

Teddy Roosevelt on presidential criticism

President Theodore Roosevelt writing in the Kansas City Star in 1918:

The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.


Our sacred ties

One of the best lines from President Obama’s farewell speech tonight:

America is no fragile thing. But the gains of our long journey to freedom are not assured. In his own farewell address, George Washington wrote that self-government is the underpinning of our safety, prosperity and liberty.

But from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth.

And so we have to preserve this truth with jealous anxiety that we should reject the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties that make us one.

And Washington’s original version, with my emphasis added in bold:

The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.

The new MacBook is my next laptop

The new MacBook has received more than it’s fair share of irrational knocks in the week since it was announced. I could write a whole point/counterpoint post addressing each of the MacBook’s supposed shortcomings, but life is short and haters gonna hate and Apple hardly needs my help moving inventory.

Suffice to say, the new MacBook isn’t for everyone. But I will say this:

Yes, it has a relatively slow Core M processor, worse battery life than the MacBook Air and only a single USB-C port for power, video and I/O. And that doesn’t matter one bit to me.

I’ve been in the market for a new laptop and purposefully held off on buying anything before I saw what Apple had coming down the pike. The 13-inch MacBook Air had been my frontrunner, with the occasional thought given to the 13-inch MacBook Pro — but no more. Let’s focus on the MacBook’s positives:

  • The MacBook is more powerful than the Air in at least one measure: according to their respective tech specs pages, the new MacBook supports an external display resolution of up to 3840 x 2160 (4K) while the MacBook Air only supports 2560 x 1600.
  • The new MacBook weighs almost a full pound less (2.03 lbs vs. 2.96 lbs) than the 13-inch Air, not too mention more than 3.5 pounds less than the Mid-2012 15-inch MacBook Pro I currently tote around for work. Every ounce counts in a messenger bag.
  • The Core M processor and nine hours of battery life is more than enough for my needs. When I do open Photoshop, I can wait a few extra seconds. And the only time I ever need more than one thing plugged into my computer is when I’m sitting at a desk where a dongle isn’t an inconvenience.

Consider this: the MacBook and the 13-inch MacBook Air configured with their respective base processors, 8 GB of memory and 512 GB of storage both run $1,599. That’s not cheap in a world of Chromebooks, but it is hardly unreasonable. If it’s not for you, don’t buy one. But I can’t wait to walk out of the Apple store with my shiny sliver of the future. My only choice now is gray, silver or gold.

Grocery store tablets

I spotted this ad in the app for my local grocery store shortly before Christmas. There on the right, between the colossal pie and the terra cotta snowman, shown, I assume, without irony, is the $50 Android tablet no one asked for.  An iPad, these are not.


Reaction to the Sony Hack Is ‘Beyond the Realm of Stupid’

It has already been widely linked, and I can’t help but point out that Vice put “beyond the realm of stupid” in quote marks while the actual quote in the article is “the realm of beyond stupid,” but this interview with Peter W. Singer is still a great read for its takedown of Sony’s actions:

This same group threatened yesterday 9/11-style incidents at any movie theatre that chose to show the movie. Here, we need to distinguish between threat and capability—the ability to steal gossipy emails from a not-so-great protected computer network is not the same thing as being able to carry out physical, 9/11-style attacks in 18,000 locations simultaneously. I can’t believe I’m saying this. I can’t believe I have to say this.