And the Bad Ideas Just Keep Coming

I could see a Day Without Illegal Immigrants being useful to show people just how dependent we’ve become on illegal immigrants to do our various dirty jobs. But what will legal immigrants not showing up for work and anybody, legal or no, taking their kids out of school prove?

All I can see this doing is giving ammunition to the idiots who claim that immigrants come to America for the welfare benefits. Legal immigrants should be going to work and pointing out to their native-born coworkers exactly what isn’t being done and how shitty life is sans illegals.

But will the day even work then?

First off, illegals tend not to be too tuned in to the mass media and probably will show up to work anyway, because if they don’t, well, there’s another illegal just waiting to take their place. So anti-immigrant types will just scoff that it’s not even that big a deal.

Second, if there is much of an effect, anti-immigrant types will just point to all the jobs that could be going to Americans if only people weren’t greedy by hiring illegals below a “decent” wage.

My gut suspicion is that public rallies and protests only really matter to those who already agree on an issue. To the extent they have any effect, it’s to get those who can make reasonable, impassioned arguments for one side or another that may actually change minds.

If anything, expect public opinion polls Tuesday to tick back for enforcing immigration law as it stands rather than reforming it to something a little more humane and in line with reality.

Oh, Good, This Again: Macs Vulnerable–This Time For Realz!

An AP story is making the rounds that Macs are newly–maybe–vulnerable to viruses and Apple–maybe–isn’t getting it, just like Microsoft didn’t get it until…um…recently…or…not.

Sigh. No, Macs are not invulnerable to all types of trojans, viruses, worms, or other malware. It should be noted, though, that despite the criticisms of Apple, all the vulnerabilities mentioned in the article have been addressed.

I have been readily getting Security Updates on a very timely schedule from Apple in five or six years I’ve been using OS X, starting with Developer Preview 3 and on through 10.4.6. I do some sensible things, like not clicking on things sent by people I don’t know or downloading programs from dodgy sites I’ve never heard of before and running them. I used to even run antivirus software, but since it never once found a single bit of malware, I quit.

The fact is, and to its credit the article points it out, the Mac is still far less vulnerable to malware than Windows, even accounting for its limited market share. Can you get by clicking on anything and everything and opening up every service on your machine and never updating it? Nope. But can you run it without much of a firewall and not act like an idiot and reasonably expect to stay free of malware? Yep. I’ve only seen one Mac running OS X with malware on it, and it is unclear how it got there.

So the lesson you should take away from this is not that Macs are no better than Windows at avoiding bad things on the Internet, but that you won’t be freed from the very basics of avoiding bad things–running programs from people you don’t know or downloading from sketchy sites. But the situation is so much better that if you are determined to be an idiot, your experience will be better on a Mac than on Windows. And if you’re not an idiot and you’re sick of messing with firewalls and virus updates, well, your experience will be better on the Mac than Windows, too.

So, Um, What Exactly Do You Want to Do, Clooney?

George Clooney wants us to Save Darfur. He apparently discovered what the rest of the world has known for several years, that there is a systematic war between an Islamic government and the largely Christian peoples in the south of the Sudan. Now he wants us to…well, I’m not sure. I clicked over to his site, and apparently he wants us to send a note to Bush and Congress to do something.

OK, what?

It’s not like nobody’s doing anything. The UN has had peacekeeping forces in there at various points, and has been encouraging something approaching a peace process. The US and other countries have been providing aid–a woman I met at a party a few months back was going there to replace someone from USAID who had been killed.

This picture [hat tip: Hit & Run] suggests various people want to pick up our troops from Iraq, where we’re fighting an endless war with ill-defined goals and no criteria for ending our involvement, and move them to Darfur, where we’d be fighting an endless war with ill-defined goals and no criteria for ending our involvement.

Or does our criteria pop up when we get humiliated so badly they make a movie out of it? Yeah, this didn’t work out so well in Somalia, another Bush-family involvement. So why are progressives trying to take a page from Bush? On the theory that we did a lot of good in Somalia? Or just trying to assuage guilt for Rwanda, damn the consequences? Or just feeling “Injustice Bad–Progressive Hulk Smash!”?

Seriously, the less you’re like Bush, the better your policy will turn out. I’m not thrilled with what’s going on in Darfur, but it’s not like nothing is being done, nor is there an easy solution just waiting for the application of a few bombs or a couple of bucks.

Now, I await the neocon chickenhawks’ agreement with Clooney, given that this is a clear attempt for Muslims to gain control from non-Muslims, and thus aid the creation of a new Caliphate or something.

George W. Bush Supports Terrorism, Democrats Cheer Environmental Devastation

Let’s see, Iran is bad because Iran uses its oil money to support terrorism. Therefore, George W. Bush called for America to “Act Now To Reduce Dependence On Foreign Sources Of Energy.” But then yesterday, contradicting his criticisms of Clinton in 2000, Bush propped up dependence on foreign sources of energy by ceasing to resupply the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve.

So: weaken your military response when you’re fighting more wars than ever and contemplating still more, while strengthening your enemy’s hand by encouraging Americans to remain dependent on their products.

Explain to me again how he’s fighting terrorism?

Maybe he’s on to something, though. Senate Republicans claimed two years ago that invading the strategic reserve wouldn’t really do that much to pump prices, anyway–which gives one pause as to why Bush is bothering now.

Of course, the Republicans were scoffing at such claims because the Democrats, who presumably care about the environmental harm caused by excess consumption of gasoline and who also don’t want us to fund terrorists, were calling for the same damn thing. And now they’re criticizing Bush for not doing more to lower gas prices by going after “price gouging” oil companies, who apparently price things higher when demand exceeds supply. This despite Al Gore wanting to increase gas prices a while back with a tax…but that’s not gouging, when you raise prices to get more money despite no change in supply or demand. But no talk of gas taxes now.

So: lower gasoline prices encourage consumption and make us dependent on a major source of terrorist funding as well as harming the environment. So Republicans and Democrats are in favor!

It’s just another normal day here in Bizarro World!

Noachian Rain is a Soporific

After a hard day of having a nice lie in, a bit of a a gnosh, watching a spot of telly, having a nice lie down, and a bit of light reading, I’m off to bed, completely shagged out.

(Yes, part of the TV was Farty Owls, I mean, Fawlty Towers).

God, the excitement’s liable to kill me.