Twitter’s search blocking

Twitter is getting desperate. It will do anything except talk to its users. Some time recently, it started blocking search terms. I’ve verified that they include “marijuana” and “cannabis.”
Twitter search for "marijuana" claiming no matches.
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PGP update

I’ve updated my PGP key, since the previous one was five years old, and revoked the previous one. I’d sign this post to confirm the key, but that doesn’t work very well with WordPress.

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Song: Mary Dyer

Wikimedia image of Mary DyerSong blogging time again. I introduced this song at the MASSFILC gathering on March 4. I’ve been thinking about an alternate history cycle involving the Quakers, and decided to start with actual history. The lyrics and sheet music are on my website.
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Remembering some victories

It’s too easy (for me, anyway) to sink into doom and gloom about the political situation. There are plenty of reasons to be depressed right now, but focusing only on bad news just kills motivation. So here’s a quick list of areas where libertarians have made gains in the 21st century. In most cases, other groups did a lot (often most) of the work; there aren’t enough of us to win many battles without alliances. Often, though, libertarians were there first.

I’m not claiming this is a complete list or even covers all the most important cases; please mention others in the comments if you like.
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Police intimidation, local style

Last week I was driving home around 9:30 PM, going southbound on NH Route 125. Suddenly there were blue lights flashing behind me. I pulled over. To my relief, the vehicle behind me kept going. It no longer had the blue lights on. There was no siren. There was no emergency, just some cop having fun scaring people.

It was dark, so I don’t know whether it was Kingston police, state troopers, or even an out-of-town cop. It’s not a big deal, but every little incident like this contributes to people’s distrust of the police. I could have filed complaints with both state and local police, but what good would it have done?

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Trump’s lie about New Hampshire

Trump’s claim that thousands of people were bused into New Hampshire and fraudulently voted in the 2016 election is a plain lie. It has no supporting evidence, and Trump has a long record of gross dishonesty. I stood outside the polls in Kingston, NH for hours, watching for any signs of intimidation, and didn’t see any kind of irregularities. I certainly would have noticed a busload of voters arrive. Many people were similarly watchful at other locations in the state.

As I noted in an earlier post, Kingston’s town clerk suppressed vote totals on the website. However, the votes were reported correctly to the state, as far as I can tell. What she did was biased and improper, but it didn’t affect the official totals.

Some people think Trump is delusional and believes his claim. I think he has set out to discredit the election process. New Hampshire is disproportionately important in presidential elections, so it’s easy to see why he’s smearing my state’s voting system.

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The argument from “code words”

Charles DarwinThe argument from code words fascinates me. You can use it to prove anyone is saying anything. Just say X is a code word for Y. This post may be an encoded call for terrorism; just declare that “the argument from code words fascinates me” is code for “Let’s nuke every major city in the US.” (They do things like that in spy novels!)

A while back, I saw a claim that Betsy DeVos is a creationist. Having no idea whether this was true or false, I did a search, which led me to an article on propublica.org:
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How to defeat “alternative facts”

We’ve seen strong signs of a successful liberal coalition in the past couple of weeks, with multiple and varied protests against Trump’s Muslim ban. Efforts like this have to be narrowly focused, in order to bring in the largest number of supporters. It worked very well this time.

(Note: If you aren’t a regular follower of this blog, please read this post to understand how I’m using the word “liberal.” I’m using it in its original sense, from before it became associated with massive government power.)
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Trump keeps his promises — in blood

In 2015 Donald Trump said, “The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.”

Nawar al-AwlakiHe has kept his promise. Trump’s first military raid killed Nawar al-Awlaki, the 8-year-old American-born daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, whom the US had previously killed. Calling Anwar al-Awlaki a terrorist is stretching a point; he preached violence but isn’t known to have directly engaged in terrorist acts. That was good enough for Obama to order his assassination, though, and it’s likely Trump considers him a terrorist as well. (He’d have been allowed in the US under Trump’s ban, though, since he was a US citizen.)

Are there any words left?

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America: 1776-2017?

The day has come. Will history record January 20, 2017 as the death of the United States as a free country? I don’t know. Trump has said that today mass deportations will occur under his command. I don’t see how he can cause any significant number of people to be “gone” today, but he could still issue orders to set it in motion. It will require mobilizing police and perhaps military forces on a huge scale and will directly impact all lives, not just immigrants’.
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