Early Morning Open Thread - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]
I'm feeling frisky so, how about some content this morning?
I am annoyed but it's possible that am the only person in the world who takes issue with what is to follow.
Read the story.
ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, refers to itself as ISIS. However, the new acronym, ISIL, keeps popping up, and now we know why.
The State Department, while ISIS was slaughtering innocents, was apparently concerned that the name of the organization, and the associated acronym, weren't quite right, so they changed it.
I can imagine the conversation:
Person 1: ISIS is slaughtering Christians in the region. We must do something about this!
Person 2: Wait. Did you say "region". Do you mean, outside of Iraq and Syria? Because, if that's the case, then their name isn't quite accurate, now is it?
Person 1: Well, I don't really know why that matters but, okay. Yes. They have designs on a more far-reaching territory.
Person 2: Aha! I knew it! So, perhaps they should be called the Islamic State of The Middle East? ISME.
Person 3: No. It really doesn't have the same ring to it as ISIS. How about, the Islamic State of the Greater Syria Region? ISGSR?
Person 4: No! (Boos fill the room) That's awful! Sit down. You don't get another turn.
John Kerry, rises from his chair in the back of the room: Well, how about the word..... "Levant". It's really far more descriptive and, well, ISIL just kind of sounds *right*.
(Applause from the room)
Way to go!
Good one, dude!
Kerry: Okay. So are we in agreement? ISIS is now ISIL?
Person 2: Yes. Now how do we get the media on board?
Well, now that that is taken care of, perhaps they will actually do something about the bastards. I the meantime, an Islamic fighter shakes his head and mutters "What a fucking clown show!"
Overnight Open Thread (8-22-2014)–Overtime Pay Edition
Because I'm not about to let the streak of 1400+ straight nights of the ONT get broken by an unhappy third-tier organ.
Because if suspects get any closer than that they can get to the officer before he can even draw and fire his gun.
Despite Romney's jump in polls how many voters actually switched their preference from Obama to Romney after the first debate? Just a mere 0.5%.
Or why modern establishment science fiction (as determined by the SWFA) is so bad and not even really SF. Case in point: the short story 'If You Were a Dinosaur'.
Why is modern Science Fiction so bad? Why are modern comic books so bad?
Why is modern art so very, very, very bad? One would almost think these things are being made bad on purpose.
And one would be right!
But the answer to the simple question of why SF sucks is a complex answer, leading all the way from the zenith of the universe to the nadir, all the long road from heaven to hell.
...Establishment SF is Politically Correct SF, in that it pays slavish homage to all the tired tropes and foolish dogmas of Political Correctness. With its emphasis on collective rights, victimology, and radical egalitarianism, there is no place in the PC SF universe for things like heroes, adventures, inventors, exotic locations, space princesses, or technology portrayed as beneficial.
Politically Correct SF is astonishingly parochial, because it is always assumed that the society of the future will be caught in the grip of the selfsame political controversies as the Victorian Age, which is the age when this worldview was first formulated by Marx. Hence, for all other SF stories, the future differs from the present. For PC SF, the future is just like the past, and nothing changes.
In other words, the stories of PC SF promote the opposite of SF.SF is about a sense of wonder. PC is about a sense of despair. The two are opposite. Hence, PC SF is a contradiction in terms. What it produces is simply not science fiction.
But as someone born in Liverpool and living in Alabama, I was struck more by the statistics he quotes showing that if Britain were a state in the U.S., it would be the second poorest state in the union. And America's poor are richer than Britain's in every category except the lowest 5 percent in both countries.
Ferguson is a city located in northern St. Louis County with 21,203 residents living in 8,192 households. The majority (67%) of residents are African-American.22% of residents live below the poverty level.
...Despite Ferguson's relative poverty, fines and court fees comprise the second largest source of revenue for the city, a total of $2,635,400. In 2013, the Ferguson Municipal Court disposed of 24,532 warrants and 12,018 cases, or about 3 warrants and 1.5 cases per household.
That's $321 in fines per year per household.
Several experts suggest that the overall intersection of mental health and climate change is one we ignore at our peril.
Well there's a whole lot of overlap in that intersection and probably not in the way the experts meant.
Detroit is practically a Mayberry at a mere 54.63 homicides per 100,000 residents.
I suspect parts of Africa are even worse than any city on this list but are so chaotic no one evens keeps stats on the murders.
Well sure drugs can explain a lot - but not all - of this shite
The Yahoo clique. Are you worthy?
Teh Twitter - can you deal?
Tonight's post brought to you by my weekend plans:
Notice: Posted by someone with a working appendix. Also all other organs work too. And no you can't have them..
Close it up
Profiles in American Labor Heroism
Now, obviously, 80% of American workers are good workers.
But 20% aren't.
And that 20%, a mix of incompetents and deadweight, is the 20% the unions exist to protect from firing.
The 80% doing their jobs need far less protection -- hardly any at all. A man or woman doing his or her job is making someone money, and people like making money.
The 80% need some union help, from time to time.
But it's the 20% of workers who know they wouldn't have a job if not for the union who are, of course, the most fervent supporters of the union -- and in turn, the unions fervently support these 20%.
So it's false, as the unions claim, that not a single union worker should be fired, ever.
Let's look at a few examples of some workers whose firings would probably not negatively impact the companies they work for.
At the Denver EPA, they have a problem with toxic emissions.
The agency has received more than a dozen reports of 'beyond gross' behavior in its Denver office -- including a woman who has been smearing menstrual blood and human feces on the walls.
Other reports include 'a trail of [human waste] leading out in the hallway' near the men's bathroom, an employee who urinated on the toilet seat and floor of the bathroom, and another employee who defecated outside the building when he was locked out.
In June, a memo from Deputy Regional Administrator Howard Cantor was released publicly that revealed the Denver office of the EPA was beset by an employee who was clogging toilets and putting human waste on the floor outside the bathroom.
It gets worse. The non-maniacs working there have summoned the Department of Homeland Security to protect them from the toxic waste -- and the disturbed human beings responsible for it.
One worker says she's "terrified," because she wonders what these miscreants will do when poop and menstrual blood no longer satisfy their urge to transgress.
Meanwhile, near Boston, the local Teamsters union threatens and bullies the crew of Top Chef, including its dainty hostess Padma Amadalla or whatever her name is.
When "Top Chef" star Padma Lakshmi arrived on the set, picketers called her a "(expletive) whore," our source confirmed, and threatened to "bash that pretty face in."
[O]ne of them ran up to her car and screamed, "We're gonna bash that pretty face in, you fucking whore!" . . .
"She got of her car in front of the location and quickly ran through the picket line," a source said. "They were yelling, 'You bitch! You slut! We're gonna get you!' It went on like that all day."
They also slashed fourteen of the crew's tires.
Now while these stories have caught some attention in the alternate media, you will not hear about them in the establishment media for the same reason you won't hear Obama jokes on SNL:
Because the media is an arm of the Democratic establishment, and they realize these stories -- like the fundamentalist Muslim murderer of gay men -- discomfit one segment of the Democratic constituency, or pit one constituency against another.
As Greg Gutfeld put it, the media only wants "Clean Narratives." The only conflict the media is interested in is Democrat vs. GOP conflict -- where the GOP (or the Designated Villains that make it up) can be cast as the heavy.
When there's misbehavior within the Democrat coalition, the media gets very, very quiet indeed.
Close it up
What if There Was a Coordinated Group Terror and Murder Campaign Against Gays Living In America, and The Media Didn't Report It?
Noah C. Rothman provides the facts of the case, in which a group of men, led by a Ali Mohammad Brown, used the hook-up phone app "Grindr" to arrange liaisons with gay men, before Brown murdered them. (I do not know the extent of the accomplices' involvement.)
Ali Mohammad Brown is a "strict Muslim," according to one press account, and according to prosecutors, was murdering people for terroristic motives, as part of a "bloody crusade" against the US government as vengeance against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Apparently he chose gay men as among the most unrighteous of all possible terror-murder victims.
Did you know any of this?
This is a story tailor-made for the national press but, rather than highlighting it, the opposite has occurred. It seems that the press has sanitized the actions and motives of Brown and his two accomplices. He was not simply a murderer and a criminal, though he was most certainly both of those things. Brown was also a terrorist who targeted a specific group of victims based on their sexual identity. It is quite uncharacteristic of the press to understate those two facts.
Brown's killing spree seems like it should be considered hate crimes at the very least, if not overt acts of terrorism. Why, then, has it not been presented in that fashion in the press?
Some press accounts do paint a full picture of these crimes, but others, Rothman says, sanitize the story for reasons which I assume are all too obvious.
But this is not a national story, definitely! Certainly there is no great chatter about it, no ancillary reportage (as when the press spins off coverage to discuss related issues; witness them just reporting on how journalists do their jobs of journalism in relation to Ferguson), no blistering editorials, no Town Halls hosted by Anderson Cooper about bullying, no Concern from MSNBC.
Today the Washington Post Editorial Board announces it will no longer use the term "Redskins" in any of the zero times it has cause to editorialize about a football team.
Apparently that is a more important story than this one, with more Lessons to Teach Us.
The Matthew Sheppard killing had something to teach us. There were many, many reports about that. It was the most infamous single American murder of that decade.
In this case, three gay men were murdered. Three.
Not even a blip on the national news radar screens.
But they'll tell you, with a straight face, they just report the news as they see it.
IS Implies Threat to Chicago
"I'd worry a lot less if I thought you were worried enough."
-- worried advisor Tom to carefree crimeboss Leo in Miller's Crossing
As George Bush said (I think): You may not be interested in terrorism, but terrorism is interested in you.
I won't post the tweet but if you scroll down the page you see a man holding a slip of paper in front of a Chicago landmark (the Old Republic Building) with some kind of threatening message. The tweet also declares that ISIS is in America.
It might not be anything more than a jihadi sympathizer trying to threaten Americans with no capacity to carry out his threat.
However... the mere fact that an unknown stranger wishes to terrorize you is itself terrorizing, isn't it?
Normal people do not think this way. Psychopaths do. And while not all psychopaths commit violence, you certainly have to keep your eyes on them.
Meanwhile, White House Camp Director & Minister of Fun Ben Rhodes tries to make Obama sound more concerned about IS' beheading of Foley than he actually is, by officially terming that act to be a terrorist attack on the United States.
Well okay; fair enough; so it is.
But then why was State Department Spokesgal & Deputy Celebrity Dinner Scheduler Marie Larf claiming yesterday that IS has not declared war on the United States, even though they themselves say they have, and even though they just committed an "act of terrorism" on the United States?
See, it's sort of times like this when maybe the president should actually be meeting with his staff to develop a coordinated and consistent response.
Great Continetti Piece: Obama's Endless Second-Term Summer
@rdbrewer4 has this in the sidebar (as does another cob), but in case you haven't read it...
The headline was brutal. "Bam's Golf War: Prez tees off as Foley's parents grieve," read the cover of Thursday's New York Daily News. Obama's gaffe was this: He had denounced the beheading of James Foley from a vacation spot in Martha's Vineyard, then went to the golf course. Seems like he had a great time....
Technically, Obama's vacation began on August 9. It is scheduled to end on Sunday, August 24. With the exception of a two-day interlude in D.C., it has been two weeks of golf, jazz, biking, beach going, dining out, celebrating, and sniping from critics, not all of them conservative, who are unnerved by the president taking time off at a moment of peril.
I disagree with the idea that this August has been different, in any meaningful way, from the rest of Obama's second term. For this president, the distinction between "time off" and "time on" is meaningless. For this president, every day is a vacation. And has been for some time. He is like Cosmo Kramer of Seinfeld. "His whole life is a fantasy camp," George Costanza says of his friend. "People should plunk down $2,000 to live like him for a week." Imagine what they would pay to live like Obama.
Continetti now establishes that Obama's "working time" is no different from his play time, noting all the #BearIsLoose shenanigans and rounds of "working time" golf and fundraisers and Star-Studded Celebrity Events and all the rest of it.
The below is mentioned in Continetti's piece, but I want to call it out.
You remember, I trust, that Obama actually took a break from his vacation to come back to Washington DC?
Did you assume, as I did, that he was coming back to DC to work?
Well... maybe a little, but even on his "time off from vacation" he got in a lot of vacation.
Per Continetti, that dinner party was five hours long. Five hours of his supposed forty eight hours back on the job (and of course deduct twenty hours from that for sleep and meals and other needs).
So, out of his 28 hours of supposedly being back in DC to "work," he spent five of them at a tony celebrity dinner party.
What the hell.
What the hell.
By the way, now that the New York Times has addressed Obama's Golf Grief Therapy on page A1 (!!!), I want to take this moment to accuse them of Dog Whistle Racism.
It's not really worth reading, by the way. But you know, they do deign to mention it.
Washington Post Editorial Board: We Will No Longer Call "The Redskins" the Redskins
But The News and Sports Divisions Will Continue to Call Them That, Like, Every Single Day n' Stuff
The Washington Post editorial board said Friday it will stop using the word "Redskins" when referring to Washington’s football team, joining a growing list of other commentators who have renounced the term because they believe it disparages Native Americans.
The editorial board is separate from the news-gathering side of the organization, which executive editor Marty Baron said will continue to use the team’s moniker.
Ummm... how often does the editorial board have cause to even mention the Washington Redskins, apart from the occasional denunciation of the name "the Redskins"?
Washington Post Editorial Board, Rachel Jeantel on line one, Rachel Jeantel on line one. Please pick up.
Scott Brown Catches Jeanne Shaheen in Poll
This is one of those seats that people thought the Democrats would hold, more or less easily. Sure, it was technically possible Brown could win, but everyone has had this in their "And here are some other races" column.
Last month, Brown trailed Shaheen in the WMUR Granite State Poll by 12 points. The new poll shows Shaheen leading brown by 2 points, 46 percent to 44 percent.
That's a lot of movement. 60% of the NH electorate says they haven't made up their minds (so the poll reflects to whom people are leaning, not whom they've definitely made up their minds to vote for).
Why all the movement? For one thing, Brown is hustling all over the state, holding Town Hall meetings, while Jeanne Shaheen is... well I don't want to say hiding, so I'll just say hiding.
And Brown is hammering the immigration issue-- you know, that issue where the GOP is totally doomed and really just needs to pass Comprehensive Amnesty now to save itself from a mighty drubbing.
From the NRSC's analysis of its own poll findings:
Internal polls show that her opposition to increased border security and her role in Obama's push for "Executive Amnesty" are extremely potent in the Granite State.
White House: Obama's Golf Outing Did Not Reflect the Depth of His Grief Over the Foley Beheading
As you can see, he's fist-bumping his golf partner, but there's an ineffable sadness in the fist-bump.
"Aides said the golf game did not reflect the depth of his grief over Mr. Foley." -- NYT, 08-21-14. pic.twitter.com/U0WkMsPJUv— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) August 22, 2014
Aides further said Obama shanked an easy six foot putt "out of pure grief."
Yesterday Joe Scarborough had praised Obama for his Grief Therapy on the Links:
"Al Qaeda funded their operations by kidnapping Europeans and getting ransom money. [But now] they are negotiating with Spock, with a pitching wedge...I'm sure there may even be one or two terrorists over in Syria right now that are looking at him and going 'Wow, that’s one cold bastard. He goes golfing?'"
Silly. Because Obama has gone golfing after every major news disclosure, in Iraq or Missouri, this month.
So why would IS take this as a signal about Obama's toughness and "coldness"?
I think they would just take it as a signal that Obama really, really likes golf.
FRIDAY!! Morning News Dump
- The Wane Of Government By Consent
- If This Is It, Wilson Has The Ad
- Obama Broke Law With Bergdahl Swap
- Comedy In The Era Of Obama
- What Makes A War Just?
- Asia's Dark Horse
- Free Kurdistan
- Hagel: ISIS Threat Beyond Anything We've Seen
- The Libertarian Moment Is Really An Individualist Moment
- Central Bankers Debate Continuing Easy Money Policy
- Senate Could Flip On Immigration
- Dispatches From The CNN Style Guide
- Americans Who Contracted Ebola Released From Hospital
- Microbial Life Found Living On The Exterior Of The International Space Station
- We Talk Like Fags And Our Shit's All Retarded
Follow me on twitter.
Top Headline Comments 8-22-14
NYTimes A1 has a piece on Obama's golf habit this morning. "Privately, many Democrats shook their heads at what they considered a judgment error."
Texas Democrats continue to struggle with common sense and good judgment.
In shock poll, Scott Brown is only down 2 points, a statistical tie, against Sen Shaheen in New Hampshire.
Overnight Open Thread (8-21-2014)
The team used static facial photographs of 40 men and 40 women to test the relationship between measured IQ, perceived intelligence, and facial shape.
Both men and women were able to accurately evaluate the intelligence of men by viewing facial photographs, they discovered....Faces that are perceived as highly intelligent are rather prolonged with a broader distance between the eyes, a larger nose, a slight upturn to the corners of the mouth, and a sharper, pointing, less rounded chin.
But people weren't able to predict a woman's IQ based on her face.
Another strategy identified by the survey, wearing glasses, appears to be surprisingly effective. Figures released in 2011 by the College of Optometrists, in the U.K., show that 43 percent of the people it surveyed believe glasses make a person look more intelligent.
But you may not need glasses if you're beautiful. A Czech study found that certain facial features-narrow faces, long noses, and thin chins-correlated with both perceived intelligence and attractiveness. Interestingly, men who were considered smart-looking actually tended to have higher IQs; the same was not true for women.Other ways to signal intelligence without opening your mouth include walking at the same pace as those around you. Subjects in one study rated a person moving faster or slower than "normal human walking speed" as less competent and intelligent. Speaking of incompetence: don't drink in public, at least not at work functions. The perceived association between alcohol and stupid behavior is so strong, according to a 2013 study, that merely holding a beer makes you appear dumber.
Tough times call for the sturdy type.
Those are the findings of a new study of men's preferences for female faces in 28 nations. The results reveal that guys are drawn to feminine looks - large eyes, pillow lips and a soft jaw - to a greater extent in countries that are the healthiest.
The reason for this difference isn't clear, but scientists suspect that evolution may drive these attractions, at least subconsciously. Men in harsh conditions may have a better chance of fathering children who survive if they mate with a woman who can hold on to resources, said study researcher Urszula Marcinkowska, a doctoral candidate at the University of Turku in Finland.
The latest Reason-Rupe poll finds that when it comes to kids and their trophies, 57 percent of Americans think only the winning players should receive them. Another 40 percent say all kids on a sport team should receive a trophy for their participation. [Emphasis mine, because ew.]
And the poorer, less educated, and younger you are, the more you think everyone should get a trophy.
Clapter = applauding instead of laughing.
Clapter is the death knell of comedy, a sure sign that one is reinforcing preconceived notions rather than challenging prevailing norms. But clapter reigns supreme. In the age of Obama, there are a ton of comedians who have prospered by getting the audience to cheer. And there's a whole separate set of comedians who have prospered by simply going along to get along. Every time I think about humor in the age of Obama, I return to this horribly disheartening line from Between Two Ferns creator Scott Aukerman, who had been asked if Obama pitched jokes for the bit: "I don't think the president has to pitch jokes, he just says jokes and we enjoy them."
That's not the attitude of a comedian. That's not the attitude of someone who is using humor to help create insights into the human condition or shine a light on the absurdity of our daily life. That's the attitude of a court jester.
Then you could be a Top. Man or Top. Woman in the current US government.
Something very, very big happened in Gaza last night: Israel assassinated three of the highest ranking Hamas leaders. Dayenu. But the enormously skillfully strike, which could have been achieved only with extraordinary knowledge, reveals something that should strike a shattering blow at Hamas: "The killing of the three constituted an indication that something in the intelligence discipline at the very top of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades has cracked."
Take the largest mass-produced piston engine aircraft ever made and attach possibly the world's smallest jet fighter.
You can offer kids healthy food, but you can't make them eat it. Just like adults.
According to data from the School Nutrition Association, the number of full-price lunches purchased fell by 10.4 percent between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years. Kids apparently decided that if their schools were going to make them eat arugula, they would bring potato chips from home instead.
"We've looked at participation rates by menu day," says Angie Gaszak, a nutrition specialist in the Saint Paul, Minnesota, public schools. "On days that we're offering a turkey hot dog, a cheeseburger, or pizza, those are our higher-participation days." On the days she serves an adventurous ethnic dish? "Those are our lower-participation days. That's when the kids with paid lunches are choosing to bring their own lunch."This is no different from what adults do-claiming to want healthy food but not eating it. McDonald's CEO Don Thompson admits that the restaurant chain's salads make up just 2 percent to 3 percent of sales.
Yes, no, maybe, possibly, we don't know. I suspect a genetic component is behind a lot of the contradictory studies.
Eh. Most of these seem pretty well known to men or not really true.
TV couples that would never happen in real life.
Well except that this one did and they're still married today.
Because squatters and hobos?
Yahoo group. That is all.
Come on be a smartie and join the yahoo group party! For the children.
And my lo-fi Twitter spew.
Tonight's post brought to you by one of Jay Leno's garages:
Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Do not taunt happy-fun ball. ¡Coraje!
Close it up
So, the media does acknowledge, and apologize for, claims of bias-- so long as they're lodged by left-wing agitators.
Erick Erickson: I feel like my politics and my religion are now in conflict.
In the past several months there have been three incidents that have solidified for me that my faith and my politics are starting to collide. While I am a firm believer in the idea of a conservative populism, I see a dangerous trend within the mix of unfortunate shrillness and hostility. That trend is playing out in the comments here at RedState and on social media.
I've said something sort of like this, though my "faith" is of course Nihilistic Materialism.
I don't agree with every detail of his post, but I do think there's too much anger and hostility being let loose out there. Not so much here, but generally; it's more a Twitter thing, but still, the air is just thick with it.
I also know friends who are essentially now enemies due to FaceBook Political Wars.
Obama is a scourge. He's terrible. He's making things much, much worse, and many suspect this is not entirely by chance.
That said, as I said to someone last week: There is what Obama does to us, and then there is what we do to ourselves.
When life hands you a setback -- a disease, a death of a close one, a financial crisis, Obama -- that's bad.
But how we deal with that setback is on us. Whether we handle adversity gracefully, or whether we let it bend us and twist us, that's a choice.
Everyone's angry, and everyone's afraid, and, honestly, they should be. A friend of mine feels it in his bones that another 9/11 is coming, and, while I don't have that intuition, I can't tell him he's just making things up or being silly.
That's certainly out there in the possibility-space.
These are frightening times, and our political leadership's reaction to this is to double down on failure and futility and fairways.
But people don't make good decisions in a state of anger, and they usually don't say useful or correct things in that state, either.
And I see a lot of people following the Left down the road illuminated for them by Jonathan Chait in 2006 or so, when he wrote his (in)famous article, "Yes, I Hate George W. Bush." And then went on to justify his hair-on-fire emotionalism, bitterness, venom, and sheer mental unwellness.
I think people have to be very, very careful when they rationalize to themselves what they know in their hearts (or souls) to be bad behavior with easy, glib, self-flattering excuses like "Well, I'm angry, and justly angry, so every angry outburst is justified!"
It's not. And it's not just that it's unjustified; it's selling ourselves short as human beings.
We all have a thought of ourselves -- an idealized thought -- that we aspire to. Whether that idealized conception of ourselves comes mostly from religious values or, say, secularist philosophy, we know that our better selves are, in fact, better.
I've mentioned this before, but Dennis Praeger made a great point. Dennis Praeger said we have a moral duty to smile and to say pleasant things, and to avoid putting out too much hostility and anger out into the world. His reasoning is that it is moral to do so for the people around us, our friends, our family, our fake internet friends.
Erickson says he's a Christian first of all. For myself, I'd put that differently: Humanity comes first, then politics. A religious man strives to be better because of his belief in God; a secular humanist like me strives (or should strive) to be better out of simple Ego.
Not the greatest reason in the world, I'll admit, but Ego can prod one to do all sorts of good things as well as bad things.
Most people don't really lose weight for health reasons, for example.
However they get to that conclusion, Christians, Jews, Deists, and secular humanists all seem in basic agreement that there are more fundamentally important things than any current political fight; which is not to say that current fight is not important, just that there are things even more important than that.
And we should remember that, even if there are certain people in high positions who seem to wish us to forget.
I'm Posting This For "Costanza Defense" and Because I Need to Post Something
This is pretty incredible. Marie Larf claims IS is not at war with America -- despite their insistence that they are, in fact, at war with America.
At a briefing Thursday, a reporter brought up anti-American comments from ISIL leaders: "I mean, even they are announcing, ISIL people in their message, whatever, the recorded message, other messages, that now we are in a war with America."
"This is not about ISIL versus the United States," State Department spokeswoman Marie [L]arf objected. "They are killing anyone who gets in their way: Sunnis, Shia Muslims, Christians, Yazidis, Iraqis, Syrians, anyone who gets in their way -- and now an American."
"But they are announcing that it's a war against America," the reporter pressed. "Right or wrong, that's what they are saying."
[L]arf maintained, "Well, they can say whatever they'd like, but what I am making clear is that's not what ISIL represents..."
So that's pretty amazing.
As I've said, Obama wants the war with IS to not be noticed by his LIV base, so he's just pretending there's no war.
When people ask, "Say, didn't IS declare war on us?," Marie Larf tells us "Oh they say lots of things."
But I'm posting it, and stealing more from the Free Beacon than I usually would, because Marie Larf has on her Shelley Dubinsky* outfit.
* the one from Animal House that Otter gets in the back of Flounder's brother's car.
CNN Source: Darren Wilson Did Have Swollen Face, but Did Not Have Orbital Fracture
This source conflicts with Fox's (and originally Jim Hoft's).
This source, speaking on background, is no more authoritative than Fox's or Hoft's.
However, it should be noted that there is a conflicting report, and people who claim to have insider information are flatly disagreeing on the point, so as of now it's not a "fact" (either way) that can be relied on.*
I should say that Don Lemon seems to speak variously of a "broken or torn eye socket" and "fractured eye socket" as if these are the same injury, and that by denying one the other is denied.
I never heard anything about a "torn eye socket." I heard fractured eye socket. I'm not sure why he's talking about rebutting a rumor about a "torn eye socket."
Are these different ways to describe the same injury? I don't know. I have to say that to me it sounds like Don Lemon doesn't really know what he's talking about.**
Let me just point something out:
Every time we have one of these stories -- these sort of grabby, dramatic, daily-revelations stories -- there's some pressure from some internet commentators to accept a series of claimed facts, all of which tend to support their conclusion.
And when people resist being pressured into accepting "facts" which are not yet facts, there's a suggestion that they're "not on the team."
For example, someone sockpupptted AllahPundit hear yesterday, calling him something like "AllahPundit, Family Lawyer for the Brown Family," or that kind of thing.
I assume this silly attack was made because AllahPundit was not rushing to embrace, and to declare as proven true, "facts" which are not yet facts at all, but merely claims.
In politics, we can argue about political theory, and we can pressure each other into accepting our preferred theories and doctrines and such, but we cannot take these same approaches and apply them to facts.
If you convince enough people to support your political theory, you will win, politically, on your political theory. It will become governing policy.
On the other hand, if you convince people to accept claims as "facts," this does not actually convert claims into facts. It just convinces people that something is true which is not necessarily true.
Convincing people that false things are facts does not make them facts -- except, perhaps, to the most cynical operator who dismisses any sense that the actual truth should actually sometimes count. (Moral relativism, anyone?)
And if it later should turn out that these claimed "facts" are false, what then?
Do we say, as the left does, "Well the facts don't matter anyway"?
There is no point in trying to pressure people into proclaiming mere claims to be "facts," nor insinuating that people who prefer an empirical to an ideological method of determining the facts are somehow "weak" and perhaps even "subversive."
When things are actually revealed to be facts, it takes relatively little persuasion to convince a fair-minded, non-ideologically-committed person to accept them as facts.
All this nonsense that goes on on the internet, this pressure to accept someone's rumor, claim, or supposition as a "fact," is so thoroughly anti-reasoning I can't even properly express my objections to it.
Opinions are opinions. Guesses at the likelihood of an eventuality are guesses at the likelihood of an eventuality. Gut hunches are gut hunches.
All of these things are properly used in discussing a matter like Ferguson. Gut hunches have their place in every single political discussion (and virtually every other discussion as well).
But what is out-of-bounds is this ridiculous insistence that if we "just get all on board in claiming that non-facts are facts, then we can 'shape the narrative' and get people to believe that non-facts are facts, and then we win!"
Well, you may win, temporarily, unless those non-facts you've insisted to be facts turn out to not be facts.
Then you just look like a bloviating jackass who believes in whatever claim is necessary to support his predetermined, ideologically-divined conclusion.
It is not "ideologically weak" to confess you don't know what you don't know -- except, possibly, to an idiot or a thug.
Again let me be clear: I have no problem with someone saying, for example, "Based on Don Lemon's strange terminology, he doesn't sound like he knows what he's talking about, and for now, I'm going with Fox and Hoft."
That's a perfectly reasonable position to take. (I know it's reasonable, because, at least at the moment, it's my position, and I know that Everything I Think must be Perfectly Reasonable.)
But this sort angry "GET ON OUR SIDE!" lobbying for the facts, this emotional pressure to accept one's emotions as facts (akin to Don Lemon's "I feel, in my heart, that semi-automatics are automatics), as if facts could be lobbied this way or the other, as if facts could be Freeped in an online poll, as if we could elect facts the way we elect politicians in a political campaign, is just stupid.
* Except, of course, that we seem to have further confirmation that Wilson was in fact injured from the encounter, which tends to prove that he was in fact punched in the face, just as he is rumored to have claimed.
** Lemon also says "X-rays" were negative for "a torn or broken eye socket."
But a commenter told me yesterday that my own use of "X-ray" in this context was wrong -- he told me you wouldn't use an X-ray to detect this sort of injury, but instead a CT scanner.
I think maybe because we're actually talking about damage to soft tissue rather than bone?
I don't know if that commenter is right, but a quick search does seem to indicate that we're talking about soft tissue damage and hence an "X-ray" would not be a useful diagnostic tool.
Burying the Lead? Lemon is in such a rush to dispute Fox he sort of forgets that his own source confirms the headline information -- that Wilson was in fact beaten badly before the shooting.
What's Lemon's position? That only a torn eye socket counts as legitmatizing the use of force? That if you just bust someone's head up a bit -- without tearing the eye socket -- you get to run away unmolested by police?
MSNBC, The Place To Hear Democratic Talking Points Repeated All Damn Day Long
Little note on the video: Initially I thought they'd screwed up and included Allen West repeating the talking points. But they didn't. That part is MNSBC playing B-roll of West -- portraying him as the villain -- while an MSNBC says the Magic Words in the studio.
Government Accounting Office: Oh, By the Way, Obama Violated the Law in Sending Those Five Terrorists to Qatar
They don't say Obama, they say the DOD, as if the DOD acted on its own authority.
Department of Defense--Compliance with Statutory Notification Requirement
The Department of Defense (DOD) violated section 8111 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014 when it transferred five individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the nation of Qatar without providing at least 30 days notice to certain congressional committees. Section 8111 prohibits DOD from using appropriated funds to transfer any individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay unless the Secretary of Defense notifies certain congressional committees at least 30 days before the transfer. As a consequence of using its appropriations in a manner specifically prohibited by law, DOD also violated the Antideficiency Act.
Here's their letter acknowledging the violation of law.
The Administration offered two defenses: First, that the restriction on using money for a purpose for which it was not appropriated only applied to "unlawful" actions.
This is a bizarre claim. They're just making things up. The law does not prohibit the president from using money to transfer prisoners from Guantanamo, sans permission, only for "unlawful" transfers. It prohibits him from using money without proper permission or appropriation for any purpose.
The second defense is that this law is unconstitutional as applied to King Putt.
Four Foot Shark Devours a Grouper In One Bite.
Wait, Reverse That.
The grouper is thought to be a goliath grouper, which can grow up to 800 pounds.
Out: Shark Week
In: Grouper Week
Don Lemon: I *Feel* That My Semi-Automatic Weapon is an Automatic Weapon, and My Feelings Ought to Count
After all this time -- literally, it has been decades. Gun advocates have patiently explained to reporters -- who love doing gun stories, and do them every month -- that "automatic" weapons are machine guns or assault rifles, and semi-automatics are like... well, like almost any single-shot weapon that isn't a revolver or pump action.
You have to be pretty committed to ignorance to dismiss a simple fact that's been told you a thousand times.
You really need to have prioritized your ideology above facts to do this, at this late date, so arrogant in your ignorance.
Intelligence Officer Claims He Hears From "Friends at the Pentagon" That Obama "Drug His Feet" on Foley Rescue Plan
A few points, to be fair:
1. This source says he hears the intelligence grew "stale" due to the delay, and thus Foley wasn't present when the rescue attempt came. Well, that's one possibility; another possibility is that he had never been there in the first place. Intelligence is a very iffy thing.
2. We don't know how long this delay was or whether the operation was delayed due to weakness of the intel. There is, after all, a level of weakness of intelligence that would prompt even an aggressive president to decide that ten special forces operators' lives were not worth a speculative gamble. (On the other hand, he did order it, eventually, so...)
3. This is one guy repeating what he says he hears, second-hand, from "friends."
All that said, Larry O'Connor's report is worth considering.
Certainly it fits a pattern. Administration people cooperated with the scripting of Zero Dark Thirty and the whole middle section of that film dramatizes Obama's foot-dragging on the bin Ladin hit. The CIA agent who discovered bin Ladin's hiding place had to tell her superiors every day how much time had passed since the intelligence was obtained. 30 days, 60 days, 88 days, 120 days... after more than 120 days, the order was finally given.
(Well, actually, the film doesn't include Obama, but I will take the high-ranking intelligence bureaucrat as reflecting Obama's wishes to not act.)
All Sorts of People Are Noticing Obama's Odd Priorities
The article inside (linked at Hot Air) got in some shots:
President Obama put his own spin on the oft-quoted advice of predecessor Teddy Roosevelt: speak strongly and carry a nine iron.
The president zipped quickly from a local school to a Martha’s Vineyard golf course after his 12:45 p.m. media session. Obama delivered a short statement and took no questions from the assembled media.
Reliable liberal voice Dylan Byers is "baffled."
POOL REPORT: "Obama stepped to a podium and delivered his remarks… Afterward, the motorcade drove to the Vineyard Golf Club."— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) August 20, 2014
I usually dismiss the "Obama golfs as the world burns" critics. I find his decision to golf today somewhat baffling.— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) August 20, 2014
Even Leg-Thrill is baffled that Obama is still talking about "justice" and political solutions.
A Photoshop study by "zhuzhu" on Deviantart
Daniel Gerhartz, "In Her Care"
The Photoshop is better.
Close it up
Contentless Filler Thread
Hey, did you guys catch that show about that woman on Lifetime last night?
You know the one I'm talking about.
Thursday Morning News Dump
- The Media And The Mob
- Race-Based Hate Crimes Spike In D.C.
- How To Shrink Your Church In One Easy Step
- Bring Back The Welfare Stigma
- Monty, There Is No Sex In The Champagne Room
- There Is No Way The President Should Be Stupid Enough To Go Play Golf
- Hamas Admits To Abducting Three Israeli Teens
- Only Six Arrested After Eric Holder Soothes The Angry Mob
- Obama And Hillary's Video Outrage
- Interactive Timeline Of Fallout In Ferguson
- The 65 People Who May Run For President
- Monica Lewinsky Already Knew This
- New Map Of The Middle East
Follow me on twitter.
Talk amongst yourselves while I aggregate content.
Overnight Open Thread (8-20-2014)
I consider myself to be 'lucky' but it's mostly a fundamental kind of luck - I know that the tornado almost certainly won't hit my hotel, the test results will probably come back negative, and that I'll likely be at least five steps ahead of whatever nasty thing is about to go down. But I've never won the lottery or really any Major Award. And that's okay - I'll take my anti-bad luck kind of good luck any day.
In one experiment, Wiseman asked people to self identify themselves as lucky or unlucky. Then he gave his test subjects a newspaper. "Count the number of photographs inside", he told them.
There were 43 photographs.
On average, the unlucky people took 2 minutes to count them all. The lucky people? Seconds.
The lucky people noticed the giant message that took up half the second page of the newspaper. It said, "Stop counting - There are 43 photographs in this newspaper."
The unlucky people missed it. They also missed the equally giant message half way through the newspaper, "Stop counting, tell the experimenter you have seen this and win $250."The "lucky" people weren't lucky. They were just more observant.
And so it is with luck - unlucky people miss chance opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else. They go to parties intent on finding their perfect partner and so miss opportunities to make good friends. They look through newspapers determined to find certain types of job advertisements and as a result miss other types of jobs. Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and therefore see what is there rather than just what they are looking for.
My research revealed that lucky people generate good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.
There seems to be a pattern: 1) unarmed young black guy is shot, 2) there is a vast media outcry over the young "honor student's" death, 3) family provides photos of the dead guy taken when he was 11 years old, well before he had opted for the ghetto thug look, 4) it comes out that the "honor student" has been committing felonies, 5) witnesses say the honor student was beating the hell out of the person who shot him, 6) Democrat politicians call for the shooter's conviction, and 7) prosecutors, fearing rioting, black voters, or what have you, prosecute the shooter anyway.
But she says the right things and performs the proper rituals so her money is good-money, acquired through good-things, and going to a good-person. Not like that greedy, business-criminal Romney.
This is why the same people who cheered the Occupy Wall Street movement won't make a huge fuss about the Clintons' deep ties to Goldman Sachs et al (So what? She supports higher taxes on the rich!), but will protest a hospital for taking money from David Koch (He only cares about his bottom line!).
In many ways Hillary is the perfect embodiment of this liberal mindset. She's committed to fighting poverty and income inequality one charity gala at a time, growing increasingly confident in her moral superiority over her ideological opponents. Her multiple mansions are her just reward for being a good person. She has earned the presidency.Clinton also thinks it's pretty adorable that students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas would protest her $225,000 speaking fee in the face of rising tuition costs, and then refuse to return the fee to the university as they requested. Those silly commoners don't know what's best for them, and what's best for them is for Hillary Clinton to make a lot of money giving lots of speeches.
While Foley's twitter feed does paint him as something of a reflexive Israel critic, Herschel Smith knew him personally, liked him, and says that he was no terrorist sympathizer.
Journalist James Foley (he corresponded with me as Jim) has been beheaded by ISIS. I choose not to remember him from the recent photographs, but as the wonderful young man he was. As a note to ISIS, I don't believe a word he had to say while under duress. I knew him better than you did. You wasted your time with his confessions, or charges, or whatever you forced him to say.
...Jim was kidnapped in Libya early in 2011. I had also made significant use of his fantastic work in The Five Hundred Meter War. The U.S. Army later contacted me wanting the rights to use this video in training and analysis, and I directed them to Jim who (I hope) made some money from the work. He told me that he would gladly sell the rights for a small fee.
...I have often thought of Jim and what might be happening to him. There aren't many folks from those days I know only electronically to whom I feel such a kinship. Tim Lynch and Michael Yon are a couple, but the list is short. People like that are the sort where if you met up with them somewhere it would be like meeting a long lost brother, and the conversation would flow without any effort at all.
It was hard to be accepted in military blogging with such parochial and hierarchical (even if unofficial) structure, and with the desire for control by a few. Jim's acceptance and warmness was welcome, as it is with the folks whom I engage in my current interests of gun and gun rights (like David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh).I will miss Jim. I give my warmest, most sincere and most heartfelt condolences to his family. Your family gave us a good and wonderful man. We are worse for this loss.
Here Neo-neocon follows up on Ace's thoughts from yesterday.
It is true that the Nazis tried to hide their acts. But it's not so much that the Nazis weren't psychopaths; they were just playing to a different audience. As I wrote here, ISIS is appealing to would-be jihadis who are thrilled at the prospect of the most barbaric bloodshed. The ordinary citizens of Germany were a lot more easily shocked than that, although the Nazis were aware that they could get away with a lot if they took care to keep it mostly out of sight.
...Lastly, although on the whole the terrorists of ISIS would probably rather live than die, they are not especially upset at the prospect of unleashing a violent backlash, because they figure it will lead to martyrdom and more martyrdom, and rewards in the world to come. At times the Germans of WWII talked about Gotterdammerung-but unlike ISIS, they were not especially eager for it.
But the week and rioting aren't over yet so there's time for others to jump in.
For those of you not familiar with the origin of the phrase.
Did I say Southern rednecks - I meant to say Vermonters.
Here Bernie Sanders (D-VT) has to deal with his anti-Semitic constituents.
Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish priest who died as prisoner 16670 in Auschwitz, on August 14, 1941. When a prisoner escaped from the camp, the Nazis selected 10 others to be killed by starvation in reprisal for the escape.
One of the 10 selected to die, Franciszek Gajowniczek, began to cry: "My wife! My children! I will never see them again!" At this Father Kolbe stepped forward and asked to die in his place - his request was granted.Kolbe was canonized on 10 October 1982 by Pope John Paul II, and declared a martyr of charity. He is the only canonized saint to have held an amateur radio license, with the call sign SP3RN.
As the ten condemned men were led off to the death Block of Building 13, Father Kolbe supported a fellow prisoner who could hardly walk. No one would emerge alive - Father Kolbe was the last to die, when he was given an injection of carbolic acid to stop his heart.
Okay fair warning - as bad as you think this might be, it's going to be worse. And I hate to pile on but it's simply a mystery to me how she can be 28 years old, worth millions, and yet look like she's turning a rough 50.
I mean that kind of money does give you access to the best make-up artists, hair dressers, and fashion designers out there which can go a long way in making the most of what you have. And then there's always plastic surgery. On the other hand Hollywood may have finally found a long-term replacement for Anne Ramsey.
The Group knows what you did.
Tonight's post brought to you by spotting the recidivist:
Notice: Posted by implicit permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips + $3 to maetenloch at gmail. Use the subject line 'totally not a scam' Otherwise send dregs to DiT.
Close it up
Confirmed: Saturday Night Live is No Longer Funny, Has Been In the Bag for Obama & the Democrats for Years
Via @rdbrewer4 in the sidebar, one of SNL's main political writers (the writer for those great Gore/Bush debate sketches) says so himself.
Well, he doesn't say the show isn't funny. But I think that's "confirmed" just by watching it. It's awful.
He does confirm that while the show used to attempt a bit of balance -- you know, like a real comedy show -- they threw that out the window some time ago.
Here's Jim Downey:
Downey: The biggest risk to doing political comedy is, you always seem to have a choice: Am I going to piss off the audience by trying to get them to laugh when they don't like what I'm saying, or am I going to kiss their ass and get this tremendous wind at my back by sucking up to them? The second way makes me feel like I cheated. I'm sure there are a lot of people in comedy who completely share every f--ing detail, jot and tittle of the Obama administration agenda, and all I can say is: To the extent that you're sincere and that's really the way you feel, then you're a very lucky person because, guess what, you're going to have a very easy career in comedy because audiences will always applaud. They may not laugh, but they'll always give you [a] huge ovation. That's Bill Maher, you know?
Downey attempting to "challenge the audience." You know, challenge the audience's expectations and bigotries, the way liberals say they think artists should, except they always mean challenge conservative audiences, not us, for God's sake!
Downey: There was one Bush piece I did a couple times in dress that I think died twice and was never on. It was after Abu Ghraib. I knew I was in very dangerous comedy territory, and it was a piece where Bush was trying to justify Abu Ghraib. He was addressing the nation and saying it was an attempt, maybe awkward on our part, to make Iraqis more comfortable with their bodies. There was something about the joy of the nudist lifestyle, and I remember at one point it had a joke like, "Many people have objected to the fact that the detainees were forced to mime sex acts. Now, is it the fact that it was sex acts that you find offensive or is it that it was homosexual sex acts? Think about that, then tell me who's in the wrong here." I thought it was funny. It was a desperate attempt to turn the tables on critics. When we did the sketch [in dress rehearsal], it was like a death camp in there; the audience was like, "No." There's not laughing, and then there's aggressive silence.
I have no idea if that would be funny if actually played out, but the audience's "aggressive silence" seems to indicate they did not appreciate any challenge on their political beliefs here.
And here's Downey on SNL becoming pure hack:
Downey: I used to write this stuff with Al Franken when we started out; I was a standard-issue Harvard graduate commie, and Al was like a Democratic Party stalwart. I had contempt for the partisan stuff. And I became more conservative over the years, to the point where I'm now a conservative Democrat, which means in Hollywood terms I'm a McCarthyite, I suppose. But I have to say, and even Franken agrees with me -- I've talked to him about this --- that the last couple seasons of the show were the only two in the show's history where we were totally like every other comedy show: basically, an arm of the Hollywood Democratic establishment. [Jon] Stewart was more nuanced. We just stopped doing anything which could even be misinterpreted as a criticism of Obama.
Per other interviews, it turns out that Downey's main opponent was the unfunny partisan hack Seth Meyers, who, yes, insisted that the show should take a stand and that Downey's attempts to scatter around the jokes were no longer Politically Acceptable.
The progressive media really bought into that following Steven Colbert's WH Press Corps dinner speech. Colbert made fun of the media for treating both sides "with balance," and essentially argued you can't treat both sides "with balance" when one is Smart and Good and the other is Dumb and Evil.
That ethic soon after infected the news media -- all the partisans in the media could not wait for an argument to throw off the shackles of pretended objectivity -- and I guess Seth Meyers was a real fan of the idea too, and decided even a comedy show had to Take Sides.
Jim Geraghty: If You Were Going to Build a World That Creates and Enhances Depression & Anger, Wouldn't It Look A Lot Like Our Current World?
This is from last week, in the wake of Robin Williams' suicide, but I missed it.
Our ability to take just about any event and turn it into an online argument is one of our modern society’s mentally unhealthy habits. In fact, if we wanted to build a culture that deliberately cultivated feelings of depression, isolation, anger, and despair, how different would it look from the one we have now?
The first key aspect of this perfect depressive dystopia would be to get as many people as possible interacting with screens, instead of with flesh-and-blood human beings, as often as possible. (Pause for the irony that you’re almost certainly reading this on a screen.) Prevalent aspects of human contact from the dawn of human civilization -- eye contact, tone of voice, volume of voice, sarcasm and inflection, posture, body language -- would be removed from the increasingly common forms of communication, and everyone would spend as much time as possible interpreting the true meaning of hieroglyphics that are supposed to resemble human faces. Miscommunications, perceived insults, and fights would grow apace.
This depressive world would remove the tactile sensation of human touch, expressed in a romantic and sexual sense but also in the gestures of a handshake, a hand on the shoulder, a hug, a pat on the back. Entire friendships would begin and end online, with the individuals never interacting in person.
The constantly online life would undoubtedly come at the expense of the offline life. People would interact with their neighbors less. There would be fewer shared social experiences -- the social phenomenon of Bowling Alone on steroids. The offline world would seem more full of strangers, more suspicious, more potentially dangerous, full of vivid, widely covered stories of violence and wrongdoing reminding us to not trust each other.
The constant online presence would lead to a world of nonstop instant reaction, where everyone could immediately transmit the first thought that popped into his head in response to news. Everyone's first reaction would become his defining reaction, particularly if it's dumb or knee-jerk. If it was racist, sexist, hateful, or obnoxious, even better. Those horrified would then share and retweet it to their friends and followers, spreading the perception that the world was overpopulated with hateful idiots, and that average Americans -- or average human beings! -- were rather nasty, ignorant creatures unworthy of respect or affection....
The widespread perception that almost everyone else was a moron -- why, just look at the things people post and say on the Internet! -- would facilitate a certain philosophy of narcissism; we would have people walking around convinced they're much smarter, and much more sophisticated and enlightened, than everyone else.
I think this is why I've been in revolt against default internet culture for a while now.
Yes, people may point out that the Internet was originally kind of a place to be a dick and, as one commenter said today, "let vent your demons."
However, for many of us -- people like me, who spend most of every day in this culture, and maybe some people like you -- the Internet really isn't a place to escape, it's where we actually live (as horrifying an admission as that may be).
And, therefore, those of us who are -- admittedly -- spending way too much time online for one reason or another are beginning to miss the agreeable aspects of polite society -- saying nice things, agreeing with people, conceding points even in an argument with someone whose main point you dispute, and general sociability -- which are frequently absent from online interaction.
I said this on twitter last night when I was thinking about this: It may be that I am more sensitive to this sort of thing than the average internet user, because while the average internet user is only submerged in this strange online world a couple of blow-off hours a day, I'm here all day. I work here.
Sometimes I forget my imperative to Disconnect and then I play here after having worked here all day.
So, I can see where I might be over-sensitive to this. Being immersed in this stuff 10-14 hours per day (on long days, anyway) will make one more sensitive, and perhaps oversensitive, to the generally disagreeable and negative ethos that tends to prevail on the internet.
And someone only immersed in it for one or two hours might say: "So what? Sure it's there. But man up, Sally. It's nothing to cry about."
And I can't dispute such an argument, because that hypothetical disputant would be coming from a different experience than I am.
Sure, I guess, being immersed in a culture of frequent negativity and hostility isn't that bad if you're only in it a couple of hours a day.*
Still, if this Internet thing is here to stay, I do think it could stand to benefit from the importation of general rules of pleasant and polite social interaction which have evolved over the course of 100,000 years of human history in real-life interaction.
Those rules didn't evolve out of nowhere. They didn't evolve randomly. They didn't evolve pointlessly.
They evolved to keep a lid on social discord, and to keep people in a generally happy frame of mind.
As with Chesterton's Fence: I guess I'd have to ask why some would tear the fence down without first inquiring why the fence had been built in the first place.
* A long time ago I went out to the woods with a friend. This friend brought along his friends.
These guys' idea of male interaction was nothing but chops-busting and attacks over everything. Beyond the constant attacks -- which are of course a primate method of competition -- were the actual competitions.
Over everything. There was not a single thing you could do without being challenged in competition.
Drinking especially. If you were only on your sixth beer by 3pm, well, that pretty much sealed the case that you were a homosexual, and perhaps should relocate to the back room to service the Real Men at the cabin, as their needs might require.
So that was like more than 48 hours straight of that. Just insults, and competition, and deranged insistence that everyone attempt to cultivate a jaunty level of hardcore alcoholism.
Now, I've been in chops-busting situations, but never for that long a time, and never in such a sustained, we're gonna break you, Son sort of way.
After I got home, a friend asked me how it was.
I told her it was maybe the most singularly unpleasant two days I'd ever spent in my entire life, and that my nerves were still jangly from the constant flinching from attacks, both delivered and merely anticipated.
Anyway, I never went out with my friend to the woods again. Once was enough.
Cop Relates Jim Hoft's Scoop to Fox News: Wilson Was Badly Beaten Before Shooting
Score one for Jim Hoft, it sure is looking like.
Now, it could still be that these cops are misinformed.
(If you wanted to know how that's possible: easy, the notation of an old, healed orbital fracture of the eye in x-rays gets garbled and mis-propagated as a fresh one; I'm not saying this happened, but it could be something like that.)
However, even if the cops are misinformed, Jim Hoft's reportage of their statements is now undoubtedly 100% accurate, and this constitutes a major scoop for him.
Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Mo., police officer whose fatal shooting of Michael Brown touched off more than a week of demonstrations, suffered severe facial injuries, including an orbital (eye socket) fracture, and was nearly beaten unconscious by Brown moments before firing his gun, a source close to the department's top brass told FoxNews.com.
You might wonder why I'm still expressing skepticism about this. Well, it's simple: Because I don't want to credit stuff that's being put out unofficially. If it's official and documented, then my skepticism goes away completely.
I just don't want to credit something just being whispered in the ear of the occasional reporter as 100% solid-gold truth. Truth should be something you stand openly behind.*
But certainly my skepticism is receding.
And congrats to Jim Hoft -- of all the various media dopes down in Ferguson,** apparently Jim Hoft was the only one who thought, "Hey, maybe I should interview some cops to see what actually happened at the shooting."
* Commenters tell me that it's standard practice to not comment officially during an investigation.
Okay, I believe you, but there has been a fair amount of chatter from the police (officially) on important facts here.
If Wilson is in the hospital with a broken eye orbital, that's a fact. The cops can say "we're still investigating how he received these injuries," but the injuries, if they exist, are simply facts.
I don't see why these facts should be so thoroughly suppressed while the cops freely offer things like "Darren Wilson was not investigating the robbery at the initial contact with the suspects."
** Oh I don't mean to say he's dope, but I see that the way I wrote the sentence implies that.
I don't see how to fix it, though.
I mean to say that the other ones are dopes, and that he's not.
And What If Tea Partiers Threw Rocks at Chris Hayes? Larry O'Connor notes MSNBC's chill attitude towards "protesters" throwing rocks at them, and wonders (without wondering much) whether they'd have been so understanding if Tea Partier protesters had thrown the stones.
Not X-Rays: A commenter tells me that a fractured orbital would typically be imaged by a CT scanner, not an X-ray machine.
The Sheldon Cooper Presidency
Stephens' article is quite long. Here's a few excepts:
In July, after Germany trounced Brazil 7–1 in the semifinal match of the World Cup--including a first-half stretch in which the Brazilian soccer squad gave up an astonishing five goals in 19 minutes--a sports commentator wrote: "This was not a team losing. It was a dream dying." These words could equally describe what has become of Barack Obama’s foreign policy since his second inauguration. The president, according to the infatuated view of his political aides and media flatterers, was supposed to be playing o jogo bonito, the beautiful game--ending wars, pressing resets, pursuing pivots, and restoring America’s good name abroad.
Instead, he crumbled.
As I write, the foreign policy of the United States is in a state of unprecedented disarray. In some cases, failed policy has given way to an absence of policy. So it is in Libya, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and, at least until recently, Ukraine. In other cases the president has doubled down on failed policy--extending nuclear negotiations with Iran; announcing the full withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
[P]eople have begun to notice. Foreign policy, considered a political strength of the president in his first term, has become a liability....
Stephens considers the argument offered by Obama's defenders -- that the world has just become so ungovernable, man (the same excuse is offered for his failure to produce positive results domestically -- that America has become "ungovernable").
Then again, every president confronts his share of apparently intractable dilemmas. The test of a successful presidency is whether it can avoid being trapped and defined by them. Did Obama inherit anything worse than what Franklin Roosevelt got from Herbert Hoover (the Great Depression) or Richard Nixon from Lyndon Johnson (the war in Vietnam and the social meltdown of the late ’60s) or Ronald Reagan from Jimmy Carter (stagflation, the ayatollahs, the Soviet Union on the march)?
If anything, the international situation Obama faced when he assumed the presidency was, in many respects, relatively auspicious.
I would note this: Obama seems like Sheldon Cooper on Big Bang Theory.
Obama has his plans. His plans include pushing his various fake campaign positionings to gin up the left-wing base, and playing golf and attending jazz festivals.
No matter what happens in the world, or even in America, Obama is sticking to that plan.
He dismisses -- either explicitly or implicitly, by his near-total lack of intellectual or emotional engagement with serious political events -- all occurrences which are not in his List of Things to Do as "distractions."
Sheldon Cooper does this on Big Bang Theory. In that show, Sheldon has some sort of crazy single-mindedness manifesting an absolute insistence on sticking to his Routine.
Sheldon Cooper doesn't care if someone's loved one has died. This is Thursday. We have pizza on Thursday. That's what we do on Thursday. Because it's Thursday.
No matter what happens in the world, Obama is sticking to Pizza On Thursdays.
Because that's what we do on Thursdays. Thursdays are for Pizza.
They're slaughtering Christians in Iraq? Thursdays are for Pizza.
They're slaughtering Yazidis in Iraq? Pizza is what we have on Thursdays.
Ferguson is burning? It's Thursday. Thursday night is pizza night.
James Foley was beheaded by the New Caliphate in Iraq? Well, unless James Foley is our Pizza delivery guy, I don't really see how this alters our Thursday plans...
I really do not know what it could possibly take to get Obama to acknowledge that while Thursdays are often for Pizza, sometimes momentous events occur which require delaying Pizza until later.
Romney, of course, recently said that Obama is even worse than he expected him to be.
But one thing you can say in Obama's defense:
The man knows what you eat on Thursdays, doesn't he?
The job of the President is partly proactive -- but largely reactive. Things happen, fires start, and it's the job of the president to react to unforeseen events in a useful way.
Obama just doesn't seem to agree with this proposition. He has his agenda, he has the stuff he wants to do, and everything else is a "distraction" from that.
Everything else is a distraction from what really matters:
Pizza, and Game Night, and Farscape.
By which I mean Golf and giving partisan speeches and fundraisers.
Governor Jay Nixon: Both the State AG and Eric Holder Must "Vigorously Prosecute" Darren Wilson
At 3:20, below. More at Hot Air.
And below that, Megyn Kelly is not impressed with Nixon's understanding of the criminal justice system.
And police sources are now telling the NYT that Wilson sustained injuries in the encounter, though they don't specify what kind of injuries, as Jim Hoft's sources did.
(And as Allah points out: What the hell kind of reporter wouldn't immediately ask, "What kind of injuries? How extensive? Are their X-rays?")
Oh, and a great piece by Noah Rothman: Eric Holder, Racial Healer.
"Look at the way the attorney general of the United States was treated yesterday by a House committee," Holder remarked. "Had nothing to do with me, what attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment? What president has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?"
In May, Holder echoed the claims of MSNBC’s "dog whistle" detectors, who derive their job security by being able to decode the veiled racism in words like "apartment" and "golf," when he said that subtle -- nearly undetectable -- racism is a greater scourge than overt discrimination. In other words, the kinds of civil rights violations which the Attorney General is empowered to prosecute are of less relevance to America's minorities than are the coded messages which are inexplicably only decipherable for the audience these Windtalker racists supposedly trying to avoid alerting.
Well he didn't say it that way. I did. You can tell I said and not him it because it's clever.
Obama Now Speaking About Foley Murder
So far he's said that Foley was killed in an "act of violence." Describing IS, he said they've been on a rampage, and have slaughtered people, and tortured them, and committed "acts of violence."
Oh, he finally said "terrorized," then called them "terrorists."
He's trying to sound tough, so I can't fault his intent, but I really think this speech is once again a bit of a rehash, without effective rhetoric. Calling their ideology "bankrupt" seems to me to be pretty weak sauce. He'd say that about the GOP, too.
Meanwhile, James Foley's parents were speaking just before Obama did (tie-less, from around Martha's Vinyard, though in a place called Edgarton, MA -- Andy tells me now that this is actually on Martha's Vinyard).
I was surprised they could even speak coherently. Maybe they've been preparing for this day for a long time.
That chick from The Five (Andrea Tarantos or something) gets part of it: "Where's the fire in the belly?"
She's right, but I don't expect fire in the belly from Obama.
If he can't must up fire in the belly, how about what he's supposedly good at, rhetoric?
The stuff he offered was stale and obvious. It wasn't objectionable. It wasn't wrong. But there didn't seem to be any effort whatsoever to bring a writerly novelty to the words, so that the idea would seem fresh and therefore compelling to the listener.
Based on the slapdash nature of the statement, I'd say that Obama does not think that this is A Moment, as in, A Moment Which He Must Rise To. He seems to just think it's another day, and so another anodyne statement will suffice.
Wednesday Morning News Dump
- In Ferguson, Race To Be Wrong
- Media Outnumber Protestors In Ferguson
- Missouri Governor Covering Himself In Failure
- The Meltdown
- Mostly Peaceful Ferguson Activists Throw Bottles Of Urine At Police
- Some Historical Perspective
- The Foreign Policy Of The Next Establishment Republican President
- Retaking The Iraqi Dam
- Obama Voters Claim They're Not Happy About His Ferguson Reaction
- Another Reason Not To Watch The NFL Anymore
- WH Knew Of Recent ISIS Threat To Kill US Journalist
- Medieval Religious Fanatics Act Like Medieval Executioners
- SEIU Begs Workers To Keep Paying Up
- The Daily Smear
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Top Headline Comments 8-20-14
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Commentary Mag has a piece in its September issue about Obama's utter faceplant when it comes to foreign policy.
The Ferguson mess was peaceful last night . . . until it wasn't. 47 arrested.
Remember when Europe (and Krugman) was squawking about "austerity"? Yeah, European austerity never happened.
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AOSHQDD Primary Night: ALASKA SENATE PRIMARY
Tonight, we return to Alaska, the site of a nail-biter primary back in 2010. It's winner, Joe Miller, is back again, vying for the chance to unseat Senator Begich. He faces Dan Sullivan and Lt. Gov Mead Treadwell for that honor. Sullivan is the favorite if polling is correct, but this is Alaska, and we all saw what happened with the polled leader four years ago.
Let the numbers roll in, whatever they may be!
(Also, if you are intested in joining our team, please shoot an email to AOSHQDD (AT) Gmail (DOT) com).)
Overnight Open Thread (8-19-2014)
This was an intensive 5 year study the FBI did looking at deadly assaults (usually with guns) on police officers during their duties. In particular they focused on 40 incidents and deeply investigated them including in depth interviews with both the surviving officers and the attackers. From this they gleaned a huge amount of data as well as some interesting findings. At the high level the data shows that police attackers (and would-be cop-killers):
- Show signs of being armed that officers miss;
- Have more experience using deadly force in "street combat" than their intended victims;
- Practice with firearms more often and shoot more accurately;
- Have no hesitation whatsoever about pulling the trigger.
Now this 179 page pdf might seem a dry read (and parts are) but most of it is full of interesting details and statistics that cover the reality of deadly encounters as well as strategies for officers to detect impending attacks and protect themselves. Much of this would also apply to anyone who ever carries a concealed weapon.
It also has a chapter on the subjective perceptions and perceptual distortions that both the attacker and officer experienced during the fight as well as a discussion of why witnesses (and this includes involved officers) often get so much wrong. Members of the media ought to at least skim this report...but I know that that's just a wishcastful fantasy.
A couple of tidbits:
- Most of the attacks occurred at night, especially after midnight
- 9mm pistols were the most commonly used guns
- All the offenders had priors
- Almost 70% of the attackers had planned to attack the police even before the encounter
- Most of the attackers practiced with their weapons - often more than police do
- The attackers usually shot first and had a better hit percentage (68%) than the police (39%)
- The initial shots were at an average of 14 feet opening up to 25 feet at the end
[And man I hope that the SecondCallDefense.org people aren't too unhappy about my linking to their copy of the report]
And if you agree with this and would call a slow, fat thief who robbed you a fatty, you're probably a racist or something equally horrible.
Gawker, which sucks, just published this remarkable bit of drivel. Every line in it is wrong and I suggest you read the whole thing to get a sense of the magnitude of its wrongness. From the scare quotes around "crime" to describe "taking something that is not yours" to the admonition that you shouldn't call a fat child who steals from you fat because, hey, what about his feels to describing the actual victim of the actual crime as "sociopathic," every single thing about Jordan Sargent's piece is terrible. It's so terrible, in fact, that I half-expected to see one of those enormous "SATIRE" tags Facebook's adopting.
Alas, I think he's being serious. Even in this last line which is so astoundingly terrible it's . well, go ahead and read it: "If you are nonviolently mugged by a child, continue to let him run along with his friends. The world will be a better place."This is an objectively false statement. It's not even a bad opinion: it's a factually inaccurate thing to say.
MSNBC producer John Flowers hinted at the possibility of this 2008 déjà vu in June when he tweeted about coverage of Hillary's wealth gaffes. Flowers referenced the movie "Memento," in which the protagonist suffered from amnesia, to express his surprise that people were shocked to see Clinton struggle on the campaign trail.
"Why do people go 'Memento' on the fact that Hillary is a terrible, miserable, never-once-very-good campaigner?" asked Flowers.
With the new 'zero defects' system even a combat-earned Silver Star isn't enough to save you.
Stolen from BenK's morning post.
Under full disclosure in a US court system all this stuff would come out. It would have to because otherwise - so far as I understand US judicial process - the trial would be prejudiced and invalid. And if and when it does come out only one side can emerge as the winner because only one side is telling the truth or has facts to support its argument.
No wonder Mann (and his anonymous - but evidently very rich - backers) are fighting so hard to delay the process for as long as possible.If this ever goes to trial they're all toast.
But Mark Steyn is basically fighting this on his own and needs your help. I bought a $25 Steyn gift certificate this weekend which I'm not planning on using. And maybe you could use some Steyn swag as well.
As voted on by 100 top animators.
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) comes in at a surprisingly high 26 while the absolutely horrible-sounding When the Wind Blows (1986) still makes 40.
10. Fantastic Mr. Fox
9. The Nightmare Before Christmas
8. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
7. The Iron Giant
5. The Incredibles
4. Toy Story
3. My Neighbor Totoro
2. Spirited Away
1. [you have to click through to find out]
They're better in some ways than even roof Koreans but definitely not as clean.
The AoSHQ group. Watch yer cornhole.
Tonight's post brought to you by Marilyn and her Lichtenstein:
Notice: Posted via RageyRageCorp. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maetenloch at gmail. If you dare.
Close it up
Probably Not The Mug Shot the Dems Were Hoping For
—Dave In Texas
I don't this looks too bad at all really. I kinda like the "adios mofo" grin.
It may be a bit of a surprise to those of you who think Texas is redder than red that Austin is largely run by Democrats but our large cities aren't much different from yours (except they're solvent). Before this fat drunken harridan Rosemary Lehmberg ran the Travis County DA's office another jerk named Ronnie Earle did and he did the same kind of bullshit to Tom Delay and Kay Bailey Hutchison - criminal charges for political disagreements (Delay was forced to resign, convicted for breaking a law that wasn't in effect at the time he "broke" it after Earle finally stuck the mess in front of enough grand juries until he found one that would give him what he wanted. Delay's convictions were overturned on appeal)
What the Dems wanted was the word "Indicted" plastered to Perry's face in the news and they got that, it's no small thing. They were also hoping for a mug shot and I think they're gonna be a little disappointed with that.
Incidentally if you haven't see the drunk videos of Lehmberg's 2013 DWI booking (what started all this fun) they're all over the interwebs.
She was a little less polished than Rick was today.
Related, he can take a punch. And give one back.
The Political Value of Saying Stupid Crap You Don't Really Believe
That's a joke headline. I actually do mean what I'm talking about here.
Without outright endorsing this claim -- and certainly without endorsing any implication that a party must "move to the center," away from its priorities, to win -- let me at least speak up for some basic truth in the general idea.
Each party tends to champion a limited number of priorities from a larger list of public goods.
For example: There is little doubt that the Democrat Party is devoted to prioritizing equality... at the expense of freedom.
And there is little doubt that the GOP prioritizes freedom higher than equality.
However, I think it's good politics for the GOP to frequently acknowledge that the value of equality itself is a very worthy thing.
The GOP's dispute with "equality" isn't with equality per se -- the GOP's problem with equality as a political good only comes when equality is being prioritized in such a way as to reduce freedom. That is, equality, all other things being equal, is a good thing to strive for (or, at least, hope for); the problem is a push for equality above all else, resulting in the contraction of citizen liberty (and, of course, the aggrandizement of the state).
I often feel like people -- politicians, us, everyone -- are speaking over the heads of your average LIV.
Your average LIV probably has not even considered that legislation to create "more equality" almost always requires less freedom.
We, as conservatives, know that. LIVs don't.
The LIV probably just assumes that equality and freedom naturally come hand in hand. And I think the LIV wonders about a party that doesn't speak up more about equality, as if they're opposed to the concept.
I keep saying this like inviting the LIV directly into the ninth minute of a ten minute argument. In the first eight minutes come the statements like "oh of course equality is a worthy ideal, but there are many cases in which equality can only be achieved by criminalizing people's choices-- making them less free."
But the public walks into the ninth minute, when positions have hardened, when all those "to be sures" have been abandoned, and just hears us not making any rhetorical nods towards equality at all.
I think this happens in a lot of situations. Conservatives do not hate trees. Conservatives, who tend to be more rural and suburban folk, really like trees. In fact, conservatives tend to be the people actually out in nature as part of their weekly routine.
But in disputes about the proper limits of environmental protections, I don't think the public hears us saying it loud enough: "No, we really like trees. We're looking for solutions that protect both trees and actual human beings, too."
Again, I think there's an invitation to the ninth minute of a ten minute argument thing that happens, and the LIV only hears us saying "Jobs are good" and not saying much at all about the trees.
The LIV is not a politically serious creature. The LIV just wants to hear that someone "shares his values." And if his values include "Trees are good," well, it's a foolish thing not to say that too -- especially when you actually do believe that Trees Are Good, but aren't saying so, just because a progressive won't shut up about The Gentle Trees.
Another thing I think happens is this:
Many political disputes -- hell, all of them -- involve a clash of two competing values.
In almost all cases, both of the values in conflict are actually good values. The dispute is usually not about whether one value is good and the other evil (or lacking any merit); usually it's about which value should be prioritized.
But I think very often in argument it becomes useful -- in the very, very, very short-term -- to simply deny that the other value (the one that you don't favor prioritizing) has any merit at all.
After all, if two good values are in conflict, resolving the conflict may require a messy balancing test open to all sorts of challenge.
But if you just deny that the opposing value has any merit -- or merely refuse to acknowledge it has any merit -- the argument is more easily made: This is good, the other thing is not-good, the good thing wins.
But this is a terrible political argument as regards the broader public, the LIVs, because the LIVs don't know much, but among the things they do know is that Trees are Nice and Equality is Nice, and, indeed, many things the progressives talk about are Nice Things, and to go out to speak with them denying the Niceness of These Nice Things they'll wonder how Nice you really are, and, of course, whether you Share Their Values (about Nice Things).
You'll notice that every red-state senator is currently talking up a blue storm about all the Nice Things conservatives like talking about. Indeed, they're talking almost exclusively about our own List of Nice Things (freedom, etc.), and not so much about the progressive List of Nice Things at all.
I say this a lot, but the one thing that truly defines an LIV is that he defines himself as nonideological, and he's proud of that. (He's proud that he doesn't bother with much thinking about politics or general political philosophy -- any human being, given the choice of thinking less of himself for a trait or flattering himself for a trait, will chose the latter nine times out of ten.)
So when an LIV hears a bunch of ideologically-convenient premises -- like the idea that Equality Isn't Nice and Maybe Trees Aren't So Nice either -- from a party, he gets the idea (correctly) that they are Ideological, and thus Not Like Him, and, probably, Also Crazy.
The left, I think, is usually a bit better about talking up GOP Nice Things. We actually get annoyed when they do, because we know they don't mean a word of it.
And they don't.
But the LIV does want to hear that Democrats actually care about freedom, growth, national strength, public order, and so forth.
And so they talk up these Nice Things, before voting down the line against them.
Something to think about, I think.
Don't get me wrong: Judge Smails is a g-damned hero. His ideology is sound and his heart is pure.
Judge Smails is everything that's Right about America.
Still, were he running for office, and were I his campaign manager, I'd advise him to Share the Values of the kid who wants a hamburger, no, a cheeseburger.
Or at least acknowledge the Hamburger No a Cheeseburger Agenda to have at least some limited merit. In the abstract. All other things being equal.
Close it up