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September 02, 2014

Islamic State Beheads American Journalist Steven Sotloff; Names the Next Beheading Victim to Come

—Ace

Terrible, obviously.

If only social media didn't exist, we wouldn't be troubled by this "messy" world of ours.

Posted by Ace at 01:57 PM Comments



Major Hack Reveals Stolen Pictures from Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and Possibly Many More Women

—Ace

Including some women that aren't even celebrities-- but who someone wanted to see naked, and was willing to commit a crime to do so.

This is a major story, I think, which will wind up not just being about criminal invasion of privacy, but about how much we're sharing with this thing we call "the internet" without even knowing it.


On Sunday, a 4Chan user (or, more likely, a group of users--details are still unclear) added another entry to the site’s troubling litany when, after some haggling for Bitcoin payments, he or she uploaded a large cache of celebrities' private images, including nude photographs of the actress Jennifer Lawrence and the model Kate Upton.

The leak made it to the link-sharing site Reddit around dinnertime, where it found an audience in the hundreds of thousands. It also found a name--the Fappening...

By midnight on the East Coast, the Fappening subreddit had become one of the fastest-growing subreddits of all time. At any point on Sunday night, upward of a hundred thousand people were searching through 4Chan, Reddit, and the image-hosting site Imgur for the stolen content.

A list was also published of still-to-come hacked pictures of other starlets -- "hundreds" of other celebrities' private pictures and data, supposedly.

The scale of Sunday's leak, and the suggestion that there may be hundreds more images and videos to come, suggests something new.

Authorities do not know how the phones were hacked, but they are currently investigating two possibilities-- an exploit of Apple's iCloud, or an exploit of their "Find My Phone" app.

The New Yorker suggests that people just aren't aware of how insecure "private" data actually is:

Most discreet people know not to upload nude photos onto the Internet but are unaware that a photograph shared privately, through a text message or e-mail, is hardly private at all.

This is all high-profile enough to have drawn an FBI probe, and Jennifer Lawrence says (through a lawyer) that she'll be pursuing this "outrageous violation of privacy" herself as well.

Excerpted at Hot Air, Jessica Valenti makes the obvious point that looking at stolen pictures is itself a (smaller) violation of the victim, and then gets into the victim-shaming thing:

There is an obsessive tendency in American culture with elevating women--young, beautiful women, especially---to celebrity status just to bask in their eventual fall. There's also a tendency in American culture, meanwhile, to shame women for their sexuality. So I would not be surprised in the days ahead to see arguments as to why this is somehow the fault of the celebrities whose phones were hacked--that these women took the pictures, that they were posing, that generating publicity is part of their job.

I actually would be surprised to hear such an argument made in the actual media.

But I wouldn't be surprised if it shows up in comments areas.

I've thought about this issue a lot, actually. We keep hearing this claim from feminists -- and others, too. That to advance a "lesson to be learned" from someone's setback is itself "victim-shaming" and punishing and stigmatizing the victim further, and that victims should be supported, not denigrated by statements along the lines of "And here's what you did wrong."

Whenever someone says something like "Young girls should not drink much, if at all, at fraternity parties, to reduce the risk of sexual assault," someone will say that's "victim-shaming," and it's the boys who should be told not to sexually assault women, not the girls who should be taught to always keep their wits about them.

The reason people keep arguing about this, and probably will argue about this forever, is that all parts of this argument are true. Girls should be told that they need to act as if they're in hostile territory when surrounded by young men, whose ardor may eclipse their morality. And boys should be told that there is no excuse for the latter.

And simultaneously, anyone's setback does afford people the opportunity to learn a lesson from that setback. There is an old saying that wise men learn from others' mistakes, whereas fools learn only from their own. (Although it's actually unclear if fools even learn from their own mistakes.)

But it is also true that any time someone looks at someone else's misfortune, and just glibly says "Well if you hadn't had done X you wouldn't have suffered Y," there's an air of judgment and smugness in the statement. After all, usually it's entirely obvious advice. A kid who jumps into too-shallow water and becomes paralyzed for life has, after all, probably given pretty significant thought to the notion that if he hadn't had dived head-first, he still would have the power to walk. Reminding him of his obvious life-changing error is a bit dickish.*

On the other hand -- there are plenty of hands here -- one can't just think of the immediate victim, either. Sure, "victim shaming" -- or simply learning a lesson from the victim's misfortune -- is emotionally painful for the victim himself. It adds insult to injury.

But then, there are thousands, maybe millions, of people who are not yet victims, and who can still avoid becoming victims -- is it really kind to avoid speaking about matters of prudence and precaution that could spare them a horrific result, just to avoid giving offense to a single person?

I don't know. All of these things, I think, are simultaneously true, and whether you come down on the "offer prudent cautions" side of things or the "never victim-shame, always just offer maximum support" side depends on where you prioritize and rank the different imperatives at play.

I do think, though, that even people who subscribe to the "words of wisdom" side of the ledger can and should avoid any hint of a smug tone in their advice -- the sort of "This would never happen to me, because I'm too disciplined and smart for that" sort of self-aggrandizement.

About 15 years ago (everything in my life is now, at a guess, "about 15 years ago") there was some self-help guy or some social "scientist" who advanced the idea that women and men communicate for different reasons. Men, the theory went, tended to be more practical and more interested in some sort of resolution -- so they favor "here's what you can do to avoid this in the future" statements, and not talking too much about the setback already suffered.

Women, on the other hand, are more interested in receiving (and offering) emotional support for the present setback, and aren't really looking as much for Lessons Learned for the future.

So, the theory goes, women and men tend to talk past each other.

I think there's truth in this, and it's not really just women and men who are different in this respect. I think most people have both urges inside of them; the question is just which is more pronounced, and that can vary according to when you ask them.

Even a man who generally favors the "Let's learn this lesson from this" sort of approach probably doesn't want to hear that when he himself is fresh from the wound of a major setback. In that moment, he probably would prefer the "womanly" approach of emotional comfort, and might get pretty angry if you start giving him a List of All The Things He Did Wrong.

Just something to think about, I think. I think these questions where there really is no answer at all -- or multiple contradictory answers -- are pretty illuminating.

At any rate, without wishing the shame the victims here -- for whom I have great sympathy -- I would say that the Age of the Candid Selfie must end. I make no moral judgment here; honestly, I'm in favor of this kind of personal sexual expression.

But the technology is not up to the task of personal erotica -- it permits you to take the pictures, but does not permit you to keep the erotica personal.

If people want to continue to take naughty pictures, they should probably move to a more old-school technology, like the Polaroid Instamatic.**


* I should point out that saying such a thing to the actual victim's face would be a bit dickish, but most people would never say it to the victim's face. Their emotional intelligence would inform them that such a statement would be poorly-received, and a bit cruel.

Which brings up another question: If people online aren't saying "And here's what Jennifer Lawrence did wrong" to her face, but are simply talking amongst themselves, as people will do (people like talking about other people, after all), is that also dickish?

It is the stance of the "never victim shaming" folks that the same rule should attach in both instances -- whether you're talking to Jennifer Lawrence personally, or talking about her, in relative private, in a comments area she will almost certainly never read.

I guess, on this point, I find that "never victim shame" people to be in the wrong: There are very different rules about what you say to a victim and what you might say about the victim.

In the first case, emotional support is paramount and prioritized over all other things.

In the latter case, not so much. In the latter case, other priorities may need to prevail.

If I ever, for some reason, had the opportunity to talk to Jennifer Lawrence, would I offer her my theory that she should have used a Polaroid?

No. I wouldn't share that with her. I wouldn't bring this incident up at all, and if it somehow came up, I would only say "That's so horrible, I don't know why people do these things."

But does that mean, out of fear of "victim-shaming" Lawrence, I shouldn't say, generally, "Look, don't use your cellphones for 'private' erotica. It's not private at all"?

This conflation of what one should say to the victim personally and what one should say about avoiding victimization generally is a major error in thought that needlessly confuses an already-complicated issue.

** Actually, to avoid just "shaming the women," I should say that no men should any longer ask for cellphone naked selfies.

There was a time when that might have seemed like harmless, sexy fun. But it's not. It puts the woman (or the dude, too) at too much risk of future exposure and humiliation.

It's just not ethical to ask someone to run that kind of risk, especially at a time when they're probably not thinking about consequences. (People rarely think about future consequences during sex or sexy talk.)

Posted by Ace at 12:51 PM Comments



ICYMI: Islamists Take Over US Embassy in Tripoli, Throw Pool Party for Allah

—Ace

Yesterday's news, but in case you didn't see it.

To be clear, the Islamists didn't drive US personnel out, not exactly. US personnel deserted the compound when the local circumstances became too dangerous... primarily because of Islamist militias.

But now the Islamist militias say they've "secured" the compound -- on our behalves, thank the dears -- and heck, if you're kindly securing US sovereign territory for the US government, who can begrudge you a little pool party?

An Associated Press journalist walked through the U.S. Embassy compound Sunday after the Dawn of Libya, an umbrella group for Islamist militias, invited onlookers inside. Some windows at the compound had been broken, but it appeared most of the equipment there remained untouched. The journalist saw treadmills, food, televisions and computers still inside.

A commander for the Dawn of Libya group, Moussa Abu-Zaqia, told the AP that his forces had entered and been in control of the compound since last week, a day after it has seized control of the capital and its international airport after weeks of fighting with a rival militia. Abu-Zaqia said the rival militia was in the compound before his troops took it over.

...

They shot a video of the pool party and posted it on YouTube.

In a message on Twitter, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Deborah Jones said the video appeared to have been shot in at the embassy's residential annex, though she said she couldn’t "say definitively" since she wasn’t there.

"To my knowledge & per recent photos the US Embassy Tripoli chancery & compound is now being safeguarded and has not been ransacked," she wrote on Twitter. She did not immediately respond to a request to elaborate. State Department officials in Washington also declined to immediately comment.

Note there is some question about who we left guarding the Embassy in our absence -- was it US troops, or hired locals? And how were those guards ejected?

It's possible this Dawn of Libya actually is safeguarding the embassy, more or less. (Or at least it's possible it's safer in their hands than other hands.)

But it's pretty incredible that a US embassy has been taken over by militias, in a country the US fought a war limited full-spectrum kinetic action to "liberate."

And it's pretty incredible that the US response is to pretend these things away, once again giving the press the "Nothing to see here, folks, move on" treatment.

They are not interested in managing foreign policy -- they only care about managing domestic news.

Continue reading


Posted by Ace at 11:46 AM Comments

Open Thread

—rdbrewer


Posted by rdbrewer at 10:39 AM Comments

Top Headline Comments 9-2-14

—Gabriel Malor

Gah. September.

ICYMI, on Friday a district court judge halted a portion of Texas' abortion law HB2 that requires abortion clinics to meet hospital operating standards. This is the same judge who was later smacked down by the Fifth Circuit for ruling unconstitutional a portion of HB2 that requires abortion docs to have admitting privileges. As before, Texas has said it will appeal the ruling. HB2, if you will recall, is the law that launched Wendy Davis to national prominence.

Sin City 2 dropped out of the top 10 at the box office in only its second week of release. Screwing up a movie with that cast, plus Eva Green topless, is a special kind of fail.

Red states are slowly accepting Obamacare's Medicaid expansion.

Morgan Stanley analysts' "best guess" is the S&P 500 could rally for five years, reach almost 3,000.

On Obama's patent weakness: "You could almost hear the eyes rolling inside his Cabinet, not to mention in European capitals."

The last of the Great Escape tunnelers, Wing Commander Ken Rees, has died. Godspeed, Wing Commander.


AoSHQ Weekly Podcast rss.png itunes_modern.png | Stitcher | Download | Ask The Blog | Archives

Posted by Gabriel Malor at 06:45 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (9-1-2014)

—Maetenloch

Donna Brazile: Obama Doesn't Have Time to Deal With All You Dumb Hillbillies

Because if you want the president of the US to have an actual strategy to deal with the spread of IS, you just might be a redneck.

donnabraziletweet3

Apparently this is how the Obama administrations views its critics:

camachoshirt.jpg

White House: "We Respect the Rule of Law"

Well Mexican law that is.

If You Enjoyed What They Did to Your Dishwasher Detergent, You'll Love Obama's Plans For Your Dishwasher

In the future people will walk around with permanent access to high speed internet and the full breadth of human knowledge available at a glance but all the toilets, dishwashers, light bulbs, and washing machines will work worse than the ones you could buy in Sears circa 1960.

fladish_1728755a

USA vs Russia: Good Samaritan Edition

For all its faults the US is still very much a high trust society where people will stop and help strangers in distress. And amazingly enough this all happens without a federal Department of Good Samaritanism encouraging and monitoring it.

Continue reading


Posted by Maetenloch at 09:18 PM Comments

Spaced-Out Challenge: Finding Uranus

—Brandon Finnigan

uranrot.gif

Uranus as imaged by Don Banfield/Cornell University/Palomar Observatory

Welcome again to the Spaced-Out Challenge! Whether you have a question about equipment, a new astronomical discovery you want to expand on, or just want to kick back and enjoy the cosmos above, come one come all on our weekly astronomical journey.

This week, I'll show you how to find the butt of solar system jokes, perfectly positioned in the sky under Pegasus. So grab your optics, step outside, and I'll show you where to look!

Continue reading


Posted by Brandon Finnigan at 08:05 PM Comments

Caillebotte

—rdbrewer


Posted by rdbrewer at 07:33 PM Comments

Emergency Content Thread: Just the (wrong) punchline [WeirdDave]

—Open Blogger

Sometimes when Gingy and I aren't busy overseeing our vast empire of syphilitic weasels, we play a game we call "That's now how any of this works". Well, that's not quite true. I like to play the game, Gingy mostly groans and covers her eyes, I dunno why.

The way "That's now how any of this works" works is this. I'll blurt out the punchline to a well known joke, but I'll get it wrong in such a way that it makes the joke either nonsensical or better yet, convey the opposite meaning than that which the joke requires. The trick is that you have to come up with a punchline that would have the same basic meaning as the correct punchline in a different context. For example "That was no lady, that was a self propelled lawn mower" is gibberish, but "That was not just any lady, that was my wife" completely inverts the meaning of Henny Youngman's famous joke. Here are some other examples:

Yarrrr, it's steering my me nuts

Telephone, telegraph, mention it to a girl

The waiter looked in the dictionary and found "Panda: a giant marsupial living in Central Asia that dines on shoots and leaves"

That's when the conductor realized that the symphony was almost over, the sheet music was tied down and the bass section was drunk

The catcher said "HEY! MILT FAMEY'S DRUNK! THAT'S WHY HE GAVE UP ALL THOSE WALKS!"

You don't have to tell the joke (although you can if you want to), just the mangled punchline.

So Horde, what have ya got?

Posted by Open Blogger at 06:00 PM Comments

State Department Hikes Fee To Renounce Citizenship Amid Record Number Of Renunciations

—Gabriel Malor

The State Department's new fee schedule will become effective on September 12. It includes a five-fold increase in the cost to renounce citizenship.

The fee for individuals to renounce U.S. citizenship is jumping to $2,350 as of Sept. 12—more than five times the current charge of $450.

The U.S. State Department, in its explanation for the increase, said that documenting a renunciation is “extremely costly” and requires a minimum of two intensive interviews with the applicant as well as other procedures.

The fees charged for a number of other services, such as “fiance(e) visas” and employment-based visa applications, increased far less than those for renunciation and in some cases declined.

There was a record number of renunciations last year, and this year the number is expected to be even higher. For example, there are so many people already scheduled at the consulate in Toronto the wait time for new applicants (renunciates?) to start the interview process has been pushed into 2015.

I understand that State Department has little control over the policies driving renunciation, but let's not kid ourselves about what this is about. Individuals and businesses of means are fleeing the United States' punitive economic policies. Hiking the exit fee isn't going to stop that; this is just a way to wring one last penny from them while they're on their way out.

Posted by Gabriel Malor at 04:34 PM Comments

Labor Day Thread: Burgers and Ice Cream Edition [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

Someone last weekend asked for a thread about the best places to get ice cream. It's the end of summer, so why the hell not? And for added measure, let's toss in a discussion of the best place to get burgers. Good end of summer, Labor Day weekend fare.

First ice cream...

The folks at Food and Wine have created a list of the top cities for ice cream. It's in one of those annoying slide show formats, so here are a few highlights from their list (and you can click thru for the full monty):

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 03:00 PM Comments

Labor Day Words Of Wisdom From Mike Rowe

—Andy

mike-rowe-dirty-jobs-work-smart-and-hard.jpg

Continue reading


Posted by Andy at 02:04 PM Comments

Fun With Twitter Open Thread - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]

—Open Blogger

Over in the Twitterverse...


A really silly ad from the Dems. One gets the feeling they might not have prepared in advance for Perry to look so good in that mugshot.




Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 12:45 PM Comments

Open Thread

—rdbrewer


Posted by rdbrewer at 09:02 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (8-31-2014)

—Maetenloch

Quote of the Day I

"A moral response to this behavior might involve those officials, among others, hanging from lampposts. The legal system is, ultimately, an ancient bargain: Renounce your mob violence and blood feuds and we will provide you with justice. It could be argued that such a default as this calls the whole bargain into question, and justifies self-help along ancient lines."

-- Glenn Reynolds on the official cover-up of 16 years of systematic sexual abuse of children by Pakistani men in Rotherham, England

Quote of the Day II

"The scale of the sexual exploitation revealed in the Jay inquiry is shocking, but let's avoid racial stereotyping."

-- The Guardian attempting to ignore the central fact behind the Rotherham sexual abuse and the driving force behind its cover-up by officials.

The Price of Beef Hits an A New High

The average price for all types of ground beef per pound hit its all-time high -- $3.884 per pound -- in the United States in July, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

...Five years ago, in July 2009, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $2.147, according to the BLS. In those five years, the average price has climbed by $1.737 per pound--or almost 81 percent.

burgergrill23 beefalltimehighjuly

Continue reading


Posted by Maetenloch at 10:41 PM Comments

Labor Day Edition of the Travel Thread [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

I was going to do the Sunday Travel Thread on ice cream shops, per the request of a moron last week, but I decided to shelve that in favor of a Labor Day Weekend themed thread.

A brief history of Labor Day:

When did Labor Day begin?

The modern holiday is widely traced back to an organized parade in New York City in 1882. Union leaders had called for what they had labelled a "monster labor festival" on Tuesday, Sept. 5, according to Linda Stinson, a former historian for the Department of Labor (the idea for a general labor festival may have originated in Canada, which today also celebrates "Labour Day" on the first Monday in September). Initially that morning, few people showed up, and organizers worried that workers had been reluctant to surrender a day's pay to join the rally. But soon the crowds began flowing in from across the city, and by the end of the day some 10,000 people had marched in the parade and joined festivities afterward in what the press dubbed "a day of the people."

When did it become an official holiday?

The practice of holding annual festivities to celebrate workers spread across the country, but Labor Day didn't become a national holiday for more than a decade. Oregon became the first state to declare it a holiday in 1887, and states like New York, Massachusetts and Colorado soon followed suit. Under President Grover Cleveland, and amid growing awareness of the labor movement, the first Monday in September became a national holiday in 1896.

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 06:36 PM Comments

Food Thread: Fire Is Our Friend Edition [CBD]

—Open Blogger

Many thanks to Y-not for covering for me last Sunday!

One of the advantages of knowing an excellent bartender is that occasionally he will let his hair down (that's just an expression...the dude is as bald as a ping-pong ball) and pull out the silly stuff he did in his youth.

fire.jpg

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 04:00 PM Comments

Gaming Thread 8/31/2014

—Gang of Gaming Morons!

Some big news the last week. Probably the biggest is Google didn't end up buying Twitch because of anti-trust concerns. Amazon did end up buying it though for a cool $970 million in cash (not including payroll and other costs).

Though I still don't see Twitch being even close to worth that, still not bad for starting off as ghetto section of JustinTV.

Continue reading


Posted by Gang of Gaming Morons! at 03:17 PM Comments

Saturday Car Thread 08/31/14 - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse & KBDaBear]

—Open Blogger

Welcome to the Sunday edition of the Saturday Car Thread.

I blame Comcast.


The Brooklyn Bridge, under construction.



I don't see any handrails there.


Co-blogger, RD Brewer, sends along this terrific article from Supercompressor which ranks all of the Bond cars:

Sure, you know all about James Bond's enduring affinity for Aston Martins and Lotuses that are just as lovely under water as they are on the road. And if you're a hardcore aficionado, you likely know that 007's first cars were actually old Bentleys, back in the days before Sean Connery gave a face to MI6's top man.

It should go without saying that a scientific ranking of all of Bond's cars is absolutely impossibl -- and besides that, it's boring -- so what follows is a thoroughly subjective list of every significant car that Bond drove, rode in, chased, or was chased by.

And, as all our rankings tend to be on this site, it is correct.

Smokin'!

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 12:00 PM Comments

Open Thread: Feel-good Story of the Day [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

With all of the bad news these days, it's nice to find a news item that can restore our faith in humanity and make us feel good to be alive.

This is just such a story:

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 10:44 AM Comments

Sunday Morning Book Thread 08-31-2014: Shake, Rattle, and Roll [OregonMuse]

—Open Blogger


napa-earthquake-sends-library-books-flying-20140825.jpg
Napa County Library After Earthquake


Good morning morons and moronettes and welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread. The only AoSHQ thread that is so hoity-toity, pants are required.


Ah, Thread of Book
Peacefully great
With mood subdued
With pace sedate

Participate
Or lurkly look
Leisure learning
Thread of Book

Thanks to moron "mindful webworker" for posting this fun poem in last week's comments.

Another thing I like about the book thread is that I can come back to it after 8 or 12 hours and there may be new comments posted. On last week's thread, for instance, the comments extended into the evening, even to the next day. It takes a long time for the book thread to die.


Quake Damage

Last Sunday's earthquake in Northern California really did a number on the libraries in Napa, my old stomping ground:

"There is lots of work to be done -- lots of shelving to do! We are closed, but we hope to get back with you as soon as possible with the doors open," says director of Napa County Library Services Danis Kreimeier in a video posted on the system's Facebook page. "Be safe, take care of yourself, and we'll see you real soon."

All Napa County libraries were closed Monday for cleanup.


More On Superman

Last week, I mentioned that a pristine copy of Action Comics #1 was put up for auction on eBay. Guess how much it sold for:

An original Superman comic, sold for 10 cents at a West Virginia newsstand in 1938, was purchased at auction Sunday night for $3.2 million, making it the most expensive comic book ever sold.

I wondered how it survived for so long in such good shape:

Purchased off a newsstand by a man from West Virginia in 1938, the comic book was stored in a cedar chest “at high altitude” for four decades. When the man died, a collector purchased it from his estate.

The 3.2 million auction price far exceeding earlier purchases:

The previous record for a comic book was $2.1 million, for another Action Comics No. 1, sold by the actor Nicolas Cage in 2011.

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 09:44 AM Comments

Early Morning Open Thread - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]

—Open Blogger

Good morning.

The original Morons?


Posted by Open Blogger at 07:12 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (30 Aug 2014)

—CDR M

Happy International Bacon Day!

This week in pictures: Strategery Edition.

Continue reading


Posted by CDR M at 09:53 PM Comments

Open Thread for Your Scrolling Pleasure [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

That one was getting hard to scroll.

Here's a new one I call "Serenity Now."

SerenityNow.jpg

Heading south on I-15 in Utah

Posted by Open Blogger at 05:22 PM Comments

Saturday Politics Thread: Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Perry [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

College football season is fully underway this week. (Yes, there were some games last week, but this is the weekend the Big Dogs started playing.)

Tonight, the Wisconsin Badgers (14) will be meeting the LSU Tigers (13) at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. (I have no idea why they're playing in Houston.)

Coincidentally enough, this game involves three states whose Republican Governors should be considered amongst the top contenders for 2016. So let's use that as an excuse to talk about them.

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 03:14 PM Comments

Weekend Headlines [CBD}

—Open Blogger

Austin brewery rolls out ultimate 99-pack of beer

Texas school district arms teachers for upcoming year

Why Israel Defeated -- But Didn't Crush -- Hamas
This is interesting, but there are some assumptions made that are illogical.

United Nations peacekeepers reportedly fleeing across border into Israel
Why do they bother giving them weapons?

Reason #43,949 why government is bad
First they came for our vacuums.....

Ferguson isn't about black rage against cops. It's white rage against progress.
[Multiple Trigger Warning: stupidity, racism, vile patronizing, reflexive leftism....]

Prof dresses as robot to protest Iowa's 'sexist,' 'homophobic' pink locker room

Posted by Open Blogger at 02:00 PM Comments

Saturday Gardening Thread: Writer's Block Edition [Y-not and WeirdDave]

—Open Blogger

Good afternoon and welcome to your Saturday Gardening Thread!

Today's thread is brought to you by Billboard's Top 100 Songs of 1962, which happens to be the year I was born. Here's Number 69, "Cindy's Birthday:"


Take it away, WeirdDave:

OK, got no clue what to write about today. None. Zero, Zip, Nada. I tell ya, I got nothing. So I plugged "Garden" into DuckDuckGo and scrolled way down, then started to look for interesting stuff.

What garden is complete without a geodesic dome? Not yours, I'm sure, and at the link you can buy one for only 499 €, whatever the hell a "€" is. I'd be worried that Pauly Shore would show up.

Here's a site called The Gay Gardener. There's lots of helpful tips there, but I haven't found yet how being gay affects your garden, unless you're doing in your garden what you should be doing in your bedroom, in which case I'd suggest investing in a geodesic dome with an opaque cover (see first link) if you have neighbors.

Moving on, since we're getting close to Halloween, perhaps a nice, creepy scarecrow is in order. At the link you can get ones with faces on them, although the fact that they feature a picture of one of their products with crows sitting on it makes me question how effective they are. The faces are a nice touch, if you put one out front instead of in the garden I'm sure you'll give one or two trick-or-treaters nightmares. Still not sure about crow nightmares.

If you find yourself in Iceland, you should definitely visit The Elf Garden. Why? Well, their webpage has a picture of a cat looking at a rainbow sign captioned "We are here". Isn't that enough? We are here. Much better than "How to cook forty humans" I suppose. These people seem to have the intersection of elves and gardens nailed, AND they featured a performance by "the extremely funny Teenagers, Arnor and Oli." Book your tickets now before their voices change, their "Elves and faeries and goblins, oh my" routine won't be nearly as funny in a bass voice.

I got quite excited when I noticed a link to Eden's Garden, I thought God had barred mankind from that place for eternity. Turns out it's an aromatherapy store. I looked, but couldn't find any ValuRite scented oils or essence of Ewok, so it might not be our kind of place.

Hey, here's a website about bugs. They tell you which bugs are good bugs that fight bad bugs that are bugging your garden. Garden Insects. They promise that their bugs can beat up your bugs, and even provide a link to where you can order bugs online. Shopping for AtC has never been easier. Buy now, Christmas is just around the corner.

Finally, we find a link to Michelle Obama's garden. "Today, the garden is planted, tended and harvested by Mrs. Obama, White House staff, the National Park Service and visitors." Sure. I'm willing to bet that one of those listed does just a teensy bit less work in the garden than the others. Call it a hunch. There's more: "Inspired by the First Lady's passion for healthy living and healthy eating, people across the country have revisited the American tradition of starting a vegetable garden at home." Actually Madam First Lady, Americans are "revisiting" the "tradition" of starting a veggie garden because WE CAN'T AFFORD TO BUY FOOD DUE TO YOUR HUSBAND'S LOUSY ECONOMIC POLICIES.

* mic drop *

Weirddave is out.


And now from your co-hostess, Y-not:

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 01:05 PM Comments

College Football Thread

—Dave In Texas

Or as I like to think of it, sharp cheerleader elbows.

NTU.jpg

Texas A&M (21) kicked the snot out of South Carolina (9, for now) on Thursday, 52-28 at SC. I giggle now that the whole SEC gets to hate A&M as much as I used to. Enjoy all that, SEC! They're yours now.

Also this is kind of funny, a South Carolina furniture store offers to pay off furniture loans if A&M beats the Gamecocks by more than 10 points.

I just put this in here so I could say "Gamecocks"

They use insurance for this kind of thing, kind of like win a car with a hole in one at a golf tournament. Still, heh.

Boise State didn't do well at Ole Miss (18), a 35-13 loss. Arizona St also beat somebody.

Top Ten action today (and tomorrow, Baylor (10) plays SMU on Sunday in their brand spanking new McLane Stadium and I will be there, yo), all times EDT:

UCLA (7) and Virginia at noon

Ohio St. (5) and Navy, noon

Alabama (2) and West VA, 3:30pm

Arkansas and Auburn (6), 4pm

Oklahoma (4) and Louisiana Tech, 7pm

FSU (1) and Oklahoma St. (33), 8pm

Oregon (3) and South Dakota, 10:30pm

Also Michigan St. (8) beat Jacksonville St. last night, 45-7

That's all.

Posted by Dave In Texas at 11:30 AM Comments

Southwest Ohio Moron Meet-up Trial Balloon/Open Thread(CBD)

—Open Blogger

trial balloon.jpg

I had a mini-meet planned for SW Ohio last week as a reward to myself for moving a brat into her new house, but had to abort because 20-year-old college juniors are horrid, lazy, stupid, ungrateful difficult.

Intrepid Southwest Ohio Moron speedster1 has created an e-mail address for those in the area:
swohmome at mail dot com

Obviously this includes Southeast Indiana and Northern Kentucky. So shoot him an e-mail if you have any interest in meeting like-minded folk.

Posted by Open Blogger at 11:05 AM Comments

OT Thread-Clearing Out The Browser Tabs Edition [WeirdDave]

—Open Blogger

I don't really feel like doing politics today, so I'm going to feature some links and memes from back in the day. I know in internet terms that means last Tuesday, but I've been online for a long time. When I first wandered online, using my Atari ST series computer, the internet wasn't a superhighway, it was a cow path. In 20-plus years of browsing, I've bookmarked and saved a lot of crap, call it a potpourri of poop, or maybe a cavalcade of crap. Now, if I can just get this 5 1/4" floppy drive to interface with Windows 7....

Here's one of the first RPGs I remember playing. It's not quite the grandaddy of them all, but it knew the granddaddy when he was still in school. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 09:15 AM Comments

Early Morning Open Thread - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]

—Open Blogger

Good morning.



Oh, and then there's this:


Yes. That is paparazzi taking photos of..... a puppet. I suspect from the audio that there might be drugs involved.

Posted by Open Blogger at 07:24 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (29 Aug 2014) - Under The Influence Edition

—CDR M

Evenin' morons. I'm back with this abbreviated ONT. I blame the pain killers.

Continue reading


Posted by CDR M at 09:54 PM Comments

Music Thread

—Ace

So y'all's can write about whatever you like, musically. I'll just write a little bit up here because I wanted to write something about this anyway.

Lately -- I think because it's the 25th anniversary of Kick, or something -- I've been fascinated by INXS.

One of the cable channels has on a two-part docudrama about INXS' rise and fall. The first half is all rise -- formation to Kick -- the second is all fall, from Michael Hutchence being sucker-punched and knocked out cold in Hong Kong (did you know that?) which gave him a nasty change of personality (prone to rages) and robbed him of his sense of smell and taste, to his ultimate suicide in Sydney.

The docudrama is produced by INXS, so it gets very superficial about certain things they probably don't want to talk about. Like, Tim Farris, the band's leader, got married relatively early. Did he cheat? The movie does not say yes or no. It never shows him cheating; it just sort of shows him around semi-dressed girls during the band parties.

I'm not into these movies for such prurient stuff but the film has this tendency to set something up and make you curious, and then completely ignore the obvious questions you'd have about it.

Youngest member Jon Farriss, the drummer, got arrested for drugs at one point. There's an implication in the film he was actually dealing to help the band make rent. But... the film never says. He just gets out of jail because he's a minor, and no one ever mentions it again.

The most compelling character in the movie is... the manager, Chris Murphy, who comes across very well and very central to the band's success.

The other characters in the movie are Michael Hutchence.

Pretty much just Michael Hutchence. And his girlfriends.

Occasionally you see Tim Farris and Andy Farris and sometimes Jon Farris. Kirk Pengilly has a couple of lines, and Garry Gary Beers is almost entirely absent from the movie until the last ten minutes. When he confesses that he's begun seeing a woman besides his wife, in a scene that really showcases...

Michael Hutchence.

The film has almost no "how the song was written" material at all. There's one famous story that when Listen Like Thieves was about to go out to the record company, Chris Murphy listened and said, "I don't hear any hits."

So Andy Farris wrote a song in about a day, and Hutchence wrote the lyrics, and the band recorded it in like three takes, and it became their all-time greatest hit (at that time). That was "What You Need."

The movie just completely skips over that. I have no idea why. Especially because "What You Need" directly led to Kick -- the entire album of Kick is designed to sound like What You Need. What You Need was different from everything else on Listen Like Thieves, and everything they'd done before.

So this one song, written and recorded in a single day (or day and a half), changed their whole sound, made them superstars, and spawned, basically, an entire album.

But the movie ignores all of that.

It does reveal a few interesting things. Their first manager found God and decided that he could only manage Christian bands. He tried to convince INXS to become a Christian band. They briefly considered doing so.

Another interesting thing was when the label heard Kick for the first time, they hated it so much that they offered the band one million dollars to write and record an entirely new album. They said it was too black, and they couldn't sell INXS to black radio, being white and all.

It made no sense, either: Seriously, "Kick" was just "What You Need" in 12 different parts. "What You Need" was their biggest hit. Ergo, any executive who's interested in hits should have said, "Cool, it sounds like your biggest hit. Let's push this out there."

But they absolutely hated it.

The band had to go behind their back to release it.

So you probably know what happened next.

It's a decent docudrama, as far as these things go, just... superficial.

But diverting enough.

Anyway, here are a few of their better songs.

Continue reading


Posted by Ace at 07:54 PM Comments

Obama: The News Makes it Seem Like the World Is Falling Apart, But Actually It's Fine, It's Just That We Hear Too Much from Social Media

—Ace

Speaking to Democrat donors at, get this, a fundraiser:


james-foley-isis.jpg
Above: Social Media makes it seem like an American journalist
was beheaded by a terrorist organization which has declared war on the US

For some time I have had concerns about Obama. And not all of these concerns are political.

I have wondered if he simply snapped.

He continues to make me wonder.

The less menacing possibility is that he is determined to create a happy, false reality for his LIV supporters.

The more frightening possibility is that he was so successful in creating that Happy Place, he decided to move in, and now lives in his own delusions as well.

Meanwhile, as the president fundraises and attends celebrity weddings, bear this in mind:


Meanwhile, Noah Rothman writes that before invading Ukraine, Putin began calling it by its old Tsarist name, and denying that it was really a state.

He's now doing the same thing with regard to Kazakhstan -- also, he avers, never really a state at all.

So, you know.

But this is just "Social Media" making us worried about the Soviet Union, and yes, it is time to call it by its proper name again.


Update: So when Obama says, in press conferences, that he's "deeply concerned" and "working tirelessly" on these "serious matters," I guess he just told us he's lying?

After all, if the world is fine, and everything will just work itself out, and we're only alarmed due to "Social Media," then he can't be "deeply concerned" about it all, can he?

Continue reading


Posted by Ace at 06:21 PM Comments

Media Ignores Obama's "We Don't Have a Strategy" Statement In Order to Focus on the Important Thing -- Obama Fashion

—Ace

A partisan Democrat media, hungry for an Obama victory, finds one in his sartorial choices.



Good photoshop about this, too:


Retracted: Commenter Andrew tells me I totally misread that piece and claimed it was making a completely different argument than the one it was actually making.

He's right; I'm sorry. Apologies to Vox, too, for misrepresenting them.

Posted by Ace at 05:28 PM Comments

AoSHQ Podcast: Guest, Conn Carroll

—Andy

Conn Carroll, Editor of Townhall Magazine, joins Ace, Gabe, Drew and John on this week's episode.

Intro/Outro: Moneypenny Goes For Broke-Burt Bacharach/One Tree Hill-U2

Listen: Stitcher | MP3 Download
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Browse (and even search!) the archives

Follow on Twitter

Don't forget to submit your Ask the Blog questions for next week's episode.

Open thread in the comments

Posted by Andy at 04:10 PM Comments

The Man With a Plan: Obama To Attend Celebrity-Studded Wedding, Lead Three Partisan Fundraisers; Ed Henry Asks His Spokesman Why He's Taking a Long Weekend When He Still Doesn't Have a Strategy for IS

—Ace

Obama does have a strategy -- and that strategy is to Party Like it's 1999.

So his weekend is jam-packed with events.

President Obama has a busy Labor Day weekend planned as he leaves on Air Force One for New York later this afternoon.

Once in New York, President Obama is scheduled to attend two Democratic National Committee fundraisers in the area at private homes.

One of the fundraisers will be a Labor Day Barbecue, hosted by ex-UBS CEO Robert Wolf, who also golfed with the president on Martha's Vineyard during their vacation.
He will then travel abroad Air Force One to Newport, Rhode Island for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Saturday, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are expected to attend the wedding of MSNBC’s Alex Wagner to his personal White House Chef Sam Kass.
The wedding will be held at the Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a Westchester County farm-to-table restaurant in New Rochelle, New York.

And then he's traveling to a labor fundraiser.

You'll remember that when Obama "came back to DC from vacation" during his many unattended crises, it seems to have been largely in order to have a five-hour pre-wedding dinner with Wagner and Kass.

Yesterday, White House Consiglierte Josh Earnest spent the entire day claiming that when Obama said "We don't have a strategy, yet," what he actually meant to say was "We have always had and continue to have a clear strategy."

You don't believe me, but there's video of this.

Today, Ed Henry dares to ask Josh Earnest why the president -- who doesn't have a strategy -- spending yet another long period of vacation havin' fun and talking with Interesting Italians.

By the way, I have swiped the videos from those last two posts, but do read the posts -- Rutz and Rothman wrote good posts, but I'll direct you there for their words.

Continue reading


Posted by Ace at 03:23 PM Comments

Texas Department of Public Safety Issues Bulletin Warning of Increased "ISIS Interest on the Southwest Border"

—Ace

This is Judicial Watch's claim, but, as you'll see, they're claiming multiple sources.

We'll see if anyone else can confirm it themselves.

Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED). High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued. Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.

Specifically, Judicial Watch sources reveal that the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is confirmed to now be operating in Juarez, a famously crime-infested narcotics hotbed situated across from El Paso, Texas....

Intelligence officials have picked up radio talk and chatter indicating that the terrorist groups are going to "carry out an attack on the border," according to one JW source. "It's coming very soon," according to this high-level source, who clearly identified the groups planning the plots as "ISIS and Al Qaeda."

Another source says that the personnel at Fort Bliss, a military base near the border, are being briefed.

The reporting from Judicial Watch says the attack will be "on" the border, which I guess could mean Brownsville or another large town.

But that doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Seems more likely the incursion would be at the border, but the attack would be elsewhere.

Still, what the reporting says is "an attack on the border." I think that might be garbled in translation, but that's what it says.

Thanks to "Cowboy Poet."

Update: Fox Now Reporting. A few new details:

The Fox report is less alarmist than the Judicial Watch one (but that may be just because they have fewer sources -- they just seem to have confirmed the alert itself).

The alert found by Fox comes from the Texas Department of Public Safety, not the feds, though I suppose they themselves might have been tipped by the feds.

"A review of ISIS social media messaging during the week ending August 26 shows that militants are expressing an increased interest in the notion that they could clandestinely infiltrate the southwest border of US, for terror attack," warns the Texas Department of Public Safety "situational awareness" bulletin, obtained by FoxNews.com.

The three-page bulletin, entitled "ISIS Interest on the US Southwest Border" was released to law enforcement on Thursday.

"Social media account holders believed to be ISIS militants and propagandists have called for unspecified border operations, or they have sought to raise awareness that illegal entry through Mexico is a viable option," states the law enforcement bulletin, which is not classified.

It notes that as of Aug. 26, no known credible homeland threats or specific homeland attack plot has been identified.

Based on that much, I'm taking down the flaming skull, for now, as it seems less urgent and less well-sourced than I first thought.

In addition, Andy McCarthy, who is an expert in these things, is concerned by the memo, but also says he expects this sort of thing in the weeks before the 9/11 anniversary.

For those of us who've been raising alarms about both the jihadist threat and the national-security vulnerability created by the Obama administration's non-enforcement of the immigration laws, this is not a surprise -- particularly less than two weeks before September 11. But it is nonetheless jarring to read.

The way I read McCarthy there is like this: "Yes, this is worrying, but I see this sort of thing all the time."

So I'm resetting my personal Terror Threat Alarm System back down to orange from red. This is a reason for great concern, but not panic.

Not yet, anyway.

Sorry for making you jumpy.

But to add a caveat to the caveat: Fox is only confirming one of Judicial Watch's sources, the bulletin itself. Add in those additional sources and this appears to be more alarming than a routine "Be Advised" memo.


Posted by Ace at 02:01 PM Comments

A Diverse Assortment of "Children" Now Taking Advantage of Obama's DACA to Enroll in Local Schools

—Ace

Think of the children.

The mayor of Lynn, Massachusetts gave a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Here is what she said of the "children" taking advantage of DACA and enrolling in her schools.

"One of the things that we did notice when we were processing some of these students coming in was that they were adults," she said.

She added that the federal government will not allow school officials to verify their ages, even though one of the students turned out to be 35 years old.

Kennedy said that the majority of those from Guatemala who are enrolling in the Lynn Public Schools claim to be between 14 and 17 years of age.

"But there were people with graying temples, hair around the temples," said Kennedy, adding that although she did not see these individuals in person, she saw photographs of them in registration paperwork. "There were people with more wrinkles than I have around their eyes."

"We were told through a directive from the Department of Justice (DOJ) that we were not to question or verify -- attempt to verify these ages," Kennedy stated at the press conference, hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).

So there you go.

Lawless. A ruling clique in open rebellion against the country, its people and its laws.

Update: Some draw conclusions from this that I think are unlikely.

I don't think these thirty-five-years-and-older "students" are actually attending these schools. Or at least not many of them, at least not more than a couple of times.

However, to take advantage of DACA, they must pretend to be teenagers, and so they're pretending.

Obama knows it's a scam. He intends the scam. He has set the system up with the exact expectation that thirty-five-year-olds could claim to be fifteen and earn their DACA hall pass.

He knows that if anyone looks into a lot of these "children," it will be revealed to largely be a scam, and will cause negative headlines, and harm his "This is for The Children" narrative.

So his government has ordered local governments that it is illegal to look into the ages of these alleged "children."

I really don't think they'll be attending school, though.

I think they'll mostly be working their "after-school jobs" at the local restaurants and landscaping companies.

Posted by Ace at 01:23 PM Comments



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Top Headlines
Video: Brawl in traffic
Just another night in Russia. [rdbrewer]


Collect Space: Dog spacesuit among artist's Soviet space artifacts being auctioned [rdbrewer]

The Conversation: Move over Iceland, Tavurvur in Papua New Guinea is the volcano to watch [rdbrewer]


Rotherham child abuse scandal: South Yorkshire Police starts probe
Over 1400 children raped. "Meanwhile, Labour has suspended four members in the town, three of them councillors." Labour. More from the New York Times, including an ugly story of police coverup. [rdbrewer]

Wachau, Austria

Ron Fournier: The Summer of Obama's Disconnect
"Wow. That was some summer. The Islamic State that President Obama dismissed as 'JV' proved to be a virulent varsity – gobbling up gobs of the Middle East, beheading an American journalist, and threatening the United States. Russia invaded Ukraine. Ferguson burned. Obama shrugged." Via @GabrielMalor. [rdbrewer]


Daniel J. Mitchell: Lower Tax Rates vs. Targeted Tax Credits
"Since this meant I was wading into a fight between so-called reform conservatives (or 'reformicons') and traditional conservatives (or 'supply-siders'), I wasn’t surprised to learn that not everyone agreed with my analysis." Via @TheH2. [rdbrewer]


Remember Dungeon Master?
Free download. [rdbrewer]


Kevin Williamson: What to Do about Wages?
"The Left sees inequality as a cause of economic facts, not an effect of them.... The Left thinks that inequality is not a mere measure of relative incomes or wealth but something that does things in the world, something that acts...." Via Monty. [rdbrewer]


Quin Hillyer: Obama, Outed: If Only
"Just resign already. Go. Be gone. Vamoose. Get out of our lives. More important: Stop endangering all of us with your self-indulgent vacations and self-absorbed dithering, along with unconstitutional domestic power plays while the whole world burns." [rdbrewer]
Christina Hoff Sommers, Time: 5 Feminist Myths That Will Not Die
"MYTH 5: Women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns—for doing the same work." [rdbrewer]

Lounge Kitty
TNW: This could be the Apple iCloud flaw that led to celebrity photos being leaked
"On Monday, a Python script emerged on Github... that appears to have allowed malicious users to ‘brute force’ a target account’s password on Apple’s iCloud, thanks to a vulnerability in the Find my iPhone service." [rdbrewer]

Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Ariana Grande Among Celebrities Exposed in Massive Nude Photo Leak
The quote that caught my eye: "Knowing those photos were deleted long ago, I can only imagine the creepy effort that went into this." What are these services and, I assume, social media doing holding onto your stuff after you've deleted it? Can we get some ironclad privacy legislation now? Make that a felony. [rdbrewer]



"We don't care if you deleted your shit. We're holding onto it."
The Telegraph: The self- loathing of the British Left is now a problem for us all
"We’ve all read [the facts], and reeled away in horror. The interesting question is how and why would any country allow the racialised gang-rape of its own daughters? Why? Because too many in that country, especially on the Left, most especially in the Labour Party, despise their own ordinary people...." They're desperate to see themselves as uncommon, with-it. Via @Instapundit. [rdbrewer]
AoSHQ Podcast rss.png itunes_modern.png

This week's guest: Conn Carroll

MP3 Download | Stream | Ask The Blog | Archives
Daily Mail: Myth of arctic meltdown: Stunning satellite images show summer ice cap is thicker and covers 1.7million square kilometres MORE than 2 years ago...despite Al Gore's prediction it would be ICE-FREE by now
A melting ice cap was construed as proof of global warming; thus, a growing ice cap is proof global warming isn't a problem. Right? Problem is, progs have never been hampered by intellectual honesty and logical consistency. [rdbrewer]


NBC reporter says military officials are ‘APOPLECTIC’ over Obama’s passive nonexistent foreign policy
A Richard Engel report. Watch the whole thing. Via @JohnEkdahl. [rdbrewer]

Time: See Every Single Device Connected to the Internet [rdbrewer]


Media mostly laughs with, not at, Obama
"The left can’t laugh at Obama because in doing so they would be laughing at themselves." [rdbrewer]
Flashback: "We Will Not Rest"
The Free Beacon did this some weeks ago but it's worth rewatching
Loathesome MP George Galloway got his ass kicked on a London street
"Galloway is a nauseating anti-Semite who once told Saddam Hussein during a speech he gave in Iraq, 'Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability.'" Maybe the Brits will vote him out of office now. [rdbrewer]




President George W. Obama Lashes Out at Media Over Sinking Poll Numbers
Most of the time, Democrats wait until after the midterms to blame the media for their losses. [rdbrewer]


Erick Erickson: The Continued Farce
"Soon, because polling and focus grouping suggested 'global warming' was not working, the name changed to 'climate change.' No one really opposes the new term. Every person who has ever lived agrees the climate changes." [rdbrewer]


Matthew Continetti: Remilitarize the World Police
"In the past, America has cut defense without eliminating our deterrent. What’s different? Presidential incompetence." [rdbrewer]

Editorial: President Obama needs to focus on how the United States can meet global challenges
"OBAMA’S acknowledgment that 'we don’t have a strategy yet' in Syria understandably attracted the most attention after his perplexing meeting with reporters Thursday. But his restatement of the obvious was not the most dismaying aspect of his remarks." Via @trueholygoat. Added: More from HotAir. [rdbrewer]
Book Review: A Flowershop In Baghdad
Memoir by USAF Major Michael Banzet of his time in Iraq, highly relevant once more as the Endless War continues to not end
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