Obama Administration: Hey, Since We're Giving Iran the Bomb and All, Maybe We Need a Missile Defense After All, Huh?
Meanwhile, Chris "Chaplinsky" Cuomo-- who only got into Fordham Law School despite his dad being, you know, Governor of New York and all -- actually gets spanked by, get this, Vox.
Meanwhile, a would-be asteroid mining company has sent out its first probe, to look for asteroids it can mine gold out of.
Um, this is probably silly, but I don't care. I want escape.
Meanwhile, Jonah Goldberg called it.
Meanwhile, a three year old was traumatized when two black men did a home invasion of his home. In the victim statement part of the sentencing, the parents said the kid was emotionally scarred, to the point where he fears black men. Well, the black judge hearing this case was outraged... at the parents and at the three year old, for being so racist.
Meanwhile, the Political Organization Fox News is trying to get the politics of the Garland attack right -- rather than trying to get the principle right. Most of its hosts, who are largely pretty useless, think it's more important to condemn Pam Geller than to stand up for an American making unpopular -- but legal and politically relevant -- speech.
Martha McCallum counsels that we can only speak about Islam in a "Christian way," which I guess is too bad for Pam Geller, who is Jewish, as well as myself, being an agnostic.
Meanwhile, JWF has rounded up media hatred of free speech, including the useless bobble-head Matha McCallum telling Jews to get right with Jesus.
Meanwhile, Charles C.W. Cooke does something I thought was impossible: He makes me interested in the British elections.
The kink here is that even though Labour would win in any other year -- Labour is going to be wiped out in Scotland, possibly losing every seat they have there, to the Scottish nationalists, and that makes this all an unpredictable thing.
Meanwhile: In the meantime.
State Department: We Want to Announce "Loud and Clear" That Hillary's Hidden Emails Are "Not Acceptable"
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email account run through a private server was "not acceptable" and happened without officials' knowledge, a top State Department record-keeper said on Wednesday.
"I think the message is loud and clear that that is not acceptable," Joyce Barr, the State Department’s assistant secretary for the Bureau of Administration, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"The actions that we’ve taken in the course of recovering these emails has made it very clear what the responsibilities are with regard to record-keeping," she added in remarks at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on government transparency....
That's not the only slap-down Hillary has gotten from current Administration officials today on her lawlessness. She announced she would now extend Dreamer status to the parents of Dreamers, using her Powers of the Queen.
She's just going to Decree it in her Queenly Beauty.
As Allah points out, Obama, who is already acting lawlessly in decreeing his own amnesty, flinched from this specific measure, finding it too lawless.
But not the Haggard Queen.
Clinton said she'd differ from Obama by interpreting existing law to permit other groups, including the parents of DREAMers, to apply for protected status under the banner of "sympathetic cases."
Her campaign posted a general explanation of her thinking, but did not respond to emailed questions from RCP....
"We should put in place a simple, straightforward, and accessible way for parents of DREAMers, and others with a history of service and contribution to their communities, to make their case and be eligible for the same deferred action as their children," she continued.
The president last year explained to disappointed immigrant families that he did not extend deportation waivers to all parents of DREAMers because administration legal experts told him he did not have that authority.
Clinton did not explain Tuesday why her legal analysis differs, if indeed it does. “A history of service and contribution to their communities" -- her phrase -- suggested a separate category for protected status.
By "service and contribution to their communities," she means no murders in their records (but manslaughter is fine) and only a couple of rapes.
That's not a joke, by the way. That's Obama's standard. He's "Dreamed" a lot of killers, rapists, molesters, and drug smugglers.
But the White House has just put out the word that they are unable to see any legal means by which The Haggard Queen might accomplish this, as if that's in any way relevant.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday that Obama did as much as he legally could as far as deferring deportations. So he was at a loss as to how a President Clinton could justify doing more, as the candidate promised to do on Tuesday at an event in Las Vegas. Story Continued Below
Asked repeatedly whether additional actions would be illegal, Earnest deferred to Clinton's team.
ISIS Announces Six Month Terror Campaign; Vows to Murder Pam Geller
Or, as the Washington Post's "Social Change Reporter" calls her: "bait."
'A message to the crusaders' was posted on social media today, supposedly from ISIS terrorist Abu Ibrahim Al Ameriki, naming 5 target states, and saying they have 71 members ready to attack Americans.
Here’s the account that posted it on Twitter:
Message to the crusaders “The New Era” http://t.co/gzFOgRRMH5
— Umm Zidane (@locoL1oness_79) May 5, 2015
And here’s the full message:
Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem
“The New Era”
To our brothers and sisters fighting for the Sake of Allah, we make dua for you and ask Allah to guide your bullets, terrify your enemies, and establish you in the Land. As our noble brother in the Phillipines said in his bayah, "This is the Golden Era, everyone who believes… is running for Shaheed."
The attack by the Islamic State in America is only the beginning of our efforts to establish a wiliyah in the heart of our enemy. Our aim was the khanzeer Pamela Geller and to show her that we don’t care what land she hides in or what sky shields her; we will send all our Lions to achieve her slaughter. This will heal the hearts of our brothers and disperse the ones behind her. To those who protect her: this will be your only warning of housing this woman and her circus show. Everyone who houses her events, gives her a platform to spill her filth are legitimate targets. We have been watching closely who was present at this event and the shooter of our brothers. We knew that the target was protected. Our intention was to show how easy we give our lives for the Sake of Allah.
We have 71 trained soldiers in 15 different states ready at our word to attack any target we desire. Out of the 71 trained soldiers 23 have signed up for missions like Sunday, We are increasing in number bithnillah. Of the 15 states, 5 we will name.. Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California, and Michigan. The disbelievers who shot our brothers think that you killed someone untrained, nay, they gave you their bodies in plain view because we were watching.
The next six months will be interesting, To our Amir Al Mu’mineen make dua for us and continue your reign, May Allah enoble your face.
May Allah send His peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhummad and all those who follow until the last Day.
– Abu Ibrahim Al Ameriki
We simply do not have a country any more, when alleged "Americans" are cheerleading for other Americans' murder, and are applauded for it by hateful know-nothings.
It is time to put an end to this. The American Experiment has failed.
It is time to dissolve the union and create new ones.
California (Democrat) Secretary of State Kamala Harris' Aides Accused of Running Secret Shadow Police Force...
Which, By the Way, Secret Policemen Claim Dates Further Back Than The Knights Tempar
I know what you're thinking -- Whuhh... do I have to do to join the Knights Templar Shadow Police Force?
One of California Attorney General Kamala Harris' (D) staffers was arrested last week and "accused of operating a rogue police force that claimed to exist for more than 3,000 years," The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
Brandon Kiel, deputy director of community affairs at the California Department of Justice, and two others -- David Henry and Tonette Hayes -- reportedly face charges for their roles in the Masonic Fraternal Police Department.
"Suspicions about the Masonic Fraternal Police Department — whose members trace their origins to the Knights Templar — were aroused when various police chiefs in Southern California received a letter in late January that announced new leadership for the group," the Times' Matt Hamilton wrote.
"Following an investigation, officials said, sheriff's investigators searched two sites in Santa Clarita and found badges, weapons, uniforms and law enforcement paraphernalia."
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's department said in a statement that the Masonic Fraternal Police Department was not a legitimate police force and that Kiel, Henry, and Hayes were arrested for allegedly impersonating police officers.
You're not going to believe this -- despite not being real, and also being crazy, and also being criminals, and also being Democrats, they have a website.
The Masonic Fraternal Organization is the oldest and most respected organization in the "World."
The "world." Not the world, but the "world."
We're off to a roaring start here, folks. Either they are illiterate, or they are paranoids who aren't sure the "world" is the world.
Grand Masters around the various states are facing serious safety concerns for their Jurisdictions and their family members. The first Police Department was created by the "Knights Templar's" back in 1100 B.C.
The "Knights Templar's." What is that apostrophe doing in there? It's Knights Templar.
And the Knights Templar were created around 1100 A.D., but that's Democrat education for ya.
The Masonic Fraternal Police Department, (M.F.P.D.) is the Knights Templar's!
You, sir, are a Goof.
When asked what is the difference between The Masonic Fraternal Police Department and other Police Departments the answer is simple for us. We were here first! We are born into this Organization our bloodlines go deeper then an application. This is more then a job it is an obligation.
The Masonic Fraternal Police Department (M.F.P.D.) is a Masonic Sovereign Jurisdiction (Municipality) located within the incorporated City of Santa Clarita, California. The Chief of Police is Honorable Grand Master David Henry 33º was elected and is Governed by a Grand Supreme Council, and 33 Masonic Jurisdictions. He currently oversees a 1/2 Million members throughout the United States.
We are not “Sovereign Citizens’ nor do we condone terrorist activity, sovereign citizens or clandestine!
More quote problems. They started with a " and ended with a '.
But punctuation really isn't the Big Story here, is it?
The Masonic Fraternal Police Department (M.F.P.D.) provides services to Masonic Sovereign Grand Masters and their Masonic Jurisdictions, as well as other Fraternities, Sororities and Greek Organizations. Masonic Fraternal Police Department will be located in 33 other states, including Mexico City. We support all law enforcement agencies. Our mission is to preserve the integrity, honor and legacy of our Founding Fathers, Masonic Organizations, all Grand Masters and their Constitution /By Laws. We will uphold our sworn obligation to protect Sovereign Grand Masters and their jurisdictions.
God Bless the United States of America!!!!!
So there you go.
By the way, the Democrat Kamala Harris is running for the Senate seat which will be vacated by Babsy Boxer.
Life is Beautiful, Part II: Poop, Sweat, and Tears
So here is the "end of the beginning", in all of its visceral detail. My wife would like to thank the morons and ettes, particularly Brent and Carol, who organized an online baby shower for her and Jameson. Your outpouring of support and encouragement has been a blessing during a rewarding, but very trying, pregnancy.
A little over nine months ago, my wife and I did what tens of billions of homo sapiens have done over eleven thousand generations: recombined our DNA; and like 99.99999% of that mass of humanity we certainly weren't thinking about it in that way at the time.
I wrote about the roller coaster that followed right here at Ace's place, and as the months, weeks and days counted down, we felt totally prepared for what would come next.
What follows is a tale of poop, sweat and tears.
False Start, Offense, 24 Hour Penalty
So on All Stoners' Eve, the beginning of the end was at hand. I'll spare you the really gory details except that if your wife asks you to "check this out I think I started", don't respond with a "whoa that's cool". That isn't the right answer. Also, don't assume that this is the nastiest it will get.
After a quick call to her OB/GYN, we went to the hospital, following all of the procedures we learned on the tour. Filled out all of our forms (all 316 of them), checked into the triage area, and we waited.
After a painful cervical check for her, a hand squeezed blue for me, and a “come back if this list of symptoms present” later, we were back on the road at 2am.
A good thing, in retrospect: if our kid was born on 4/20 our friends would have never let that slide.
My wife, who up to this point had been handling her pregnancy like a champ, huffed, "we aren't coming back here until he comes out."
As she tried to rest, the contractions started as I headed off for work.
What are you doing here?
Just over a day later, the contractions had finally grown close enough together to merit another call. Erinn's weekly doc visit was just an hour ahead of us when we begin arguing whether to go back to the hospital. We wanted to avoid another wasted trip, so we packed the car and drove over to her OB. "What are you doing here? You're water is about to break!" her annoyed doctor reacted during the exam. This was it. After few quick phone calls to family, we rushed to the hospital a second time.
This time we wouldn't be waiting for two hours, no sirree.
This time, it would be twelve.
The Bored Millennials
Oh the boredom. This is the thing nobody tells you about, because everyone focuses on the excitement and the action and the noise and the machines that go ping and the blood and the screaming. But much of the time you spend in the hospital, even after admittance, is spent watching local television and watching your wife have a stream of doctors and nurses poke prod and bother her. So, like most people bored and born after 1983, I went on Twitter.
Birth centers have better rooms than my apartment...— Brandon Finnigan (@ConArtCritic) April 21, 2015
This is so damn boring. Wife has passed out from the epidural and mom-in-law is tired of my "drivable bed" concept.— Brandon Finnigan (@ConArtCritic) April 21, 2015
Last night the wife terrified the cat with her contraction moaning. Which was pretty damn awesome because that cat is a bastard.— Brandon Finnigan (@ConArtCritic) April 21, 2015
The "miracle of life" takes a really long time and apparently involves lots of noise-making devices and 49-channel cable.— Brandon Finnigan (@ConArtCritic) April 21, 2015
"Everything is sticky" says a tired Erinn. "Well that's sort of how all this start" I stopped just in time.— Brandon Finnigan (@ConArtCritic) April 22, 2015
He's hiccuping again per the doctor, but I think he's actually trying to verbalize his plan for winning Pennsylvania.— Brandon Finnigan (@ConArtCritic) April 22, 2015
The waiting is the hardest part. Though my wife probably says the UFC match in her abdomen.— Brandon Finnigan (@ConArtCritic) April 22, 2015
And there goes the water.— Brandon Finnigan (@ConArtCritic) April 22, 2015
"You aren't tweeting that my water broke are you?" "No."— Brandon Finnigan (@ConArtCritic) April 22, 2015
Ice chips a plenty.— Brandon Finnigan (@ConArtCritic) April 22, 2015
My better half at first was annoyed, but grew to enjoy the distraction of hearing replies. Her annoyance with local stories (including a bathroom breast feeder) were great fodder for me and made the hours pass a little faster. It was a fun escape for both of us, until a decision we hadn't really planned for reared up.
Complications. Baby not reacting well to the Oxyocin. CS may be in the cards.— Brandon Finnigan (@ConArtCritic) April 22, 2015
Cesarean.— Brandon Finnigan (@ConArtCritic) April 22, 2015
David Cronenberg's “Birth”
We had planned for a vaginal birth. Discussed all the dirty work of it. The episiotomy. Which kind of painkilling option she would prefer. Reassurances the baby wouldn't “ruin her”. All the usual jazz. And in the end, the baby, consistent in his character throughout this 279-day ordeal, had other plans. The nurses and doctors monitoring her and him realized the medication she was receiving to speed up contractions was stressing the little dude out. Worse, his head was too damn big. So after over a day of labor she was given the option of waiting longer but risking further complications or going with the Cesarean. It took my wife all of five seconds to mouth the word, and it was on.
After hours of waiting, the next hour would be the most dramatic in our lives. The doctor, nurses, paperwork, gurneys, scrubs, blood, delirious smiles, everything and everyone rushed in so rapidly I only had a brief moment to think.
I was pacing, in scrubs, in the surgery hallway, waiting for the go ahead. It was the longest ten minutes of my life. Thoughts about my wife, my son, my job, the stay, what the hell I was doing at thirty, and then the show really began.
The wife was happily sedated below, awake above, and the smell of burning flesh and the sounds of her doctor working her magic left little to the imagination. I took one bit of advice from a friend and didn't watch the surgery itself.
A nurse prompted me to grab my camera, and that's when we saw him for the first time: pale, wrinkled, covered in slime, a miniature GG Allin. At our very beginning of outside lives, we all look, for lack of a better word, pretty gross. Birth is a beautiful and gory thing.
Like everything else in our modern world, he wasn't a breath away from the belly before he was weighed (7lbs 13 oz), measured (19.5”), and checked for all of the usual irregularities. While they were cleaning him up, I enjoyed a quiet moment with the wife. Her routine of enduring kicks, somersaults, burps, farts, and riverdance inches above her intestines has finally ended. She seemed quite relieved.
Cutting the cord was far cooler than I imagined. How could I describe it...have you seen The Thing? Not the crappy remake, the good one, with the blood test and Kurt Russell and Keith David and a pre-diabetes Brimley. When Norris transforms, and his head rips free into that crab creature? Those pus-filled tubes? THAT is what the cord was like. The goop and smell was more fitting for a xenomorph autopsy. Through all of the layers of goo and tissue and bodily things, I didn't lose sight of what was truly important: severing it with just one cut. I failed, unfortunately: it took two.
With the clean up and cutting and general data gathering over, I had a moment to hold my son for the first time. I won't waste bytes trying to describe that feeling because words fail. Frozen in the moment it took the nurse several shouts before I remembered to bring him over to my wife, so she could see who had been trashing her womb. Again, words fail.
The Bureaucracy of Birth
Once out of the womb, the wife went off for cleanup and recovery as I followed my son into the evaluation area. See, they don't just run tests there in the operation room. They run them all over again in a separate area where you wash your hands for five minutes and stand around and try to entertain this little dude who has heard you drone on and on for months about something called Pennsylvania.
The nurses are quite busy: they have to get the vaccinations started, Vitamin K shots injected, stick protective goop on your kid's eyes, as well as complain about the lateness of other staff. Most of the delay was a paperwork issue. Further delays came from the fact that my wife shared a last name with another cesarean patient.
The bonding part, with all of this paperwork and needling around us, was damn cool. Until they smeared his eyes shut, we spent much of the time just staring at each other. He made a lot of mouth motions which the nurses indicated was a good sign. “He'll be a great eater”. Sort of killed my fantasy that he was speaking in tongues. But this was my son. There. Just looking at me. Really cool.
Almost two hours after he was born, we were all reunited as my wife was wheeled out of recovery and into our room for the next four days.
Joining us were two IVs, a heart monitor, another complicated-looking thing with lots of flashing lights, and what I can only describe as:
My wife slept that night. The baby slept that night. But that infernal machine whose purpose still eludes me fueled my insomnia, which went unchecked for the next two days.
Freebies, Being Peed On, and Restless Nights
My wife has always had a strong spirit, and recovered well in the hospital, walking just over a day after surgery. Still, she was much too sore to do the basic cleaning and burping and changing, things I have never done. It is incredibly easy to wing it: just have each new shift nurse “show you” how these things are done, and you won't have to try for the first full day.
Always expect to get peed on within the first week (there's a reason why you are supposed to cover your kid with a towel, as I learned), and understand you have no clue what will please or displease the baby. Our kid was active, inquisitive, and already trying to sit himself up before we left the hospital. He was indeed, as the nurses in recovery had told me, a very good feeder, much to the chagrin of my wife.
Freebies are something to keep an eye out for. Those coffee vending machines, for example. When it says “staff only”, remember that you are going to be paying out the nose for this little adventure and dammit it feels good to break the rules and avoid paying 75 cents for cheap coffee. Fight the power. Also, as far as I can tell, the diapers, pads, covers, pillows, IV machine, sofa pillows, and bathroom shampoo are all under the “hotel” policy: take everything that fits into your bag. You never know what you'll find useful (if a nurse fits in the trunk, take one of them too- you can't walk two feet without running into one).
The stream of nurses, doctors, and pediatricians made resting almost impossible for us and the baby. We started worrying as the days rolled on how we could possibly adjust to our new insomniatic lifestyle, and how our baby would handle it once home. Towards the end, with baby and mom “in the clear”, we finally had a relatively quiet night, and scored a nice four hours of rest. It was our first in almost a week.
In Praise of the Unplanned
In the end, our pregnancy, by the social definition, wasn't planned. We weren't trying to have a kid. There were no bottles of pre-natals lying about. No “What to Expect” this or “Planning the Perfect” that on our shelves. The very last thing on our minds was Jameson. But that is how these things go.
Life, in its fullest, doesn't care what we humans schedule and organize for ourselves. You zig with college? It zags with a job offer a thousand miles away.
This baby has thrown our lives into total chaos. Much of what we have read in the books has been nice in theory, silly in practice.
He falls asleep while he's being fed.
He smiles at us while he poops.
He'll cry for an hour, then burp so hard he knocks himself out.
Neither my wife nor I ever really thought kids were definitely in the cards for us.
We haven't a clue what we are doing.
With Jameson here now, we are just winging it day to day.
And it has been like that for months.
He was going to surprise us at every turn.
He arrived unexpectedly.
Survived a miscarriage.
And found his own way out of the womb, two days early.
He has completely, utterly destroyed our routine.
Thank God for that.
Close it up
Two Contradictory Claims the Left Urges On Us
1. To speak of Islamist violence, or to suggest there is a problem in Islam, is racist, and hateful, and irrational, and "islamophobic."
2. It is so predictable that Islamists will kill you if you say something "anti-Islamic" that victims of murder attempts can be said to have brought their attacks on themselves.
Two other hard-to-reconcile claims:
1. Islam is compatible with Western values.
2. We're going to have to change some core Western values to avoid violence from our new Muslim friends.
Mike Huckabee's Big Government Plan for Spiritual Renewal
Speaking of Jesus, man, this logo for the Year of Mercy (I don't know what that is) is weirdbad.
If Obama Is a "Bookworm," Why Doesn't He, You Know, Read Books?
Related to the question, of course, "If Obama is an intellectual, why isn't he smart, and why doesn't he enjoy thinking?"
I've been on this for years. Mollie Hemingway dismantles Obama's contrived image as a "reader."
He's not. He's a TV watcher.
Speaking of people who don't read, AllahPundit has followed up and expanded on the story BenK covered, to wit, Chris Cuomo being a proud, loud know-nothing.
This Is CNN
it doesn't. hate speech is excluded from protection. dont just say you love the constitution...read it https://t.co/znZJ8cPvpX— Chris Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) May 6, 2015
It's not as though CNN hired him to give legal analysis.
Wait, he's their Chief Justice Correspondent and has a law degree from Fordham?
And he responds.
I would embed it but...Moveable Type 2003.
And he responds again.
William Stanley Haseltine, "Valle dei Molini – Amalfi" (1871)
Wednesday Morning News Dump
- One Weird Trick That Can Help Make Your City More Prosperous
- Another Traitor In Our Midst Self Identifies
- MSNBC Gonna MSNBC
- Officer Claims Freddie Grey Was Carrying An Illegal Knife
- Chicago Facing A Massive Tax Increase To Fund Pensions
- Media Continues Attacks On Pamela Gellar
- Bad News For Social Security
- A Sign Of Things To Come In The Democratic Party
- Free Speech For Me, But Not For Thee
- Charlie Hebdo Receives Free Speech Award To Standing Ovation
- Media Gives The President A Pass Again
- The Dangerous Myths About Charlie Hebdo
- Greece To Tax Cash Withdraws
- Retirement More A Myth Than Reality
Morning Thread (5-6-2015)
Texas cop with a .45 cal. Glock - 2
Johnny Jihad - 0
Nice overview and short CNN animated reenactment h/t @doreenhdickson
More good work from @Bob_Owens on identifying the bad guys' guns and describing the firefight.
Potentially Interim ONT - Devil's Own Lasagna edition [krak/t]
Toledo is kicking my ass, but I don't see anything else in the offing, and Maet is still living it up in some hot spring with several other sweaty men and possibly a reindeer.
Most people would embrace the modern world and take a bath in a lovely new tub with actual plumbing. I can only guess Maet is trying to ready himself for the coming neo-Luddite utopia being jammed up our collective asses.
Ahhh, the good old days of a life uncluttered and unsoiled by the ravages of Modernity.
This ONT brought to you by What the Actual Hell?
Close it up
It Looks Like Social Justice Warriors Chased the Social Justice Warrior Joss Whedon Off Twitter, And That's Just Terrific
I don't really like Joss Whedon, who's had way too much praise for simply being superficially clever.
And I don't like that this asshole was constantly promoting Social Justice Attacks on other people.
So, if he was indeed chased off of twitter by the constant Social Justice Warrior attacks on him -- ridiculous shit, like that he didn't make Black Widow badass enough or whatever nonsense spoiled and useless Western White Women are throwing their hysterical jags about this week -- then I just have to laugh about it and say "Life is good."
John Sexton shows you some of the abuse he got from the Tumblrinas and assorted other Hate Groups.
Yep. There is a "Tea Party" equivalent of progressivism/liberalism. And they just chased Joss Whedon off Twitter. Good job, guys. Ugh.— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) May 4, 2015
No sir, they are not like the Tea Party at all. The Tea Party attempts to enforce their political will on their elected political representatives, which is not only permissible, it is well-nigh necessary, unless Patton Oswald is one of those imbeciles who thinks politicians go to Washington to Do the Right Thing For People and Stuff.
The Social Justice Warriors, on the other hand, are simultaneously more trivial and more profoundly disturbing: They do not attempt to whip-saw the elected members of the political class, but instead pick out random airplane passengers, random computer programmers, random pizzeria owners, and so own to drive them from their jobs and homes for no other reason than to show That The Herd Is Angry At Them.
It is one thing to politicize politics, which is what the Tea Party is accused of doing -- why, those crazies are trying to inject their ideological preferences into government and party platforms! The scandal of it it!
But the SJWs are politicizing everything; everyone is their potential target, for no other reason than that undiagnosed hysterics need someone to SHRIEK at everyday or the snakes inside their heads will eat all their brains.
The Tea Party attempts to purge wayward politicians.
This isn't scary, unless you're a politician, and while that might indeed by scary for a tiny handful of people in the world, it is imperative in a democracy that politicians be afraid of being turned out of office.
The media used to moan about how sick it was that so many politicians had their seats for life, never having to worry about being responsive to the people, until the very moment a committed conservative group started turning some of them out of their Seats For Life, at which point Politicians became a Protected Minority.
Now, while the Tea Party purges politicians , the social justice warriors purge everyday citizens.
Note that we are supposed to have a political vote as to whether Politician X keeps his job. That is the basis of democracy.
But we're not supposed to have a national plebescite over whether Justine Sacco should be fired and driven from society, or whether the family that owns Memories Pizza should be driven into bankruptcy.
In case you wonder why I am as mean as ever to politicians, while being a crusader against political smear campaigns directed at citizens:
Because it's fair and normal and expected to use political campaigning in political campaigns, but it is aberrant, Stalinist, and Salem-like to begin using political campaign tactics -- whipsawing opinion, planting smears, ginning up emotion, calling for people to be un-elected from their jobs -- as to non-political actors.
But to the Social Justice Warriors, for whom the Personal Is Political and so too is the Political the Personal, there is no distinction between the public and private sphere, and all the viral hatred that is common in political campaigns is applied to personalized Coordinated Hate Campaigns against lonely citizens having no means whatsoever of fighting back or of delivering their own counter message out to the world.
American citizens should in fact have a say as to whether Eric Cantor keeps his post as a United States Congressman; they should not have a say as to whether Justine Sacco gets to keep her job in advertising.
The first is a matter of public trust, for which people get to vote.
The latter is not.
But the Social Justice Warriors are, as I say, both so trivial that they will go after Justine Sacco precisely because she is such an unimportant and defenseless target, and thus more easy to remove the scalp from her head; and an absolute menace to peaceful order in society, because society cannot function with roving bands of lunatics attacking average, ordinary citizens virtually at random for sport.
What shocks me is that people do not put two and two together here, and realize how toxic, insane, and full of bad faith and daddy-didn't-love me venom these shrieking harpies are, even when the harpies wrath has been turned against them.
Joss Whedon will continue attacking GamerGaters, and praising Anita Sarkosian, completely forgetting that Sarkosian's fellow travelers made his life hell by making up one preposterously hateful charge after another.
Likewise, a year or so ago, the Social Justice Warriors mobbed up on Seth Rogan, making the silly charge that this Fat Smug Liberal was "anti-woman" because the character he played in Knocked Up started the film as irresponsible as regards women. (They completely miss the point that his dramatic arc has him become responsible at the end.)
Rogen roared back at them, telling them to go fuck themselves.
And yet, six months later, when the same shrieking lunatics were after Adam Baldwin, Seth Rogan actually tweeted to Baldwin that he was an Anti-Woman bigot. His evidence? The shrieking Social Justice Warriors had told him so -- the same people who had lodged absurd charges at he himself just a half year before.
But this is the way liberals work -- tribal loyalty is everything to them, and they assume that every calumny their fellow liberals throw at an outsider must be true. (I think this is due to ego: they think that as they are themselves liberals, and egotistically believe themselves to be honest and just in all things, they extend a weaker form of this egotism to their fellow travelers.)
And so Seth Rogan, onetime target of Social Justice Warrior slander, attacked Adam Baldwin for standing up to the Social Justice Warriors, telling him something like, "Well, if they're all mad at you, you must have done something, so get right with the Leftist Gods and apologize."
It just didn't occur to this fat sack of lipids that they might be making stuff up about Baldwin, too.
Sort of a variant of the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect -- you know reporters are useless when you read an article making an embarrassing hash of everything in your field of expertise, but then you turn the page to read them writing about other fields, and you assume, "These guys probably know what they're talking about here."
And so Joss Whedon, who so gleefully embraces Social Justice Warrior attacks on others, has now himself, perhaps, been purged by the Social Justice Warriors.
And it will make no difference.
Because the next time Anita Sarkesian tells him that Adam Baldwin is a bigot, Joss Whedon will be right there beside his Valkyrie, handing her her next spear.
Washington Post "Social Change Reporter" On Garland Shooting: "If the event was intended as bait, it worked."
There are only two kinds of political shootings in this country:
1. Shootings of leftwingers by groups associated with the right -- which actually doesn't happen (when was the last one?). The left is very quick to claim every shooter is on the right, though.
2. Shootings of rightwingers by groups associated with the left -- which the media actually suggests are the fault of the right.
Everything's the right's faults-- when they don't shoot people, it's their fault.
When parts of Obama's coalition shoot up rightwingers, that's also the right's fault. They intended themselves to be "bait" to excite leftwingers into murdering people.
Heads must fucking roll.
And what the fuck is a Social Change Reporter anyway?
Are there any women or minorities working at these papers who are capable of doing real reporter work, not in the ghetto of the feminist/minority/gay blogs?
Are they being held out of real reporter jobs -- you know, reporting on real things, not just Social Justice Warrior activism -- by the white males at the papers in question due to the papers' racism, or are they being held out of such positions because they're not interested and/or not qualified?
Here's the headline, which is awful enough:
I'm sorry, was the intended target of a terrorist attack supposed to apologize?
And to whom? The greater Muslim community which supposedly has nothing to do with the terrorist attack?
But then it gets even worse:
"If the contest was intended as bait, it worked. "
If the contest was intended as bait, it worked?
It's Gellar's fault that terrorists tried to kill her?
Can we use this logic on leftwing "bait"? If someone decides to open fire in a Planned Parenthood rally, can we also agree that the organizers intended themselves to be "bait"?
If someone starts shooting up the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the gay cross-dressing attack on Christians, will the Washington Post likewise write that those shot down had held themselves out to be "bait"?
If the leftwing is going to be so blatant about their belief that Political violence is justified as regards right wingers, well.
Assumedly, then, the Washington Post and the left generally will not object if the right likewise stops opposing political violence conducted against the left?
Society is a social compact between strangers and often adversaries. But this compact extends two ways, or not at all.
We are in a very careful place now.
By the way: The attack that the Washington Post's Social Change Reporter wants Gellar to apologize for? Claimed by IS, a sworn foreign enemy of the US, as their project.
Science: Neurochemical Reward From Mastering a Skill or Learning Something New Is Similar to the Release From Taking Opium
And, I think, therefore vice-versa.
So when you learn things, you feel good, and get a chemical rush.
But, on the other hand, if you smoke opium, you get a similar chemical rush, which would, then, displace any natural dataphile urgency you might have.
Kind of interesting, I think: It kind of tells us what we already might have suspected, but couldn't quite say.
Kids doing bad in school? Must be drugs, parents often conclude.
Well, maybe, yeah:
Scientists have long researched the science behind the natural high that comes with mastering a skill, understanding a difficult concept, or solving a challenging problem. Now, neuroscientists have discovered that the “click” of comprehension triggers a biochemical cascade that rewards the brain with a shot of natural opium-like substances.
"The brain's craving for a fix motivates humans to maximize the rate at which they absorb knowledge," he said. "I think we're exquisitely tuned to this as if we’re junkies, second by second."
Apart from porn, I have another addiction: getting lost for hours reading Wikipedia entries. I have thought before it felt like a drug; it was a silly thing, but I had this idea that if I could just Know Everything, well, then that would be awesome.
Maybe it's chemical.
Something else I suspected: You learn better when you take notes by hand, and learn less well when you type into a computer.
And this is something I've been thinking is probably true: If you have something important to your life you want to do, do it first thing in the morning.
Two reasons: 1, you are more creative and fresh in the morning; 2, in the morning, you have not yet been overcome by the demands of the day, which will cause you to not do that very important thing, should you wait to do it.
The article makes a good point: If something's important, you'll only skip it if you have a really good reason for doing so. But guess what? The longer you wait, the more the odds climb that your day will deliver that Really Good Reason not to do it.
Damn, I seriously have to start getting up before 10.
Apologies for these lame posts -- I've been trying to defend my last post against various critics on Twitter. I'll get up something better in a few minutes.
Bonus: Learning Is Racist: Via @lisadep, Rush Limbaugh found someone arguing that reading to your children at night gives them an "unfair advantage," which, I guess, you should stop doing, because Harrison Bergeron wasn't a warning, it was an instruction manual.
"Is having a loving family an unfair advantage?" asks a story on the ABC’s [Australian Broadcasting Company's] website.
"Should parents snuggling up for one last story before lights out be even a little concerned about the advantage they might be conferring?"
The story was followed by a broadcast on the ABC's Radio National that also tackled the apparently divisive issue of bedtime reading.
"Evidence shows that the difference between those who get bedtime stories and those who don't -- the difference in their life chances --is bigger than the difference between those who get elite private schooling and those that don’t,” British academic Adam Swift told ABC presenter Joe Gelonesi.
So humanity is doomed, but you knew that.
Good riddance to bad rubbish I say.
Megyn Kelly, Shooting Down Bill O'Reilly's Cowardly Stance on the Garland Shooting: "Should We Get Rid of All the Jews, Too?"
O'Reilly is a pretty thoughtless man, given to the sort of rantings of the Lunchbucket Philosopher, basing his philosophy not on Judeo-Christian teachings, as he never tired of cliche-ing, but on his visceral gut reactions.
Do I like this? Do I not like this? Does this bother me in my gut?
I knock Megyn Kelly for being part of the smug Upper Middle Class Consensus, which is essentially a center-left worldview, even among alleged conservatives, but she's also, unlike Bill O'Reilly, a smart and cutting thinker who is more than capable of thinking in terms of abstraction and cool reasoning, and here she takes heated exception to Bill O'Reily's cowardly carping about Ms. Gellar and how he wouldn't have made the point in quite that way.
Oh? We're criticizing Ms. Gellar, a woman who was just the subject of a jihadi assassination attempt and who may well be a marked woman for the rest of her life, on niggling matters of tone and style?
And we need to do this now? We need to trot out the smug and absolutely unexamined, absolutely thoughtless vanities of Upper Middle Class Respectability and attack Ms. Gellar for not doing it in quite the way we would have, even as, in all likelihood, she scrambles to find long-term security to protect her life?
For drawing a cartoon?
This has been stewing in me since yesterday. It's not just that the left is questioning Ms. Gellar in this; that much I expected.
It's that so much of the right is rushing to join them, and thereby Signal that they have Value per the norms established by the leftist politico-media consensus.
I do wish to not overly attack people I like and genuinely respect; but when I read, for example, Jamie Kirchick, a normally dependable guy and someone I've met slightly, and like well enough, spending 700 words of an 800 word column talking up how base he thinks Pam Gellar is in a column allegedly defending her right to free speech, instead of, you know, actually defending her right to free speech, I become despairing, because if this is all the defense the alleged defenders of Free Speech can muster, then we have no right to free speech.
This is about class. This is all about class.
This is about, specifically, the careerist, cowardly, go-along-to-get-along mores of the Upper Middle Class, the class of people whose parents were all college educated, and of course are college educated themselves; the class that dominates our thought-transmitting institutions (because non-college educated people are more of less shut out of this industry).
It is a class which is deathly afraid of social stigma, and lives in class-based fear being grouped with the wrong people, and which is more interested in Career, quite frankly, than in the actual tradecraft of that Career, which is clarity of thought and clarity of expression.
Thus, our institutions of thought propagation are dominated by the very people who can be easily cowed by the Social Justice Warriors, and who will, therefore, adjust their speech in order to not run afoul of the thoughtless -- and frequently lunatic -- thugs of the censorious left.
The very people we need to be most immune to the menaces of stigma, and the blandishments of career advancement, are, due to the absolute primacy of the Upper Middle Class imperative of advancing one's career and avoiding scandal, stigma, and controversy, the very people most sensitive to such distortions.
Here are the simple facts of the matter, with no need of maligning Ms. Gellar:
Ms. Gellar believes, as almost all on the right claim to believe, that free speech should in fact be free, but that speech is not in fact free, due to the intolerable threats of a determined and lunatic religious minority set on imposing their alien laws of blasphemy against us.
Ms. Gellar acts, as almost all on the right claim that we should act, in defiance of benighted, medieval religious zealots who would forbid her from acting by threat of violence.
Ms. Gellar was, along with all her fellow confreres, the target of an actual assassination plot by heavily-armed jihadists determined to murder her and others present for daring to act like Americans while within the borders of the state formerly called America.
These are the facts. We need not add more to these facts simply to Signal our continuing loyalty to the Upper Middle Class consensus that keeps us employed and welcome at DC functions.
But if we were to add something more personal about Ms. Gellar at this moment, this moment when the echoes of the bullets intended to kill her still ring in the air, we could say the following:
Ms. Gellar is fearless.
Ms. Gellar, for whatever reason, is utterly immune to the thuggish enforcements of conformity imposed by the Social Justice Warrior and their publicity department, which we know as the legacy media.
Ms. Gellar chose to remain adamant about beliefs she formed after 9/11 -- beliefs that most of us once had, at least for a time -- even as many of us walked away from such beliefs, whether because we believed our initial reactions to 9/11 were overreactions, or because, as in many of our cases, the social costs of keeping on with a 9/12 mentality proved too high, so it became easier to subsume ourselves into the warm, soporific bath of the leftist-dominated Politico-Media Consensus.
That is to say, when many of us -- and here I include myself -- chose to stop talking so much about the Islamist threat, not because the Islamist threat had receded, but because the social tolerance for talking about the Islamist threat receded into almost nothing, Pam Gellar soldiered on, unbowed.
Now, as a personal matter, I have had sharp differences with Ms. Gellar. We do not get along.
But this is entirely besides the point.
Americans, acting under the influence of America, were fucking shot at by crazed religious cultists seeking to impose a cancerous religious lunacy on America.
One does not "support" someone's right to free speech by name-calling them and advertising how far one believes they fall outside the smug Upper Middle Class (leftist-dominated) Consensus.
One supports free speech by supporting those who speak freely.
I am so disgusted by how so many alleged thinkers seem to care more about social positioning than actual thought.
I should not advertise any hostility I may have towards Ms. Gellar to prove I'm "among the acceptable ones."
Acceptable to whom? Who is making this list?
Perhaps I am like Ms. Gellar in this respect: I have long ago decided that I do not wish to be on the list of the Acceptable Ones, and will take no action whatsoever to secure my place upon it. Maybe I have an advantage here: I do not seek the approval of those who bestow Respectability, as I simply do not respect them.
People who make their trade by writing and, one should hope, thinking about ideas should perhaps follow Ms. Gellar's example, not on the particular positions she stakes out, but her example as to her complete indifference as to how any statement will advance or retard her position in the hierarchy of the stultifying, deliberately-obscuring vagueries of Upper Middle Class Consensus of Respectability.
Are we here to talk about ideas and principles, or are we here to secure position and advantage?
A woman spoke.
Men with guns shot at her for speaking.
Do we really need to take an "on the one hand, on the other hand" approach here.
And we need not talk about "tone" or whether Ms. Gellar speaks for us on all things.
One does not award Style Points on a battlefield.
This is why we have no actual conservative movement worth a damn: Because our political officers and our thought leaders are all drawn from, and aspire to advance in, the same Upper Middle Class Northeast-and-California cultural consensus of "respectability."
Some people are ideologues are are intensely and primarily interested in Ideas.
Most are not.
And thus most people's first loyalty is not to any abstract Idea, but the more tangible Class they come from, and which gives them Identity, which gives them Place in the world, and which is, for far too many thinkers, a major source of pride and, I dare say, egotistical joy.
The current dominant class, the class that controls the political-media establishment, is this Upper Middle Class, leftism-inflected consensus, and until people can begin seeing this and seeing past it, and until they can begin making their first loyalty to Idea and Principle, which are universal and eternal, rather than Class and Cult, which are nothing but happenstance and ego, we will continue having an "opposition" which continues genuflecting to leftist conformity rather than standing up for ideas.
To escape the Matrix, you must first see the Matrix -- something Andrew Breitbart was fond of observing.
To be a traitor to one's Class is to be a patriot towards humanity.
Maybe Marx said that. Maybe I did. I don't know. But I do believe it. I believe that far too many ideas we have are non-ideas, things we've never actually thought through, but are simply Class Assumptions, and that we are all too afraid to go against our herd, our tribe, and start questioning some goddamned Class Assumptions.
Wayne Allen Root: I Was Politically Targeted for an IRS Audit and I Can Prove It
Root was audited in 2011. He got a call from the IRS, in which the agent told him about his (Root's) political views -- something that's not supposed to happen, obviously.
He spent thousands of dollars on his defense and prevailed in Tax Court in 2012 -- at which time he was informed he was being audited again, something his tax lawyer said he'd never heard of before.
Then he began FOIA'ing the IRS to find out what was going on.
By law, the IRS has 30 days to comply. They stalled and refused for 14 months. The question is why would a government agency disobey the law for 13 months?
Now come the political and criminal revelations. The IRS is supposed to be totally nonpolitical, as it must be in a free and fair democratic society. Do you know what my IRS tax file says?
Do you know the date "SENSITIVE CASE" was written on my tax file? The week Lois Lerner testified in Congress.
The only thing "SENSITIVE" about my case is that I'm a conservative political columnist and commentator often critical of the president. The only context where “sensitive” applies to me is “POLITICALLY SENSITIVE."
Why would a citizen’s tax file be tied to his politics? Why would the IRS know my politics? Why would a normal random audit be classified as "SENSITIVE?"
The reason it may have taken the IRS fourteen months to turn my IRS files over to Judicial Watch is that they state a United States senator from Oregon was involved. At the time both senators from Oregon were Democrats. But only one, Ron Wyden, was chairman of the Senate Finance Committee with oversight over...the IRS. Could Ron Wyden have been the Democrat senator involved in my case?
If so, why was a U.S. senator involved in a "normal random audit?" Why was an Oregon Senator involved in the audit of a Nevada small businessman? Since when do United States Senators get involved in IRS audits?
But wait, we’re not done. On May 23, 2013, my case was officially closed. Recognize that date? It's the exact day that IRS official Lois Lerner was suspended and the day after she testified in front of Congress (and refused to answer questions on the grounds it might incriminate her). Coincidence?
Why was my case closed? The IRS auditor handling my case informed my tax attorney that he had just been called by a top IRS official demanding the case be closed immediately. Why would a top IRS official get involved in my case? Who asked him to make that call? Did he know the politically damaging details of this audit marked “SENSITIVE CASE"? Why did it happen the very day after Lois Lerner's testimony?
There is no debate. I am living proof that there was a widespread political witch hunt and criminal conspiracy within the IRS. It is also proof that this scandal extended beyond the IRS to high-level Democrats -- including a specific Democratic U.S. Senator. It's all in black and white in my personal IRS tax files. These are facts.
People need to go to jail.
The Idiocy Of "Sure People Have A Right To Speech But....."
There are a lot of examples of the genre in the wake of the Garland, TX terrorist attack but Ken White at Popehat finds a particularly stupid one to gnaw on for awhile. As you might expect, hilarity and carnage ensue.
I can't come close to Ken's take down on the law but there's one sub-genre I'd like to address. It's the, "sure xxxx is a terrible, horrible, no good, piece of human excrement but even someone that loathsome is entitled to speak" club. Spare me the throat clearing. The quality of the person speaking and the content of their speech isn't at issue. In fact they are entirely irrelevant to the discussion at hand. It's the right to speak and our willingness as a society to stand for the principle that matters.
The reality is I'm not standing for or with Pam Geller, the KKK or anyone else I may disagree with. I'm standing for myself. Someday each of us may find ourselves on the "wrong" side of "all right thinking people" and unless we draw a firm and bright line all the time, we should not expect it to protect us when we most need it.
Iran Deal Failure Theater
We got into the Corker-Cardin/Menendez Iran bill a bit on the podcast last week but since Senate action is coming to a head this week, it's worth a fuller look.
As you may recall, Ace is steadfastly opposed to it in its current form. That makes sense because in its current form the bill is a finely crafted instrument designed to allow a majority of Senators to say they did exactly what their votes (on all sides) wanted while not actually doing a damn thing. Corker's inversion of the 2/3rd majority vote to approve a treaty into a 2/3rd majority vote to kill it is a perfect example. Low information voters will think it's being treated just like a treaty when in fact it will the literal opposite of that.
So basically, it's the kind of deal Senators are genetically predisposed to love. If only it included some highway spending in every state it would the Platonic Ideal of Senate bills.
Unfortunately for Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio is running for President. He wants the bill to actually accomplish something. Like serve as a substantive check on Obama and Iran (yeah, they are basically the same at this point). And that's....a problem for the "be seen doing something but not really doing anything" crowd.
Remember when the deal was being negotiated and people said things like, "no deal is better than a bad deal" or "the choice isn't between this deal and a better one but this one and no deal"? Those sentiments apply to this bill.
If any of Rubio's amendments are agreed to (like ensuring the final deal conforms to Obama's "fact sheet") then the Democrats will kill it in the Senate or Obama will veto it and his veto will be sustained.
So either the Senate passes the fig leaf of Corker, which all but ensures that whatever Obama agrees to will survive a Senate vote of "disapproval" (only 37 Democrats will have to stick with Obama) or kill the bill and Obama will simply sign whatever he was going to sign anyway and Congress will never vote on it.
In the end, the outcome is basically the same.
The real question is, what's the best way to hang an Iran nuke around the collective necks of the Democrats? I'd say forgo Corker and make Democrats in the Senate vote on every single damn poison pill out there. Make them either kill a strong bill or make them vote for it, force Obama to veto it and then make Democrats choke on the inevitable outcome of this deal.
We'll have a better sense of this later today or tomorrow when McConnell will announce if Rubio's strong arm tactic to force poison pill votes is what the GOP Senate caucus wants or if they will simply pass Corker as is. read this story to get a sense of how Rubio is jamming McConnell on this. Basically McConnell could have kept Rubio's amendments off the floor and saved Republicans from either having to vote for them and killing the deal or vote against them and look soft on Iran. Rubio however used a parliamentary maneuver that forces McConnell to either let Rubio's poison pills come to a vote, thus forcing GOP Senators into the choice they want to avoid or end debate and kill amendments Republicans wanted to at least vote on to look tough but not so tough as to kill the deal.
But wait! This movie review isn't over....
How did we get here? Why isn't Obama forced to submit this as a treaty? Isn't this just more lawlessness from our Tyrant in Chief?
Taking the last question first...actually, no.
The reason this isn't a treaty requiring the Senate "consent" with a two-thirds vote is nothing Obama is promising to do in the agreement requires a change in US law or binds Congress to any actions.
What Obama is promising to do is waive or remove some sanctions using power he already has under existing law. Congress gave him the ability to do the things he's promising Iran he will do with regards to US sanctions. Congress could try and pass news legislation revoking that power but clearly that's a non-starter.
When it comes to UN sanctions, all Obama is doing is saying if Iran does A, B, and C he will instruct the US Ambassador to vote a certain way at the Security Council. No President needs to submit that kind of decision to the Senate for ratification.
Think of the Status of Forces Agreement George W. Bush signed with Iraq. That didn't go to the Senate because everything in it he committed the US to (like troop dispositions and levels) was in his power as President to set unilaterally.
This Iran deal is different from traditional arms control treaties with say, Russia. In those treaties the terms of the agreements placed limits on things like the number of nuclear warheads the US will produce. That's not something a President determines by himself. Congress sets those limits in defense spending and authorization bills. A President can't commit to another nation that he will be able to limit what Congress will do within its own sphere of action. Congress has to agree to be bound by those kind of limitations on its powers through the treaty ratification process.
Essentially Obama holds all the cards here. Congress gave him many of those of cards in the first place and the Constitution gave him the rest. The only consideration left is how the GOP will position itself for the political post-deal fallout. That's the only thing at stake with Corker-Cardin/Menendez.
Everything else is just noise.
Close it up
Tuesday Morning News Dump
- In Garland We Got Lucky
- Why Does EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Hate Texas?
- Oh Great, Mike Huckabee Is Running For
A New Fox TV Show And Book TourPresident
- Westernized Anti-Westerner
- Christians Could Acquiesce On Abortion Like They Are On Gay Marriage
- We're Not Even Pretending To Be A Democratic Republic Anymore
- ISIS Claims Responsibility For Texas Attack
- Free Speech Belongs To Everyone And Doesn't Come With Qualifiers
- Milleannials' Most Embarrassing Secret
- Hillary Launching Website To Counter Clinton Cash Book
- 1/5 Of Jobs In Baltimore Are Government Jobs
- Ohio Gov Kasich Is Hillary's Primary Threat
Frickin' Tree pollen allergies.
Morning Thread (5-5-2015)
Happy Cinco de Mayo, which, as we all know, celebrates the date margaritas were invented.
Overnight Open Thread (5/4/2015) [@CraigR3521]
Hi, Morons and Moronettes- I'm tmi3rd, and I'm on the road tonight (sorry about this being late), so I'd like to introduce my friend @CraigR3521 (as you'd find him on Twitter). He winds up being a great source of material for threads such as these, and he's also someone I'm very pleased to call my friend. Enjoy!
Howdy, folks! I’m Craigé, and I’m a long-time Moron, full-time lurker.
I'd planned to write a brilliant and entertaining essay, like the ones that I usually enjoy here, but my ADD had other plans. However, it leads me to a lot of random things that amuse me.
More below the fold...
Villains often get the most profound and badass dialogue in films and television, probably because they aren't bound by the moral code of the hero. Many can take the most innocuous story and make it terrifying.
In Daredevil, Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio, that magnificent bastard) gives a retelling of one of the most well-known Biblical Parables that is just bone-chilling.
Meals in molds, particularly including seafood, were a part of the hell of being a kid during the '70s, along with the polyester clothes, avocado-colored appliances, fondue, and Disco. I actually have one of my grandmother's fish molds.
While this is very cool, prepared to be disappointed by the absence of two headed wolves.
On the other hand, this might be an interesting mutation, or this may just be Russia:
I’ve seen maybe half of these, quite a few through MST3K, if that gives any idea of their quality, but Prophecy frightened me the most. I remember running into a plate glass window, trying to get back to the house, after watching it.
I'm not even sure what I can say about this.
Close it up
Bill Clinton: No One Would Give Me Money Just to Influence US Policy
Let me say something obvious: if you're paying $500,000 or $750,000 for Bill Clinton, you're not paying for a canned speech from an old man most of whose vague pronouncements have already been well-documented and are trite to the point of agony.
You're paying for something else.
So: What are people paying for?
When Bill Clinton deliberately committed perjury in the Monica Lewinsky matter, his defense was that while he spoke falsely, he did not knowingly lie.
Well, now he's claiming, with respect to his foundation hiding money, refusing to disclose, and arranging sweet uranium deals for close buddies who just happen to give him $131 million, neither he or his wife did anything knowingly wrong.
Let's talk about this "knowingly" defense. To be found guilty of committing most crimes (all but a precious few which are called "strict liability" crimes, where performing the act itself imposes liability), you must have both committed a blameworthy act (actus reus) while having a blameworthy state of mind (mens rea).
To commit a blameworthy act is not sufficient to impose criminal liability.
If someone sneaks some pot into you luggage without your knowledge of that, you will wind up committing the guilty act of transporting contraband from one country to another, but because (in this hypothethical) you legitimately did not have any guilty culpable state (being completely oblivious to the drugs), you are not guilty of a crime.
That's why they ask you at the airport if you've left your luggage unattended. If you make a false statement here, they can at least try to get you for knowingly making a false statement.
At any rate, it's well-nigh impossible to prove guilty states of mind by direct evidence. We have no brain scans which can tell us if a suspect acted knowingly. The best we can have -- and we only have it in a tiny minority of cases -- is the defendant confessing to someone else, or in a document -- like an email, for example -- what his state of mind at the time of the forbidden action was.
We very rarely have such evidence for state of mind. Usually, all we have is circumtsances that permit an inference as to the actor's state of mind.
In all of the Clintons' lawbreaking, they rely exclusively upon this. State of mind is hard to prove, so they simply deny they had a culpable state of mind, and, crucially, they destroy and hide all documents in which they may have inadvertently given the game away by explaining their level of knowledge or intent.
And, importantly: Because anyone can always say "But you can't prooooove your obvious inference!", they give their partisan dummies a ready argument to be used for all Clinton scandals.
And at this point, after 20 years of this endless lawbreaking, the Clinton partisans pretty much all know the drill.
Sure Clinton spoke falsely when he said he hadn't had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, but you can't prove he was not, as he claims, confused about what constituted sexual relations (giving oral sex to Monica, which he didn't do, or getting oral sex from Monica, which he did).
Sure Hillary spoke falsely when she claimed she hadn't worked on the Whitewater account, and the long-hidden records prove that she did, but you can't prove she knew she was working on Whitewater when she was working on Whitewater -- she says she never heard Whitewater called Whitewater. You can't prove she's lying.
Bill Clinton spoke falsely when he said he was never alone with Monica Lewinsky, but you can't prove that he knew he was along. After all, Clinton later tried to explain: Maybe we were alone, but I never "felt" like we were.
Not even when she was giving him analingus, or he was sticking a cigar inside of her.
So yes, the Clinton partisans know at this point that the Clintons have done every single action they're accused of doing, and that the Eternal Defense of the Scoundrels will be that you can't prove they understood the crimes they were committing when they were committing them.
And it will probably work, yet again.
Loser in the Mayweather-Pacquiao Fight? The Viewers
Actually, I did not see it, and to be honest I was barely even aware it was going on, but this guy says it was just terrible.
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao: the uber-bout that wasn’t. The so-called fight of the century was pay-per-snooze, a complete waste of everyone’s time and money -- except in a boxing community now rolling in obscene amounts of cash, surely in disbelief they fooled us rubes again.
But we ignored all this because we wanted the fight to be something greater than it was. We attached meaning to it when this was clearly a payout fight, at best. (Floyd even admitted as much.) Oh, they wanted to win, but this hardly evoked the memories of Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Sugar Ray, The Hitman and Hagler fighting brawls that would land them in hospitals for belts that defined them as athletes. This was just glorified sparring....
They thought that the "whoosh" made by Pacquiao’s missed punches and the crowd noise that followed would fool us into thinking this was a real bout, not robbery with the press of a PPV button. They were selling a lie and we were all too happy to buy into it.
Boxing is dead and Mayweather-Pacquiao killed it. Never again will people shell out $100 to watch two old men grab at each other for 36 minutes.
Unless there’s a rematch. Maybe that’s the one that’ll be different.
This guy agrees re: all the terribleness.
Apparently -- I know nothing about any of this, so when I say "apparently," I mean "someone else told me this" -- apparently Mayweather is a great boxer, as in, the actual boxing skill of boxing, which means he wins on points, and not on actually hitting people. Apparently the fight consisted of little more than Mayweather putting up an impregnable defense with his better boxing skills and much longer reach, and then occasionally throwing powder-puff punches just to get the judges to award him points for making contact.
Many people are saying "MMA won the fight," mixed martial arts being the major competitor to boxing -- and the rising competitor to boxing, and, actually, I think, the actually-more-popular-and-has-been-for-years fighting sport competitor to boxing.
When I first heard of this fight a month ago, and heard it would be the most lucrative fight ever, I actually assumed it was a UFC fight. I was surprised to hear it was boxing.
You know who knows how to stage a fight? CNN, that's who. They've had a great run of arranging, promoting, and cashing in on a series of high-profile fights between cops and "protesters."
Not a Joke: Temple of Satan Fights Abortion Restrictions, Citing Religious Liberty, and Amanda Marcotte Applauds
They're pretty psyched to have Lucifer on their side.
The Prince of Lies is what you call "a really big Get."
NBC News Head Andrew Lack Instructs Three MSNBC Shows to Put Together "Sizzle Reels" Showing Their Programs At Their Best, Suggesting He May Axe Them
A sizzle reel of Chris Hayes?
The only thing Chris Hayes knows how to sizzle is hotdogs.
But he's been asked to show what his program might look like when, in his estimation, it's not completely unwatchable.
A couple of weeks ago, the executive producers of Now with Alex Wagner, The Ed Show, and All In with Chris Hayes were told to prepare “sizzle reels” of the best their programs have to offer. Theoretically, this exercise will help them identify what works best on their respective shows but, in reality, our sources say, any or all of these shows could soon be on the chopping block. The senior staffs of all three programs, we are told, are now concerned that their days are numbered.
Not on the list of the programs needing of sizzle: Al Sharpton's show, which seems strangely excluded from the list of shows which may be cancelled, especially given, Ed Morrissey writes, the fact that Sharpton seems to be booking labor honchos on the show after they donate to his Clinton-like fake "charity."
In Baltimore, Reporters Catch "Protesters" Spinning False Testimony About a "Police Shooting" in Real Time
Here is what the situation appeared to be:
A man, standing I think at the front of a block of "protesters," reached into his pants. Police attempted to arrest him.
The man went to the ground.
Pictures of the man on the ground did not show blood.
But the man was carted off to the hospital.
"Protesters" claimed he had been shot without cause. They began spinning claims of police provoking the "protesters" with nightsticks and teargas.
Later, a beat-up old revolver was seen on the ground near where the man had been standing, before he fell.
Another report said this gun was dropped by the man, and discharged when it hit the ground.
FoxNews reporter Mike Tobin, on the scene, however, claimed he heard only one shot, which seemed to dispel that last report -- if the gun discharged when it hit the ground, and if the cops shot the guy, that's at least two shots, if not more.
Police are now saying There was no shooting at all.
Police now say they man was running down the street, and dropped his gun as he did. There the gun discharged. But no police fired their weapons.
What Action News Shep reported breathlessly as a police shooting appears to be nothing more than the police making an arrest without incident of a criminal carrying a revolver.
Shep Smith, who of course hyped the shit out of this because he's a dishonest leftist agitator (remember the Superdome?), is now eating huge piles of shit over this.
This is possibly the most embarrassing false report filed by FoxNews, and it is little surprise to me that Action News Shep is in the center of it.
An enormous embarrassment, for which Fox will be rightly mocked.
But the mockers will not be quick to point out the embarrassment was courtesy of Fox's midday MSNBC host -- for some reason, Fox lets an MSNBC host do their breaking news -- or that his embarrassment was caused by attempting to promote leftist narratives.
BREAKING: Our producers in Baltimore say they saw a police officer shoot a man just moments ago.— Shepard Smith (@ShepNewsTeam) May 4, 2015
Social Justice Warriorette: Sexual Consent Is Meaningless, Because Sometimes "Yes" Means "No"
Sexual hysteric exhibits hysteria about sex. Film at 11.
K-Timpf reports on a piece written by a Student -- and right there, you know you're in for some Serious Thinking -- in which she complains that she says Yes when she means No and therefore she has actually been "raped" -- while giving actual affirmative consent.
In the piece, Bosiljevac explains that she and her friends even came up with a phrase to describe someone having sex with you who you didn’t want to have sex with even though you told him that you did, which they apparently consider a form of rape: “We coined the term 'raped by rape culture' to describe what it was like to say yes, coerced by the culture that had raised us and the systems of power that worked on us, and to still want 'no,'" she writes in the April 30 article, titled "Why Yes Can Mean No."
Bosiljevac writes that she’s been dealing with the oppression of this culture her whole life -- beginning with having to endure relatives kissing her cheeks "even as I winced and turned away" -- and that it continues to influence her sexual decision-making abilities, almost to the point where she doesn’t seem to think she really has any ability to make those decisions at all.
She then goes on to explain the reasons she feels that consenting to sex is actually rape.
"Sometimes, for me, there was obligation from already having gone back to someone's room, not wanting to ruin a good friendship, loneliness, worry that no one else would ever be interested, a fear that if I did say no, they might not stop, the influence of alcohol, and an understanding that hookups are 'supposed' to be fun," she writes.
Oh, it gets better. For some reason this has something to do with homophobia.
You can read the little idiot's hysterics here.
For me, and many others like me, consent isn't easy. Yes doesn't always mean yes, and we misplaced 'no' several years ago. This experience isn't random, but disproportionately affects oppressed communities. Consent is a privilege, and it was built for wealthy, heterosexual, cis, white, western, able-bodied masculinity. When society has taught some of us to take up as little space as possible, to take all attention as flattery, and to be truly grateful that anyone at all could want our bodies or love, it isn't always our choice to say yes.
Pathetic: She takes attention as flattery, and gives herself to those who pay any attention to her silly ass; and that's your fault, Rapers.
Consent as a privilege doesn't just happen in sex. It happens for those of us who give too much in friendships without knowing how to ask for reciprocation, who let doctors touch us in ways that are triggering because we don't want to make trouble, who dance with handsy strangers because our friends already left the party, who stick around in toxic relationships because we don’t know if we’re allowed to expect better. When you’re poor, disabled, queer, non-white, trans, or feminine, 'no' isn't for you. I don't mean to insist that every person oppressed in these systems of power can’t have empowering consensual experiences, and I know many who do. What I do mean to say is that for me, finding 'no' is a process, consent is elusive, and sometimes, even when people don’t mean to--they hurt me.
So if consent isn't just sexy, quippy slogans on tank tops, or boob-shaped cupcakes, what happens next? First, we have to realize that all oppression is connected, and all rape is racist, classist, ableist, patriarchal, hetero and cissexist. We cannot make consent available to all if we are not simultaneously disrupting these structures. Next, we have to stop trying to squash the variety of experiences of coercion into one "Affirmative Consent" law. We cannot trust the state to defend consent and bodily integrity--not in Baltimore, Ferguson, Los Angeles, or Claremont. In this moment, we have to throw out legislation entirely to realize that justice for our communities wasn't built into those systems anyway.
The state needs to stop taking affirmative consent to signal a non-rape, she means, because to take it that way would be to "squash" all the various ways a woman can be raped into one "narrative."
She's obviously arguing that a woman can and should simply say "I was raped" no matter what the circumstances, no matter how explicit the consent, and that the state should then prosecute her "rapist."
Inspired by the recent performance of The Vagina Monologues at CMC, this piece is part of a series of Forum articles by women at CMC about women and sexuality....
You lost me.
Conservative Commentator Guy Benson Comes Out As Gay in a Footnote of His New Book
He's written a new book with Mary Katherine Ham called End of Discussion: How the Liberal Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate.
In a chapter on the gay outrage industry, he notes that he himself is gay, literally in a footnote, which is a very neat manner of highlighting that he thinks sexuality should also, metaphorically, but a footnote to someone's political identity.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Benson denies the idea that being gay automatically should fit one with a "bedazzled ideological straitjacket," and notes this about the punitive social justice warriors of the gay-marriage-uber-alles left.
Many conservatives have argued there must be a legal process for exemption from laws on the basis of religious belief. For his part, Benson argued that exact space between existence and participation is what has helped accelerate acceptance for marriages. The idea that same-sex couples' marriages wouldn't affect straight couples' marriages was "a very effective argument that won over a lot of people," he said.
"I'm for civil marriage, I’m for nondiscrimination laws- but I think there should be broad carve-outs for religious organizations, in particular, and narrow carve-outs for closely-held businesses that serve the wedding industry,"he said.
Yes, the argument was always made: "Why not agree to this, as this will affect your lives not at all?"
But then, the moment the gay left has some momentum, we learn: "Oh yes, we certainly intend that this will affect your lives in all sorts of ways; we in fact demand you rewrite your very religion to re-architect your beliefs to better serve us."
Rod Dreher has written about this fundamental dishonesty and promise-breaking on the part of the cultural left, calling it the Law of Merited Impossibility. As Dreher explains it:
"It's a complete absurdity to believe that Christians will suffer a single thing from the expansion of gay rights, and boy, do they deserve what they're going to get."
Leftists and the Media, But I Repeat Myself, All But Justifying The Terrorist Attack on Free Speech
See, she was mocking a religion, and therefore, members of that religion can be excused for trying to murder those who mock their god.
So, I guess my question is:
"The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence,"
a troupe of anti-clerical gay provocateurs who
cross-dress as bizarre nuns to insult the church and
conventional morality of all sorts,
stage a "Hunky Jesus" competition in San Franscisco
A different "Hunky Jesus" competition, held in Portland, promised a $300 grand prize to the winner; I assume the San Francisco one would promise a bigger take.
So: Should angry Christians start polishing their rifles?
Either we are all allowed to provoke or we are all not so permitted. Either we all have the right to use violence to defend affronts to our god -- even the strange, alien, backwards god of Christianity -- or none of us do.
The left continues to insist that people are allowed to "punch up" -- or shoot guns "up" -- but not down.
Thus pushing the idea that Christians and other allegedly dominant groups are officially second-class citizens, with fewer rights than others (gays, Muslims, especially).
Area Politician Says: Government Doesn't Work, So Let's Try Government Instead
In the wake of the Baltimore riots and our "everything old is new again" conversation on poverty, Paul Ryan has some startling news...Poverty won The War on Poverty.
"After a 50-year war on poverty and trillions of dollars spent, we still have the same poverty rates – 45 million people in poverty," he said on CBS's "Face the Nation" program. "What we as a country – this isn't a Republican-Democrat thing – it's we as a country need to say, "That's not good enough. … We're not getting the results we need."
Hard to argue with that.
Of course the logical conclusion one would reach from this half-century plus of failure is government is simply incapable of doing anything about fundamental societal problems like multi-generational poverty. Well, it can do somethings, mostly it can make it worse by destroying families. While the left sees that as a rousing success, it's not something conservatives should be shooting for.
So clearly a smart guy like Paul Ryan realizes that government isn't the solution to this particular problem anymore than say a plumber is the right person to call when your car breaks down.
Well, not exactly.
Ryan, the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and former vice presidential candidate, said federal programs aimed at alleviating poverty should be scaled back to allow states a great role in the effort.
"What the federal government's good at doing is providing resources. What the federal government is bad at doing is dictating solutions," he said. "What I think the federal government has done is displaced local problem solving with top-down, one-size-fits-all, and it's not working."
Let's get something out of the way up front, "block grants" are a magic incantation conservative reformers like to throw out there to pretend they are "getting Washington out of the way." They aren't.
No one is going to just write billions and billions of checks and not put strings on how they are spent or require oversight and an accounting of results. So the idea that genius state policy makers will just be getting dump truck loads of cash unencumbered by policy makers in DC is a lie.
As far as the idea that the federal government is good at "providing resources" I guess that's true in as much as it can essentially create money out of thin air and "spread it around". I'm not sure that's a talent we should be encouraging though.
As for the idea that state governments are some how bastions of nimble and talented problem solvers I submit three names....California, New York and Massachusetts.
From whence does this mystical faith in state governments to change the hearts and fates of men come? On constitutional grounds states are often the preferable level of government but on a competency grounds? The advantage of state control isn't improved results but rather limited damage. For every damaging policy California implements there are escape destinations. People don't go to Florida or Texas because they are running super smart and innovative state governments, they go there because they are running relatively small and non-invasive ones.
More importantly, can we simply stop accepting the leftist notion that if given enough resources used wisely enough government at any level can change the fortunes of the poor?
If it's simply a question or "providing resources", how much? Tell how much it will take to turn the denizens of the drug infested neighborhoods of Baltimore or predominately white rural areas where meth and Heroin use are skyrocketing, into fine upstanding contributing members of society. Is money the only issues keeping these fine folks from productive careers and the comforts of middle class America? If not, and I don't think anyone thinks it is, whatever is missing is something government simply can not provide.
We should be arguing for alternatives to government that enable people to do the best they can on their own. Only the individual knows what they want and what they are willing to work to achieve. No government bureaucracy will ever be smart, nimble or caring enough to deftly guide an individual through life. State governments are just as a much of a blunt force instrument as the federal government. The only differences are the geographic limits of the damage they can do and the ability of people to move to avoid the worst of it.
Put not your faith in self-dealing bureaucrats at any level.
Until conservative "leaders" accept this, conservative "reformers" will simply be rearranging the deck chairs on a sinking nation.
We spend a lot of time debating how government should do things. What we need is to spend some time thinking about what government really can or should even try to do.
Stanisław Masłowski, "Wschód Księżyca" (Moonrise) (1884)
Monday Morning News Dump
- Police Kill Two Gunman Outside Draw Mohammed Cartoon Event
- Why The Bill Of Rights Would Never Pass Today
- Calling The Baltimore Rioters 'Thugs' Does Not Make You Racist
- NYT Reporter Doesn't Seem To Grasp Free Speech
- Baltimore Had Received 1.8 Billion In Stimulus Money
- Our Police Union Problem
- Biden 'Among' We The People
- Sessions: Trade Deal Opens Immigration Flood Gates
- DARPA Successfully Tests Bullets That Change Direction In Midair
- The Moral Of Caesar
- Why Are Police Shootings Dominating The News
- The Clintons, Their Luxury Jet And A 100 Million Dollar Donor From Canada
- The Childless Millennials
- Councilman Goes To Bathroom, Forgets To Turn Off Mic
Morning Thread (5-4-2015)
Happy Cinco de Cuatro, everyone.
Overnight Open Thread (5/3/15) [tmi3rd]
Good evening once again, Morons and Moronettes. Maetenloch is on assignment for one more week, so you'll get me tonight, and tomorrow night, you'll get @CraigR3521, one of my good friends from Facebook and Twitter, and a guy whose links I routinely borrow from.
I'm a little less lighthearted this evening, but there'll still be some fun with this. This is necessarily going to be long- content rolled in for the 24 hours I was working on this- so be advised ahead of time.
More beneath the fold!
There's an INCREDIBLE level of visible-from-space stupidity on display with regards to what's happening in Baltimore, and the broader problem that has been displayed in Ferguson and in Baltimore, and to a lesser degree with respect to the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin situation.
This is a whole list of links that are relevant to the discussion... I hope you'll go give these a good hard read and come back to the thread. I'd like to thank Fallen Sparrow and Little Miss Attila (currently on blog hiatus), along with my FB Morons and Twitterverse Morons for their contributions.
First of all, I give you the execrable Jarvis DeBerry from the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The man is, in my estimation, a contemptible race-baiter and an embarrassment to journalism (low as it already is), but this appears to be a mainstream view of how things are in many communities across America.
Next, Nate Silver notes that The Most Diverse Cities Are Often The Most Segregated, but seems to have absolutely ZERO idea what these cities have in common.
The next piece, which Ace has talked about, is David Simon On Baltimore's Anguish, in which Simon blames Martin O'Malley for this happening, while simultaneously saying he'd still vote for him for president. As ridiculous a remark as that is, it lends a certain legitimacy to this piece.
We hit the way-back machine for Virginia Postrel's piece for the LA Times (when Virginia was editing Reason Magazine) in 1992 called The Real Story Goes Beyond Black and White : Races: The rioters were multiracial, and so were the victims. More polarized versions only feed bigotry. In many ways, the same circumstances were in place during the Rodney King riots.
Here's Fallen Sparrow's take on it... he lives in the greater Baltimore/DC area, and he's got a very even-handed take on it that spares nobody in terms of responsibility.
...and here's an unnamed buddy of mine weighing in from Baltimore...
So, I don't want to inflame all my Baltimore peeps, hence the PM. They had to go for max charges against these guys whether true or not. There won't be a city left if they're not found culpable in some major way. This city doesn't have much of a "thinking" class, and the mob mentality that is currently inhabiting the streets will turn from "peaceful" to "burn it all down, especially cops" in a breath. Black panther leader wants to bring 10,000ppl to the march tomorrow. The protesters didn't wait for facts to come out before reacting with riots and looting (neither did Obama or Hillary before they threw the police under the bus, thank you very much) which has only exacerbated/created, the situation. Obviously, there's an issue, and it's unfortunate that the Mayor, whether hand-cuffed or voluntarily, didn't prepare for the possibility of what happened Monday by supporting the police and equipping them with proactive orders and Guard members to bolster their ranks, as if Ferguson never happened. It's a scary semi-calm right now. Everyone wants blood, and they'll have it one way or another. Is that foreboding enough for ya?!
I dare not post video of liberation theology teachings, nor the Malcolm X documentary here, but allow me to weigh in on a couple of things here, piece by piece...
First of all, the DeBerry piece- he wants so much for this to be about race, but for my take, it's got nothing to do with race other than the convenience of trying to make it about race. What you're seeing in New Orleans, Baltimore, and many other major US cities is the absolute lowest form of class warfare- making sure a certain group of people who are going without keep going without, in order to maintain power over them. As such, the conflict is not an attempt at "white supremacy", as DeBerry puts it, but another example of the failures of federal Wars On Anything, domestically.
The Nate Silver piece- does he really not see what these cities all have in common? I just don't understand how a man of his intelligence (and he is a VERY smart man) can't make that connection.
The David Simon piece is perhaps the most revealing- and this is also what I'm increasingly led to believe is one of the two roots of the problem. The first, which Simon lays out in exquisite detail, is the failure of the War On Drugs. In conjunction with the equally ill-fated War On Poverty, I can't point to a single positive outcome from any of the above. Simon notes that it's given many police carte blanche to detain or arrest anyone they see fit, based on geographic location and gut feeling. He makes some scary points about which groups of police it's militarized, and I found myself nodding with much of what he said in terms of his situational analysis. Again, the O'Malley thing... oddly enough, by saying he'd still vote for the guy (which makes me sick to my stomach) lends him a nonpartisan legitimacy that I couldn't have.
The Postrel piece lays out the exact same situation, but twenty years ago, with a slightly different cast of characters. It's interesting to note that she points out the successful inner-city business owners that the '92 media steadfastly refused to highlight.
Little Miss Attila made a good point that I can't excerpt- she was in Los Angeles in 1992- that the rioting essentially exposed the line between the decent and the indecent in Los Angeles. I'm not sure the same lines are clear in Baltimore.
And finally, my buddy on the ground in Baltimore... these arrests really do look like crowd control. I have no idea how this is going to go, but a lot of the charges thrown at the officers look like Hail Marys at this point. I suspect we'll see a similar outcome to what we did in Ferguson.
So what do we have? I'll leave that for you to decide, but I don't think we have much of a debate on the idea that we've seen actions over the past fifty years that have served only to divide the nation further, and have given voice to the most malevolent, most base motivations in humanity. The cycle is perpetuated by the continuous election of demagogues as leaders, and the leadership in place has no idea what to do without jeopardizing their strands of power.
And that's before we get to dealing with the liberation theologists who have hijacked institutions of higher learning. Rather than helping unite the various threads of American society, it's served only to drive wedges between us. On one hand, we're supposed to wear sackcloth and dine on ashes, but when people with real ideas and methods show up to try to cause actual change in the affected areas, they're run off as some sort of interloper. I'd like to know what the actual realistic expectations are, so that I can either afford them the consideration they're due, or denounce them as the revanchist horseshit that I tend to hear coming from many of the activists. As things go, we seem to be seeing the no-go zones developing in the United States a la the UK and France..
One thing is for certain: until the cottage grievance industries are done away with, this kind of thing won't go away. It spawns little assholes like this.
Okay, onto lighter stuff...
Things got real awkward during a council meeting in Georgetown, Texas, when an unidentified councilman excused himself to use the bathroom. Unfortunately, the man forgot to turn off his microphone, so everyone heard his trip to the lavatory as it was amplified throughout the meeting. It seems he also forgot to wash his hands.
Shorter version, because tl;dr? Might have more to do with being unable to believe anything coming out of her mouth, including a, an, and the, perhaps?
I've Probably Posted This Before...
...but I don't care, because it's awesome. Jonathan Mover was Joe Satriani's drummer for a long time, and this was a sound supplement record (!) out of Modern Drummer magazine in 1989.
And a piece I drew on for much of my professional work...
As many of you know, I made my living as an opera singer for many years, and still perform professionally on a semi-regular basis. When I finally got to perform Figaro in Rossini's Il Barbiere Di Siviglia, I shamelessly used as much material as I could from my hero, Bugs Bunny.
Ladies and gentlemen, Jamie Foxx on your National Anthem!
In seeing this, this is about all I could come up with...
As someone who sings the Star-Spangled Banner and O Canada at dozens of events each year, this is a particular pet peeve of mine. I have a number of high-caliber singer friends in the Las Vegas area, all of whom would have been honored to sing it, and done it for free- which I'd just about guarantee you Jamie Foxx didn't.
Oh, and they'd have been done in a minute and ten seconds, as opposed to this marathon dump Foxx takes on the anthem. The man has a nice timbre to his voice, and appears to vaguely know the notes, but like many "name" artists I know, his entourage does nothing but fluff him so that he thinks he can do no wrong. This might have been something actually kind of special if he'd sat down with a vocal coach and worked on it.
That sucked, Mr. Foxx. Have the smarts as a successful artist to know the difference between soulful and crap.
I have to be honest with you, my soul hurts watching the country tear itself apart like this. Blame can be assigned on a bunch of different levels, but these are ultimately our cities in our country. Yes, our leadership has failed us on many levels, but people's livelihoods (and in some cases, their very lives) are being destroyed, and that is tragic for all of us. Why so? Because it probably has to get worse before it gets better.
That said, I cannot and will not lose faith in my nation, mainly because I know that the Moron Nation is out there. Lurkers and non-lurkers alike, the sun never sets on the Moron Nation, and anywhere in the world I've traveled, there's been a Moron there to greet me.
So, my friends, keep the faith... things are always darkest before the dawn.
I'm off to bed, as I've got to be on the road early Monday morning, but thanks for reading, my friends. Y'all play nice and don't do anything to get me or the blog in trouble, willya? God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.
Close it up
BREAKING NEWS-Possible terrorist attack in Texas [Weirddave]
Most of this is coming from Breitbart Texas:
Armed police officers rushed in to the Mohammed Art Exhibit and Contest and quickly removed Pamela Geller and whisked her away to safety after a gunfight erupted outside of the event. A law enforcement officer and two suspects are reportedly down, according to police on the scene. Three Breitbart Texas reporters are locked down inside of the event. The officers on the scene said that possible explosives were found. The extrication of Geller occurred during a live video interview with Breitbart Texas.
Not much beyond that. Geller is safe, Wounded cop is in the hospital and expected to recover, the attackers are still lying where they fell pending clearance by the bomb squad. It's unknown what their religious affiliation is at this point, but I doubt that they were Mormons.
Close it up
Open Thread - We <3 Obamacare Edition [Weirddave]
I dunno how many of y'all saw this, or even realized it's significance if you did, but last week it was announced that Assurant is selling or closing its health insurance business.
With nearly 1 million customers, Assurant Health provides a broad array of insurance coverage to individuals, families and small employers including major medical, short-term and supplemental plans. The company expects Assurant Health to report a net operating loss for the quarter in the range of $80 million to $90 million. Approximately half of the loss is attributable to a reduction in 2014 estimated recoveries from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) risk mitigation programs. The remainder reflects elevated claims on 2015 ACA policies.
Not to get all inside baseball here, but this is kind of a big deal. Assurant is a major carrier, a Fortune 500 company, and they can't financially survive in the environment that the PPACA (Pee Pee Ca Ca) establishes. Moreover, they were the premier carrier offering short term health insurance across most of the country, short term coverage is often crucial for bridging gaps in coverage until the next Obamacare open enrollment. For many Americans, that's now gone. There is a company out of Texas which is still an option for people in 38 states, their business philosophy for the past few years has been “Obamacare sucks, we're just going to offer old fashioned, non ACA compliant plans. Yea, you'll have to pay the fine, but you'll be insured and it'll still cost less than Leviathan”. They're going great guns, but other than that, there's not much. UHC and HCC offer some short term plans in limited markets, and I suppose there are a few others, but Assurant was the 800lb gorilla of the short term market, covering 41 states, and now...poof!
The takeaway from this, the canary in the coalmine, is that a Fortune 500 insurance company, one that's been around since the 19th century, tried to play within ACA rules and utterly failed. There's going to be more of this. Major carriers are currently protected from loss by the risk corridor guarantees in the ACA (to simplify mightily, the Feds are covering their losses for the first 3 years), but that goes away by 2017, and we are going to see rate spikes and contracting networks that will make today seem like the good old days. Gonna see more companies fail, too. Isn't that a nice inauguration gift JEF's leaving for his successor?
And what will be the response from the left? “This isn't working! The free-market failed! (Never mind that it did no such thing) We need single-payor!”. And if Hildabeast, or Lieawatha, or Tommy Carcetti or the Catamount Communist or any other Dem is elected President, we'll get it too.
As was the plan all along.
Close it up
Food Thread: Cheese, Butter, Irritating Little Birds....And More! [CBD]
Salers, Bleu des Causses, Roquefort and Gaperon
From: French Ladies with French Cheeses
Compound butters are fantastic carriers of flavor, mostly because butter absorbs pretty much anything around it. Leave a pat of butter uncovered in the refrigerator for a few days if you don't believe me.
They can be used as a simple garnish for a steak or a burger, melting onto the meat and perfuming it with whatever herbs and spices you feel like. But I think the best use is under the skin of a simple roast chicken. It's a bit messy, and you have to be careful not to tear the skin, but the end result is spectacular. Just make a compound butter (thyme, parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper is a good start) and gently spread it underneath the skin of the best chicken you can find. With a bit of work and patience you should be able to get it underneath not just the breasts, but also the thighs and legs.
If this works for you, try some finely chopped chipotle pepper butter. It's spicy, but fantastic, and the potatoes will turn out a gorgeous reddish color.
In case you are worried that you don't have enough fat in your diet, you can put thick-sliced potatoes in the bottom of the roasting pan (I use a cast iron skillet). That way you don't miss a single drop of the butter and chicken fat, and you get really, really good roasted potatoes!
I was poking around for interesting things to do with quail, and found this roast quail recipe. It's actually a primer on wild quail, and worth reading even if you don't hunt.
But....I still like butterflying the quail and cooking them in a hot pan. It's messier, but the great crispy, crunchy skin paired with the barely cooked meat is an experience. And it is really fast (just like wild quail).
And....lest you think I am a successful quail hunter....no, I am an extremely bad quail hunter. I can count the number of quail I have bagged on the fingers of one foot. Please do not ask me how many shells I have expended in said hunts.
Here is a post from Michael Ruhlman's blog that caught my eye because of this quotation: "...everything we eat is associated with both higher and lower rates of cancer." [trigger warning: the link is to a NY Times article. It's a really good article, but still.....]
Maybe in 200 generations we will figure out that eating a varied diet and staying relatively fit is the best advice. Maybe....but I doubt it.
Lemon bars are usually too sweet and gloppy. These aren't. They are, not surprisingly, from The Barefoot Contessa. Ina Garten may be an irritating touchy-feely lefty, but she can cook, and thankfully isn't shy about using butter.
For the crust:
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the filling:
- 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup flour
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed.
Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball.
Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides.
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned.
Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour.
Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set.
Let cool to room temperature.
Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners' sugar.
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Something Uplifting for a Sunday Afternoon... Literally! [Y-not]
A couple of weeks ago our fearless leader (no, not Obama... the Head Ewok!) was enjoining us to unplug our televisions. He made some good arguments for what a soul-sucking time-waster TV programming is.
Anyway, not long after that thread the Mister and I went to see one of the touring shows of Cirque du Soleil, "Varekai." This was our third CdS show. Each one has been well worth the price of admission and has left us in awe of what human beings can accomplish. Very uplifting. I hated people a wee bit less after seeing that show.
Varekai's plot was loosely based on the legend of Icarus. There was a happy ending (Icarus recovered from his injuries and found love), but mostly CdS performances are an excuse to showcase some spectacular feats of skill, agility, strength, and bravery.
The most dangerous act in Varekai was the Russian Swings. Here's a clip with abysmal music (not from the show):
And here's a shorter clip that shows the performers jumping from one moving swing to another:
*Testing new format*
*Having trouble loading that one for some reason. Here's a link.*
Here's a documentary about Cirque du Soleil:
What activities help you hate your fellow human beings a little bit less?
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