CNN "Journalist" Caught Red-Handed Doing Media Favors for Hillary; Politico's Mike Allen Caught Red-Handed Promising Hillary's People a "No Surprises" Interview of Chelsea, in Which Questions Would Be Worked Out Beforehand
Hillary wanted some self-serving quotes publicized, and CNN's "journalist" -- the same one who just got suspended for her liberal angst about concerns about Syrian refugees -- duly complied.
She also hit Rand Paul for not attending all the hearings -- just as she was seemingly asked.
Here's that journalist reporting back to Team Hillary about the anti-Rand-Paul tweet she'd tweeted out at their apparent behest:
She also pumped out this quote that Hillary's people wanted out there:
the on-request tweet --> https://t.co/4BHUAjNm1U— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) November 25, 2015
Meanwhile, Gawker catches Politico's Mike Allen promising the Hillary staff (Phil Reines, I think) a "no surprises" interview of Chelsea. I won't link them, but instead will link the Washington Post's alleged journalistic column "The Fix," which, when presented with evidence that a liberal colleague in the media is promising against-the-rules favors to a liberal politician, affixes blame squarely where it belongs: on conservative critics of the media who allege that liberal reporters do favors for liberal politicians.
Here's Mike Allen's email promising a very cozy, reputation-boosting interview for the black hole of negative charisma Chelsea:
We're hosting a Politico New Leaders Brunch on Sunday, Jan. 20, with a brief on-stage interview with moi. We would love to honor Chelsea Clinton, and it sounds like she has some issues, marriage and others, that she enjoys talking about these days. This would be a way to send a message during inaugural week: No one besides me would ask her a question, and you and I would agree on them precisely in advance.
This would be a relaxed conversation, and our innovative format (like a speedy Playbook Breakfast) always gets heavy social-media pickup. The interview would be "no surprises:" I would work with you on topics, and would start with anything she wants to cover or make news on. Quicker than a network hit, and reaching an audience you care about with no risk.
The Washington Post's The Fix column immediately spins for their pal, and lets you know who the real villains are here.
A bit of context might be helpful here, since we’re talking about events that happened almost three years ago: President Obama had just been reelected, and Allen was requesting an interview with Chelsea Clinton on inauguration weekend, which is basically one big party in DC. The news of the moment in Clinton world was that Hillary was just a couple weeks away from stepping down as secretary of state, having previously said she would not serve in Obama’s second term.
One interpretation of Allen’s e-mail to Philippe Reines, the Clinton aide, goes something like this: Hey, I’m looking for just a few minutes with Chelsea during an important time for her mom. This isn’t a probing,"“60 Minutes"-style sit-down, so don't worry about fielding anything out of left field.
Not so bad, right?
But the Republican translation will likely go more like this: What can I do to make Chelsea look good because, as we all know, I and my Web site (and most of the media) live to serve the royal family of the Democratic Party.
The GOP field has already put the media on blast this campaign season. There was that memorable rant by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas during the third primary debate....
He then goes on to note, disapprovingly, the criticisms lodged about the media by Republican candidates.
Elsewhere in the article, he casts Republican criticisms of the media as phantasmal -- though allowing that this incident looks like it could be evidence of that paranoid fear.
And you can bet the Republican presidential candidates -- who often accuse the media of pro-Clinton bias-- will pounce on this as confirmation of that belief. It's a ready-made "liberal media" conspiracy theory...
Republican White House hopefuls sometimes go looking for bias where it's not obvious, or nonexistent. But, in this case, they won't have to look very hard. This time, Politico made their job easy.
Pro-tip for The Fix: A conspiracy requires more than one person. Mike Allen's wrongdoing was just his wrongdoing.
It's your rushing to his defense, and attacking his critics, all over an incident you concede looks very bad, that makes it a liberal conspiracy.
You're all in this together, and you make it more obvious every single day.
Glenn Thrush: We Do This All The Time. It's No Big Deal.
People hate media and will assume the worst. Most of this stuff is just everyday tradecraft -- same BS as any job https://t.co/5KITk0c7zt— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) November 25, 2015
Correction: Chris Cilizza is the main voice of The Fix, but he's not the only voice -- and he did not write this particular column. I have omitted his name from the post.
Al Qaeda Terrorist Detonates Suicide Bomb Amidst ISIS Commanders
A recent suicide bombing in southern Syria shows the rivalry between Al Qaeda and ISIS is more than just a contest to see who can kill the most infidels -- the groups are using classic terror techniques on each other.
The Nov. 15 bombing came at a top-level meeting of the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, a key ISIS militia known for its bloody and vicious hold over parts of the Golan Heights. Six of the group’s top men were killed, including Muhammad "Abu Ali" al-Baridi, the shadowy head of the group who went by the nickname "The Uncle."
Al Nusra Front, Al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, quickly took credit, gloating on Twitter about the "heroic" attack.
Bob Ross, "Okay This Is My One Painting Without Happy Trees I Was Having a Bad Day Piss Off" (probably) (n.d.)
Also: FiveThirtyEight: A Statistical Analysis of the Work of Bob Ross. This Bob Ross painting has no happy mountains or happy clouds. Find out how rare that is.
Close it up
Morning Thread (11-25-2015)
Happy turkey day eve. Don't forget to brine, inject and rub like the Pilgrims did.
Overnight Open Thread (11-24-2015)
The most powerful tool we have to fight ISIL is to say that we're not afraid. To not elevate them and to somehow buy into their fantasy that they're doing something important.
-- President Mom Jeans the day before the State Department issued a world-wide travel advisory for Americans due to ISIL terrorism
For Democrats, I think there's a sense of responsibility here. You know, President Obama waxed self-righteous about the Republican bill and the Republican behavior, but he's made a series of cold and, to me, amoral decisions over the past five years to allow this genocide. And maybe they were the right decisions, but they were not moral decisions.
-- David Brooks finally starting to get over those glorious perfectly creased pants
So this November, let's not keep patting the Mo-Bros on the head and tolerating this childish self-involvement-fest disguised as selflessness and the propagation online and in the media of the inherent importance of North American men and their problems.
...There are a lot of people in the world who would trade your slight risk of prostate cancer for their serious risk of being raped, being killed, starving to death, or dying of preventable diseases. Prostate cancer is a hallmark of privilege. Deal with it.-- Alex Manley complaining about Movember and raising money to fight prostate cancer
The point of life is to never have an unpleasant emotional response. To anything. Note I didn't say that the point is to avoid them. That suggests personal responsibility, when the onus ought to be on everyone else: offense of any kind cannot be made. What's more the definition of offense is the sole possession of the offended. To take offense is to proclaim virtue, to show your highly developed sensibilities, and the point of having these sensibilities is to find a job, or career, or office, or blog, or tumblr, or some other platform where you can ensure that offense is never given. (If one gets a job doing this, it will be by appointment, not election.) The person will pass from the bubble of college to the bubble of social enforcement, keen on perfecting the world. And for the rest of his or her or xer professional life, they'll be shouting BE QUIET to a calm, rational adult who is too terrified to say "you're a terrible child who understands nothing. Go to your room."
These people will produce nothing. They will create no great art, write no symphonies, conjure no novels that speak across the decades, sculpt nothing of beauty. The world outside the bubble is irredeemable. It cannot, of course, be remade all at once, but tomorrow's a new day. Rome wasn't wrecked in a day.-- James Lileks
And the Left is determined to execute all of them. Read the whole thing.
I think future historians will come to see 2012 as the year the wheels fell off the war on terror.
Sorry for all the pre-Thanksgiving Eve bummering. So here is HappyCat to make it better. And to prepare you for The Bummering Phase II.
Journalists had another question: If oil is vitally important to the Islamic State, why didn't the U.S. hit the tanker trucks long ago, given that the American anti-ISIS operation began in September 2014?
"If it's so important to cut off the oil shipments, the critical revenue source for ISIS, why did it take so long to take out 116 oil tanker trucks?" a reporter asked.Warren explained that American officials were deeply worried about harming the truck drivers, who were working for the Islamic State but might not be ISIS themselves. U.S. officials settled on a plan to drop leaflets on the trucks about 45 minutes before the raid, warning the drivers that an attack was coming, while U.S. pilots flew low passes over the area. Planning all that took time.
Just like the old gypsy woman said!
Watching events unfold along the Turkish border this morning, you can't help but wonder if real flag officers are having similar thoughts. Within a matter of minutes, a Turkish F-16 shot down a Russian SU-24 Fencer after it entered the country's airspace, and ignored 10 warnings to turn back. The two-man crew ejected from the jet, but were shot as they descended in their parachutes by Turkish rebels operating along the border.
Then, the Russians dispatched a search-and-rescue (SAR) helicopter to pick up the downed airmen. But members of the Free Syrian Army--a rebel group backed by the U.S.--shot down the chopper, reportedly using an American-made TOW missile. At least one member of the helicopter crew was killed.
The Good News: It turns Out That Some French Restaurant Diners Managed to Shoot And Kill Two Terrorists During the Paris Attacks
The Bad News: They Were Illegally Armed Members of a Columbian Drug Cartel
But on the other hand you do have this.
It's all insider graft-y fun and games until a Russian sub actually pops up in the harbor.
Paul Mirengoff has a theory:
However, I have a more general theory: baseball players are more ornery than football players (and, for that matter, basketball players).
Football and basketball stars become heroes at an early age. They are worshiped in high school (and sometimes before), courted extravagantly by college recruiters, pampered in college, and then (if they're good enough) placed directly into the luxurious life of the big leagues. (To be fair, though,a great many come from poor or lower middle class backgrounds.)
Baseball players are less celebrated in high school and college (if they attend). And they almost always enter the profession via the minor leagues, where they typically spend several years (quite possibly five or more if they become professionals right out of high school).
The minor leagues are a grinding, humbling experience. The pay is low, the towns lack glamor, and the bus rides are long, tedious, and not very comfortable.Thus, my theory goes, when baseball players finally make it, they have a fortitude that their more spoiled counterparts in football and basketball lack. That's why they are more likely to hang tough in negotiations, as they did most famously during the 1994 labor dispute when the baseball season was lost.
There are many different ways to test for the accuracy of stereotypes, because there are many different types or aspects of accuracy. However, one type is quite simple -- the correspondence of stereotype beliefs with criteria. If I believe 60% of adult women are over 5' 4" tall, and 56% voted for the Democrat in the last Presidential election, and that 35% of all adult women have college degrees, how well do my beliefs correspond to the actual probabilities? One can do this sort of thing for many different types of groups.
And lots of scientists have. And you know what they found? That stereotype accuracy -- the correspondence of stereotype beliefs with criteria -- is one of the largest relationships in all of social psychology. The correlations of stereotypes with criteria range from .4 to over .9, and average almost .8 for cultural stereotypes (the correlation of beliefs that are widely shared with criteria) and.5 for personal stereotypes (the correlation of one individual's stereotypes with criteria, averaged over lots of individuals). The average effect in social psychology is about .20. Stereotypes are more valid than most social psychological hypotheses.
They probably won't be cheap or plentiful but they're coming.
And the perfect punch line would be that she came in second. But in this case there was no contest. The best part is the look on the other contestants' faces when 'Jenny' finally starts to sing.
It's Finally Out: The 2016 NYC Taxi Drivers Pin-Up Calendar!
But how do you pick something out that she's going to like and gets your motor going? Well, let me help you with that, chuckles. Etsy store Bullet and Bee has a four set of Golden Girls panties. Each pair has a picture of either Bea Arthur, Estelle Getty, Rue McClanahan or Betty White. But they don't just have pictures of the four sexy ladies on them. Each one is a different style. The Bea Arthur is high rise, Estelle Getty's is high wasted, the Betty White is sheer, and the Rue McClanahan is crotchless. Let that sink in.
You can buy the whole set for $160 or each one for $38-$52. That's a bargain for that much sexiness!
The Yahoo group is for closers only.
Tonight's post brought to you by busted:
Notice: Posted by authority of AceCorp LLC. Current ewok status: uninterested. Caution: ONT may cause drowsiness, nausea, dizziness, or blurred vision. Do not operate heavy machinery unless you're feeling it.
Close it up
Chicago Releases Video of Police Shooting of Suspect; City Braces for Violence That Some Predict Could Be Described as "Tuesday"
Having watched the tape, what I see here is cause for arrest of Laquan McDonald. I don't see anything remotely threatening enough to justify a shooting.
Apparently prosecuting someone for murder isn't enough. There must be riots.
I guess I see the point of protests, but not riots. I assume we'll have riots, because of course we must have riots.
At the Blaze, more graphic video, which includes the actual shooting. And he was shot at sixteen times, but I can't see how he was shot sixteen times. Looks like the first one two shots kills him. If he actually was shot sixteen times, then I guess he was being hit by bullets long before he falls to the ground.
Update: ArthurK. says you can see the bullets hitting him when he's on the ground.
Well, this won't be a long trial.
Seems to Have Been Some Testi-Lying About the Shooting.
Of course there was no "lunge."
It Gets Worse: Apparently Burger King had security cameras nearby.
The prosecutor says that there is no evidence of anyone "tampering with" the video files.
Alvarez, in response to a question from NBC 5 Political Editor Carol Marin, said forensic testing was done on surveillance footage from a Burger King restaurant close to where the shooting took place to determine if the video had been "tampered with."
"Forensic testing was done on the Burger King surveillance system to determine if anyone tampered with the evidence and the testing did not reveal any such evidence," she said.
She declined to comment on which agency conducted the tests, however.
I don't know who's right here, obviously.
@JimmyPrinceton has asked on Twitter why the media isn't going after Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, who, after all, presides over this police department, and and the prosecutors, and etc.
Fundamental Concepts - Nothing to Believe In [Weirddave]
The latest surge by ISIS has brought to the fore one of the hallmarks of modern leftism, and that is their absolute refusal to process facts that conflict with their worldview. Here we have ISIS, a murderous, genocidal Islamic supremacy group. They have stated quite openly that they intend to carve a caliphate out for themselves by any means necessary, and by “by any means” they mean as violently as possible. They view the West, Christianity, Secular Humanists, Hindus, everybody who doesn’t conform to their brand of Islam as the enemy, and they have only one tactic for dealing with the enemy : kill them and keep on killing them until they are either all dead or their remnant is so cowed that they convert to Islam. They justify this using the Koran and various Hadiths and they will quite happily tell anyone who will listen exactly what they believe is divine rational for their actions.
You or I look at this and say “Huh. These assholes want to kill us. Let’s arm ourselves and prepare. Let’s go out and kill them first to protect our weak and vulnerable. They have demonstrated again and again that they are serious, we should take them at their word”. To us, this is the most basic common sense. When ISIS says that they are going to smuggle terrorists in amongst Syrian refuges to kill us at home, something they have demonstrated the ability to do as recently as last week, we think it’s simply prudent to halt an influx of refugees that we can not verify free of terrorists. Again, simple common sense.
Our leaders, the so called smart set, don’t seem to agree, and an increasing percentage of the population is realizing that what we see as blindingly obvious, they don’t see at all? Why? I’ve seen this question asked more than once this past week on social media and in the press, and have yet to hear a good answer. It quite simply makes no sense.
When talking about leftists in the United States, it would be logical to assume that their denial of reality is tied to their investment in fantasy, and I do think that that is a part of it. They are absolutely committed to the Lightbringer narrative. Obama was supposed to do nothing less than change the way the world works, and the fact that he hasn’t must be obfuscated at all costs. The reality that his idiotic graduate school Utopian mindset has CAUSED many of these problems is blackest heresy that must never be spoken of out loud. There is a generous dollop of that amongst Proggys here, but Left Wing European elites have no reason to shield Obama from criticism, and yet they feel the same way. So what exactly is the reason that these people so stridently deny reality?
I think the roots go back to WWI. It is hard for us raised in a post WWI (and WWII) world to understand exactly how shattering WWI was to the psyche of the West. Tens of millions dead, the cream of an entire generation ripped from the bosom of their homes to be extinguished in the bloody horror of Gallipoli, Ypers and The Somme. Prior to WWI, the West (and by this we mean Christendom), had an unbounded confidence that it was the pinnacle of human achievement, leading the way to a brighter future (which came to pass, just look around at the material wonders of life in the West today). Post WWI the West recoiled from what it had done (only to do it again a generation later) and allowed a societal rot to take root and spread. Since traditional morals had so failed Christendom, then they must be done away with and replaced.
I’m going to fast forward a little bit over the details, books have been written about things like moral relativism, Marxist theory and secular humanism, but once you get to today you find that the vast majority of our “elites” share a mindset that makes them virtually incapable of responding to a threat like ISIS.
These people believe in the primacy of self. The ultimate end all be all of the universe is the 2.2 lbs of cabbage they have between their ears. Just their ears, what other people may think or believe has no bearing on the universe if it disagrees with their precious worldview. Now, it’s fine and dandy to recognize that the brain is the only tool we have to understand the universe. It is folly unbound to demand that the universe reconfigure itself to match the wishes of the brain. That is arrogance at its rawest, and that is what we see daily from the Left.
Obama arrogantly speaks of “universal values” without realizing that no, the values he’s referring to are anything but universal and in fact they are the product of a religious and moral code that he rejects.
The elites arrogantly reject that ISIS can hurt the West. Oh sure, they may kill some random members of the hoi polloi, but that won’t affect THEM. And it might not. Until it does, or until the hoi polloi get tired of bleeding all over the place and decide to make some changes.
The media arrogantly denies that the terrorists themselves have any agency. They constantly seek to excuse their bloody attacks by excusing them as pawns or blaming society, imperialism, Christians, corporations, BOOOOSH! Capitalism or whatever.
Most of all, what all of these smug assholes fail to accept, steeped as they are in their philosophy of self and blinded by the myth of their superior intellects, is that there are billions of people out there who do not subscribe to their selfish worldview: people who believe in something larger then themselves and who act upon those beliefs. They can’t understand it when they run across it in their own culture for God’s sake (That Christians might have an honest belief that homosexuality is a sin does not compute. Christians MUST be bigots, or homophobes or haters), they have no chance at recognizing it in a foreign one. Last week in Paris, one of the terrorists calmly went down a row of handicapped people in wheelchairs and calmly executed each and every one of them in turn. I guarantee you that as this evil man calmly committed this bloody and evil act, he felt in his heart the same satisfaction that you do when you give money to a homeless man Mr. Elite. These people have their own beliefs and the free will to act upon them. They will tell you all about them if you ask, and even if you don’t. They are PROUD of what they are doing. They BRAG about their bloody ways. THEY MEAN WHAT THEY SAY.
Unfortunately, that is so utterly foreign to the worldview of our so-called elites that they just don’t get it, and I doubt the ever will because it contradicts that worldview completely. To understand they would have to let go of the arrogance that sustains them, and that’s a very hard row to hoe.
And that leaves us screwed. How can we defeat out enemies if we refuse to take them seriously?
Close it up
Thanksgivingmanship: Your Guide to Surviving The Progressive Imbeciles Who Have Spent a Week Cramming on How to Survive You
Oxford Don Stephen Potter introduced the world to the principles of Gamesmanship, the way to win at games by resort to cheap ploys which were very close to cheating without being technically cheating. He later expanded his inquiries into the general field of "Lifemanship," the discipline of embracing life in a dickish and hostile spirit, sabotaging social rivals without quite breaching social etiquette.
Given that the progressive elder-children-yet-not-quite-adults you'll be encountering this Thanksgiving (who I will henceforth refer to as "grownchildren") will be armed to the teeth with Vox explainers and Obamacare propaganda, I herewith humbly submit these first sketches of a new branch of Lifemanship I call "Thankgivingmanship," which I define as the gentle art of insulting the stupid without alerting them to the fact that they've been insulted at all.
It is the goal of the dedicated Thanksgivingman, then, to achieve the sublime art of giving offense without offense being taken.
My basic strategy is thus: It would be as rude of you as it is rude of your cretinous grownchildren kin to allow a Thanksgiving dinner into a stupid game of Rachel Maddow Talking Points and their rebuttals.
So, rather than confront the unemployed idiots who will be assailing you, I propose instead to superficially avoid conflict and engagement on their dummy mouthflappings, and appear instead to agree with them.
But -- and here is the point -- a skilled Thanksgivingman will only appear to agree with the grownchildren to feeble intellects, such as those possessed by the grownchildren themselves. Instead of disagreeing with them -- which will cause argument and anger -- you will instead claim to agree with them, while in fact contradicting them, subverting them, of baffling them with statements that nearly, but do not quite, make sense.
Our definitions and mission now established, we turn to the first of our three primary Thanksgivingmanship gambits:
The Neutral or Nonsensical Statement Disguised as Agreement.Progressives do not process language the same way human beings do; they chiefly adduce meaning from tone and body language, like dogs.
This means that you can say many things which are either irrelevant, nonsensical, or otherwise not in agreement with the progressive subcreatures you're temporarily amidst so long as you deliver your words with a warm smile and a lot of nodding.
You may also use uptalk to express an insincere solidarity. As with dogs and babies, progressives find artificially high-pitched vocal tones to be soothing and possibly a prelude to Walkies and Snackies.
Whenever a progressive grownchild says something stupid and ignorant, which will be always, do not engage on the merits. Progressive grownchildren will become highly emotional and agitated at the slightest show of disagreement, and may wet the floor or claw at the furniture.
Instead, say something which is either neutral or nonsensical (which successfully communicates your true beliefs to other real human beings capable of deciphering obvious meaning) while deploying smiling, nodding, and uptalk to falsely convey agreement with to the more-stunted intellect of the grownchild.
For example, if a progressive grownchild says, "Rachel Maddow is just so amazing," you can respond by nodding and saying "Absolutely, Rachel Maddow is without doubt a mammal." (Or: "A mammal...?")
Possible responses to common grownchild mouthchatter include:
"Well I see that the 'Faux Noise Machice' has gotten everyone riled up about so-called 'terrorism' again."
"Doubtless! Terrorists only win when allow them to make us afraid, or dead." (Or: "Afraid, or dead...?")
"Can't people see that stupid cons are doing Just What ISIS Wants us to do?"
"It's so obvious-- the attacks in Paris weren't just an attack on human lives. They were an attack on our shared human capacity to be alive." ("To be alive, and stuff...?")
This is a very simple one, which can be deployed in a variety of contexts:
"None of this is Obama's fault -- he's doing the best he can to keep America out of another War of Choice."
"Boy that Obama-- he is really something, isn't he?"
As the evening wears on, and you are preparing to depart, you may become somewhat more blatant in your stealth insults, like so:
"I just read an explainer about this on Vox."
"Today's world is so remarkable! When I was young, we had to read books and derive our own thinking for ourselves. What a time to be alive, when sounding vaguely informed is no longer a luxury of the intellectual, but a cheaply assembled ware available to the common man!"
Fake Statistics. It was my old friend Boston Irish who alerted me to this ticklish little trope, when he observed that no matter how absurd the statistic you proposed to a progressive, if that statistic seemed to call attention to whatever bugaboos xhe was excited about, xhe would respond with a gushing "I know, right?!"
He demonstrated this to me at a party by interrupting a couple of liberals talking, and announcing to them:
"You know, based on current statistics, in ten years, the entire state of California will be homeless."
"Right! I know!" came the response.
By the way, that is not schtick. That is not a joke written for this blogpost. I was really there, he really said that, that really happened.
After having secured the agreement to his obviously-crank "statistics," he turned to me with a slightly arched eyebrow and sipped his beer in quiet triumph.
This propensity of grownchildren to agree to whatever fantastical "studies" and "statistics" you propose to them can be exploited for much private merriment at the holidays.
Other gambits include:
* "You know, the average family of four pays more in ATM fees to the Big Banksters than they spend on rent."
* "By the year 2030, global warming predicts that the entire North American landmass will be flooded by seawater and wolves."
* "99.4% of the world's wealth is controlled by six-tenths of a single person."
* "More people are killed every year by shooting accidentally shooting themselves than who died in all the wars in the world combined, except for the Korean War."
You need to throw that "Except for the Korean War" in at the end because the claim, on its face, is too preposterous, so you deduct out Korean War deaths to bring it into the real of the plausible. (Plausible, that is, for progressive grownchildren.) It makes like you've done the math and just have to make this one little adjustment to get the numbers to work.
You may follow Boston Irish's trope of the obviously-crank "liberal study" claim, or you can try your hand at claims which are simply baffling nonsense:
* "Studies have proven that if you have a gun in your house, you are more in danger of being struck by lightning than being bitten by a rattlesnake. Think about it."
A minor variation of the Fake Statistic ploy is the Fake Profundity gambit, in which you propose some ludicrous "deep thought" which derives not from social science, but from your own personal philosophical inquiry.
For example, this one is best delivered with chin uplifted, Obama-style, and a metaphysical glaze of the eye:
* "For what is it that gives the terrorists power -- their weapons, or our primitive, irrational fear that they will kill us with their weapons?"
It is generally a useful practice to prefix such bits of nonsense with faux-biblical language, such as "For what..." or "Lo" and "Thus and so."
Fake Quotes. Progressives love fake quotes -- they just love dressing up whatever passes for this week's SJW Conventional Wisdom and attributing it to some historic figure.
Generally, these historic figures are very well known, because progressives don't know any historic figures except the very well known. Thomas Jefferson is always a popular choice. For "bad sounding quotes," Hitler is preferred. Napoleon and Marcus Aurelius may be deployed as well, but be prepared for some confused looks as to who it is you're talking about.
Offering a ridiculous quote can bring you and any other lively minds at the table great amusement. Your target will probably not notice the quote is fake, because he is an imbecile, and also because you'll have a serene, self-satisfied smile on your face as you say it, which he will read as "A Fellow Progressive in Discursive Mode."
This minor camouflage will permit you to smuggle huge amounts of nonsense in the guise of Wisdom of the Ancients.
Feel free to subvert your noddingsmiles with messages that are blatantly mottos of the NRA, if only the grownchild could understand simple words, which they cannot.
"Wasn't it Mahatma Gandhi who said, 'It is not necessarily the first man to shoot who wins the battle, but it is always the last man shooting who wins the day'?"
"As Gertrude Stein said" -- and I should say here that this gambit works best when you pronounce this name, for no particular reason, in an outrageous German accent, as Gaertruude Schteinn.
So, let's begin again: "As Gaertruude Schteinn observed, 'The man who is slowest to arm himself is quickest to savor the bounties of Heaven.'"
Another gambit is to offer up the following quotes, which are applicable in a wide range of situations.
"I forget which scientist said it, maybe Neil DeGrasse Tyson, but it's worth repeating: 'Wars of religion always make me laugh because basically you're fighting over who has the best imaginary friend.'"
"A great philosopher, Gaertruud Von Schteinn, once said, 'Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true'?"
You will get big nods for these Aphorisms of the Sages. You yourself can take pleasure in the knowledge that both quotes are from the movie Point Break, delivered by Johnny Utah (Keanu Reaves) and Bodhi (Patrick Swayze), respectively.
If you get any verbal expressions of agreement, a "hear-hear" or an "amen," you can extend the joke by saying, "In the words of the spiritual master Boddhisatva, 'You can do what you want, and make up your own rules. Why be a servant to the law, when you can be its master...?" or "Six seconds and we're going to be meat waffles.'"
Make this trope your own. Have fun with it. If you want to claim that it was Niccolo Machiavelli who first advised, "Sweep the leg, Johnny," go with it, but try to get your more subtle Fake Quotes in before "going big" like that.
A Final Word. At some point, even an experienced Thanksgivingman will go too far, and give his game away. At that point, there will be sulks and silences, and the Thanksgivingman will have actually failed at his goal, which is to give offense without offense being taken.
In such straits, the Thanksgivingman, in order to be the polite person he wishes to be, will have to apologize -- it is the verminous grownchildren who have come to bicker and strife, after all, not the well-mannered Thankgivingman.
However, for the zealous Thanksgivingman, even an apology can be exploited for further Thanksgivingmanship points.
For example, if the childanimal you are speaking with declares:
"You're micro-aggressing me."
...then be sure to respond,
"Ah, then please sincerely accept my most micro apologies."
If It's a Holiday, It Must Be Time for Flood of Articles from Leftwing Blogs on How to "Survive" a Routine Visit to One's Family
Well, I keep answering the question, but Ed Driscoll rounds up the latest weirdness from your Totally Not Weird and Psychologically Damaged Progressive Friends.
I have to steal this tweet from him:
The holiday season always makes liberals insanely paranoid. pic.twitter.com/tiGCPurgwL— Daniel Payne (@danieljpayne) November 24, 2015
By the way, the "How to Survive Thanksgiving With Your Awful, Terrible Family That Caused You to Self-Harm When You Were 14" type article has leapt from its usual perch at hardcore leftwing blogs -- the HuffPo, Salon, Vox, Slate, etc. -- to the allegedly "mainstream" media, at the Washington Post.
The Post's article is not that bad -- it is mostly about conflict mediation and perspective, rather than, as most leftwing blogs would have it, "How to DESTROY your Rush Limbaugh-Loving Uncle at Thanksgiving."
Still, it's interesting, if inevitable, that the "mainstream" media shows once again from whom it takes its cues.
As the "mainstream" media can't resist this trend, neither can I; I'm preparing my own How to Survive Thanksgiving article. Should have it up later today.
Turkey Shoots Down Russian Plane; Syrian Militiamen Shoot At Pilot as He's Parachuting to the Ground
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Su-24 was hit by air-to-air missiles fired by Turkish F-16s while it was flying over Syrian territory.
But Turkish military officials said the plane was engaged after being warned that it was violating Turkish airspace.
Mr Putin described the incident as a "stab in the back" committed by "accomplices of terrorists".
Putin claims the plane was wholly in Syrian airpspace. Erdogan says Russia was looking to bomb its allies, the Turkmen (who are not Turks, actually).
There was no ISIS presence along that border area, but there were Turkmen there, Erdogan said. So anyone who bombs that area attacks "our brothers and sisters -- Turkmen," Erdogan said in Ankara. (Turkmen are a Turkic-speaking, traditionally nomadic people who live primarily in Central Asia, but a small minority of them can be found in the Middle East, primarily in northern Iraq, Iran and Turkey.)
Making this an even greater provocation for the easily-provoked Putin is the shooting of the pilots:
Not to upset anyone, and not to be alarmist, but when Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, no one predicted the chain reactions that would ensue and spark off a world war.
In the video below, the expert says that Russians were not there to bomb ISIS, but rather to support Assad's forces against non-ISIS rebels.
Stephen Colbert's Ratings Tank, Because, Industry Insiders Say, He's an Asshole
After an initial burst of interest spurred by CBS’s big-bucks saturation advertising campaign for "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,: the show’s ratings have tanked and it is now running third in late night behind NBC’s Jimmy Fallon and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel, who rarely has managed second place before.
The reason? A survey by the Hollywood Reporter found that conservative viewers are turning off Colbert in droves. Nearly twice as many Republicans are watching Kimmel as Colbert, who has turned "Late Show" into a sort of wannabe MSNBC program.
Ratings show that 47 percent of Colbert’s viewers identify as Democrats, 17 percent as Republicans. Kimmel's audience is evenly split -- 33 percent Democrats, 32 percent Republicans, while Fallon’s is nearly so (36 percent Democrats, 31 percent Republicans).
He's also frequently losing to Kimmel "in the demo" of 25-48 year olds, or whatever that range is.
Now, you're probably saying "This is the perfect time for Salon to swoop in and embarrass themselves," and as usual you're right:
This subhed appearing in Salon is pretty hilarious. pic.twitter.com/HOefGwtYrF— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) November 24, 2015
Obama Joint Press Conference With Hollande
He's babbling that we shouldn't show fear, because we've done so before, to our regret.
[Update: Andy] And then this happened ...
Obama just said the UN Climate Conference will be a "powerful rebuke to terrorists."— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) November 24, 2015
George Inness, "In the Berkshires" (c. 1848)
Morning Thread (11-24-2015)
So, Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet overnight. This could get ... interesting.
Overnight Open Thread (11-23-2015)
Why is the goose-step not used in England? There are, heaven knows, plenty of army officers who would be only too glad to introduce some such thing. It is not used because the people in the street would laugh. Beyond a certain point, military display is only possible in countries where the common people dare not laugh at the army.
-- George Orwell, 1941
An important lesson, worth remembering amid our current cluster in the Middle East. There are times when unwavering, over-whelming force is required, with the realization that bombs sometimes go astray and collateral damage occurs. It may be hard to transpose the lessons of a tactical engagement in Bosnia to an air campaign in Syria, but in warfare, it's sometimes necessary to put the JAGs (and politicians) on a leash and relentlessly pound your enemy. Especially when you're fighting savages who long for the good ol' days of the 7th Century and understand nothing but the business end of a JDAM or SDB.
By the way, the Serbs stayed quiet around Tuzla for many weeks after that October engagement. Few lessons are as clear--or brutal--as a 105 round landing in your sniper's nest.-- Nate Hale in The Lawyer's War
"When you have an axe to grind with 5yr old boys, maybe you shouldn't teach kindergarten."
-- from the story of the Kindergarten teacher who denies Legos to boys because 'gender equity.'
America is in the grip of a crisis, namely a shortage of normal people. Evidence indicates that the population of kooks and freaks is rapidly increasing, and there are simply not enough sane people to keep the weirdos under control. Especially among the under-30 demographic, the United States is struggling to cope with the proliferation of dangerous perverts, drug addicts, psychotics and Ivy League liberal arts majors.
-- Robert S. McCain in Is Your Kid a Weirdo?
"If you read Vox on how to survive Thanksgiving, you are the person your family is trying to survive."
Some of the most clarifying writing on the war with IS I've read yet. Read the whole thing.
Bellyaching for sympathy is not new behavior. But on social media, in an era in which everyone, as per Tony Soprano, is "crying and confessing and complaining," it is being legitimized and rewarded in ways we have never seen. Gary Cooper probably would not have grumbled about the Starbucks barista misspelling his name in order to gain points.
"Never tell your problems to anyone," the legendary football coach Lou Holtz said. "Twenty percent don't care, and the other 80 percent are glad you have them."Those numbers may need some revision.
The problem with the law in question is that it would deny gun rights to anyone on the no-fly list or even on a terrorism 'watch-list' and there is no legal process for determining if you're on these lists much less getting off of them nor any criteria for being put on them in the first place. So all it would take is the next Lois Lerner to secretly decide that the members of a Tea Party group constitute a terrorism threat and boom all your NICS checks come back with a denied result and there's nothing you can do about it. As written the law is simply way too open for abuse. And probably unconstitutional. And sponsored by Chuck Schumer BIRM.
And of course Donald Trump fully supports this law.
So traumatized that she's now on track to take 6 years to graduate. Damn that white patriarchy.
She's lying of course.
"Most males do not hurt females or other males, or even dogs and cats. Yet they're all treated as potential perpetrators, and our boys feel the weight of this prejudice."
And I don't blame her son from walking out of the assembly. The problem I've always had with the mantra that a man should never hit a women is that it's wrong. There are in fact times when it's okay (and even necessary) to hit a woman - to wit: when she's harming others, harming herself and in your own self defense.
Now I understand that this is simplified down to never-hit-a-woman for the younger and/or dimmer bulbs among the XY set but by the time they're 16 or so, it should be possible to have a more nuanced conversation in which it's made clear that one should never hit a woman except in a few rather exceptional circumstances - and if you do, you better be damn sure those circumstances apply or there will be hell to pay. The problem with mantras is that they tend to replace actual moral reasoning with arbitrary unthinking rules.
The raisin test and the classic marshmallow test have proven remarkably effective at predicting a child's future success. Which isn't that surprising since the tests measure a child's self-control and ability to plan for the future - both key factors in life success. And in surviving the Gom Jabbar.
Things to Ponder:
Dissing Rhea Perlman, early onset MPB, and giant boobs oh my.
The Yahoo AoSHQ group - it's got electrolytes and shit.
And my twitter thang.
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MSNBC's Poster Boy For Unfair Islamophobia, Victim of Being Unfairly Put on No-Fly List, Honored Guest of Chris Hayes, Now Cooling His Heels In Jail-- Due to Membership in ISIS
Open Thread: ??? Edition
From Mark Steyn's... new album?
Gotta watch to the end.
It's kinda good, in a weird, mid-eighties sort of way.
Apparently this is a thing:
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More on Obama's Intel Book-Cooking
[T]he allegations of misconduct have extended to a possible cover-up, with some analysts accusing the senior intelligence officials at Centcom, Maj. Gen. Steven Grove and his civilian deputy, Gregory Ryckman, of deleting emails and files from computer systems before the inspector general could examine them, three individuals familiar with the investigation told The Daily Beast.
One U.S. official said the alleged activity could amount to obstruction and interference with the inspector general’s investigation, which began last summer. He noted that files relevant to the investigation began to disappear from Centcom computers after the Pentagon watchdog’s staff began their work.
In interviews, several individuals have described Centcom as having a "toxic climate," in which Grove in particular created an expectation: Those who toe the official, upbeat line about the fight against ISIS are rewarded, while those who don’t are marginalized.
Later in the argument, it cites a National Intelligence Estimate which was written to agree with Obama's claim that Al Qaeda no longer posed a direct threat to the American Homeland. Former DIA chief Michael Flynn refused to sign off on it.
Oh: This is old, but new to me. Flynn says that Obama didn't just ignore the warnings that he was arming the groups that would merge into ISIS: He actually supported those groups, as a conscious decision, despite the warnings.
Hasan: You are basically saying that even in government at the time you knew these groups were around, you saw this analysis, and you were arguing against it, but who wasn’t listening?
Flynn: I think the administration.
Hasan: So the administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?
Flynn: I don't know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision.
Hasan: A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?
Flynn: It was a willful decision to do what they're doing.
More on this, please.
Allegedly: Charlie Sheen Videorecorded Partying With Another Dude
Two and a half men. If you count the crack pipe as a half of a dude.
Well, I guess there's the answer to your question, guys.
Video surfaces showing HIV-positive Charlie Sheen 'performing oral sex on another man and smoking crack-cocaine' in 2011
Radar Online claims it has obtained a copy of the video, recorded in 2011
The clips reportedly show the actor, 50, performing oral sex on another man and smoking crack-cocaine out of a pipe in a Las Vegas hotel room
So, you're asking: Could this get any worse for Ol' Charlie?
Well, sure it can.
The other man in the video reportedly sued Sheen for giving him herpes
I don't know... okay, that last part, who knows, perhaps that was a blackmailer's attempt to make his blackmail "legal" -- that is, the real play was blackmail over the videotape, but that would be illegal and criminal, so he claims "he gave me herpes" as a legal cover for the blackmail play.
Obviously, Charlie Sheen has a lot of skeletons in his closet, and those skeletons are all smoking crack, and going down on each other.
Diane Feinstein: Our Strategy Against ISIS Is "Insufficient;" Things Are Getting Worse, Not Better
Obama's Not Working, as Mitt Romney said.
"This has gone on too long now. And it has not gotten better. It's gotten worse," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday. "There may be some land held by ISIL in Iraq and Syria that's been taken back. But for all of that there's much more they have gained in other countries."
The strategy has taken on fresh urgency in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris earlier this month that left more than 120 dead. After the attacks, Mr. Obama promised an "intensification" of U.S. airstrikes against the group and assistance for local troops on the ground, and argued those tactics were working.
Feinstein, however, said Sunday, "I don't think the approach is sufficient to the job."
"I think they're general principles. And they're general principles in terms the administration's strategy, too. But I'm concerned that we don't have the time - and we don't have years. We need to be aggressive now," she said.
Video at the link.
Intelligence Analysts Warned, in Emails, to "Cut It Out" With Their Persistent Warnings About the ISIS Threat and to "Toe the Line;" Probe Into Manipulation of Intelligence Expands
The former Pentagon official said there were "multiple assessments" from military intelligence and the CIA regarding the "rapid rise" of ISIS in Iraq and North Africa in the year leading up to the group’s territory grab in 2014...
The IG probe started earlier this year amid complaints that information was changed to make ISIS look more degraded than it really was.
Fox News is told by a source close to the CENTCOM analysts that the pressure on them included at least two emails saying they needed to "cut it out" and "toe the line."
Separately, a former Pentagon official told Fox News there apparently was an attempt to destroy the communications. The Pentagon official said the email warnings were "not well received" by the analysts.
Social Justice Warriors, A Case Study in Dumb
Maetenloch covered most of this last night, but, well. Look, I want to mention it too!
Plus, I don't know if people read Maet's stuff any more than they read mine.
Man caves are sexist and must be stopped.
Free yoga classes cancelled, as yoga is a "cultural appropriation."
Ayan Hirsi Ali slams feminism's determined focus on "trivial bullshit." She spoke of real fights for women's equality -- such as the fight her father had with her mother, her father insisting that she be allowed to get an education (her mother against it, thinking it would make her a social outcast), and contrasts that sort of battle with the Tumblr Jihads feminist trivialists are interested in:
"What we are now doing with the victory, and I agree with you if you condemn that and I condemn whole-heartedly the trivial bullshit it is to go after a man who makes a scientific breakthrough and all that we as women -- organized women -- do is to fret about his shirt?" Hirsi Ali said, referring to the controversy generated by the shirt featuring cartoons of scantily-clad women worn by the scientist who helped land a robot on a comet. "We must reclaim and retake feminism from our fellow idiotic women."
Meanwhile, CNN aired the discredited college-rape-panic film The Hunting Ground, as alleged news-like content. As that's been happening, a member of that film's crew has been editing Wikipedia's entry on the film, in contravention of Wikipedia's sensible ban of anyone with a conflict of interest about the subject editing an article about it.
Oh, and this is delicious: Moving Towards a Feminist Epistemology of Mathematics. From @popehat.
If There's a Holiday Coming Up, It Must Be Time for Progressives to Reveal Their Deep Neuroses and Unresolved Familial Conflicts
If you read Vox on how to survive Thanksgiving, you are the person your family is trying to survive. https://t.co/v3HriUWejy— Dylan Meyer (@DMeyer017) November 23, 2015
What is Thanksgiving, except for an opportunity to DESTROY the beliefs of one's troglodytic family members? Sonny Bunch has some recommendations for the very weird hysterics who view Thanksgiving as a chance to rack up some easy progressive crybully points.
This trend -- of progressives who have deep psychological issues with their family members, and are a bundle of neuroses and hysterias because of those -- gets the Saturday Night Live treatment, and by that, I mean the unfunny treatment.
I think a lot of this is really just the seething anger and jumpy horror of being made to realize, once or twice per year, that you're the least accomplished person sitting down to eat at the table, and while your contemporaries are finding work and founding families, you're still talking up your big plans to launch a hip new magazine which will sort of be like Vox meets Rolling Stone meets Dwell meets Lucky, only edgier...? And like more socially relevant...?
If so, you're going to want a list of tips of how to swaddled your bruised ego in the warm fleece of undeserved self-appreciation. You're going to want to know how to score cheap points on your more-successful, less neurotic kin, in other words, and Megan McArdle has some tips on how to do just that.
thanks to @alexandriabrown (Alex the Chick) and @PolicyLord.
Hillary Clinton: Women Who Say They've Been Raped Deserve to Be Supported and Believed
Juanita Broaddrick: Say, Funny You Should Say That
All women tell the truth about rape, and any woman who accuses Bill Clinton is a partisan liar, and yes, I'm being perfectly consistent, why do you ask?
Morning Thread (11-23-2015)
Happy Thanksgiving week, everyone.
Overnight Open Thread (11-22-2015)
Notice that ISIS does something terrible, and the overwhelming thrust of the conversation on Meet the Press is that the American people have done something wrong and must look inside their hearts and feel guilty over the overwhelming racism and Islamaphobia in their society. News flash: We're not the villains here.
-- Jim Geraghty
What I find interesting is that many of the same people who clutch their pearls at the mere suggestion that Islamic terrorism has anything to do with -- oh, what's the word again? -- oh right: Islam, seem to have no problem making the case that "Christian terrorism" is like a real thing. Remember how so many liberals loved -- loved -- Obama's sophomoric and insidious tirade about not getting on our "high horses" about ISIS's atrocities in the here and now because medieval Christians did bad things a thousand years ago? They never seem to think that argument through. Leaving out the ass-aching stupidity of the comparison, it actually concedes the very point Obama never wants to concede. By laying the barbaric sins of Christians a thousand years ago at the feet of Christians today, he implicitly tags Muslims with the barbarism committed in their name today.
-- Jonah Goldberg
It never looks like hysteria when you are in the middle of it. It never feels like a mania when you are being consumed by righteous zealotry. It never looks or feels like a cult when you believe it to the depths of your soul.
True believers are never swayed by the evidence. They believe the absence of empirical data is a test of their faith. They might skew the data in order to lure in those who still hold to an outmoded view of empirical science, but they themselves have given their lives to the narrative, not to the facts.
If you can still be a true believer when the facts tell another story, your status within the cult will be enhanced. If you really want to take it a step further into delirium, you should propose punishing and persecuting those who do not believe.-- Stuart Schneiderman on climate change but it's true of any popular belief system that sweeps through groups of people
A man cave is essentially an emotional sanctuary for men to escape their responsibilities without the interruption of women or children. It's as if these men are victimizing themselves and require refuge to revel in their false sense of masculinity.
Sports-related paraphernalia and wall hangings that deify cheap beer are not badges of manhood or some sort of homage to a working-class collective consciousness. They're the makings of a shrine to big business that has man-cavers nostalgic for a time when they were happy, or actually just drunk, in front of a screen cheering on their favorite billion-dollar sports team with their once single and similarly childless friends.
...Guys should get over the feudalistic idea of a man cave allowing them to be the "lord of their manor" in a room they can call their own. It bears a juvenile likeness to a tree house with a sign that reads, "No girls allowed."The sewing room or craft room, to which a woman might retreat, is identified by the action that takes place there. By that token, a man cave is a place where a man devolves into a grunting subhuman that leaves sexist and racist comments on message boards, then furiously masturbates to free porn.
Best response from the comments:
Apparently if a white person ever does an activity that originated from a non-white group, it's 'cultural appropriation' which is bad, bad, bad and on par with colonization and slavery. Note that 'appropriation' only works one-way though - it's perfectly fine for say Asians to play and enjoy classical music from Europe but it's horribly bad and practically cultural genocide if a white person should play and enjoy classical Chinese opera. Your blood apparently determines which forms of culture you're allowed to be involved in.
Franklin Einspruch rebuts this racial nonsense and points out that 'cultural appropriation' IS culture - and always has been.
But you hate and fear women and orphans if you worry about the same thing happening here according to our Asshole-in-Chief.
Why do you hate women and children you racist xenophobe.
Poll finds 40% are cool with the government restricting speech that might offend minority groups. Which is dangerously close to a majority.
We asked whether people believe that citizens should be able to make public statements that are offensive to minority groups, or whether the government should be able to prevent people from saying these things. Four-in-ten Millennials say the government should be able to prevent people publicly making statements that are offensive to minority groups, while 58% said such speech is OK.
But there's surprising support for this sort of thing among other generations too.
Even though a larger share of Millennials favor allowing offensive speech against minorities, the 40% who oppose it is striking given that only around a quarter of Gen Xers (27%) and Boomers (24%) and roughly one-in-ten Silents (12%) say the government should be able to prevent such speech.
This case goes back to a 2012 incident covered here in which some Christian proselytizers at an Arab festival in Dearborn, MI were threatened with arrest by police if they didn't stop saying things that made the festival goers angry. They sued and the Sixth Circuit eventually ruled en banc that just saying something that riles up a crowd does not give police the right to shut you up 'to preserve public order'. In this circumstance according to the court the police have an obligation to protect the speaker against the crowd instead of forcing them to quit speaking.
Popehat also points out that the 'fighting words' exception to the First Amendment is a relatively recent decision (1942) that the courts have been narrowing down ever since.
As I have mentioned before, just about every court decision in the last half-century has rejected using the fighting words doctrine to justify censorship. The Sixth Circuit could have pointed that out, but didn't - it just pointed out that the doctrine, if it survives, is limited to face to face, direct to one individual words that would provoke an average person to immediate violence. That's narrow.
The babies were born in the US but Texas has a legitimate argument - how can they issue legal birth certificates when the actual identities of the parents (and baby) are uncertain.
God I'm really coming to hate this guy and his brand of holier-than-thou 'scienceism'.
Bill Nye, the former science guy and current head of the Planetary Society, is very depressed about NASA and NASCAR, according to a story in Business Insider. He believes that the red-state yokels pay too much attention to NASCAR, which employs gas guzzling cars in races, and not enough to NASA, which employs cutting edge and environmentally correct technology, to explore the universe. However, it is a meme that the space agency itself once disagreed with. Indeed, NASA has suggested that the exploration of space is like NASCAR only with rocket ships instead of souped up, high powered cars
Also see QOTD III.
At the time of the theft, Mr. Morales was wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet, according to the affidavit. Investigators said he cut off the device at 8:48 a.m. Monday.
And what was he wearing a GPS bracelet for? Child rape that's what. Most of the guns are still unaccounted for.
Interaction design should emphasize discoverability, feedback, and the person's ability to feel in control. Alas, the current interaction emphasizes the pleasurable emotional impact-which is important-at the expense of the understanding part, the part that lets people develop a good mental model of how the system works-which is at least equally important.
...Today, people are forced to remember arbitrary gestures and placements. We never know whether something is permitted or not. When we accidentally touch the screen and the system takes us somewhere new, there is no way to back up and get to the earlier location-we most often have to start all over again. The designs appear to have discarded the science and Apple's own experience in interaction design, an area in which Apple was once the leader.
I thought the title might be overstating things but after reading the article I realized that yeah Apple is violating some of their own fundamental principles of user interfaces and design in their newer products in the quest for an aesthetic focused strictly on minimalism.
Well science suggests that in moderation it does. Much like it - in moderation - also improves my bowling scores.
Weekly Commenter Standings
Top 10 commenters:
1 [515 comments] 'artisanal 'ette' [72.33 posts/day]
2 [508 comments] 'ThunderB'
3 [461 comments] 'Nevergiveup'
4 [437 comments] 'Bruce Boehner'
5 [399 comments] 'willow'
6 [386 comments] 'Lizzy'
7 [363 comments] 'Christopher Taylor'
8 [360 comments] 'Ricardo Kill'
9 [355 comments] 'Bruce With a Wang!'
10 [353 comments] 'Anna Puma'
Top 10 sockpuppeteers:
1 [130 names] 'Jason Garrett, soul crushing ginger' [18.26 unique names/day]
2 [77 names] 'The Political Hat'
3 [63 names] 'Doctor Fish'
4 [62 names] 'Bertram Cabot Jr.'
5 [53 names] 'logprof'
6 [47 names] 'Bruce Boehner'
7 [43 names] 'Cicero (@cicero)'
8 [29 names] 'Mike Hammer, etc., etc.'
9 [26 names] 'Danube River Guide'
10 [25 names] 'BB Wolf'
The group. Banned on 12 universities.
Where it's at - the Twitter
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Arrests Made In "High Voltage" Terror Sweeps in Belgium; & The Long Night of the Cats
There was a voluntary lockdown on media reportage and reports on social media, so as not to tip off terrorists, but now some information is being released.
Six terror suspects have been arrested and one wounded after co-ordinated police raids described as "high voltage" took place across the Belgium capital, Liege and Charleroi.
Residents in properties close to where police swooped were told to stay indoors and away from the windows.
Shots were exchanged between police and suspected Islamists in a night of high tension that was finally brought to an end at around 11pm UK time.
A press conference is being held at 11.30pm UK time giving details on the incident by the Belgian prosecutor.
Police and governments have asked for an embargo on Belgium's anti-terrorism raids, so as not to tip off the targets.
There is speculation that Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdesalam may have been caught or killed, but of course he might have been caught or killed. I don't know why it's worth mentioning that until there's something more.
People were advised to behave normally in these abnormal times.
Staff and guests at the hotel are perfectly calm - everyone just accepting the soldiers and staff have a job to do.. pic.twitter.com/KmM7bAOHaA— Stuart Webb (@Worldwidewebb1) November 22, 2015
This report from the Telegraph says that sixteen were arrested, and that Abdesalam got away: He was spotted passing a checkpoint heading for Germany.
Just between us girls, that sounds suspiciously over-detailed to me; I kinda think maybe it's disinformation, and that they did get him, but don't want his fellow murderers to know they're now compromised.
Meanwhile, given the blackout of information on the news and on social media, some people took to inventing their own news footage of the raids, chiefly with cat pictures and videos, of course:
Anti-terrorist police conduct an encircling maneuver
A newspaper even used the substitute-cats-for-embargoed-footage meme for its front page:
Headline: Terrorist Threat in Brussels: Police Operations Are in Progress
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Football Thread: Sunday Late Game Edition [CBD]
Two solid teams that dominate their divisions meet for bragging rights for the prized Ohio-Arizona corridor.
(There may be a repeat or two in here, but honestly, who cares?)
My other favorite....
For any NY/NJ Morons who are interested: there is a Moron Meet-up scheduled for December 18th, 6:00pm-9:00pm in the West Village. For more information: nynjmeet at optimum dot net
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ZOMG Donald Trump Said Something Outrageous Fourteen Years Ago! [Y-not]
Seven days after September 11th, Donald Trump was interviewed by Page Six, primarily concerning how (or if) NYC should rebuild the Twin Towers.
His remarks, which you should take the time to read for yourself, are being characterized as beyond the pale (eleventy!11!!!). His crime is saying that the Twin Towers were not 'great' buildings.
I think the criticism is silly.
The part that interests me is not his opinion about the quality of the Twin Towers as works of architecture. Rather, I'm stunned by how much more cogent he sounds in this interview than the Donald Trump of today. His word-choice is much more sophisticated and includes words like demise, soul-soaring, essence, and altered.
Obviously, not an endorsement of Trump. I still wish he'd throw himself into a volcano. But it irritates me when something patently dumb like this is used to try to attack a candidate, even one I dislike immensely.
@Jackmcoldcuts on Twitter remarked how Trump's love for NYC shines through in that interview and I agree. Why didn't he run for mayor?
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Food Thread: It's Crunch Time! Turkey? Or Something That Tastes Good? [CBD]
What? No turkey? Subvert the dominant paradigm!
Unfortunately I have been overruled by precedent, tradition, guests with no imagination, and whiny little brats who swear they love turkey.
But there will also be a wine-brined pork roast spinning merrily on the rotisserie while the boring turkey cooks in the oven, taking up valuable space that could be better used for good stuff, like baked macaroni & cheese with a buttered breadcrumb topping.
or you could go with an ahead-of-the-curve dish for when the burning times come.....
That Mac & Cheese is just a Béchamel sauce with tons of cheese melted into it. My local supermarket deli sells its scraps of cheese, so I have been buying that. I add some Parmesan for extra flavor, then pour it over corkscrew shaped pasta (I use rotini), which seems to hold onto the cheese sauce very nicely. For a touch of crunch and color I chill the stuff and then press it into a ring mold as tightly as I can manage. Then I sauté it to get a nice crisp top and bottom to the molded Mac & Cheese. It's great, and looks good on the plate!
Everyone has their plans in place for the Thanksgiving meal, so my advice is as worthless as ever. That won't stop me of course.
This should be mandatory at every Thanksgiving gathering:
- 3 ounces Rye Whiskey
- 1 ounce red vermouth (Use Carpano Antica. It's a fortune, and worth it)
- 1 bar spoon of maple syrup
- 3 shakes of Angostura bitters
Stir with lots of ice for about 30 seconds.
Strain into a low ball glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist (twist the lemon over the glass to express the oils).
The classic recipe calls for a maraschino cherry. But it is difficult and expensive to get good ones, and the typical supermarket version is sort of gross. They are a color not found in nature, and their texture is reminiscent of a meal worm that you eat by mistake in that bowl of old cereal from the back of the cupboard.
(Courtesy of Andrew McIntosh of Park West Tavern)
This is my simple stuffing recipe that I have been making for years. I always make far too much, which is appreciated by everyone, because stuffing is universal! And I have discovered that mixing it with a whipped egg and cooking it in a waffle iron is close to the Platonic ideal of a Thanksgiving weekend snack.
Sausage and Cornbread Stuffing
- 2 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage (The stuff with fennel) casings removed
- 2 cups Yellow Onions, rough chopped
- 2 stalks of Celery, rough chopped
- 1/3 cup Chopped Parsley
- Chopped Sage to taste (about 1-2 tablespoons)
- Cornbread, and lots of it (probably 2 pounds of the stuff) Buy it or bake it; I don't care. Then break it up into chunks and toast it.
- 1-2 cups Chicken Stock
- Salt and Pepper to taste.
Break up the sausage into nice chunks and brown it in a bit of oil. Once the sausage is nicely browned, add the celery and onions and saute until they get a bit of color. Dump into your biggest bowl and correct the seasoning, add the sage and parsley and mix a bit. Then add as much cornbread as you feel like. My guess is that a 1:1 ratio of cornbread to everything else will work well. Mix it gently and then moisten the mixture with the chicken stock until it is looks appetizing, but not dripping wet and disgusting looking. Spoon into greased baking dishes, cover with foil and bake at 350F for 20 minutes.
For any NY/NJ Morons who are interested: there is a Moron Meet-up scheduled for December 18th, 6:00pm-9:00pm in the West Village. For more information: nynjmeet at optimum dot net
Addendum: Carol, I use the recipe from The Balthazar Cook Book. Here it is, but really, I just use it for the Béchamel sauce.
Close it up
- 2 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage (The stuff with fennel) casings removed
Football Sunday in America! - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]
And this happened.
Tuned in to see Titans vs Jaguars. Instead, they were showing a scrimmage between the Mighty Morphin'Power Rangers. pic.twitter.com/PNZwTR0oyv— Brit Hume (@brithume) November 20, 2015
Now for the elbows. I think you will be pleased.
Gun Thread (11-22-2015)
Larry Correia's Thoughts On Paris
This is a good read. The whole thing is outstanding, but I wanted to focus on this point (emphasis added):
Then I see the idiots claiming that they’re only worried about the quality of the regular people with guns… Liars. But okay, thought experiment time. Say there was a proposed law for a federal “super permit”, where if a regular person could pass a rigorous background check and, oh say, the same firearms qualification as an FBI agent, that individual would then be allowed to carry a gun anywhere in the fifty states a federal agent could, and ignore things like idiotic gun free zones, or could carry a gun in states where concealed carry is banned.
This doesn’t replace state laws. Heck, make the federal super permit really hard to get. Have it require a really high level of proficiency, a big knowledge of use of force laws, and one hell of a tough qualification. Make the applicant foot the bill for everything. And you know what? I bet you within a week we could still provide a million of my people as defense in depth, worst case scenario interrupters, spread all over America, for when bad things happen.
Would these people so worried about our level of training be in favor of this? Of course they wouldn’t. They’d find some other reason to bleat. And murderous assholes will continue to target disarmed populations. Besides, this is just wishful thinking, because any federal program which would empower the general populace would be designed to suck and fail from the get go. Ask any pilot who went through the armed pilot training post 9-11 how easy the feds made that simple,obvious, no brainer program.
Larry is exactly right. When some leftist says he only wants "common sense gun safety laws", you can draw a straight line to confiscation, as there isn't any specific policy proposal short of that at which he'll ever stop.
Ridiculous Talking Point 1
. @NRA has changed for the worse in the past 20 yrs because they've gone from repping their members 2 serving as lobbyists for gun industry— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) November 19, 2015
Because Gavin Newsom is sooooo concerned about what's in the best interest of NRA members, Serious You Guys.
And what does this even mean, really? I've been an NRA member for a long, long time, and they're not doing anything now that they weren't 20+ years ago when they were opposing the Clinton "assault weapons" ban, etc.
Also, why would NRA lobbying for the gun industry to be able to continue to sell the products its members purchase be an issue anyway? It's not like we have divergent goals or something. I'm looking hard for a conflict of interest here and not really seeing one.
There's a related dumb talking point about industry funding of NRA that I don't get either. Say I buy a gun from, e.g., S&W and S&W sends a little of that revenue to NRA ...
I. Am. Outraged!!!
Or, actually, not. As a matter of fact, lots of online retailers like MidwayUSA include an option for customers to round their purchase up and send a direct contribution to NRA.
The left's attempt to drive a wedge between NRA and its members via the gun industry is ... interesting.
Ridiculous Talking Point 2
Ummm. Yeah. That's because the criteria for being put on the watch list don't pass the bar for denying someone his basic constitutional rights. As Charles C. W. Cooke explains:
... the question here shouldn’t be “why does the NRA oppose using this list in a civil context?” but “why doesn’t everybody oppose using this list on a civil context?” Whether the New York Daily News likes it or not, the right to keep and bear arms is protected by the U.S. Constitution and cannot be restricted without serious cause. Of course Second Amendment advocates are opposed to the importation of this list into the firearms background check system. They understand well that it cannot be relied upon as a justification for denial. Whatever Everytown and their friends might imply, we are not talking here about selling guns to people who have been convicted in a court of law; that is already illegal. Rather, we are talking about selling guns to people who, as far as the state is concerned, have done nothing wrong and who must not therefore have their liberties abridged. It is an ugly testament to the illiberalism of many modern-day progressives that they are happily lining up on the authoritarian side against not just one, but two of America’s premier civil rights organizations.
* Alleged pederast Harry Reid's Deputy Chief of Staff beclowns self.
* NRA-ILA statement on dumb terrorist watchlist talking point.
Gun Of The Week
A group of four people attempted to break into a home in San Antonio, Texas by removing an air conditioning unit from a window and crawling inside. The homeowner responded to the break-in by retrieving a gun and firing at the intruders, striking and killing one, and causing the others to flee. A knife and a bag, containing a gun and burglary tools, was found next to the body of the deceased intruder.
Pretty sure the two great blunders are "never start a land war in Asia" and "never break into a house in Texas."
Gun Of The Week - Answer
Hickock45 Does A Drive-by
If there are topics you're interested in seeing in the gun thread, please send them to AoSHQGunThread at gmail. You can also send them to me on Twitter at @AndyM1911.
The owner's manual for your concealed carry permit: The Law of Self Defense
Defend the Second Amendment. Join: The National Rifle Association * Gun Owners of America * New: The Second Amendment Foundation * The National Shooting Sports Foundation * Your state's second amendment org.
Celebrate America's firearms heritage: participate in Project Appleseed.
Close it up
Sunday Morning Book Thread 11-22-2015: Ace of Trump [OregonMuse]
Trump SoHo® Hotel Library, New York City.
Picture stolen from here. This is the description from the hotel web site:
LIBRARY. Displaying an array of art and design books, The Library overlooks the Trump SoHo® New York lobby and streets of New York through a wall of glass. The modern fireplace and custom cherry-blossom wallpaper of this SoHo lounge create a subdued setting, perfect for a cup of a coffee or cocktail. The Library is open from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm daily.
Eh. Not really my cup of tea.
This is the book thread. Sunday morning. Morons and moronettes all invited. It's yuuge. Big audience. International. Obama's got nothin' on me. So it's a cut above. I polished up the spittoons and hosed down the restrooms. Hey, I run a classy joint, just ask anybody. You pervs had better be wearing pants. Yeah, ok, kilts are fine. And who the hell would hang out on the book thread wearing a tutu?? I guess girls can. But nobody else.
Love Him Or Hate Him Or Both
And speaking of Trump, here is an excerpt from his new book, Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again (look at that scowl!). And this being the Democratic media outlet abcnews, it shouldn't surprise you that the section the liberal lackwits chose to excerpt was the part where he praises higher government spending on "infrastructure" jobs.
And here is an excerpt of the excerpt:
In Washington, DC, I’m converting the Old Post Office Building on Pennsylvania Avenue into one of the world’s greatest hotels. I got the building from the General Services Administration. Tthe GSA sold it to me for four reasons. Number one—we’re really good. Number two—we had a really great plan. Number three—we had a great financial statement. Number four—we’re EXCELLENT, not just very good, at fulfilling or even exceeding our agreements.
That’s the way the country should be run.
The guy writes just like he talks. When I read the excerpt, I could hear his voice in my mind saying the words I was reading.
My first dose of Trump came a few years ago when I was listening to the radio and happened to hear him testify before some congressional committee that was investigating a proposal to build an entirely new building for the U.N. - at the cost of $1 billion. Trump told them that actually, he could build it easily for $750 million and explained that the higher price tag on the original proposal was due solely to union corruption. He laid out his argument calmly, dispassionately, and thoroughly, using facts and logic. I thought the case he was making was irrefutable, and I'm sure the Democrats on the committee didn't want to hear it, but they had no answer. After all, who better knows the NYC real estate market than Donald Trump? From then on, Trump was a "guilty pleasure" of mine and I would never admit to anyone I liked the guy, despite his egoistical asshattery and his crappy toupé. So when he opens his mouth, it's equally likely you're going to hear something really smart, or something incredibly dumb. Sometimes both at once:
When you talk about building, you had better talk about Trump. There is no single builder in this country who has his name on as great a range of projects as I’ve constructed. New York City wasted seven years trying to get a skating rink done. I did it in less than four months—and got it done under budget. There was a huge railroad yard overlooking the Hudson River that nobody could figure out how to develop. Drive by there now and you’ll see thousands of magnificent apartments, all with the same name on the buildings—Trump.
That's pure Trump.
His planet-sized ego makes Bill O'Reilly look like Mother Theresa, and yet I like him, but I can't abide O'Reilly. Go figure.
Test your knowledge of Middle Earth by taking this quiz. I regret to say that I only got 88%, as some of the questions were based on what went on in the films -- which doesn't necessarily coincide with the books.
We came this close: -><- to not having Shakespeare to read. Such is the contention Andrea Mays in her book,The Millionaire and the Bard: Henry Folger's Obsessive Hunt for Shakespeare's First Folio
When Shakespeare died in 1616 half of his plays died with him. No one—not even their author—believed that his writings would last...By the time of his death his plays were rarely performed, eighteen of them had never been published, and the rest existed only in bastardized forms that did not stay true to his original language.
Seven years later, in 1623, Shakespeare’s business partners, companions, and fellow actors, John Heminges and Henry Condell, gathered copies of the plays and manuscripts, edited and published thirty-six of them. This massive book, the First Folio, was intended as a memorial to their deceased friend.
How important is this First Folio?
If this book wasn’t published, half of the plays, including “Macbeth,” “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” “Cymbeline” and “Antony and Cleopatra” would not have existed.
Supposedly everyone in the business back then - including Shakespeare himself - thought Shakespeare was a flash in the pan and would quickly disappear. Except for his two foresighted friends who collected his plays into a single volume.
This interview with the author contains some interesting bits about the theater business in Shakespeare's day, the fear of piracy and the resulting loss of revenue.
I am reminded of a book thread item of a few weeks ago, where I contrasted, in point/counterpoint fashion, this piece vs. this piece, which ably contrasted the "writing as Art" vs. "writing as a job" views of the task of putting words to paper. I've never liked the view that sets up art with a capital 'A' and the artiste is some elevated being whose devotion to pursuing his Art places him far above the rest of us schlubs. From what we know of him, Shakespeare was just some guy trying to make a buck writing plays and managing a theater company. He was not an artiste crafting words into Art. He was writing plays to earn coin for himself and his acting company, and the more coin, the better. I really am a proponent of Larry Correia's view, also held by Isaac Asimov, that writing is an everyday job that you do, well, every day, 8 (or more) hours a day, week in, week out. The only way you get good at something is practice, practice, practice, and writing is no different than anything else.
Another EBook Service
I've been touting BookBub for a long time as an excellent service that finds low cost (and FREE) e-book bargains and presents them to you in a daily e-mail. Much better than Amazon's Kindle Daily Deal, all of which stink. Last week, moronette author Sabrina Chase introduced another one, which I immediately signed up for:
I...wanted to point out a very handy tool for the reading Moron on a budget. EreaderIQ (http://www.ereaderiq.com/) is a free service that lets you sign up for price watches on particular books, or a particular author. Was *very* handy last week when a huge swath of Georgette Heyer went on sale for $1.99 apiece (vs. 9.99, sheesh!). It has other clever options for freebies and suchlike, but the author/book watch is the one I use the most.
Check it out. The only drawback is that it's for Kindle editions only.
Bombs, Not Books-- Er, I Mean...
A group of UK authors, along with their publishers, are donating some of their bestselling titles and forgoing the profits to raise one million pounds for Syrian refugees.
Because recent events have taught us that if there's one thing Western Europe needs more of, it's even more boatloads of dubiously-vetted refugees from dysfunctional, western-hating Mideast countries.
As part of the #BuyBooksForSyria campaign, some of the book industry's top authors – Neil Gaiman, Hilary Mantel, David Nichols, Khaled Hosseini, Bill Bryson, Ian Rankin, Philip Pullman, and Salman Rushdie – are donating their books for UK bookseller Waterstones to sell in their stores under the "Buy Books for Syria" banner, with 100 percent of the retail price going to Oxfam's Syria Crisis Appeal.
So what are you cheap bastards waiting for? Buy some of these books! Those fraudulent Greek passports aren't going to forge themselves, you know.
New & Recommended
Moron commenter 'The Great White Snark' passed along a couple of books that he thought looked interesting, and I'll be adding one of my own.
First up, It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History by Jennifer Wright. There's no "official" Amazon blurb, so this is from one of the reviews:
Did I mention that each of these memorable, irreverent essays is side-splitting-laugh-out-loud-funny and yet still presents all the historical facts surrounding the breakups? True. Not only are you guaranteed mirth and laughter with each breakup story you are also going to learn a plethora of facts along the way. And it is extraordinarily well written! Educational, well written, and funny: a wonderful combination!
"It Ended Badly is for anyone who's ever loved and lost and maybe sent one too many ill-considered late-night emails to their ex, reminding us that no matter how badly we've behaved, no one is as bad as Henry VIII."
GWS's second choice is a a 72-page novella that he describes as "a footnote to Vietnam". Ghosts in the Forest by Corinne Purtill is described by a reviewer as
...so bizarre, so seemingly unlikely, so gripping and larger-than-life, that it makes you wonder how you've never really heard it before, how this isn't a story everyone knows. And then, once you read it, you kind of feel like everyone else you know should read it, too, because it reinforces ideas like - the truth is always stranger than fiction, and that the human spirit is indomitable. Like other stories of survival against all odds, it's complicated, dark, sad, and, ultimately uplifting. It's also fast-paced, and elegantly written. Purtill is a compassionate, thorough and insightful interviewer, getting showing - and telling - details from her subjects decades after the events occurred.
Yeah, I had to buy it. What the heck, it was only $2.99.
As of today (Saturday), this book has been marked down to FREE, but I don't know how long that price will last. I'm talking about the military-historical adventure novel A Sailor of Austria: In Which, Without Really Intending to, Otto Prohaska Becomes Official War Hero No. 27 of the Habsburg Empire by John Biggins:
In this ironic, hilarious, and poignant story, Otto Prohaska is a submarine captain serving the almost-landlocked Austro-Hungarian Empire. He faces a host of unlikely circumstances, from petrol poisoning to exploding lavatories to trigger-happy Turks. All signs point to the total collapse of the bloated empire he serves, but Otto refuses to abandon the Habsburgs in their hour of need.
Submarines being employed by the Habsburgs sounds a bit anachronistic to me, but it sounds like a fun book. And Biggins has written a whole slough of other books featuring the adventures of Otto Prohaska, as recounted by him, now over 100 years old, as he finishes out the rest of his days in a Welsh nursing home.
And incidentally, I heard about this via BookBub, not the Amazon Daily "Deal", which never gives you books like this.
What I'm Reading
I finished An Act of Self Defense this week. It's a pretty good political thriller and keeps you turning the pages.
I was amused by the Amazon blurb for this novel. This is how it starts out:
What if Congress were captured by corrupt politicians who think they own their offices?
What do you mean, "what if"?
Critics and readers nationwide praised its riveting premise of an unscrupulous Washington aristocracy passing legislation for the benefit of themselves and their friends
Yeah, because that's total fantasy, and can never happen in real life.
Actually, the plot is somewhat similar to that of Vince Flynn's thriller Term Limits, where career congressmen who have managed to entrench themselves in Washington DC and who don't believe in term limits nonetheless get term limits imposed upon them, with extreme prejudice.
Term Limits is also a good page-turner.
Moron commenter Seamus Muldoon's book "To Save Us All From Ruin" will be available for the low, low price of FREE today and tomorrow. Get it here.
Don't forget the AoSHQ reading group on Goodreads. It's meant to support horde writers and to talk about the great books that come up on the book thread. It's called AoSHQ Moron Horde and the link to it is here: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/175335-aoshq-moron-horde.
So that's all for this week. As always, book thread tips, suggestions, bribes, rumors, threats, and insults may be sent to OregonMuse, Proprietor, AoSHQ Book Thread, at the book thread e-mail address: aoshqbookthread, followed by the 'at' sign, and then 'G' mail, and then dot cee oh emm.
What have you all been reading this week? Hopefully something good, because, as you all know, life is too short to be reading lousy books.
Close it up
EMT 11/22/15 [krakatoa]
Sunday morning open thread for those who don't understand the concept if the "snooze" button.
Overnight Open Thread (21 Nov 2015)
A new taxpayer bailout to cover up Obamacare's failure? Oh I'm sure Speaker Ryan and all his talk about having the power of the purse will fold like a cheap suit as is normal for the GOP these days.
Glad to see Saucony shoes rated high but I had no idea that Skechers had a running shoe. Expensive running shoes are no better, often worse, than cheaper ones.
Hollywood & Suspension Bridges
The drunkest city in each state. Damn. Corpus Christi is the leader in Texas?
Artificial Global Warming
Ewert uncovered 10 different methods NASA used to alter the data. The 6 most often used methods were:
• Reducing the annual mean in the early phase.
• Reducing the high values in the first warming phase.
• Increasing individual values during the second warming phase.
• Suppression of the second cooling phase starting in 1995.
• Shortening the early decades of the datasets.
• With the long-term datasets, even the first century was shortened.
The methods were employed for stations such as Darwin, Australia and Palma de Mallorca, for example, where cooling trends were suddenly transformed into warming.
Ewert then discovered that NASA having altered the datasets once in March 2012 was not enough. Alterations were made again in August 2012, and yet again in December 2012.
The Blue Angels
Experience the Blue Angels in 360-degree video.
Hey, it's Florida. You do this stuff BC? Inside Miami's "Eye-gazing" scene where strangers silently stare at each other.
Tonight's ONT brought to you by a cat muzzle:
Top cat pic via.
Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maet or CDR M. Otherwise send tips to Ace.
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AOSHQDD- 2015 Louisiana Runoff Live
The Decision Desk will have live returns for both #LAGov and #LALtGov races here starting at 9pm ET.
In addition, something special.
A live vodcast of the results, demonstrating how we do what we do, begins shortly before 9pm ET.
I will be joined by Andrea Ruth, our resident Democratic elections analyst Miles Coleman, Brent Cochran, RedState's Joe Cunningham, and some guy named JeffB.
Vitter is expected to lose, but after what happened in Kentucky, who knows.
Live vodcast link below.
Follow me on twitter
and the Desk @AOSHQDD
As always we welcome new volunteers into the fold with each cycle, our November 2016 count stands at just over 160.
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Presidential Family Forum - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]
In case you missed it and, by the looks of the polls I put out on Twitter last night, you did, here's the link to last night's Presidential Family Forum.
I was an interesting forum, and I enjoyed the format. When the candidates aren't fighting the moderators or scrapping for every second of time, they are mostly sane individuals.
My take: Rand sounded surprisingly good, as did Fiorina. Cruz did well, too. I hear tell Rubio did well but, I am not getting on board with that yet, even if it means I am wrong. (Go ahead. Kick the crap out of me.)
Perhaps the most memorable moment of the night came from what seemed a really shit question from the facilitator, Frank Luntz;
"Is there a time when you cursed God?"
Santorum opened up and let it flow in a frank, eloquent, heart-rending story about his son. It was really something and those of us who were watching were spellbound. Fiorina followed up on the same question, much to my initial chagrin, but then tugged at my heart as well.
THIS format I would watch again. They spoke for three hours and looked exhausted by the end of it, but they were allowed to tell their stories.
As for, Dr. Carson... well... just see for yourself.
Don't be afraid to take a peek. It wasn't all about the weepy stuff.
Update: Speaking of "Democrat family values" as noted in the comments, here's a prime example.
Prepare your gag reflexes.
Millions Saw ABC's 'Scandal' Abortion Scene, and Plenty are 'Disgusted' By What Song Played During It https://t.co/zpHmLWaELb— Independent Journal (@IJDOTCOM) November 21, 2015
Close it up
Saturday Gardening Thread: Go Nuts! [Y-not and KT]
Today's thread will be a little abbreviated as your hostess is tied up most of today with college athletics, specifically men's and women's hoops.
Of course, there is still a lot of college football to be had, which inspired me to tell you a little bit about this tree:
Yes, that's the Buckeye, which was a candidate for National Tree in a contest run by the Arbor Day Foundation.
Buckeyes are distinctive trees, known for their early spring flowers and for the seeds that have inspired the name of this unique family of trees. The nut-like seeds are shiny and dark brown, with a light-colored spot that gives them the appearance of a deer's eye. These seeds are popularly believed to bring good luck, and school children especially still carry them in their pockets as a charm. And while highly poisonous, buckeye seeds contain much protein and were used as a food source by Native Americans who boiled and leached them to remove their toxins.
Buckeyes are often small trees, with a spread nearly equal to their height. Ohio and yellow buckeyes are some of the larger species in this family, with heights of 50 feet or more. What makes buckeyes especially unique is their early spring flowers, which bloom as early as many woodland wildflowers.
(When I was working at Purdue (during the Drew Brees era), I hated the Buckeyes. But nowadays I always root for the B1G (Ten) teams, especially when they have a shot at the National Championship. I may be behind enemy lines in SEC territory, but my college football loyalty is in the B1G.)
Don't worry, Ohio State haters, the Buckeye didn't win. Here's the winning tree:
Oh, and speaking of trees, I didn't have a chance to confirm the tree from last week, but I think it's a member of the genus Amelanchier, possibly the Downy Serviceberry. I'll see if I can get confirmation from the town where I photographed it and let you know next week.
Now, heeeeere's KT:
We had a light frost this week. It killed my little cucumber plant, so we ate the two little pickling cucumbers, raw and unpeeled. Pretty good. "County Fair" is a bitter-free cultivar with resistance to some cucumber diseases. The skin was a little tough, but it is not a slicer, so you can't expect tender skin. It was growing out of season, so it was a nice surprise to get two cucumbers from it.
We also picked some "summer turnips". They were spicier than normal, probably due to irregular watering, but still very sweet. The hairless leaves were nice cooked without their midribs. They don't take as long to cook as traditional turnip greens.
I pulled, cooked and ate some lambs quarters this week. They were growing as weeds among the turnips. Knowing that they were high in oxalates, I followed the cooking recommendation for celosia from last week's thread and boiled, rather than steamed the leaves. They cooked very quickly and were very tender, with a mild flavor and a nice green color when cooked. I could still taste a little oxalate, though. I think boiling (and discarding the cooking water) is a good idea for lambs quarters and its relatives.
Incidentally, lambs quarters, like celosia, is a host plant for the caterpillars of the Common Sooty Wing Butterfly. I really do not know what species of Chenopodium I ate, but it looked like other edible lambs quarters and other people in the neighborhood have survived eating it. I don't think I will be making anything like Lambs Quarter Filo Pie, from Modern Beet, soon. Though if the drought persists, who knows?
This brings me to the topic of pigweeds that we might enjoy eating during the Zombie Apocalypse, and some of their relatives. The drought has limited our planting this year, so I am already eating weeds, at least once in a while.
Pigweeds, Quinoa and Epazote
I grew up calling wild portulaca "pigweed". Mr. Bar-the-Door's family calls mallow "pigweed". Some amaranths are called "pigweed". Pigs eat them. People eat them. But the Eat the Weeds Guy identifies pigweed as Chenopodium album, also called Lambs Quarters or Fat Hen. It is related to beets, chard and spinach. He tells a story about his neighbor, who had a degree in agriculture, gathering large amounts of pigweed for dinner. There are several similar Chenopidium species with edible leaves.
We have talked about Magenta Spreen (Tree Spinach) in a previous thread. Good King Henry (Lincolnshire Spinach) has been moved from Chenopodium to another genus, Blitum. It is related to Strawberry Blite (strawberry spinach), also discussed in the thread above. The flavor of Good King Henry is best in spring, when young shoots can also be eaten as a substitute for asparagus.
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa), sometimes touted as a "superfood", also has edible leaves that can serve as a spinach substitute, but the main attraction with this plant is the seeds. Until this week, I had never cooked quinoa before, but since I learned that some of us can grow it in the garden, it became a gardening topic. I decided to take out my 7 year old package of quinoa from Trader Joe's and see if I could come up with a Thanksgiving dish for family members with gluten intolerance.
CBD's Food Thread gave me this idea. He started preparing members of The Horde for Thanksgiving back in October (be sure to check out the Food Thread tomorrow.) One subject that has come up is how to handle foods for Thanksgiving guests with dietary restrictions. I certainly have not become an expert in quinoa, but I have learned a lot.
Shelf life: You can store quinoa for a long time. My 7 year old quinoa did not have off-flavors, as would brown rice that old. I could still cook it, unlike beans that old.
History: Quinoa originated in the Andes, where it was a very important food crop for thousands of years. Seeds of Lambs Quarters were used by Native Americans in the eastern USA much like quinoa was used in the Andes, but quinoa is more productive. " The Incas, who held the crop to be sacred, referred to it as chisaya mama or "mother of all grains", and it was the Inca emperor who would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season using "golden implements" (from the Wiki). Its cultivation was suppressed for a time by the conquistadors because of its use in religious ceremonies.
Political correctness: You can never be sure that your righteous plans to help indigenous peoples will remain righteous. Supporting the economies of poor regions in the Andes by buying quinoa used to make people feel good. Now they must worry that exports have raised the price of quinoa so much that locals in the growing areas cannot afford it.
US cultivation: Quinoa is grown commercially at high altitudes in Colorado, with a few other western states also getting in on the action. It takes drought and alkaline soil. There are cultivars suited to very high altitudes and others suited to sea level. Its susceptibility to leaf miners limit its success in the East. Lambs Quarters are also susceptible, but much less so. Per Sunset, quinoa will not produce if the weather is really hot during bloom or seed setting.
Tricks for Preparation: If you grow your own quinoa, you must wash it before cooking to remove saponins, bitter compounds that foam like soap. Most commercial quinoa is pre-washed or milled to remove saponins, but you might want to wash yours, just in case. Directions for washing and toasting here. I tried toasting some and did not like the results much. I think it is easy to over-toast quinoa. But if you want to try a low-moisture pilaf with toasted quinoa that still has "bite and snap", here you go.
I like the stuff cooked with the "incorrect" 2:1 water:quinoa ratio just fine, untoasted. I did not want excess chewiness for the recipe below, which I adapted from a recipe using bulgur wheat. I wanted it to be different from traditional dressing, but not too different. I might even try germinating the quinoa first before cooking. It is reported to start germinating remarkably quickly -- in just two to four hours (wash first). They say you can eat the sprouted seeds raw, but some people report tummy upsets with the raw sprouts.
I think I will use more cranberries to the recipe below next time. Anybody have some other tips for me?
Quinoa Thanksgiving Dressing (Serves 4 to 5 as a side dish)
Cook over medium heat:
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery with some leaves, in
2 Tablespoons oil and/or unsalted butter
until onions are translucent.
Add 1 cup washed or pre-washed quinoa and 1 3/4 to 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, cover tightly, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Let sit off heat for 5 minutes. Taste and carefully adjust salt if necessary. It probably will not need any additional salt if you used salted broth.
Microwave 1/3 cup packed sweetened dried cranberries in 2 Tablespoons orange or apple juice or water, until water simmers. Stir, cover and allow to stand until liquid is absorbed.
Shortly before serving, fluff warm quinoa with a fork and add softened cranberries, 2 Tablespoons chopped Italian parsley and 4 finely minced young scallions with some of the tender green parts, or some minced chives.
If there is a no-sugar purist coming to dinner, you can leave out the cranberries and garnish the finished dressing with pomegranate arils.
Original bulgur wheat recipe
Anybody growing wheat this winter?
Substitute a cup of medium to coarse bulgur wheat for the washed quinoa. Add some black pepper with the onions and celery. The original recipe called for 1/4 teaspoon of poultry seasoning, but I leave it out because I want this dressing to taste different from the more traditional dressing on the table.
If you will be eating with a crowd where the kitchen will be busy, a quadruple batch of the bulgur wheat version (Part 1) holds nicely for a few hours in a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker or big covered electric skillet set to "warm". I don't know how well the quinoa version holds. Add cranberries, parsley and green onion shortly before serving.
Leftovers are great reheated.
Thinking of having something made with dried beans for Thanksgiving? The Eat the Weeds Guy, a pretty flexible person when it comes to food flavors, does not like an herb that is traditional with beans, Epazote (Dysphania ambrosioides). It resembles Lambs Quarters and was previously classified as a Chenopodium. To avoid eating a Chenopodium species that is not really edible, he recommends that we not eat it if it smells like varnish, "but in some countries they manage to get around Epazote's odor and use it as a green as well as flavoring and medicine."
A piece in the Chicago Tribune called epazote, "Mexican Magic". It is reputed to reduce the gassiness of beans and is often used in black bean dishes. Has anyone in The Horde developed a taste for it? I have met seemingly rational people who really like it.
According to Sunset, my climate zone is at the hardiness limit for this plant to survive the winter as a perennial, but it can be grown as an annual in most parts of the country. It is also known as Jesuit Tea, Mexican Tea and Wormseed (used to expel intestinal hookworms).
Intestinal hookworms. Yuk. Maybe it is time to change the subject to flowers. Sorry I did not get around to telling you what your statice was. Next week.
Y-not: Thanks, KT!
To close things up, how about a song?
KT's mention of Modern Beet got me thinking about one of my favorite groups, the English Beat. I love this scene:
Bonus song in honor of the Buckeyes:
What's happening in YOUR gardens this week?
Link to the Saturday Gardening Thread archives here.
Close it up