Sunday Morning Book Thread 05-29-2016:
Memorial Fathers Day [OregonMuse]
Can You Spot The Dad In This Photograph?
Yes, I know the real fathers day is next month. But I've heard that Memorial Day is now self-identifying as Fathers Day, so hey, who am I to say otherwise? Also, today's book thread pic was sent to me just this week and so I had to use it.
Good morning to all of you morons and moronettes and bartenders everywhere and all the ships at sea. Welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread, where men are men, all the 'ettes are lovely, space isn't safe, and snowflakes will melt. Oh, and gender is binary, so don't get cute. None of these weird hybrids. What are we, potted plants? The Sunday Morning Book Thread is the only AoSHQ thread that is so hoity-toity, pants are required.
Is The Patriarchy Smashed Yet?
Last week, there was some discussion in the comments about Washington Times columnist Diana West's book, American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character, and the controversy that erupted when it was first published.
Her massively researched book
...lights up the massive, Moscow-directed penetration of America's most hallowed halls of power, revealing not just the familiar struggle between Communism and the Free World, but the hidden war between those wishing to conceal the truth and those trying to expose the increasingly official web of lies...It was this moral surrender to deception and self-deception, West argues, that sent us down the long road to moral relativism, "political correctness," and other cultural ills that have left us unable to ask the hard questions: Does our silence on the crimes of Communism explain our silence on the totalitarianism of Islam? Is Uncle Sam once again betraying America?
I had noticed a few years back that the way the left in our country was treating Islam and the Islamists was eerily similar to the way they treated communism and communists back in the days of the Cold War. It's like I'm watching a reboot of the same movie (the last movie ended with Reagan, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the dissolution of the USSR. So who's our Reagan now? Trump?)
The Islamists' sneaking of operatives into the American government is the book Ms. West originally set out to write, but the communism question came up as a side issue, and then became the main issue for her.
But that's not her first book. Rather, that honor belongs to The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization, wherein Ms. West asks "Is there a single adult left anywhere?" She sees
...a US filled with middle-age guys playing air guitar and thinks "No wonder we can't stop Islamic terrorism."...But, the grown-ups are all gone. The disease that killed them was incubated in the sixties to a rock-and-roll score, took hold in the seventies with the help of multiculturalism and left us with a nation of eternal adolescents who can't decide between "good" and "bad", a generation who can't say "no". From the inability to nix a sixteen year-old's request for Marilyn Manson concert tickets to offering adolescents parentally-funded motel rooms on prom night to rationalizing murderous acts of Islamic suicide bombers with platitudes of cultural equivalence, West sees us on a slippery slope that's lead to a time when America has forgotten its place in the world.
And to this I would add the inability of college administrators to tell disruptive students to shut up and get back to class, otherwise face expulsion. I remember seeing a video of a Mizzou student throwing a tantrum in response to a college ombudsman who came out to talk, and she was yelling and railing at him, and the guy just stood there and took it. I'm watching this play out, absolutely dumbfounded at his reluctance to say anything in response, and then it suddenly occurred to me that there really is not much difference between the yeller and yellee: I'd guess that both like and dislike pretty much the same things, he is no doubt on board with all of the agenda of social-justice-wankerism, so he really didn't have any reason to tell her to shut up and go back to class. In fact, you could make the argument that given their similarities in worldview, he probably should've been out there with her, yelling and screaming and carrying on. In order to fight social-justice-wankerism, you need a different platform upon which to stand, and he didn't have one.
And, as has been pointed out, the trigglypuffs on campus will continue to throw their tantrums until the adults who write the checks decide they're not going to write any more checks.
And another book which covers much of the same ground is Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream - and Why It Matters by Helen Smith (I think she's the Instapundit's spouse), who argues that
...men aren’t dropping out because they are stuck in arrested development. They are instead acting rationally in response to the lack of incentives society offers them to be responsible fathers, husbands and providers. In addition, men are going on strike, either consciously or unconsciously, because they do not want to be injured by the myriad of laws, attitudes and hostility against them for the crime of happening to be male in the twenty-first century.
A male population consisting of adolescent and subservient pajama boys is seen by progressives as a social good. In order to get this, they have to start early. So says Christina Hoff Sommers in her book The War Against Boys: How Misguided Policies are Harming Our Young Men, which documents how
...the problem of male underachievement is persistent and worsening. Among the new topics Sommers tackles: how the war against boys is harming our economic future, and how boy-averse trends such as the decline of recess and zero-tolerance disciplinary policies have turned our schools into hostile environments for boys. As our schools become more feelings-centered, risk-averse, competition-free, and sedentary, they move further and further from the characteristic needs of boys. She offers realistic, achievable solutions to these problems that include boy-friendly pedagogy, character and vocational education, and the choice of single-sex classrooms.
Paging Alan Turing...
There's a site Bot Or Not that asks the question, was this poem written by a human or a computer? After you get warmed up with a few samples, You can take the Digital Writers' Festival Quiz, a best-of-10 test.
we seelove solve losselse we seelove sow woe
selves we woowe loselosses we leveewe owe
we sellloose vowsso we loveless well
so lowso levelwolves evolve
So who wrote this, man or machine? To see the answer, drag your mouse over the line below this one.
This is the poem "Vowels" by Canadian poet Christian Bök. Human.
Some think this is just great:
As CNet reported in 2014 that "the line between human and AI poets is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish, as demonstrated by the site's leaderboards, which display the most human-like human poets and the most computer-like computer poets, as well as the most human-like computer poets and vice versa."
by The Aggregate Kid
i am spoiled
brat. my mommy told me that
you could be help clean it up
it;s our earth i mean whats
sup with all
the dirt and thilth i love
you to know
who you were gone you left you
shone on me,but now you’ve left this
land. and now you
have to say. the bell rings,
everyone goes outside. they
huddle close together like
bees in a
corner and cry.
Don't you just want to just smack that kid's whiny, bratty face? Go out and get a job, slacker. You want to cry, I'll give you something to cry about. Whap, whap, whap.
So all this tells us is that our machines are now good enough to replicate degraded and degenerate forms of human communication: postmodern jargon, modern experimental poetry, and corporate bullshit, the intent of which is not to communicate but to obfuscate
What I would like to see is AI that can create crank out an honest-to-goodness Elizabethan sonnet, with iambic pentameter, complex rhyme schemes, etc. Or a Norse saga. I'm not saying it's impossible, I just really haven't seen it done yet, not enough to fool the experts.
So I'll just leave you with the real deal:
Sonnet XVIII "To His Love" by William "Bill" Shakespeare
SHALL I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:—
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Memorial Day Weekend Sale
Need something new to read for the long weekend? Looking for a new series to start or want to discover a new author? Moronette author Sabrina Chase e-mailed me on Saturday
Of possible interest to budget-minded reading Morons, some of the degenerate author types I hang out with are doing a Start of Summer Reading sale for the Memorial Day weekend. The site that has the details is http://azounding.com/ (where we post promo-type news all the time). I have two books in this sale, Jinxers and The Scent of Metal. Some of the books are even free!
To go directly to the sale, just click on this link. In addition to Sabrina's books, you'll find books by Sarah Hoyt, Peter Grant, Amanda Green, and others. Always check the price before clicking the purchase button. Some of these books are already on sale and others will go on sale over the next 24 hours.
Celebrate Diversity, Earn Big $
So Penguin Publishing is holding a writing contest.
...in partnership with We Need Diverse Books™, Penguin Young Readers celebrates this momentous publication by launching a debut children’s fiction contest to find talented, ethnically diverse authors writing for readers ages 8-14.
Submit your manuscript for a book about diversity for ages 8-14 and you could receive a publishing contract from Penguin Random House LLC!
The contract they're going to award is nothing to sneeze at:
PRIZE: The confirmed winner will receive a book publishing contract for the publication of a novel for ages 8-14 by Penguin Random House LLC, with an advance of $35,000, plus royalties as follows: (i) on hardcover, 10% up to 50,000 copies and 12.5% thereafter; (ii) on paperback, 6% up to 50,000 copies and 7% thereafter; (iii) on audio, 8% of net; (iv) ebook, 25% of net; (v) world rights/all subrights at a 50/50 split; and (vi) an option on their next children’s or YA novel.
ELIGIBILITY: The Contest is open to people of color (or those who self-identify as other than white) who are residents of the fifty (50) United States, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories and possessions, 18 years of age or older at time of entry and who have not had any works of fiction published in any medium prior to entering the Contest.
Emphasis mine. So Rachael Dolezal and Elizabeth Warren are both eligible, assuming they haven't been published before. Maybe some of you morons are, too. My question is, if you're a white guy, but you self identify as, say, a Yakut tribal elder, what hoops will Penguin make you jump through to prove your assumed diverse ethnic identity?
One more thing:
The submission must be in English, between 25,000-75,000 words and must not have been previously published in any medium.
Wait, so the organizers of a writing contest celebrating diversity have put in an "English only" requirement? Really? Now that's not very diverse of them, is it? I think there should be a protest about this. I mean, if I identify as a Klingon warrior, shouldn't I should be able to submit my manuscript in Klingon? To disallow this would be racist and un-diverse.
They should be forced to live by the same rules they prescribe for everybody else.
Thanks to Anna Puma for the tip.
Books By Morons
Moronette Lisa Mathisen has released the 3rd volume in her 'Glimpse' series is of short stories. Glimpse of Summer:
Forty quintessential scenes from summer will delight you in this hilarious third volume of the Glimpse series. It’s all here: vacations, sunburn, mosquitoes, trashy beach reads and blockbuster films...You will find yourself empathizing with characters whose exaggerated traits we all recognize in ourselves.
The Kindle version should be released shortly.
Moron bensdad00 recommends the author Richard Powell, whose book Don Quixote USA was mentioned a few weeks ago. In addition to that one, he paticlarly likes Pioneer, Go Home!, which Amazon describes as
...a warm and witty tale of little man versus “Big Gummint.” Powell relates the adventures of the Kwimpers—a motley clan of New Jersey Pineys who break down on the side of a southern highway project and decide to claim squatter’s rights. Call them “hicks” or “bumpkins” if you like, but these Kwimpers are considerably more resourceful than most folks give them credit for—and ten times as stubborn! When the government orders them to vacate, Pop Kwimper gets his dander up and the die is cast. Hilarity ensues as the family defends its homestead against an onslaught of conniving bureaucrats, Mother Nature, and the mob.
bensdad00's capsule summary is "family completely dependent on government welfare is cut off cold turkey, and learns it doesn't need the dole".
This one is now on my book pile.
What I'm Reading
I picked up The Anderson Tapes by Lawrence Sanders on sale this week. Don't know if the $2.51 Kindle price still holds. This novel is noteworthy for a number of reasons:
1. It's Sanders' debut novel
2. It won an Edgar Award
3. Dude wrote it when he was 50(!) years old.
4. The novel's story is told entirely through surveillance recordings, eyewitness reports, and other “official” documents.
It's about a heist:
John Anderson is preparing for the biggest heist of his criminal career. The mark is a Manhattan luxury apartment building with the tony address of 535 East Seventy-Third Street. Enlisting a crew of scouts, con artists, and a getaway driver, Anderson orchestrates what he believes to be a foolproof plan. To pull off the big score, he needs one last thing: the permission of the local mafia, who expect a piece of the action.
I think this novel was made into a movie sometime in the 70s, wasn't it?
Moronette 'votermom' is putting together a list of moron authors over on the Goodreads site which is intended to be acessible to non-members. Here is the list she has compiled so far. Let her know if there's an author she's missing.
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.
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EMT 5/29/16 [krakatoa]
So sorry about yesterday everyone, especially Vic. I thought maybe I had turned off my alarm. Nope. Slept right through it. Friday was the last long long day of a long long week.
Overnight Open Thread (28 May 2016)
Hurricane season is getting started a tad early this year as tropical storm Bonnie threatens the east coast. Funny I actually forgot that we already had our first hurricane this year with Alex back in January.
I guess this is one way to deal with the problem of which bathroom to use. Public urination no longer a criminal offense in NYC.
In Russia or someplace near...
Google knows which words you have trouble spelling.
Louisiana lawmaker labels Declaration of Independence racist in debate.
Star Wars Ginormous Infographic
The whole Star Wars Episode IV in one picture. It is 403.5 feet long.
I hope this works out for Kate Steinle's family. Family files wrongful death suit against feds, San Francisco.
Tonight's ONT brought to you by all the combat vehicles of the U.S. military:
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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Saturday Afternoon Chess/Open Thread 05-28-2016 [OregonMuse]
Hillary! Clinton's Chess Set? *hic*
Good afternoon morons and moronettes, and welcome to the Saturday Afternoon Chess/Open Thread, the only AoSHQ thread with content specifically for all of us chess nerds who pay homage in the temple of Caïssa, goddess of doubled pawns and fianchettoed bishops. And, for those of you who aren't nerdly enough for chess, you can use this thread to talk about checkers, or politics, or whatever you wish, only please try to keep it civil. Nobody wants to get into a Gaulish fish fight on a Saturday afternoon.
Today's pic is of a chess set you can actually purchase (or at least you could before the business closed). The rules for this game are the usual except for the addition of one, which boils down to: capture a piece, do a shot. I've never played this variant of chess before, but I'd guess that the endgames must be, ah, "interesting."
White Wins Material
This is one for you noobs, an exercise in situational awareness. Look at this position:
FEN: [2rqk2r/pp2bppp/2n1p3/1B1pn3/8/P1N5/1P2QPPP/R1B1R1K1 w k - 0 14]
After looking at this for a bit, you should be able to say "oh look, White wins material, like, right now." How does he do this? Highlight the blank line just below this sentence if you need a hint:
The knight on c6 is pinned
Did you like that one? OK, good, here's one that's a bit more difficult:
FEN: [r2k4/1pp2rpp/pn1b1p2/3n4/8/P4NB1/1PP3PP/2KRR3 w - - 0 1]
Again, White can win some material. How? Highlight the blank line just below this sentence if you need a hint:
White needs to force a Black piece to move so he can put pressure on another.
A New Old Kind of Chess
It has come to my attention that some of our chess noobs here have conveyed their fear and trepidation of getting into a game with those of us who are more experienced. So, I have a suggestion that might help: on chess.com, you can play two different varieties of chess, not varieties of rules, but varieties of time control. The first is "live" chess where you sit down at an interactive board with your opponent on the other end at his, and moves are conveyed back and forth pretty much in real time. This closely approximates the "look and feel" of OTB (over the board) chess. If you're just starting out, I can see how this experience can be a bit intimidating.
But, there's an alternative to this. Chess.com also provides what they call "online" chess, where the time control is measured in days, not minutes or seconds. So you can make your move, get up, and come back a day later to respond. How is this an advantage? Because this closely resembles what is called "correspondence chess", i.e. chess by mail, a time-honored chess tradition. Now, in correspondence chess, the rules governing what you can and can't do during a game are a bit different than OTB chess. For example, in OTB tournament chess, if you get into a really sticky, intricate position, you can't go to another table, set up the game position on another board, and play out the various lines to see which one would be more advantageous. That's strictly forbidden. But, in chess.com's online chess, as in the more traditional correspondence chess, it's perfectly OK. You can also look stuff up in chess books, if you want. That's permitted, too (what you can't do is use some kind of chess engine or endgame tablebase to analyze your game for you. That's right out).
But when you're in one of your online games, if you look to the right of the interactive board, and to the right of the list of moves, there is an "Analyze" link with a chessboard icon. If you click on that link, another window will pop-up that displays another interactive board with your game at the current position. You can then use this board to go back and review your the moves you've made so far, or, what is possibly more useful, you can enter "hypothetical" moves made by both you and your opponent, so you can look at the possibilities of what might happen if you make this move or that move. Let me tell you I make *extensive* use of this feature in all of my online games to map out potential lines. Of course, then my opponent makes a move I overlooked, and all of my analysis is now worthless. But that's OK, I can always re-analyze based on the new move.
Perhaps some of you may be asking, "well, if I can use the analysis board, so can my vastly more experienced opponent, so I'm still screwed." Well, perhaps. My point is, playing games "online" rather than in real time might help you not to feel so pressured to come up with a good move with the clock ticking down. The pace will be a bit more relaxed, and even if you still lose, you'll enjoy the game a bit more.
I'm getting to the point where I'm starting to prefer this kind of chess over the usual OTB variety.
Black To Play And Win
FEN: [6k1/q5pp/2p2p2/3p1P1P/8/1P5R/P1P1rr2/3Q1R1K b - - 0 1]
The decision tree of this problem consists of two main branches. See if you can complete both.
Endgame Of The Week
This is an endgame problem that might be tough for you noobs. It's White to play and win, win, win:
FEN: [3K4/5Bk1/8/8/2R5/p7/1p6/8 w - - 0 1]
1. White Wins Material - Easy
1.Qxe5! and White simply takes the Knight. 2...Nxe5 isn't possible because it is pinned by the Bishop. So it really wasn't protecting the Knight on e5.
2. White Wins Material - Not As Easy
This one is a bit trickier. You need to notice that the Bishop on d6 is in front of the King, and in fact, it would be pinned if White could get that Knight out of the way. Fortunately, he can:
If 1...Nxc4, then 2.Rxd5 wins the piece outright.
And now not only is the Bishop pinned, but the pawn is also forking the Knight. White can pick up either one at his leisure.
3. Black To Play and Win
Black's killer move is 1...Qe3! There are two responses by White, 2.Rxe3 or 2.Rxf2:
3.Kg1 Reg2# 0-1
5.Qg1 Qf3+ (5...Qh3+ 6.Qh2 Qxh2#)
4. Endgame Of The Week:
So, looking at the board, it is obvious that the big threat is Black's pawns that are (a) far advanced and (b) connected. That's usually a deadly combination, but in this case, White has resources. He would like to immediately scoot his Bishop down there to a2 to stop the threat, but his Rook is in the way. So, he needs to gain time in order to free up the diagonal for the anticipated Bishop move. He can do this by:
This sets up a discovered check if White moves his Bishop. Black can move his King out of that danger, of course, but that will give White enough time for Ba2. So Black really doesn't have anything better than to get himself a Queen immediately.
This is the crucial position. Black has a several choices where he can move his King. And the move he makes needs to buy time to get his Queen away from the White bishop on a2. Some of the possible flight squares for his King, namely f6, g6, and h6, can be ruled out immediately since 3.Bxb1 leaves him with nothing. He can't move to g8 since that square is covered by the bishop. That leaves f8 and h8. So, why are these any different than the 3 moves to the 6th rank we've already dismissed? Because there's some tricky maneuvering Black can spring that will allow him to force a draw if White isn't careful. So:
2...Kh8 and White is pretty much forced to snap up that dangerous Queen before it gets away.
3. Bxb1 a2!
And that's the point. White *cannot* take that pawn. If he does, then it's stalemate. If this is hard to see, go ahead and capture the pawn, and then look at the board. You will see that there is literally no square available for Black's king to move to.
(...and this is one of the reasons why I love chess so much: In even seemingly lost positions, there can still be fighting chances to be found that can turn the tables. "To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell's heart, I stab at thee...")
So what is White to do? Black's pawn is threatening either a1Q or axb1Q and White's rook cannot guard against both. So, once again, he needs to buy some time:
6.Bh7+ and White's rook eats the newly-minted Queen next move, nom, nom, nom. And wins.
Now, back to move 2, Black's other option to get out of check is to move his King to f8. White can still achive his objective, but the smaneuvering will be just a bit different:
If Black moves his King then 5.Bxb1 with no danger of stalemate and that's all she wrote.
5.Rxa2 and wins.
So to recap, here is the complete solution without all my jabbering:
and the other branch:
Note: that cryptic line of letters and numbers you see underneath each board diagram is a representation of the position in what is known as "Forsyth-Edwards Notation", or F.E.N. It's actually readable by humans. Most computer applications nowadays can read FEN, so those of you who may want to study the position, you can copy the line of FEN and paste into your chess app and it should automatically recreate the position on its display board.
So that about wraps it up for this week. Chess thread tips, suggestions, bribes, rumors, threats, and insults may be sent to my yahoo address: OregonMuse little-a-in-a-circle yahoo dot you-know-what.
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Ace of Spades Pet Thread [Misanthropic Humanitarian]
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Mark Bush and his dog Xarius via www.petful.com
Welcome to the Memorial Day Weekend edition of the Ace of Spades Pet Thread. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.
From before Biblical times to the present dogs have been used in military service.The U.S. Military first used dogs in WW I. Originally German Shepherd Dogs and Dobermans were used. Labrador Retrievers eventually replaced the Doberman. Dogs are used as sentries, trackers, scout team and mine/booby/tunnel dog teams. All 4 branches of the military use dogs in some capacity. However the U.S. Army is the only branch that has veterinarians.
The U.S. Military is working on a robotic dog. Secretary of the Navy Frank Kelley declared that one day marines and soldiers will likely bond with the robotic dog as they would a biological dog. I don't envision a robotic dog "kissing" his Staff Sgt. But, that's just me.
Not all dogs who interact with the military are war dogs. Some are used for therapy. They help treat struggling soldiers with PTSD.
Feel good cat video
Rey was born eight months ago with no eyes. Alexander Speweik adopted Rey and her sister Leia, and Rey now gets around the apartment just fine. She even plays fetch!Via neatorama.com
Wadded up aluminum makes a great ball to roll around on a wood floor, and Rey follows it almost perfectly just by the sound. She also plays with boxes, climbs her cat tower, and wrestles with her sister. She doesn’t chase a laser light, but likes to play with the chain attached to the laser pen!
Some pet and animal items that made the news this week.
- Kleenex time
- Close call for falling Husky
- Robo-Dog, bionic legs for a dog
- Looking for a cat lady, try the cat café
- One lucky dog
Here is one German Shepherd Dog that didn't make it as a war dog. However, he does get a B+ for ingenuity.
We will resume Moron Pet Photos next week. Just a simple reminder we get more photos every week than what we publish. So we appreciate your patience in waiting for your pet's blog debut. You know how to reach us at petmorons at gee mail dot com.
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Saturday Gardening Thread: Flags [KT]
Good afternoon, gardeners and garden visitors. There is an open thread below this one for non-gardening topics.
Hope your Memorial Day weekend is going well. Are you thinking about visiting a Memorial Day garden display?
Do you associate any plants or trees with Memorial Day?
Gardening and Farming Weather
We had a welcome, unexpected cold front come through this week, with high temperatures in the 70s. Very unusual for this time of year and very pleasant (if sometimes quite windy) after the preceding hot temperatures. The heat is coming back now. We should be in the triple digits by Monday or Tuesday.
The baby broccoli that suppliers said was "bolt resistant" seems to actually be bolt-resistant. After a second cutting, I left the rest of the shoots to flower, planning to eat the flowers. It's not happening so far. Stems are getting tough, though. We will need to spay more attention to our garden plants. How is your weather affecting your plants?
Local Fruit Report
Those days of cooler weather were a bonus for the local strawberry growers. They lose much of their crop to heat in a typical year. The local cherry season is winding down. A friend's son got his first part-time job working graveyard at a packing house. He can get big boxes of "seconds" cheap. Many of the "seconds" were just too ripe to ship. Tasty. Our local cherries are typically smaller than the ones you will be seeing at the supermarket from the Pacific Northwest later in the season. But we're first. Heh.
Memorial Day and Flags
In our little town, they still hold a really nice ceremony at the cemetery on Memorial Day. Big American flags line the avenues in the cemetery, and small flags are placed on the graves of war dead and deceased veterans. I appreciate this.
When I was growing up in a cold-winter climate, there were usually peonies and bearded irises blooming on Memorial Day. But peonies were better for decorating graves. This seems to be one reason it was chosen as the State Flower of Indiana.
The stunning beauty of an individual bearded iris bloom does not last long in a bouquet. That is a shame, because the flowers invite close-up viewing and smelling. You can use bearded irises in floral arrangements if you are willing to pick off individual flowers as they fade. And you may want to skip the darker colors. They can "look gruesome" as they wither, and stain hands or a tablecloth. Not many people want to go back to a cemetery to groom bouquets. Enjoy your cut peachy-colored bearded iris at home.
I still associate the bearded iris (and the fragrance of certain varieties) with Memorial Day, even though we left the flowers on the plants. The old-timers called them "flags".
A number of plants with long, strap-like leaves are called "flags", but today I want to concentrate on bearded irises. There are other beautiful irises the world, including natives. Some look quite different from bearded irises. And their garden uses and needs are often different. There is also a "Sweet Flag" in a different genus. Topics for the future, unless you have comments or questions today.
I have grown several bearded irises over the years, usually in violet, blue and/or white. But the one I remember by name is a peachy color. I grew it in Southern California, where the bloom will sometimes repeat in the fall. That was back in the day when there were not many re-blooming bearded irises, especially in the Tall Bearded Class.
The first nursery dedicated to irises that I became aware of was Schreiner's Iris Gardens in Oregon. They currently sell bearded irises in the following categories:
Border and Table
Beverly Sills is on their list of historical bearded irises. In fact, any iris introduced in 1995 or before is considered "historical" at this iris garden. Yipes! Makes me feel old.
Going further back in history, one of the plants Y-not saw on her visit to a Shaker farm was an iris used to produce orris root. As noted in Y-not's links, there are actually three species of bearded iris (or two species and a subspecies, depending on the botanist) that can be used to produce orris root. I have never tried to harvest orris root. I was surprised to learn that it takes one or two years for the dried roots to develop their sweet violet scent.
These irises are among the ancestors of today's remarkable hybrid bearded irises. I have grown the variegated version of Iris pallida. It has pretty, fragrant flowers. But the real attraction for me was foliage that extended the season of interest in my small yard. This iris likes a little more moisture and shade than the typical bearded iris.
Most hard core bearded iris fanciers are more interested in a "blaze of glory" than in the "all-season interest" of a plant. At least when it comes to their irises. According to the American Iris Society, Tall Bearded Irises were often grown in isolation from other plants in the past for fear of disease. Apparently, people are working their Tall Bearded Irises into borders with other plants more often now. Makes sense to me.
I used to pass a huge bed of irises at the side of a farmhouse, in neat, crop-like rows, but in mixed colors. They were a beautiful sight in season, but pretty mundane the rest of the year. If you don't have a spare farm field for such a display, it can be nice to have a blaze of glory, then let other plants take over ornamental duties for the rest of the season.
Below is an example of a Border Bearded Iris. They were bred shorter that the Tall Bearded Iris to fit into a flower border more easily. This one is not as flamboyant as some Tall Bearded Irises, but it still has some flounce. Nice little summary on iris diversity at the link below the photo:
For some reason, I think of the former Washington Post garden columnist Henry Mitchell, The Essential Earthman, when I think of bearded irises. He is gone now, though you can get his books through the AoSHQ Amazon Store. Worthwhile. Here's a classic Henry Mitchell quote:
Almost any garden, if you see it at just the right moment, can be confused with paradise.
This 2013 WaPo piece on advances in modern bearded irises doesn't have quite the same kind of wit that Henry Mitchell included in his columns, but it captures characteristics of the modern bearded iris hybrids very well. Read the whole thing if you are at all interested in irises:
If you like your flowers plain and simple, the bearded iris is not for you.
It is hard to say which aspect of the iris is the most ornate: its range and mixes of colors, its frills, its size or its intricate form. It is a baroque fop, as adorable as it is outrageous. . .
The flower lends itself to hybridizing, hence the continued twirling of the iris kaleidoscope by fanciers such as Don and Ginny Spoon. "This is a man-made plant, from five or six species and 300 years of hybridizing," said Don Spoon, taking me on a tour of the couple's three-acre iris garden near Cross Junction, Va., a few miles north of Winchester. . . .
There are nurseries in many parts of the countries that specialize in bearded irises. Many breed some of their own irises. There was such a nursery in the foothills not far from me, but they moved to Star, Idaho in 2013. Drat! I should have visited when I had the chance. They did leave a yearly Iris Festival behind in Porterville. California's loss, Idaho's gain. Here is one cultivar bred at Sutton's Iris Gardens:
From the WaPo article linked above:
When you do get around to actually seeing the iris, you have to deconstruct so intricate a bloom. Each flower has a cluster of three vertical petals - standards - that sit atop three outward petals named falls. Each fall is marked by a furry ridge - the beard - which is designed to entice a bee pollinator to land for a sugary reward while spreading pollen.
Real iris fanciers pay close attention to each detail of these flowers. But this level of attention is not necessary to enjoy a few plant in your garden. Let me know in the comments if you are interested in specific growing tips.
Is there a Tennessee Rose?
Or is Tennessee Rose just a song? We got this question in the comments a while back. So far, I have not been able to find a rose identified as "The Tennessee Rose." I did find some great stuff from rose societies in Tennessee. If you live in the area, you might consider joining one. From the Nashville Rose Society, a page on growing beautiful roses in middle Tennessee. And from the Tennessee Rose Society, advice on pruning all those other kinds of roses. Nice.
Below, from the Tenarky District of the American Rose Society, a view of a rose garden in or near Knoxville, with the Tennessee river in the background.
I thought that maybe we could discuss orange roses today, since the color orange is so prominent in the identity of the University of Tennessee. The administration is kind of picky about the color palette to be used in communications from the university. In case you want to paint your bathroom orange, maybe with smokey and white accents:
'University of Tennessee Orange' is a shade of orange that is 100% saturated and 97% bright.
I have never grown an orange rose as bright as University of Tennessee Orange. I have been out of the rose scene for a while, and the orange roses I have grown have been fragrant old-timers in the Hybrid Tea, Grandiflora and Floribunda classes. I like 'Tropicana' and 'Fragrant Cloud'. I love 'Just Joey', which some people call an "orange blend".
Yellow and orange coloration in modern roses comes mostly from one species of yellow wild rose, the 'Austrian Briar Rose' and its bicolored subspecies, 'Austrian Copper'. These roses have an odd, nose-tweaking scent, as indicated by the scientific name Rosa foetida. This rose passed a susceptibility to black spot down to many of its progeny.
The Elko County Rose Garden site notes that this rose is very prone to sporting flowers with different colors. There is a nice summary about this rose at the bottom of the page. It is hardy to USDA Zone 3 or 4. "Because of our very dry climate, black spot is not a significant problem in Elko."
At my high school a long, tall hedge of the yellow and bicolor forms of this rose, left in the natural shape of the bushes, bloomed in the weeks before school ended for the summer. I have a sentimental attachment to this rose.
Maybe someday a black spot-resistant orange rose will be "The Tennessee Rose". Unless we can find some evidence that a Tennessee Rose already exists. Do you have a favorite orange or orange-blend rose?
Close it up
How Many Transgenders In America? 0.006% = About 20,000. Total. [CBD]
Commenter Golfman provided this very interesting link: Interactive map: Census estimates for transgender population by state. A quick perusal of both the high and low estimates gives me a very rough calculation of about 6 transgenders/100,000 Americans. Following the link to the Census Bureau paper yields about the same number. And yes, that is a very small number. Assuming a population of about 320,000,000, that means that you will probably never meet a transgender, and if you don't live in a particularly dense area you might not ever be within 50 feet of one.
Just to put it in perspective:
Albinism runs at about 1/17,000 worldwide.
Achondroplasia, the most common form of Dwarfism, occurs in 1 in 15,000 to 40,000 newborns.
Male breast cancer represents 1% of all breast cancers, 2,600 new cases diagnosed in the U.S. each year. That's at least 6-8 times the number of transgenders born each year.
According to Wikipedia, 6,500 U.S. Military veterans committed suicide in 2012.
That's at least 20 times the number of new transgenders.
And shall we look at the anorexia rate? "Anorexia is estimated to occur in 0.9% to 4.3% of women and 0.2% to 0.3% of men in Western countries at some point in their life." Why Anorexia? Because it is the most similar example of "Body Dysmorphia" I can think of. Transgenders look in the mirror and see something that isn't there, or they obsessively wish that the image was different. How does that differ from Anorexia?
Yet Transgenderism is celebrated and protected, but Anorexia is treated aggressively, because when left untreated, anorexics die! Of course Transgenders die too, mostly by suicide (41% attempt or succeed).
But by all means, let us celebrate and enable these profoundly disturbed Americans, instead of providing comprehensive psychiatric and medical treatment to overcome their significant, life-threatening illness.
Saturday Morning Oddities [Misanthropic Humanitarian]
Ahhh Saturday morning of the Memorial Day Weekend.
Here are a few weird things that didn't make the News Dump this past weekend. Enjoy.
- Of course he shot himself in the back. I had nothing to do with it.
- Think outside the tortilla
- Let me out of here!
- Living vicariously through your kids is wrong
- A responsible addict
- Don't give any ideas to Joe Biden's hair plugs for men
Open thread. Have a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend!
Close it up
Saturday Morning Open Thread - Niedermeyer's Dead Horse
It looks like there's a lot of content in process. This will hold you over until it's posted.
Overnight Open Thread (27 May 2016)
To Stewart, patriotism was a shared ideal. Even the wealthy and well-connected had the sacred duty to stand up and fight for their country.
So Stewart prepared for war. He logged more and more hours piloting his airplane. He hired a trainer to help him bulk up.
In March 1941 - nine months before Pearl Harbor - Stewart, who had just won an Oscar for "The Philadelphia Story," was sworn into the Army ... as a private.
After the Pearl Harbor attack, the Air Force wanted Stewart to sell war bonds, contending that he was too old (mid-30s) and too famous to risk flying combat missions.
But he pushed and wrangled and charmed until - finally - he was sent to England and put in command of a squadron of B-24 Liberator bombers.
Wish we had more folks like James Stewart and his adopted son Ronald McLean. This is a good sign though. Teen keeps American flag from hitting the ground.
Europe is screwed. Thousands of migrants saved this week as traffic on Liby-Italy route swells. In very relevant and related news, how ISIS is infiltrating the migrant route from Libya to Europe.
The Dead On Everest
Pretty deadly year so far on Mount Everest. The extraordinary cost of retireving dead bodies from Mount Everest.
President Obama is visiting Hiroshima. Why not Pearl Harbor?
See, this is why I hate "hate crime" legislation. One murder shouldn't be more special than any other. Just apply the highest punishment every time regardless of who is involved. It's not like the folks killing cops are going to now not do it because they're afraid of it being called a hate crime. 'Blue Lives Matter' bill makes attacks on cops a hate crime.
Heh. More evidence why we suffer through astronomical levels of dumbassery in this country today. Pranksters put a pair of glasses on the floor of a museum to trick patrons into thinking they are art.
I really, really like this guy. He's the guy that shot and killed the Ottawa terrorist in 2014. Ambassador Kevin Vickers, former House sergeant-at-arms, tackles protester in Dublin.
Well OK then. The men who live as dogs. I have just one question. Which bathroom do they use or can they just use any tree, sign post or fire hydrant?
Tonight's ONT brought to you by the other riding horse video:
Top image 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.
Close it up
Why Trump Won, and Why the Current Crop of Purported Leaders Must Be Swept Aside
For a long time I've been busting on Marco Rubio people, and the class -- Upper Middle Class College-Educated -- so enthused about him.*
I've said this before, but this class, in particular, is extremely bully-able. Their class itself is is the product of liberal social cues and mores. College being one of the main prerequisites of class entry (other prerequisites: That your parents are also college-educated), this class is particularly sensitive to threats to their social status by liberals.**
Any class whose credentials are monitored by a progressive/archliberal dominant cadre is going to be easily whipsawed into conformity with that progressive/archliberal cadre.
I'm sorry to say this, but most of the right's "leadership" -- media, think tank (academic), political -- is drawn from the upper middle/parents were college educated class.
It takes very little to pose a challenge to their class membership -- a questioning of whether or not they're firmly enough committed to liberal social values, to get them to back down and begin making apologies.
When you look at people like Paul Ryan, the whole point of their "conservative agenda" seems to be to accomplish every single Action Item on the liberal checklist, but through, allegedly, more conservative means (such as "market-based mechanisms" -- this is how Romney, obviously a High Avatar of this class, wound up passing the "conservative version of universal health care," RomneyCare, which ultimately gave us ObamaCare).
And this is why I keep saying, over and over, that Rubio People Are Silly. Marco Rubio never talked about any real conservative principle. He never attempted to upset any political applecarts or further any conservative ends.
He was always the conservagtive candidate you could show off to your Liberal Friends -- and your friends are your culture-makers and class-mores enforcers -- to prove you were "one of the good ones" and "not like those other unsophisticated, racist conservatives."
And that was it. That was what he brought to the table.
That was his selling point.
His big claim to political fame -- where he actually exerted himself to accomplish something -- was being the Salesman for the ultimate progressive agenda item, free and unopposed migration into America by whoever managed to get across the border.
And his job was to sell that as a "deeply conservative" proposition.
Obviously, Ted Cruz was not a good replacement for Rubio in this respect; Cruz was "one of the crazy ones," and thus marked his supporters as "one of the bad conservatives," one of the people who love Jesus and crazy shit like that.
And for a lot of us, this sort of candidate-most-acceptable-to-the-establishment's-liberal-pals model isn't cutting it any longer.
As I've grown older, I've found myself giving fewer and fewer fucks about what my social cohort might think about this or that. I am willing to make fewer and fewer accommodations to get along. I am willing to do less and less just to fit in with the liberal crowed, and keep on the "good conservative" list.
There are simply too many people in the commanding positions of conservative leadership who are very concerned about keeping on the Liberal Friend White List.
Trump won because when a Native American activist (posing as a journalist) declared that "Pocahantas" was "very offensive" as used in regard to Elizabeth Warren -- dishonestly, I might add, as everyone knows the term is used to deny she's an Indian, not to denigrate her as an Indian, and everyone knows this, and only a liar pretends otherwise -- Trump did not begin falling over himself to make apologies and keep the well-wishes of the increasingly unreasonable left-wing hegemony.
He just began making fun of the stupid silly bitch for being a stupid silly bitch.
People are fucking tired of walking around on eggshells and being made to apologize for every fucking goddamn thing in the world.
And what we increasingly want is a political leadership that tells the Grievance Mongers and Offense Farmers to shut the fuck up and get bent rather than explaining to them how a Conservative Version of Political Correctness Can Achieve All the Good Things That Liberal Political Correctness Can Achieve, But Using Market-Based Mechanisms.
It's time to stop fucking about it.
I'm tired of it, and I know millions of other people are tired of it too.
So I don't give a fuck anymore if some dishonest bitch dishonestly feigns offense over the term "Pocahantas."
It's time to start treating them as what they are -- dishonest liars trying to control you.
And it's time to start treating them as straight up internal enemies.
We tried it polite. We've been falling all ourselves for 30 years to try to convince the increasingly extremist left wing assholes that we're not all the foul things they call us.
It's impossible -- their jobs, their income, and their government subsidies depend on us being treated as second-class citizens and beasts for taxation.
It's about time we woke and realized they cannot be convinced, because they never really believed their bullshit anyway, it was always for the purposes of exacting rents out of people and making them knuckle under.
And I'm afraid our current leadership just can never get that -- they find themselves too afraid to go against their class, they fear too much the idea of being outcasts from their castes.
Trump is immune to such Mean Girl persuasions not because he's an especially courageous or wise man, but because he's a narcissist and a bully himself. Not because he's a good man, but because he's a fairly bad one.
But it doesn't matter how he came to be immune to their power -- all that matters is that he is immune to it.
And the people that want to continue to fall all over themselves to appease the unappeasable liberals are no longer needed in the positions of high responsibility in the movement.
Our political leaders -- whether in actual political positions or in communications and ideation -- are here to defend us and keep the increasingly unreasonable and aggressive left off our fucking backs, not to curry favor with these nasty animals, and not to keep in their good graces.
And if they seem more concerned with the latter than the former-- they they have to go.
One cannot act freely until one can think freely first.
They should spend every waking moment fighting the hegemony of Social Justice Warrior thought, not trying to explain how conservatism can accomplish many of the same goals by alternate means.
I imagine in a short period of time we will see a partial political realignment as most of this class I'm talking about -- which is naturally liberal -- self re-sorts itself into the liberal camp, where they really ought to have been all along.
Long Story Short: In social struggles -- not military ones, not political ones -- a concession may be demanded or a privilege asserted, but it cannot actually come into being until/unless the target concedes it.
We have been doing far too much concession in the social struggle. We have granted them too many indulgences, in the obviously-lunatic belief that if we just grant them this next indulgence, they'll be appeased and won't come back in two days demanding another one.
It's time to stop being reasonable. It's time to start being every bit as unreasonable as they are.
* Actually let me take that back and say maybe I'm talking about a much smaller caste -- the politico-media class. You have to concede a lot of the Left's agenda items to remain clubbable in the media.
** By the way, as I've said before, I completely get this, and have felt that pressure myself. I'm not actually saying this makes you a bad person.
However, anyone who is compromised by the left -- including especially by its assertion of authority as arbiter of what is socially acceptable -- is not a very good fighter against the left.
It does occur to me that my complaint here must be overstated -- after all, I don't just want scumbags representing the movement just because scumbags have accepted they are scumbags and thus feel little social pressure to conform to the social mores (which are, largely, created and propagated by the left).
I suppose the optimal sort of person for this job is -- was -- Andrew Breitbart. A perfectly reputable person, who was perfectly willing to act "disreputably" in the service of rejecting social pressure of the left.
I don't know if we'll be able to find many respectable people who can act disrespectfully as the situation demands. Someone's respectable/disrespectable tendencies are pretty much inborn and cannot simply be switched on or off.
But I sure would like to see a whole lot less respectable behavior in the face of increasingly outrageous demands.
Sometimes -- and more so now that at most points in history -- the correct response is simply "Go to hell" or "fuck yourself."
This reminds me of a great essay I read on GamerGate, long ago. Can't remember who wrote it. The central thesis, however, was that the core of GamerGate were very socially marginalized people, who could not be whipsawed into compliance by social pressure because they had been socially excluded already and you cannot threaten to take away from someone that which you had previously denied them. You can't threaten to reduce someone's social status if you've already degraded him in social status.
Thus, when the Social Justice Wariors went after the more socially-excluded gamers, they found stiff resistance by an enemy they could not understand -- people who didn't give a shit about the SJW's heaping of social scorn on them because they were already used to it.
That drove the SJWs crazy.
So I don't really know the answer here, but I'm pretty sure it begins with caring an awful lot less what any prog troll might happen to think.
I would also note that stripping the "Cool Kids" of power beings with denying they're the cool kids in the first place.
Filler/Open Thread [CBD]
This is pretty amusing...
Intending to exploit that contagious reaction last month, Scott put together a social experiment as part of a video series he was doing for Playboy. Printing up a number of absurdly fake book covers -- from "Ass Eating Made Simple" to "Mein Kampf: For Kids!" -- he hit New York's subway system to fake read them. Almost immediately, one of them was photographed by a redditor and went viral (racking up over 1 million views there). The video that followed did more than 4.6 million views and was covered by multiple outlets including The Guardian, Complex, and The Huffington Post. And this week, he followed up with part two of the video.
And Open Thread until Ace shows up with a 12,000 word review of...something.
Obligatory If-Hillary-Is-Indicted-Yadda-Yadda-Yadda Post
Whatever. This isn't going to happen. We don't live in a republic; we live in an oligarchy controlled by powerful political groups, and Hillary controls one faction.
Forget superdelegates; we live in a country with supercitizens, and supercitizenship.
But whatever, I don't really feel like posting so here's an easy link.
I guess if it's possible for Trump to be the nominee, it's possible for Hillary Clinton not to be.
But I seriously doubt it.
Why I Hate The Media: A Continuing Series
Think about the image that drives left-wingers crazy with anger.
Maybe you don't know what the image is. I do.
What drives left-wingers angry is the thought of a well-to-do suburban family. They've got some money. They have three cars. They have an intact marriage and children doing well in good schools.
And they're kinda smug. They pose in a picture and smile in a way that makes leftists angry. They're not aware of all the suffering beyond the perimeters of their perfect lawns.
Also, they think they have wisdom to share with the world. But, in the words of Barack Obama: You didn't build that. Even though this family is obviously doing something right, they have nothing to share with the world, because they haven't .struggled. They're not marginalized.
They have it easy and soft and yet would lecture a poor person about how to become wealthier.
Okay, so that's the image that makes all left-wingers left-wingers.
Now here's the thing:
What the fuck are Katie "Old Dracula" Couric and Brian Williams?
These are the richest people any ordinary citizen will "know." Oh, there are wealthier people, don't get me wrong -- but they're people like Warren Buffet or Peter Thiel.
These smug left-wing c*nts are rich and actually known to people. Why?
Because they're on fucking TV.
So we have these rich smug people, smiling smugly who have the World All Figured Out, ready to drop their Truth Bombs and Life Wisdom on at the slightest non-prompting.
Katie Couric has so much wisdom to share with you about Responsible Gun Laws.
Brian Williams has so much deep thinking to share with you about the shame we should feel at using the nuclear bomb on Japan.
And what, precisely, gives these people moral authority to lecture the rest of us?
Katie Couric has written nothing of consequence. She is vapid morning chat show host who probably had a memoir ghost-written for her and "wrote" some stupid book about Famous Women in History or something -- a pure commercial play probably pitched to her by a book company.
Like Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation was -- hey, Tom, we got an idea. How about we use your brand to sell a book that people will buy their dads on Father's Day?
Brian Williams is in a different category, of course. He's written many books -- The Great Gatsby. Gone with the Wind. Judgement at Nuremburg. A little book called The Bible, a fictionalized memoir of his life.
But still -- what right has he to lecture?
So these people with their smug entirely unearned authority, their utter lack of any accomplishment apart from reading from scripts others have written for them and having skin that successfully sticks to pancake make-up, are here to lecture us.
Rich people who think they can and should lecture their inferiors.
Rich people that just happen to be the rich people you know the best because they have Television Programs (which a Peter Thiel does not -- but I bet makeup would stick to his face, too, and I bet he too could read a script written for him by someone else).
And so we have this endless parade of smug, unaccomplished people who have literally achieved nothing -- this isn't a fake "You didn't build that," this is a real You didn't build that -- lecturing us, because they have some money, have nice houses, and can wear make-up reasonably well.
If we're going to listen to the rich practitioners of any job, shouldn't we be listening to physics professors?
Or philosophers? Political theorists? Actual thinkers?
How about actual doers? Maybe a soldier who's actually struggled with more thank keeping down forehead glare under studio lights?
Or doctors? Or, even, actual writers? Not mere newsreaders, but people who write and think long-form?
No, of course not. Such people can be called in occasionally to lend their expertise on specific subject matters, but well-rounded intellects like Katie Couric, Brian Williams, and Tom Brokaw are here to Share Their Truth about the world on all nontechnical subjects -- you know, moral subjects.
Like priests in the cult of the unblinking billion eyes of the television god.
Who the fuck do these ghastly grinning pancake-makeup smeared brain-damaged communications majors think they fucking are?
A society that worships carnival-barkers appearing on idiot boxes is a society that is already brain-dead and which should be euthanized out of simple mercy.
Fuck them all to hell.
Sailor Who Took Pictures of His Sub's Engine Room On His Unsecure Cell Phone Could Get 10 Years in Prison for Negligently Handling Secret Information
And you know, this being a democracy where we each are equally under the rule of law, Hillary Clinton naturally faces the same risks.
Um: Apparently Hillary connected her server to a printer.
Which made it even easier to hack.
Ronald Guilmette, a private security researcher in California who prompted me to look up this information, said printing things to an Internet-based printer set up this way might have made the printer data vulnerable to eavesdropping.
"Whoever set up their home network like that was a security idiot, and it’s a dumb thing to do," Guilmette said. "Not just because any idiot on the Internet can just waste all your toner. Some of these printers have simple vulnerabilities that leave them easy to be hacked into."
More importantly, any emails or other documents that the Clintons decided to print would be sent out over the Internet -- however briefly - -before going back to the printer. And that data may have been sniffable by other customers of the same ISP, Guilmette said.
AoSHQ Podcast #143: Ben Shapiro
Ace and The Daily Wire's Ben Shapiro tread all the ground between #NeverTrump and #HillaryYouGoGirl.
Browse (and even search!) the archives
Follow on Twitter
Don't forget to submit your Ask the Blog questions for next week's episode.
Open thread in the comments.
Marco Rubio Babies Stunned to Discover He's a Professional Politician. Sad!
So Marco Rubio is making a difficult, but adult, decision:
Hope media will start to report truth, many of the violent protestors @realDonaldTrump events are "professional protestors".Not grassroots.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 26, 2016
Whole industry of professional disrupters who go 2 events 2 disrupt them knowing cameras will gravitate to them.These protests not organic.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 26, 2016
If you can live with a Clinton presidency for 4 years thats your right. I cant and will do what I can to prevent it.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 27, 2016
In Florida only 2 legitimate candidates on ballot in Nov. I wont vote for Clinton & I after years of asking people to vote I wont abstain.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 27, 2016
Now his fanclub of Adult Babies and semi-right-wing (but kinda liberal) Social Justice Warriors are all pissing hot pathetic tears from their eyedicks.
If I were this pathetic, I'd hide it, not exult further in it.
But as I've said all along: Rubio People Are Silly.
This is a nothingburger. I can't believe this, but I gotta defend Rubio: He's living in the real world, not the stupid, craven Twitter Bubble that semi-right-wing adult babies have locked themselves into, where they think all their Feelings Are Real.
This is the most pathetic thing I've ever seen.
Frivolous people are gotta frivol.
You know, it's very easy to Remain True to Your Twitter-Announced Principles when you have zero responsibility and zero obligation and zero impact on the actual world.
People should stop congratulating themselves so much for being irrelevant and not having any actual effect on the universe beyond Twitter.
This Adds Evidence... to my thesis that Marco Rubio support was never really about this policy or that one. It was about Rubio being a class avatar for a particular cohort, upper middle class college-educated types.
Rubio wasn't primarily a candidate of any particular policy slate; he was simply, like Obama, a vessel into which people hoped would pour out validation for themselves and their particular (provincial) cultural cohort.
He was just the Sarah Palin of the upper middle class set. By exulting in his alleged integrity and singular moral beauty, they necessarily -- passive-aggressively -- exult in their own pristine moral beauty.
And now he's taken that from them -- they can no longer get high on their own supply of moral beauty. Or at least, they can't get high by whiffing off Marco Rubio. I guess to continue insisting upon themselves now requires them to denounce Rubio.
Ego: It's a hell of a drug.
Self-claimed "thinkers" should think more and believe less. This really shouldn't be a contest of how fervently some maniac believes in silly things.
Mid-Morning Open Thread [CBD]
This is a portion of a larger piece called "Sistine Madonna," which you can find if you click the image.
There is something impish and sweet and mischievous about these angels. They are plotting something, I am sure of it.
Oh...and Raphael rocks. He's one of those artists who clearly had a conduit to God. Mozart, Michelangelo, El Greco, and some others.
TGIF Morning News Dump (5/27/16) [Mis. Hum.]
- V.A. continues to demonstrate it's incompetence
- Secret Service slap on the wrist. Good work if you can get it.
- Per Associated Press Trump has the delegates needed
- 2 Navy fighter jets crash into the Atlantic Ocean
- Buttercups, we need oil, suck it up.
- The balls on this woman
- Did a bank Feel the Bern?
- Human error at DHS? BS
- DePaul University continues to be an embarrassment
- Super bug found in USA
- Possible voter fraud in Austria
- NYC going soft
- Obama's dogs won't be happy
- Why are there congressional hearings?
- France is lovin' McDonald's profits
- Baylor U drama continues
- Trump vows to stop payments to UN Global Warming programs
- France, a member of the G7 LMAO
- Genius Award
- Feel good story of the day
Have a safe & happy Memorial Day Weekend!
Thursday, May 26 Overnight Thread - Dregs of the Dregs Edition [Weirddave]
This is it. The last day of your time in the wilderness. On Sunday, Maet will be back and your regularly scheduled ONTing will resume, but for tonight, one last night, y'all are stuck with me again. So consider this the dregs of the dregs* edition of the ONT.
The World's Most Handsome Horse
It's Fabio! In horse form! Yes, they use the Fabio comparison in the article linked as well, but it was my first thought on seeing the picture. That is one beautiful animal.
Slow Motion Video
Technical progress is a wonderful thing. Modern video techniques allow us to not just freeze a moment in time for later review, but to actually slow it down to better observe what occurred. Sports broadcasters have been using this technology for years to allow fans to better appreciate the nuances of the game, but now with proliferation of super high speed cameras, entire new worlds of wonder are accessible to the average human in a way they never have been before.
So you want to be a musician, but your parents are adamant that you instead take up a more traditional trade, one more likely to lead to financial security, like woodworking. What should one do when faced with such a dilemma?
I've long thought that when I get rich, I'd like to fund a fleet of buses, staffed with nurses and equipped with 3-D ultrasound machines. I would have these buses park close to abortion abattoirs, where they would simply offer free ultrasounds to any woman that wanted them. That's it. No pressure, no preaching, no anything else. Just free 3-D ultrasounds to any and all that wanted them. I did a little research and it looked like the equipment cost would be upwards of $100K, plus staff and of course security. Well, I'm not rich yet, but it's a hell of an idea for a non-profit.
But The Water Was Only Chest High to the Ducks!
Hard to read, but this man is definitely a better man than I. I loved this part, however:
What was your initial experience of America when you first arrived in 1947?
Well, when I was arrived, I was very, very overcome. I was impressed. It was just overwhelming to me.
First, I arrived in New York harbor, and of course, the skyscrapers, the lifestyle… I made a sort of promise to myself then: This is going to be the first day of your life. From this day on, there is only ONE place to go: SUCCEED. I will build a family, I will do whatever I can in my power to succeed in this United States of America.
And this was my first impression. I liked what I seen. I met people who I thought were industrious, with businesses and families and love…there’s respect. I loved what I saw in America. I became American in my heart immediately. So I adopted America, and I am glad America adopted me, and allowed me to be part of it, and become a citizen.
I Can't Imagine Why
Wow, is that how people see me? I have these other aspects of my life that no one knows about. I’m an artist. I’m a musician. Nobody knows that. They just see me as the guy who tried to kill Reagan.
It's like the guy is determined to be a living embodiment of the punchline to and old joke - “But you fuck one lousy goat....”.
In between MySpace and Facebook, there was LiveJournal. It's still big outside the US, I understand, but eight years ago, just after the election of Obama, Sigma-one-seven started a journal. It purported to be written by a member of the American Resistance, writing from the year 2033, using some type of temporal technology her cell had captured from a government laboratory. The journal was kept up for about 4 years, and it was an amazingly good read about the trials and tribulations she was going through with her cell, fighting off government agencies, helping normal citizens (for example, people in rural Virginia were freezing to death due to government prohibition against burning wood-to combat “global warming", of course-during raging blizzards that were the norm), and trying to keep the ideals of America alive. It was well written, engaging in a serial style, and the story had everything: People put in camps, genetically engineered wolves, states seceding, and lots of “history” (to her, speculative future to us. You'll never guess who the president is, for example.). It'll take a while to read it all, but it is very enjoyable. The story starts here. At the time it seemed far fetched.
When Big was about 14, I got up one morning and discovered that he had left 2 tabs open on my computer. One was his Facebook page, the other porn. I immediately updated his FB-”Big thinks his father doesn't know that he gets up early to whack off to online porn”-and changed his password. I didn't let him erase it for two days. These aren't quite as cruel, but then again, none of these kids thought they were smarter than me either.
Hollywood's Economic Ignorance
Ever wonder why so many people believe so many things that just aren't so? Well, a large part of it is due to the fact that the “reality” painted by mass media is anything but. Here's an interesting four part series examining just how wrong much of the “economics” presented as common knowledge by Hollywood really is.
Thief With a Conscience
According to the sheriff, at least one of the thieves went back to the marina on Monday night and returned all of the stolen items, undamaged, along with an apology note.
The note read, "I am very sorry. I do not know why I did it in the first place. It's way out of my character. That is not what kind of person I am. I do not even remember doing it. I am so sorry. I know this does not make it ok, but it is your stuff, not mine. Again, I am very sorry."
Thief Without a Conscience
This guy signed up for Apple Music, and the software scanned his computer, downloaded 122GB of music, and then erased it off of his hard drive. It's part of a growing movement where corporations don't let you own any content, you simply pay them to access what you "buy". If they don't want something out there, then poof! Down the memory hole. Something similar happened to me. I have about 1000 mp3s that I've accumulated over the years. I loaded them all onto my iPhone6, and I used to put it on random and listen while I was driving. I say used to, because the last time I updated my iPhone, Apple erased them all without my permission. The guy at the phone store confirmed that yes, Apple does that. I've been very happy with my iPhone, but this may be enough to drive me back to Android next time I upgrade. Scary, scary stuff.
A Dog's Life
That's a face that is saying “Please, shoot me now” if I've ever seen one.
Welcome to 2016, where we condemn the normal and celebrate the unhinged.
Tonight's ONT brought to you by racks of....er, ribs. Yes, that's it, ribs.
*Yes, dregs. You should see the stuff I left out, like a video of porn stars sharing the most extreme scenes they've done, a "practical joke" that involved putting capsaicin on a woman's Tampax and Yoko. Yes, there's always Yoko, so mind your manners.
Close it up
"Vulgar, Incoherent Ramblings" Tom Cotton Destroys Harry Reid [CBD]
Ace asked me to post the video below the fold. It is Tom Cotton, a rising star, being honest about Harry Reid.
I want this man to be president.
[Not Ace. Tom Cotton. Although Ace might be fun]
Fire Katie Couric
Yeah it won't happen. But we should demand the scalps anyway.
Meahwhile, the media have taken this opportunity to once again find other stories to cover besides media misbehavior.
It's almost as if they're in some kind of guild that looks out for each other.
Even Andrea Mitchell Calls Bullshit on Hillary Surrogate's Lies on the IG Report on Her Illegal Emails
Definitely worth watching. Watch it at the link or below.
John Schindler says it's over for this monster.
A shoe has dropped for Team Clinton--a very big shoe--and there will be no going back now.
As secretary of state, Ms. Clinton attempted a novel experiment of trying to avoid using any information systems that create records that can be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. The IG report includes painful details, including how she flatly refused to use state.gov email for anything, ever, citing privacy grounds. State IT was concerned because Ms. Clinton's work emails--all being sent via her clintonmail.com address--were winding up in the spam folders of State officials. Important information was not getting where it needed to go. She needed to use official email for official business. Except she refused.
What was so important, so sensitive that Hillary had to dodge FOIA altogether?
The FBI is investigating this case as political corruption--not just for mishandling of classified information.
Any foreign intelligence service worth its salt would have had no trouble accessing Ms. Clinton’s emails, particularly when they were unencrypted, as this column has explained in detail. Yet Hillary was more worried about the American public finding out about what she was up to via FOIA than what foreign spy services and hackers might see in her email.
So the GOP Gave In to Obama on Transgendered Bathrooms
On podcast. Be back later.
No I'm Not on the Podcast: I had the time completely wrong. Like, embarrassingly so.
Unrelated: Et tu, Mario?
Quick Explanation and Apology
Some people, like JackStraw and Chique d'Afrique, are objecting to my post yesterday saying #NeverTrumpers, now having no other vehicle but Hillary F'n' Clinton, should go "radio silent."
I got myself into trouble here by disguising who I was talking about. No matter how many times I do this -- attempting to obscure the people I mean -- and no matter how many times it winds up burning me because people then assume I meant them, I keep doing it.
So, let me be clear:
I was prompted to write that post after reading Charles Murray's Hate-Trump piece at NRO, seeing Ben Shapiro's here's-how-a-Trump-presidency-could-go-wrong piece, and dozen other #NeverTrump pieces.
Then I saw Brad Thor praising Andrew Sullivan for noting that Trump -- not Obama, but Trump -- was the vehicle by which fascism would come to America, and Bill Kristol yet again pushing some Phantom Candidate who could be anyone but who sure looks a lot like Hillary Clinton.
Then I clicked over to Red State, a site I never read, just to see if they were continuing their wall-to-wall #NeverTrump coverage, and they were.
I thought I should write about this. It wasn't just one piece -- I could give a shit about one piece. It was the welter of so many pieces making the same claims.
And apparently the 100% unanimity among the self-proclaimed Thought Leaders of the right, without even noting that Trump has the support of something like 87% of Republicans.
How can such a disconnect not even be noted? Doesn't anyone feel like they should have a guest poster to make the opposite case just to do some minimal due diligence in reflecting the 87% of the party which apparently supports Trump?
I find this kind of unanimity of official opinion repulsive, as I always do. It always makes me angry. I don't know why. I just always has.
But I certainly didn't mean that ordinary citizens should stop expressing themselves.
However, it does seem strange to me that people all over the right are not only continuing to demolish the candidate, even though we no longer have any other avenue by which to challenge a third Obama term, but that this is now apparently unchallengeable Received Wisdom among major right-side outlets and among major right-side thinkers.
Look, I don't like Trump. Most of you know that.
But you know why I'm even political at all? Because of Bill Clinton and his repulsive Lady Macbeth wife.
So the idea that it would now be the bog-standard, vanilla, uncontroversial, and indeed nigh-unopposed position among so many organs of the right that we're now kind of in the electing-Hillary-Clinton business seemed to me to be a rather bad one, and worthy of challenge.
No, I didn't mean you should stop debating this issue yourself.
But I sure would like to see some diversity of thought on the question from the communcative organs of the right. It seems to me that it should not be a settled question -- unworthy of even a moment's consideration -- that we are now all #WithHer.
So yeah, I was suggesting, maybe, a time-out among these outlets, and maybe a choice of topics -- like legislation or the GOP's sell-out on transgendered bathrooms made in the dead of night last night -- rather than simply destroying the only person actually running against Hillary Clinton.
It occurs to me that the frenetic Stop Trump movement began too late -- and now is ending too late as well.
In 2002, after the Republicans won (unexpectedly) more seats in Congress, Bill Kristol observed of the Democrats and their increasingly extremist rhetoric: "They're driving themselves crazy."
By which he meant that, in response to an unexpected set-back, the party was going bananas in emotional spiralling.
Let me suggest that we take a few seconds and a few deep breaths to consider if something like that is going on in our party at the current moment.
We're a little bit angry now. But the thing is, the more you repeat something, the more invested you become in it -- ego is now on the line. You said it, so it's reality!
I can't tell you how many people answered my question "Are we now all on Team Hillary?" with the ego-based reasoning, "Yeah, well maybe when we said #NeverTrump we really meant it."
Oh? You said it, ergo it is binding forever? Well that's a terrifically reasoned position that certainly has nothing to do with ego, emotion, wounded pride, and an affront to one's tribal privileges.
I understand Trump is a brutish know-nothing. But perhaps we could all do well to take a pause and a breath to get some perspective -- are we really now on Team Hillary?
By the way, my special podcast guest today is Ben Shapiro. I'll be discussing this issue with him in an hour.
At the Risk of Poking the Hornet's Nest... I would also call for what I've been calling for for two years: A little introspection from people who have lost the public's trust as to why they lost the public's trust, instead of retreating to the comfortable but counterproductive Obama-like position of "We're too good for them" or "Our pearls are lost before such swine" and "We only failed in our messaging in explaining how wonderful we are."
There's a reason the "conservative movement," such as it is, failed.
And it did fail. Let me propose, to the stunned silence of the crowd, that maybe conservatism is not at the moment an electorally-winning set of policies, and needs some fine-tuning and even some general rethinking.
It would be a useful inquiry to discover why that occurred, instead of just saying, as liberals do, "Republicans are stupid, racist, and afraid of The Other."
Are You Man Enough to Vote for Hillary?
Based on my one day excursion back into the Twitter cesspool yesterday, the answer from many "conservatives" is "Hell, yes!"
More from instapundit.
Peter Thiel Secretly Funded Hulk Hogan Lawsuit As Vengeance for Gawker Outing Him as Gay
A billionaire Silicon Valley entrepreneur was outed as being gay by a media organization. His friends suffered at the hands of the same gossip site. Nearly a decade later, the entrepreneur secretly financed a lawsuit to try to put the media company out of business.
That is the back story to a legal case that had already grabbed headlines: The wrestler Hulk Hogan sued Gawker Media for invasion of privacy after it published a sex tape, and a Florida jury recently awarded the wrestler, whose real name is Terry Gene Bollea, $140 million.
What the jury -- and the public - -did not know was that Mr. Bollea had a secret benefactor paying about $10 million for the lawsuit: Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and one of the earliest investors in Facebook.
A 2007 article published by Gawker’s Valleywag blog was headlined, "Peter Thiel is totally gay, people." That and a series of articles about his friends and others that he said "ruined people’s lives for no reason" drove Mr. Thiel to mount a clandestine war against Gawker. He funded a team of lawyers to find and help "victims" of the company's coverage mount cases against Gawker.
"It's less about revenge and more about specific deterrence," he said on Wednesday in his first interview since his identity was revealed. "I saw Gawker pioneer a unique and incredibly damaging way of getting attention by bullying people even when there was no connection with the public interest."
"It's not like it is some sort of speaking truth to power or something going on here. The way I’ve thought about this is that Gawker has been a singularly terrible bully. In a way, if I didn’t think Gawker was unique, I wouldn’t have done any of this. If the entire media was more or less like this, this would be like trying to boil the ocean." Mr. Thiel said he had not targeted any other media companies.
Apparently there were rumors about this previously, which were dismissed as just conspiracy theories. But the rumors began when Hulk Hogan's legal team specifically did not mount an allegation for which Gawker's insurance company would be compelled to cover their losses -- that is, the lawsuit was designed not to suck money out of an insurance company, but specifically to deliver a lethal blow to Gawker.
Well, had I known that, I would have bought into the conspiracy theory too. That is a very strange decision.
Mid-Morning Open Thread [CBD]
Another Hudson River School artist I have never heard of....
Thursday Morning News Dump (5/26/16) [Mis. Hum.]
- " I think it is fair to say that I believe I can bring the country together." Yup, sure looks like it. ****
- Katie Couric, graduate of The Dan Rather School of Broadcasting. Sham gun documentary.
- State Department IG Hillary violated the rules
- Large recall of Ford trucks due to brake problem.
- It's only money, they will print more
- DOJ seeks death penalty vs Dylann Roof
- That didn't take long, Taliban has a new leader
- Coal executive gunned down in W. V.
- Baylor U says Ken Starr not fired
- Guccifer, the hacker, has his day in court
- What the Feds should be doing, protecting & serving citizens
- What the Feds are doing, protecting feelings
- Labor victory for Scott Walker in WI
- Russia claims to have killed 1/3 of all ISIS forces
- The religion of no fun
- Service animal for the transgendered?
- Remember when you wanted to be on your own?
- Target boycott has impacted store
- Sports Authority's liquidation sale has started>
- Hangover cure via ice cream
- LA 1st to pass law making attacks on police a hate crime
- Genius Award
- Feel good story of the day
****Senator Barack Obama quote 2008
Overnight Open Thread 05/25/16 - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]
To kick it off, for those who don't typically enjoy the pleasure of watching Ace on one of his all-too-few twitter rants, he's at it again. Check his TL here.
It's a continuation of his #NeverTrump post from earlier tonight.
So, who didn't see this coming?
What an a-hole. Empire of Jeff cuts to the chase, as usual.
In case you weren't watching 60 Minutes this past Sunday and, let's face it, you probably weren't, here's a more-than-annoying story re a quite flawed Army recruitment program. The gist of it: The Army paid out $10M in recruitment bonuses then spent $28M (thus far) investigating more than 100k soldiers who they accused of filing false claims.
More than 100k have since been cleared of any wrong doing.
I have a very hard time getting pissed off at soldiers for taking advantage of a program that was so poorly managed and I wonder what you current and former members of the Armed Services think of it.
This is such a cool story but I admit that, for just a second, I felt icky about it. That quickly passed.
The video is terrific, but I like how they parlayed it into a business lesson as well.
Adele has a new song out and I was hooked less than halfway through my first listen.
Speaking of Adele, this is quite entertaining.
It astounds me that some people can just part their lips and that kind of a sound emanates from their pie hole.
Yeah, so that chatter from Elijah Wood has Corey Feldman talking again and this time he's threatening to start naming names.
I hope to see the abusers, ahem, alleged abusers, strung up in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater.
Tonight's ONT brought to you by "Hold my beer":
Close it up
More from the IG Report: Staffers Who Raised Questions About Hillary's Illegal Email System Were Told To Never Bring It Up Again
Sorry, I just can't permit this foul creature to be president.
I underestand some feel differently.
This woman has been breaking the law forever. She's a viciously paranoid drunk who keeps an enemies list and has a thirst for avenging slights against her.
The only reason I can see to support her -- and believe me, this occurred to me -- is if you believe Trump is doomed anyway and you wish to make yourself a small target in Hillary's ever-growing list of targets for vengeance.
A completely rational and practical reason.
But that's it.
This bullshit that she'd somehow be more respecting of the law or Constitution than Trump?
Don't delude yourselves.
Hillary Clinton Failed to Report Multiple Hacking Attempts -- Illegally, Of Course
Plus, below, the State Department can't say the hacks weren't successful.
But let's vote for her because #America.
Is It Getting To Be About the Time When the #NeverTrumpers Should Go Radio Silent?
Previously there were possible real-world scenarios which justified the continuing anti-Trump position:
1. A dark horse white knight makes an 11th hour entry and runs third party.
This is now virtually impossible, and soon will be entirely impossible. By the way, the application to get on the ballot in Texas has already passed -- so, um, good luck with this one.
2. Trump would prove so toxic in the polls that it would cause the party to do whatever was necessary to install a new candidate, even at the expense of blowing up the party to do it.
I thought this one was more likely than the previous one. I had hopes for this one. I predicted that if Trump continued doing disastrously at the polls, the party would in fact react like a hive of bees killing and ejecting an intruder insect.
However, Trump is not doing too badly in polls lately. Now, sure, the usual caveats apply: Hillary hasn't gotten her own base-unification boost, it's early yet, Trump's problems are obvious except for all the problems we don't know about yet, etc.
However, the hopes that Trump would fare so poorly at the polls that it could be used to show the base We had no choice but to do this appear to be diminished.
Now, I don't like Trump. Should his numbers go down further -- or should some horrifying skeleton emerge from his gilded closets -- I'd support the Warrior Bees Attack and Eject the Interloper scenario.
But it appears unlikely at the moment. Not impossible, but unlikely.
So I have to ask: At this point, what is the point of the #NeverTrump impulse?
Do you guys actually want Hillary Clinton in office, as Ben Howe, possibly just being baiting and trollish, said a few weeks back?
You want more lies? More Benghazis? More jailed video makers?
More Transgendered Bathrooms and Co-Ed showers? More Title IX redefinitions? More Deal Colleague letters? More Social Rape Justice hoax prosecutions?
More executive power grabs? More lying to federal judges by Administration officials? More contempt by Attorneys General and Directors of the IRS?
More illegal orders to release terrorists and give Iran the bomb?
More millions of illegals amnestied?
Remember, in the Jose Ramos debate, Hillary Clinton vowed that not a single illegal alien would be deported, ever, except for those proven to have committed murder.
More foreign policy ineptitude? More rolling into Libya without a plan and announcing like a 15 year old boyman that "We came, we saw, we kicked some ass"?
More Lois Lerners? More weaponization of government?
More hidden secret email accounts? More giving national security secrets to the Chinese to keep Hillary's "yoga routines" out of the hands of the taxpayers?
More illegal executive actions to ban guns? The woman has vowed to overturn Heller, you know.
More liberal Justices? When I flipped to hardcore anti-Trump myself a few months back, it was due to Trump's horrifying poll numbers and the grim probability he'd lose and we'd get 3-5 liberal justices. Enough to seal the Republic's fate.
Well, flash forward two months, and Trump isn't doing too badly in the polls. He might even have a decent shot at winning. At yet the "Principled Conservatives" who ought to be the most concerned about gifting the Supreme Court to the liberals for the next sixty years are blowing the subject off like it's just a big lark.
Please explain to me the continuing hardcore commitment to #NeverTrump.
1. Disliking the fact that the Upper Middle College Educated Class controlled the party for decades, and made a sport of ignoring the Working Class, but now the Working Class has reasserted itself and taken over and the members of the displaced Upper Middle College Educated Class just can't stand not being in a poll position any longer?
2. Showing off to one's liberal comrades that one isn't One Of That Kind of Conservative? That is, Virtue Signalling?
3. Attempting to save one's professional reputation? I get this one myself -- someone asked me why I was so anti-Trump, and I said the man was so vulgar, stupid, and crass that he made it necessary to oppose him simply to preserve one's professional standing.
So I get that idea. I get that idea an awful lot.
But we happen to be talking about the Republic at this point.
One of two people will be president in January -- Hillary Rodham Clinton, a sociopath who was a corrupt politician even before she entered politics (remember Whitewater? Her $100,000 cattles future trading) or Donald Trump.
What is the fear, here? That Donald Trump might be nearly as bad as Hillary Clinton certainly will be?
Name one issue on which Hillary Clinton is superior to Trump. The most I ever here is "We don't know what Trump will do, he could be just as bad as Hillary."
Oh? He could be that bad?
Look, Drew asked a while ago: What makes obviously liberal-cultural-values Republicans actually Republicans, apart from habit?
Maybe it's time for the great re-sorting to begin. It's time for actual Democrats, who are most comfortable with Democrats, and feel the most affinity for Democrats, to make their party allegiance official and simply declare for Hillary Clinton and join the Democratic Party.
Because I cannot see any "conservative" continuing to say "Oh yeah, I want to expand Dear Colleague directives to college and put more men in kangaroo court trials for hoax rapes just to show those Trump people how little I think of their ilk."
You don't have to get on Team Trump, and you don't have to love him. Trump did not suddenly become well-informed or virtuous simply because he won the nomination.
However, at the moment, he is the only plausible tool by which we can prevent President Hillary Clinton, and if that isn't enough to at least get you to bite your tongue or find some other interest (politics isn't especially interesting, you know; there are a thousand fields more interesting and rewarding), then you're not merely #NeverTrump, you're closer to #NeverReallyAConservative.
Believe me, if Trump tanks in the polls, or if some really terrible info comes out about him (which I think is fairly likely), I'll be the first guy explaining to the Trumpheads why we must pull the bathtub drain on Trump to save the Republic.
But we're not at that moment.
And yet all around me I see people who are far too over-proud of their Upper Middle Class Background willing to elect Hillary Clinton just to prove they graduated (or at least attended) college.
Even on a day when the IG reveals that Hillary Clinton is a criminal, the Never Trumpers continue to Never Trump.
They're living in a bubble world made of their own spite and ego.
Reality is what it is. It's not always pretty and it's never ideal.
But the choice is between Hillary Clinton -- a fucking psychopathic monster, liar, and caudilla-in-waiting -- and Donald Trump, a narcissistic buffoon.
Just put you ego to the side and remember this election isn't about your ego, it's about America and our shared future.
IG Report Damns Hillary Clinton and Her Corrupt Staff
* Her private email account and server broke the rules, and those rules were promulgated to give specifics to the law. As Rush Limbaugh was just saying, this is a piecemeal way of getting at "she broke the law."
* She compromised national security recklessly. Her emails document two "attacks" on her unsecure server.
* Of her 26 aides, only five answered the IG's questionnaire. Among the criminals refusing to answer questions (who else but criminals tell the cops to go hang?) are Jake Sullivan, Cheryl Mills, Human "Muslim Brotherhood" Abedin, and of course Hillary Clinton.
* She said she turned over all work related emails and merely destroyed her "yoga routines." She lied. The IG found work emails she did not turn over -- these emails found by other means (such as searching other people's emails).
Ergo, Hillary did not turn over her emails as the law requires, nor did she maintain them, as the law requires. Instead, she destroyed official government records -- illegally.
Her response? It's a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, of course:
Hillary Clinton once talked about a vast right-wing conspiracy to sink her. Today's report proves again she is her own worst enemy.— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) May 25, 2016
400 Puffed-Up, Egotistical Blow-Hard Writers Think They Have Influence [CBD]
A group of more than 400 writers, including big names such as Stephen King, David Eggers, Amy Tan, Junot Diaz and Cheryl Strayed, released an online petition on Tuesday to express their opposition to Mr. Trump’s candidacy on the grounds that he is appealing to the darkest elements in American society.
I have read a few of the writers who have signed this petition, and I am not particularly impressed, although Stephen King's early stuff is excellent. But the quality of their writing is secondary to the fact that their rejection of Donald Trump will, if anything, endear Trump to his base. How many Americans really give a rat's ass what a few big writers and hundreds of anonymous hacks think about a candidate for president?
Hell, I am no Trump fan, but anyone who Amy Tan and Stephen King don't like is going to get an appreciative look from me. And David Eggers is just an asshole.
But what is really marvelous is that their criticism of Trump can be applied essentially word for word to Barack Obama. Just take a look at it (below the fold). I defy anyone to find a single criticism in their blather that we have not pilloried Obama for.
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
Because, as writers, we are particularly aware of the many ways that language can be abused in the name of power;
Because we believe that any democracy worthy of the name rests on pluralism, welcomes principled disagreement, and achieves consensus through reasoned debate;
Because American history, despite periods of nativism and bigotry, has from the first been a grand experiment in bringing people of different backgrounds together, not pitting them against one another;
Because the history of dictatorship is the history of manipulation and division, demagoguery and lies;
Because the search for justice is predicated on a respect for the truth;
Because we believe that knowledge, experience, flexibility, and historical awareness are indispensable in a leader;
Because neither wealth nor celebrity qualifies anyone to speak for the United States, to lead its military, to maintain its alliances, or to represent its people;
Because the rise of a political candidate who deliberately appeals to the basest and most violent elements in society, who encourages aggression among his followers, shouts down opponents, intimidates dissenters, and denigrates women and minorities, demands, from each of us, an immediate and forceful response;
For all these reasons, we, the undersigned, as a matter of conscience, oppose, unequivocally, the candidacy of Donald J. Trump for the Presidency of the United States.
Close it up
Violent Yet Peaceful Protesters Provoked Into a Scuffle With Trump Fascists
So, according to the mainstream media, some good-hearted, well-meaning rioters were peacefully rioting down the street when they were hate-accosted by some Trump supporters who had gathered in a hate rally.
I'm so happy to see the US becoming what the Founders intended it to be: Venezuela.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — In one of the presidential campaign year's more grisly spectacles, protesters in New Mexico opposing Donald Trump's candidacy threw burning T-shirts, plastic bottles and other items at police officers, injuring several, and toppled trash cans and barricades.
Police responded by firing pepper spray and smoke grenades into the crowd outside the Albuquerque Convention Center.
During the rally, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee was interrupted repeatedly by protesters, who shouted, held up banners and resisted removal by security officers.
The banners included the messages "Trump is Fascist" and "We've heard enough."
Trump lashed back at protesters, tweeting Wednesday: "The protesters in New Mexico were thugs who were flying the Mexican flag. The rally inside was big and beautiful, but outside, criminals!"
At one point, a female protester was physically dragged from the stands by security. Other protesters scuffled with security as they resisted removal from the convention center, which was packed with thousands of loud and cheering Trump supporters.
Trump responded with his usual bluster, instructing security to remove the protesters and mocking their actions by telling them to "Go home to mommy."
He responded to one demonstrator by asking, "How old is this kid?" Then he provided his own answer: "Still wearing diapers."
Trump's supporters responded with chants of "Build that wall!"
I like how the AP reports it as if both sides were to blame. I mean, sure, on one hand, there were riots; but on the other side, there were "chants" and "bluster."
Here's CNN deeming the violence a "scuffle."
Protesters lit fires, smashed a door and threw rocks outside a Donald Trump rally Tuesday night in New Mexico -- the latest scuffle to follow the presumptive Republican nominee's campaign.
The scene outside Albuquerque's convention center was chaotic as police ushered protesters away from Trump's event and into the nearby streets.
There, anti-Trump protesters -- many critical of his positions on immigration -- loudly chanted, "F--- Donald Trump."
The protesters had broken a glass door to the convention center. Some taunted police and jumped on police vehicles as officers in riot gear and on police horses moved them away from the convention center's exits.
Trump had already left the event, by that point, but responded on Twitter Wednesday morning.
"The protesters in New Mexico were thugs who were flying the Mexican flag. The rally inside was big and beautiful, but outside, criminals!" he tweeted.
The scene was reminiscent of the violence between Trump supporters and protesters in Chicago in March.
Once again, the false balance: The Trump people showed up in Chicago for a political rally, and the protesters showed up to commit violence and keep that rally from happening, and this is described as "violence between Trump supporters and protesters."
If some people break into an abortion clinic and beat up the staff, will CNN report this as "violence between pro- and anti-abortion forces"?
No, of course not.
Below, video of some fire between Trump supporters and protesters. A scuffle of thrown fire, if you will.
Mid-Morning Open Thread [CBD]
Wednesday Morning News Dump (5/25/16) [Mis. Hum.]
- US single family home sales recorded biggest gain in 24 years
- We are so sorry that we let you down President 4Putt
- NYC fights Mother Nature
- Kenneth Starr fired at Baylor U. Yes, that Ken Starr
- What won't the Obama Administration do for Iran?
- Palis reject Israel's request for direct peace talks
- Greece to receive another bailout
- Cheaper than teenagers & fewer hormones
- Ooops, Toyota recalls another 1.6 million vehicles due to faulty air bags
- Sweedish University develops dementia test for men
- Too little, too late & too damn expensive
- P.P. lawsuit could end gun free zones
- RIP Burt Kwouk
- Here, hold my beer
- Venezuela and it's Net Neutrality
- European Terrorists are believed to be stockpiling weapons
- To the Clintons, what difference does it make?
- We will pass on the NY Jets jokes
- Genius Award
- Feel good story of the day
Tuesday Overnight Open Thread (5/24/16) [Misanthropic Humanitarian]
Welcome to the Maetenlochless, Tasteless, Sex, Drugs and Rock N Roll Edition of the ONT.
When it is Twofer-Tuesday, be careful for what you wish for. And you know who you are. Don't you?
Even a bag doesn't work covering Yoko. Nice try Howard.
She hasn't improved any with age either.
Twofer photos and videos, how tasteless was that?
ROCK N ROLL
Happy Birthday Bob Dylan! Still working hard and entertaining fans.
Rockers who uttered sensible things. Or as Maetenloch would say, quotes of the day.
Where you have the most armed citizens in America, you have the lowest violent crime rate. Where you have the worst gun control, you have the highest crime rate.
Hopping the fence or wading the Rio Grande River isn't part of America's immigration process.
Communism doesn't work because people like to own stuff.
It isn't necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice. There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia
I'm really terrible with small children; they're small, noisy, irritating, damp and soggy.
-Ian Anderson (of Jethro Tull)
What I've learned about marriage: You need to have each other's back; you have to be a kind of team going through life.
Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it.
Here's a partial listing of who performed and their reported pay day. Joan Baez was paid $10,000. I would have paid her $11,000 not to attend.
Canned Heat – $6,500 The Who – $6,250 (also reported at $11,200 but Variety claimed that number was inaccurate) Richie Havens – $6,000 Arlo Guthrie – $5,000 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – $5,000 Mountain – $2,000 Tim Hardin – $2,000 Joe Cocker – $1,375 Sweetwater – $1,250 John B. Sebastian – $1,000 Melanie – $750 Santana – $750 Sha Na Na – $700
So how musical are you? Do you play an instrument? Force fed piano lessons as a child? Or do you just play a mean old stereo that has you on first name basis with the neighbor and responding cop? Your musical tastes examined. When we identify ourselves with the music we love, we are really telling people about who we are on a deeper level.
The Who's "My Generation" had a line that went "I hope I die before I get old". My goodness how the time has passed. How much make up, botox and hair color can you spot?
Grannies smoking pot for the first time.
As marijuana becomes more acceptable just another person to avoid on the roads. Watch driving skills deteriorate with pot consumption.
Videos are from Washington state where marijuana consumption is legal.
The AoSHQ and the ONT are not responsible for the content of these videos. Nor do these videos represent the views or beliefs of the AoSHQ, it's management, staff, bartenders, parents, pets or advertisers.
India, the new sex change destination. Something tells me this poor soul needed serious couch time rather than a date with a fillet knife.
Unrealistic sex with Bill Burr.
Battle of the sexes, or why husbands require supervision.
Lonely and out of shape? Try a sex-based exercise program
Do these therapists find themselves in legal hot water for discriminating against the Amy Schumers, Lindsey Wests and Trigglypuffs of the world?? Discovery could be a bitch.
Tonight's ONT brought to you by misogynistic men, dangerous dames, lethal ladies and warrior women. SJWs need not apply.
Close it up
Oberlin Students: We Demand We be Paid Wages to Protest; We Demand That Any Grades Lower Than C's Be Deleted; We Demand That In Lieu of Tests, We Just Sit Down With the Professor and Rap With Him About the Subject Matter
They're also dropping out of Oberlin College, which might be the only savvy decision they've ever made since applying to Oberlin College.
Oberlin College's activist community is ready to call it quits. Progressive students are dropping out of college, citing academic and emotional difficulties stemming from their mental health problems and overall disgust with the toxic culture on campus.
That's according to a fascinating piece for The New Yorker by Nathan Heller, who interviewed a number of exhausted activists at Oberlin. They perceive that other students, faculty members, and the administration are completely against them, and have made it impossible for them to live on campus. Some are dropping out.
Of course, some of these students probably feel unsupported because their impractical demands were not realized. Two examples: activist students not only wanted to abolish all grades below a 'C,' they also thought faculty members should proactively offer them alternatives to taking a written, in-class midterm exam. Here is the testimony of Megan Bautista, who identifies as an Afro-Latinx student:..."Students felt really unsupported in their endeavors to engage with the world outside Oberlin," she told me.
The students Heller interviewed seem to think they're not at college to be educated: they are at college to educate everyone else.
You have so much to teach us, Young Idiots.