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December 21, 2014

Food Thread: Miscellaneous Stuff [CBD]

—Open Blogger

dino-menorah-3.jpg

Hanukkah is a relatively minor Jewish holiday that has been raised to ridiculous heights because of its proximity to Christmas. But that's okay, because giving and receiving gifts is rarely a bad thing. And we get to make potato pancakes (latkes), which go fantastically with sour cream. Although there are some Jews...deeply, irredeemably disturbed Jews....who eat them with apple sauce.

And did I mention doughnuts? They're called sufganiyot in Hebrew.....

easy-sufganiyot-jelly-donuts-1024x749.jpg

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Posted by Open Blogger at 04:00 PM Comments



The Gaming thread (without much gaming)

—Gang of Gaming Morons!

Not gaming related but this is cool

Comic book fan, cosplay aficionado, and 15-year veteran deputy sheriff Michael Wilson (@knightmage) brought cheer to countless families on December 18 when he strolled into his local Ohio TOYS R US dressed as Dragon Ball's Piccolo and paid off everyone's layaways.

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Posted by Gang of Gaming Morons! at 03:11 PM Comments



What Happened to "Reasonable People Can Disagree?" [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

Recent events have led me to a troubling realization about the state of the GOP (to which I have belonged since 1980 and to which I still belong, but perhaps not for long) -- it is currently dominated by factions who apparently no longer subscribe to the "Reasonable People Can Disagree" theory of American politics.

I discovered this when my timeline was blasted with vitriol from a certain segment of political types whose mission is life is to destroy -- or at the very least marginalize -- Senator Ted Cruz. Here's a sample:

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Posted by Open Blogger at 02:10 PM Comments

Sunday Football Thread

—Dave In Texas

Dec 21. Almost Christmas y'all.

Dec 21.jpg

Dallas and Indy both 10-4. Should be interestin. Murray reportedly said he's gonna play.

Posted by Dave In Texas at 12:58 PM Comments

Tough Rhetoric Does Not Cause Violence

—Gabriel Malor

I see folks handing around the Tweetable Guide To Media Myths And Left-wing Violence in the wake of the murder of Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu yesterday. Some folks are sending it around in protest of the claims from media and the authorities that anti-police rhetoric should not take the blame for this atrocity. But that's not quite the point of the Tweetable Guide.

My problem with media coverage of violence is that the media and sometimes even public authorities reflexively and without any evidence blame conservatives and conservative ideas for violence. And that ignorant blaming of conservatives always seems to turn out to be incorrect later. After those two issues comes my final point: much of the high-profile violence that gets blamed on conservatives actually come from folks in at least one (and sometimes more than one) category: crazy, leftist, or Islamist.

Nasty rhetoric may contribute to a crazy killer or leftist killer or Islamist killer's self-justification for his actions. But it generally is not the cause of premeditated violence. We should be cautious about blaming the anti-police rhetoric that followed the grand jury verdicts in Ferguson and on Staten Island without more evidence. That's what the media does to us and it usually turns out wrong.

If it is true that Ismaaiyl Brinsley was motivated by rhetoric then that is a really big deal. But I don't know why he killed those police officers and neither do you yet. Generally, however, rhetoric doesn't just set somebody off. Wait for more facts. And, if you're betting, he'll probably fall into one of the other categories when this all shakes out.

Posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:23 AM Comments

Gun Thread [Weirddave]

—Open Blogger

We here at the AoSHQ gun thread would like to take a moment to honor the memory of NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos who were murdered yesterday by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, with a gun.

NYPD.jpg

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Posted by Open Blogger at 11:09 AM Comments

Sunday Morning Book Thread 12-21-2014: Christmas Time Is Here [OregonMuse]

—Open Blogger


santa-reading-to-girl.jpg
"...And To All A Good Night."

Good morning morons and moronettes and welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread. The only AoSHQ thread that is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Or kilts. Kilts are OK, too. But not tutus.


A Short Book Review By Vic

1 Good Morning Morons. Today is Monday, December 15, 2014. On This day in 1939 Gone With The Wind premiered in Atlanta, GA. I thought the movie was OK but the book blew chunks.

Posted by: Vic at December 15, 2014 06:46 AM (u9gzs)

Shorter Vic: actually, that's about as short as it gets.


Who You Gonna Call?

From the sidebar article earlier this week, The 30 Scariest Wikipedia Pages You'll Ever See, comes 50 Berkeley Square:

Described as the most haunted house in London, this posh address has had reports of ghost sightings for about 250 years now. Though stories vary, one legend has it that the attic is haunted by the ghost of a young woman who killed herself after being abused by her uncle. At least two people staying there have reportedly died of fright, and even former resident — and 18th-century British prime minister — George Canning claimed to have had paranormal experiences there.

Well, who cares? Why am I taking up space on the book thread with this? Because of this:

The townhouse is now home to the Maggs Bros. antiquarian booksellers. Shop at your own peril.

Heh. The Maggs Bros. Ltd. web site is here. I wouldn't mind visiting it should I ever visit London. This 2010 article from the Guardian discusses the store's history and current operation. Nothing about ghosts, though.


More Neologisms

This time it's 11 Terrific Words Coined By John Milton. And we're talking basic, ordinary words like 'terrific' and 'enjoyable'. Also, 'space.'

Well, someone had to be the first to use them.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 09:08 AM Comments

Early Morning Thread, 12/21/14 - Delayed Payments edition. [krakatoa]

—Open Blogger

Dear IRS.

I'm so terribly sorry your budget has tightened up this year. I know how hard it is to make ends meet on only 11.3 billion dollars. I can only say, America feels your pain.

It was so nice of you to promise warn us of the pain your inability to manage spending would do to the rest of us. Happily, you will still be able to give your people the raises they so richly deserve putting in those long hours shredding hard drives doing the people's work.

Imma just go ahead and claim 20 dependents from here on out, and pay up at the end of the year, so you guys don't have to worry your tender little heads about getting me my refund on time, mmkay?

______

So here's the open thread part: Is that actually legal? Can I withhold payments until the end of the year? I'm sure some of you guys know some strategies.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 07:13 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (20 Dec 2014)

—CDR M

Interesting read. A French soldier's view of US soldiers in Afghanistan.

Everyone complains about the quality of 'the new guys.' Don't. The screw-ups of this modern generation are head and shoulders above the 'high-medium' of any past group. Including mine. So much of 'The scum of the earth, enlisted for drink.'

This is 'The Greatest Generation' of soldiers.

They may never be equalled.

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Posted by CDR M at 10:05 PM Comments

Fundamental Concepts - Quick Hits [Weirddave]

—Open Blogger

I didn't do one of these today, but in light of the murder of twp NYPD officers, Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, I thought I'd bring up one quick concept that too many people tend to forget or understandably shy away from.

This is what they do.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 08:53 PM Comments

NFL Sunday Saturday. whatever

—Dave In Texas

It ain't a cold here as it it in Moline IL.

Just sayin.

Christmas Cheerleaders 2014.jpg


*sorry fat kid at recess*

Posted by Dave In Texas at 05:08 PM Comments

Just Awful [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

2 NYPD cops shot dead 'execution style' in Brooklyn:

Two uniformed NYPD officers were shot dead -- execution style -- as they sat in their marked police car on a Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, street corner.

According to preliminary reports, both officers were working overtime as part of an anti-terrorism drill when they were shot point-blank by a single gunman who approached their car at the corner of Myrtle and Tompkins avenues.

"It's an execution," one law enforcement source told The Post of the 3 p.m. shooting.

Perp is reported to have killed himself.

There are also reports that he posted his intentions on Instagram before the shooting.

Prayers for the police officers' souls, for the loved ones they leave behind, and for all in harm's way, especially at this time of year.

Posted by Open Blogger at 05:05 PM Comments

Life is Beautiful

—Brandon Finnigan

On Twitter a few nights back, I shared a very trying experience the wife and I endured this year. I want to share it here, expand on it, and direct it, a bit, at a very specific reader.

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Posted by Brandon Finnigan at 02:26 PM Comments

Saturday Gardening Thread: Elfin Edition [Y-not, Weirddave, and KT]

—Open Blogger

Inspired by the Christmas season - and by KT's description of the Dwarf Tomato Project below - today's theme is "elfin." (Yes, I *know* Dwarves and Elves are not the same! "Shut up," she explained.)

To get us in the mood, how about a song?

When I read KT's section of the gardening thread, I thought about doing my portion on bonsai, since they are "dwarf" plants and also because I see a lot of bonsai suggested as gift items in my local nurseries. But I know nothing about the art of bonsai. Does anyone here pursue this hobby?

Anyway, I'm a literal (literary?) gal so I decided to latch onto the "elf" idea instead. Now for me when I think of elves I do not think of Santa's elves or the Keebler elves or even Elvis (SWIDT?).

I think of Tolkien's elves.

You'll recall that the dirty Scandis from the Nobel Prize Committee held the opinion that JRR Tolkien's writing was no big shakes. Bunk! Anyone whose literary work so thoroughly displaces a long-held notion of elves as small, clever imps with his own vision deserves a lot of credit. To me elves will always be tall, mysterious beings who spend their days writing poetry and who smell vaguely of patchouli.

What does this have to do with gardening? Think about the world Tolkien created, filled not just with races of beings and their histories, but also with plants. So it got me thinking about those plants and Tolkien's possible sources of inspiration.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 01:25 PM Comments

A Love Letter to Childhood [Weirddave]

—Open Blogger

This week is Christmas, so I'm going to forgo Fundamental Concepts just this one time. For those of us who believe, Christmas is a celebration of the love and mercy that God showed us human sinners by sending his own son to die so that we don't have to. For those of a more secular bent, it is a celebration of all that's good and right in the world, regardless of the source. This post is for all of us.

I watched the movie The Sandlot for the first time last week. Halfway through I turned to my wife and said "This is a love letter to childhood". She responded "Your childhood as an American male, my childhood was as a Canadian female". There was no reproach in her statement, just that I was talking about an experience that wasn't wholly shared. Point taken. I am an American male, and I'm writing this from that frame of reference with no apologies. Let me go even further. In this * spit * post-racial, social justice, redistributionist America of 2014, I am a white American male. So the fuck what? I'm writing for EVERY American who is willing to embrace what this country should stand for and can be.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 12:02 PM Comments

Weekend Headlines [CBD]

—Open Blogger

Helping the poor.jpg

What The Heck Do Hobbits Drink?
Courtesy of Y-not. And no, she isn't a hobbit

Our Jails Are A Scandal
Kevin D. Williamson crushes the NYC prison system....and unions!

State Science Institute Issues Report on Rearden Metal, err, Fracking

U.Michigan Feminists Harass Muslim Who Wrote Political Correctness Satire

Obama Gives The Castro Regime In Cuba An Undeserved Bailout and;
President Obama's 'Betrayal' of Cuban Democrats
Good editorials against Obama's normalization with Cuba. But...check the source. Yes, those are pigs cavorting in the sky.

High-Speed Camera Tracks Light At 100 Billion FPS

Professor Deeply Hurt By Student's Evaluation
Yes, it's The Onion, but it's strangely prophetic.

Posted by Open Blogger at 10:52 AM Comments

Saturday Morning Politics: Holiday Edition [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

Texas versus Michigan in one picture:

TXvsMI.jpg

You know who else hates Christmas?

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Posted by Open Blogger at 08:30 AM Comments

Early Morning Thread, 12/20/14 - GoP edition. [krakatoa]

—Open Blogger

Greetings Ace of Spades dummyhead mob.

I bring to you this morning greetings and felicitous branches of piece olives from his most eminence Kim Jong Un.

He join with you you're disdain for main brook media like Sony, and ask for you're patient resolve for Un's Armies of Truth to bring entertainment selection that honor our share rererr... Our share renever...

Our share revener...
.
.
.

Our share love for tradition with masterpart films like Urban Girl Come to Get Married. And Double Team.

Sip with me the Johnny Walker, and together under His Most Enlightenment PhD of Luminocity, we will follow him on his mighty steed to slice like a Stanley Burrell.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 06:50 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (19 Dec 2014)

—CDR M




Sorry for the abbreviated ONT but I've been on the road all week and now I am enduring a mandatory fun event for work.

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Posted by CDR M at 10:07 PM Comments

Marco Rubio Sounds Very Impressive in Interview with Mark Levin

—Ace

He was speaking about Cuba, an issue which I do not (or did not) care about.

So I was a good audience to judge him in an impartial way. I did not care about the issue he was talking about, and in fact was rather skeptical about him for caring about it more than I deemed necessary.

He made me reconsider my Not Caring position, and made me shift on to both Caring and towards agreeing with him. Which is something.

I had not really thought much of Marco Rubio, thinking of him as both a pretty face who gives nice speeches about the Greatness of America that impress grandma and no one else, and as the Guy Who Pushed for Amnesty.

But this 15 minute interview made me consider him more seriously.

Give it a listen, tell me if I'm right or crazy.

On Fox Now: Rand Paul, who Rubio called out, is now responding to Rubio.

Meh.

Posted by Ace at 09:25 PM Comments

Embarrassing to a Leftwing Pressure Group, Devastating to the Leftwing Media, So Of Course It's Almost Entirely Embargoed

—Ace

A couple of reporters at the Washington Post are on it.

The rest of the media?

Very busy ignoring it.


Posted by Ace at 08:51 PM Comments

Fewer US-Born People Working in American Now Than in 2007; Foreign-Born Migrant Workers Account for the Increase in Employment

—Ace

It's so retrograde to distinguish between "American" and "non-American."

Fewer Americans born in the U.S. have jobs now than were employed to November 2007, despite a working-age population growth of 11 million.

The amazing drop in employment highlights President Barack Obama’s slow recovery from the deep 2008 shock, but also spotlights many companies' growing reliance on foreign migrant labor.

In November 2014, one in every five U.S. jobs was held by a foreign-born worker, up from one-in-six jobs in January 2010, according to federal data highlighted by the Center for Immigration Studies.

Since November 2007, the number of working legal and illegal migrants has risen by two million, from 23.1 million in November 2007 to 25.1 million in November 2014.

But the number of Americans with jobs has fallen by 1.5 million, from 124 million in November 2007 to 122.6 million November 2014.

All of the net gain in employment from 2007 to 2014 -- all of it -- has gone to foreign immigrants.

When Americans say they still feel like they're in a recession -- that's because they are. American employment is lower now than it ever has been.

Yay?

Posted by Ace at 05:51 PM Comments

In 2012, Michelle Obama Told David Letterman About Her Target Victimization, Only She Claimed She "Felt so Good" to Not Be Recognized

—Ace

But of course in 2012, her immediate political need was putting a warm, fuzzy gauze on the Obama reelection campaign, so her anecdote was related as a Just One of the Common Folks at Heart aesop.

"That's my Target run. I went to Target," she said. "I thought I was undercover. I have to tell you something about this trip though. No one knew that was me because a woman actually walked up to me, right? I was in the detergent aisle, and she said -- I kid you not -- she said, 'Excuse me, I just have to ask you something,' and I thought, 'Oh, cover's blown.' She said, 'Can you reach on that shelf and hand me the detergent?' I kid you not."

As the audience laughed, she went on, "And the only thing she said -- I reached up, 'cause she was short, and I reached up, pulled it down -- she said, 'Well, you didn't have to make it look so easy.' That was my interaction. I felt so good.... She had no idea who I was."

But in 2014, her political need is to show that she's Down with the Struggle, so the same incident becomes a searing racial humiliation.

I imagine The Usual Suspects will just make the usual arguments: "Oh, she was so traumatized by this experience of course she remembers it differently each time she talks about it. You're just re-victimizing her by pointing out that this is also a classic sign of deception."


Posted by Ace at 04:46 PM Comments

AoSHQ Podcast: Guest, @TheRickWilson

—Andy

Note: We moved the podcast to a new URL recently, and everything worked right except for the iPhone/iPad podcast app. If that's where you listen and you don't see recent episodes in the episode list, unsubscribing and then re-subscribing should do the trick.


Republican media strategist Rick Wilson joins Ace, Gabe and John to discuss the crazy goings on this week.

This is probably the last episode of the year, and we wish all our listeners a happy holiday season. See you in 2015.

Intro: Run DMC - Christmas in Hollis
Outro: Otis Redding - White Christmas

Listen: Stitcher | MP3 Download
Subscribe: rss.pngRSS | itunes_modern.pngiTunes

Browse (and even search!) the archives

Follow on Twitter

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

Open thread in the comments

Posted by Andy at 04:09 PM Comments

Oh Boy: Woman Who Started #IllRideWithYou Viral Meme Admits... It Pretty Much Didn't Happen, and Was Mostly Imagined

—Ace

After the Sheik killed two people, the media turned to praising Islam and highlighting the plight of Muslims in the West, because that's what we always do after a Muslim kills people in the West: We praise Islam, and then worry about what hypothetical crimes Westerners may commit against Muslims.

Kinda skipping over the actual crimes a Muslim has just committed against Westerners.

By the way: That's kind of a two-fer for al Qaeda and ISIS, isn't it? Not only do they get the terrorism and murder and fear they seek, but then they get the Western media praising Islam as the world's most peaceful faith in the aftermath of the slaughter, don't they?

Do we want to give them free two-fers like this?

Anyway, so after a bloodthirsty sheikh (is there any other kind?) murders two people and holds a coffee shop hostage, of course we have to turn to talking about how awful Westerners are to Muslim, because, obviously, that's the storyline when two non-Muslims lay dead, murdered by a Muslim.

But it turns out the story the media forced on us for twenty-four hours was pretty much a lie.

The story went like this: A woman saw a Muslim woman on a subway car. The non-Muslim people were staring at the Muslim woman hatefully, because we're full of hate, even though we don't seem to murder Muslims, but instead seem to be murdered by Muslims, but apparently we're hateful for occasionally noticing that.

So the evil Christians are staring at the Muslim woman, making her uncomfortable, until at last she removes her hajib, in a silent, shameful submission to the hateful glares of the cultural-imperialist Christians.

And then the Muslim woman gets off the subway, because she's still hounded by hate, but this nice progressive woman gets off with her, in a show of solidarity, and says to her: "I'll ride with you."

And the media read their twitter accounts on the air for 24 hours, repeating this wonderful story.

Small problem: It's not true. It never was. The woman who originally reported the story on FaceBook now "confesses" (her words) that many details were simply invented, or, as she calls it, "editorialized."

Confession time. In my Facebook status, I editorialised. She wasn't sitting next to me. She was a bit away, towards the other end of the carriage. Like most people she had been looking at her phone, then slowly started to unpin her scarf.

Tears sprang to my eyes and I was struck by feelings of anger, sadness and bitterness. It was in this mindset that I punched the first status update into my phone, hoping my friends would take a moment to think about the victims of the siege who were not in the cafe.

I spent the rest of the journey staring--rudely--at the back of her uncovered head. I wanted to talk to her, but had no idea what to say. Anything that came to mind seemed tokenistic and patronising. She might not even be Muslim or she could have just been warm! Besides, I was in the “quiet carriage” where even conversation is banned.

By sheer fluke, we got off at the same station, and some part of me decided saying something would be a good thing. Rather than quiz her about her choice of clothing, I thought if I simply offered to walk her to her destination, it might help.

It’s hard to describe the moment when humans, and complete strangers, have a conversation with no words. I wanted to tell her I was sorry for so many things—for overstepping the mark, for making assumptions about a complete stranger and for belonging to a culture where racism was part of her everyday experience.

But none of those words came out, and our near silent encounter was over in a moment.

My second status was written as a heartbreaking postscript to my first. While the woman appeared to appreciate my gesture, we had both left defeated and deflated. What good is one small action against an avalanche of ignorance?

So:

1. She's not sure the woman was Muslim.

2. She's not sure the woman took off her scarf due to the glares of hatred. She notes it could have just been hot. She also now says the woman had mostly been looking at her phone -- and it's hard to notice the scorn of the crowd when you're reading FaceBook on your phone.

3. She never actually said, "I'll ride with you" to the woman. In fact, she never said anything to her. She just wanted to say it.


But whatever.

The media doesn't do news. The media does narratives.

They're easier and they tell the story the media wants to tell, whether they're true or not.

Posted by Ace at 02:47 PM Comments

Obama Holds a Press Conference In Order to Feel the Sustaining Adulation of His Devotees

—Ace

I don't know what he'll be talking about, though I imagine he wants to be praised for his Cuba executive action.

Posted by Ace at 01:45 PM Comments

Weird: Five Days After Alleged Rape, Jackie Seems to Have Sent a Romantic Email to Ryan

—Ace

This is complicated, but the email sent on Oct 3, 2012 was sent by Jackie's Mystery Date, who had the unlikely name of "Haven Monaghan." "Haven" (ahem) was supposedly forwarding an email of Jackie's to Ryan, an email in which she gushed about him.

Haven -- who had supposedly participated in a seven-man gang rape -- appears to be trying to act as a matchmaker here, letting Ryan know how very much Jackie likes him.

Now "Haven Monaghan" is very unlikely to actually exist. There is no student at UVA with that name. Nor, I would bet, in the physical world. Haven seems to be a Catfish account of Jackie's where she pretends to be this hot guy who's totally into Jackie (but who wants Ryan to know that Jackie's totally into him).

The really terrible thing is the date the email was sent -- October 3, 2012. This would be five days after the gang rape allegedly occurred.

Five days after a terrible gang-rape, and Jackie is screwing around with fake Magic Boyfriends to get another boy interested in here?

It does not seem psychologically plausible that a woman coming off a brutal, forcible gang rape would turn to silly romantic deceptions to land her man. I would think that she would have no amorous feelings for at least a few weeks (if not a few months; if not a few years).

It actually gets weirder -- and maybe even worse for Jackie. Because the gushing email she wrote about Ryan turns out to have been cribbed nearly word for word from an effusive proclamation of love ripped off from Dawson's Creek.

Here's Jackie talking about Ryan (which "Haven" then forwards to Ryan, to let him know how much Jackie likes him):

Ryan is fine. Ryan's great, actually. I mean he's smart. He's attractive. He’s funny. He’s a scaredy cat. If you creep up behind him, he'll jump right out of his skin. It's pretty amusing. He's honest. He always calls them just like he sees them. You can constantly count on getting the truth from Ryan, even if the truth hurts. He has the most incredible taste in music. He's like this walking, talking music library. And he understands how truly important music is. He's stubborn. He has this regimented way about him that can be so frustrating sometimes. And sometimes the things he says hurt. But he’s a really, really good friend. And loyal to a fault. He's realistic about everything. And I'm a dreamer so I mean, it’s good to have somebody like that in my life. He's one of my best friends here, you know? He’s more than that...he's everything.



And here's James van der Biek on Dawson's Creek, talking about Katie Holmes:

She's great. I mean, she's smart, she's beautiful, she's funny, she's a big ol' scaredy cat. If you creep up from behind her she’ll jump out of her skin. It's pretty amusing. She's honest. She always calls them just like she sees them. You can always count on getting the truth from Joey even if the truth hurts. She’s stubborn. We fight a lot. She can be so frustrating sometimes. But she's a really, really, good friend. I know her to a fault. She believes in me. And I'm a dreamer so it's so good to have somebody like that in my life. If she goes away, I don't know what I'm going to do. I mean, she's my best friend, you know? She’s more than that. She’s everything.

Sally Kohn immediately called James van der Biek a rapist.

Posted by Ace at 12:51 PM Comments

BREAKING: FBI Says North Korea Responsible For Sony Hack

—DrewM.

Suspected, now confirmed.

"The FBI has determined that the intrusion into SPE’s network consisted of the deployment of destructive malware and the theft of proprietary information as well as employees’ personally identifiable information and confidential communications. The attacks also rendered thousands of SPE’s computers inoperable, forced SPE to take its entire computer network offline, and significantly disrupted the company’s business operations."

...

The FBI said the "destructive nature of this attack, coupled with its coercive nature, sets it apart. North Korea’s actions were intended to inflict significant harm on a U.S. business and suppress the right of American citizens to express themselves. Such acts of intimidation fall outside the bounds of acceptable state behavior."

As Ace has pointed out several times, one of Obama's favorite tools for dealing with inconvenient events is to ignore them. If he doesn't talk about them, they didn't happen. Think of our new war in Iraq. We keep sending troops and increasing air attacks on ISIL but he just doesn't say much about it hoping no one notices he's doing it.

Well, the FBI saying North Korea just wiped out the electronic infrastructure of a US based company (Sony's parent company is in Japan but this division is US based) in order to prevent Americans from exercising their constitutional rights, would seem to preclude ignoring it.

Obama is giving his year-end press event this afternoon before heading off on vacation. He's going to have to lay out some sort of response.

Unfortunately, there don't seem to be many good options.

Related, the hackers sent Sony a note promising not to hurt them anymore. Yeah, good luck with that.

Posted by DrewM. at 12:05 PM Comments

Open Thread

—rdbrewer


P.S. Krøyer: "Fishermen Hauling the Net on Skagen's North Beach" (1883)

Posted by rdbrewer at 10:33 AM Comments

Morning Thread (12-19-2014)

—Andy

Did you surrender to the Communists yet, daddy?

Posted by Andy at 05:59 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (12-18-2014) - Six Shopping Days Left Edition

—Maetenloch

Quote of the Day

One Cuban young woman complains to another. "He lied to me! He told me that he was a luggage handler! It turns out, he's nothing but a neurosurgeon!"

-- Cuban joke (explanation here)

Comment of the Day

You know, I never thought that gay marriage would be the way fascism would come to America. People are doing all sorts of batshit crazy things in its name.

I'm old enough to remember when people like Harvey Milk were against the whole idea and considered anybody who brought it up to be bigoted and homophobic.

Posted by: AmishDude at December 18, 2014 07:00 PM (L2xDv)

U Michigan Department Chair: We Should 'Hate Republicans'

Not just disagree with or look down upon but actually hate them personally. Note that she posted this unashamedly, expects to receive accolades for it and fears no professional repercussions.

"I hate Republicans," communications department chairwoman and professor Susan J. Douglas boldly declares in the opening of the piece. "I can't stand the thought of having to spend the next two years watching Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Ted Cruz, Darrell Issa or any of the legions of other blowhards denying climate change, thwarting immigration reform or championing fetal 'personhood.'"

She writes that although the fact that her "tendency is to blame the Republicans . . . may seem biased," historical and psychological research back her up, and so it's basically actually a fact that Republicans are bad!

Reason #77 that the modern university system needs to be radically reformed and defunded or simply ended.

By the way here is the face of hate:

profhatephoto_43

Why Did Paramount Ban Showing Team America?

Well this might be one reason:

According to IMDB, Team America, while distributed by Paramount, was produced by Scott Rudin, the embattled (and uber-manic) Sony Pictures executive being eaten alive by the North Korean hacking scandal.  I wonder if he put in a frantic call to Paramount to have Team America banned as a substitute for the latest anti-North Korean movie whose production he led. (If so, the Norks will likely let us know in their next round of hacks.)

...A couple of years after Team America snuck past Paramount's leftwing censors, Mark Steyn had Hollywood's number down pat: "Hollywood prefers to make 'controversial' films about controversies that are settled, rousing itself to fight battles long won"

upstage-alec-baldwin17

Also  One Major Reason North Korea Can Dictate What Movies We Watch in the United States: Tort Law

Welcome Our First Mostly Jewish Half-Black All Leftist President

obamaanddavid_539_332_c1_539_332_c1

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Posted by Maetenloch at 10:28 PM Comments

What Exactly Has North Korea Done That Progressives Don't Do Every Single Day?

—Ace

A professor blogged a criticism of a teaching assistant, who'd discussed gay marriage in her classroom, but then shut down all dissent, claiming dissent to be illegitimate (per his claim).

Result? The university is "investigating" him and has suspended him from all teaching duties.

arquette University has suspended with pay and barred from campus the tenured professor who criticized a graduate student instructor in a personal blog, pending an investigation into his conduct.

John McAdams, an associate professor of political science at Marquette, last month wrote a controversial blog post accusing a teaching assistant in philosophy of shutting down a classroom conversation on gay marriage based on her own political beliefs. He based the post on a recording secretly made by a disgruntled student who wished that the instructor, Cheryl Abbate, had spent more time on the topic of gay marriage, which the student opposed. McAdams said Abbate, in not allowing a prolonged conversation about gay marriage, was "using a tactic typical among liberals," in which opinions they disagree with "are not merely wrong, and are not to be argued against on their merits, but are deemed 'offensive' and need to be shut up."

...

McAdams shared the text of an email he received from Richard Holz, dean of the Helen Way Klinger College of Arts and Sciences.

"The university is continuing to review your conduct and during this period -- and until further notice -- you are relieved of all teaching duties and all other faculty activities, including, but not limited to, advising, committee work, faculty meetings and any activity that would involve your interaction with Marquette students, faculty and staff," Holz wrote.

Apparently the academy is no longer the place for academic debate.

Posted by Ace at 06:47 PM Comments

The Year in Outrage

—Ace

I just picked on Slate but this is pretty terrific: every social media outrage of 2014.

Including some that weren't really outrages, because, like, they had to fill the whole calendar.

Still, some of those are fun. To mock the social media outrage mongers, Patton Oswald began claiming to have deleted offensive tweets he'd posted. The gag was that he had not posted the allegedly offensive tweets at all.


Meanwhile, from our friends at Free Beacon, here are our friends at MSNBC, bein' silly all 2014.

Continue reading


Posted by Ace at 05:42 PM Comments

Byron York: No, Ted Cruz Did Not Let Harry Reid Confirm Appointments That Otherwise Would Have Failed

—Ace

A few weeks ago, I noted that if an "expert" is not on your side, he's not a benefit to you. In fact, he's a threat.

What I mean by that is simple: An expert who's actually on your side can provide you with useful and true information and advice.

An expert who's not on your side can use his claimed expertise to bully you into accepting lies as the truth.

Witness Jonathan Gruber and all the alleged "Health Care Wonks" of the press who lied the public down the river.

Last week, Establishment types began claiming that Ted Cruz, by seeking a vote on immigration, somehow invoked a little-understood part of Senate rules which then permitted Harry Reid to ram through a bunch of stalled progressive appointments.

It was not quite explained how this rule operated or how Cruz had activated it.

The whole story relied on the bullying power of asserted expertise: Trust us, we understand Senate rules, and, while they're too complicated to explain right now, you'll just have to take our word for it that Ted Cruz permitted Harry Reid to do something he was otherwise powerless to do.

I don't like being told to just take things on faith, by anybody. I have not liked doing so since I was a child. Since I was a child, I rejected most claims of authority about what conclusions I should draw. If I don't understand the logic and facts which lead to the conclusion, I don't accept the conclusion as true, no matter how passionately the expert demands I take his word about things.

Which is not the same as saying I reject the conclusion as false: If I don't understand things, I can't say the conclusion is false, just as I can't accept it as true. I myself can draw no conclusions about it. I can cite the conclusions of experts, and even trust the conclusions of experts, but what I cannot do is take the conclusions of experts to be my own conclusions.

A man who's ignorant of the basic facts and principles in play does not get to have conclusions; he can only regurgitate the conclusions of others.

At any rate, I was skeptical of this claim not for any especially strong reason, but just due to pocket (fallible) heuristics, like: The people claiming this did not offer up a detailed explanation, permitting me to follow their logic and check their claimed facts. They just wanted me to Accept It.

People who have the truth on their side have no need of demanding I Accept things, given that they can prove them.

I also sort of didn't like the shabby sorts of people making the claim, like John McCain, who I know fancies himself as honorable and true but in fact is a low, sleazy liar in pursuit of his political goals. (See: "Build the dang fence.")

It's also the sort of Too Good to Be True/Proves All of the Arguments We've Always Been Making sort of claim. I've generally found these sorts of claims to be false.

Anyway, I didn't have strong reasons to doubt it, but I did have some reasons.

But, not having any real insight into the truth here, I refrained from writing about it.

That wasn't just me being lazy. I just get so fucking sick of having to offer Strong Opinions on things about which I know nearly nothing. Sometimes I like to implicitly confess my ignorance and not write about things about which I know nothing.

And now Byron York, someone I tend to trust a lot, has looked into it, and his conclusion is this was all nonsense.

Specifically, the accusation is that Cruz's initiative created a break in the consideration of the spending bill that allowed Reid to take the opportunity to set in motion the procedures necessary to get the confirmations underway. By doing that on Saturday, instead of having to wait until after the spending bill was passed on, say, Monday, the thinking goes, Reid got to pass more nominations than he might otherwise have. And of course, given that Democrats are about to give up control of the Senate, this was Reid's last chance to confirm Obama's nominees on his own.

There are four problems with the anti-Cruz scenario. The first is that on Dec. 9, days before Cruz threw a wrench in the works, Reid signaled his intention to confirm all of Obama's remaining nominees, no matter how long it took.

"You know, maybe we'll have to work the weekend and maybe even work next week," Reid told reporters. "I know that's tough duty for everybody, but we may have to do that. We have a number of nominations we're going to do. We're going to -- we have nine judges left. We're going to do those. We're going to do [Surgeon General nominee] Dr. [Vivek] Murthy. We're going to do the head of Immigration Naturalization, ICE. Social Security administrator and other things. I've given a list to the Republicans and it's up to them to decide how long we stay."

Does that sound like a majority leader who is ready to pack up and go home without passing his party's nominees? No, it doesn't. And that leads to the second problem with the scenario, which is the nature of Harry Reid himself. It is simply impossible to believe that the man who made the Senate pass Obamacare on Christmas Eve would abandon the president's nominees out of the goodness of his heart so that Republican colleagues could go home to make scheduled dates at the ballet or visits with family. That is not Harry Reid's style. If Cruz had not acted, would Reid have said, 'Well, it looks like we would have to work all the way until Dec. 18 to finish these nominations, so let's just put them aside and go home and have a nice time, even though it's our party's last chance to pass them." Does anyone believe Reid would have done that?

You can read the other two points.

The best argument made for the Cruz-Ruined-Everything scenario is less persuasive. The idea is that while Senators must stay in DC to pass the CRomnibus, they could go home once that is done; so if the CRominbus passed earlier, Democrat senators might bug out of Washington to get an early start on their vacations, rather than stick around to vote on appointments.

I find this unpersuasive and silly in its speculation. First of all, we were only talking about a couple of days.

Second, there would have been Holy Hell to Pay from the leftwing blogger/activist base if Democrat Senators went on vacation instead of passing President Princess' oh-so-important progressive appointees.

I just can't think of who they have in mind, when they postulate these leftwing senators willing to use the nuclear option to get Obama's picks installed, but not leftwing enough to stick around the couple of days needed to do so.

Such people might theoretically exist, but no one's pointed to a specific senator and said, "Well, Al Franken totally loves his vacation, he would have been out of here."

Let me point out the obvious:

The Republican Establishment is very similar to the Progressive Establishment in the dim view it takes of the Tea Party, and also in the belief that it is itself "rational" and "fact-based," as opposed to those emotional, hot-headed fabulists in the Tea Party who just "make up facts to comport with their ideology" and who "just make shit up so they can yell about it on talk radio."

Let me suggest here that making up silly fantasies about Ted Cruz enabling Harry Reid to do what Harry Reid could always have done (and which he said he would do) does not convince me that the Establishment is as "fact-based" is it believes itself to be, nor as above "just making up silly partisan hokum to make people angry so they can yell about it."

In fact, it appears like The Establishment has all of these failings too. Wrapped in entitlement and arrogance, to boot.

So if The Establishment wants my vote -- and I am a gettable vote -- it has to actually act as if being "fact-based" and "above made-up nonsense smears" is something that's important to them, rather than just something they claim to be all about (as they gleefully make up silly nonsense to smear the Tea Party with).

And speaking of Joe Scarborough.

Posted by Ace at 05:01 PM Comments

Fall Out: New Regency Cancels Thriller Set in North Korea; Paramount Bans "Team America: World Police" From Theatrical Screening

—Ace

And now, the corporate cowards are in full flight.

The chilling effect of the Sony Pictures hack and terrorist threats against The Interview are reverberating. New Regency has scrapped another project that was to be set in North Korea. The untitled thriller, set up in October, was being developed by director Gore Verbinski as a star vehicle for Foxcatcher star Steve Carell. The paranoid thriller written by Steve Conrad was going to start production in March. Insiders tell me that under the current circumstances, it just makes no sense to move forward. The location won’t be transplanted. Fox declined to distribute it, per a spokesman.

I guess I understand that move -- it's show business, and if wacky midget dictators are going to tank your project, you can't make money on it, and have to walk away.

I have less understanding about Paramount's gutless appeasement, though.

The Alamo Drafthouse had planned to show Team America: World Police instead of the pulled The Interview because Texans are awesome.

But Paramount, which I guess owns the rights to Team America, is now telling Alamo Drafthouse they have no right to do that.

From the Daily Beast:

The famous Alamo Drafthouse in Texas, Capitol Theater in Cleveland, and Plaza Atlanta in Atlanta said they would screen the movie instead of The Interview but Paramount has ordered them to stop.


That is just outrageous cowardice.

Meanwhile, you can at least enjoy the scene that caused Fidget the Midget to go Full Spazz here -- Kim Jong-un's "death scene."

Oh and you won't be surprised to learn that Slate is fucking stupid and engaging in apologism for fascism.

Really, though, underneath all this not entirely unwarranted hand-wringing about bedrock American values, there’s a strong sense of someone sitting on the back of a large corporation and twisting its arm until the large corporation cries uncle. This, too, is frightening, sort of, but it should tell us that large corporations like Sony need to get their cybershit together, not that the Constitution’s in tatters and the terrorists have really, finally won. The fact that Sony chose not to release the film at all--not to VOD, DVD, VHS, or traveling hand-puppet reenactments—suggests that the calculus was less "How do we protect moviegoers while also standing up for free expression and artistic integrity" and more "Please, oh mighty lord in heaven, just make this go away." Simply put, at a certain point--given the accumulated damage in industry relationships, in corporate practices revealed, in class-action lawsuits from its own employees, in potential liability nightmares--The Interview was no longer the hill that Sony wanted to die on.

You stupid shits, that's what coercion always is -- escalating the pain (for a perfectly lawful action) until the person taking it decides they've had enough.

Slate, which is not worth the paper that people don't bother to print it on, seems to think there's some distinction between a real case of anti-free-speech censorship and this apparently shabby sort of corporate capitulation.

I mean, the party being attacked for daring to engage in free speech eventually said "I submit." Obviously then this isn't a real matter of free speech.

Real free speech battles always involve leftists talking about their peenies and gynies. Everyone knows that.

Update: Actually, If You Work For Slate, You Kind of Suck. I really hate Slate writers' default posture of being Above It All.

Note to Slate's writers: You are not "above it all." Proof of that? You work for Slate.

You are rather beneath it all, or at least beneath most of it.

There is an element of criticism which is inherently obnoxiously superior. One cannot criticize a thing without, implicitly, assuming a posture of being above that thing (or above the person who created that thing).

This is an obnoxious and unwarranted posture (how many movie critics could make a movie, or even write a short story?), but it is unavoidable, if one is to criticize at all.

But for God's sakes that doesn't mean you have to exult in it. You don't have to parade around in that unwarranted superiority.

The fact is, all of us bitchy little online critics, pedants, carpers, and snipers, all of us ankle-biters, jock-sniffers, apple-polishers, and boot-lickers -- and I include myself in this -- are rather low in the socio-economic pecking order. Pretty damn low.

And if you work at Slate -- even lower.

If we could do something else, we wouldn't be fucking pissant internet critics.

Slate's Stupid Business Model is to never admit the obvious. If it seems obvious that North Korea has committed a serious attack on Sony's Free Speech, Slate must come in and offer a #SlateTake, even if the opposite of the obvious is stupid and loathsome.

Now 10% of the time, this sort of doctrinaire counter-intuitive #SlateTake might be worth considering.

But 90% of the time it's just wrong. Because the obvious take is the correct take 90% of the time. Putin taking over Ukraine is bad for the Ukraine. That's obvious.

And a #SlateTake claiming Actually, Maybe Being Occupied by Russia Is Just What Ukraine Needs! is just stupid, prickish and prattish.

And then to package these outrageously-wrong brainfarts up with attitude -- as if being outrageously wrong is more charming when you're vomiting up unwarranted arrogance alongside it.

It's not enough to say something stupid -- no, they have to imply that other people are dumb for not thinking of the stupid #SlateTake themselves.

Only very clever people could be this determinedly stupid, their corporate credo seems to be. (And yes, Slate is a corporation: So if a hacker extorted Slate, would that not be a real first amendment issue, I wonder?)

One should not exert oneself this hard to be clever. Let the cleverness come naturally; don't force it all the time, laddies.

I'm reminded of the aphorism: The failure state of "clever" is "asshole."

This constant attitude from the silly little shits at Slate, who haven't done anything except blogposts, is repulsive.

Stop acting like you've fucking Done Something until you've actually Done Something, boys.


Posted by Ace at 03:35 PM Comments

Greta Van Sustern: Sony Was "Stupid" and "Idiots" to Make NK Movie; Should Have Known They'd Be Hacked, Threatened with 9/11-Style Terrorist Attacks

—Ace

Really?


Several points:

North Korea has never engaged in this sort of retaliation before, and they've been similarly provoked. The awful James Bond movie Die Another Day featured North Korea as a villain, and had Bond blowing up half of a North Korean brigade; Team America: World Police featured a hilarious parody of Kim Jong-il, and showed him being killed ("assassinated," I gues) at the end.

Also, when he died, the creature living inside of him -- an alien parasite, maybe, or a mutant demi-urge taking the form of an insect -- escaped. That creature inside him, representing his soul, was a cockroach.

So why would Sony know that they shouldn't make this movie?

Greta Van Sustern is just wrong here in so many ways. Her "solution" to terrorism is just to capitulate pre-emptively to potential terrorists -- Sony and all other media companies should just figure out which Evil Basket-Case Tyrannical States are willing to use terrorism as part of their PR apparatus, and make sure they never mock such countries.

So... We're not supposed to mock the most vicious regimes which are most deserving of mockery. If we self-censor, then we won't permit North Korean terrorists to censor us, I guess.

In a way I guess that's true, but in all important ways it's wrong.

It seems to me Van Sustern is demonstrating one of the most common, and stupidest, sorts of human behavior here.

Whenever a terrible setback befalls someone -- paralysis, cancer, rape, cyberterrorism by basket-case states run by midget maniacs -- human beings have a remarkably annoying, and sometimes offensive, need to moralize about the tragedy, and begin positing all the ways in which this horrific event could have been avoided.

Though usually not as overt as in Van Sustern's formulation, the suggestion is usually present: This tragedy was eminently avoidable, and the fact that it was not avoided suggests a defect, whether intellectual, moral, or characterological, on the part of the victim.

I think people do this partly due to their basic survival programming: Learn from the setbacks of others. Postulate methods of avoiding similar tragedies.

I also think they do it partly to reassure themselves so that they're not unduly frightened: People don't like accepting the fact that many dangers are very unpredictable and hence impossible, or nearly impossible, to avoid, so they are overly fond of claiming that each and every tragedy that occurs in life was eminently foreseeable and thus eminently avoidable.

It's kind of a psychological knock-on-wood reassurance.

I don't think this is true in many cases. I do not think it was so "obvious" as Van Sustern says that North Korea would of course resort to an entirely unprecedented and never-once predicted or threatened form attack.

If this was so obvious, I'm sure Ms. Van Sustern can quote herself warning of the attack's inevitability...? Or cite someone she read making that warning?

Even if that warning had come (it hadn't, but if it had), then she's just saying "We should give in to bullies and censors and terrorists because otherwise they'll make trouble."

And all this just so she call call them "idiots" and "stupid."

This is of course the really basic thing about human behavior: Humans love to discover new ways in which they are Superior to new people they had previously not realized they were superior to at all.

Somewhere in Van Sustern is a hungry ego, impatiently crying out to be fed, as there is in all of us; she sees here an opportunity to feed the crying beast, and seizes upon it.

If Van Sustern thinks it's "stupid" to provoke terrorists and bullies and censors, she should quit her job at Fox immediately, because of course Fox takes a less charitable view of ISIS, Islamofascists generally, Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and all the various leftwing soft-fascism organizations than any other news company.

Is she so "stupid" to put her own safety and privacy at risk by antagonizing these people?

I guess so.

The Mewlings of Cowards: Too often I see cowardice being credited as "wisdom."

Risk-taking is good. I don't love Seth Rogen all that much, but mocking a tyrant is a good thing, even if it's a risky thing.

Perhaps Rogen was foolish to not realize it was risky.

Perhaps. But I don't know that. Why should I assume he didn't realize this was risky? Why should I assume he's stupid?

People tend to fear bravery -- to the extent they'll mock it, and the person exhibiting bravery, when he stumbles.

I hate this tendency our safe modern society has of mocking bravery and risk-taking.

"Well those idiots didn't know the safe play."

That's the sort of thing a boring, vanilla, will-never-impact-the-world coward tells himself about risk-taking people to make himself feel better about his own safe, soft decisions.

Risk-taking people usually do in fact know the risks.

They also know "the safe play" that the softer-bodied people are always demanding everyone take.

They just choose not to make the safe play. They choose, knowingly, the risky play.

I think it is toxic for society -- a poison that saps at our vitality-- for the Safe Play People's voices to be so loud, and so numerous, while so few people actually stick up for a bit of riskiness and danger.

Hey, Safe Play People: I've got news for you. No one ever accomplished anything big by sticking to the Safe Play.

So keep on hectoring and picking at anyone who dares to step out of line, if that makes you feel better about your own choices.

The people taking risks will just have to content themselves with mattering and living lives full of color and steel.


Posted by Ace at 02:01 PM Comments

How Progressivism Is Killing the Social Sciences

—Ace

The parasite kills its host. Every time.

I have had the following experience more than once: I am speaking with a professional academic who is a liberal. The subject of the underrepresentation of conservatives in academia comes up. My interlocutor admits that this is indeed a reality, but says the reason why conservatives are underrepresented in academia is because they don't want to be there, or they're just not smart enough to cut it. I say: "That's interesting. For which other underrepresented groups do you think that's true?" An uncomfortable silence follows.

I point this out not to score culture-war points, but because it's actually a serious problem...

That's why I was very gratified to read this very enlightening draft paper written by a number of social psychologists on precisely this topic, attacking the lack of political diversity in their profession and calling for reform....

They start by debunking published (and often well-publicized) social psychology findings that seem to suggest moral or intellectual superiority on the part of liberals over conservatives, which smartly serves to debunk both the notion that social psychology is bereft of conservatives because they're not smart enough to cut it, and that groupthink doesn't produce shoddy science. For example, a study that sought to show that conservatives reach their beliefs only through denying reality achieved that result by describing ideological liberal beliefs as "reality," surveying people on whether they agreed with them, and then concluding that those who disagree with them are in denial of reality -- and lo, people in that group are much more likely to be conservative! This has nothing to do with science, and yet in a field with such groupthink, it can get published in peer-reviewed journals and passed off as "science," complete with a Vox stenographic exercise at the end of the rainbow. A field where this is possible is in dire straits indeed.

That's the stupidest thing I ever heard.

"Science."

More "Science:" Hate is bad, but you can hate Republicans, because Science shows us that they are bad.

As I've said before, what really bothers me is their combination of asserted superiority and actual childishness.

A University of Michigan department chairwoman has published an article titled, "It's Okay To Hate Republicans," which will probably make all of her conservative students feel really comfortable and totally certain that they’re being graded fairly.

"I hate Republicans," communications department chairwoman and professor Susan J. Douglas boldly declares in the opening of the piece.

Communications department.

...

She writes that although the fact that her "tendency is to blame the Republicans . . . may seem biased," historical and psychological research back her up, and so it’s basically actually a fact that Republicans are bad!

...

Republicans now, she writes, are focused on the "determined vilification" of others, and have "crafted a political identity that rests on a complete repudiation of the idea that the opposing party and its followers have any legitimacy at all."

(Apparently, the irony of this accusation given the content of her own article was lost on her.)

I swear, a lot of Progressives are borderline stupid, but want to be smaaahhht, so they select a political philosophy that promises them they'll be smaahhhht if they just say the right things, no matter what their so-called "IQ tests" may say about it.

Posted by Ace at 11:54 AM Comments

Open Thread

—rdbrewer


Briton Riviére, "Requiescat" (1888)

Posted by rdbrewer at 11:01 AM Comments



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This week's guest: Rick Wilson

MP3 Download | Stream | Ask The Blog | Archives
Motherboard: The Dominant Life Form in the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots
"[W]hen it comes to alien intelligence, there’s what Schneider calls the 'short window observation'—the notion that, by the time any society learns to transmit radio signals, they’re probably a hop-skip away from upgrading their own biology." [rdbrewer]


Kevin Williamson: The United States of Anxiety
"Hollywood is forever congratulating itself on its courage for banging on, e.g., the American suburban bourgeoisie, because bourgeois American suburbanites don’t generally resolve disagreements by sawing off heads. But let Kim Jung-un take offense at your dopey Seth Rogen movie and Sony is suddenly a wounded kitten. You think the Weyland-Yutani Corporation would put up with that nonsense?" Via @TheH2. [rdbrewer]
Michael J. Totten:
Cuba:To Embargo or Not

"But Cuba is a communist country where private commerce is banned. If you make stuff and sell stuff, you might become “rich” and “bourgeois,” and the authorities will send you to prison. That’s why Cuba is poor. Lifting the embargo would have little or no effect on such tyrannical imbecility." [CBD]
Mediaite: Dr. Evil Hijacks SNL Cold Open to Bash North Korea
Worth a watch. [rdbrewer]

Virginia Hale, Breitbart: Women Today are Thriving – It’s Men We Should Be Worried About
"We are entering an Age of Endarkenment, where discussion of ideas is out of bounds, and logic and reason are to feminists what garlic, crosses and direct sunlight are to vampires." [rdbrewer]


Baby, There’s a Lot of Hoden Angst Outside
"'When the Pillsbury Doughboy from Hell tries to tell us what kind of movies we can make or see, the only honorable response is ‘Go f**k yourself,’' Jonah Goldberg writes in the latest edition of the G-File, which imports the potentially trendsetting phrase 'hoden angst' into America." [rdbrewer]
Faces of Meth: AoSHQ edition [dri]

Randy Barnett: Nebraska and Oklahoma are misreading Raich
"[I]n no way did [the Court in Raich] say or even imply that Congress had the power to compel state legislatures to exercise their police power to criminalize the possession of marijuana, or to maintain their previous legislation criminalizing such behavior." Via @GabrielMalor. See also: Jonathan Adler: Are Nebraska and Oklahoma just fair-weather federalists? And Eugene Volokh: Some small observations about the new Nebraska & Oklahoma v. Colorado interstate marijuana lawsuit. And my solution for Nebraska and Oklahoma: stop bothering people. [rdbrewer]
ISIS selling organs from hostages and dead fighters.
Dude - we get it. You're evil. [ArthurK]
I want to thank Rand Paul and his 2-D conceptualization of Cuba for making it easier to winnow out the chaff from the 2016 Republican field. [krak/t]
Daily Express: Ibuprofen adds 12 years to life! Cheap painkillers can slow ageing and fight disease [rdbrewer]

Joshua Rothman, New Yorker: The Crazy History of 'Star Wars'
"Solo was partly based on Francis Ford Coppola." [rdbrewer]

Video: We're not so different, you and I
Via @debbywitt. [rdbrewer]

Bill Whittle, Truth Revolt: We're Number Two!
Video. More at BillWhittle.com. [rdbrewer]


Jon Gabriel: Kim Jong-un to Host 87th Annual Oscars [rdbrewer]


Sonny Bunch: Signposts of a Broken Culture
"Think about this for a second. What we are saying—nay, what we have accepted, as a society—is a situation in which a totally blameless third party would be held responsible for the evil committed by an irresponsible actor." Bunch begs the question as to whether the 3d party is blameless. Reasonable forseeability is the basis for a defendant's duty to a plaintiff and is always a question for a jury. [rdbrewer]


Jonah Goldberg: No Superheroes in The Interview Cave-In
"Mayor Fiorello La Guardia wanted to speak to the creators of Captain America. Simon got on the line. 'You boys over there are doing a good job,' the voice squeaked. 'The city of New York will see that no harm will come to you.'" The creators of Captain America were getting death threats. [rdbrewer]
IRS unintentionally advocates for Flat Tax. Claim they are underfunded to handle the complex tax situations that now exist, which may result in a partial "shutdown" of the IRS, and certainly will result in delayed tax refunds. So, the Right has a great opportunity to turn this further bald politicization of the IRS against them and the Left (birm): Spell out to the American public how cheaply the IRS could operate when dealing with a Flat Tax. [krak/t]

Jim Geraghty: The North Korean Hacking Threat Hits Close to Home
"This fat pant-load thinks he can push us around." [rdbrewer]


Michael Barone: America’s Dynastic Turn
"The fact that Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton could end up as president leaves many Americans queasy." Let the Democrats look back. The GOP needs to look forward in picking a candidate. [rdbrewer]


Joseph Bottum: Even Small Towns Are Loading Up On Grenade Launchers
"What exactly is a Midwestern state’s attorney general doing with any military rifles? What, for that matter, is anyone doing with military equipment?" And right at the time people were talking about legislation to end this program, the Ferguson liars showed up. Now taking military equipment from the police is off the table for many in Congress. Thanks, Ferguson liars. [rdbrewer]


Chuck Ross: Did UVA Student Plagiarize ‘Dawson’s Creek’ In Love Letter To Friend?
"An email likely sent by Jackie to a friend of hers who she was romantically interested in appears to be plagiarized from an episode of Dawson’s Creek...." Via @Maetenloch. It gets worse: Steven Sailor: The Literary Sources of Haven Monahan's Glitch in the Matrix Email. Via @ComradeArthur. Added: Chuck Ross updates his story: UVA Student May Have Also Plagiarized TV Show ‘Scrubs,’ Others In Love Paean To Friend. [rdbrewer]


Daniel Wiser: Obama Provides Economic Lifeline to Cuba
"The Obama administration’s normalization of relations with Cuba has handed the Communist government an economic lifeline, critics say, just when its traditional foreign patrons are suffering from their own domestic troubles." [rdbrewer]
And even more plagiarized love notes contributed by "Jackie, from UVA". Anyone else starting to feel like an extra in The Truman Show? [krak/t]
Risk Based Security: A Breakdown and Analysis of the December, 2014 Sony Hack
A very detailed ticktock of the Sony security breach. Via @jcopella. [rdbrewer]

IBD: On Cuba, Obama Had an Ace, and Dropped a Deuce
"Obama held a handful of strong cards — including the plunging price of oil and the weakening of potential Cuban patrons from China to Russia to Iran — but instead played the deuce, offering concessions to Castro without getting so much as a pledge of democracy." [rdbrewer]

Capitulation Complete: Paramount Bans Showing of Team America: World Police
"According to IMDB, Team America, while distributed by Paramount, was produced by Scott Rudin, the embattled (and uber-manic) Sony Pictures executive being eaten alive by the North Korean hacking scandal." [rdbrewer]
Everybody hates Ted (Cruz)
Honeybadger don't give a ****
[Weirddave]
The Daily Beast: Paramount Bans Showing ‘Team America’
Via @Benk84. [rdbrewer]



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CharlieBrown'sDildo: "Also, people angry at Cruz are stupid. Because the ..."

willow: "we all know the nefarious acts of open blogger. h ..."

DaveA[/i][/b][/s]: "[i] defacing a car[/i]Put the sticker on the decal ..."

sexypig: "Cruz rubs people the wrong way. He has a certain q ..."

Ricardo Kill: "But, Bears receivers can't catch a cold if they ha ..."

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