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January 27, 2015

Overnight Open Thread (1-27-2015)


The Ignorance of the American People

What the American public doesn't know is what makes them the American public.

-- Ray Zalinsky, car parts entrepreneur

And the American public clearly want to get rid of the Public Affairs Act because of its continuing ill effects on the country:

Many weeks back I wrote here about the polls from the 1990s in which a majority of Democrats favored repealing the Public Affairs Act of 1975 because Bill Clinton was said to recommended repeal, with the punch line being that there is no such thing as the Public Affairs Act of 1975. It was a contrivance of pollsters to check on public ignorance.

And also want government-mandated labels on all food containing DNA. For the children.

A recent survey by the Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Economics finds that over 80 percent of Americans support "mandatory labels on foods containing DNA," about the same number as support mandatory labeling of GMO foods "produced with genetic engineering." Oklahoma State economist Jayson Lusk has some additional details on the survey. If the government does impose mandatory labeling on foods containing DNA, perhaps the label might look something like this:

"WARNING: This product contains deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The Surgeon General has determined that DNA is linked to a variety of diseases in both animals and humans. In some configurations, it is a risk factor for cancer and heart disease. Pregnant women are at very high risk of passing on DNA to their children."

Oh and approximately half of all Americans approve of the job that President Obama is doing.

Is Public Opinion Rational?

Well the public in general knows so little about so much - but it turns out that that doesn't necessarily make them irrational or incapable of making decent public policy choices.

One recent headline summed it up: "British Public wrong about nearly everything, and I'd bet good money that it isn't just the British who are exceptionally misinformed.

This looks like a problem for democracy, which supposes a rational and informed public opinion. But perhaps it isn't, at least according to a body of political science research neatly summarised by Will Jennings in his chapter of a new book "Sex, lies & the ballot box: 50 things you need to know about British elections".

But they're ignorant - not stupid - and can still tell which way the trends are blowing even if they're off on the absolute state of things. Which is one reason pollsters focus so much on the right track/wrong track results.

Will's chapter discusses the "public opinion as thermostat" theory. This, briefly, is that the public can be misinformed about absolute statistics, but we can still change our strength of feeling in an appropriate way. So, for example, we may be misled about the absolute unemployment rate, but can still discern whether unemployment is getting better or worse. There's evidence to support this view, and the chapter includes this striking graph (reproduced with permission), showing the percentage of people saying "unemployment" is the most important issue facing the country against the actual unemployment rate . As you can see public opinion tracks reality with remarkable accuracy.


Continue reading

Posted by Maetenloch at 10:19 PM Comments

Geraghty Handicaps the Field in Iowa


Talk amongst yourselves.

An interesting observation on Carly Fiorino and her run for Vice President (though she won't admit that), and how nice an attack dog she'd make against Hillary.

And Open Thread.

Posted by Ace at 07:48 PM Comments

On the Run: General Testifies that Al Qaeda Has Grown "Fourfold" In Last Five Years


Take a bow, Obama. We know you love applause.

"AQ and its affiliates exceeds Iran in beginning to dominate multiple countries," retired four-star Gen. Jack Keane testified.

Using a term that the Obama administration now eschews, Keane called radical Islam "the major security challenge of our generation."


That leads to an "unmistakable" conclusion that "our policies have failed," Keane added.

"And the unequivocal explanation is U.S. policy has focused on disengaging from the Middle East, while our stated policy is pivoting to the east," he said. "U.S. policymakers choose to ignore the very harsh realities of the rise of radical Islam. In my view, we became paralyzed by the fear of adverse consequences in the Middle East after fighting two wars. Moreover, as we sit here this morning, in the face of radical Islam, U.S. policymakers refuse to accurately name the movement as radical Islam. We further choose not to define it, nor explain its ideology, and most critical, we have no comprehensive strategy to stop it or defeat it."

Meanwhile, on Obama's Triumphant Stage of Libya, #SmartPower is having some unintended (?) but predictable results.

At least 10 people and two attackers were killed in Tuesday's attack against the luxurious Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli, Libya, a spokesman for a security division of the Ministry of Interior in Tripoli said.

Five foreigners -- one American, one French citizen, and three people from Tajikistan -- were killed in the attack, Essam al-Naas said. Five Libyans were killed.

Al-Naas said it appears the attackers were Libyans.

American contractor David Berry was among the people killed in a terrorist attack at the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli, Libya, on Tuesday, according to Cliff Taylor, chief executive officer of Crucible, a security firm where Berry was working. The FBI is expected to open an investigation into the incident, two U.S. officials told CNN. A State Department official confirmed the death of a U.S. citizen, but would provide no further information.


An online group that supports ISIS said the attack was carried out in the name of Abu Anas al-Libi.

Al-Libi was an alleged al Qaeda operative accused of involvement in the bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa. He was captured by U.S. special forces in Libya. He died in a U.S. hospital this month.

I'm sure you've heard about Obama's tremendous successes in Yemen, where terrorists have overrun the capital and forced our embassy to be shuttered.

Posted by Ace at 07:05 PM Comments

Claim: Disney Eyeing Guardian of the Galaxy's Chris Pratt for Indiana Jones in New Raiders Reboot


I like him, but as Indy...?

As Indy, my once and maybe future all-time favorite Action Hero...?

Eh, Indy's smart. Not a genius, but up there. I know Chris Pratt has mostly played dumb-guy roles, and I shouldn't typecast him, but... Okay I'll say, I don't think he can come across as smart enough to play Indy.

Meanwhile, they're casting him opposite Denzel Washington in a... Magnificent Seven remake. I assume Denzel will play the Yul Brenner role, because bald.

Meanwhile x2, yeah, they're serious about doing the all-girl Ghostbusters remake. Here's your cast:

Okay, Kristin Wiig, fine, I like her (though most don't).

Melissa McCarthy? Are we all still pretending we find her schtick as refreshing and wild as we pretended to find it in 2009? Are we not yet tired of her?

The other two are two lame cast members from the very awful current season of Saturday Night Live. I don't know their names. I just know I see clips of them sometimes.

These clips are so funny that I, get this, forget to laugh.


Well, Hollywood exists to teach us one lesson:

Life is horrible and the human imagination is worse.

Oh: Good Men Did Nothing, so they went ahead and did a new Fantastic Four reboot.

Posted by Ace at 05:26 PM Comments

After the Snowstorm That Could Destroy New York Drops Less Than a Foot on the City, Weathermen and Politicians Apologize For -- or Defend -- Their Climate Alarmism


You know why they do this, right?

Apart from Global Warming, I mean. Though that's a big part of it.

It also goes to the media's calculated 2005 decision to turn a hurricane for which the local Democratic Mayor and the local Democratic Governor had all responsibility into George W. Bush's Weather Watergate.

Now, of course the media only did that Because Bush. They're not going to apply the same absurd rules to other people.

But other politicians can't be sure. After all, the media is 1 corrupt 2 stupid 3 immature 4 borderline insane; who knows the next time the media will claim All of This Weather Is YOUR FAULT?!

So, now it's accepted that government officials will essentially declare Martial Law on a whim. Martial Law has become mainstreamed, thanks to our viciously incompetent media.

After being a promised a blizzard of historic and catastrophic proportions on Monday, New York City residents woke up today to rather meager snow totals and a lot of questions for their public officials.


In the media capital of the world, however, the howls are loud after predictions of [snowfall in NYC specifically of] 30 inches or more fizzled into somewhere closer to five or six. Meteorologists are even apologizing for their somewhat overblown predictions.

The focus, in particular, seems to be about the decision to shut down New York City at 11:00 p.m. Tuesday night. All roads in the region (not just in the city, but in Connecticut and New Jersey, as well) were closed to non-emergency traffic, but Governor Andrew Cuomo also made the unprecedented decision to preemptively shut down the entire NYC subway system. That's never happened in the 100-plus years of the subways due to snow.

Yet, by 11:00 p.m., it was already becoming clear that such a move was likely going to be unnecessary. That confusion quickly turned to outrage after a report by The Brooklyn Paper that the subway was actually still running. In order to keep the power on and the tracks clear, the MTA continued to shuttle empty trains all throughout the system and was planning to all along. It was apparently Cuomo's decision to shut the system to passengers, a move that caught MTA off guard and appeared to be unnecessary.

Naturally, some people are upset about the overreaction. It's one thing to clear the streets of cars, but the subway is the lifeline of the city, particularly for those people who work third-shift jobs or have family and friends in other boroughs. Cries of "nanny state"-ism, political posturing, or just plain cowardice are ringing out today.

These high-handed, alarmist, panicky, lawless actions are being defended on grounds of "safety."

This is not an overblown statement: All forms of fascism and totalitarianism proceed under the guise of securing the public's "safety and security." I don't think you can cite a single time where fascism did not ride upon twin horses named Public Safety and Public Security.

We seem to becoming jaded by frequent assertions of dictatorial power for this claimed emergency or that imagined crisis.

And let us be clear about things: Cuomo did not do this to "protect the public safety." He did this to protect his own political safety.

Let us stop pretending to believe the most ridiculous lies of politicians. Let us start dealing forthrightly with one another.

Cuomo thought he should and could do this to spare him a potential three to five point drop in the polls. We should tell him that covering his soft political ass is not a mighty enough justification to start ordering American Citizens about as if they were conscripts in a third world army.

Meanwhile, weathermen, who are to Science what drummers are to rock bands, shriek a lot about every snowstorm and blizzard because these are the few times each year that women pay them any sort of attention.

Though some are of course still claiming they were So Right to be So Wrong.

However, Uccellini stressed erring on the side of caution and planning for the worst was "the right decision" given the potential for "extraordinary" snow totals.

You know, it probably just sounds like smart-alec sophomorism to claim that weather dweebs overstate the danger of bad weather in order to draw attention to themselves.

It may sound that way, but it's true.

People are strongly motivated, often unconsciously, sometimes quite consciously, by simple personal interest. All persons wish to acquire social capital. All people want to advance up the bricks of the giant social pyramid.

It may sound stupid to accuse professionals of using their credentials to accrue social capital, but it is actually far more stupid than to claim the opposite -- that a "professional," by virtue of his tinpot license, has somehow been elevated above and beyond human behavioral imperatives and can so now be trusted to act entirely without the taint of self interest, much like Angels or God.

All of these people "talk their own book" and only a fool credits them otherwise.

Posted by Ace at 04:20 PM Comments

Liberal Jonathan Chait Pens Microgressive Triggering Attack on "Political Correctness"


Worth a read. I put "political correctness" in quotes in deference to Noah Rothman's observation that the militancy of what we're seeing now may transcend the notion of "political correctness" and simply become full-on Stalinist thought control or Orwellian newspeak.

Whatever term you use, it is bad and getting worse.

So much so that even liberals are getting angry about it -- and exhausted by it.

I'll pass over the long recapitulation of the various anti-speech sins the left is guilty of later, though they're worth reading about. I just assume you've read them or need little convincing on this point.

On to conclusions:

At a growing number of campuses, professors now attach “trigger warnings” to texts that may upset students, and there is a campaign to eradicate “microaggressions,” or small social slights that might cause searing trauma. These newly fashionable terms merely repackage a central tenet of the first p.c. movement: that people should be expected to treat even faintly unpleasant ideas or behaviors as full-scale offenses. Stanford recently canceled a performance of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson after protests by Native American students. UCLA students staged a sit-in to protest microaggressions such as when a professor corrected a student’s decision to spell the word indigenous with an uppercase I — one example of many "perceived grammatical choices that in actuality reflect ideologies." A theater group at Mount Holyoke College recently announced it would no longer put on The Vagina Monologues in part because the material excludes women without vaginas. These sorts of episodes now hardly even qualify as exceptional.


But it would be a mistake to categorize today’s p.c. culture as only an academic phenomenon. Political correctness is a style of politics in which the more radical members of the left attempt to regulate political discourse by defining opposing views as bigoted and illegitimate. Two decades ago, the only communities where the left could exert such hegemonic control lay within academia, which gave it an influence on intellectual life far out of proportion to its numeric size. Today's political correctness flourishes most consequentially on social media, where it enjoys a frisson of cool and vast new cultural reach. And since social media is also now the milieu that hosts most political debate, the new p.c. has attained an influence over mainstream journalism and commentary beyond that of the old.


In a short period of time, the p.c. movement has assumed a towering presence in the psychic space of politically active people in general and the left in particular. "All over social media, there dwell armies of unpaid but widely read commentators, ready to launch hashtag campaigns and circulate petitions in response to the slightest of identity-politics missteps," Rebecca Traister wrote recently in The New Republic.

Two and a half years ago, Hanna Rosin, a liberal journalist and longtime friend, wrote a book called The End of Men, which argued that a confluence of social and economic changes left women in a better position going forward than men, who were struggling to adapt to a new postindustrial order. Rosin, a self-identified feminist, has found herself unexpectedly assailed by feminist critics, who found her message of long-term female empowerment complacent and insufficiently concerned with the continuing reality of sexism. One Twitter hashtag, “#RIPpatriarchy,” became a label for critics to lampoon her thesis. Every new continuing demonstration of gender discrimination --a survey showing Americans still prefer male bosses; a person noticing a man on the subway occupying a seat and a half — would be tweeted out along with a mocking #RIPpatriarchy.

Let me stop right here and offer Chait, and Rosin, some constructive criticism. It is as this point that the typical Political Correctness Mob Enforcer will object and say, "But we're just using Our Speech to mock Rosin; how can it be 'anti-free-speech' to employ our own speech? In fact, you're 'anti-free-speech' person here by attempting to de-legitimize my free speech vis a vis Rosin."

Chait doesn't address this; he just leaves this argument hanging for the PC Enforcement Goons to deploy. (And they will; they always do.)

They're wrong, but it needs to be said why they're wrong.

The reason is this: There is a difference between Rosin's rational argument and the coordinated attacks of a mob.

Mobs do not "argue." They intimidate or humiliate (or both). Mobs do not engage in an enlightened, reasonable dialogue. They shout ritualized chants. Mobs are not interested in persuading someone of their wrongness of their claims; they only care about shutting the speaker up, whether he's changed his mind or not.

An argument from a single author (or group acting together to write a single paper) is an instrument of reason; a mob which selects a target and then attacks that target with wolf-pack like tactics is an instrument of emotion.

Human beings are in fact hard-wired, as an evolutionary matter, to cringe before the baying mob; and they are further hard-wired to feel empowered by being part of an angry, screaming mob.

So it's not quite true that joining up with a mob is "speech" just like any other speech. The "speech" of a mob is emotionally abusive and personally intimidating -- and it is hardwired into our brains to find it such, when directed at we ourselves.

On the other hand, we're also hard-wired to really enjoy leading a mob against someone. It feels good. There is no denying that; I've felt damned good everytime I've joined up with a mob.

And it is precisely because it Feels So Good to engage in coordinated mob cruelty that thoughtful people must resist the lure and call out mobs where they see them.

Hannah Rosin was not dissuaded from making further public arguments along these lines because she was convinced she had been wrong in offering them originally. She was dissuaded from speaking further because of the threat of continuing group coordinated emotional attacks against her.

Thus, the frequent objection to PC Tactics: that they are "exhausting." Well yes, but why? Many arguments and claims are wrong, but we don't say they're exhausting too often. (Tedious, perhaps; exhausting, more rarely.)

We say things are "exhausting" when the speaker (or mob of shouters) decides to bypass the cool route of reason to advance the case and instead resorts to the emotional levers of group hazing, ritual chanting, coordinate ostracism and humiliation, and the inherent intimidation of a coordinated and angry mob acting, as mobs are want to do, without any reason or restraint.

And that is the difference.

Now, the PC Mob types will reject this distinction because -- and listen closely here-- most of them are Stupid and Inarticulate; most of them are in fact incapable, on a mental or emotional level, of making an academic or at least essay-like case.

They are in fact low-thinkers. It is no accident that they favor the brutish, the primate-like, the animal-level sorts of "persuasions" of group hooting and feces-throwing. They favor this because this is what they are capable of, and no other.

Thus, in a very real sense, to insist on the standards of rational discourse with such people does in fact predjudice them; it is the same as insisting a horse walk on two legs to enter a race. It is the same as disqualifying them outright.

They sense this, and so they reject these calls to employ the classic techniques of reason and analysis in making their case. They know such grounds do not favor their brains. They know yelling and coordinating Social Shaming is the most they're capable of.

Nonetheless, though such rules may in fact disqualify a number of base-thinkers from public argumentation, they must be insisted on all the same. They always were insisted on -- at least before the last round of democratization struck upon the idea that equality must now mean that a man's stupidity and ignorance should never be held against him -- and to continue ignoring them simply permits the hostile, seething emotional Coordinated Yelling of mob "argument" into a realm of enlightened exchange which, definitionally, must exclude such persons (or such tactics, at least).

If you don't understand the actual problem -- that the "speech" of the mobbers and shouter-downers is qualitatively different from the actual speech of those who deal in cooler, more lucid streams of communication -- then you cannot actually define what it is these PC Goons are doing wrong. On a surface level, of course, they are right-- they are just "using speech themselves."

But it's a toxic sort of speech, loaded with dark emotion and actual hatred which is entirely antithetical to dispassionate analysis.

In fact, the PC Goons seem to understand this more than the liberal critics of PC thuggery. Chait turns to discussing a women writer's forum called "Binders Full of Women Writers," in which minority women can't seem to help but play their PC Victim Cards on the non-minority women.

And they're very upfront at the Age of Enlightened Discourse had its chance already, and that the new Age of Screaming Hate At Everyone should be given its chance:

On July 10, for instance, one member in Los Angeles started a conversation urging all participants to practice higher levels of racial awareness. "Without calling anyone out specifically, I'm going to note that if you're discussing a contentious thread, and shooting the breeze … take a look at the faces in the user icons in that discussion," she wrote. "Binders is pretty diverse, but if you’re not seeing many WOC/non-binary POC in your discussion, it’s quite possible that there are problematic assumptions being stated without being challenged.” ('POC' stands for 'people of color.' 'WOC' means 'women of color.' 'Non-binary' describes people who are either transgender or identify as a gender other than traditionally male or female.)

Jesus Christ, that was already exhausting and he hasn't gotten to the exhausting part yet.

Two members responded lightly, one suggesting that such 'call-outs' be addressed in private conversation and another joking that she was a 'gluten free Jewish WWC' -- or Woman Without Color. This set off more jokes and a vicious backlash. 'It seems appropriate to hijack my suggestion with jokes. I see,' the Los Angeles member replied. 'Apparently whatever WOC have to say is good for snark and jokes,' wrote another. Others continued: 'The level of belittling, derailing, crappy jokes, and all around insensitivity here is astounding and also makes me feel very unsafe in this Big Binder.' 'It is literally fucking insane. I am appalled and embarrassed.'

The suggestion that a call-out be communicated privately met with even deeper rage. A poet in Texas: 'I'm not about to private message folks who have problematic racist, transphobic, anti-immigrant, and/or sexist language.' The L.A. member: 'Because when POC speak on these conversations with snark and upset, we get Tone Argumented at [these people fly off with rage when you suggest that They need to "police their tone," by which I mean frothing hatred, a little better themselves -- ace], and I don't really want to deal with the potential harm to me and mine." ...A white Toronto member, sensing the group had dramatically underreacted, moved to rectify the situation: “'ESUS FUCK, LIKE SERIOUSLY FUCK, I SEE MORE WHITE BINDERS POLICING WOC AND DEMANDING TO BE EDUCATED/UNEDUCATED AS IF IT’S A FUCKING NOBLE MISSION RATHER THAN I DUNNO SPEND TIME SHUTTING DOWN AND SHITTING ON RACIST DOUCHE CANOE BEHAVIOUR; WHAT ARE YOU GAINING BY THIS? WHAT ARE YOU DETRACTING? YOU NEED SCREENCAPS OF BURNING CROSSES TO BELIEVE RACIST SHIT IS HAPPENING? THIS THREAD IS PAINFUL. HUGS TO ALL THE WOC DURING THIS THREAD"

Chait notes, rather obliquely, that the PC system has created what is essentially a Speaker Caste System with some speakers' being in higher castes, and thus more privileged (and thus willing to churn out ALL CAPS RAGE without expecting to be called on it (and in fact getting even more ALL CAPS RAGEY if they are called on it)), and others being in lower castes, and thus quite disadvantaged, and only really permitted to apologize and beg forgiveness whenever someone in a Higher Speaker Caste demands they do.

It should be pointed out that the "exhausting" behavior that he documents is caused by this caste system. Good behavior is not in everyone's personal interest; rather, it is in the group's best interest, but, as in many cases, it is personally best for an individual if he is free to break the group's rules of decorum while everyone else in the group is required to follow them.

Privileging certain speakers -- the more female, the more black or minority, the more gay or trans or other sexual ethnicity -- thereby empowers them to break the normal rules of social interaction as they may please, resorting to personal attacks and ALL CAPS RAGE at the drop of the hat.

And then of course there are plenty of opportunistic and crude white people who will claim to be Honorary Minorities and thus entitled to use such tactics as well.

This is exhausting. All similar behaviors are exhausting. When people exhibit such exhausting behaviors, we generally exclude them from further participation, because we just won't put up with that crap.

But we have many people who now believe that they are Privileged to belong to a Higher Speaker Caste and may employ any number of emotionally-angry and abusive tactics in what should be rather light conversation (all academic conversation is "light;" compare it to talking to you doctor about a surgery) that are forbidden to everyone else, and in fact have been forbidden for 3000 years of intellectual history.

It's time to reinstate those rules -- for all comers. Even for those who claim some minority status which puts them above your White Man's "rules" of civilized debate.

Posted by Ace at 02:08 PM Comments

NBCNews: Bowe Bergdahl, the Deserter, Will Face Charges of Desertion for Deserting His Unit


So glad we gave up five important Al Qaeda terrorists to get Baby Bowe back.

The television network, citing senior defense officials, said the charges could come within a week.
Posted by Ace at 12:40 PM Comments

Blackmail: Openly Gay Legislator Threatens to Expose Colleagues' Extra-Marital Affairs if They Don't Vote Her Way on Gay Marriage



Were she just some sort of moral crusader who ran on a platform of righteous values and then went around exposing all such incidents she definitively knew of, that would be one thing. But this is a fit of pique stemming from her disagreement with the policy positions of opponents. She is claiming to be aware of these alleged cases of married legislators having affairs, but she is willing to continue to hold her silence about the sins provided they shut their mouths and don’t speak out on issues where she disagrees with them. If she was such a moral crusader who felt this information was important to the public she should have already exposed them, regardless of party affiliation or sexual orientation. (Yes, gay people can be unfaithful too.) But that's not what she's doing. What’s going on here is known by a much more ugly word: extortion.

Yeah, people generally don't seem to understand what blackmail is. You're allowed to reveal someone's secrets -- there is no law against that. The media does that, of course, every day.

It becomes blackmail -- and criminal -- when you threaten to reveal secrets unless the target either takes an action you demand or refrains from taking an action you demand. The demand does not need to be for money (in most jurisdictions); obviously, a particularly nasty form of blackmail -- sexual blackmail -- demands not money but sexual favors.

Posted by Ace at 11:59 AM Comments

Open Thread


Camille Pissarro, "Berneval Meadows, Morning" (1900)

Posted by rdbrewer at 10:35 AM Comments

Economics and Plato's Cave


boorstin.jpgIf you had occasion to take a Philosophy 101 course in college, you may remember the allegory of Plato's cave. Plato meant it as a discussion of what "reality" is -- whether it is an absolute thing, and whether humans can experience "reality" in its totality or if we are limited only to what we can experience and measure. The idea is that what we can sense and measure is only a subset of a larger reality that we cannot perceive directly.

I've long thought that this allegory works quite well for economics in many ways, especially as it pertains to concepts of money and wealth.

Continue reading

Posted by Monty at 09:00 AM Comments

Morning Thread (1-27-2015)


Snow day.

Posted by Andy at 06:39 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (1-26-2015)


40 Songs Ruined by American Classic Rock Radio

By playing them over and over and over again and then repeating the rotation every 6 hours or so.

Now I like all of these songs which is to say that I liked them the first few times I heard them and can still listen to them again on occasion and derive some small amount of pleasure from the experience.  But I judge how burned out I am on a song by my maximum tolerable repeat frequency for it i.e. how soon could I hear it again without getting annoyed/enraged.

For some songs I could hear them once a week in perpetuity because I  just love them so but others are only good once in a 4 month period or maybe once in a year.  And for some - well I could easily go three to seven years before hearing them again with no problem at all. But on the radio I'm pretty much guaranteed to hear at least once of these in any 36 hour period.

1. "More Than a Feeling" by Boston
In my humble opinion, the most overplayed classic rock song of all time. It's like there's a federal mandate that all classic rock stations play this song at least 19 times per day.

2. "Hotel California" by The Eagles
Full of meaning - of how the hippie ethic turned materialistic and sour.. Kind of like this song. Honestly, I think I loved this song at one time, but it's dead to me now.. Yet, no matter how many times I stab it with my steely knife, I just can't kill the beast.

3. "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey
What would happen if a renegade classic rock DJ actually decided to, instead of playing this song, play something by Uriah Heep, Kaleidoscope or The Pretty Things? Widespread panic in the streets.

9. "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd
This song never gets old.. Then again, never say never. After the 752nd time around, it starts getting wearisome. The song references Neil Young, who happens to have a vast catalog of tunes worthy of classic rock radio, yet never get played. "Heart of Gold" on occasion, but his other billion songs don't have a chance.

40. "Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard
I include this one last, because it's "newer". If you think your favorite song is safe because it came out after the early 80s, think again. On occasion, they'll incorporate latecomers. No song is safe.

George Will Explains How We've Become a Welfare Nation

The diabolical part of the progressive welfare agenda has been that once you get enough people on the government teat and accustomed to it, it then becomes politically impossible to ever get rid of the teat. It's even more diabolical when you can convince the people that it's not even really a welfare teat because they've already paid something into the program.

More than twice as many households receive "anti-poverty" benefits than receive Social Security or Medicare. Between 1983 and 2012, the population increased by almost 83 million - and people accepting means-tested benefits increased by 67 million. So, for every 100-person increase in the population there was an 80-person increase in the recipients of means-tested payments. Food stamp recipients increased from 19 million to 51 million - more than the combined populations of 24 states.

What has changed? Not the portion of the estimated population below the poverty line (15.2 percent in 1983; 15 percent in 2012). Rather, poverty programs have become untethered from the official designation of poverty: In 2012, more than half the recipients were not classified as poor but accepted being treated as needy. Expanding dependency requires erasing Americans' traditional distinction between the deserving and the undeserving poor. This distinction was rooted in this nation's exceptional sense that poverty is not the unalterable accident of birth and is related to traditions of generosity arising from immigrant and settler experiences.

...Eberstadt believes that the entitlement state poses "character challenges" because it powerfully promotes certain habits, including habits of mind. These include corruption. Since 1970, Americans have become healthier, work has become less physically stressful, the workplace has become safer - and claims from Social Security Disability Insurance have increased almost sixfold. Such claims (including fraudulent ones) are gateways to a plethora of other payments.

Continue reading

Posted by Maetenloch at 10:02 PM Comments

The Prosecutor Who Was About to Deliver a Scathing Report Accusing Agentine President Kirchner of Covering up an Iranian Terrorist Attack Was Killed to Hurt Kirchner's Political Viability, Opines Kircher


21 years ago, Argentina suffered the worst terrorist attack in its history when the AMIA building, a Jewish community center, was bombed.

It has long been believed that Iran was behind the bombing.

A prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, was about to deliver a report claiming that Iran was in fact behind the bombing, and that furthermore the current Argentine President had struck a deal with Iran to cover up their role in exchange for some payoffs in the form of oil.

That prosecutor turned up dead with a pointblank range shot from a .22 in the middle of his forehead.

"Suicide," the official investigators claimed.

"Murder," the entire rest of the nation whispered.

"A conspiracy to create a political headache for me," President Kirchner said.

She's a Hugo Chavez protege with, get this, a history of extra-legal action and poor-me conspiracy theories.

Kirchner wasted little time in branding the death a suicide Jan. 19. "What drives a person to commit such a terrible act?" she posted on her Facebook. Most everyone else called it murder. Nisman, after all, had just accused Kirchner of trying to whitewash his 10-year investigation into the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people.

Nisman had blamed Iran for the attack and last week charged Kirchner and some of her closest aides with obstructing his probe in order to smooth a deal to sell Argentine grain for Iranian oil. He was due to brief lawmakers on his 289-page complaint to the Supreme Court in a closed session of Congress on Monday. The complaint was made public Jan. 22.

Now Kirchner has flipped the narrative, spinning a dark tale of rogue spies and an anti-government cabal. Allegedly, these conspirators plotted to execute Nisman -- not to silence a dangerous critic, but to pin his murder on her. "Today I have no proof but I also have no doubts," she said in a sprawling statement posted Jan. 22 on her personal webpage. "Nisman didn't know and probably never would," she wrote. "They used him while he was alive and later needed him dead. It's that sad and terrible."

The turnabout caught Kirchner's palace handlers off guard. "This is totally disconcerting," an unnamed presidential aide told Clarin.

It gets worse.

Why kill Nisman after so many years?

Because, it is alleged, that among the Iranians who participated in the decision to bomb the AMIA buliding was none other than the current president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani.

An Argentine prosecutor who died mysteriously last week told a reporter prior to his death that he had evidence tying Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.

The Washington Free Beacon first reported that Rouhani was part of the secretive Iranian government committee that approved the AMIA bombing, according to witness testimony included in a 500-page indictment written by the late Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was appointed to investigate the attack.

The bombing, which killed 85 and injured hundreds, is believed to have been authorized by Iran and carried out by its terror proxy Hezbollah. Nisman’s indictment implicated numerous high-profile Iranian officials in the attack and prompted Interpol to issue "red notices" for their arrests.

Kirchner now says Nisman was killed by a "rogue" government operative, which I take to mean "a government operative carrying out my will whom I now wish to deny."

And get this:

Interesting times, eh?

More: Some guy claims that Nisman asked him to deliver him a .22 handgun the night before he was killed.

Posted by Ace at 07:23 PM Comments

The New York Times, February, 2014: "The End of Snow?"


The New York Times wrote about the snow-less future less than one year ago.

As the New York media freaks out over some Weather That Matters (in as much as it affects them), enjoy this panicky nonsense from last year.

OVER the next two weeks, hundreds of millions of people will watch Americans like Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin ski for gold on the downhill alpine course. Television crews will pan across epic vistas of the rugged Caucasus Mountains, draped with brilliant white ski slopes. What viewers might not see is the 16 million cubic feet of snow that was stored under insulated blankets last year to make sure those slopes remained white, or the hundreds of snow-making guns that have been running around the clock to keep them that way.

Officials canceled two Olympic test events last February in Sochi after several days of temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and a lack of snowfall had left ski trails bare and brown in spots. That situation led the climatologist Daniel Scott, a professor of global change and tourism at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, to analyze potential venues for future Winter Games. His thought was that with a rise in the average global temperature of more than 7 degrees Fahrenheit possible by 2100, there might not be that many snowy regions left in which to hold the Games. He concluded that of the 19 cities that have hosted the Winter Olympics, as few as 10 might be cold enough by midcentury to host them again. By 2100, that number shrinks to 6.

The planet has warmed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1800s, and as a result, snow is melting. In the last 47 years, a million square miles of spring snow cover has disappeared from the Northern Hemisphere. Europe has lost half of its Alpine glacial ice since the 1850s, and if climate change is not reined in, two-thirds of European ski resorts will be likely to close by 2100.

The same could happen in the United States, where in the Northeast, more than half of the 103 ski resorts may no longer be viable in 30 years because of warmer winters....

The facts are straightforward: The planet is getting hotter. Snow melts above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The Alps are warming two to three times faster than the worldwide average, possibly because of global circulation patterns. Since 1970, the rate of winter warming per decade in the United States has been triple the rate of the previous 75 years, with the strongest trends in the Northern regions of the country. Nine of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000, and this winter is already looking to be one of the driest on record -- with California at just 12 percent of its average snowpack in January, and the Pacific Northwest at around 50 percent.


It's easy to blame the big oil companies and the billions of dollars they spend on influencing the media and popular opinion. But the real reason is a lack of knowledge. I know, because I, too, was ignorant until I began researching the issue for a book on the future of snow.

Meanwhile, at Slate, their Weather Spastic is busy churning out these shrieky blurbs:

And then when you click you find out it means only this:

NWS in Boston is still stressing that this blizzard could permanently alter the geography of the Massachusetts coastline:

"This is a storm that could produce one or more new inlets along exposed east and northeast facing barrier beaches. We are especially concerned with the erosion potential for east facing shorelines along Plum Island, Orleans, Chatham and Nantucket."

Um, yes, storm water may erode barrier beaches, and may make some inlets through these sandbars.

Or, as the Weather Spastic put it: "Permanently alter the coast of New England."

See, either there's not going to be any snow and we should Spaz Out About It, or we're getting some snow and it may Destroy the Earth's Mantle.

Either way, you must pay attention to the shriekey, squealey Weather Spastics.

Either way you will pay them the honor of pretending they're important.

Posted by Ace at 06:08 PM Comments

Obama Surges in Popularity, With Only Half the County Now Hating His Guts


I didn't want to do this story because Reasons but so AllahPundit took the bullet and typed it all up nice and neat so you can read it there.

I'll put up something better to stomp/bury this one soon.

Posted by Ace at 04:49 PM Comments

Michael Moore: When You Think About It, I'm the Real Hero, Not That Coward Chris Kyle


Michael Moore, Conquerer of the Buffet.

What an ugly, viciously obese toad-like monster.

Mark Hemingway tries to understand the left's unreasoning hatred towards this movie. (Part of their unreasoning hatred towards pretty much everything, of course.)

Even American Sniper largely sidesteps the big political questions about the war on terror. The film is primarily about the heroism of soldiers who, thrust into battle by larger forces, do their best to protect each other and innocent Iraqis. Clint Eastwood, often described as one of the few prominent right-wingers in Hollywood, opposed the invasion of Iraq and questioned the invasion of Afghanistan.

Even so, the film's lack of left-wing politics has been treated in some quarters as an unpardonable sin. "The mere act of trying to make a typically Hollywoodian one-note fairy tale set in the middle of the insane moral morass that is/was the Iraq occupation is both dumber and more arrogant than anything George Bush or even Dick Cheney ever tried," wrote Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi. In other words, any account of Kyle's personal heroism is somehow invalid unless it is couched in an extraneous political context tarring the war he fought in as immoral.

While this criticism is myopic and unfair, it’s at least preferable to direct attacks on Kyle and service in Iraq. "My uncle [was] killed by [a] sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot [you] in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders [are] worse," tweeted left-wing documentary filmmaker Michael Moore.


The left has tried to avoid the anti-American stain it acquired in the Vietnam era by making sure to mouth platitudes about supporting the troops while criticizing the war. The reaction to American Sniper seems to suggest this pose is insincere. Either you’re rooting for Kyle and his fellow soldiers or you're rooting for AQI. There is no middle ground in American Sniper. The film simply asks audiences to consider the motivations of American soldiers on the ground in Iraq, and then asks whether or not these motivations make them heroic. This may be a difficult question for Michael Moore, but the film and its rapturous audiences answer it with a resounding yes.

Posted by Ace at 02:57 PM Comments

Shock: Obama, the Committed Income-Redistributionist (Though the Media Swore He Was No Such Thing!) Now Expressly Going After the Middle Class' Education Savings to Shower Money on His Constituents


There are two kinds of people in the world.

Those who do the right thing, and those who don't.

Those who do the right thing don't need a lot of help from others because they're doing the right thing. They go to work, don't get hooked on drugs, stay married, save money.

Those who don't do the right thing need constant help.

The Wall Street Journal euphemizes Obama's plan to take money from the Middle Class to make it rain on his voters as new "challenges" faced by the middle class.

The Obama Presidency stands for nothing if not the proposition that those who do the right thing will be punished and harassed constantly so that those who will not do the right thing never have to face any consequences of their bad habits.

President Barack Obama's push to start taxing college-saving accounts, including the popular "529" accounts, would affect millions of Americans who are stashing money for their children’s education, stirring debate about how to structure federal student aid and how to define the middle class.

Remember, Obama branded his dishonest State of the Union as "Middle Class Economics." And he claimed to wish to make college more affordable for the "Middle Class."

Of course that means he'll make it less affordable for the Middle Class. Because he's a demagogic liar.

The proposal, which has sparked a public backlash but faces dim prospects in Congress, targets so-called 529 savings accounts that boomed after Congress passed the tax breaks starting in 2001. States have promoted the plans as a way for middle-class parents to combat escalating college costs.


Slightly over half of all the college-saving accounts are held by Americans making under $150,000 a year, according to a 2012 Government Accountability Office report. About 30% earned under $100,000 a year. There are about 12 million 529 accounts in total, according to the College Savings Plan Network, an industry group, while the average balance in a 529 account is about $21,000--enough to cover almost two years average tuition, room and board--minus aid--at a public four-year university.

Ryan Ellis, tax policy director for the conservative think tank Americans for Tax Reform, said the proposal violates an Obama campaign pledge to not raise taxes on middle-income Americans.

"This idea that this is an account for the preserve of the Huxtables out there that make $250,000 a year is kind of ridiculous," Mr. Ellis said. Many owners of 529 plans are young parents who take pride in saving money in advance for their children’s college education, he said. "You've made them look like chumps for saving whatever they’ve saved so far."

But isn't this the whole point? If you've worked to avoid needing the government's aid, You are essentially unpatriotic and an enemy of the state. By making yourself independent of government, you effectively oppose it.

Therefore, you should be made to feel like a chump for having attempted such insolence.

Instapundit writes that they're not just coming for your college savings, ">they're coming for your everything.

Bank robber Willie Sutton is said to have explained his career this way: "That's where the money is." Whether Sutton ever really said that, it's an aphorism that, according to Bloomberg's Megan McArdle, explains President Obama's plans to go after middle class assets like 529 college savings plans and home appreciation.


Likewise, Obama proposes to tax the appreciation on inherited homes...

Why would the White House even consider such a thing?


When a government is desperate for cash, it goes after the middle class, because that's where the money is....

The truth is, in our redistributionist system politicians make their careers mostly by taking money from one group of citizens that won't vote for them and giving it to another that will. If they run short of money from traditional sources, they'll look for new revenue wherever they can find it. And if that's the homes and savings of the middle class, then that's what they'll target.

A man named Joe the Plumber asked about Obama's redistributionist agenda seven years ago. No one in the media did. When Obama bragged that indeed he supported "sharing the wealth," the media went into overdrive to cover up for Obama, and to smear Joe the Plumber. (Obama wasn't vetted, by an everyday citizen asking a question sure was.)

Now Obama is explicitly calling for even more "share the wealth" policies at the expense of the Middle Class.

Where do we go to get that apology from the media?

Update: They're actually just trying to "reform" the tax code by making it "simpler."

See, it was too confusing before. So now they're going to take that confusing money out of your pocket.

Understand now?

Posted by Ace at 12:39 PM Comments

Reporter: Saudi King Abdullah "Couldn't Stand" Obama


Sounds like my kind of guy.

NBC reporter Richard Engle shot down the various claims emanating from both DC and Riyadh that the two men were close friends:

"One of the big ironies here is that President Obama, in his statement, said how close he was to King Abdullah... King Abdullah did not like President Obama. In fact, a lot of people I know that are quite close to the late King Abdullah said that the king could not stand President Obama. This close personal bond between the president and the late Saudi leader, I think, is people being polite at a time of a national funeral."

Of course, our Cool Guy President also decided to upset India with his Nicorette-chewing, while in audience with India's PM.

"In an ungainly sight, cameras caught US President Brack Obama chewing gum during the Republic Day parade on Monday. In the picture captured by cameras and posted on Twitter by some users, Obama was spotted removing his chewing gum while PM Modi was seen trying to explain something to the US president," reports the Times of India.

This #SmartDiplomacy doesn't seem to be working. Maybe because the asshole authoring it isn't that smart.

Posted by Ace at 11:12 AM Comments

Open Thread


George Clausen, "Twilight Interior" (c. 1909)

Posted by rdbrewer at 10:26 AM Comments

The Triumphant Return of DOOM



Good morning, my groovy babies. Long time no smell! (Ah, the sweet sweet thrill of a fourth-grade burn. It makes life worth living.)

IBM may lay off as many as 100,000 employees this week. One hundred thousand. They're going to keep that one old janitor named Henry because he has a huge inventory of dirty jokes and is the life of any party, but everyone else (apparently) is going to get pinkslipped. Here's another take from Forbes.

We also have another entrant in the long-running "white racism is at the root of all evil" journalism genre. In this case, the story has to do with black homeowners being hit hard by the 2006-2007 real-estate meltdown.

What's that you say? Plenty of white, asian, and hispanic homeowners got burned in that debacle as well? You're saying that this piece is a repeat of every real-estate sob story for the past seven years, only wrapped up in a race-baiting shell? If this surprises you, you need to get out more.

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Posted by Monty at 09:00 AM Comments

Morning Thread (1-26-2015)


The blizzard approacheth.

Posted by Andy at 06:58 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (1-25-2015)


Quote of the Day

Our schools and colleges are laying a guilt trip on those young people whose parents are productive, and who are raising them to become productive. What is amazing is how easily this has been done, largely just by replacing the word "achievement" with the word "privilege."

-- Thomas Sowell in His Royal Glibness

10 of Winston Churchill's Best Quotes

On the 50th anniversary of his death.

"We have not journeyed all this way across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy."

-To the Canadian House of Commons, December 30 1941
"[I]t has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

-To the House of Commons, November 11, 1947
"It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time."

-To the House of Commons, February 27, 1945

Semi-Retired President Has Better Things To Do Than Attend Foreign Events

"Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will represent the United States at the 70th anniversary ceremony for the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp on Tuesday-rather than President Barack Obama or Vice President Joe Biden-while other countries are slated to send their heads of state," according to Daniel Wiser of the Washington Free Beacon

And note that this may be last major ceremony to include people with first-hand knowledge of Auschwitz:

Tuesday's ceremony will likely be the last major anniversary where a significant number of survivors of the Nazi camp are present. About 300 are expected to attend, and most of them are in their 90s or older than 100. Nazi authorities killed 1.1 million people at the camp, mostly Jews, which was liberated by the Soviet army in January 1945.


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Posted by Maetenloch at 10:31 PM Comments

Pro Bowl

—Dave In Texas

Ok, whatever.. the Pro Bowl.

Did you know there are actually Pro Bowl Cheerleaders?

Here's one.


I only have one comment with respect to DeflateGate and that is when in hell are we going to stop adding the word "gate" to every goddamn scandal ever? Most of you were kids when Nixon's bumblers got caught in the Watergate hotel. Oh wait, so was I. OK whatever, too young to remember or care is the point.

I wish it had been called the "WaterTits" hotel.

Posted by Dave In Texas at 07:45 PM Comments

Weekend Thread: War Reporting [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

Saw this neat picture from the Israeli Defense Force's twitter feed:


It got me thinking about military correspondents. I'm sure many of you know more about this topic than I do, but I found this article interesting:

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Posted by Open Blogger at 06:45 PM Comments

Food Thread: Deflated Balls Edition [CBD]

—Open Blogger

In the absence in the news of anything other than interminable discussions of Tom Brady's 11 deflated balls, I suggest we look upon spherical foods as a metaphor for the media's vast appetite for stories that go nowhere.

Or because they are easy to eat and usually taste good.

But first, can someone explain this equation to the journalism majors of America? Did none of them take physics?

P1 x V1/T1 = P2 x V2/T2

These are called bitterballen, and they are a distinctly Dutch treat that go wonderfully with booze. Or alone.


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Posted by Open Blogger at 04:15 PM Comments

Gaming Thread in AR

—Gang of Gaming Morons!

John Hill, father of the modern wargame passed away on the 12th. So many games can be traced back to his hit Squad Leader. Without him, the wargaming genre would be in worst shape.

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Posted by Gang of Gaming Morons! at 03:25 PM Comments

Valerie! Bibi was mean to me! I HATE him! [CBD]

—Open Blogger

White House going nuclear on Netanyahu

Our petulant man-child president will be making significant and far-reaching foreign policy decisions based on being called a poopy-head during recess.

Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price.

And from commenter Willow: The Future does not belong to those who insult Obama?

Posted by Open Blogger at 01:30 PM Comments

Secular Arguments for Life [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

Earlier this week there was quite a lot of back and forth on Twitter and elsewhere about abortion, including some challenges to the pro-life position based on secular arguments. The thesis appeared to be that there was no way to argue against abortion without invoking The Almighty.

This post is not about abortion per se. Rather, I wanted to point out that it is certainly possible (and I might argue more powerful) to make the case for life on purely secular grounds.

There are two major issues at play. The first is establishing whether or not the living being (there is no argument that embryos and fetuses are living beings; that's simple biology) in utero is a "person."

And the second is whether or not a mother (or mother and father) have unique rights to end that life based solely on where that living being resides.

Thoughtful secular humanists have tackled these questions. A few examples are provided below:

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Posted by Open Blogger at 11:00 AM Comments

Sunday Morning Book Thread 01-25-2015: Science! [OregonMuse]

—Open Blogger

National Library - Paris, France.jpg
Paris - France National Library (Bibliothèque Nationale de France)

(library photo stolen from the HuffPo who got it from this guy)

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. Unless you're a girl.

Quote Of The Week

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.

-Haruki Murakami

Man's Search for Knowledge

Younger book thread readers might not know, and hence find it hard to believe, that there once was a time in America wen those who spoke to the public at large in the name of science weren't a bunch of smug, arrogant jerks. In particular, Bell Laboratories (yes, the old monopoly phone company) produced a series of educational movies on topics such as blood, the sun, heredity, the weather. They were originally broadcast on TV between 1957 and 1964, but then Bell made 16mm copies freely available for educational purposes, so they became science class staples in primary and secondary schools all over the country. If you're old like me, you're probably remember the AV club setting up the film projector in your classrooms so the science teacher could show the class films such as Hemo the Magnificent, or Our Mr. Sun, or maybe even The Unchained Goddess. I think they actually hold up pretty well, all things considered, they're entertaiing and yes, they're a bit hokey, but not as much as you might think.

Of course you can read about all of this, the history, the personalities, the films themselves, and more, in the book Sonnets & Sunspots: "Dr. Research" Baxter And The Bell Science Films by Eric Niderost.

And I'd much rather listen to Dr. Frank Baxter than Neill DeGrasse Tyson any day.

For more "man's search for knowledge" type stuff for a general audience, you might want to look into Daniel Boorstin's trilogy The Discoverers, followed up by The Creators: A History of Heroes of the Imagination and The Seekers: The Story of Man's Continuing Quest to Understand His World.

Mean Girls

You know 'em, you hate 'em, you love to hate 'em, they're 30 literary 'mean girl' characters, although I don't think some of them really qualify as mean girls, so caveat lector.

And Susan Pevensey from the Narnia stories isn't a "hussy". I think the word Lewis would use to describe her would be "worldly", which is quite different.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 09:09 AM Comments

Early Morning Thread 1/25/15: Sunday Comics edition. [krakatoa]

—Open Blogger

Good Lord what a week. Anyone got a good joke?

I'll accept any variation of the well-worn but timeless Boehner/Boner gags.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 06:30 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (24 Jan 2015)


Dang it, this winter has been a bust here in the Hampton Roads area so far. Just rain, no snow. I blame the snow shovel I finally bought at the end of last season. I finally got the gear I needed for when it snows and now it does not snow. Figures. Monday night/Tuesday is lookin' good though for some snow. Too good for those of you in the northeast according to some of the models.

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Posted by CDR M at 10:03 PM Comments

Dumb Hat, No Cattle [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

Stephen Miller (aka @redsteeze on Twitter) caught Mr. Dumb Hat in a doozy:

**UPDATE: I realized some of you might need context. Go to Twitchy for more.**

Open thread.

Posted by Open Blogger at 05:58 PM Comments

Saturday Gardening Thread: Winter Is Making Me "Potty" Edition [Y-not, Weirddave & KT]

—Open Blogger

Good afternoon, gardeners!

Today's post is brought to you by funky garden containers:


It's still January, so a lot of us are stuck indoors either dreaming about gardening or perhaps preparing for Spring. 'Seemed like a good time to talk about innovative planters. We're lucky this week to have two guest contributors, @sasso333 and Melissa Clouthier. (Because of that, your usual co-hosts will keep their sections on the short side.)

First, courtesy of @sasso333 on Twitter:

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Posted by Open Blogger at 02:30 PM Comments

Iranian General Killed By Unlimited Minutes Cell Plan and Israeli Missiles..... [CBD]

—Open Blogger

But mostly his unlimited cell plan


Clearly it is approaching the End Times: The shape shifters are now technologically aware.

Posted by Open Blogger at 01:27 PM Comments

Fundamental Concepts - The Aberration [Weirddave]

—Open Blogger

When I see, from the entire left side of the political spectrum, more and more strident demands to end Western culture as we know it, I wonder if these people have any clue exactly what it is that they are asking for. King Midas got exactly what he wanted, to his everlasting horror. There's a lesson in that, an important one, but one that I suspect is lost on someone who navigates through life by the seat of their righteousness, guided by the certainty of their conceit.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 11:50 AM Comments

Real Life Climatologist Roy Spencer On 2014 As The Hottest Year Ever: Nope! [CBD]

—Open Blogger


The guy has an actual PhD, in a discipline that might have some special insight into climate change. Yes, argument from authority is not popular around here, but in this case he really is a rocket scientist! And he really doesn't like the shabby analysis that passes for climatology nowadays.

Science as a methodology for getting closer to the truth has been all but abandoned. It is now just one more tool to achieve political ends.

This needs to be shouted from the rooftops, plastered across t-shirts, hammered into the skulls of every progressive who proclaims his dedication to rational thought but in reality worships at the altar of Moloch; willing to destroy anything for his own ends.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 10:35 AM Comments

Saturday Morning Politics Thread: Who Isn't Running? [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

I'm still working on the next installment in our "issues" series in which we've been examining the records and positions of our top 7 GOP prospects, so I thought this weekend we could just talk about how the field is shaping up thus far.

This tweet sums things up rather nicely, I think:

Continue reading

Posted by Open Blogger at 08:43 AM Comments

EMT 1/24/15 - Wingin' It [krakatoa]

—Open Blogger

About to board my flight. So. Happy Weekend to the horde from snowy EWR.

Posted by Open Blogger at 07:12 AM Comments

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Top Headlines
Teddy Bear the porcupine predicts the Giants will win the Superbowl
And so far he's batting 1.000. [rdbrewer]

CJ Ciaramella: Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Introduced in Congress
"'The FAIR Act will ensure that government agencies no longer profit from taking the property of U.S. citizens without due process, while maintaining the ability of courts to order the surrender of proceeds of crime.'" [rdbrewer]

Discover Magazine: Wild dolphins exchange names when they meet at sea [rdbrewer]

American Glob: Early Photos of #Snowmageddon2015 [rdbrewer]
Dudes At the Sundance Film Festival All Look Pretty Dumb
They seem very excited to wear their cold-weather jackets... too excited
TruthRevolt: Pope Francis Wants to Cross Southern Border to Show ‘Brotherhood and Support for Immigrants’
"'To enter the United States from the border with Mexico would be a beautiful gesture of brotherhood and support for immigrants.'" Because we just can't have enough children riding "the death train" to America. Via commenter "Costanza Defense." [rdbrewer]

Boehner admits 'couple of stumbles' in GOP agenda
"In addition to the border bill, Republicans were forced to withdraw legislation that would have restricted abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy." Who could've guessed this kind of thing would keep happening? [rdbrewer]

Devlin Barrett: U.S. Spies on Millions of Drivers
"Many state and local law-enforcement agencies are accessing the database for a variety of investigations... putting a wealth of information in the hands of local officials who can track vehicles in real time on major roadways." [rdbrewer]

Maureen Mullarkey: Pope Francis Is A Leftist And Must Be Called Out
"Pope Francis has associated with revolutionaries and ideologies that destroy human life and living conditions. The right response is not silence." It's like the ostentation of the new rich, except it's not the conspicuous use of money; it's the vulgar, self-indulgent use of his authority. I don't need to hear what the Pope thinks about iPhones and climate, for example. One would think he has more important things to occupy his time. [rdbrewer]

Michael Barone: Are today's Millennials a new Victorian generation?
"The most obvious evidence of the Millennials’ virtuous behavior is the vast decline in violent crime in the last 25 years." [rdbrewer]

Obama Sends Political Team To Israel To Defeat Netanyahu (Funded By State Dept.)
"The group V15, which denies that its motto is ‘anyone but Bibi,’ is working with U.S. political strategist Jeremy Bird who worked on the Obama campaign to replace the Israeli government in March." [rdbrewer]

Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer: Bowe Bergdahl Has Been Charged With Desertion
"The Army came to this decision months ago, but the White House has been stonewalling...." More from Yid With Lid. [rdbrewer]

Jon Gabriel: Musicians vs. Politicians, Part XCLVII
"Conforming slavishly to stereotype, the Dropkick Murphys are boring lefties who get offended when non-approved people enjoy their derivative tunes. The over-the-hill band bravely took to Twitter to react precisely as everyone expected." [rdbrewer]

Al Weaver: Limbaugh: Scott Walker ‘The Blueprint’ For GOP If They Are ‘Serious About Beating The Left’
"[Limbaugh said] the GOP needs to 'hoist' Walker on a chair they used to take Caesar through the crowds with.' ¶ 'If you have spent any time listening to this program in the last two years, you know that I believe Scott Walker is the blueprint for the Republican Party....'" [rdbrewer]
The best thing on Twitter today, courtesy of Moron RD Brewer. [NDH]

Larry Correia: Sad Puppies 3: The Ensaddening.
"If you’d like to nominate good books, stories, and related works for the Hugos so that the biggest award in sci-fi/fantasy isn’t just a Social Justice Warrior circle jerk, you need to get yourself a supporting membership to Sasquan before the end of January." [rdbrewer]
Hot New Meme of Putting Alarming Messages Inside of Anodyne Sentences Has All the Spiders In Your Mouth Very Excited About Future
NY Times, 2/14: The End of Snow?
Drudge caught this headline from last year. Also via Drudge: 2010s officially the snowiest decade in the east coast in the NOAA record. [rdbrewer]
Scientists Have Figured Out How to Un-Boil An Egg
Supposedly this has something to do with fighting cancer... it has to do with putting twisted and de-natured proteins back into working order

The Most Awful Story You'll Read Today

1916 Sherlock Holmes Film, Thought to be Lost, Now Being Released
It stars William Gilette, who got very famous playing Holmes. And rich enough to build a little castle in Connecticut (which you can visit)

Georgie Couple Apparently Lured to Their Deaths By Craigslist Ad for Vintage Mustang

All out of bubble gum.
Slate: Wisconsin’s Scott Walker outshines the competition in Iowa
"Before the Iowa Freedom Summit on Saturday, one Republican activist summed up Gov. Scott Walker’s challenge this way: 'He doesn’t make the flashbulbs go off.' But at the end of the marathon day of speeches before conservatives, the Wisconsin governor emerged as the leading light." [rdbrewer]

American Sniper Finally Breaks Hollywood’s Anti-Military Omertà
Movie review. [rdbrewer]

Christina Hoff Sommers: Sexual Assault Myths: Part 2
Video. [rdbrewer]
Want A Taser-Proof Outfit? A Fencing Lamé Will Do The Trick [dri]
Glenn Reynolds, USA Today: Middle-class savings like blood in the water
"Obama goes where the money is to pay for 'free' education programs - your savings account." [rdbrewer]

Jim Geraghty: A Completely Different Sense of the GOP’s ‘First Tier’
From the Morning Jolt. "Allow me to offer a completely different grouping of the big names than you’ve seen elsewhere." [rdbrewer]

John Fund: 2016: It Begins
"Clear winners and losers emerged from the first major candidate huddle in Iowa this weekend." [rdbrewer]

Tanned, rested and ready.
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