So Sometimes You Want to do Some Low-Risk Progressive Moral Preening and Collect Your Knee-Jerk Seal-Claps for Your Thick-Headed-but-Politically-Correct Statement, But Then You Accidentally Veer Off Into a Ditch and Say Something Condescendingly Racist
I think it's fair to play the Outrage Game here with Kelly Osborne because she was trying to play it, in her own stupid way, against Donald Trump.
So, if she screwed up what should have been the easiest tap-in Progressive Moral Peacocking and went Full Racist, hey, I'll enjoy that, without guilt.
"If you kick all Latinos out of this country, who is going to be cleaning your toilet Donald Trump" - Kelly Osbourne pic.twitter.com/a7Ylz4Elu2— Karεn Ciѵil (@KarenCivil) August 4, 2015
But See: The Toilet Brush Campaign. H/t The Analog Kid.
Prior History: Bruce with a Wang! reminds that she played the Outrage Card on a fellow TV hostess for the "racist" claim of saying that dreadlocks suggested the smell of marijuana, or something.
She quit the show in Outrage over this.
See, this is the sort of person I do not at all mind playing the Outrage Game against -- there are civilians and then there are Outrage Terrorists. She's an Outrage Terrorist, and she cannot complain of having her own stupid tactics used against her.
Chris Christie: I Would Not Permit Businesses to "Discriminate" Against Gay People, But Would Make Exemptions for Religious Organizations Only
If Politco's reporting is to be believed as accurate -- a dubious proposition -- that is what Christie supposedly said today.
Commenter tommylotto points out that I am trusting Politico's paraphrase of Christie's remarks for this post, which he claims is unwise and unfair, especially given the point I'm making about Politico (that they simply do not understand conservative beliefs or arguments).
That is a good point.
I am leaving this post up, but with this caveat: You can't trust a progressive to paraphrase a conservative's words.
If this report turns out to be ill-founded, I'll retract prominently, and ding Politico again.
For the moment, I'm just assuming -- provisionally, and a bit optimistically -- that someone at Politico understands the very basics of their job.
I personally would not permit businesses to discriminate against gay people for being gay -- but I sure would permit them to "discriminate," or just refuse, to be a part of ceremony they find contrary to their religion.
The distinction I make is between simply selling a stock in trade (donuts off a shelf) or being asked to personally use one's skill and experience to tailor-make something for a gay wedding. There is necessarily an intimacy and direct contact with the object-to rite in that instance which outweighs the would-be customer's purported right to buy anything from anyone he chooses.*
He also says he's used birth control, but... sure, of course Politico finds that to be the big news here. Because they're trivial and childish. They're Buzzfeed for Over 40s.
Town hall meetings like the one in Manchester offer an opportunity for Christie to meet voters, show off his personality and crack jokes. On Tuesday morning, he made brief opening remarks before opening the floor to questions, deftly maneuvering across queries about whether he would allow business owners to discriminate against gay couples (no, but he would make exceptions for religious organizations) and Tom Brady (Christie cannot help him).
So the birth control thing is that he was talking about the separation of church and state and somehow got into the business of the Catholic Church's prohibition on artificial birth control; he says he's used it, and "not just the rhythm method." Then he said he doesn't think that makes him a bad Catholic.
Who gives a shit.
The important thing is that he does not support any kind of liberty of conscience in people's lives except for those working for expressly religious institutions. All other people must forfeit their liberty of conscience in order to achieve the allegedly-imperative social goal of no one disagreeing publicly with anyone else and no one ever feeling the discomfort of ideological conflict.
Except in church. Only churches get to "discriminate" like that.
* Some will object that my formulation is itself a compromise of perfect liberty of conscience and perfect freedom of association. It is that. I can't deny that.
On the other hand, I think actively agitating for a perfect and complete right to discriminate against whoever you like is a surefire loser position, which will result in the public opting for the progressive position (no freedom of conscience at all).
The Haggard Queen Loses Support Among White Women
Mrs. Clinton is losing ground with white women and many other important slices of the electorate, the poll shows, amid a spate of reports about her email practices, speaking fees and foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation.
In June, 44% of white women had a favorable view of Mrs. Clinton, compared to 43% who didn’t. In July, those numbers moved in the wrong direction for Mrs. Clinton: Only 34% of white women saw her in a positive light, compared to 53% who had a negative impression of her, the poll found....
In the first three months of the year, suburban women by a margin of 18 points had a positive view of Mrs. Clinton. In July, those numbers took a dramatic turn for the worse. By a five-point margin, suburban women had a negative view of Mrs. Clinton.
Among white women with at least a college degree, 51% had a positive view of Mrs. Clinton and 38% a negative as of June. In July, those numbers had turned to 43% positive and 47% negative.
“There is no way you can say she’s in the same position this month compared to last month,” said Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster who directs the WSJ/NBC News survey along with Democrat Fred Yang. “She’s been dented and she’s in a weaker position.”
The WSJ/NBC poll of 1,000 adults was conducted July 26-30.
Other worrisome trends for Team Clinton:
–In the first quarter of the year, independents were about evenly split in their perception of Mrs. Clinton. By July, many independents had soured on her. Just 27% had a positive image of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state, compared to 52% who had a negative view.
Barack Obama lost white women by 14 points, however, he of course had historic (historic, I tell you) levels of support from blacks and other minorities. The Haggard Queen won't have quite that, I don't think, so she needs to make up that ground in other demographics.
Obviously, she's looking to pull in a historic chunk of the women's vote.
But what if women just don't like the dissembling cow?
Oh, and Then There's Hillary's "Assistant" Or Whatever They're Calling It These Days: Quick, media, write another 6000 stories about how "beautiful" and "elegant" Huma Abedin is.
Clinton aide may have 'delivered favors' for friends, IG finds
By SARAH WESTWOOD • 8/3/15 12:42 PM
An investigation may have found evidence a top State Department aide to Hillary Clinton took advantage of government employment rules with potential conflicts of interest and overpayments.
In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday, Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said an inspector general probe suggested Huma Abedin leveraged her State Department job to benefit her two other employers at the time: the Clinton Foundation and a consulting firm called Teneo Strategies.
Teneo Strategies was founded by a longtime aide to Bill Clinton, Douglas Band, and boasted the former president as a paid board member when it first launched in 2011.
Abedin allegedly sent or received more than 7,000 emails on her government account that involved Band, the letter said.
As an example of the potential conflicts of interest at play, Grassley cited an email exchange in which Band pressed Abedin to encourage her State Department boss, Hillary Clinton, to facilitate a White House appointment for one of his clients.
This is just the worst hornet of corruption in a swarm of scandals buzzing around the beautifully mercenary and elegantly self-dealing Ms. Abedin -- there are also questions about whether she should have been paid lots of money for not taking a government leave (though she did take it, it is alleged), and whether the State Department should have been paying for her travel plans -- travel that seems to have been in service of her private clients, not the US government.
Not to mention -- What the hell is she doing working for the State Department and private, favor-seeking clients simultaneously?
But that's the thing about the Clintons, isn't it? So hard to tell where the government ends and their private interests begin.
Huh: Dutch King Declares End to the Welfare State
Misfire! Readers, who actually read the post and the article, point out that this story dates from 2013. I completely missed that. Apologies. I'll throw up a fresh post.
Original post follows:
Via Instapundit, as America abandons the American Dream, other people seem to be interested in exploring it.
King Willem-Alexander delivered a message to the Dutch people from the government in a nationally televised address: the welfare state of the 20th century is gone.
In its place a "participation society" is emerging, in which people must take responsibility for their own future and create their own social and financial safety nets, with less help from the national government....
"The shift to a 'participation society' is especially visible in social security and long-term care," the king said, reading out to lawmakers a speech written for him by Prime Minister Mark Rutte's government.
"The classic welfare state of the second half of the 20th century in these areas in particular brought forth arrangements that are unsustainable in their current form."
Rutte may be hoping that the pomp and ceremony surrounding the king and his popular wife, Queen Maxima, will provide a diversion from the gloomy reality of a budget full of unpopular new spending cuts he revealed later in the day.
The Dutch have pursued an austerity program (Northern European countries favor hard currency and more balanced budgets) and many (government workers, union workers, pensioners, etc.) are upset about all the cuts. Rutte's government is actually at record low levels in terms of support.
So this isn't a victory parade. As they say about democracy, people turn to freedom, capitalism, and personal responsibility when no other options are remaining.
Meanwhile, just to give you a bit of background on European politics, Geert Wilders "far-right" Freedom Party -- the party that is most vocal about stopping immigration -- is actually opposed to Rutte's cuts, and calls them a case of kicking the nation when it's down.
That tends to happen, that is, parties deemed allegedly "far right" pursuing more socialist, wealth-spreading agendas. Not as much as the socialists, but also opposed to what is often sneered at in Europe as "liberalism" (liberalism being both social and economic freedom)*.
* I found this Wikipedia entry useful on the subject. Basically, America is so thoroughly "liberal" -- in the "classic liberalism" sense -- that the parties were formally split between two branches of liberalism, what I'd call left-liberalism or populist/socialist liberalism, and "conservative liberalism."
But in America, we just called the two "liberalism" and "conservatism."
In Europe, they might deem people like us simultaneously "ultra-liberal" and "far-right."
Now that the Democrats are increasingly openly embracing Socialism, and increasing state control (every single day they rail against "so-called 'free speech'"), I don't think we can term them "liberals" any longer.
5th Planned Parenthood Video Drops: "We Can Get Creative" About What Procedures We Employ When We're Hunting Human Tissue
Gee, this sure sounds like a violation of federal law, which states that abortionists can never alter abortion procedures for tissue-hunting purposes.
But this fine citizen says they can get "creative" with that stricture.
Farrell also allegedly tells two actors posing as tissue buyers that Planned Parenthood can "get creative about when and where, and under what conditions can we interject something that is specific to the tissue procurement needs."
And there you have it... pic.twitter.com/KxclSId2c6— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) August 4, 2015
Robert Julian Onderdonk, "Cactus in Bloom" (1915)
Impressions From Last Night's GOP Speed Dating Event
Last night almost all of the major candidates were in NH for a really weird "candidate forum." The format involved a local moderator who asked some strange questions to each candidate in blocks of about 3-5 minutes before the candidate was kicked off and another came in before the seat could get cold. It turned out there were two rounds of this and candidates sat in the front row watching the others while they waited their turn.
There was no Trump or Huckabee. Cruz, Paul and Rubio were in DC and appeared via satellite (more on that in a minute).
So how did they all do? A few quick thoughts on each (not in any particular order):
Rick Perry: My first impression is he can not seem to find the sweet spot between HYPED UP ON ENERGY DRINKS and stoned on back pain pills. He was asked which agencies he'd eliminate which got a laugh because it hearkened back to the "oops" moment from 4 years ago. The problem is, he kind of rambled on and never actually answered the question. His inability to catch on nationally is a real surprise. I think his problem is that while he's clearly better prepared after the disaster of 2011/12, people have other choices this time who don't carry Perry's previous baggage. If the field were thinner, he'd probably be getting a second look but people have other options so they've moved on. It looks like he won't make the main debate this week, so he's kind of done.
Scott Walker was....there. This guy is a puzzle to me. He's just sort of there but he should be so much more or less. He's basically a talking point machine and once you've heard them a few times you don't need to hear them again. The only good part of this format was he didn't have time to tell his "I shop at Kohls" story, so that was good. And yes, I get he has to reach out to voters who don't pay much attention so the relentlessly on message stuff may work and be necessary. It is what it is. I just wanted more from him than a super safe campaign.
Ben Carson: Not sure why he's still running. His, God wants 10%, no deductions, no loopholes, so that's what the tax code should be, thing is never going to fly. He's really capitalized on that one prayer breakfast speech, huh?
Jeb Bush: Let me be charitable and say that this was an off night. Unless he's speaking about the joys of immigration he just seems disinterested. None of the Bushes are great speakers but at least with W. even when he mangled stuff you kind of got what he was trying to say. It wasn't pretty but it worked. Jeb...is not that lucky. Jeb's answer on Syria involved saying no to "boots on the ground" but yes to special forces. Um, ok. Then this....
Jeb: "In fact, I got a T-shirt that says--uh, at the Jeb Swag Store, that says I'm the, um, I'm the--my dad's the greatest man alive."— Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) August 4, 2015
We've seen this movie before. Twice. We're going to see it a 3rd time because he's going to be the nominee.
Chris Christie: Says he wasn't ready last time but is now. The problem is, voters were ready for him last time but not so much now. He wants to be the guy who will level with voters about entitlements and things like raising the retirement age and means testing Social Security and Medicare. Ok but I think to sell that kind of stuff (which is near impossible but necessary) you have to do it by putting it into a shared sacrifice, for the good of America context. Christie says those things but his personality makes it sound like, "shut up and give men your damn Social Security." Not sure how that plays beyond a very limited audience.
John Kasich: Who let the Democrat in? His late arrival in the race is likely to bump Perry out of the main debate so there's something else to hate him for. He was asked what to do about sanctuary cities and haughtily dismissed the question by saying there's broad bi-partisan agreement to end them. This is what we political junkies call, "a lie". After dispensing that bull he went on to shill for amnesty. He also said while economic growth was good and necessary we then need spread it around to poor people because that's what God wants us to do. So...yeah.
Carly Fiorina: The candidate everyone thinks more people should be supporting while supporting someone else. She said she was against the status quo so much in such a short period of time I feared for the safety of anyone who made "status quo" their drinking game phrase. She served a purpose early on by taking on Hillary but that seems to have faded for now and Trump has the "successful business person" thing locked down so, yeah. I do wish her well in her campaign to be the VP pick though.
George Pataki: Yes, he's still alive and yes he was there and he said things. The best part was when he said he supported defunding Planned Parenthood and started to say something else but then stopped himself. I think he was about to remind everyone he was pro-choice but thought better of it.
Lindsey Graham: Screw this guy. He was the only one of the four Senators running who wasn't in DC to vote against Planned Parenthood yesterday. He also said he'd send troops to Syria and hold territory there. So if you liked the Iraq occupation and want to try it again in an even worse situation, Lindsey's your guy.
Rand Paul: Full disclosure, he's my guy for now. He's at his best when he finds ways to connect his libertarian beliefs with more mainstream conservative ones. He was asked if his opposition to the NSA meta-data collection was putting the country at risk. He made a good case for traditional constitutional protections and then compared the problem of expansive surveillance with the IRS targeting conservatives. You can argue about how they are different issues but as a political argument it was a smart way to bridge a gap. He was asked which country he'd visit first as President and he said Russia or China, which was....weird. So, that was not good. Overall he didn't say anything to make me jump off the bandwagon and really that's all I hope for with him.
Marco Rubio Strong against the Iran deal as you'd expect. His defense of amnesty, hawkish foreign policy and big surveillance were expected. Those who like that will continue to like that, I however continue to find myself immune to his particular charms. His defense of the war on drugs and taking a shot at the dangers of alcohol were just bonus reasons not to like him. And when he said ISIS is the biggest threat this country has ever faced, I laughed. There was this thing called the Soviet Union Senator. I've seem some of his supporters be down about his performance but I cut him some slack. Like Paul and Cruz he was on via satellite and he had the most trouble dealing with the delay. His appeal comes from his smooth "I Love America' speeches and that didn't translate in this format or delays. I'd give him a pass on that.
Ted Cruz: I find myself thinking, screw it I like him more and more. I hate myself for it a little bit to be honest. I find his overt religiosity a bit much at times for my personal taste and I prefer executive experience but damn it, at least he gets it. He did come up against the question every Senator has a tough time with...when has your character been tested in a crisis? He rambled on a bit about stuff and then kind of settled on how hard it is to be an outspoken Senator fighting the DC machine. It would have been a good answer to another question but it highlighted that some people have been there and had to make calls and some talk and vote. There's not much he or Rubio or Paul can do about that. If you prize executive experience, that's just not going to work for them. Otherwise he was strong and eloquent on Planned Parenthood and the normal stuff.
Overall...weird night but a good warm up for the coming debate season. Not sure anyone really helped or hurt themselves last night. It did provide some clues about who needs some work going into Thursday. If Jeb! doesn't get his act together he could create some trouble for himself (though he's going to win the nomination). Kasich will be a great dividing line. Anyone who thinks, "wow, that could be the guy" will effectively out themselves as an establishment hack. He's terrible. Rubio needs a solid performance to wash away what seemed to some of his supporters a weak showing. Cruz needs to do his thing and hope Trump flames out. And Paul needs to keep teh cray cray in check and hope he has a solid night while letting Team Establishment hit Trump and not him.
I forgot one: Rick Santorum Bring back the sweater vest! Only candidate who is talking about decreasing legal immigration which is interesting. Got hit with the "which woman should be on a bill" question and didn't have an answer ready. I bet most other candidates didn't have one either and were glad they didn't get asked. They'll need to have one picked starting this morning to be safe.
I forgot two! Bobby Jindal He's another guy who should be doing better but won't even make the big kid's debate. I don't know if it was his not well received State of the Union response a few years ago or what but he's just not getting any traction. I like the guy and would be opening to supporting him but the fact he didn't stand out from the crowd (not sure how he can at this point) is not a good sign. He's the youngest guy running so maybe in the future when the field's not so crowded. But this time...he's just getting lost in the noise.
Tuesday Morning News Dump
- Dutch King Declares The End Of The Welfare State(From 2013)
- 'The Miracle Of The 1940s'
- Guess How Many Licensed Mammogram Facilities Planned Parenthood Runs
- The Frontrunner
- Hillary Clinton Loses Ground With White Women
- Huntington Park To Appoint Two Illegals As Commissioners
- I Could Have Been One Of Planned Parenthood's Victims
- Nuclear Power Seen As Big Winner In Obama's Power Plan
- More Than 2/3 Of Obamacare Enrollees Not Satisfied With Coverage
Morning Thread (8-4-2015)
So you're all solidly on Team ¡Jeb! now, right?
Overnight Open Thread (8-3-2015)
On L'Affaire Cecil and Why Internet Outrage May Doom the Lions of Zimbabwe
I've been trying to avoid getting sucked into this topic but there's been so much insanity on the subject and even otherwise reasonable people have spouted such nonsense on it that I feel compelled to say something. So let me make the case here for why (lion) trophy hunting in Africa is not only not harmful but is in fact necessary for the continued survival of lions.
Now I'm a bit of an odd duck when it comes to this subject since I'm someone very interested in hunting who has not actually ever gone hunting - mostly due to time and logistics than anything else. But I have read most of the classic hunting literature from Hunter to Ruark to Capstick as well as various modern reference guides to safaris so I believe I know more than the average person in this area.
I am also indebted to a friend of mine from South Africa who has put me a lot of knowledge on the subject. He's a professor here in the US who goes back to South Africa during summers to work as an assistant to a PH (professional hunter), and is very familiar with the on-the-ground realities when it comes to managing and hunting big game. One thing that becomes clear from the hunting writers and my friend is that they all have a respect (even love) for the animals they hunt as well as a deep knowledge of how they live, breed - and eventually die, which means they are also decidedly unsentimental about individual animals.
So let me lay out some facts for you...
- Without hunting lions have no economic value for the local people or ranchers. In fact they're a giant menacing pain in the ass since they tend to eat the locals' cattle as well as occasionally the locals themselves. There's really no upside at all to having an apex predator like a lion prowling around your village or ranch; only bad things can happen. Yes, there are photo-safaris but unless you're near tourist areas and are setup for it, there's not much money in this. So the reality is that without any economic incentive to keep the lions around, the locals end up driving them out or just poisoning them.
And here to paraphrase Jack Dunphy the alternative to allowing hunting is not perfection - it's the alternative. With no hunting at all you won't get a Lion King-Simba happy existence on the savannah, instead you'll see a slow gradual extinction of lions as a species due to loss of habitat and eradication by humans. Lions will not die out from hunting - rather it will be because none of the locals want them around or care enough about their continued existence to protect them.
But with controlled trophy hunting, the lions suddenly do have economic value. Because the hunting is so strictly limited hunters will pay a lot to be allowed to take a trophy - $30,000 and up. And $30,000 goes a long way in Africa. This money is split between the land owner, the local villagers, and the government. For the land owner and villagers this makes up on any losses they might have suffered from the lions, and it also means that they have a strong incentive to protect and maintain the local lions e.g. maintaining water pools, not putting up fences, watching for poachers, etc. The money from hunting is a major source of revenue for some remote villages. The revenue to the government helps pay for full-time rangers, park wardens and equipment to protect the lion populations.
- Africa is a huge place. Bigger than most people can really imagine. So to say that lions are endangered is both correct and false. Depending on where you are in Africa lions may be endangered or they may be actually over-populated. Due to their territorial nature both may be true - too many lions in one area but very few in another regions. Logistically it's not possible to move lions hundreds of miles away to open areas so you have to manage the population locally. And that means allowing controlled hunting.
- Adult male lions do not die peacefully of old age. They tend to die from injuries sustained in battles with younger males or from starvation from being driven out of their territory. Both of which tend to be unpleasant, lingering deaths. This is the reality of male lion life. Also only a few breeding males are needed in an area to maintain and grow a lion population. So a mature adult male like Cecil who was close to the average life span of a male lion in the wild (10-14 years) is the most expendable member of any lion population.
Zimbabwe has a population of lions estimated around 1,680 and on average 10-40 lions a year are taken through hunting which is approximately 1-2% of the population - less than the natural death rate of adult lions. But the permit fees from each hunted lion make a huge difference to the overall lion population. This isn't just theory - there are empirical results backing this up with elephant populations:
Anti-hunting groups succeeded in getting Kenya to ban all hunting in 1977. Since then, its population of large wild animals has declined between 60 and 70 percent. The country's elephant population declined from 167,000 in 1973 to just 16,000 in 1989. Poaching took its toll on elephants because of their damage to both cropland and people. Today Kenya wildlife officials boast a doubling of the country's elephant population to 32,000, but nearly all are in protected national parks where poaching can be controlled. With only 8 percent of its land set aside as protected areas, it is no wonder that wildlife in general and elephants in particular have trouble finding hospitable habitat.
But in Zimbabwe controlled hunting was allowed and hunting revenues shared through the CAMPFIRE program:
The numbers attest to the program's success. Ten years after the program began, wildlife populations had increased by 50 percent. By 2003, elephant numbers had doubled from 4,000 to 8,000. The gains have not just been for wildlife, however. Between 1989 and 2001, CAMPFIRE generated more than $20 million in direct income, the vast majority of which came from hunting. During that period, the program benefitted an estimated 90,000 households and had a total economic impact of $100 million.
The results go beyond the CAMPFIRE areas. Between 1989 and 2005, Zimbabwe's total elephant population more than doubled from 37,000 to 85,000, with half living outside of national parks. Today, some put the number as high as 100,000, even with trophy hunters such as Parsons around. All of this has occurred with an economy in shambles, regime uncertainty, and mounting socio-political challenges.
- Note that only hunters with proper permits and PH guides are allowed to hunt lions. The PH is responsible for obtaining all the permits and knowing all the local restrictions on hunting and knowing which animals can and can't be legally taken. So Dr. Walter Palmer was completely dependent on the PH and local guide when it came to shooting a lion. So if Cecil was shot illegally, the fault is all on the PH and crew. It's ironic that the person facing the most hate from all this (Palmer) is in fact the one most innocent of any charges of poaching.
So the bottom line is that if you actually care about the survival of lions as a species, you should support controlled trophy hunting. Hunters like Walter Palmer who paid $55,000 for the hunting permit have done far, far more to actually preserve real world lions in Africa than all of the hand-wringing celebrities and any of you reading this post. Ironically the weeping over Cecil and calls to ban all hunting of lions in Africa out of First World emotionalism may end up actually dooming them as a species. But everyone would get to feel awesomely smug about their love of lions from their armchair and general moral superiority.
Hulk Hogan is now a WWE non-person and Bunch has some thoughts on this.
The point is, though, that the tweet wasn't wrong. Hulk Hogan did, in fact, get airbrushed out of the (WWE) history books because he said bad words. It may have been incomplete, in that he also had bad thoughts. But that's literally the extent to the wrongs committed by Hogan here: He said a word that we, as a society, have more or less forbidden and professed thoughts that we, as a society, rightly consider to be wrong. He didn't, say, run a black guy over because he thought he was defiling his precious baby. He didn't, say, fire a black guy because he doesn't like the color of his skin.
Nope. He said bad words. He thought bad thoughts.
And he points to this comment by Scott Alexander on what the real goal of all this speech policing is:
The worst possible end-game for this is the two-tier marketplace of ideas mentioned above, with an unfortunate twist-everyone knows that the second tier is inhabited entirely by witches, and therefore being on the second tier is sufficient to convict you. Unpopular ideas are gradually forced out of the first tier by media smear campaigns, and from then on everyone believes the effort was justified, because it's one of those second-tier ideas that you only find in the same sites as the racists and trolls and child pornographers. You're not a second tier kind of person, are you? No, we didn't think so.
Because of our non-Leftist wrong-thoughts and bad-words we are all now becoming second tier persons. And you know what happens to them.
Apparently prosecutors in Williamson County, TN were unhappy that defense attorneys were referring to them in court as 'the Government' even though they refer to themselves as 'the State' and filed a motion to make one defense attorney stop:
"The State has noticed in the past few years that it has become commonplace during trials for attorneys for defendants, and especially Mr. Justice, to refer to State's attorneys as 'the Government,' " [prosecutors wrote.] "The State believes that such a reference is used in a derogatory way and is meant to make the State's attorney seem oppressive and to inflame the jury."
The targeted defense attorney struck back with his own counter-motion:
He demanded his client no longer be referred to as "the Defendant," but instead be called "Mister," "the Citizen Accused" or "that innocent man" - since all defendants are presumed innocent until a judge or jury finds them guilty. As for himself, clearly "lawyer" or "defense attorney" wouldn't do him, well, justice.
"Rather, counsel for the Citizen Accused should be referred to primarily as the 'Defender of the Innocent.' . Alternatively, counsel would also accept the designation 'Guardian of the Realm,' " Justice wrote. And since prosecutors are often referred to formally as "General" in court, Justice, in an effort to be flexible, offered up a military title of his own.
"Whenever addressed by name, the name 'Captain Justice' will be appropriate."
Gathering steam, he went on to say that even "the defense" wasn't adequate and that "the Resistance" would be far more appropriate.
He then concluded his motion, returning to the formal language of court documents - sort of."WHEREFORE, Captain Justice, Guardian of the Realm and Leader of the Resistance, primarily asks that the Court deny the State's motion, as lacking legal basis."
Sadly for both Captain Justice and 'The Government' both motions were denied.
I got 7/10 of the quotes right and that was mostly because I recognized them from Simpsons' episodes.
How a professor was driven from campus over a single Facebook post critical of Hamas. The fact that almost no other faculty members stood with him shows how much academia has become just a version of Lord of the Flies with student Red Guard enforcers. (Thanks to CBD)
I also learned a new word from this article - demopath:
Demopaths are people who use democratic language and invoke human rights only when it serves their interests, and not when it calls for self-criticism or self-restraint. Demopaths demand stringent levels of human "rights" but do not apply these basic standards for the "other" to their own behavior. The most lethal demopaths use democratic rights to destroy democracy.
Demopaths differ from civil-society free-riders; the latter enjoy more rights than they grant to others simply out of selfishness or laziness. Demopaths are fundamentally hostile to granting others' rights, and secretly despise the values of civil society (which demands that they tolerate and respect others). Instead of coming along for the ride, they want to sink the boat.
Apparently the CT legislature believes the untermenschen aren't capable of using electric or gas grills safely - or even storing them properly. (thanks to LauraW)
A little-noticed change in the newly revised Connecticut State Fire Prevention Code, which took effect May 7, prohibits the use and storage of any type of grill or cooking device on decks, beneath overhangs or within 10 feet of the building.
You make something like this. And then you spin round and round for hours because it means there's that much less free time left to just stare at the ice and the empty vodka bottles. (thanks to M. Humanitarian)
The Yahoo AoSHQ group - it's got electrolytes and shit.
And my twitter thang.
Tonight's post brought to you by being human:
Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC.
Close it up
First Republican Debate -- Or, Rather, Joint Interview Opportunity -- Stars in 3 Minutes on CSPAN
Trump won't be there, and neither will Huckabee, but most everyone else will be.
I think I'll just leave this as the last post of the day, and get to some of the stuff I didn't get to tomorrow.
If It's Monday, It Must Be Time For Another Group of Greatly Overweight Women To Strip Down to Prove that Fat is Beautiful
These are not the kind of "good thick" chicks that the fashion industry calls "Plus Size" despite having ballpark-normal-range bodyfat. These gals are legitimately beefy.
I don't like picking on fat people, being one myself. (Though attempting to be a not-so-fat person.)
So I'm not going to attack these women for being overweight.
Though I will question all the terrible, terrible tattoos.
I will, however, question this weird mix of narcissistic masochism that compels people to show off their flaws.
I don't know on that last one -- I can kind of make out, in my mind, the argument that to openly flaunt one's flaws is a sort of bravery.
Except for the fact that these women are proclaiming these are not flaws they're exposing at all, but rather their charms.
I don't get this whole "Fat Acceptance Movement." I guess it's just yet another manifestation of our Participation Trophy Non-Culture, with the specific kick of women now being empowered by every single thing in their lives.
Is This Something?
I'm going to bet on optimism and say it's something, even though I'm old enough to know better.
Although the original has become, by now, a minor classic, I can't forget when I became aware of it: Around September 11, 2001. That was when the two-weeks-before-the-September-28-release-date marketing campaign was ramping up.
Obviously, few bothered to see it in the theaters.
Close it up
John Kerry: We're Saying the Iran Treaty Isn't a Treaty Because It's "Impossible" To Pass a Treaty Anymore
This is weekend news, but a lot of you take off from the blog on weekends (what lazy rotters you are), so I think this is worth a post.
More and more, the Obama Administration claims that because Congress disagrees with them, they gain the power of Imperator (emperor).
If you don't have time to watch the vid, hit the first link (Twitchy) to see the text of Kerry's response.
He does claim what I claim he claims. He says it's not a treaty, because it's "impossible" to pass treaties, so now we're doing things by Executive Whim.
That's not all John Kerry said. In a remark that Ben Shapiro has deemed one of the most openly anti-semitic slurs he's heard from a major Democrat, John Kerry announced that Jews had better hope this Iran deal should pass, otherwise, the Jews Will Be Blamed.
So, you know, Jews: You'd better start playing ball. You know what happens when non-Jews start blaming you for things.
Secretary of State John Kerry's warning that Israel will be "blamed" if Congress opposes the Iran agreement conjures up troubling memories of other instances in which Israel or Jews were warned they might be blamed for international conflicts.
Secretary Kerry made his remark in an address to the Council of Foreign Relations on July 24. He appeared to be not merely predicting that Israel might be blamed, but hinting that the Obama administration itself might do the blaming. And since the administration has repeatedly claimed that rejection of the agreement will lead to war with Iran, the implication of Kerry's statement seems to be that Israel, the Jewish state, would be to blame for such a war.
The possibility that the blame would be extended to Israel's supporters in the United States has already been raised by President Obama himself, in his warning that unnamed "lobbyists" and "money" were trying to block the Iran deal.
It has been my custom of late to end posts with the word "unbelievable," but that's clearly no the right word, is it?
Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the nuclear inspection organization is barred from revealing to the United States any details of deals it has inked with Tehran to inspect its contested nuclear program going forward, according to regional reports.
Recent disclosures by Iran indicate that the recently inked nuclear accord includes a series of side deals on critical inspections regimes that are neither public nor subject to review by the United States.
Obama and Kerry have ravaged American dignity in a manner reminiscent of Jenjis Khan.
Jeb Bush's Camp Calls Donald Trump a "Godsend" For Sucking Away the Oxygen From Any Potential Jeb Rival
[The lack of media oxygen for other candidates] mainly helps Mr. Bush, who can quietly continue to build his daunting advantages in money and organization while his would-be challengers struggle to break through.
In Iowa, a crucial state for Mr. Walker, Mr. Trump is now statistically tied with him, according to an NBC Marist poll of potential Republican caucusgoers.
Privately, Mr. Bush’s top strategists, who have become increasingly fixated on halting Mr. Walker, believe that Mr. Trump is nothing short of a godsend. That is because Mr. Trump is drawing support from voters -- blue-collar, less-educated, more conservative -- who are unlikely ever to support Mr. Bush but are essential to Mr. Walker’s candidacy.
Hit the first link (the Hot Air link) to read about Trump saying he doesn't expect to throw any punches in Thursday's debate -- though he will punch back if hit.
People have been hoping another candidate, a more respectable one, would grab hold of the populist lightning that Trump has ridden to the top of the polls.
But none really are.
I can't help but think this has something to do with it.
A new oligarchic era of American politics came into full view on Friday, as super PACs disclosed fundraising details showing billionaires bankrolling the 2016 presidential race to an unprecedented degree.
The unlimited-money super PACs account for one-third of all federal election funds raised in the first half of 2015 -- up from 4 percent at this time in the last presidential election. Three-quarters of all super PAC money came from more than 500 wealthy donors, corporations and unions in contributions above $100,000. More than half the money in the presidential race so far -- to super PACs and to campaigns -- came from donors who have given at least $100,000.
For the first time in more than a century, the majority of funding for a presidential election is coming in six-figure or larger checks from corporations and the wealthiest Americans. The presidential campaigns, limited to a maximum of $5,400 from a single donor, raised a combined $128 million. Super PACs supporting those candidates pulled in $260 million, with $208 million from those giving $100,000 or more.
Now, a political candidate needs votes, but even more importantly, I think, he needs money. I had hoped my friend Mike Flynn could make an impact in IL-18 with very little money (he raised $100,000, compared to LaHood's $850,000+), but he could not.
To even keep the lights on in your campaign offices requires a lot of money.
And voting comes later. Much later. For the next year, candidates need, more than anything else, money. You will not be around to try to grab up votes if you don't have the money to stay viable until balloting actually begins.
And I think we all know how the Donor Class feels about amnesty, and the prospect of replacing broke-down old American workers with younger, hungrier foreign ones.
So I'm thinking that all the candidates in the Money Primary have already made a series of commitments on amnesty precluding them from taking any kind of real position against it, beyond the standard litany of "border security first" (supposedly -- all those "Virtual Walls" they have tried selling us on for going on 10 years now).
It's hard to see how anything can possibly change here, absent the transformative power of calamity.
Scary and sad.
Trump Now Has Biggest Lead Ever, Per Monmouth Poll: 26% support, 14 points ahead of Jeb!
In Japan, a Hotel Entirely Staffed by Robots Has Just Opened
And when I say "just opened" I mean two weeks ago. I missed it at the time.
That Business Insider link contains a video of the robots.
Endagaget has pictures of the robots. The reception desk is interesting -- one staffer is a somewhat-realistic looking woman; the other is a velociraptor who speaks English, because, why not.
Video of reception below, and a CBS report after that.
Is This a Joke?
I used to think I knew what a joke was.
For example, Andrew Stiles' headline is kind of a joke, and his subhed is a fun, weird, random little anti-joke joke.
But Elizabeth Harrington reports -- I think she reports; is she doing a Stiles-like deadpan schtick? -- that the EPA is spending $1.5 million for...
I can't summarize it. Let the EPA explain to you what they're spending $1.5 million for.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is spending $1.5 million to bring a "stove intervention" to Africa.
The project, conducted by the University of Colorado, is attempting to change how people living in the Sahel of Africa cook and light their homes to be more energy efficient.
Okay, let's review some facts:
Africa is the poorest continent on earth, where starvation is a real and continuing problem.
Energy efficiency is a rich man's luxury.
And cooking makes many inedible, or semi-edible, foods edible. I don't mean it makes them taste better (though it does that). I mean that cooking is a technological necessity for humankind because it begins the process of breaking down chemical bonds in food (or potential food) that the body would either not be able to break down (that is, the food would not be food at all; it would be biologically inert) or make it more biologically efficient to break down (that is, it takes metabolic energy to break down some foodstuffs, and if the body is spending a lot of energy on just breaking the food down to a useful form, it is getting very little net energy from the food.)
Cooking is not just something bored rich Westerners watch on TV. Cooking is absolutely essential to human survival, and the invention of cooking is one of the most important breakthroughs in human development.
But the EPA is going into impoverished Africa, to places where people are literally living at the edge of a desert (not a "food desert" as progs like to say, but a real desert) in order to boss Africans around and tell them they're not getting the Carbon Efficiency out of their wood-burning stoves that they should be getting.
Oh, don't take my word for it. Read the grant:
The EPA grant argues the project is necessary because the population in this region, which lies between the Sahara Desert and the vast Sudanian Savanna, is "projected to continue to grow at alarming rates," meaning more carbon emissions from when Africans cook.
"For this study, we will leverage an existing stove intervention study of 200 households in the region; randomly selected rural households received pairs of improved wood cookstoves," the grant said. "We expand that intervention study to assess stove use behaviors and emissions for an entire year and add urban households and commercial cooking activities."
The researchers will then analyze carbon emissions from "actual cooking events."
"These surveys will be supplemented with direct observations of cooking related behaviors to aide in assessment of time use (e.g., time spent cooking and gathering fuel) as these are not accurately determined through surveys," the grant continued. "Using the next generation of novel, inexpensive air quality monitors, we will continuously monitor concentrations of CO2, CO, NO2, and VOCs in the households throughout the year as well as seasonal subsets of direct emissions measurements from actual cooking events."
The project began last June, and is expected to run until May 2017. The research has cost taxpayers $1.5 million.
The EPA grant said that the goal of the project is to "develop a better understanding of the social, physical, and climatological determinants" of carbon emissions in the region.
There's more at the article, including the EPA's response to Ms. Harrington's report.
There is one humanitarian aspect here: If the stoves cook using less fuel, that reduces the amount of time that someone needs to spend on just gathering firewood.
Also, hey, free stove.
But I think it's pretty clear the major goal of this study is not to help desperately poor Africans; it's to lower the carbon footprint of people whose carbon footprints are already one one-hundredth of the smug Western progressives looking to save the world.
This may be the high-water mark for the wealthy urban progressives' favorite hobby, the collection and display of Luxurious Concerns.
Meanwhile, in America, President Cnut has ordered, by his own personal majesty, a 30% cut in CO2 emissions in America.
Because energy, you see, is some kind of trifle that we can well afford to burden with heaping additional costs.
In Deadly Complication of Obama's Half-Assed Action Against ISIS, Turkey is Now Bombing a Key US Ally, the Only Trustworthy Ground Troops Fighting ISIS
The Kurdish militia, the YPG, coordinates with the US in the few airstrikes we lodge against ISIS. I suppose that means they provide us the enemy's location and maybe conduct maneuvers designed to hold them while bombers are scrambled.
But in Turkish-occupied northern Kurdish enclaves, the PKK -- officially branded a "terrorist" organization (and I think that's a fair label) -- shoots Turkish cops and plants bombs.
What set this off? Well, a couple of weeks ago a suicide bomber killed 20 people in a Turkish town near the Syrian border, but most believe this was an ISIS suicide bomber, having nothing to do with the PKK.
A suspected female Islamic State suicide bomber has set off an explosion near a cultural centre hosting youth activists in a Turkish town near the border with Syria, leaving 32 dead and scores injured.
The blast ripped through the centre in Suruc, just a few miles from the Syrian flashpoint of Kobane - which was itself later hit in a co-ordinated suicide car bombing.
Most of the dead were university students with the Federation of Socialist Youths, who had been planning a mission to help rebuild Kobane, which was retaken by Kurds from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) militants earlier this year.
This has outraged Turkey, and Erdogan, being a politician, promised action. But while he is bombing ISIS, he's also taking the opportunity to bomb the PKK, Turkey's long-standing foe because, hey, why not. YOLO.
Turkey says the YPG sometimes works with the PKK, so now they're bombing our only real ground-troops allies in the fake war on ISIS.
Kurdish militia fighting Islamic State in Syria accused Turkey on Saturday of targeting it at least four times in the past week, calling the attacks provocative and hostile.
Turkey began a campaign of air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) camps in northern Iraq and Islamic State fighters in Syria last Friday, in what Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has called a "synchronized fight against terror."
The campaign has raised suspicions among Kurds that Ankara's real agenda is checking Kurdish territorial ambitions rather than fighting Islamic State.
The president of Iraq's Kurdistan region on Saturday condemned Turkey's bombardment of Zargala, a village there which he said had killed civilians, and called for a return to the peace process between Ankara and the PKK.
Nine were killed in the Zargala. The Kurds claim a pregnant woman is among the dead, which is certainly possible, but I think we've all come to be skeptical of reports of massacres by partisans in Middle East conflicts.
Turkey called an Article 4 (not 5) NATO meeting, which is a request for consultation when a member nation is threatened. NATO backed all of Erdogan's actions, for some reason.
And then PKK got vengeance, by blowing up a Turkish gas pipeline.
Turkey has also agreed to let America use our Incirlik air base to conduct raids (piloted and drone) on ISIS.
Now, you may be worried that amidst this backdrop of complex, ancient hatreds, President Obama might not have a plan capable of dealing with any of this.
But on that, you'd be wrong:
The plan is for Iran to fix everything with its brand-new Nuclear Bomb Rangers.
Correction: Embarrassing error: I wrote that America was letting Turkey use America's Incirlik base. In fact, the base is Turkey's; they're allowing the US to use it.
When I wrote that, I thought "This doesn't make any sense" but I told myself "Oh well, must be one of those bases like Diego Garcia that I haven't heard of."
Ah well. I call Mondays "Matt Yglesias Days." The days for Learning Adventures, each started by embarrassing mistakes.
Jeb!: Look, I'm Going To Do Amnesty But I Will At Least Talk About Border Security
You can read his 6 point border security plan here. It's all the stuff we've been hearing for decades (A mandate for a biometric entry/exit system has been on the books since 1996 and has never been created)
Here's the key bit from Jeb.
These six proposals, when combined with a rigorous path to earned legal status, would realistically and honestly address the status of the 11 million people here illegally today and protect against future illegal immigration. While passions run high on this issue, there is no rational plan to deport millions of people that the American people would support. It would disrupt communities and families and could cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.
I tend to agree that there's no real support for a "plan to deport millions of people", though there might be in the future. That doesn't mean that we have to have amnesty. It also doesn't mean that you can't deport those you find through the criminal justice system, work place enforcement investigations and raids, etc.
The real questions for Jeb! are what's the content of this "rigorous" process for legalization (he's pretending he's not for a path to citizenship here so let's humor him) and the sequencing of events?
As we see with all the broken enforcement and security measures a plan that simply consists of legislative promises to increase security/enforcement in exchange for immediate legalization should be a non-starter. We'll get the amnesty (and Yes, It's Amnesty) and the enforcement will slowly fade from memory.
If Jeb! is serious about this he needs to make it clear that the only plan he will support consists of security and enforcement measures that are proven to be in place and working for some number of years (3-5 seems reasonable) not just written down on some piece of paper somewhere and filed away never to be seen again. Only after that can we even begin to talk about legalization.
So no you're never going to "hunt them down and round them all up" (which is a strawman) but you can certainly deport those you do find while making it harder and less attractive to be here illegally. That should reduce the number pretty substantially before any amnesty talk.
Personally, I'm not holding my breath.
GOP Weekly Address: Everything's Kind Of Awesome, Huh?
The GOP establishment has found a hill to die...they don't give a damn that you don't like what they are doing.
Let me sum up what Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the 4th ranking member of the House GOP leadership, has to say: Gosh everything is swell and on behalf of Republicans in Congress, You're Welcome!
Watch it and see if it matches in tone or content what people are thinking about the GOP led Congress.
This isn't the first time they've run this scam.
Reminder: McMorris Rodgers slipped and told the truth last year...the GOP is going to keep ObamaCare and she was pretty sweet on passing amnesty too.
Try and square this upbeat, "damn aren't we wonderful," pitch with a little thing I like to call reality.
Donald Trump is leading the GOP field and less than a year after historic GOP victories, this....
Among GOP voters, 53% say they don't feel their views are well represented in Washington at all, nearly double the 27% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who feel the same way.
That's an astonishing number given the position the GOP finds itself 7 years after being written off for dead in 2008.
But fear not, Jeb! Bush thinks he's diagnosed the cause of the anger...not enough bi-partisan BS in DC.
At Koch confab, Bush, asked to explain Trump appeal: 'Look, watch Washington. Nothing's happening. People are angry. People are frustrated.'
No Jeb! too much is happening in DC and Republicans don't like it. They don't like the deficit and debt increasing Doc Fix and Highway bills. They don't like Mitch McConnell caving on executive amnesty or lobbying to get Republicans to vote for Loretta Lynch. They aren't too thrilled with the idea that the GOP has only been willing to go to the mat on trade so far, you know, that thing Obama wanted. They don't like the Iran failure theater.
The GOP establishment honestly seems befuddled as to why people aren't flocking to them with rose petals. They really think this is a winning plan.
I get that I'm Mr. Anti-GOP but I'm not demanding anything new and exciting here. I'd simply like the GOP to live up to the promises they made less than a year ago. People can see what's going on and who is benefiting from it. All the happy-happy talk in the world won't fool people.
Think about this: Have you seen any of the GOP scolding class who spend all their time yelling at the dumb hicks who are ruining their party by flirting with Trump ever say, "maybe Trump isn't helpful but we should at least acknowledge that there's a legitimate frustration out there"? I haven't. It's all been, "Screw you. Either get in line or get the hell out."
If the GOP nominates a guy like Jeb! and crashes and burns next year (Hillary attacked Jeb! at event on Friday they were both speaking at. Jeb! didn't attack back), it won't be the fault of pissed off conservatives. It will all be on a GOP establishment that thought it could pull the wool over the eyes of the party's voters one more time.
They've made their choice on how to deal with their disgruntled voters. Now they will have to live or die with it.
But let's be honest, it's not a bad bet. It's worked before.
Robert Julian Onderdonk, "Bluebonnets in Texas" (1915)
Monday Morning News Dump
- WH Gets It Right On Occupational Licensing
- Cecil The Lion And Cecile Richards, No Humaneness For Humans
- Are The Dems Even Going To Have Debates
- Iran, The Munich Comparison
- Where's The Proof That Baby Trafficking Saves Lives?
- Conservatives' Urban Opportunity
- Puerto Rico On The Brink Of Debt Default
- Making Environmentalism Divisive
- Greek Stocks Tumble As Market Re-opens
- Norman Lear Calls Himself A Bleeding Heart Conservative
Morning Thread (8-3-2015)
Maybe that dentist who killed the lion self-identifies as a crocodile. I mean, who are we to judge zim or zer?
Overnight Open Thread (8-2-2015)
"The Guardian hasn't been this upset since Hugo Chavez died."
-- Larry Correia on the Guardian's freakout over the Sad Puppies Hugo campaign
A 'hitchhiking robot' got beaten up and decapitated in Philadelphia and this means that America is a terrible place or something.
Only two weeks into an attempt to travel across the United States, the friendly hitchhiking robot's journey has ended in Philadelphia after being beaten to a pulp.
HitchBOT, who was created by a team of communication researchers from Ontario, was found damaged beyond repair early Saturday in the city of brotherly love."Sadly, sadly it's come to an end," Frauke Zeller, one of HitchBOT's co-creators told the Associated Press.
This was no robot - what it actually was was a bunch of junk glued on to a trash can and left by the side of the road along with a sign asking people to cart it around.
Sure it was a kinda sad end but either way HitchBOT was going to eventually end up in the dump.
Because it's what his dying son wanted:
"Dad, I know you don't give a damn about money," Beau told him, dismissing the idea that his father would take some sort of cushy job after the vice presidency to cash in.
Beau was losing his nouns and the right side of his face was partially paralyzed. But he had a mission: He tried to make his father promise to run, arguing that the White House should not revert to the Clintons and that the country would be better off with Biden values.
Frankly I don't believe this story because Biden has a lifelong history of lying about things like this. But it is a signal that he is in fact joining the race. Because otherwise why would he tell a story where he ends up betraying Beau's dying wish.
Apparently the correct action would have been for him to die quietly and tragically like a hero instead of actually defending himself and the men under him.
And Nate Hale attempts to explain why the Navy brass would make such a fucktarded decision in Scapegoating 101:
And that brings us back to changing the narrative. By suggesting that Lieutenant Commander White may be facing charges, senior government officials have successfully changed the focus of the Chattanooga investigation, at least temporarily. That should make everyone wonder what new revelations are about to drop, in terms of the shooter's travels and affiliations, and security measures in place at the reserve center at the time of the attack.
As we learned in the days followed the shooting, the reserve base was a largely undefended target, putting sailors and Marines at risk. Abdulazeez was able to crash through an unmanned gate at the facility and open fire. To date, DoD has said nothing about why the gate was secured with nothing more than a chain and a padlock, and the response of base security personnel. It was Lieutenant Commander White and that unidentified Marine returned who fire from inside the perimeter and it was the Chattanooga Police Department--in pursuit of the suspect--who finally cornered Abdulazeez and shot him dead. Base security--based on what we have learned so far--was AWOL.Keep an eye on the Navy's "prosecution" of Randy White in the weeks ahead. It will provide a convenient distraction while far more serious revelations about the attack dribble out. Sad to say, but it won't be the first time the feds have sought a scapegoat in a terrorist strike against the U.S. military.
Also when it comes to scapegoating consider the sad tale of USMC Lt. Col. Kate Germano who seems to have been forced out for having the temerity to believe that female Marines could perform as well male Marines. Because #SisterhoodIsPowerful.
Republicans nominated the man Paglia wanted and she still didn't vote Republican? To hell with her. Conservatives should not give this lady the time of day.
She is a mole. She is gaming Republicans. She will never, ever vote Republican. That should entitle her to zero influence. Read her for the catty remarks, but never mistake her counsel for anything but encouragement to commit political hari-kari.
I know a lot of people really like her and find her insightful. I've always found her interesting but ultimately unserious when it comes to politics - and this is why her advice should be regarded as For Entertainment Only.
A fave of the Left as exemplified by this quote from Sister Joan Chittister:
"I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is."
And David French rebuts:
Hidden within this argument is the notion that a baby is better off dead than poor, but the Left has been backing off this claim ever since explicit arguments for eugenics fell out of favor. Moreover, the reliance on state-funded welfare as the cornerstone of compassion ignores not just the Christian community's enormous private generosity but also the economic reality that the free enterprise system has lifted more people out of poverty than any other economic engine devised by the mind of man.
It's just pure slander to claim that pro-life activists don't want children fed, educated, or housed. But it's a mistake to treat this argument as if it's made in good faith. Want proof that it's nothing but a misdirection? Ask an abortion activist whether they'd agree to outlaw abortion at any level of taxation or welfare. Given that abortion radicals are happy to see women abort even to preserve a short-lived career as a professional volleyball player, it's clear that a community could reach a level of peak liberal compassion and they'd still zealously guard the right to kill with impunity. After all, the true concern isn't for child welfare but for transient notions of adult fulfillment, and no level of taxation will cure the selfishness of the human heart.
The American A-10 ground attack aircraft recently reminded everyone that it can land pretty much anywhere. On July 20th, four A-10s practiced landing at a Cold War era airfield in Poland that that has been decommissioned since 2000. The cracked and crumbling runway was in bad shape from lack of maintenance. The last Polish units stationed there mainly used helicopters and conditions at the former Warsaw Pact airfield were always substandard for fixed wing aircraft. Not a problem for the A-10, which is nearly immune to FOD (Foreign Object Damage), usually caused by trash or debris being sucked into the engine air intakes during takeoffs and landings, thanks to its engines and their air intakes being mounted above the fuselage, far from the surface of the runway.
By having A-10s land and take off for night operations in such austere conditions, the United States is showing its NATO allies that it can deploy aircraft anywhere, even in the middle of nowhere, on a long forgotten ruin of a former Warsaw Pact airfield. The A-10s involved are part of the squadron (twelve A-10s) in Poland as a part of the European Theater Security Package, which is supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve, and are stationed in the Lask Air Base.
A cautionary tale about economics.
The Seattle CEO who reaped a publicity bonanza when he boosted the salaries of his employees to a minimum of $70,000 a year says he has fallen on hard times.
Dan Price, 31, tells the New York Times that things have gotten so bad he's been forced to rent out his house.
Only three months ago Price was generating headlines-and accusations of being a socialist -- when he announced the new salary minimum for all 120 employees at his Gravity Payments credit card processing firm. Price said he was doing it, and slashing his $1 million pay package to pay for it, to address the wealth gap.
...The Times article said Price's decision ended up costing him a few customers and two of his "most valued" employees, who quit after newer employees ended up with bigger salary hikes than older ones.
"He gave raises to people who have the least skills and are the least equipped to do the job, and the ones who were taking on the most didn't get much of a bump," Gravity financial manager Maisey McMaster, 26, told the paper.She said when she talked to Price about it, he treated her as if she was being selfish and only thinking about herself.
The true minimum wage is $0/yr and paying people who aren't actually worth $70K that much is an insult to those who are.
1. IF THE PLANE DOOR IS OPEN, WE'RE NOT GETTING PAID.
You know all that preflight time where we're cramming bags into overhead bins? None of that shows up in our paychecks. Flight attendants get paid for "flight hours only." Translation: The clock doesn't start until the craft pushes away from the gate. Flight delays, cancellations, and layovers affect us just as much as they do passengers-maybe even more.Airlines aren't completely heartless, though. From the time we sign in at the airport until the plane slides back into the gate at our home base, we get an expense allowance of $1.50 an hour. It's not much, but it helps pay the rent.
Weekly Commenter Standings
Top 10 commenters:
1 [406 comments] 'Mike Hammer, etc., etc.' [56.98 posts/day]
2 [406 comments] 'rickb223'
3 [398 comments] 'Village Idiot's Apprentice'
4 [385 comments] 'Anna Puma'
5 [351 comments] 'Ricardo Kill'
6 [333 comments] 'AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - Not dead yet'
7 [330 comments] 'Lizzy'
8 [295 comments] 'Bruce With a Wang!'
9 [294 comments] 'J.J. Sefton'
10 [279 comments] 'SMFH at it all'
Top 10 sockpuppeteers:
1 [65 names] 'Mike Hammer, etc., etc.' [9.12 unique names/day]
2 [58 names] 'hockey drinks'
3 [53 names] 'Cicero (@cicero)'
4 [52 names] 'Turd Ferguson'
5 [46 names] 'Movie Preview Guy'
6 [43 names] 'Uncle Busyhands'
7 [33 names] 'Bertram Cabot Jr.'
8 [32 names] 'Count de Monet'
9 [30 names] 'Village Idiot's Apprentice'
10 [30 names] 'Grump928(c)'
The group. Banned on 12 universities.
Where it's at - the Twitter
Tonight's post brought to you by meanwhile in China:
Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC.
Close it up
A Baseball Thread: Midway through Already? Pt. 2 [BCochran]
Two weekends? Two baseball posts? In a row?
And yet here we are.
We're back again this week to look at our leaders in the American League. Now remember, this is written a couple days before it's posted, so some of the numbers may have changed by now.
1) Miguel Cabrera .350
2) Jason Kipnis .332
3) Prince Fielder .330
No shock at all to see Miggy and Fielder at the top. Kipnis has never hit above .284 for a season, so it'll be interesting to see if this is his break out season. A point against him, sorry AtC, he plays for Cleveland.
1) Kendrys Morales 70
2) Chris Davis 69
3) Josh Donaldson 69
These guys are known names if you're a big time baseball fan. Otherwise, maybe not so much. Morales came up with the Angels and has been a fairly solid, but never above average player. This pace would net him his highest RBI total of his career.
1) Mike Trout 31
2) Albert Pujols 30
3) JD Martinez 27
Yeah, Trout and Pujols have combined for 61 home runs. All for the Angels. That's....well that's a helluva lot of production for one team.
1) Felix Hernandez 12
2) Dallas Keuchel 12
3) Collin McHugh 12
King Felix. Anyone shocked by that? What is shocking is that both Keuchel and McHugh both pitch for the same team. Even more shocking....it's the HOUSTON ASTROS. The Astros were the basement of the National League...they move to the American League and all of the sudden they're studs. Not saying..just saying.
1) Corey Kluber 157.0
2) Dallas Keuchel 151.0
3) Jeff Samardzija 148.1
Kluber defines workhorse. His numbers should be better than they are, but, well...Indians. Keuchel makes his second appearance in this post and is certainly someone to keep an eye on. Folks may remember Samardzija as a standout WR for Notre Dame not that many years ago.
1) Scott Kazmir 2.10
2) Sonny Gray 2.16
3) Dallas Keuchel 2.32
Kazmir came to notoriety with the Rays, but has bounced all over since then. Notice two things, once again we have two Houston Astros pitchers in the top three and, of course, Dall Keuchel. Top three in the league in Wins, Innings Pitched and ERA. Unless he collapses, I'm guessing someone is due a pay raise. Hell, at this point, he may be the front runner for AL Cy Young.
Alright, that's all the stats I've got for you this week. Stats are fun. Baseball, above all other sports, has embraced the insanity of stats. But that isn't what the game is about. It's supposed to be about fun. About the smell of the grass, the crack of the bat, the feeling of the seams on the ball and the snap of ball meeting leather. Go...find a game. Major league, your local minor league, it doesn't matter. Go sit in the sun and enjoy watching the boys of summer.
As always, thank you to CBD, Ace, the Cobs and everyone else for letting me prattle on about America's Pastime.
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Food Thread: The Tastes of Summer [CBD]
Great tomatoes and fresh mozzarella are a fantastic combination; one that is distressingly difficult to find. I won't rant about the dearth of great tomatoes, except to say that the reputation of New Jersey as the mecca of great tomatoes is pure, unadulterated hype. Okay, the mozzarella is a different story....there are many wonderful sources all over the state. Just don't slice it thin and lose the fantastic texture and mouth feel. I drizzle some olive oil over everything, a few sprinkles of kosher salt, and a few drops of balsamic vinegar. Simple and satisfying. Some people like artfully scattered basil leaves on top, but I prefer to chiffonade them so each bite gets some basil.
If you can get good crusty bread, then the sandwich route is the way to go. Soft breads will get mushy and soggy very quickly from the moisture from the cheese and tomatoes, especially after salting, so be warned.
Finnan Haddie is a traditional Scottish dish; it's just lightly smoked haddock that is then prepared several different ways, although I have only tried it sauteed, or poached in cream. Even if you are not a fan of smoked fish it is a very nice preparation. The haddock is cold smoked so it isn't particularly strongly flavored, and haddock is a mild fish to begin with.
Grilled Spareribs With A Maple-Chipotle Glaze sounds way too sweet, but strangely appealing. I have been using maple syrup and honey in my cooking recently, and chipotle is a great addition to pretty much everything. So I'll give this a shot....
The relationship between quality and price is at least in part subjective, no more so than with wine and beer and liquor. One of my favorite mixing bourbons is Evan Williams, which runs about $13/bottle around here. And there are lots of wonderful wines for very little money, and many expensive wines focus on specific flavors that may be difficult to create, but certainly aren't better than a run-of-the-mill Aussie Shiraz for $10.
However, occasionally I come across booze that does justify what to some is an inflated price. $60/bottle for Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey sounds ridiculous, and for many people it simply is not worth the money. I was given a bottle as a gift, and it sat untouched for a few months, until I got bored and opened it. Wow. Damn! Fantastic stuff. I hate that it is so expensive, and I will drink it rarely if ever, but at least in this case, the stuff is worth the money. One of the frustrating things about American whiskey and bourbon is that it is easy to drink, so polishing off a bottle of this in one sitting with a friend or two is not out of the question.
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco hot pepper sauce
- 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds)
For the crust: Mix all the ingredients (except the chicken....duh) in a small bowl.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut out the backbone of the chicken to split it open (Spatchcock!). Spread and press on the chicken with your hands to flatten it. Using a sharp paring knife, cut halfway through both sides of the joints connecting the thighs and drumsticks and cut through the joints of the shoulder under the wings as well. (This will help the heat penetrate these joints and accelerate the cooking process.)
Put the chicken skin side down on a cutting board and spread it with about half the mustard mixture. Place the chicken flat in a large skillet, mustard side down. Spread the remaining mustard on the skin side of the chicken. Cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, then place the skillet in the oven and cook the chicken for about 30 minutes. It should be well browned and dark on top.
Let the chicken rest in the skillet at room temperature for a few minutes, then cut it into 8 pieces with clean kitchen shears and serve with mashed potatoes.
The mustard crust can be made ahead and even spread on the chicken a day ahead, if you like.
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Norman Lear: Patriot [CBD]
When you've lost Norman Lear, is there anything left to say?
For the youngsters out there, Lear was a hard-core leftist during the culture wars of the 70s and 80s, and founded an organization called "People For The American Way," which was a typical (but unfortunately successful) leftist organization that pretended to educate and inform, but was, in reality, a front for the progressive movement of the 1980s.
Everybody knows me to be a progressive or a liberal or lefty or whatever. I think of myself as a bleeding-heart conservative. You will not f-- with my Bill of Rights, my Constitution, my guarantees of political justice for all. But does my heart bleed for those who need help and aren't getting the justice that the country promises them and the equal opportunity the country promises? Yes. I'm a bleeding heart, but I think myself to be a total social conservative. The people who are running just don't seem to have America on their minds, not the America I think about. When I was a kid we were in love with America. As early as I can remember, there was a civics class in my public school. And I was in love with those things that guaranteed freedom before I learned that there were people who hated me because I was Jewish. I had a Bill of Rights and a Constitution, those words out of the Declaration that protected me. And I knew about that because we had civics in class. We don't have that much in the country anymore. So before World War II or shortly after, we were in love with America because we understood what it was about and that's what we were in love with. I believe everybody's patriotic today. Everybody loves America. But I don't need their flag plans to prove it. I'd like to go back to civics lessons.
Sure, it's a bit incoherent, and his roots in 1930s socialism are showing....but so is his love of America.
Sunday Morning Book Thread 08-02-2015: Defectors [OregonMuse]
Library at El Real Monasterio de El Escorial - Madrid, Spain
Good morning to all of you morons and moronettes and bartenders everywhere and all the ships at sea. Welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread. The Sunday Morning Book Thread is the only AoSHQ thread that is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Or kilts. Assless chaps don't count. Serious you guys. Kilts are OK, though. But not tutus. Unless you're a girl.
Book thread MULTIPLE TRIGGER WARNINGS for statements to the effect that murdering babies and chopping up their bodies for money is a bad thing, the climate science is NOT settled, and accused rapists have not thereby forfeited their due process rights.
There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.
For a number of years now, this country is going to hell in a handbasket, and there doesn't seem to be anything we can do about it. Heck, I even joined the communist party awhile back, but it didn't work out. But, along these same "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" lines, I think it's time for a second look at one of mankind's oldest problem-solving techniques.
I'm referring, of course, to the black arts.
I mean, why not? The country is now circling the drain, so what have we got to lose? As the poet says, at this point, what difference does it make?
We are aided by the fact that the necessary magic tomes and necromancy self-help books are much more accessible than they used to be. If you want your book of spells, you don't have to seek out some faraway ruined castle or creepy, half-deserted New England coastal town, and fight your way through vampires, ghouls, Planned Parenthood medical directors, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and other evil, unnatural creatures. No, now you can simply order them direct from Amazon. With their Kindle editions and Amazon Prime free shipping, dabbling in the occult and meddling with Things Best Left Alone has never been easier!
What brought this on was a link posted by the moron commenter 'The Great White Snark' in a thread earlier this week. He said "If you're having personal problems, you may want to read this book" and then linked to The Daemonic Companion: Creating Daemonic Entities To Do Your Will by Baal Kadmon, and I'm guessing that "Baal" is not the name he was given at birth.
Now, at $4.99, you'd think you'd be getting a bargain, but it's only 38 pages long, so making contact with Beezlebub's servants certainly doesn't come cheap. But I'll give him this, having my own personal demon (daemon?) would come in might handy at times, like when the wife wants me to mow the lawn and I don't feel like it, or I want my boss's wife to walk in on him while he's cheating on her.
The downside is that, as fun as this is, it won't be any good for the stuff I really want to do, such as see Bill and Hillary! incarcerated in a federal penitentiary, or to have entire departments of the federal government simply disappear. I don't think that will be allowed. Because Jesus said:
..."Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?
So there's that. Satan is smart enough that he wouldn't do anything against his own interests. He'd make a great CEO of one of our companies, and come to think of it, he probably already is.
But this "Baal" guy has written a number of other booklets on how to use the occult, such as
Vashikaran Magick: Learn The Dark Mantras Of Subjugation and Chakra Mantra Magick: Tap Into The Magick Of Your Chakras. (Al Gore gives this book a thumbs up)
I don't recommend them. I mean, seriously, isn't this obviously a lose-lose deal? If it doesn't work, you're out 5 bucks, but if it does work, these things usually turn out badly, don't they?
These guys are the original mad scientists.
Amin & Mohammed Aaser are Muslims who were teenagers during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. They had a rough time of it in school afterwards
“Just as Dora the Explorer exposed many to positive impressions of the Latino-American community, we hope that Noor Kids can play that role for the American-Muslim community,” Amin Aaser, who left a career working with Fortune 500 companies to start the series and explore other faith-based projects, told a local Minnesota magazine. “Our long-term goal is to use Noor Kids as a vehicle to foster Muslim integration between communities across North America, Australia, and Western Europe through publishing books, video games, and TV shows.”
There are 7 books in the series so far.
The genre of Islamic children's books has become popular enough that it now has its own Amazon category.
Which will eventually create an audience for books such as I Dared to Call Him Father: The Miraculous Story of a Muslim Woman's Encounter with God, Bilquis Sheikh's classic autobiography that details her journey from Islam to Christianity. And then there's Hiding in the Light: Why I Risked Everything to Leave Islam and Follow Jesus by Rifqa Bary.
Here are some other conversion accounts:
Dreams and Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World? by Tom Doyle and Out of Darkness Into Light: True To Life Stories of Muslims Coming To Jesus Christ Through Visions, Dreams, And Miracles by Ali Abdel Masih. I don't know about dreams. But I've been hearing these conversion stories from the Mideast for some time now, wherein a lifelong Muslim one day has a compelling dream of Jesus Christ and then converts to Christianity.
I believe that the Islamic enterprise, as mighty and as threatening as it looks today, is built on a foundation of sand, and will eventually collapse. And who knows, maybe these dreams are the giving way of the first few grains of sand.
Out of North Korea
And speaking of popular genres, I notice there are quite a few books written by Koreans who have fled North Korea and the tales they tell aren't pretty.
The Girl with Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee
A Thousand Miles to Freedom: My Escape from North Korea by Eunson Kim
RIP E.L. Doctorow
Writer, novelist, and essayist E.L. Doctorow passed away earlier this week at age 84:
Over a career spanning half a century, Doctorow published 12 novels, three volumes of short fiction, and a stage play, as well as countless political and literary essays and articles.
Doctorow's usual technique was that he would either place fictional characters in famous historical events or famous historical characters in fictional events, and that would be the platform of whatever story he was telling.
A lurking moron recommends this new anthology of military sci-fi stories: Fiction River: Valor (Fiction River: An Original Anthology Magazine Book 14), also available on trade paperback. The lineup includes stories by authors Steve Perry, Louisa Swann, Jamie McNabb, Kristine Kathyrn Rusch, and more.
The premise for the political thriller 28 Pages by Allen Mitchum is that 28 pages of the official 9/11 Commission Report are classified and have never been released to the public. Who are they protecting and why are they doing it?
A DC lawyer investigating the greusome murder of her sister uncovers a shocking conspiracy against the United States by the Saudi Arabian ambassador.
I thought that the 28 "redacted" pages was just a plot device, but there actually are 28 missing pages that supposedly provide hard evidence of links between Al-Qaeda and the Saudi government. More info here.
28 Pages was selected as a semifinalist in the in The Kindle Book Review's Best Indie Books of 2012 Contest.
So that's all for this week. As always, book thread tips, suggestions, bribes, rumors, threats, and insults may be sent to OregonMuse, Proprietor, AoSHQ Book Thread, at the book thread e-mail address: aoshqbookthread, followed by the 'at' sign, and then 'G' mail, and then dot cee oh emm.
What have you all been reading this week? Hopefully something good, because, as you all know, life is too short to be reading lousy books.
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EMT 08/02/15 Opulence edition [krakatoa]
Sunday. Big plans today. Price checking pressure washers at Sam's Club, and coming home with a rotisserie chicken.
I know, I know. "Stop flaunting your fancy lifestyle in our faces, krak/t!"
What can I say?
I has it.
Overnight Open Thread (1 Aug 2015)
The number of murders in 2015 jumped by 33% or more in Baltimore, New Orleans and St. Louis. Meanwhile, in Chicago, the nation's third-largest city, the homicide toll climbed 19% and the number of shooting incidents increased by 21% during the first half of the year.
Yup. You can tell when a city is managed by democrats.
Navy Officer To Be Charged?
If this report is true that LCDR Timothy White is to be charged for shooting at Chattanooga terrorist, it wouldn't surprise me. The optics of this sucks but it is what it is. Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. Just sucks that active duty folks are put into these situations.
Second time in three months that an armadillo has gotten some payback on a target-shooting human.
A Georgia man wounded his 74-year-old mother-in-law in April after his 9mm bullet careened off an armadillo, hit a fence, went through the back door of mom's mobile home and penetrated the recliner she was sitting in. The bullet struck her in the back.
Lies That Movies Tell Us: Chloroform
Exotic dancer resists arrest, grabs officers groin. So where's the body cam footage?
Leading From Behind
U.S. decides to retaliate against China for cyber attack. Now? Now you say this? I hope this is just a public statement and that we have been doing a lot more behind classified doors. This part cracked me up.
Concerns among officials that retaliation could escalate the conflict between the two countries mean that thus far, the exact nature of the U.S. response has not been finalized, the paper reported.
We're beyond worrying about escalation. They're getting away with shit and not paying any penalty for it.
Best Crime Stoppers Video Ever?
Math Is Hard
This won't come as a surprise to any of you morons. Here's how much the three major networks have covered Cecil the lion vs the Planned Parenthood videos.
The female genetic advantage is obvious in the case of X-linked diseases, which are caused by a mutation on the X chromosome. Since males have only one X chromosome, if they have a mutation there, they have only that one mutated copy. With no good version to fall back upon, they get very sick or die. But women almost always have another copy of the gene that is normal and can compensate. With this backup system, they stay relatively healthy, or sometimes have no symptoms at all. Migeon puts it this way: A female is a composite of two intermingled cell populations that share gene products with one another. The result is an organism that is inherently more resilient.
Tonight's ONT brought to you by F-15C Eagles breaking formation:
Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maet or CDR M. Otherwise send tips to Ace.
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Open Thread: Best Movie Soundtracks [Y-not]
Here's a list of the 100 Best Movie Soundtracks as selected by Entertainment Weekly. (Conan is not on the list -- tsk tsk!)
Others that I really enjoy: Grosse Point Blank, The Fifth Element, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and Charlie's Angels.
For musicals (which I think is sort of its own category), I like 7 Brides for 7 Brothers and Calamity Jane. Howard Keel for the win!
What are some of your favorite soundtracks?
Saturday Gardening Thread: "Cold" August Ovens [Y-not and KT]
I apologize for the delay in posting the Saturday gardening thread.
Y-not: Good afternoon, gardening morons and moronettes!
Today's thread is brought to you by ragweed:
While I was on my trip to Kentucky a local told me that their state flower was ragweed! I'm not sure if that's true, but I'm going with it.
In any event, I am currently suffering pretty badly, not with allergies, but with a bad head cold. So we'll be relying very heavily on KT for content this week.
Perhaps I'll try some of these herbal remedies.
Speaking of ailments, we have a report back from CharlieBrown's Di concerning his sick roses:
I got a combination anti-fungal (as recommended) and fertilizer spray and have used it a few times on the roses. All three are producing shoots that look quite healthy. Coincidence? Probably, but the correlation is 1
Thanks to everyone who shared their expertise with CBD. Sounds like his roses are on the road to recovery!
Now, without further ado, take it away, KT!
There is not much activity in our garden right now. It is very hot. We can only water twice a week. Some of my tomato plants and flowers have died. But Y-not's archive reminded me that the Saturday Gardening Thread started out as the Yard and Garden Thread. (Don't comment on the archive or on old posts). Since the drought and heat are preventing us from growing many plants in the South Central San Joaquin Valley, maybe we could try building something in the yard.
Outdoor pizza ovens seem to be all the rage. There are many styles described on the intertubes, from do-it-yourself brick ovens to ready-made kits for a Weber grill. But a couple of weeks ago, I found an online version of a project that had piqued my interest years ago when I read about it in the Sunset Magazine. Anybody wanna build an outdoor adobe wood oven? It is more versatile than a pizza oven, even though you couldn't bake a big pizza in it.
This oven allows you to bake individual pizzas, followed by roasted meat and vegetables, followed by bread. You could have a small lunch and dinner party.
If you build this oven, you will need heating and cooking directions. These directions are a reminder that in the past, baking often required some skills that we don't think about much today, along with a fair amount of extra work and attention. There are recipes for Flat Bread Salt Pizzas, Adobe Oven Bread, Ratatouille and Adobe Oven Roasted Salsa - "Flavors of the West."
If you don't like Sunset's design, here is a prepper's demonstration of how to build a beehive-style mud oven like the traditional ones in Arizona and New Mexico in places like Acoma, Taos and Pueblo. The post includes a book recommendation, additional links for bread recipes, etc.
I also found some impressive photos of outdoor ovens, small to large and plain to very fancy celebrity chef models. For you physics buffs, near the end of this post are diagrams explaining how this type of oven is heated, from the most frequently recommended author on the subject of earthen ovens. There are links to other resources. Try to ignore the "green" rhetoric. Wood-fired ovens do, in fact, produce carbon dioxide and even smoke.
Mother Earth News has instructions for an outdoor stove, oven, grill and smoker. If you scroll down a little, you should see links to the left for a Tandoor Oven made from a (steel drum)* and flower pot, from Instructables.
*Use a non-galvanized steel drum instead of a garbage can. See Step 11.
Mother Earth News also has directions for a simple project, a clay pot smoker that uses an electric hot plate and wood chips. This project looks like one I could do. For the more ambitious, the "related content" includes links for information about building a real smokehouse, an inexpensive cold smoker and an outdoor canning cooker. The last two require welding skills.
Has anybody in The Horde ever built an outdoor oven, or something similar?
Insect of the Week: The Polyphemus Moth
Dang. I totally forgot about National Moth Week. Sounds like, in San Antonio anyway, it was a good excuse to drink beer outdoors in the dark. The event in San Antonio didn't attract a lot of moths this year, possibly due to heat, high winds and maybe urban light, or earlier wild weather in Texas. You might get some ideas for a backyard moth viewing event in your own yard at the link.
We have already featured two of "five Texas moths for enjoying year-round moth week", the celebrity Sphinx Moth and the Black Witch. The huge Black Witch Moth, the subject of conflicting folklore, is a tropical moth that is common in Southern Texas. Our featured insect today, the Polyphemus Moth, is a large silk moth that is found in most of the continental USA and into Canada, though populations tend to be localized. Because of its striking eyespots, it is named after Polyphemus, the giant cyclops from Greek mythology who had a single large, round, eye in the middle of his forehead. All parts of these moths are interesting up close.
The female moths lay eggs on over 50 species of broad-leaved trees and shrubs, from citrus to elms. The caterpillars are seldom numerous enough to be pests, except occasionally in commercial plum orchards. If attacked, the caterpillar makes clicking noises with its mandibles. These noises seem to be caterpillar lingo for "I am going to regurgitate vile liquid upon you".
At various stages of growth, the caterpillars are eaten by birds, rodents, reptiles, amphibians and the typical predatory and parasitic insects. The cocoons are sometimes pecked open by woodpeckers which eat the developing moths. "In the West, Native Americans sometimes fill the cocoons of Polyphemus and other silk moths with sand or pebbles to make rattles by tying them to sticks or to their ankles for use as musical instruments."
If it survives the perils of growing up, the emerging moth uses a liquid from its mouthparts to soften part of its cocoon so it can escape. The moth cannot eat as an adult, and only lives about a week.
The coloration of the moths can be variable, but "The pattern on the hind wings of the polyphemus moth resembles that on the head of the great horned owl." When threatened, the moth uses this pattern to startle predators. The striking coloration of the moth was probably the reason it was chosen as the messenger in Peter Jackson's film, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, as the messenger between Gandalf and Gwaihir.
Or, if it works, this might be interesting.
Warning about other moth caterpillars
The Swiss German word for caterpillar (teufelskatz) translates to "devil's cat." Sometimes cute creatures are not nice.
Caution children against picking up hairy caterpillars unless you know the species is harmless. The hairs can be irritating and some can sting. Even with the "harmless" species, hands should be washed after touching hairy caterpillars to avoid the possibility of getting one of the hairs in your eye. Hairy caterpillars generally turn into moths, but not all moth caterpillars are hairy.
If you are stung by a caterpillar, "Place Scotch tape over the affected area and strip off repeatedly to remove spines. Apply ice packs to reduce the stinging sensation, and follow with a paste of baking soda and water. If the victim has a history of hay fever, asthma or allergy, or if allergic reactions develop, contact a physician immediately."
Hope your garden is in better shape than mine. Watch out for cute creatures that are not nice. Have a great week.
Y-not: Thanks, KT! To close things up, here's a song that seems very appropriate...
What's happening in YOUR gardens this week?
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Microsoft Getting Very Googley with Windows 10
Basically, they are going to watch everything you do. Soon we're all going to be Winston Smith in Orwell's 1984. A long time ago when I read the book, I wasn't that worried. I knew what it would take to install cameras everywhere, including peoples' homes, and that the cost would make it an impossible undertaking for government. But in the digital age, we're doing it to ourselves. The government doesn't have put cameras in our homes and create two-way television sets; we are. Now Google is talking about smart thermostats, and guess who will require them to be installed. Well, all those who will ostensibly come to believe it's essential for energy conservation--Jerry Brown types.
There was a television news report several years ago with some agency higher up grinning and bragging about their ability to get into your computer and use the camera, mic, and Bluetooth, etc. And with the computer's Bluetooth, for example, they can access and download all the information in other Bluetooth equipped devices like, say, phones in the area. I put a piece of electrical tape over my computer's camera and disabled Bluetooth. Not because I'm particularly interesting. I just don't like the idea of a swaggering bureaucrat with little or no concern for constitutional protections having access.
We began to address some Fourth Amendment concerns when Rand Paul and the Senate let section 215 of the "Patriot" Act expire in June, killing bulk metadata collection. But we have a long way to go, and there is even talk of Section 215 coming up again.
If you don't know what an administrative subpoena is, you should familiarize yourself with that. It's a tool that completely subverts the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment.
And no warrant is required at all in situations where courts have decided you have no "reasonable expectation of privacy." Your checking account and your credit card transactions are frequently used as examples: third parties see your purchases; they can see your checks, and they can see your credit card bills. Thus, the court reasons, you have no reasonable expectation of privacy. But what they've done here is insert in the word "absolute" without saying so. I have no reasonable expectation of absolute privacy in my checking account: I know banking proof and end-clearing departments can see my checks. But thousands--if not millions--of checks whiz by at around 40 or so per second, per machine. (And that was 30 years ago.) Who is going to notice my check? And even if my check gets thrown out of the machine, what are the chances someone I know will see my check? So, yes, although I don't have a reasonable expectation of absolute privacy, a reasonable expectation of privacy is precisely what I do have. I can reasonably expect no one will notice I bought a can of Jock Itch for $5.95 at the local Wallgreens. But the courts disagree. I'm not a Fourth Amendment expert, but in the case of checking accounts and credit card transactions, it's obviously a legal fiction you have no reasonable expectation of privacy. We need to work on that one.
So, if I'm sharing my data with Google and Microsoft, do I have a reasonable expectation of privacy? Can an agency use an administrative subpoena and get anything Microsoft has on me without going to a court and getting a warrant? Does anyone think these giant corporations are in the habit of not cooperating with the government when the government wants something?
From the Newsweek article:
From the moment an account is created, Microsoft begins watching. The company saves customers’ basic information—name, contact details, passwords, demographic data and credit card specifics —but it also digs a bit deeper.
Other information Microsoft saves includes Bing search queries and conversations with the new digital personal assistant Cortana; contents of private communications such as email; websites and apps visited (including features accessed and length of time used); and contents of private folders. Furthermore, “your typed and handwritten words are collected,” the Privacy Statement says, which many online observers liken to a keylogger. Microsoft says they collect the information “to provide you a personalized user dictionary, help you type and write on your device with better character recognition, and provide you with text suggestions as you type or write.”
Read the rest. That's about all I can quote. It turns out Microsoft will share the information it gathers with third-parties for "targeted advertising." But I'm sure there will be "no personally identifiable information." Right? I'm also sure I'm going to win Powerball tonight.
Are you upgrading?
I didn't mean for this Windows 10 thread to be about privacy and the government, but the Newsweek article pushed it in that direction. So let this be about two things, if possible: privacy and your experience with your Windows 10 upgrade. Do you like it? Why or why not?
• The Guardian: Windows 10: Microsoft under attack over privacy
• The Register: Wait, STOP: Are you installing Windows 10 or ransomware?
• USA Today: Surf Report: 10 things you didn't know about Windows 10
Hillary! Goes Full Otter [OregonMuse]
Sacred honor compels me to state that I wrote this piece a couple of days before moron commenter 'The Great White Snark' posted this comment. He obviously hacked into my computer and stole my stuff. Yeah, that's the ticket.
So let's get to it:
In an interview with the (New Hampshire) Manchester Union Leader, Hillary! said that the videos showing Planned Parenthood officials negotiating for the sale of body parts from aborted babies are 'disturbing'.
She also discussed her recent discovery that the current Pope is, in all actuality, a Roman Catholic. Also that bear poo can often be found in many of our nation's woodland areas.
But, enough of that. Here's what Hillary! actually said about the videos and the slo-mo public pantsing of Planned Parenthood:
“Planned Parenthood is answering questions and will continue to answer questions. I think there are two points to make,” Clinton said. “One, Planned Parenthood for more than a century has done a lot of really good work for women: cancer screenings, family planning, all kinds of health services. And this raises not questions about Planned Parenthood so much as it raises questions about the whole process, that is, not just involving Planned Parenthood, but many institutions in our country.”
“And if there’s going to be any kind of congressional inquiry, it should look at everything and not just one (organization),” she said.
Joe Pesci e-mailed and said that everything that woman just said is bullshit.
Let's take her statements one by one, in order:
1. "Planned Parenthood is answering questions and will continue to answer questions."
Uh, no. Actually, Planned Parenthood hasn't answered any questions AT ALL. What it has done is lie, obfuscate, change the subject, and then organized a smear campaign against the organization that released the videos. In other words, PP is running what is essentially a typical Clinton political campaign. Which is probably why Hillary! doesn't see anything wrong with it.
2. "One, Planned Parenthood for more than a century has done a lot of really good work for women: cancer screenings, family planning, all kinds of health services."
This is like saying: "You know, those Nazis, bless their hearts, built roads and schools, created jobs, and provided low-cost medical care. And don't forget those snazzy uniforms. So What's not to like about that?"
3. "And this raises not questions about Planned Parenthood so much as it raises questions about the whole process, that is, not just involving Planned Parenthood, but many institutions in our country. And if there's going to be any kind of congressional inquiry, it should look at everything and not just one (organization)."
Great googly moogly, this is priceless. Did Hillary! just attempt to pull Planned Parenthood's pasty white ass out of the fire by invoking the Otter defense? Why yes, I do believe she did:
Ladies and gentlemen, I'll be brief. The issue here is not whether Planned Parenthood murdered a few babies and then dismembered and sold off their body parts like some sleazy, back-alley chop shop.
But you can't hold all of Planned Parenthood responsible for the behavior of a few sick, perverted individuals. If you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole abortion industry? And if the whole abortion industry is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our medical institutions in general? I put it to you, Mr. Manchester Union Leader reporter, isn't this an indictment of our entire American society?
Well, you can say what you want about me, but I'm not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America!
(Hillary! stands up and marches out of the interview room while humming 'America the Beautiful'.)
Word to Hillary!: the only reason you're able to get away with going full Otter is that the MSM has your back. You can spew out any nonsensical rhetoric you wish, and you'll never be questioned or asked to explain anything you say. Do you realize what an incredible gift you've been given?
Update: For those who don't already know, another judge has issued an injunction against the Center for Medical Progress forbidding them to release any more of their videos. Only this time it's a federal judge and this time the order applies to all, not just some, of the remaining videos.
Not sure how this can even remotely be constitutional, but according to Twitchy, the judge is a big-time donor to Democrats, so he probably doesn't care about the constitution all that much.
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A Few Weekend Links [CBD]
But first some wild footage of an Eagle descending from the tallest building in the world:
- The Errors of Liberation Theology From a Catholic, not political perspective.
- The Most Racist Urban Area in America?
In one form of disparate impact analyses, HUD compares the racial makeup of a city or suburb with the makeup of the urban area as a whole. If the city doesn't have enough minorities, it is presumed guilty and must take steps to attract more.
If this were applied to regions, what would we find?
Based on this, the most racist major (more than a million people) urban area in America is San Francisco-Oakland. Though that region's population grew by 285,000 people between 2000 and 2010, or 9.5 percent, the region's black population actually shrank by nearly 49,000, or 14.2 percent, for a difference in growth rates of minus 23.7 percent.
- The Politicians' War on Uber
When politicians threaten to destroy innovative companies, they're threatening us all.
- Name The Human Decision-Making Process Which Claims a Low 0.25% Error Rate
- 38 Ways College Students Enjoy Left-wing Privilege On Campus
"If I find my ideas challenged, I know I always have a "safe space" to retreat to, where people will massage my challenged beliefs and sing me a lullaby of things I'd like to hear."
- Petty Little Dictator Disorder: PLDD
Platinum Membership to the commenter who suggests the best example of this.
- And finally, Dana Loesch eviscerates Planned Parenthood.
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Saturday Politics Thread: Carly Fiorina [Y-not]
Good morning, morons and 'ettes. Welcome to your regular Saturday Morning Politics thread!
Next Thursday Republicans will hold the first of their primary debates:
The Aug. 6 debate is hosted by Fox News, in conjunction with Facebook and the Ohio Republican Party.
The 9 p.m. ET stage will be open to the top 10 candidates in recent national polls. With 17 total candidates now in the race -- former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore was the latest, announcing his bid Thursday -- not everyone will make the cut.
Those who don't can qualify for an earlier debate, at 5 p.m. Fox News has eased the criteria for that debate, and candidates will no longer have to reach at least 1 percent in the polls to make the stage, though there are other criteria.
In addition, several of the GOP hopefuls, including Perry, Fiorina, and Santorum, have said they will stop by a debate-watching event being hosted by the American Conservative Union. (Follow this link to see the details of all eleven GOP debates planned thus far.)
The New York Times has been maintaining a list of all of the announced candidates, both Republican and Democrat, here.
I thought this week we could do a short "backgrounder" on Carly Fiorina. She was not on our radar last Fall when we reviewed 21 prospective GOP candidates. (I've been slammed in Real Life, so I apologize in advance for not doing a more thorough job on Fiorina's backgrounder.)
Here's a bit about Ms. Fiorina from her campaign website:
When Carly was recruited to Hewlett Packard, she became the first woman to lead a Fortune 50 business, growing it to become the 11th largest company in the US. In her six years as Chairman and CEO of HP, she would double its revenues to $90 billion; more than quadruple its growth to 9%; triple the rate of innovation to 11 patents a day; achieve market leadership in every market and product category and quadruple cash-flow.
She currently serves as the Chairman of the American Conservative Union Foundation, which annually hosts CPAC (the largest annual gathering of conservatives); the Chairman of Good360, the world's largest product philanthropy organization; and the Chairman of Opportunity International, the largest non profit micro-finance lender in the world giving out $6 billion at an average of $150 per loan lifting millions out of poverty around the world.
As I think most of you know, Fiorina's tenure as CEO of HP was controversial. Here's a Business Insider article that describes it as "terrible." Although I don't find her ouster from HP as in any way disqualifying (good people get fired all the time), the allegation that she laid off thousands of domestic employees and required them to train their off-shore replacements bothers me.
Read more about Carly Fiorina at her Wiki page. Although Ms. Fiorina has some impressive academic credentials, one thing you might not know is that she started out her career as a secretary at an insurance firm. Her current net worth is $59 million. (For comparison, Mitt Romney's net worth is reportedly $250 million.)
Ms. Fiorina has spent her career in the private sector which makes assessing her political positions and talent more difficult to assess. Her sole foray into politics (as a candidate) was a failed run for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Barbara Boxer in 2010. She also supported John McCain during his 2008 presidential run. (I'm not sure I'd hold that against her.)
Ballotpedia provides this summary of her political positions (I'd apply a grain of salt to these characterizations):
(If you'd like to see what specific statements were used to arrive at these positions, follow this link.)
Ms. Fiorina announced her presidential run back in May. This is what the NYT had to say about her prospects at the time. I think her chances have improved since then because of the discipline she's shown during her campaign, her skill with the media, and the disgust many primary voters feel about politics as usual.
She has, to my knowledge, consistently used her candidacy to attack Hillary Clinton, specifically, and Democrat policies more generally. Here are links to a few of her speeches and interviews:
Speaking at the Reagan Library last week "she focused exclusively on foreign policy issues. She repeatedly assailed the "political class" for their incompetence and pusillanimity -- and called out the spinelessness of the current administration for bargaining with our enemies and alienating our friends. She also offered warnings for America and optimism." Follow this link to watch her delivery.
On a related note, The Daily Caller reports:
Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina says the Benghazi "punch" could have defeated President Obama in 2012, but it "didn't get thrown."
"We thought in 2012 that Benghazi was Obama's Achilles' heel," the former Hewlett-Packard CEO said in a Thursday call with supporters. "But the punch didn't get thrown. We can't count on the media to do this... And so the only way to make sure these questions are asked and answered is to have a nominee who will demand an answer."
Fiorina insisted she wouldn't shy away from bringing up damaging issues, like the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks, while debating Hillary Clinton.
(OK, I suppose that could be characterized as a mild swipe at our last nominee.)
In addition to speeches and conference calls, Ms. Fiorina recently sat down for an interview with Elle magazine. I think it's worth a read to see how she navigates through a much softer set of "touchy feely" questions. Here's an excerpt:
It's been a tragic and complicated year for race relations in America. As president, how would you strive to bridge those really systemic divides?
You know, I think honestly Democrats have used identity politics to win elections -- not all Democrats, but too many. And what I mean by that is they divide Americans into groups, and they say, "You're a woman. You care about this issue. You're an African American. You care about that issue. You're Hispanic. You care about some other issue."
I think we need to speak to all Americans about all the issues they care about. I got asked recently on The View why I was a conservative. And I said, "Because I know no one of us is any better than any other one of us. Every one of us has God-given gifts. Every one of us can live lives with dignity and purpose and meaning." I believe that. For example, African Americans are demonstrably worse off in the last six years. African American women are demonstrably worse off. I think we need to celebrate the diversity of this nation, but we also need to acknowledge that everyone -- regardless of what they look like -- is an American. Everyone --regardless of what they look like -- is equal. Everyone -- regardless of what they look like -- has potential that we need to tap if we are going to be the greatest nation we can be. And so that's how I want to talk to the American people. It doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman, African American or Hispanic, you care about whether or not you have a good job. You care about whether or not you're earning enough to make a good living. You care about whether your government is responsive. You care about the quality of your healthcare. You care about national security.
Being a data-oriented person, my tastes in candidates tend to run toward ones that have a fairly lengthy record of achievements and public statements that I can evaluate. I think much of Fiorina's -- or any "outsider's" -- effectiveness derives from the fact that they have no records to defend. Hence, candidates like Fiorina and Trump can spend much more time focusing on attacks of the status quo. Although this is appealing, it does little to tell me how she (or he) would govern.
That said, I am impressed by how Carly Fiorina has conducted herself thus far and I look forward to her participation in the debates, whether it be on the "first tier" debate stage or the "second tier" one. If I were to go for an outsider candidate, Fiorina would be my choice.
How about you?
Do you plan on watching the debates this week?
We've been reviewing candidates and issues for almost a year! The first thread in this series was August 30th of last year. Phew!
For your reference, the backgrounders on the other candidates:
Last March we had a round up thread of sorts in which many of the issues threads were linked (and candidates' "scores" discussed).
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Driver Download Websites
I looked for this article because of my recent computer problems. I almost, almost clicked on a driver download place called DriverInstaller.com. That site didn't even make the list. So, one more word to the wise: When you're on the internet, don't click on anything. Ever. Actually, the word is, check things out first. DriverInstaller might be a fine place, but I don't know, and if it doesn't even rank as a reputable site on that list, well, see ya.
Here is a site that is proving to be very helpful on computer issues: How-To Geek. Nice, step-by-step instructions on just about any topic without pushing you to download anything. And speaking of driver downloads, they had a thing or two to say about downloading driver utilities: never download driver utilities. I did this with Greasy-Fast Pig about three weeks ago. So, a little late for me, but good to know now. Another vector from which I could've picked up hellware.
That's why How-To Geek is good. Nice, straight-forward answers, and they seem to be ethical and very consumer-oriented.
One more thing for commenter "AllenG": I think How-To Geek is Waldo's day job. Check out the geek. This is where he earns the money to go to all those exotic places. So, there's that, brah.
Early Morning Thread 08/01/15 [krakatoa]
I'm going to say it: Hillary is toast.
It's going to come down to Sanders or Joe Biden, and for my L.I.B. money, I'll take Pokin' Joe hip-sliding across the hood of a stretched '78 Trans Am T-Tops every. single. time.
Overnight Open Thread (31 Jul 2015)
I guess tonight's ONT is a once in a blue moon edition!
Bonus celestial viewing tonight. You can also try to catch the Delta Aquarids. Best time to view is after midnight and there are about 20 per hour. Don't forget to put your pants back on if you go outside to view.
This does not bode well for our border. The South American financial crisis of 2015.
I'm leery of any movie that involves Michael Bay but hope that they stay true to the source material. However, Ace posted earlier that it largely avoids any of the political decision making (or lack thereof) back in DC. Did Hollywood take care to do that with the many anti-Bush Iraq war movies? Anyway, here's the red band trailer.
Bias Free Language Guide
Hahaha. I guess the University of New Hampshire is learning that the internet is forever as they try to disappear their bias free language guide.
Preferred: U.S. citizen or Resident of the U.S.
Note: North Americans often use "American" which usually, depending on the context, fails to recognize South America.
May as well stick to American as they're coming here in droves anyway. See earlier story on the South American economy.
Literary Road Trips
Pretty cool. Map of literary road trips.
According to one of the clips, Amazon has more earnings than Walmart because they sell sex toys.
Cable companies refuse to reveal how much they make off of set-top boxes. FIOS is starting to piss me off. One of their remotes for a box that I have to pay a monthly fee on is starting to loss function in a few buttons. I called them and wanted to swap out the remote for a new one and they informed me that I have to purchase one. Seriously?
Hackers can disable a sniper rifle, or change its target. If it connects to the internet, it is hackable.
Dogs vs Feathers
Tonight's ONT brought to you by:
Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maet or CDR M. Otherwise send tips to Ace.
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Evening Open Thread
François Charles Cachoud, "Clair de lune sur le lac d’Aiguebelette" (1906)*
*Thanks to commenter "NaCly Dog" for providing the title and date. --RD
Added: We were talking about improving the composition in the thread. How about this crop...
Added: Nick Drake, "Pink Moon"
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