August 31, 2015

French-American Hero of Thalys Terror Train Attack Giving Interviews, Looks To be Healing Well

—Ace

Mark Moogalian was the guy who reportedly yanked the AK away from the terrorist.

This interview resolves a lot of questions for me. There were reports that an unidentified Frenchman, said to be an off-duty trainman, was the first to engage the terrorist, and that a French-American pulled his gun away from him.

I began to doubt those reports because the timeline I imagined, based on fragmentary reporting, had the Americans acting first.

But Moogalian's account clears most things up. The Americans did not act first -- though they did act last (that is, they took out the terrorist, put him down, and hogtied his ass).

The initial reports about a French guy struggling with the terrorist, and the French-American -- now identified as Mark Moogalian, a professor of English at the Sorbonne, married to, I think, a Frenchwoman -- did in fact pull the AK 47 away from the terrorist.


I'll translate some of the interview, but here's the timeline:

The unidentified man -- who Moogalian calls "Damien" and says is a French banker, not a trainman -- in fact did struggle with the terrorist first. (This is now published so there's not much use in my suppressing these details; it's even possible Moogalian is offering disinformation to protect "Damien's" real name and occupation.)

Moogalian saw the struggle through the doors separating the trains ("le sas"). He told his wife "get out of here" and got up to help.

While the terrorist fought with this man I'll call, as Moogalian does, "Damien," Moogalian grabbed his AK away from him and began to run away with it. He cried out "I've got the gun!" as he ran.

However, Moogalian says sheepishly that he didn't have much "experience" with this sort of thing, and it did not occur to him the terrorist might have another gun. In fact, the terrorist had a pistol besides the AK (a Luger I think I read) and he shot Moogalian as he ran away with the gun. The bullet went through his shoulder and out the front side of his neck. He crumpled to the ground, bleeding profusely.

The terrorist, we can assume (though Moogalian does not say), must have shot or otherwise taken "Damien" out of the fight. Because now the terrorist began walking towards Moogalian in order to retrieve his AK.

At this point Moogalian felt himself getting weaker and weaker, but didn't think he'd get the courtesy of being allowed to bleed to death -- because he was pretty sure the terrorist would put a bullet in his head as he retrieved the AK from his unmoving body.

And then Stone, Skarlatos, and Sandler came flying out of nowhere.

The timeline now makes perfect sense. The early reports were correct; they were just fragmented and disjointed.

The interview is here; below, some translation.

Why did you make the decision to intervene when you saw, from your seat at the rear of car 12, a strange scene, on the other side of the doors?

Moogalian: I was reading on article on my cellphone when i saw this man enter the bathrooms with his big wheeled suitcase, I found it strange that he was in there for so long. Then I got up when I saw, without really seeing it clearly, that something was happening, that two men seemed to be fighting one another, one of them carrying something that looked like a gun. My brain didn't want to "deal" with this information but at the same time I said to myself "This man is going to kill everyone. I have to do something."

You had at the same time the reflex to tell your wife to get out of there?

I turned towards Isabelle [his wife] who, herself, was still seated, and I told her "get out of here." This must be serious. I wanted more than anything to protect her. She saw in my face that I wasn't joking. And then, I don't know how, I managed to pull the Kalchinikov from the man.

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Posted by Ace at 01:28 PM Comments



Hugenormous: Trump, Carson Tied for First in Iowa at 23%; Fiorina in Third at 10%

—Ace

Well we seem to have a tiny little rebellion against the Establishment/political class on our hands.

This is also the first poll in forever that doesn't have Trump in the lead. Well, he's in the lead, but in a tie.

The rest of the field:

Carly Fiorina 10%, Ted Cruz 9%, Scott Walker 7%, Jeb Bush 5%

John Kasich, Marco Rubio 4%, Rand Paul 3%, Mike Huckabee,Rick Santorum 2%

Oh but CNN is still employing an algorithm which will most likely keep Mick Huckabee in and kick Carly Fiorina out.

Monmouth University's press release about the poll can be seen here.

Posted by Ace at 11:24 AM Comments



Playing For Keeps: Business Interests Strike Back At Republicans Opposed To Ex/Im Bank

—DrewM.

I love this because it's clarifying.

Team GOP acts as if conservatives owe them their votes. "Why aren't you focusing on Democrats?" "Why do you want Hillary to win?" It never seems to occur to them that politics is transactional. If you don't deliver what I want, I won't deliver what you want and I'll go find someone who will. But even if I don't, you're out. Plain and simple. It's a version of Mutually Assured Destruction.

I've argued before conservatives need to take this kind of cold blooded approach to politics and stop pretending we're all on some team and have to stick together.

You know who gets this? Big business.

GE told Dallas business leaders in recent days it would look elsewhere for alternatives to its Connecticut home, said the people, who asked not to be identified because details aren’t public. They said GE cited some Texas lawmakers’ opposition to the U.S. Export-Import Bank, an important source of financing for some overseas sales.

GE isn't the only way turning the screws.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is indefinitely postponing a slate of political fundraisers for Republican candidates this fall, saying the influential business group must instead focus its resources on reauthorizing the embattled Export-Import Bank.

NAM's decision underscores frustration within the business community over GOP attacks on the 80-year-old bank, which helps finance private sector projects in overseas markets. The bank’s charter lapsed on June 30 and many conservatives oppose its renewal.

"We are postponing all political activity fundraising," said Ned Monroe, NAM senior vice president of external relations. "We had to prioritize away from political activity and back toward legislative activity."

Nice campaign you have their, be a shame if anything happened to it.

The GOP coalition isn't tied together by any shared ideology anymore.

So, if you're a small-government fiscal conservative, why should you give Republicans a pass for handing out YOUR money to big business?

Republicans will react to pressure. If the business groups are going to withhold money because it's in their interests to do so, then voters have to realize they will continue to get run over unless they are willing to withhold what they have to offer...activism and votes.

I don't envy Republican candidates and officeholders. This isnt an easy needle to thread but they wanted the job. Here it is.

For background on why the Ex/Im fight is important to small-government fiscal conservatives check out my talk with Dan Holler of Heritage Action.

Posted by DrewM. at 10:37 AM Comments

Open Thread

—rdbrewer


Henry Farrer, "Evening Light" (1896)

Posted by rdbrewer at 10:10 AM Comments

Morning Post (8-31-15)

—Gabriel Malor

Happy Monday. Now go to work.

Posted by Gabriel Malor at 07:49 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (8-30-2015)

—Maetenloch

Quote of the Day I

The Hard Left hates to hear this, but here goes: the American populace has traditionally been fairly indifferent to whether or not there are a host of rich people guzzling champagne and wolfing down caviar, provided that said populace is able to have a beer and a T-bone without too much fuss and bother. Our definition of 'poor' would make most historical eras' eyes bug out; and, again contrary to the Left's beliefs on the subject, that really does matter when it comes time for social unrest. There is a real, practical difference between being dissatisfied, and being no-fooling hungry. And all the slogans in the world won't change that.

-- Moe Lane on Income Inequality And Poverty Aren't the Same Thing

Quote of the Day II

People come here thinking of this as the center of innovation and entrepreneurship, and they see a street scene that looks like something out of a Third World country.

-- The San Francisco Chronicle on the city's turd and stench problems

Obama Renames Mount McKinley

Because he can.

Denali-Mount McKinley

How Dumb is Vox?

This dumb. For those playing along at home the logo shown is from the National Recovery Administration, one the New Deal programs.

voxdumb1

Jonathon Last: How Journalism Gets Done at Vox

They're not just inaccurate and careless and beholden to an ideological agenda - they also stiff their writers. In this case Tannsjo wrote an article - at Vox's request - pointing out that on-demand abortion has some negative consequences.

No, the really bad part is that Tannsjo hadn't just submitted a piece on spec. Vox went to him and commissioned the piece. And then, when they didn't like it, they did . . . nothing. They just sat on it.

That's bad.

The writer/editor compact has two parts. The first is that writers should live with editorial decisions and be okay with them. But the second is that editors should deal with writers promptly, transparently, and courteously.

If you solicit a piece from someone, you owe them a great deal. They've just done a bunch of work for you, for free. You're not obligated to publish them. But if you decide not to publish them, you're obligated to let them know that fact immediately. You should apologize for the situation not working out. You should pay them a kill fee. And if you want to remain on good terms, you might help them find a different home for the piece.

You don't just try to pocket-veto the piece and then, when pressed, send an email to the writer making it sound like it's their fault for writing such an offensive, deviationist essay.

The MH370 Mystery Gets a Little Weirder

It's been a month since a flaperon from a Boeing 777 was found a La Réunion beach and investigators still can't say definitively whether it came from MH370 or how it got to the island.

What was holding things up, it turned out, was that the ID plate that should have been attached to the inboard edge of the flaperon was missing. And that was not the only problem. According to the New York Times, Boeing and the National Transportation Safety Board found that the object did not match Malaysia Airlines' maintenance records.

...How the part found its way to a beach on La Réunion is another issue. The Dépêche article contained a tantalizing hint. "According to a Toulouse aeronautics expert who requested anonymity," the article stated, "the element of the wing would not have floated for several months at the water's surface but would have drifted underwater a few meters deep."

It's not yet known why investigators reached this conclusion, but one clue might be that the flaperon found on La Réunion was encrusted on every edge with goose barnacles. These animals are a type of crustacean that attaches while young to a floating object and spends its entire adult life affixed to the same spot. Since they obviously can only survive underwater, their distribution around the object suggests that the entirety of it must have spent at least several months submerged.

mh370aflaperon

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Posted by Maetenloch at 11:30 PM Comments

A Bit O' Twitter - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]

—Open Blogger

It's not much, but it's fresh.


This made me laugh, and hard:


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Posted by Open Blogger at 07:13 PM Comments

Food Thread: Is Salad A Crime Against Humanity? [CBD]

—Open Blogger

BadSalad-Uncivilized.jpg
Bad Salad

Okay, it's the Washington Post, so there is the obligatory Malthusian bullshit, and the subtext is elitist "I know better than you what is good for you." But Why Salad Is So Overrated does take some significant shots at the nation's obsession with lettuce based salads.

Personally, I like salad at the end of the meal, with a tart dressing to clear my palate. Although, if you want to serve me a great tomato and goat cheese salad as a first course I will smile and say thank you. Or Caesar Salad with good whole anchovies as garnish and lots of garlic and some crispy buttery croutons? Yeah...I'll eat that too.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 04:00 PM Comments

PAX Weekend. I guess [Zakn]

—Gang of Gaming Morons!

If you are reading a Gaming thread, I'm guessing that you know what PAX is, so I'm not going to go into it in depth.

For probably the past fiveish years, I've been wanting to make it out to one of these. Not as much anymore. Maybe 10 years ago I could see standing in a line for two hours to check something coming out in a year, but Man, I just don't have time for that. More and More I think that supporting your local con or cons is the way to go. Less travel involved. I just never think of the local one until I see that it happened on the News.

I have gone to Eve Vegas the last few years, but more and more I don't actually go to any of the Panels. The first year I went to as many panels I could. Like I would download the schedule and see what I could make. Even setting an alarm to wake up (lol!). Now it's meet up with a bunch of friends that have been going to this thing for years too, and we kind of just hit Vegas up. Eve Vegas is just kind of the landscaping or the excuse for everyone to go. Hell next year I might just get a ticket to the Party because 3 hours of open bar with a bunch of nerds is fucking funny.

This makes me wonder about going to Fanfest. Now Iceland is cool as fuck. So I might try to make a return just to go see that place again. It's soo expensive though. I think I spent like 4 grand total on that week including travel and lodging (Food and Drink are incredibly expensive. Spending $50 on dinner was the norm and that was without a bar tab). That just doesn't make sense to me

On to some videos and other shit.

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Posted by Gang of Gaming Morons! at 02:05 PM Comments

The Left's Willful Ignorance [CBD]

—Open Blogger

Here is an interesting article from Reason (yeah, I know) about the resounding, deafening silence from the Left and academia in response to an article exposing the shaky foundation of the campus serial rapist theory.

But is anyone surprised?

Here is what is happening all across American campuses.

Posted by Open Blogger at 12:00 PM Comments

Sunday Morning Book Thread 08-30-2015: Scorched Earth [OregonMuse]

—Open Blogger


sad puppy 03 - 525.jpg
"No Award"

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. Also, assless chaps don't count. Serious you guys. Kilts are OK, though. But not tutus. Unless you're a girl.


When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.

-Desiderius Erasmus

Trigger warnings this week for free speech being a good thing, because it helps us determine who the idiots are. Also, winners should be determined by merit, not tribal affiliation.

Health warning: reading the book thread excessively may cause your debit card to spontaneously combust.

By the way, speaking of debit cards, I have a non-book question for you morons who do a lot of multi-state traveling, which is this: before you embark on one of your trips, do you have to contact your bank or financial institution and tell them what states you'll be traveling to so your debit card purchases won't automatically be declined, or does your debit card simply work wherever you go?

Backstory: my new job requires me to be expertly familiar with debit card transactions and the security thereof, and this issue came up in the training class this week.


The Residuum of WorldCon

In last week's comments, one of you morons (I forget who, sorry) linked to this article in Wired by Amy Wallace about the Sad Puppies isn't a total waste, as most of the articles written by SJW hacks usually are. This is not to say that it's good; in fact, it does regurgitate the tiresome narrative that the Sad Pupplies are reactionary white guys who are politicizing the Hugos because they hate brown people. In the first place, the author actually reached out and spoke with Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen and even the SJWs' bête noire, Vox Day. Which, by the way, puts her ahead of The Guardian, which has published a number anti-SP hit pieces without contacting any of the writers they rail against.

So Wallace does let you hear the other side, even though it's filtered through her crap narrative.

And then there's this:

In fact, their argument is actually pretty interesting. They say their beef is more class-based; Torgerson [sic] says his books are blue-collar speculative fiction. The Hugos, they say, are snobby and exclusionary, and too often ignore books that are merely popular, by conservative writers. The Sad Puppies have a name for those who oppose them: CHORFS, for “Cliquish, Holier-than-thou, Obnoxious, Reactionary Fanatics.”

I sometimes wonder if these types of class-based arguments shouldn't be pushed more by our side. Not universally, of course, but perhaps there may be situations where they're appropriate. Like here. It might not have ever occurred to Saul Alinsky that his rules could be used against his own tribe. They should be made to live up to their own rules. Since they're obsessed with "class" and "class" distinctions, we should shove "class" down their throats until they choke on it.

Wallace doesn't want to deal with this argument, though. After bringing it up, she immediately drops it and goes on to what she really wants to talk about, namely, the evil Vox Day.

Another thing I find odd with Wallace's article is that it appears to carry the evidence of its own refutation. That is, she wants the audience to believe that the Puppies are all diversity-hating white guys, then she brings up the case of Annie Bellet, an SJW author who withdrew her name from Hugo nomination consideration when her story was included on the Sad Puppies slate.

This is how Bellet describes herself:

“I’m adopted, and I have a sister who is black, a sister who’s Vietnamese. My mom is a lesbian. I grew up in a liberal, inclusive environment.

So she's a poster child for diversity. Fine. But if the Puppies hate diversity, then why would they nominate her for a Hugo? This is a question that Wallace's narrative will not allow her to ask. But the answer is right there in front of her, if only would bestir herself to look:

[Torgersen] says the Hugos are beset by identity politics. “When people go on about how we’re anti-diversity, I’m like: No. All we’re saying is storytelling ought to come first.”

Yes, it's the storytelling. Bellet wrote a damn good story (regardless of her politics or ethnic background) and that's all the Puppies care about. But, of course, that would bust the SJW narrative wide open, and we can't have that.

And speaking of unacceptable individuals...

I have yet to hear any of the social justice wankers (I think I'm going to just spell it out like that from now on) who have been soiling their nappies at the WrongThoughts™ of the Sad Puppies in general and Vox Day in particular utter one word of disapprobation, or even concern, about the unapologetic NAMBLA defender Samuel R. Delaney. I mean, if you want to enforce disqualification from society based on WrongThought™, I would think that defending child molesting would certainly qualify.

Larry Correia's take on this year's WorldCon is here. This is how it starts out:

As you all know by now, the Hugo Awards were presented Saturday, and No Award dominated most of the categories. Rather than let any outsiders win, they burned their village in order to “save it”. And they did so while cheering, gloating, and generally being snide exclusive assholes about it.

And it gets even better. As the poet says, read the whole thing.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 09:12 AM Comments

Early Morning Thread 08/30/15 [krakatoa]

—Open Blogger

Sunday.

Posted by Open Blogger at 06:01 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (29 Aug 2015)

—CDR M

WTF? Pentagon not targeting Islamic State training camps.

And coalition forces may be advertising where our ISR and tanker aircraft are flying in Iraq and Syria. Not too smart.

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Posted by CDR M at 09:58 PM Comments

Robert Bork On The Martini [CBD]

—Open Blogger

[A letter he wrote to The Wall Street Journal in response to this.]

Martini's Founding Fathers: Original Intent Debatable

Eric Felten's essay on the dry martini is itself near-perfect (Don't Forget the Vermouth -- WSJ Leisure & Arts, Pursuits, Dec. 10). His allusion to constitutional jurisprudence is faulty, however, since neither in law nor martinis can we know the subjective "original intent" of the Founding Fathers. As to martinis, the intent may have been to ease man's passage through this vale of tears or, less admirably, to employ the tactic of "candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker."

What counts in mixology is the "original understanding" of the martini's essence by those who first consumed it. The essence remains unaltered but allows proportions to evolve as circumstances change. Mr. Felten's "near-perfect martini" is the same in principle as the "original-understanding martini" and therefore its legitimate descendant. Such latter-day travesties as the chocolate martini and the raspberry martini, on the other hand, are the work of activist bartenders.

Mr. Felten lapses into heresy only once. He prefers the olive to the lemon peel because the former is a "snack." Dropping a snack into a classic drink is like garnishing filet mignon with ketchup. The correct response when offered an olive is, "When I want a salad, I'll ask for it."

Robert H. Bork
The Hudson Institute
Washington

And...Open Drinking Thread (and use coasters!)

Posted by Open Blogger at 08:25 PM Comments

No Longer Tropical Storm Erika, now Invest 90

—Open Blogger

Good evening, Morons and Moronettes, and this should be the final post about Erika (and, God willing, any tropical system that should threaten to hit the continental United States). If the long-range forecasting is correct, as El Nino gets going, that should inhibit tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic, and as such, restrict my posting to the odd overnight thread.

More below the fold...

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Posted by Open Blogger at 08:16 PM Comments

The Cost Of Capitalism vs. Socialism [CBD]

—Open Blogger

CoyoteBlog writes, I Have This Argument All The Time With The US Forest Service , but it could be with any government agency doing....anything. The pull quote is marvelous, and one that, while we as obsessed conservatives have internalized, is not common knowledge among those who aren't quite as rabid about political philosophy.

from page 114 of the 5th edition (2015) of Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics :

While capitalism has a visible cost -- profit -- that does not exist under socialism, socialism has an invisible cost -- inefficiency -- that gets weeded out by losses and bankruptcy under capitalism. The fact that most goods are more widely affordable in a capitalist economy implies that profit is less costly than inefficiency. Put differently, profit is a price paid for efficiency.

Posted by Open Blogger at 06:15 PM Comments

Fresh Open Thread - [Niedermeyers Dead Horse]

—Open Blogger

I'm going blind from watching this over and over and...


and, which of you will try this at home?

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Posted by Open Blogger at 04:18 PM Comments

August 29, 2015 Saturday Gardening Thread: Robert Ryman Edition [Y-not and KT]

—Open Blogger

Greetings fellow gardeners! Your hostess is somewhere in flyover country at present in a large SUV filled (one hopes) with her belongings, including loving spouse and pets. So this week's edition of the Saturday Gardening Thread will be a minimalist affair:

RymanArt.jpg

Untitled, 1965 by Robert Ryman

As always, KT was prepared with plenty of juicy gardening content, but I didn't want to risk not being able to put it up this weekend. (TWHS!)

Here are a couple of pictures that Mr. Y-not took during the walk-through of our new house last weekend showing our new backyard:

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Posted by Open Blogger at 01:10 PM Comments

Special Food Thread: Canning Edition [CBD]

—Open Blogger

H/T NDH (you should follow her on the tweet thing: @mflynny)

And of course Open Thread, because you maniacs do it anyway.

Posted by Open Blogger at 10:00 AM Comments

EMT 8/29/15 - The bright side edition. [krakatoa]

—Open Blogger

Only nine more days to college football season.

Posted by Open Blogger at 06:00 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (28 Aug 2015)

—CDR M

Every presidential candidate's doppelgänger, according to face recognition software. Haha, Lindsey Graham only scored a 82 on the masculinity measurement. That's still too high though.

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Posted by CDR M at 10:07 PM Comments

The Real Scandal at the Washington Post: Hack David Ignatius Fails to Disclose His Key Source Claiming There Is No Email Scandal is Longtime Advisor to... Hillary Clinton

—Ace

The "scandal" that isn't?

Meet the scandal that most definitely is.

Kristinn Taylor:

The Washington Post published a column Thursday night by David Ignatius that purports to clear leading Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton of wrongdoing in exclusively using a home brew server kept in her home that held top secret classified information during her four year tenure as secretary of state. The column is entitled The Hillary Clinton e-mail ‘scandal’ that isn’t.

Ignatius' lead defense witness for Clinton is one Jeffrey Smith who is given four paragraphs of quotes defending Clinton. Ignatius identifies Smith as "a former CIA general counsel who’s now a partner at Arnold & Porter, where he often represents defendants suspected of misusing classified information."

Smith is the only named source in Ignatius’ column.

Ignatius and The Post failed to disclose that Smith served as a 'close' national security adviser for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and that Smith has a history with the Clintons going back to at least President Bill Clinton’s election in 1992.

An April 2, 2007 New Republic article noted Clinton’s hiring of Smith...

Can't quote any more; go to the link to read Taylor's compilation of the Clinton-Smith connections.

Why did David Ignatius fail to note this connection? Is it because his column would have appeared even more laughable if he had properly informed his readers that the witness for the defense was an employee/crony of the accused?

Thanks to @RosenRosenRosen and Laurie David's Cervix.

Posted by Ace at 08:10 PM Comments

Tropical Storm Erika 8/28/15 (tmi3rd)

—Open Blogger

Good evening from the AoSHQ Weather Desk, Morons and Moronettes. I'm tmi3rd, and I'll be continuing my nightly eye on Erika until the storm dissipates. Some interesting things have happened over the last 24 hours with Erika, and I think we'll enjoy the media disappointment over it.

More below the fold...

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Posted by Open Blogger at 07:34 PM Comments

AoSHQ Podcast: Ben K.

—Andy

Morning dumper Ben K. joins Ace and Gabe on this week's episode.

Intro: Pride & Joy - Stevie Ray Vaughan
Outro: The Sky Is Crying - Stevie Ray Vaughan

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

Browse (and even search!) the archives

Follow on Twitter

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

Open thread in the comments.

Posted by Andy at 06:30 PM Comments

We're Gonna Need a Bigger Stray Voltage: Hillary Clinton Now Being Investigated Under the Espionage Act

—Ace

This strikes me as, um, problematic, as all the kids say.

An FBI "A-team" is leading the "extremely serious" investigation into Hillary Clinton's server and the focus includes a provision of the law pertaining to "gathering, transmitting or losing defense information," an intelligence source told Fox News.

The section of the Espionage Act is known as 18 US Code 793.

A separate source, who also was not authorized to speak on the record, said the FBI will further determine whether Clinton should have known, based on the quality and detail of the material, that emails passing through her server contained classified information regardless of the markings.

Now you might think that sounds bad for Grandmonster Hillary.

Nah, don't sweat it, says as progressive cretin David Ignatius at the Washington Post, a totally unbiased paper, swearsies.

The Hillary Clinton e-mail 'scandal' that isn't

Splendid! It's not a sneer without sneer quotes.

By David Ignatius Opinion writer August 27 at 8:37 PM

Does Hillary Clinton have a serious legal problem because she may have transmitted classified information on her private e-mail server? After talking with a half-dozen knowledgeable lawyers, I think this "scandal" is overstated. Using the server was a self-inflicted wound by Clinton, but it's not something a prosecutor would take to court.

David Petraus disagrees.

"It's common" that people end up using unclassified systems to transmit classified information, said Jeffrey Smith, a former CIA general counsel who’s now a partner at Arnold & Porter, where he often represents defendants suspected of misusing classified information.

Ah, the guy who defends people who mishandle classified information says it's no biggie.

You can read the rest if you enjoy bad writing which is dumb and partisan.

You may wonder, doesn't this deserve a flaming skull?

No. For some news, we note its import by an even more urgent signal than the flaming skull.

Some news is so enormous as to beg -- nay, demand -- a Realness Update:

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Posted by Ace at 04:21 PM Comments

The Injustice Collector: Racist Assassin Claimed Anodyne Sentences Like "The reporter's out in the field" to be "Racist"

—Ace

Because "field," you see, while meaning to everyone else "outside the office, out in the actual field of reporting," he took it to mean "cotton fields," and ergo a racist assault on his dignity.

He also objected to the phrase "swinging' by a place," because, I guess, lynching.

Allahpundit notes that Charles Cooke is asking, in a different way, the same question I asked a few days ago.

I asked, "If 'backlash' is a real thing, presumably all races and creeds, and not just white (Republican!) Christians, are susceptible to having tribal/racial fires lit in their hearts by hot, sensationalistic coverage of another tribes' sins (or alleged sins); why does the media not seem to care about "backlash" when it reports sensationalistically on Dylan Roof's terrorist murders? Why in fact does it actively seek to make Roof's crime a crime of the entire White Race, who are collectively responsible for it, and who are, ergo, especially in the mind of a maniac, to be collectively punished for it?

If there is a danger that white (Republican!) Christians will go after innocent Muslims upon being sensationalized into anti-Muslim hatred owing to an Islamist's terrorism, does not the same danger apply to other races and creeds?

In fact, we know for a fact the same danger does so apply: "Bryce Williams" proves it, if Christopher Dorn didn't already.

The various assassinations of cops proves it.

But the media continues to pretend that "backlash" is something only white people can engage in.

Cooke wonders about all the hot "microaggression" rhetoric that fed directly into the Vine Assassin's "injustice collecting" -- the same nonsense in which perfectly innocent words are transformed into racial assaults:

Half-joking on Twitter, the Free Beacon’s Sonny Bunch reacted to this news [that "Bryce Williams" believed, among other lunacies, that 7-11's watermelon flavored Slurpees were a racist insult] by observing that, "instead of going on a killing spree, this guy should’ve gotten a columnist gig at the Guardian." As with all humor, there is some truth at the root of this barb. Certainly, the shooter was extreme in his willingness to take offense. But, really, he was no more extreme than many of the extremely silly people who write at Salon or sit on diversity boards or who stand up and make a nuisance of themselves on contemporary college campuses. If one believes that the culture causes people to pull triggers -- and again, I don’t but many do -- then one has to be ecumenical about it. For what reason is this guy exempt? Why do we not need to have a "national conversation" about hypersensitivity?

The answer, I imagine, is politics, for this instinct seems only to run one way. The same people who tend to think that ugly strains within our culture lead inexorably to murder did not seem to care much that the man who killed three Muslims in North Carolina earlier this year was a progressive atheist with strong views about Islam. Likewise, they were not greatly interested that the guy who shot up the Family Research Council was inspired by the always hyperbolic output of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and they saw no connection whatsoever between protestors calling for the execution of police officers and a host of incidents in which angry men did just that. Hypocrisy.

This idea is getting some minor play on the right, but I personally think it should get a lot more. Pride of authorship, I'm sure, egotistically suggests to me this is a more important point than it might otherwise seem to me -- yet I cannot help but think that if the left wants to talk about the "tone" of discussion and the "hot words" used in politics, then we should in fact have a very serious conversation about all the actual, palpable venomous hatred the left stirs up daily in claiming that, for example, Amy Schumer is responsible for the Charleston terrorist attack because years ago she told a couple of jokes about Mexicans.

Either we can and should take one man's outrages and blame an entire race or religion for them or we ought not to.

The Racist Left, however, has played this game for years, speaking of whites and Christians as if they were actual demons on earth deserving of extirpation, all the time piously "calling out," mob attacking, and firing anyone who said anything untoward about any other group.

So I ask again:

Is the white race alone among races, and the Christian religion alone among religions, uniquely prone to "backlash" type attacks on innocent people?

And if the Left's answer is yes -- and indeed, their answer is in fact yes; they just don't say this aloud very often-- they they should be called to account and defend their obvious racism and Christophobia.


Posted by Ace at 03:32 PM Comments

So Why Isn't Hillary's "Republicans Are Like ISIS" Statement Getting More Play in the Media?

—Ace

AllahPundit wonders about this. The Free Beacon wondered first.

I'ma blow your mind: Two cheers for the media for not making a big deal about this.

Why?

Because this is just Hillary attempting to use Obama's cynical "Stray Voltage" tactic.

Major Garret exposed this two years ago.

Whenever the White House is in trouble -- which is almost always, because they're socialist and hence incompetent -- they drop a rhetorical stinkbomb on the nation, a statement calculated to be trollish, controversial, enraging, and false.

They deliberately said false things about the women's pay gap, for example.

Why? Specifically to draw attention to the statement itself, which, while it may be a negative (in as much as Obama is lying as usual), is a sort of manageable, normal, routine-business sort of negative. Politicians argue about their claims all the time; they also frequently lie. Thus, to be in that particular fight was no big deal for Obama, because he's used to that, and while there may be a downside, it's just normal wear-and-tear downside, not major damage.

Keep in mind: While the public might be getting curious about Obama's ineptitude on the VA, or Healthcare.gov, or ISIS, or his thousand other failures, that is "stray voltage," flowing possible excitement of the national media mind, which could in fact damage him badly, should the circuits complete. That sort of electricity could electrocute him.

Major Garrett:

A top White House adviser told me last week's pay gap dust up was a "perfect" example of stray voltage. This time it was premeditated.

...

Obama's team expected, invited, and, to a certain degree, relished last week's hubbub. That's stray voltage in action.

Or inaction.

As a theory, "stray voltage" exists in a kind of strategic void. It can't be dismissed or embraced as workable because creating controversy for the sake of controversy is, well, achievable. Like getting soup from the White House mess. It's also self-reinforcing and internally didactic. Everyone looks around and says, "See. There's controversy. It's working."

So this is why Hillary Clinton dropped her hot, wet turd on the country: to get us talking about this "outrage" instead of the fact that she is very close to having her security clearance revoked by the Intelligence Community, and even being prosecuted by the FBI.

She wants us talking about this, rather than that.

Hey, Hillary, you know who's a lot like ISIS?

You are. Because the FBI's counter-intelligence task force is investigating both of you, and your affiliated minions.

Posted by Ace at 01:41 PM Comments

Open Thread

—rdbrewer


John Singer Sargent, "Poppies" (1886)

Posted by rdbrewer at 09:45 AM Comments

TGIF Open Thread

—BenK

Busy morning. Leave your positive comments here.

Posted by BenK at 09:14 AM Comments

Morning Thread (8-28-2015)

—Andy

Happy Friday.

Posted by Andy at 06:46 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (8-27-2015)

—Maetenloch

The Saddest Comment Ever

i gotta tell you, sometimes I post my actual thoughts on twitter because I'm sick of being attacked in the comments for them.

on twitter, I can block people.

so... yeah, bad commenters drive out good ones. Every site in the world discovers this; the Wild West model is always proven to fail. Always.

Posted by: ace at August 26, 2015 09:33 PM (dciA+)

Follow-up to the Saddest Comment Ever

585 The "abuse' Model of "argument" is not an attempt at discussion, but of shutting discussion down.

The goal is to make it socially painful to express a non-approved idea; some of the Trump supporters are trying to do just this, to make it socially painful to express an anti-trump sentiment here, by pouring abuse on whoever speaks one, thus making him keep silent, as well as any other people who witness it.

Well, it worked too well, to the point where I discovered I was saying things ON TWITTER I was too dissuaded to say ON MY OWN FUCKING BLOG.

Then one day I woke up and said "WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS BULLSHIT?" and like that, I decided I would force the migration in the other direction.

Spirited debate is fine; so is supporting Trump. I half support him myself. (You might not know that, because I keep trump commentary to twitter, because i've learned I cant' talk about trump on my own blog.)

But this idea that we are going to BULLY AND HECTOR PEOPLE INTO SILENCE is not a form of debate; it is the fascist's idea of stifling debate.

It will no longer be tolerated. And I don't just mean the Trump people (though they were the straw that broke this camel's back); I mean the trump-baiters, too.

Anyone who takes someething to a personal place that doesn't need to be in a personal place.

Posted by: ace at August 26, 2015 09:52 PM (dciA+)

It's a very sad day when a man can't post his own thoughts on his own goddamn blog without being personally abused and insulted by his so-called fans.

Frankly the Trump thread on Tuesday was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. If this blog were a bar, I wouldn't want to hang out in it because of the ugly crowd it's attracted. After browsing through all the vitriol in the comments I told Ace that I didn't like this place any more and wasn't sure I wanted to post here any longer. It's been taken over by the raging nasties who take everything personally and feel that their anger at...well everything gives them a license to asshole. Note: It doesn't. Well at least not here.

And if I'm feeling this way - and Ace as well apparently - then there are probably dozens, even hundreds of others who feel the same way but have just walked away from the blog entirely. That's the silent insidious damage that this kind of atmosphere does. Not only does it devolve all discussions to insults and attacks but it quietly drives away the good commenters who have the most to offer. This is how online communities eventually wither and die.

Now some of this behavior is due to the very human tendency to take out your anger on a person of convenience rather than the actual, deserving target - especially when there's so much free-floating and well earned anger around. This is why people often end up being the nastiest to the loving people around them since a) they're close at hand and that's so much easier than having to track down the real target b) it feels so good to rage at and insult someone - anyone - even if they had nothing to do with the cause of the rage and c) deep down the ragers know that their chosen targets will take it without any real consequences. The fact that this kind of anger displacement is so easy, satisfying, and mostly cost-free is why it's such a common human failing. And when there's no cost at all you get the cesspool of internet comment sections.

Then you have the trolls and assholes (trassholes? asstrolls?). But calling them that is really glossing over some of the nuances of their behavior. Because a good percentage of the people most angry and unhappy about politics are in fact just angry and unhappy people in general. And 'politics' becomes a safe, more socially acceptable way to vent and act out all these pent-up feelings.

As Ace has pointed out before a whole lot of what would be considered disturbed, even somewhat crazy behavior in other areas of life suddenly gets a pass when it's presented as 'political' passion. So a lot of psychological energy in these types of people gets dressed up as 'politics' since that's more socially tolerated and you can get away with a lot of shit that would get you tossed or beaten/arrested elsewhere. But being an asshole because 'you just love america so much and hate what they have to done to it' still means that you're being an asshole - albeit with above average rationalization abilities.

Wesley.gif

Anyway whatever the reasons these vitriolic and personal attacks are ending.

noashol3

Continue reading


Posted by Maetenloch at 11:44 PM Comments

Tropical Storm Erika (tmi3rd) 8/27/15

—Open Blogger

Hello from the AoSHQ Weather Desk, Morons and Moronettes. Though Erika isn't likely to become a major hurricane, it's still likely at this point to strike the continental United States as a hurricane, and that merits a post from us.

If you're along the Atlantic coast of Florida, it's a good bet that you're going to see at least tropical storm conditions (high winds, high surf, torrential rain, and perhaps a weak tornado here or there) starting Sunday into Monday, and if you're along the Georgia, South Carolina, or North Carolina coast, it's time to make sure you've got your hurricane gear ready to go *if* it comes your way.

If you're along the Gulf Coast, wait until it turns north before you start letting your guard down.

Details below the fold...

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 09:16 PM Comments

NYTs Asks 75 High Ranking Democratic Insiders About Hillary; They're Officially Getting Ready to Dump Grandmonster Hillary

—Ace

Well I don't know about that but they are actually panicky.

Even ultra-spinning in-the-bag hack Greg Sargent at the Washington Post's Plum Line (note that no conservatives get their own political column) admitted that this makes it official: The Democrats are actually panicking.

Biden is now the guy they have their hopes pinned on.

If you can believe that.

Open Thread.

You all be nice to each other! Lot of people seem to really dig the friendlier, less angry vibe; let's keep that going and see how it all shakes out.

Posted by Ace at 06:41 PM Comments

CNN Commentator: I Believe The WDBJ Assassin

—Ace

She says he was mentally ill, and he says he was victimized -- so she has no reason to doubt him.


Personally, I sort of doubt spree killers who are mentally ill, but Sally Kohn sees no reason to doubt this guy. He was #Black, and #OnlyBlackLivesMatter.

Posted by Ace at 06:18 PM Comments

Failure Theater, Act V, scene iii: Bob Corker Announces It's "Unlikely" GOP Can Stop Iran Deal

—Ace

Well slap my face with a fish and call me Swedish.

Oh you think the Dems will have the votes to block the GOP's override of Obama's veto?

Ha-ha, you're so yesterday, Squares. Obama won't even have to veto it, because the Stick Together On Every Vote Democrats will have enough votes to even filibuster the GOP's vote against it.

Oh well, we tried! Guess you'll just have to vote for us harder and send us more campaign donations!


Bravo! Bravo!
Author! Author!

Posted by Ace at 04:22 PM Comments

John Boehner, at Fundraiser (of Course): Ted Cruz is a "Jackass"

—Ace

Whatever we do, guys, we have to make sure this guy stays in the Speaker's chair. There's just no one else who can give us this Boehner-level of excellence in leadership and results.

What would we do without such a Giant in the speaker's chair? A political culture produces such an ubermensch but once ever 60 or 80 years. We'd be insane to demote him in favor of any other Republican.

Sorry, I Baited: I actually was attempting to bait the Establishment people on Twitter who got a bit sneery about demoting Boehner last time, and was not thinking of anyone on this site.

However, there are what I'd call "Establishment Types" on the site here, and they could, very reasonably, take this post as insulting towards themselves (and thus inviting an insult in return).

And being worried about being banned, they then might not take the legitimate opportunity to insult me back, given that I could just be a dick and ban them.

Which is a totally unfair situation -- I insult you, then you have to hold your own fire for fear of what I might do if you insult me back.

So I have removed the personally-baiting part of this post, and I apologize for that.

I'm just getting used to the new rules myself; there is going to be a period of adjustment.

Sorry if I insulted you. I can only say I actually didn't intend to insult anyone here, but rather some people on Twitter, but you'd be perfectly right to take it as an insult against you if you supported Boehner in January.

I apologize, and will be on the look-out for my own baiting statements.


Posted by Ace at 02:29 PM Comments

Update: Pentagon IG Has Launched Investigation Into Charges That Intel Analysts Were Pressured to Make Obama's Phony War on ISIS Appear More Winning Than It Actually Is

—Ace

Pardon me, I'm a couple of days behind this story -- not only was that Daily Beat article from yesterday, but the allegations were enough to spur the announcement of an IG probe yesterday, too.

Sorry, I missed this story. (Well, I had it open in my thousand tabs and then lost it.)

The New York Times reports:

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating allegations that military officials have skewed intelligence assessments about the United States-led campaign in Iraq against the Islamic State to provide a more optimistic account of progress, according to several officials familiar with the inquiry.

The investigation began after at least one civilian Defense Intelligence Agency analyst told the authorities that he had evidence that officials at United States Central Command -- the military headquarters overseeing the American bombing campaign and other efforts against the Islamic State -- were improperly reworking the conclusions of intelligence assessments prepared for policy makers, including President Obama, the government officials said.

Fuller details of the claims were not available, including when the assessments were said to have been altered and who at Central Command, or Centcom, the analyst said was responsible. The officials, speaking only on the condition of anonymity about classified matters, said that the recently opened investigation focused on whether military officials had changed the conclusions of draft intelligence assessments during a review process and then passed them on.

...

Legitimate differences of opinion are common and encouraged among national security officials, so the inspector general's investigation is an unusual move and suggests that the allegations go beyond typical intelligence disputes. Government rules state that intelligence assessments "must not be distorted" by agency agendas or policy views. Analysts are required to cite the sources that back up their conclusions and to acknowledge differing viewpoints.

...

Some senior American officials in recent weeks have provided largely positive public assessments about the progress of the military campaign against the Islamic State....

But recent intelligence assessments, including some by Defense Intelligence Agency, paint a sober picture about how little the Islamic State has been weakened over the past year....

The New York Times suggests (without saying so) that all of this, to the extent there may be a "this" there at all, is due to the military brass having an vested interest in portraying themselves as more effective than they are -- lying to poor abused Obama, that is, to make themselves look good.

I have rather different suspicions myself. I suspect that Obama's people are in fact the ones putting pressure on the brass, who in turn put pressure on the analysts, to report back to him that which he hath decreed must be the reality we believe in, so he can disseminate his faked up version of reality to Congress and the American public generally.

But I guess we'll just have to see.

Scandal-free administration, boys. Scandal-free.

Posted by Ace at 01:28 PM Comments

Shocker: Intelligence Analysts Say They Were Pressured to Downplay ISIS' Strength and Overstate Obama's Effectiveness Against Them

—Ace

Anyone surprised?

They're the JV, you know. Obama said so. Now re-write your report to make them the JV.

Scandal-free administration, You Guys. Scandal-free.

Shane Harris and Nancy A. Yousef:

U.S. intelligence analysts keep saying that the American-led campaign against ISIS isn’t going so well. Their bosses keep telling them to think again about those conclusions.

Senior military and intelligence officials have inappropriately pressured U.S. terrorism analysts to alter their assessments about the strength of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, three sources familiar with the matter told The Daily Beast. Analysts have been pushed to portray the group as weaker than the analysts believe it actually is, according to these sources, and to paint an overly rosy picture about how well the U.S.-led effort to defeat the group is going.

Reports that have been deemed too pessimistic about the efficacy of the American-led campaign, or that have questioned whether a U.S.-trained Iraqi military can ultimately defeat ISIS, have been sent back down through the chain of command or haven’t been shared with senior policymakers, several analysts alleged.

In other instances, authors of such reports said they understood that their conclusions should fall within a certain spectrum. As a result, they self-censored their own views, they said, because they felt pressure to not reach conclusions far outside what those above them apparently believed.

"The phrase I use is the politicization of the intelligence community,”"retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told The Daily Beast...

It's truly incredible, and of course the major media aren't interested.

A president's minions direct their analysts to lie for political advantage, corrupting some of the most important machinery of United States security, intelligence.

But the media's okay with this -- their preferred story is also "Obama Triumphs." So they work hand in glove with him.

Posted by Ace at 12:43 PM Comments

Glenn Reynolds: It's Little Reported in the US, But Liberal Enlightened Europe Is Talking About Walls and Immigrant Crackdowns, Too

—Ace

The US media doesn't want to talk about any of this though, both because it is in ideological solidarity with the open borders movement, and is embarrassingly parochial anyway.

Europe's immigration drama has nothing to do with Donald Trump: Glenn Reynolds


Hundreds of thousands of migrants challenge EU's liberal stance on open borders.

From following the news, you'd think that immigration was strictly a U.S. problem, one brought to the fore by Donald Trump. But although Trump has certainly moved the debate to a new level here at home, other parts of the world are facing an immigration crisis that is, if anything, worse. And there are lessons in that.

...

Meanwhile, as Americans talk of a border fence, Bulgaria is building one, with razor wire and steel 12 feet high. And Slovakia is flat-out refusing to accept Muslim migrants, viewing them as dangerous and destabilizing. Migrants have massed at the Macedonian border and are creating tensions between Serbia and Hungary. Hungary is building a fence too. Norwegian politicians are suggesting that Norway should do something similar to Australia, which is sending unwelcome refugees to New Guinea or to prison....

So it's not just Trump. America, like the rest of the world, will have to decide what it wants to do about the fact that more people want to live here than we can accept. It is simple political reality that the problem can’t be ignored forever.

In Clueless, Alicia Silverstone fakes her way through a debate assignment on immigration by just making up some happy-sounding nonsense about there not being any RSVP required at Party USA.


That's pretty much exactly what the political and economic masters of this country are doing -- burbling Alicia Silverstone's happy-talk nonsense, hoping no one notices it doesn't make sense.

Posted by Ace at 11:37 AM Comments



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Rest in peace.
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Make low-interest loans available to small businesses to both "send the elevator back down," to get people employed, and to revv up the economy? Create a small fleet of 747 flying hospitals that bring doctors, surgeons--including plastic surgeons for kids--supplies and support staff to 3d world areas with few doctors? Nope. "Russian billionaire splashes out on £292 million superyacht he designed himself to enjoy with his supermodel wife." Via Drudge. [rdbrewer]
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By the way, has America's Greatest Christian found a new church to attend yet? (Answer: No. The Famously Christian Obama never goes to church, and the media doesn't bother noticing this.)
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Via Drudge. [rdbrewer]


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"Remember yesterday’s crazy article, contending Joe Biden would be a tougher opponent for Republicans to beat than Hillary Clinton? Take a look at these new numbers out this morning from Quinnipiac...." [rdbrewer]


Conservative group releases Hillary sting video
"The video was filmed secretly by a Project Veritas operative posing as a Hillary for America volunteer. One campaign official is shown telling volunteers to ask people whether they support Clinton before offering to register them to vote, saying “we don’t want to make our focus — voter registration.” [rdbrewer]
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