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March 30, 2015

Open Thread

—rdbrewer


Levi Wells Prentice, "Blue Mountain Lake" (n.d.)

Posted by rdbrewer at 10:00 AM Comments



Monday Morning News Dump

—BenK

Posted by BenK at 08:15 AM Comments



Morning Thread (3-30-2015)

—Andy

And just like that, it's Monday again ...

Posted by Andy at 06:17 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (3-29-2015)

—Maetenloch

Quote of the Day I

And since wealthy people don't spend nearly as high a percentage of their incomes as poor people do, much wealth is sitting around not doing its job.

-- NYT reporter Mark Bittman proving he has no clue about modern economics.

Quote of the Day II

This should be fun to watch. Admittedly, this should also be a gutter war without rules or mercy, but I can't imagine that Freedom Watch didn't know that, going in. Sometimes you just have to expect that it's all going to end in tears, recriminations, and blood on the floor.

-- Moe Lone on Freedom Watch's racketeering lawsuit against Hillary Clinton

Quote of the Day III

Go to Google News and search for "teacher + arrest + sex." How many times a week are public school teachers in America charged with illegally having sex with their underage students? My guess is that it happens more commonly than college students getting raped. So why aren't feminists marching into your local Board of Education meeting and demanding that something be done about the "rape epidemic" in public schools?

Think about that.

-- RSM on The 'Rape Epidemic' That Isn't

Quote of the Day IV

The primary purpose of race-talk in America today is to allow elite whites to silence and shame non-elite whites. Thus, it's not surprising that the people pushing it are...a bunch of elite whites.

-- Insty on Starbuck's lame race talk campaign

"Dog or Jewish Boyfriend?"

But I find it inconceivable that The New Yorker would have run this piece if it didn't have Lena Dunham or some other bold-face-name in the byline. Titled, "Dog or Jewish Boyfriend?" it's a pop-quiz for the reader to guess whether she's talking about her dog or, that's right, her Jewish boyfriend.

...Still, I don't think she was going for anti-Semitism, though she'll happily pocket the edginess that accusation brings. Rather, like so much of what Dunham does, it reeks of self-indulgence. She clearly think it's very clever. But as a piece of writing it's remarkably un-clever. It's not terrible. It's more like a solid B in a college-writing seminar. And, I suppose it is a sharp way for her to do what she loves: over-share the various details of her life, most of which, like this piece, are incredibly boring if ascribed to a person you're not fascinated by.

But that's just it. For some unfathomable reason, there are people who find Dunham fascinating. She clearly has a gift for convincing late-middle-aged white urban liberals that she's on to something big and important. I'm just amazed she's pulled off the con for this long. And I'm disappointed that even The New Yorker fell for it.

Iranian Defector: US Team 'Mainly There to Speak on Iran's Behalf'

Continue reading


Posted by Maetenloch at 10:47 PM Comments

Emergency Backup Gun Thread [Weirddave]

—Open Blogger

Nothing much seems to be in the hopper right now, so here's stuff I've bookmarked over the past few weeks.

Gun of the Week
1973.jpg

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Posted by Open Blogger at 08:04 PM Comments

The "Wow, it's been four hours since a new thread" thread - Niedermeyer's Dead Horse

—Open Blogger

Here's a bit of fresh thread to tide you over until something of value is posted.

How 'bout them 80's?

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Posted by Open Blogger at 07:55 PM Comments

Food Thread: Passover Edition [CBD]

—Open Blogger

This will be even more abbreviated than usual -- it seems that somebody sneaked into my bedroom a few nights ago and pumped several pounds of wet concrete into my sinuses, then used a blowtorch on the back of my throat. Impressively stealthy! It was probably Brian Williams tuning up his SEAL skills.

USS Astoria Seder.png

This photo is captioned as "Seder on the U.S.S. Astoria in the Pacific, 1945." But the Astoria was sunk in the Battle of Savo Island on August 9th, 1942, after taking at least 65 hits. So this is either dated incorrectly or it is another ship, but the name on the table covering seems definitive.

Update: Courtesy of commenter DBA, the third U.S.S. Astoria was a Cleveland class light cruiser that was renamed Astoria in honor of the heavy cruiser that was sunk at Savo Island.

It is from a nice article in Tablet about How American Troops Celebrated Passover During WWII, but be warned, it is a far-left site; do not click on any other links without appropriate protection.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 04:00 PM Comments

Gaming I guess

—Gang of Gaming Morons!

Short week as there isn't much coming out and news wise, there wasn't much other than Zelda isn't coming out in 2015 which leaves a big hole in their Christmas lineup. Nintendo only has two games announced so far that could to really move the needle. Star Fox which has so far been shown off as a smaller digital game and Xenoblade Chronicles X which would mean they would give it 8-ish months between it's Japanese (comes out next month) and Western releases. Though two weeks ago, they did announce their new "development platform" under the NX codename. It's notable that they called it a development platform instead of a new handheld or console which gives credence to the long held belief that their next console & handheld would be one in the same for the most part. Kinda makes you wonder if they will hold off on releasing a Zelda game for the WiiU and create a Twilight Princess situation where the game comes out on the old and next gen systems.

That being said, as for Nintendo as a whole, them finally listening to the shareholders lead to a very nice $5 share price bump (it hit up to $8 but evened out at $19 from $14) as they announced a partnership with DeNA which the West probably knows more as Mobage, one of the biggest names in mobile gaming. Basically, Nintendo will make the games while DeNA will do all the back-end system work. Considering Nintendo's forays into internet, this is the optimal setup. This is a pretty big turn for Iwata, after years of sticking his head into the sand, he's finally noticed the current gaming landscape. Will it save his job? Will it "save" Nintendo? Though it's a positive step, I don't see it. To make it work, they would have to go full bore on mobile. And even then, they're selling to a marketplace that really doesn't know or care about Mario. Only Pokemon is their real ace in the hole for cracking mobile. I personally wouldn't say no to a mobile Fire Emblem game though. I think their stock price is too high but I'm cautiously optimistic on their future, especially if Iwata gets what he deserves (not going to happen with the way he's surrounded himself with yes men on the board).

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Posted by Gang of Gaming Morons! at 03:06 PM Comments

Weekend Headlines: Clown Edition [CBD]

—Open Blogger

Senile Old Fool Calls For Rebuilding Nazi War Machine Gaza

And Open Thread.....

And why not?

Browning M2.jpg

Posted by Open Blogger at 01:03 PM Comments

Sunday Morning Book Thread 03-29-2015: True Crime [OregonMuse]

—Open Blogger


asink9.jpg
"Oh Look, We've Found Hillary's Missing Emails"


Good morning to all of you morons and moronettes and bartenders everywhere and all the ships at sea. Welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread. The only AoSHQ thread that is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Or kilts. Kilts are OK, too. But not tutus. Unless you're a girl.


Book Quote

You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.
-Paul Sweeney


Murder & Mayhem

Interesting review of the book Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy.

There's a statistic that surfaces early in...Ghettoside that should catch your attention: black men compose about 6% of the country's population, yet they are the victim in nearly 40% of homicides. And who's killing those black men? The answer is most often other black men. Leovy...explores the culture of black violence, specifically in South Central LA, describing a world that seems to exist hermetically sealed off from the rest of the city. With nearly zero mobility and little policing, the people of South Central are left to fend for themselves - further amplifying the devastating drumbeat of gangs and violence.

The reviewer notes that "Poverty deserves less blame" and "The US has long failed to punish blacks who kill blacks". This last bit brought on this one-star review on Amazon:

I can tell you from firsthand experience..that the blame for the inability to catch and convict violent criminals in predominantly black neighborhoods falls on the residents of those neighborhoods themselves. The culture of "stop snitching" means that people...who are literally shot point blank in the face by someone who they know from their neighborhood and survive, refuse to testify against that very person, and when forced onto the witness stand, lie and say that the person on trial is not the person who shot them. By the way, in the case I am talking about..there were at least 10 other people who witnessed the perpetrator shoot this person in the face, and not a single one voluntarily came forward.

So it looks like there's some sort of chicken-or-egg problem here. Crappy policing vs. the "no snitch" culture. Did the former produce the latter or did the latter produce the former? Or is there a third phenomenon that caused both?

I think the cop and detective shows on TV give the impression that murders are solved by forensic evidence acquired by sharp-eyed detectives combined with clever deductive reasoning, when in reality, most murders are solved by the police acting on information provided to them by informants, AKA "snitches". So when that source of information dries up, murders don't get solved.

And speaking of unsolved inner-city murders, there's Murder Rap: The Untold Story of the Biggie Smalls & Tupac Shakur Murder Investigations by the Detective Who Solved Both Cases by Greg Kading, that claims that these murders were hits ordered by... wait for it... Suge Knight and Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs. Kading was unable to bring it home because he claims he was suddenly yanked from the case by LAPD higher-ups, after which it then sputtered and slowly ground to a halt.

Evidently, those rap guys play for keeps.

I had forgotten this book, but Steven Pinker, in his book The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, argues that, well, violence has declined. In the long term, that is. His is a sweeping view, which is admittedly hard to see from a place like, say, Mosul, or even from downtown Compton, but overall, but from prehistoric times to the modern day, civilizational, pacifying influences are slowly but surely winning out over the forces that encourage us to kill each other. Seriously. This 800+ page book is nothing if not controversial.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 08:59 AM Comments

Early Morning Thread 3/29/15 - Slugabeddin' Sunday [krakatoa]

—Open Blogger

Some days take a little more sleep to start than others.

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 06:00 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (28 Mar 2015)

—CDR M

Seriously. W. T. F? Close media aide to President Rouhani defects during Iran nuclear talks, says U.S. negotiators acting on behalf of Iran.

Continue reading


Posted by CDR M at 10:08 PM Comments

Hoops Thread [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

So, apparently there's some basketball occurring at present.

Your wish etcetera etcetera...

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Posted by Open Blogger at 06:17 PM Comments

Open Thread: I Like Gridlock [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

This is what you get when control of your state legislature is divided:

NewMexLaws.jpg

I like it!

Here's a round up of what New Mexico's legislature did.

Governor Martinez was trying to get them to repeal issuing drivers licenses to illegals, but they failed.


Open thread until something more interesting comes along.

Posted by Open Blogger at 03:47 PM Comments

Saturday Gardening Thread: Bi-Polar Edition [Y-not and KT]

—Open Blogger

Y-not: Good afternoon, gardening morons and moronettes! Weirddave is indisposed so today's thread is a bi-polar edition featuring self and KT.

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

(You can read IZ's story here.)

The emergence of Spring coupled with those last few winter storms that are still hitting parts of the U.S. got me thinking about weather prediction, particularly almanacs. I have a feeling we have experts on this topic in our midst, so I'll just put together a few interesting links I found and let you all share your knowledge with the horde.

What is an almanac, anyway? Here's a brief summary from Mental Floss:

Historically, almanacs are annual publications that outline the days of the year alongside factors like sunrise and sunset times, holidays, moon phases, and solstices. The calendar hanging on your wall is an example of a simple almanac. Some of the earliest almanacs referenced celestial events to tell readers whether they would have good or bad luck on certain days, much like how we use horoscopes today. By the 17th century, the only publication more popular than almanacs in England was the Bible. Around this time, they began popping up in the America colonies, offering seasonal weather predictions, tips for household management, and entertainment like puzzles and jokes.

The Farmers' Almanac (founded in 1818 ) and the Old Farmers' Almanac (founded in 1792) are two of the most popular remaining almanacs. The former offers long-range weather predictions made two years in advance. Today it claims to have an annual distribution of more than 2.6 million copies and a readership of 7 million.

Both publications claim to have a roughly 80 percent accuracy rate. Their predictions are the products of top secret mathematical formulas that take into consideration things like sunspot activity, tidal action, and planetary positioning

For those of you who use Almanacs, especially for your garden planning, do you think this 80 percent accuracy rate is correct?

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 02:10 PM Comments

News Roundup: Jew-Hate Edition [CBD]

—Open Blogger

Apartheid State Soldiers Harass Minoritiesfalasha-mur.jpg

Virginia State Bar boycotts Israel
This is a ham-handed attempt to cater to the BDS crowd. But every time a seemingly legitimate organization (Yeah..I know...it's lawyers) accepts the premise that Israel is outside of the world of nations it legitimizes attacks on its existence.
*********

Jew, Or Dog? Our Favorite HBO Actor Opines
Williamson's caveat that Dunham is Jewish means nothing -- The Self-Hating Jew is an all-to-common thing. And Dunham is a leftist through and through. Her religion means very little in comparison to her political manifesto.
*********

Speaking of Self-Hating Jews....Rep. Steve Israel Beclowns Himself
Rep. Steven King (R-IA) asked: "Here is what I don't understand, I don't understand how Jews in America can be Democrats first and Jewish second and support Israel along the line of just following their President."

Well Representative King, it's because they care more for their partisan politics than the survival of their religious and cultural origins and the existence of a staunch democratic ally in the ME.

But his colleague in the House had this to say: "Especially galling is pronouncements by people who've never been to Israel that Democrats like me are failing the loyalty test."

So...all of the Morons around here who profess unequivocal support for the State of Israel (but have never been there) are mere poseurs in comparison to Steve Israel, whose "support" of Israel includes accepting Obama's attacks on the only democracy in the ME and support for Leftist organizations that explicitly reject the concept of a free, democratic Israel.

*********

Of course there is good news too...

Those who continue to hate Israel, hate America," Cruz said in Washington DC in September at an event called, In Defense of Christians. "Those who hate Jews, hate Christians. If those in this room will not recognize that, then my heart weeps for them.

Posted by Open Blogger at 11:53 AM Comments

Fundamental Concepts - Why the Left Hates Families [Weirddave]

—Open Blogger

I know that many Progs will contest this. "We don't hate families! Why I have a mother/father/spouse/child/etc.. who means the world to me! That's crazy wingnut hater talk!". That's probably true, and as individuals I'm winning to concede that they may think families are spiffy. As Progressives, however, they are in service to an ideology whose greatest obstacle is the extended and especially the nuclear family. Not Conservatives, not Christians, not the Koch brothers. The family is the greatest threat to the Progressive worldview.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 10:23 AM Comments

Saturday Politics: The Totally Unofficial Pre-Primary HQ "Midterms" (and Steel Cage Death Match) [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

Good morning!

Are you ready to rumble?!

Today's thread is going to be a sort of "mid-term exam" of the politicians we've been tracking for the past eight months. I've resisted grading them as we go, because I think it's very difficult to do that without injecting my personal biases into it. Heck, even the CATO "scorecards" of governors seem highly subjective to me... and they're professionals.

But this week I'm going to tear off my mask and create a scorecard for the Magnificent Seven (Cruz, Haley, Jindal, Martinez, Pence, Perry, and Walker). And then I want you to do the same.

Here are the rules:

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Posted by Open Blogger at 08:33 AM Comments

EMT 3/28/15 - Pack up your Troubles edition. [krakatoa]

—Open Blogger

It's Saturday folks. Time to forget about the woes of the world, hit the links with a caddy named Jose, and pretend for the moment you can do no wrong.

You know: like Obumbles every day of the week.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 06:30 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (27 Mar 2015)

—CDR M

Is America in decline? Yup. Can we stop it? Not with the elected leadership we have now (both D and R). The electorate is gonna have to feel a lot more pain before it can influence the political process and the media that covers for it.

Continue reading


Posted by CDR M at 10:08 PM Comments

TREY GOWDY: HILLARY CLINTON WIPED HER SERVER CLEAN SOMETIME AFTER THE GOVERNMENT ASKED HER FOR ALL OF HER EMAILS

—Ace

From Lauren French at Politico:

Hillary Clinton wiped “clean” the private server housing emails from her tenure as secretary of state, the chairman of the House committee investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi said Friday.

“While it is not clear precisely when Secretary Clinton decided to permanently delete all emails from her server, it appears she made the decision after October 28, 2014, when the Department of State for the first time asked the Secretary to return her public record to the Department,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, said in a statement.


Clinton was under a subpoena order from the panel for all documents related to the 2012 attacks on the American compound there. But David Kendall, an attorney for Clinton, said the 900 pages of emails previously provided to the panel cover its request.

Kendall also informed the committee that Clinton’s emails from her time at the State Department have been permanently erased.

So.

Posted by Ace at 08:20 PM Comments

Italian Supreme Court Reverses Conviction of Amanda Knox and Raphael Sollecito, Dismisses All Charges, Forever

—Ace

And finally.

JohnE, VerumSerum and I just did a brief 60 minute podcast. John will have that up soon. Andy will have that up at some point. He's traveling now.


Worth a Read: If you liked the vicious spectacle of the Mr. Plinkett review of the Star Wars films, you may like the Hellman-Zanotti Report, the actual appeals court ruling that ripped the Knox conviction to shreds and set her free (several years ago, before proceedings were started again).

It's a savage thing that leaves the original prosecution and judge with few tatters of dignity left.

Posted by Ace at 07:44 PM Comments

AoSHQ Podcast: Guest, @DanaPerino

—Andy

Dana Perino, co-host of Fox News Channel's The Five joins Ace, Gabe and John to discuss her new book, And the Good News Is...: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side.

Don't worry, though, this sunny optimism is balanced with the usual commentary on bad news from around the globe.

Intro: Right Where I Need To Be - Gary Allan
Outro: Long While Cadillac - Dwight Yoakam

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 06:10 PM Comments

On Her Majesty's Personal Secret Service: Hacked Hillary/Blumenthal Emails Reveal She Was Being Fed Intelligence By Her Own Private Spy Service

—Ace

So many questions here.

One important question is: Did she disclose the emails containing these intelligence reports to the government? I strongly doubt that.

Is she claiming intelligence reports about Libya, during the civil war, and in the build-up to Benghazi, are "personal"? How could she possibly claim these are not work product?

But she will claim that -- she must be claiming that.

The question that strikes me as even more deadly is:

WHO THE HELL WAS PAYING FOR THIS?

Hillary's spymaster was a former director of the Clandestine Service for the CIA in Europe. He now owns his own private intelligence firms. These are not the sorts of services purchased by poor men. These are the sorts of services purchased by very, very rich men, and big well-capitalized corporations, and even governments.

WHO WAS PAYING HILLARY'S SPYMASTER FOR HIS WORKPRODUCT?

Indeed, who was paying Blumenthal himself, who seemed to be Hillary's liaison to her spymaster?

Was Hillary writing the checks from her personal account?

I have a feeling the answer will turn out to be: The "charity" called the Clinton Global Initiative.

But we will see.

Major scoop from Jeff Gerth, writing at ProPublica, co-published with, of all venues, Gawker. (Which has been revealing a lot of stuff lately, to be fair, including the fact that Bill Ayers was present and partying at the Wagner-Kass wedding Obama attended.)

Starting weeks before Islamic militants attacked the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, longtime Clinton family confidante Sidney Blumenthal supplied intelligence to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gathered by a secret network that included a former CIA clandestine service officer, according to hacked emails from Blumenthal’s account.

The emails, which were posted on the internet in 2013, also show that Blumenthal and another close Clinton associate discussed contracting with a retired Army special operations commander to put operatives on the ground near the Libya-Tunisia border while Libya's civil war raged in 2011.

Blumenthal’s emails to Clinton, which were directed to her private email account, include at least a dozen detailed reports on events on the deteriorating political and security climate in Libya as well as events in other nations....

It’s unclear who tasked Blumenthal, known for his fierce loyalty to the Clintons, with preparing detailed intelligence briefs. It's also not known who was paying him, or where the operation got its money. The memos were marked "confidential" and relied in many cases on "sensitive”"sources in the Libyan opposition and Western intelligence and security services. Other reports focused on Egypt, Germany, and Turkey.

Indeed, though they were sent under Blumenthal’s name, the reports appear to have been gathered and prepared by Tyler Drumheller, a former chief of the CIA's clandestine service in Europe who left the agency in 2005. Since then, he has established a consulting firm called Tyler Drumheller, LLC. He has also been affiliated with a firm called DMC Worldwide, which he co-founded with Washington, D.C., attorney Danny Murray and former general counsel to the U.S. Capitol Police John Caulfield. DMC Worldwide’s now-defunct website describes it at as offering "innovative security and intelligence solutions to global risks in a changing world."

Read it all. It's incredible.

Given Hillary's close relationship with a former head of the CIA's Clandestine Branch, I have new questions about Michael Morrell, the former CIA officer who was so very helpful to Hillary during her Benghazi tribulations, and who later wound up as a paid senior executive in the Beacon Global Strategies group, working under Hillary's top advisor Phillip Reines and alongside Hillary's man Leon Panetta.

Drumheller's Dossier:


Continue reading


Posted by Ace at 05:18 PM Comments

Richard Engel: US Allies in Gulf Won't Tell Obama Anything Because They Believe That Obama Is Leaking Secret Information to Iran to Kiss Up To Them

—Ace

Deranged.

And I don't mean Engel or the Saudis. I mean Obama.

The Saudis began operations in Yemen without informing the US -- a hitherto unlikely scenario.

But they kept the operation a secret.

Because they think Obama is so determined to make kissy-face with Iran that he would have leaked their battle plans directly to their enemy.

They no longer consider the US "reliable."

Starting at 1:51.

Continue reading


Posted by Ace at 04:25 PM Comments

Times of Israel: "Deal" to Be "Signed" Tuesday on Iran Nukes; But Iran Gets Rid of Nuclear... Symbols on Its Currency

—Ace

I don't know who to believe here-- the British Foreign Secretary said not much would be written down, but the Times of Israel is saying something would be signed.

What would be signed? I guess if you just wanted something to sign, you could type up a Statement of Candy and Unicorn Pleasures.

As previously reported, Iran gets to keep enriching uranium at its fortified, subterranean nuclear base at Fordo:

What has been agreed is that Iran will be allowed to continue to operate its secretive underground facility at Fordo, the TV station’s well-connected Middle East analyst Ehud Ya’ari said. Ya’ari, who did not give a source for his information, echoed the widespread Israeli description of the emerging deal as "bad."

Meanwhile, though, there is some great news. Iran just unveiled their new 50,000 rials bank note.

Since 2007, at the previous height of the Iran nuke crisis, Iran has shown off the nuclear symbol (that is, an atom) on this bill, as a gesture of defiance to America.

But they're now taking that symbol off, because, Peaceful Nukes now!!!

Yayyy! We Win!!!

Posted by Ace at 04:00 PM Comments

British Foreign Secretary: We'll Have a "Narrative" Coming Out of the Talks; Nothing Will Be Written Down, But That Doesn't Matter

—Ace

We'll still have our Narrative.

Brits: Iran nuke deal would be vague, unwritten

By EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE 3/27/15 1:00 PM EDT

No specifics, nothing written, perhaps not even anything that Iran and the international negotiating partners say as one--that's the most to expect out of the nuclear talks now running up against the deadline in Switzerland, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Friday.

But even concluding this round of talks with that level of ambiguity, Hammond said, would count as a significant success. And he thinks they'll get it.

As has been often remarked, diplomats always say their efforts end in success. They are the most self-deceptive imbeciles in the world. No matter how they fail at their stated objectives, they say that whatever happened is a "success."

Just talking is a "success," you know.

"We envisage being able to deliver a narrative. Whether that is written down or not, I don’t think is the crucial issue,”This will be a political statement, or perhaps political statements from the [negotiating partners] and Iran which create enough momentum to make it clear that we've now got this boulder over the hill and we are into the detailed work to produce an agreement."


The "political statement" is that Iran gets its nuke and if Israel interferes they are guilty of war crimes.

The other political statement is that Barack Obama just gave Obamacare to the World.

Posted by Ace at 03:00 PM Comments

Of Course: Obama Now Turning on P5+1 Allies on Iran, Bullying Them Into Supporting a Bad Deal
The View From the French Security Establishment: Obama Is "Politically Naive," Thinks Iran Will Save Him In Syria and Iraq

—Ace

You know it's a bad deal when even the French are calling it too French.

By the way, kudos to the Free Beacon and Adam Kredo for what seems to be scoop.

LAUSANNE, Switzerland--Efforts by the Obama administration to stem criticism of its diplomacy with Iran have included threats to nations involved in the talks, including U.S. allies, according to Western sources familiar with White House efforts to quell fears it will permit Iran to retain aspects of its nuclear weapons program.

A series of conversations between top American and French officials, including between President Obama and French President Francois Hollande, have seen Americans engage in behavior described as bullying by sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

The disagreement over France’s cautious position in regard to Iran threatens to erode U.S. relations with Paris, sources said.

Tension between Washington and Paris comes amid frustration by other U.S. allies, such as Saudi Arabia and Israel. The White House responded to this criticism by engaging in public campaigns analysts worry will endanger American interests.

Benjamin Haddad, previously advisor to the French in negotiations and now a researcher at the Hudson Institute, said:

"The French want a deal, but they see no rush and repeat that Iranians need a deal more than we do, and that we shouldn't fix artificial deadlines that put more pressure on us than Iran."

But this "deal" is more about restraining Iran's enemies than Iran.

...

One source in Europe close to the ongoing diplomacy said the United States has begun to adopt a "harsh" stance toward its allies in Paris.

"There have been very harsh expressions of displeasure by the Americans toward French officials for raising substantive concerns about key elements of what the White House and State Department negotiators are willing to concede to Iran," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "That is because the clarifications expose just how weak the Americans' deal is shaping up to be."

Thanks to @redsteeze.

The French View: Here's a report on this from two days ago (March 25), in Le Fig.

Tensions Between France and the United States on Iran's Nukes

The negotiations between the great powers and Iran restart Thursday at Lausanne, while the deadline of March 31 approaches.

...

The French ambassador to the UN, Francois Delattre, stated again to the Security Council: Iran's progress was "insufficient" for guaranteeing the longterm peaceful character of its nuclear program. We must have an agreement "robust" repeated Laurent Fabius [the Foreign Minister]. The tensions between the French and Americans concern many points of the deal, of which the technical details should be finalized June 30. Paris wants more [!!!!] restrictions on the program of Research and Development, in order to stop the Iranians from constructing even better centrifuges. France also wants the period of restriction to be 15 years rather than 10 [sought by Obama]. France is further skeptical of the idea of quickly suspending some UN sanctions. Barack Obama, say the French diplomats, seems to be ready to make concessions which are far removed from the objectives initially agreed to by the six great powers.

I should point out that France still thinks it's a great power, which is cute.

Then again, I guess we think that too.

"The differences are not made-up. At the core, it's about a strategic problem," comments Bruno Tertrais, director of research at the Foundation for Strategic Research (FRS). The White House wants to invest in the relationship with Iran for fixing the conflicts in the Middle East and especially in Syria and Iraq, where Teheran more and more openly pulls the strings. "It's political naivite. The White House has given in to illusions about the type of relationship that it thinks is possible to cultivate with Iran and of the possible positive consequences of an agreement on nukes on the [whole of the] Middle East," Tertrais further said.

Indeed, for long months, the French and Americans have no longer had the same definition of what would be a "bad deal."

So: Obama doesn't want to lead or even act in Syria and Iraq, and doesn't know what to do there.

So he's counting on Iran to fix these problems for him, and Iran is telling him the price of that is giving them their nukes.

And Obama, who never met a cop-out or "Present" vote he didn't like, is gung-ho to take that deal.

He will take any deal that gets him out to the golf-courses again.

BTW: This expert said this about Syria and Iraq two days ago -- but a White House source confirmed this was Obama's deluded thinking last night.



Posted by Ace at 01:48 PM Comments

Anonymous Officials: You Know, Bergdahl's Really A Hero. He Was Trying to Walk to the Nearest US Military Base to Report His Platoonmates' Wrongdoing.

—Ace

They're the real villains here, you know.

There are no depths to which these monsters will not descend, JWF says, and he's right.

Team Obama-Bergdahl has trotted out this line before. The spin served with honor and distinction, just like Bergdahl.


All this crap about the unit being "unruly" concerned video of the troops not wearing helmets and armor in the field. Make no mistake, "armor discipline" is an important thing in the Army. But also make no mistake, you need to strictly enforce discipline to get troops to keep helmets and armor on, because they are heavy, hot, and uncomfortable. If you watch old Vietnam footage, you'll see troops without helmets all the time. And armor is even more rare.

Not wearing armor is a reason to get on the troops' leader, and give a talking to the troops. But this fairly minor event has been blown up by a media desperate to rescue Obama as possibly meaning... well, the picture they're trying to paint is that these troops went around killing and raping civilians, isn't it? When in fact their major sin was not wearing helmets.

Disgusting.

Was He Going to Report on America's Wrongdoing?


Was He Planning On Reporting This Fellow Soldier's Wrongdoing?


Posted by Ace at 12:50 PM Comments

Open Thread

—rdbrewer


Georges Lemmen, "Snowy Evening" (1910)

Posted by rdbrewer at 10:45 AM Comments

Morning Thread (3-27-2015)

—Andy

Friday! Have a great weekend.

Posted by Andy at 06:11 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (3-26-2015)

—Maetenloch

Busy. Drinking. Not caring. Too unmotivated at the moment to give you the punishment and abuse you deserve. But considering outsourcing it to an Indian consulting service. Those guys will work for rupees and aren't hung up at all on ethics or US Laws.

Quote of the Day I

The latest man to score an interview with President Obama, Shane Smith, has conducted some hard-hitting interviews, including one with a Japanese sex doll.

Quote of the Day II

Friendly governments spy on friendly government. That's how friends make sure who are their real friends.

The way the U.S. allegedly found out Israel was spying on the nuke negotiations was because the U.S. was spying on Israel.

Quote of the Day III

There is a simple rule here, a rule of legislation, a rule of business, a rule of life: beyond a certain point, complexity is fraud. You can apply that rule to left-wing social programs, but you can also apply that rule to credit derivatives, hedge funds, all the rest of it.

-- PJ O'Rourke

Quote of the Day IV

Bill Clinton is not a hypocrite. If a man believes that it is just and moral to redistribute wealth, there is nothing hypocritical in his attempts to redistribute some of that wealth to himself.

-- PJ 'O'Rourke

Polarizing, Calculating, Disingenuous, Insincere, Ambitious, Inevitable, Entitled, Secretive, Will-Do-Anything-To-Win, Out-of-the-Past, Out-of-Touch Hillary Clinton

This Sign Was a Lie

In fact the Obama administration has been consistently undermining Nigeria's fight with Boko Haram. Either as part of a malevolent strategy or just general fecklessness.

michelleobamabringbackourgirls

Woo Hoo We're Number 13!

Continue reading


Posted by Maetenloch at 11:01 PM Comments

OBAMA CAVES ON ALL ISSUES IN DESPERATE RUSH TO GUARANTEE IRAN A NUCLEAR BOMB

—Ace

Just so everyone understands: this document is not Obama's attempt to impose restraints on Iran. Rather, it is his attempt to impose restraints on The United States, and of course the Hated Jewish State of Israel.

Obama's real goal throughout this process has been to deliver Iran 8 unimpeded years of bomb research on his watch, and then bind the hands of his successor to guarantee Iran another 8-12+ years as well.

This entire process is designed to legitimize Iran's nuclear program so that the United States (and Israel) will be restrained from attacking Iran's bomb sites.

As usual, then, Obama's efforts are not directed towards safeguarding the US, but rather safeguarding the US' enemies, which are of course his allies.

The Obama administration is giving in to Iranian demands about the scope of its nuclear program as negotiators work to finalize a framework agreement in the coming days, according to sources familiar with the administration’s position in the negotiations.

U.S. negotiators are said to have given up ground on demands that Iran be forced to disclose the full range of its nuclear activities at the outset of a nuclear deal, a concession experts say would gut the verification the Obama administration has vowed would stand as the crux of a deal with Iran.

...


With the White House pressing to finalize a deal, U.S. diplomats have moved further away from their demands that Iran be subjected to oversight over its nuclear infrastructure.

"Instead of ensuring that Iran answers all the outstanding questions about the past and current military dimensions of their nuclear work in order to obtain sanctions relief, the U.S. is now revising down what they need to do," said the source. "That is a terrible mistake--if we don’t have a baseline to judge their past work, we can’t tell if they are cheating in the future, and if they won't answer now, before getting rewarded, why would they come clean in the future?"

I demand that Hillary Clinton be made to answer fully and frequently about her position on this treachery.

Posted by Ace at 08:16 PM Comments

Open Thread

—Ace


Posted by Ace at 07:43 PM Comments

Hillary Super Fans Lay Down The Law On "Sexist" Words You Can't Use When Reporting on Hillary

—Ace

They call themselves the "HRC Super Volunteers."

And boy hardy! Is that a fitting name!

"Now that we're gearing up into a presidential election, we are going to watch how the media reports again on Clinton," he said. "We support any Democrat, but we're very sensitive to media sexism."

In an email titled "Your Obsessive and Loathsome Coverage," West warned newsrooms this week that he and other Clinton supporters will be on the lookout for instances of sexism directed at the presumed Democratic Party nominee.

"We continue to experience vile and hateful responses anytime we speak out against sexist reporting, sexist comments, or post positive facts about Hillary Clinton and her record," read the email, which was obtained by the Examiner. "[W]e will not tolerate any form of sexist news coverage of any woman who chooses to break through glass ceilings; whether as a CEO or running for President of these United States."

The email, which was spearheaded by West, listed examples of the times newsrooms have supposedly been sexist towards Clinton, including a New York Times' report that she continued to "scramble in the dirt on the crabbed limbs of legal compliance," a Washington Post description of the 67-year-old as a "stale, musty" car, and a New Yorker description of her as "petulant."

A recipient of West's email, Times reporter Amy Chozick, noted on Twitter Wednesday that HRC Super Volunteers had contacted her. She then listed West's many examples of media's sexist descriptors for Clinton, including "polarizing," "calculating," "disingenuous," "insincere," "ambitious," "inevitable," "entitled" and "over-confident."

I don't see any mention there of "cankles."

F A K E ? ! ? ! That's what Ken White (Popehat) says, and now that he brings it up, this all does seem like a rightwing prankster.


Posted by Ace at 07:09 PM Comments

Amnesty International: Palestinian Rockets Killed More of Their Own Citizens Than Israeli Ones; Deadliest Attack on Palestinian Civilians During War Was a Misfiring Palestinian Rocket

—Ace

Quick, let's condemn Israel some more for not building the Palestinians better terror rockets.

Amnesty International said Thursday Palestinian rocket fire during the 2014 summer war in Gaza had killed more civilians in the Gaza Strip than in Israel.

....

The damning report urged armed Palestinian groups to end attacks on civilians in Israel and to protect those in the Gaza Strip from the effects of such attacks.

The militant group Hamas, which de facto rules Gaza and led fighting against Israel during the conflict, slammed the report as "biased" and accused Amnesty of being a "Zionist organisation".

...

Amnesty said rocket attacks had killed six civilians in Israel, including a child, but that other rockets aimed at the Jewish state had fallen short and killed at least 13 civilians, 11 of them children, in Gaza.

That was the deadliest own-goal, which Palestinian witnesses of course claimed had been fired by an Israeli F-16. In fact, an examination of the pieces of the weapon showed that it was a Palestinian rocket.

Obama was reportedly so angry about this report that he passed Ayatollah Khamenei the plans for the hydrogen bomb.

Posted by Ace at 06:08 PM Comments

Romney Shows Brian-Williams-Level Comedy Chops on Jimmy Fallon

—Ace

Well, a lot better than Brian Williams.

I know this is a horrible post. I am looking for stuff. There's a lot of stuff but it all feels pawed-over, like, I can put up stuff about Germanwings but I have to think you've already thought all the thoughts you're going to think about that.

Oh well, there is this: Scott Walker says he doesn't support a pathway to citizenship for illegals, and says it's a lie to claim he "flip-flopped" into saying that, and Allah says he's a Big Liar in the first place, because he's always supported a pathway to citizenship and likely always will.

Continue reading


Posted by Ace at 05:56 PM Comments

Building Explosion in NYC

—Ace

What happened here is confused: First Shep Smith said it was a collapse which probably ruptured a gas line, now he has on a guy who says the event began with a first-floor explosion.

They don't know yet if people are trapped in the building.

The building is at 125 2nd Avenue, near 7th Street.



But based on that photo, there cannot possibly be any living people trapped.

Not much reported out in print yet.

But when life gives you lemons, make lemonaid.



Posted by Ace at 03:57 PM Comments

But the Crusades: Two Men, High Horse, Of Islamic Persuasion, The Inquisition, Plot Attack on National Guard Base, Jim Crow

—Ace

So.

U.S. Army National Guard soldier and his cousin have been arrested on charges of conspiring to support Islamic State, the Department of Justice said on Thursday.

...

Army National Guard Specialist Hasan Edmonds, 22, was arrested at Chicago Midway International Airport while attempting to fly to Cairo, Egypt, the Justice Department said. Jonas Edmonds, 29, was arrested at his Aurora, Illinois, home.

...

"Disturbingly, one of the defendants currently wears the same uniform of those they allegedly planned to attack," said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin, in a statement.

And no one is willing to publicly discuss reducing immigration from Muslim lands, despite the fact that distressingly high fraction of Muslims currently follow a creed of murder.

Nope! We're just going to have to occasionally be murdered, and at all times be poorer than we would otherwise be (an enormous intelligence service is expensive), because we somehow "owe it" to the Islamic world or something.

Because the Crusades.

Posted by Ace at 03:26 PM Comments



The AoSHQ Amazon Store


Top Headlines

The Reid-Obama Bargain
"Harry shut down the Senate because Barack shut down the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada.... The Senate Minority Leader has arguably done more than anyone other than President Obama to set up the Republican Party to run the government in 2017." [rdbrewer]


Andrew Stiles: What I Saw in Iran
"A Free Beacon journey to the birthplace of Valerie Jarrett." [rdbrewer]


Gabriel Malor: Your Questions On Indiana’s Religious Freedom Bill, Answered
"This past week, journalistic abuse has exploded into controversy over an innocuous religious freedom law in Indiana. This law, known as a Religious Freedom Restoration Act or RFRA (pronounced 'riff-ra'), tracks the language of the 1993 federal RFRA signed into law by President Clinton after a 97-3 vote in the Senate. But you would not necessarily know how innocuous it is from news media coverage. According to what you might hear in the news, this is an anti-gay law that is 'almost universally loathed,' and which a White House official suggested would 'legitimize discrimination.' ¶ Indiana’s RFRA has none of these characteristics." [rdbrewer]


Victor Davis Hanson: The Rules of Racialists — Part One
"[T]he faster things improve and ameliorate, the more they are declared ossified and hopeless. Perhaps because revolutionaries and the opportunistic fear that with progress for all comes obsolescence for themselves." Race hustlers gotta work, man. Also: The Rules of Racialists — Part Two. Via @EdDriscoll. [rdbrewer]
AoSHQ Podcast rss.png itunes_modern.png

This week's guest: Dana Perino

MP3 Download | Stream | Ask The Blog | Archives

Michael Goodwin: Obama’s race to chaos
"Close your eyes and imagine that those countries and terrorists have nuclear weapons. Imagine their barbarism going nuclear as they blow up cities, wipe out ethnic and religious groups and turn the region into cinders." [rdbrewer]

Leicester Mercury: Picture Gallery: King Richard III Tomb revealed at Leicester Cathedral
Shakespeare gave him a bad rap. Time for an epic movie that sets the record straight. [rdbrewer]

Glenn Reynolds, USA Today: You are probably breaking the law right now
"'Regulatory crimes' of this sort are incredibly numerous and a category that is growing quickly. They are the ones likely to trap unwary individuals into being felons without knowing it. That is why Michael Cottone, in a just-published Tennessee Law Review article, suggests that maybe the old presumption that individuals know the law is outdated, unfair and maybe even unconstitutional.... Amusingly, government officials who break the law do get to plead ignorance and good intentions, under the doctrine of good faith 'qualified immunity.' Just not us proles." [rdbrewer]


Google controls what we buy, the news we read — and Obama’s policies
Via Drudge. "Google lobbyists met with Obama White House officials 230 times.... Oh, and on Election Night 2012, guess where Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt was? Working for the president. In the president’s campaign office." [rdbrewer]

‘Blade Runner’ Sequel: Harrison Ford Confirmed; Denis Villeneuve In Talks To Direct [rdbrewer]

CNN: Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz declared 'unfit to work,' officials say
"Investigators found a letter in the waste bin of his Dusseldorf, Germany, apartment saying that Lubitz, 27, wasn't fit to do his job, city prosecutor Christoph Kumpa said Friday. The note, Kumpa said, had been 'slashed.'" [rdbrewer]

Yahoo AFP: Alps crash pilot told ex 'everyone will know my name'
Wouldn't you know it? Added: More from The Guardian. [rdbrewer]
This Iranian Nuke Deal Just Keeps Getting Better And Better- [XBradTC because Y-not told me to pimp this here]

Radley Balko: Absurd Fourth Circuit ruling embodies everything that’s wrong with drug raids
A guy got shot in the face for no reason. Before the American Revolution, "British soldiers could serve warrants only during the day. And they were always required to knock, announce themselves, announce their purpose and give the resident time and opportunity to come to the door to let them in peacefully." So even then colonists had more protections. Now we have goons who opt for no-knock raids because Its Fun!!! And there's probably a little bonus pay involved, right? [rdbrewer]
Charles Krauthammer on Harry Reid's departure
Video. [rdbrewer]

24 Carrot Cake
Video. [rdbrewer]


Dark Matter Probably Isn't a Mirror Universe, Colliding Galaxies Suggest
"New research suggests that no, dark matter does not splatter when clusters of galaxies collide, and this finding limits the kinds of particles that can make up dark matter." More from Astronomy. [rdbrewer]

PC World: Bring back the classic Gmail experience with Old Compose
You know how stupid Gmail compose is now? Firefox and Chrome have an app to fix that. From last summer. (It's awesome.) [rdbrewer]


CJ Ciaramella: Criminal Justice Reform Movement Gaining Momentum
"'There is a growing consensus across the political spectrum that our criminal justice system is in need of reform,' Goodlatte said in his video statement. 'The issue of over-criminalization is an issue of liberty.'" Grassley is in the way. "Gingrich said he is confident that Grassley can be assuaged, and that the current alliance between the younger, libertarian wing of the Republican caucus and progressive Democrats will continue to widen." [rdbrewer]


Jonathan Last: The Campus Left Begins to Implode
"[W]e may be witnessing the first dawning realization on the left about the problems inherent in their movement. Allow me to present three pieces, each from a liberal looking at contemporary campus politics." [rdbrewer]


Obamacare flying machine begins a death spiral
"Premiums are rising rapidly and the young and healthy are bailing out." It happened before. "Eight states learned this the hard way in the 1990s when they enacted two policies known as 'community rating' and 'guaranteed issue,' requiring health insurers to sell coverage...." [rdbrewer]


Meet Chuck Schumer, One of the Most Trivial Pols Ever. And Your Next Senate Minority Leader
"Which brings us back to Chuck Schumer, our next Senate Minority Leader and a demonstrated foe of just about every possible innovation or reality that for whatever furshlugginer reason drives a bug up his ass. Including that time he called a flight attendant 'a bitch' because she was enforcing a cell phone ban that I'm sure he's totally in favor of for everyone else." [rdbrewer]

'Spectre' teaser trailer [rdbrewer]

Supercompressor: What Your Watch Water Resistance Numbers Really Mean [rdbrewer]

The Independent: Night vision eyedrops allow vision of up to 50m in darkness
"[The scientists] theorised that Chlorin e6 (Ce6), a natural molecule that can be created from algae and other green plants, could enhance eyesight in dark environments. The molecule is found in some deep sea fish...." [rdbrewer]


Jacob Sullum: Study Confirms That E-Cigarettes Generate Virtually No Toxins
"Levels are about the same as those found in air." Via @GregGutfeld and Ace. [rdbrewer]
Trey Gowdy: Hillary Clinton wiped her server clean. This is being reported both by Politico and by AP. It is also, by a remarkable coincidence, what I predicted two full weeks ago. [Friztworth]
Will Ferrell Can Be Seriously Funny
He specializes in the Funny Strange (not Funny Ha-Ha) sort of offbeat gag... I like this one
Detailed examination of colliding galaxies reveals Dark Matter is WEIRD Matter.
This blows out the story I posted here 2 weeks ago. [@ComradeArthur]
Truth Revolt: Hillary Gets Special Protection On Wikipedia
"Despite the steady wave of scandals that have begun to erode even the New York Times’ portrayal of Hillary Clinton, her image remains unblemished on Wikipedia." [rdbrewer]

Daily Beast: Willie Nelson Is Launching His Own Brand of Weed
"Willie’s Reserve." And he'll sell his own brand of bongs and such. Via Drudge. Added: Someone needs to trademark "Old Toby," the best pipe-weed in Middle Earth, I read. [rdbrewer]


Star Wars I-III: A Phantom Edit
This is based on the Topher Grace 85 minute edit that everyone invited to the screening liked. AFAIK, it's not available online. This one is 123 minutes. Related: Infographic reveals updated canon. I'm not sure what it means, but it looks Star Warsy. [rdbrewer]

@Iowahawkblog: US peace partners Egypt & Saudi Arabia ready to invade US peace partner Yemen to fight US peace partner Iran [rdbrewer]

Discover Magazine: Global Warming Turns Rainforest Leaves into Junk Food
Uh-huh. [rdbrewer]

Andrew Klavan, Truth Revolt: 50 Shades of Barack Obama
Video. [rdbrewer]

The Independent: Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
Via Drudge. Yay Obama, huh Dems? [rdbrewer]


Harry Reid endorses Chuck Schumer to succeed him as Senate Minority Leader
And not Dick "Dick" Durbin. [rdbrewer]
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