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September 23, 2014



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Posted by BenK at 08:43 AM Comments

Top Headline Comments 9-23-14

—Gabriel Malor

Let me catch you up.

Some notes (mostly gathered from CNN and Fox News):

Neither the White House, nor our Arab partners, have announced just what our Arab partners contributed. I expect all or nearly all of the air strikes were actually made by U.S. forces.

The air strikes in Syria targeted ISIL, but also the Khorasan Group (a group I had not heard of), which is supposed to be one of the Al Qaeda splinters in Syria that was planning to attack the U.S. or U.S. interests. They also targeted the Nusra Front, which is the big Al Qaeda group in Syria.

After the air strikes began, a Syrian fighter jet entered Israeli air space and was shot down by the Patriot air defense system.

In addition to lacking domestic authorization for war, as I wrote in my tweets last night, the President failed to secure international authorization for war in Syria. The latter is less important to me than the former, but it was, once upon a time, pretty important to Democrats that wars be justified under international law. Indeed, Obama went to great lengths to see that the UN would sign off on his Libyan misadventure.

The administration has announced that the air strikes in Syria will continue as local ground forces attempt to push back ISIL.

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Posted by Gabriel Malor at 06:47 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (9-22-2014)


We Fought the Poverty and the Poverty Won

Despite the trillion$ and trillion$ spent over the last 47 years the poverty rate has remained essentially unchanged since 1967.

Of course this is primarily because the poverty rate itself is a BS measure which only counts income before any benefits and is adjusted periodically so that approximately 14% of Americans will always be below the poverty line. Note that the poor of 2014 are much better off than the poor of 1967 and even better off than many of the 2014 middle class in Europe.

Census counts a family as poor if its income falls below specified thresholds. But in counting family "income," Census ignores nearly the entire $943 billion welfare state.

For most Americans, the word "poverty" means significant material deprivation, an inability to provide a family with adequate nutritious food, reasonable shelter and clothing. But only a small portion of the more than 40 million people labelled as poor by Census fit that description.

The media frequently associate the idea of poverty with being homeless. But less than two percent of the poor are homeless. Only one in ten live in mobile homes. The typical house or apartment of the poor is in good repair and uncrowded; it is actually larger than the average dwelling of non-poor French, Germans or English.


How Many Countries Are in the UN?

The correct answer is 193 but the US State Department says there are 194. Which means that the State Department is either gobsmackingly incompetent at their job or deeply disingenuous. Please make all wagers before reading the article.

Does the National Women's Soccer League Have a Domestic Violence Problem?


Continue reading

Posted by Maetenloch at 10:10 PM Comments


—Brandon Finnigan

Posted by Brandon Finnigan at 09:20 PM Comments

Brit Hume: Obama's IS Plan Was Not Designed to Succeed, But Merely to Fail Slowly Enough That a Political Accounting Won't Occur Until Later


This certainly smells correct to me.

Posted by Ace at 08:11 PM Comments

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: People Who Don't Believe in Global Warming Alarmism Should Be Thrown In Jail


This is becoming an applause line on the left.

And that's a weird and alarming thing, isn't it?

Mr. Kennedy, who has been kept out of one of New York’s Senate seats only by happy circumstance, says that he believes his opponents to be guilty of "treason" -- his word -- and wants them convicted of crimes -- "They ought to be serving time," he says.

It's a very alarming thing that an ostensible political leader should say this, and that thousands of people should cheer the sentiment.

There was quite a lot of passion for a strike on Afghanistan post-9/11 -- and quite a few dissenters. The Peace At Any Cost coalition.

Those in favor of beating the shit out of Al Qaeda formed an overwhelming consensus on that particular point.

Did any political leaders speak about locking up dissenters in prison?

I don't think they did. But I'd like a correction if my memory is faulty.

And meanwhile the masks keep a-tumbling off.

Oh and here are some "Greens" who argued that they left huge amounts of litter after their rally in order to provide recyclables for the homeless.

On a more substantive note, a scientist named Steven Koonin wrote in the WSJ this weekend that the "science" of global warming was almost entirely unsettled.

It's a good piece, and I recommend reading it in full.

But don't miss the ending, which I actually did the first time:

Dr. Koonin was undersecretary for science in the Energy Department during President Barack Obama's first term and is currently director of the Center for Urban Science and Progress at New York University.

Should President Obama's former undersecretary for science be thrown in jail, I wonder?

We are in a strange and dark chapter in history. The left doesn't just want to demolish capitalism, they want to repeal the Enlightenment as well.

They want a second Dark Ages.

Posted by Ace at 07:03 PM Comments

Hero: Reporter Exposes Her Own Bias In Reporting Story, Then Quits and Walks Off News Set


As Allah remarks:

Coming soon: Every national news anchor in the U.S. quits after revealing on air that they’re actually operatives for the Democratic Party.

If only.

However, the reporter here demonstrates quite a few things we already knew about the media:

1. She has a direct stake in the story she's covering, and no one at her news channel apparently asked about that, or troubled themselves to inquire into it. She also has a strong political rooting interest in play. This much was obvious, but no one seemed to care about that.

2. She delivered a plainly-biased story, in which she openly promoted the campaign for a ballot proposition favored by "medical" marijuana smokers. She quoted an opponent of the measure basically making little sense and no impact -- the opponent's case was made impossible to understand and thus impossible to agree with.

3. And that was a prepared video story, mind you. That got through the "multiple layers of painstaking fact-checking oversight" which are supposed to guarantee neutrality in reportage.

But no, she delivered a plainly-biased story, and no one blinked twice at it.

The embarrassment for the station comes when she herself admits on air that she owns the Alaska Cannabis Club -- the organization she was boosting in her piece -- and says "F&ck it, I quit."

That little bit at the end -- where she admits she's run a flagrantly biased piece and knows she'll be fired now that her (assumedly undisclosed) relationship with the subject of her story is confessed to the world -- is an indictment of the media generally.

What did she do here that was any different from what media reporters do every day of the week?

Virtually nothing at all. Sure, she actually owned the Alaska Cannabis Club; most reporters are merely passionate enthusiasts for the Democrat Party. A minor difference.

Really the only thing she did different was to confess her bias, admit she's turned in a palpably biased report, and honestly admit she'd prioritized her political agitation above her duties as an objective journalist.

Then she fired herself for the offense.

That was the only thing she did differently from the thousands of DNC operatives working as "journalists."

If you want to cut to the fireworks, go to about thirty seconds before the end of the piece.

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 05:15 PM Comments

Group Linked to IS Kidnaps A French Hostage and Says It Will Execute Him Unless France Stops Its Airstrikes in Iraq


Translated from La Liberation:

A group linked to the jihadists of the Islamic State (IS) claimed Monday in a video the kidnapping of a Frenchman in Algeria and threatened to execute him in 24 hours if France does not stop its strikes against IS in Iraq.

In this video, the Algerian jihadist group "Jund al-Kilafa" (Soldiers of the Caliphate), who had declared allegiance to IS, showed the hostage, showd the hostate, Herve Pierre Gourdel, asking that the French President exit the conflict (in Iraq). He (Gourdel) sat on the earth flanked by two masked men armed with Kalichnikovs.


The declaration of this kidnapping had taken place some hours after a call by IS to kill the citizens -- notably Americans and French -- of countries participating in the international coalition assembled to fight the jihadist group in Iraq and Syria.

Then one of the two masked men threatened to kill him:

"I leave to Hollande, the president of the criminal French state, the task of stopping the attacks against the Islamic State in 24 hours following the publication of this comminique or its citizen Herve Gourdel will have his throat slit."

The man was kidnapped in the mountainous region of Tizi Ouzou, about 110 km east of Algiers. He had come just a few days ago on a tourist visa, to hike in the mountains.

A shorter English language article here, from which this screencap from the video was copied:


That link is no longer working, but Gateway Pundit has the story (and the actual demand video as well).

Europeans typically pay ransom for kidnapped hostages -- a practice much criticized by the US for encouraging the practice.

Whether the French will tough this out -- and it will be tough to tough out indeed -- is anyone's guess.

Fixed: Glitched part of the translation. The jihadists made Gourdel deliver the demand, as usual.

Sanctions: Not directly related to this kidnapping, of course. But the US and France will propose UN sanctions against jihadist fighters, for whatever good that might do.

Update: Another account quotes the group as threatening to "execute" the man -- no mention of slitting his throat, specifically.

This is being translated from Arabic to French so I don't know what the original Arabic says, or if the same word can be used for both "execute" and "slit throat."

Posted by Ace at 03:56 PM Comments

Neil DeGrasse Tyson's Storytelling Makes the WaPo, via the Volokh Conspiracy



Note that the claims Davis contests are not casual remarks in conversation or responses to questions, but planned and repeated accounts. The various stories Davis challenges are regularly repeated in Tyson's lectures, and the Bush anecdote is highlighted on the Hayden planetarium Web site. They are the sorts of claims someone of Tyson's stature should not be making in public lectures unless they are, in fact, true. Politicians are routinely flayed for less -- and we know Tyson is much smarter than the average politician. He should not be held to a lower standard.

It is possible that all of the claims Tyson has made are accurate (save for all the variations of his jury duty tale). The various quotes, including that by Bush, may well exist. If so, I would think Tyson can provide citations. If not, Tyson should acknowledge his errors.

Nah. Looking things up and admitting where one has gotten things wrong is Not Real Science. In fact, it's P***y Science.

Meanwhile, Sean Davis contacted some of Bush's aides and speechwriters to find out if any of them remember Bush claiming that our God named the stars, but the Islamic one didn't, shortly after 9/11.

They don't remember this, and in fact remember what Tyson apparently doesn't, that Bush actually went out of his way to say the Islamic god was the same god as the Christian one. (And in fact some Christians -- part of his political coalition -- objected to that.)

And not only do they not remember this speech, but neither does Google or Lexis/Nexus.

Below, a re-post of Tyson's "facts" about the Southern Hemisphere and Penguins, and my own #FunScienceFacts about penguins.

I posted it on Saturday; I'm posting it again, in case you missed it.

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 02:24 PM Comments

A Pair & A Spare: Woman Has Superfluous Third Breast Installed on Her Body; Claims She's Doing it For Feminism or Something


Well she doesn't say "feminism," precisely, but she does say this, which does evidence her rejection of The Patriarchy:

Tridevil has also claimed she had the surgery because she didn't want to appear as attractive to men.

In one of the videos, she said: "I got the surgery because I wanted to turn off guys. I know it sounds crazy but I don't want to date again ever. I still like to feel pretty.

"If I got a third breast implant most guys would think that's weird and gross. But I can still feel pretty."

See it's not about how guys see her, it's about the beauty she sees in her own heart, the heart underneath her third central mommysac.

What she's saying isn't as stupid as it sounds -- after all, Beyonce can sing "Bow Dow Bitches" and bump-and-grind through songs about blowjobs and get credited as a Philosopher because she flashed the word "FEMINISM" behind her during it.

Feminism is pretty much the beaten-down husband's "Whatever you want, dear" codified as a "philosophy."

She says some other things that are kinda-sorta hard to believe, too.

Like: I'm not doing this to become famous.

Despite scheduling interviews, creating a fan page, and hiring a film crew, Tridevil insists her apparent surgery was not an attempt become famous.


Now, she has hired a camera crew to follow her around Tampa, Florida, documenting the 'struggles' she faces as a three-breasted woman.

It sounds like she's doing everything she can to avoid becoming famous.

Including pitching her show to MTV. That's what people who don't want to become famous do.

She's also given herself the name -- I presume she's given herself this name -- "Jasmine Tridevil." Another mark of Someone Who Just Wants to Be Left Alone.

And of course there's the name of her show. Well, actually, the show's name is rather clinical and suggests an intention to delve into the medical and psychological issues swirling around body augmentation, and not a desire to just titillate a zoned out television audience which has become numb to shock and sexually jaded.

The show is called Jasmine's Jugs.

No I'm not kidding, that's what it's called.

On the other hand, I have to admire her entrepreneurship; she says she's sunk every penny of her money (saved from her time as a massage therapist, I guess) into the plastic surgery and now the TV crew.

She seems like a Romney voter to me.

By the way, why did she call herself "Jasmine"?

What about Trinity? Trinity Tridevil.

That's the kind of anonymous name that triple-breasted women can use when they want to stay out of the limelight.

Posted by Ace at 01:28 PM Comments

How Convenient: "According to People With Knowledge of the Incident," The Horrible Misogynist Masher Who Called Kirsten Gillibrand "Chubby" Is... Dead


Gillibrand's charge has been, as they say, problematic for Democrats because it's clear she was accusing a Democrat, but she wouldn't say who.

It's problematic for Gillibrand herself because she is holding this out as conduct which Society Must No Longer Tolerate, while simultaneously protecting her masher for political purposes.

She can't say this is a matter of the highest priority when there is at least another matter -- maximizing Democrat chances in November -- that trumps it.

And it's problematic for the Democrats, of course, because they're pretending they're fighting for women while, behind closed doors, conducting their own #WarOnWomen.

So the guy who called Gillibrand "chubby" * -- Jesus Christ Almighty, I can't believe this is a major national story, but that's the stupid, trivial, childish, tribal society we live in -- is now revealed as...

conveniently dead, and ergo not in any particular risk of losing his Senate seat. And, more importantly, his fellow Democrats can now castigate and shame him and thus avoid risk to their own seats, because, of course, he's dead a tombstone.

Daniel Inouye died in 2012 at age 88.

The dirty old man whom New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says groped her while telling her, "Don't lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby!" was apparently none other than Gillibrand's fellow Democrat....

As a senator, Inouye consistently voted in favor of women's issues.

And you know what that must mean.

But, as the Times notes, the senator did have a black mark on his record: 1992 allegations that he forced his stylist to sleep with him (she said at the time that she did not consider it rape because she did not fight back). The woman claimed to know of nine others harassed by Inouye who did not want to come forward with charges.

I have never heard this charge mentioned by the media. I guess it was reported in 1992 (or was it?), but apparently it didn't get much play and it pretty clearly did not become a multiyear reference -- a meme -- as Rush Limbaugh's taunting of Sandra Fluke did.

Gee I wonder why.

* Alexthechick reminds me that Inouye didn't just call her chubby, per the claim, but also grabbed her middle. I don't know if we can call this "groping," but it's definitely an unwanted touching, and it definitely has an intimate aspect, as well as a humiliating one.

I forgot about that. The reason I forgot is that Gillibrand says multiple people called her "porky" or "fat," and the other stories do not come with the pawing charge.

By my count, the minimum number of people discussed here are two Senators and one "southern Congressman." I believe they're all Democrats, or else she would have just named them.

Plus, one "labor leader" told her she was too fat, too.

So if the media attempts to pretend this story is now settled and done and over with, call them liars.

There are still some Porky-Callers lurking out there.

Posted by Ace at 12:38 PM Comments

Former Obama Administration Secretary of Defense and Director of the CIA Leon Panetta: ISIS Grew Because We Left Iraq Too Soon, And Didn't Get Involved in Syria Until Too Late


I question the latter statement but Leon Panetta does fault Obama's fecklessness for the rise of ISIS.

"I really thought that it was important for us to maintain a presence in Iraq," Panetta told CBS News host Scott Pelley. "The decision was that we ought to at least try to maintain 8,000 to 10,000 U.S. troops there, plus keeping some of our intelligence personnel in place, to be able to continue the momentum in the right direction.

"And frankly, having those troops there I think would've given us greater leverage on [former Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki] to try to force him to do the right thing as well," Panetta noted.

But it was politically popular and won the daily cycle on Twitter so that's what's important.

Short video at the link.

Posted by Ace at 12:02 PM Comments

Open Thread


Posted by rdbrewer at 10:53 AM Comments

Top Headline Comments 9-22-14

—Gabriel Malor

Happy Monday.

Illinois judge rules no Fourth Amendment violation for angry mayor to use a SWAT team to raid house where a tenant had set up a parody Twitter account to mock the mayor. It was Peoria mayor Jim Ardis, btw.

NASA's Maven explorer successfully entered Mars orbit last night.

130,000 refugees from Syria reach Turkey. They're fleeing from ISIL.

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Posted by Gabriel Malor at 06:46 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (9-21-2014)


Quote of the Day

"An analogy might be useful: Evangelical Christians are among Israel's strongest supporters in America, yet some Jews - including liberals as well as Christianophobic ultra-Orthodox - reject this support. That is hysteria. Israel's supporters in America are among the strongest defenders of Middle Eastern Christians, yet some Middle Eastern Christians reject this support. That is also hysteria. Jews who reject Christian support are crazy, and Middle Eastern Christians who reject Jewish support are crazy. It's the job of leaders to tell them so."

-- Spengler

REMINDER: If Sean Eldridge Doesn't Lose By at Least 30 Points It Will Be a Defeat For America

I was iffy at first but convinced at the end of the editorial. And should Eldridge by chance win we ought to just be honest with ourselves and establish an American House of Lords.

Hughes has spent the last several years buying multiple mansions in neighboring congressional districts in an effort to fulfill the political ambitions of his 28-year-old husband, who has a philosophy degree from Brown. It would seem that Eldridge believes he is even more entitled to political power than does Sandra Fluke, who is five years his senior yet still has enough self-awareness and humility to realize that people who lack any relevant qualifications should probably run for office at the state level before trying to purchase a seat in Congress. Eldridge, on the other hand, has quite literally sought to establish a modern day feudal system in New York's 19th district in an effort to buy votes, but won't even commit to stay in the district after he loses.

Eldridge perfectly embodies the hypocrisy and self-serving douchebaggery voters find so obnoxious about entitled liberals. He preaches about the need to "reduce the influence of special interest money in politics," while taking money from labor unions, Silicon Valley CEOs, Goldman Sachs executives, billionaire financiers George Soros and Tom Steyer, and his multi-millionaire husband.

The voters of New York's 19th district hold the fate of the free world in their hands. Now is not the time to get cocky and spike the football. Now is the time to run up the score and cover that 30-point spread. For America.


Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel Busy Working on the Important Things

Which include the DoD's relationship with the now politically incorrect NFL:

CNN reports that Chuck Hagel has asked his staff for detailed information about the U.S. military's relationships with the National Football League in the wake of the controversy over how the league is handling domestic-abuse allegations against players. With the U.S. supposedly ramping for a war against ISIS, you would think that Hagel has better things to worry about. But politically correct posturing is always a priority for Team Obama.

...The NFL can't tell Chuck Hagel to pound sand, but that would be the appropriate response. That, plus a 15-yard penalty for piling on.


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Posted by Maetenloch at 09:33 PM Comments

Sunday Open Thread


This thread is for general chatter, political or not, which doesn't fit a more topic-specific thread.

This is being published with a sticky 8 pm publishing time, so all new content is below this post, at least until 8pm.

New Stuff Below!

Posted by Ace at 08:00 PM Comments

Stunt: How to Prove that Self-Alleged "Skeptics" Aren't


This is from 2012, but I'd never seen it before.

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Posted by Ace at 04:59 PM Comments

Food Thread: Happy New Year! (Rosh Hashanah) [CBD]

—Open Blogger

Just Do It.jpg

The traditional foods served during Rosh Hashanah celebrations vary wildly, but you can't go wrong with something sweet -- honey based if possible (for a "sweet" New Year). Apples are featured prominently too. And of course challah, the egg bread that is also served on the Sabbath. Although for Rosh Hashanah it is often baked into rounds rather than the more common braided loaves, and is laced with something sweet. like raisins, or simply more sugar.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 04:15 PM Comments

Woe be to the ones with slow bandwidth (Gaming thread 9/21/14)

—Gang of Gaming Morons!

So TGS has come and gone. (Light content warning.)

this is going to be short as I ended up falling asleep while in queue to play Archeage (worst roll out ever).

I don't like giving these tards any acknowledgement but they stepped up their game in harassing John Smedley (CEO of Sony Online Entertainment). First it was calling in a bomb threat to the plane he was on to this

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Posted by Gang of Gaming Morons! at 02:25 PM Comments

Sunday Travel Thread: Oktoberfest! [Y-not and HRatAoSHQ]

—Open Blogger

Guten tag! Welcome to your Oktoberfest edition of the Sunday Travel Thread!

We have a special treat this week as our very own HR, who is an enthusiast of all things Teutonic, is guest blogging. This week was inspired by my own small plans to attend the Utah Oktoberfest held at Snowbird ski resort and the certain realization that it would be pretty lame compared to the Real Thing held in Germany.

So, before I regale you with tales of the Utah version, let's hear from our resident expert, HR:

Munich's Oktoberfest 2014 kicked off yesterday and runs through Oktober 5. I'm going later this week--probably straight to the festival grounds once I clear Customs.


The history of the Oktoberfest starts with the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. They invited the commoners to a wedding feast in a sheep meadow and forty thousand Bavarians showed up looking for beer. The meadow was named "Theresienwiese" in honor of the bride, and everyone had so much fun they did it again the next year, then the next year.... Over the years an agricultural fair, horse races, and carnival amusements were added and Munich's breweries sent their beer to be sold at stands run by local entrepreneurs; at the turn of the 20th century the beer stands turned into tents and minus a few breaks for wars and inflation the festival has grown into a 16-day, 6-million-visitor oft-imitated extravaganza and tourist destination.

History lesson over--now down to what Morons care about: Gaudinockerln und Bier

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Posted by Open Blogger at 02:02 PM Comments

OT Thread - Atheists [WeirdDave]

—Open Blogger

I've been thinking about this this week since a lot of the conversation on the blog has been about Neil DeGrasse Tyson's various exploits in creative storytelling, along with the "I F***** LUV science!" crowd. I'm not going to rehash the discussion here, if you missed it, scroll back to one of the numerous posts Ace did this on the subject this past week.

It seems to me that there is a lot of overlap between the "love that science!" people and Atheists, and in a lot of cases the motivation seems to be the same. In the case of Atheists I call it the Yuri Gagarin syndrome (although curiously, Gagarin never said the famous "I flew into space, but didn’t see God" quote, it was Khruschchev: "Why are you clinging to God? Here Gagarin flew into space and didn't see God." By all accounts Gagarin was a believer). It basically boils down to "Look how smrt we is! We is so smrt and haven't found God, he must no exist!"

I find this mind numbingly stupid on a couple of levels. First, let me be clear that I am talking about the Judeo-Christian God, that's always their target. If someone worships Gaia, well, you're praying to a rock, good luck. Try Islam, they go in for that kind of thing too and they have those snazzy burqas to boot. From the standpoint of the Judeo-Christian religious tradition, the foundation of the whole thing is faith, which is a belief without proof. It always amuses me when I see believers trying to "prove" God's existence, it puts me in the mind of the scene in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy where the babel fish is introduced:

Continue reading

Posted by Open Blogger at 12:58 PM Comments

Sunday Football Thread

—Dave In Texas

Don't miss this from JohnE yesterday. It's good.

So's this.

Sept 21.jpg

Posted by Dave In Texas at 12:08 PM Comments

Sunday Morning Book Thread 09-21-2014: End of Summer Reading [OregonMuse]

—Open Blogger


Good morning morons and moronettes and welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread. The only AoSHQ thread that is so hoity-toity, pants are required.

Scots Wha Hae!

OK, so first there was How the Irish Saved Civilizaton. Hooray for they Irish! Then there was Sprezzatura: 50 Ways Italian Genius Shaped the World. Hooray for the Italians! But in light of this week's historic vote in Scotland to remain a part of Great Britain, it's helpful to be reminded what the original unification, ratified in 1707, brought a great gift to the modern world: mainly, the modern world. How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in It. Of course that's a bit of an exaggeration, but the Scottish Enlightenment was a direct result of the original union with the British Empire providing Scotland's thinkers, inventors and statesmen with unprecedented freedom and mobility. Francis Hutcheson, Adam Smith, David Hume, Lord Kelvin, James Watt, Charles Napier, and even Andrew Carnegie and Alexander Graham Bell all were products of this historic flowering of men and ideas from Scotland.

Reading about this Little Country What Did Big Things reminded me of another country, namely Portugal. Nowadays it's pretty much a socialist backwater, (just Like Scotland, I guess) )but it's amazing to remember that in previous centuries, that tiny little country bestrode the world like a colossus. So, in remembrance of glory days long past, I picked up Prince Henry the Navigator, the Hero of Portugal and of Modern Discovery, 1394-1460 A.D. With an Account of Geographical Progress Throughout the Middle Ages As the Preparation for His Work, first published in 1894 and available for free on Kindle. It's basically a biography of the great Portuguese explorer Henry the Navigator, including much background information on the state of "geographic science" as understood by diverse groups such as Greeks, Arabs, Christian pilgrims, Vikings, etc. I really admire books like this: fine. old-school 19th century scholarship, a bit dry, perhaps, and dated, but that's part of its charm.

The Lit Crit Life Coach?

It's not your conventional life coaching, but I guess there are an awfully lot of "I read X and it changed my life" type of self-help books out there. This article in The New Republic pokes fun at the genre, which includes titles such as How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness and A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter. I suppose you could read all of them at the same time and get really confused.

Back To School

Here's another one of those quizzes, this one having to do with schools in literature. I started it, but was doing so poorly, I just gave up.

Continue reading

Posted by Open Blogger at 09:46 AM Comments

Early Morning Open Thread - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]

—Open Blogger

Good morning, Horde. Try to get out and enjoy this last Sunday of Summer 2014.

Here's just one more...

UPDATE: Know of any Morons looking for a job?

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Posted by Open Blogger at 07:25 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (20 Sep 2014)


Alright morons, for those of you who are Firefly fans, today is Unification Day. Proceed accordingly.

Continue reading

Posted by CDR M at 10:00 PM Comments

Saturday Open Thread


This thread is a catch-all for all political (or general) conversation. It will be the top post until 8 PM Eastern.

All NEW content will be posted BELOW this post!

So check below this post for new material.

Posted by Ace at 08:00 PM Comments

Movie Night With The Morons: Derpa Derpa Edition - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]

—Open Blogger

It's time for popcorn and ass-kicking and they are all out of popcorn.

Oh, and, open thread because I might seriously be the only person watching this tonight.

UPDATE: From last week. Here's where to find the movie.

Posted by Open Blogger at 07:50 PM Comments

Saturday Car Thread 9/20/14 - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse and KBDaBear]

—Open Blogger


Gas Turbine Engine Concept Car from 1963

In the early 60's, Chrysler experimented with the idea of developing a turbine engine for use in passenger cars. Chrysler's A831 gas turbine engine was fitted into a concept car built by Ghia of Turin and design was headed by a former Ford design studio head which is why the car had a strong resemblance to the 1963 T-Bird

Chrysler built 55 of the cars and was beta-tested by 200 consumers in actual everyday driving conditions. The A831 mated to a Torqueflite automatic generated 134 hp and had a 0 to 60 time of 12 seconds. As for acceleration, the turbo lag of the entire engine was quite bad.

The turbine car never did catch on enough for Chrysler even to produce it in limited numbers as production cost of each car would have been at least $50K in 1964 dollars. Once the beta tests were done, the cars were returned to Chrysler and obstentiously for tax reasons all but 9 of the cars were destroyed. Six of the cars were donated to museums, three of them were purchased by private collectors, one of them being Jay Leno

Jay features the Turbine Car in this video

Continue reading

Posted by Open Blogger at 06:51 PM Comments

Saturday Gardening Thread [Y-not and WeirdDave]

—Open Blogger

Here's your content:


This is a print we have in our sitting room at Casa Y-not, "Edge of the Aspens," original serigraph by Steve Harmston.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 04:18 PM Comments

College Football Thread

—Dave In Texas

I'm getting confused with these "initial discipline ok real discipline" decisions and I suspect they have something to do with public opinion.

Which may not be the best way to hand out discipline.

ANYWAY top ten stuff today. all times EDT:

Florida at Alabama (3), 3:30pm

Texas A&M (6) at SMU (how'd this happen?), 3:30pm

Mississippi St at LSU (8), 7pm

Oklahoma (4) at West Virginia, 7:30pm

Clemson (22) at Florida St (1), 8pm

Oregon (2) at Washington St., 10:30pm

and Auburn (5) squeaked by Kansas St (20) Thursday night with some controversy about signal stealing. Which is pretty lame, if the other team is figuring out your signals you're doing it wrong.

Have a great weekend y'all. All y'all.


Posted by Dave In Texas at 01:45 PM Comments

Science School with NDT


From that link:

The Galapagos penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus) is a penguin endemic to the Galapagos Islands. It is the only penguin that lives north of the equator in the wild.

Here are some other PENGUIN FACTS.

FACT: Penguins are marsupials.

FACT: Penguins burrow into the ground and await their prey beneath a "trap-door" made from their webbing, disguised with leaves and twigs.

FACT: Penguins are apex predators, lethal killing machines that have not evolved since the Cretaceous Era. The word "Penguin" derives from the Spanish penguinarre, "Foppish Dagger."

FACT: Humanity's myths of dragons and krakens spring from penguin sightings. The word "Penguin" derives from the Italian penniginarro, "Horror from the Depths."

FACT: The only defense against a penguin that has locked in on you with its Predator Vision is to stab yourself in the neck with a pencil and bleed yourself out until you have virtually no pulse. Penguins prefer fresh kills. Their name derives from the Norwegian, pangskjinj, meaning "Finicky Murder-Fowl."

FACT: Penguins are capable of flight, but they prefer to STEAL CARS.

FACT: Penguins have large flock structures with complex and fluid hierarchies in order to facilitate KIDNAPPING and IDENTITY THEFT.

FACT: When you hear your floorboards creak at night those are PENGUINS GOING THROUGH ALL YOUR PERSONAL SHIT. The word "penguin" derives from the South American Indian pa'hannae'gun, meaning PHANTOM THAT DOES HOME INVASIONS.

FACT: An entire lobe of the penguin's brain is devoted to MIND GAMES.

FACT: Penguins are unique in the animal kingdom as they are the only species which breeds exclusively through SODOMY.

FACT: The penguin is the only animal apart from man to kill for sport rather than need.


FACT: Murder gives penguins BONERS.

FACT: Penguins subsist on a diet of DRIFTERS and RUNAWAYS.

FACT: Penguins make use of a rudimentary tool to open up clamshells.

FACT: Biologists call this tool a FUCKING GUN.


FACT: Penguins have evolved a rich tapestry of social behaviors which resemble PRISON CULTURE.

FACT: Penguins mark their prey so that the group can stalk it.

FACT: Penguins mark their prey with WOLVESBLOOD. Penguins KILL THE SHIT OUT OF WOLVES.

FACT: Penguins are the only creature capable of DIGESTING YOUR SOUL. They have a special acid in their stomachs which scientists have determined is PURE EVIL.


FACT: Stay away from PENGUINS. The word "penguin" is derived from the Aramaic word for "THE DEVIL'S TOUCAN."

Feathers McGraw reminder thanks to @coolestMom_Ever.

Honestly, I didn't realize it, but all these thoughts of Penguins as master criminals just came tumbling into my head. Well, that's because I already saw a penguin master criminal in Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers.

Really good; recommended if you haven't seen it.

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 12:31 PM Comments

Tired of the Nonstop Horrible NFL News?


They're not all bad guys. Two NFL stories you probably haven't heard below.

h/t @CommodoreBTC on the second one.

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Posted by JohnE. at 11:40 AM Comments

Dreams vs. Reality: [CBD]

—Open Blogger

There is a huge difference between, "I want this scenario to happen because I am angry at my feckless president and congress and am disgusted by the lack of leadership coming from my formerly powerful country, and turning large portions of the ME into glass will make my inner savage smile" and; "here is a rational scenario that I believe can occur with some massaging from certain players in power."

I asked the question/comment on Thursday:

As much as I enjoy watching these savages fight each other (and I am a big proponent of "Arm The Losers"), there are relative innocents being butchered.

It's fun and easy to criticize Obama, but I haven't heard a good plan for dealing with these scumbags.

And I got several answers that made that inner savage smile. But they simply weren't possible in the current situation we find America suffering under.

Continue reading

Posted by Open Blogger at 10:45 AM Comments

Saturday Politics Thread: "Young Guns" [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

Over the past few weeks we've been looking over some of the GOP prospects for 2016, focusing on governors. Last week we reviewed Kasich, Haley, and Martinez and there seemed to be a certain amount of enthusiasm for Governor Haley. Before that, we reviewed Walker, Jindal, and Perry and found that both Perry and Walker had strong support.

Interestingly, when I polled the horde on all six of these governors, Nikki Haley dropped behind Bobby Jindal. I'm not sure if this is a reflection of people feeling they don't know Haley very well or if the dreaded "electability factor" reared its ugly head. It seems as though there's a reluctance to nominate a woman because of fears of what the media will do to her based on past experience with Palin.

I thought this week week we'd dip our toes into somewhat murkier waters and review three high-profile senators whose names have been bandied about as prospective candidates for 2016: Marco Rubio (FL), Rand Paul (KY), and Ted Cruz (TX). I think the waters here are murkier for several reasons. One, as U.S. Senators each one of these men is paid to pontificate. Let's face it, without control of the Senate, there's not a heck of a lot a Republican Senator can accomplish except to make speeches, appear on television, and make social media posts.

Second, there seems to be a strong feeling amongst a lot of likely Republican voters (who post on blogs, at least) that we should nominate a governor or possibly a businessman, but most certainly NOT a Senator or even a Representative. I should add that although I understand the arguments, I think they are being given far too much weight and, in some cases at least, I think they are being used to exclude candidates from consideration who are deemed ideologically unacceptable to people who influence elections. So when we discuss these three men, let's try to compare them to each other rather than spend a lot of time hashing out the "don't nominate a Senator" thing. I'd really like to hear more about what you think of their backgrounds, accomplishments, and ideologies today, if at all possible.

Third, all three of them (even Rand Paul who was born in 1963) are sometimes considered to be "young guns." They have not been on the national stage (or even in office, in the case of Paul) for very long, so there is going to be a tendency by all of us (self included) to project our biases and wishes onto their records. When that happens things tend to get heated.

I should add that one advantage of examining Senators' records is that they are all voting on the same measures that impact the nation. And, although they should be voting in a way consistent with their state constituents' views, they are less likely to be voting purely based on their state's interests. So it should be a more apples to apples comparison than trying to compare the records of governors to one another.

The previous two of these 2016 threads have been very productive, I think, and remarkably cordial. Let's see if we can keep up the trend!

First, a brief poll to get a sense of where the horde stands on these three:

Continue reading

Posted by Open Blogger at 08:58 AM Comments

Early Morning Open Thread - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]

—Open Blogger

Good morning.

This should wake you up.

Posted by Open Blogger at 07:41 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (19 Sep 2014)


Soooo, the NFL seems to have risen to National Discussion Threat Level Eleventy for our politicians because of a handful of domestic violence/child abuse cases. Strange that teacher predators haven't risen to that same level of attention.

“Since January 1 of this year, over 325 teachers and other school employees across America have been arrested for sexual misconduct with children .That is more than one per school day,” said Sen. Toomey.

Well what do you know? Another teacher predator in the news today.

One would think that something done "for the children" would get some headline fanfare but I guess teachers unions or something. Poor dears are worried about background checks. Hey if background checks are good enough for those exercising their 2nd Amendment rights, it should be good enough for those entrusted with our children. However, background checks won't prevent dumbassery like this. Justice Department sides with 14-year old girl used as 'bait' in middle school sting. Essentially the teachers and vice principal came up with a plan to use a 14-year old girl to catch a troublesome boy known to sexually harass/assault students, told her to agree to have sex with him and promise to intervene before the sex happens. They forgot the part where they were supposed to intervene which resulted in her sexual assault.

The White House focus? College campus sexual assault.

Continue reading

Posted by CDR M at 10:25 PM Comments

I Would Say That Wendy Davis Seems Robotic In Her Debate, But That Would Impugn The Spontaneity and Charisma of Robots











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Posted by Ace at 09:15 PM Comments

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry: When Most People Say "Science," What They Really Mean Is "Magic"


Great piece to end the week on, as a very nice closer to the week's controversy.

Everybody uses it. Science says this, science says that. You must vote for me because science. You must buy this because science. You must hate the folks over there because science.

Look, science is really important. And yet, who among us can easily provide a clear definition of the word "science" that matches the way people employ the term in everyday life?

So let me explain what science actually is. Science is the process through which we derive reliable predictive rules through controlled experimentation. That's the science that gives us airplanes and flu vaccines and the Internet. But what almost everyone means when he or she says "science" is something different.

To most people, capital-S Science is the pursuit of capital-T Truth. It is a thing engaged in by people wearing lab coats and/or doing fancy math that nobody else understands. The reason capital-S Science gives us airplanes and flu vaccines is not because it is an incremental engineering process but because scientists are really smart people.

In other words -- and this is the key thing -- when people say "science", what they really mean is magic or truth.


The vast majority of people, including a great many very educated ones, don't actually know what science is.

If you ask most people what science is, they will give you an answer that looks a lot like Aristotelian "science" -- i.e., the exact opposite of what modern science actually is. Capital-S Science is the pursuit of capital-T Truth. And science is something that cannot possibly be understood by mere mortals. It delivers wonders. It has high priests. It has an ideology that must be obeyed.

This leads us astray.

Good night, and have a good weekend!

Bonus: Observe a moderate Comic Graphic Violence warning for "Science" performed by a real student of science, from the movie The Heat.

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 07:12 PM Comments

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Charles C.W. Cooke: Robert Kennedy Jr., Aspiring Tyrant
"The United States government, Kennedy lamented in an interview with Climate Depot, was not permitted by law to 'punish' or to imprison those who disagree with him...." Can you believe an American would say something like this? [rdbrewer]

John Fund: The Crumbling Climate-Change Consensus
"[T]he climate-change activists increasingly lack a scientific basis for their most exaggerated claims." [rdbrewer]

Jeffrey Anderson: Voter Intensity Strongly Against Obamacare
"[P]eople who care about the issue of Obamacare really don’t like Obamacare. On the flip side, people who like Obamacare really don’t care about it very much." [rdbrewer]
Photograph of Senator Mary Landrieu Assisting a Young Man with a Keg Stand May Indicate the Senator Has a Chemical Addiction to Carbs
I didn't say this -- Daniel Inoye just sent me this in an email from the Spectral Realm
Alaska TV Reporter Quits on Air: ‘F**k It, I Quit’
Via Drudge. [rdbrewer]

Politico: Lois Lerner breaks silence
"'I didn't do anything wrong.'" She can't really believe that, right? [rdbrewer]

Orin Kerr: Apple’s dangerous game, part 2: The strongest counterargument
"My Friday morning post on Apple’s new iOS8 operating system pretty much kicked the hornet’s nest, both here and on Twitter. In this post, I want to discuss what I think is the strongest counterargument made against my post. It’s a good argument, and it has pushed me to change my view from 'very troubled' to 'need more information to decide.'" [rdbrewer]

Jonathan Adler: Does Neil deGrasse Tyson make up stories?
"[T]he claims Davis contests are not casual remarks in conversation or responses to questions, but planned and repeated accounts. The various stories Davis challenges are regularly repeated in Tyson’s lectures...." Via @JohnEkdahl. [rdbrewer]

Goodell and Barra: Students of the Obama Era of American Leadership
"What our current moment seems to feature is a bumper crop of (alleged) leaders insisting they can wait out the storm, often displaying a glimpse of indignation at suggestions that they resign because something terrible happened on their watch." People used to have the decency to resign, seems like. [rdbrewer]

Chicken Little, and Chicken Little Jr., 46 Years Apart
Ed juxtaposes video clips of father and son each predicting the world is about to end in both 1968 and today. RFK in 1968 predicts kids would need to wear gasmasks, and RFK Jr. freaks out during Sunday’s enviro-march in New York. Their audiences in both circumstances were/are idiots. [rdbrewer]
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What Went Wrong...? continued.
"The jihadists of the Islamic State, in other words, did not emerge from nowhere. They climbed out of a rotting, empty hulk - what was left of a broken-down civilization."
ht @nopasa [ArthurK]
Nadine Unger, NYT: To Save the Planet, Don’t Plant Trees [rdbrewer]

The Telegraph: How Qatar is funding the rise of Islamist extremists
"Qatar's promotion of extremism has so infuriated its neighbours that Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates all chose to withdraw their ambassadors from the country in March." [rdbrewer]

Jon Gabriel: The Left Doesn’t Really Believe in Climate Change
"But how do leaders of the environmental left address these opposing doomsdays? By raising taxes, increasing government, impeding capitalism and reducing national sovereignty. Coincidentally, the same policies they would promote if their supposed environmental catastrophe was utter fiction." [rdbrewer]

Peggy Noonan: The Unwisdom of Barack Obama
People are overthinking Obama. He simply has bad judgment. "Mr. Obama can see the trees, name their genus and species, judge their age and describe their color. He absorbs data. But he consistently misses the shape, size and density of the forest. His recitations of data are really a faux sophistication that suggests command of the subject but misses the heart of the matter." [rdbrewer]

Video: Break up with your boyfriend [rdbrewer]

USA Today: Tax refunds will be cut for ACA recipients
"Obamacare," for the layperson. [rdbrewer]

Medieval Weapon Finds Modern Appeal
"'Longpoint, held in July, is one of several annual tournaments around the world, manifestations of renewed interest in what enthusiasts call historical European martial arts, or HEMA. It includes events like grappling — similar to Greco-Roman wrestling — and several types of swordfighting. But the focus is on the most iconic medieval weapon, forged from cold, lustrous steel: the longsword.'" [rdbrewer]
British woman returns to home town. Discovers Muslims living there have not assimilated. [dri]
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