March 27, 2017

Monday Overnight Open Thread (3/27/17) So This Is Monday Edition

—Misanthropic Humanitarian

lakesuperior.jpg

Lake Superior


Quotes of The Day


Quote I

Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.
-- George Washington


Quote II

Imagine choosing a job not on money or even on career advancement, but as part of a life worth living. Dale Dauten


Quote III

Recession is when a neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. Ronald Reagan


2 certain things in life, death and taxes. Make that 3 things, death, taxes and debt in the afterlife. Average Americans dying with debt.

These days, not even the dead are debt-free.

A new report from Credit.com has found that 73 percent of U.S. consumers are dying with large amounts of debt to their name — to the average tune of $61,554.

*****

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Posted by Misanthropic Humanitarian at 10:08 PM Comments



Devin Nunes Got His Information About Intel Reports from an Intel Officer, and That's a Scandal Or Something

—Ace

Or at least the Democrats are trying to make this into their new Rachel Maddow Moment.

Nunes says he had to view the documents which he says may prove Obama targeted Trump from a sensitive compartmentalized information facility (SCIF) that could display executive branch information, which Congress doesn't have. A source -- who he says is an intelligence officer himself -- suggested he use one of the White House's SCIFs to view the material. Then Nunes walked over to Trump to tell him what he'd seen.

It seems very strange indeed that someone needs to tell Trump about information to which Trump should already be in possession of, but then, it was reported some time ago (and then semi-retracted and semi-denied) that certain members of the intel community were not telling Trump things they'd ordinarily tell the president.

Why it had to be done this way, I don't know -- maybe only delivering information to a Congressman gets you whistleblower status.

Meanwhile, James Comey and NSA Director Rodgers are not coming to a previously-scheduled closed-door briefing of Congress. They haven't said why.

Posted by Ace at 08:52 PM Comments



Norman Borlaug: The Greatest Man You've Never Heard Of

—CBD

Feeding the world is much easier because of this man, and he represents pretty much everything the agricultural neo-luddites on the Left despise. Norman Borlaug: A Man For All Seasons is a short description of his career, which spanned 50 years and cannot possibly be more impressive. And like a true scientist, he had an open mind, and saw the possibilities of the burgeoning recombinant DNA technology.

With the world’s population continuing to increase, the need for additional agricultural production remains, and in his later years Norman turned his efforts to ensure the success of this century’s equivalent of the Green Revolution -- the application of modern genetic engineering (also known as “genetic modification,” or GM) to agriculture. As Norman and other plant scientists realized, the use of the term “genetic modification” to apply only to the newest genetic techniques is an unfortunate misnomer, because plant scientists had been using crude and laborious techniques to obtain new genetic variants of wheat, corn and other crops for centuries. Products now in development with genetic engineering techniques offer the possibility of even higher yields, lower inputs of agricultural chemicals and water, enhanced nutrition, and even plant-derived, orally active vaccines.

No hysterical political stance, no hyperventilating about peak this and peak that and WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE! Just a fanatical focus on the job at hand...to feed the starving. And he did it.

And he did it in part because he understood better than most what science is;

“It is easy to forget that science offers more than a body of knowledge and a process for adding new knowledge. It tells us not only what we know but what we don’t know. It identifies areas of uncertainty and offers an estimate of how great and how critical that uncertainty is likely to be.”

He knew what he didn't know. And that is something that our insular, good-ole-boys-club of climate scientists would do well to understand.

Posted by CBD at 07:05 PM Comments

I Mostly Quit Consuming News and I'm So Much Happier and More Productive [Warden]

—Open Blogger

Donald Trump's ascendency had the happy effect of helping me let go of any obligation to defend him as a nominee. His presidency--and the media's hysterical reaction to every single thing he says, does or tweets--has allowed me to reduce my consumption of news by at least 90% and I've never felt better.

The media culture is quite literally insane. I'm not just talking about print and television new. I mean all of it, including the stuff you and I use--Twitter, Facebook, blogs, comment sections, etc...

We've been heading in this direction for awhile. As ace has noted previously, the medium is the message. Most of today's media is clickbaiting, emotion-driven nonsense, as it must be. A medium that reduces attention span and encourages grazing across multiple tabs demands it. And somewhere along the line someone figured out that nothing drives clicks and views like outrage.

I think people have always loved running their mouths about things they know nothing about. The difference between today and before the rise of social media is that they didn't have a ready audience. You can only rant to your neighbors, coworkers and the barber so much in a given week.

Now those same louts do have an audience, and a relatively large one at that--one that rewards them for their outbursts and calls them wise, brave and inspiring. Nothing builds social capital like broadcasting the "right" opinions loudly, emotionally, and frequently.

President Trump didn't cause any of this, but he is a product of the culture and he's acted as an accelerant to the generally dysfunctional state of mass communications. It goes without saying that the press hates him unreservedly and with religious fervor.

It's also no secret that the press is filled with low-IQ, throne sniffing propagandists who are entirely incapable of earning a living through more respectable means. With their constant baiting, framing, double standards, deceptive edits and lies of both commission and omission, they have slowly but steadily lost the trust of most of their viewership. We've been watching it right here on this blog since the 2004 disgrace of Dan Rather.

But the ratcheting intensity driven by their Trump hating pathology has created something new and awful--a general feeling of paranoia, anger and fear that permeates our daily living.

And because Trump has a cunning and instinctive understanding of this circus-like atmosphere, he also adds to the confusion with his own deceit and off-the-wall behavior.

Don't get me wrong-- I find Donald Trump's smashing of DC norms to be mostly a positive development. But the man, taken as a whole and combined with underhanded maneuvering of his media antagonists has helped create an atmosphere where the truth is dream-like and elusive.

Frankly, it's exhausting to try to keep up. Every day and multiple times within is some new outrage. He gaslights them, they gaslight us. Everyone reacts without thinking at full volume and then we're on to the next thing before anything is inspected, pondered, and resolved.

I used to feel it was some sort of moral and patriotic obligation to stay on top of current affairs. No longer. I have neither the time nor the inclination to sift through miles of sewage in order to find some tiny, useful nugget of information. It's bad for my mental and spiritual health which, in turn, is bad for my family. And I value them--and myself-- far more than Being Right About Everything or whipping out some hard earned fact in order to TOTALY PWN an opponent on Twitter.

It hit me a few weeks ago that very little of what I've been consuming is real. It's like a crazy funhouse filled with distorted mirrors and spooky, upsetting sound effects. So, I thought, why enter? No one is making me and there's a perfectly good reality to enjoy elsewhere. Hadn't I spent most of my life prior to this bizarre age we're living through doing exactly that?

I took a long weekend to be with my kids over Spring Break last week and hardly even looked at the internet except to drop a post onto Ace of Spades. I threw a football with my kids at the park, took them to laser tag, cooked them breakfast and lunch every day and got some yard work done in balmy 70 degree weather.

I also spent time with my wife, played some video games, and stuck my nose in a book for a few hours each day.

It was wonderful. Peace and quiet is good for both the soul and the intellect. It gives you time to consider things deeply rather than respond primitively and by rote to information.

The less media I consume, the more time I have, allowing me to get back to being the bookworm I'd been for the first 30 or so years of my life.

It's easy to get trapped the way I was and the way many of you are. New media is sneaky. It allows you feel smart while actually making you stupid. We have more information at our disposal today than ever, but it's a mile wide and about an inch deep online or on TV. It encourages a hunter/gatherer mentality that ultimately causes you to lose your ability to deeply focus on a task. Reading reverses that process. I'm already seeing my attention span grow again.

In the last week of browsed at least parts of Mere Christianity by CS Lewis, Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance, A Pinch of Salt by Theodore Dalyrimple and The End of Average by Todd Rose. These are four thoughtful books filled with interesting ideas by men who are far smarter and insightful than the television personalities yelling inanities at you on TV as they try to manipulate your opinion to better accommodate the world they wish for themselves.

I'm here to tell you that I'm not going back. The more I scale back my media consumption, the more centered and in touch I become with the real world. I'm done chasing illusions. The big secret of new media is that it cons you even when you know it's all a big con. Life is too short and precious to be wasted on carnival barkers and grifters.

***EDIT***

Bonus trollish thought: If you want to drive a left wing acquaintance mad, tell him that you don't bother to watch news (even if you do) because they're all just liars.

Follow up by responding to every argument he tries to make with, "Ehhhh, buncha liars."

Posted by Open Blogger at 05:24 PM Comments

A Journey Through the Upside-Down

—OregonMuse

Sweet fancy Moses, the stuff you can find on Twitter. What kind of kartoffelkopf do you have to be to believe that the reason Hillary! lost is because the MSM spent all their time ginning up hatred against her because they wanted the Republican to win?

Peter Daou was a Hillary advisor during her '08 campaign. Not sure why he wasn't working for her this time around, but who knows? Anyway, the crush he had on her back then is just as strong as ever. About a week ago, he finally reached his breaking point, and lashed out with a epic tweetstorm of unhinged lunacy that gets close to the Eichenwald absolute.

Below is how it starts out, and I cut and pasted the text from the rest of the tweets to save space. So come along with me and savor the crazy. And the butthurt. But mostly-- well actually, I don't know which one is more predominant, but here we go into the fever swamp. I trust everyone has had their shots, and make sure your mosquito netting is firmly in place:




Continue reading


Posted by OregonMuse at 03:53 PM Comments

Palestinian Terrorist and "Feminist" Stripped of US Citizenship, Ejected From Country

—Ace

Very good.

I'm under the weather and am taking the day off, pretty much. I'll just put up open threads and links. Sorry -- I just feel like crap.

Posted by Ace at 01:59 PM Comments

Move Over Lutefisk, There's A New Sheriff In Town

—OregonMuse

...and its name is Surströmming.

This is a Swedish “delicacy”: Baltic herring that has been fermenting for six months.

Surströmming.

Ask for it by name:



Terry Pratchett once theorized that each country or culture has some really disgusting food item that they never eat themselves, but they give to gullible foreigners because they think they're eating "authentic ethnic food." So, for example, you go to some northern country and are served seagull feet marinated in fermented yak urine while they're all in the next tent laughing at you while chowing down on reindeer steaks.

Oh, and once you've finished your heaping helping of surströmming, you might like some dessert:

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Posted by OregonMuse at 01:05 PM Comments

Mid-Morning Open Thread

—CBD

boatmen Bingham.jpg

Boatmen On The Missouri
George Caleb Bingham

This is an interesting and amusing painting, although nobody would argue for its inclusion among the greats. So why did I choose it? Well, in addition to it being nice to look at, it was donated to the De Young Museum Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd, the third generation of a famous family of fascist oppressors.

It's easy for the Left to demonize wealth, but here is a very nice example of what it can do. And while I have no need to assure you of this, I will, because it needs repeating: the progressive canard that government is necessary for the support of the arts is just that; a lie, perpetrated on the American public. I will take privately funded art any day of the week over the work product of the current crop of lazy, self-indulgent, narcissistic, talentless drones whose only skill is sticking a thumb in the eye of Western culture.

Posted by CBD at 09:35 AM Comments

The Morning Report 3/27/17

—J.J. Sefton


Good morning, kids. Well, last Friday sure was a let down. Ironically, some blame the Freedom Caucus and conservatives for being "ideological purists" while others blame the GOP-e for crafting a bogus bill that sustained and even expanded Obamacare as well as PDT for not knowing any better. There's even speculation that this is all some sort of 11-dimensional chess on the latter's part in order to hurry the collapse of Obamacare so he can rush in and save the day. No matter what, it's a propaganda coup for the Democrat Left. And if that wasn't bad enough, people like the Son of the Postman want PDT to include Democrats in any health care legislation. What's going on in the President's head is a mystery to me. But this bill clearly was a combination of the GOP protecting a big government entitlement/bureaucracy while torpedoing the Trump agenda. I agree with Senator Cotton and Scott McKay at Spectator: Get back to work and craft a repeal and real legislation that opens up the free market and reduces government intervention/regulation as much as possible. Other than that, you'll notice that, Pixy shenanigans notwithstanding, we have actual real opening credits! Woo hoo! Big shout out and thank you to Little Mrs. Spellcheck for creating them. Anyway, links from around the world, across the nation and up your street. Have a better one and remain blessed.

RuP.jpg

Posted by J.J. Sefton at 06:35 AM Comments

Sunday Overnight Open Thread (3/26/17) Skimpy Edition

—Misanthropic Humanitarian

sunday ont cover.jpg


Quotes of The Day

Quote I

Life sometimes gets in the way of writing. Jean M. Auel

*****


It did this weekend. Sorry for the skimpy ONT.

Quote II

The most expensive hobby a rich man could have is a boat, and the second most expensive hobby he could have is a very old house. Barbara Corcoran

Quote III

Originality consists in thinking for yourself, not in thinking differently from other people.James Fitzjames Stephen

Continue reading


Posted by Misanthropic Humanitarian at 10:02 PM Comments

Helicopter Parents and the End of Childhood Freedom [Warden]

—Open Blogger

I found this 2014 Atlantic article, The Overprotected Kid, and found myself nodding vigorously at the astonishing difference between my childhood and those that my kids are living.

Admittedly, I was parented by insanely libertarian minded parents who figured that any day I didn't come home maimed was pretty much a win. Even for the standards of the 70's, my brother and I were given so much latitude that our parents were the black sheep of the neighborhood.

There are things I did that I'd never allow my kids to do. My parents were extreme, bordering on neglectful at times. For example, my mom never bothered buying us snow boots even though she could afford to. Nope, sneakers were fine for running around in the snow. Gloves and a hat were optional as well, even on subzero days. I never owned a scarf until my wife bought me one ten years ago. I remain baffled that anyone who doesn't work in life threateningly cold weather would think one a necessity.

Despite this, I think my childhood was far more enjoyable, adventuresome and healthy than that of my children. And I feel guilty about this. I'm the parent, after all. On the other hand, our current culture makes it nearly impossible, legally, socially, and practically, to expose my kids to the same level of risk and freedom that I enjoyed.

Looking back, my parents had it pretty damned easy. By the time I was 8 years old, I would ride my bike a mile and a half to the pool in the summer when it opened and not return until close to dinner. At least half of those evenings, I would rush outside to play with friends right after eating. Mom literally saw me for an hour or two a day.

The sound of children was a constant in my old neighborhood. Kids were everywhere outside, playing sports, racing bikes, chasing each other through back yards. Today, in a suburban neighborhood packed with kids, you can't find a single one outside on most weekends. Even if I wanted to encourage my kids to disappear for a few hours, there's no one for them to run around with.

I'm both saddened and chagrined at the fact that neither of my boys, ages 5 and 10, have every climbed a tree, went creek walking or ran the neighborhood past dark. They've never played kick the can, toilet papered a house or swam in a pond.

I'm sensitive to the damage a sheltered life can cause, and I do my best to foster independence where I can. For example, when I take my 5 year old to the supermarket, I let him roam about the store eating sample and searching the discount fruit bin for good deals while talking to employees and sometimes strangers.

This never fails to cause some well-meaning adult to inform me that I've lost my kid. "No," I tell them. "he knows where to find me." I usually receive disapproving looks. I wonder what they'd think of my mom, who'd let my brother and I wander off into the toy aisle while she grocery shopped in peace, tasking us with the responsibility to catch up with her at the checkout line when she was finished. They'd likely call the cops on her today.

It seems that no matter what I do to give my kids more freedom, I'm stymied by other adults. I used to walk my little one into preschool, open the locked, coded door for him, then kiss him goodbye. It was then up to him to hang his coat, fish his folder out of his backpack, wash his hands and make his way into class.

That is, it was up to him until a couple of months ago when one of his teachers got upset after finding him "wandering the hallway alone" and asked that I escort him into class. "Otherwise," she said, "we could get into trouble."

And so my 5 year old had even that small bit of freedom yanked from him. I'm annoyed, but I don't blame the preschool. Everyone is terrified of being sued.

Even my wife got into the game this past week, freaking out that I left the two boys alone at laser tag for an hour while I went next door for a beer. It was deliberate. I could've gotten a beer inside the laser tag place if I'd wanted to, but I chose to get out of their space. My wife thought this was irresponsible. She's wrong. A 10 year old can look after a 5 year old for an hour in a public place.

And so, I continue to fight a desperate and pathetic rear guard action against overwhelming cultural forces. I'll give my kids a few bucks at a sporting event and let them go find the concession stand (and their way back) on their own. I leave them alone at home while I run errands on the weekend. I have my older son cook breakfast for the younger one once or twice a week.

It all seems so inadequate. I can't win and we can't go back to a different time--one without smart phones, organized sports starting at 4 years old, and a pile of rules and regulations for ever conceivable situation. It makes me sad.

Perhaps I'm someone who just can't let go of things. I have dozens of childhood stories of adventure, mischief, recklessness, foolishness and bravery---hours of planning, exploring, competing, fighting, cooperating, exploring, failing and achieving-- all outside the oversight of our parents. I wonder... what childhood stories will my boys tell?

Posted by Open Blogger at 07:55 PM Comments

Open Thread For Various Discussions About Everything Except Dresses

—CBD

pepper spray.jpg

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Posted by CBD at 06:29 PM Comments

Food Thread: Oysters And Bars And Happy Hours

—CBD

oysters10.jpg

It's no secret that I love the little buggers. Even thoroughly mediocre mass-market oysters that are found at the typical $1 oyster happy hour are pleasant. But occasionally, like last night, I get some really good ones. A touch of brine, firm and creamy flesh, and best of all that marvelous and unique "oyster" flavor that is almost sweet but not quite...almost tart but not quite. Yes, I will turn in my Man-CardTM for using this word, but "umami" might be the best descriptor. I know that oysters are odd, and some people simply can't abide their texture, but if you haven't tried them, and are at all adventurous, give it a shot. But go to a good place. And don't order a dozen. Just order three, and maybe ask for a selection. If you like them, you will probably descend into oyster hell...forever haunting happy hours and out-of-the-way dives that are rumored to have the best oysters in town.

Anyway, the bar was packed, but shockingly they knew how to manage the crowds by taking names for seats at the bar. One of the things I despise about humanity is its conspicuous lack of etiquette. And nowhere is that failing displayed more obviously than at crowded bars. Don't try to elbow your way past me to sit at the newly vacated seat for which I was waiting patiently. Don't rotate your bar stool so you can chat facing your friend; that takes room away from me. And it's rude.

But management at The Mermaid Inn managed these issues quite well. The hostess and bartenders kept lists and enforced them. A rude couple did try to scoot past me to snag those seats, and the bartender firmly put them in their place.

It was glorious.

grandcentralbar.jpg

This once was a temple of oyster gastronomy; The Grand Central Oyster Bar. Sadly faded, but still a fascinating glimpse into what New York City once was.

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Posted by CBD at 04:00 PM Comments

Sunday Morning Book Thread 03-26-2017

—OregonMuse


Library of Skandia Recluse.jpg
Library of Skandia Recluse

Good morning to all you 'rons, 'ettes, lurkers, and lurkettes. Welcome once again to the stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread, where men are men, all the 'ettes are hotties, safe spaces are underneath your house and are used as protection against actual dangers, like natural disasters, or Literally Hitler, and special snowflakes melt. And unlike other AoSHQ comment threads, the Sunday Morning Book Thread is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Even if it's these pants, which only go to show that wearing your PJs in the middle of the day is perhaps not a modern fad.


Pic Note

Skandia Recluse writes:

The Zane Grey books are book club editions and were published in the fifties, and I had read them all before reaching the sixth grade, usually in bed, late at night, under the covers, by flashlight. Probably why I am very nearsighted...You might notice the figure of Buddha on the top shelf and in the spirit of Mr. Dietrich (V for Vendetta) when asked "Are you Muslim?" replied, "No, I'm in television," I would reply to the question, "Are you Buddhist?" with "No, I am a recluse."


Today is International De-Lurk Day

As I announced last week, I want to turn today's book thread into what you might call a "lurkers' showcase" where all of you lurkers and lurkettes post a book review. That is, if you've enjoyed a book that you first heard about on the book thread, I think you can assume that you might know of a book or two that the rest of us would like to hear about. The value of the book thread is in the comments, where books are recommended, de-recommended, and generally discussed. So I hope many of you will be moved to post your reviews.


Prescience

Over on the MoronHorde group on GoodReads, a few months ago, we read The Camp of the Saints, a French novel from the 1970s which predicted, with uncanny accuracy, the social pathologies that are produced when a western country is inundated by a mass influx of unassimilated third-world immigrants. It was published, mostly forgotten, then became a best-seller in 2011 when the issues it raised became topical again.

So I came across another novel that is kind of like that, meaning, written long ago, forgotten, then rediscovered.

Because Trump:

The Twentieth Day of January, written by acclaimed British author Ted Allbeury and first published in 1980, tells of an incoming American president who is compromised by a sex scandal concocted by Russian spies...“When it was written, Carter was president, Reagan was about to come in…The bare bones [of the plot] are that an aspirant politician who was nowhere near being a serious contender for the presidency somehow through the manipulation of a strike gets into a position where he becomes a possible contender and keeps being helped undoubtedly with financial support, and then becomes president. And the Russians have compromising photographs of him.”

Although a work of fiction, fans of the book have been astonished by the way it seems to predict the rise of Trump and the allegations made against him recently.

Allbeury, an ex-intelligence officer during the Cold War, passed in 2005. It sounds like his professional life was perhaps a bit more exciting than he would have liked:

After his death, his friend and fellow writer Len Deighton recalled: “During the Cold War, Ted was running agents across the border that divided communist East Germany from the west. His luck ran out and the Russians left him nailed to a kitchen table in a farmhouse. Practised torturers, they made sure he had a chance to survive and take the story back to his fellow agents. The war never ended for him. His children were kidnapped and he pursued them to South America. Ted never told me what happened after that. I urged Ted to write his memoirs but he could not be persuaded. He said he’d signed an official document that prevented him doing so. Well, that’s our loss, along with Ted himself: a hero, patriot, family man, friend and outstanding writer.”

You know what other well-known author was a CIA field agent? William F. Buckley. It's probably safe to assume he incorporated his experiences working for the agency into his Blackford Oakes spy novels. I had always wanted Buckley to write an account of what he did during his time in the CIA, but perhaps he was bound by a non-disclosure agreement similar to Allbeury's. Or, maybe he was just an honorable man who didn't think it was proper to divulge secrets that had been entrusted to him.

The Twentieth Day of January is available on Kindle for seven and a quarter.

And Buckley's Blackford Oakes novels, such as Stained Glass and Marco Polo, If You Can, are also available on Kindle, each one for about eight.

Continue reading


Posted by OregonMuse at 09:00 AM Comments

EMT 03/26/17

—krakatoa

This, is EMT.

Posted by krakatoa at 06:00 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (25 Mar 2017)

—CDR M

Kinda sad this National Medal of Honor day hasn't gotten more publicity. Trump resurrects long-neglected 'Medal of Honor Day'.

Here are the Navy Medal of Honor recipients from Iwo Jima.

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Posted by CDR M at 09:58 PM Comments

Saturday Evening Movie Thread 03-25-2017 [Hosted By: TheJamesMadison]

—OregonMuse

Introduction

Last week, we discussed the idea of models of narrative in terms of how to look at and interpret movies. We covered the emphasis of four different elements of a movie and how important they are to us as viewers, and how they can color a filmmaker’s approach to material. Today, we’ll hopefully talk about favorite and best movies.


All Top 10s Are Crap


thin red line.jpg


I don’t entirely understand the compulsion to rank your favorite, or least favorite, things at the end of a year. In terms of this post, I’m of course referring to end of the year top 10 lists of movies. Well, I can understand it in terms of someone like a film critic. A film critic’s job is to try and tell the world their opinions on movies, and the top 10 list at the end of the year is one final push for their favorite films. Letting them have one final, major, spotlight before they, very likely, get completely forgotten by the masses.

Roger Ebert (him again) called top 10 lists purely political gestures. What he meant was that they were all about pushing a viewpoint of movies out into the world. His lists were important to him, and I genuinely do believe that he thought that whatever movie he put at the top of his list in a year was the best film of the year. And yet, I don’t believe he’d ever get into a fight with someone over their top 10. He would say, “Well, that’s your top 10, and here’s mine.” He and his guest would then discuss the relative merits of some of the movies on their lists and continue with their lives. I’m reminded of this episode of Siskel & Ebert (after Siskel had died and before that waste of space Roeper got brought on) when Ebert and his guest, Martin Scorsese, discussed their top 10s of the 90s. Scorsese included The Thin Red Line on his list, a movie that Ebert gave 3 out of 4 stars and left a healthy few steps from his own top 10 of that movie’s release year. Instead of arguing about whether it should be on the list at all or not, Ebert listed a couple of things he liked about the film and they moved on.

All of this is to what purpose? Well, top 10s are like assholes. Everyone has one. They’re all personal, based on experience and opinion, and they function as a demonstration of the individual’s taste in film. There’s never a definitive list. The top rated movies on IMDB will almost never align with the top rated movies on Rotten Tomatoes, and that’s completely fine. One isn’t right, and the other isn’t wrong, even if I completely agree with one and disagree with the other.

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Posted by OregonMuse at 07:23 PM Comments

Saturday Afternoon Chess/Open Thread 03-25-2017

—OregonMuse



Burmese chess set.jpg

Burmese Chess Set


Good afternoon morons and moronettes, and welcome to the Saturday Afternoon Chess/Open Thread, the only AoSHQ thread with content specifically for all of us chess nerds who pay homage in the temple of Caïssa, goddess of the chessboard. And, for those of you who aren't nerdly enough for chess, you can use this thread to talk about checkers, or other games, or politics, or whatever you wish, only please try to keep it civil. Nobody wants to get in the middle of a hockey brawl on a Saturday afternoon. Except maybe hockey enthusiasts.


“When the Chess game is over, the Pawn and the King go back to the same box”

(Irish saying)


Pic Note

According to the chessantiques.com page from whence I stole this photo, this 19th century set is made from Chinese ivory. The king stands 12 cm tall, which is about 4 3/4 inches. The chessantiques.com link contains some pretty good close-up photos where you can better see the intricately-carved, ornate design. The opposite color pieces are a kind of jade green color. I'm assuming the color is from a green paint or stain on the ivory rather than actual jade.


Problem 1 - Black To Play (187)

Hint: Black mates in 2


20170325 - Problem 1.jpg
1r5k/5prp/p2Q4/3P4/4BP2/1P1n4/P1N2q1P/3R3K b - - 0 1


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Posted by OregonMuse at 05:09 PM Comments

Ace of Spades Pet Thread

—Misanthropic Humanitarian

petthreadcoversat.jpg

Ready, aim, fire!!!!

*****

Morons & PetMorons, sit, down, stay!!!! Enjoy

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Posted by Misanthropic Humanitarian at 03:00 PM Comments

Saturday Gardening Thread: The Spring is Sprung [KT]

—Open Blogger

The spring is sprung, the grass is riz
I wonder where the boidie is?
They say the boidie's on the wing
But that's absoid. The wing is on the Boid

boidie.jpg

Boid in a Bloomin' Tree

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Posted by Open Blogger at 12:12 PM Comments

Thread below the Gardening Thread: Novel Theory about Muslim Immigration [KT]

—Open Blogger

Serving your mid-day open thread needs

Whoa. Michael Kennedy:

I have been wondering why the political left, and to some extent the right, has been so enthusiastic about Muslim immigration. Islam is just not compatible with the liberal traditions of the West. So why the continued efforts to import Muslims ?

What do you think the novel theory is? Clue below the fold:

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Posted by Open Blogger at 11:10 AM Comments

Saturday Morning Weird News Dump

—Misanthropic Humanitarian

sat weird.png

Good Mornin' Morons. Happy Saturday.

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Posted by Misanthropic Humanitarian at 08:11 AM Comments

EMT 03/25/17

—krakatoa

Look, I had as much intent to give you content this morning as Paul Ryan and the rest of the GOPe had to deliver an Obamacare repeal, replace, unlubricated anal rape-rape to all the proles.

But then that uppity Freedom Caucus got all up in my business, and dared me... hell, double dog dared me, man! to shit all over my constituents readers.

So you can understand why I don't give you any content this EMT.

Double dog dare, man. I mean, right?

Also, regarding Chelsea Clinton's backdoor Gainzzz thread: I'd just like to say that the backdoor apple probably doesn't fall far from the convict tree. I mean... the pre-plastic surgery nose knows.

I don't give her enough credit, I know. It had to be painful as hell to have a third of your nose and half your chin shaved off just so you would stop being such an obvious physical liability to your parent's political mythology.

Posted by krakatoa at 06:00 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (24 Mar 2017)

—CDR M

Sadly, this is true. Stark reality of the London attack is that low-tech jihadis cannot be stopped. Cars and knives are all too easy to obtain and you can't put up vehicle barriers everywhere.

Continue reading


Posted by CDR M at 10:00 PM Comments

Open Thread/Stories I Didn't Get To

—Ace

Accused killer of two invokes "Islamophobia" as a defense. He also wounded three others by firing a gun at them in their van. None of the victims had a weapon. He claims now that they were possessed of a "Terrorist" intent to kill Muslims.

Here's a key sentence:

During the bond hearing, he asked an assistant prosecutor if he was a "Zionist Jew"

You gotta read this. And you gotta see his picture. He looks like Mongolian Pit Fighter #3 in Conan the Barbarian.

Twitter, which has made less money in its 11 year existence than most 11 year old children, is now considering a "premium Twitter" for which they will charge real money. LOL.

"Premium Twitter." Like "AIDS DeLuxe." It's not just AIDS -- you get the full "STD Rainbow Package," for just $6 extra per month, for the first six months, but then it costs $300 per week and they give you bonus drug-resistant AIDS. You also get a Free Landline you'll never use. But the real selling point here is all the AIDS.

John Nolte lays out the case that it has already been proven that Obama wiretapped Trump.

Video I haven't watched yet, but will do so shortly: Girl lost alone in the desert near the Grand Canyon for five days recorded her thoughts and fears into her iPhone.

Sad story. Very sad she didn't think to use the iPhone to call someone.

Just kidding of course. She had to hike 25 miles to get to someplace with cell phone reception.

This is nice:

During a solo trip to the Grand Canyon in which Amber VanHecke became stranded in a remote part of Arizona, she found comfort in a family of prairie dogs. The Denton woman said she and the animals became comfortable enough friends that the prairie dogs ate out of the palm of her hand.

"You have to entertain yourself in the dead hours," VanHecke said. "I honked my horn to make [coyotes] leave the prairie dogs alone."

The 24-year-old, who was stranded for five days, says she owes her survival to skills she learned as a Girl Scout in Plano, including how to shoot a signal flare.

Here's a longer compilation of her video journal.

It's really gonna suck when this turns out to be viral marketing for Prepper Pete's House of Canteens and Signal Flares.

I haven't read this one yet, but scientists are developing an artificial intelligence of synthetic neurons made of light. The light-based brain has already issued its first calculation:

MEN WHO GIVE WOMEN ORGASMS ARE SELFISH PATRIARCHS

So that's good.

On this one, I just can't even.

I can't even on this one, either.

Illegal immigrant accused of sexually assaulting a three year old.

Give him sanctuary, work papers, and his picture on a Cheerios box, stat! We need this guy. All depends on this.

This is kind of hilarious -- some members of the permanent bureaucracy upset that people outside the government are criticizing them. The poor dears!

I expect leaks and IRS audits to follow.

McDonald's is rolling out an experimental automated ordering system, which I expect will be "experimental" for about ten minutes before it's implemented as the entire industry's standard. It really makes no sense to have people, often with language-barrier problems, take orders and punch little buttons on a keyboard when customers can even more rapidly punch those little buttons themselves. I'm surprised it took the Fight for Fifteen wage hike to start this.

Well that's all I got.

GAINZZZ, brahs.

Oh: Below, video of the giraffe who won't foal. Or whatever you call it with a giraffe.

My ESP is telling me tonight is the night. She looks like she's finally gonna do it.

Continue reading


Posted by Ace at 08:22 PM Comments

Judge Sides With Trump, Says Travel Ban Neither Discriminatory Nor Unconstitutional

—Ace

Assuming the circuit court agrees, that would set up a necessary Supreme Court showdown to harmonize the divergent rulings.

A federal judge in Virginia ruled Friday against blocking President Trumpís executive order that called for temporarily stopping the entry of immigrants from six majority-Muslim nations and refugee admittance overall.

The decision against the injunction comes after federal judges in Maryland and Hawaii blocked the implementation of Trumpís executive order nationwide. The ruling in Maryland is set to be heard before an appeals court in May. These two past decisions keep the order at bay.

Judge Anthony Trenga of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia found that Trump was within his legal rights to impose the travel ban and that it was not discriminatory toward Muslims. The injunction had been brought forward by Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour, who was represented by an attorney from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

You're probably wondering, "What happens when one federal judge claims to have the power to enjoin a policy for the entire country, but another judge says it's fine and should be enacted as ordered?"

I don't know.

Hopefully a lawyer can tell us.

Posted by Ace at 06:44 PM Comments

LA Times Continues Serving as Clinton Family PR Unit: Chelsea Clinton Just Never Gets a Break!
Also: Backdoor GAINZZZ Thread

—Ace

Hmm, poor little rich girl doesn't have to do anything but sign checks people give to her nothing at all, and she doesn't even have to sign them -- she has People to do that for her.

She gets $600,000 from NBC to do a couple of almost-unairable puff pieces.


And then she gets "Impact" awards for having successfully managed to be born.

But poor her anyway.


You can read a bit of this author's previous work here.

By the way, Chelsea Clinton's big job today was tweeting out this story, which, coincidentally, also appears in the LA Times that just puff-pieced her lame ass, and which claims that global warming will cause greater (wait for it....) diabetes.

If the average temperature rises by 1 degree Celsius, sea levels will rise, crop yields will fall and vulnerable species will see their habitat shrink or disappear.

And, a new study suggests, the number of American adults suffering from diabetes would rise by more than 100,000 a year....


Researchers thought they might find a link between rising temperatures and diabetes for a completely different reason -- the activity of brown fat.

Also known as brown adipose tissue, or BAT, this fat kicks into gear when temperatures are low and the body needs heat to stay warm.

A 2015 study of eight adults with Type 2 diabetes found that after spending 10 days in moderately cold weather, their metabolisms improved and they became more sensitive to insulin, reversing a key symptom of the disease.

I was reading about this last part recently, about the effect of exposure to cold in spurring weight loss. White fat is harder to burn; brown fat burns more easily. As one gets older, one has less brown fat and more white fat (thus making it harder to burn off weight as one ages).

Brown fat is claimed to be activated by cold temperatures -- it might be fat specifically sequestered for hibernation or for burning to fight off winter cold.

So of course people are now seizing on this to claim that global warming may cause less brown fat to burn.

Of course, they don't mention the other part of the speculation on brown fat -- that simply taking cold showers might activate its burning.

While white fat stores excessive calories which can lead to obesity, brown fat burns energy off.

Both are in our bodies and white can be converted into the good brown fat.

Dr Lee has just returned from two years at the National Institute of Health in Washington which delved into the theory that cold exposure increases brown fat activity.

"We invite individuals, healthy individuals, and expose them to cold temperatures from 18 degrees Celsius all the way to 12C until they shiver and measure the hormones levels in their body," he said.

"And we found as the temperature dropped, the individuals started to shiver and two hormones in the body increased."

The two hormones they looked at included FGF21, found in brown fat, and irisin, which is produced by muscle.

These are also increased during exercise.

I keep thinking about taking cold showers for two weeks as a GAINZZZ experiment but 1, cold showers are kinda unpleasant, and 2, this would require me to shower in the first place.

However, maybe I'll try it. Cold showers (or baths) at night supposedly cool down your body and thereby prime it for sleep (as the body considers cold temperatures to be a prompt for sleeping), so I guess with two reasons to try this, maybe I will.

BTW, I've tried cold showers before. It makes it more bearable if you start with the shower cool but not cold, and then gradually lower the Hot fraction of the water down as low as you can bear. Walking into an ice-cold shower is too much of a shock.

And don't tell me "When I was in the Army, we used to consider an Ice Cold Shower the height of Luxury!" Because if you want to go Four Yorkshiremen on me, I am ready to go tragedy for tragedy with you.

But anyway: Global Warming bad, Chelsea Clinton good.

Backdoor GAINZZZ Thread: Well this is already sort of a GAINZZZ thread, so I guess let's make this a GAINZZZ thread.

I've been stupid lately. I've had very high carb days -- like, totally off any kind of diet, just eating tacos and donuts (seriously) -- and then figured, "Eh, in four days I'll be back in ketosis."

Which was true. But then, five days after the carb binge, when I was just getting back into light pink ketosis, decided to go off diet again and have Pie.

So my GAINZZZ are shit, and I know why they're shit.

I've been exercising, though, so at least I'm continually getting into better shape. (I can also brag that I've been exercising injured and in pain.)

Not real fat loss though. I continue flirting tantalizingly close to being a Not Fat person, but can't quite cross that line.

How yo' GAINZZ doin'?

Posted by Ace at 05:09 PM Comments

Ryan/Trump Health Care Bill Pulled for Lack of Support; Ryan Giving Press Conference

—Ace

Shit sandwich.

Ryan making anodyne comments now. "We have to do better, and we will."

Posted by Ace at 04:06 PM Comments

New First World Feminism Problem: Cosmo Worries That Men Are Deriving Too Much Pleasure from Giving an Orgasm to a Woman

—Ace

The orgasm isn't the problem, you understand. The problem is that men are feeling pretty good about having delivered that orgasm, and, in a way, are therefore Controlling Women's Bodies or something.

Usually I'd avoid linking an article this hatefully stupid, but this is such an amazing display of feminist hysteria and Complaint Conjuration that I think this shitty writer deserves to collect her hate-link reward.

Why Guys Get Turned on When You Orgasm-- and Why That's a Bad Thing

Of course guys manage to make YOUR orgasm about themselves.

It's not enough that men are already having more orgasms than women. To make matters worse, a new study published in the Journal of Sex Research found -- aside from deriving pleasure from their own orgasms, obviously -- men also derive a specific sort of masculine pleasure from making female partners orgasm. The researchers in the study, Sara Chadwick and Sari van Anders, refer to this incredibly predictable phenomenon as a "masculinity achievement."

I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I imagine a "masculinity achievement" looks something like Super Mario punching a coin out of one of those floating boxes in the video game.

The study gathered 810 men to read a story where they had to imagine an "attractive woman" either did or did not orgasm during sex with them. Each man was then asked to rate their sexual esteem and the extent to which they'd feel "masculine" after experiencing the scenario. The results are what you'd expect: Men felt more masculine and felt high self esteem when they imagined a woman orgasmed during sex with them. "These results suggest that women's orgasms do function -- at least in part -- as a masculinity achievement for men," researchers wrote.

Where to start? First of all, look at the "study" itself. The study asks men to imagine having brought an "attractive" woman to orgasm (why does she need to be attractive? Lookist much? And why does she have to be a "she"?), and then asked if they felt an increase in "sexual self-esteem." I did not see them specify what question they actually asked. I doubt they asked if they felt "a boost in sexual self-esteem."

But maybe they did. I read as much as I could before throwing in the towel.

They probably asked if they would feel good or better about themselves, then they slapped on the "sexual self-esteem" and "masculine achievement' descriptors themselves.

Because they went into this study hypothesizing this. They say so right at the top.

They also say this feeling of "sexual self-esteem" was "exacerbated" -- which is a very negative way of saying "increased" -- in men with "high masculine gender stress roles," which is garbage phrase that could not possibly mean anything, and is in fact not really defined in the paper, though later they suggest it might refer to men with "fragile" masculine egos. It seems to be a term or art in the Gender Studies community, a term you're just supposed to know, because Of Course.

Let me quote liberally from this paper. I'm sure they want this out there. It's Science, after all.

This study aimed to empirically assess the link between women's orgasms and men's masculinity. To do this, we developed a novel design to assess how womenís orgasms influence menís masculinity, the Imagined Orgasm Exercise (IOE), and employed it in an online survey. In the IOE, men imagined scenarios about themselves with a female partner; orgasms were either present or absent, and the partner had either often or rarely experienced past orgasms with previous partners. We then asked men to rate how masculine they would feel (along with a variety of other affect and arousal words) if they experienced the given situation, and we compared menís self-reports of masculinity in response to the various IOE conditions.

Overall, we predicted that women's orgasms do function as a masculinity achievement for men and that this relationship is influenced by menís individual differences. We outlined seven hypotheses in our experiment to show this. First, we hypothesized that (hypothesis 1) men would report feeling more masculine when they imagined that a female partner orgasmed with them compared to men who imagined that a female partner did not orgasm. In addition, we expected that the woman's sexual history would create a basis for social comparison, and we hypothesized that (hypothesis 2) men would feel most masculine in a "major success" situation, that is, where a woman orgasmed with them and had not previously orgasmed with others in the past. We also hypothesized the converse: that (hypothesis 3) a "major failure" condition would elicit the lowest feelings of masculinity in men, where a woman did not orgasm with them but had often orgasmed in the past. Finally, because we hypothesized that feeling masculine functions as an achievement, we hypothesized that (hypothesis 4) the word masculine would be related to constructs tied to success.

I don't know how to respond to this, except "No duh."

Yes, one feels "masculine" when having performed a man's side of sexual-pleasure duties and delivered the big O. Yes, obviously, one feels better if a woman has rarely had an orgasm and one delivers one. And yes, very obviously, if a woman actually says "Gee, I always have an orgasm, but not this time," that is a negative commentary on one's skills, right?

By the way: Most of the girls I've been with have asked if my orgasm was good. That's just good manners. I think this is just something people of both sexes want to know. One would like to be good at something one enjoys which is also an important thing, right?

Not to overshare, but I am a hard nut to crack, so to speak, when it comes to a specific kind of sex (which Bill Clinton says is not sex at all). I almost never, and I mean never, get to climax via this awesome form of sex which is not sex.

It's a weird thing I have. No idea why. I really want this sex-which-is-not-sex to work, but it never does.

Well, once every ten years it does. And guess what? I can't help noticing the girl who actually managed this nigh-impossible feat is rather pleased with herself for having done so.

I am too, obviously. But I've noticed a certain amount of "feminine achievement" trophy hunting on this score. Almost like she feels good about being good at something.

Which is now officially a Hate Crime in a Special Snowflake Participation Trophy world.

This idea that men alone are somehow guilty of Sex Esteem Oppression for wanting to be thought of as good sex partners is bizarre to me. It does not comport with my own experience -- at all.

Maybe I've just been lucky to be with people who actually kinda care if it was good for you too.

But I don't think so. I think this is pretty normal.

At least I hope it's pretty normal.

And are men more invested in this than women? Probably -- most women assume that a man's orgasm is pretty much automatic. And it usually is, I guess. (Except for my curse.)

Women are a bit trickier; they only bat .650 in the orgasm hitting department whereas men bat .999. So yeah, guys may consider it more of an "achievement" than women, but again, I find that women are interested in the quality of the orgasm their partner has had. Maybe less about whether it happened or not (because 1, it's usually a gimme, and 2, whether it happened or not is pretty obvious), but they do seem interested in how big of an orgasm it was.

Update: A commenter points out that it's a pretty bold move for Cosmo, of all blogs, to say that it's evil sexist oppression to feel self-esteem for delivering an orgasm when their bread-and-butter is pushing articles like "Five Tricks That Will BLOW YOUR MAN'S MIND In the Sack!" and has taken to publishing how-to guides on r*mj*bs every few months.

If there's no Female Ego on the line when it comes to sex, how does Cosmo make payroll every month?

That Update out of the way, let's get back to the Hags Who Will Die Alone Without Ever Knowing a Man's Loving Touch.

The ways that women's orgasm might function as a masculinity achievement for men might depend on a number of individual differences. For example, beliefs, personality traits, identities, and sexual experience may affect men's perceptions of women's sexual pleasure and men's feelings about their masculine identity. Thus, we also had a number of subhypotheses about the ways that trait variables would impact men's experiences of the IOE, including the presence of traditional versus egalitarian values, men's level of investment in a sexual partner's sexual satisfaction, and the degree of masculine gender role stress.

Specifically, we hypothesized that (hypothesis 5) traditional versus egalitarian values would influence the degree to which men would feel masculine in response to women's orgasm presence; but we did not have specific predictions about the direction of effect because there were compelling reasons to believe that traditional or egalitarian values could impact menís masculinity in response to womenís orgasms.

We also hypothesized that (hypothesis 6) menís level of investment in their partner's sexual satisfaction might function similarly because investment in women's pleasure could align with traditional or egalitarian approaches to sexuality. For instance, traditional views of sexuality strongly align with sexual scripts that position men as sexual agents and women as passive sexual recipients [dumb citations omitted], suggesting that traditional men might be more motivated to demonstrate masculine sexual behavior and thus experience womenís orgasms as more of a masculinity achievement than egalitarian men, whose feelings of masculinity are perhaps less dependent on such demonstrations.

And also, they're gay, so they really don't care if a woman orgasms or not.

But it could also be the case that men with traditional attitudes do not expect women to orgasm and are therefore not invested in whether a woman's orgasm occurs. In contrast, men with egalitarian values might resist traditional conceptualizations of masculine sexuality that require demonstrations of masculine sexual behaviors, such as "giving" women orgasms, thus disconnecting women's orgasm occurrence from their own sense of masculinity.

If you notice, we've moved very far now from the actual data set (of an online survey!!!) to now simply assigning tendentious readings to the data. We're now just into the Yay-Boo part of the "science," where we make up reasons why sad sloop-shouldered Brooklyn semi-gay hipsters are actually better lovers for not caring so much if their female partner had an orgasm.

In addition, it may also be the case that men with egalitarian attitudes expect women to want orgasms, positioning women]s orgasms an important to men's perception of what constitutes a positive sexual encounter. In support, some men believe that their investment in women's orgasms makes them "enlightened" men, feeling it is their duty to give women as much pleasure as they themselves experience [dumb citations omitted again -- you're welcome]. This indicates that egalitarian men's may be more concerned with womenís orgasms as a demonstration of masculinity, as womenís orgasms signal success as a liberal, egalitarian-minded man.

If you can't follow that, what they're saying is that when men with "traditional" values are happy when a woman has an orgasm, that's bad, because they're seeing women as passive sex objects to be manipulated the way that I skillfully manipulate my drill when putting up awesome shelves, but when "egalitarian" men similarly care about a woman's orgasm, that's because they view women as equal partners in the exchange and so they're "enlightened" that's good.

In other words: The data is not telling us this, but we're adding these interpretations of the same reaction in two different sets of men -- both egalitarian pussies and traditional men can be invested in a woman having an orgasm -- so we're just going to go outside the data entirely and postulate that our hypothesis is still right. When a traditional man is happy his partner had an orgasm, that's a due to him seeing the woman as a sexual object; when an "egalitarian" Starbucks Jockey is happy his partner had an orgasm, that's due to the ironically-mustached Fregan being "enlightened."

The actual science ended with the data (via online survey!!!). Now we're just assigning motives to people we like and don't like using nothing but bias and hatred.

As they say early in the Durants' History of Civilization: "90% of history is pure guesswork; the rest is just bigotry."

We also anticipated that men who feel that their masculinity is more fragile may be more motivated to prove themselves and gain masculinity achievements, whereas men who feel stable about their masculine identity may be less concerned [dumb citations omitted, but I will note they include "Harassment based on sex: Protecting social status in the context of gender hierarchy. Academy of Management Review," and "Sexual harassment under social identity threat: The computer harassment paradigm," and ."Heterosexual masculinity and homophobia: A reaction to the self? Journal of Homosexuality," -- kind of gives their agendas and biases away, no?]

Thus, we hypothesized that (hypothesis 7) men who had high masculine gender role stress would feel most masculine in response to situations where the woman orgasmed and least masculine in situations where she did not.

So they're saying a guy who usually can't deliver an orgasm has performance anxiety and is super-happy if the woman comes, and the guy who routinely delivers orgasms doesn't care so much on his occasional miss.

Ummm... I can't really argue with this. But I would only think I could get this observation published in the American Journal of "No Shit Really?" Studies.

By the way, you know when I said that the "egalitarian men" they found were actually gay?

Turns out I wasn't joking:

Analyses included 810 men (M age = 25.44, SD = 8.31) recruited through an introductory psychology participant pool and the community. To be eligible for this study, participants had to identify as a man, be 18 years of age or older, and be currently sexually attracted to women (participants did not have to be heterosexual to participate). We recruited specifically to increase sexual minority representation through similar advertisements targeted toward non-heterosexual-identified men who were sexually attracted to women. All nonheterosexual participants included in analyses indicated that they were sexually attracted to women, confirming that they met inclusionary criteria (via Kinsey scale responses, reported genders of sexual partners, and/or through qualitative responses). Participants were excluded from analyses if they did not fit the eligibility criteria (n = 10), if they indicated that they had taken the survey more than once (n = 35), or if they indicated that their responses were intended as jokes (n = 7).

So they specifically targeted gay men (and men who might actually be women), so long as they said they had some attraction to women (and, PS, many gay men will have sex with women on occasion).

They came the shocking conclusion that gay dudes don't really care that much if the woman they're indifferently banging while thinking about Channing Tatum have orgasms or not.

Oh -- and they only excluded answers if the participants answered "Yes" to the question "Are you doing this as a goof?"

To confirm that the study questions were answered seriously, participants were asked to indicate if they were joking when they responded to any of the survey items... Data from participants who indicated that they were joking or that they took the survey more than once were removed before beginning any assessment.

Now that's what I call scientific rigor.

By the way: I mentioned workin' my drill to put up awesome shelves earlier.

As you know, when I found out I had been mis-performing a basic task that most men can perform (to be specific, running the drill the wrong way), I did in fact feel less masculine, and then, when I put up my Rock-Hard Throbbing Shelves of Masculine Power, I did in fact feel like I had accomplished something manly.

Weird huh? It's almost as if men define "skill" and "success" as being intrinsically good things that make you more manly for having them then you would be without having them.

What a terrible character flaw of men!

(And women, of course. Or at least women who actually enjoy competition and challenge -- you know, actual women, not these superannuated little girls who work in Gender Studies labs, asking dirty questions on the internet.)

Anyway, I've yabbled on enough. Robert Traczinsky at the Federalist has more.

Posted by Ace at 02:55 PM Comments

TrumpRyanCare Vote: Paul Ryan Says We Don't Have the Numbers

—Ace

Going down, bigly.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is at the White House to brief President Donald Trump on the GOP health care bill, and it is not to deliver good news, a Republican source tells CNN.

Efforts on Capitol Hill to sway members are ongoing, but things aren't heading in the right direction.

"Not good. Not good at all," the source said.

Ryan is showing Trump the numbers, and asking what he wants the speaker to do because the votes aren't there, a GOP source said.

An idea that floats around a lot is the idea of political momentum, and that it's important for Trump to "win" on this to have "momentum" for his next agenda item. Otherwise, the king is wounded, and weakened. But if he wins, he has the high ground and the wind at his back and whatever martial metaphor you like.

I don't think I buy that. A presidential term is like a very long baseball season. You win some, you lose some, you have streaks going both ways. There is no such thing as a perfect season. You just try to get enough wins to make the playoffs.

I especially don't buy it now, given that the "newscycle" is now about six minutes long.

This was done too quickly with too little genuine persuasion or argumentation. I think a good part of populism is that people want to be consulted on these big moves, and do not just want our cadre of leaders telling us what they have decided on our behalf.

I want more time to debate. Maybe this actually is a damn fine bill. Might well be. But I really would like more information and more debate.

Remember the NAFTA debate? We had months of national debate on that. There was a famous televised debate on CNN (I think) between Ross Perot, taking the anti-NAFTA position, and Al Gore, taking the pro-NAFTA position. I had reservations, but I thought Gore won (certainly the pro-Clinton media thought he'd won).

I think maybe Gore won, but Perot's position was still right.

But that's besides the point I'm making. The point is that the public felt that it had had the major issue aired. The public felt as if it had been "checked in" with, at least.

Our current culture is of #HotTakes and pushing things quickly to make them #Viral, before anyone has a chance to think about them much.

Hasty thinking is bad thinking, or, usually, non-thinking.

While I'm open to the possibility that this bill is as good as we can get (keeping in mind the four RINO squishes in the Senate JackStraw always mentions), I'd sure appreciate more time to get this right.

Like Tom Cotton said: We don't need to get it fast, we need to get it right.

And if it's necessary to make some compromises we all don't necessarily like, we need a little time to get comfortable with those.

I like test-driving a car two or three times before I buy it. It's a psychologically important thing to feel like you've made the best decision possible under the circumstances, rather than having doubts linger with you for years as you wonder, "Did I really make the right major consumer purchase that I'm still paying for each and every month...?"

There's no need for all this stage-managing and conflict avoidance and top-down black box policy making. Conflict and argument are good. Broken bones heal stronger. Let's not be afraid to get into a rumble about something pretty important.

This isn't a Viking Saga. There are no epic heroes, there are no Valkyries sweeping the dead up to Valhalla. This isn't high drama.

This is the political process. Let's just work through the once-normal political process of dueling op-eds, televised debates, and exchanges of white papers.


Posted by Ace at 01:07 PM Comments

"Smoking Gun" Proof That Obama Spied on Political Opponents Coming This Week?

—Ace

By James Rosen, whom Obama spied on, not James Risen, whom Obama menaced to try to get him to reveal his sources.

Obama's spied on so many journalists you have to be specific about the spelling of their names.

Republican congressional investigators expect a potential "smoking gun" establishing that the Obama administration spied on the Trump transition team, and possibly the president-elect himself, will be produced to the House Intelligence Committee this week, a source told Fox News.

Classified intelligence showing incidental collection of Trump team communications, purportedly seen by committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and described by him in vague terms at a bombshell Wednesday afternoon news conference, came from multiple sources, Capitol Hill sources told Fox News. The intelligence corroborated information about surveillance of the Trump team that was known to Nunes, sources said, even before President Trump accused his predecessor of having wiretapped him in a series of now-infamous tweets posted on March 4.

The intelligence is said to leave no doubt the Obama administration, in its closing days, was using the cover of legitimate surveillance on foreign targets to spy on President-elect Trump, according to sources.

The key to that conclusion is the unmasking of selected U.S. persons whose names appeared in the intelligence, the sources said, adding that the paper trail leaves no other plausible purpose for the unmasking other than to damage the incoming Trump administration.

The FBI hasn't been responsive to the House Intelligence Committeeís request for documents, but the National Security Agency is expected to produce documents to the committee by Friday.

Also, a commenter pointed out this post from the Conservative Treehouse which reports that Judicial Watch says they've been contacted by a whistleblower with 47 CDs hard-drives' worth of downloads of intel reports on Obama political opponents. The whistleblower is trying to get legal whistleblower protection so he can actually release the documents to Congress without violating the law.

Freedom Watch notifies congress of a "Deep State" intelligence community whistle blower, Dennis Montgomery, with hundreds of millions of documents showing CIA and FBI and Intelligence Committees were spying on, and conducting surveillance on, American citizens for political purposes.

John Nolte wrote yesterday that Trump's surveillance (or "wiretapping") claims have already been 100% vindicated, but, I guess additional proof might be on the way.

PS, I'm seeing this is all officially Old by now, but I didn't see this stuff yesterday. I assume most readers have the good sense to get 0% of their news from any other source and rely 100% of the eminent Ace of Spades brand, so I'm presenting 12 hour old news for their benefit, and certainly not as an easy first-post-of-the-day slumpbuster.

And sure, I got these links from commenters posting in posts from yesterday at around 5pm and 6pm, but a mere commenter linking an article does not have the same first-draft-of-history imprimatur as an official Ace of Spades notification.

Posted by Ace at 12:17 PM Comments

Democracy Dies in the Newsrooms and Editorial Boards

—J.J. Sefton

v0.jpg

London, England, March 22nd, 2017

Combining ideologically-driven pig-ignorance with overt anti-Trump propaganda, "Time" Magazine's latest issue features this idiotic cover:

time-cover.jpg

Ironically, it's rather an appropriate one this week but for reasons the hacks at "Time" don't quite get (or perhaps they do and are understandably quiet about it). Last Wednesday, another "lone-wolf-whose-motive-we-may-never-know" went on a murderous rampage in the heart of London, mowing down several pedestrians with a car, then stabbing a police constable to death in front of the Houses of Parliament before being shot and killed himself. Almost immediately, the apologists were out in force, preemptively damning anyone who dared lay the blame at the feet of the 1,400-year-old fanatical gorilla in the room. At least there is one woman in Blighty who is making sure the truth still has a pulse; Katie Hopkins has the guts to tell it like it is, amazingly in a mainstream UK paper of all places.

No anger for me this time. No rage like I've felt before. No desperate urge to get out there and scream at the idiots who refused to see this coming. Not even a nod for the glib idiots who say this will not defeat us, that we will never be broken, that cowardice and terror will not get the better of Britain. Because, as loyal as I am, as patriotic as I am, as much as my whole younger life was about joining the British military and fighting for my country-I fear we are broken. Not because of this ghoulish spectacle outside our own Parliament. Not because of the lives rammed apart on the pavement, even as they thought about what was for tea. Or what train home they might make.

But because this is us now.
This is our country now.
This is what we have become.
To this, we have been reduced. . .

. . . As the last life-blood of a police officer ran out across the cobbles, the attacker was being stretchered away in an attempt to save his life.
London is a city so desperate to be seen as tolerant, no news of the injured was released. No clue about who was safe or not.
Liberals convince themselves multiculturalism works because we all die together, too.
An entire city of monkeys: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Blind. Deaf. And dumb.

Read it all and weep for England and Europe, and the future of this country if we do not stop this insanity now.

Posted by J.J. Sefton at 11:00 AM Comments

Mid-Morning Open Thread

—CBD

carl larsonn.jpg

A studio idyll
Carl Larsson

Apparently lutefisk is quite the impetus to get the hell away from the dining room table and out to the studio.

As usual, here is a fine artist I had never heard of. Thanks to grammie winger.

Posted by CBD at 09:30 AM Comments

The Morning Report 3/24/17

—J.J. Sefton

Good morning, kids. Before my computer dies I want to post this, sans artwork this morning. The big story is the President aligning with Paul Ryan and the GOP-e to force a vote on by any honest metric is a joke. I find it interesting that the same people who have been screaming for years about the sell-out traitors in the GOP are now complaining that the Freedom Caucus is grandstanding because they aren't getting 100% of what they want. Dear Lord, this is not a friggin' game to see who is swinging the biggest dick. We're talking about doing away with an evil edict that is the centerpiece of socialism that kills freedom, kills our economy and kills people. I voted for Donald Trump among other things to repeal this thing root and branch, not to suck up and appease the very people and forces he claimed to be fighting against. His ultimatum of take it or leave it is really, to be charitable, unacceptable to me and insulting. There's no defense of him hitching his wagon to this shit show and then railing against anyone who opposes him. I call it like I see it. YMMV. Anyway, links from around the world, across the nation and up your street. Have a better one and remain blessed.

Posted by J.J. Sefton at 07:07 AM Comments

Thursday Overnight Open Thread (3/23/17) Thirsty Thursday Edition

—Misanthropic Humanitarian

we want beer.jpg


What goes with beer? Today's national day, National Chip and Dip Day.

Thirsty? Hungry? There is still time for a Beer Run. Don't forget the chips.

Quotes of The Day

Quote I

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public. H. L. Mencken

Quote II

Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. Robert A. Heinlein


Quote III

Generally young men are regarded as radicals. This is a popular misconception. The most conservative persons I ever met are college undergraduates. The radicals are the men past middle life. Woodrow Wilson

Think about that one.


*****

Continue reading


Posted by Misanthropic Humanitarian at 10:00 PM Comments

Bridge To The ONT Thread

—CBD

tacomanarrows.jpg

This is a test. Can you resist commenting? I doubt it, but there are some who think you have some semblance of self control.

I'm not one of them.

Can you last 15 minutes? Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by CBD at 09:45 PM Comments

John Gabriel: My Brave Journey of Transitioning Into an Avant-Garde Transgressive Artist, and the 45 Minutes of Copying and Pasting Google Images It Took Me To Become One

—Ace

Amusing and worth a read.

Note the article says he put Obama's face between the a-bomb mushroom clouds, but the picture shows Trump's face. That's because he's making the crap up about designing his own stupid anti-Obama "art," while showing the real "edgy" billboard that really was put up featuring Trump.

This is why I hated that Giant Purple Vagina stunt from yesterday -- first of all, it does not look like a Vagina. It looks like the Space Crib Jor-El packed his kid in before trundling him off to Dayschool Earth.

You see this in most of PETA's stunts. PETA's stunts always involve two things: Blood, and female public nudity. I have no objection to either, but the schtick does reveal an utter lack of creativity. It's always the same damn thing (even if PETA chicks are sometimes cute and look good naked).

See, for example, the newest PR stunt by women Fat Acceptance activists, who attempted to promote their cause by employing, get this, public (semi-) nudity.

If one wants to go searching for evidence of female inferiority, one does not have to look very far past feminists' notorious lack of originality of thought and expression.

How many times does the #SmartSet which presumes to do the world's thinking for us think it can go to the #VaginaWell and expect us all to be shocked, titillated, and shaken out of our #FalseConsciousness by their daring and novel eternal recurrence of the same?

Exception: I'll allow the girls of the Co-Ed Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society to continue using nudity to sell reading, because I'm a big fan of reading, and a couple of these girls are stacked like hotcakes made out of tits and smothered in ass. (Content warning for Meh Nudity occasionally spiced up with I Need to Be Inside That Nudity.)

Posted by Ace at 06:56 PM Comments

Jewish Community Center Bomb-Scare Caller Arrested... And Once Again, It's Not the Villain the Leftwing Media Was Looking For

—Ace

He's actually an Israeli-American dual citizen.

This article at the Jerusalem Post begins by telling us "he is not in the IDF, not Ultra-orthodox" -- that is, he's not even the sort of hard-core right-wing Jew we would have hoped for as even a tenth-best possibility.

So he seems to be a left-wing Jew, and not a right-wing Jew-hater. Once again, then, most likely a Social Justice Warrior hoping to agitate for the "cause" through a hoaxed persecution.

Why are all of these left-wingers perpetrating hate hoaxes?

Could it be for two simple reasons?:

1, the media runs any claim that furthers their agenda uncritically, without the bother of fact-checking or even a little due-dilligence skepticism.

2, society has unduly valorized victimhood, making it very easy to become special through the very easy expedient of claiming someone said something mean to you. Not only does this encourage victimhood hoaxing -- people are economical and seek the shortest and easiest path to anything, including attention and social value -- but it discourages the older, much harder methods by which people claimed social value, namely, stupid things as Old As the Constitution like working hard, achieving things due to effort and risk, cultivating virtue instead of just advertising fake virtue on Twitter, etc.

Obviously the same media which relentlessly hyped this story as a sign of the rise of Trump's allegedly-legion Nazi admirers and which demanded repeatedly that he denounce what must surely be his own supporters' anti-semitic brutality will not bother reporting much on this nor giving it the "thinky" spin-off stories and analysis pieces that keep an event percolating in the national consequences.

We will have no think-pieces about whether society is breeding a Generation of Bois Who Cried Wolf by unduly promoting the culture of victimhood.

The story of the JCC bomb threats had Profound Political and Cultural Implication when it was assumed by the media to be the work of someone from the other party. Literally, from the Party of The Others, the Otherized, the Strangers, the Foreign Invaders.

Now that we find the caller was calling from inside the house of progressivism, there's simply no story here at all.

As is always the case: Any misbehavior by any conservative or Republican (or, lately, any man or any white person, period) is the fault of the entire group. Some people are to be condemned for sharing similar politics or DNA with their misbehaving cousins -- where the perpetrator (or suspected perp) is white, male, or Republican, the entire group shares a Blood-Borne Guilt for the individual's crime.

But of course the media is simultaneously very defensive about any notions that one illegal alien's brutal rape implicates any other illegal alien -- they're so firm on this point that they babble about it even when no one has even hinted about such a thing.

They're very big on saying "an attack by a Muslim does not implicate all Muslims."

Okay, fair enough. Let the proposition stand as uncontested.

But why doesn't the same reasoning then apply to all whites, all men, or all Republicans?

Why, when Dylan Roof goes off on an insane racist murder spree, am I demanded to examine my own alleged unconscious racism and white privilege?

Why does a white racist killer somehow create an obligation in me to examine how my own internalized "white supremacy" might be part and parcel of the attack, whereas the terrorism committed by a Islamist is definitely not cause for any self-reflection within the Muslim community about how their own hatreds and ideas of Islamic Supremacy might have something to do with the latest jihadi rampage?

Why the two standards, media?

And why are the standards becoming even more divergent -- why is it now considered journalistically unethical to even report that a jihadist attack was carried out by a jihadist, or that a rape by an illegal immigrant of a 14 year old girl even happened at all?

Fake News isn't just the made-up news CNN cranks out daily -- it's the real news it refuse to mention.

Below, a great graphic by @exjon /Jon Gabriel about the media's simple scheme for determining the proper Narrative for all stories involving violence.


The Kardashian Option is a big one -- right now all the media except Fox is playing the Kardashian Card rather than report the Culture of Rape that's actually going on in Maryland high schools, with official state blessing.

Posted by Ace at 06:01 PM Comments

Ted Cruz Grills Neil Gorsuch on The Ultimate Question

—Ace

Kind of amusing, in a geeky way. The left is freaking out because this is obviously an effort to "humanize" Gorsuch and make him "relatable." That, they believe, is a dishonest strategy, because it takes away from their own strategy of dehumanizing Gorsuch and making him unrelatable.

I mean, when Al Franken was attempting to prove Gorsuch's deep partisanship based on his knocking on doors in support of his mother's bid for local minor office when Gorsuch was 8 years old, that was plainly a line of questioning just based on facts and evidence.

So much so that Gorsuch rolled his eyes at the unfunny former TV monkeyclown.

But Cruz's attempt to distract from Gorsuch's campaigning-for-mom scandal was just out of bounds, wasn't it?:

Continue reading


Posted by Ace at 04:34 PM Comments

RyanTrumpCare on Life Support?

—Ace


Couple of questions/thoughts:

1. Isn't it better to just do a full and clean repeal before attempting any fix? Consider: With no federal health care law existing -- and apparently that is too horrible a notion for even many Republicans to contemplate now -- that ups the pressure on Democrats to get on board with a replacement to be passed later.

If they filibuster and block that later replacement, they cannot execute their plan -- blame all of health care problems on Republicans, as they always have -- as cleanly as they'd like.

Doesn't a full repeal put the GOP in a much better bargaining position for any later health care moves?

2. Doesn't starting from zero get you to where you want to be faster? Some houses cannot be repaired. They have to be razed to the foundation. Then, the foundation needs to be jackhammered into nothingness. Then the dirt that surrounded the foundation has to be dug out, set inside a large weighted steel globe filled with air, dropped to the bottom of the ocean, and then set on fire at the bottom of the ocean.

Then you build a proper house. You do not attempt to patch up and add additions on to a crumbling, rickety house loaded with termites, asbestos, and mold-borne AIDS.

3. There is also that tiny concern about honoring promises you've made for eight long years too, if that even matters at all, and I'm quite sure it does not.

Vote Tomorrow at 9am? That's what some commenters are saying. Could just be yet another Strong Horse Bluff (we're definitely having this vote so you better vote for it!).

Could also be that my commenters are Big Huge Liars.

Here's McCarthy saying he just needs a few more votes and then he thinks they'll be ready for a vote.


Posted by Ace at 03:32 PM Comments



The AoSHQ Amazon Store


Top Headlines
Headlines: 3/27/2017
Here is the latest installment (and last for awhile) of Marginally Honorable Chairman, which is a weird name. It should be, in no particular order: Shrieking Short Ginger Drunk Foul-mouthed Superior Pasty Busty. [CBD]
Headlines: 3/24/2017
Study: People Who Eat Out Frequently May Exceed Their Planned Food Budgets
Another breakthrough published in the American Journal of "No Shit, Really??!" Studies
Coming next: Ambitious latitudinal study aims to prove that people who smoke a lot of weed may acquire a "secondary addiction" to Funions
They're remaking Suspira With Dakota Johnson in the Lead Role
I don't mind this, because I think the original Suspira kind of sucks.
White Dwarf Orbiting a Black Hole Clocked At Moving 1% of the Speed of Light
The black hole has been eating the white dwarf's outer layers for millions of years, and Cosmo says that means it's "denying the white dwarf's agency." Reached for comment, the black hole said "I'm just doin' what I do"
And speaking of black holes: This black hole is as massive as a billion suns. That's a big Twinkie.
Even stranger: The black hole is zooming away from its former place at the center of its own galaxy, as if it were blown out of place by the simultaneous supernova explosions of 100 million stars, and is moving at 4.7 million miles per hour
Scientists say if this supermassive black hole were ever to reach our own galaxy, it could wreak havoc "on the order of Amy Schumer's garbage Netflix special"
HAPPENING NOW: PREGNANT GIRAFFE NOW IN THE MIDDLE
OF STILL NOT GIVING BIRTH
: AND NOT EVEN REALLY BEING ON CAMERA EITHER
Update: Pregnant Giraffe Claims White Males are "Too Interested" in Her Pregnancy
Reposting this Chris Pratt post; not sure if the link will work now.
Chris Pratt: It's Hard to Remain Humble When You're Rich, Famous, and Awesome, But My Chakra Stylist and Astral Plane Travel Coordinator Help Keep Me Grounded
Some fairly amusing stuff from Star-Lord
I've re-pasted the URL and it looks the same but people say it's broken. I'm just using the URL I got from a tweet he put out. I don't use FaceBook so I can't see if there's some other, better URL.
Maybe you can get there via his tweet of the post?
Scott Adams: I'm Finally Big Enough To Have Made the #FakeNewsPaper
Cartoonist details Bloomberg hit piece on him and distortions used to spin a negative story out of nothing negative at all
Incidentally, he says he knew going in this would be a hatchet job; but he wanted to experience it first-hand or something. So he agreed to it.
Headlines: 3/23/17
Caught red-handed breaking the law. Judge goes easy on fellow shyster law breaking attorney. There, there, don't do that again fellow lawyer. [Mis. Hum.]
A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers. H. L. Mencken. Or in this case tells law enforcement officials not to do their job. [Mis. Hum.]
Billionaire running for Illinois Governor convicted of passing bad checks. 13 paragraphs to find out if he was a Democrat. Yes, he is. [Mis. Hum.]
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