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May 04, 2014

Overnight Open Thread (5-4-2014)

Quote of the Day I

"But regardless of your background, regardless of the history they have, if we're taking something somebody said in their home and we're trying to turn it into something that leads to you being forced to divest property in any way, shape or form, that's not the United States of America. I don't want to be part of that."

-- Mark Cuban

Quote of the Day II - On the Nerd Prom AKA the White House Correspondent's Dinner

"The correspondent's dinner was a thoroughly medieval spectacle. Never was a lord's hall so earnestly thronged by grateful peasants as that venue. The comparison was nearly exact since it featured jesters, court ladies and the obligatory men-at-arms hovering outside the drawbridge of the castle. Royalty was of course in attendance, resplendent in its dazzling gowns and chic elegance. The designated buffoon of the evening was Kathleen Sebelius who was employed as a sight-gag as an obligatory adjunct to something broken as if she could absorb for herself the sins of the King."

Thought Policing Comes to the Sports Leagues

Cuban's point, though, is a valid one. It is, as he says, a "slippery slope" for NBA owners-or the owners of any sports franchise-to decide who should be able to enter their club based on the righteousness of their thinking, because who is to determine what is righteous?

As if to prove Cuban's point, Esquire's four-eyed, multi-chinned, monomaniacal hack in residence, Charles P. Pierce, took to the digital pages of his glorified lad mag to call for Adam Silver to enact similar sanctions on the owner of the Orlando Magic. His thought crime? Opposing same sex marriage. Note: The owners of the Magic have not been accused of, say, banning gay people from the arena or making them uncomfortable at games. Simply engaging in the political process in a wholly legal manner is enough for Pierce to call for their defenestration.

Similarly, Washington, D.C.'s fake congresswoman, Eleanor Holmes Norton, issued a call for Roger Goodell to sanction the owner of the Washington Redskins for profiting off of racism. Ace has handled the idiocy of referring to the name "Redskins" as racism better than I can; allow me to simply note that this only helps prove the NBA owners are setting a dangerous precedent if they vote to strip Donald Sterling of his property for saying offensive things and holding offensive thoughts


VDH: Who Among Us is Pure Enough to Own the Clippers?

Certainly not some of Sterling's more vocal critics.

Then there is the issue of the nature of Sterling's more direct stone throwers. After Sterling's ostracism, which of them can and cannot buy a NBA or equivalent sports franchise? Perhaps Spike Lee, who has appeared in NBA-affiliated commercials?

But Mr. Lee has made it clear that the very sight of interracial couples offends him. So do white moms in strollers in formerly black neighborhoods ("When you see white mothers pushing their babies in strollers."). Lee not long ago tweeted the wrong address of George Zimmerman's parents, in a failed crude effort to incite mob violence against his family-which resulted in threats to a completely different Zimmerman family and a law suit. After visiting South Africa, Lee thundered, "I seriously wanted to pick up a gun and shoot whites. The only way to resolve matters is by bloodshed." Should Lee be blacklisted from NBA games and his NBA commercial work dropped? Is publicly advocating racial violence worse than privately expressing racist ideas?

Charles Barkley (of the NBA:  "we are a black league") has also weighed in. Could Mr. Barkley join an effort to buy the Clippers? Unlike Sterling, his racist outbursts are a bit more direct ("That's why I hate white people") and were not private. Was that a joke or just letting off steam?

Perhaps Shaquille O'Neal could head a consortium to purchase the Clippers? But O'Neill just posted a tasteless video of himself mocking someone suffering from a disfiguring illness. But that was not new, given that not too long ago he parodied NBA star Yao Ming's Chinese ancestry.

Black Christian Minister May Lose his Day Job in California Because of his Sermons

Pasadena city officials placed Public Health Director Eric Walsh on temporary paid administrative leave Thursday after they learned of controversial statements he had made about homosexuality and evolution in online videos and audio clips.

...Students for Social Justice found some of Walsh's videos online.

"We very quickly realized that there were a lot of communities that would be offended by Dr. Walsh," said Sarah Belknap, a fourth-year student and member of Students for Social Justice.
The group compiled a list of Walsh's controversial public statements, then published excerpts on Facebook and emailed them to media outlets.

Red_Guards

Is The DOJ's 'Operation Choke Point' Causing the Closing of Porn Star Bank Accounts?

But porn stars are just the most visible victims. Already gun retailers are having a hard time getting credit card companies to do business with them. Now they may not even be able to open bank accounts.

Under "Operation Choke Point," the DOJ and its allies are going after legal but subjectively undesirable business ventures by pressuring banks to terminate their bank accounts or refuse their business. The very premise is clearly chilling-the DOJ is coercing private businesses in an attempt to centrally engineer the American marketplace based on it's own politically biased moral judgements. Targeted business categories so far have included payday lenders, ammunition sales, dating services, purveyors of drug paraphernalia, and online gambling sites. "Operation Chokepoint is flooding payments companies that provide processing service to those industries with subpoenas, civil investigative demands, and other burdensome and costly legal demands," wrote Jason Oxman, CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association, at The Hill.

Oh and the government also wants to monitor your investment accounts. For your own safety citizen.

In December, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which oversees how investments are sold, proposed what it calls Cards, an electronic system that would regularly collect data on balances and transactions in brokerage accounts...

Under Cards (which stands for Comprehensive Automated Risk Data System), Finra would collect-probably weekly-a record of activity at all of the more than 4,100 brokerage firms nationwide.

Finra would scour the data continuously, looking for any hints that a firm or a broker might be taking advantage of a client: excessive trading or commissions, switching from one mutual fund to another, overcharging for bond E*TradeETFC +0.04%s, overconcentrating in risky or illiquid securities, and so on.

Cards "would provide us with a treasure trove of information and the ability to focus quicker on firms that are placing investors at high risk," Richard Ketchum, Finra's chairman and chief executive, said in an interview.

The Party Of Science Has Absolutely No Clue What It's Talking About

Democrats love to pat themselves on the back as believers in science and rational inquiry as opposed to the anti-science knuckle-dragging superstitious right. But when it comes to applying scientific methods and analyzing data on the effectiveness of policy policy, it all falls away before the One True Religion of progressivism.

For decades, a series of studies have raised red flags. Surgery patients, cancer victims, and transplant recipients who were enrolled in the program were all found to fare worse-not merely than privately-insured patients with presumably easier lives, but worse than equally poor people who lacked any insurance at all. This literature was capped off by the landmark "Oregon study," a brand-new analysis that marshals gold-standard methodology to compare Medicaid recipients with uninsured people.

The scholars found mixed results. Medicaid does lower psychological stress and increase financial stability, results we would expect from any transfer program. But the program actually increases unnecessary trips to the emergency room. And remarkably, Medicaid coverage has no measurable impact whatsoever on clinical health.

To an intellectually honest observer, these findings compel more questions. What are reasonable expectations for health insurance? Should we be satisfied if Medicaid helps people sleep easier but makes them no healthier? Even if so, is health insurance the most effective way to convert taxpayer dollars into peace of mind for the poor?

But no person on the left will ask these questions or even accept them as legitimate ones.

The theoretical physicist Richard Feynman once quipped that "the first principle" of science is "that you must not fool yourself-and you are the easiest person to fool." If we take the genius at his word, "the party of science" starts to look like a paradox. To insist that only your ideology is empirical and enlightened is to conclusively prove that it is neither.

bro-do-you-even-science3

Slate: The Autistic Boy Was Fair Game

Granted the 16 year old boy likely has Asperger's which means he wasn't completely helpless but then there's no question the two high school girls took advantage of and abused him - albeit with his consent. Should they be prosecuted and face jail (possibly decades for the 17 year cheerleader)? No, but they should have some consequences. And what they did was still wrong.

Troopers

Because it's Star Wars day. This video is at least 15 years old but still awesome even if they had to change the theme song. I still laugh when the jawas catch on fire.

Nuts Magazine RIP

Nuts started as a print and then online lads magazine in the U.K. just about a decade ago. In that time, it's hard to count on hands and toes and other appendages how many fine looking topless lasses they've brought to our attention. Now, they are closing shop. Online and off. It's a melancholy moment for those 99.9% of us who love funbags.

It might not be common knowledge, but it's very economically difficult to run an R-rated journalistic endeavor. You're too racy for Victorian era corporate advertisers but you're not racy enough for people willing to spend money for their passions. It's the nightmare that keeps me awake at night, before I have some warm beer and ease back into slumber. We will miss Nuts. They were good, earnest, boobtastic loving folks. Of course, the glamour models will continue on in other venues, but as with any loss, things will not be entirely the same forever more.

Warning: Link is NSFW. Because boobs.

Weekly Commenter Standings

Top 10 commenters:
1 [590 comments] 'Boss Moss' [82.78 posts/day]
2 [434 comments] 'logprof'
3 [380 comments] 'Anna Puma (+SmuD)'
4 [345 comments] 'Mike Hammer'
5 [334 comments] 'Insomniac'
6 [334 comments] 'tangonine'
7 [307 comments] 'Costanza Defense'
8 [300 comments] 'Misanthropic Humanitarian '
9 [291 comments] 'Thunderb'
10 [282 comments] 'RWC'

Top 10 sockpuppeteers:
1 [82 names] 'logprof' [11.51 unique names/day]
2 [74 names] 'Cicero (@cicero)'
3 [53 names] 'Islamic Rage Boy'
4 [47 names] 'Hockey Miser'
5 [46 names] 'Prez'nit 404'
6 [45 names] 'Ricardo Kill'
7 [43 names] 'The Political Hat'
8 [43 names] 'The Political Hat'
9 [39 names] 'Costanza Defense'
10 [33 names] 'Mike Hammer'

The group. Yeah.

Where it's at - the Twitter

Tonight's post brought to you by knots:

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Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maetenloch at gmail. Otherwise send tips to Ace.

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posted by Maetenloch at 10:53 PM

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