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August 31, 2014

Overnight Open Thread (8-31-2014)

Quote of the Day I

"A moral response to this behavior might involve those officials, among others, hanging from lampposts. The legal system is, ultimately, an ancient bargain: Renounce your mob violence and blood feuds and we will provide you with justice. It could be argued that such a default as this calls the whole bargain into question, and justifies self-help along ancient lines."

-- Glenn Reynolds on the official cover-up of 16 years of systematic sexual abuse of children by Pakistani men in Rotherham, England

Quote of the Day II

"The scale of the sexual exploitation revealed in the Jay inquiry is shocking, but let's avoid racial stereotyping."

-- The Guardian attempting to ignore the central fact behind the Rotherham sexual abuse and the driving force behind its cover-up by officials.

The Price of Beef Hits an A New High

The average price for all types of ground beef per pound hit its all-time high -- $3.884 per pound -- in the United States in July, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

...Five years ago, in July 2009, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $2.147, according to the BLS. In those five years, the average price has climbed by $1.737 per pound--or almost 81 percent.

burgergrill23 beefalltimehighjuly

National Post Recommends Converting To Islam To Avoid Islamic Terrorism

Mark Steyn responds:

Afsun Qureshi suggests the best thing you could do to lessen the likelihood of being set upon by Muslims is to learn to recite the shahadah, "a testimony to the identity of Allah as the one true God, and Muhammad as his prophet". She might be right. Wearing a burqa might help, too. Or the shalwar kameez. On the other hand, most of those Syrian men paraded through the desert in their BVDs to their rendezvous with death knew the shahadah, and a fat lot of good it did.

To recite the shahadah when you're accosted on the streets is to accept the basic premise of your attackers - that Islam now has universal jurisdiction. There's way too much of that already. In essence, the entire establishment of a South Yorkshire town accepted that the cultural mores of Islam superseded whatever squeamishness they might otherwise have about child rape.

Plus there's the fact that most of the people ever killed by Al Qaeda and IS were fellow muslims.

Border Patrol Opens Fire On Militia In Texas

I'd like to know more details of what was going on here.

A Border Patrol agent pursuing a group of immigrants in a wooded area near the Texas-Mexico border on Friday fired several shots at an armed man who later identified himself as a militia member.

Border Patrol spokesman Omar Zamora said agents had been chasing a group of immigrants east of Brownsville Friday afternoon when an agent saw a man holding a gun near the Rio Grande. The agent fired four shots, but did not hit the man. The man then dropped his gun and identified himself as a member of a militia. Zamora said no other details were immediately available.

Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio, whose agency is involved in the investigation, said the incident occurred on private property and it appeared the man had permission to be there. He was not arrested, Lucio said.

Putin Ends the Interregnum

We've quietly entered a new international political era.

Having flipped the global chessboard with his annexation of the Crimea and an undeclared war against Ukraine, Putin effectively ended the most recent period of interregnum and inaugurated a new era in global politics. However, no one yet knows what this era will bring. The global community is still reeling in shock, when it isn't trying to pretend that nothing extraordinary has in fact occurred. This denial of the fact that the Kremlin has dealt a blow to conventional ideas, stable geopolitical constructs, and (supposedly) successful policies proceeds from the natural instinct for self-preservation. It is also quite natural that the political forces that have grown accustomed to the status quo will try to look to the past for answers to new challenges-this is precisely what those who were unprepared for a challenge always do. It was easy enough to predict that many politicians and political analysts would explain what Putin has done to the global order by using Cold War analogies. Drawing these historical parallels is potentially useful in only one respect: if they help us to see what is truly new about the current situation, and the scale of the risks involved.

What's the Deal with Yale Chaplains?

The current one, Rev. Bruce Shipman, recently wrote a public letter blaming Jews for anti-Semitism. And then you have the Rev. William Sloan Coffin who insulted GH Bush to GW Bush's face while he was a student there.

What if the Clothes Have No Emperor

This president wants yes men around him. And again, I hear that from my Democratic friends, I hear that from his own former chiefs of staff. If anybody steps out of line, they're immediately insulated and pushed out. You know, I said this on set after the cameras were turned off to a couple of people who I knew wouldn't say it on the air. I said guys, you know as well as I do that the second this administration is over, the books are going to come from former secretaries of state. The books are going to come from former chiefs of staff. The books are going to come, and this president is going to have to deal with 20-30 years of disparagement from his own side, calling him one of the least effective presidents, because he's one of the most insulated presidents.

The Power of Socialism: Venezuela May Have to Import Crude Oil

Boston Police Used Facial Recognition Software To Grab Photos Of Every Person Attending Local Music Festivals

And Massachusetts Also Has the Worst Drivers

Scientists Find the Origin of the Ebola Outbreak

In a new paper in Science (abstract), researchers reveal that they have sequenced the genomes of Ebola from 78 patients in Sierra Leone who contracted the disease in May and June. Those sequences revealed some 300 mutations specific to this outbreak. Among their findings, the researchers discovered that the current viral strains come from a related strain that left Central Africa within the past ten years. ... Using genetic sequences from current and previous outbreaks, the researchers mapped out a family tree that puts a common ancestor of the recent West African outbreak some place in Central Africa roughly around 2004. This contradicts an earlier hypothesis that the virus had been hanging around West Africa for much longer than that. Researchers are also planning to study the mutations to see if any of them are affecting Ebola's recent behavior. For example, this outbreak has had a higher transmission rate and lower death rate than others, and researchers are curious if any of these mutations are related to that.

... The scientific paper on Ebola is also a sad reminder of the toll that the virus has taken on those working on the front lines. Five of the authors died of Ebola before it was published.

Good Riddance to Traitor John Walker

He died last week in prison. For 18 years as a Navy comms officer and even after retirement John Walker sold US secrets to the Soviets and recruited family members to also act as spies. He was only caught in 1984 due to pissing off his ex-wife.

Walker received more than $1 million from the Russians for providing cryptologic "keys" which allowed them to decode our most sensitive operations and intelligence communications.  Former Soviet officials and defectors said Walker's treason gave them "an invisible seat" at the Pentagon and one gave an even bolder assessment, claiming "if there had been a war, we would have won."   

There was also a human price for Walker's treachery.  The Soviet Union shared information with its ally North Vietnam and it is widely believed that Americans died as a result of Walker's actions.  Intelligence historians also claim that his espionage prompted North Korea's seizure of the USS Pueblo in early 1968, only a month after John Walker's initial contact with his Soviet handlers.  Moscow persuaded North Korea to capture the Pueblo (a spy ship) so they could gain access to the machines which used the keys provided by Walker.  That gave them both pieces of the communications puzzle, and the ability to decrypt thousands of classified messages.

Can Chest Hair Kill?

Big Celebrity Nude Hack AKA The Fappening

Nude and semi-nude photos of major celebrities obtained through hacking of iCloud have been anonymously released onto the Interwebs. Among the targets are Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Victoria Justice, Ariana Grande, Kirsten Dunst, Hope Solo, Krysten Ritter, Yvonne Strahovski, and Teresa Palmer.

And if you are the kind of bad, bad, horrible no-good person who would be interested in this kind of shameful invasion of personal oh who am I kidding - just go here and start scrolling. (thanks to BCochran1981 for giving this whole dealio a proper name)

Genes Determine How Bad Your Hangovers Are

While the speed at which a person drinks, whether they eat before embarking on a drinking session and their tolerance for alcohol plays a part, a team of researchers believe a person's DNA will account for almost half of the reason as to why they are afflicted the morning after.

The study examined links between the number of hangovers each individual reported experiencing in a year, and their genetic make-up, Live Science reported.

The team studied more than 4,000 adults from the Australian Twin Registry to reach their conclusions.

Their findings found genetic factors accounted for 45 per cent of the difference in hangover frequency in women and 40 per cent in men.

The 21 Best Urban Dictionary Definitions of all Time

But sometimes not knowing is even better.

Weekly Commenter Standings

Top 10 commenters:
1 [416 comments] 'Misanthropic Humanitarian  ' [58.42 posts/day]
2 [409 comments] 'Costanza Defense'
3 [403 comments] 'Insomniac'
4 [389 comments] 'Anna Puma (+SmuD)'
5 [366 comments] 'TangoNine'
6 [347 comments] 'sven10077'
7 [328 comments] 'ThunderB'
8 [323 comments] 'Mike Hammer, etc., etc.'
9 [320 comments] 'AllenG (Dedicated Tenther), Derringer Bandit.'
10 [290 comments] 'BCochran1981 - Tatted, Rested and Ready'

Top 10 sockpuppeteers:
1 [92 names] 'King Putt' [12.92 unique names/day]
2 [86 names] 'The Political Hat'
3 [49 names] 'flounder'
4 [44 names] 'Costanza Defense'
5 [40 names] 'Doctor Fish'
6 [29 names] 'Truck Monkey, as Voiced by Brian Dennehy'
7 [28 names] 'Head Chopper Dude'
8 [26 names] 'Romeo13'
9 [21 names] 'Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains'
10 [21 names] 'an infinite number of monkeys at typewriters'

The group. Never heard of it.

Where it's at - the Twitter

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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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