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June 07, 2015

Overnight Open Thread (6-7-2015)

Quote of the Day

By pointing out a trivial factoid about Rubio and his wife, the Times is reminding everyone that the "scandals" that other candidates face pale in comparison to Clinton's. They also remind everyone that Clinton hasn't even driven a car since 1996. Which candidate is more like us?

-- Ashe Schow

Stephen Ambrose on D-Day

From an interview with Brian Lamb in 1994.

LAMB: Why was it a great day?

AMBROSE: You know, you can't exaggerate it. You can't overstate it. It was the pivot point of the 20th century. It was the day on which the decision was made as to who was going to rule in this world in the second half of the 20th century. Is it going to be Nazism, is it going to be communism, or are the democracies going to prevail? If we would have failed on Omaha Beach and on the other beaches on the 6th of June in 1944, the struggle for Europe would have been a struggle between Hitler and Stalin, and we would have been out of it. If Stalin had won, the Iron Curtain would have been on the English Channel. If Hitler had won, I don't think he would have been able to take Britain, at least not in the immediate future, but he would have gone all the way to the Urals. Hitler's plan was to turn the problem of conquering America over to the next generation, utilizing the resources that he intended to have as a part of the greater German Reich as a result of victory. It really did turn on getting ashore and penetrating that Atlantic Wall. Now, once that Atlantic Wall was penetrated and we had a beachhead and you could begin to move from England into the continent, this tremendous outpouring of America's factories that we had managed to get over to England by winning the battle of the Atlantic in 1943, if you penetrated the Atlantic Wall then it was no longer a question of who was going to win. It was when is the end going to come. Germany could not possibly prevail against - but if Rommel stopped them cold on the beaches - this was an all-or-nothing operation. Eisenhower, when he took command in January of 1944, said, "This operation is being planned as a success. There are no contingency plans."

DDay_Color_photos_01-XL

The New Normal for 2015: Saudi Arabia Shoots Down Scud Missile Fired at City by Yemeni Rebels

A Cold War-era missile fired by Yemen's Shiite rebels and their allies has been shot down by Saudi Arabia.

The Scud missile was fired around 11.45pm GMT last night at a Saudi city that is home to a large air base.

The attack on the southwestern city of Khamis Mushait marks a major escalation in the months long war.

But two missiles launched from a Patriot missile battery shot down the Scud without causing any casualties, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

Saudis on social media reported hearing air raid sirens go off around the city during the attack, which marks the rebels' first use of a Cold War-era Scud since Saudi-led airstrikes began in March.

The city of Khamis Mushair is home to the King Khalid Air Base, which is the largest such facility in that part of the country.

saudimap34

Meanwhile Pakistan Frees 8 of the 10 Men Who Shot Malala in the Head After a Secret Trial


Breitbart's Milo Yiannopoulos Reviews Emma Sulkowicz's Sex Tape

And gives it both a thumbs-down as well as four droops on the pr0n scale. You know it's bad when a reviewer recommends that the star/director should seek therapy in addition to not producing any more oeurves.

Of course, like Sulkowicz's previous psychiatric outburst, it's all dressed up as "art," else the men in white coats would already be on their way over to Morningside Heights. A website, titled "This is not a rape" (in French - ooh la la!) hosted, until earlier this afternoon, the video, which we may as well do the courtesy of examining as a work of creative activity, as Sulkowicz insists, rather than a sordid cry for help.

Good porn never starts with a pop quiz so we're off to a poor start with the site's bizarre and incomprehensible statements which reach for, but fail to grasp, profundity. Sulkowicz's inner nine-year-old is never far from the surface: questions she asks visitors include "Do you think I'm the perfect victim or the world's worst victim?" and "Do you hate me? If so, how does it feel to hate me?"

...You can tell "dad bods" are in fashion because both of the people in this video have one. But you do at least have to give an actress credit for doing nude scenes with a man who has larger breasts than she does. Sulkowicz's size queendom apparently extends to love handles and leave the viewer sympathetic to the travails of her infamous mattress.

It's revealing of her vanity that she insists on being filmed from four angles. Every crevasse of her unappealing naked body must be considered. Her congressional interlocutor is a gruesome sight in three dimensions, chosen, probably, to make young Emma look thinner. Which doesn't work, I'm sorry to say.

All in all, it's a tawdry, miserable encounter that tells us nothing about sexual assault or sex itself but quite a bit about the quasi-demonic inner workings of one Emma Sulkowicz.

emmasextape3

Obama Administration Attempting to Muzzle Gun-Related Speech By Way of ITAR Regulations

ITAR stands for the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and it's a set of regulations where the Department of State regulates the export of anything defense-related. The export of weapons certainly falls under ITAR but it also includes things like certain night vision technologies and even computer systems with too many powerful CPUs can be ITAR controlled. Well now the Obama Administration has issued a whole set of proposed rule changes that would substantially expand what's covered by ITAR.

Now included would be software and any technical information about 'defense items' e.g. firearms. And posting this information online is now considered to be exporting it. Each offense carries a penalty of up to a $1 million dollar fine and 20 years in pound-me-in-the-ass prison. Note that the State Department has already used ITAR to force Cody Wilson to take down his plans for a 3D-printed Liberator pistol. The goal here seems to be to make the posting online of 3D printing plans or even CNC programs to make a firearm tantamount to exporting an actual firearm and hence an ITAR violation.

Bookworm on a Splendid Evening Commemorating the Battle of Midway

Including the current Commander of the Pacific Fleet along with a veteran of the battle itself.

The WaPo Finds a New Issue to Fret Over: Transgender Economic Inequality

TransChart233

How Obscure Federal Bureaucrats Are Squashing Free Expression on College Campuses

We have the federal government to thank for that.

Specifically, the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights-a massive, bureaucratic agency staffed with 650 lawyers. They have one job: punish universities that don't sufficiently police campuses for harassment and discrimination.

Ostensibly, they do this under the charge of Title IX, a 1972 amendment to the Higher Education Act that prohibits gender discrimination at universities that received federal funding. Initially intended to make sure that female student-athletes received as much institutional support as male athletes, Title IX has been reinterpreted by OCR to apply to virtually all human activity that takes place on campus.

Holy crap - 650 lawyers - that's approaching almost a lawyer per university. No wonder campus administrations are scared.

Also: Proposed Sign to be Put on All College Gates

americansector234

'Dear Reader, The Editor Hates Your F-ing Guts'

In which Dave Perry, editor of Colorado's Aurora Sentinel, lectures his readers for not being sufficiently upset by the downsizing of their crosstown rivals, the Denver Post. And inadvertently makes the point that the Sentinel could use some personnel cuts as well.

So sneer all you want about the misfortunes of the Post and our industry. But I promise you that without it, Denver, and Aurora, and all of Colorado, will be a far lesser place than it is. I very often don't agree with many news and non-news decisions the Post makes, but I have no hesitation in insisting that the mission and product of the Denver Post - and the Colorado Springs Gazette, and the Durango Herald and the Aurora Sentinel - is critical to the region's well-being and success. In any way you can, you should support the Post and other media, and tell them what you like and hate. But if you dismiss them, and all of us, you dismiss the only real defense society has against everything you spend so much time complaining about - that matters.

You know daily papers could likely find some smaller-but-viable long-term market if they simply didn't despise their readership so much.

Doctors Perform Rare 9-Way Kidney Transplant

Possibly the longest transplant chain ever performed.

A complex set of 18 surgeries has been successfully completed at California Pacific Medical Center and the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center that resulted in nine donors sending kidneys to recipients in need. This web of kidney swaps arose because many of the people with failing kidneys had donors willing to help them, but weren't a biological match. Rather than give up on the transplant altogether, doctors were able to arrange the willing donors in a way such that each patient who needed a kidney was able to get one. "Software matching programs have been driving the trend. The programs use blood type and other patient data from medical tests to connect people who are compatible."

It Turns Out That a Picture of a Key Is Almost As Good As The Key Itself

key-image-blogview

Weekly Commenter Standings

Top 10 commenters:
1 [508 comments] 'Ricardo Kill' [71.30 posts/day]
2 [452 comments] 'Anna Puma (+SmuD)'
3 [438 comments] 'Pappy O'Daniel'
4 [425 comments] 'Mike Hammer, etc., etc.'
5 [401 comments] 'ThunderB'
6 [354 comments] 'Boss Moss'
7 [272 comments] 'J.J. Sefton'
8 [266 comments] 'Jane D'oh'
9 [260 comments] 'phoenixgirl'
10 [257 comments] 'BackwardsBoy, who did not vote for this sh1t '

Top 10 sockpuppeteers:
1 [98 names] 'The Political Hat' [13.75 unique names/day]
2 [71 names] 'E!SPN'
3 [62 names] 'Doctor Fish'
4 [61 names] 'Cicero (@cicero)'
5 [48 names] 'wth'
6 [46 names] 'Shrillary's Vagina'
7 [45 names] 'Blue Hen'
8 [43 names] 'Caitlyn Jenner'
9 [40 names] 'Ready For Hillary!!11!!'
10 [40 names] 'Prince Ludwig the Indestructible'

The group. Banned on 12 universities.

Where it's at - the Twitter

Tonight's post brought to you by now don't go blaming the long hair:

c9e056ee-e0cf-4879-9eaa-42905c3228e5

Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. You know the way and forms of contact. Also I am not your blog daddy and AceCorp accepts no liability for any injuries and damage incurred in the comments.

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