Sunday Morning Book Thread 11-29-2015: Do It Yourself [OregonMuse]
The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles, CA.
Good morning to all of you morons and moronettes and bartenders everywhere and all the ships at sea. Welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread. The Sunday Morning Book Thread is the only AoSHQ thread that is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Or kilts. Also, assless chaps don't count. Serious you guys. Kilts are OK, though. But not tutus. Unless you're a girl.
‘All words have some power. We feel it instinctively. Some, like magical spells and the true names of the gods, have a great deal. They must be treated with respect. In Klatch there is a mountain with many caves, and in those caves are entombed more than a hundred thousand old books, mostly religious, each one in a white linen shroud. That is perhaps an extreme approach, but intelligent people have always known that some words at least should be disposed of with care and respect...Enough words crammed together can affect time and space.’
--Terry Pratchett, Going Postal
Here is something new. Well, actually, it's not new, it first came out over 50 years ago.
I'm talking about the first "do it yourself" novel:
Composition No. 1 by Marc Saporta was the first-ever do-it-yourself or interactive novel. It was published in French in 1962, and an English translation followed a year later. The novel came in a box, as a set of looseleaf pages. Readers were instructed to "shuffle them like a deck of cards" before reading, so that chance would decide the order of events in the narrative.
You can actually purchase a copy of Composition No. 1 on Amazon.
In fact Saporta's novel has 150 opening paragraphs, because it consists of 150 unbound pages, printed on one side only, which the reader is meant to shuffle and read in any order.
The Guardian review describes the plot as being a bit thin:
How does the randomness work, and how does it affect our perception of the narrative? The story is a flimsy wisp of a thing, really no more than a jumble of fragments. The setting is Paris during the German occupation. The central character is little glimpsed and never named. He has a mistress called Dagmar, a depressed wife (I think) called Marianne, and a young German au pair whom he rapes during the course of the novel, before being injured in a serious car accident.
I suppose the "wispiness" is a necessity, since if too many details are locked down, that would tend to diminish the "DIY" nature of this experimental novel.
The Argentinian author Julio Cortazar did something similar with his experimental novel Hopscotch. There you have a choice of reading the chapters sequentially, or you can "hopscotch" around the chapters at random, and it should make sense either way. As one reviewer says about Hopscotch:
There is an abundance of metaphors, of connections, bridges, symbols, and artistic allusions. There are ejaculations of phrases in foreign languages and an interjection of aphorisms in verse. If history were to rewrite itself and eradicate all traces of Joyce, Hopscotch would have been the equivalent of Ulysses. The language is incredibly vivid, infinitely descriptive, colorful, sensuous, poetic, maddeningly abstract, and psychedelic.
Personally, I'm not a big fan of these experimental-type novels, but as the poet says, de gustibus non est disputandum.
But if you're craving a bit of surrealism in your life, you can do it like my brother once told me he does, on the cheap: If you have a new novel to read, start reading it chapter by chapter backwards, from the last chapter down to the first. Brother swears he gets more out of the novel that way, but I've never tried it, so I don't know. But telling the story backward is a well-known narrativt technique. I think of movies such as Memento and Betrayal as examples of this, and there are others.
Thanks to 'mindful webworker' for this tip
Yet Another E-Book Spotting Service
Each edition of Early Bird Books offers a curated list of titles across many of the genres you enjoy. For a more personalized experience, set your preferences and we’ll deliver a custom selection of ebooks based on your categories of interest!
The interface is a bit clunky, but other than that, I'm curious to see if it gives me different selections other than what I get with the daily BookBub e-mail.
And Here's Another Gimmick
In the movie Idiocracy, which is set in America 500 years in the future where continuing demographic patterns have filled the population with really stupid people. As an example of just how stupid things have become, the narrator mentions that the Oscar for Best Picture that year went to a film called 'Ass', which consisted of a movie-length shot of some guy's butt. Or maybe it was a series of butts, I forget. Point is, the audience is supposed to recognize, along with the main character, recently awoken from 500 years of frozen sleep, that something like this is way stupid.
And in one of his books where he spells out some of his future history, Robert Heinlein mentions a big prize winner during The Crazy Years is a book consisting of nothing but punctuation marks. And we, the audience, are supposed to think, that's just so stupid, how could anyone think that was good?
Well, perhaps we're not quite at that point, not yet. But I'd say that we can see it from here:
Imagine if you told someone you were going to write an entire book -- 150,000 words -- that would be one single sentence.
That's what Mathias Énard did in "Zone," which, despite its avant-garde form, has become the French novelist's best-known work. On Tuesday, Énard was awarded the Prix Goncourt, France's highest literary honor.
This sounds quite decadent, like making a horse a senator, or awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to some slacker who's never done anything constructive in his entire life. But what do I know, maybe this actually is good littrachoor.
There have been "gimmick" novels written before. Such as the 1939 novel Gadsby, that never, not once, in all of its 50,000 words, uses the letter 'e'.
Not nominated for any major prize that I know of, it Gadsby now in the public domain.
Incidentally, I don't think Heinlein went far enough describing the Crazy Years. For example, having a mentally ill man believe he is actually a woman and having the encouragement and celebration of that abnormal behavior rigorously enforced by social and cultural leaders would be beyond even his fertile imagination.
Writing Good And Writing Well
No doubt this list of 25 Books Guaranteed to Make You a Better Writer does not live up to its own hype, but there were a couple that might be of interest.
Like, for example, On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft by Stephen King because, well, Stephen King. Despite what we may think of him, his personal life or political views, the guy knows how to tell a good story, and how to tell it in such a way that causes his bank account to swell prodigiously. So I think anything he has to say about writing would be worth listening to.
And John Gardner's The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers is considered a classic in this genre:
John Gardner was almost as famous as a teacher of creative writing as he was for his own works. In this practical, instructive handbook, based on the courses and seminars that he gave, he explains, simply and cogently, the principles and techniques of good writing. Gardner’s lessons, exemplified with detailed excerpts from classic works of literature, sweep across a complete range of topics—from the nature of aesthetics to the shape of a refined sentence.
In addition to writing novels, Gardner was a professor of medieval literature and a pioneering creative writing teacher.
Another classic is Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots by William Wallace Cook, where he takes his theory, "purpose, opposed by obstacle, yields conflict" and then works it out through hundreds of diagrammed situations and scenarios:
Everyone knows the theory that there are only 36 plots from which all stories derive. But it’s time to get a little more specific. This book is essentially a magic machine, the one you’ve been waiting for: a full-service plot generator which lets you choose your own adventure via the connected plot elements of protagonist, conflict, and resolution.
This sounds like it would be a perfect choice for someone prone to writer's block.
An early edition of The Elements of Style by William Strunk is available on Kindle for FREE.
Script Writing Contest
Not sure if anyone would be interested in this, but I never know who's out there lurking, and I'm talking about aspiring writers, so with that in mind, I'm passing along this announcement that 'ette Anna Puma tipped me to: The Fourth Annual Voltage Script Writing and Illustration Contest is now open:
Voltage Inc. is happy to announce the opening of their 4th Annual International Story Writing and Illustration Contest, as of Thursday, November 19th, 2015. The annual contest is held to find new talented writers and illustrators, to collaborate with Voltage in the production of new visual romance apps. The contest consists of three categories; story writing, graphic-style illustration, and anime-style illustration, with a $5000 grand prize per category.
And not just for Japanese writers:
In recent years, Voltage has been expanding to localizing its apps into English, as well as creating English-language original visual romance apps. As such, Voltage is searching for international writers and illustrators with whom to collaborate.
I had no idea what a "visual romance app" was. But they helpfully provided an explanation:
Visual romance apps are interactive, story-based mobile apps, in which the user can be the heroine of their own romantic story. Users decide how to respond to various scenarios within the app, resulting in different romantic endings dependent on their choices.
When I first saw the words "visual romance app", I was afraid it might turn out to be a euphemism for pr0n. But since the market for these apps seems to pretty much exclusively women, I'm guessing probably not.
And $5000 ain't hay.
Books By Morons
Moron author Mark Robbins has just published his new book WE Republicans on Kindle, which would be of especial interests to you morons living in the great state of Texas. This book contains actual plans to take over the Republican Party of Texas using their rules. Now I'm not familiar with Texas politics enough to know, but I thought Texas was a pretty conservative state already. But maybe not. Mark tells me that his book
leads the reader to construct a formal tool that is used to engage Republican partisans in the Great State of Texas. The book walks the reader through designing a preamble for the Republican Party of Texas, one that candidates must address according to the rules of the Republican Party of Texas, and to enable actual physical processes that would change the way government works in Texas, then the world.
He also asks an this question:
Obama bowed to a Saudi king who probably had slaves until he was 40 (outlawed slavery in 1962) so where is the Pulitzer-worthy reporting on the slaves' opinion of the leader of the free world bowing to their previous slave master?
Well, our elite MSM journalism teams have trained and disciplined themselves for years not to even see such questions, and also, their laziness and incuriosity concerning everything relating to the background and ideology of the Slacker-in-Chief is legendary, so there's your answer to that. But let me indulge in some speculation here, if I were a foreign national who looked at America as a beacon of hope and freedom in the world, and if I saw the leader of that country kowtow obsequiously as he did to the Saudi despot, it would make me very sick at heart.
Pilot Point is a very Texan novel...With drought, dust, cowboys, and cattle, it could be called a Western except it is set in the late 20th Century and not many get shot up.
At the same time, Pilot Point has a strong Anglican flavor, weaving The Book of Common Prayer and traditional Christian themes through the story...Not many novels have both cowboys and Anglicanism.
The sale price lasts until late Sunday night.
What Morons Are Reading
From a thread earlier this week:
56 Not the book thread but I've got to pimp another of Steven Pressfield's books, The Professional. When I first read it it was good but not my favorite of his works. It read more like a Clancy book with explaining tech detail. With the crap that's going on now in the region I realize how good it really is. Takes place 20 or so years into the future. I think he nails it on how we will be fighting in the future.
Posted by: Max Rockatansky at November 25, 2015 09:44 AM (2d71x)
Actually, I think the book he's referring to is called The Profession, which is:
Pressfield's first book set in the future, where military force is for hire everywhere. Oil companies, multinational corporations and banks employ powerful, cutting-edge mercenary armies to control global chaos and protect their riches.
Don't want to prejudice you all against Pressfield, but whenever I see the phrase "multinational corporations", I immediately think "lefty bullshit".
So I hope that's not the case here.
Not Brand Eccch: I know we have a lot of comic book and graphic novel fans on here, but have any of you morons ever heard of the superheroes Kangaroo Man, Captain Tootsie, Dr. Hormone, or The Legion of Super Pets? No, I'm not making these up, these superheroes actually existed:
222 There's a great book called The League of Regrettable Superheroes about some of the lamest heroes ever created. There are some pretty great duds in there.
Posted by: Turd Ferguson at November 25, 2015 10:57 AM (VAsIq)
The League of Regrettable Superheroes is an encyclopedia of failed superheroes. Each one is allotted one to two pages of a panel of the comic books and some of the history and backstory of each character. And not all of them failed because they were poorly conceived. Some of them just didn't sell enough copies.
Personally, I've always thought that the "Silver Surfer" was a ludicrous superhero. I remember seeing him when he first appeared, and my reaction was, like, 'Wut?'
Don't forget the AoSHQ reading group on Goodreads. It's meant to support horde writers and to talk about the great books that come up on the book thread. It's called AoSHQ Moron Horde and the link to it is here: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/175335-aoshq-moron-horde.
So that's all for this week. As always, book thread tips, suggestions, bribes, rumors, threats, and insults may be sent to OregonMuse, Proprietor, AoSHQ Book Thread, at the book thread e-mail address: aoshqbookthread, followed by the 'at' sign, and then 'G' mail, and then dot cee oh emm.
What have you all been reading this week? Hopefully something good, because, as you all know, life is too short to be reading lousy books.
Close it up
EMT 11/29/15 [krakatoa]
Heading to Secaucus today, where my ccl doesn't apply.
Gov Christie is no daisy at all.
Overnight Open Thread (28 Nov 2015)
Don't get this article confused with the AoS HQ barrel. What happens as decades pass in a whiskey barrel.
Sweet. I see a lot of steaks in my future. Beef prices fall as fattened cattle go to market.
Shlomo Rechnitz has done more for vets than Obama (how's that VA fix coming as the VA spends millions promoting Obamacare). Businessman buys 400 soldiers meals during a layover in Ireland.
Wait a damn minute. I thought the arctic was supposed to be ice free and with all of these super hot months evah this year, why the hell is the President seeing the need for icebreakers?
Everything Wrong With Star Wars
With Kevin Smith.
Understanding Military Strategy
Sad that the author on understanding military strategy only focuses on GOP candidates and no mention of the epic fails of President Ambiguous Pivot.
People having sex with horses is on the rise in Switzerland. I was hoping that it meant having sex with folks that look like Sarah Jessica Parker but sadly that wasn't the case. Does this mean there is a shortage of goats for the newly arrived "refugees"?
100 Years Of Cocktails
I think I'd rather root out the problem and stop it than learn to live with Islamist terror.
But if Europe enjoys a few months of relative calm then it will be back to business as usual for the political classes.
And their subjects will, for the most part, go along with it. The chances are that the next attack won't be on their country; and if it is, the chances are it won't be their city. And even if it is their city, the chances are it'll be someone else who's executed at a rock concert, or blown to bits in a restaurant, and not they or their loved ones.
That's just fine with Europe's political classes, and the continent's liberal-left establishment. They would prefer the public response to the next atrocity to be more vigils and more hashtags, rather than angry marches on the Élysée Palace, the Houses of Parliament or the Bundestag.
Size Matters Not
Kleck identified and examined 88 mass shooting incidents in which more than six people were killed or wounded for the 20 year period from 1994 through 2013. He looked at incidents with more than six victims because six or fewer people could be shot with a traditional six-shot revolver with no large-capacity magazine needed. So he wanted to look at those events in which possession of large-capacity magazines would be most relevant.
Even with this restrictive definition of a mass shooting, Kleck found that large capacity magazines – defined as holding over 10 rounds - were used in only 21 of the 88 incidents (24%). So, in 76% of the incidents, a large-capacity magazine ban would have made no difference in any event.
The FBI is starting to sound like the FBI that showed up in Die Hard. I'm sure if Sharyl Attkisson asks the Chinese for a copy of her lost FBI file, they can provide it.
Lions after eating their Thanksgiving meal.
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Just A Thought...[CBD]
If the Colorado Springs shooter (who sounds like a lunatic) entered the Planned Parenthood clinic/abattoir and began shooting out of a window at people outside PP, wasn't his intent to kill everyone but PP staff and customers?
So this guy could just as easily be described as a PP supporter and protector.....
And Open Thread.
Saturday Gardening Thread: What is your Statice? [Y-not and KT]
Y-not: Good afternoon, gardeners!
This week the incomparable KT asks "What is your Statice?"
When I went to do my own "status assessment" it went something like Kryten's in this classic Red Dwarf episode:
What with the move and our new routine (including college football or basketball games to attend several times each week), I'm currently at Condition Marigold...
...and headed to Condition Heliotrope.
So no contribution from me this week. My apologies!
Fortunately, KT, brought the content:
What is your Statice?
I recently decided that I needed to pay a little more attention to making good memories, for myself and those I care about. Statice is a good plant choice for memory-making. The Front Yard Foodie wrote:
This thought is related to many, many, many memories of my mother. Her garden. And a flower called statice. . . .
Though I don't think my mom considers herself very crafty, I remember her picking flowers and hanging them in bunches with twine or yarn on nails along the sunroom windows to dry. . . . I have these idyllic visions of her cutting her flowers from large plants saturated in golden sunlight with butterflies and bees lazily coming off the plants and hanging in the air about her, a small smile resting on her face. It was her world, her space, her project and she loved it.
There are more kinds of statice than I thought there were. The flowers known to gardeners and florists as "statice" are mostly from the genus Limonium, which contains 120 species or more, depending on your source of information. There are a couple of garden-worthy species from related genera. Do you have any in your garden? All garden varieties of statice form a basal rosette of leaves, with flowering stems rising above them.
You can use statice to make a lasting country bridal bouquet.
I do not know if limonium species are edible, but who cares? Nobody wants to eat papery flowers. They are on the "safe" list of garden plants. So if you want to decorate a wedding cake with Statice "Emile" (a hybrid cultivar for florists), Singapore Orchids, Phlox and Wax Flowers, go ahead. I once decorated a wedding cake for a low-budget wedding with silk flowers, since I am too klutzy to do those frosting decorations. I think statice would be almost as easy to use, for example, on those trendy naked wedding cakes, which despite their name, are classier than this wedding cake:
STATICE GROWN AS ANNUALS
The annual statice most commonly used by florists is Limonium sinuatum. I once had a delightful elderly neighbor who grew it. The plant is kind of gawky. She always planted it in a hot location, against the garage facing west into the alley. Sometimes a few plants lived over the winter. She loved to make dried arrangements for her friends.
In my 1988 edition of the Sunset Western Garden Book, the only colors listed for this Mediterranean species were blue, lavender or rose with a white corolla. A similar species, L. bonduellii, was described as having yellow flowers with a tiny deep yellow corolla. I found a little information about this species on the intertubes, mostly in French, but it is rarely mentioned in terms of gardening today. It has been re-classified as a subspecies of L. sinuatum. Cross-breeding the blue to rose forms with the yellow form has given us new colors of S. sinuatum, such as most of those in the Sunset Strain. The flower colors in this strain harmonize nicely with fall colors in bouquets and with crafts in "antique" colors, as well as with tannish flowers preserved with glycerin.
There are wild forms of L. s. bonduellii in the Sahara desert and in Morocco. Seeds are still available from a company in Malta. The flowers look nice, but the plant form of the Saharan strain is probably not one you would choose for your garden. There is a word for this plant in the Tuareg language. Some of our lefty friends consider the Tuareg culture to be "progressive" even though they are slave traders, their culture is based on a fairly rigid caste system and they consider themselves to be superior to others. Sex and the Saharah. Striking photos. The short video included may give us a clue to where twerking came from.
I am grateful that I do not live in or near the Sahara desert. This 2010 Journey to Timbuktu by NBC News seems so long ago. . . .
I get the impression that garden and greenhouse forms of L. sinuatum were floppier back in the 1980s than they are today. Not as floppy as the ones in the Sahara, though. You can now buy refined strains for the florist trade in single colors or in mixtures with a very wide range of colors. If you want to try making a little money growing your own, Stokes Seeds has directions for various parts of the country.
The USDA has issued guidelines for florists wishing to improve the quality and lasting power of cut flowers including German statice, annual statice and new hybrids for florists, propagated by tissue culture. Statices known in the trade as Sea Foam, Latifolia, and Caspia are also mentioned.
Many statice species can be dried and used for years in permanent flower arrangements. Yet when used as a fresh flower, they may last only a few days before leaf yellowing (on statice only, not German statice) or Botrytis infestation occurs.
Even if the leaves yellow, you may still be able to use annual statice flowers from bouquets in wreaths where the stems do not show.
Russian Statice, or Pink Pokers, is very easy to use in both fresh and dried arrangements. According to Sunset, Psylliostachys suworowii hails from Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia. It prefers average soil and water. Its slender spikes of lavender pink flowers may be branched or unbranched, with the latter resembling "furry rat tails". It may grow better in coastal Alaska than in some parts of the country.
Goniolimon tataricum (sometimes still sold as Limonium tataricum) is a favorite for making wreaths. It has tiny rose to purple true flowers that fall off after blooming, leaving white or silvery-blue star-shaped calyxes. Though the plant is not very tall, it has been described as having "architectural presence". It looks white from a distance and gives an effect in bouquets similar to babys breath. Sunset notes that the entire 1 1/2 foot high and wide dome of flowers can be cut and dried for winter arrangements. It is hardy to USDA Zone 4 and can be seen at the Denver Botanic Gardens. It does best where summers are hot and dry.
LIMONIUM PEREZII AND NATIVE SPECIES
All of the remaining types of statice below are from the genus Limonium. This genus is known for plants that tolerate heat and poor soil, including salty or alkaline soils. They all need good drainage. They tend to be tap-rooted and do not transplant easily once established. Some may not tolerate humidity or continuously moist soil. Flowers are typically made up of two parts, an inner corolla and a surrounding calyx. Often, these are different colors. The flowers attract butterflies.
Limonium perezii, from the Canary Islands, is the showiest species of statice for the garden. Its individual flowers resemble those of L. sinuatum above, though they only come in lavender blue. The flower heads are large and it has a long bloom period. It is a favorite in California, and will grow in the low deserts of Arizona with afternoon shade. It can be fire retardant. Sadly, it is only hardy to 25 degrees.
Garden designers in California have used Limonium perezii with other plants even in the "hell strip" between the street and the sidewalk. Other ideas for this difficult planting situation here.
Because it naturalizes near the beach in Southern California, people sometimes confuse it with native Limonium californium, a salt marsh plant. L. californium can excrete salt from its leaves.
The two other native species are also salt-tolerant. Transpecos sea-lavender flourishes in the salty, often alkaline soils near cienegas in the Southwest.
Carolina sea-lavender is the only native statice in the East. It is hardy in USDA zones 5 - 8. Flower stems are gathered from the wild to make wreaths, worrying some ecologically-minded people.
Popular with floral arrangers, this coastal native grows in the dunes just above the high tide line. Wide leathery evergreen leaves form a ground hugging rosette from which rises the foot tall, broccoli- shaped heads of tiny purple flowers. En masse, these flowers appear as a purple haze. Very tolerant of salt, as it grows in marshes, yet easy to grow in the garden, provided it has moist, very well drained conditions in full sun.Speaking of crafts, they love Carolina sea-lavender at Marsh Radio Island, where in 2013, they invited people to:
Come to "Stitching the Shore" a collaborative crochet session to stitch floating salt marsh islands before they are deployed in the Boston Harbor. This workshop - for veteran and inexperienced crochet stitchers alike, will result in community crocheted connective tissue between our prototype salt marsh modules.
If you understand how this helped protect the shoreline, let us know.
HARDY GARDEN STATICES
Sea lavender, Limonium platyphyllum (AKA L. latifolium), is listed as suitable for USDA Zones 3 - 9. Sunset does not list it for the desert, but does list it for parts of Hawaii. It grows at the edge of the water at The Battery, a waterfront part at the tip of Manhattan. "Tiny blue-lavender flowers arranged in basketball-size masses above sprawling basal rosette of dark green 6-12" leathery oval leaves. Foliage turns rich purple and red in autumn." Note: Fall foliage color may not be reliable in all climates.
Sunset says that there are also pure white and pink forms. Some people call it broad-leafed statice. Grows 2 to 2 1/2 feet tall. It has a frothy, see-through quality. Excellent for fresh or dried flower arrangements.
Siberian statice, Limoniium gmelinii, is a little shorter and more compact than the species above. It has widely-branching clusters of blue flowers in mid- to late summer. Some sources list it as hardy only to Zone 4. Hawaiians are out of luck with this one.
Common or Mediterranean Sea Lavender is native from the British Isles through Southern Europe, North Africa and the Azores. It sometimes turns large swaths of ground near the shore lavender when in bloom. It only grows a foot or two tall. It is hardy to about 15 degrees.
Go ahead. Get some statice. There are many possibilities. Maybe you could make a wreath.
Y-not: Thanks, KT!
To close things up, here's the Heliotrope Bouquet:
What's happening in YOUR gardens this week?
Close it up
Colleje Football Thread: Week 11 [CBD]
Some serious rivalries this week.....
#1 Clemson visits South Carolina @ 12:00pm
#2 Alabama visits Auburn @ 3:30pm
#3 Oklahoma visits #11 Oklahoma State @ 8:00pm
#5 Michigan State hosts Penn State @ 3:30pm
#6 Notre Dame visits #9 Stanford @ 7:30pm
#8 Ohio State visits Ann Arbor and the Michigan Wolverines @ 12:00pm
Finding photos that will get past the censor office is sometimes difficult, but what is interesting is that some schools are shockingly underrepresented in the cute/hot/not-unpleasant-to-look-at bracket. I will leave to your imaginations which of this week's schools is in that sad group. This of course does not include the Playboy pictorials of the various schools and conferences. The airbrush is an invention that, while supposedly feminist magazines use to excess, should not be wielded to exploit the tender and innocent college co-eds who pose for that charming but ultimately sleazy guy from "Garçon Qui Joue."
Shut up. At least you get elbows.
For any NY/NJ Morons who are interested: there is a Moron Meet-up scheduled for December 18th, 6:00pm-9:00pm in the West Village. For more information: nynjmeet at optimum dot net
Close it up
Saturday Politics Thread: Turnout Trends and Strategies [Y-not]
I side-barred this the other day, but you may have missed it. Dan McLaughlin wrote a great piece about trends in voter turnout over the past several presidential elections. It's full of crunchy data -- follow this link to read it.
The gist of the article concerns the much-circulated myth that some 4 million conservative voters stayed home in 2012, leading to Romney's loss.
Here's what Dan has to say about that:
To the extent that any of these analyses are based on the proposition that Romney got millions fewer votes than McCain, they are provably wrong. What happened is pretty simple: some states and localities take longer to count the votes than others -- some big cities are notorious for this, some count absentee ballots slowly, California traditionally counts very slowly, and some of the jurisdictions hit hard by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 were understandably slow getting finalized. But the final numbers are not what was originally available in the immediate aftermath of the election:
In 2004, George W. Bush got 62,039,572 votes vs 59,027,115 for John Kerry.
In 2008, John McCain got 59,950,323 votes vs 69,499,428 for Barack Obama -- in other words, McCain lost about 2 million votes from what Bush had received, while Obama gained over 10 million vs Kerry's total.
In 2012, Mitt Romney got 60,934,407 votes vs 65,918,507 for Obama -- a million more votes for Romney than McCain, and 3.5 million fewer for Obama (but still up around 6 million compared to Kerry).
Presumably, some of Bush's voters in 2004 stayed home in 2008 and 2012, while others switched to Obama or one of many minor third party candidates. But even if we compare Romney to Bush, he's off by only a little over a million votes, not such an enormous number in an electorate of around 130 million people. And exit polling doesn't really support the notion that self-identified conservatives were noticeably missing...
Dan goes on to make some observations about what voters are up for grabs, including Evangelicals and Catholics, and working-class white. (I'd just note that American Catholics do not vote as a bloc. With the exception of JFK, their voting patterns generally mirror the country as a whole.)
This figure derived from Sean Trende's analysis shows which regions of the country had lower turnout (blue) versus higher turnout (red).
No matter who the Republican Party nominates in 2016, there's a lot of work to be done trying to expand the GOP presidential electorate, whether by appealing to new, young voters, disenchanted Obama 2012 voters, evangelical Christians, working-class white Northerners/Midwesterners, or some other group. History suggests that the opportunity is real, and the task is achievable. The electorate is never set in stone, the battle never over. A clear message, and an appealing candidate who means what he or she says and stands for something and can explain what it is and why, is certainly an important asset in that process. But even then, there's no magic formula, no cavalry of millions of conservatives waiting just over the hill to save the day, and no single issue or message that will flip the switch. The work will be hard, and will take energy and determination and a whole lot of one-voter-contact-at-a-time labor to register, to activate, to persuade. George W. Bush did that work to get Republicans 11 million new votes from 1996 to 2000, and another 12 million in 2004. Barack Obama did that work to get Democrats 10 million new votes from 2004 to 2008. It will need to be done again.
If you enjoy analysis based on data rather than "feelings," I encourage you to read this article.
Open thread for politics.
Close it up
EMT 11/28/15 [krakatoa]
Overnight Open Thread (27 Nov 2015)
Hope you morons had a good Thanksgiving and are surviving the Black Friday brawls and traffic jams.
You can rest easy knowing we have top people tracking the "JV team". FBI using elite surveillance teams to track at least 48 high-risk ISIS suspects. Only 48?
"It is a big resource drain. Yes it is. Almost overwhelming," Coats said when asked about the demand placed on the FBI. "There will be a lot of people over the Thanksgiving weekend that will not be enjoying turkey with their family. They'll be out there providing security for the American people and the threat is particularly high during this holiday period."
So the FBI is strained as it is and the President wants to bring in more "refugees" and law enforcement won't even be able to ask about a person's religious affiliations or beliefs? That's a recipe for a disaster.
Weather Gal Dress
Heh. Every female meteorologist is wearing this same $23 dress. They also have their own journolist.
Okay then. Breast friends feed each other's children.
Improbable Movie Weapons Part 2
Funny Spider Story
This is pretty good. Police rush in after man heard screaming 'I'm going to kill you'.
"Where's your wife?" an officer asked.
"I don't have one," the man replied.
"Where’s your girlfriend?" he pressed.
"I don’t have one," he said.
Police told the man neighbours had heard the screams, the threats to kill, the dull thud of flung furniture. "Come on mate, what have you done to her?" the officer asked.
"It was a spider," the man replied sheepishly. "A really big one."
"What about the woman screaming?"
"Yeah sorry, that was me," he said. "I really, really hate spiders."
Boots On The Ground
So how's that no boots on the ground thingy going? How the U.S. campaign in Iraq has escalated with a new weapon: rocket artillery.
If Every Store Was Honest About Black Friday Ads
Yeah, people aren't buying this AGW BS. Public support for tough climate deal declines.
Why do you never see gas taxes itemized on your receipt. Here's the kicker.
I said, "Why don't you put a sign in your window, listing all the taxes they customers are paying on a gallon of gas?"
He said, "That's illegal in Illinois. I would get fined and could lose my gas station!"
Tonight's ONT brought to you by direct evidence of man made global warming:
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Close it up
Colorado Springs Shooter Arrested
Press conference on now.
NYT: Reality Is Limiting Obama's Ability to Spin His Fantasies
NYT: Illegal immigrant surge 'complicating the Obama administration’s efforts to reassure the country that the border is under control.'— Byron York (@ByronYork) November 27, 2015
via Jonah Goldberg (@jonahnro), who made a very similar point.
Active Shooter in Colorado Springs
Harris Faulkner is covering it calmly and straightly on Fox. I can only imagine what Shep Smith would be doing right now if he had the helm.
The "Sam Hyde" thing is a hoax. Hyde and his comedy troupe frequently claim that the "right wing extremist Sam Hyde" is responsible for this shooting or that.
This video shows Hyde giving a TED talk, having conned his way in by claiming to have an impressive resume of helping people in Africa.
Can You Believe It? It's an Open Thread
University presidents buy off radicals with huge slush funds for diversity centers and minority hires.
Charles Partridge Adams, "Fall Sunset" (n.d.)
Overnight Open Thread (11-26-2015) – Happy Thanksgiving Edition
So this happened.
In 1986, Thanksgiving dinner cost $28.74. In October 1986, an average worker made $8.96 an hour. That means that s/he had to work 3 hours 12 minutes and 27 seconds, or 50 minutes and 30 seconds longer than [a] worker today.
So, enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner and rejoice in knowing that you have worked almost an hour less to earn it than would have been the case in 1986.
Good News For Your Defense: Your Appalling Drunken Behavior Might Be Genetic
The key 15 minutes of the classic episode which was based on a real life incident.
Yahoo group. That is all.
And my lo-fi Twitter spew.
Tonight's post brought to you by same BMI, different body:
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Open Thread: Happy Thanksgiving!
Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's officially time for this.
On This Thanksgiving, I'm Grateful For the Gullible Goons of Salon
[H]e wasn't alone on his righteous indignation. Conservative blogger Ace of Spades wrote an entire treatise on how to deal with the miscreant liberals in your family when they use any of these "Vox explainer" talking points. It's very elaborate and very, very serious....
As I said, it's all very elaborate. He goes on to lay out a complicated set of tactical arguments designed to tie the foolish liberal up in knots. It is obviously something that merits a lot of serious thought and preparation. Clearly, it's extremely important.
Pearls before dum-dums.
As Aldous Huxley obsevered: "Every man is the author of his own pwnage."
Incidentally, Charles Cooke's piece was also panned by this Very Intelligent Pyrsyn, as trying for humor with "mixed results." That must mean it's pretty good.
Blowoff Thread: Silly Inventions [Y-not]
Here's a silly thread while we all sit, sans pants, waiting for the turkey to roast.
A couple of weeks ago I spotted this in our local Hobby Lobby:
There's a product for a problem I didn't know existed!
Reminded me of silly invention ideas. For example, an old boss of mine wanted to invent something called a Buffet Buddy to solve the very real problem of how to hold your plate, drink, and silverware while navigating through a buffet.
Here's another invention that Mr. Moxie came up with, inspired by the sight of so many abandoned and beater cars on the rural roads of our new state (and the assumed transportation needs of the owners of said cars):
The idea is that when you need a lift, this is what'll come to pick you up:
**UPDATED by request... Ellie May:
(There are some VERY unsettling pictures of an elderly "Ellie May" that pop up on Google, btw. You are warned!)**
Related: Here's a list of the 25 Strangest Patents Ever Filed. In light of Obamacare, I could envision HHS placing a bulk order for #18, can't you?
Also from The Daily Mail, a list of the wackiest inventions from WWI.
Open thread for silly topics.
Close it up
Early Birder Thread [krakatoa]
Time to smoke the turkey.
I wish I were more thankful today. Persevering through a flu bug that has completely detailed my original plans.
Nevertheless, despite the ick, I have much to be thankful for.
My loving wife who holds together the homestead far more than she should have to due to my work travel.
My amazing daughter who with a hug of her tiny arms can make me forget for precious moments the burdens of the job and of a society hellbent on finding new depths of inanity to call civilized.
My job, despite it's travel requirements. It is a job after all, and not a hobby. At the end of the day, providing for one's family is the ultimate measure of the designated breadwinner.
I know I have it better than most, and despite my general ambivalence of religion, I can't possibly claim to have made it purely on my own merits. Providence, luck, karma, whatever you want to call it, I am thankful for it.
Overnight Open Thread (11-25-2015) – Pre-Thanksgiving Edition
Tonight's theme is cooking tips and recipes. So share'em if you got'em.
And this evening's Food Octagon event will be Oatmeal vs. Cream of Wheat vs. Grits. Three hot cereal foods enter, one food leaves.
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Open Thread: Happy Thanksgiving Edition
If you didn't see yesterday's post on how to screw with your Millennial Vox-reading nieces, check it out.
The man, who has not been named, pictured, was alone in a locked video cabin watching the adult film when the ... https://t.co/GNSGMK1Gjk— DanRiehl (@DanRiehl) November 25, 2015
Rubio's Maneuver Might Have Crippled Obamacare
By keeping fresh government money out of the "risk corridors" (a mechanism by which the government would reimburse money-losing insurers via a slush fund), he might have hastened the death spiral of Obamacare.
Montana Daily Newspaper Plans to Reveal All Previous Posts by Anonymous Commenters
They're changing to a named-commenter system. And they say it would be too hard to have current comments by user name, while leaving old comments anonymous. Despite the fact they previously guaranteed anonymity. "Oh well!" they were quoted as saying.
Nerds and Hot Chicks Are Just Oil and Water
Angry, useless self-harming nerds continue to go after Katherine Timpf for saying she doesn't like Star Wars.
Yeah, that'll show them that you're well-balanced.
Paradigm Shift 2070: One Man's Vision of the Future
This scientist, Sam Hyde, has a lot of interesting facts you can use in your Thanksgivingmanship activities.
No, but seriously, apparently his schtick used to be to bluff his way into conferences, claiming a series of made-up credentials, and then give, well, the kind of speech you see below. He conned a local TED x conference into letting him speak, claiming to have done all these humanitarian things in Mogadishu, and then... well, you can see.
He also bluffed his way into an anime conference. He takes us through his understanding of Japanese culture, which he just read about six minutes ago. Things are going weirdly enough, and then he skips forward to World War II, when he announces, "The Japanese are getting good at building things to kill everyone. Of course, we had to put them in camps because they're subhuman."
A slide projected on the screen shows a Japanese man in an internment camp with the caption, "subhuman."
Close it up
New Morgan Freeman Thriller Makes $69 In Opening Weekend in UK
The movie's called Momentum.
"That Doesn't Sound Like Me:" Chris Christie Surprised by Question About His Entering Politics To Block Efforts to Repeal "Assault Weapons" Ban; Claims to Not Remember It Happening Either Way
The Star Ledger (of NJ) said that he had told them this, and reported it long ago.
Christie says "That doesn't sound like me" and claims a failure of memory.
Obviously, Bret Baier did not promise him a "no surprises" interview.
A look of panic spread across Christie’s face. "Yeah, I don't remember saying that. So, you know, we’ll see," he said.
Just then, a quote appeared on the screen—one Christie gave to the Star-Ledger in April 1993--that would seem to contradict his answer.
"The issue which has motivated me to get into this race is the recent attempt by certain Republican legislators to repeal New Jersey’s ban on assault weapons," Christie said at the time.
The full quote, not shown by Fox News, goes even further: "In today's society, no one needs a semiautomatic assault weapon," he said. "We already have too many firearms in our communities."
Christie, who has been enjoying renewed interest in his candidacy after months of low poll numbers, looked dumbfounded by Baier's question.
"Listen, I--that's 22 years ago,” Christie said. "Bret, I don’t remember. I could've! It doesn’t sound like me."
CNN "Journalist" Caught Red-Handed Doing Media Favors for Hillary; Politico's Mike Allen Caught Red-Handed Promising Hillary's People a "No Surprises" Interview of Chelsea, in Which Questions Would Be Worked Out Beforehand
Hillary wanted some self-serving quotes publicized, and CNN's "journalist" -- the same one who just got suspended for her liberal angst about concerns about Syrian refugees -- duly complied.
She also hit Rand Paul for not attending all the hearings -- just as she was seemingly asked.
Here's that journalist reporting back to Team Hillary about the anti-Rand-Paul tweet she'd tweeted out at their apparent behest:
She also pumped out this quote that Hillary's people wanted out there:
the on-request tweet --> https://t.co/4BHUAjNm1U— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) November 25, 2015
Meanwhile, Gawker catches Politico's Mike Allen promising the Hillary staff (Phil Reines, I think) a "no surprises" interview of Chelsea. I won't link them, but instead will link the Washington Post's alleged journalistic column "The Fix," which, when presented with evidence that a liberal colleague in the media is promising against-the-rules favors to a liberal politician, affixes blame squarely where it belongs: on conservative critics of the media who allege that liberal reporters do favors for liberal politicians.
Here's Mike Allen's email promising a very cozy, reputation-boosting interview for the black hole of negative charisma Chelsea:
We're hosting a Politico New Leaders Brunch on Sunday, Jan. 20, with a brief on-stage interview with moi. We would love to honor Chelsea Clinton, and it sounds like she has some issues, marriage and others, that she enjoys talking about these days. This would be a way to send a message during inaugural week: No one besides me would ask her a question, and you and I would agree on them precisely in advance.
This would be a relaxed conversation, and our innovative format (like a speedy Playbook Breakfast) always gets heavy social-media pickup. The interview would be "no surprises:" I would work with you on topics, and would start with anything she wants to cover or make news on. Quicker than a network hit, and reaching an audience you care about with no risk.
The Washington Post's The Fix column immediately spins for their pal, and lets you know who the real villains are here.
A bit of context might be helpful here, since we’re talking about events that happened almost three years ago: President Obama had just been reelected, and Allen was requesting an interview with Chelsea Clinton on inauguration weekend, which is basically one big party in DC. The news of the moment in Clinton world was that Hillary was just a couple weeks away from stepping down as secretary of state, having previously said she would not serve in Obama’s second term.
One interpretation of Allen’s e-mail to Philippe Reines, the Clinton aide, goes something like this: Hey, I’m looking for just a few minutes with Chelsea during an important time for her mom. This isn’t a probing,"“60 Minutes"-style sit-down, so don't worry about fielding anything out of left field.
Not so bad, right?
But the Republican translation will likely go more like this: What can I do to make Chelsea look good because, as we all know, I and my Web site (and most of the media) live to serve the royal family of the Democratic Party.
The GOP field has already put the media on blast this campaign season. There was that memorable rant by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas during the third primary debate....
He then goes on to note, disapprovingly, the criticisms lodged about the media by Republican candidates.
Elsewhere in the article, he casts Republican criticisms of the media as phantasmal -- though allowing that this incident looks like it could be evidence of that paranoid fear.
And you can bet the Republican presidential candidates -- who often accuse the media of pro-Clinton bias-- will pounce on this as confirmation of that belief. It's a ready-made "liberal media" conspiracy theory...
Republican White House hopefuls sometimes go looking for bias where it's not obvious, or nonexistent. But, in this case, they won't have to look very hard. This time, Politico made their job easy.
Pro-tip for The Fix: A conspiracy requires more than one person. Mike Allen's wrongdoing was just his wrongdoing.
It's your rushing to his defense, and attacking his critics, all over an incident you concede looks very bad, that makes it a liberal conspiracy.
You're all in this together, and you make it more obvious every single day.
Glenn Thrush: We Do This All The Time. It's No Big Deal.
People hate media and will assume the worst. Most of this stuff is just everyday tradecraft -- same BS as any job https://t.co/5KITk0c7zt— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) November 25, 2015
Correction: Chris Cilizza is the main voice of The Fix, but he's not the only voice -- and he did not write this particular column. I have omitted his name from the post.
Al Qaeda Terrorist Detonates Suicide Bomb Amidst ISIS Commanders
A recent suicide bombing in southern Syria shows the rivalry between Al Qaeda and ISIS is more than just a contest to see who can kill the most infidels -- the groups are using classic terror techniques on each other.
The Nov. 15 bombing came at a top-level meeting of the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, a key ISIS militia known for its bloody and vicious hold over parts of the Golan Heights. Six of the group’s top men were killed, including Muhammad "Abu Ali" al-Baridi, the shadowy head of the group who went by the nickname "The Uncle."
Al Nusra Front, Al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, quickly took credit, gloating on Twitter about the "heroic" attack.
Bob Ross, "Okay This Is My One Painting Without Happy Trees I Was Having a Bad Day Piss Off" (probably) (n.d.)
Also: FiveThirtyEight: A Statistical Analysis of the Work of Bob Ross. This Bob Ross painting has no happy mountains or happy clouds. Find out how rare that is.
Close it up
Morning Thread (11-25-2015)
Happy turkey day eve. Don't forget to brine, inject and rub like the Pilgrims did.
Overnight Open Thread (11-24-2015)
The most powerful tool we have to fight ISIL is to say that we're not afraid. To not elevate them and to somehow buy into their fantasy that they're doing something important.
-- President Mom Jeans the day before the State Department issued a world-wide travel advisory for Americans due to ISIL terrorism
For Democrats, I think there's a sense of responsibility here. You know, President Obama waxed self-righteous about the Republican bill and the Republican behavior, but he's made a series of cold and, to me, amoral decisions over the past five years to allow this genocide. And maybe they were the right decisions, but they were not moral decisions.
-- David Brooks finally starting to get over those glorious perfectly creased pants
So this November, let's not keep patting the Mo-Bros on the head and tolerating this childish self-involvement-fest disguised as selflessness and the propagation online and in the media of the inherent importance of North American men and their problems.
...There are a lot of people in the world who would trade your slight risk of prostate cancer for their serious risk of being raped, being killed, starving to death, or dying of preventable diseases. Prostate cancer is a hallmark of privilege. Deal with it.-- Alex Manley complaining about Movember and raising money to fight prostate cancer
The point of life is to never have an unpleasant emotional response. To anything. Note I didn't say that the point is to avoid them. That suggests personal responsibility, when the onus ought to be on everyone else: offense of any kind cannot be made. What's more the definition of offense is the sole possession of the offended. To take offense is to proclaim virtue, to show your highly developed sensibilities, and the point of having these sensibilities is to find a job, or career, or office, or blog, or tumblr, or some other platform where you can ensure that offense is never given. (If one gets a job doing this, it will be by appointment, not election.) The person will pass from the bubble of college to the bubble of social enforcement, keen on perfecting the world. And for the rest of his or her or xer professional life, they'll be shouting BE QUIET to a calm, rational adult who is too terrified to say "you're a terrible child who understands nothing. Go to your room."
These people will produce nothing. They will create no great art, write no symphonies, conjure no novels that speak across the decades, sculpt nothing of beauty. The world outside the bubble is irredeemable. It cannot, of course, be remade all at once, but tomorrow's a new day. Rome wasn't wrecked in a day.-- James Lileks
And the Left is determined to execute all of them. Read the whole thing.
I think future historians will come to see 2012 as the year the wheels fell off the war on terror.
Sorry for all the pre-Thanksgiving Eve bummering. So here is HappyCat to make it better. And to prepare you for The Bummering Phase II.
Journalists had another question: If oil is vitally important to the Islamic State, why didn't the U.S. hit the tanker trucks long ago, given that the American anti-ISIS operation began in September 2014?
"If it's so important to cut off the oil shipments, the critical revenue source for ISIS, why did it take so long to take out 116 oil tanker trucks?" a reporter asked.Warren explained that American officials were deeply worried about harming the truck drivers, who were working for the Islamic State but might not be ISIS themselves. U.S. officials settled on a plan to drop leaflets on the trucks about 45 minutes before the raid, warning the drivers that an attack was coming, while U.S. pilots flew low passes over the area. Planning all that took time.
Just like the old gypsy woman said!
Watching events unfold along the Turkish border this morning, you can't help but wonder if real flag officers are having similar thoughts. Within a matter of minutes, a Turkish F-16 shot down a Russian SU-24 Fencer after it entered the country's airspace, and ignored 10 warnings to turn back. The two-man crew ejected from the jet, but were shot as they descended in their parachutes by Turkish rebels operating along the border.
Then, the Russians dispatched a search-and-rescue (SAR) helicopter to pick up the downed airmen. But members of the Free Syrian Army--a rebel group backed by the U.S.--shot down the chopper, reportedly using an American-made TOW missile. At least one member of the helicopter crew was killed.
The Good News: It turns Out That Some French Restaurant Diners Managed to Shoot And Kill Two Terrorists During the Paris Attacks
The Bad News: They Were Illegally Armed Members of a Columbian Drug Cartel
But on the other hand you do have this.
It's all insider graft-y fun and games until a Russian sub actually pops up in the harbor.
Paul Mirengoff has a theory:
However, I have a more general theory: baseball players are more ornery than football players (and, for that matter, basketball players).
Football and basketball stars become heroes at an early age. They are worshiped in high school (and sometimes before), courted extravagantly by college recruiters, pampered in college, and then (if they're good enough) placed directly into the luxurious life of the big leagues. (To be fair, though,a great many come from poor or lower middle class backgrounds.)
Baseball players are less celebrated in high school and college (if they attend). And they almost always enter the profession via the minor leagues, where they typically spend several years (quite possibly five or more if they become professionals right out of high school).
The minor leagues are a grinding, humbling experience. The pay is low, the towns lack glamor, and the bus rides are long, tedious, and not very comfortable.Thus, my theory goes, when baseball players finally make it, they have a fortitude that their more spoiled counterparts in football and basketball lack. That's why they are more likely to hang tough in negotiations, as they did most famously during the 1994 labor dispute when the baseball season was lost.
There are many different ways to test for the accuracy of stereotypes, because there are many different types or aspects of accuracy. However, one type is quite simple -- the correspondence of stereotype beliefs with criteria. If I believe 60% of adult women are over 5' 4" tall, and 56% voted for the Democrat in the last Presidential election, and that 35% of all adult women have college degrees, how well do my beliefs correspond to the actual probabilities? One can do this sort of thing for many different types of groups.
And lots of scientists have. And you know what they found? That stereotype accuracy -- the correspondence of stereotype beliefs with criteria -- is one of the largest relationships in all of social psychology. The correlations of stereotypes with criteria range from .4 to over .9, and average almost .8 for cultural stereotypes (the correlation of beliefs that are widely shared with criteria) and.5 for personal stereotypes (the correlation of one individual's stereotypes with criteria, averaged over lots of individuals). The average effect in social psychology is about .20. Stereotypes are more valid than most social psychological hypotheses.
They probably won't be cheap or plentiful but they're coming.
And the perfect punch line would be that she came in second. But in this case there was no contest. The best part is the look on the other contestants' faces when 'Jenny' finally starts to sing.
It's Finally Out: The 2016 NYC Taxi Drivers Pin-Up Calendar!
But how do you pick something out that she's going to like and gets your motor going? Well, let me help you with that, chuckles. Etsy store Bullet and Bee has a four set of Golden Girls panties. Each pair has a picture of either Bea Arthur, Estelle Getty, Rue McClanahan or Betty White. But they don't just have pictures of the four sexy ladies on them. Each one is a different style. The Bea Arthur is high rise, Estelle Getty's is high wasted, the Betty White is sheer, and the Rue McClanahan is crotchless. Let that sink in.
You can buy the whole set for $160 or each one for $38-$52. That's a bargain for that much sexiness!
The Yahoo group is for closers only.
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Close it up
Chicago Releases Video of Police Shooting of Suspect; City Braces for Violence That Some Predict Could Be Described as "Tuesday"
Having watched the tape, what I see here is cause for arrest of Laquan McDonald. I don't see anything remotely threatening enough to justify a shooting.
Apparently prosecuting someone for murder isn't enough. There must be riots.
I guess I see the point of protests, but not riots. I assume we'll have riots, because of course we must have riots.
At the Blaze, more graphic video, which includes the actual shooting. And he was shot at sixteen times, but I can't see how he was shot sixteen times. Looks like the first one two shots kills him. If he actually was shot sixteen times, then I guess he was being hit by bullets long before he falls to the ground.
Update: ArthurK. says you can see the bullets hitting him when he's on the ground.
Well, this won't be a long trial.
Seems to Have Been Some Testi-Lying About the Shooting.
Of course there was no "lunge."
It Gets Worse: Apparently Burger King had security cameras nearby.
The prosecutor says that there is no evidence of anyone "tampering with" the video files.
Alvarez, in response to a question from NBC 5 Political Editor Carol Marin, said forensic testing was done on surveillance footage from a Burger King restaurant close to where the shooting took place to determine if the video had been "tampered with."
"Forensic testing was done on the Burger King surveillance system to determine if anyone tampered with the evidence and the testing did not reveal any such evidence," she said.
She declined to comment on which agency conducted the tests, however.
I don't know who's right here, obviously.
@JimmyPrinceton has asked on Twitter why the media isn't going after Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, who, after all, presides over this police department, and and the prosecutors, and etc.
Fundamental Concepts - Nothing to Believe In [Weirddave]
The latest surge by ISIS has brought to the fore one of the hallmarks of modern leftism, and that is their absolute refusal to process facts that conflict with their worldview. Here we have ISIS, a murderous, genocidal Islamic supremacy group. They have stated quite openly that they intend to carve a caliphate out for themselves by any means necessary, and by “by any means” they mean as violently as possible. They view the West, Christianity, Secular Humanists, Hindus, everybody who doesn’t conform to their brand of Islam as the enemy, and they have only one tactic for dealing with the enemy : kill them and keep on killing them until they are either all dead or their remnant is so cowed that they convert to Islam. They justify this using the Koran and various Hadiths and they will quite happily tell anyone who will listen exactly what they believe is divine rational for their actions.
You or I look at this and say “Huh. These assholes want to kill us. Let’s arm ourselves and prepare. Let’s go out and kill them first to protect our weak and vulnerable. They have demonstrated again and again that they are serious, we should take them at their word”. To us, this is the most basic common sense. When ISIS says that they are going to smuggle terrorists in amongst Syrian refuges to kill us at home, something they have demonstrated the ability to do as recently as last week, we think it’s simply prudent to halt an influx of refugees that we can not verify free of terrorists. Again, simple common sense.
Our leaders, the so called smart set, don’t seem to agree, and an increasing percentage of the population is realizing that what we see as blindingly obvious, they don’t see at all? Why? I’ve seen this question asked more than once this past week on social media and in the press, and have yet to hear a good answer. It quite simply makes no sense.
When talking about leftists in the United States, it would be logical to assume that their denial of reality is tied to their investment in fantasy, and I do think that that is a part of it. They are absolutely committed to the Lightbringer narrative. Obama was supposed to do nothing less than change the way the world works, and the fact that he hasn’t must be obfuscated at all costs. The reality that his idiotic graduate school Utopian mindset has CAUSED many of these problems is blackest heresy that must never be spoken of out loud. There is a generous dollop of that amongst Proggys here, but Left Wing European elites have no reason to shield Obama from criticism, and yet they feel the same way. So what exactly is the reason that these people so stridently deny reality?
I think the roots go back to WWI. It is hard for us raised in a post WWI (and WWII) world to understand exactly how shattering WWI was to the psyche of the West. Tens of millions dead, the cream of an entire generation ripped from the bosom of their homes to be extinguished in the bloody horror of Gallipoli, Ypers and The Somme. Prior to WWI, the West (and by this we mean Christendom), had an unbounded confidence that it was the pinnacle of human achievement, leading the way to a brighter future (which came to pass, just look around at the material wonders of life in the West today). Post WWI the West recoiled from what it had done (only to do it again a generation later) and allowed a societal rot to take root and spread. Since traditional morals had so failed Christendom, then they must be done away with and replaced.
I’m going to fast forward a little bit over the details, books have been written about things like moral relativism, Marxist theory and secular humanism, but once you get to today you find that the vast majority of our “elites” share a mindset that makes them virtually incapable of responding to a threat like ISIS.
These people believe in the primacy of self. The ultimate end all be all of the universe is the 2.2 lbs of cabbage they have between their ears. Just their ears, what other people may think or believe has no bearing on the universe if it disagrees with their precious worldview. Now, it’s fine and dandy to recognize that the brain is the only tool we have to understand the universe. It is folly unbound to demand that the universe reconfigure itself to match the wishes of the brain. That is arrogance at its rawest, and that is what we see daily from the Left.
Obama arrogantly speaks of “universal values” without realizing that no, the values he’s referring to are anything but universal and in fact they are the product of a religious and moral code that he rejects.
The elites arrogantly reject that ISIS can hurt the West. Oh sure, they may kill some random members of the hoi polloi, but that won’t affect THEM. And it might not. Until it does, or until the hoi polloi get tired of bleeding all over the place and decide to make some changes.
The media arrogantly denies that the terrorists themselves have any agency. They constantly seek to excuse their bloody attacks by excusing them as pawns or blaming society, imperialism, Christians, corporations, BOOOOSH! Capitalism or whatever.
Most of all, what all of these smug assholes fail to accept, steeped as they are in their philosophy of self and blinded by the myth of their superior intellects, is that there are billions of people out there who do not subscribe to their selfish worldview: people who believe in something larger then themselves and who act upon those beliefs. They can’t understand it when they run across it in their own culture for God’s sake (That Christians might have an honest belief that homosexuality is a sin does not compute. Christians MUST be bigots, or homophobes or haters), they have no chance at recognizing it in a foreign one. Last week in Paris, one of the terrorists calmly went down a row of handicapped people in wheelchairs and calmly executed each and every one of them in turn. I guarantee you that as this evil man calmly committed this bloody and evil act, he felt in his heart the same satisfaction that you do when you give money to a homeless man Mr. Elite. These people have their own beliefs and the free will to act upon them. They will tell you all about them if you ask, and even if you don’t. They are PROUD of what they are doing. They BRAG about their bloody ways. THEY MEAN WHAT THEY SAY.
Unfortunately, that is so utterly foreign to the worldview of our so-called elites that they just don’t get it, and I doubt the ever will because it contradicts that worldview completely. To understand they would have to let go of the arrogance that sustains them, and that’s a very hard row to hoe.
And that leaves us screwed. How can we defeat out enemies if we refuse to take them seriously?
Close it up
Thanksgivingmanship: Your Guide to Surviving The Progressive Imbeciles Who Have Spent a Week Cramming on How to Survive You
Oxford Don Stephen Potter introduced the world to the principles of Gamesmanship, the way to win at games by resort to cheap ploys which were very close to cheating without being technically cheating. He later expanded his inquiries into the general field of "Lifemanship," the discipline of embracing life in a dickish and hostile spirit, sabotaging social rivals without quite breaching social etiquette.
Given that the progressive elder-children-yet-not-quite-adults you'll be encountering this Thanksgiving (who I will henceforth refer to as "grownchildren") will be armed to the teeth with Vox explainers and Obamacare propaganda, I herewith humbly submit these first sketches of a new branch of Lifemanship I call "Thankgivingmanship," which I define as the gentle art of insulting the stupid without alerting them to the fact that they've been insulted at all.
It is the goal of the dedicated Thanksgivingman, then, to achieve the sublime art of giving offense without offense being taken.
My basic strategy is thus: It would be as rude of you as it is rude of your cretinous grownchildren kin to allow a Thanksgiving dinner into a stupid game of Rachel Maddow Talking Points and their rebuttals.
So, rather than confront the unemployed idiots who will be assailing you, I propose instead to superficially avoid conflict and engagement on their dummy mouthflappings, and appear instead to agree with them.
But -- and here is the point -- a skilled Thanksgivingman will only appear to agree with the grownchildren to feeble intellects, such as those possessed by the grownchildren themselves. Instead of disagreeing with them -- which will cause argument and anger -- you will instead claim to agree with them, while in fact contradicting them, subverting them, of baffling them with statements that nearly, but do not quite, make sense.
Our definitions and mission now established, we turn to the first of our three primary Thanksgivingmanship gambits:
The Neutral or Nonsensical Statement Disguised as Agreement.Progressives do not process language the same way human beings do; they chiefly adduce meaning from tone and body language, like dogs.
This means that you can say many things which are either irrelevant, nonsensical, or otherwise not in agreement with the progressive subcreatures you're temporarily amidst so long as you deliver your words with a warm smile and a lot of nodding.
You may also use uptalk to express an insincere solidarity. As with dogs and babies, progressives find artificially high-pitched vocal tones to be soothing and possibly a prelude to Walkies and Snackies.
Whenever a progressive grownchild says something stupid and ignorant, which will be always, do not engage on the merits. Progressive grownchildren will become highly emotional and agitated at the slightest show of disagreement, and may wet the floor or claw at the furniture.
Instead, say something which is either neutral or nonsensical (which successfully communicates your true beliefs to other real human beings capable of deciphering obvious meaning) while deploying smiling, nodding, and uptalk to falsely convey agreement with to the more-stunted intellect of the grownchild.
For example, if a progressive grownchild says, "Rachel Maddow is just so amazing," you can respond by nodding and saying "Absolutely, Rachel Maddow is without doubt a mammal." (Or: "A mammal...?")
Possible responses to common grownchild mouthchatter include:
"Well I see that the 'Faux Noise Machice' has gotten everyone riled up about so-called 'terrorism' again."
"Doubtless! Terrorists only win when allow them to make us afraid, or dead." (Or: "Afraid, or dead...?")
"Can't people see that stupid cons are doing Just What ISIS Wants us to do?"
"It's so obvious-- the attacks in Paris weren't just an attack on human lives. They were an attack on our shared human capacity to be alive." ("To be alive, and stuff...?")
This is a very simple one, which can be deployed in a variety of contexts:
"None of this is Obama's fault -- he's doing the best he can to keep America out of another War of Choice."
"Boy that Obama-- he is really something, isn't he?"
As the evening wears on, and you are preparing to depart, you may become somewhat more blatant in your stealth insults, like so:
"I just read an explainer about this on Vox."
"Today's world is so remarkable! When I was young, we had to read books and derive our own thinking for ourselves. What a time to be alive, when sounding vaguely informed is no longer a luxury of the intellectual, but a cheaply assembled ware available to the common man!"
Fake Statistics. It was my old friend Boston Irish who alerted me to this ticklish little trope, when he observed that no matter how absurd the statistic you proposed to a progressive, if that statistic seemed to call attention to whatever bugaboos xhe was excited about, xhe would respond with a gushing "I know, right?!"
He demonstrated this to me at a party by interrupting a couple of liberals talking, and announcing to them:
"You know, based on current statistics, in ten years, the entire state of California will be homeless."
"Right! I know!" came the response.
By the way, that is not schtick. That is not a joke written for this blogpost. I was really there, he really said that, that really happened.
After having secured the agreement to his obviously-crank "statistics," he turned to me with a slightly arched eyebrow and sipped his beer in quiet triumph.
This propensity of grownchildren to agree to whatever fantastical "studies" and "statistics" you propose to them can be exploited for much private merriment at the holidays.
Other gambits include:
* "You know, the average family of four pays more in ATM fees to the Big Banksters than they spend on rent."
* "By the year 2030, global warming predicts that the entire North American landmass will be flooded by seawater and wolves."
* "99.4% of the world's wealth is controlled by six-tenths of a single person."
* "More people are killed every year by shooting accidentally shooting themselves than who died in all the wars in the world combined, except for the Korean War."
You need to throw that "Except for the Korean War" in at the end because the claim, on its face, is too preposterous, so you deduct out Korean War deaths to bring it into the real of the plausible. (Plausible, that is, for progressive grownchildren.) It makes like you've done the math and just have to make this one little adjustment to get the numbers to work.
You may follow Boston Irish's trope of the obviously-crank "liberal study" claim, or you can try your hand at claims which are simply baffling nonsense:
* "Studies have proven that if you have a gun in your house, you are more in danger of being struck by lightning than being bitten by a rattlesnake. Think about it."
A minor variation of the Fake Statistic ploy is the Fake Profundity gambit, in which you propose some ludicrous "deep thought" which derives not from social science, but from your own personal philosophical inquiry.
For example, this one is best delivered with chin uplifted, Obama-style, and a metaphysical glaze of the eye:
* "For what is it that gives the terrorists power -- their weapons, or our primitive, irrational fear that they will kill us with their weapons?"
It is generally a useful practice to prefix such bits of nonsense with faux-biblical language, such as "For what..." or "Lo" and "Thus and so."
Fake Quotes. Progressives love fake quotes -- they just love dressing up whatever passes for this week's SJW Conventional Wisdom and attributing it to some historic figure.
Generally, these historic figures are very well known, because progressives don't know any historic figures except the very well known. Thomas Jefferson is always a popular choice. For "bad sounding quotes," Hitler is preferred. Napoleon and Marcus Aurelius may be deployed as well, but be prepared for some confused looks as to who it is you're talking about.
Offering a ridiculous quote can bring you and any other lively minds at the table great amusement. Your target will probably not notice the quote is fake, because he is an imbecile, and also because you'll have a serene, self-satisfied smile on your face as you say it, which he will read as "A Fellow Progressive in Discursive Mode."
This minor camouflage will permit you to smuggle huge amounts of nonsense in the guise of Wisdom of the Ancients.
Feel free to subvert your noddingsmiles with messages that are blatantly mottos of the NRA, if only the grownchild could understand simple words, which they cannot.
"Wasn't it Mahatma Gandhi who said, 'It is not necessarily the first man to shoot who wins the battle, but it is always the last man shooting who wins the day'?"
"As Gertrude Stein said" -- and I should say here that this gambit works best when you pronounce this name, for no particular reason, in an outrageous German accent, as Gaertruude Schteinn.
So, let's begin again: "As Gaertruude Schteinn observed, 'The man who is slowest to arm himself is quickest to savor the bounties of Heaven.'"
Another gambit is to offer up the following quotes, which are applicable in a wide range of situations.
"I forget which scientist said it, maybe Neil DeGrasse Tyson, but it's worth repeating: 'Wars of religion always make me laugh because basically you're fighting over who has the best imaginary friend.'"
"A great philosopher, Gaertruud Von Schteinn, once said, 'Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true'?"
You will get big nods for these Aphorisms of the Sages. You yourself can take pleasure in the knowledge that both quotes are from the movie Point Break, delivered by Johnny Utah (Keanu Reaves) and Bodhi (Patrick Swayze), respectively.
If you get any verbal expressions of agreement, a "hear-hear" or an "amen," you can extend the joke by saying, "In the words of the spiritual master Boddhisatva, 'You can do what you want, and make up your own rules. Why be a servant to the law, when you can be its master...?" or "Six seconds and we're going to be meat waffles.'"
Make this trope your own. Have fun with it. If you want to claim that it was Niccolo Machiavelli who first advised, "Sweep the leg, Johnny," go with it, but try to get your more subtle Fake Quotes in before "going big" like that.
A Final Word. At some point, even an experienced Thanksgivingman will go too far, and give his game away. At that point, there will be sulks and silences, and the Thanksgivingman will have actually failed at his goal, which is to give offense without offense being taken.
In such straits, the Thanksgivingman, in order to be the polite person he wishes to be, will have to apologize -- it is the verminous grownchildren who have come to bicker and strife, after all, not the well-mannered Thankgivingman.
However, for the zealous Thanksgivingman, even an apology can be exploited for further Thanksgivingmanship points.
For example, if the childanimal you are speaking with declares:
"You're micro-aggressing me."
...then be sure to respond,
"Ah, then please sincerely accept my most micro apologies."
If It's a Holiday, It Must Be Time for Flood of Articles from Leftwing Blogs on How to "Survive" a Routine Visit to One's Family
Well, I keep answering the question, but Ed Driscoll rounds up the latest weirdness from your Totally Not Weird and Psychologically Damaged Progressive Friends.
I have to steal this tweet from him:
The holiday season always makes liberals insanely paranoid. pic.twitter.com/tiGCPurgwL— Daniel Payne (@danieljpayne) November 24, 2015
By the way, the "How to Survive Thanksgiving With Your Awful, Terrible Family That Caused You to Self-Harm When You Were 14" type article has leapt from its usual perch at hardcore leftwing blogs -- the HuffPo, Salon, Vox, Slate, etc. -- to the allegedly "mainstream" media, at the Washington Post.
The Post's article is not that bad -- it is mostly about conflict mediation and perspective, rather than, as most leftwing blogs would have it, "How to DESTROY your Rush Limbaugh-Loving Uncle at Thanksgiving."
Still, it's interesting, if inevitable, that the "mainstream" media shows once again from whom it takes its cues.
As the "mainstream" media can't resist this trend, neither can I; I'm preparing my own How to Survive Thanksgiving article. Should have it up later today.
Turkey Shoots Down Russian Plane; Syrian Militiamen Shoot At Pilot as He's Parachuting to the Ground
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Su-24 was hit by air-to-air missiles fired by Turkish F-16s while it was flying over Syrian territory.
But Turkish military officials said the plane was engaged after being warned that it was violating Turkish airspace.
Mr Putin described the incident as a "stab in the back" committed by "accomplices of terrorists".
Putin claims the plane was wholly in Syrian airpspace. Erdogan says Russia was looking to bomb its allies, the Turkmen (who are not Turks, actually).
There was no ISIS presence along that border area, but there were Turkmen there, Erdogan said. So anyone who bombs that area attacks "our brothers and sisters -- Turkmen," Erdogan said in Ankara. (Turkmen are a Turkic-speaking, traditionally nomadic people who live primarily in Central Asia, but a small minority of them can be found in the Middle East, primarily in northern Iraq, Iran and Turkey.)
Making this an even greater provocation for the easily-provoked Putin is the shooting of the pilots:
Not to upset anyone, and not to be alarmist, but when Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, no one predicted the chain reactions that would ensue and spark off a world war.
In the video below, the expert says that Russians were not there to bomb ISIS, but rather to support Assad's forces against non-ISIS rebels.
Stephen Colbert's Ratings Tank, Because, Industry Insiders Say, He's an Asshole
After an initial burst of interest spurred by CBS’s big-bucks saturation advertising campaign for "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,: the show’s ratings have tanked and it is now running third in late night behind NBC’s Jimmy Fallon and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel, who rarely has managed second place before.
The reason? A survey by the Hollywood Reporter found that conservative viewers are turning off Colbert in droves. Nearly twice as many Republicans are watching Kimmel as Colbert, who has turned "Late Show" into a sort of wannabe MSNBC program.
Ratings show that 47 percent of Colbert’s viewers identify as Democrats, 17 percent as Republicans. Kimmel's audience is evenly split -- 33 percent Democrats, 32 percent Republicans, while Fallon’s is nearly so (36 percent Democrats, 31 percent Republicans).
He's also frequently losing to Kimmel "in the demo" of 25-48 year olds, or whatever that range is.
Now, you're probably saying "This is the perfect time for Salon to swoop in and embarrass themselves," and as usual you're right:
This subhed appearing in Salon is pretty hilarious. pic.twitter.com/HOefGwtYrF— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) November 24, 2015
Obama Joint Press Conference With Hollande
He's babbling that we shouldn't show fear, because we've done so before, to our regret.
[Update: Andy] And then this happened ...
Obama just said the UN Climate Conference will be a "powerful rebuke to terrorists."— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) November 24, 2015
George Inness, "In the Berkshires" (c. 1848)