Rockwell Kent, "America, Land of Our Fathers" (c. 1956)
BREAKING: Failure Theater Alert! Iran Deal Will Survive Senate Vote
BREAKING: Pres. Obama secures enough Senate support to protect Iran nuclear deal after Sen. Mikulski pledges support to deal.— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) September 2, 2015
That's 34 votes for the deal, with 10 Democrats still to announce their position. No doubt some will now bravely come out against it when their vote no longer matters. I'm looking at you Joe Manchin.
This means the "resolution of disapproval" will fail so Obama won't even have to veto anything. It will just fade away in the Senate and that will be that.
Congratulations to Iran on their new nuclear weapons.
Oh and get used to this, September is going to be Failure Theater month....
There will be no fight over funding Planned Parenthood. The Continuing Resolution will bust the sequester caps which means spending will go up and they will probably sneak a debt ceiling hike and a re-authorization of the EX/IM bank in there as well.
But there's nothing the GOP can do about this. Nothing at all. And they will never be able to do anything according the star of Failure Theater, Mitch McConnell.(via @danholler)
“The Senate Democrats have a big enough number to prevent us from doing things. They prevented us from doing any of the bills that appropriate money for the government, thereby forcing a negotiation when we go back in after Labor Day, which I’ll be engaged in with the administration and others to try to sort out how much we’re going to spend and where we’re going to spend it,” McConnell told WYMT in Hazard, Ky.
During the wide-ranging interview, McConnell also responded to a viewer who questioned him on cutting off funding to Planned Parenthood. McConnell said he had led on the issue, but that the numbers were against him.
“We just don’t have the votes to get the outcome that we’d like,” McConnell said. “I would remind all of your viewers: The way you make a law in this country, the Congress has to pass it and the president has to sign it. The president has made it very clear he’s not going to sign any bill that includes defunding of Planned Parenthood, so that’s another issue that awaits a new president hopefully with a different point of view about Planned Parenthood.”
Pretty sure this should count as an in-kind contribution to Ted Cruz's campaign.
It is going to be interesting to see who was opposed to the ObamaCare shutdown and who supports a shutdown over this. I'm going to need to order some extra popcorn.
The big thing is if McConnell is saying the GOP can never get what it wants unless it has 60 votes, there's no point in voting for a GOP Senate candidate. There have never been 60 GOP Senators at the same time and you will never get 60 GOP votes in the Senate. Hell, even if you did, do you think there wouldn't be a few traitors in the bunch who stick with the Democrats?
It's kind of funny because when the Democrats didn't have 60 votes in the Senate they were still able to get things they wanted. But nope, that doesn't work for the GOP. Of course Harry Reid was able to find Republicans who would sellout to him. McConnell doesn't even seem to try. And even if he can't get their votes, why isn't he making them vote against things that they can be hammered with back home?
But hey, you crazy pro-lifers will get your show vote in the House on Planned Parenthoodwhile the big boys get what they want in the CR. Are you not entertained? Whatever, keep volunteering and voting GOP and turning in for future episodes of GOP Failure Theater.
Wednesday Morning News Dump
- Economics And Good Intentions
- Iran Vows To Violate UN Restrictions On Ballistic Missiles
- Mitch McConnell And The Planned Parenthood Atom Bomb
- 188 Newly Released Clinton E-mails Contain Classified Data, Including Spy Satellite Date Of North Korean Nukes
- Republicans Like Obama's Ideas When They Think They're Donald Trump's
- Obama Stares Down Melting Alaska Glacier
- Jeb's Sudden Free Fall
- Pretaeus's Plan To Defeat ISIS Won't Work
- Man Fatally Shot While Taking Selfies With A Gun
- End America's Oil Export Ban
Top Headline Comments 9-2-2015
Overnight Open Thread (9-1-2015)
There are no rational means of predicting the 'future of humanity' over a long period or foretelling the nature of 'social formations' in ages to come. The idea that we can make such forecasts 'scientifically,' and that without doing so we cannot understand the past, is inherent in the Marxist theory of 'social formations;' it is one reason why the theory is a fantasy, and also why it is politically effective. The influence that Marxism has achieved, for from being the result or proof of its scientific character, is almost entirely due to its prophetic, fantastic, and irrational elements. Marxism is a doctrine of blind confidence that a paradise of universal satisfaction is awaiting us just around the corner. Almost all the prophecies of Marx and his followers have already proved to be false, but this does not disturb the spiritual certainty of the faithful, any more than it did in the case of chiliastic sects: for it is certainty not based on any empirical premises or supposed 'historical laws,' but simply on the psychological need for certainty. In this sense Marxism performs the function of a religion, and its efficacy is of a religious character. But it is a caricature and a bogus form of religion, since it presents its temporal eschatology as a scientific system, which religious mythologies do not purport to be. . .
At present Marxism neither interprets the world nor changes it: it is merely a repertoire of slogans serving to organize various interests, most of them completely remote from those which Marxism originally identified itself.-- Leszek Kolakowski
Monsters shall always be with us, but in earlier days they did not roam free. As a psychiatrist in Massachusetts in the 1970s, I committed people - often right out of the emergency room - as a danger to themselves or to others. I never did so lightly, but I labored under none of the crushing bureaucratic and legal constraints that make involuntary commitment infinitely more difficult today.
Why do you think we have so many homeless? Destitution? Poverty has declined since the 1950s. The majority of those sleeping on grates are mentally ill. In the name of civil liberties, we let them die with their rights on.
A tiny percentage of the mentally ill become mass killers. Just about everyone around Tucson shooter Jared Loughner sensed he was mentally ill and dangerous. But in effect, he had to kill before he could be put away - and (forcibly) treated.
Random mass killings were three times more common in the 2000s than in the 1980s, when gun laws were actually weaker. Yet a 2011 University of California at Berkeley study found that states with strong civil commitment laws have about a one-third lower homicide rate.-- Charles Krauthammer in The roots of mass murder
Last weekend, I camped with my family at a barn-raising party on the western foot of the Quantock hills, in Somerset. On Saturday I crept out of the tent at 5am, when the faintest skein of red cloud netted the sky. Below me, mist filled the valley floor. I slipped through the sagging fence at the top of the field and found myself in a steep, broad coomb, covered in bracken. I climbed for a while, as quietly as I could, until a frightful wail shattered my thoughts. I crouched and listened. I could see nothing on the dark hillside. It came again, from about 50 metres to my right, half-shriek, half-bleat, a wild, wrenching, desolate cry, a cry that the Earth might make in mourning for itself.
...Walking without a map, I reached the valley floor too soon and found myself on the main road. In some places there were no verges and I had to press myself into the hedge as cars passed. But on such early walks, almost regardless of where you are, there are rewards. Just as I was about to turn off the road, on to the track that would take me back to the barn, I found a squirrel hit by a car that must have just passed me, dead but still twitching. It was a male, one of this year's brood but fully grown. Blood seeped from a wound to the head.
I picked it up by its hind feet, and though I had played no part in its death, I was immediately gripped by a sensation so discrete, so distinct from all else we feel, that I believe it requires its own label: hunter's pride. It's the raw, feral thrill I have experienced only on the occasions when I have picked up a fresh dead animal I intend to eat. It feels to me like the opening of a hidden door, a rent in the mind through which you can glimpse a ghost psyche: vestigial emotional faculties that once helped us to survive.-- The Guardian's George 'Moonbat' Monbiot expounding on the joys of his roadkill hunter-gatherer lifestyle
"I'm 23, female, a lesbian, white, mentally ill,
visually impaired, a recent college graduate,
an atheist, very left-wing, from the U.S.,
and seeking to learn more every day."
Seriously, try it. Start the process. Stop whining about it on Twitter, and on HBO, and at the Daily Kos. Stop playing with some Thomas Jefferson quote you found on Google. Stop jumping on the news cycle and watching the retweets and viral shares rack up. Go out there and begin the movement in earnest. Don't fall back on excuses. Don't play cheap motte-and-bailey games. And don't pretend that you're okay with the Second Amendment in theory, but you're just appalled by the Heller decision. You're not. Heller recognized what was obvious to the amendment's drafters, to the people who debated it, and to the jurists of their era and beyond: That "right of the people" means "right of the people," as it does everywhere else in both the Bill of Rights and in the common law that preceded it. A Second Amendment without the supposedly pernicious Heller "interpretation" wouldn't be any impediment to regulation at all. It would be a dead letter. It would be an effective repeal. It would be the end of the right itself. In other words, it would be exactly what you want! Man up. Put together a plan, and take those words out of the Constitution.
...You're going to need a plan. A state-by-state, county-by-county, street-by-street, door-to door plan. A detailed roadmap to abolition that involves the military and the police and a whole host of informants - and, probably, a hell of a lot of blood, too. Sure, the ACLU won't like it, especially when you start going around poorer neighborhoods. Sure, there are probably between 20 and 30 million Americans who would rather fight a civil war than let you into their houses. Sure, there is no historical precedent in America for the mass confiscation of a commonly owned item - let alone one that was until recently constitutionally protected. Sure, it's slightly odd that you think that we can't deport 11 million people but we can search 123 million homes. But that's just the price we have to pay. Times have changed. It has to be done: For the children; for America; for the future. Hey hey, ho ho, the Second Amendment has to go. Let's do this thing. When do you get started?
Carbon dating suggests maybe.
Scholars now believe that a copy Quran held by the Birmingham Library was actually written sometime between 568 AD and 645, while the Prophet Mohammad was believed to have been born in 570 AD and to have died in 632 AD. The copy of the widely used holy text held by the library is known for being one of the oldest in the world.
Scholars came to this conclusion after researchers carbon dated a small piece of parchment from the Islamic holy book. The carbon dating, which is considered to be extremely accurate, suggests that the Quran may have actually been written before Muhammad was alive, or during the early years of his childhood.
Holy inverse correlation Batman.
The editorial staff at Playboy.com recently revealed that they have discovered a bunch of dusty old blueprints, plans and photographs in an unfinished basement area of the Playboy Mansion, which unveil a network of underground tunnels that allegedly once linked Hefner's notorious bachelor's pad to the homes of "Mr. J. Nicholson," "Mr. W. Beatty," "Mr. K. Douglas" and "Mr. J. Caan" during the late 1970s and 80s.
...The clues to the story were hiding in the office archives all this time; polaroids dated to 1977 that showed a large excavation project at the residence. When editorial staff contacted the Mansion about the polaroids they had stumbled upon, the Mansion's current general manager responded "very matter-of-factly" and told the journalists "that's probably when they built the tunnels in the 70s."A little dumbfounded, the editorial team promptly made their way over to the Playboy Mansion and were given access by mansion staff to a basement area where they pretty much went nuts over the treasure trove they found there; old photos, plans and blueprints, clearly indicating that these tunnels led specifically to the homes of Jack Nicholson, Kirk Douglas, James Caan and of course, Mr. Warren Beatty, who all lived nearby.
Say goodbye to DD-WRT and all the other open source firmwares. You don't really control your own network devices anymore.
One of my web searches turned up a study from Trinity College's American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) on the demographics of Mormons. According to the ARIS study, there are now 150 Mormon women for every 100 Mormon men in the state of Utah - a 50 percent oversupply of women.
The Yahoo group is for closers only.
Tonight's post brought to you by hi-fi listening:
Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Don't try to understand 'em, just rope, throw an' brand 'em. Note: Vittles and love not included in ONT.
Close it up
Sept 2, 1945
—Dave In Texas
The signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender. That's what we called victory back then, we win you surrender.
It was about now or an hour ago, 70 years ago. It's around 10:30am local time, Sept. 2 in Tokyo.
Quickies: CNN Caves; Jeb Falls; Dow Collapses; Norm MacDonald Is Awsome
They will now only use polls since the FoxNews debate. This will certainly put Carly Fiorina into the debate, as Real Clear Politics has her in fourth place -- just a point behind Jeb Bush.
But this only begins CNN's problems. Having changed their rules midstream, whoever loses his place due to the new rules will have a major -- and legitimate -- beef with the network.
As I've said, you can create any panel you like and claim you're doing so based on "objective criteria" if you're allowed to choose, post-hoc, which objective criterial you want to use. Want Christie to be in the debate at the expense of, say, Huckabee? Then choose this poll that has Christie higher and Huckabee lower.
By abandoning their pre-established "objective criteria" rules (which I am doubtful were all that pre-established anyway), CNN essentially admits they're going to put on whoever they want to have on and then use whatever polls they need to use to justify that decision.
There is a better way, of course: Two panels, 8 people each, the top eight in the polls split evenly by random draw into the two panels, to make sure that each panel has some of the Bigger Draws in it.
I don't understand why news networks, which live and die on free, easily-had news content, keep turning their noses up at free, easily-had news content.
And speaking of Jeb: It's hard to be a gangsta.
The bottom has fallen out for Jeb Bush. The newest poll of Iowa has Bush at 5 percent. He’s at 7 percent in New Hampshire and 9 percent in South Carolina. As recently as mid-July, Bush sat atop the Real Clear Politics national average, eight points ahead of his nearest competitor at 17.8 percent. Now, he trails Donald Trump and Ben Carson, in third at 9.7 percent.
Bush's well-documented weaknesses as a candidate -- perceived conservative heresies on immigration and Common Core, a politically inconvenient last name -- didn’t seem to be hurting him when he was on top seven weeks ago. So what explains his sudden slide?
And speaking of things with low energy:
The Dow lost five hundred points. Time for Obama to name another mountain by his own Edenic power to name shit.
And speaking of things that are primeval: Norm MacDonald has an uncanny ability to cut through bullshit and speak the truth.
Mitch McConnell: Gee Whiz But You're Not Gonna Believe This Guys, But We Just Don't Have the Numbers to Defund Planned Parenthood, Even Though, In Our Hearts, We Like Super Want To and Stuff
Allah says he's at least sparing us another performance of #FailureTheater.
I disagree. He's giving us a show, but a sloppy, completely-unrehearsed one, and he's phoning in his performance.
This Just In: We're expecting to give birth to an 8 pound, three ounce full reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, so we have that to look forward to.
Good Lord: Girl Pressures Boyfriend to Commit Suicide
My first reflex is to say she shouldn't be up on manslaughter charges.
She didn't kill this guy. She just strongly encouraged him to do what he said he wanted to do.
But I guess she runs afoul of some assisted suicide law, outlawing the giving of advice or encouragement to one seeking to kill himself. (If there is no such forbiddance, then this prosecution is just wrong.)
Whatever the legalities, this is truly outrageous. She's got some kind of Angel of Death complex going, whispering people to the grave with her sweet (hot) nothings.
First of all, we need to know what kind of crazy, hot piece of ass we're talking about.
Apparently her boyfriend said he wanted to kill himself, and rather than dissuade him, she strongly encouraged him -- in fact, she took the position that he should stop just talking about it and walk the walk. Almost like she was challenging his virility to put up or shut up.
He eventually killed himself with carbon monoxide provided by a gas-powered water pump that he put next to himself in the cab of his truck. She was very keen on this CO method.
The whole article is worth a read, but here are some choice emails and texts:
For more than a week in July 2014, Carter and Roy exchanged hundreds of messages in which Carter insisted that Roy would be better off dead.
"You’re finally going to be happy in heaven. No more pain," she told him in one message. "I'’s okay to be scared and it’s normal. I mean, you're about to die."
"You always say you’re gonna do it, but you never do," Carter complained. "I just want to make sure tonight is the real thing."
Another time, she texted: "You can't keep pushing it off, though. That's all you keep doing."
Carter was insistent, even when Roy steered the topic to other things:
ROY: How was your day?
CARTER: When are you doing it?
Roy said he was having a good day, but Carter wasn’t satisfied.
CARTER: That’s great. What did you do?
ROY: Ended up going to work for a little bit and then just looked stuff up.
CARTER: When are you gonna do it? Stop ignoring the question???
Roy had doubts, and he was scared, according to his texts. What if it didn’t work and he ended up injured for the rest of his life? How would his family cope with the loss?
Carter had answers.
He would be her guardian angel in heaven.
She would comfort his family and they would move on.
If he followed the directions he had found online for killing himself with carbon monoxide, it would "100 percent work," she said.
She spoke with him on the telephone as he killed himself with CO. At one point he got out of the truck, thinking it wasn't working.
She told him to get back inside.
It's just so strange and ugly.
IBD/TIPP Poll Shock: 59% of All Americans Support Mandatory Deportations for Illegals
Sen. Lindsey Graham called it "absolute gibberish."
Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer called the idea "crackpot" and "morally obscene."
But the prize for overheated rhetoric goes to Hillary Clinton, who said Trump wants to "literally pull people out of their homes and their workplaces, round them up, put them, I don't know, in buses, boxcars, in order to take them across our border."
So what do these folks say about the fact that the majority of Americans back Trump on this?
The latest IBD/TIPP Poll asked 913 adults coast to coast if they "support or oppose mandatory deportation of illegal immigrants in the U.S." Not surprisingly, 87% of Trump supporters back the proposal.
What's surprising is that 59% of the overall public does as well. Mandatory deportation gets majority support in all age groups except 18-24, every income group, among both women and men, at every level of educational achievement, and in rural, urban and suburban regions.
Building a wall and ending birthright citizenship don't command majority support -- but they're in the mid-forties, which is plenty enough support for a party to adopt a position.
Unless there's some other reason they have not to. Like some other constituency, apart from American voters, they have to satisfy.
Meanwhile, Jeb goes after Trump-- mostly in Spanish.
Analysis: On Classified Information, Hillary Seems to Have Followed the YOLO Protocol
Read Sean Davis for a point which would have been overlooked, except for his sharp eyes: the declassification dates for all this classified information are dated 10 or 15 years (depending on the level of sensitivity) from the date of the information's origination, not from the date it was so marked -- That is, it was "born classified," as many have said.
And Hillary should have known this. In fact, let's be charitable: She did know this. She just chose to break the law in order to keep her dealings with minions and foreign potentates private.
We already saw this damning email:
Email from Hillary to staff over then-classified document "Just send it!" pic.twitter.com/O813ioq10t— THE Chris Coon (@Coondawg68) September 1, 2015
Here are some more:
Remember, Sidney Blumenthal was not a US official and had, as far as I know, no security clearance granting him license to receive classified information. He was simply Hillary's henchman and fluffer.
(In fact, Obama specifically forbade Sid the Shiv from working for his government.)
Clinton told Middle East envoy to send classified details from Italy's Foreign Minister to "my personal email." pic.twitter.com/4sPs7DsWjX— Rory Cooper (@rorycooper) September 1, 2015
This is a touch awkward:
Cheryl Mills calling for leak investigation after NYT published Eikenberry cables: pic.twitter.com/qTcu4lx9A0— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) September 1, 2015
This is just hilarious. I think it's about Bradley "Chelsea" Manning.
I don't know how to read this one.
9/14/2012 pic.twitter.com/y1ZtIuYgE9— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) September 1, 2015
Close it up
Barbarism: In Northern Rural Indian Village, Two Young Girls Are Sentenced by a Council of Elders To be Raped As Punishment For Their Brother Running Off With a Married Woman From a Higher Caste
The girls -- and the brother -- are of the lowest class, the so-called "untouchables."
The brother had an affair with a married woman from a higher caste, the "Jat" caste. Their love forbidden, they ran off together.
The Jat family feels humiliated, and wants vengeance for this. (This is already barbaric.)
So the village council of wise men has come up with a great compromise that satisfies all parties -- the 23 and 15 year old sisters are sentenced to be raped, then paraded through the town naked.
Oh, and if this isn't offensive enough, they'll be in blackface when paraded naked through town.
This story adds a couple of details -- they're not just sentenced to be raped, but to be repeatedly gang-raped (I guess the council of wise men couldn't decide who'd get to do the raping, so they decided they all would join in).
The 23 year old has petitioned the Indian Supreme Court for protection. You'd think this would be a no-brainer, but these backwards-ass barbarians apparently have a lot of autonomy in their stupid, primitive tribal "justice" systems.
What this proves to me is that Western civilization is corrupt and awful and that we have to learn to appreciate the cultural contributions of undocumented Americans living in remote Indian villages.
"Just Email It."
This seems like the most damning email so far seen.
Email from Hillary to staff over then-classified document "Just send it!" pic.twitter.com/O813ioq10t— THE Chris Coon (@Coondawg68) September 1, 2015
Meanwhile, less important but still a little peak behind the curtain, David Brooks makes an appearance.
Tuesday Morning News Dump
- Get Ready For Another Wild Stock Market Ride
- Nine Signs On The Impending American Collapse
- Apple Eyes Move Into Original Programming
- Hungary Halts Rail Traffic In A Bid To Stop Immigrants
- I Used Physics To Calculate How Much Yoda Weighs
- Why Immigration May Be A Defining Issue Of The 21st Century
- And People In The GOP Wonder Why Trump Is So Popular
- The Content Of Clinton's Emails Were About As Crazy As You'd Expect
- The Coming Conservative Crackup
Morning Post (9-1-2015)
September? Huh. September.
Overnight Open Thread (8-31-2015)
The tragedy for Hillary Clinton is that she is all too human. As Bill's mortal sidekick, she's had a good ride. But whereas Bill has an almost Jedi-like ability to lie convincingly - "these aren't the interns you're looking for" - Hillary has no superpowers to fall back on. She just has to grind it out. Like Syndrome in The Incredibles or the entire cast of Kick-Ass, she has to compensate for a lack of raw superpowers through guile and technology - and minions, lots and lots of minions. They do her dirty work for her. They burrow into the bureaucracy and cover for her. They get appointed to commissions and erect firewalls against accountability. They tell her what she wants to hear and explain how all bad news is someone else's fault. They scrub the paper trail. They even shove classified evidence in their pants, if that is what is required. As Renfield to her huband's Dracula, Otis to his Lex Luthor, Gogo Yubari to his O-Ren Ishii , Alistair Smythe to his Kingpin, Tom Hagen to his Don Corleone, Bizarro World Radar O'Reilly to his evil Colonel Potter, she has amassed considerable resources and abilities of her own. There's now an entire Clinton-Industrial Complex that fuels and funds the vast interconnected network of minions. They are like agents of Hydra, embedded in the media, in government, and in academia. Places like Media Matters are like huge industrial farms for breeding Clintonian hacks where the larvae are grown in vats.
...But the problem remains; Hillary is not the charismatic leader her husband is, or was. She's good at cleaning up the loose ends of her husband's lies, but she's not the person you want out front laying down the lies in the first place. His superpowers did not rub off on her, and to assume they did is to confuse the elephant for the guy sweeping up behind it.
The thing is, Hillary's been riding shotgun on all those hairpin turns with Bill behind the wheel for so long she thinks she can do what he does. She can't. It's understandable, of course. The great ones always make it look easy.-- Jonah Goldberg
We judge whether we have a bias by examining our thoughts, and because we believe our thoughts are rational, we often think we're not biased when we are. Psychologists call this contradiction the "bias blind spot." Although we're quick to see biases in others, we have more trouble noticing them in ourselves.
And the more we convince ourselves that we don't have certain biases, the more likely we are to exhibit them. If we believe we're good people, for example, we may stop trying to be better and may be more likely to act indecently. Similarly, if we think we're smart, we might skip studying for a test and give ignorant answers. In general, if we believe we're unbiased, we're giving ourselves permission to be biased.-- Jim Davies in Why You're Biased About Being Biased
Here is the first rule of "mainstream" news coverage in America: Whenever the prejudices and illusions of left-wingers are confirmed by an individual incident, the incident is treated as representative; when those prejudices and illusions are contradicted, the incident is considered an aberration - and treating it as representative is deemed hateful.
-- Andrew Klavan
I mean, for the love of God: it has celebrities there. How many of those people have functional life skills outside of the ability to carry a tune or play a musical instrument? And by 'functional life skills' I mean 'iron clothes,' 'balance a checkbook,' or 'walk past a bar without drinking it*.' Don't get me wrong: musical celebrities are often fun to hear. Just don't listen to them.
-- Moe Lane on the train wreck of the VMA awards
Watch this Fox News segment right until the end and note Greg's body language as Geraldo keeps blathering on and on. You know there's an eruption coming.
Trump's suggestion that Anthony Weiner is a "perv" is certainly supported by the facts. However, the additional claim that Weiner is "one of the great sleaze bags of our time" is difficult to verify. Given the sheer magnitude of the sleaze bag population on the planet, we are not comfortable making a definitive judgment at this time.
We rate this claim "Mostly True."
Even though the EPA has no jurisdiction over non-navigable waters and stock ponds are exempt from the CWA.
Even though the Clean Water Act exempts stock ponds, and Mr. Johnson had obtained the necessary state permits, the EPA ordered him in January 2014 to restore the area to its original condition or accumulate fines of $37,500 a day. Instead, Mr. Johnson hired a lawyer.
"The EPA is out to expand its power, and I'm a test case," said Mr. Johnson in a statement. "We're going to fight them all the way."Last week, his attorneys - including the Pacific Legal Foundation and the Budd-Falen law firm in Cheyenne - filed a lawsuit against the agency to stop it from enforcing the compliance order.
"There have been a lot of dumb ideas put out," Paul said, speaking with Boston Herald Radio. "One that the Mexicans will pay for a wall, [which] was probably the dumbest of dumb ideas. But putting a wall up between us and Canada is sort of a ridiculous notion. It is sort of like everybody is now competing to say, 'Oh no, I'll put them in camps. Oh no, I'll throw them out. Oh no, I'll put everyone in jail. And I'll have an electric fence, and I'll do this.' And it's like, you know, the biggest thing we need to do is have a functioning immigration system, with a good work program."
No prize but in your heart at least you'll still know you were a winner.
Just one problem: the rehab center has no clue how to rehabilitate wannabe jihadis.
And then it struck me. The trajectory of the modern church matches with eerie precision the trajectory of modern science. In its early years, when it was separate from government, the Christian church was a remarkably pure institution, devoted to developing each individual's relationship with Jesus Christ. There were different ideas and approaches floated, as well as battles within the Church (think of the gnostic heresy), but the faithful and their clergy were remarkably untainted by worldly considerations.
...The early church was attractive because it promised relief from the darkness of paganism, with its human sacrifice and the many rules it had, rules that obscured the fact that paganism generally lacked underlying and, if you'll pardon me for the word play, overarching moral principles. In the same way, science, from the Enlightenment through the mid-20th century, promised relief from the darkness of Hippocrates's and Galen's ideas about the four humours and the crazy (and often terribly painful or dangerous) medical ideas that flowed from the Ancient Greeks' approach to medicine.In the case of both institutions - that is, the medieval Catholic Church and science - as they gained popularity, they attracted the attention of power and money. Royalty tried to integrate the church into its power structure (and, in the case of Henry VIII, succeeded magnificently), while the wealthy plied churches, monasteries, and nunneries with money in an effort to preserve their immortal souls. The result was that the medieval church became fabulously wealthy and began to devote its time to managing money, not shepherding men's souls, while too many churchmen were unable to resist the earthly temptations that came with wealth and power.
Lara Seligman from Defense News reports that the capabilities of the Joint Strike Fighter are to be evaluated for close-air support (CAS) missions. She writes, "To gauge the joint strike fighter's ability to perform in a close-air support role, the Pentagon's top weapons tester has declared the sleek new fighter jet must face off against the lumbering A-10. The Pentagon's Office of Operational Test and Evaluation plans to pit the full-up F-35 against the legacy A-10 Warthog and potentially other fighter jets to evaluate the next-generation aircraft's ability to protect soldiers on the ground."
Note that lumbering actually is a compliment when it comes to CAS since it means a longer loiter time.
Two planes enter, one plane leave!
I saw this last week and was going to mock it but it was very hot this weekend and as I was working outside I just kept thinking about how awesome it would be right about now...
The Yahoo AoSHQ group - it's got electrolytes and shit.
And my twitter thang.
Tonight's post brought to you by launch from the Satish Dhawan space center last week:
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Close it up
Hillary's Emails Hosted on Same Server as Clinton Foundation Emails?
Hillary’s clintonemail.com server and the Foundation-run presidentclinton.com email server have exactly the same IP address, and the same SSL certificate (which an organization purchases for an email server to verify its trustworthiness).
mail.clintonemail.com and mail.presidentclinton.com both have an IP address of 188.8.131.52, according to an SSL Certificate Checker.
The fact that both of these email servers have the same IP address means that they were operating on the same network, and sharing physical space. A computer expert tells Breitbart News that the servers were probably operating on the same machine. It is also possible that they were operating on different machines on the same network, which still means that the machines would have to be close enough to exist in the same physical location.
People are speculating (not in that Breitbart article) that it seems possible that a hacker could hack a lower-security email account on the Clinton Foundation system and then use that exploit* to hack Hillary's email.
* I hear hackers using this word and always wanted to use it. I have no idea if anything I said makes sense.
A Third Major Chemical Explosion In China?
The first blast, on August 13th in Tianjin, killed 158 people at last count (and that number is a little dated).
I hadn't seen this particular video of it. It's not new, but it may be new to you as it was to me.
Then, eight days ago on August 22nd, another blast occurred at a chemical plant in the Shandong province.
Now, today, there's another blast, this time in the Shandong province again.
Below is a video purporting to be of this latest blast. However, I kind of suspect this is actually video the first blast at Tianjin. Just seems kind of similar to me.
On the chance that this is legitimate new video, here it is:
Obviously, this all seems very strange.
State Department: 150 New Classified Emails Found in Clinton's Email System
About 150 messages in a soon-to-be released trove of Hillary Clinton emails are being censored because they contain information now considered classified, according to the State Department.
[T]he sheer number of emails that have been redacted stands as the latest example of how much sensitive material was contained in Clinton's email transactions.
This piece by Malia Zimmerman is even more interesting -- now how exactly did those classified emails get into Clinton's private system?
The daily revelations over classified information finding its way onto Hillary Clinton's personal email server are raising perplexing questions for former government officials who wonder how classified information made its way onto the former secretary of state's non-classified server -- especially since the two systems are not connected.
So if the Clinton denial is to be believed, individuals in her inner circle would have simply typed or scanned classified information into a non-classified system without regard for its contents. In this case, emails would have started in, and stayed in, the unclassified system -- albeit improperly, based on the findings of the intelligence inspector general.
But if it turns out emails literally jumped from the classified to the non-classified system -- something the State Department claims cannot happen -- it would seem to point to Clinton's staff going to great lengths to create a work-around to do so.
A government employee doing so would commit numerous felonies, according to Bradford Higgins, who served as assistant secretary of state for resource management and chief financial officer from 2006-2009. "A violation, in addition to criminal charges and potential prosecution, would likely mean that person who committed the breach would never again be given a security clearance," Higgins said.
Hillary could explain this to investigators, but of course, criminals have no interest in assisting the police.
Jim Geraghty: Time to Go Nuclear on Obama's Nuke Deal?
Harry Reid did away with filibusters, himself using the "nuclear option" to pass the new rule over the objections of more than a filibuster-level of opponents, for a certain category of vote -- votes with a Constitutional separation-of-powers dimension. Reid claimed the president had the right to get his personnel into the Executive and that the Senate should not stop him via a Senate rule (the filibuster rule); that such votes, affecting, as they do, a coequal branch of government, should be free of the filibuster rule and default to the rule in the constitution -- which is, of course, a simple majority rule.
Okay, makes sense.
But you know what other sorts of votes have a constitutional, separation-of-powers, turf-protecting dimension? Votes on agreements made with foreign regimes-- which the Constitution says are subject, as treaties, to the "advice and consent of the Senate" and a specified two thirds supermajority.
So, the Republicans could follow Reid's lead and pass a resolution declaring that the Iran treaty is in fact a treaty and must be treated as such. When Democrats attempt to filibuster that, they break out the nuclear option Reid did and say that given that this is a matter of separation-of-powers constitutional dimension, they will have the vote on a filibuster-free basis. (The actual process is that the question is submitted to the parliamentarian, who rules the motion to proceed without hte filibuster to be against the rules -- but then you overrule him with a simple majority vote. Which is exactly what Reid did.)
Now you have a majority of senators declaring that this is a treaty and must be treated like a treaty.
Now, Geraghty proposed this last Friday, but then backed off the idea when someone said that a resolution would also be subject to Obama's veto.
For reasons I don't understand -- and I sure wish he'd elaborate -- AllahPundit doesn't seem to think that that is much of an obstacle.
The question is, what do you do once the filibuster’s been nuked? If the GOP decides to pass a resolution declaring the Iran deal a treaty that requires two-thirds of the Senate to approve it, Obama will veto that resolution. That shouldn’t matter-- since when is Article II contingent upon the president’s assent? -- but you're looking at a court battle at least, and the public will be bewildered after weeks of "does Obama have the Senate votes to protect his Iran deal?" headlines suddenly switch to "GOP changes rules on voting to block Iran deal."
Obviously this is all hypothetical, because the Donor Class has forbidden McConnell to spend any political capital on this; the Donor Class demands that all political capital will be spent on things that really matter, like the Export-Import Bank.
Still, in order to have fruitful political discussions, it is necessary that we pretend to be members of a functioning democracy in which voters have some sort of influence on government and popular will is somehow of concern to politicians.
So we'll pretend along, because otherwise, every blog post will be very short: "The Donor Class wins."
French-American Hero of Thalys Terror Train Attack Giving Interviews, Looks To be Healing Well
Mark Moogalian was the guy who reportedly yanked the AK away from the terrorist.
This interview resolves a lot of questions for me. There were reports that an unidentified Frenchman, said to be an off-duty trainman, was the first to engage the terrorist, and that a French-American pulled his gun away from him.
If claims that a man heard the chuck-chuck sound of the loading of a gun in the bathroom and investigated are true, then "Damien" must be the man who did this. But I don't know if that part is true; "Damien" hasn't spoken yet.
I began to doubt those reports because the timeline I imagined, based on fragmentary reporting, had the Americans acting first.
But Moogalian's account clears most things up. The Americans did not act first -- though they did act last (that is, they took out the terrorist, put him down, and hogtied his ass).
The initial reports about a French guy struggling with the terrorist, and the French-American -- now identified as Mark Moogalian, a professor of English at the Sorbonne, married to, I think, a Frenchwoman -- did in fact pull the AK 47 away from the terrorist. He didn't just grab it; he actually disarmed the terrorist.
Partially, and for a few seconds, anyway.
I'll translate some of the interview, but here's the timeline:
The unidentified man -- who Moogalian calls "Damien" and says is a French banker, not a trainman -- in fact did struggle with the terrorist first. (This is now published so there's not much use in my suppressing these details; it's even possible Moogalian is offering disinformation to protect "Damien's" real name and occupation.)
Moogalian saw the struggle through the doors separating the train cars. He told his wife "get out of here" and got up to help.
While the terrorist fought with this man I'll call, as Moogalian does, "Damien," Moogalian grabbed his AK away from him and began to run away with it. He cried out "I've got the gun!" as he ran.
However, Moogalian says sheepishly that he didn't have much "experience" with this sort of thing, and it did not occur to him the terrorist might have another gun. In fact, the terrorist had a pistol besides the AK (a Luger I think I read) and he shot Moogalian as he ran away with the gun. The bullet went through his shoulder and out the front side of his neck. He crumpled to the ground, bleeding profusely.
The terrorist, we can assume (though Moogalian does not say), must have shot or otherwise taken "Damien" out of the fight. Because now the terrorist began walking towards Moogalian in order to retrieve his AK.
At this point Moogalian felt himself getting weaker and weaker, but didn't think he'd get the courtesy of being allowed to bleed to death -- because he was pretty sure the terrorist would put a bullet in his head as he retrieved the AK from his unmoving body.
And then Stone, Skarlatos, and Sandler came flying out of nowhere.
The timeline now makes perfect sense. The early reports were correct; they were just fragmented and disjointed.
The interview is here; below, some translation.
Why did you make the decision to intervene when you saw, from your seat at the rear of car 12, a strange scene, on the other side of the doors?
Moogalian: I was reading on article on my cellphone when i saw this man enter the bathrooms with his big wheeled suitcase, I found it strange that he was in there for so long. Then I got up when I saw, without really seeing it clearly, that something was happening, that two men seemed to be fighting one another, one of them carrying something that looked like a gun. My brain didn't want to deal with this information but at the same time I said to myself "This man is going to kill everyone. I have to do something."
You had at the same time the reflex to tell your wife to get out of there?
I turned towards Isabelle [his wife] who, herself, was still seated, and I told her "get out of here." This must be serious. I wanted more than anything to protect her. She saw in my face that I wasn't joking. And then, I don't know how, I managed to pull the Kalcahinikov from the man.
Did you exchange words with him?
No, not at that moment. I saw only that he had olive skin. [PROBLEMATIC-- ace.] I was relieved, I left car 12 getting away from him crying out "I've got the gun!" (j'ai la arme). I was satisfied... but not very experienced because I didn't think that he might have a a pistol in addition. I took four or five steps and I felt a pain that almost knocked me unconscious, a shock that knocked me forward. I crumpled to the floor and I dropped the Kalachnikov.
Were you able to keep on watching what was happening?
A little. I was between two rows of seats, another passenger against me. I felt my shirt become drenched with my blood. I tried to look and I saw Isabelle, a few rows away from me. We stared at each other, eyes locked. I told her, "I'm hit. I'm done for." I saw nothing but her eyes. In the past, since as along as I remember, I had always thought: "When my time to die comes, I want to do it well, without any fear." Well, here it was. I saw that Isabelle was about to burst into tears.
During this time, the American military men threw themselves into the fight with Ayoub El-Khazzani. How did you react?
I saw two people virtually jumping through the air to join the fight. It thrilled me to see these people throwing themselves into it. In the meantime, the man [the terrorist] had retrieved his Kalachnikov and I saw him coming towards me. I said to myself: "He is going to turn to his left, see me, and put a bullet in my head." It is very hard to describe, all going very quickly but, at the same time, it was like a movie going in slow-motion. I closed my eyes to await my death.
You thought you were going to die?
The pain of the wound... It was like a fire throughout my body. I couldn't manage to keep my head up. I began to sort of dream. I was no longer in the train. I saw a wooden house, painted white, like where i lived as a child. And I saw my mother who I lost on June 20th, two months ago, with her 60s-style granny glasses... but a little voice inside myself said "You are weaker and weaker. Open your eyes!" After Spencer Stone (one of the American military men, rescuers) busied himself with me. He did not stop talking to me in order to keep me awake. He said to me: "Oh, you are from Virginia? I'm from California! Listen, buddy, you are a hero. You have saved a lot of lives. When all this is over, we are going to drink a beer together." I didn't know how to respond. My wife spoke to me as well. She looked so beautiful to me. We had just come from spending some wonderful days in Amsterdam....
People say that these acts of bravery can serve as an example, such that, faced by a terrorist, passivity is not a good plan. What do you say to that?
We need to be attentive. That's how it is now with these attacks.
Bonus: Apparently Spencer Stone trained with some Brazilian Ju-Jitsu school in Lisbon.
These guys claim they're doing a "breakdown" of the moves Stone used to take the terrorist down. They do not explain Skarlatos' "Muzzethumping" maneuver.
While this video is cool, I have no idea how they claim they know Stone did this or that. They are very specific that he used a rear naked choke -- how do they know that? Has anyone read an account with that degree of specificity?
Well, I don't know where they're getting all these claims, but whatever, it looks likable to me.
Corrected: I changed some wording, sometimes for readability, sometimes because I just translated it wrong (I took "plu" to be the past participle of the word for "to cry;" in fact it's the participle of the word for "to be pleased").
Should be okay now.
Close it up
Hugenormous: Trump, Carson Tied for First in Iowa at 23%; Fiorina in Third at 10%
Well we seem to have a tiny little rebellion against the Establishment/political class on our hands.
This is also the first poll in forever that doesn't have Trump in the lead. Well, he's in the lead, but in a tie.
The rest of the field:
Carly Fiorina 10%, Ted Cruz 9%, Scott Walker 7%, Jeb Bush 5%
John Kasich, Marco Rubio 4%, Rand Paul 3%, Mike Huckabee,Rick Santorum 2%
Oh but CNN is still employing an algorithm which will most likely keep Mick Huckabee in and kick Carly Fiorina out.
Monmouth University's press release about the poll can be seen here.
Playing For Keeps: Business Interests Strike Back At Republicans Opposed To Ex/Im Bank
I love this because it's clarifying.
Team GOP acts as if conservatives owe them their votes. "Why aren't you focusing on Democrats?" "Why do you want Hillary to win?" It never seems to occur to them that politics is transactional. If you don't deliver what I want, I won't deliver what you want and I'll go find someone who will. But even if I don't, you're out. Plain and simple. It's a version of Mutually Assured Destruction.
I've argued before conservatives need to take this kind of cold blooded approach to politics and stop pretending we're all on some team and have to stick together.
You know who gets this? Big business.
GE told Dallas business leaders in recent days it would look elsewhere for alternatives to its Connecticut home, said the people, who asked not to be identified because details aren’t public. They said GE cited some Texas lawmakers’ opposition to the U.S. Export-Import Bank, an important source of financing for some overseas sales.
GE isn't the only way turning the screws.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is indefinitely postponing a slate of political fundraisers for Republican candidates this fall, saying the influential business group must instead focus its resources on reauthorizing the embattled Export-Import Bank.
NAM's decision underscores frustration within the business community over GOP attacks on the 80-year-old bank, which helps finance private sector projects in overseas markets. The bank’s charter lapsed on June 30 and many conservatives oppose its renewal.
"We are postponing all political activity fundraising," said Ned Monroe, NAM senior vice president of external relations. "We had to prioritize away from political activity and back toward legislative activity."
Nice campaign you have their, be a shame if anything happened to it.
The GOP coalition isn't tied together by any shared ideology anymore.
So, if you're a small-government fiscal conservative, why should you give Republicans a pass for handing out YOUR money to big business?
Republicans will react to pressure. If the business groups are going to withhold money because it's in their interests to do so, then voters have to realize they will continue to get run over unless they are willing to withhold what they have to offer...activism and votes.
I don't envy Republican candidates and officeholders. This isnt an easy needle to thread but they wanted the job. Here it is.
For background on why the Ex/Im fight is important to small-government fiscal conservatives check out my talk with Dan Holler of Heritage Action.
Monday Morning News Dump
- Illinois Is So Broke That It Issued An IOU To A Lottery Winner
- Government Fears Accountability
- How Illegal Immigration Finally Turned Off The Public
- British Labour Party Frontrunner Is Insane
- Braves Fan Dies After Falling From Upper Deck
- Obama Doesn't Seem To Want To Comment On The Increase In Cop Assassinations
- The World's Largest Penis Is A Curse
- Rising Anxiety That Stocks Are Overpriced
- MI6 Agent Found Dead In Bag Had Hacked Clinton Secrets
Morning Post (8-31-15)
Happy Monday. Now go to work.
Overnight Open Thread (8-30-2015)
The Hard Left hates to hear this, but here goes: the American populace has traditionally been fairly indifferent to whether or not there are a host of rich people guzzling champagne and wolfing down caviar, provided that said populace is able to have a beer and a T-bone without too much fuss and bother. Our definition of 'poor' would make most historical eras' eyes bug out; and, again contrary to the Left's beliefs on the subject, that really does matter when it comes time for social unrest. There is a real, practical difference between being dissatisfied, and being no-fooling hungry. And all the slogans in the world won't change that.
-- Moe Lane on Income Inequality And Poverty Aren't the Same Thing
People come here thinking of this as the center of innovation and entrepreneurship, and they see a street scene that looks like something out of a Third World country.
-- The San Francisco Chronicle on the city's turd and stench problems
Because he can.
This dumb. For those playing along at home the logo shown is from the National Recovery Administration, one the New Deal programs.
They're not just inaccurate and careless and beholden to an ideological agenda - they also stiff their writers. In this case Tannsjo wrote an article - at Vox's request - pointing out that on-demand abortion has some negative consequences.
No, the really bad part is that Tannsjo hadn't just submitted a piece on spec. Vox went to him and commissioned the piece. And then, when they didn't like it, they did . . . nothing. They just sat on it.
The writer/editor compact has two parts. The first is that writers should live with editorial decisions and be okay with them. But the second is that editors should deal with writers promptly, transparently, and courteously.
If you solicit a piece from someone, you owe them a great deal. They've just done a bunch of work for you, for free. You're not obligated to publish them. But if you decide not to publish them, you're obligated to let them know that fact immediately. You should apologize for the situation not working out. You should pay them a kill fee. And if you want to remain on good terms, you might help them find a different home for the piece.You don't just try to pocket-veto the piece and then, when pressed, send an email to the writer making it sound like it's their fault for writing such an offensive, deviationist essay.
It's been a month since a flaperon from a Boeing 777 was found a La Réunion beach and investigators still can't say definitively whether it came from MH370 or how it got to the island.
What was holding things up, it turned out, was that the ID plate that should have been attached to the inboard edge of the flaperon was missing. And that was not the only problem. According to the New York Times, Boeing and the National Transportation Safety Board found that the object did not match Malaysia Airlines' maintenance records.
...How the part found its way to a beach on La Réunion is another issue. The Dépêche article contained a tantalizing hint. "According to a Toulouse aeronautics expert who requested anonymity," the article stated, "the element of the wing would not have floated for several months at the water's surface but would have drifted underwater a few meters deep."It's not yet known why investigators reached this conclusion, but one clue might be that the flaperon found on La Réunion was encrusted on every edge with goose barnacles. These animals are a type of crustacean that attaches while young to a floating object and spends its entire adult life affixed to the same spot. Since they obviously can only survive underwater, their distribution around the object suggests that the entirety of it must have spent at least several months submerged.
It just had to be those damn Ruskies that opened a fake account on Ashley Madison inhis name he claims. (thanks to JTT)
Good thing he didn't take the offered plea deal and asked for a jury trial.
Well that's what the Reproducibility Project set out to find out. And many but not all are - albeit often with much weaker correlations than initially reported.
Two important things have come out of the Reproducibility Project. The first is that psychologist, project leader and now experienced cat-herder Brian Nosek deserves some sort of medal, and his 270-odd collaborators should be given shoulder massages by grateful colleagues.
It's been psychology's equivalent of the large hadron collider but without the need to dig up half of Switzerland.
The second is that no-one quite knows what it means for psychology. 36% of the replications had statistically significant results and 47% had effect sizes in a comparable range although the effect sizes were typically 50% smaller than the originals....The main take home messages are that findings published in leading journals are not a good guide to invariant aspects of human nature. And stop with the journal worship. And let's get more pre-registration on the go. Plus science is hard.
A French woman has won a disability grant after telling a court she suffers from an allergy to electromagnetic radiation from gadgets.
Marine Richard, 39, was told she may claim 800 Euros (580 Pounds) per month for three years as a result.
She said it was a "breakthrough" for people affected by electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS).
The condition is recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), though it says the causes are unclear.
Ms Richard had resorted to living in a remote area in the mountains of south-west France - in a barn that has no electricity.She said she had been affected by everyday gadgets such as phones.
Meanwhile a student at a boarding school is suing the school over their WiFi network claiming it has given him EHS.
The explanation (of sorts) is here.
Weekly Commenter Standings
Top 10 commenters:
1 [536 comments] 'Anna Puma' [75.31 posts/day]
2 [512 comments] 'Christopher Taylor'
3 [472 comments] 'mynewhandle'
4 [415 comments] 'Mike Hammer, etc., etc.'
5 [411 comments] 'Nevergiveup'
6 [408 comments] 'Ricardo Kill'
7 [399 comments] 'logprof'
8 [371 comments] 'Lizzy'
9 [361 comments] 'rickb223'
10 [354 comments] 'Caitlyn Jenner'
Top 10 sockpuppeteers:
1 [98 names] 'logprof' [13.77 unique names/day]
2 [77 names] 'The Political Hat'
3 [67 names] 'Mike Hammer, etc., etc.'
4 [55 names] 'Doctor Fish'
5 [48 names] 'Postergeist'
6 [45 names] 'Cicero (@cicero)'
7 [44 names] 'Bertram Cabot Jr.'
8 [40 names] 'Caitlyn Jenner'
9 [35 names] 'Adriane the All Cultures are Equal Critic ...'
10 [35 names] 'Prince Ludwig the Indestructible '
The group. Banned on 12 universities.
Where it's at - the Twitter
Tonight's post brought to you by equality:
Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maetenloch at gmail. Or maybe the Ace. Otherwise the terrorists have won.
Close it up
A Bit O' Twitter - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]
It's not much, but it's fresh.
This made me laugh, and hard:
this is the best thing ever on so many levels pic.twitter.com/KoJvn411UK— Clare Coffey (@ClareCoffey) August 9, 2015
This made me smile:
Actress Marlene Dietrich kisses a soldier returning home aboard the USS Monticello, 1945 pic.twitter.com/54wm3csgUK— Old Pics Archive (@oldpicsarchive) August 30, 2015
and this made me say "Wow!":
NASA before Powerpoint. 1960's. pic.twitter.com/RGWKGVMlBS— History In Pictures (@ClassicInPics) August 15, 2015
Close it up
Food Thread: Is Salad A Crime Against Humanity? [CBD]
Okay, it's the Washington Post, so there is the obligatory Malthusian bullshit, and the subtext is elitist "I know better than you what is good for you." But Why Salad Is So Overrated does take some significant shots at the nation's obsession with lettuce based salads.
Personally, I like salad at the end of the meal, with a tart dressing to clear my palate. Although, if you want to serve me a great tomato and goat cheese salad as a first course I will smile and say thank you. Or Caesar Salad with good whole anchovies as garnish and lots of garlic and some crispy buttery croutons? Yeah...I'll eat that too.
9 kitchen gadgets you didn't know you needed Well, it's more like four, and there are a couple in there are are embarrassingly stupid.
"Some pink or no pink?" Hamburger safety BS comes from "barfblog." It doesn't matter that the blog is a pretty useful...if humorless...resource for food safety stuff. Barfblog. Barfblog. I love it!
Here is Bon Appetit demonstrating why most things you read about pretty much everything is crap, but in particular in Bon Appetit. First of all, the title: Blades of Glory: How to Make Your Knives the Sharpest in the Drawer is sort of odd. Whose knives are in your drawer if not your own? And the advice is picky and silly. Don't use a knife block? Why? If my knives are going to be dulled by slipping them in and out of a knife block, then why do I cut on a wooden cutting block? There's more, but it's just a fluff piece and completely worthless. What really irritated me was that they said almost nothing about...you know...sharpening your knives. All they discuss is honing. Really? Fools.
I saw this throwaway article (just a list, really) about 15 Of The Best Chile Varieties and as I reached the end -- Ghost Pepper and the Carolina Reaper -- I thought about why people eat such hot chiles. Many of you Morons love hot and spicy food, and we have had lively discussions about hot sauces and chili and all sorts of things. But there is a difference between eating hot food and eating peppers that are so hot the only sensation is intense, long-lasting pain.
Why do people do it?
Corn, Cheddar and Scallion Strata from The Smitten Kitchen looks damned good. Skip the rambling introduction unless you are bored, and go straight to the recipe.
The Ruby Cigar cocktail is similar to something I have made to great effect. But that star anise garnish is weird and disturbing and will probably haunt me. Tequila and licorice? That's just strange.
I modified this recipe from one I got from a restaurant outside of Cooperstown NY, during an interminable youth baseball tournament.
- 1 large egg
- 1/2-2 cloves of garlic (to taste)
- 1 can Anchovies
- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
- 2/3 cup Olive Oil
In a blender or food processor, blend the egg, garlic and anchovies until smooth.
Add the vinegar and Parmesan, and blend again until incorporated.
Drizzle the oil slowly as you blend the mixture. The goal is to create an emulsion, so begin very slowly. As you add oil you can increase the speed.
Refrigerate for a few hours before using. It will thicken and become even creamier.
Close it up
PAX Weekend. I guess [Zakn]
—Gang of Gaming Morons!
For probably the past fiveish years, I've been wanting to make it out to one of these. Not as much anymore. Maybe 10 years ago I could see standing in a line for two hours to check something coming out in a year, but Man, I just don't have time for that. More and More I think that supporting your local con or cons is the way to go. Less travel involved. I just never think of the local one until I see that it happened on the News.
I have gone to Eve Vegas the last few years, but more and more I don't actually go to any of the Panels. The first year I went to as many panels I could. Like I would download the schedule and see what I could make. Even setting an alarm to wake up (lol!). Now it's meet up with a bunch of friends that have been going to this thing for years too, and we kind of just hit Vegas up. Eve Vegas is just kind of the landscaping or the excuse for everyone to go. Hell next year I might just get a ticket to the Party because 3 hours of open bar with a bunch of nerds is fucking funny.
This makes me wonder about going to Fanfest. Now Iceland is cool as fuck. So I might try to make a return just to go see that place again. It's soo expensive though. I think I spent like 4 grand total on that week including travel and lodging (Food and Drink are incredibly expensive. Spending $50 on dinner was the norm and that was without a bar tab). That just doesn't make sense to me
On to some videos and other shit.
I really liked this TEDx Video. I'm never one to equate Physical Effort with Video Gaming. Like ever. But say in Gaming, You will lose fights. You will make mistakes. You will make poor Decisions. How you move forward after them is up to you.
I wish I could show this to every prospective Fleet Commander (FC) in Eve. You will take losses. You will be humiliated. Keep at it. Keep getting better. Take any and all advice from your fellow FCs (I tried FCing like twice, it went poorly) This is the most complex thing that exists in gaming imo. I was playing enough Eve to really start seeing the "field" well, and even then it was hard as fuck.
Lol Daras. The Cap Channel in Mumble is still named for it's "honor". RIP
PS the fight he's talking about where he lost his title was this one. He spent two weeks in Vegas with Nasal Trumpets in. I spend like 4 days a year in Vegas and imagining having to go through that is a fucking nightmare.
Man that fight was in 2007. We are getting Old.
What's interesting going forward in this with the New Sov changes is that a Coalition can go down and fight and burn an entire region down regardless of Super and Cap support. Regardless if you actually live in your Sov or not. The goals of the Providence Campaign were largely accomplished. Even the Allies within the CFC/Imperium Performed well. I wish I could link killmails, but that's on the CCPlease list. The bar for Fighting Sov Warfare is low now. I can see how and why say Black Legion are leaving a Region. In the current meta there is no way to fuck around with people that stage out of what is called NPC space. You can't incap their stuff or give them any defensive timers. All you get are a ton of timers you have to defend by ships that are inexpensive and hard as fuck to catch (Nullified Interceptors need to go away or not be able to Entose. At least when a T3 Cruiser was Cloaky Nully if you managed to catch and kill the thing not only was it expensive, but there was skill point loss. Not so with "Trollceptors")
Now Zakn, you terrible person, what about people that aren't in a coalition? Does this mean they can actually take Sov Null space without Supers? My answer is probably. Will you be able to hold it? Jury is out on that. I'm watching "Russian" Space. Ultimately if you want to live in Sov Nullsec its because you want to build and sell/have Supers. If people start seeing lots of CSAA's they will probably be coat hangered or ransomed. Apologies for the triggers. Plus it appears that the Imperium/CFC is the only Coalition that is really left anymore. How does that change going forward? I don't know. Eve is a Sandbox and the people that play Eve are rule nerds.
I keep getting lots of cheers for the Eve Content in the Comments Section. Still not sure how to take that. I think you fucking nerds are the vocal minority. There's a whole subreddit devoted to that shit.
Guild Wars 2 is now Free to Play
Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows Trailer
I really liked Shovel Knight. The music was great and the platforming was quite challenging and tight. I still haven't beat it. I should get back on that.
Hit me up on my Twitter thingy
I'm always down to publish your stuff. Write it up and pitch me. Inspector Cussword shot this over to me. You can do the same: aoshqgaming at gmail
Many of the commentators in prior game posts have expressed frustration and confusion about a lot of the terms used. Discussions about games often veer into the heavy underbrush of jargon and that can mask a lot of interesting information.
Also, I've noticed that the focus of these posts tend to be centered around consoles and single player games and rarely touch on the world of PC gaming as a whole. Therefore, I'm going to try my best to introduce a slate of low-cost to free games available on PC with a discussion about their genres and perhaps some history.
First off: I will be recommending Steam as a source from time to time. There are a few who do not like Steam's laid-back DRM - others just have relied on somewhat exaggerated negative reviews of older versions of Steam having issues with some PC builds and/or software.
I've been using Steam (download HERE) since 2003, nearly a year before Half LIfe 2 was released on it. It is robust, free, and has the largest available game catalog for purchase and electronic delivery. It has been bulletproof for my purchases and on my various installations. Any bugs I have encountered have been minor. Steam is a great source of free games and allows groups to organize to play games together - so I will be recommending it primarily for downloads.
The genre I will discuss today is MMO's. MMO is taken from "MMORPG" or "Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game", a genre that started with online games called MUD's or "Multi-User Dungeon". These games were wholly- or partially scripted text adventures/chat channels which quickly added side-functionality to keep track of people's statistics, levels, gear, health, and inventory. Today's MMO's range from turn-based strategy games to first-person shooters, to traditional RPGs and strange mixtures of several kinds.
I find them fascinating on several levels - primarily that this is a brand new industry. It has only been around since 1997 or so and no one knows really how to do it right. That's why there are so many failures and weird combos available - it's like the early days of flight when people would strap 18 wings on a bicycle and light a rocket. It might just work.
While the definitive "First MMORPG" is a matter of some argument in the nerd community, the ones that made a lasting impact in the greater market are pretty well known.
Ultima Online (free dl and 14 day trial HERE) was the first "successful" mass-market MMORPG, released in 1997. It was presented as an isometric, 2D sprite-based game -the 3d client wasn't released until 2001 and sucked mightily. The game was known for open PVP (Player Versus Player) combat alongside PVE (Player Versus Environment) until the release of Trammel (an expansion "world" introduced which allowed players to forego non-consensual PVP).
Everquest was the second big mass market success in MMOs. Introduced in 1999, it had a 3d client and presented structure (quests) to the players.
Both of these MMO's are still running. They are the prototypical examples of the primary classes in MMORPGs - themepark (Everquest) and sandbox (Ultima Online).
Themepark MMO's are primarily quest-based. The experience is directed and typically characters are of specific classes such as fighters, mages, clerics, etc. These are progressed by "levels" and the power and abilities increase in set increments. Gear (armor, weapons, etc) is hugely important in these games as it is the way to greatly enhance power and is also the main reward for questing and killing special monsters in "raids"- specific dungeons/areas that cater to large groupings of players.
Sandbox MMO's are reactive. They rely on structure such as land, resources, travel time, etc and expect the players to populate the world and create interactions and "content". Generally they allow the construction of structures/houses/factories. The conflicts over resources, over land, and in retribution for past attacks fuels the confict today. People make a character to go mine and increase their mining skill, then their smelting skill, etc. UO was a skil-point based system of character progression. One could increase skills by practice and in so doing, make a unique character with specific skills. Someone using magic and polearms and able to tame monkeys is a valid character template, though not the best. Gear is merely functional and is rarely a large factor in power differences. Compared to a class-based progression, skill based is much more free-form. It is also alot harder to balance.
Since UO started with unrestricted PVP, sandboxes are often assumed to require non-consensual PVP. Conversely, themepark games also have servers with non-consensual PVP enabled in certain areas and some servers with no PVP allowed except for duels or "flagged" PVP matches.
PVP is a big sore spot in the MMO world. Since a lot of Themeparks are based on gear, the games carry that over and allow people with more time (children, the mentally deranged, and the unemployed) to get more powerful by acquiring gear. They then "grief" or "seal club" lower-level players since it is a guaranteed kill (and the griefers are mentally deficient or bored as hell).
That takes me to today. I figured I'd suggest some cheap to free MMO's for you all to try out.
World of Warcraft is the king of the MMORPG world with just over 5 million paying subscribers (down from 12 million at the peak).
It is a themepark MMO above all others, with huge amounts of content, quests, and tons of support sites. It still costs $14.95 a month, though you can play for free up to level 20 (out of 100).
There is a Moron guild on the Rexxar server, Alliance side. It has been less than busy lately, but since the first 20 levels are free, I recommend downloading World of Warcraft from their site
HERE and trying it out. Take the time to read the quest text. Listen to the voice overs. And enjoy the music score, one of the best in the business.
Verant Interactive was the original company behind Everquest - it was bought by Sony and just recently purchased by a bunch of Russian Legitimate Businessmen. It is now known as Daybreak Games (as you no pay den daybreak yore legs) (just kidding)(sorta). They have several FTP (Free To Play) titles out - Everquest, Everquest II, DC Universe Online, and Planetside II.
Planetside II is what is known as a MMOFPS, or Massively Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter.
You have guns., aircraft, tanks, and motorcycles. There are 3 sides. You shoot dudes, tanks, and dudes in aircraft. The starter guns are NOT underpowered - you don't have to pay for anything if you don't want to. Three sides so there are always fights over several continents. You can download this from Steam or from Daybreak.com.
Another interesting non-fantasy game is DC Universe Online. It allows you to make your own superhero/villain in the DC comic universe (Batman, Superman, Wonderwoman, etc) and fight in a quest-based world. Pretty fun, lots of action, basically is a beat-em up game with combos and finishers. I think one of my characters hits people with a roadsign occasionally. Again, free to play and free to download from Steam or from their website.
If you have kids, you may want to try out TROVE, by Trion Worlds.
They have a launcher for their games called Glyph, so once you install one game it allows you to dl others. (It is also available from Steam, best to run it as a shortcut). It is a block-based adventure game that is suited for families. Allows building, questing, raiding, and has a lot of content. Free to play also.
And finally from Trion, there is DEFIANCE, another MMO shooter. Following trailer is slightly NSFW:
This is primarily PVE and is loosely based on the TV series on Syfy. Guns, Rockets, ATV's, Shooting, Grenades, Explosions, Aliens, and Murder. It is my go-to game for mindless sniping of random mutants. And it's free to play. Again, available on their Glyph launcher or from Steam.
If I can get the time, next week I'll line up MMO Lobby games like War Thunder and World of tanks; or I might go into current and upcoming new games.
Zakn back to close
And as a tribute to @Grummz Your Cosplayer Chick of the week. Firiona Vie of Everquest. That is some Agressive Navel! No PAX FOR YOU!
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The Left's Willful Ignorance [CBD]
Here is an interesting article from Reason (yeah, I know) about the resounding, deafening silence from the Left and academia in response to an article exposing the shaky foundation of the campus serial rapist theory.
But is anyone surprised?
Here is what is happening all across American campuses.
Sunday Morning Book Thread 08-30-2015: Scorched Earth [OregonMuse]
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.
When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.
Trigger warnings this week for free speech being a good thing, because it helps us determine who the idiots are. Also, winners should be determined by merit, not tribal affiliation.
Health warning: reading the book thread excessively may cause your debit card to spontaneously combust.
By the way, speaking of debit cards, I have a non-book question for you morons who do a lot of multi-state traveling, which is this: before you embark on one of your trips, do you have to contact your bank or financial institution and tell them what states you'll be traveling to so your debit card purchases won't automatically be declined, or does your debit card simply work wherever you go?
Backstory: my new job requires me to be expertly familiar with debit card transactions and the security thereof, and this issue came up in the training class this week.
The Residuum of WorldCon
In last week's comments, one of you morons (I forget who, sorry) linked to this article in Wired by Amy Wallace about the Sad Puppies isn't a total waste, as most of the articles written by SJW hacks usually are. This is not to say that it's good; in fact, it does regurgitate the tiresome narrative that the Sad Pupplies are reactionary white guys who are politicizing the Hugos because they hate brown people. In the first place, the author actually reached out and spoke with Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen and even the SJWs' bête noire, Vox Day. Which, by the way, puts her ahead of The Guardian, which has published a number anti-SP hit pieces without contacting any of the writers they rail against.
So Wallace does let you hear the other side, even though it's filtered through her crap narrative.
And then there's this:
In fact, their argument is actually pretty interesting. They say their beef is more class-based; Torgerson [sic] says his books are blue-collar speculative fiction. The Hugos, they say, are snobby and exclusionary, and too often ignore books that are merely popular, by conservative writers. The Sad Puppies have a name for those who oppose them: CHORFS, for “Cliquish, Holier-than-thou, Obnoxious, Reactionary Fanatics.”
I sometimes wonder if these types of class-based arguments shouldn't be pushed more by our side. Not universally, of course, but perhaps there may be situations where they're appropriate. Like here. It might not have ever occurred to Saul Alinsky that his rules could be used against his own tribe. They should be made to live up to their own rules. Since they're obsessed with "class" and "class" distinctions, we should shove "class" down their throats until they choke on it.
Wallace doesn't want to deal with this argument, though. After bringing it up, she immediately drops it and goes on to what she really wants to talk about, namely, the evil Vox Day.
Another thing I find odd with Wallace's article is that it appears to carry the evidence of its own refutation. That is, she wants the audience to believe that the Puppies are all diversity-hating white guys, then she brings up the case of Annie Bellet, an SJW author who withdrew her name from Hugo nomination consideration when her story was included on the Sad Puppies slate.
This is how Bellet describes herself:
“I’m adopted, and I have a sister who is black, a sister who’s Vietnamese. My mom is a lesbian. I grew up in a liberal, inclusive environment.
So she's a poster child for diversity. Fine. But if the Puppies hate diversity, then why would they nominate her for a Hugo? This is a question that Wallace's narrative will not allow her to ask. But the answer is right there in front of her, if only would bestir herself to look:
[Torgersen] says the Hugos are beset by identity politics. “When people go on about how we’re anti-diversity, I’m like: No. All we’re saying is storytelling ought to come first.”
Yes, it's the storytelling. Bellet wrote a damn good story (regardless of her politics or ethnic background) and that's all the Puppies care about. But, of course, that would bust the SJW narrative wide open, and we can't have that.
And speaking of unacceptable individuals...
I have yet to hear any of the social justice wankers (I think I'm going to just spell it out like that from now on) who have been soiling their nappies at the WrongThoughts of the Sad Puppies in general and Vox Day in particular utter one word of disapprobation, or even concern, about the unapologetic NAMBLA defender Samuel R. Delaney. I mean, if you want to enforce disqualification from society based on WrongThought, I would think that defending child molesting would certainly qualify.
Larry Correia's take on this year's WorldCon is here. This is how it starts out:
As you all know by now, the Hugo Awards were presented Saturday, and No Award dominated most of the categories. Rather than let any outsiders win, they burned their village in order to “save it”. And they did so while cheering, gloating, and generally being snide exclusive assholes about it.
And it gets even better. As the poet says, read the whole thing.
What the British mean by "conservative" is quite different than the typical American definition. Here, a conservative is someone who is in favor of policies such as lower taxes, smaller government, economic growth, and protecting the unborn against wholesale slaughter. By contrast, in Britain, a conservative some guy in khakis and a pith helmet being carried on a sedan chair by brown people.
That's the impression I get from reading the articleTop 10 conservative novels by Kate Macdonald in the left-wing "Guardian" newspaper online. She alternately praises and sneers at the authors she's discussing. The character in one of the novels is "unreconstructed Rhodesian imperialist". Another author "staunchly opposed social change". Etc.
Macdonald's myopia is on full display as she describes a novel's "fierce pub arguments, and the default position is always Conservative", never realizing that her own position is "default commie." And here's a beaut: she has H.P .Lovecraft on the list because his "visions of a tentacled overlord from under the sea in a different dimension makes so much sense as a metaphor for conservative fears." Huh? What the hell is that supposed to mean. How is that anything other than a gratuitous insult?
She claims she's studying conservative fiction writing "for decades", yet she says that the first James Bond novel is "Dr. No", an egregious factual error. If she makes a mistake that basic, how can you trust anything else she's written?
And her response in the comment section, blaming this rookie-level derp on the Guardian's fact-checkers, is especially piquant.
Most of the authors and books on her list I have never heard of, but that's just my ignorance. This being a British publication, it's a very British-centered list. John Buchan is an exception, and is worth checking out. His books are available for low cost or no cost on Kindle.
But every so often a blind squirrel steps on a rake and gets some sense whomped into her:
Ignoring fiction of a political colour that you don't agree with is teaching with blinkers on.
In view of the Sad Puppies brouhaha, I certainly agree.
There's some recommendations of other conservative books in the comment section.
Macdonald is the author of the book Novelists Against Social Change: Conservative Popular Fiction, 1920-1960, which is so outrageously expensive ($80 for the hardcover edition? Really?) that I doubt anyone has ever read it.
Then there's Ten Great Conservative Novels over at NRO. Thia article from 2010, By John Miller, which he put together after canvassing NRO readers and some "experts" on American literature. The result is "a list of ten great conservative novels, all written by Americans since the founding of the conservative movement in the 1950s."
I was especially interested in
7. Shelley’s Heart, by Charles McCarry (1995): Charles McCarry is sometimes called a “conservative John le Carré” for his highly intelligent espionage thrillers.
In particular, for stuff like this:
Here is how McCarry describes a president who has made a momentous decision that he knows runs counter to the best interests of the country but may save his career and advance his political agenda: “Like most political figures of his generation who embrace progressive convictions,” McCarry writes, “Lockwood had never in his adult life been anything but a politician.” He “was a politician to the depths of his being, and his office was all he had.”
Shelley's Heart, as well as a number of other of McCarry's books, is available on Kindle for about ten bucks a pop.
Ivy League Blues
In a thread earlier this week, moron commenter rrpjr recommended the book Out of Ivy: How a Liberal Ivy Created a Committed Conservative by Travis James Rowley:
Mr. Rowley's description of incidents on Brown's politically correct campus are by turns hilarious, infuriating, and intriguing as he provides one of the sharpest and most detailed inside looks at elite higher education seen in a long time, Tom Wolfe's "I am Charlotte Simmons" included.
Of course, none of this is new. William F. Buckley covered this ground in his famous first book, God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of 'Academic Freedom', which was published in 1951. Holy crap that's over six decades ago. That's how far back the rat bastard commies have been burrowing.
Buckley wrote the book based on his undergraduate experiences at Yale University. In the book, he criticized Yale and its faculty for forcing collectivist, Keynesian, and secularist ideology on its students. He criticized individual professors by name, arguing that they tried to break down students' religious beliefs through their hostility to religion. Buckley also states in the book that Yale was denying its students any sense of individualism by making them embrace the ideas of liberalism. Buckley argues that the Yale charter leaves oversight of the university to the alumni, and argues that because most alumni of Yale believed in God, that Yale was failing to serve its "masters" by teaching course content in a matter inconsistent with alumni beliefs.
Buckley was 26 years old when his book was first published. Not bad for a first book, I'd say.
Infrequent moron commenter 'Feynmangroupie' checked in this week with a couple of Smart Military recommendations for this Smart Military Blog. I'll just cut and paste from his e-mail:
I’ve been reading a book by Victor Suvorov called “Inside the Aquarium: The Making of a Top Soviet Spy,” and it’s an auto-biographical account of a tank officer who ends up being picked to join the GRU. It’s an in-depth look on how the Soviet spy network operated and also how incredibly ruthless and distrustful they were of their own people. This book discussed the massive amount of time, money, and manpower that went into tracking NATO forces and recording their activities in hopes of finding a weakness and how to exploit it. I was a Patriot Missile Crewmember stationed in Germany, right at the end of the Cold War, and remember wondering if I was being watched whenever I traveled or made purchases. After reading this, I am quite certain that I was!
Inside the Aquarium: The Making of a Top Soviet Spy is from 1986, and I don't think it's still in print. Most of the copies on Amazon appear to be either used or NOS (new old stock), which actually makes them more affordable.
But wait, there's another one:
Another one by the same author is “Icebreaker” which describes WWII from the Soviet perspective and presents evidence that implies that the Soviet Union instigated the war and choreographed most of Hitler’s actions in order to fulfill the Communist dream of global domination...This one is not as easily absorbed as it is filled with statistics, Soviet and German unit names, and discussions of strategy. However, anyone who is a WWII buff will definitely find it interesting, even if it is just to declare it preposterous.
Icebreaker: Who Started The Second World War? appears to be still in print, Kindle version $9.99.
The wikipedia entry notes that Suvorov's thesis is not shared by the majority of historians. The article cites David Glantz' book Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of World War in rebuttal:
Glantz views Suvorov's argument as "incredible" on a variety of fronts: first, Suvorov rejects without examination classified ex-Soviet archival material, and makes highly selective picks from memoirs. Glantz points to this as a serious methodological flaw. Further, Glantz argues, Suvorov's thesis is strongly contradicted both by ex-Soviet and German archival material, and the facts do not support the argument that the Red Army was prepared to invade Germany. On the contrary, the appalling lack of readiness, poor training level, and abysmal state of deployments show that the Red Army was unprepared for static defense, much less large-scale offensive operations. Glantz's conclusion is that "Stalin may well have been an unscrupulous tyrant, but he was not a lunatic."
I don't have a dog in this fight and I'm not trying to shoot down Feynmangroupie's recommendation. I just discovered some contrary evidence and thought it was worthy of note for the Smart Military morons who know far more about this subject than I do.
Books By Morons
Another moron author outs himself! Longtime moron commenter 'logprof' has published his first work of fiction, No Lesser Love: A Novella. Thia is what he says about it:
By default I placed No Lesser Love in the Romance (!) category on Amazon because the plot is a romance, but it is intended as a societal critique.
$2.99 on Kindle.
Anna Puma's novel, Golden Isis is also available on Kindle. She was kind enough to provide me with an AoSHQ Amazon Bookstore link, but unfortunately, digital media can only be purchased directly from the main Amazon store.
Think you might be having a rough day?
There was Diana Hunt, minding her own business. A woman trying to survive in New York City. During the Great Depression. Boy was it greatly depressing.
Her husband is on the lam, leaving her alone to face the goons and the police that are looking for him. Then one morning an unconscious young woman appears on her door step and Diana's life will never be the same again.
What does Egypt, magic, and those naughty good for nothing Nazis have to do with this story?
That's what Diana wants to know.
Moronette Lauren has been sitting on a short story for a long time, but now she's gone ahead and published it. Ordinarily, Just Another Oppressor is available for 99 cents on Kindle, but for you morons, Lauren has made it available for free today.
What I'm Reading
Tales of Tinfoil: Stories of Paranoia and Conspiracy was a Bookbub freebie earlier this week, so I snapped it up.
In this short story collection, today's top fiction authors pull back the curtain on the biggest conspiracies of all time. Explore the JFK assassination, Area 51, the moon landing, the surveillance state. Meet a French spy posing as Abraham Lincoln, play a video game designed by the CIA, watch "Suicide Mickey." Learn the truth about Adolf Hitler and Elvis Presley.
Twelve short stories, twelve conspiracy theories, twelve twisted rabbit holes.
I read the first story, where some schlub manages to resolve, once and for all time, the question of who shot JFK, and I thought it posited a clever, non-traditional solution (even though I'm in an intransigent who holds firmly to the view that the rat bastard commie Oswald acted alone).
I hope the other stories are as good.
As of now (Sat. nite), it is still available for free on Kindle.
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.
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Early Morning Thread 08/30/15 [krakatoa]
Overnight Open Thread (29 Aug 2015)
And coalition forces may be advertising where our ISR and tanker aircraft are flying in Iraq and Syria. Not too smart.
Got a pesky drone problem? Give Boeing's Compact Laser System a try. I only have one question. Can I put this on a shark yet?
Meh. The way you eat pizza can give clues about personality. What if you stack two pieces on top of each other to make an impromptu calzone?
This Much Will Kill You
Gadget 'allergy' pays off for a French woman. Expect many, many more. I'm allergic to Democrats and GOPe types. I demand a disability stipend for this.
Roman Candle Launcher
Super Star Destroyer
A Super Star Destroyer is as big as Manhattan. Now if it is commanded by a DeBlasio type, it'll be combat ineffective.
Scientists say not to worry about eating radioactive Fukushima tuna. You'd have to eat 2.5 tons of it. Now if one can get some super powers out of it.
Dude has some skills.
Yeah, sure you will. House GOP leadership: we'll vote to defund Planned Parenthood this fall.
Do you have cats? Do you seem to always have money missing from your purse or wallet? It just might be your cat.
Tonight's ONT brought to you by 19th Century Magic Advertisements:
Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maet or CDR M. Otherwise send tips to Ace.
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Robert Bork On The Martini [CBD]
[A letter he wrote to The Wall Street Journal in response to this.]
Martini's Founding Fathers: Original Intent Debatable
Eric Felten's essay on the dry martini is itself near-perfect (Don't Forget the Vermouth -- WSJ Leisure & Arts, Pursuits, Dec. 10). His allusion to constitutional jurisprudence is faulty, however, since neither in law nor martinis can we know the subjective "original intent" of the Founding Fathers. As to martinis, the intent may have been to ease man's passage through this vale of tears or, less admirably, to employ the tactic of "candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker."
What counts in mixology is the "original understanding" of the martini's essence by those who first consumed it. The essence remains unaltered but allows proportions to evolve as circumstances change. Mr. Felten's "near-perfect martini" is the same in principle as the "original-understanding martini" and therefore its legitimate descendant. Such latter-day travesties as the chocolate martini and the raspberry martini, on the other hand, are the work of activist bartenders.
Mr. Felten lapses into heresy only once. He prefers the olive to the lemon peel because the former is a "snack." Dropping a snack into a classic drink is like garnishing filet mignon with ketchup. The correct response when offered an olive is, "When I want a salad, I'll ask for it."
Robert H. Bork
The Hudson Institute
And...Open Drinking Thread (and use coasters!)
No Longer Tropical Storm Erika, now Invest 90
Good evening, Morons and Moronettes, and this should be the final post about Erika (and, God willing, any tropical system that should threaten to hit the continental United States). If the long-range forecasting is correct, as El Nino gets going, that should inhibit tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic, and as such, restrict my posting to the odd overnight thread.
More below the fold...
So Erika didn't like running into the mountainous terrain of Hispaniola and Cuba, and has dissipated to an extremely poorly-organized low pressure center between the Bahamas and Cuba. Thank God for friction.
If you're in central Florida, you've still got a pretty good rainmaker with possibly three to five inches of rain forecast for the area. As such, please remember that flooding is the biggest threat with any tropical system, and that threat will remain inland in Georgia, Alabama, and other states in its path.
In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the media's annoyance with their planned news cycle not working out.
A brief thought on Katrina, ten years later...
So as many of you know, I'm a New Orleans native, and I was working in Huntsville, AL when Katrina pushed ashore. It was a pretty damned empty feeling to watch my hometown flood, and to see pictures of the Mississippi Gulf Coast (where my family and I would weekend a few times a year) trashed in the worst way since Camille in 1969.
Much like living in earthquake country, you deal with the notion that at some point, that big storm or big quake is going to come, and you hope you're prepared. When it comes to the city and state leadership, New Orleans and Louisiana (under Ray Nagin- for whom I used to work- and Kathleen Blanco) couldn't be bothered, while Haley Barbour and the Biloxi/Gulfport/Pascagoula leadership were on their game.
Don't forget also that Jefferson Parish (just to the west of NO; part of where Steven Seagal: Lawman used to be filmed) Parish President had his people abandon the pumping stations in the face of the storm, which screwed up the East Bank of Jefferson Parish just as badly. I'm happy to say that Broussard and Nagin are now in federal prison.
A whole bunch of people died needlessly because of the incompetence of Louisiana's leadership, and the only silver lining that one can draw from it is that it slapped a lot of people awake along the Gulf Coast. Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi have been exemplary models of emergency preparation and management, and the same preparation and management have been hallmarks of Bobby Jindal's administration in Louisiana as well.
So, to close, y'all just please be prepared for whatever natural disasters can threaten your area- be it snowstorms, hurricanes, volcanoes, or whatever. If you're prepared for calamity, that means you don't have to rely on questionably competent elected officials and that emergency services can concentrate more fully on their gigs as well.
In the meantime, please pray for the folks affected by the western wildfires... I think they'd KILL for a tropical system to drop 3-5" of rain on their areas right now.
Thanks again for reading!
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The Cost Of Capitalism vs. Socialism [CBD]
CoyoteBlog writes, I Have This Argument All The Time With The US Forest Service , but it could be with any government agency doing....anything. The pull quote is marvelous, and one that, while we as obsessed conservatives have internalized, is not common knowledge among those who aren't quite as rabid about political philosophy.
from page 114 of the 5th edition (2015) of Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics :
While capitalism has a visible cost -- profit -- that does not exist under socialism, socialism has an invisible cost -- inefficiency -- that gets weeded out by losses and bankruptcy under capitalism. The fact that most goods are more widely affordable in a capitalist economy implies that profit is less costly than inefficiency. Put differently, profit is a price paid for efficiency.
Fresh Open Thread - [Niedermeyers Dead Horse]
I'm going blind from watching this over and over and...
How they sharpen pencils in a factory.. pic.twitter.com/OYO7vCjMaL— SciencePorn (@SciencePorn) August 27, 2015
and, which of you will try this at home?
I almost broke my brain with a backwards bicycle for the sake of Science. I would appreciate it if you... http://t.co/idQ1YHAahd— Smarter Every Day (@smartereveryday) April 24, 2015
I'm sure content will arrive shortly.
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August 29, 2015 Saturday Gardening Thread: Robert Ryman Edition [Y-not and KT]
Greetings fellow gardeners! Your hostess is somewhere in flyover country at present in a large SUV filled (one hopes) with her belongings, including loving spouse and pets. So this week's edition of the Saturday Gardening Thread will be a minimalist affair:
As always, KT was prepared with plenty of juicy gardening content, but I didn't want to risk not being able to put it up this weekend. (TWHS!)
Here are a couple of pictures that Mr. Y-not took during the walk-through of our new house last weekend showing our new backyard:
We have a gazebo and everything!
No pool though.
First order of business is that wall/pavers project I'd mentioned recently. (Do NOT comment on old threads!)
What's happening in your gardens this week?
[Addendum} Can someone identify this tree and this seed or nut pod?
Sorry about the crappy photos....(CBD)
Platinum Membership for the correct answer ( I don't know it....).
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Special Food Thread: Canning Edition [CBD]
H/T NDH (you should follow her on the tweet thing: @mflynny)
And of course Open Thread, because you maniacs do it anyway.