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June 30, 2015

Overnight Open Thread (6-30-2015) – Link-o-rama Edition

—Maetenloch

Quote of the Day I

When Greece's finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, in an early round of negotiations in Brussels, complained that Greek pensions could not be cut any further, he was reminded bluntly by his colleague from Lithuania that pensioners there have survived on far less. Lithuania, according to the most recent figures issued by Eurostat, the European statistics agency, spends 472 euros, about $598, per capita on pensions, less than a third of the 1,625 euros spent by Greece. Bulgaria spends just 257 euros. This data refers to 2012 and Greek pensions have since been cut, but they still remain higher than those in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Croatia and nearly all other states in eastern, central and southeastern Europe.

And here Mark Steyn describes the onerous life of a Greek civil servant:

Greek public sector employees are entitled not only to 14 monthly paychecks per annum during their "working" lives, but also 14 monthly retirement checks per annum till death. Who's going to be around to pay for that?

So you can't borrow against the future because, in the crudest sense, you don't have one. Greeks in the public sector retire at 58, which sounds great. But, when ten grandparents have four grandchildren, who pays for you to spend the last third of your adult life loafing around?

Quote of the Day II

In the 1950s, the most puritanical place in America was somewhere in Kansas. Today it is Los Angeles.

-- Richard Miniter

Quote of the Day III

Blogger Glenn Reynolds noted that when the South was solidly Democratic, we got "Gone With the Wind" nostalgia. Now that it is profoundly less racist, but also less useful to Democrats, it's the enemy of all that is decent and good.

-- Jonah Goldberg

Quote of the Day IV

The F-35's ability to compete against other fighter aircraft in a close-in dogfight, even against the decades old designs it looks to replace, has always been a contentious issue. Long ago, the F-35's maneuverability was planned to far exceed that of fourth generation fighters. Over time, those claims eroded to the point where the troubled stealth jet is described as being "about as maneuverable as an F-16."

Also: The F-35 can now take off from a ski jump. So it has that going for it.

Moe Lane on the Pros and Cons of a Big Fat Greek Meltdown

Hard to argue effectively with that, although as I've noted earlier Greece is still an ally, which leads me to rather sentimentally not want it to collapse into some sort of Anarchy Free-Fire Zone. But, hey, elections have consequences. Greece has been making some very bad calls all throughout this crisis; not least of which was its inexplicable decision to hire Marxists to solve its economic problems. That's like hiring a radical Greenie to run your fission pile; he doesn't want to do the job, and even if he did he still doesn't know how. Hopefully the Greeks will wise up, soon. because the end result of that fission pile analogy would quite likely be a pile of corpses, and that is something that Commies are quite good at producing, alas.

What, you don't think that you can have a Third World collapse in Europe?  Why? It's not like there's some sort of Cause And Effect disruption field covering the continent.

Hillary Clinton to Fundraise with 'Anti-Christ'

Part of a pattern.

In 1975 the Clintons attended in a voodoo ceremony in Haiti. Hillary has also been known to communicate with the dead.

Continue reading


Posted by Maetenloch at 10:18 PM Comments



If Hillary Clinton's Speaking Fee of $237,000 Is Too Much For You, You Can Hire Her Useless Failure-Puddle of a Daughter for $65,000

—Ace

What the Clintons lack in dignity, they make up for in graft.

I know I'm way late on this but can I just say: Oh my shit.

Wow.

Racism is a powerful animating force. And yes, this is racism. This is Female Superiority Racism mixed with Liberal Comfortable Class Tribalism Racism.

This is all about paying someone to stand as an avatar for one's own Superiority.

You can make a lot of money by giving the unaccomplished a racial or chromosomal excuse to feel that they're Important, too.

When the University of Missouri at Kansas City was looking for a celebrity speaker to headline its gala luncheon marking the opening of a women's hall of fame, one of the names that came to mind was Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But when the former secretary of state’s representatives quoted a fee of $275,000, officials at the public university balked. "Yikes!" one e-mailed another.

So the school booked the next best option: her daughter, Chelsea.

The university paid $65,000 for Chelsea Clinton’s brief appearance...

Now, let's see what a University gets for it's $65,000. Or what I call "full ride for a deserving underprivileged student."

The schedule she negotiated called for her to speak for 10 minutes, participate in a 20-minute, moderated question-and-answer session and spend a half-hour posing for pictures with VIPs offstage.

That long, huh? I hope she's monitoring her pulse rate. That kind of pace can kill someone.

As with Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches at universities, Chelsea Clinton made no personal income from the appearance, her spokesman said, and directed her fee to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

Yes... and let's pretend that Foundation doesn't pay for their wardrobe, offices, transportation, travel, and five man staffs. (Yes, Chelsea has a five man staff.)

You know what most people call those things?

The cost of living. (Plus, jet plane rides and five-man staffs!)

So yes, they are in fact being paid by the Foundation.

If I started a "charity" and contracted to pay all your food and rent costs for the rest of your life, would you claim that you were being 'uncompensated"?


So the university turned back to others, eventually choosing Chelsea Clinton when the agency indicated she was willing. Just shy of her 34th birthday, Clinton commanded a higher fee than other prominent women speakers who were considered, including feminist icon Gloria Steinem ($30,000) and journalists Cokie Roberts ($40,000), Tina Brown ($50,000) and Lesley Stahl ($50,000), the records show.

Chelsea's done so much more, just by being born to Hillary Clinton and... well it really doesn't matter.

Officials with the school appeared to believe Clinton was worth her fee, which university spokesman John Martellaro said was paid using private donations. They exulted to Clinton’s representatives that the luncheon sold out quickly, with 1,100 tickets selling for $35 each -- which would equal $38,500. University officials say the event was intended to boost attention for the new hall of fame, not raise money.

So you funneled money to the Clintons at a fundraiser, lost money (as usual), and then you say "It wasn't about the money anyway, it was a about the attention?"

What f***ing attention? Who the hell ever heard of this before now?

I'm reading an article about this "hall" you supposedly boosted the profile of and I can't name the hall or guess what this hall's function is.

This was about funneling other people's money to political figures the left likes -- as usual.

"Chelsea was the perfect fit," Amy Loughman, an alumni relations official who managed the event, wrote in an e-mail a few days later. "It created fantastic buzz in the community."

She created fantastic buzz on NBC News, too, before she was fired for having the charisma of a urinal cake.

...

In dozens of e-mails exchanged between University of Missouri officials and Clinton’s representatives at the Harry Walker Agency, which arranges appearances by all three Clintons, there was no reference to her $65,000 fee going to charity. Nor was there any reference in the five-page contract.

Because it didn't.

What can this charmless, talentless, pointless woman do except collect graft-checks on behalf of her parents?

The university paid the fee -- which also covered Clinton’s travel expenses -- in two disbursements to the Walker Agency. But Martellaro said, "We have no knowledge of how funds were disbursed from that point."

Bazbaz said all of Clinton’s paid speeches through the Walker Agency are delivered on behalf of the foundation "to support implementing its life saving work" and that this was "always the intention" with the University of Missouri. He added that neither she nor her hosts receive charitable tax deductions.

Because it's not charity.

Oh now let's look at the contract, which has more riders in it than Van Halen did at the peak of their popularity.

The contract stipulated that Clinton would have final approval of everything, such as the selection of her introducer (celebrities, journalists and elected officials were prohibited from consideration), the onstage setup (there must be "room-temperature water" next to her podium along with "two comfortable armed-and-backed chairs" for the question-and-answer session) and the type of microphone provided for her use (both lavaliere and handheld).

In e-mails with university officials, Clinton’s aides closely edited the texts of press releases, marketing materials and introductory remarks. Clinton’s representatives instructed that a line about her being the daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton be deleted from one news release and that her title of vice chair of the Clinton Foundation be added beneath her name on an electronic flier. Other materials mentioned her parents, however.

When reviewing the script that a student would read introducing her, a Clinton Foundation aide asked university officials to remove the list of Clinton’s degrees. A Clinton adviser, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the event, said "this was by no means an intention to script a high school student's introduction of Chelsea," but rather to avoid what otherwise would have been a recitation of all of Clinton's achievements.

There's so many of them, who could list them all?

She exists.

Oh, there you go. I just did list them all.

Not as hard as I thought.

...


Clinton’s representatives also closely managed her time on campus. They asked whether she would be free to depart from the event once she finished her remarks, rather than waiting until the luncheon concluded. Martellaro said she stayed until the end.

Clinton agreed to pose for photographs backstage with 100 VIPs prior to the speech. But her representatives requested that only 20 to 30 minutes be budgeted for the photo line, rather than 45 minutes the university initially sought.

You know what there's no news about?

Anything Chelsea Clinton said there that day.

For $65,000 for thirty minutes' work, you'd think that this graceless walking graft-bag could have said something interesting or insightful, no?

But no, no one expects anything from the Clintons; no accomplishments, no successes.

Just nothing but an extended hand, palm up, demanding their next pay-off.


Contest: Play this video -- Chelsea Clinton talking with Stella McCartney about how harrrrd it is to have rich parents -- and watch the counter.

Tell me the time at which you Tap Out.

How far can you make it?

Posted by Ace at 07:53 PM Comments



Suggestions Box for the Next Book Club Thread

—Ace

I don't think I picked a great one last time, but I want to do this again.

People will want to read a political book. There are two such books I want to read, and which are endlessly recommended to me, but which I need a nudge to read (which the point of a bookclub, the nudge): Thomas Sowell's Vision of the Annointed and F.A. Hayek's Road to Serfdom.

One book I'd like a nudge to read is Dracula, which I was enjoying before I put it down for no good reason. I was surprised it was well written -- for some reason I expected it to be gothic trash. Maybe it is, but I liked the scenery-painting of Transylvania.

Other suggestions?

The only type of book I'm going to call in the book club is one that people need a nudge to read -- classics, smart-stuff. I don't need a nudge to read the sort of entertainment fiction I already read. Like, I don't need a nudge to read the Jack Reacher book Killing Floor; I already did that, without a nudge. Nor the sci-fi candy Ready Player One.

So, that said, and feel free to recommend books, but there's no point saying "You should read the Vince Flynn book" because, while I take your recommendation seriously, it's also the case that I'd read the new Vince Flynn book if I liked the cover and the first few pages.

Ultimately I want to do Moby Dick, but I guess I need to build to that. Maybe at some point I'll try Huckleberry Finn, another classic I was supposed to have read but did not.


Choice: CBD suggested Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher," which I always wanted to read. I have no idea what it's about, though I suppose there's a house involved, and some substandard foundation work.

It's 7000 words, so it's just a short story, a mere tenth of a novel, and it's free on Kindle (and B&N, I assume).

It's also available freely at project Guttenberg, here.

So Fall of the House of Usher it is!

This is very exciting!

Let's go for... um, I dunno. Let's go for the Sunday after next.

Posted by Ace at 06:16 PM Comments

It Is Time to Scrap the F-35 And Simply Begin Building Somewhat Updated F-15s Again

—Ace

Have you heard the bad news? We have spent one trillion dollars on the F-35, which is intended to be the main battle plane across three different services (Navy, Air Force, Marines), filling at least two different roles (air superiority, that is, dogfighting and radar-destroying, and ground-striking) and the thing is an absolute piece of shit which will kill our pilots.

This is not some niche plane. This is intended to be the main airframe in use by all of our military. This will end up being 70% of the planes we fly. (Note: I just made that up, but I really want to push that this is not just some niche flier we can afford to limp along with.)

A test pilot has some very, very bad news about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The pricey new stealth jet can’t turn or climb fast enough to hit an enemy plane during a dogfight or to dodge the enemy’s own gunfire, the pilot reported following a day of mock air battles back in January.

"The F-35 was at a distinct energy disadvantage," the unnamed pilot wrote in a scathing five-page brief that War Is Boring has obtained. The brief is unclassified but is labeled "for official use only."

The test pilot's report is the latest evidence of fundamental problems with the design of the F-35 -- which, at a total program cost of more than a trillion dollars, is history's most expensive weapon.

...

The fateful test took place on Jan. 14, 2015, apparently within the Sea Test Range over the Pacific Ocean near Edwards Air Force Base in California. The single-seat F-35A with the designation "AF-02" -- one of the older JSFs in the Air Force --took off alongside a two-seat F-16D Block 40, one of the types of planes the F-35 is supposed to replace.

...


The F-35 was flying "clean," with no weapons in its bomb bay or under its wings and fuselage. The F-16, by contrast, was hauling two bulky underwing drop tanks, putting the older jet at an aerodynamic disadvantage.

But the JSF's advantage didn't actually help in the end. The stealth fighter proved too sluggish to reliably defeat the F-16, even with the F-16 lugging extra fuel tanks. "Even with the limited F-16 target configuration, the F-35A remained at a distinct energy disadvantage for every engagement," the pilot reported.

...


In the end, the F-35 -- the only new fighter jet that America and most of its allies are developing -- is demonstrably inferior in a dogfight with the F-16, which the U.S. Air Force first acquired in the late 1970s.

I am not even close to expert. One caveat I'd note here: Dogfighting is not everything. Agility is not the most important thing. Speed is. For example, I remember in the nineties some lesser plane -- maybe the F-16, maybe some British fighter -- would routinely beat F-15s in dogfighting.

But the F-15 pilots laughed. They said, basically, this: "We lost because we were under the artificial conditions where we had to dogfight. In real life, we get to decide whether we have the superiority and thus whether to engage at all. And in the air, speed, not agility, is king: we can close on them if they flee, and we can flee them if they close on us. Add in our ability to hit them from very far away, and it all shakes out that the F-16's advantage in dogfighting is trivial, and not one that will make a difference on the battlefield very often."

Fine.

But no one hears anything but one problem after another with this plane. (See video below for more.) Australia's going a little big wiggy that they've contracted to buy this lemon.

There is no doubt that the US fighter fleet could use a refreshing -- but this plane seems to be awful.

We need some brave voices to stand up to the serious Career-Momentum of this thing -- that is, everyone who shepherded this piece of shit along is going to suffer a career-ending embarrassment if we pull the plug on it, or put it back on to the chalkboards -- to take a stand and say that our boys, and our security, are more important than some Pentagon Procurement Asshole's career.

Put the F-35 back into the chalkboard stage, and begin designing some incremental, evolutionary changes to the F-15.

No, a slightly upgraded F-15 will not give us the sort of dominance we need.

But the F-35 sure won't, either, and at least we know, with the F-15, we're getting a reliable and effective platform.

We do need more stealth. Fine. Use the money saved from canceling the F-35 rollout (and buying cheaper upgraded F-15s) to buy some extra stealth planes.

But this F-35 seems to be a disaster, and Washington seems to be doing with this disaster what it does with all disasters of its own making: Pretending it's not happening so that no one actually has to (gasp!) get a demotion over the catastrophe.

For a contrary take, see Defense Tech, quoting pilots who claim flying the F-35 is "like magic."

I don't know.

There's a certain rah-rah that happens when you're in a group project and you want it all to turn out all right...

New Video Added: Dave in Texas recommends the below video-- from the co-designer of the F-16.

He calls the F-35 "dumb," and the whole F-35 plan a "stunt" and "public relations campaign."


Continue reading


Posted by Ace at 04:55 PM Comments

Reporter Misreported Nobel Scientist Tim Hunt's Words, Then #SocialAttentionWhores Just Ran With It Until They Forced His Resignation

—Ace

Unbelievable. According to a third-party EU official, and Sir Tim Hunt himself, she took words out the context, and concealed the fact that Hunt's remarks were jokes at his own expense.

The Guardian has now heavily re-edited this Social Attention Whore's story to make it less defamatory -- but the Guardian doesn't alert you to that, contrary to its own claimed rules.

Hunt has now resigned from his important work in cancer research. And this Social Attention Whore got her scalp.

New revelations about the speech and the context of the joke have surfaced. An account of a European Commission Official who took detailed minutes of the event adds key information absent from the original report:
According to the new account, Sir Tim started with: "It's strange that such a chauvinist monster like me has been asked to speak to women scientists” which makes clear he mocking sexism, rather than indulging in it. St. Louis reported this as Hunt simply admitting: "he has a reputation as a male chauvinist."

Immediately after the now infamous joke, according to the new evidence, he proceeded to make several very pro gender equality remarks, including: "Now seriously... Science needs women and you should do science despite all the obstacles, and despite monsters like me," which was similarly disregarded in St. Louis's twitter report.

Hunt has already protested that he added, "now seriously" to indicate the joke was over.

The Daily Mail is now vetting this #SocialAttentionWarrior, Connie St. Louis, and finding lots of troubling facts.

Then, early this week, the simmering dispute took a further, seismic twist.

It came courtesy of The Times newspaper, which revealed the contents of a leaked report into Sir Tim's fall from grace compiled by an EU official who had accompanied him to the Seoul conference.

This individual, who has not been named, sat with him at the lunch and provided a transcript of what Sir Tim 'really said'.

Crucially, it presented a very different take to the one which had been so energetically circulated by Connie St Louis.

...

However, Sir Tim's critics remained unmoved and disputed the EU report's contents. Importantly, given how the scandal had originally emerged, they were led by Connie St Louis.

...

Perhaps, therefore, we should ask two other related questions: who exactly is Connie St Louis? And why, exactly, should we trust her word over that of a Nobel laureate?

A good place to start is the website of London’s City University, where St Louis has, for more than a decade, been employed to run a postgraduate course in science journalism.

Here, on a page outlining her CV, she is described as follows:

'Connie St Louis . . . is an award-winning freelance broadcaster, journalist, writer and scientist.

'She presents and produces a range of programmes for BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service . . . She writes for numerous outlets, including The Independent, Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, BBC On Air magazine and BBC Online.'

All very prestigious. Comforting, no doubt, for potential students considering whether to devote a year of their lives (and money) to completing an MA course under her
stewardship. Except, that is for one small detail: almost all of these supposed 'facts' appear to be untrue.

I've quoted too much so I'll leave you to click on the Daily Mail to see what's untrue.

Think about the sort of person who becomes a Social Attention Whore.

Think about the psychology at play.

Then wonder: Why do we ever give these unaccomplished, envious, grasping monsters any credence at all?

thanks to @comradearthur

Posted by Ace at 03:11 PM Comments

NY Mayor Bill DeBlasio Wants to Make it Illegal to Smoke in Your Own Homes

—Ace

Bill DiBlasio despises you and your freedom.

New Yorkers may soon not be able to smoke in their own homes, if Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio gets his way.

The New York Post reported on de Blasio’s new initiative to partner with health groups that will "pressure landlords" into banning smoking in apartment buildings.

"“That means smokers would be barred from lighting up in one of their last sanctuaries: their own living quarters," the paper said. "Smoking is already banned in public places, including bars and restaurants, workplaces, sports venues, and parks."

I keep saying this, but quitting smoking is the best decision I ever made, apart from eating that rib-eye a half hour ago. I would strongly urge all smokers to kick the habit -- you don't need it, just as a junkie doesn't need his drug, and you will be a better person -- healthier, more present in the moment (not thinking about your next nicotine jones), better at sex (everyone enjoying reduced lung capacity?), and richer.

Your life will become better almost immediately-- within, I'd say, about four days. Sure, three days of (some mild) withdrawal, and then just every day better and better for the rest of your (longer) life.

And I'll do what I can to help you.

But the way to persuade people is to actually persuade them.

Not to bully them.

DiBlasio begins with a truth -- smoking is bad -- and then turns it into a lie by not recognizing the most important truth of all:

A free people is only free if it is permitted to do the WRONG thing, as well as the right thing.

In Nazi Germany, you were always free to do the "right" thing (as defined by the government) of supporting the Party and hating the Jews.

It is not freedom if you are permitted to do what a collection of social-climbing, sexually-bent, bullying idiots have decided is the right thing.

It is only freedom if you are permitted to do those things that collection of social-climbing, sexually-bent, bullying idiots think is the wrong thing.*

But don't listen to me.

Let me quote Congressional candidate Mike Flynn -- dare I say the front-runner? -- explaining his definition of what conservative philosophy is.

We are all children of God, and we are all touched by the divine. And because of that we are unique, and we are all individuals. Conservatism is a humility in government, that we do not know what's best for you. That we would not try to define what's best for you. You go, with your divine spark, and pursue [your dream]. Conservatism is freedom -- within responsibilities, we enter into a social contract through the Constitution to protect those rights we have so that others do not infringe on them, but at that point Government should largely go away. And let us live. As conservatives -- I've said it before, and it amazes me, but we are selling freedom. And if we can't sell freedom, we do indeed suck.

By the way, check out his great answer on how to change the tax code-- towards the flat tax -- at 44:22. Even if you're against the flat tax, listen to his answer-- you'll be impressed.

And then check out 53:20, where he offers the idea of "regulatory budgeting," an idea implemented in Canada -- if a regulatory agency implements a new regulation costing $100 million, they must offset that by taking a regulation worth $100 million off the books.

Have you heard another politician talking about this?

One of the things Flynn said to me, personally -- this hasn't been introduced into the campaign yet -- is that he wants to implement, as far as school reform, the Dutch System.

By the way, I forget the actual country. It may not be the Netherlands. This is my several-year-old memory.

What's the Dutch system? Well, the government gives each parent a check to pay for school, and the parent can use that for any school -- including religious schools. There is no church-state question because the decision is up to the parent. All the state did was cut a check and say "Do what you think is best."

Mike is very fond of referring to this as "the Dutch model" because he knows that the liberal media is overly-smitten of ENLIGHTENED EUROPEAN WAYS OF DOING THINGS. So he always says, "Well, of course, I favor the Dutch model. Obviously, you know?"

Which is Pure School Choice -- the government's role is to deliver a check, and the money follows the student to whatever school his parent wants.

That's why I'm saying he's a genius. He's not just smart, and he's not just right on policy.

He's a little crafty about things.

He knows how stupid the liberal media is, and he eagerly wishes to exploit this.


Continue reading


Posted by Ace at 02:01 PM Comments

Kurtz: The Media Is an Intolerant Mob of Jungle-Tribe Witchdoctors and Zealots

—Ace

I ginned up his words but that's the idea.

Will be back in a few -- but needed to get something up.

Morrissey quotes Hugh Hewitt's interview with Buzzfeed Ben, an interview that makes me more sorry for Buzzfeed Ben than usual.

What astonishes me is that Buzzfeed Ben is like this guy Dietz in the Illinois 18th race -- it is quite obvious that he has never even thought about the questions Hugh Hewitt poses before. Simple, obvious questions everyone even pretending to be a thinker must ask himself, like "Why is it I feel comfortable declaring there are no two sides on gay marriage, and yet I cannot bring myself to criticize Shariah law?"

Again, this is obvious.

And Buzzfeed Ben is not an uncommonly dumb person for the media. Among media types, I'd wager he's actually highly intelligent (for the cohort, I repeat).

But this exposes how painfully, embarrassingly shallow and utterly disconnected from any kind of intellectual rigor these people are.

These creates are not thinkers, and hell, they're barely even writers. What they are are Social Climbers, social animals with a fondness for telling those lower in the social pecking order What's Hot and What Not, but with not a dollop of actual interest in the ideas that are supposedly informing their Viral Persuasions.

These people are shallow, they are incompetent, they are in the arena of idea without actually having any taste for thinking, and they must, and will be, swept aside.

Here's What I'm Doing: Just a brief personal note. This is no big deal. But it doesn't cost me anything to write some frivolous words.

Continue reading


Posted by Ace at 12:05 PM Comments

Open Thread

—rdbrewer


Gunnar Widforss, "California Redwood Grove" (1925)

Posted by rdbrewer at 10:39 AM Comments

Morning Thread

—Dave In Texas

I love doing this cause it lets me show off my laziness.

Posted by Dave In Texas at 08:23 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (6-29-2015) – Surprise Early Edition

—Maetenloch

Quote of the Day

"How can something like this happen without prior warning?" asked Angeliki Psarianou, a 67-year-old retired public servant, who stood in the drizzle after arriving too late at one empty ATM in the Greek capital.

Le Sigh. How Did We Come to The Point Where Even the Serious 'Elite' Are Such Unserious Fools?

unseriousfools

Report: US, Partners Won't Be Allowed to Inspect Iran's Nuclear Weapons Facilities Under Agreement

WTF. So in what sense is this actually a nuclear inspection agreement then?

The P5+1 countries led by the United States under Barack Obama have caved in to Iranian demands and will not insist on inspections of nuclear installations as part of a deal on Iran's nuclear weapons program, Channel 1 reported Sunday.

Alternative theory from the article: Iran already has nukes in the form of a couple crude Hiroshima type bombs so it's game-over.

Meanwhile the State Department kicked out unfriendly US reporters at a Vienna briefing on the imminent nuclear agreement.

George Will: A Greek Default Would Be a Valuable Lesson in Basic Economics

It cannot be said too often: There cannot be too many socialist smashups. The best of these punish reckless creditors whose lending enables socialists to live, for a while, off other people's money. The world, which owes much to ancient Athens's legacy, including the idea of democracy, is indebted to today's Athens for the reminder that reality does not respect a democracy's delusions.

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Posted by Maetenloch at 09:55 PM Comments

#TheRevolutionWillBeLiveStreamed: Flynn/LaHood "Candidate Forum," on YouTube, at 7 PM Eastern

—Ace

Andrew Breitbart's Wartime Consiglierte goes up against Establishment/US Chamber of Commerce/Main Street Partnership scion and Boehner Water Carrier Darin LaHood.

Watch (not just listen) below.

If the channel gets stuck, it might also be available here.

Also, it's the top story at Breitbart.


Update: I'm told that Mike will be appearing on Mark "The Great One" Levin's show at 8:30, or thereabouts. You can listen live here.


Continue reading


Posted by Ace at 06:57 PM Comments

The New York Times, Which Refused to Run Any Mohammad Images Claiming They Simply Would Not Run Pictures That Offended Any Religious Group, Runs Picture of Pope Made Up of Condoms

—Ace

You might say, how do they know this offends the religious?

Easy. Their own article says the picture is drawing complaints from Catholics in Milwaukee.

Their headline:


Portrait of Pope Benedict XVI Made of Condoms Draws Complaints in Milwaukee

Here was their transparently-false claim in January:



Here's the truth you won't hear in the New York Times:

The New York Times' stock-in-trade is silly, transparent dissembling unworthy of adults or even educated children.


Note: Mike Flynn will have his last "candidate forum" with LaHood (who won't agree to a debate) tonight at 7 eastern, livestreamed at sj-r.com. I will be covering it, or, well, listening to it and commenting it.

He'll then be on the Mark Levin show afterwards -- but as the debate is 90 minute (I think), it's going to be tough to squeeze him in. Ah well, we'll see how long he and Mark Levin get to talk.

Posted by Ace at 06:27 PM Comments

Hillary Clinton, Get This, Edited the Emails She Turned Over to State to Delete Embarrassing References to Oil, Terrorism

—Ace

Another story the media won't discuss.

I saw someone note that altering official federal records -- which Hillary's emails are -- is a felony.

Hillary Clinton withheld Benghazi-related emails from the State Department that detailed her knowledge of the scramble for oil contracts in Libya and the shortcomings of the NATO-led military intervention for which she advocated.

Clinton removed specific portions of other emails she sent to State, suggesting the messages were screened closely enough to determine which paragraphs were unfit to be seen by the public.

For example, one email Clinton kept from the State Department indicates Libyan leaders were "well aware" of which "major oil companies and international banks" supported them during the rebellion, information they would "factor into decisions" about about who would be given access to the country's rich oil reserves.

Remember, this is as she's taking $100 million from Canadian oil-and-uranium mining magnate Frank Guistra.

The email, which Clinton subsequently scrubbed from her server, indicated Clinton was aware that involvement in the controversial conflict could have a significant financial benefit to firms that were friendly to the Libyan rebels.

She thanked Sidney Blumenthal, her former aide and author of dozens of informal intelligence memos, for the tip, which she called "useful," and informed him she was preparing to hold a meeting with Libyan leaders in Paris in an exchange that suggests the flow of information went both ways.

State Department officials admitted Clinton had withheld all of nine emails and parts of six others after Blumenthal provided 60 emails to the House Select Committee on Benghazi that the agency had failed to submit earlier this year.

There's more. I can't quote it all.

Twitchy complied some earlier reaction.

The White House is putting out the word that they're "disgusted" by the email scandal, but this is par for the course for this White House, which tacitly approves of actions but puts out claims about how "angry" they are.

There's a way a president can show his anger about remorseless law-breaking: Appointing a Special Prosecutor with the power to investigate and bring criminal charges, if warranted.

But they won't do that, will they? No, they'll keep their Democratic apparatchiks busy covering it all up, then putting out the word they're "disgusted" at having to clean up Hiilary's filthy, stinking leavings.

Apparently Hillary Clinton's Yoga Routines consist of Downward Dog Graft and Crescent Moon Crony Militarism.


Posted by Ace at 05:07 PM Comments

Politically Corrupt, Devoutly Anti-American Supreme Court Reaches Randomly Into Its Grab-Bag of "What's Hot" and "What's Not" Rulings, Puts Texas Abortion Restrictions on Hold
Update: "Gay Reparations?"

—Ace

This isn't a full ruling on the merits, but rather a restraining order to keep the situation in place while the Supreme Court has a nine-man political debate about it and Elects a New Law.

The part of the Texas law being estopped is always the one I thought was most problematic and likely to result in court action -- the one that basically shutters abortion clinics, I think the ones where they have no doctor on staff with privileges at a nearby hospital.

Although sold as a "health" measure, I think it's pretty obviously put in there to keep the number of abortion clinics low, which may be a problem.

But the Supreme Court is basically spinning the Wheel of Made-Up Law lately, randomly guessing the consonants and letters that will spell out its opinions, so who knows.

And yes, Obama solicitor general David Verelli has already admitted that tax exemptions for religious institutions opposed to gay marriage are officially under jeopardy under the Supreme Court's latest lawmaking without the consent of the governed, so you have that to look forward to.

BTW, a guy I trust says that he was speaking to an informed source on the Gay Marriage side of things, and he says that "gay reparations" are going to be a live issue in 2016, and something that all candidates will have to take a position on.

Posted by Ace at 03:53 PM Comments

Lawless, Politically-Rotten Supreme Court Randomly Rules that Obama's EPA Rule is "Unconstitutional"

—Ace

Oh, I'm happy about the ruling.

But I'm not going to pretend the Supreme Court is ruling on the law or Constitution any longer.

This particular EPA rule bothered a majority of the Supreme Court, as it would bother any person voting in a political election. So they had their own nine-man political election, and said "Nah."

I'm with Andy C. McCarthy -- and with Drew M Tips. I'm done with the ruse. The Supreme Court is just a political organ -- but one we don't get to vote on.

We should. We need retention votes. If these motherf***ers want to be political, we get to vote on them, and run campaigns against them.

So here's how the third House of Congress voted, the House of Congress that gets to make All the Laws in this country.

The Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Obama administration’s landmark air quality rule on Monday, ruling the Environmental Protection Agency did not properly consider the costs of the regulation.

In a 5-4 ruling, the justices ruled that the EPA should have taken into account the costs to utilities and others in the power sector before even deciding whether to set limits for the toxic air pollutants it regulated in 2011.


...


In the majority ruling, Justice Antonin Scalia concluded that the EPA "unreasonably" interpreted the Clean Air Act when it decided not to consider industry compliance costs and whether regulating the pollutants is "appropriate and necessary.”

While the agency is afforded a certain level of power to interpret the law, the court wrote, "EPA strayed well beyond the bounds of reasonable interpretation in concluding that cost is not a factor relevant to the appropriateness of regulating power plants."

Oh but by the way this is the same Third House of Congress that just sagely informed us that an executive agency could reasonably read "established by the state" as "established by the federal government," and also, that the right to gay-marry was established 150 years ago by the 14th Amendment, but no one realized that until last Thursday.

Posted by Ace at 02:41 PM Comments

Three Essays on Post-America America

—Ace

Charlie Martin: The Know-Betters Will Bring You Morlocks to Heel.

In the 1850s there was an active political movement that became known as the "Know-Nothings," because they considered themselves semi-secret, and members, when questioned about the group, were supposed to say "I know nothing." Of course, a secret political party doesn’t have much effect, and quickly the Know-Nothings were pretty overt about telling everyone around them that they knew nothing, over and over again.


It seems to me there’s a semi-secret political party at work in the U.S. now: the People Who Know Better.

...

[T]he Know-Betters would never come to the conclusion that conditions in places like Colorado simply aren’t suited for wide-scale mass transit.

Instead, the Know-Betters have decided that we should use government to impose greater population density, with utopian city plans that push people into small, "walkable" communities with mass transit hubs.

And if people prefer to live on half-acre lots with lawns and space between houses, well, they Know Better.

...

I keep finding myself coming back to a passage from Thomas Jefferson that I put up on Tatler a long while ago. Here’s Jefferson:

Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public interests. In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves. Call them, therefore, Liberals and Serviles, Jacobins and Ultras, Whigs and Tories, Republicans and Federalists, Aristocrats and Democrats, or by whatever name you please, they are the same parties still and pursue the same object. The last one of Aristocrats and Democrats is the true one expressing the essence of all.

– Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Henry Lee, 1824)


Rod Dreher writes of the need to now live as expatriots in our own country. Internal exiles, as the Soviets termed them.

It is hard to overstate the significance of the Obergefell decision-- and the seriousness of the challenges it presents to orthodox Christians and other social conservatives. Voting Republican and other failed culture war strategies are not going to save us now.

Discerning the meaning of the present moment requires sobriety, precisely because its radicalism requires of conservatives a realistic sense of how weak our position is in post-Christian America.

The alarm that the four dissenting justices sounded in their minority opinions is chilling. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia were particularly scathing in pointing out the philosophical and historical groundlessness of the majority’s opinion. Justice Scalia even called the decision "a threat to democracy," and denounced it, shockingly, in the language of revolution.

...

The warning to conservatives from the four dissenters could hardly be clearer or stronger. So where does that leave us?

For one, we have to accept that we really are living in a culturally post-Christian nation. The fundamental norms Christians have long been able to depend on no longer exist. To be frank, the court majority may impose on the rest of the nation a view widely shared by elites, but it is also a view shared by a majority of Americans. There will be no widespread popular resistance to Obergefell. This is the new normal.

For another, LGBT activists and their fellow travelers really will be coming after social conservatives....


It is time for what I call the Benedict Option. In his 1982 book After Virtue, the eminent philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre likened the current age to the fall of ancient Rome. He pointed to Benedict of Nursia, a pious young Christian who left the chaos of Rome to go to the woods to pray, as an example for us. We who want to live by the traditional virtues, MacIntyre said, have to pioneer new ways of doing so in community. We await, he said "a new — and doubtless very different — St. Benedict."

Throughout the early Middle Ages, Benedict’s communities formed monasteries, and kept the light of faith burning through the surrounding cultural darkness. Eventually, the Benedictine monks helped refound civilization.

I believe that orthodox Christians today are called to be those new and very different St. Benedicts.

Tim Carney's piece is tangentially related, but it expresses a very important point.

Buzzfeed Ben was asked to reconcile his shitty listicle site's stated claim of being "neutral" with its all-in rainbow-color theming for the gay marriage ruling. He said that he was being perfectly neutral and objective -- it's just that there aren't two sides to the gay marriage question. There's only one.

This is a frightening thought, and LOLCats Ben isn't the only one pushing it. In order to claim the high road of being liberal and tolerant of ideas, while at the same time actually being as illiberal and intolerant as any zealot or hooded klansman, it is necessary to deem contrary positions unpositions, which therefore can only be held by unpeople.

By claiming an idea simply does not exist in civil society, one must, perforce, also claim that those holding that idea do not, or must not, themselves exist in civil society.

Something must be sacrificed in order to maintain these two contradictory claims -- and the thing most easily sacrificed is any acknowledgement of you as a human being and American citizen.

But Buzzfeed Ben is a nice, open-minded guy. Just ask him. He'll tell you so.

Posted by Ace at 01:50 PM Comments

So, Donald Trump

—DrewM.

Republicans are starting to get kind of freaked out about this whole Trump thing.

“Donald Trump is like watching a roadside accident,” said former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer. “Everybody pulls over to see the mess. And Trump thinks that’s entertainment. But running for president is serious. And the risk for the party is he tarnishes everybody.”

Those risks were amplified this week after a trio of polls showed him likely to earn a coveted invitation to the party’s debates, which ironically were restructured with the very goal of avoiding the circus-like atmosphere of 2012. Giving Trump a major platform just as the country is tuning in is not exactly the Big Tent the party’s bigwigs had in mind..

“I’m not excited about somebody as divisive as Trump or somebody as obnoxious as Trump being on the debate stage,” one RNC member confessed.

First, a bit of throat clearing: Trump is an ass. He's a liberal. He's not going to be President or even the nominee.

With that out of the way, contra that RNC member, I'm giddy at the prospect of the GOP having to deal with Trump.

He's very valuable in one key way, holding a mirror up to what is wrong with the GOP. The "serious" candidates are awful. They are milquetoast.

John Kasich and Marco Rubio...hey, SCOTUS ruled on gay marriage, move on.

Jeb Bush...nuke the filibuster to get rid of ObamaCare? Gee, I don't know let me think about that.

Scott Walker says he'd nuke the filibuster to repeal ObamaCare but his personality isn't exactly...electrifying.

Trump is a clown but he's says things people are feeling. I know conservatives hate the whole "I have feels!" thing but guess what...people do. You need to acknowledge them, reflect them and connect with them.

Republican candidates are far more at home in the boardroom or the congressional hearing room than the living room and it shows in the candidates they keep picking.

Remember how Romney got crushed on the very important "cares about people like me" metric? I bet Trump, for all his money, scores off the charts on that.

Rubio probably comes closest but as you saw in his reaction to the SSM decision, he's really most passionate about amnesty, how much he loves America and a hawkish foreign policy. He never really talks about smaller government or out of control government. He just wants to be the rationale manager of it.

Unless and until the GOP can find a candidate who hits the sweet spot of being seen as a plausible President and caring about people's lives, it's going to be in big trouble.

Posted by DrewM. at 12:18 PM Comments

We're Living In The United States Of Calvinball. It's Time The Right Got In The Game.

—DrewM.

"Other kids' games are all such a bore!
They've gotta have rules and they gotta keep score!
Calvinball is better by far!
It's never the same! It's always bizarre!
You don't need a team or a referee!
Excerpt from the Calvinball theme song"

The imaginary game from the great Calvin and Hobbes comic strip series seems eerily like what liberals have made of what is supposed to be our constitutional republic.

The right is behind in this game because we don't want to admit we're playing it but we are. I'll admit I'm late to the game. While I still don't think it's time to go full Obama it is time to embrace a hybrid game that allows us to live within the Constitution while fighting back. Well, we could if there was a party willing to play for us.

Let's pretend for a moment the GOP wakes up one morning and realizes it stands for something beyond "win seats, hire loyalists, and pay consultants" (hey it's Calvinball, anything is possible), what would want them to do?

Assuming there is a GOP Congress and President come 2017 there are a few things they can do that would shake up the fundamental nature of our current political system while still staying with the Constitutional system we cherish.

1- Eliminate the filibuster.
It is neither ordained by God nor required by the Constitution. Mostly what it serves to do is lock Democratic wins into place and make it impossible for conservatives to pass anything.

The GOP has never held a filibuster proof majority in the Senate so it's not a positive tool for passing things and locking them in. Yes, the Democrats will some day have a majority and pass spectacularly horrible things but they do that anyway. All the filibuster really does is make it easier for liberal Republicans to collaborate with Democrats to create and save programs.

Removing the filibuster would create a balance of terror that is lacking now. Democrats know they can pass programs and there's nothing the GOP can do in response. Make them fear what the next GOP majority will pass when they are helpless.

Once the filibuster is gone, what should the GOP do?

2- Create two or four new Supreme Court seats.
Yes, pack the court to the gills. Again, there's nothing magical about having nine justices at a time. If the Court is going to serve as a Super-Legislature it should be larger.

Liberals want to play games and make SCOTUS the center of the government, fine. That's there move now it's our turn to play come Calvinball and change the rules.

Harry Reid nuked the filibuster to pack the DC Court of appeals so the precedent,
not that government by Calvinball requires one, has been set. Game on.

None of the new justices should be older than 50 or so and all should be
unabashed conservatives. They don't even have to be lawyers. Justice Charles C.W. Cooke has a nice ring to it, no?

3- Eliminate withholding.
Again, there's nothing sacred about the way we collect our taxes. If people want big, crushing government, fine. Make them feel it and let them see how much it costs them.

I think hiking taxes is bad policy and economics but it can be good politics, so if as a sop to independents and even Democrats I'd support a 15 or 20% surcharge on the net worth of the top 1% to sweeten the pot. The "donor class" has been spending lots of money pushing big government types. Fine, pony up even more.

4- Repeal ObamaCare and a whole host of other laws.
Hey it's Calvinball, you can do whatever you want! Have at it.

Will the GOP, especially a Mitch McConnell led Senate, do any of these things? No.

Even if the GOP wins the presidency, the Senate majority will probably be smaller. Faced with the usual mid-term losses of the party in power, McConnell will retreat even further into a shell to protect his useless members. For them, it's about winning to stay in office,, not to do anything with those wins.

Even if the GOP was willing to "pack the Court" there's no reason to believe a GOP President wouldn't just appoint a bunch of Souter, Kennedy and Roberts types.

Could all of this backfire at some point in the future even if it payed dividends in the short and/or medium term? Sure but we know for a fact that if we keep playing by the rules of the game as they exist we'll lose more now AND in the future.

I understand these ideas are not temperamentally conservative. One should not rush to throw old systems away on a whim. The problem is the old systems we love have been thrown away. We simply need to accept that.

Everything I've advocated, while disruptive are within the bounds of the Constitution. They don't require us to ignore laws or invent new rights. We just need to be willing to take advantage of the moves we are allowed to make now.

But the GOP will do none of this. They will either promise you unattainable Constitutional amendments or suggest you meekly assent to liberal usurpations.

And my guess is, that will be good enough for most conservatives.

Enjoy the decline. But hey...Go GOP, right?

Posted by DrewM. at 10:33 AM Comments

Open Thread

—rdbrewer


George Inness, "Kearsarge Village" (1875)

Posted by rdbrewer at 10:10 AM Comments

Morning Open Thread

—BenK

If you like this blog so much why don't you marry it?

Posted by BenK at 08:06 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (6-28-2015)

—Maetenloch

Quote of the Day I - Our New Reality

Exchanges established by the federal government are exchanges established by the state. Rachel Dolezal is black. Iran will honor an agreement not to develop nuclear weapons. ISIS is a JV team. There's an epidemic of sexual assaults on college campuses. Michael Brown had his hands up and pleaded "don't shoot." Caitlyn Jenner is a woman. Obamacare is working. 2+2 doesn't necessarily equal 4. The polar ice caps are disappearing. The IRS is doing a decent job. The border is secure.We've ended two wars responsibly. Hillary Clinton turned over all work-related e-mails. An $18,200,000,000,000 debt can grow without mention. People who burn down buildings and overturn cars aren't thugs. The OPM hack is manageable. We've reset relations with Russia. Entitlement reform can be kicked down the road. We're more respected around the world.

-- Peter Kirsanow in Reality Is Now Discretionary

Quote of the Day II - dar al Gay Edition

Two plus two equals five. A severed head plus "Allahu Akbar!" equals "Nothing to do with Islam." Network screenings of Gone With The Wind plus Uncle Ben's rice equals blatant incitement to mass murder. A nice chichi gay couple at 27 Elm Street and a firebreathing imam and his four child brides at 29 Elm Street equals the social harmony of a multiculti utopia.

Where is this story headed? The warriors of the caliphate divide the planet into the dar al Islam and the dar al harb - the house of war. In reality, it's a struggle between the dar al Islam and the dar al Gay: Liberty in the fin de civilisation west means sexual liberty and nothing else - which is why one consequence of yesterday's decision is that freedom of expression and freedom of religion will increasingly be confined to what Justice Alito called the deepest recesses of your home.

-- Mark Steyn

Quote of the Day III

After all, the greengrocer was a threat to the system not because of any physical or actual power he had, but because his action went beyond itself, because it illuminated its surroundings and, of course, because of the incalculable consequences of that illumination. In the post-totalitarian system, therefore, living within the truth has more than a mere existential dimension (returning humanity to its inherent nature), or a noetic dimension (revealing reality as it is), or a moral dimension (setting an example for others). It also has an unambiguous political dimension. If the main pillar of the system is living a lie, then it is not surprising that the fundamental threat to it is living the truth. This is why it must be suppressed more severely than anything else.

In the post-totalitarian system, truth in the widest sense of the word has a very special import, one unknown in other contexts. In this system, truth plays a far greater (and, above all, a far different) role as a factor of power, or as an outright political force.

-- Vaclav Havel in the Power of the Powerless

Meanwhile the Gleischaltung immediately rolls on:

Politico Mag Writer Says 'It's Time to Legalize Polygamy.'

Time Writer: Now's the Time To End Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions

Politico Writer Says Gay Marriage is Superior to Regular Marriage

Dailybeast Writer: Did The Four Dissenting Justices In Gay Marriage Case Just Suggest Treason?

whitehouserainbow

Andy McCarthy: It's Time To Give Up on the Supreme Court as a Court

Here former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy argues that we should just admit that the Supreme Court has now become a supra-legislature and treat it as such.

Did you notice that there was not an iota of speculation about how the four Progressive justices would vote?

There was never a shadow of a doubt. In the plethora of opinions generated by these three cases, there is not a single one authored by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, or Sonia Sotomayor. There was no need. They are the Left's voting bloc. There was a better chance that the sun would not rise this morning than that any of them would wander off the reservation.

...And it is not so much that they move in lockstep. It is that no one expects them to do anything but move in lockstep - not their fellow justices, not the political branches, and certainly not the commentariat, right or left.

It is simply accepted that these justices are not there to judge. They are there to vote. They get to the desired outcome the same way disparate-impact voodoo always manages to get to discrimination: Start at the end and work backwards. Guiding precedents are for the quaint business of administering justice. In the social justice business, the road never before traveled will do if one less traveled is unavailable. But there's a problem. Once it has become a given that a critical mass of the Supreme Court is no longer expected, much less obliged, to do law, then the Court is no longer a legal institution. It is a political institution.

So forget Constitutional strict constructionalism and all that and simply strive to get conservative electors into our third legislative body to start voting against the progressive bloc.

John Hinderaker of Power Line suggests that if we're now in a post-constitutional era, the conservative justices should start discovering new 'fundamental rights' more to our side's liking:

For example, how about a "fundamental right" not to pay income taxes in a percentage exceeding that which other Americans are charged? Why isn't the progressive income tax a violation of the equal protection clause? That is a much stronger argument than the one the Court has just accepted on gay marriage. Or, how about a theory that the Internal Revenue Service is violating Americans' right of privacy-that same right of privacy that the Court found among the emanations and penumbras of the Constitution's actual provisions-in seeking extensive information about taxpayers' finances?

Or how about a fundamental right to affordable energy-or, rather, to be free of government policies that unreasonably raise the cost of energy? If the Supreme Court discovered such a right, the EPA's anti-coal regulations would be unconstitutional. You could write a decision in support of such a "fundamental right" that would be at least as persuasive as Justice Kennedy's "fortune cookie" travesty. What is more fundamental than heating your home and driving your car? To paraphrase Justice Kennedy, what if a voice cries out in the night, saying, "Honey! Can you turn the heat up?"

If conservatives are willing to abandon the archaic notion that the Supreme Court is a court and not a super-legislature, there is no telling what conservative policies might be advanced.

Continue reading


Posted by Maetenloch at 11:08 PM Comments

Cat's Paw [Weirddave]

—Open Blogger

In the wake of the SCOTUS decision WRT gay “marriage”, I had a thought. I wondered if the decision was destined to be a gain in the long term for gay folks, or a negative. Thinking it over I came to the conclusion that if the forces that got us to this point are successful, ultimately it'll be a moot decision.

The term “Cat's Paw” entered the English language from a 16th century French Fable, The Monkey and the Cat. A monkey and a cat are sitting before a fireplace, staring longingly at delicious chestnuts roasting in the embers. The monkey convinces the cat to dig the chestnuts out of the fire, promising to share the bounty. The cat does so, but as each chestnut is batted out onto the hearth, the monkey gobbles it up, promising the next one to the cat. Suddenly the maid shoos them both away, leaving the monkey satisfied, his hunger sated, while the cat is left with nothing but burnt paws for his troubles. A “Cat's Paw” then is something or someone used for another's advantage and then discarded once an objective has been achieved.

This push for “marriage equality” that we've seen lately has nothing to do with “fairness” or “equality”, and it most certainly is not a response to “oppression”. All of this has been just another arrow in the vast quiver of the totalitarian left aimed at destroying the existing social fabric. You think the Communists, Socialists and Progressives give a rat's ass about the “dignity” of a gay couple? In a pig's eye. All they are concerned with is the destruction of the existing order so it can be replaced with their imaginary Utopia.

If the current social order and American culture collapses, one of two movements will fill the vacuum where it once stood, and neither of these movements will likely be friendly to homosexuals. Either the leftists will get their totalitarian state, which will (going by past history) immediately liquidate all of the gay folks they can find in the name of public decency or fighting perversion or some other rot (they always have, can anyone name one totalitarian regime that has NOT clamped down on homosexuality); or the Islamists will come to hold sway. If Radical Islam gains power, gay folks will have bigger things to worry about than same sex marriage. Someone wanting a same sex marriage will find the Imams very willing to hold a ceremony....on a rooftop. The bad news is that the trip to the reception is a short one and it ends abruptly.

Given all that, I think the benefits of last week's ruling for gay people will be transient at best, unless we can right the ship of state and reinvigorate American Culture as a source of pride. Hell, if we can accomplish that, gay marriage is a price I'll gladly pay!

Open thread until the ONT rolls around.

Posted by Open Blogger at 09:09 PM Comments

Yeah....Gun Pron [CBD]

—Open Blogger

And Open Thread....

Posted by Open Blogger at 07:05 PM Comments

Food Thread: The Perfect Restaurant Menu: A Fable [CBD]

—Open Blogger

No, I don't mean this kind of issue.....

bad-Chinese-menu-translation.jpg

Rather, What we want when we walk into a particular restaurant, and hope to see on the menu, but rarely do.

Obviously, specialty restaurants don't count. When we want sushi, we go to sushi joints; when we want Italian-American food, we go to the local trattoria. When we want fried hobo cheeks in a cream sauce we....uh, never mind.

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 04:00 PM Comments

At least there aren't any videos this week (gaming thread)

—Gang of Gaming Morons!

Typical post E3 lull but there were a few things. Apple added a notch in their hamfisted treatment of gaming by pulling wargames that had a Confederate Flag and WB pulled sales of the PC port of Arkham Knight.

There won't be a gaming post next week as I get to spend a bunch of time with my parents in the same car as we head down south to a family gathering for the Fourth of July. If I'm lucky, I'll get blown up by a firework

Also when writing, remember to save often

Continue reading


Posted by Gang of Gaming Morons! at 03:34 PM Comments

Sunday Music/Open Thread [CBD]

—Open Blogger

Good song, from a group I have never heard of.

Open thread.....

And below the fold, some Yes.....

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 01:52 PM Comments

Weekend Thread: Stereotypes, First Impressions, and Lasting Impressions [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

I did some traveling last week to two states that I'd never visited before, Tennessee and Kentucky. (Most of my time was spent in Kentucky.) It was interesting to spend a couple of days in a "new" (to me) part of the country, particularly during the Confederate battle flag brouhaha. It got me thinking about the impressions we form of different parts of this country and how those impressions are formed.

In my own loosely thought out way, I categorize the qualities we ascribe to different regions of the country into three groups: stereotypes, first impressions, and lasting impressions. I think of stereotypes as strong impressions (occasionally negative, but not always) that are often formed on limited (and sometimes indirect) evidence. They're the things everyone "knows" but far fewer know from direct, protracted experience. For example, we all KNOW that Philadelphians are rude. Why? Because they attacked Santa! We also all KNOW that Californians are free spirits. Why? Because of Haight-Ashbury!

(I hope those two examples illustrate my point: stereotypes CAN be true, but very often are not true.)

About a year ago, an interesting study was published about stereotypes and how they are formed:

...our minds are hard-wired to categorize information and create mental shortcuts (attribute A is associated with behavior B). This helps us retain knowledge using minimal mental effort, and provides a needed sense of structure to an otherwise chaotic universe.

We take complex webs of information and, in the process of sharing what we've learned, create "a progressively simplified, highly structured, and easily learnable system" of stereotypes.

In doing so, however, nuances and complications tend to be discarded.

Often, the researchers write, stereotypes begin with a "kernel of truth" that subsequently gets inflated into a widely held truism regarding a group of people. But other times, they can spring up seemingly from nowhere.

Follow the link above to read more about the study.

Earlier this year, Voice of America published a piece on the stereotypes Americans apply to their fellow Americans. The results are based on a YouGov poll and are illustrated graphically below:

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 10:55 AM Comments

Open Thread for Politics and Misery [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

Apparently, some of you cannot take even Sunday off, bless your hearts.

Here's your thread for doing things like this:

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 10:54 AM Comments

Sunday Morning Book Thread 06-28-2015: The World Turned Upside Down [OregonMuse]

—Open Blogger


decline and fall 525.jpg
Progress


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 only AoSHQ thread that is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Or kilts. Serious you guys. Kilts are OK, too. But not tutus. Unless you're a girl.


Book thread TRIGGER WARNINGS for holding that Hillary! Clinton is the most corrupt politician since LBJ and the only thing keeping her from being laughed out of politics is an equally corrupt MSM, that government employees should not be allowed to vote due to the obvious conflict of interest, and the near absolute risibility of feminism.


Books are like mirrors: if a fool looks in, you cannot expect a genius to look out.
-J.K. Rowling


Yesterday, A Spooky Day

And not because of anything the Supreme Court did. No, June 27th is the date a very famous short story takes place. It starts out like this:

The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green. The people of the village began to gather in the square, between the post office and the bank, around ten o’clock; in some towns there were so many people that [it] took two days and had to be started on June 26th ....”

Can you guess the story? I'll have the answer way down at the bottom of the thread. Note that the word in bracket is my replacement, the original words are a dead giveaway.


Someone Is Going To Have To Be A Hero

Here's a story that, in light of recent events, should be very familiar to us:

1. Church gets planted in San Francisco
2. Church hires musician to do the church music
3. Subsequently, it comes to light that said musician is a practicing homosexual
4. Musician is informed by the church that his lifestyle is not in accord with church doctrine
5. Musician tells church that he is not going to change
6. Musician is dismissed by church
7. Church gets sued for violation of local "gay rights" ordinance.

This might have happened just last week, but the series of events I'm referring to took place in 1978, nearly 40 years ago. It's detailed in the book
When the Wicked Seize A City written by the minister and his wife, Charles and Donna McIlhenny

WORLD magazine has excerpted an early chapter that you can read here. I read it back in the early days of the internet, and I'm talking sometime around 1997-1998, when it used to be available for free for online reading on the old iUniverse site (before that self-publishing company had been bought out by Author Solutions), and the McIlhennys ordeal made for frightening reading: vandalism, threatening phone calls, violent protests complete with property damage while officers from the SFPD stood around like potted plants, etc.

The pastor did not ask for this fight. Rather, it was thrust upon him as he was trying to follow the dictates of his conscience, informed by the Bible. And not only did he have to fight the homosexual activists in San Francisco who had sworn to destroy his church, but his decision to stand up placed him at odds with some members of his own congregation and denominational leaders who were frightened because of what might happen. I want to sympathize with them, but sometimes, someone has to step up and be a hero, because heroism is what the situation absolutely requires.

And, not a very long time from now, in according with a plan arranged by homosexual activists, predominantly, a white, evangelical church (note: it will not be a black church or a mosque) that refuses to marry homosexual couples will have its tax-exempt status threatened, citing this week's Obergefell decision as precedent. What is happening in that day is that that pastor, that church, whoever it is who is being bludgeoned by the lawfare while the MSM and the rest of the culture applauds, is being called upon to be heroes.

Of course, many don't want to be heroes. Fighting is hard and dangerous. And what's even worse, we have guys on our side who are telling us, once again, that this is not the hill to die on, that we just need to move on. To the next defeat.

SPOILER ALERT: there's good news and bad news here. The good news is that McIlhenny actually won his case, on 1st Amendment grounds. But the bad news is that the main reason for this is perhaps, uncharacteristically for the progressive strategy of endless lawfare, the musician dropped the subsequent appeal. So the usual outcome, i.e. the Kabuki theater of a more liberal appellate court pretending to uphold the law while sticking it to the wrongthinking defendant, never played out.

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 08:59 AM Comments

Early Morning Thread 6/28/15 Banned in 57 States Edition [krakatoa]

—Open Blogger

"Hey, I'm new here. Where can I get some good fried chicken?"

Yes - I was once almost physically attacked for asking that question to the only other people on a job site when I had a craving for fried chicken.

Luckily for everyone, the old man in the group grabbed some arms and told me where KFC was.

This was years ago. I presume today I'd be arrested at the end of the melee.

Posted by Open Blogger at 06:00 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (27 Jun 2015)

—CDR M

Welcome to the circular firing squad. According to feminists, "trigger warning" is now also a trigger.

Admiral Josh Painter: "This business will get out of control! It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it!"

Continue reading


Posted by CDR M at 10:02 PM Comments

It Sure Looks Like Greece Will Exit the Euro

—Ace


What is surreal is these Political Priests crying over the failure of an ideological technocratic structure that never worked and has made the people under it fairly unhappy.

But zealots care little for three-dimensional human beings and their silly three-dimensional feelings; their only concern is for the Heavens built in the fourth dimensional world, abstracted away from this rotten world of matter and spirit.

This could all just be the latest round of bluffing and brinksmanship, but this could finally be the long-awaited end.

This statement was just issued:


Here's that full statement.

Note that the Gardening Thread is below, and it's a good one. But this seems like Breaking News. I hope Y-Not, Weirddave, and KT will excuse the stompenation.

Posted by Ace at 06:26 PM Comments

Saturday Gardening Thread: Tropicana Edition [Y-not, KT, and Weirddave]

—Open Blogger

Y-not:

Good afternoon (evening?) gardeners! Today's late edition of the Saturday Gardening Thread is brought to you by Fess Parker:

Another light week of posting from yours truly, I'm afraid, owing to some unexpected travel. Fortunately as you will see, KT came through #LikeABoss and I think even Weirddave has something for us this week.

Long-time moron Gordon tipped me off to this excellent website that might be of interest to many of our tropical morons, Florida Survival Gardening. It looks like a great site, chock full of helpful and interesting content.

TropicalMoron.jpg

A tropical moronette. I can neither confirm nor deny that this is Niedermeyer's Dead Horse.

Gordon goes on to say the following about the proprietor of Florida Survival Gardening:

A friend of mine, David the Good, has published a book called Compost Everything. You can find it on Amazon as an ebook or paperback. David, while he may not be aware of it, is kind of a supporter of the moron lifestyle. His book is funny, entertaining and very educational.

As you'll see on David's website, he also has another booklet, Create Your Own Florida Food Forest that I bet would interest many of the horde. (Make sure to use Ace's Amazon store thingy if you order one of these books. Flea dips are quite pricey these days and the alternative, dipping in kerosene followed by exposure to a flamethrower, is not very pleasant!)

I hope we can get David to comment here and perhaps set up a future guest post or two on some topics of interest to the horde. Please let him know of your interests in the comments. (And be gentle because he may be a noob!)

And now, let's see what KT has for us this week:

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 06:02 PM Comments

Open Thread: Summer Is Here [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

My husband, dear man that he is, has one weakness. He loves those dumb "fails" videos. I always know when he's watching them because he sounds like this:

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 05:44 PM Comments

Saturday Video: Find The Ewok [CBD]

—Open Blogger

keep_calm_and_why_so_serious__by_ameh_lia-d4xmon2.jpg

It's been a difficult and demoralizing time, in no small part because Ace has been curiously unforthcoming about the new Batman game. To tide us over until he provides a short, pithy 9,000 word review, I have dug up one of his first public appearances.

First to identify Ace gets a Platinum AoSHQ Membership with ampersands and bonus Wack-A-Mole™

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 01:31 PM Comments

Current Conservative Presidential Darling Pretty Indifferent On Same Sex Marriage Ruling

—DrewM.

Marco Rubio....pro-intervention and nation building, pro-amnesty, but indifferent to SSM ruling.

“While I disagree with this decision, we live in a republic and must abide by the law. As we look ahead, it must be a priority of the next president to nominate judges and justices committed to applying the Constitution as written and originally understood…

“I firmly believe the question of same sex marriage is a question of the definition of an institution, not the dignity of a human being. Every American has the right to pursue happiness as they see fit. Not every American has to agree on every issue, but all of us do have to share our country. A large number of Americans will continue to believe in traditional marriage, and a large number of Americans will be pleased with the Court’s decision today. In the years ahead, it is my hope that each side will respect the dignity of the other.”

Allah took exception to my characterization of Rubio as "indifferent" but had the decision gone the other way, what would he have said differently? "While I'm thankful for today's ruling and understand the passions on both sides, we live in a republic....blah....blah...respect the decision....blah...blah...respect each other...blah....blah...conservative judges."

Why so tepid Marco? Oh, right....donors.

Oh and while we do live in a republic (theoretically) it's important who and how laws are made. If judges do it, it's not a republic. Marco should probably think on that for a bit.

This is your guy GOP? Swell.

Ted Cruz has a fundraising idea, I mean, a response....let Congress vote on keeping Supreme Court judges every 8 years. Odds of passing that amendment to the Constitution? Yeah.

Anyone selling a "solution" to this that requires an amendment is simply blowing smoke up your ass.

So what is the solution? I have some ideas and will have a post on Monday about it.

In the meantime the short answer is....stop protecting people from the big government they support. Too many people who have spent years and decades advocating for bigger and bigger government have to be made to enjoy it as much as we have been.

For me it starts with the Catholic Church. They and any other church that discriminates against gay couples will find up being sued and forced to perform ceremonies or will lose their tax status.

My reaction: Oh well.

US bishops have spent decades advocating liberal big government programs (ObamaCare, as long as they are exempted and amnesty spring to mind) all while enjoying an exemption from its effects or sharing in the burden of the costs via their tax exemption.

Well they are going to get a taste of what they've been building and they aren't going to like it one bit.

While I will lament to loss of an important American value, it won't be the first progressives have killed. But I will laugh as they and others like them are shocked that the government they are so happy to sic on others turns on them.

I keep being told there isn't a critical mass of people who support big government. Fair enough. So now it's time to create one. No more exemptions and safe harbors from which people safely sell me and my values down the rive to protect theirs.

Big government is the best salesman for small government. It's time we let it loose on it's supporters.

Added: In the interest of interfaith comity I should note I'm looking forward to synagogues and mosques being taxed as well.

90-95% of your congregants vote for Democrats? Well, then I'm sure you'll be happy to be subject to even more of what they impose on the rest of us.

Posted by DrewM. at 12:01 PM Comments

Fundamental Concepts - Game Over [Weirddave]

—Open Blogger

Ever since SCOTUS decided King V Burwell, I've been in a bit of a daze. Yesterday morning I realized I was just sitting on the edge of my bed, one sock on, my toes tucked into the other, just...staring out the window. My wife was behind me calling my name."Dave?....Dave?....Dave?..". I shook it off, but in truth I feel quite a bit like Private Hudson.

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 10:45 AM Comments

Saturday Morning Politics Thread: Now What? [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

Good morning horde.

Well, that was a pisser of a week, wasn't it?

What I found most discouraging about last week's events was the rejection of the right, embodied by the 10th amendment, of all Americans to decide for themselves what their local community standards should be. Although the Obamacare (excuse me, SCOTUScare) decision is probably the more devastating one in terms of immediate economic impact (and the "logic" behind the majority decision was quite Orwellian), I found the same sex marriage decision to be the most disheartening.

Hale Razor summed it up very well on Twitter:

It certainly seems as if there is no "truce" possible with these people. They are intent on rounding up Americans who hold opposing views into ideological "camps," figuratively if not literally.

I was traveling during most of the week, which was probably a blessing given what transpired. There was so much political news last week, most of it bad, that I don't think today is a good day to continue with our regular candidate series. Instead, I thought we could try something different -- that is, try a brain-storming session on what, if anything, we can do in the political arena to try to steer the ship of state back on course.

One idea comes from commenter Ben Had who contacted me yesterday:

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 08:55 AM Comments


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