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January 27, 2015

Morning Thread (1-27-2015)

—Andy

Snow day.

Posted by Andy at 06:39 AM Comments



Overnight Open Thread (1-26-2015)

—Maetenloch

40 Songs Ruined by American Classic Rock Radio

By playing them over and over and over again and then repeating the rotation every 6 hours or so.

Now I like all of these songs which is to say that I liked them the first few times I heard them and can still listen to them again on occasion and derive some small amount of pleasure from the experience.  But I judge how burned out I am on a song by my maximum tolerable repeat frequency for it i.e. how soon could I hear it again without getting annoyed/enraged.

For some songs I could hear them once a week in perpetuity because I  just love them so but others are only good once in a 4 month period or maybe once in a year.  And for some - well I could easily go three to seven years before hearing them again with no problem at all. But on the radio I'm pretty much guaranteed to hear at least once of these in any 36 hour period.

1. "More Than a Feeling" by Boston
In my humble opinion, the most overplayed classic rock song of all time. It's like there's a federal mandate that all classic rock stations play this song at least 19 times per day.

2. "Hotel California" by The Eagles
Full of meaning - of how the hippie ethic turned materialistic and sour.. Kind of like this song. Honestly, I think I loved this song at one time, but it's dead to me now.. Yet, no matter how many times I stab it with my steely knife, I just can't kill the beast.

3. "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey
What would happen if a renegade classic rock DJ actually decided to, instead of playing this song, play something by Uriah Heep, Kaleidoscope or The Pretty Things? Widespread panic in the streets.

9. "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd
This song never gets old.. Then again, never say never. After the 752nd time around, it starts getting wearisome. The song references Neil Young, who happens to have a vast catalog of tunes worthy of classic rock radio, yet never get played. "Heart of Gold" on occasion, but his other billion songs don't have a chance.

40. "Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard
I include this one last, because it's "newer". If you think your favorite song is safe because it came out after the early 80s, think again. On occasion, they'll incorporate latecomers. No song is safe.

George Will Explains How We've Become a Welfare Nation

The diabolical part of the progressive welfare agenda has been that once you get enough people on the government teat and accustomed to it, it then becomes politically impossible to ever get rid of the teat. It's even more diabolical when you can convince the people that it's not even really a welfare teat because they've already paid something into the program.

More than twice as many households receive "anti-poverty" benefits than receive Social Security or Medicare. Between 1983 and 2012, the population increased by almost 83 million - and people accepting means-tested benefits increased by 67 million. So, for every 100-person increase in the population there was an 80-person increase in the recipients of means-tested payments. Food stamp recipients increased from 19 million to 51 million - more than the combined populations of 24 states.

What has changed? Not the portion of the estimated population below the poverty line (15.2 percent in 1983; 15 percent in 2012). Rather, poverty programs have become untethered from the official designation of poverty: In 2012, more than half the recipients were not classified as poor but accepted being treated as needy. Expanding dependency requires erasing Americans' traditional distinction between the deserving and the undeserving poor. This distinction was rooted in this nation's exceptional sense that poverty is not the unalterable accident of birth and is related to traditions of generosity arising from immigrant and settler experiences.

...Eberstadt believes that the entitlement state poses "character challenges" because it powerfully promotes certain habits, including habits of mind. These include corruption. Since 1970, Americans have become healthier, work has become less physically stressful, the workplace has become safer - and claims from Social Security Disability Insurance have increased almost sixfold. Such claims (including fraudulent ones) are gateways to a plethora of other payments.

Continue reading


Posted by Maetenloch at 10:02 PM Comments



The Prosecutor Who Was About to Deliver a Scathing Report Accusing Agentine President Kirchner of Covering up an Iranian Terrorist Attack Was Killed to Hurt Kirchner's Political Viability, Opines Kircher

—Ace

21 years ago, Argentina suffered the worst terrorist attack in its history when the AMIA building, a Jewish community center, was bombed.

It has long been believed that Iran was behind the bombing.

A prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, was about to deliver a report claiming that Iran was in fact behind the bombing, and that furthermore the current Argentine President had struck a deal with Iran to cover up their role in exchange for some payoffs in the form of oil.

That prosecutor turned up dead with a pointblank range shot from a .22 in the middle of his forehead.

"Suicide," the official investigators claimed.

"Murder," the entire rest of the nation whispered.

"A conspiracy to create a political headache for me," President Kirchner said.

She's a Hugo Chavez protege with, get this, a history of extra-legal action and poor-me conspiracy theories.

Kirchner wasted little time in branding the death a suicide Jan. 19. "What drives a person to commit such a terrible act?" she posted on her Facebook. Most everyone else called it murder. Nisman, after all, had just accused Kirchner of trying to whitewash his 10-year investigation into the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people.

Nisman had blamed Iran for the attack and last week charged Kirchner and some of her closest aides with obstructing his probe in order to smooth a deal to sell Argentine grain for Iranian oil. He was due to brief lawmakers on his 289-page complaint to the Supreme Court in a closed session of Congress on Monday. The complaint was made public Jan. 22.

Now Kirchner has flipped the narrative, spinning a dark tale of rogue spies and an anti-government cabal. Allegedly, these conspirators plotted to execute Nisman -- not to silence a dangerous critic, but to pin his murder on her. "Today I have no proof but I also have no doubts," she said in a sprawling statement posted Jan. 22 on her personal webpage. "Nisman didn't know and probably never would," she wrote. "They used him while he was alive and later needed him dead. It's that sad and terrible."

The turnabout caught Kirchner's palace handlers off guard. "This is totally disconcerting," an unnamed presidential aide told Clarin.

It gets worse.

Why kill Nisman after so many years?

Because, it is alleged, that among the Iranians who participated in the decision to bomb the AMIA buliding was none other than the current president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani.

An Argentine prosecutor who died mysteriously last week told a reporter prior to his death that he had evidence tying Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.

The Washington Free Beacon first reported that Rouhani was part of the secretive Iranian government committee that approved the AMIA bombing, according to witness testimony included in a 500-page indictment written by the late Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was appointed to investigate the attack.

The bombing, which killed 85 and injured hundreds, is believed to have been authorized by Iran and carried out by its terror proxy Hezbollah. Nisman’s indictment implicated numerous high-profile Iranian officials in the attack and prompted Interpol to issue "red notices" for their arrests.

Kirchner now says Nisman was killed by a "rogue" government operative, which I take to mean "a government operative carrying out my will whom I now wish to deny."

And get this:


Interesting times, eh?

More: Some guy claims that Nisman asked him to deliver him a .22 handgun the night before he was killed.

Posted by Ace at 07:23 PM Comments

The New York Times, February, 2014: "The End of Snow?"

—Ace

The New York Times wrote about the snow-less future less than one year ago.

As the New York media freaks out over some Weather That Matters (in as much as it affects them), enjoy this panicky nonsense from last year.

OVER the next two weeks, hundreds of millions of people will watch Americans like Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin ski for gold on the downhill alpine course. Television crews will pan across epic vistas of the rugged Caucasus Mountains, draped with brilliant white ski slopes. What viewers might not see is the 16 million cubic feet of snow that was stored under insulated blankets last year to make sure those slopes remained white, or the hundreds of snow-making guns that have been running around the clock to keep them that way.

Officials canceled two Olympic test events last February in Sochi after several days of temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and a lack of snowfall had left ski trails bare and brown in spots. That situation led the climatologist Daniel Scott, a professor of global change and tourism at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, to analyze potential venues for future Winter Games. His thought was that with a rise in the average global temperature of more than 7 degrees Fahrenheit possible by 2100, there might not be that many snowy regions left in which to hold the Games. He concluded that of the 19 cities that have hosted the Winter Olympics, as few as 10 might be cold enough by midcentury to host them again. By 2100, that number shrinks to 6.

The planet has warmed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1800s, and as a result, snow is melting. In the last 47 years, a million square miles of spring snow cover has disappeared from the Northern Hemisphere. Europe has lost half of its Alpine glacial ice since the 1850s, and if climate change is not reined in, two-thirds of European ski resorts will be likely to close by 2100.

The same could happen in the United States, where in the Northeast, more than half of the 103 ski resorts may no longer be viable in 30 years because of warmer winters....

The facts are straightforward: The planet is getting hotter. Snow melts above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The Alps are warming two to three times faster than the worldwide average, possibly because of global circulation patterns. Since 1970, the rate of winter warming per decade in the United States has been triple the rate of the previous 75 years, with the strongest trends in the Northern regions of the country. Nine of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000, and this winter is already looking to be one of the driest on record -- with California at just 12 percent of its average snowpack in January, and the Pacific Northwest at around 50 percent.


...

It's easy to blame the big oil companies and the billions of dollars they spend on influencing the media and popular opinion. But the real reason is a lack of knowledge. I know, because I, too, was ignorant until I began researching the issue for a book on the future of snow.

Meanwhile, at Slate, their Weather Spastic is busy churning out these shrieky blurbs:


And then when you click you find out it means only this:

NWS in Boston is still stressing that this blizzard could permanently alter the geography of the Massachusetts coastline:

"This is a storm that could produce one or more new inlets along exposed east and northeast facing barrier beaches. We are especially concerned with the erosion potential for east facing shorelines along Plum Island, Orleans, Chatham and Nantucket."

Um, yes, storm water may erode barrier beaches, and may make some inlets through these sandbars.

Or, as the Weather Spastic put it: "Permanently alter the coast of New England."

See, either there's not going to be any snow and we should Spaz Out About It, or we're getting some snow and it may Destroy the Earth's Mantle.

Either way, you must pay attention to the shriekey, squealey Weather Spastics.

Either way you will pay them the honor of pretending they're important.


Posted by Ace at 06:08 PM Comments

Obama Surges in Popularity, With Only Half the County Now Hating His Guts

—Ace

I didn't want to do this story because Reasons but so AllahPundit took the bullet and typed it all up nice and neat so you can read it there.

I'll put up something better to stomp/bury this one soon.

Posted by Ace at 04:49 PM Comments

Michael Moore: When You Think About It, I'm the Real Hero, Not That Coward Chris Kyle

—Ace

Michael Moore, Conquerer of the Buffet.




What an ugly, viciously obese toad-like monster.

Mark Hemingway tries to understand the left's unreasoning hatred towards this movie. (Part of their unreasoning hatred towards pretty much everything, of course.)

Even American Sniper largely sidesteps the big political questions about the war on terror. The film is primarily about the heroism of soldiers who, thrust into battle by larger forces, do their best to protect each other and innocent Iraqis. Clint Eastwood, often described as one of the few prominent right-wingers in Hollywood, opposed the invasion of Iraq and questioned the invasion of Afghanistan.

Even so, the film's lack of left-wing politics has been treated in some quarters as an unpardonable sin. "The mere act of trying to make a typically Hollywoodian one-note fairy tale set in the middle of the insane moral morass that is/was the Iraq occupation is both dumber and more arrogant than anything George Bush or even Dick Cheney ever tried," wrote Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi. In other words, any account of Kyle's personal heroism is somehow invalid unless it is couched in an extraneous political context tarring the war he fought in as immoral.

While this criticism is myopic and unfair, it’s at least preferable to direct attacks on Kyle and service in Iraq. "My uncle [was] killed by [a] sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot [you] in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders [are] worse," tweeted left-wing documentary filmmaker Michael Moore.


...

The left has tried to avoid the anti-American stain it acquired in the Vietnam era by making sure to mouth platitudes about supporting the troops while criticizing the war. The reaction to American Sniper seems to suggest this pose is insincere. Either you’re rooting for Kyle and his fellow soldiers or you're rooting for AQI. There is no middle ground in American Sniper. The film simply asks audiences to consider the motivations of American soldiers on the ground in Iraq, and then asks whether or not these motivations make them heroic. This may be a difficult question for Michael Moore, but the film and its rapturous audiences answer it with a resounding yes.

Posted by Ace at 02:57 PM Comments

Shock: Obama, the Committed Income-Redistributionist (Though the Media Swore He Was No Such Thing!) Now Expressly Going After the Middle Class' Education Savings to Shower Money on His Constituents

—Ace

There are two kinds of people in the world.

Those who do the right thing, and those who don't.

Those who do the right thing don't need a lot of help from others because they're doing the right thing. They go to work, don't get hooked on drugs, stay married, save money.

Those who don't do the right thing need constant help.

The Wall Street Journal euphemizes Obama's plan to take money from the Middle Class to make it rain on his voters as new "challenges" faced by the middle class.

The Obama Presidency stands for nothing if not the proposition that those who do the right thing will be punished and harassed constantly so that those who will not do the right thing never have to face any consequences of their bad habits.

President Barack Obama's push to start taxing college-saving accounts, including the popular "529" accounts, would affect millions of Americans who are stashing money for their children’s education, stirring debate about how to structure federal student aid and how to define the middle class.

Remember, Obama branded his dishonest State of the Union as "Middle Class Economics." And he claimed to wish to make college more affordable for the "Middle Class."

Of course that means he'll make it less affordable for the Middle Class. Because he's a demagogic liar.

The proposal, which has sparked a public backlash but faces dim prospects in Congress, targets so-called 529 savings accounts that boomed after Congress passed the tax breaks starting in 2001. States have promoted the plans as a way for middle-class parents to combat escalating college costs.

...


Slightly over half of all the college-saving accounts are held by Americans making under $150,000 a year, according to a 2012 Government Accountability Office report. About 30% earned under $100,000 a year. There are about 12 million 529 accounts in total, according to the College Savings Plan Network, an industry group, while the average balance in a 529 account is about $21,000--enough to cover almost two years average tuition, room and board--minus aid--at a public four-year university.

Ryan Ellis, tax policy director for the conservative think tank Americans for Tax Reform, said the proposal violates an Obama campaign pledge to not raise taxes on middle-income Americans.

"This idea that this is an account for the preserve of the Huxtables out there that make $250,000 a year is kind of ridiculous," Mr. Ellis said. Many owners of 529 plans are young parents who take pride in saving money in advance for their children’s college education, he said. "You've made them look like chumps for saving whatever they’ve saved so far."

But isn't this the whole point? If you've worked to avoid needing the government's aid, You are essentially unpatriotic and an enemy of the state. By making yourself independent of government, you effectively oppose it.

Therefore, you should be made to feel like a chump for having attempted such insolence.

Instapundit writes that they're not just coming for your college savings, ">they're coming for your everything.

Bank robber Willie Sutton is said to have explained his career this way: "That's where the money is." Whether Sutton ever really said that, it's an aphorism that, according to Bloomberg's Megan McArdle, explains President Obama's plans to go after middle class assets like 529 college savings plans and home appreciation.

...

Likewise, Obama proposes to tax the appreciation on inherited homes...

Why would the White House even consider such a thing?

...

When a government is desperate for cash, it goes after the middle class, because that's where the money is....

The truth is, in our redistributionist system politicians make their careers mostly by taking money from one group of citizens that won't vote for them and giving it to another that will. If they run short of money from traditional sources, they'll look for new revenue wherever they can find it. And if that's the homes and savings of the middle class, then that's what they'll target.

A man named Joe the Plumber asked about Obama's redistributionist agenda seven years ago. No one in the media did. When Obama bragged that indeed he supported "sharing the wealth," the media went into overdrive to cover up for Obama, and to smear Joe the Plumber. (Obama wasn't vetted, by an everyday citizen asking a question sure was.)

Now Obama is explicitly calling for even more "share the wealth" policies at the expense of the Middle Class.

Where do we go to get that apology from the media?


Update: They're actually just trying to "reform" the tax code by making it "simpler."



See, it was too confusing before. So now they're going to take that confusing money out of your pocket.

Understand now?

Posted by Ace at 12:39 PM Comments

Reporter: Saudi King Abdullah "Couldn't Stand" Obama

—Ace

Sounds like my kind of guy.

NBC reporter Richard Engle shot down the various claims emanating from both DC and Riyadh that the two men were close friends:

"One of the big ironies here is that President Obama, in his statement, said how close he was to King Abdullah... King Abdullah did not like President Obama. In fact, a lot of people I know that are quite close to the late King Abdullah said that the king could not stand President Obama. This close personal bond between the president and the late Saudi leader, I think, is people being polite at a time of a national funeral."

Of course, our Cool Guy President also decided to upset India with his Nicorette-chewing, while in audience with India's PM.

"In an ungainly sight, cameras caught US President Brack Obama chewing gum during the Republic Day parade on Monday. In the picture captured by cameras and posted on Twitter by some users, Obama was spotted removing his chewing gum while PM Modi was seen trying to explain something to the US president," reports the Times of India.

This #SmartDiplomacy doesn't seem to be working. Maybe because the asshole authoring it isn't that smart.

Posted by Ace at 11:12 AM Comments

Open Thread

—rdbrewer


George Clausen, "Twilight Interior" (c. 1909)

Posted by rdbrewer at 10:26 AM Comments

The Triumphant Return of DOOM

—Monty

DOOOOM

Good morning, my groovy babies. Long time no smell! (Ah, the sweet sweet thrill of a fourth-grade burn. It makes life worth living.)

IBM may lay off as many as 100,000 employees this week. One hundred thousand. They're going to keep that one old janitor named Henry because he has a huge inventory of dirty jokes and is the life of any party, but everyone else (apparently) is going to get pinkslipped. Here's another take from Forbes.

We also have another entrant in the long-running "white racism is at the root of all evil" journalism genre. In this case, the story has to do with black homeowners being hit hard by the 2006-2007 real-estate meltdown.

What's that you say? Plenty of white, asian, and hispanic homeowners got burned in that debacle as well? You're saying that this piece is a repeat of every real-estate sob story for the past seven years, only wrapped up in a race-baiting shell? If this surprises you, you need to get out more.

Continue reading


Posted by Monty at 09:00 AM Comments

Morning Thread (1-26-2015)

—Andy

The blizzard approacheth.

Posted by Andy at 06:58 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (1-25-2015)

—Maetenloch

Quote of the Day

Our schools and colleges are laying a guilt trip on those young people whose parents are productive, and who are raising them to become productive. What is amazing is how easily this has been done, largely just by replacing the word "achievement" with the word "privilege."

-- Thomas Sowell in His Royal Glibness

10 of Winston Churchill's Best Quotes

On the 50th anniversary of his death.

"We have not journeyed all this way across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy."

-To the Canadian House of Commons, December 30 1941
"[I]t has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

-To the House of Commons, November 11, 1947
"It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time."

-To the House of Commons, February 27, 1945

Semi-Retired President Has Better Things To Do Than Attend Foreign Events

"Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will represent the United States at the 70th anniversary ceremony for the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp on Tuesday-rather than President Barack Obama or Vice President Joe Biden-while other countries are slated to send their heads of state," according to Daniel Wiser of the Washington Free Beacon

And note that this may be last major ceremony to include people with first-hand knowledge of Auschwitz:

Tuesday's ceremony will likely be the last major anniversary where a significant number of survivors of the Nazi camp are present. About 300 are expected to attend, and most of them are in their 90s or older than 100. Nazi authorities killed 1.1 million people at the camp, mostly Jews, which was liberated by the Soviet army in January 1945.

obamagolfing2445

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Posted by Maetenloch at 10:31 PM Comments

Pro Bowl

—Dave In Texas

Ok, whatever.. the Pro Bowl.

Did you know there are actually Pro Bowl Cheerleaders?

Here's one.

probowl.jpg

I only have one comment with respect to DeflateGate and that is when in hell are we going to stop adding the word "gate" to every goddamn scandal ever? Most of you were kids when Nixon's bumblers got caught in the Watergate hotel. Oh wait, so was I. OK whatever, too young to remember or care is the point.

I wish it had been called the "WaterTits" hotel.

Posted by Dave In Texas at 07:45 PM Comments

Weekend Thread: War Reporting [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

Saw this neat picture from the Israeli Defense Force's twitter feed:

IDFspiderweb.jpg

It got me thinking about military correspondents. I'm sure many of you know more about this topic than I do, but I found this article interesting:

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 06:45 PM Comments

Food Thread: Deflated Balls Edition [CBD]

—Open Blogger

In the absence in the news of anything other than interminable discussions of Tom Brady's 11 deflated balls, I suggest we look upon spherical foods as a metaphor for the media's vast appetite for stories that go nowhere.

Or because they are easy to eat and usually taste good.

But first, can someone explain this equation to the journalism majors of America? Did none of them take physics?

P1 x V1/T1 = P2 x V2/T2

These are called bitterballen, and they are a distinctly Dutch treat that go wonderfully with booze. Or alone.

bitterballen.jpg

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Posted by Open Blogger at 04:15 PM Comments

Gaming Thread in AR

—Gang of Gaming Morons!

John Hill, father of the modern wargame passed away on the 12th. So many games can be traced back to his hit Squad Leader. Without him, the wargaming genre would be in worst shape.

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Posted by Gang of Gaming Morons! at 03:25 PM Comments

Valerie! Bibi was mean to me! I HATE him! [CBD]

—Open Blogger

White House going nuclear on Netanyahu

Our petulant man-child president will be making significant and far-reaching foreign policy decisions based on being called a poopy-head during recess.

Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price.

And from commenter Willow: The Future does not belong to those who insult Obama?

Posted by Open Blogger at 01:30 PM Comments

Secular Arguments for Life [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

Earlier this week there was quite a lot of back and forth on Twitter and elsewhere about abortion, including some challenges to the pro-life position based on secular arguments. The thesis appeared to be that there was no way to argue against abortion without invoking The Almighty.

This post is not about abortion per se. Rather, I wanted to point out that it is certainly possible (and I might argue more powerful) to make the case for life on purely secular grounds.

There are two major issues at play. The first is establishing whether or not the living being (there is no argument that embryos and fetuses are living beings; that's simple biology) in utero is a "person."

And the second is whether or not a mother (or mother and father) have unique rights to end that life based solely on where that living being resides.

Thoughtful secular humanists have tackled these questions. A few examples are provided below:

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Posted by Open Blogger at 11:00 AM Comments

Sunday Morning Book Thread 01-25-2015: Science! [OregonMuse]

—Open Blogger


National Library - Paris, France.jpg
Paris - France National Library (Bibliothèque Nationale de France)

(library photo stolen from the HuffPo who got it from this guy)

Good morning morons and moronettes and welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread. The only AoSHQ thread that is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Or kilts. Kilts are OK, too. But not tutus. Unless you're a girl.

Quote Of The Week

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.

-Haruki Murakami


Man's Search for Knowledge

Younger book thread readers might not know, and hence find it hard to believe, that there once was a time in America wen those who spoke to the public at large in the name of science weren't a bunch of smug, arrogant jerks. In particular, Bell Laboratories (yes, the old monopoly phone company) produced a series of educational movies on topics such as blood, the sun, heredity, the weather. They were originally broadcast on TV between 1957 and 1964, but then Bell made 16mm copies freely available for educational purposes, so they became science class staples in primary and secondary schools all over the country. If you're old like me, you're probably remember the AV club setting up the film projector in your classrooms so the science teacher could show the class films such as Hemo the Magnificent, or Our Mr. Sun, or maybe even The Unchained Goddess. I think they actually hold up pretty well, all things considered, they're entertaiing and yes, they're a bit hokey, but not as much as you might think.

Of course you can read about all of this, the history, the personalities, the films themselves, and more, in the book Sonnets & Sunspots: "Dr. Research" Baxter And The Bell Science Films by Eric Niderost.

And I'd much rather listen to Dr. Frank Baxter than Neill DeGrasse Tyson any day.

For more "man's search for knowledge" type stuff for a general audience, you might want to look into Daniel Boorstin's trilogy The Discoverers, followed up by The Creators: A History of Heroes of the Imagination and The Seekers: The Story of Man's Continuing Quest to Understand His World.


Mean Girls

You know 'em, you hate 'em, you love to hate 'em, they're 30 literary 'mean girl' characters, although I don't think some of them really qualify as mean girls, so caveat lector.

And Susan Pevensey from the Narnia stories isn't a "hussy". I think the word Lewis would use to describe her would be "worldly", which is quite different.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 09:09 AM Comments

Early Morning Thread 1/25/15: Sunday Comics edition. [krakatoa]

—Open Blogger

Good Lord what a week. Anyone got a good joke?

I'll accept any variation of the well-worn but timeless Boehner/Boner gags.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 06:30 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (24 Jan 2015)

—CDR M

Dang it, this winter has been a bust here in the Hampton Roads area so far. Just rain, no snow. I blame the snow shovel I finally bought at the end of last season. I finally got the gear I needed for when it snows and now it does not snow. Figures. Monday night/Tuesday is lookin' good though for some snow. Too good for those of you in the northeast according to some of the models.

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Posted by CDR M at 10:03 PM Comments

Dumb Hat, No Cattle [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

Stephen Miller (aka @redsteeze on Twitter) caught Mr. Dumb Hat in a doozy:


**UPDATE: I realized some of you might need context. Go to Twitchy for more.**

Open thread.

Posted by Open Blogger at 05:58 PM Comments

Saturday Gardening Thread: Winter Is Making Me "Potty" Edition [Y-not, Weirddave & KT]

—Open Blogger

Good afternoon, gardeners!

Today's post is brought to you by funky garden containers:

MonsteraPot.jpeg

It's still January, so a lot of us are stuck indoors either dreaming about gardening or perhaps preparing for Spring. 'Seemed like a good time to talk about innovative planters. We're lucky this week to have two guest contributors, @sasso333 and Melissa Clouthier. (Because of that, your usual co-hosts will keep their sections on the short side.)

First, courtesy of @sasso333 on Twitter:


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Posted by Open Blogger at 02:30 PM Comments

Iranian General Killed By Unlimited Minutes Cell Plan and Israeli Missiles..... [CBD]

—Open Blogger

But mostly his unlimited cell plan

Kaboom.jpg

Clearly it is approaching the End Times: The shape shifters are now technologically aware.

Posted by Open Blogger at 01:27 PM Comments

Fundamental Concepts - The Aberration [Weirddave]

—Open Blogger

When I see, from the entire left side of the political spectrum, more and more strident demands to end Western culture as we know it, I wonder if these people have any clue exactly what it is that they are asking for. King Midas got exactly what he wanted, to his everlasting horror. There's a lesson in that, an important one, but one that I suspect is lost on someone who navigates through life by the seat of their righteousness, guided by the certainty of their conceit.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 11:50 AM Comments

Real Life Climatologist Roy Spencer On 2014 As The Hottest Year Ever: Nope! [CBD]

—Open Blogger

mountains_snow2000.jpg

The guy has an actual PhD, in a discipline that might have some special insight into climate change. Yes, argument from authority is not popular around here, but in this case he really is a rocket scientist! And he really doesn't like the shabby analysis that passes for climatology nowadays.

Science as a methodology for getting closer to the truth has been all but abandoned. It is now just one more tool to achieve political ends.

This needs to be shouted from the rooftops, plastered across t-shirts, hammered into the skulls of every progressive who proclaims his dedication to rational thought but in reality worships at the altar of Moloch; willing to destroy anything for his own ends.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 10:35 AM Comments

Saturday Morning Politics Thread: Who Isn't Running? [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

I'm still working on the next installment in our "issues" series in which we've been examining the records and positions of our top 7 GOP prospects, so I thought this weekend we could just talk about how the field is shaping up thus far.

This tweet sums things up rather nicely, I think:



Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 08:43 AM Comments

EMT 1/24/15 - Wingin' It [krakatoa]

—Open Blogger

About to board my flight. So. Happy Weekend to the horde from snowy EWR.

Posted by Open Blogger at 07:12 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (23 Jan 2015)

—CDR M

While the news outlets breathlessly cover whether or not Tom Brady deflated his balls, Iran is making moves in the Middle East.

the Obama administration appears to be ready to acquiesce to the new reality of Iranian domination of Syria. It has told the New York Times that it is essentially abandoning its proclaimed goal of removing Assad.

For the Saudis and the other Gulf Arabs, this is a nightmare. They're engaged in a titanic regional struggle with Iran. And they are losing - losing Yemen, losing Lebanon, losing Syria, and watching post-U.S.-withdrawal Iraq come under increasing Iranian domination.


It ought to be an interesting spring this year.

Top image courtesy of Michael Ramirez.

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Posted by CDR M at 10:03 PM Comments

Longbows!!!

—Ace

Actually it's not a longbow. It's just some kind of bow, I don't know, a recurve bow or a horse bow.

Or just a bow, I guess.

Neat stuff.

Continue reading


Posted by Ace at 05:49 PM Comments

"Sniper" To Take Our Fresh Targets in Weekend Deployment

—Ace

Projected to notch just short of $60 million, which would be the second-best January weekend cume, following its own $93 million debut.

It will obliterate new movies from Jennifer Lopez and, get this, Johnny Depp.

I say "get this" because Johnny Depp is in a major career spin-out. I actually bought the book Don't Point That Thing At Me upon which "Mortdecai" is based, and, while I like the book, the trailers for the movie make it look as if it's not really based much on the book at all.

Posted by Ace at 05:08 PM Comments

AoSHQ Podcast: Clearing The Decks

—Andy

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Ace, Gabe, Drew and John go guest-free this week and catch up on current events.


Intro: Big Balls - AC/DC

Outro: Walk of Life - Dire Straits


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Open thread in the comments

Posted by Andy at 04:00 PM Comments

Wikipedia Bans Five Social Justice Warriors From Editing Gamergate Articles, or Any Articles Having to Do With Gender or Sexuality, Broadly Defined

—Ace

They're the worst sort of parasite. A normal parasite comes in to get a free meal. You don't want that, of course, but you can survive a certain number of parasites.

These parasites, however, come in with the express agenda of destroying the host.

Wikipedia's arbitration committee, the highest user-run body on the site, has banned five editors from making corrections to articles about feminism, in an attempt to stop a long-running edit war over the entry on the "Gamergate controversy".

The editors, who were all actively attempting to prevent the article from being rewritten with a pro-Gamergate slant, were sanctioned by "arbcom" in its preliminary decision. While that may change as it is finalised, the body, known as Wikipedia's supreme court, rarely reverses its decisions.

The sanction bars the five editors from having anything to do with any articles covering Gamergate, but also from any other article about "gender or sexuality, broadly construed".

...

In contrast, he says, "by my informal count, every feminist active in the area is to be sanctioned. This takes care of social justice warriors with a vengeance -- not only do the Gamergaters get to rewrite their own page (and Zoe Quinn's, Brianna Wu's, Anita Sarkeesian's, etc); feminists are to be purged en bloc from the encyclopedia."

The Social Justice Warriors aren't merely toxic, vicious drama queens and borderline personality types looking to "split" other people; they're avowedly that, and consider this sort of ugly disruption to be a kind of high calling.

Don't believe me? Read this.

Meanwhile, Christine Hoff Summers traces the current fake, made-up "Rape Culture" disruption -- just a ploy to achieve disruption; not a real epidemic -- to 2010, when, get this, NPR conspired to cook up an SJW storyline.

And it all began in 2010. That year, reporters at National Public Radio teamed up with the left-leaning journalism organization Center for Public Integrity (CPI) to produce and promote a 104-page "investigative reporting series" (PDF) entitled "Sexual Assault on Campus: A Frustrating Search for Justice." (Full disclosure: The Daily Beast is an occasional publishing partner of CPI's.)

...

On the evening of April 4, 2004, according to the NPR/CPI version of events, [Laura] Dunn, then a freshman and member of the crew team at the University of Wisconsin, consumed so many raspberry vodkas at a crew party that the student-bartenders refused her more drinks. She left with two young men she trusted from her team. They planned to go to another party, but decided to make a quick stop at one of the men's apartment. According to Dunn, once they arrived, her teammates raped her as she fell in and out of consciousness. For many months, she tried to dismiss the evening as a "just a mistake." Still, she couldn’t sleep, she lost weight, she dropped out of crew.

Fifteen months later, Dunn attended a philosophy class where the professor was discussing how rape is a weapon of war. The professor suddenly stopped the lecture, turned to the students, and told them she knew many of her students had been raped, and she assured them they could do something about it. A tearful Laura Dunn told NPR’s Joseph Shapiro what happened next. "The moment that lecture let out," she said, "I walked across to the dean of students' office and I reported that day." She also reported the alleged rape to the campus police.

The investigation did not go well for Dunn. Because she reported the assault nearly a year-and-a-half after the event, one of the men had already graduated. The other insisted the encounter had been consensual, and since there were no witnesses or evidence, both the police and the university dropped the case.

This claimed violation was presented to the Department of Education as a violation of Title IX's federal guarantee that inequalities in treatment of women be resolved "equitably," and this in turn led Obama's SecEd to issue her "Dear Colleague" letter and to start putting the screws to men on campus.

However, the story isn't quite as simple as Dunn, or Obama, or Kristen Gillibrand, would have you believe:

The Dear Colleague letter created havoc, but before describing that havoc, let's check some facts. Dunn agreed to make her records public as a condition of being a part of the NPR/CPI investigation. The 18-page letter (PDF) she received from the OCR is publicly available. It gives a detailed summary of notes taken by University of Wisconsin deans as well as the local police detective. As freelance reporter Derek Rose has pointed out, it tells a very different story from the one we heard from Shapiro on NPR’s Morning Edition or from the CPI report.

To wit: When Dunn first spoke to the dean (15 months after the alleged rape), she said that "a portion of the sexual encounter was consensual." (p.5) A few days later when she spoke to a campus police detective, Dunn said twice that she did not remember being raped by one of the men (the one still on campus). She found out about it only when the men told her what happened the next day (p.6). She also told the detective that in the months after the alleged rape that she went--twice--to one of the men's residence, where they engaged in consensual "physical contact."

On one of these occasions both of the alleged assailants were at the apartment and they all watched television together. (p.6) None of these details were mentioned in the NPR/CPI report.

The anomalies continue. The NPR/CPI team faulted the University of Wisconsin staff for dragging the case out for nine months—enough time for an “enraged encounter” (as related above) between the accuser and one of the accused men. According to the CPI team, when Dunn ran into the young man at a fraternity party, he stalked and threatened her. But Dunn told the police detective that she had initiated the encounter and when he walked away, she followed him into another room because she "knew he wanted to talk to her." She also admitted she had hugged him. No mention of threats. (p. 7).

The young man’s version comports with the police report, but he adds that when Dunn approached him, he was alarmed, pulled away, and told her he was afraid she would fabricate more lies. When Dunn started to scream and cry, he fled. (p.8)

One does not need to come to a firm conclusion as to the merits of Dunn's charges to conclude this, rather easily: That whether Dunn was raped or not, this is hardly the sort of case where you'd expect a properly-functioning trier of fact to endorse her claims about the night in question. There are too many odd facts she admits (such as "touching" her alleged rapist "physically" in several post-"rape" encounters") to find cleanly for the complaining witness.

Nevertheless, it is out of this nonsense case that the current Rape Panic was born.

Posted by Ace at 02:10 PM Comments

Hmmmmm...

—Ace

From Instapundit, a new book alleges, get this, the central role of government in the housing crisis and the ensuing whitewashing and cover-up.

Subprime Scandal: We've long suspected the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission wasn't honest in examining events before the meltdown. But an ex-commissioner says the probe was actually a full-blown political cover-up.

In a just-released book, former FCIC member Peter Wallison says that a Democratic Congress worked with the commission's Democratic chairman to whitewash the government's central role in the mortgage debacle. The conspiracy helped protect some of the Democrats' biggest stars from scrutiny and accountability while helping justify the biggest government takeover of the financial sector since the New Deal.

Wallison's sobering, trenchantly written "Hidden in Plain Sight: What Really Caused the World's Worst Financial Crisis and Why It Could Happen Again" reveals that the Democrat-led panel buried key data proving that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other federal agencies pushed the housing market over the subprime cliff. The final FCIC report put the blame squarely on Wall Street.

In 2009, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed her California pal Phil Angelides, a long-time Democrat operative, to lead the commission. The fix seemed to be in, and Wallison's account of the inner workings of the 10-member body confirms it.

I'll be downloading that.

Posted by Ace at 01:05 PM Comments

Open Thread

—rdbrewer


Kawase Hasui, "Moon at Magome" (1931)

Posted by rdbrewer at 10:41 AM Comments

Morning Thread (1-23-2015)

—Andy

Rise and shine, fellow Slurpee-drinking, bitterly clinging, terrorist arsonists who, for some reason, just don't like our President much. Racism, obvs.

This week's excellent podcast just posted. Ace and crew spend a lot of time talking about Bradley Cooper's balls and Tom Brady's eyes ... or maybe I have that backwards.


Note: If you listen to the podcast on Stitcher, I received an email from them this week that said they're still working on fixing the long delay in getting new content posted. This has affected our last 2 episodes.

Posted by Andy at 06:11 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (1-22-2015)

—Maetenloch

Quote of the Day

The reason that Conservatism is "pro-family" is because no ideology can ultimately be defined in purely negative terms. It is not enough to say that we oppose big government, because to oppose anything is necessarily to advocate whatever must exist in it's place. In this case that  is not simply "the individual".  American economist Milton Friedman once said   "We tend to talk about an individualist society, but it really isn't, it's a family society. And the greatest incentives of all, the incentives that have really driven people on, have largely been  the incentives of family. ".  No free society has ever existed that was constituted primarily of individuals pursuing their own interests as isolated individuals. It is stable, successful families, and communities of families, that make a free society possible.  The only real world alternative to a society built upon the state, is a society built upon the family.

-- Philosophical Conservatism in The Real Meaning Of Limited Government

New Trick of the Patriarchy: Oprressing teh Womenz Through Sexual Equality

Jessica Valenti American blogger and feminist writer, known for having founded the feminist blog Feministing in 2004 claimed that the patriarchy is using equality to oppress women.

"Now we need a new wave of feminism to be more equal than men, I mean recently I saw this video on YouTube with over one million views and a way more likes than dislikes, at first I thought it was no big deal as the man was hiding in a store and defending himself from what I presumed from an aggressive man that was hitting him but then I saw it was a woman that was hitting him and I was terrified at how he violently abused her and literally threw her into a glass window shattering it or 'defended himself' as a rape apologist would put it as"

Self-defense now also part of rape-culture apparently.

j-valenti

Yet Another Discriminatory Tool of the Patriarchy: Women's Public Restrooms

Feminist writer, media critic and activist Soraya Chemaly, whose areas of expertise include "Gender Violence and Women's Equity, Sexual Assault, Women in Media, Rape, Gender-based Violence, Media Portrayal, Women in the Military, Gender Equality Issues, Free Speech, Gender Politics, Business and the Economy, Education, Media and Entertainment, Politics, Religion Social Justice", is on a roll about the unfairness of women's public restrooms. And you know whose fault that is? You've got it: men's. In what suspiciously sounds like a bad case of penis envy, Chemaly is upset that all public restrooms are not equal-opportunity facilities:

"[W]omen are still forced to stand in lines at malls, schools, stadiums, concerts, fair grounds, theme parks, and other crowded public spaces. This is frustrating, uncomfortable, and, in some circumstances, humiliating. It's also a form of discrimination, as it disproportionately affects women.

bathroom-wait

"Who Bitch This Is?!"

When a women tried to force a guy celebrating a video game tournament win back into his chair, he issues the ultimate put-down. (Thanks to Tammy)

Continue reading


Posted by Maetenloch at 10:45 PM Comments

Saudi King Abdullah Has Died, Replaced By Crown Prince Salman

—Ace

Over at Bloomberg, just a news blurb at the top of the page so far.

Now, the way I heard it -- and who knows what the hell the truth is -- is that King Abdullah was more or less pro-Western and Not Insane but the many princes surrounding him were Pro Al Qaeda.

What does his death do as far as Saudi Arabia's ugly game of playing Al Qaeda and the US off each other?

I don't know.

And Open Thread: Heading out for a bit before our podcast.

Posted by Ace at 06:22 PM Comments



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Top Headlines

Jon Gabriel: Musicians vs. Politicians, Part XCLVII
"Conforming slavishly to stereotype, the Dropkick Murphys are boring lefties who get offended when non-approved people enjoy their derivative tunes. The over-the-hill band bravely took to Twitter to react precisely as everyone expected." [rdbrewer]


Al Weaver: Limbaugh: Scott Walker ‘The Blueprint’ For GOP If They Are ‘Serious About Beating The Left’
"[Limbaugh said] the GOP needs to 'hoist' Walker on a chair they used to take Caesar through the crowds with.' ¶ 'If you have spent any time listening to this program in the last two years, you know that I believe Scott Walker is the blueprint for the Republican Party....'" [rdbrewer]
The best thing on Twitter today, courtesy of Moron RD Brewer. [NDH]

Larry Correia: Sad Puppies 3: The Ensaddening.
"If you’d like to nominate good books, stories, and related works for the Hugos so that the biggest award in sci-fi/fantasy isn’t just a Social Justice Warrior circle jerk, you need to get yourself a supporting membership to Sasquan before the end of January." [rdbrewer]
Hot New Meme of Putting Alarming Messages Inside of Anodyne Sentences Has All the Spiders In Your Mouth Very Excited About Future
NY Times, 2/14: The End of Snow?
Drudge caught this headline from last year. Also via Drudge: 2010s officially the snowiest decade in the east coast in the NOAA record. [rdbrewer]
Scientists Have Figured Out How to Un-Boil An Egg
Supposedly this has something to do with fighting cancer... it has to do with putting twisted and de-natured proteins back into working order
1916 Sherlock Holmes Film, Thought to be Lost, Now Being Released
It stars William Gilette, who got very famous playing Holmes. And rich enough to build a little castle in Connecticut (which you can visit)

All out of bubble gum.
Slate: Wisconsin’s Scott Walker outshines the competition in Iowa
"Before the Iowa Freedom Summit on Saturday, one Republican activist summed up Gov. Scott Walker’s challenge this way: 'He doesn’t make the flashbulbs go off.' But at the end of the marathon day of speeches before conservatives, the Wisconsin governor emerged as the leading light." [rdbrewer]


American Sniper Finally Breaks Hollywood’s Anti-Military Omertà
Movie review. [rdbrewer]

Christina Hoff Sommers: Sexual Assault Myths: Part 2
Video. [rdbrewer]
Want A Taser-Proof Outfit? A Fencing Lamé Will Do The Trick [dri]
Glenn Reynolds, USA Today: Middle-class savings like blood in the water
"Obama goes where the money is to pay for 'free' education programs - your savings account." [rdbrewer]


Jim Geraghty: A Completely Different Sense of the GOP’s ‘First Tier’
From the Morning Jolt. "Allow me to offer a completely different grouping of the big names than you’ve seen elsewhere." [rdbrewer]


John Fund: 2016: It Begins
"Clear winners and losers emerged from the first major candidate huddle in Iowa this weekend." [rdbrewer]

Tanned, rested and ready.
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This week's guest: Tom Brady's balls

MP3 Download | Stream | Ask The Blog | Archives
Update on the Patriots suspiciously low fumble rate.
Patriot players fumble a lot more when on other teams. 2 PSI is a big deal when other people are trying to rip the ball from your grasp. ht @jackmcoldcuts [ArthurK]
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