1. Iran Boards Marshall Islands-Flagged Ship
2. The Marshall Islands are In Free Association With the US; The US is Treaty-Bound to Protect Them
3. Obama Administration & Media Start Shouting "The Ship Wasn't US-Flagged!"
There seems to be a lot of shouting from the Pentagon, from the Obama Administration, and from Obama's outsourced communications shop (the media) that the ship boarded and seized by Iran is not a US ship:
Full statement on the Iran ship seizure from a senior administration official pic.twitter.com/HTuS7kM5B3— Hayes Brown (@HayesBrown) April 28, 2015
Or see here:
American officials have denied media reports that a US cargo ship had been seized by the Iranian navy.
However, a Pentagon spokesman said a Marshall Islands-flagged ship had been boarded by the Iranian navy.
But funny thing, I remember seeing the Marshall Islands on maps, and whenever I see it on a map, the map says:
Marshall Islands (U.S.)
In fact, a simple look-up on Wikipedia confirms the Marshall Islands are in "free association" with the United States, and has its defense provided for, by treaty, by the United States.
In fact, citizens of the Marshall Islands serve in the US Armed forces:
The COFA allows the United States to operate armed forces in Compact areas, to demand land for operating bases (subject to negotiation), and excludes the militaries of other nations without U.S. permission. The U.S. in turn becomes responsible for protecting its affiliate nations and responsible for administering all international defense treaties and affairs...
Commentators have noted that the ongoing presence and recruitment efforts of the U.S. military in the Compact areas [which includes the Marshall Islands] may have resulted in the high level of military enlistment by Compact citizens. For example, in 2008, the Federated States of Micronesia had a higher per-capita enlistment rate than any U.S. state, and had more than five times the national per-capita average of casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan (9 soldiers out of a population of 107,000).
Though once a US territory, the Marshall Islands became independent in 1979. Nevertheless, it is still in such close "free association" with the US that the US Postal System delivers its mail.
It is true that this ship was not "US flagged." However, it is flagged by a country which was until recently a US territory, and which the US is treaty-bound to defend, particularly as regards its maritime commerce.
But I don't hear the media or agents of Obama (but I repeat myself) making that clear -- all they're shouting is that the ship wasn't a US ship.
They are acting as if the Marshall Islands are a completely different country, in order to diminish how provocative an action Iran has taken, and to spare Prince Barry further embarrassment and further difficult questions.
Claim that seizing Marshall Islands-flagged ship isn't threat to U.S. is as plausible as claim an attack on Puerto Rico isn't attack on U.S.— Popehat (@Popehat) April 28, 2015
Winslow Homer, "Among the Oaks" (1886)
Tuesday Morning News Dump
- In 2013, The Clinton Foundation Only Spent 10 Percent Of Its Budget On Charitable Grants
- The One Baltimore Protestor I Like
- As Baltimore Burns, Obama Tweets About Being A Better Community Organizer
- Milwaukee Sheriff Has Some Harsh Words For Politicians
- Baltimore And The State Of American Cities
- Dependency, Work Incentives, And The Growing Welfare State
- Race Riots In Baltimore
- GOP Failure Theater Continues
- The Clinton Foundation Is Wrong, Canadian Law Doesn't Prohibit Donor ID
- General Ripper Would Be Proud
Morning Thread (4-28-2015)
Ahhh, I see project Burn Baltimore to the Ground continues apace.
Overnight Open Thread (4/27/15) [tmi3rd]
Hi guys. Me again, and Maet should be back from his assignment somewhere around the end of next week.
If you can believe this, I still have stuff I didn't use from last night, so let's dive right in...
More below the fold.
As some of you know, I have a news background as well, having worked for NBC, CBS, and CNN. I bring this up because one of my former general managers (who is a relatively religious man for a liberal) made a remark in passing that he felt that people were naturally good, and didn't do bad things unless steered towards doing so. As such, he didn't feel that the 21st-century man needed the guidance of religion.
I think he got that totally wrong. Much as I know that some of you aren't Heinlein fans, I've got to quote Starship Troopers again...
"Young lady, the tragic wrongness of what those well-meaning people did, contrasted with what they thought they were doing, goes very deep. They had no scientifc theory of morals. They did have a theory of morals and they tried to live by it (I should not have sneered at their motives), but their theory was wrong -- half of it fuzzy-headed wishful thinking, half of it rationalized charlatanry. The more earnest they were, the farther it led them astray. You see, they assumed that Man had a moral instinct."
"Sir? I thought -- But he does! I have."
"No, my dear, you have a cultivated conscience, a most carefully trained one. Man has no moral instinct. He is not born with moral sense. You were not born with it, I was not -- and a puppy has none. We acquire moral sense, when we do, through training, experience, and hard sweat of the mind. These unfortunate juvenile criminals were born with none, even as you and I, and they had no chance to acquire any; their experiences did not permit it. What is 'moral sense'? It is an elaboration of the instinct to survive. The instinct to survive is human nature itself, and every aspect of our personalities derives from it. Anything that conflicts with the survival instinct acts sooner or later to eliminate the individual and thereby fails to show up in future generations. This truth is mathematically demonstrable, everywhere verifiable; it is the single eternal imperative controlling everything we do.
"But the instinct to survive," he had gone on, "can be cultivated into motivations more subtle and much more complex than the blind, brute urge of the individual to stay alive. Young lady, what you miscalled your 'moral instinct' was the instilling in you by your elders of the truth that survival can have stronger imperatives than that of your own personal survival. Survival of your family, for example. Of your children, when you have them. Of your nation, if you struggle that high up the scale. And so on up. A scientifically verifiable theory of morals must be rooted in the individual's instinct to survive -- and nowhere else! -- and must correctly describe the hierarchy of survival, note the motivations at each level, and resolve all conflicts.
"We have such a theory now; we can solve any moral problem, on any level. Self-interest, love of family, duty to country, responsibility toward the human race -- we are even developing an exact ethic for extra-human relations. But all moral problems can be illustrated by one misquotation: 'Greater love hath no man than a mother cat dying to defend her kittens.' Once you understand the problem facing that cat and how she solved it, you will then be ready to examine yourself and learn how high up the moral ladder you are capable of climbing.
"These juvenile criminals hit a low level. Born with only the instinct for survival, the highest morality they achieved was a shaky loyalty to a peer group, a street gang. But the do-gooders attempted to 'appeal to their better natures,' to 'reach them,' to 'spark their moral sense.' Tosh! They had no 'better natures'; experience taught them that what they were doing was the way to survive. The puppy never got his spanking; therefore what he did with pleasure and success must be 'moral.'
"The basis of all morality is duty, a concept with the same relation to group that self-interest has to individual. Nobody preached duty to these kids in a way they could understand -- that is, with a spanking. But the society they were in told them endlessly about their 'rights.'
"The results should have been predictable, since a human being has no natural rights of any nature."
Much as today's left would like to discard religion as a worthless anachronism, Christianity (and its predecessor Judaism) are clearly stated as the foundation on which our Founding Fathers built the Constitution. While taking great pains to not have the state choose a religion, its importance was carefully underscored in the discussions of its framing and in the Bill of Rights.
While I admire my general manager very much- think of his leanings as vaguely like that of a Kirsten Powers, but not nearly as nice to look at- his understandings of the underpinnings of our society are flawed indeed. Given the fact that he had a ringside seat to the complete disintegration of societal order that we saw during Hurricane Katrina, I consider this a most egregious error on his part.
On to the fun stuff. I like Grim Reaper, but this is too funny to pass up...
Moving on... what the actual fuck is this?!
Explaining his bizarre invention, Mr Sturkenboom said: ‘After a passing, the missing of intimacy with that person is only one aspect of the pain and grief.
‘This forms the base for 21 Grams. The urn offers the possibility to conserve 21 grams of ashes of the deceased and displays an immortal desire.’
He continued: ‘I sometimes help an elderly lady with her groceries and she has an urn standing near the window with the remains of her husband.
‘She always speaks with so much love about him but the jar he was in didn’t reflect that at all.
‘In that same period I read an article about widows, taboos and sex and intimacy and then I thought to myself “can I combine these themes and make an object that is about love and missing and intimacy?”‘
The box, called 21 Grams – said to be the weight of the human soul – was his answer.
Tonight's Musical Selection
This is one of the most criminally overlooked songs by Faith No More. Off the same album as "Epic", it shows off one of my bass heroes- Bill Gould- in an exquisite light. The thing I love about his sound on this is that it's almost saxophone-esque... it's an Aria Integra bass through an Ibanez Tube Screamer and a Peavey bass head (the model escapes me at the moment).
So, this month, five years ago, my son, tmi4th was born. I live-blogged it on the ONT and on Facebook,
and I put this up to honor him and to honor you, my Moron friends.
I don't get into the comments as much these days, but it's never escaped me that the Moron Nation are very much my family, and you're all very special to me. I thank you for that- everywhere we've moved, a Moron has waited to welcome us, and that's truly priceless.
I leave you with puppies playing with babies. Have a good night!
Close it up
The Culmination of Obama's America: "Space to Destroy"
Obama gave ISIS space to destroy. He also gave space to destroy to the IRS.
The mayor will be speaking in a press conference soon to explain she didn't mean to say "we gave them space to destroy" when she said "we gave them space to destroy."
So Now They're Cutting Firehoses, to Keep Fire Fighters From Putting Out the Fires They Set
Confirmed https://t.co/7WdfmsZEra— Paul Bedard (@SecretsBedard) April 27, 2015
And thanks to @comradearthur, this is a great way to watch the End of America -- Anthony Cumia (formerly of Opie & Anthony) is adding deadpan commentary to the news stations' video feeds.
Live Video as One of America's Largest Cities Enters Third Day of Riots
The most biased channel on the riots at this moment is FoxNews, where Global Warming Expert Shep Smith is lecturing all and sundry that riots are useful and educational protests and that it would be very wrong to ask "civil rights leaders" to tell the rioters to stop.
How much longer will FoxNews' viewers accept the channel being hijacked by an MSNBC personality whenever there's breaking news?
I haven't seen an unjustifiably smug lefty surrounded by so many computer screens since my last visit to an Apple Store.
(Though I bet you any amount of money the heavily made-up Smith was watching "Nerd Prom" instead of the riots on Saturday night.)
Update: Governor Hogan (R) activates the National Guard.
Orioles game cancelled.
Is It Time to Formally Separate America Into Two Or More Sovereign Countries?
The fascist SJWs, and their easy way with all corporations (such as GoFundMe), plus Saturday night spurred me to say aloud what I've thought to myself for years:
As the man says: the center cannot hold.
No one actually seems happy in this national marriage.
It's time to admit this and separate.
Update: GoFundMe has taken down another fundraiser page for another Christian besieged by radical homosexual zealots.
GoFundMe Blocks Fundraising for Embattled Baker Who Refused To Make Gay Wedding Cake, Citing "Hateful" Acts
They shellacked Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a Christian-owned business, with a $135,000 fine for refusing to bake a gay wedding cake.
So people tried to chip in -- through GoFundMe -- to pay that fine.
And the "Jalverts of the SJWs," as Rod Dreher calls them, demanded GoFundMe block the use of its site for this purpose.
And GoFundMe -- which now enters the list of companies which must be boycotted and hopefully destroyed -- complies.
So, there we have it: the Social Justice Warriors, not content to have driven this bakery out of business, are now trying to prevent people from giving the bakers money to pay their monumental fine. It is not enough for the SJWs that the Klein family business was destroyed. And it is not enough that the Kleins are now struggling to feed their five children, and facing a $135,000 fine that will probably drive them to bankruptcy.
Nope, the progressive stance is now to grind those people to dust, in the name of social justice.
And yet Hillary Clinton took millions and millions in "charitable donations" despite being a legislator who could block gay marriage -- and claimed the desire to do so, until the polls on the issue shifted in 2013.
Great video showing Hillary "evolve" precisely as the polls changed.
Clinton's Charity Only Spends 10% of Its Billions on Actual Charity
It does seem to spend an awful lot of money on "other" expenses, and lots of money for Clinton travel.
Clinton Upkeep is apparently the "charity's" main point. Indeed, it has long been alleged that this "charity" has always been chiefly a way to keep Hilary's Government-In-Waiting on her payroll through 2000's, until she could put them all on the official government payroll again.
If you take a narrower, and more realistic, view of the tax-exempt group’s expenditures by excluding obvious overhead expenses and focusing on direct grants to charities and governments, the numbers look much worse. In 2013, for example, only 10 percent of the Clinton Foundation’s expenditures were for direct charitable grants. The amount it spent on charitable grants–$8.8 million–was dwarfed by the $17.2 million it cumulatively spent on travel, rent, and office supplies. Between 2011 and 2013, the organization spent only 9.9 percent of the $252 million it collected on direct charitable grants.
Sean Davis goes through a very steep drop-off in actual charitable expenditures, and concludes:
In just a few short years, the Clinton's primary philanthropic project transitioned from a massive player in global pharmaceutical distribution to a bloated travel agency and conference organizing business that just happened to be tax-exempt.
Over at Hot Air, Ed Morrissey reports that the head of the Sunlight Foundation calls the Clinton "charity" a "slush fund."
The Sunlight Foundation -- a charity watchdog -- sees the Clintons' charity as mainly a charity for the Clintons.
As Jon Gabriel of Ricochet told us on our award-winning podcast*, another charity watchdog-- Charity Navigator -- simply refuses to give the Clinton Fund For Political Ambition any rating at all, because:
We don't evaluate Bill Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
Why not? We have determined that this charity's atypical business model cannot be accurately captured in our current rating methodology.
Many people continue spinning this by claiming that Bill and Hilary don't take a salary from the initiative.
But this is bullshit.
First-class air travel paid for by the charity? Luxurious offices? Constant meetings with major political donors?
This is like claiming that the White House itself is not a luxury for the occupant to enjoy, simply because the serving president doesn't own it.
No, but he controls it during his presidency, and has the sole beneficial use of it.
Similarly, the Clintons' billion dollar "charity" provides them with dozens of workers who arrange anything they might like, swank offices, frequent fundraising and networking opportunities, and first class travel accommodations to wherever the Clintons' personal political ambitions might required them this week.
It's ridiculous to claim that the Clintons don't profit from this.
To be honest, if you could have the use of a billion-dollar organization and all its luxe appointments without actually owning it, so much the better for you: Then you get all the benefit of that organization without having to pay taxes on it.
Rogue Prosecutor John Chisholm, Union-Connected Partisan Behind Wisconsin's Evil "John Doe" Intimidations, Now Suggests That Walker Should Be Prosecutable as a Criminal For Criticizing The John Doe Investigations
If Scott Walker is any kind of a man and a real contender, he will move heaven and earth to cast this vicious partisan out of office.
This is what Walker said, correctly:
“They were looking for just about anything. As I pointed out at the time, it was largely a political witch hunt.”
John Chisholm was informed of the remark, and now threatens to prosecute the Governor for criticizing him:
"As to defamatory remarks, I strongly suspect the Iowa criminal code, like Wisconsin’s, has provisions for intentionally making false statements intended to harm the reputation of others,” Chisholm said in a statement Saturday responding to Walker's comments. <
Note Chisholm states -- not by accident -- that Wisconsin has such a provision. He is therefore threatening to a new prosecution of the governor for criticizing his lawless witch-hunts.
This is an outrage. Enough.
Step One: Pass a law permitting a jury to strip a prosecutor of civil immunity if he is found to have acted with malice in pursuing an alleged political crime.
Step two: Pass another law permitting a prosecutor to be prosecuted and jailed for ten years for acting with malice in pursuing an alleged political crime.
We'll fix your wagons, buddy.
Ferdinand du Puigaudeau, "Pont-Aven in the Moonlight" (1890)
Monday Morning News Dump
- The Sheriff As A Rebel
- Would It Not Be Easier For The Government To Dissolve The People And Elect Another?
- Israel An Early Responder To Nepal Earthquake
- George Washington University's Swastika Problem
- State Restrictions On Concealed Carry By Non-Citizens Are Unconstitutional
- Top Dem Bundler Walks Away From Hillary
- Feds Play The Race Card To Brush Parents' Revolt Against Common Core
- We're Addicted To Judgment Porn
- A Sucker By Design
- Liberal Fascism
- The Clinton Foundation Operates As A Slush Fund For The Clintons
- Is Ed Miliband Insane?
- I Laughed
- US To Launch Blitz Of Gas Exports
Morning Thread (4-27-2015)
Vast right-wing conspiracy -- assemble!
Overnight Open Thread (4/26/15) [tmi3rd]
Hi there, Morons and Moronettes. I'm tmi3rd, and I'm your assigned host for this evening while Maetenloch is on assignment.
For Morons who are unfamiliar with me, I've been here for about a decade (!), and I usually post about hurricanes that are going to strike the continental US... ergo, you haven't seen much of me in the past eighteen months.
Anyway, we've got plenty of stuff for you this evening... let's dive in! More below the fold...
Let's get this party started...
Okay, which one of you was this?
I read this and I was all...
A Tampa teenager known by his friends for his love of snakes is recovering after his new pet denied his affection.
Austin Hatfield was bitten in the face by a water moccasin.
Tampa police said Hatfield caught the venomous snake in a pillowcase and kept it under his bed.
His friend claims that Hatfield kissed the snake 12 times, but on the 13th try, the 4-foot reptile struck back.
Since I couldn't even, I figured it was time for a different laugh...
A man who allegedly had sex with a tree, told police officers he was God, shrugged off being tasered twice and tried to stab a cop with his own badge while on powerful drugs has been arrested.
Kenneth Crowder, of Melbourne, Florida, was tripping on flakka, a worrying new drug that authorities say is sweeping the state, police said.
According to a Melbourne police report, Crowder, 41, was spotted by witnesses running naked through a Melbourne neighborhood, yelling that he was a god before committing a sexual act on a tree.
Stuff like this makes me want to give up on humanity at times... but then I see stuff like this...
This was in the DFW area... this girl had been paralyzed from the waist down for eleven days, and stuff just started working again. Not going to pretend I have any idea how this happened, but I'm glad it did.
On a more personal note...
Ace is, of course, a do-not-miss on Twitter, and Saturday night, he was utterly incandescent in his remarks about the dysfunction of the interactions between the "three thirds" of this country- left, right, and center, for lack of a better term.
Ace summarized it, essentially, as a marriage headed for a divorce, and his reasoning was (as usual) very sound... no matter who's elected president, one-third of the country will be driven utterly insane by it. The past couple of decades have demonstrated the truth of that statement.
He made the remark that he's tired of hating the left- it's too personally costly to hate them, and I've been personally impacted by it on both ends (as I imagine many of us have). Maybe it's better that we work out the details of the divorce so that we can be free of one another.
I think Ace may be- in fact, probably is- right on this, but this got me to thinking about why I went into what I did for a living (I'm working on getting my MD), and as my own views crystallized, I wanted to run this by you:
I do what I do for the same reason I'm not ready to give up on America... there are plenty of bad guys out there, and many live among us. But at the same time, there are a lot of good people among us, and many may have been led astray by some very nefarious types that genuinely qualify as Bad Guys.
They could win. We could lose. History is largely not on our side on this. But we don't have to lose. Do we need to break the cycle that's making things worse and making us spiral down? Of course we do, and that's going to be the real heavy lift.
I'm surrounded by kids on campus every day who are starting to realize they've been lied to and underinformed for a very long time. They're going to have to be gently led back to the path of liberty, but that's through no fault of their own. These are good kids who don't want to be wards of the state, but they need convincing to find their way back to the light.
As such, I want to impress on everyone reading this to encourage these kids, not berate them... I'm getting good results when I ask them what makes men most free. Find your sales pitch that doesn't beat these kids up and we can make our Garden of Freedom grow again. I hate to think that this chapter of history ends with the dissolution of the United States of America. That said, let me leave you with a quote from Robert Heinlein in Starship Troopers...
...'juvenile delinquent' is a contriction in terms. 'Delinquent' means 'failing in duty.' But duty is an adult virtue -- indeed a juvenile becomes an adult when, and only when, he acquires a knowledge of duty and embraces it as dearer than the self-love he was born with. There never was, there cannot be, a 'juvenile delinquent.' But for every juvenile criminal there are always one or more adult delinquents -- people of mature years who either do not know their duty, or who, knowing it, fail.
"And that was the soft spot which destroyed what was in many ways an admirable culture. The junior hoodlums who roamed their streets were symptoms of a greater sickness; their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights' ... and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure."
Be safe, my friends!
Close it up
Food Thread: Yes, "Food Babe" Is In Fact An Idiot [CBD]
Kraft recently caved to pressure from Vani Hari (The Food Babe) and her army of ignorant sheep. They are removing that intriguing combination of yellow food dyes that create that unmistakable and marvelous color.
For many Americans, the color of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is the color of childhood. Nothing triggers nostalgia like the sight of a steaming plate of sticky pasta, as unnaturally orange as a nuclear dawn.
Ignoring the cowardice of Kraft, the pressure came primarily from a blogger who has demonstrated time and time again her breathtaking ignorance of the most rudimentary rules of scientific analysis. Not to mention her complete and total ignorance of...uh...all of science and the world around her and, probably, the library. I present this quotation as proof:
A few facts about what airplanes do to your body -
When your body is in the air, at a seriously high altitude, your body under goes some serious pressure. Just think about it -- Airplanes thrive in places we don't. You are traveling in a pressurized cabin, and when your body is pressurized, it gets really compressed!
Compression leads to all sorts of issues. First off your body's digestive organs start to shrink, taxing your ability to digest large quantities of food. Secondly, this compression reduces the ability for your body to normally circulate blood through your blood vessels.
[and one more, just for kicks]
Additionally, the pressurized cabin reduces the humidity by 40% of what humans typically thrive at. The Sahara Desert has more humidity at ~25% than your airplane does at ~10%. Remember your body is made up of 50% water, if the humidity is reduced by 40%, your body becomes very dehydrated, very quickly and usually without you feeling the effects until after you get off the plane. Dehydration causes all sorts of issues from fatigue, headaches, constipation, light headedness and even death in extreme cases.
If you go to this [insert Boston accent] retahd's web site (no link...she doesn't deserve the traffic) you will find a mass of conjecture, unsupported statements, facts based on correlation, and many other basic logical fallacies. I cannot imagine why she is successful other than the fact that she is rather pleasant to look at.
But...there is another hottie who is actively combating this stupidity: The Food Babe Blogger Is Full of Shit is the actual title of a piece written over on Gawker about this clueless, brainless bint. Science Babe refutes everything that Food Babe says, and takes some well-placed shots at her from other angles. Both the article and Science Babe's website are worth a read.
60% of frozen shrimp is contaminated with various bacteria. Why this would be surprising is beyond me. The cultivation of shrimp has exploded all over the world, and most of the facilities are vile, disgusting places. So I guess the pro-tip would be not to eat frozen shrimp from Bangladesh and India and Thailand without cooking it first. And gee what a shock; fresh shrimp from the Atlantic (U.S. and Argentina) was the cleanest.
I am not a huge fan of Jaimie Oliver. He has become the poster child for politicized food and cooking, but he does know how to cook, and some of his combinations are wonderful. This one is a little weird, with mint and bacon in the same dish. But it is a damned fine pasta, and worth the effort.
Adapted from "Jamie's Food Revolution," by Jamie Oliver.
10 slices smoked bacon or pancetta
1 pound dried mini-shell or other small pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups frozen peas
2 tablespoons creme fraiche or heavy cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
6 ounces finely grated Parmesan cheese.
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted to a boil. Meanwhile, cut sliced bacon crosswise into thin slivers, or slice pancetta into julienne. Add pasta to boiling water and cook to taste.
2. While pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the butter. Add bacon or pancetta and a sprinkling of pepper, and fry until golden and crisp. Immediately add frozen peas and stir for a minute or two. Add creme fraiche or heavy cream and chopped mint.
3. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, and drain the pasta. Add pasta to the skillet and stir. Add lemon juice, and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat. The mixture should be thick; if desired, a splash of the pasta water may be added to the sauce to thin it slightly. Add Parmesan and stir to mix. If desired, serve with a green salad.
Close it up
For a limited time, buy your horse genitalia mod for the low price of $100 (Gaming Thread)
—Gang of Gaming Morons!
Welp, Valve and Bethesda in their glorious fashion is rocking the boat on mods by having an option for modders to be able to charge for their work. Now, on the face of it, it doesn't sound all that bad as you would be hard pressed to see why someone like SureAI (frankly, SureAI should have money thrown at them to be a proper dev) shouldn't be getting paid for their total conversion mods for Oblivion, Fallout 3 and Morrowind as they make whole new worlds with Bethesda's creation toolset. But considering the standard method of the cottage industry is free mods with tip jar links, this is quite the disruptive bomb to be throwing at a community that has been plugging along for years keeping games that are having their lives extended by these mods. All on the basis of Valve and Bethesda wanting 75% of whatever these mods can make when sold. And of course if you're looking for one of the dumber things, Valve hand waved away the ethics problem of modders being able to charge for their mods which also use other people's mods to work (a lot of Elder Scroll and Fallout mods are iterative work of older mods). Of course this lead to the expected, the modder got upset of someone profiting off his work and had the other guy pull his mod off the Workshop (he also pulled it off the giant mod repository, Nexus Mods as well). Though with this turn of trying to grab money, Valve's continued aversion to mods like Beautiful People is a bit interesting as it's far and way one of the most downloaded mods for Skyrim.
Like every thing that Valve has done over the last 7 years or so, this whole ball of wax is unneeded and not thought out. Don't get me wrong, Bethesda is scummy in wanting half the cut of revenue but Valve's gee willikers attitude (while being a monolith in PC gaming) of throwing shit at the wall is basically on the verge of killing the strongest modding community in PC gaming which neither of the two companies really seem to have any respect for with this move
And for Gabe Newell (head of Valve/Steam) who has always claimed to not be a shuckster (which people revere as Lord GabeN in misguided delusion), he comes off as quite the shuckster in the AMA he ran to quell fears.
• Oh and if you haven't already, make sure you download P.T. on the PS4 before the 29th as Konami is pulling it off the store. That's pretty much the last thing Konami has left to do to wipe Kojima from their memory.
• Does anyone care about Destiny anymore? If you do, that's cool but Bungie is going to get knuckle deep in you by charging $20 for a load of nothing content
• Considering in how sales of Call of Duty is on the downswing, it makes sense in throwing a "beta" for Black Ops 3 out there to drum up support. Just kinda wish the trailers for Black Ops 3 did something for me. I've already played this game and it was called TitanFall
• As masters of announcing games way before they should, Telltale and Marvel announced they signed a partnership for a game to be released in 2017. Still won't make them upgrade their engine or fix any of the legacy bugs.
• Peak retardation of this gen's console wars. Why Microsoft was forced to apologize and they did is just ludicrous. Of course, Sony has the same vid but get nary a peep for doing the same thing is part and parcel for the industry.
• Man I hope EA makes a good golf game. Though Hot Shots and Powershot Golf have been doing their best to keep the market from being a completely big pile of crap, a good "realistic" golf game would be nice.
• Look at that, we finally have something about the WAR licensed Total War games. Creative Assembly is angling to do a trilogy of the series. I'm not too well versed in the medieval Warhammer so I'm curious in how the story is going to work since they killed that part of the franchise. Is the games going to be flashbacks before The End Times or if this is the start of the reboot as Sigmar is still alive and has the ability to recreate the world in his eye.
This week is pretty bare bones for releases. It's even worse if you're excluding re-releases.
Broken Age: Act 2 (PC, PS4, iOS, Android & Vita) - Well, this Kickstarter project is finally coming to a close with the release of the second half of the game. Personally didn't like the first half (too easy and the story and VO was grating) but it's nice to see this one finally wrapped up.
State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition (PC & XBO) - Oh look, another remaster. Flat out, the game is good but I'm so tired of remasters. Quit it videogame industry. If you want the best non-multiplayer zombie game, this is the best one though it's let down a bit with it's real time mechanic. You can't just pick up and play this as everything is based on a real world clock. Don't play it for a few days and you're kinda screwed. I'm not a big fan of the $30 price tag. Sure, it includes the expansion packs but eh.
Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim (PC) - The PC version of this seminal series is finally getting a western release. If you want an action rpg, I still stand by this being the ultimate ARPG series which IMO is better than the Zelda series. That being said, I can't in good conscious say this is one to start off with as it has a lot of call backs to the earlier games.
Omega Quintet (PS4) - Compile Heart's new game is an RPG staring a J-Pop idol group. It's a Compile Heart game so expect some fanservice wrapped up in bad gameplay decisions to create another one of their decidedly mediocre games. Some people actually like their games that isn't the Neptunia series but I am not one of them (though Monster Monpiece isn't bad if it wasn't for the lewd ass shit).
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A Few Links (Grilled of course) [CBD]
- Why Holland Is Lost
- We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
- 280 High School Students Reject Common Core
- Borosilicate Shotgun Slugs?
- Pigs Flying: Mets have a better chance than the Nats!
And speaking of Bill Whittle:
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Sunday Morning Book Thread 04-26-2015: Mostly Politics [OregonMuse]
Dickens' Dream by Robert William Buss
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. Kilts are OK, too. But not tutus. Unless you're a girl.
I learned from watching the movie Hereafter that this 1870 watercolor painting depicting a sleeping Charles Dickens surrounded by the characters from his novels is on display in the Charles Dickens Museum in London. The small size here doesn't do it justice. You really need to see a larger version to get the full effect.
New Hillary! Book
The MSM is all a-twitter over the fact that Hillary! isn't being embraced by the masses.
In addition to the requisite political bio or manifesto by the likes of candidates including Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz and former Governor Jeb Bush, there will be a new category in the pub world: the anti-Hillary book.
Oh my. Somebody dared to write a book critical of Hillary! and her brazen grifting? Le horreur! So who is this nefarious bad person?
This man. His latest book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, is not even out yet, but are condemning it in advance because it asks the question
In 2000, Bill and Hillary Clinton owed millions of dollars in legal debt. Since then, they've earned over $130 million. Where did the money come from?
So it sounds like this book on the Clintons if of a piece with a couple of his earlier ones, namely Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets and Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich Off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison.
Incidentally, did you know that our senators and representatives in Washington DC are exempt from insider trading laws? Yes, indeed they are.
Also, why does the article mention only Republican bios? Doesn't Elizabeth Warren count?
Or, more accurately, whosolvedit?
Because IE decided to take one of its periodic dumps right when I was finishing up, I don't know what my score was on this famous detectives quiz, but I was doing so poorly, it couldn't have been much higher than 50%.
Is It Tuesday Already?
John Into The Wild Krakauer's latest book sounds like it's going to be a life-giving tonic to our betters in the MSM. They are, as you know bitterly disappointed that the whole 'rape culture' narrative they've been trying to peddle has been dealt one setback after another in recent months. But now:
"Missoula", which came out on April 21, was not supposed to be published for some time, according to the New York Times, but Krakauer decided to release it after Rolling Stone published and then retracted a story about alleged sexual assault at the University of Virginia.
Yes, we must beat some life into the dead horse. But even though liberals are ecstatic, one Amazon reviewer notes:
The bulk of this book focuses on the stories of two women, Allison Huguet was was raped by Beau Donaldson--he has admitted the crime--and Cecilia Washburn (a pseudonym) who alleges she was raped by Jordan Johnson, who was found not guilty of the alleged crime in a court of law.
Plus, Missoula's incidence of rape is lower than the national average. That's hardly a rape culture.
Krakauer's solutions call for greatly reduced due process rights for those accused of rape and looser standards of evidence for the university administration boards. Which, by the way, he insists should be given even more power and authority to adjudicate campus rape cases and mete out punishment to those found guilty. After all, there's no possibility that such a system could ever be corrupted or abused.
If you want some short, provocative reads, there is an absolute crap ton of pamphlet-length (15-25 pages) essays by a variety of conservative writers you can download to your Kindle readers for 99 cents each. Here are a few examples:
Islam: Religion of Bigots by Robert Spencer. Spencer has quite a few of these pamphlets published.
The Muslim Brotherhood in the Obama Administration by Frank Gaffney
Why Nazism Was Socialism and Why Socialism Is Totalitarian by George Reisman
also by Reisman, Labor Unions, Thugs, and Storm Troopers.
And of course David Horowitz cranks out these pamphlets like a monkey on crack. Here are three of his titles:
And there's a lot more.
In Defense of Fareed Zakaria
Just as some journalists have come to admire the Clinton family because, and not in spite, of the total lack of integrity apparent in their careers, so I have come to admire the writings of Fareed Zakaria because, and not in spite, of the total absence of shame manifest in their composition.
Ha ha. The rest of the review is equally complimentary.
Zakaria is such a gasbag, he even made TNR's most overrated thinkers list back in the day.
Books By Morons
I probably should have a 'books by friends of morons' section, but in one of yesterday's threads, moron commenter RedMindBlueState wanted to take the opportunity to shamelessly plug the first novel of an old and dear friend. So, without further ado, here is In a World Just Right, by Jen Brooks:
Ever since coming out of a coma as a kid, [Jonathan Aubrey] has been able to create alternate worlds. Worlds where he is a superhero, or a ladies' man, or simply a better version of himself. That's the world he's been escaping to most since sophomore year, a world where he has everything he doesn't have in real life: friends, a place of honor on the track team, passing grades, and most importantly, Kylie Simms as his girlfriend.
Sounds great. What could possibly go wrong?
But when Jonathan confuses his worlds senior year and tries to kiss the real Kylie Simms, everything unravels.
What I'm Reading
This week I decided to go old school with The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler's classic, hard-boiled detective story featuring Philip Marlowe.
...The rain had started. I ran for it, with the wrapped book under my arm. My car was on a side street pointing at the boulevard almost opposite Geiger’s store. I was well sprinkled before I got there. I tumbled into the car and ran both windows up and wiped my parcel off with my handkerchief. Then I opened it up.
I knew about what it would be, of course. A heavy book, well bound, handsomely printed in handset type on fine paper. Larded with full-page arty photographs. Photos and letterpress were alike of an indescribable filth. The book was not new. Dates were stamped on the front endpaper, in and out dates. A rent book. A lending library of elaborate smut.
I rewrapped the book and locked it up behind the seat. A racket like that, out in the open on the boulevard, seemed to mean plenty of protection. I sat there and poisoned myself with cigarette smoke and listened to the rain and thought about it.
I put up an extended quote to give you a good example of Chandler's writing, which I think is quite good. At least, the style fits well with the characters and story.
I had to look up "letterpress", a term I was unfamiliar with. For those of you who are ignorant like me, it's basically a type of relief printing in reverse, i.e., the inked letters are indented into the paper. Like this, for example. Looks all high-class and hoity-toity, doesn't it?
Anyway, so Marlowe had acquired himself a fancy-shmancy book of pr0n. What he says about it is interesting. He talks about it the way we would child pron ("indescribable filth"), even though later on, it seems apparent that the pictures are just nude shots. Of women. Sounds pretty tepid by today's standards. And second, he surmises that the existence of this book means that there is "plenty of protection" behind it, that is, the authorities have somehow been persuaded not to do anything about this obviously illegal activity.
The Big Sleep was first published in 1939. The world has changed a lot since then. I sometimes find myself wishing we could go back to those days where pr0n was rare and hard to find, and in order to get it, you had to know someone who knew someone who knew someone, etc. Obviously, there's always going to be pr0n, just like there's always going to be prostitution, but the fact that it's available to everyone at the click of a mouse button can't be healthy.
So that's all for this week. As always, book thread tips, suggestions, bribes, rumors, threats, and insults may be sent to OregonMuse, Proprietor, AoSHQ Book Thread, at the book thread e-mail address: aoshqbookthread, followed by the 'at' sign, and then 'G' mail, and then dot cee oh emm.
What have you all been reading this week? Hopefully something good, because, as you all know, life is too short to be reading lousy books.
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Early Morning Thread 4/26/15 [krakatoa]
These "weekends" need to be re-evaluated. Two days just doesn't do it for me anymore.
Overnight Open Thread (25 Apr 2015)
How To Chop An Onion
Guess The Party
New mayor of Mo. city met by police, suspended over alleged voter fraud.
Well if you're bored, maybe you can make up a sick beat with this HTML5 Drum Machine.
Want to feel happier? Smell a happy person's body odor.
AC-130U Spooky Gunship
Silos For Sale
Gee, didn't see this coming. Red ink could kill Covered California.
Star Wars: Rogue One
So this news came out last weekend too. New details on Star Wars: Rogue One spinoff movie.
Finally confirming the rumors, director Gareth Edwards announced that this will indeed be about the mission to steal the Death Star plans - and it's set in a universe where there are believed to be no Jedi left. "God's not coming to save you."
Realism is important - he wants this to feel like a real war movie set in the Star Wars universe.To that end, he has the cinematographer of Zero Dark Thirty and special effects guys from Black Hawk Down and Saving Private Ryan. He said that while Star Wars is quite black-and-white in terms of good and evil, Rogue One will show the gray area that becomes polarized. Good guys are bad, bad guys are good - it's like the reality of war.
Tonight's ONT brought to you by proof that cats are liquid:
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Who Will Stand? [OregonMuse]
Good article over on First Things about the SJW howling mob and its victims, and who will stand up to it?
The lynch mob is now giddy with success and drunk on the misery and pain of its victims. It is urged on by a compliant and even gleeful media. It is reinforced in its sense of righteousness and moral superiority by the "beautiful people" and the intellectual class. It has been joined by the big corporations who perceive their economic interests to be in joining up with the mandarins of cultural power. It owns one political party and has intimidated the leaders of the other into supine and humiliating obeisance.
Obviously, there is no hope that the GOPe will actually do anything like, you know, stand up and publically defend their constituents whose lives and businesses are being destroyed. No, they're never going to do anything like that. So I'm not talking about them. Rather, I'm talking about "good guys" on our side like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and Scott Walker and Trey Gowdy. Has any of them used whatever bully pulpit they have to denounce the lynchings? Not that I have heard, but maybe I've missed it. I happened to be taking some time off work when the Indiana RFRA was passed and the howling mob swarmed all over Memories Pizza. I thought I was following events pretty closely, and I did not hear one, not one, GOP politician of national stature stand up for the owners of this small business. I was disheartened by this, but again, maybe somebody did speak out and I just missed it.
When things like this happen, I feel like I'm in a 'Mad Max' free-for-all zone now, no mercy, no law, no hope. Or, perhaps, Mad Max combined with a 24/7 Folsom Street Fair.
Saturday Gardening Thread - Working Without a Net Edition [Y-not, KT, and Weirddave]
The gardening thread's captain my captain, Y-not, is unavailable today. She sent me an email explaining that she would be "tied up" all day, so she either has more pressing commitments or an urge to experiment with BDSM. Either way, she's not here, so it's up to KT and I. So, whatcha got KT?
We love getting suggestions for topics here at the Saturday Gardening Thread. And hydrangeas are a big topic. In anticipation of Weirddave's photos from Mount Vernon, I am limiting my segment today to a discussion of the hydrangea species most commonly sold by florists. Many people want to plant hydrangeas received as gifts out in their gardens. This may or may not be a good idea. More on other hydrangea species later.
In the wild, hydrangea blooms typically feature large clusters of small fertile florets. These become little fruits that sometimes resemble ancient water jars. This is the source of the name "Hydrangea". Larger, showier sterile florets often surround the fertile florets. Modern "lace cap" hydrangeas sometimes resemble these wild forms, and sometimes they don't.
"Mophead" or "Hortensia" hydrangeas feature only sterile florets (or just a few fertile florets among the sterile ones). The sterile florets sometimes last for months on the plant, often changing color over time. Sometimes modern mopheads start out multi-colored.
Some worries about toxicity were also expressed in the comments last week. Hydrangeas are moderately toxic (at least when raw) because they contain cyanogenic glycosides. These compounds release cyanide. There are many edible plants that contain compounds like these in small amounts.
I think the chances of a dog or cat consuming a lethal amount of a hydrangea plant are slim. People have used one species of hydrangea medicinally and smoked leaves of another species as an intoxicant. Tea is made from leaves of the second species below. But I wouldn’t put hydrangea flowers or leaves in a salad.
A painting by the famous botanical illustrator Pierre-Joseph Redouté, a contemporary of George Washington, demonstrates that "mophead" hydrangeas existed when the United States was just a new country. They are still the most popular type of hydrangea today.
From the Annual Report of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association of the Union, 1890. Page 31:
The garden and grounds show the faithful care of the gardener. Eglantine, pinks, sweet lilies and roses bloom resplendent and fragrant in their quaint, stiff parterres. Some of these plants are rare as well as historic; notably, the "Martha Washington rose," named for Mrs. Washington - a sweet-scented pink rose - also a white hydrangea, a rare variety, hardy even when transplanted to New England, which was brought from Napoleon's grave at St. Helena by Lafayette, and by him planted at Mount Vernon on his last visit there in 1824."
Think of the Ladies' Association when you see Weirddave's photos. They maintained Mount Vernon and recovered much of its history for visitors today.
If you are looking for a garden-related destination, the 8th annual Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival will be held in Douglas County, Georgia from June 6 - 7 this year. Hydrangeas are not the only focus of the festival. Sounds like fun. The theme is French this year. "Ooh, La, La!"
Until this week, I did not know that hydrangeas had surpassed the popularity of azaleas in the South. According to Southern Living, Penny McHenry, an amateur enthusiast from Georgia, "did more to popularize these plants in the South than any other person." She gave a lot of her plants away. Her method for layering hydrangeas to produce new plants is outlined here. http://www.southernliving.com/home-garden/gardens/hydrangeas-share She introduced one of the first H. macrophylla cultivars to bloom on both new and old wood, "Penny Mac".
Bigleaf Hydrangeas are generally well adapted to humid areas with moderate winters. They need so little winter chilling that they can even be grown at higher elevations in Hawaii. They do not appreciate the conditions in the desert southwest. The hotter the climate, the more shade they appreciate and the more water they need. Many are cold hardy through Zone 6 or even 5 with heavy protection. The cultivars which bloom on both old and new wood can bloom on new wood even if the tops freeze in winter.
Even where the top growth survives the winter, the plants can look pretty ratty in the spring. It is important not to prune away your flower buds. See a pruning demonstration for areas where the top growth of H. macrophylla survives the winter here. Brief instructions for changing hydrangea color are also given.
Yes, you can change the color of blue, pink or red hydrangeas. Flower color is affected by soil pH, aluminum content and iron content. These plants concentrate aluminum in their flowers, and aluminum compounds are apparently largely responsible for flower color. It is easiest to change the color of container plants. This process can take from several months to two years. I think it is best to start with the color of flower you aim to end up with, as colors are often murky during the transition period. In my area, pink or red would be most practical due to our alkaline soil. Naturally, I would prefer blue ones. Though there are some beautiful pale pink cultivars.
This species of hydrangea comes from the mountainous regions of Japan and Korea. Some botanists consider it to be a subspecies of H. macrophylla. It has smaller leaves and flowers on a smaller plant and is generally hardier to cold. Enthusiasts have identified several beautiful hardy cultivars. Some have colored foliage in the fall. Common names include "Mountain Hydrangea" and "Tea of Heaven".
The leaves of mountain hydrangea contain phyllodulcin, a natural sweetener, and are used to make regionally popular herbal teas. . . Amacha tea is used in Japan in the celebration Buddha’s birth.
Below, Japanese children dipping "Tea of Heaven" to pour on a statue of young Buddha.
"In the past, people thought sweet tea had magical powers. People would write a spell in ink made of amacha and hang it upside-down outside the gate in the belief that the spell would keep away snakes and other unwanted animals and insects."
A 2010 story about the birthday celebration for Buddha in Ann Arbor (Michigan, not Japan) included several references to plants. It featured a sweet tea shower for Buddha administered by a little blond boy. It ended with the lighting of a large lotus lantern dedicated to the earth. The accompanying chant did not sound to me like Buddha wrote it. ". . Kale to the victors, for the earth belongs to our children. . " ?
Miscellaneous garden-related information
One reason many people, particularly children, don't like kale may be that they can taste the calcium in high-calcium veggies. http://www.livescience.com/17782-sixth-taste-flavors.html
JTB's daffodils were budding last week. Here's the famous poem about daffodils by William Wordsworth.
OK, thank you for that KT. Now, here's some pictures I took at Mount Vernon with an old Brownie Instamatic:
As I mentioned last week, Gingy took me to Mount Vernon for my birthday, and I took lots of pictures of the grounds. This is going to be more or less simply a photo essay of my visit. In order to keep oriented however, check out this interactive map of the plantation. The pictures are from the Upper and Lower Gardens.
You approach the mansion from the Bowling Green Gate:
To the left is the Upper Garden, and to the right is the Lower. The Upper Garden was the formal garden, with flowers and sculpted hedges. This is where visitors would have been entertained, and beautiful days enjoyed. It also contains Washington's greenhouse, which was heated by a series of ducts built into the stone floor. These ducts were fed by a large fire behind the greenhouse which was kept going 24/7 during cold months.
Second week in April was a little early to get the full effect of blooming flowers, but there were some hint as to what was to come. I imagine they're beautiful this week.
These gardens are to your right as you approach the house from the Bowling Green Gate. These are the working gardens, vegetable and fruit gardens, that kept the mansion fed. I just love the way that they are laid out, with paths of grass delineating each section of the garden, providing access and separation. If I'm ever in a position to garden on a large scale, I'm going to model my garden on this one.
I also appreciate how well utilized the space is here. Fruit trees are rigidly pruned to form the borders between the paths and the individual gardens, and also trained onto trellises around the perimeter. The whole thing is a marvel of efficient uses of available space.
There are other areas of the grounds that are interesting, such as The Pioneer Farm and the Fruit Garden & Nursery, but these fall more under the category of "farm" rather than "garden", so I'm omitting them. Really, the entire place is worth a trip, why don't you just go see for yourself?
And that's it for this edition of the garden thread. Next week, Y-not should be back, so hopefully it won't suck so badly. Until then, have a great week!
What's going on in your gardens this week?
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REUNION OF GIANTS: The Only Two Avro Lancasters [CBD]
7377 built, and these two are the only ones flying. A documentary of the project and the flights of these last two bombers to Lincolnshire, where they flew together, will be released this summer.
It has been 50 years since two Avro Lancaster Bombers flew side by side. These marvels of mechanical engineering, part of a proud lineage that is credited with bringing an end to WWII, finally met high above the English Countryside this past summer. Making that reunion possible was a monumental task.
In early August, The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum Avro Lancaster, Vera, flew from Hamilton, Ontario to meet her British counterpart, Thumper--the only other surviving flight worthy Lancaster Bomber in the world--the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) Lancaster in England. It was a mission unlike any other this Lancaster had ever undertaken; flying thousands of miles across the ocean, requiring multiple landings on remote runways from Goosebay to Iceland to make it across the vast Atlantic Ocean, and a crew that was on their own, far away from any mechanical support or facilities that keep the plane flying. If anything went wrong, needed to be repaired or replaced, they had very limited options to get the Lancaster flight worthy to continue the journey.
[If you can, watch this in 1080HD in full-screen mode]
Fundamental Concepts – Slavery [Weirddave]
A few weeks back I went to Mount Vernon. I took lots of pictures of the grounds, many of which will be featured in the garden thread later today. Anyone who has the opportunity should definitely visit Mount Vernon, especially if you have an historical bent. The tours are well done and there is a plethora of information about George Washington and life presented that is truly fascinating and well worth your time. There's just one thing that bugged me about the entire experience that bugged me, and that's that all too often the purpose of the tour seemed to be to beat you over the head with the fact that “George Washington kept slaves!”. “George Washington kept SLAVES!” “GEORGE WASHINGTON KEPT SLAVES, DID YOU HEAR? SLAVES!!!”. It is an exaggeration to say that visitors are greeted “Welcome to Mount Vernon, a colonial era plantations that was home to 300 slaves and some guy named George”, but not that much of one.
Let me get this out of the way right up front. In no way, shape or form is this a defense of slavery. Slavery is a vile institution, a stain upon the history of this country, and may ultimately prove to be the one thing that ensured that we would lose the Republic we were designed to inherit. The authoritarian policies that the US had to adopt to end the scourge of slavery have borne bitter, bitter fruit indeed in the Leviathan that today enslaves all of us in chains that are in many ways harsher than the physical chains forced upon enslaved blacks. An historian observing American history from a thousand years in the future may very well conclude that slavery was the poison pill that we were never able to overcome.
What's missing from the conversation is context. Slavery is a horrible, dehumanizing, awful thing, but it is a horrible, dehumanizing, awful thing that has been practiced by every group, society and race of humans in history. Yes, many of the Founding Fathers were slave owners. So were everybody else in the world at the time. What's different about the time of America's founding is that in America, and in the Christian West, the idea that owning another human being was simply a right was being challenged, ultimately successfully.
Think of it this way: You're an alien race who stumbles across Earth 3500 years ago. Using your advanced technology, you survey the entire planet and notice that the dominant life form is a group of talking monkeys living in tribal societies, and one of the things that all of these societies have in common is that all of them enslave other monkeys for their labor. You fly away with your report, and Alien Star Command puts Earth on a list to be observed periodically. Every hundred years a space ship comes back, and each time their report notes slavery, all over the planet. This would have been the norm for millennia, until the 1700s when the occupants of the western part of the greater continental mass began to agitate for the abolition of slavery, based upon the teachings of a philosopher who had lived in the Middle East region 18 centuries earlier. In a remarkably short period of time, slavery is recognized as evil and abolished in a large part of the world. Historically speaking, that's exactly what was occurring on planet Earth.
Instead of recognizing that America and the rest of the West were the vanguard of a new human awareness that slavery was a great evil, the people of that time are cast as evil slavers and thus not worthy of recognition. Slavery is the default state of mankind. It still exists across large swaths of the world today (it still exists in the West today, but when it is discovered it is viciously prosecuted).
What was happening at the time in America was that an institution that had stood unquestioned since time immemorial was being questioned, and within a century it would be overthrown. Washington manumitted his slaves in his will. While it's easy to criticize the personal convenience of that act, it's also something that wasn't common at the time. A step on the journey from slavery being accepted to slavery being condemned. While the Constitution didn't ban slavery, it did contain the seeds of it's ultimate destruction. Article 1 Sec. 9 ended the slave trade by 1808. The 3/5th compromise did not, as so many today like to put it “say that blacks were 3/5 of a person” at all. The 3/5ths compromise was an anti-slavery measure designed to weaken the power of slave states. These statutes were painstakingly hammered out to allow the formation of the US*. A couple of generations later, the Civil War. Can anyone name another civilization that has ever fought a bloody war where the dominant ethnic group was fighting itself with the goal of freeing an enslaved minority?** One of the two main political parties in the country was established strictly to end slavery, and it continues to be a power today, 150 years later, with a history of defending minority rights against majority tyranny.
THAT'S the real context of history. The founders of this country should not be condemned because they were products of their times, they should be commended for leading the fight to change what that meant. History is a process, and change takes time. Attacking Washington for owning slaves is like criticizing the QB in the first quarter because he hasn't won the game. Of course not, the game isn't over yet.
As an American, I am appalled by the reality of what slavery was in this country, but I am immensely proud of how the country as a whole fought to overcome and end it. The racial history of America is one of achievement and a journey from darkness to enlightenment. I can stand tall and unashamed with that as my birthright.
* Imagine a world where these compromises aren't reached, and two or more countries form instead of one United States. Do you think that southern America would have any incentive to free their slaves absent pressure from northern abolitionists? Why would they, it's a different country, who cares what they say?
** Yea, I know, fight it out in the comments. Here's the proximate question though: If you're claiming that some other cause than slavery was the real cause of the Civil Way, would that cause have led to war absent the slavery issue? I can't think of one.
Close it up
Seems like Fundamental Concepts is running late, but almost here....
Open Thread about Guns and Crossbows and Longbows and Carpet vs. Hardwood.....
Lancasters will be put up later.
The Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican [CBD]
Press Release; Republican National Committee
Today we welcome [insert name of new candidate] as the Republican Party's newest candidate for the GOP presidential nomination.
Since our founding in 1854 as America's choice to combat the scourge of slavery, we have welcomed a wide range of political philosophies into the debate, and [insert name of new candidate] is no exception. His/Her support of [insert candidate's favorite issue] is part of the Republican party's 160 year tradition of supporting freedom, personal responsibility and limited government.
No single candidate can please all of America, but a robust debate about the many issues confronting our great country is vital to the political process and to the strengthening of a Republican majority in America that can return us to our founding principles.
Once again, we welcome [insert name of new candidate] to the fray, and are confident that on November 1st of next year, he/she or another of the many accomplished GOP candidates will be the next President of the United States of America!
This is how it should be, for every entrant into the campaign, and Reagan's commandment should be policed ruthlessly by the political hierarchy. Any national Republican figure who publicly criticizes a Republican candidate for anything short of mass-murder should be immediately ostracized, marginalized, and repudiated. The Democrats do it, and that's one big reason why they win.
Early Morning Thread 4/25/15 [krakatoa]
Happy* Saturday Open Thread.
*Or whatever emotion strikes your fancy.
Overnight Open Thread (24 Apr 2015)
The most transparent administration in history in action. House panel threatens to cut defense secretary budget over Bergdahl stonewalling. Sadly, GOP redlines are like Obama redlines. Mostly just words.
Earf Day Predictions
Good recap of Earf Day predictions from 1970 that didn't quite pan out.
Don't Mess With The Monkey
Just imagine if this had been a single engine F-35. A-10 suffers 'catastrophic' engine failure in Iraq. It was returned to service in 5 days.
Lost Slang Words
Evidently they have funeral strippers in China.
That pothole at 2:35 was impressive.
First Purchase For Amazon
Can you guess what the first purchase was on Amazon back on April 3rd, 1995?
So bakeries MUST bake a cake for gay couples but gays should not host a reception for those opposed to gay marriage?
Tonight's ONT brought to you by a gallery of mullets:
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John-Paul Nungesser, Accused of Rape and Harassed by "Mattress Project," Sues Columbia For Enabling the Harassment
This man has been defamed and harassed for years-- all with the enabling of Columbia University, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
Paul Nungesser was found "not responsible" for sexually assaulting another student at Columbia University. The student who accused him, Emma Sulkowicz, has since began carrying a mattress around the university as part of an art project to protest a finding she claims was unfair.
Sulkowicz’s activism earned her an invitation to President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. When Nungesser heard of the invitation, he blasted the senator for rewarding Sulkowicz’s attacks against him.
"I am shocked to learn that Sen. Gillibrand is actively supporting Ms. Sulkowicz's defamation campaign against me by providing her with a public forum in which to broadcast her grave allegation," Nungesser told New York Magazine on Tuesday. "By doing so, Sen. Gillibrand is participating in a harassment campaign against someone, who, for good reason, has been found innocent by all investigating bodies."
Sulkowicz was permitted by Columbia to carry around a mattress to further defame Nungesser, and even make her carrying around of that mattress her senior art project -- for college credit.
Note that Nungesser has been cleared multiple times of the claims Emma Sulkowicz has made against him -- and the charges that Sulkowicz induced two other women to file against him, in a sort of warped solidarity.
And Sulkowicz also tried to bring charges with the NYPD -- who also refused to prosecute.
But throughout this, Sulkowicz has spoken to the media -- violating Columbia's confidentiality rules -- and made it easy to determine who she was accusing.
However, Nungesser himself has not spoken to the media much, until recently.
He was bound by confidentiality, whereas Sulkowicz paraded around that mattress, claiming he'd raped her.
Robby Soave correctly calls the texts published in the lawsuit what they are -- damning.
I strongly encourage everyone to read the lawsuit. It is filled with damning claims. And believe me, it is not slow reading.
Assuming these texts are real -- and I can't see them likely being fake, as they'll be subject to scrutiny by the courts, and more than likely have been looked at by Colubia and the police -- then Columbia better put aside money for a Rolling Stone-level settlement.
I just don't see how a "rape victim" could possibly text her "rapist" things like "I love youyouyou" after the "rape."
But we'll probably be told that rape victims do this all the time, just like we were told in the case of Jackie that rape victims always changed their stories and appeared deceptive and evasive.
Seth Meyers, The Unfunny MSNBC Hack Who For Some Reason Was Accidentally Employed as a Comic on NBC, Decries the Bias of Peter Schweitzer, Defends Hillary
If you watch this video, which I think you should, just because you need to understand his whine to get the punchline ahead, you'll see that he makes several points about Hillary Clinton's cover-ups and conflicts of interest.
Sethie is here pretty much reading directly from bizarre ashen freak David Brock's Media Matters' spin, and from Hillary's own press release, which are pretty much the same things, as David Brock runs Hillary's PAC.
So, all Sethie wants to talk about is the messenger here, Peter Schweitzer, who wrote the book Clinton Cash.
Here's Sethie's reporting:
1. Peter Schweitzer once wrote a book knocking liberals.
2. Peter Schweitzer has worked with conservatives.
3. Hillary Clinton hasn't been proven, by audiotape or direct witness testimony, to have changed government policy based on donations to her. (All we have is a lot of money flowing to her, and then decisions favorable to those donating that money being made by her -- the exact sort of indirect, circumstantial evidence which currently has former Governor Bob McDonnell in prison.)
4. Peter Scheweitzer really should have told people about all his biases.
5. Peter Schweitzer's reporting cannot be believed because he failed to disclose his political leanings.
6. The New York Times, apparently, does not exist, because Sethie won't talk about them.
7. It's all about why you shouldn't believe this Vast Right Wing Conspirator Peter Schweitzer and his failure to disclose his political bias.
In sum, Seth Meyers is a huge defender of the Clinton Global Initiative, and he, unlike the thought criminal Peter Schweitzer, comes by his conclusions honestly, and without any pre-existing bias at all.
So, that said:
I guess Little Sethie just kinda forgot to disclose his own bias in this matter.
I usually wouldn't think it was worth noting that an unfunny tv clown was a huge, bought-and-paid for Hillary stooge, but given that his entire defense of the Clinton Foundation rests on the claim that Peter Schweitzer is biased and failed to disclose his political leanings--
shouldn't the unfunny tv clown have disclosed, in this situation at least, that he got paid a stack of that sweet sweet Clinton Uranium Money to speak at the Clinton Global Initiative for Delivering Uranium to Russia?
AoSHQ Podcast: Guest, Jon Gabriel
Jon's digest of UraniumGate -- a good, brief roadmap through the corruption.
Intro: Radioactive - The Firm
Outro: What A Crying Shame - The Mavericks
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Don't forget to submit your Ask the Blog questions for next week's episode.
Open thread in the comments
Hillary, the Super Moderate: To Secure Abortion Rights, We're Just Going to Have Change "Deep-Seated," Fundamental Religious Beliefs
No big deal. We just need to "move past" this Jesus feller that has everyone so hateful and anti-woman and shit.
"Far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth, and laws don’t count for much if they're not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice -- not just on paper," Clinton said.
"Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will," she explained. "And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed. As I have said and as I believe, the advancement of the full participation of women and girls in every aspect of their societies is the great unfinished business of the 21st century and not just for women but for everyone -- and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States."
Video and commentary at the link.
Just in case she later tries to claim she was speaking of Pakistan -- and, by the way, I do think it's important to talk up some liberalism and women's rights in states like that -- she puts the exclamation point on it all by adding "not just... but right here in the United States."
So we're not talking about giving up barbaric tribal practices about forced marriages and throwing acid in girl's faces if they don't fancy you; we're talking about getting rid of Jesus, or at least rewriting huge parts of Christian/Catholic tradition, right here in the USA.
You should also know that the Bible is the book that made the biggest influence on Hillary:
Hillary 08 - Bible is my biggest influence Hillary 16 - We have to change beliefs pic.twitter.com/O2awwHoOBP— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) April 24, 2015
But then, Hillary has also told us, before changing her mind (like a woman!), that heterosexual marriage was a sacred, fundamental thing about the raising and socializing of children, whose roots go back into the very "mists of history."
…the fundamental bedrock principle that exists between a man and a woman, going back into the mists of history as one of the founding, foundational institutions of history and humanity and civilization, and that its primary, principal role during those millennia has been the raising and socializing of children for the society into which they are to become adults.
I guess the media could ask Hillary if she supports the ACLU's lawsuit to compel Catholic charities to perform abortions on illegal immigrants, but the media never asks Hillary Clinton questions about policies that might expose the left as extremist. They just ask her general questions like if she thinks Girls Are Smart.
Note the ACLU is doing precisely what Hillary advocated -- they're trying to set aside deep-seated religious codes and beliefs in order to make sure (illegal immigrant) women have full "reproductive freedom."
So she should be asked about this -- But she won't be. Ever.
John Hopkins University Bans Chick-Fil-A From Campus, As a "Microaggression"
Who's doing the aggressing here?
In an 18-8 vote, the Student Government Association at Johns Hopkins voted not to "support the proposal of a Chick-fil-A, in a current or future sense, particularly on any location that is central to student life."
The anti-Chick-fil-A bill listed seven main reasons why the restaurant should be banned from campus. The first is that "the Student Government Association of Johns Hopkins University aims to provide a safe, supportive environment for all university affiliates now and in the future."
The fourth is that "visiting prospective and current students, staff, faculty, and other visitors who are members of the LGBTQ+ community or are allies would be subjected to the microaggression of supporting current or future Chick-fil-A development plans."
Thanks to @rdbrewer4, in the sidebar.
I know, I have to do real news; I'll do the Trans Pacific Partnership thing in a bit.
RIP all the mirrors on Earth, which shattered when they tried and failed to reflect the lack of self-awareness here. pic.twitter.com/PtBBvzvjoV— Varad Mehta (@varadmehta) April 24, 2015
* Know Your Meme: But That's None of My Business.
Washington Post Hails Confirmation of Loretta Lynch as "First Black Woman" to be AG;
Headlined Confirmation of First Black Woman to Be Secretary of State: "Condoleeza Rice Confirmed Amid Criticism"
Albert Moulton Foweraker, "A Dorset Village" (n.d.)
Friday Morning News Dump
- Why Rand Paul's Approach To The Media Is Dangerous For Democrats
- Clinton Collected Millions In Russian Cash While Negotiating Russian Uranium Deal
- Will The Clinton Cash Scandal Hurt Hillary?
- Male Columbia Student Sues University Over "Mattress Girl" Case
- D.C.'s Outrageous Second Amendment Double Standard
- The Disastrous Clinton Post-Presidency
- This Reminds Me Of That Southpark Episode Where The Cop Pretends To Be A Hooker
- Candidate Clinton And The Foundation
- Republicans Who Voted For Loretta Lynch Voted For The Abuse Of Executive Power
- 78 Year Old Ex-Legislator Acquitted Of Having Non-Consensual Sex With His Wife
- The Economics Of Scott Walker's Immigration Reversal
- What You Should Know About The Armenian Genocide
- Middle Class Income Drops As Immigration Surges
- Against Credit Cards
- The Old Clinton Mouthpieces Are A Bit Rusty