Monday Overnight Open Thread (4/24/17)
Quotes of The Day
We cannot accept the fact that Jews wouldn't be entitled to live and buy anywhere in Jerusalem. I can only imagine what would happen if someone suggested Jews could not live in certain neighborhoods in New York, London, Paris or Rome. There would certainly be a major international outcry. Benjamin Netanyahu
We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions. Ronald Reagan
With all due respect, many in the entertainment industry are deep into mind-altering substance abuse, and when one’s logic and intellectual calculating powers are replaced with dopey feel-good, fantasy-driven denial, the democratic party serves them well. Ted Nugent
Stopped by the police? Do you or don't you answer their questions? Can the police retaliate against you for your failure to answer?
Specifically, Alexander claims that the police retaliated against Alexander’s refusal to answer their questions by ordering him out of his car and then “pinn[ing] him face down onto the ground.” Several officers joined in, with “one officer press[ing] a boot or knee on the back of Alexander’s neck as his face was mashed into the concrete.” The police then handcuffed him, and an officer asked, “Are you ready to talk to me now?” Alexander responded with an expletive, which led the police to shackle his legs. Amazingly, at that point the officers arrested Alexander. The precise basis for the arrest is a little bit murky. But at least as it was written up in the police report, Alexander was arrested for obstructing a police officer.
Alexander filed a civil suit against the officers and the municipality (collectively, “the officers”).
This week the Supreme Court ruled that Colorado has no right to keep fines, fees, court costs, and restitution it extracts from criminal defendants whose convictions are later reversed. By forcing people to prove their innocence before they can get back property that is rightly theirs, the Court said, Colorado has been violating the 14th Amendment's guarantee of due process. The Institute for Justice, which filed a brief in the case emphasizing that the presumption of innocence is an essential aspect of due process, makes a compelling argument that civil asset forfeiture routinely violates that principle.
UC-Berkeley, politically correct and proud of it. They really don't want Ann Coulter on campus.
Following an intense backlash from conservatives and liberals after cancelling a campus speech by author Ann Coulter, the University of California-Berkeley appeared to change course.
Except, they didn’t really.
Uncle Bernie to endure the wrath of his supporters? Bernie Sanders defends Ann Coulter.
In a surprising turn of events, every millennial’s favorite old man, Sen. Bernie Sanders, has come out in defense of Ann Coulter, denouncing threats that forced the University of California, Berkeley, to try to postpone her appearance at the college.
“I don’t like this. I don’t like it,” Sanders told The Huffington Post in response to the security threats that forced the university to put off the conservative firebrand’s event.
“Obviously Ann Coulter’s outrageous―to my mind, off the wall. But you know, people have a right to give their two cents-worth, give a speech, without fear of violence and intimidation,” he added.
Conservative students at Berkeley Suing UC-Berkeley. Good for them.
How to survive a plane crash
Don't fly United. Ten tips that could save your life.
Too big to fail? 20,000 union members at risk of losing pension benefits.
In March, four unions filed applications with the U.S. Treasury Department requesting relief under a program established by the Obama administration that allows multi-employer pension plans to cut benefits in order to sustain the long-term health of the plan. The applications from United Furniture Workers Pension Fund, Alaska Ironworkers Pension Fund, Southwest Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters, International Association of Machinists of Motor City Pension Fund, and Teamsters Local 805 Pension & Retirement Plan are all being reviewed by the department, according to the Pension Rights Center. If the cuts are approved on all four applications, as many as 20,309 union members could see their retirement money drastically reduced.
A federal judge dealt a major blow to a health insurer's attempt to recoup millions of dollars it says it is owed under an Affordable Care Act program designed to incentivize insurer participation in the ACA public exchange program.
Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, on Tuesday rejected a lawsuit brought last June by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. The company had accused the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of failing to make good on its obligation to pay nearly $130 million under the ACA risk corridors program.
Pope Francis has drawn a rebuke from the American Jewish Committee after he likened European refugee centers to “concentration camps.”
The Pope was speaking to migrants at the Basilica of St. Bartholomew on Saturday about a man he met at a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos last year.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions, is it not? Beverage and food taxes hurt the poor.
It’s certainly intuitive that taxing sugary soda and bad-cholesterol-ridden potato chips will prompt consumers to buy fewer of those items—and that people will substitute healthier alternatives. But it turns out that consumers’ buying habits do not change markedly in response to the higher prices, and that the burden of those taxes falls most heavily on the low-income, who allocate larger shares of their budgets to food than wealthier people do. Together with our coauthors Adam Hoffer and Regeana Gvillo, we describe these effects in more detail in a new paper published in the Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy.
With the benefit of hindsight, officials in the Pentagon and in the Pacific said they should have done more to nip the story in the bud before it got out of control.
“In my view, we shouldn’t have announced the port cancellation so early,” one official mused.
But many defended the decision to make the announcement, saying there was no way that they could tell 5,000 families on the Vinson that their port visit to Australia was canceled and it not get out.
April 24, 1961, Del Shannon started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Runaway', also a No.1 in the UK. Del was the first person to have a hit with a Beatles song in the US with his version of 'From Me To You.' via thisdayinmusic.com
April 24, 1968, Louis Armstrong was at No.1 in the UK with the single 'What A Wonderful World / Cabaret.' At 69 years of age, it made Armstrong the oldest act ever to score a UK No.1. via thisdayinmusic.com
The ONT is not sure why the climate alarmists haven't told us about this. Polar bears travel over thick ice to hunt Canadians down and kill them like seals.
The same day that the above satellite image was taken (19 April), at the north end of the Strait on the Newfoundland side, a polar bear was spotted in a small community northwest of St. Anthony (marked below, “Wildberry Country Lodge” at Parker’s Brook). It’s on the shore of north-facing Pistolet Bay on the Great Northern Peninsula, near the 1000 year old Viking occupation site of L’Anse aux Meadows.
Hunting down and killing Canadians? Nah, just kidding.
NSFW Genius Award Winner.
Firefighters prove their humanity outside of a fire call. Tonight's Feel Good Story of The Day.
Tonight's ONT has been brought to you by the new and improved Modern Family.
Notice: Posted with permission by AceCorp, LLC. Home of the Valu-Rite Happy Hour.
Close it up
Chelsea Clinton, Precocious Regurgitator Of Daft, Left-Wing Bumper Sticker Morality [Warden]
Chelsea Clinton was born so woke that the first part of her to emerge was a tiny power fist shaking furiously at the world's injustices.
Letter I wrote to President Reagan at 5. (I never got a reply). Thank you to all who shared your White House letters. pic.twitter.com/wOAQXsyBIc— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) April 22, 2017
1. I don't believe her.
2. It would reflect even more poorly on this dull and unaccomplished braggart if it actually were true that she wrote this at five years of age.
Of course her spastic flock enthusiastically jumped in with their tales of their own children writing Donald Trump to lecture him about his various isms, phobias, and failure to take proper note of whichever potpourri of special rights that the left has conjured out of thin air on any given day.
All of Chelsea's groupies are, of course, inordinately proud of their children for repeating the trite political tropes they've been incessantly mouthing in front of them for their entire lives.
Good job. Opinions are as rare as albino naked mole-rats. The ability to write words using a pencil, rarer still. Combining the two is is a praiseworthy achievement indeed.
But hey, I ain't even mad. Below the fold is proof that...
1. God exists.
2. His wrath is mighty indeed.
Pictured above: An extremely rare albino naked mole-rat.
Close it up
Trump to Open Atlantic Ocean to Oil Exploration; May Finally Overturn Ban on Drilling in the Alaska National Wilderness Reserve (ANWR)
That's not actually on the table, yet, but Trump has directed the DOE to review Obama's various bans on oil exploration, including in national parks.
First reported by Axios, the 'Executive Order Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy' would initiate a review of the locations available for off-shore oil and gas exploration.
The executive order would also look into the regulations currently governing off-shore oil and gas exploration, as Trump has continually promised to kill off business-curbing rules.
Beyond offshore drilling, Trump's executive orders will target some of President Obama's national parks designations made, as labeling areas a national monument makes them off-limits to drilling, fishing and mining.
By the way: You know who doesn't want Alaska pumping out oil?
And Saudi Arabia.
Low oil prices are objectively good for the American economy and good for its foreign policy goals -- most major oil exporters are hostile or at best frenemies, and being able to open the spigots whenever we want to send a message would be a terrific piece of foreign policy leverage that also amounts to putting money in American pockets.
#Science Now Says You're Gay and Transsexual
Two related bits of stupid:
A tranny is now claiming that people who have a preference for real men or real women are guilty of "cissexism." We've been counting down to the moment where it's officially a mainstream idea on the left that you must have gay sex, upon demand, to prove you're not homophobic, and while that idea has been pushed for a while now (as I've mentioned, I've heard from parents of younger kids that they believe if they are "straight only" that means they're bigots), and every year the media turns out a new sob story about a "transgirl" who's very upset and hurt that straight boys don't want to be with another boy with a penis, but I'd mark today as an important day in our collective sexual journey.
Why conservatives don't embarrass progressive politicians by straight-up asking them this question -- is a 15 year old boy a "bigot" if he's not interested in having sex with a trans "girl"? -- I don't know. It could just be that conservatives get a bit flustered by publicly speaking about sex. But if this is the left's push, then I want every Democrat to answer this question definitively.
Meanwhile, "Bill Nye the Science Guy" -- or is it Bill Nye the Science Pyrsyn on a Spectrum of Discovery? -- has minor YouTube/cable celebrity Rachel Bloom shake her tits and ass proclaiming that #Science says you're gay.
And by the way, I don't think this woman is funny. She's just halfway stacked, so men applaud when she does anything where she sings something kind of dirty.
Would anyone have ever heard of this woman if she wasn't a D cup and fond of demonstrating that fact? She's just doing geexploitation -- geeks are horny and like girls with bewbs, especially those who cynically play to them by offering the illusion of attainability.
Blue Checkmark Mafia Goes Nuts Over Claim That Debbie Schlussel Accused Sean Hannity of Sexual Harassment; Debbie Schlussel Later Clarifies She's Not Accusing Him Of That
The John Ekdahl rule: From 7am to 12pm, the deranged leftist media goes crazy every day with some new #FakeNews. Then from 5pm to 8pm, they begrudgingly walk back their claims when people aren't online.
Debbie Schlussel claimed that Sean Hannity invited her to his hotel room and she declined and then she was never on his show again.
She later clarified she'd never accuse him of sexual harassment based on such facts. Even assuming they are facts, which I don't. More on that later.
Now, in an interview with LawNewz.com on Monday morning, Schlussel is denying that she was ever sexually harassed by Sean Hannity. While Schlussel stands by her description of the incident, Schlussel told us that she doesn’t believe what happened between the two amounted to sexual harassment by any legal definition.
"I would never accuse him of that. Sexual harassment has a special meaning under the law, and I would never accuse him of that," Schlussel, an attorney herself, said. Schlussel said the interaction happened in the early 2000’s when Hannity was in Detroit taping a show.
"He tried to get me to go back to the hotel after the show after he and his executive producer Bill Shine treated me horribly," she said on the radio program. Schlussel later clarified that it wasn’t his hotel room, but rather his hotel. She told LawNewz.com that she did go on the show following the incident, but after that was "banned from Fox News."
Now, on that "assuming the facts are true" caveat:
Following the radio interview on Friday, Hannity issued a strongly worded statement denying Schlussel’s claims saying he plans to take legal action against Schlussel for possible libel.
“LET ME BE CLEAR THE COMMENTS ABOUT ME ON A RADIO SHOW THIS WEEK by this individual ARE 100% false and a complete fabrication,” Hannity said in a statement obtained by LawNewz.com. “This individual is a serial harasser who has been lying about me for well over a decade. The individual has a history of making provably false statements against me in an effort to slander, smear and besmirch my reputation. The individual has not just slandered me over the years but many people who this individual disagrees with.”
Brit Hume had a disagreement about this with ABC News' political director Matt Dowd, who looks like a thumb and tweets anti-conservative bullshit all day while claiming to be politically neutral.
I think you'd be well-advised to do a bit more research on this particular accuser before treating her accusations as fact. https://t.co/x0lIBfEush— Brit Hume (@brithume) April 24, 2017
Treating an unsubstantiated and strongly denied accusation with skepticism is not "targeting." It's simple fairness. https://t.co/gam6nrXR1s— Brit Hume (@brithume) April 24, 2017
How do you know what he did? Are you simply treating the word of his accuser as obviously true? https://t.co/Ix6foBYRXG— Brit Hume (@brithume) April 24, 2017
Matthew Dowd is right -- one should never proposition someone in the course of one's job duties.
Speaking of divorces and hot new relationships, Megyn Kelly will debut on NBC in June.
"She will start in May, and her Sunday show will premiere in June," a network insider told us. Kelly had been expected to start in July after her Fox contract expired, but she was just released from her Fox deal two weeks ago.
She will join Kate Snow as part of NBC News’ Sunday night programming....
But the former Fox News star's upcoming weekday morning program remains in shambles. We're told NBC is still scrambling to find a staff and executive producer for the weekday morning show, which will debut in the fall.
"It’s a very real problem. There’s no staff in place. They have no idea what they’re going to do with Megyn. Ideas range from talk show to studio audience to news show. It's a problem," another source said. Kelly's rep didn't comment.
Liberals don't even want to work with someone who has the slightest whiff of not being fully liberal. Megyn Kelly always struck me as a liberal Republican (at best), but that is a bridge too far for today's militant progressives.
Hell, the Murdoch Sons may be about to take Fox fully liberal in an effort to feel respectable socializing with their fellow monied liberals again.
Three ISIS Fighters Killed By Long-Range Snipers and Wild Boars But Mostly Wild Boars
When God sends a Plague of Wild Boars against you, he's done sending messages, and is now sending armored bacon.
Near Kirkuk, Iraq:
Three Islamic State jihadis have reportedly been killed by rampaging wild boars near Iraqi farmland.
The three Islamic State militants were cut down by the feral boar known to inhabit Kirkuk in the the al-Rashad region, a local news site claims.
They attacked the militants and left three killed, Iraqi News reports.
Artist's Depiction: A warboar sergeant putting recruits
through bacon training
ISIS took vengeance on the boars by... attacking the farm.
'Islamic State militants took revenge at the pigs that attacked the farmland," though reports of how the fighters died remain unclear.
ISIS apparently thinks the feral pigs owned the farm. Some kind of boar kubbutz or something.
Will the Democrats Shut Down the Government to Block the Wall?
Building a wall around the wall. Only in the Democrat Party.
From The Hill:
"I can't imagine the Democrats would shut down the government over an objection to building a down payment on a wall that can end the lawlessness..."
He added that they'd pay for the wall "one way or another."
I think the Democrats can and will be this crazy. What else do they have to sell except crazy?
By the way, NPR is now saying that what the Democrats are threatening is but a mere "partial shutdown" of government. PJMedia's Charlie Martin doesn't remember NPR referring to Republican-threatened shutdowns as "partial shutdowns," even though, of course, they were the same shutdowns.
Media Now Whining That Trump Is Holding Rally on Night of "#NerdProm," Thus Keeping Some Reporters From Attending
White House correspondents would have to cover a White House-related event.
They had wanted to spend #NerdPromNight sipping other people's champagne and eating other people's caviar.
Now the Bad Man is making them work.
I just love this. Vogel managed to unintentionally condense "Why everyone hates the American media" into 140 characters. pic.twitter.com/rz37OjnCWq— John Ekdahl (@JohnEkdahl) April 23, 2017
These people are loathsome.
Politico: "Obama's Hidden Iran Giveaway"
Note this is Politico, a fake news outlet that cheers on Democrats, not, say, WND.
When Politico is giving their investigatory piece that headline, you know it's bad -- and you know it's probably worse than they're letting on, or worse than they've yet discovered.
Maybe bookmark the piece for reading tonight -- it's very long and detailed. I'll excerpt some stuff but this is just a little bit of it.
Obama's Hidden Iran Giveaway
By dropping charges against major arms targets, the administration infuriated Justice Department officials -- and undermined its own counterproliferation task forces.
By JOSH MEYER 04/24/17 05:00 AM EDT
When President Barack Obama announced the "one-time gesture" of releasing Iranian-born prisoners who "were not charged with terrorism or any violent offenses" last year, his administration presented the move as a modest trade-off for the greater good of the Iran nuclear agreement and Tehran’s pledge to free five Americans.
At the time, the Obama Administration crowed that they had "winnowed" Iran's additional request for more released prisoners down to these harmless seven.
But Obama, the senior official and other administration representatives weren’t telling the whole story on Jan. 17, 2016, in their highly choreographed rollout of the prisoner swap and simultaneous implementation of the six-party nuclear deal, according to a POLITICO investigation.
In his Sunday morning address to the American people, Obama portrayed the seven men he freed as "civilians." The senior official described them as businessmen convicted of or awaiting trial for mere "sanctions-related offenses, violations of the trade embargo."
In reality, some of them were accused by Obama's own Justice Department of posing threats to national security. Three allegedly were part of an illegal procurement network supplying Iran with U.S.-made microelectronics with applications in surface-to-air and cruise missiles like the kind Tehran test-fired recently, prompting a still-escalating exchange of threats with the Trump administration. Another was serving an eight-year sentence for conspiring to supply Iran with satellite technology and hardware. As part of the deal, U.S. officials even dropped their demand for $10 million that a jury said the aerospace engineer illegally received from Tehran.
And in a series of unpublicized court filings, the Justice Department dropped charges and international arrest warrants against 14 other men, all of them fugitives. The administration didn't disclose their names or what they were accused of doing, noting only in an unattributed, 152-word statement about the swap that the U.S. "also removed any Interpol red notices and dismissed any charges against 14 Iranians for whom it was assessed that extradition requests were unlikely to be successful"
Three of the fugitives allegedly sought to lease Boeing aircraft for an Iranian airline that authorities say had supported Hezbollah, the U.S.-designated terrorist organization. A fourth, Behrouz Dolatzadeh, was charged with conspiring to buy thousands of U.S.-made assault rifles and illegally import them into Iran.
A fifth, Amin Ravan, was charged with smuggling U.S. military antennas to Hong Kong and Singapore for use in Iran. U.S. authorities also believe he was part of a procurement network providing Iran with high-tech components for an especially deadly type of IED used by Shiite militias to kill hundreds of American troops in Iraq.
The biggest fish, though, was Seyed Abolfazl Shahab Jamili, who had been charged with being part of a conspiracy that from 2005 to 2012 procured thousands of parts with nuclear applications for Iran via China. That included hundreds of U.S.-made sensors for the uranium enrichment centrifuges in Iran whose progress had prompted the nuclear deal talks in the first place.
When federal prosecutors and agents learned the true extent of the releases, many were shocked and angry. Some had spent years, if not decades, working to penetrate the global proliferation networks that allowed Iranian arms traders both to obtain crucial materials for Tehran's illicit nuclear and ballistic missile programs and, in some cases, to provide dangerous materials to other countries.
And while this was going on, the Administration was putting DOJ investigations into both new and old Iranian or Iran-affiliated targets into slowdown, throwing sand in the gears at every turn.
That's all I can quote. Politico even includes a fact check at the end of the piece comparing Obama's claims about these seven (actually 21) "civilians" (actually spies and illegal arms smugglers) that he released.
Basically, Obama released the Rosenbergs in exchange for a promise to not build a nuclear bomb for ten years -- just continue doing all the research, testing, and procurement to build a bomb in ten years.
Oh, and then he gave the country the atomic secrets were stolen for $150 billion as seed money for their own Iranian Manhattan Project.
Lies, Damned Lies, And Statistics
The Cato Institute: GAO Weighs In On "Countering Violent Extremism"
From the GAO's report:
Of the 85 violent extremist incidents that resulted in death since September 12, 2001, far right wing violent extremist groups were responsible for 62 (73 percent) while radical Islamist violent extremists were responsible for 23 (27 percent).
It sounds like we are focusing our energies on the wrong people, at least at first glance. But, as usual, the death-wish among a certain group of elites is on full display. Those statistics are for the United States, not the world. It is a sleazy and underhanded analysis of a world-wide problem.
But The Cato Institute seems to buy into that canard, that since there are fewer attacks on U.S. soil, militant Islam isn't that big of a problem.
I understand their reluctance to ease Constitutional protections, but there is a reasonable accommodation to be made when the often-expressed desire of militant Islam is to destroy Western society. That they haven't done much in this country post 9/11 is a testament to two big oceans between us and them, and taking the fight to their countries.
Obama Now Giving Speech at the University of Chicago on Community Organizing
If you can't bear listening to the Jug-Eared F***, CBD's post is still below. I hate stomping him, but this is a live event, so. What must be done must be done.
Mid-Morning Open Thread
He has a civilized name, but he is actually from Belgium.
And...once again...technique wins. Think what you will of the subject, the work is marvelous as a physical feat of artistry.
The Morning Report 4/24/17
Good morning, kids. Hope everybody had a great weekend. Lots to cover, so let's get with it. Top stories are the French elections, which are sending the EU globalists into paroxysms of panic. As several US Navy carrier battle groups get closer to the Korean peninsula, the NorKs are threatening to test fire a nuke tomorrow which many predict will force PDT to strike. Earth Day and the march of the Lysenkoists was less about science than it was about the social justice causes du jour, which these things always devolve into. Last but not least, today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Time to pray for the millions of lives snuffed out and give thanks for the righteous among nations as well as the American GIs who fought and died to save the survivors. Anyway, links from around the world, across the nation and up your street. Have a better one and remain blessed.
- LePen vs Macron: First Time in 60 Years France's Major Parties Do Not Advance to Second Round
- Psst! Comey, Pompeo In New Zealand for Big, Super-Secret Spy Confab
- "Hacked" Documents Reveal Lynch, Democrats Colluded to Help Clinton Win General Election
- Comedian Bill Nye Emits Massive CO2 on CNN When White House Science Advisor Schools Him on Global Warming Hoax
- 18 Spectacularly Wrong Predictions Scientists Made Circa the First Earth Day in 1970
- Joe Bidet Used False Data to Smear Marine Corps in '07 Over AFV Requests for Iraq
- Uh Oh: Top Ways and Means Dem Open to Talking About a VAT Tax
- The Shadowy Extremist Group Behind the Anti-Trump Riots
- Caroline Glick: Turkey and Trump's Unpredictability
- Typical White Guy: Chris Hayes Steals Idea of Separate Black Nation and Calls It His Own
- DNC Chair Perez Sez Killing Babies In Utero Is "Non-Negotiable" in Order to Remain in Party
- Uncle Ted Pw3ns Old Hippy Slob Who's Gone Through Two Livers and Working On a Third
- Why Trump Supporters Are Still Solid
- Israel Pauses to Remember the Six Million
Sunday Overnight Open Thread (4/23/17)
I met a fairy who said she would grant me one wish.
Immediately I said, "I want to live forever."
"Sorry," said the fairy, "I'm not allowed to grant eternal life."
"OK," I said, "Then, I want to die after Congress gets some work done. "
"You crafty bastard," said the fairy.
Quotes of The Day
"Let me tell you about endangered species, all right? Saving endangered species is just one more arrogant attempt by humans to control nature. It's arrogant meddling. It's what got us in trouble in the first place. Doesn't anybody understand that? Interfering with nature. Over 90%, way over 90% of all the species that have ever lived on this planet, ever lived, are gone. They're extinct. We didn't kill them all. They just disappeared. That's what nature does.
"We’re so self-important. So self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these fucking people kidding me? Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven’t learned how to care for one another, we’re gonna save the fucking planet?George Carlin
The Media. We discuss "Fake News" and "Bias". What is the greatest form of Media Bias? Deciding what is and isn't reported to the public.
....It appears likely that Green was abusing other boys over a period of at least twelve years in at least two different school districts, and Green’s crime is not the half of it.
I learned about this crime for one reason. In January, I became editor of a new, nonprofit, online publication -- Sentinelksmo.org -- designed to counter the disinformation spread by the overwhelmingly liberal media in Missouri and Kansas. Over the years, people have approached me with stories about regional abuses, and I had an easier time placing those stories nationally than locally. In these two deeply red states, there was no media outlet of consequence halfway friendly to conservative causes. Now there is, the Sentinel.
You might want to sit down for this news. Australia’s Telegraph newspaper has uncovered startling images that are available on this newfangled “Internet” that seems to be all the rage. They’re images of (wait for it) pornography.
In what the Telegraph hails as an EXCLUSIVE, the newspaper reveals that its “special investigation” has “uncovered the dark side of social media.” Apparently it’s easy to find this kind of pornographic material under the hashtag #NSFW. Oh dear!
The Trump administration has hinted at cracking down on states that have legalized recreational marijuana use, but according to a new Morning Consult poll, a majority of registered voters think it should be legal across the country.
The ONT's opinion? Let the people decide. Then regulate the hell out of it like booze and tobacco. After all the Nanny State has to Nanny.
Thinking about sending your son to an All-Male College? Cross off Deep Springs College of CA off your list.
There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States. There are only four that are all male. But that is at least one too many, apparently. A California Appeals Court ruled last week that Deep Springs College, a school with only twenty-six students, may start admitting women.
Founded a century ago by industrialist L. L. Nunn, Deep Springs has long had an odd-ball education plan. Students get a rigorous liberal arts education while they are running a farm. They go to school for free and they are also part of the school’s management, helping to govern both its day-to-day operation and its finances. Deep Springs is a two-year college but its students are typically admitted as transfers to the best colleges in the country.
The failure to plan, has its consequences. Somali pirates learn the hard way.
Obama, Holder than Lynch all hated Cops, or so it seemed. Donald Trump campaigned on a Law & Order theme. How President Trump can help out the Cops.
The most immediate goal of the Trump administration should be to change the elite-driven narrative about the criminal-justice system. That narrative, which holds that policing is lethally racist, has dominated public discourse since the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014. In response, officers are backing off of proactive policing, and violent crime is rising fast: 2015 saw the largest one-year spike in homicides nationwide in nearly 50 years. That violent-crime increase has continued unabated through 2016 and into the early months of 2017. A Trump administration official—perhaps Attorney General Sessions, or the president himself—should publicly address the question of what we expect from police officers: Do we want them to be proactive and to try to stop crime before it happens? Or do we want them to be purely reactive, responding to crime only after someone has been victimized? The administration should explain that data-driven, proactive policing made possible the country’s 20-year, 50 percent violent-crime decline that began in the mid-1990s.
To forgive and forget. Nurture or nature?
Forgive and forget is advice easier for some people to follow than others. But a newly published neuroscience study has given those who hold onto grudges a good excuse: It seems the ability to forgive is linked to the size of a specific area in the brain.
Love him or hate him, Bill Maher is usually spot on when it comes to the 1st Amendment. Bill Maher correctly defines what UC-Berkeley is.
April 23, 1978, Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious filmed his version of 'My Way' for the Sex Pistols film 'The Great Rock n Roll Swindle.' via thisdayinmusic.com
Music & History.
Women treated poorly, Manteruption.
So it’s no surprise that 81-year-old Holocaust survivor Miriam Shapiro spent most of her years attempting to learn the fate of her family. That’s when she stumbled across one photograph that changed her entire life…
Happy Days actress, Joanie RIP
Filed under the category of "You just had one job to do!!" Google screws up on pizza joint location.
Thanks to an error on Google Maps, a home in Darwin, Australia was labeled as a pizza joint, and sure enough, the people came out.
The expression "Piss on you", yeah, just an expression. Unless you're our Genius Award Winner.
For every action, reaction, yadda, yadda, yadda. Tonight's Feel Good Story of The Day.
Tonight's ONT has been brought to you by Deep Thoughts.
Notice: Posted with permission by AceCorp, LLC. Restrooms are for customers only.
Close it up
Early Sunday Night Open Thread
Been a while since the last thread. ONT coming up, but here's a new thread anyway.
Food Thread: It's Just Food
I'll make you a deal Dr. Hyman: You inoculate us both with Yersinia pestis (plague) or rabies, and I will treat myself with antibiotics or rabies vaccine, and you treat yourself with a big bowl of kale and some raw radishes, and in a month we will meet and compare notes.
The conceit of these new age shamans that 2,500 years of Western intellectual development is somehow flawed and that they can simply invent a new paradigm of health is a reflection of a very wealthy society that has many people in it who have nothing serious to worry about.
Food is fuel. Yes, there are some mixtures that are better for us than others, but in the end, food provides energy and the building blocks for growth of tissue.
Making it some sort of 21st century totem that symbolizes an ascent to some higher plane is just silly. I'm all for putting food on a pedestal, but only for the purposes of pleasure and as a social lubricant. I refuse to elevate it to something magical and mystical. And the people who claim incredible properties of food are doing exactly that. It's voodoo and astrology all wrapped up in baked quinoa and arugula until it is proven by a dispassionate scientific study that is then repeated, preferably a few times.
So what foods not intended for mobile consumption have you eaten while driving? And what was the dry-cleaning bill?
I ranted about this kind of crap recently, so I won't plague you again for awhile, but just take a look (or even better don't give them the clicks) at this thinly disguised attempt at anthropomorphising food animals. Before you put that fennel and garlic-scented chicken leg in your mouth, read this Yeah, I get it. Piglets and chicks are cute and have brains and feel. But they also taste good, and that is more important. Because they are simply not on par with Man.
artisanal 'ette sent me a bunch of links for charcuterie platters, and here is a good one. 5 Tips For A Fabulous Charcuterie Board is pretty straightforward and simple, but the writer gets it. Sometimes simple is better, and this is one of those times. Also, the portions are small, so even fancy stuff like Serrano ham isn't going to set you back a fortune.
HOW TO SERVE: Serve everything already sliced on one board. If you don't have room for the bread and crackers, serve on the side.
BEER AND WINE PAIRINGS: Almost everything pairs with cured meats - that's the great thing about serving a charcuterie board.
And a photo of a charcuterie board just for grammie winger
OregonMuse sent this along, and while these lists are usually a bit silly, this one is spot on. 7 Secrets From a Grilled Cheese Master aren't really secrets, but the guy really does know grilled cheese.
Today is the fourth edition of:
"Liquor Cabinets: A Study By And Of Morons."
From commenter"Walknot," a very nice simple cabinet that gives off a retro vibe.
It ain't fancy and the booze isn't top shelf but it's mine and my X wife didn't get it! The roll up has some prissy shit for the ladies but the important stuff is easily accessible. LED lights are in its future and its twin is in my office and will likely be duplicated for my lower level when I finish it, can't be bothered walking up a flight of steps to freshen your drink, Cheers!
I like it. Minimalist and serious. It sends a message that you are a serious drinker. And really, what else is important in life?
This one is from commenter nnptcgrad, and it is a beauty!
This is my liquor cabinet, an old dry sink that was inherited from my grandparents. They had it restored, as it was a battered stack of boards when they got it. They inherited it from the side of the family that were total teetotalers. We joke that that side of the family is spinning in their graves from this.
(Maccheroni alla San Giovanniello)
•1/3 cup olive oil or butter
•10 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
•1/2 cup prosciutto or other salted ham or slab bacon, cut into cubes or strips
•6 plum tomatoes, or 11/2 cups drained canned tomatoes
•Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
•1 pound cut pasta, such as ziti or penne
•1 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
•1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, or a combination
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2. Combine the oil, garlic, and ham in a medium to large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the garlic becomes deep golden, nearly brown, all over, 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Core and chop the plum tomatoes (or crush the canned tomatoes) and add them, along with salt and pepper, to the skillet. Stir and simmer while you salt the boiling water and cook the pasta.
4. Drain the pasta when it is tender but firm, reserving a little of the cooking water and adding it to the sauce if it appears dry (quite likely if you used fresh tomatoes). Toss the pasta with the sauce and most of the basil, along with the cheese. Mince the remaining basil, garnish the pasta with it, and serve.
Food tips, extra Pappy van Winkle bourbon and other goodies:
cbd dot aoshq at gmail dot com
Close it up
French Elections: Macron and LePen Qualify For Second Round, Drawing 23.7% and 21.7% Respectively
The candidates of the two major parties, Parti Socialist (PS) and Les Republicaines (LR), both immediately called on supporters to vote against Le Pen. Francois Fillon called Le Pen "an extremist."
Had the 100%-tax-on-the-rich Melenchon faced off against Le Pen, it could be a race, because center-right voters could maybe decide the arch-socialist, far-left Melenchon was an even bigger threat.
Macron is a standard issue French socialist, running as an "independent," who enthusiastically supports the EU, which I guess makes him palatable to the somewhat-less-socialist Republicaines.
I don't see any possible route to victory for Le Pen, short of ISIS raising black flags over the Eysium.
Incidentally, France's two biggest parties failed to make the second round of the election, because the PS is very unpopular after five years of the very unpopular Francoise Hollande, and the Republicaines nominated Fillon, who looked fine pre-nomination, but soon after was badly damaged by revelations/accusations that his wife was holding a no-show government-paid job.
Alternate View: "Sargon of Akkad," who correctly predicted that Geert Wilders could not win and in fact could not even come close to winning in the Dutch presidential elections, is predicting the unrelenting terrorist attacks in France will in fact turn the advantage to Le Pen.
He notes that one poll claims that half of all French police say they'll vote for Le Pen, which may be (or might not be) a kind of hidden leading indicator.
It surprises me that he'd say that, because I'd figure that the same dynamic present in the Netherlands (everyone not in the nationalist party votes against the nationalist party) would apply to France. But maybe the high rate of terrorism is more of a factor in besieged France.
He notes that Macron is resigning himself a "this is the way it is now" attitude, (he said something to that effect), and further vows, in mocking both Le Pen and Trump, that there will be no wall in his own campaign platform, because the EU will France's walls.
I'm still skeptical myself -- we just had big news in the regional elections a couple of years ago, in which six or seven FN candidates made it to the second tour, but only one (IIRC) prevailed in the election. That was post-Bataclan, so if there was going to be a big turn towards FN, one would imagine it would have happened back then, too.
Poll: Connor linked a poll saying "Bloomberg has Le Pen ahead." I don't know if he misread this, but the latest Ipsos poll has Macron ahead of Le Pen 62 to 32, a blowout.
Remember, this election today is the first "tour", or round, or what we might call a "jungle primary." The next election is the second tour, the run-off between the two top finishers.
FN frequently makes it to the second tour, but then gets beaten in that election (the election that actually results in a win or loss of office) because the partisans of all non-FN parties tend to vote against the FN.
What The Hell Is A March For Science?
Aside from turning Manhattan into a giant parking lot, what did these stupid demonstrations achieve?
Well, it was a monstrous sea of virtue-signalling signs and hip clothing and wry facial hair, and not a single constructive thing other than widening the gulf between hyper-politicized agitation for "climate change" and...um...real science.
The idiocy that "consensus" should end the debate is insulting to everyone who understands the scientific method and isn't driven by partisanship or, probably more likely, the quest for funding.
Newton and Liebnitz and Pasteur and Einstein and Rutherford and Barry Marshall and Robin Warren (look 'em up) and Feynman and Mullis and a host of great scientists did not accept the status quo and the pronouncements of the herd.
Scientific investigation should take one wherever the data point. That the AGW establishment jealously guards its data is a testament to their ulterior motives, and a huge red flag. Show me your raw data, and show me how and why you "corrected" them to prove your hypothesis. Otherwise, you are a fraud and a liar and have no respect for the scientific method.
And another thing:
Sunday Morning Book Thread 04-23-2017
Library of Congress Reading Room
I heard about this reading room from tsrblke, who told me:
It's actually not all that easy to find, you actually have to go down to the level below it, wander some hallways that cut at odd angles and then take an elevator back up to the room's entrance. And leaving I got totally lost and spent 15 minutes wandering around in a sublevel until I finally found my way out...There are several alcoves off the main center area that look out to the center of the room almost like little observation rooms. And you don't get a sense of the sheer size of this single room until you're standing on the floor of it looking up rather than down from above.
Another Book by One of Trump's Appointees
I did not know that our newest SCOTUS justice, Neil Gorsuch, had written a book, which came to my attention when RealClearBooks had a link to this negative review of it. If you want a good look about how Justice Gorsuch thinks, The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia is probably a good place to start:
After assessing the strengths and weaknesses of arguments for assisted suicide and euthanasia, Gorsuch builds a nuanced, novel, and powerful moral and legal argument against legalization, one based on a principle that, surprisingly, has largely been overlooked in the debate--the idea that human life is intrinsically valuable and that intentional killing is always wrong. At the same time, the argument Gorsuch develops leaves wide latitude for individual patient autonomy and the refusal of unwanted medical treatment and life-sustaining care, permitting intervention only in cases where an intention to kill is present.
The downside is that this book is published by an academic press, so the price ($25) is pretty steep. And some of the reviews are just frothing at the mouth. I especially liked the one that is basically one sentence: "It’s been almost a year since Senate Republicans took an empty Supreme Court seat hostage, discarding a constitutional duty that both parties have honored throughout American history and hobbling an entire branch of government for partisan gain." Heh. Butthurt much?
It Pays To Increase Your Word Power®
Something that is MERDIVEROUS eats dung.
Usage: "The merdiverous Maxine Waters..."
Also, if you rearrange the letters in the phrase "an antifa protester" you get its dictionary definition
"n: fat pest near a riot."
(h/t Mark Huffman for the anagram)
Sometimes, television can be a tool to lead us to a great book
Nice Gig, If You Can Get It
How many of you morons knew that NY Governor, Andrew Cuomo, wrote a book a few years ago? And was well paid for it.
ALBANY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo reported his income last year more than doubled from the previous year, thanks to another round of royalty payments on a 2014 HarperCollins memoir that saw lackluster sales.
In all, Cuomo has made $783,000 from HarperCollins for his book. The book sold 3,200 copies since it was published in the fall of 2014, according to tracking company NPD BookScan.
That works out to royalty payments to Cuomo of $245 per book.
Heh. I'll bet you moron authors would just *love* to get a royalty deal like that, wouldn't you?
And of course, nobody's talking.
“This payment was contractual and per the agreement with the publisher,’’ Richard Azzopardi, a Cuomo spokesman, said of the book income in 2015.
And HarperCollins said they do not comment on "financial matters involving its book deals."
So there you are. It's a big mystery.
Oh, and since I know you all are just clamoring to buy a copy of this no doubt marvelous book by Cuomo, Amazon has All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life for $10.99 hardback and $9.99 Kindle.
(h/t to moron geoffb5)
Do you all like free books? I think everybody likes free books. So I'd guessing many of you will want to be taking advantage of the Wrongthink Sci-Fi Giveaway:
The Wrongthink Sci-Fi Giveaway is about showcasing authors who have been marginalized by the gatekeepers of the sci-fi publishing industry for the sin of not complying with progressive social justice dogma. From Sarah Hoyt, who was accused of racism and ”internalized misogyny” for her association with the Sad Puppies campaign to reform the Hugo Awards, to Nick Cole, who lost a publishing contract for daring to write a story about an artificially intelligent computer who is troubled by abortion, these authors have faced smear campaigns, boycotts and blacklisting for failing to toe the progressive line.
So what you'll be doing is entering a drawing. Just by entering, you'll be sent a link to some free ebooks. And if you win, you'll get more free ebooks. So you'll be a winner, no matter what. The page I linked to lists all the books being given away. Some of the titles are familiar, so you may have read them already, but most likely there will be some you haven't.
Contest deadline is Tuesday, April 25th.
What Book Is Your State Famous For?
From moron 'V the K' comes this helpful map that shows the most famous book set in each state. To me, the selections as a group carries a faint "PC" whiff, but I dunno, I guess it could be worse. My state, Oregon, has only ever had one author of national reputation, Ken Kesey, so they picked his most famous book, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. However, I've heard that his other novel (which I've been meaning to read, but haven't), Sometimes a Great Notion, is considered by critics to be his magnum opus.
And coincidentally, I've just started reading the most famous novel set in California, East of Eden, by John Steinbeck. It started out quite slow but I'm actually surprised how much I'm enjoying it. Perhaps I'll have a report later, because it's a big fat novel of 600+ pages and I've got a long way to go.
I was amused by one incident early on in the story, where one of the characters goes down to the local Western Union telegraph office to wire some money to his brother. So he asks the telegraph guy, how does it work. And the telegraph guy says, well, you give us the money here, and we'll telegraph the office your brother is at and they'll give the same amount of money that just you gave me. And the first guy says, whoa, wait, so how do you know that the guy at the other end is actually my brother and not some swindler? And the telegraph guy says, we will also transmit a question that you give to us, the answer to which only your brother would know, and we'll ask him to answer it before we give him the money. So think of a good question, but not "what is your mother's middle name?" because everybody forgets that one.
So even back in the days when the telegraph was the most advanced tech they had, they already were using security questions for identity verification. That's kind
of fun to discover. I guess there's nothing new under the sun.
Some weeks later a boy ran out to the farm with a telegram. Charles always connected the letter and the telegram the way we group two deaths and anticipate a third.
Several quotes still relevant today "The cocky little North Koreans kind of amuse the Chinese", "Maybe that's why the Koreans dress so fancy, it's about the only thing they can do that makes them feel important.", and quoting an officer "They have the minds of children...[They]shouldn't be allowed to get their hands on live ammunition."
The book link is to a free download, which, unfortunately, is missing the first 7 or 8 pages in all of the formats offered on the page. It is also available in used hardback from Amazon.
Don't forget the AoSHQ reading group on Goodreads. It's meant to support horde writers and to talk about the great books that come up on the book thread. It's called AoSHQ Moron Horde and the link to it is here: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/175335-aoshq-moron-horde.
So that's all for this week. As always, book thread tips, suggestions, bribes, rumors, threats, and insults may be sent to OregonMuse, Proprietor, AoSHQ Book Thread, at the book thread e-mail address: aoshqbookthread, followed by the 'at' sign, and then 'G' mail, and then dot cee oh emm.
What have you all been reading this week? Hopefully something good, because, as you all know, life is too short to be reading lousy books.
Close it up
This EMT has every bit of substance as Hillary's campaign did.
Overnight Open Thread (22 Apr 2017)
Sure is bright today in my house with all the lights on for Earth Day. Just a reminder, the Earth Day co-founder killed, composted his girlfriend.
US to honor Australia refugee deal Trump called 'dumb'. Well it is dumb and why exactly are we still going to do it when you still have serious reservations about it?
For a measly $3.5M, we can buy our own town. Unfortunately, it's in a blue state.
In 1966, Sigurd Lindh learned that he was allergic to his wife. I wonder if modern testing might've determined what exactly it was.
Taxpayer-funded duck penis researcher now studying whale penises. She's got quite the penis fascination. I can just see her next study. She'll work with Anthony Weiner and figure out why dic pics exist.
She Blinded Me With Science
More Fake Science images here.
The potential is there for some aurora viewing late tonight, early tomorrow morning.
Tonight's ONT brought to you by women pirates:
Top image via.
Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to the cob of your choice or CDR M. Otherwise send tips to Ace.
Close it up
Saturday Evening Movie Thread 04-22-2017 [Hosted By: TheJamesMadison]
Let's Talk About Star Wars
Okay, not actually Star Wars, but stuff like this:
I think that you people know that I love movies in general quite a bit more than most. I watch a lot of stuff of a wide variety.
You may also be able to guess that I got into movies through stuff like Star Wars. I was obsessed with the original trilogy. I read the Expanded Universe novels. Hell, in about 6th grade I tried my first hand at novel writing with a Star Wars novel (I'm pretty sure it was really terrible and I'm very glad that I can't find it). I went a bit nuts when the first trailer for The Phantom Menace came out. I went to go see 13 Days, a movie I had no interest in, just so that I could see the trailer.
I was also 13 years old at the time.
I picked this guy's video at random, and I don't want to cast judgment on the guy's mental state. Neither should you. However, having never heard of this guy before, seen any of his videos, or met him in person, all I have to go on with him is this video. And he cries at the trailer for The Last Jedi. He…Cries.
I was talking to some fellow Morons a couple of weeks ago where we talked about the Star Wars movies and Marvel movies. The part of that conversation that got me moving on this topic was how What's a Seawolf? said that he was super excited by the Thor: Ragnarok trailer. Others said that they were pretty much in line already for the trailer.
Don't get me wrong, the movie definitely looks fun. I'll eventually see it (having a 3 year old and a wife who's lost complete interest in super hero movies makes it unlikely that I'll see it in theaters), but I just don't feel that same kind of excitement anymore. The last time I felt it was probably with The Return of the King.
It's not a bad trailer. The fact that it was well made had little to do with the excitement I felt at the time. It was well made enough to not cause problems, but my excitement was really tied to my overall emotions towards the franchise. No, I didn't cry, but I do remember the tightness in my stomach that I felt. I was also 18 years old.
I'm not trying to pass judgment on anyone who sees a movie trailer and feels that same level of excitement that I haven't felt in more than a decade. I'm actually kind of jealous. I want to feel that same level of excitement again (well…I don't want to cry at a movie trailer, but you get me). I seem to have lost the ability to get excited like that.
Apathy or Something Else?
Is it apathy? Do I just not care about new movies? The most excited I've gotten recently over a movie was probably when I found the money to spend on Chimes at Midnight, the Orson Welles telling of Fallstaff's tale from Shakespeare. That movie is decades old, and I had seen it before, but I was excited in a way that was similar to when I first saw that The Return of the King trailer.
Another close one was the trailer for Silence by Martin Scorsese.
I watched that trailer repeatedly when it first came online. I also found a way to go to the theater for the one week that the movie was in cinemas.
Maybe it's the value of entertainment to me. The Marvel movies are entertaining. The new Star Wars movies are entertaining. Most big budget movies these days are entertaining. Most big budget movies are corporate products that are well oiled machines and designed to entertain. Very, very few seem to break out in my mind and become experiences that actually speak to the human condition. I feel that Captain America: The Winter Soldier did do that, but that was an unexpected surprise in the middle of all the relatively samey effect of the rest of the Marvel movies. I see the sea of movies coming out over the next year, and I just see things that are aiming to entertain, and that's about it.
I'm Looking for Greatness
Maybe the reason I'm not feeling anything close to the same experience as that guy in the first video is because we're looking for different things. He's very likely looking for entertainment and nostalgia from the new Star Wars movies. I'm looking for a movie that, no matter it's connections to my childhood or iconography that's familiar, hits on an emotional level that makes me feel something new.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi may be that experience, but it's trailer is not designed to sell that. It's designed to sell that nostalgic connection between the audience and their childhood as well as bright colorful action. We're getting a lot of that these days, and placing the Star Wars packaging on top of that core doesn't make the effect either more or less powerful for me.
I knew that Silence was going to be a movie going experience that was going to hit me hard on its own (and it totally was…you need to see that movie), but all Star Wars is telling me about itself is that it's going to have Luke Skywalker, familiar music, and lightsabers. Yay.
But then again…I'm a snooty asshole.
Movies of Today
Opening in Theaters:
Next in my Netflix Queue:
Movies I Saw This Week:
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (Netflix Rating 3/5 | Quality Rating 2/4) Poster Blurb: "The soulless sequel to an already nihilistic movie. Pretty, though."
L'Eclisse (Netflix Rating 4/5 | Quality Rating 3/4) "More of an intellectual exercise than a narrative, but it makes its point."
The Conjuring (Netflix Rating 3/5 | Quality Rating 2.5/4) "A one trick pony that does its one trick pretty well."
Close it up
Saturday Afternoon Chess/Open Thread 04-22-2017
Michael Cheval - A la Guerre Comme a la Guerre
Good afternoon morons and moronettes, and welcome to the Saturday Afternoon Chess/Open Thread, the only AoSHQ thread with content specifically for all of us chess nerds who pay homage in the temple of Caïssa, goddess of the chessboard. And, for those of you who aren't nerdly enough for chess, you can use this thread to talk about checkers, or other games, or politics, or whatever you wish, only please try to keep it civil. Nobody wants to get in the middle of a hockey brawl on a Saturday afternoon. Except maybe Bruins fans.
I played around with Google's language translator, and the title of this week's pic could either be rendered "In War As In War" or "War and War", I'm not sure which. No doubt one of you morons more knowledgeable in French would be able to help out here.
Also, there's a lot of detail in the painting that you'll be able to see a lot better if you bring up the larger version, which is only a click away.
Problem 1 - Black To Play (224)
Hint: Black can force a mate in 2
5rk1/pb3p1p/1b2pPp1/6qr/PQ6/6P1/1B1R1P1P/3R1BK1 b - - 0 1
Problem 2 - White To Play (194)
Hint: White wins material
r1b2rk1/4qppp/p3pn2/1pp5/2PP3Q/3B1N2/PP3PPP/2KR3R w - - 0 1
Problem 3 - White To Play (470)
Hint: White can force a mate in 4
4r3/1q3ppk/3b4/1p1P4/2b1PR2/p5P1/5P1P/B1Q3K1 w - - 0 1
Hooked On Tactics
This is is an interesting article by an author who describes her chess learning experience from the very beginning. Chess puzzles is what got her started, and it turned into an addiction:
I would spend an hour thinking about a single tactic. I would lose a hundred points in a day, or more, then gain them back. Eventually, I won more than I lost. I started to recognize patterns. Calculations became easier. The movements of pieces would flow into each other. I started to see the board as areas of energy, lines of tension. By June, eight months after I’d downloaded the app, my rating hit 2000.
I still could not reliably set up a chessboard for a game.
All of you n00bs should read this piece and be encouraged, when you don't see something and believe yourself to be an idiot. You're not an idiot. It just takes lots of practice.
Problem 4 - White To Play (BWTC 5)
Hint: White wins significant material
r2qk1r1/p4p2/bp2pQp1/1n1pP1Bp/7P/3P2N1/P1R2PP1/2R3K1 w - - 0 1
Endgame of the Week (97)
Black has a dangerously advanced pawn, ready to queen and win. It's White to move. Can he thwart this plan?
Hint: White can draw
6K1/R7/8/8/8/3b2k1/3P3p/8 w - - 0 1
And now for something completely different:
"No Fair, They're Hitting Us Back!"
Backstory: During the Easter weekend riots at Berkeley, one of the masked 'pantyfa' goons was caught on video using a bike lock wrapped in a towel as a weapon to assault people, and her badly injured several.
Apparently, this aroused the ire of the 4chan entity known as '/pol/', and collectively, they succeeded in tracking down and identifying the cowardly thug.
This compilation video of how they did it is amazing to watch. The fact that he was wearing a mask to conceal his identity turned out to be a fruitless exercise.
And now pantyfa is peeing their panties:
Click for larger version
There's something precious about a violent thug complaining about being made to feel unsafe. But is this a legit message posting from an actual pantyfa clown, or is a /pol/ prankster trying to moby up a little FUD among their ranks? I don't know for sure, but I did find the following item on this reddit board, and it seems that the bike-lock-wielding goon is not univerally admired:
I study law. The evidence gathered by chan alone, which will likely be presented, is serious. I haven't seen all of it, but they've found a lot more than just superimpose his face over the mask. Aside from personal questioning of whereabouts etc... It's police grade investigation which will make the judge's head spin.
The odds on this case are definitely not in Eric's favour. That said, if he is found guilty - Antifa will surely see a major influx of infiltrators gathering information.
I think it's time we have leadership, and start creating membership registries. In the future, there is a possibility that infiltrators will act violently to discredit us in the public sphere.
Edit: I just had a quick look into some of the information gathered on him. Police don't have the budget or time to conduct this level of investigation in GBH cases. Also, Eric Clanton might face a felony assault charge, possibly in the second degree. The victim bled from the head and appeared to be in a state of near-unconsciousness. Also a metal object is considered a dangerous instrument: when used to hit a person in the head. Although, I am not too familiar with American law, so I cannot be certain on the specifics.
Since Eric appeared to have heavily assaulted him on the head, with a metal object. Eric is very lucky the damage isn't serious. Because what he did was beyond stupid. I personally think it was a cruel and cowardly attack. That man didn't appear confront or assault Eric, or anybody in the crowd for that matter.
This isn't the first time something similar has happened. This surprise, cowardly attacking from a crowd with blunt weapons has got to stop. Because it will escalate, and then we are fucked. To speak a blunt truth... We know there's a good reason why only the smaller Trump supporters end up in hospital[from these hit and run attacks]. It makes us look like aggressive critters picking on cubs. I know the other side is guilty of it. But Antifa is taking the gold medal home from the media, for this behavior. Besides, it reinforces the other side's narrative and will radicalize more Trump supporters. We either learn to fight them like men(so to speak), or not at all.
This recent development is not good for us, at all. The biggest reason why Antifa is so successful in England is because we have the neutral public on our side. Although, English have a particular distaste for fascism and nazis. These tactics turned out to be a ten-fold consequence for eastern European Antifa a few years ago. The skinheads ramped up the violence, and they have a passion for violence.
1. 4chan is apparently doing the work that the police just won't do.
2. The part about pantyfa needing to start a membership registry? Heh. The British guy who wrote this item probably wouldn't know this, but that's opening them up to the possibility of getting hit with a RICO lawsuit, should there be an AG who is so inclined. After all, the only purpose for the existence of pantyfa is to hurt people and break things. A better example of a criminal organization would be hard to find.
3. I would think that smashing somebody in the head with a heavy bike lock is, no question, ADW. That's what the thug should've been arrested for.
4. I'm not recommending that anyone go out deliberately seeking trouble, but if you ever get attacked by one of those pantyfa cowards, I think the first thing you should do to defend yourself is go for the mask. Make sure anybody who happens to be catching it on video has a clear view of their face. The internet is forever.
5. The 4chan guys are doing the Lord's work. God bless them, every one.
Problem 1 - Black To Play
5rk1/pb3p1p/1b2pPp1/6qr/PQ6/6P1/1B1R1P1P/3R1BK1 b - - 0 1
In this position, both Black bishops are bearing down on the white king's position, as are Black's queen and rook. Meanwhile, White's pieces are kind of scattered around. With all of that firepower brought to bear, Black can afford to sac a piece to achieve a breakthrough.
If 2.hxg3 then 2...Rh1#. But now it's
Problem 2 - White To Play
r1b2rk1/4qppp/p3pn2/1pp5/2PP3Q/3B1N2/PP3PPP/2KR3R w - - 0 1
White can pick up some material with
1. Bxh7+ Kh8
Not 1...Nxh7? 2.Qxe7
White being up a rook should be enough to win.
Problem 3 - White To Play
4r3/1q3ppk/3b4/1p1P4/2b1PR2/p5P1/5P1P/B1Q3K1 w - - 0 1
1. Rh4+! Kg6
Or, Black could try 1...Kg8, but it's still a mate in 4 for White: 2.Rh8+ Kxh8 3.Qh6+ Kg8 4.Qxg7#
Of course if 2...Kh5 then 3.Qg5#
Problem 4 - White To Play (BWTC 5)
r2qk1r1/p4p2/bp2pQp1/1n1pP1Bp/7P/3P2N1/P1R2PP1/2R3K1 w - - 0 1
Even though this problem came from the Fred Feinfeld's classic book 1001 Brilliant Ways to Checkmate, but in this case, there is no checkmate. At least, not a forcd one.
And now the book solution is 2...Qxc8? 3. Qe7#, but there's no need to capture that rook. Instead,
Black will lose material, but hey, it's better than checkmate.
If 4...Kc6?, then there's a cute mate starting with 5.Bxd8 and then 5...Bb7 6.Qe8+ Kc5 7.Be7+ Kd4 8.Ne2+ Kxd3 9.Qxb5+ Ke4 10.Qb1+ Kxe5 11.f4#
White's material superiority should carry the day.
Endgame of the Week
6K1/R7/8/8/8/3b2k1/3P3p/8 w - - 0 1
White is looking to draw. He can do this by trading his rook for the pawn. If he can do that, Black won't have enough material to win. So...
Trying to set up 2...Bf1
This is the move that is perhaps hard to see. You think you don't have time for it, but you actually do, because Black isn't quite set up yet.
No good is 3...Bd3 to stop 4.Rh7 because then 4.Ra1 and Black hasn't made any progress.
Forced. 4...Qg1 is insufficient due to the skewer 5. Rg7+ Kh2 6.Rxg1 Kxg1 and draw.
6.Kg7 Kf3 and draw, insufficient material
Hope to see you all next week!
Note: that cryptic line of letters and numbers you see underneath each board diagram is a representation of the position in what is known as "Forsyth-Edwards Notation", or F.E.N. It's actually readable by humans. Most computer applications nowadays can read FEN, so those of you who may want to study the position, you can copy the line of FEN and paste into your chess app and it should automatically recreate the position on its display board. Or, Windows users can just "triple click" on it and the entire line will be highlighted so you can copy and past it into your chess app.
So that about wraps it up for this week. Chess thread tips, suggestions, bribes, rumors, threats, and insults may be sent to my yahoo address: OregonMuse little-a-in-a-circle yahoo dott com.
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Ace of Spades Pet Thread
Welcome to the almost world famous Ace of Spades Pet Thread, where critters are tops.
It's been quite a week with the pets here. All I can say is I'm glad that they don't have thumbs. Whats been going on in your world?
A Little of This. A Little of That.
Submitted by our friend & Moron, ibguy.
Up until a couple of years ago, Mark Ching was a successful businessman who dedicated his free time and resources to rehabilitating abused dogs in Los Angeles and finding new homes for them. But then he heard about the horrors of the dog meat trade in China, and after witnessing them first hand he dedicated his life to rescuing as many canines as he could from dog slaughterhouses across Asia, even if it meant putting his own life at risk.
Firefighters save elderly dog. Wonder what kind of bill they will charge.
Not to be undone, a cat and its owner needed rescuing.
Keeping up with the Dogs is no way to go through life.
Cattle. Beaver. Quite the roundup.
Dog grooming 10 photos of before and after doggy haircuts.
Our first PetMoron this week is Gizmo.
Gizmo lost one of her upper canines and sometimes her upper lip catches on the gum, producing a cool, one-sided Dirty Harry snarl. "Well, do ya, punk?" Notice how she drapes herself half-way up the armrest, which is wierd -- never had any other cat who does that. Must be comfy, I guess...
Of all the dogs we've owned, this is one of the ones we can feel proudest of. This is Smoke, who we fostered for many months.
Smoke came to us in the worst condition of any rescue we've taken in: malnourished, filthy, matted, swarming with fleas and red with eczema. He was unsocialized and so terrified of people that he hid under the bench at the vet's office. When he was being washed and cut down, part of his tail fell off. I'll spare you the "Before" picture.
Dogs live with us in trust. Better to have a millstone handed around the neck and be cast into the sea than betray that trust with abuse.
Kodos the Executioner
Quite the story. Thank you for sharing Kodos.
Here are two of my buddies (my rescue golden Sara was featured a few months ago)
The mid-sized fawn guy with the black muzzle in back is my bud Max. Max is a 9 year old mix that looks a lot like a Black Mouth Cur. DNA testing says he's relatively equal parts Italian Greyhound, Beagle, Border Collie and Australian Shepard. He does the classic baying at the base of the tree when he hunts squirrels and possum.
The little long hair chihuahua up front is Cookie. We took in Cookie last year from a friend who had rescued several large dogs, which caused Cookie to go into a shell. At 12 years old he was going great like a little pup until a few weeks ago when an undiagnosed tumor ruptured. RIP little guy.
Sorry to hear about your buddy phreshone.
Another story of a Moron with a big heart.
This is Lily-- a big girl with a big, big personality. I know persons who have less of it than her.
We learned of her through a newspaper article about a dog operated on for embedded choke collar. When I went to get her I found she was also missing a leg. I brought her home and she took over the day-to-day running of the house.
She passed away a few months ago. She had exceeded her expected life span by six years.
I'm floridacracker, an original Microsoft employee as documented by Ace of Spades, and an occasional Nancy Sinatra stand-in.
Charles submitted the following about his "little" buddy.
Here is Ruger surveying his domain. Don't let his 19 lb size fool you, he is positive there is a 100 lb dog inside.
These are my buds... Sabine and Bianca. love your web site. - Robert
What a wonderful group of animal people we have here. You folks are wonderful. Thank you for the photos and tips.
Looks like the cat photos have dried up a bit. If you cat owners can herd them up we would take your photos :)
Own a cat? Have a dog? Want it to be on Pet Thread. Photos, tips, videos can be sent here to petmorons at gmail dot com.
Here is hoping you and your critters have a great week!!!
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Saturday Gardening Thread: Bloomin' Mysteries [KT]
Happy Saturday, gardeners and garden watchers! Today, we have three mystery flowers plus additional content! Only the most nerdish gardeners in The Horde are expected to come up with the correct species identification for our first mystery today without looking it up. I do not know the identity of our second Mystery Flower. Maybe together we can figure out what it is.
Garden Photos by the Horde
California Girl's Mystery Flower #1
Just by looking, do you know the species name of this flower? It was photographed in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where it gets really, really cold in winter. Note the happy bee:
I like taking photos of flowers, but I rarely know what kind of flower it is. I took a trip to Nebraska , Colorado , and Wyoming and have lots of photos of plants. This particular flower was in front of a lovely Catholic church.
The species grows on grassy hillsides and mountainsides in Japan, China, Siberia and Korea. The Japanese have been breeding garden forms for a long time. I'm not wild about the double ones. Though some of the semi-doubles are interesting. I guess I'm not the only one who feels that way. Sakata may have dropped their Astra doubles for semi-doubles (and singles). 'Sentimental Blue' (next page) is a genetic dwarf, even shorter than the Astra series.
This plant seems to bring out either whimsy or a little bit of obsession in some people. A European site is dedicated to basic information about this genus. There is an unusually single-minded video by Frau-Doktor about white balloon flowers at the link.
Donkeys do not make the best assistants when planting balloon flowers. Incidentally Rabbits eat them, too. This makes me skeptical of reports that they are deer-resistant. Gophers love the fleshy roots.
Speaking of whimsy, the cultivars 'Misato Purple' and 'Komachi' retain the hot air balloon shape (seen in the buds of most cultivars) as the flower matures.
The most exotic Balloon Flower yet, Komachi resembles a mass of blue umbrellas seen from above, something like Renoir's famous painting Les Parapluies.
These plants are pretty tough as long as they get good drainage. They have a long, fleshy taproot and resent transplanting once established, but are generally long-lived. They are usually propagated by seed rather than by division, an indication that the plants do not have invasive roots.
Balloon flowers have a very wide climate range, though the dwarf ones may not be quite as tough as the tall ones. They can be grown as winter annuals in the low desert, though. The dwarf ones are marketed as annuals everywhere. Maybe partly because people accidentially dig them up in spring because the plants emerge late after dormancy. Any ideas on how to mark where you planted balloon flowers to avoid accidentally digging them up in spring?
As an indication of how tough Balloon Flowers are, one blogger moved some seedlings from Illinois to Austin, Texas, where she grew 'White Fuji' and a lavender-blue cultivar called 'Miss Tilly' in her flower borders. You can keep a balloon flower blooming for a couple of months by deadheading. Don't cut the entire flower stems down.
California Girl's Mystery Flower #2
This is what's blooming now. I have no idea what it is, but it's been here for almost 20 years. It grows in my front flowerbed, in the one sunny corner away from the shade trees.
Can you identify this flower?
Illiniwek's Mystery Flower
Remember the lovely photo last week of Illiniwek's pond in spring? Here's a different view in the fall.
These are the mystery yellow flowers that bloom for a week or two in fall. They came up volunteer and dominate the pond edge, except for the cattails. Not bad but I'd like some variety, and color the rest of the year.
They looked nearly like some perennial I had in the garden, and I wondered if I got some wild cross. But they are nice.
At first, I thought the Mystery Flower might be a Coreopsis. Bet that's the perennial that was in Illiniwek's garden. Many garden cultivars have a heritage in America's wild lands. A good topic for a little later. I thought about some other possibilities, too.
But now I am pretty sure that the Mystery Flower is Helenium autumnale. It grows throughout Illinois in wet places. Illiniwek's flowers have a shorter cone and shorter petals than the one pictured at the link, but the same gaps between the petals and serrated or scalloped petal tips. Leaves are similar.
The genus Helenium contains upwards of 40 perennial and annual species, all of them native to the New World; only a handful, however, have made the leap from the wild to the garden. . . . Of these 40, the most important is the highly variable perennial H. autumnale, an inhabitant of moist soils over a huge stretch of North America, from Quebec to British Columbia and from Florida to Arizona. Growing anywhere from two to five feet, it bears narrow, toothed leaves and one- to two-inch-wide deep yellow flowers. Its horticultural significance derives not from its own fairly modest charms, but rather from its status as the primary ancestor of the dozens of opulent hybrids currently available. . .
Though many are cross-species hybrids, these plants are often still sold as H. autumnale. The garden forms generally bloom longer than the species. They generally come in shades of yellow, copper, rust and red. I like the yellow ones. There is a fine tall yellow called 'Butterpat'. Here's a new one called 'Double Trouble.' It is reportedly not as attractive to insects than the singles, because it produces less pollen.
If you scroll down at the link above, there is a photo of 'The Bishop', another yellow bred from a Western native, H. bigelovii. It blooms earlier than most cultivars. Starting in June in Portland. It may not be as hardy as some of the others. Some of the earlier-blooming hybrids will re-bloom if deadheaded or sheared after bloom.
Helenium was named after Helen of Troy, the most famous adulteress in history. The legend is that the flowers sprung up where her tears fell. Though it is news to me that she ever got to the New World.
The plant is toxic to livestock, but normally they won't eat it unless it is chopped up with other plants. One common name is "Sneezeweed", from the plant's former use as snuff. You can decide for yourself if pioneers used it to induce sneezing or Native Americans used it to expel evil spirits.
I am not real wild about some of the bicolors. I do think this example of "Red Shades" is quite fetching:
There is a new "Mariachi Series" - compact plants bred in the Netherlands. "Mariachi", "Compact" and "Netherlands" just don't go together in my mind, but that's marketing. A deep red one is called 'Ranchera'. It is bluer than the type in the photo above, without that thin yellow edge. The pure yellow one is called 'Sombrero'. Scroll down at the link to see other Helenium cultivars with different petal and cone colors.
An enthusiast in the UK has put together a nice website on Helenium with information on wild forms and named cultivars. There is a (relatively) complete list of cultivars. The site includes nice details like when different cultivars flower. In the "History" section, there is some information on a German breeder who emphasized heat and drought tolerant cultivars. Not that any of them are "xeric" plants. I like the one at the bottom right, Feuersiegel.
You can also grow Helen's Flower from seed. Strains include 'Sunshine Hybrid', and 'Helena'. There is also a generic 'Red Shades'. They need light to germinate, so they are surface-sown or barely covered. They may bloom the first year if started early.
Gardens of The Horde
Cthulhu sends in a great tip to go with last week's segment on Wisterias:
Wisteria are deciduous. It's tempting to fertilize them in Spring when their sap rises and they start to bud. Never do this -- for both Chinese (bloom, then leaf) and Japanese (leaf, then bloom) wisterias, any nitrogen fertilizer before the bloom is done will swamp the blossoms with leaves. Your vines will look lush and green and vigorous, but there's plenty of time for that without the blossoms.
Absolutely true. In fact, if the plant is too happy growing leaves, it might not even blossom at all for several years. Some people go to the drastic step of root-pruning to scare their plants into blooming.
And you may not want to encourage the "swamping" tendencies of wisteria by fertilizing with nitrogen. If properly inoculated, a Wisteria can produce some of its own nitrogen. Once again, be careful growing Wisteria on a building. Here's a blogger fascinated by Wisteria's stranglehold on a dead conifer.
Things are happening in colder-winter areas now. Duke Lowell, in Northern Illinois, sent in photos of his magnolia:
. . . the color isn't as bright this year. Maybe the warm up and then subsequent freezes? Here is the tree as well as close up of the blooms. Usually it's much brighter.
That tree is beautifully shaped. And the setting is wonderful. It is hard to say what the color of the blossoms is "supposed" to be, because there are so many hardy deciduous hybrids available. I like the coloration of the blossoms up close, though.
Has anybody else seen faded blossom color on a magnolia this year? I wouldn't be surprized if warm weather followed by freezes could have an effect. I saw photos of one magnolia with blossoms marked in pink when it first bloomed (before leaves opened), but then with almost white blossoms during a second bloom (a sparser bloom, with leaves). The blossoms from the first bloom had been shredded by a storm.
CBD sent along America's Ten Best Spots for Viewing Wildflowers. They're not all in the West. And some of the flowers are on shrubs. Up for a trip? Already been on a trip? We will be discussing more American wildflowers in the future. Including some shrubs, perennials and annuals currently being grown by members of The Horde. (Thinking of you, Kindltot).
We have had great weather for gardening in the San Joaquin Valley - sun some days, a little rain others. A little too much wind a couple of days. We finished a major clean-up project this week and are ready to turn more attention to our plants. Bought some Cosmos and Dianthus this week. The Dianthus is deep red, complementing my Roger's Delight Geranium (well, O.K., Pelargonium), which has scented leaves and medium-sized Martha Washington-type blooms. It is the oldest plant I have.
Got our first three ripe SunSugar cherry tomatoes. Delish. The Garden Kitties brought us parts of a giant rat and a big gopher. Not appetizing at all.
Anything going on in your garden? Hope you get a chance to spend some time outdoors this week.
If you would like to send information and/or photos for the Saturday Gardening Thread, the address is:
at g mail dot com
Include your nic unless you want to be a lurker.
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Thread before the gardening thread: Oz in April [KT]
Aspiring citizens will undergo tougher tests on their English language skills and ability to demonstrate "Australian values", PM Malcolm Turnbull said.
Applicants must also have completed four years as a permanent resident - three years longer than at present.
The move comes two days after Australia unveiled stricter visa requirements for skilled workers from overseas.
Mr Turnbull said the changes would ensure that migrants were better integrated into the community. . . .
Sounds to me like some of the "Australian values" noted could be adopted as "American values", too.
Maybe reality started to set in (in Australia, I mean) a while ago. Remember when Obama agreed to have prospective immigrants to Australia who were being stored, sort of, on a little island shipped to the USA?
Tim Blair notices what's going on even in Pakistan.
Pick up your game, western university students. You may be bossy and judgemental, but your Pakistani counterparts are setting a standard that lazy Westerners just cannot equal.
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Saturday Morning Weird News Dump
[X] Sassy Pants
[X] Smart Ass Attitude
All set, must be Saturday morning. Welcome the the weird news dump.
Here are just a few items that didn't get quite enough attention here at the AoSHQ this past week. Head shaking is optional.
- Cheese makes hot fires. Who knew?
- Local basement savers don't save toilet.
- Clear coffee? Yeah, get back to me on that.
- Good times to end for MI cops.
- Craft Beer Association should change their name to Beer Nannies.
- Obviously they weren't that good.
- Talk about being a dumb shit.
- Odessa, TX won't be having a mosquito problem anytime soon.
- Move over Rin-Tin-Tin.
- The Japanese keep getting stranger and stranger.
- Pay back is a bitch.
Just remember pants are optional during this open thread. Play nice Morons and have a great weekend.
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You really shouldn't be up this early. It's a Saturday. Shoot your clock and get some sleep.
Overnight Open Thread (21 Apr 2017)
Alright, I'm back from my misadventures in computing. Long story short, I had an overheating CPU that was spiking to 99C and causing programs to lock up when the CPU throttled itself due to the heat spike. I originally thought it was the EA software but that turned out not to be the case. First I replaced the thermal paste that was located on the heat sink/water cooler bottom that attaches to the CPU chip. That didn't address the problem so I replaced the water cooler itself and that didn't work either. Eventually, I ended up swapping out the CPU chip and everything is back to normal. Then I had to mess with the BIOS as it stopped recognizing one of my GPUs. Good learning experience though.
I had forgotten about this part during the Apollo 13 mission. Jack Swigert forgot to file his taxes prior to launch.
Another major event on Sunday threw a usually cool and calm astronaut into a mild panic. In the rush to substitute for Mattingly, Swigert forgot to file his Federal Income Tax return.
"How do I apply for an extension?" he asked. Amid laughter from Mission Control, he sought to explain: "Things kinda happened real fast down there and I need an extension. I'm really serious. Would you..."
Joe Kerwin, the capsule communicator, was unsympathetic: "You're breaking up the room down here."
Swigert continued: "... turn it in?"
Palestinian Hunger Strike
Interesting. Hopefully this continued competition improves VZ's customer service and pricing. Why Verizon is losing more cellphone customers than ever.
CA is boned
California Governor Brown acknowledges other states aren't buying his climate change BS. But as Californians flee their home state, they'll bring their damaged ideas with them and pollute their new state.
California Democrats punt on all fiscal issues. Man CA is a train wreck.
The fabulous bars and restaurants of the Boeing 747 circa the 70's. Man that would be nice today.
Government Shutdown Looms
One week to go. Congress has shutdown aversion but deal-breakers loom.
Tonight's ONT brought to you by why you shouldn't leave your pets home alone:
Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to player to be named later or CDR M. Otherwise send tips to Ace.
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Open Thread and Some Things of Marginal Importance
Some stuff, a lot of it from Twitter, where the real stupid happens:
A Blue Checkmark Mafia idiot says the GOP rigged Benghazi to hurt Hillary Clinton in the election.
Louise Mensch, who is so good at politics she successfully served as a Member of Parliament from 2010 all the way until her resignation in 2012, spends her days now nuttering about reds under the beds. Even Buzzfeed, which has led many Social Justice Warrior scalp-hunting parties against innocent nobodies, thinks she's a bit promiscuous with her many, many allegations.
Since last November’s election, the former British politician Louise Mensch has transformed herself into the leader of a wide-ranging internet investigation into Russian espionage and influence in American politics, media, and business. Every day, Mensch and her network of online detectives unravel what they claim is a massive conspiracy linking the Kremlin, the Republican party, armies of internet trolls, and moneyed puppet-masters around the world.
Mensch, who sometimes tweets hundreds of times a day, has claimed or implied that targets ranging from top government officials to journalists to teenagers to anonymous twitter users are in thrall to Vladimir Putin.
Just since inauguration day, according to an extensive review of her tweets, the New York-based Mensch has accused at least 210 people and organizations of being under Russian government influence....
Mensch’s list includes 35 American politicians and government officials, 26 journalists, 26 organizations and corporations (among them think tanks, banks, media outlets, foreign intelligence agencies, and security firms), 18 Russians, 18 US citizens notable for political donations or affiliations, 80 low-profile Twitter accounts Mensch has characterized as "Putinbots" or similar (many of which appear to belong to Americans who support President Trump), and two British politicians. The list includes figures as disparate as Bernie Sanders and Sean Hannity.
By the way, if you wish to learn more about the mindthoughts of this former chic-lit-writer-turned-spyhunter, you can read her brilliant essay "Dear Mr. Putin, Let's Play Chess."
Are the elites once again whistling past the graveyard in declaring confidently that LePen can't win in France?
BTW, I think the answer is "no," because just a couple of years ago people thought the FN was going to capture a lot of regional offices because they made it into the second round, but the partisans of all other parties ganged up to vote for whoever was opposing the FN candidate. So you had the center-left voters voting for the Parti Socialist, and socialists voting for the center left -- anyone but FN.
That just happened two years ago and I don't see how things could have changed so tectonically since then that this pattern would no longer be operative.
Then again, there was just a terrorist attack, and she's kind of the only one making a big deal about it, and the Known Wolf who'd done it had previously gone on anti-cop rampages but was still at large, so who knows.
Oh, and one likely second-round opponent Jean-Luc Melenchon, wants a 100% tax on "the rich" -- so maybe even the center-right will shy away from backing him, if he makes the second round.
See update to this story: Berkeley now says it will provide protection for an Ann Coulter speech, thought it will be delayed a week.
Some groundbreaking work from out academic elites in the exciting new field of pre-natal micro-aggressions:
This scholar must feel really guilty for failing to raise her kids gender neutral pic.twitter.com/fBc3aogB4S— New Real Peer Review (@RealPeerReview) April 21, 2017
Oh, and Maddow Gonna Maddow:
Hottest Take in the History of Hot Takes pic.twitter.com/lBobw2aVI0— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) April 21, 2017
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I've been under the weather for a while (allergies and light injuries), but I had some gainzzz. Hit my goal weight of 165. Not sure why as I've been off-regimen in almost all ways.* Eventually that caught up and I regained some fat since then, but hey, hit the goal once and you can do it again.
But just because I haven't been working on GAINZZZ doesn't mean you haven't been.
Any GAINZZZ in health, well-being, or pursuing interests?
* I guess maybe the scale is a lagging indicator of changes that have already occurred. Maybe it takes a week or so for the body to react to positive work.
"Source:" Hillary Clinton Is, Get This, on Witch-hunt for Staffers Who Spoke to Allen and Parnes for the Unflattering Portrait of Her in Shattered
The woman who combed through people's emails to find out who the traitors were is now reportedly launching a new effort to find the new traitors.
One source said, "The knives are out to find the people who spoke about the campaign to the authors of this book. Dennis has been texting prominent campaign staffers, asking who talked. He’s on a witch hunt to find out who talked to save their own skin, throwing Hillary and her campaign manager Robby Mook under the bus."
The source added, "There's some speculation that Huma Abedin cooperated to save her own reputation. However, she and Hillary are still very close."
How awesome would that be?
The Real Story Behind The Fearless Girl Statue That Had Leftwing Empowerment Boners Shooting Hot, Sticky Justice Juice All Over The Internet [Warden]
Do you remember this stupid statue? The little girl being all brave and defiant and whatnot? Boy, did the left get themselves all hot and bothered over this statue.
Frumpy, white, upper middle class, suburban mommies in particular found themselves feeling she-powered by this bold, new, herstorical icon of American civil rights.
Because, you know--oppression and stuff. Like how 57% of college graduates are female, same as in Iraq and other awful places.
Arturo Di Modica, the artist who created the charging bull that the girl is staring down, further raised the ire of the gurl power advocates on the left for objecting to others piggybacking on his own artistic work and changing the intended meaning of it to serve their own agenda.
"Your male fragility is showing!" one woman jeered on Twitter. "Are you afraid of a little girl?" spat another.
Yesterday, di Modica pointed out a very inconvenient fact. The defiant girl statue is nothing but a cynical piece of corporate advertising for a gimmicky "Gender Diversity" index fund.
"Fearless Girl" was in fact commissioned as a publicity stunt tied to International Women's Day by State Street Global Advisors, a Boston-based investment company which manages some $2.5 trillion in assets. The firm says the girl is intended to promote its campaign urging "greater gender diversity on corporate boards."
Photographer, Greg Fallis, points out that even without this obnoxious corporate tie-in, the piece fails in its goal of promoting female empowerment because it relies on Di Modica's charging bull to give it context and meaning.
Fearless Girl derives its power almost entirely from Di Modica's statue. The sculptor, Kristen Visbal, sort of acknowledges this. She's said this about her statue:
"She's not angry at the bull -- she’s confident, she knows what she's capable of, and she's wanting the bull to take note."
It's all about the bull. If it were placed anywhere else, Fearless Girl would still be a very fine statue-- but without facing Charging Bull the Fearless Girl has nothing to be fearless to. Or about. Whatever. Fearless Girl, without Di Modica's bull, without the context provided by the bull, becomes Really Confident Girl.
The charging bull, it should be noted, was a piece of guerilla artwork created by Arturo Di Modica after the 1987 stock market crash. Di Modica, a Sicilian immigrant, created the statue at his own expense and plopped it down in front of the New York Stock Exchange without permission. The bull, he said, represented "the strength and power of the American people."
The stiffs who ran the exchange hated the statue and had it removed. A major outcry from the people of New York City caused them to relent. The now-beloved sculpture has been a fixture of the NYSE ever since.
So basically, a bunch of soulless corporate hacks hijacked a patriotic piece of artwork created by a proud naturalized immigrant and affirmed by a popular uprising and changed it into yet another tiresome display of snotty SJW self rightousness to the cheers of a bunch of people who have never experienced an ounce of oppression in their soft, easy, and meaningless lives.
If these people are so strong, brave and all around kick-ass, then why do they always have to tear down what other people have built? Why can't they shine on their own instead of snuffing out everyone else's candles?
Because they suck. Because they're wretched. Because they're liars, hypocrites and selfish, shitty-assed people.
Some people had the idea that Di Modica should turn the bull so that its backside faces the girl. I think he should just take his bull somewhere else and leave the girl facing nothing. That or build a larger, taller boy right in front of her as a giant fuck you to all involved.
Fox News Now In the Hands of the Very Liberal James Murdoch, Who Plans a Major "Reinvention"
These sources say James Murdoch’s long-time annoyance if not disgust with Fox News became cold fury after the Times' April 1 story [disclosing Bill O'Reilly's previous sexual harassment payouts ]-- even though several of the O’Reilly settlements had happened when James was CEO of the parent company. This was a similar reaction to what had followed the harassment suit by former anchor Gretchen Carlson against Fox News chief Roger Ailes in July. Every time Fox controversies spilled over into the wider world, James took it personally. "It was somehow against him," says one person close to the Murdochs.
Fox News is a business he should not be in, he had told people before, despite its major contribution to 21st Century Fox's bottom line --20 percent of its profits came from Fox News last year, the biggest-earning division in the company. Presumably, he meant the in-your-face world of conservative cable news with its mega personalities. Indeed, James regarded many of the people at Fox News as thuggish Neanderthals and said he was embarrassed to be in the same company with them.
But, likewise, it would be hard to imagine how James could have been regarded with more contempt by many of the people at Fox News. James was rather exhibit No. 1 of the liberal elite entitlement that Fox had so profitably programmed against. "Fox [News] is an important brand, but it needs to develop, and, to some extent, be reformed," James said when I interviewed him ten years ago in his office as the chief executive of the Murdoch-controlled Sky TV in Britain, whose significantly less-partisan news operation he extolled as a ratings and journalistic model.
A couple of his ideas don't seem bad on a superficial level -- he wants Fox to be less overtly partisan, and he wants to merge Fox and Skynews and Murdoch's other media properties to create a global news brand.
I think Fox's overt we're-on-your-side signalling limits its reach. Preaching to the converted, as they say.
But I also think Liberals Gonna Liberal.
Don't Trust The Dow As An Indicator: Diversification Is Your Friend!
Almost very financial report on radio or TV features a breathless recitation of the state of the Dow Jones Industrial Index as if it were the gold standard of measurements of the state of the economy.
But as any statistician will tell you, using only 30 companies to gauge the state of a group of almost 4,000 publicly held companies that trade stock is a recipe for some odd fluctuations that do not reflect reality. Add to that the fact that the Dow is not randomly selected, and that only a tortured definition of "industrial' would allow inclusion of American Express or Walt Disney, and you get a warped picture of the economy.
A better measure is the S&P 500, or the Russell 2000, or the Wilshire 5000.
The S&P 500 is a group of the largest companies in the country, the Russell 2000 is the bottom 2,000 companies in the Russell 3000, and the Wilshire 5000 is pretty much every company publicly traded in America.
Here's a five year graph showing the S&P 500 and the Dow...
And here is one showing the Dow vs. the Wilshire 5000 (a fund that reflects it), because it's a better comparison, which was suggested by commenter Hopped Up On Something.
With only 30 components, any sharp movement caused by any number of things can move the Dow in ways that do not reflect the economy as a whole. Just imagine an iPhone battery problem or a Chevron oil refinery fire or a trading scandal at Goldman Sachs and you can see how easily a catastrophe for one company in the Dow can skew it significantly, when the larger economy shrugs it off as a nothing-burger.
Unfortunately the best measure of the economy, internet pron site hits, is not yet available.
Mid-Morning Open Thread
This was sold by Sotheby's in 1984 for far more than expected, no doubt because of the marvelous brushwork on the lamp and the dress.
Their description is interesting, and worth a read. Here is a bit of it....
Taking as his inspiration the eponymous poem of 1833 by Alfred de Musset, Gervex transposes the narrative into fashionable contemporary Paris, signalled by the wrought iron railings and view of the Haussmannised cityscape beyond, the grand boulevard backdrop recognized by some viewers as the fashionable Boulevard des Italiens. Jacques Rolla, a well-born bourgeois, has decided to spend his final night with the prostitute Marion, having squandered his fortune on a life of debauchery. The scene depicts the morning after: while Marion lies asleep, Rolla broods on his fate and contemplates suicide by jumping from the window. The model for Marion is based on several women - the actress Ellen Andrée, a favorite of Renoir, Manet and Degas (she is the sitter in Degas' L'Absinthe of 1876) posed for the body, but demanded that a different model be used for the face.
That little comment about Paris being "Haussmannised" is a pomposity, signalling that the writer is one of the elite who knows who Baron Haussmann was. Except...every Parisian knows who he was, and it's not that big a deal. It's like a New Yorker knowing who Robert Moses was. So? He was an urban planner who changed some of NYC, some for the good and some definitely not. But it's a hometown detail, and not a signal of one's intelligence.
And in the "bourgeois" I get a whiff of Marxist dialectic, which deserves a whiff of grapeshot.
But I digress.
Manet, Degas, Stevens, the young, the old, everyone trooped in front of the canvas which was already famous before it entered the Salon…However, hardly had it been hung on the wall when the surintendant des Beaux- Arts, Turquet, gave the brutal order that it be removed on grounds of immorality, with the complicity of the Salon jury…that’s how an art dealer offered to exhibit Rolla at his shop on the Chaussée-d’Antin… I accepted, as you can imagine, with gratitude, and for three months there was indeed an uninterrupted procession of visitors with a queue of carriages backed up to the Opera.
-- Henri Gervex
The Morning Report 4/21/17
Good morning, kids. Friday again, thank goodness. Lots of interesting things this morning. First of course is the aftermath of the Islamist terror attack in Paris yesterday. Aside from the blood and carnage, coming so close to the elections, does it help Marine LePen pull out the win even with the arcane French electoral system or more crucially the French national psyche of self-loathing masochism? Meanwhile over here, there are rumblings that both a reboot of the Obamacare Repeal/Replace and tax reform are on the front burner and perhaps close to happening. With that are the counter-rumblings that they ain't happening. Daniel Greenfield has another excellent essay (I'm becoming a big fan) as well as Rush's take on O'Reilly's demise. Up front, although at first glance it's just par for the course, I want to take the time to address Howard Dean. I don't want to let it slide. Let me say for his benefit and any other Leftist reading this, there is no such thing as hate speech. There's only speech. And in this country, it's still a G-d given right. So long as it does not openly incite violence, it's guaranteed. In any case it is you and your party and political movement that incite the violence, fought for slavery and segregation, locked citizens up in concentration camps, destroyed lives via a crushing socialist welfare state, that seeks the eradication of our Constitution, the dissolution of our society and the consolidation of power via unchecked mass migration and chaos. Barack Obama encouraged your minions not to sit down and have a civilized discourse over a cup of coffee but to get in our faces. You sir and your rotten ilk are the fascists and totalitarians. Much as it might personally satisfy me to see you muzzled, you have a right to spew your idiotic, inchoate drivel as much as I or Ann Coulter have the right to call you out on it. You, sir, are a tiresome fool, but you are dangerous nonetheless. If you are given time to obliquely if not openly call for the abolition of the 1st Amendment and a citizen's right to speak, I cannot allow that to go unanswered because if you have your way, I won't ever be able to.
Rant over. Links from around the world, across the nation and up your street. Have a better one and remain blessed.
- Islamist Who Shot and Killed a Gendarme on the Champs Elysees Was on Early Prison Release for Attempted Murder of a Cop
- US General: ISIS Used Chemical Agent in Attack Near Mosul
- Feds Looking to Nail Assange
- Mnuchin Sez "Pretty Close" to Deal on "Major Tax Reform"
- Bad or Good? Report: GOP Healthcare Reform "Very Much Alive"
- 11 Real AGs Blast Schneiderman, Healy for Political Persecution of Anti-Exxon Probe
- Related: Seditious Schneiderman Actively Encourages New York's Cities to Defy Federal Immigration Law
- Potentially YUGE! True the Vote Defeats IRS Motion to Quash Discovery, Case Proceeds
- Grim Statistic: 1 in 5 US Families Have No One Working
- Berkeley Antifa Terrorist Who Beat Free Speech Supporter with a Bike Lock Identified
- Rush on O'Reilly: Ask Yourself Why Leftist Media Types Are Never Targeted for Advertiser Boycotts
- Daniel Greenfield's Latest: Obama's Chickens Coming Home to Roost
- Steve Bannon and The Fourth Turning
UPDATE: I have changed the headline for the first link to show only 1 Gendarme killed.
Hey, It's Thursday, I Probably Should Write an ONT
Oh, gee, it seems to be Thursday night. And by Thursday night, I mean Thursday after 8:30. Tonight's ONT will be exactly as long as the content I am able to stuff in between now and 10 PM. This could be a bumpy ride, maybe some firemen will be able to smooth it out:
Um, yea, thanks guys. You're not helping.
This is a classic example about how to rip apart a restaurant in the most elegant possible way.
Your Life in Numbers
This is a neat widget from the folks over at Human Progress. It allows to see how much things have changed during your lifetime (or really, since any starting point you want). For example, in my lifetime, life expectancy is up 12%, the infant survival rate is up 75% and median per-capita income has risen by 132% (adjusted for inflation and purchasing power). You can also compare your progress with other countries.
Troll of the Week
Here's one that would be in the running, except it's a parody account. It even says so if you bother to read the account description. It's fun, however, because lots of libs don't bother and wind up arguing with the troll thinking it's really Spicier.
Yes, unfortunately Obama turned me down pic.twitter.com/UhP1vdX3H9— Sean Spicier (@sean_spicier) April 15, 2017
So, close, but no cigar. No, the winner this week goes to someone called Daspri Kateri, who absolutely gutted Lena Dunham:
One of the most delightful things on the internet is 4chan's relentless trolling of Shia LaBeouf. Frustrated because they kept locating (and stealing) his “He Will Not Divide Us” flag, last week Shia retreated to a lonely cabin somewhere deep in the Arctic. 4chan located him within a day. At this point, I'm convinced that if Shia borrowed James Cameron's deep sea submersible and traveled to the bottom of the Marianas Trench, within half an hour a fish would swim by with “Cuck” written on its scales. (That last isn't original to me, BTW, but I lost the link to who said it. Sorry anonymous author).
Feel Good Story of the Day
Rise of the Warrior Cop
Professor Carnage. First off, be warned, the link goes to New Republic, so the author has some biases on display that are not generally shared by those of us on the right. That being said, it's an interesting read, and as a conservatarian, I do agree with a lot of it. A police state is a police state, whether it's in service of a democratic republic or a communist regime. Individual policemen and women, by and large, deserve the respect that many of us on the right naturally accord them. Our political philosophy revolves around the rule of law, and they are the ones tasked with maintaining that. Police departments, however, are government bureaucracies, and as such they are as prone as any other to gathering power to themselves. Some things are blatantly unconstitutional, like civil asset forfeiture (Hi Alex!), and others may be no than simply an institutional attitude-but if that attitude tends towards force and coercion, for example, it's going to be reflected in the street cops themselves. If we don't find a way to guide our police forces back towards the “protect and serve” model rather than the “order and enforce” one, methinks that we're going to be in a spot of trouble in the coming decades.
This is a stupid article, or at least I think so, because I utterly reject its preconceptions. The idea that “Alpha male” means “bully” is stupid. True alpha males know that that's the furthest from the truth, and the author makes a big deal about “discovering” that in the wild alpha wolves are as much nurturer and protector as warrior. Something any human alpha male could have told him, if he knew any. As a writer for the New York Times, it's entirely possible that he doesn't.
Heck of a Job, Hillary
Behold the fruits of leading from behind. Talk about an administration that needed some alpha males, Obama's was the textbook example. Disgusting.
Self Defense Tip
Tonight's ONT brought to you by joy:
Boy receiving a new pair of shoes at an orphanage in Austria, 1946. pic.twitter.com/WeqXp6ldZp— History In Pictures (@HistoryInPix) April 15, 2017
The Yahoo Group was sad that it had no shoes, until it met the man who had no feet, so it hit him over the head and stole his shoes.
Close it up
Berkeley: We're Cancelling Ann Coulter's Speech, As We Can't or Won't Protect Her From the Feral Humanoids Who Inhabit Our Zoo
Ann Coulter: I Think I'm Gonna Speak There Anyway
I've seen Ann Coulter's security guys -- this might be a case of bringing thugs to a SEAL fight.
#FakeNews: In Thirst to Embarrass Trump, New York Times Puts Out Bogus Story About Crowd Size at NE Patriots Visit to White House
Jonathan Turley explained the media's attitude towards their visceral, nearly sexual desire to Get Trump: he quoted Oscar Wilde's quip that "The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it."
If #FakeNews to #GetTrump is wrong, the media doesn't want to be right.