Overnight Open Thread (2-9-2016)
That's so touching, isn't it? It's a grand experiment in mass forgiveness. Except Gonzales wasn't convicted of having a few too many bags of heroin in his backpack when he got picked up for jaywalking. He tied up the Effrons in a basement and beat them to a bloody pulp with a pipe. For that monstrous act he was sentenced to life. And now he's free.
-- Jazz Shaw on California's "mass forgiveness" of convicts
I should also note that David Daleiden is apparently prepared to go to jail over this. If that bothers you - if you don't like the fact that a jury could put a man in jail for twenty years because he used a fake ID in one of the few ways that society finds acceptable and even moral* - then, well, that's why people do civil disobedience. REAL civil disobedience, not the petulant, look-at-me garbage that the Activist Left revels in.
-- Moe Lane on the Harris County prosecution over the Planned Parenthood videos
News item: Bill Clinton criticizes Bernie Sanders for sexism. Let that sink in a moment. Bill Clinton. Sexism. Maybe Hillary can get Bill Cosby to campaign for her. The thing I'd look forward to in a contest between Trump and Hillary would be Trump letting fly with the remark in a debate that if Hillary won the election, he certainly wouldn't let his daughter be a White House intern. (You know he'd go there. He already has.)
-- Steven Hayward of PowerLine
Random Wikipedia Link That I Happened Across: Laconic Speech
Named after Laconia, a region of Greece which includes the city of Sparta, whose inhabitants were known for being parsimonious with words and for their short, pithy remarks often including a certain amount of dry wit. In contrast to other areas of Greece where speaking and argument were admired and studied Spartan children were trained to hold rhetoric and verbosity in disdain and let their actions speak for them. Due to the Spartans' success in battle the laconic style has also come to be associated with military speech.
- When Leonidas was in charge of guarding the narrow mountain pass at Thermopylae with just 7,000 Greeks in order to delay the invading Persian army, Xerxes offered to spare his men if they gave up their arms. Leonidas replied "Molon labe" (Greek: Μολών λαβέ ), which translates to "Come and take them".
- After invading southern Greece and receiving the submission of other key city-states, Philip II of Macedon sent a message to Sparta: "If I invade Laconia you will be destroyed, never to rise again." The Spartan ephors replied with a single word: "If" (αἴκα ). Subsequently neither Philip nor his son Alexander the Great attempted to capture the city.
- In an account from Herodotus, "When the banished Samians reached Sparta, they had audience of the magistrates, before whom they made a long speech, as was natural with persons greatly in want of aid." When it was over, the Spartans averred that they could no longer remember the first half of their speech, and thus "...could make nothing of the remainder. Afterwards the Samians had another audience, whereat they simply said, showing a bag which they had brought with them, 'The bag wants flour.' The Spartans answered that they did not need to have said 'the bag'; however, they resolved to give them aid."
- Spartan mothers or wives gave a departing warrior his shield with the words: "With it or on it!" (Greek: Ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς! E tan e epi tas!) E tan e epi tas!), implying that he should return (victoriously) with his shield, or (his dead body) upon it.
- Demetrius I of Macedon was offended when the Spartans sent his court a single envoy, and exclaimed angrily, "What! Have the Lacedaemonians sent no more than one ambassador?" The Spartan responded, "Aye, one ambassador to one king."
- Julius Caesar memorialized his swift victory over King Pharnaces II of Pontus in the Battle of Zela in 47 BC with a message to the Roman Senate consisting of the words "Veni, vidi, vici" ("I came, I saw, I conquered" ).
- In 1809, during the second siege of Saragossa, the French demanded the city's surrender with the message "Peace and Surrender" ("Paz y capitulación" ). General Palafox's reply was "War and knife".
- After the sinking of light carrier Shoho in the May 1942 Battle of the Coral Sea, LCDR Robert E. Dixon radioed "Scratch one flattop" to U.S.S. Lexington, whose commanding officer credited the pilot with coining the standard USN slang.
- During the December 1944 Battle of Bastogne, part of the Battle of the Bulge, the 101st Airborne in and around Bastogne was surrounded by enemy forces. The Germans sent the Americans a party of envoys with an ultimatum: surrender or face "certain annihilation". The German officer in charge was perplexed when General Anthony McAuliffe replied with one word: "Nuts!".
The airborne units at Bragg (82nd Airborne Division, much of 18th Corps, and various US Army Special Operations Command and Joint Special Operations Command elements) will now have to truck or bus 230 miles (3 ½ hours by charter bus, 5 hours by Army truck) to Charleston, SC, and the Air Force will condescend to fly the paratroopers back to Bragg while the trucks or buses convoy back empty. Meanwhile, a second set of trucks and buses will have to be spotted on the DZ. or maybe the guys can just walk back from the field.
What the USAF is hoping, of course, is that the paras will stop jumping so damned much. They need to use the money to pay for the cost overruns on the F-35 program, so that there will still be jobs at LockMartNorGrumBoeing for retired flag officers. For some values of the word, "job."
Every system goes through teething issues in development and shakeout but the F-35 is looking more and more like a very expensive dog.
Testing of operational "dog-fighting" maneuvers showed that the F-35A lacked sufficient energy maneuverability to sustain an energy advantage over fourth generation fighter aircraft. Test pilots flew 17 engagements between an F-35A and an F-16D, which was configured with external fuel tanks that limited the F-16D envelope to 7.0 g's. The F-35A remained at a distinct energy disadvantage on every engagement.
Eleven of the 12 [WDA] events required intervention by the developmental test control team to overcome system deficiencies and ensure a successful event (i.e., acquire and identify the target and engage it with a weapon). The program altered the event scenario for three of these events, as well as the twelfth event, specifically to work around F-35 system deficiencies (e.g., changing target spacing or restricting target maneuvers and countermeasures).
We used to make fun of the Soviets for forcing on their military a bunch of political showmanship that had nothing to do with fighting and winning wars. We used to pride ourselves on a rigorous and disciplined approach to military planning from trying to define Centers of Gravity to making sure our Assumptions were sound and that our analysis of Critical Vulnerabilities etc was as close to accurate as could be. Poor thinking or unrelated issues were quickly and without mercy cut. When a clean OPLAN was long enough you had to.
Well, you can forget that. We are moving to full Soviet clown show where political cargo cults are being forced on military planning - not because military professionals see it as important, but because The Party demands it.
Then he doubled down trying to explain that he doesn't hate Jew-Jews - just the bad-Jews. Which leads one to suspect that the whole subhuman mongrel thing maybe wasn't just a thoughtless poor choice of words.
As filmmakers, is it important or not important to consciously factor in concerns like diversity, I asked.
"Not in the least!" Ethan answered. "It's important to tell the story you're telling in the right way, which might involve black people or people of whatever heritage or ethnicity-or it might not."
"It's an absolute, absurd misunderstanding of how things get made to single out any particular story and say, 'Why aren't there this, that, or the other thing?'" added Joel. "It's a fundamental misunderstanding of how stories are written. So you have to start there and say, 'You don't know what you're talking about.'"...He continued: "You don't sit down and write a story and say, 'I'm going to write a story that involves four black people, three Jews, and a dog,'-right? That's not how stories get written. If you don't understand that, you don't understand anything about how stories get written and you don't realize that the question you're asking is idiotic."
Apparently he's been living off whatever he makes through endorsements and special events and saving his salary over his entire NFL career. Which means he could retire at age 29 with nearly $50 million in the bank.
The Yahoo group is for closers only.
Tonight's post brought to you by Land Yacht:
Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Now is the time we dance monkey-boys.
Close it up
Kasich Now Called for Second
Cruz battling Jeb for 3rd. Rubio also in the mix, possibly, for 3rd.
Via our lovely Laura, you have to see the Huffington Post's home page.
They changed it. It had said "NH GOES RACIST, SEXIST, XENOPHOBIC" -- the middle one being butthurt about Hilz.
Now it's just normal Huffington Post stupid.
The Main Page, as it Had Been: When I saw it, it was even more garish than this, but this is what it said:
New NH Thread: FoxNews Calls NH for Trump
Only 4% in, but they think they have enough to call him a winner.
They cannot call the other places.
They have also called it for Sanders.
Here are Allahpundit's -- he explains his hunches, and it's all plausible enough. Good starting point for your own guesswork, maybe.
I'm going to stick to my own prediction -- Trump comes in 2nd -- not because I particularly believe it, but just because I already made it and backing off from it gains me nothing, whereas sticking by it, should this lottery ticket pay money, makes me look like a genius, which, of course, I actually am, but this fact is not broadly nor enthusiastically enough proclaimed.
I stand by my other prediction that Rubio comes in first. for similar reasons, plus, of course, my own not-very-subtle attempt to play the Expectations Game against him.
Whoah: Okay, bear in mind, the Decision Desk crew is a crowdsourced effort. Further, keep in mind they do not have the institutional wisdom that other polling outfits have -- they're still learning their craft.
So I wouldn't put much stock in this. That's not a knock on them; it's just an acknowledgement of the hugely ambitious project they've chosen for themselves.
But this is what their own exit polling says:
Also bear in mind these are exit polls only of "bellwether precincts." But a bellwether is really only predictive in a 2-man or 2-party race. How do you have a bellwether which can be expected to be predictive of a 10-man race?
And please, let this not turn into "Elevated expectations for Cruz, which are then dashed (proving him a loser!!!) should he not meet them."
This is a new kid on the block doing their first exit poll. It should not set expectations. It's just some interesting data.
Update: Per Fox, Belknap county is a bellwether which has a good record of predicting the 1-2-3 finishes in the whole state.
That said, their predictiveness might be off when, say, you trade a social conservative in the third slot for a moderate. Like, predicting Huntsman in third does not mean you can predict Cruz in third, as a different kind of voter would vote Cruz.
Beyond the first three places, who knows?
Wait. What? The Decision Desk Has An Exit Poll?!
You better believe it does! Brandon didn't put all those people on the ground in New Hampshire just to punch numbers into a spreadsheet, you know.
Three hours left to sign up. We will be releasing our New Hampshire bellwether primary exit poll to subscribers. https://t.co/jMSdY2yABw— Decision Desk HQ (@DecisionDeskHQ) February 9, 2016
It'll be released at
5:00pm 7:00pm Eastern to newsletter subscribers.
Bumped by Ace. Still time to subscribe to the newsletter.
Big? Rumor Says Scientists Have Finally Detected Elusive "Gravitational Waves"
Gravitational waves are important for a few reasons. One of those reasons is that they would prove the existence of black holes, which are "proven" now only by mathematics plus indirect indications.
The idea is that when two black holes begin orbiting each other, they speed up more and more and start pumping out gravitational waves.
In addition, gravitational waves are predicted by Einstein's relativity equations. They themselves are predicted, but not proven. So just detecting the waves themselves would be big deal.
The LIGO system is a neat way to detect these gravitational waves. They cut a long, long shaft beneath the earth. They hanged two weights at the end of this long shaft.* (I think this shaft is like a kilometer long. I mean, it's long.) A laser is bounced between the weights (well, mirrors on the weights). One side has a sensor of some kind on it.
The idea is that the weights are insulated enough from other forces that the only thing that can disturb them would be gravitational waves, crossing the galaxy from a swirl of black holes light-centuries away. Well, there'd be earthquakes, gravity from planets, etc., disturbing them, but those inputs are themselves measured and then subtracted out of the math. If you can measure that noise, you can subtract that noise out of your measurements.
Because each perturbance would be actually undetectable -- way too small for even the most sensitive sensors to detect -- the perturbance will be indicated by the overlay of many, many laser bounces on to each other. It is believed that if a tiny disturbance moves one weight, you would be able to see that if, say, 3000 laser lines showed a flutter, when their signals were all piled on to each other.
That's the "interferometer" part. The laser lines interfere with each other's waves, and should produce a detectable signal from what would otherwise be an undetectable nudge.
Kind of the way you can't detect Obama's lies from a single instance but when you pile up a thousand of them the pattern becomes clear.
This LIGO (which stands for Large Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) has been bouncing laser lines for a while now, and checking to see how their interference patterns might indicate a disturbance.**
* Actually I think they cut a long "L" shaped shaft in the earth, and have lasers bouncing via a mirror at the corner of the L from one weight to the other, but, you know. I'm not big on details.
** Laser light, having the same sinuous waveform, should just overlap upon itself perfectly, assuming you have the laser bouncing at an exact multiple of its wavelength. That is, say you have a laser with a wavelength of 1 mm. If the laser is being bounced back and forth at a distance of exactly 1 m (exactly 1000 mm), then each peak of the laser should overlay perfectly with every other peak, and every trough should overlay with every other trough.
Now, if this distance is slightly altered -- like if a gravitational wave nudges a mirror slightly -- the laser wave-forms will not overlay perfectly. You'll see them go out of sync.
They'll go out of sync so slightly you couldn't tel from a few back-and-forth runs of the laser, but when you keep piling up the runs, the out-of-sync situation should become clear.
Well, not to the eye. You have to do a bunch of math. But then you'll see it.
In 2009, Hillary Clinton's Press Handler Philip Reines Demanded that Marc Ambinder Describe One of Her Speeches as "Muscular" In Exchange For an Early Transcript Of It
Gawker looks through Hillary's emails and finds why Hillary gets good press -- because she actually blackmails people into it, and then forbids them from saying they were blackmailed.
And no, I'm not making that up -- in the email in which Reines demands that Ambinder characterize her remarks as "muscular" (as well as demanding he note the heavy-hitters she's delivering the speech to, to, I assume, further suggest that Hillary is a Powerfully Strong Woman), his first demand is that Ambinder not say he was "blackmailed" into any of this.
Well, don't take my word for it. Here's the email:
A nonzero number of people would have remembered the time Ambinder exposed attempted blackmail by a HRC official pic.twitter.com/oJ20a3LbOM— Kevin Glass (@KevinWGlass) February 9, 2016
And did Ambinder (then working as the politics director of The Atlantic) deliver?
You bet he did, folks. You bet he did.
Hillary Clinton's "Smart Power" Breaks Through
MARC AMBINDER JUL 15, 2009
When you think of President Obama's foreign policy, think of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. That's the message behind a muscular speech that Clinton is set to deliver today to the Council on Foreign Relations. The staging gives a clue to its purpose: seated in front of Clinton, subordinate to Clinton, in the first row, will be three potentially rival power centers: envoys Richard Holbrooke and George Mitchell, and National Security Council senior director Dennis Ross.
Reines specifically demanded that last bit, that Ambinder mention that the staging was not a coincidence, and sent a message.
Ambinder provides his own word -- "clue" -- so, see, he wrote this himself!
He does not mention he was blackmailed into writing precisely these words.
So, she got the trifecta.
David Brooks: "The Obama Administration Has Been Remarkably Scandal-Free"
A progressive -- a progressive not named David Brooks, I mean -- made this claim a couple of years ago. I think it was Jonathan Alter, but I can't track that down.*
Now, with Obama having sent 18 emails to Hillary's secret, illegal email system, thus exposing himself as having lied, yet again, when he claimed, yet again, to have learned about the system when you did, from the papers -- David Brooks claims that Obama has not just run a scandal-free administration, but a "remarkably scandal-free" administration. (That's a Jim Geraghty column taking Brooks to task, not a Brooks column.)
* Apparently the progressive commentator I'm thinking of is David Brooks-- last year, he claimed Obama was running an "amazingly scandal-free" administration.
** Actually, it was Jonathan Alter first, back in 2011.
I accidentally wrote "Jonathan Adler," who is a libertarian-ish lawyer working with the Volokh Conspiracy, instead of Jonathan Alter, who is an all-in prog commentator, often with MSNBC. Apologies to Adler for that disgraceful conflation!
Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Talks To... Politically Correct College Students
Oh man, oh man. Finally, the voice of reason, as delivered through a dog puppet, arrives.
NSFW. Apparently he's doing this for Hulu, so the light censorship of the Conan regime is out the window now.
"Looking for a safe space, at a safety school."
Hasui Kawase, "Self-Portrait at Kiyomizu Temple, Kyoto" (1933)
The Case Against Marco Rubio And For Ted Cruz
It’s easy to pick Ted Cruz if the choices are, well, everyone else still running for the GOP nomination. As I refuse to insult my fellow citizens by entertaining the idea that Donald Trump is a serious candidate worthy of debate, I will focus on why conservatives should pick Cruz over Marco Rubio.
First, let me say it if it isn’t clear…if I were a Republican who could vote in a GOP primary, I’d vote Cruz. He’s not my first choice, in fact he’s my 5th of this cycle, but here we are.
It’s Not Just Amnesty
The easy knock on Rubio is his flip-flop-flip from 2010. At that time he ran against “comprehensive immigration reform” with a pathway to citizenship and then embraced it when Chuck Schumer and Barack Obama came courting him. Now he still supports amnesty (by his own 2010 definition) but swears this time he’s all about security first (which was very different than what he said in 2013). If you believe this latest iteration, well sometimes hope triumphs over experience.
But it’s not just amnesty. Rubio is a big-government “compassionate conservative” who is very fond of using the tax code to push society in directions he likes. I would never say he’s not a conservative but it’s not a brand of conservatism I adhere to. We’ve tried his approach before and government expanded and expanded.
On ObamaCare he’s once again shown his big government instincts. Is the approach he’s outlined better than what we have now? Yes. Could there be a lower bar? I doubt it. Bobby Jindal, one of the GOP’s leading health care figures, called Rubio’s approach of turning health insurance into a new government entitlement, “ObamaCare lite”. Yes, Jindal has subsequently endorsed Rubio but his critique still stands.
On foreign policy, if you think someone who supported the war in Libya and thinks we need to remove Assad (and deal with the US occupation that would be required) is the man to lead the nation, then Rubio is for you. If you think we’ve learned or should have learned something from multiple wars in the Muslim world over the last 15 years, then you should look elsewhere.
Rubio supporters will say it’s laughable that Rubio is part of “The Establishment” (however you chose to define it). For purposes of this post, I will concede only an insane, crazy person would think such a thing about Rubio.
When pressed on why he’s not a member of “The Establishment”, Rubio points to his race against Charlie Crist and not waiting his turn to run for President. Notably absent from this defense and any offer of proof I’ve ever seen are actual policy objections. The only disagreement I’ve seen anyone suggest there is between him and “The Establishment” is on how quickly Marco Rubio should rise to the top. There’s no suggestion of any major philosophical disagreements on substantive issues, just on where in line Rubio should be. Sure he’s more conservative than “The Establishment” on things like guns and abortion. So was…George W. Bush. Do you want to argue he’s not an “establishment” figure?
Is Rubio "The Establishment's" first choice? No. Jeb is next in line. Are members of "The Establishment" comfortable with him as a second choice? I'd say it seems so. Is there any doubt that in a Rubio-Cruz showdown "The Establishment" would go with Rubio? So, yeah.
Yes, Rubio supporters can trot out his Heritage Action score but that only shows he goes along, not that he’s going to lead anywhere. They simply can't show a single time he's bucked the party, not just with a vote but by publicly putting his neck on the line. I simply don't believe that when push comes to shove a President Rubio will be any more forceful in breaking up the consensus than Senator Rubio has been.
The reasons to support Ted Cruz
As I said, Cruz was not my first choice by a long-shot but here we are.
His past support for significantly higher legal immigration levels, his lack of details on an ObamaCare replacement and my general preference for governors give me pause. But assuming he doesn’t come up with a Rubio-like ObamaCare replacement plan, I’m willing to take the chance. And ultimately every vote is an act of faith informed by past behavior.
I am however heartened by his lack of enthusiasm for remaking the Mideast into some sort of liberty oriented paradise. It's not happening and I'm not willing to see thousands of Americans killed or wounded trying to prove a failed point.
Mostly it’s Cruz’s “behavior” that is the line of attack many of his detractors focus on. It’s something I like a lot.
Cruz is a bastard, of that I have no doubt. But he’s our bastard. He fights the fights I want fought. Has he won many of these fights? No. Does that matter to me? No.
He’s a single freshman Senator swimming against the tide of his party. How exactly was he supposed to win? What he has spent his time in the Senate doing is preparing the battlefield. He’s laid down markers forcing people to take sides and identifying the terms of the battle.
I understand why this alone isn’t enough for people to vote for him but the reality is if you want someone to change DC and the direction of the country, you have to elect someone who has shown they understand that there’s a problem, someone who has shown a willingness to point at people in his own “leadership” and say, “they have no clothes”.
Cruz’s detractors will say that he can’t get along and make deals. I say, good. Yes, deals will have to be made but too often the deals that are made are being made by people who agree on too much to begin with. I want a guy like Cruz who isn’t buying into the basic assumptions of DC and the permanent government class. I want a guy who sees himself as representing a group of people opposed to many of the bi-partisan, political class assumptions that underlie so much of what happens in DC.
Cruz opponents have claimed there’s so much bad blood between him and the GOP leadership in Congress he’ll never get what he wants. This argument amuses me to no end. After years of rolling over for Harry Reid and Barack Obama, the Republicans in Congress are finally going to find their spine by opposing…a President Cruz? That’s says more about Republicans in Congress and their supposed conservatism than it does Ted Cruz. And if you’re telling me this means a Republican President might veto a bloated spending bill passed by a Republican Congress, I say, “Bring it on!”
And when it comes to the ability to move legislation, the only example we have for Rubio was a disaster and one he's walked away from. That doesn't fill me with confidence for a potential President Rubio.
“But it’s an act!”, they’ll say. “Cruz’s resume is as conventional as they come!”
I don’t mind a guy pretending to be with me in spirit (if that's what's going on and I'm not saying it is) as long as he’s with me in action. If we’ve learned nothing else about Ted Cruz it’s that he’s very protective of his political brand and that brand isn’t “go along to get along”.
Will a President Cruz disappoint me and other conservatives? Sure. Will he have to deal with the reality that Presidents have to accept some lousy things to keep the machine working? Sure. And will events ultimately intrude on the fine theories of a campaign in ways we can’t imagine and won’t like? Absolutely.
But as we’re repeatedly told, there are no perfect candidates and you have to take the good with the bad. On balance, there’s far more good with Ted Cruz and the potential for more than with anyone else currently on offer.
Close it up
Triumph The Insult Comic Dog Visits A College
As above. Check out this video, it is hilarious. I'm amazed that the students stuck around while he was tearing into them.
Morning Thread (2-9-2016)
Best of luck to Brandon and his NH volunteer crew today.
Overnight Open Thread (2-8-2016) – Time Machine Edition
[Since I'm tired tonight and not feeling so great, I'm just gonna set the Ace Wayback machine dial to Fall 2004 and let things roll. It was a simpler, happier time when the jokes were fresh, the ewok's coat was still sleek and tawny, people actually cared about Andrew Sullivan, and everything seemed possible. But still even with the passage of time and the ravages of disappointment and life changes it's possible to make Conservative Commando or Foxfire Ninja Babe or perhaps even "Mrs. Ace of Spades" this evening. Just remember to tack on 25% for inflation. Come on - pony a little something up for old times sake.*]
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October 26, 2004
Fall Fundraising Drive
Sorry to be obnoxious, but I'm keeping this post a little sticky throughout the next couple of days. Meaning, it's going to keep getting bumped up near the top.
This is so annoying, I know. But think of me as a right-wing PBS, except instead of boring you to death with the Boston Pops and the seven-billionth "reunion" of Simon & Garfunkel (also known as "Simon & the guy who isn't Simon"), I give you cutting-edge political analysis mixed in with the occasional inappropriate use of the word "pooter."
Here's the pitch:
I figure that just about everyone who reads this site would be willing to donate $1 -- one buck -- four times a year. I figure there are four reason most don't:
1) Fear about using PayPal. All I can say is that the transactions are secure, meaning coded, the same sort of deal that Amazon and other on-line stores use. I never see your credit card number. Is there a risk? Well, is there a risk when you sign your name on your credit-card receipt and give it all to a perfect stranger when you buy Urban Culottes at Banana Republic?
2) But I don't have a PayPal account! You don't need one. Only the recipient needs an account. You just need a credit card, and the will to succeed in selling distress-sale real-estate. It's what I call "Money Motivation."
Seriously. PayPal is just how the money is collected. Donors just need to click on the PayPal button and enter their digits as if they were buying books from Amazon or, more likely, Japanese pornography.
And, actually, you don't even need a credit card. You can send them a e-check, and then they credit me once that clears.
3) It's a pain in the ass. Well, it's a minor pain in the ass, but honestly, the entire process takes two minutes. I've donated myself, so I know.
4) It's almost insulting to just give someone $1; it's better to not donate at all. This is just totally wrong. I have a good number of regular readers, and if half of them -- just half -- gave me four bucks a year, I'd end up with a pretty sweet haul. Not an Andrew Sullivan gilt-edged bandwidth haul or anything, but enough that I could get my creditors off my back and finally have a good answer when my family asks me why I spend so much time screwing around on the Internet.
The big point is that it's not really the size of the donation, it's how big the donation pool is. And if all of my regular readers who haven't donated before (anyone who has donated -- your subscription is in good standing) donated, it would be-- well, it would totally, utterly sweet.
Like I said, it's a buck. About the cost of a cup of coffee at 7-11, and 133% of the cost of a single copy of the New York Times.
Of course, not everyone is going to donate-- I think probably 1% of my readers donate at most -- so if you felt like giving $3 or $5 or $10 or $20 or even $50, that would be pretty darn cool too.
Like political fundraisers, I've decided to at least give you something in return for your donation-- cool nicknames.
$1 donors are Ace of Spades Rangers. Also known as "the Lighting Guys."
$3 donors are Ace of Spades Super-Rangers. Also known as "Grahams."
$5 donors are Ace of Spades Super-Excellent Rangers. Also known as "Johns."
$10 donors are Ace of Spades Pioneers. Also known as "Vinnie Falcones."
$20 donors are Ace of Spades Pioneers Who Slice Like F'n Hammers. Also known as "Joes." But in this case, I don't need to ask "Where's Joe?" Joe is right next to my heart, buying me beer.
$50 donors are Ace of Spades Special-Detachment Ultra-Cool Conservative Commandos. At this level of donation, you're just freaking awesome you're known as "Mr. Paul Anka, the Only Important One on That Stage."
Anyone who donates more than that is some sort of special transcendent being who is actually more super-amazing than Mr. Paul Anka, if you can believe such a thing. At that level, I have to think of individualized nicknames.
At any rate, sorry for the blegging. It's something I actually have to do from time to time, though.
Just consider how pissed off Andrew Sullivan would be if every one of you guys sent $1 or $3.
F'n' Weisenheimer Update: Well, it's not as good as an actual donation, but Spongeworthy donates a pretty good laugh:
Just the other day I was thrashing a street urchin with my ebony walking stick and almost $50 fell out of my coat and I was so worn out from beating the little monkey that I just left it on the street! Fortunately another fairly prosperous looking fellow was in the area and was able to scoop up the money before the urchin could crawl over to get it.
So, in closing, let's just say "Not this year" and leave it at that, okay? Let's not have an embarassing scene here.
Update-- Chicks Want Better Nickames. Okay, I guess it's not cool to call a girl "Vinny Valcone." Here's my alternate scheme for nicknames for the fairer sex:
If you're one of my three female readers, and you donate $1, you get to be called Ace of Spades Spear-Carriers of Athena. Or "Babette." Your choice.
Female readers donating $3: Ace of Spades Warrior Princess. Or, um, "Stacey." Stacey's a good name. Kind of a hot name. You kind of know what you're getting with a "Stacey," and it's all good. It's allll good.
Female readers donating $5: Ace of Spades Amazon Queen. Or, ummmm... Heather.
Female readers donating $10: Ace of Spades Ilsa, She-Wolf of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. Or, um, "Dominique." Okay, I admit it, now I'm just handing out stripper-names. Look, pretty much everything on this site degenerates into something dirty and wrong at some point.
Female readers donating $20: Ace of Spades Barbarian Axe-Sister Who Slices Like an F'n' Hammer. Or, I guess, Krystallyn.
$50 donors are Ace of Spades Special-Detachment Foxfire Ninja Babes. At this level of donation, you're just freaking awesome you're known as "Ms. Paul Anka, the Only Important One on That Stage." Or, alternately, "Summer Brees."
Anyone female donating more than $100 gets a special nickname, which might range from "Jessie" to "Mrs. Ace of Spades."
* And yes the Commandos and Ninja Babes get shirts.**
** I mean I assume so - it's not like Ace even approved this but I just can't see him breaking the Anka code either.
All Polls Are Hot Garbage.
Here's Some Particularly Smelly Garbage.
I'm not even going to bother telling you what the poll says because the poll just creates this stupid expectations game for the actual vote.
Rubio slipping to 4th might be the best possible poll result -- then, a higher position is a win.
Same with Cruz, falling to 5th. (Though, as Drew notes -- if Cruz rises to 3rd, don't expect the media/establishment gushing that a bronze is as good as a gold.)
Jeb and Kasich are moving up, supposedly, because... I don't know. Because New Hampshire is filled with dumb liberals.
Oh, and the FBI has now officially stated the obvious -- they're looking at Hillary Clinton's emails.
Excellent Trolling: Look at this guy's shirt.
Update: You're going to hear about this anyway, might as well hear about it from me.
Close it up
Scalding Hot Chick From Blurred Lines Video Feels the Bern
Put on CSPAN Now
So, to spare you looking the uncensored video up, here it is.
She expanded her range in Gone Girl, where she played a super-hot chick.
She also appears as a sought-after model, where she models her hot breasts.
So she's on Team Bernie:
She introduced him at a New Hampshire event. She said:
So I am a young woman and um, well, just to make one thing clear: I'm here because I support Bernie Sanders... I'm not here for the boys.
But yeah, I want a female president so that I can say to my daughter one day, you too can become president of the United States. I believe in that symbolic importance.
But I have seen symbolism in election, symbolism that FAILS the people that so desperately need the ACTION to make change. I want my first female president to be more than a symbol, I want her to have politics that can revolutionize.
She continues saying things like this isn't about gender and stuff.
So she's not just hot, she's the hottest kind of woman of all -- a self-hating woman, who will probably let you do the dirty stuff too.
Update: Put on CSPAN now if you want to see Bernie Sanders' Legion of Hippies swaying drunkenly to bad hippie music.
My God, that band was terrible. It was like Blues Traveler got into Debbie Wasserman-Schultz' medicine cabinet.
Pander Bear - Weirddave
Looking at this election season on the Republican side, I am surprised by how few people see something that is so blindingly obvious to me that it might as well be in the beam of a 1,000,000 candlepower spotlight. Then I remember that my professional background enables me to recognize something that may not be so obvious to others. Let me explain.
For the past 20 years, I have been an insurance agent. It is primarily a financial services job, but it is also by its nature a sales job, so for the past 20 years or so I've seen hundreds and hundreds of would-be salesmen and women troop in and out of jobs with the various agencies where I've worked.
When I started in this industry, my mentor told me “You can be a salesman chasing a commission check, and you'll burn out in a couple of years and wind up hawking used cars off a lot down in Dundalk, or you can be a financial professional focused on your client's needs and have a rewarding lifelong career and oh yea, make a lot of money”. You know what? He was right. But still, through the years, the salesmen, always the salesmen. They troop in and troop out, toiling in the salt mines for a day, a week, a year, but rarely for longer than that. Some of them are nice guys. Some of them are trustworthy. All of them, however, have their focus on what the client can do for them, usually money wise, and all of them utilize some variation of the pander. There's a very fine line between pandering and sincerity that I have gotten very, very good at spotting because it often makes the difference between a successful agent and a mediocre or poor one.
This is the job: A client contacts you, either cold through the phone book or the internet or through a referral. You talk to them on the phone for a few minutes, getting an handle on their individual situation and their needs. If you think you can help them, you make an appointment to meet with them at their home or office. You show up at the appointment, meet them for the very first time, spend 30, 60 or 90 minutes (sometimes more, but not often) establishing what their needs are and going over various solutions to those needs. Once you've established that, you do paperwork and then they write you a check, sometimes for thousands of dollars. Then you leave and the real job begins, because they are now your client and it's up to you to make sure what you sold them really does meet their needs and to handle their future insurance, investment and other financial requirements.
That time that you spend in their house, that 30-60 minutes, that's the golden hour. In that time you go from being an almost complete stranger to being trusted with sums of money. It's not easy. If you're skilled (and I am) and you're sincere (I'm that too, people fascinate me), it's amazing what happens. Last night I was down in Baltimore City, sitting with a 27 year old black woman and her mother, discussing health insurance for her and her son. I'd been there about half an hour and we're all three doubled over, laughing hysterically discussing how different plans would cover her “itchy vagina” (really). 45 minutes earlier neither of them had laid eyes on me in their life. Not only were they pleased with what we came up with, the mother got her son on the phone and demanded that he make an appointment with me next week as well. As I said, it's a skill.
But suppose you don't have that skill? Suppose you're nervous about being a white guy from the suburbs down in the city at night meeting a couple of black women? Suppose you don't feel comfortable in your job, or your products or your abilities? What then? How do you convince people to trust you enough to write you a check before you leave?
Then you pander. You fake sincerity. You laugh too loud, emote wrong, emphasize the wrong thing. “Wow, what a great couch! That's fantastic! I've never seen a couch like that!”. You prevaricate. You sound like Damone from Fast Times at Ridgemont High giving Mark Ratner dating tips. You bluster, you bullshit, you use your personality to overwhelm. You lie. YOU SELL.
Since I train new agents how to successfully do the job, I've learned to notice all of these things over the years. When I view the three top Republican candidates for president through the lens of my job as a professional trainer, it's easy to pick up the pander.
Trump is easy. Bold, brash, bowling you over with the force of his personality. He makes you want to believe him. Trump! Fuck yeah! In a 4 week election cycle, he would have been unstoppable. Trump's problem is that since his schtick is telling you what you want to hear, over time he contradicts himself. The longer the campaign goes on, the thinner his act wears and the more obvious it becomes to anyone who is actually listening to him that he'll say anything that he thinks will benefit him at that moment, then say the opposite an hour later. He has no ethics. I wouldn't even hire him for the type of work I do. He's strictly used car salesman, not long-term relationship sales.
Rubio is a little different. Good looking, reasonably well spoken, seemingly sincere. Rubio's problem is that he doesn't really believe in what he's selling. His solutions are ultimately facile. He doesn't want to discuss in detail, so he misdirects. An example(paraphrasing things Rubio has said. These are not his direct words, this is just an example of HOW he does it):
Amnesty? No, he's not for amnesty now, because there are several more important things that we have to do first, for example ISIS is now a much greater threat. We have to secure the border to protect ourselves from terrorists. Wouldn't you agree that terrorists are a much greater threat? You would? Good, here's what I'm going to do about them.
Now, terrorists may or may not be a threat, but notice what happened there. He disavowed amnesty...or did he? He actually didn't. He said there were things to do first. He didn't say that amnesty wouldn't come later. He misdirected to border security as it pertains to ISIS. An important topic, to be sure, but not the one at hand. He's trying to “close the sale” (get your vote) without pinning down specifics. I strongly suspect that that is because he doesn't want to commit himself. If history is any judge, once he gets the vote he'll then be free to do whatever he wants, and what he wants (or what the money behind him wants), is amnesty. Just so you don't realize that NOW.
I originally thought Cruz was the worst of the lot. When this campaign started, he struck me as nothing so much as a revival tent preacher or a televangelist. Now those are some skeevy people who exist solely to con people (with one or two very rare exceptions). What I came to realize, however, is that Ted Cruz' problem is that he is sincere in what he is saying, but in trying too hard to convey that genuine sincerity through his vocal inflections he wound up emulating a universally reviled class of people who are past masters of using vocal intonations to project fake sincerity. Thankfully he's gotten a lot better, he must have had some vocal coaching in the last year. He's not perfect yet, but if it hadn't have been so pronounced before I'd have a harder time picking up on the remnants of it now. As to whether he actually means what he says, well, I found this clip to be telling:
That is the opposite of pandering. Leaving aside the policy arguments of ethanol, Cruz didn't back away from or misdirect the question. He confronted it head on, acknowledged it, and then countered it. You may or may not agree with his counter-argument, but he isn't running away from his position.
It's actually rather nice to see a politician act like he believes in what he says.
Close it up
In Heat of the Crucible, Candidates Start Revealing Themselves
By the last part I assume he means "I will be accountable for my own presidency, and I won't, like this mewling quim Obama, forever seek to lay the blame for my nonperformance on my predecessor."
Eh, that's fine, but... I think the GOP is in a Blame Obama mood.
On the first part, I gotta say, I don't care anymore. This cycle has really proven that PACs aren't everything.
Still, we're only now entering the part of the primary where people are moving off scripted ConservaSpeak and revealing their true selves. I wish this could go on longer -- and not be mostly over as of tomorrow.
For example, John Kasich was asked, by a Democrat, why he should have that Democrat's vote.
Well shit, where do I sign up, Johnny?
A possibly very confused voter at a John Kasich town hall in Windham, New Hampshire, wanted to know why she should vote for the Ohio governor in the "Democratic primary" — and Kasich, a Republican, didn't correct her. The question did not seem to be a slip of the tongue, either: The voter said she was having a hard time deciding between Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and John Kasich in the "Democratic primary" and wanted to know why Kasich should have her vote.
"Isn't that interesting," Kasich said as the crowd around her gasped. However, without mentioning his political allegiance or correcting the voter, Kasich went on to position himself as a good compromise between Sanders and Clinton saying, "One of them's too hot, one of them's too cold, but I've got the right temperature."
In the podcast, I criticized myself for never actually listening to Kasich during debates. Now, I retract that criticism. It was time well saved.
In what is properly termed an "insane moment" in Saturday's debate, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and Jeb Bush all agreed with the suggestion that, now that women are approved (by Obama's radical social engineering executive order) for all combat positions, girls should therefore be signed up with Selective Service for any future draft.
It seems some people aren't very interested in challenging the prison of progressive thought created by the media-Democratic regime -- just in being kinder wardens.
Ted Cruz disagrees, and calls this "nuts."
"It was striking that three different people on that stage came out in support of drafting women into combat in the military," Cruz said of his primary rivals at Saturday night’s GOP debate.
"I have to admit, as I was sitting there listening to that conversation, my reaction was: Are you guys nuts?" he added during a speech in New Hampshire.
Meanwhile, Trump is sounding more radical now. Your mileage may vary on whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.
In a nearly one-hour speech, Trump railed against pharmaceutical companies. He railed against oil companies. And insurance companies. And defense contractors. And he set himself against a political system that he said allows big-money corporate "bloodsuckers" to control the government with campaign contributions.
"Whether it's the insurance companies, or the drug companies, or the oil companies, it's all the same thing," Trump said. "We're never going to get our country back if we keep doing this."
Trump promised to allow the government to negotiate drug prices — a common position among Democrats but rarely heard at nominally Republican events. He said he would not raise military spending, arguing that the nation's defenses can be improved without increasing its already huge Pentagon budget. He promised tough sanctions on American companies that move jobs overseas.
There were portions of Trump's Plymouth speech that sounded like Bernie Sanders, if Sanders had Trump's sense of showmanship.
I don't know how I feel about this -- it would depend on what he's specifically proposing, and he's usually very light on specifics. I think most would agree that major donors and corporations should have no special favors -- but also, no special punishments for their success, either. It's very hard to differentiate "no special favor" from an affirmatively punitive measure without knowing what it is, exactly, that is being proposed.
This video of Rubio is kind of funny.
Doritos Commercial Features an Ultrasound of a Baby, and the Left Loses Their Minds
Twitchy rounded up some of the most hysterical histrionics.
This one from NARAL:
Apparently there was also some ad about babies conceived on Super Bowl day. I didn't see it. But NARAL of Ohio did, and they took the opportunity to agitate for IUDs.
More Super Bowl babies?!?! Get thee an IUD! #MediaWeLike— NARAL ProChoice Ohio (@ProChoiceOH) February 8, 2016
These organizations are ostensibly pro-"choice," but they seem hostile to the idea that sometimes people actually want to have children.
There isn't even the "Kids are great, but make sure you want to have 'em when you have sex" sort of caveat.
They're just assuming that everyone should hate children, childbirth, and the continuation of the Race of Man, because obviously.
There's a creepy book called the Conspiracy Against The Human Race by Thomas Ligotti (the horror writer/dark fantasist that True Detective ripped off). He takes the position of extreme philosophical pessimism: That existence is painful and unbearable, and that the proper position towards it is deliberate human self-extinction -- either suicide, or, less dramatically, simply no longer having children.*
The title of his book is a near-acronym for "Cathar." The Cathar heresy is claimed to have posited that we live in the devil's world and that begetting children into it was therefore sinful.
NARAL seems to be objectively pro-Cathar. The idea of "choice" seems written out of their agitation completely; they seem on Ligotti's self-extinction side of things.
Old ideas never die; they just start receiving federal funding.
* The book is nevertheless fascinating for exploring, with apparent seriousness (?), such an outlandish, almost science-fiction idea. It's not persuasive, but it is compelling.
I'm not sure if he means it all seriously. I think he might have had a weird idea in mind: That he would write the world's first non-fiction horror novel. That is, all of the stuff in his book is "real," in the sense that he's dredged up actual quotes and premises from little-known pessimistic philosophers.
His goal, I think, is to construct a cosmological horror novel not from Lovecraft's mighty beings but from real (if little-credited) philosophical ideas.
Anyway, interesting. Very strange.
Update: Commenters are warning me that we don't know what the Cathars actually believed, and the records of their beliefs are provided by their enemies, who I believe included the Inquisition.
So let me walk that back and say that popularly, it is imagined that this is what the Cathars believed, and that Ligotti's title cannot be coincidence.
More: Young Female Democrats "Perplexed" By Hillary Clinton's Claim That They Should Support Her Just Because She's a Woman
I know I covered this basic idea earlier but it keeps popping up. Seems to be worth mentioning again.
Also, I forgot to mention two stories from the weekend.
First, Gloria Steinem said that young women are supporting Bernie Sanders to meet boys.
That has to be the most sexist thing ever. Seriously! She's claiming these little girls have nothing go on in their heads, no "agency," no concern other than meeting some cute (?) liberal boys.
She said this on the Bill Maher show.
Asked why the former secretary of state isn't doing better among young women, Steinem said females typically don’t start taking politics seriously until they get older.
"When you're young, you're thinking, 'Where are the boys?' The boys are with Bernie," Steinem added.
Maher was immediately taken aback by Steinem's comment.
"Now if I said that -- 'Yeah, they're for Bernie 'cause that's where the boys are' — you'd swat me," Maher said.
"No, I wouldn't," Steinem fired back.
Yes you would.
She claims now that her clear-as-polished-crystal statement was merely "misinterpreted," and she apologizes for your misinterpretation.
Vinegary old crow Madeleine Albright then declared: "“There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other" at a Clinton rally. This stinking, cheesy discharge of a statement is a claim she's been making since 2008, so, these foul cows figure, it's "nothing new" and therefore completely unobjectionable.
In an unrelated note, Mein Kampf was published in 1931.
With this noxious stink of special pleading and straight-up Gender Superiority politics a-swirl, the Daily Beast interviewed female Sanders supporters, who say they just don't understand this truly bizarre claim that Gals Gotta Stick Together, even if they disagree on fundamental points.
"[Hillary is] confused about what feminism means, she thinks feminism just means female empowerment only, it means a lot more than that," said Ainsley-Aude Croteau, 24, of Durham, New Hampshire. "Feminism is gender equality, I think she's trying to appeal to young women voters by shouting feminism in our faces, but were not one-track-minded people."
Croteau was one of nearly a dozen women interviewed by The Daily Beast who attended the Sanders rally on Sunday afternoon in a community college gymnasium. They were all genuinely perplexed by the idea that Clinton deserved their support solely based on her gender.
Another young woman called Hillary's emails "wicked shady."
Croteau is given the last word:
"Bernie doesn't treat us like we're children, he treats us like we are adults. He doesn't try to talk down to us with the feminism thing," she said. "It's not a girl power thing, it's a gender equality power thing."
This Hillary Clinton thing might really not be happening.
Then again, if she is the nominee, I expect all of these Social Justice Warrioresses to be parroting #WarOnWomen like Stepford Voters.
Et Tu, Debbie? Debbie Wasserman-Schultz' statement, intended to be about Carly Fiorina -- that "just because you're a woman doesn't mean you're good for women" -- gets a new airing in light of women's rejection of Hillary.
Dead Heat Nationally: Last week a poll put the national race at a dead heat, 45-42.
Now another poll puts it at the same dead heat, this time, 48-45.
Clintons Eye Staff Shake-Up After New Hampshire
When you really need to replace the candidate, but can't, you've got to replace everyone else.
Hillary and Bill Clinton are so dissatisfied with their campaign's messaging and digital operations they are considering staffing and strategy changes after what's expected to be a loss in Tuesday’s primary here, according to a half-dozen people with direct knowledge of the situation.
The Clintons -- stung by her narrow victory in Iowa -- had been planning to reassess staffing at the campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters after the first four primaries, but the Clintons have become increasingly caustic in their criticism of aides and demanded the reassessment sooner, a source told POLITICO.
The talk of shake-up echoes what happened in 2008 -- when Hillary Clinton was on the verge of sacking her campaign manager and several top communications officials -- before her surprise win here bailed out her beleaguered staff.
The password is "schlonged."
Funny: Hillary's top donor is the Fat Shaming Corporation Slimfast.
Serial Harasser and Accused Rapist Bill Clinton Complains "BernieBros" Are Treating Women Shabbily
Bizarrely -- hopefully? -- young women are actually turned off by Hillary's relentless play of the vagina card, though this might be due mostly to the fact that they already oppose Hillary and support Sanders. That is, when someone (especially someone without much actual principle to their thinking) is against someone, she might just change her principles around to further oppose that person.
Be that as it may, I suppose it's good that this group is still capable of objecting to genuine sexist appeals.
Young women in New Hampshire were offended by the way Hillary Clinton uses her gender to garner support, an MSNBC survey revealed Friday.
When MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall asked young female voters about Hillary Clinton’s claim on Wednesday that she is not an establishment candidate because she is a woman, they responded negatively.
One of the respondents said that she did not like how Clinton assumed that her feminism was identical to the feminism of all women.
“I also am a woman. I also face discrimination as being a woman. Her feminism does not represent my feminism, and I think it’s really important to differentiate that,” one young woman said. Her complaint is a common one among young women and reveals a generational divide within the Democratic Party.
Another respondent said that Clinton’s gender does not automatically make her the best candidate...
Hall expressed shocked at the responses she received to her questions...
"Here you are in New Hampshire, this progressive college environment, and young woman after young woman really shrugging it off and taking issue with the fact that Hillary Clinton brought it up," Hall said. "I thought that was fascinating. It blew me away. Of all the things last night, I didn’t see that coming."
Meanwhile, Hillary says she'll release the transcripts of the speeches she was paid to give Wall Street on one condition -- that everyone else release theirs.
There's a reason she doesn't want to release these -- she kisses up to Wall Street in them, and makes it clear that she's Their Girl.
Vincent Van Gogh, "Wheat Field Under Clouded Sky" (1890)
Repost- Thoughts on Economic Freedom
***This post originally ran last Friday***
Hi guys, I'm here just coalescing some thoughts and observations. Ace had complained recently that politicians don't seem to have much of a tongue for conservative philosophy (also known as basic economic facts) anymore.
I live in Connecticut, where the Mighty Corrupt Idiot Governor Dannel P. M' Uuhhhloy is busy cooking the books and turning my beautiful state into a debtor's prison. So some things have been on my mind.
We look around us and our hearts sink at the tangle we're in. Our national debt will enslave future generations. The political, media, and corporate classes are in an intractable, incestuous conspiracy against the People. Top officers of government are selling American sovereignty and security out from underneath the citizenry, placing us all in risk. Washington D.C. is the lap of wealth and comfort, while everywhere else people are scraping by, underemployed or unemployed.
If we want to be able to explain to people why economic freedom is so great, we need to point out why the alternative is deficient. We don't have far to look. In our formerly great cities and states, we are doomed to watch again the same blight of poor governance that we had watched fail forty years ago. Why hasn't anyone learned this lesson, with the many times it has been self-taught?
These governments promise too much to too many. Many nepotic and corrupt arrangements bloom within and without the government apparatus. The politicians vow to make the rich pay for it all. Eventually as economic downturns and excessive public spending create budget shortfalls, the 'rich' must include the middle class.
The lackluster policing that frequently accompanies these regimes makes the area an unsafe place to raise children. Taxpayers can see that they will never be able to improve their lot in life or help their own kids if they are continually harassed and bled of their earnings. In most ways that count to ordinary people, money IS freedom.
So the taxpayers eventually leave for places that offer greater opportunity to control one's destiny. Where they can confidently own their own labor, live comfortably, and not be nickled-and-dimed down to their dental fillings. The municipal entities that house those new living quarters see an increase in overall prosperity and commerce, as taxpayers and workers who by definition add value to their surroundings, arrive in greater numbers.
The original localities however lose their tax base and must cut services. The end result is a condition of runaway poverty and neglect. I don't need to list the specific cities. We have all seen this movie before. Forty years ago, and today.
American economic freedom is indivisible from American freedom itself.
If your political ideology sees all of this, and your inclination is to preserve the status quo in D.C., and to make sure working people must be harnessed to the national plow and therefore cannot have economic freedom regardless of where they go inside the country, then you are anti-American and you must be defeated. Soundly. No matter what party you are a member of.
"Ours is a vision of limited government and unlimited opportunity, of growth and progress beyond what any can see today. A saying in colonial times suggested there are two ways to get to the top of an oak tree, where the view is much better. One is to climb; the other is to find an acorn and sit on it. [Laughter] Well, I didn’t come to Washington to sit on acorns. [Laughter] It’s time to roll up our sleeves and start climbing. . . ." -Ronald Reagan
That was then, Ron. Today we need a chainsaw.
American liberals have thoroughly erased the real story about American economic freedom from common working knowledge. It was real during the Reagan years, and it was glorious. Lower taxes and regulations meant that people were more free in an absolute sense. They took chances on their own skins, they won, they lost, and overall the economy roared. I don't wonder that some have worked so hard to discredit a history that many of us so recently lived. It has to have been terribly embarrassing to be continually proved wrong for eight years.
Today's economy in comparison is a weak and pallid victim of government predation. It doesn't have to be this way.
We keep hearing about the poor, as if being successful means someone else must be poor. But the Reagan years proved that was poppycock. The best way to help the poor is to grow the economy to such grand dimensions that economic opportunity is nearly impossible to avoid. And the truly needy poor who remain will be far better off. Giving to others requires excess wealth to exist, first, after all.
Questioning our cultural attitudes about the poor and the successful is a worthwhile subject for conservatives to explore. Here's one facet: modern liberals, when challenged about their hostility toward prosperous companies and wealthy people, will says things like, "Well, OF COURSE we like it when people achieve highly, but they also need to give something back (to the poor, we assume)." But in actual practice, they do not show any pleasure when people achieve. In fact it seems to piss them off. They will often say out loud that it is unfair that others should be wealthy, while poor people yet exist. And all of their efforts at helping people to do well are only for their favored cronies and pet causes. When it comes to how they treat everyone else who is participating in the economy at large, they are always cheering for the shakedown, but never encouraging the achievement. Actions speak louder than words. And the actions of liberals trend heavily toward punishing success as if it were a sin. We could further get into how they wrongheadedly celebrate victimhood and dependency as if they were virtues, but this article is already too long.
Very simply, if we want to live in a prosperous country, we all need to think like mature adults and start using the language of success and prosperity, with no reservations. We should not be afraid to talk truthfully about how great it is to do well, how important it is to be able to withstand adversity, and to congratulate those who do well and are financially resilient. We should attempt to cultivate success and propagate the message and means of prosperity among the younger people.
What more positive and loving message for your fellow man can there be, than to be an unabashed booster for his success and independence?
What kind of curmudgeonly national mood have we fallen into, if we despise those who have overflown poverty, and threaten to drag them down to Earth, in some deformed idea of justice?
I don't want to be that kind of person. I certainly don't want to associate with that kind of person; the sort of person who is unhappy when I do well. The sort of person who is happy when my success has been thwarted. To Hell with that guy, who needs him? And why would anyone vote for him?
Friends, you are my American brethren. Because I love my country, I love you too, and want you to be as prosperous and happy as you can possibly be. In fact it is imperative to our nation's survival that you and your families flourish. Anybody who views you growing your wealth as a bad thing, or who wants to put a heavy yoke on it, needs to go eat a big ol' poop.
Close it up
Morning Thread (2-8-2016)
Word has it that the New Hampshire Decision Desk is in need of volunteers due to flight cancellations from today's New England blizzard.
If you can get to Nashua by 8pm tonight and have some time to spare on a great project, email Brandon at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Overnight Open Thread (2-7-2016)
One thing: I don't really believe that Donald Trump is a small-government sort or really pro-life or particularly pro-gun or hesitant to get involved in blatant social engineering. But I do think that the man genuinely loves the United States of America. And that he would not hesitate to [expletive deleted] up the [expletive deleted] of anybody who [expletive deleted] with us.
-- Moe Lane
My problem with Sanders is that he's ultimately a coward. He talks a great game about being dedicated to a "political revolution," but he is utterly unwilling to employ the means required to achieve the ends desired.
...Bernie Sanders has to believe Hillary Clinton is part of the problem. But he won't say so, save to prattle on about Clinton's super PACs and speaking fees. That's amateur-hour stuff. It's academic-seminar-level griping, not revolution-fomenting. He wants to talk about the system, but he won't do what is minimally required to change it. And right now, the first step on that long road is steamrolling Hillary Clinton. It's like saying you want to do whatever it takes to fight malaria, but refusing to say much about the huge, sprawling, and fetid marshlands in the middle of downtown. The Clintons are swamp creatures, taking what they need and leaving in their retromingent wake the stench of corruption.-- Jonah Goldberg
Hot Blue-on-Blue Lady Action:
And they is learning:
North Korea has successfully placed its second satellite into a polar orbit using their newer version of the UnHa-3 rocket to launch what they are calling the KwangMyungSong-4 satellite. The satellite and its third-stage rocket booster are both being tracked by NORAD which is showing a near prefect circular and polar orbit.
Since the first North Korean satellite launched in December 2012 tumbled uncontrollably, our collective think-tanks' analysis had always been that North Korea was never able to communicate with that satellite. Yet it is humbly apparent that they did in fact learn from its failures. This second satellite is, for now, orbiting over the poles about every 94 minutes with its third stage booster somewhere near it.
Here is a previous launch of their UnHa-3 rocket:
Meanwhile: Crazy Ivan's Back in the North Atlantic
Frankly, if the Admiral remembers the 1980s, higher professionalism from the Russian Navy (than its Soviet predecessor) is probably a good thing for everyone, and it should simply inspire NATO navies to pursue professionalism also. Instead, however, we've been pursuing race and sex quotas with a single-mindedness that would get fiction's greatest whaling captain to tell us to "lighten up, shipmate."
...The great-grandsons of those iron men in iron boats now put to sea backed by a nation that may have its own issues, but is free of the technical isolation that led Soviet-era submarine technology to lag the West. Of course they've gotten better; that's what humans do, given half a chance. The cause of Admiral Johnstone's problem is not that the Russians have use the last two decades to get better, but that his nations' navies have not.What were we doing? Figuring out how long a plug had to go into new sub designs, so that we could have ladies' sanitary arrangements, because our lodestar was not the mission but the careers.
In a 2-1 decision applauded by gun rights advocates, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit concluded that the semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines banned by Maryland's Firearm Safety Act "are in common use by law-abiding citizens." As a result, they don't fall under the exception to the right to bear arms that applies to "unusual" weapons such as machine guns and hand grenades, the court said.
The significance of this decision is that it's in conflict with the decision of another appeals court and furthermore for the first time a court applied the 'strict scrutiny' standard - the highest possible threshold for the government to meet - to an assault weapons ban law. Gabe Malor explains the importance of this here.
Call it the fun grope rule.
I spoke with Sevag Yemenyjan outside of a Swedish language classroom. He fled Syria and left everything and everyone behind. I asked how he chose Sweden.
"Someone told me Sweden is good. They help for school, and help two years," said Yemenyjan in somewhat stilted English.
Two years refers to the time period for cash assistance to asylees. During that time, Yemenyjan will receive close to $54,000 to support himself, his wife, and two daughters. By comparison, if he and his family went to the US as refugees, they'd get a one-time payment of about $4,000. (There are other forms of non-cash assistance in both countries as well.)...Roughly 163,000 migrants applied for asylum in Sweden last year, the highest per capita rate in Europe; not surprising as the country has among the most generous social benefits in the world.
And not a toy for little girls either.
Unbeknownst to most, Barbie actually started out life in the late 1940s as a German cartoon character created by artist Reinhard Beuthien for the Hamburg-based tabloid, Bild-Zeitung. The comic strip character was known as "Bild Lilli", a post-war gold-digging buxom broad who got by in life seducing wealthy male suitors.
...She became so popular that in 1953, the newspaper decided to market a three-dimensional which was sold as an adult novelty, available to buy from bars, tobacco kiosks and adult toy stores. They were often given out as bachelor party gag gifts and dangled from a car's rearview mirror.
In the 1950s, one of the founders of Mattel, Ruth Handler (pictured above), was travelling to Europe and bought a few Lilli dolls to take home. She re-worked the design of the doll and later debuted Barbie at the New York toy fair on March 9, 1959.
Mattel acquired the rights to Bild Lilli in 1964, and production of the German doll ceased. (Funny how Barbie's lighter skin tone was just about the only noticeable change in the early days).
Weekly Commenter Standings
Top 10 commenters:
1 [502 comments] 'Mike Hammer, etc., etc.' [70.45 posts/day]
2 [478 comments] 'rickb223'
3 [398 comments] 'Christopher Taylor'
4 [330 comments] 'Pappy O'Daniel'
5 [324 comments] 'Ghost of kari - WAR'
6 [320 comments] 'Grump928(C) says Free Soothie!'
7 [312 comments] 'J.J. Sefton'
8 [310 comments] 'Bruce With a Wang!'
9 [305 comments] 'Bandersnatch, Opus/Bill the Cat 2016'
10 [303 comments] 'RWC - Team BOHICA'
Top 10 sockpuppeteers:
1 [157 names] 'SMOD/Orbital Nukes 2016! -- The only way to be sure' [22.03 unique names/day]
2 [79 names] 'Prince Ludwig the #Problematic'
3 [60 names] 'The Political Hat'
4 [42 names] 'angela urkel'
5 [41 names] 'Cicero (@cicero)'
6 [39 names] 'Count de Monet'
7 [37 names] 'Bertram Cabot Jr.'
8 [30 names] 'Bandersnatch, Opus/Bill the Cat 2016'
9 [29 names] 'Blue Hen'
10 [29 names] 'Benji Carver '
The group. Banned on 12 universities.
Where it's at - the Twitter
Tonight's post brought to you by go to hell, he politely explained:
Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips and tasteful nudes to maetenloch at gmail.
Close it up
Live Blogging the Colbert Show
I figure this will be awful, so I'm going to watch it and then blog about it. It's on CBS, now, at least in some markets.
Super Bowl XXXXX or, The Return of Coldplay (CBD)
Niedermeyer's Dead Horse, the star of this year's football threads, is on a plane, so you are stuck with my woefully inadequate internet search skills. And yes, some of these (maybe even all of them) are repeats, but you can't complain. Buy the Platinum package and you can get the AoSHQ live feed. I think Ace comes on at 5:30 to do his Rubio impression.
The Carolina Panthers are the prohibitive favorite, and my prediction is that after the halftime show, the number of eyeballs on the screens will drop precipitously. Yeah, a 24-7 halftime score plus Coldplay will do that.....
As the NFL moves farther and farther away from football's roots, it's only a matter of time before pads become unnecessary. $500/seat to watch flag football. I'm not sure America will go for it.
UPDATE: OMG! I am soooo disappointed in you CBD. Let me show you how it's done.
Don't make me have to tell you again. - NDH
Close it up
Food Thread: Predictive Text...The Newest Thing In Cooking [CBD]
please try this recipe i made using a predictive text imitator and The American Woman's Cook Book (1938) pic.twitter.com/X0NgV6FOTb— Jamie Brew (@jamieabrew) February 4, 2016
H/T Niedermeyer's Dead Horse
And it's not just the ingredients that are funny...click through and read the instructions.
Challah is a traditional Jewish bread, rather eggy and a bit sweet. It is served during holidays, in particular Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. But that one is often made into a round to symbolize the circle of life. It's also the word for the portion of any dough that is set aside for the Kohanim (the ancient priest class). I have no idea whether that is coincidence or there is some connection, so other Jews who actually listened in Hebrew School will have to help out with that question.
Challah is fun to eat, but its real function on earth is for French Toast. Perhaps that should be renamed "Jewish Toast?" We have Freedom Fries.....
So....Speedster1 bragged about how marvelous his wife's challah was. Yeah....sure. We all brag about stuff, but then run away when actually called on it. But after getting the actual recipe, and seeing the photo of the finished product, Speedster1 might be downplaying how good it is.
These instructions are for a bread machine, but will work with minor adjustments with any mixer capable of handling dough.
1 cup warm water
2 large eggs
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 large egg
sesame or poppy seeds, or both
1 - Add all (except topping) ingredients to bread machine in order listed.
2 - Set machine for pizza mixing (mine is a Cuisinart, and this setting mixes and goes through the first rise in 1 hour 30 minutes)
3 - Watch mixing of ingredients to assure a smooth dough. Add more water or flour to adjust
4 - Remove dough from machine. Punch down to deflate. place in an oiled bowl and turn to coat. cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight
5 - Preheat oven to 170 degrees for last rise. Grease baking sheet thoroughly. Remove dough from bowl and cut into three equal pieces. Roll into foot long ropes. Braid, folding ends under and pinching to secure.
6 - Place braided loaf on cookie sheet. Put in oven, turning off oven afterward for last rising. Set timer for 30 minutes.
7 - At the end of last rising, remove bread from oven. Preheat oven to 350.
8 - Brush risen loaf with egg and top with seeds
9 - Bake in preheated oven on the middle of rack for 22 minutes. Loaf will be thoroughly brown and risen.
10 - Remove from baking sheet and cool thoroughly before slicing. Loaf freezes well if wrapped in plastic wrap and aluminum foil tightly.
NOTE: for the bread machine step, you could - instead - mix in a mixer with a dough hook, then knead with the dough hook for 15 minutes.
So. rumor has it that there is some sort of athletic contest being played this evening. It's not baseball, so really, it can't be too important, but in the unlikely event that you intelligent, perceptive and respectful of American athletic history Morons give a rat's ass about the Super Bowl, what are you maniacs cooking?
I have a large pot of chili in the refrigerator, ready to be reheated. What? Beans? No...I am not a savage. Beef, cut into small chunks (about 1/4"). Mild New Mexico chiles, and not too much cumin, because it can be overwhelming. I also had a bit of beef stock left over from onion soup making, so I used that as most of the liquid. That can't be a bad thing, but I will report if I remember.
As a snack I have planned some Yukon Gold potatoes that I will halve (that's a weird looking word), gut, then fry until crisp. I'll make some sort of filling with the guts that will, of course (because as I mentioned earlier, I am not a savage) include bacon, cheddar cheese, and some chopped green onion.
And popcorn. Why? I have no idea. I just have popcorn on the brain and will make an obscenely large bowl of it to munch on before, during, and probably after the game. Please don't insult me by asking whether it will be made in a pot with oil. of course it will be. Microwave popcorn is for effete Easterners in gun-free states.
So....what's The Horde preparing for this vitally important game that will decide the bragging rights between Denver and Charlotte? Anyone frying wings? How about grilling burgers and dogs? Arugula salad with kiwis?
I have been following the travails of Chipotle for months, and with an embarrassing amount of glee. Their smug "Locavore Is Better" attitude rubbed me the wrong way, and judging by their recent statements, it has dawned on them that it was a dumb-ass way of running a business.
Imagine a widget business that sourced all of their parts for all of their factories from hundreds of small local manufacturers, based on proximity and size, not quality of product. Quality control would be a nightmare, the supply chain would be unmanageable, cost control would be...interesting.
They are closing all of their restaurants tomorrow for "retraining." But I wonder whether that is simply kicking the can down the road? I have to assume that the individual restaurants use corporate sanitation protocols already. So are they going to retrain people to do what they were originally trained to do and what their supervisors and managers continually remind them to do? My guess is that a move to a more centralized supply chain is going to fix the problem, which has nothing to do with food handling at the local level.
I played around with flavored martinis a few weeks ago, and was pleased with the results. A friend gave me a bottle of Bitter End Thai Bitters, which he uses to great effect in his own cocktails. But he is a pro, and actually knows what he is doing. Ignorance has never stopped me, so I forged ahead with a 5:1 gin martini, using a very flavorful Carpano Bianco Vermouth, Brokers Gin, and four drops of the bitters.
It worked very nicely. The richness of the vermouth was tempered by the subtle heat of the bitters, and the gin flavors weren't masked.
Homesick Texan is a NYC based food blogger and published author who is a damned fine home-style cook. Her recipes are drawn from her Texas roots, and are both good and fun to read. Check out her blog and cook books. Her chicken and sausage gumbo recipe is excellent!
This pasta recipe is from Mark Bittman of the dreaded NY Times. Yeah, I know, I have mocked him in the past, but his ridiculous minimalist attitude does make sense with pasta. I like simple flavors with pasta because complexity seems to drown out the pasta itself. But check my comments at the end; I don't think the recipe is perfect.
And he's still a pompous ass who considers himself an expert on all things, including tax policy and, of course, Global WarmingTM
Buy a creamy piece of cheese that will ultimately melt into the pasta, and a variety with strong flavor: blue d'Auvergne, Maytag blue, good Roquefort or mature Stilton are all good substitutes for Gorgonzola. Because you turn the sauce into the pasta over heat, slightly undercook the pasta at first.
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup half-and-half, cream or milk
- 1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola or other good blue cheese
- 1 pound farfalle or other pasta
- 2 cups arugula trimmed of very thick stems, washed, dried and chopped
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
- Freshly grated Parmesan to taste, optional
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. In a small saucepan gently warm the half-and-half and Gorgonzola just until cheese melts a bit and mixture becomes thick; chunky is O.K.
2. When water boils, cook pasta until it is just tender but not mushy. Drain and return to pot over low heat.
3. Stir in Gorgonzola sauce along with arugula, tomatoes and a healthy dose of black pepper. Stir to combine, taste and add salt, if necessary, then serve immediately, with grated Parmesan if you like.
[Use grape tomatoes, and cut them and drain them a bit before using them. Also, those cheeses he mentions are not all strongly flavored, so just choose a blue cheese you like and one that isn't too expensive. Oh, cook the pasta al dente. Besides, who cooks it until it's mushy? And the Parmesan is not optional. And trim the arugula of all of the stems. Oh hell, I should have just rewritten the whole thing.]
Close it up
AoSHQ Podcast #132: New Hampshire GOP Debate
Ace and Drew break down last night's GOP debate for you.
Browse (and even search!) the archives
Follow on Twitter
Don't forget to submit your Ask the Blog questions for next week's episode.
Open thread in the comments.
Update: Marco is now saying of last night's logic loop, "I meant to do that."
By the way he's repeating his 25 second canned answers from last night on all sorts of issues.
Learning Curves....And Open Thread (CBD)
A "steep learning curve" has entered the vernacular as a phrase used to describe something that is difficult to learn. But that is exactly backwards!
Which curve would you rather be on?
Or am I missing something?
(Bumped up by Drew)
That's what it's being called.
Chris Christie told Rubio exactly how he'd hit him. He told him exactly where he'd hit him.
First of all, let me get this out of the way: Rubio is a good candidate. He's well prepared. He's presentable. He seems nice.
However, something has been bugging many of us about him. Besides amnesty. Maybe it was amnesty that caused us to see him in a more hostile light, but nevertheless, in that hostile light, we were seeing something that we couldn't quite put our finger on, that we couldn't quite explain, but that we didn't like.
Mickey Kaus pretty much explained it a few days ago, however. Kaus spoke of Rubio's 25 second canned soundbites as "modules" which could be moved around and reorganized on the fly to answer a range of questions in a not-quite-lifelike manner:
I went to see Marco Rubio’s town hall this afternoon in Salem, New Hampshire. It was only a few miles from my hotel--I really had no excuse. I wanted to find out: Was Rubio really as slick and insubstantial in this setting as John Edwards? Answer: No. He's slicker. He's slicker, in part, because he at least seems a bit spontaneous, with a slightly goofy, human quality...
When it comes to substance, Rubio draws on an inventory of well-prepared rhetorical modules, with just enough policy to sound sophisticated, that can be inserted where necessary to handle, say, the how-would-you-handle-ISIS question (Sunni ground army!) or disability benefits (get rid of phony claims!). There's not much sacrifice involved in any of Rubio's proposals -- even avoiding budget apocalypse, which he claims to be very concerned about, is just a matter of raising the retirement age and slowing benefit hikes for the well-off. Nothing that hasn’t been floating around Washington for years. There's a heavy emphasis on electability. Big, difficult questions (like robots taking everyone’s jobs) are ignored. Tellingly, however, Rubio has added a Trump Module, where he alludes to anger at stagnant wages.
He’s got an immigration module too....
All of this is mildly terrifying. If Rubio's a "robot," as many have charged, he's a sophisticated new model robot with simulated humanistic elements and a charm algorithm. And if he still seems insubstantia--which he does--it's a higher level of insubstantial than you expect: You don't get the impression he's actually thought through these problems, but he knows his modules.
So that's what's bugging people about Rubio: He is robotic, just repeating well-rehearsed, crowd-pleasing but fairly glip and insubstantial "modules." He's almost failing the Turing Test.
Chris Christie announced he'd be going after Rubio on his android-like repetitiveness and shallowness.
Rubio shouldn't have been surprised. And yet, somehow, he was.
Not only did Chris Christie prove his point, but like a misfiring robot -- many people are making that analogy, of an android melting down, or a computer stuck in a loop -- Rubio then kept making Chris Christie's point for him:
He actually repeated this five times in total, twice while Christie was telling him was just repeating his 25-second soundbites!
Everyone agrees -- from NR's very conservative David French to Politico to the New York Times and the Guardian -- that this was brutal, and that Rubio genuinely seemed like a 1960s robot trapped in a logic loop.
This is damaging because it's not merely a gaffe. This is a blow that hits Rubio in the heart of the argument for his candidacy.
Rubio is "electable," we're told, because he's well-prepared and likable.
But Chris Christie has exposed him to be simply a robot repeating shallow, poll-tested mini-answers. That cuts at the idea that he's well-prepared -- instead, it now looks like he just has a good memory -- and that he's likable -- instead, he just looks like, well, a robot programmed to say "Good day!"
People are shallow. I know this because I'm a person and I'm shallow as f***. And because people are shallow, they seize on ready-made Narratives to organize information. Information is hard to organize, but if you have a handy Narrative with hooks to hang each new piece of information, it keeps everything nice and tidy.
Narratives can also be false -- in fact, they almost always are. No story is as simple as the blurb would have it.
Nevertheless, people seize on Narratives because our brains just can't really handle how complex the world is, or politics is, or any individual person is.
So everyone gets a "book" on them, a short little description that is thought to be the Key to the whole, the Main Point, the blurb, the takeaway.
This is now part of book on Rubio -- and it now serves as the row of hooks from which all previous information is now hanged, and from which all future information will be hanged too.
And that's a big problem for Rubio, because while his answers are... well, I can't say good, I will just say "smooth," now people will hear those smooth answers and instead of saying "Gosh, what a smooth answer" they'll say "Oh another 25 second canned answer."
This is a Palinizing thing-- not that he's been "Palinized" per se, but in that once you heard Tina Fey's Palin impression, you couldn't not hear that when Palin spoke.
Similarly, I don't think Marco Rubio is going to be able to give his 25-second canned answers and have anyone not think, "Another one of Rubio's over-rehearsed 25-second canned answers."
Is this fatal? No, he still has his strengths. He's a smart guy. He's not dumb.
But it does hurt, because while people were previously thinking "What a smart guy, he gave us all those smooth answers," now they just will think "Oh, yeah, someone told him to memorize this and he did."
He'll have to do a bit of work to overcome this. Maybe he'll have to try to prepare less, so he we can see his mind actually engaging with a question, instead of just locating the most relevant "module" to repeat.
Maybe he can give a speech in which he lays out his Vision -- something he has not done, which is a fact his mini-modules serve to disguise.
And no, his growing up an immigrant's son is not a vision; that's just a good bit of biographical color.
But who knows, if the bubble boy can finally get out of the bubble and show something real, or something more substantial than 25-seconds of micro-wonk modules, maybe he can get back on track and be the Establishment's Great Last Hope again.
Close it up
Sunday Morning Book Thread 02-07-2016: Gone But Not Forgotten [OregonMuse]
Remember The Days When We Had A REAL President?
(Reagan pic stolen from here:
Open Question: OK, as you can see in the picture, Mr. Reagan has one arm thrust through the windshield, shooting commies and hippies, and his other arm is resting on the driver's side door, the window having been previously kicked out. So with both arms accounted for, how is he steering the car?
“If you have read 6,000 books in your lifetime, or even 600, it's probably because at some level you find 'reality' a bit of a disappointment.”
― Joe Queenan
Yesterday (Saturday) would have been the 105th birthday of The Great One. There have been a number of biographies written about him, but I don't know which one of them is best. I don't know if any of them are any good (maybe is worth a look). But I do remember Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan came out, and everybody was all, like, WTF? Now let me set the stage: This is a biography authorized by RR, and the author, Edmund Morris, had won a Pulitzer back in 1980 for The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, the first of his three-volume biography of Theodore Roosevelt. So everybody thought that he'd do a good job with it, particularly since he was granted unprecedented access to both Reagan and behind-the-scenes at the White House during his term in office. But despite all of this, and despite 13 years(!) of archival research, he published a steaming turd that the most charitable reviews referred to as "controversial."
Morris eventually decided to scrap writing a straight biography and turn his piece into a faux historical memoir about the President told from the viewpoint of a semi-fictional peer from the same town as Ronald Reagan: Edmund Morris himself. The person comes from the same town as, continually encounters, and later keeps track of Reagan...
The biography has caused confusion in that it contains a few characters who never existed and scenes in which they interact with real people. Morris goes so far as to include misleading endnotes about such imaginary characters to thoroughly confuse his reading audience. Elsewhere, scenes are dramatized or completely made up.
This is not serious scholarship. It's performance art offered in lieu of serious scholarship. And pretty much everybody hated it. They hated it when it was first published, and they hate it now: 52% of the Amazon reviews are either 2-star or 1-star.
On the other hand, I'd guess that conservative author Peter Schweizer's book on Reagan, Reagan's War: The Epic Story of His Forty-Year Struggle and Final Triumph Over Communism, perhaps contains more clarity and certainty of purpose:
Challenging popular misconceptions of Reagan as an empty suit who played only a passive role in the demise of the Soviet Union, Peter Schweizer details Reagan’s decades-long battle against communism.
Bringing to light previously secret information obtained from archives in the United States, Germany, Poland, Hungary, and Russia -- including Reagan’s KGB file -- Schweizer offers a compelling case that Reagan personally mapped out and directed his war against communism, often disagreeing with experts and advisers. An essential book for understanding the Cold War, Reagan’s War should be read by open-minded readers across the political spectrum.
Schweizer is also the author of a number of other books, such as Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich and Architects of Ruin: How Big Government Liberals Wrecked the Global Economy -- and How They Will Do It Again If No One Stops Them.
And I'll mention this one just because I like the title: Makers and Takers: How Conservatives Do All the Work While Liberals Whine and Complain. Obviously a dispassionate analysis.
But back to Reagan. I think the best writings about Reagan are his own. Reagan, In His Own Hand: The Writings of Ronald Reagan that Reveal His Revolutionary Vision for America. He actually wrote a ton of material over the years:
Most of Reagan's original writings are pre-presidential. From 1975 to 1979 he gave more than 1,000 daily radio broadcasts, two-thirds of which he wrote himself. They cover every topic imaginable: from labor policy to the nature of communism, from World War II to the second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, from the future of Africa and East Asia to that of the United States and the world. They range from highly specific arguments to grand philosophy to personal stories.
And remember this is the man that liberals want you believe was an airhead.
There's also an audio CD Reagan In His Own Voice which is a collection of recordings of his original radio broadcasts.
Of course, Reagan was known to tell a joke or two, many of them at the expense of liberals. So with that mind, I give you The Humor of Ronald Reagan: Quips, Jokes and Anecdotes From the Great Communicator, which is available on Kindle for 99 cents. Also on the cheap is 50 of President Ronald Reagan's Most Important Speeches from 1957 to 1994: Formatted for the Kindle for $1.99. I notice that the download-for-free sample for this last book contains Reagan's entire "A Time For Choosing" speech from 1964 and also a pretty good sized chunk of his debate with Robert Kennedy in 1967. For free. I'm just saying.
I'd Be In Favor of This
Super Bowl Books
This being Super Bowl Sunday, what better time to discuss 3 Super Bowl books to celebrate the 50th anniversary?
Actually, I'm only going to mention one of them, the coffee-table book Sports Illustrated Super Bowl Gold: 50 Years of the Big Game by the editors of, get this, Sports Illustrated.
What makes this book interesting? In addition to the usual Super Bowl stats you might find in a book like this, and
While the game-by-game replays form the guts of the book, two highlights come at the edges: 1) the impressionistic memories Peter King, SI’s leading pro football expert, shares from the 31 Super Bowl’s he’s witnessed; and 2) a formulated ranking of the first 49 Super Bowls from best to worst based on how thrilling they were. Topping the list is Super Bowl XLII played in 2008 when the New York Giants ruined New England’s bid for a perfect season. At the bottom of the ratings is Super Bowl XXXV, in 2001, when the Giants dominated the Baltimore Ravens, 34-7.
I can't find a damn in my damn pantry to give about item 1, but item 2 might be interesting. With almost 50 Super Bowls to work with, there's probably enough material to start more than a few bar fights.
And the hype and pageantry:
“The salute to patriotism and the military blends seamlessly with the homage paid to capitalism, embodied by the compound of corporate tents that spring up around every Super Bowl. The parties therein are sprinkled with celebrities, many delivered by private jet, in the days before the game. To behold the halftime show, and the keenly anticipated, in-game TV commercials – a de factor film festival unto itself – is to understand how fully this hypertrophied unofficial holiday has pulled the planets of the media and entertainment into its gravitational field.”
King calls the Super Bowl an "hypertrophied unofficial holiday". I call it an "hypertrophied unofficial religion", and in fact, I think the Super Bowl is basically a national, public religious ceremony. In fact, I'd say it's the only national, public religious ceremony we're allowed to have without incontinent ACLU types squealing and peeing their pants. We already have the adoring crowds, esoteric ceremonies (the half-time show), acolytes (players) and high priests (booth announcers). We even have scantily clad sacrificial virgins (cheerleaders). All that's missing is incense and burnt offerings. Although I suppose a couple of cheap cigars and some good BBQ might be sufficient.
Americans are very religious. One way or another.
Lastly, I thought this Canadian guy was pretty funny: A non-fan's guide to Super Bowl 50:
I’m not saying a roll of Mentos could provide better analysis than Phil Simms of CBS. I’m not saying it—however, I am typing it in a magazine and placing it on a long banner pulled by a biplane. Listen for yourself: When someone makes a great play, Simms will say: “Whoa, that’s a great play!” He is the perfect analyst for football viewers who can’t figure out how to face their television screen. (To be fair, that does account for roughly 40 per cent of Cleveland Browns fans.)
Heh. Cleveland fans can't catch a break.
The manufacturers of a pioneering video game controller that doubles as a virtual reality male sex toy have pulled it off the market after being swamped by demand.
Pris Stratton just e-mailed and said "This is just messed up."
Every time I see one of these news stories about the further perfecting of sexbot technology, I'm reminded of this bit from That Hideous Strength:
The Stranger mused for a few seconds; then, speaking in a slightly sing-song voice, he asked the following question:
"Who is called Sulva? What road does she walk ? Why is the womb barren on one side? Where are the cold marriages?"
Ransom replied,"Sulva is she whom mortals call the Moon. She walks in the lowest sphere. Half of her orb is turned towards us and shares our curse. On this side the womb is barren and the marriages cold. There dwell an accursed people, full of pride and lust. There when a man takes a maiden in marriage they do not lie together, but each lies with a cunningly fashioned image of the other, made to move and to be warm by devilish arts, for real flesh will not please them, they are so dainty (delicati) in their dreams of lust. Their real children they fabricate by vile arts in a secret place."
C.S Lewis was quite a prophet.
I would NOT WANT to take tech support calls for the company that makes these things.
Which reminds me of a short story by, I think, Harlan Ellison, where this loser goes to a brothel to try out one of their new sexbots. Only they'll all currently occupied or down for maintenance, or something, so they try to slip him a real woman, hoping he won't notice. Of course he does, so the climax of the story is him bitterly complaining to the management about having to have sex with an actual woman.
Things I Learn From The Book Thread
In last week's book thread, I opined that writers have to "run the gauntlet" of female editors in order to get published. Which elicited this response:
422 You run a gantlet and you throw down a gauntlet. Just sayin....
Posted by: Fluor at February 01, 2016 09:18 AM (98vXF)
Pedant. I thought, oh no, have I really been using a malaproprism for all these years? Was there a whole different word 'gantlet' that I had never seen before? Also, I have to admit that even though I have been using the expression for years, it never occurred to me to ask the obvious question how an armored glove worn by medieval knights could be some sort of obstacle you had to overcome to get to where you wanted to go.
So I consulted my trusty man-servant, Mr. Google. And here is what I found:
Gantlet was the original spelling of the word referring to a form of punishment in which people armed with sticks or other weapons arrange themselves in two lines and beat a person forced to run between them. It came from the earlier English word gantlope, which in turn comes from the Swedish gatlopp. Gauntlet is an alternative spelling of gantlet, but it also has several definitions of its own, mostly related to gloves.
Gantlet was the preferred spelling in early use of the phrase run the gauntlet -- meaning to suffer punishment by gantlet or to endure an onslaught or ordeal -- but gauntlet prevailed by the 18th century. Today, most writers use gauntlet, though gantlet, which is especially common in American English, is not incorrect.
So, it looks like both usages are permissible. This makes me happy, as now I don't have to feel like a complete dope.
Books By Morons
A little less than a year ago, I mentioned that longtime moron commenter AllenG was writing a fantasy novel, which he titled Fire and Frost
As I mentioned previously, he created a fantasy world that I think is fairly unique:
Fire & Frost is set in a fantasy world of my own invention. You will find nary an elf, dwarf, orc, or ogre in it. Instead, you will find a world quite unlike our real one. Mediatus is a planar world with definite edges- not a globe like our own. Those edges each lead to lands called Borders, and beyond the Borders to one of four elemental realms. Within those realms live creatures each attuned to their element.
So that is what the world looks like. With that in mind, here is the plot:
Alaric Dell never expected to set aside generations of enmity for the war-like Igni, least of all while investigating a series of raids on his father's lands. An ambush by an unknown enemy on the border of the Middle Realm and Infierno, however, did just that. Now Alaric must deal with an ancient enemy without and intrigue within as he attempts to save the barony, and perhaps the world.
The Kindle edition of Fire and Frost (Seven Realms Book 1) will be released on Feb. 11th.
What I'm Reading
I'm a little over 100 pages into Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak, and I wish I hadn't seen the movie. I can't read without the images of Omar Sharif and Julie Christie crowding in and of course I can't help but hear that classic soundtrack. It's just starting to pick up a bit with Lara just having moved with her new husband Pasha to Yuriatin, a remote rural community, while Yurii is toiling away in a hospital in Moscow. I keep having to refer back to the characters page at the beginning of the book because like most Russian novels, everybody has 3 or 4 names, and some of them don't at all resemble the actual name of the character. The Revolution hasn't happened yet, although some commie protestors did get chopped up pretty good by a cavalry charge. I find myself rooting for the Czar.
Of course, the Soviet government hated this book, and in fact it had to be smuggled out of the country to Italy, where it was first published. But according to author Peter Finn:
The CIA, which recognized that the Cold War was above all an ideological battle, published a Russian-language edition of Doctor Zhivago and smuggled it into the Soviet Union. Copies were devoured in Moscow and Leningrad, sold on the black market, and passed surreptitiously from friend to friend. Pasternak’s funeral in 1960 was attended by thousands of admirers who defied their government to bid him farewell. The example he set launched the great tradition of the writer-dissident in the Soviet Union.
This is all detailed in Finn's book, The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book.
Forbidden fruit can be mighty tasty.
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
EMT 2/5/16 [krakatoa]
Your Sunday goin' to church thread.
Overnight Open Thread Pre-Super Bowl Edition (6 Feb 2016)
I hope you don't mind the lack of current events or politics in tonight's ONT. Tomorrow is the big game, Super Bowl 50. This is the last NFL football game until August 7, 2016 exactly 6 months from tomorrow. I hate Cold Turkey football withdrawals.
Ladies & gentlemen will you please rise and remove your caps. As usual pants are optional.
Snack Ideas For Your Super Bowl Party
Not sure if our resident Chef CBD will have any ideas for you before the big game. So here's a few ideas.
A Little NFL History Lesson
The National Football League assumed its name in 1922. Previously it had been formed in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association. Only 2 originally named teams remain, the Bears and the Cardinals.
The Green Bay Packers were formed in 1921 and joined the league in 1922. This is the longest residing franchise in one location. The team is publicly owned by stock holders. No Jerry Jones, No Daniel Snyder, no Al Davis just a board of directors and the typical NFL front office.
The very first championship game was played in 1933.
Drafting of college players started in 1936.
The NFL's TV debut occurred on October 22, 1939 between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Eagles. Estimated viewership, 500. Early NFL teams often adopted the name of their hometown baseball teams.
1958 saw the NFL championship played between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants. It was the first nationally televised football game.
1960 saw the formation of the American Football League. Many of the these AFL owners had failed in obtaining NFL franchises. Over the next 6 years the NFL and AFL would vie for players with separate drafts. In 1966 the AFL and NFL merged. The very first Superbowl was between my beloved Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Of course Green Bay prevailed.
Several NFL players over the years have played in the MLB. Recent players include Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders.
Bud Grant, Minnesota Vikings head coach was 0- 4 in Super Bowl appearances. He however did coach 4 Grey Cup Championships in the CFL. Did you know that Grant is the only person to both play in the NFL and NBA? He was a member of the Philadelphia Eagles and Minneapolis Lakers. He also played in the CFL. He is still alive at age 88 and has an office at the MN Vikings HQ.
Over the years wars and armed conflicts have taken place. Only 2 NFL players have died while serving their country. These 2 heroes are Bob Kalsu of the Buffalo Bills in Viet Nam and Arizona Cardinal Pat Tillman in Afghanistan.
Amazing what this little outfit of football players has become in 96 years. Tomorrow 189 million people are expected to watch Super Bowl 50. I guess that's why CBS is charging $5 million dollars for a 30 second ad during the game.
Speaking of money, Super Bowl 50 is expected to draw an estimated $4.2 billion in bets.
More unique tidbits about the NFL can be found here.
Don't worry Morons, there will not be a quiz at the end of the ONT. Number 2 pencils are becoming a thing of the past.
Pre-Super Bowl Entertainment
This beats a sharp stick in the eye and a free half time show by Coldplay.
Not Everything Is Racism
Yeah Cam Newton I'm talking to you. You were given a full ride college scholarship. You were the number 1 over all draft choice in the NFL. You most likely will be the NFL's MVP this year. Your replica jersey is in the top 5 of jersey sales. I don't think that is racism. While you were a child Cam, I remember a certain running back from the Detroit Lions who handed the football to the nearest official when he scored. Barry Sanders acted like he had scored before. He is also an African-American. He was a classy player who played on a crappy team.
Whether you are white, black, brown, green, if you act like a jackass expect people to be critical of you.
The lovely & gracious Mrs. MH asked, what about the 'ettes? So here goes.
Here are a few surprising names of 'rons who were cheerleaders.
Will There Be A Blame Game?
Seating failures, power outages, wardrobe malfunctions are just some of the problems with the NFL's biggest show in recent history.Do you have any predictions of problems or mishaps at the SB? What will be the conversation at your employer's water cooler or coffee maker on Monday?
Even Pets Are In The Act
Good night. Enjoy the big game!!
Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian
Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maet or CDR M. Otherwise send tips to Ace.
Close it up
Republican Debate Thread (In Progress)
8 PM Eastern, ABC network.
Mary Katharine Ham will be a guest questioner.
Another WWII Plane ID Game....(CBD)
Okay....everyone seems to be so good at this.
[Even Anna Puma gets to play this one...]
And Open Thread.
[11:20pm. In case anyone is interested...its an F6F Hellcat]
A Mid-Afternoon Respite From Reality (CBD)
I saw this photo on Twitter and followed the link. There is some controversy about the type of plane, so I thought that our crowd-sourcing will solve the puzzle rather quickly.
The Moron with the first correct answer that is validated by the horde (I do not know the correct answer) gets a one year Platinum Membership with Ampersand utility and Troll-B-GoneTM
Saturday Gardening Thread: Gardening with a Side of Pasta(farian) [Y-not and KT]
Y-not: Welcome, gardening morons and moronettes!
Today's thread is brought to you by The Million Dollar Potato:
We're lucky today to have a guest post from moron, Pastafarian, so I've restricted my contributions to a few tweets that might be of interest to the horde.
If you aren't up to growing a million dollar potato, how about trying your hand at cauliflower?
KT's post about butterflies inspired me to share this:
The Buff-tip moth has brilliant camouflage. pic.twitter.com/dayPJpy4GM— Animal Life (@MeetAnimals) February 2, 2016
Read more about the buff-tip moth here.
Finally, this is cool:
A Japanese tech company has invented floating Bonsai trees https://t.co/WQBDnSrAQR— The Independent (@Independent) January 26, 2016
A couple of months ago I asked the gardening morons for their experiences with the Aerogarden system, with an eye to possibly purchasing one. Imagine my delight when one of you contacted me this week with a description of your experiences using the Aerogarden!
Special Guest Contribution by Pastafarian
The only gardening I attempt is with Aerogardens, in which I grow herbs for use in cocktails. I grow mint, basil, sometimes cilantro, and sometimes some oddball herbs that you can't find in stores around here. At the moment I have two 7-pod Aerogardens going -- one with a variety of herbs, and one dedicated to mint.
I've always had a problem with mint. I don't have a problem growing it -- it grows like a damned weed, so even I can't screw that up. But the mint that I've grown from seed never has a very minty smell or taste. And I've tried many varieties.
So after a little reading, I found that you could clone it, grow it from cuttings. I imagined this to be some sort of advanced technique to be attempted only by those well-versed in the dark arts of gardening, but then I read: Nope, mint is so robust and bad-ass, that if you just tear off any part of the plant and drop it into a glass of water, that damned thing will sprout roots and become its own plant.
I'm surprised that mint hasn't just spread over the entire earth.
So I bought some good spearmint from the local Walmart. It's not a great time of year to buy mint, and it was limp and not very fresh. I picked out the best sprigs, cut the bottom just below a pair of leaves, stripped that pair, and stuck the sprig into an AeroGarden Grow-anything pod, and 5 of the 7 pods did just fine. I had to buy another packet to get sprigs to replant the two that wilted, and now I have an AeroGarden full of mint.
Now, I'm not sure if I've solved the problem of non-minty-mint, because I never really determined the cause. Maybe the mint seeds I had were just from crappy, weak mint. Maybe mint is never very minty until its second season -- I've read that when you grow it outside, you let it go through its full life cycle, flowering and going to seed, then you mow it down before winter, and it will come back up; and that second season, you can harvest it, best done just before the flowers form, and you can keep harvesting as long as you prevent it from flowering.
Or: Maybe there's something about the AeroGarden process that makes the mint not very minty. If so, then maybe my cloned mint will lose its potency. I was researching this idea when I stumbled across this article, and this is the thing that you might find interesting.
The idea behind this article is: Herbs grown indoors are sometimes not as potent, because they're not under attack by insects. Herbs produce their herby oils and chemicals as a defensive reaction, and if there are no insects, the plants won't waste the energy producing as much of this insect repellant. So this guy suggests putting Chitosan on herbs, to make them more potent. It's a dietary supplement made from shrimp shells, and I guess it happens to be the chemical that plants use as a marker to indicate that they're being chewed on by insects.
I found a couple of scientific papers about this, but I couldn't find the details of their methods anywhere online. I couldn't find any commercially available fertilizers or plant treatment products that made use of this chitosan, so I'd have to make my own. Clearly, the chitosan would have to be water-soluble in order for the plants to absorb it; but it's not. It's only soluble in organic acids, like acetic acid.
Now, that's interesting, because I've read about spritzing herbs with a very dilute solution of acetic acid in water -- that plants more readily absorb such a spritz through their leaves if the pH is just a little acidic instead of neutral. And the acetic acid can help the plant fight off fungus and mold (which, I guess, chitosan can also help with.) So this is just win-win-win all the way around. A pH of 6, I've read, is optimal.
So I went to the local health food store and asked for Chitosan, and they said: "You're about 15 years too late." Apparently it's fallen out of favor as a "fat-burning" dietary supplement. But I found a big bottle of capsule-type horse-pills on Amazon for $10, and ordered that, along with a little digital pH meter for $15. (Yes, I know, this would have bought a lot of mint at Walmart. It's a hobby, more than a money saver.)
Now, the problem was: It takes a pretty strong concentration of acetic acid to dissolve the very fine chitosan powder that I pulled out of a couple of capsules. I used white vinegar and experimented with the concentration, and I was able to dissolve it, with considerable stirring and heating. But vinegar itself has a pH of around 2.5, and pH is a logarithmic scale -- so a pH of 3 is ten times as acidic as one of 4, which is 10 times as acidic as one of 5; so that target pH of 6 would mean something like a dash of vinegar in a gallon of water. That wouldn't dissolve much, if any, chitosan.
But, happily, the chitosan itself raised the pH -- by going into solution, it buffered some of the acetic acid. I was able to get a pretty decent saturated solution with a pH of 5, which, I figure, is close enough to 6, for the indestructible mint. A little acid rain is not going to hurt this stuff -- it's bad-ass.
And so I'm giving it a try. I gently daubed some of the solution onto a few leaves, and had my wife see if she could determine which plant was the most fragrant, and in a blind smell test, she picked the treated plant. So a couple of days ago I sprayed the whole lot of them, tops and bottoms of the leaves. So we'll find out how it works.
Y-not: How cool! Thanks, Pastafarian!
Do any of you have tricks you use to increase the potency of your mint or other herbs? Tell us about them in the comments!
Let's see what KT has in store for us this week...
Feel the chill
Hello, Horde. Life has been wilder for me than the weather this week. We have had some rain and frosty mornings in the Central Valley, but nothing dramatic. How about you?
It is a pretty time of year at the edge of town. All the weeds in vacant lots are fresh and green. They can look downright beautiful as the fog burns off. A couple of big horses have been grazing in an unfenced lot down the road from us. An almost-idyllic scene. It would not be idyllic in May, when those weeds would be dry and brown.
Although it has been chilly, I am certainly not ready to Feel the Bern. I would like to pretend for a while longer that the sizzling heat will not be coming.
CHILL REQUIREMENTS FOR FRUIT TREES
I do not think our stone fruit trees are ready for warm weather, either. The earliest bloomers have sometimes bloomed in late January, but not this year. Perhaps their chill requirements have not been met. We got some off-season bloom locally this year, too. Drought.
Different cultivars have different chill requirements. Sometimes the bloom order of our trees will be different from year to year, depending on the total amount of chill the trees received and when during the winter the chilly temperatures occurred.
Calculating chill units is kind of complex. Temperatures below 34 degrees do not count as "chill" for stone fruits. Temperatures between 37 and 48 degrees seem to be the most valuable as chill units. Trees with a low chill requirement may bloom too soon in some climates, leading to frequent loss of crops to frost as well as damage to tender green branches in colder weather.
In milder climates, bad things happen to trees with a high chill requirement when that requirement is not met for a few years. Choose your trees accordingly.
Super Bowl Week is the local reminder that it is about time to spray fungicide on stone fruits, including almonds, for the third time. For California home growers, this is generally a copper spray. The last spray of the dormant season is particularly important for the prevention of Brown Rot Blossom Blight. Sometimes the spray schedule is tweaked to protect blossoms that are just about to open. Brown rot blossom blight is worst in wet weather. It spreads from tree to tree, so all stone fruit trees, including ornamentals, should be sprayed for maximum effectiveness. If you do not want to spray so often or if this disease is a big problem in your area, choose disease-resistant cultivars.
I happened to catch a bit of "Science Friday" on NPR whilst driving last week. They were discussing how "wind chill" is now generally thought of as a measurement of how cold it feels outdoors. But it originated as a mathematical calculation for how likely you are to get frostbite under various combinations of wind and temperature. My takeaway from the radio discussion was that wind chill is still more useful for predicting frostbite vulnerability than for measuring how cold it feels outside.
The official mathematical formula for wind chill was changed in the USA, Canada and UK in 2001, leaving the original Antarctic Model behind. "The method for calculating wind chill has been controversial because experts disagree on whether it should be based on whole body cooling either while naked or while wearing appropriate clothing, or if it should be based instead on local cooling of the most exposed skin, such as the face."
I imagine that the "naked body" camp is more into measuring feelings than frostbite susceptibility. As support for this completely untested hypothesis, I found an old "global orgasm for peace" which you might want to view if you are not at work. Comment: "Is it indelicate to ask what the sheepdogs are for?" Monday is the Lunar New Year. Wonder if anybody has a similar event planned?
Y-not: Thanks, KT! Next week we'll hear from KT about peppers. (I was a little short of time this week.)
To close things up, here are more beautiful butterflies:
What's happening in YOUR gardens this week?
Link to the archives here.
Close it up
Our Headlong Charge Back To Pre-Industrial Society (CBD)
Sometime commenter and beer guru Beeerslinger sent this along. Cocktail guide offers recipes made with urine. it reminded me of the discussion (was it yesterday) about tiny houses, and the Left's desire to return to a pre-industrial-revolution quality of life. People drank urine because they were ignorant of science, and relied on alchemists and "physicians" to cure their ailments. But we know exactly what urine is....waste products from metabolism, and the body balancing various other compounds. This is not clever deduction....this is well known. Because 2,500 years of Western philosophy and intellectual development has taught us how to study the world and discern facts from bullshit. And drinking urine is bullshit -- it hearkens back to an ignorance based on lack of knowledge -- but we don't have that excuse any more.
Am I making too much of this? Is this simply a bunch of rich people with too much time on their hands? 10 years ago I would have laughed, and chalked this up to stupidity and boredom. But I am now deeply suspicious of any attempt to reject science and logic. And I think this is exactly that.
Seamus Muldoon brings up an excellent point.
maybe it is not so much a rejection of science as it is a rejection of statistics. By that I mean, the element of society that you are reading about in such an article have rejected a sense of 'normal' in the statistical sense. Perhaps it stems from a deep-rooted desire (which they change to mean a 'need' or even a 'God-given right') to stand out from the crowd. If someone is unable to achieve excellence in a productive way, they might seek excellence in a self-destructive way.
There should still be nothing wrong with reaching one's potential (give it your best), but if that puts you within two standard deviations from the mean in everyday things, it just isn't enough to make someone feel special these days. Hence the rampant celebration of the ever more aberrant. They have to be hipper and edgier than the hip and edgy.
Close it up