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September 30, 2014

Top Headline Comments 9-30-14

—Gabriel Malor

Happy Tuesday.

Director of the USSS Julia Pierson will testify today before House Oversight about the recent security breach. WSJ has a timeline describing how the details of the incident have evolved.

Ed Morrissey is covering the Extraordinary Synod from the Vatican. What a cool opportunity.

A U.S. air strike last week almost took out a headquarters of our allies, the Free Syrian Army. Whoops. A lack of coordination with the FSA, which Obama proposes to train and arm, gets blamed.

Hundreds of thousands face the (extended) income- and citizenship-verification deadline today for Obamacare subsidies. "White House officials pointed to the health law's requirement that people who are proven to be ineligible for subsidies have to pay them back, but said additional guidance on how to do that will be provided later." Mmmhmm.

The U.S. and Afghanistan have signed a security pact to allow almost 10,000 U.S. troops to remain in the country.

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Posted by Gabriel Malor at 06:45 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread -- 9/29/2014: Corpulent RINO Edition

—Damn Dirty RINO

Good evening, 'Rons n' 'Ettes! It's been a spell since I was last permitted to darken the hallowed pages of AoSHQ. But, since your regular ONT provider purportedly has something more important to do, and I called dibs for tonight's iteration, I reckon you'll just have to swallow hard and accept whatever half-assed excuse for infotainment I manage to cobble together in the next couple of hours, or so.

Some of you may recall that I was a bartender the last time I encroached upon this otherwise estimable space. Well, thanks to a shitstorm apocalyptic proportion, I was unceremoniously relieved of those duties a little over a month ago. Since then, I've found employment in a somewhat different industry -- that is, chicken farming. I learned a lot in my first few weeks as a farmhand, first and foremost being that I'm too damned fat and out of shape to be a farmhand. Here's a fair approximation of the physical activity I typically engaged in prior to my unexpected career change.

Continue reading

Posted by Damn Dirty RINO at 10:33 PM Comments

The World is Stupid - Also MNF

—Dave In Texas

I had to deal with a kid's car today and I got off cheap.

SO I got that goin for me, which is nice.

MNF 9 29.jpg

Patriots. Chiefs. Chiefs is likely the next target.

Posted by Dave In Texas at 07:51 PM Comments

And Speaking of Major Security Breaches: Al Qaeda Claims Guilt for Rocket Attack on US Embassy in Yemen


Before getting to that, let me link this, which half of you have already mentioned in comments.

The White House insisted Monday that the U.S. counterterrorism strategy in Yemen is a model for the fight against the Islamic State -- despite the country being engulfed by a violent political crisis that last week led the Obama administration to remove some of its diplomats and urge American citizens to leave.


The White House, though, is standing by claims that the country is a "useful model" for dealing with militants elsewhere. Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Monday claimed fighters in Yemen remain under "continual pressure" from the U.S. despite the latest unrest.

Now, as to that rocket attack.

The State Department claimed that US personnel were being evacuated out of an "abundance of caution."

This phrase is usually meant to mean that there is no actual serious threat -- that steps are being taken in the absence of a serious threat, just to be completely, abundantly on the safe side of things.

But common words and phrases do not mean the same thing when spoken by this administration.

When this administration says it's evacuating personnel out of an "abundance of caution," what they mean is that the capital is overrun and Al Qaeda are shooting rockets are our embassy.

This is like saying "My house was on fire, so, out of an abundance of caution, I called the fire department. Just in case the flames did not choose to self-extinguish harmlessly."

An Al Qaeda splinter group launched a rocket attack on the U.S. embassy in Sanaa on Saturday, injuring several guards, to retaliate for what it said on social media was a U.S. drone strike in a northern province the day before.

The rocket landed 200 meters from the heavily fortified embassy, which lies in a compound surrounded by high walls, hitting members of the Yemeni special police force who guard the site. At least two were injured, police said.

The guards injured by the rocket attack were taken to a hospital, out of an abundance of caution.

Five O'Clock Follies have nothing on this crew.

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 06:49 PM Comments

White House Fence Jumper Made It Into the East Room; 2011 Shooting Incident Downplayed by Secret Service Revealed to Have Been More Serious Than Claimed


This story broke Saturday night, I think.

This 2011 incident was -- well, let me say, as non-provocatively as possible, not reported accurately to the public.

In 2011, a gunman fired a rifle at the White House (when Obama was not present, but members of his family were). Seven bullets hit the White House.

Do you remember reading about that?

Well, if not, there's a reason for that.

A bullet smashed a window on the second floor, just steps from the first familyís formal living room. Another lodged in a window frame, and more pinged off the roof, sending bits of wood and concrete to the ground....

Then came an order that surprised some of the officers. "No shots have been fired. . . . Stand down," a supervisor called over his radio. He said the noise was the backfire from a nearby construction vehicle.


By the end of that Friday night, the agency had confirmed a shooting had occurred but wrongly insisted the gunfire was never aimed at the White House. Instead, Secret Service supervisors theorized, gang members in separate cars got in a gunfight near the White Houseís front lawn -- an unlikely scenario in a relatively quiet, touristy part of the nationís capital.

It took the Secret Service four days to realize that shots had hit the White House residence, a discovery that came about only because a housekeeper noticed broken glass and a chunk of cement on the floor.

It's an important article, with some real reporting going on (for a change).

On the heels of that comes another story in which the Secret Service seems to have seriously downplayed how far an attacker penetrated White House grounds.

Spoiler Alert: The East Room.

The man who jumped the White House fence this month and sprinted through the front door made it much farther into the building than previously known, overpowering one Secret Service officer and running through much of the main floor, according to three people familiar with the incident.

An alarm box near the front entrance of the White House designed to alert guards to an intruder had been muted at what officers believed was a request of the usher's office, said a Secret Service official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The officer posted inside the front door appeared to be delayed in learning that the intruder, Omar Gonzalez, was about to burst through. Officers are trained that, upon learning of an intruder on the grounds, often through the alarm boxes posted around the property, they must immediately lock the front door.

After barreling past the guard immediately inside the door, Gonzalez, who was carrying a knife, dashed past the stairway leading a half-flight up to the first familyís living quarters. He then ran into the 80-foot-long East Room, an ornate space often used for receptions or presidential addresses.

I sort of understand the reason for, um, less than accurate public reports here. The Secret Service is a security and intelligence outfit. Intelligence outfits generally conceal their successes, and their failures, and especially how they succeeded and how they failed.

This is the "methods" part of intelligence which spooks always claim is highest-level tippy-toppiest top secret. Letting your enemies know how you respond when probed or attacked gives your enemies far too much information about how to probe or attack you in the future.

I doubt this is a genuine "political" scandal, because I'm thinking Obama's political interests lay with overselling the danger here, not underselling it. I imagine, to the extent he blessed the Secret Service's course of action of underplaying these threats, he did so for reasons of concern about his personal safety and that of his family, and not due to any political advantage.

I imagine the Secret Service will be likely given the "methods" pass on this as well -- they do have, I think, a plausible case to make about why they choose to conceal/downplay attacks which are semi-successful (in that they result in far too deep a penetration for comfort).

However, on this last point, it's useful to point out something about human nature.

When one has a failure -- an embarrassment -- one has personal, selfish reasons to conceal that.

But people are very good about making up stories for their own consumption about how The Greater Good actually requires the same thing that their personal good requires (here, downplaying the incidents and concealing the Secret Service's failure).

And if someone in the Secret Service found these lapses embarrassing, I think it's entirely plausible that such a person might have made a good case to himself that the best course of action was to conceal the embarrassing lapse -- for the sake of the President's security, you understand.

Not out of any grubby desire to hide the embarrassing lapse.

I'm not saying that's what did happen * -- I'm just saying that when personal advantage can be argued to align with ethical imperative, people are very eager to believe such arguments, and convince themselves that they're right.

People tend to be very willing to agree with their own interests. We're all pretty great at that.

That said, I don't expect these stories to go anywhere. The Secret Service does have a facially-plausible reason for downplaying these stories -- "We don't wish to give future attackers an insight into our response and the gaps in our security" -- and that will probably be enough to shut people up.

It's enough to shut me up, personally, and I'm a loudmouth.

I just hope that they're right about that being the actual best course of action, and they're not letting a desire to conceal their mistakes color their judgment.

* Intelligence services are prone to repeated mistakes because they always have an easy out: "Shut up and stop asking questions, because asking questions will compromise security."

But sometimes that sort of mindset precludes the sort of criticism and motivated response required to cure the original defect.

And so sometimes the cover-up results in a new crime -- or a new failure.

I'm sure that most of the time the CIA says "We're not answering that because it would compromise security," that is true, most of the time.

However, I'm equally sure that when the CIA is probed about a lapse in judgment, and it says, again, "We're not answering that because it would compromise security," that is false, a lot of the time.

Hmmm... wheatie has an interesting claim.

I know nothing at all about White House security, except from what I see on 24. (Best way to smuggle a bomb into the White House: recruit the Vice President into your terrorist cabal).

But wheatie says this:

That thing about the doors not being locked?

The doors have traditionally been left unlocked for security reasons!

That's because the Secret Service agents need to be able to have instant access to all the event of an emergency situation.

So if they are now going to start locking all the doors, it's going to create an impediment to the SS agents.

That kinda makes a whole lot of sense to me.

The real defense against a threat is not a locked door. It's a Secret Service agent.

Posted by Ace at 05:43 PM Comments

Neil DeGrasse Tyson: Maybe You Can't Find That Anti-Muslim Quote I Claimed Bush Said in Any So-Called "Newspapers" or "Official Records," But I Cite the Highest Authority Possible for It: Me


That's a parody headline, but that's pretty much what he says:

Ignore the written record. My memory is an Awesome Thing that should not be easily contradicted.

Let's move on to the Bush quote, which is where things get really bad. To Seanís request that Tyson verify the quote heís been using against the former president, Tyson notes that September 11th affected him "deeply" and adds:
I have explicit memory of those words being spoken by the President. I reacted on the spot, making note for possible later reference in my public discourse. Odd that nobody seems to be able to find the quote anywhere -- surely every word publicly uttered by a President gets logged.

Yes, surely, Doctor Science.

But you say you have an explicit memory! Well my stars and garters, I didn't know you had an explicit memory!

Explicit memories are scientifically proven to be much more reliable than plain ol' memories.

So ignore the evidence -- Take my word for it. I'm a Scientist.

He goes on to say:

FYI: There are two kinds of failures of memory. One is remembering that which has never happened and the other is forgetting that which did. In my case, from life experience, Iím vastly more likely to forget an incident than to remember an incident that never happened. So I assure you, the quote is there somewhere. When you find it, tell me. Then I can offer it to others who have taken as much time as you to explore these things.

I am infallible, so ignore the evidence as documented by thousands of disinterested reporters and transcribers in the government, who write down and publish the president's words every single day.

This is all terribly scientific.

Here's What I Know About Memory: I hate to argue with a Scientist, but what I've gathered from actual science is that "memory" is actually very misconceived. We think of it like the memory of a tape recording or video recording.

It's nothing of the sort. It is certain associations (probably involving some basic keywords, like elemental notions of basic nouns and basic concepts like "direction towards" or "direction away" and "happy" and "scared") networked together in the brain as having been implicated together at one time.

When we "remember," we do not replay a tape of past events in our brain. Instead, what we do is conjure up a new narrative, make a new story for ourselves, from the embedded and networked keywords and associations.

Memory changes over time, as we re-conjure images and experiences. Sometimes new parts get added, and others subtracted.

Sometimes we add new parts that were never part of the actual experience at all and make the "memory" about something that never actually even happened.

Surely Tyson is not so completely ignorant of cognitive science that he thinks an "explicit memory" is infallible...?

Even the way Tyson speaks is anti-scientific.

A long time ago, when I was a kid, I had a very explicit memory that a certain cartoon animal was a certain color.

I actually got in a physical fight with a friend over this animal's color. My friend said the animal was one color; but I had an explicit memory of it being a different color.

He was so stupid with his Wrong Color Naming that I got angry and we got to scrappin'.

A year later I saw the cartoon again.

The animal's color? Precisely the color my friend claimed it to have been.

Precisely not the color I had claimed it to have been.

The problem was that I was remembering part of one cartoon animal -- his type, his name, his basic shape and silhouette -- but then remembering a different cartoon animal's color.

My memory glitched, and put together three correct associations (type, name, shape) with a fourth erroneous association (color).

When did this happen? Why did neurons get crossed here?

Who knows -- maybe one time when I re-conjured the image of the cartoon animal, I forgot the color, and my brain, seeking to fill in the blanks, took the color from another cartoon animal. Having a "void" in the memory bank for color, my brain took its best guess and filled the animal's shape with what seemed a plausible color.

And then, whenever I "remembered" that cartoon animal, I "remembered" the three correct attributes with the one false attribute my brain had conjured up in a pinch.

Anyway, as a six-year-old boy, I learned something about memory that the World's Greatest Scientist Neil DeGrasse Tyson is still ignorant of.

Posted by Ace at 04:30 PM Comments

So TV Is Pretty Much Just for Women Now, Right?


Just looking at the new TV shows -- Madame Secretary, How to Get Away With Murder, Forever, etc. -- it seems almost of all of them are pitched chiefly to appeal to women.

Something similar happened in the movies. 16-to-25 year old males bought most movie tickets. So studios started making more and more movies targeting 16-to-25 year old males. This led to people outside of this demographic buying even fewer tickets -- which meant that an even greater fraction of tickets were bought by males 16 to 25, making it more important to make movies for males 16 to 25, and so on.

Well, from what I'm seeing on TV, it appears that women watch more TV than men (at least more scripted shows), so TV is pitching itself harder to harder to women, thus making men even less likely to watch, thus making it even more important to appeal to women, etc.

Something like this already happened with print fiction -- women, I think, were always better readers than men, and furthermore enjoyed fiction more. So publishers bought more female-skewing novels, thus making it less likely men would buy novels.

And so on. You know the breakdown of novel purchases by gender? Women buy 80% of novels; men buy 20%.

This isn't really a complaint so much as an observation.

Back when I was a younger man, I didn't complain that a suspiciously large number of films seemed designed to appeal to me. I just accepted my good fortune.

(Well, I don't know if I should call it "good fortune." For every Die Hard, there were eight Erasers and four Hard Targets.)

Now that I'm older, most movies aren't for me (I'm a little tired of the Talented but Rebellious Young Man Must Accept His Destiny of Being Awesome character arc) and very few novels and apparently no TV shows at all.

The only TV shows "for men" seem to be those designed to appeal to both sexes equally -- dumb reality shows like Survivor, procedurals-mixed-with-personal-drama like Elementary, and general-audience sitcoms like Big Bang Theory.

The only single scripted TV show -- a single fiction -- whose intended audience is primarily male I can think of is Game of Thrones. But that wound up appealing to women, and if I were to guess, I'd say that women probably made up the majority of the audience.

Again, I'm not really complaining. This seems to be explainable by operation of market forces (with the addition of a vicious cycle whereby the smaller part of the audience becomes smaller and smaller still as the industries pitch to the larger potential audience).

It's not a conspiracy, and it's not really even "political."

Still, if we live in a world where each and every "Gender Gap" must be shrieked about and endlessly discussed as "problematic" (and we do live in precisely such a world) -- how about doing a little shrieking for the poor underserved male potential TV audience?

Commenters Point Out Additional Male-Skewing Shows-- mostly on cable channels, and mostly on FX (or FXX, whatever). Archer and Always Sunny are definitely male-appealing; commenters say "The League" is too.

But these are on a fairly minor cable channel, and certainly it doesn't look like new shows are being pitched to the male audience.

(Update: Oops, someone pointed out Adam Baldwin's vehicle (ahem), The Last Ship. Okay, that counts as "new." But still, on TNT.

Okay, you can point out a few male-skewing shows -- but not many.)

#GamerGate Angle: While the Social Justice Warriors complain mightily that video games seem to feature many more male heroes than female ones, and seem skewed to male tastes as a general matter -- I don't hear the Social Justice Warriors crusading for male-skewing fictions in print or on TV.

Seems the SJWs gladly take their advantages where they find them (that is, in entertainments designed to appeal to their gender identity) and then cry an awful lot because one particular entertainment niche (video games) is still skewed towards male tastes.

Posted by Ace at 03:11 PM Comments

FBI: Oklahoma Beheading of Woman by Jihadist is Obviously Just a Case of Workplace Violence


I wondered last week if the media would completely cover up this story, as they embargoed the Jihadist Serial Killer in Seattle.

I forgot to ask if the FBI would, too.

Posted by Ace at 02:29 PM Comments

They're Now Building... Shipping-Container Apartments


The shipping containers are specced out with interior walls and plumbing and such and then they're just stacked on top of each other to form an apartment complex.

In the sci-fi novel Ready Player One, the very poor protagonist lived in a place called "The Stacks," which were just mobile homes stacked one upon the other (to save space, because of overpopulation and the impossibility of poor folks owning any actual property), then laced together with ramshackle fire escapes.

I thought that was a cute attempt to hyperbolize the drama of the poor, but a dumb one. An interesting image, but there's no way that would happen.

Well, something like that is happening. Shows what I know.

Posted by Ace at 12:50 PM Comments

The Proper Use of Pronouns, As Demonstrated by Barack Obama


Demonstration One: The Second-Person Singular Pronoun "You."

Barack Obama: "All around the country, wherever I see folks, they always say, oh, Barack, we're praying for you -- boy, you're so great; look, you got all gray hair, you looking tired. (Laughter.) We're praying for you. Which I appreciate..."

Demonstration Two: The Third-Person Plural Pronoun "They."

The United States underestimated the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, President Obama said during an interview, to be broadcast Sunday night, in which he also acknowledged the Iraqi armyís inability to successfully tackle the threat.

According to transcript from Sunday's "60 Minutes" on CBS interview, correspondent Steve Kroft referred to comments by James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, in which he said, "We overestimated the ability and the will of our allies, the Iraqi Army, to fight."

"That's true. That's absolutely true," Obama said. "Jim Clapper has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria."

Demonstration Three -- INCORRECT Usage of the Third-Person Singular Pronoun "He."

Reached by The Daily Beast after Obamaís interview aired, one former senior Pentagon official who worked closely on the threat posed by Sunni jihadists in Syria and Iraq was flabbergasted. "Either the president doesnít read the intelligence he's getting or he's bull****ing," the former official said...

Kidding aside, Geraghty then (in the second link) demonstrates the various warnings the intelligence committee has made about Iraq and Syria.

Thanks to JustTheTip and @comradearthur.

For Further Consideration:

Historical Demonstration: The Proper Use of The First Person Plural Pronoun "We."

"We got him." -- Barack Obama commenting upon the killing of Osama bin Ladin
Posted by Ace at 11:55 AM Comments

Speculating Bloggers: Hong Kong Protesters Are Using "Hands Up" Posture in Conscious Echo of Ferguson, MO
People Who Bother To Do Their Jobs and Ask Questions: No They're Not


Why does this keep happening? Is every single stray thought, twitter speculation, and phantom bridge in Israel breaking news for Vox?

Incidentally, did they really imagine the "hands up" posture was something unknown to the wider world until Ferguson protesters began using this?

Seems very provincial to me -- conceiving of the world as having the same agendas and reference points as American bloggers who either live in Brooklyn or intend to move there ASAP.

Thanks to @benk84. Just a quick one as a slumpbuster.

Updated: This wasn't just Vox claiming this pulled-out-of-the-ass speculation as fact -- it was a lot of the media, including a blogger for the WaPo and, naturally, MSNBC.

Posted by Ace at 11:26 AM Comments

Open Thread


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Posted by rdbrewer at 10:25 AM Comments

Top Headline Comments 9-29-14

—Gabriel Malor

Happy Monday.

I missed this great rebuttal last week to Democratic claims that Obamacare is just hunky-dory.

Greg Orman, the dude running against GOP Sen. Pat Roberts in Kansas, is a complete coward. When asked who he would caucus with in the Senate, he now answers, "It's not in the best interests for us to say that." His answers on other issues are as vague.

Pro-democracy demonstrations continue in Hong Kong.

Another former TV property hit it big at the box office.

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Posted by Gabriel Malor at 06:44 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread 9/28/14 (tmi3rd)

—Open Blogger

Hi there, Morons and Moronettes. Maetenloch is tied up with other things at the moment, but my understanding is that itís not contagious and the burning sensation should clear up fairly quickly.


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Posted by Open Blogger at 08:59 PM Comments

What A Bargain! - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]

—Open Blogger

A couple of weeks ago I spotted a $5 cell phone holder which attaches to a car's air conditioning vent. Yesterday I finally got around to opening the package and installing it in the car. It took approximately .5 seconds for me to decide that it had to come out. So, 5 minutes later, pliers in hand, I broke off the clips and tossed the entire device. $5 down the drain.

Marketeers (yes. I call them marketeers) know that there is a break-point at which a customer will make the effort to return a bad product and, for many people, $5 ain't it.

So, think about it. How much money do you suppose you have wasted buying bad products? How's your luck with As-Seen-On-TV products?

Is there anything you've purchased which exceeded your expectations?

Just a curiosity.

Some of my favorite purchases of the non-infomercial variety include, well, besides my handbags and shoes, a 4' scaffold for about $80 and a coffee table I picked up from a thrift store for $25.

What are some of your favorites?

Open thread.

Posted by Open Blogger at 07:07 PM Comments

Food Thread: Beerslinger Returns! A Beer Primer[CBD]

—Open Blogger

Ales & Lagers - A Beer Primer, with ampersands....

Now here I go dropping science about beers; ales and lagers.
Well...maybe we can skip the science, what with all the postulating theorems formulating equations, this is, after all, a primer, and, it's a Sunday.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 04:15 PM Comments

Gaming Thread 9/28/2014

—Gang of Gaming Morons!

Been playing quite a bit of Archeage this past week (level 33). Game is not a looker but it's been a lot of fun and the amount of stuff you can do is pretty good.

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Posted by Gang of Gaming Morons! at 03:31 PM Comments

Weekend Travel Thread: Funny Bone Edition [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

Greetings morons and moronettes!

While we all nervously scan the German newspapers for signs of moronette, HR's, arrest for disorderly conduct at Oktoberfest, how about a few chuckles?

Courtesy of Travel and Leisure, here are some funny signs you might encounter while on your travels. As co-author of the Garden Thread, I like this one:


(I'd hate to see the dogs in that neighborhood!)

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Posted by Open Blogger at 02:49 PM Comments

OK Horde, here's your chance to tell me I'm wrong [WeirdDave]

—Open Blogger

Or right, I dunno, that's why I'm asking. I have this buddy on Facebook. Good guy, good friend, I like him a lot. He's an ex-nuc, if you've ever read Blind Man's Bluff, his boat was the subject of one of the stories in the book (he won't tell me which one, which is how it should be). In spite of the fact that he glows gently in the dark, I respect him a great deal.

Which is why I was surprised when he posted a link to this article and indicated his approval. If you don't want to click the link, the article was published at Talking Points Memo, it's from a group of former service members who work for The Truman Project (A Soros funded non-profit), who are outraged, just outraged, that Greg Gutfield made a pun on The Five. They were discussing the female pilot from the UAE who led one of the airstrikes in Syria. Greg referred to it as "boobs on the ground" and one of his co-commentators made a joke about her having trouble parking the airplane when she got back. This, apparently, is the greatest outrage since the Holocaust. I replied:

Couldn't disagree more. If it was on a newscast? Maybe. The Five is a humorous, satirical commentary show. Notice who is doing the complaining: The Truman Project, one of George Soros' web of non-profits dedicated to advancing left wing causes. This is all part of the coordinated effort to manufacture an imaginary "war on women" leading up to the mid terms, a desperate attempt to distract people from the fact that 6 years of "progressive" governance has been a disaster. I know more than one female member of the armed forces, and any one of them would reply "Goddamn right we needed boobs on the ground, you swinging dicks weren't getting it done".

He responded no, he found it offensive, and furthermore, the UAE stuck their necks out by having a woman lead the attack, they are sure to be monitoring American news outlets, and stuff like this wasn't doing us any favors with a much needed diplomatic and military ally. (I'm not quoting him because I don't have permission to, but I am trying to present his arguments honestly as he made them).

I thought about this. I thought about it for a day, as I said, this is a friend and I respect his opinion. Ultimately I came back with:

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Posted by Open Blogger at 01:30 PM Comments

Sunday Football Thread

—Dave In Texas

All the footballs, all day long.

Sept 28 2014.jpg

Posted by Dave In Texas at 12:37 PM Comments

Sunday Morning Book Thread 09-28-2014: Hegemony [OregonMuse]

—Open Blogger

The interior of the Leuven University Library in Leuven, Belgium.

Good morning morons and moronettes and welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread. The only AoSHQ thread that

Found: Another Progressive Anti-Text

OK, so I was reading this article here wherein a number of horror enthusiasts were asked what was the scariest book they ever read. I didn't find anything noteworthy to comment on, except for one exception, a book I had never heard of before, Wisconsin Death Trip by historian Michael Lesy:

In the late 1960s, another desperate time, historian Michael Lesy...examin[ed] a collection of several thousand glass plate negatives and historical documents from Jackson County, Wisconsin, he concocted a sprawling treatise on a past that had been willfully forgotten, a brooding rejoinder to Edgar Lee Masters's Spoon River Anthology. First published in 1973, Lesy's Wisconsin Death Trip...became a key text of the counterculture...alongside Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and Custer Died for Your Sins--and it sometimes reads like a hip product of its time.

"A hip product of its time." Ugh, that can't be good. So, how did this book come about?

Lesy stumbled across a cache of 30,000 glass plate images made by a local town photographer named Charley Van Schaick and spools of microfilm from the local newspaper - and combined the most compelling of these images and newspaper excerpts to create a vivid examination of Victorian prairie life.

Emphasis mine. So my question is, out of the 30,000 photos he had available, how did Lesy decide which ones were "most compelling"? Let me guess: he picked the absolute worst ones he could find, the ugliest, the most disturbing, the most shocking. And any that conveyed any hint at all of joy or beauty or happiness were not used. I don't know this for a fact, but considering all I've been able to read about this book, I think it's highly probable.

Pre-progressive America, as settled by the descendants of Europeans, must always be presented in the worst possible light. Dee Brown beat this particular horse to death in Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee (as did Howard Zinn in the execrable People's History of the United States), and I think Lesy is doing yeoman's work here.

The Amazon blurb contrasts Wisconsin Death Trip with Spoon River Anthology, another book which I had never heard of, so I had look it up, too. The WDT Amazon review suggests Spoon River is a "everything was great in the good old days" type book, but that turns out not to be true. It's a collection of free-verse poems that, taken all together, describes life in the fictitious small town of Spoon River, the people, their hopes, their dreams, their disappointments and anguish. Many of the poems read like epitaphs. Here's an example:

Ollie McGee

Have you seen walking through the village
A Man with downcast eyes and haggard face?
That is my husband who, by secret cruelty
Never to be told, robbed me of my youth and my beauty;
Till at last, wrinkled and with yellow teeth,
And with broken pride and shameful humility,
I sank into the grave.
But what think you gnaws at my husband's heart?
The face of what I was, the face of what he made me!
These are driving him to the place where I lie.
In death, therefore, I am avenged.

I don't see anything even remotely pollyannaish about this. And other poems in the anthology are similar, speaking frequently of heartbreak, heartache, and death. Anyway, I bought the 99-cent Kindle edition, and I think it's going to turn out to be a more worthwhile read than WDT. No that I don't think the turn-of-the-century photos from Wisconsin wouldn't be interesting, I think they would, but I am also interesting in looking at some of the other 30,000 photos that didn't get picked. Just sayin'.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 09:43 AM Comments

Early Morning Open Thread - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]

—Open Blogger

Good morning.

I have a hankering for a long drive into the woods.

If you feel the same, a word of caution: Remember to be careful out there.

Continue reading

Posted by Open Blogger at 07:39 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (27 Sep 2014)


Critics blast authorities for treating Oklahoma beheading as workplace violence. Good luck on that. The victims of the Fort Hood jihadi weren't successful in getting it called an act of terrorism either.

Continue reading

Posted by CDR M at 10:07 PM Comments

Saturday Open Thread


This post will be sticky until 8 PM.

New content will be posted below this thread.

Posted by Ace at 07:56 PM Comments

Old And Busted: Chinless Attorney General; The New Hotness: Tri-Chinned AG [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

Well, here's something to chew on...

It's oddly fitting that Attorney General Eric Holder -- a stubbornly independent career prosecutor ridiculed by Barack Obama's advisers for having lousy political instincts -- would nail his dismount.

But Holder, who began his stormy five-plus-year tenure at the Justice Department with his controversial "Nation of Cowards" speech, has chosen what seems to be the ideal (and maybe the only) moment to call it quits after more than 18 months of musing privately about leaving with the president and senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, a trio bound by friendship, progressive ideology and shared African-American ancestry.

It was now or never, several current and former administration officials say, and Holder -- under pressure to retire from a physician wife worried about a recent health scare, checked the "now" box.

Have no fear! Fearless Reader is apparently considering this person as Holder's replacement:

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Posted by Open Blogger at 07:20 PM Comments

Saturday Gardening Thread: Bugs [Y-not and WeirdDave]

—Open Blogger

Greetings Gardeners! Welcome to your Saturday gardening thread.

Today's thread is brought to you by the RHINOCEROS BEETLE:

I have no idea why I decided to post that video... lol!

Earlier this week a friend and I went to the Red Butte Gardens at the University of Utah's campus. It was a gorgeous day and while we were there I spotted this guy buzzing around some Syrian oregano flowers:


I'd never seen anything quite like this wasp before, so I snapped a bunch of pictures and when I got home discovered that he was most likely a Great Golden Digger Wasp, which is a beneficial insect. (So is the rhinoceros beetle and its relatives, by the way.) 'Seemed like a good topic for the gardening thread so here we go!

This is a type of predatory wasp that preys on grasshoppers and katydids. They are not particularly aggressive. (I can attest to this as I had to really hover over the wasp I was trying to photograph, something I would not have risked with a hornet or yellow jacket.) As far as I can tell, they only eat insects, but the one I spotted was hanging around flowers behaving as if it was foraging. I'm not sure how to interpret that.

Cognitive scientists are interested in studying these insects because of their genetically-programmed behavior:

Upon capturing a suitable prey, the female Great Golden will paralyze it with toxins in her sting. If the prey is small, she flies it directly to the nest. If prey is too large to transport aerially, the wasp will walk with it across the ground. The prey is clasped beneath her body by grasping its antennas with her mandibles.

Once the Great Golden reaches the opening of her nest, she sets the paralyzed insect down. Leaving the prey outside, she goes into the tunnel for inspection. When satisfied that all is well, she comes partially out from the nest and again grasps the prey's antennas pulling it backwards into the nest's interior where it is deposited in a cell with its head turned to the bottom.

Though the prey is permanently paralyzed, it is able to eliminate feces and slightly move its antennas and mouthparts. Great Golden females close the nest each time prey is placed inside. When she re-enters for egg laying, she emits a set of buzzing sounds as she compacts the earth closing the entrance.

There are several behavioral aspects to this "self-programmed" wasp that continue to fascinate as humans tend to think such rote habits denote forethought and logic. Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett, two professors of Cognitive Science, created a controlled environment to study the Sphex routines more closely.

After the Great Golden dropped her prey and was inspecting her nest's interior, the professors moved the prey a few inches away from the opening. When the wasp emerged ready to drag the prey in, she found it missing. Quickly locating the prey, the professors believe her "behavioral program had been reset" as they found that, once again, she dragged the prey back to the threshold of the nest, dropped it and repeated the nest inspection procedure.

During one study, this was done 40 times, always with the same result. This test can be replicated again and again, with the Sphex never seeming to notice what is going on, never able to escape from its genetically programmed sequence of behaviors.** The wasp never "thinks" of pulling the prey straight in, but continually drops it outside until she is done with her nest inspection.

**Hmmm, reminds me of the RNC.

Continue reading

Posted by Open Blogger at 05:02 PM Comments

Open Thread: KABOOM Edition [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

It's been a couple of hours, so here's a fresh thread for you corgis, brought to you by The Other Kaboom:


In case you missed it, a few days ago Israel shot down a Syrian jet that had violated Israel's air space:

The Israeli military shot down a Syrian fighter jet that infiltrated its airspace over the Golan Heights on Tuesday morning -- the first such downing in decades, heightening tensions in the volatile plateau.

The military said a "Syrian aircraft infiltrated into Israeli air space" in the morning hours and that the military "intercepted the aircraft in mid-flight, using the Patriot air defense system."

And, speaking of "kaboom," we're sending over some warthogs to provide close air support for the troops we do not have on the ground. Here's some Warthog pron to warm the cockles of your evil conservative hearts:

Continue reading

Posted by Open Blogger at 01:52 PM Comments

Saturday College Football Thread

—Dave In Texas

It's almost October, best time of the year! Everybody down in Texas is looking forward to winter and everybody north of the Red River is not.

Good times.

Top ten games today all times EASTERN

Wyoming at Michigan St (9), noon

Florida St (1) at North Carolina St, 3:30pm

Arkansas at Texas A&M (6), 3:30pm

La. Tech at Auburn (5), 4pm

Memphis at Ole Miss (10), 7:30pm

Notre Dame (8) at Syracuse, 8pm

Baylor (7) at Iowa State, 8:20pm (they won by 64 points last year, largest conf margin of victory ever for BU)

Alabama (6) (3) and Oklahoma (4) are idle (oops, thanks whoever corrected me)

Just like me this weekend. Have a great one.

Sept 27.jpg

Posted by Dave In Texas at 11:22 AM Comments

OT Thread - In Defense of Crony Capitalism [WeirdDave]

—Open Blogger

Well, that's a title that ought to generate a few raised eyebrows at least. To be fair, this is not a defense of crony capitalism, but rather an attempt to take a closer look at the phenomenon and understand it a little better.

First, we need to look at the language we're using. I despise the term crony capitalism, because it's inaccurate. There is nothing capitalistic at all about a business model that depends on government handouts or contracts or regulation to succeed (and all three are different, as we shall see). The reason that it's popularly called crony capitalism is to discredit capitalism. We need to call it what it is, which is corporatism, or, to be more bluntly accurate, fascism (I would recommend avoiding this term unless you have about an hour to explain the difference between fascism as practiced by Nazi Germany from that of Italy in the 20s and progressive America's Bête noire of the same time period. If you want to learn more about this I recommend reading- no joke- Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism).

There are three main types of corporatism:

Continue reading

Posted by Open Blogger at 10:45 AM Comments

Saturday Politics Thread: RINO Diablo Edition [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

OK, I've stalled long enough. I simply must do a thread on Jeb Bush and Chris Christie because, let's face it, one of them (or both of them) is bound to run. We, and by "we" I mean those of us unable to fully embrace the Let It Burn lifestyle, are going to have to decide if we could possibly vote for one of these turds should The Worst Happen and one of them be the nominee.

Let's pray this won't be necessary.

To lighten things up from what promises to be a horrible no-good gawdawful discussion, and in the interest of symmetry, I'll toss in Jon Huntsman to complete the Trio of RINOs this week. At least we'll have someone to mock between the wailing and gnashing of teeth over Christie and Bush.


Let the games begin!

As usual, let's have a pre-discussion poll:

Continue reading

Posted by Open Blogger at 09:35 AM Comments

Early Morning Open Thread - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]

—Open Blogger

Good morning.

I'm still gagging over this first item:

but the second item makes me feel a bit better:

Posted by Open Blogger at 07:38 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (26 Sep 2014)


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Posted by CDR M at 10:00 PM Comments

Kim Jong-un Is Very Very Sick/Mystery Lyric Thread


So Kim Jong-un is sick, which I'm going to completely speculate means "sick of all the poison he's been given."

You can also play soothsayer's and toby's game and post lyrics and see who can guess the song.

Here's an easy one (with the answer right below):

Bereft in deathly bloom
Alone in a darkened room
The count

I mean, that's pretty easy. Well, it's easy if you've ever heard it. If you've ever heard it, those lyrics point you to the song pretty obviously.

I dedicate it to Kim Jong-un.

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 08:35 PM Comments

Why the GOP Sucks


Just kidding on the headline; I just don't know what to call this.

Ross Douthat writes about why Romney is being seriously talked about.

In doing so, he links this analysis of the GOP and its nominating behavior. Henry Olsen says there are four -- not two -- factions in the GOP: Very conservative religious voters, very conservative secular voters, somewhat conservative voters (of, I guess, either secular or religious outlook), and, actually, liberal-to-moderate voters. (??? -- well, it's what he says, anyway.)

His basic take is that the conservative voters always back the winning candidate (or, turning that around: the winning candidate always gets the moderately conservative voters behind him).

The pathway to success is to win the moderately conservative voters while poaching and picking off some voters from other groups, while not actually alienating any of the others. (That is, without becoming flat-out unacceptable to them.)

The weird thing is his claims of each faction's strength. He says the somewhat conservative voters (not squishes, but not very conservative) are the most numerous, making up 35-40 % of the Republican primary vote.

Next come -- if you can believe this -- liberal-to-moderate voters, which make up 25-30% of the primary vote.

Third are very conservative religious voters, making up around 20% of the primary vote.

Finally, the smallest group of all is "very conservative secular voters," making up 5-10% of the primary vote.

Note his groupings are kind of arbitrary -- he lumps all "somewhat conservative voters" into the same group whether religious or secular, thus making that group appear bigger than it would be if it were split, like the Very Conservative voters, into two cohorts, religious and secular. He also notes that the more religious of the somewhat conservative voters are (as you might expect) more supportive of expressly religious candidates -- thus there is a difference in how the two halves of this group behave, and thus it is questionable that they should be grouped together as a single bloc.

Anyway, though, it is interesting on a lot of levels.

For one thing, if you're one of the guys saying "The less-conservative people almost always get their preference!," you're right.

And I guess it also explains, sort of, why this is so: The party is just not as conservative as some people seem to believe it is (or believe it should be).

Interesting. Not sure I believe all of it, but interesting.

I'm not sure if I'd be called a "Somewhat Conservative" voter in this scheme or a "Very Conservative Secular Voter." *

Turns out the Very Conservative Secular Voters supported Rick Perry last time around -- until he embarrassed himself in the debates.

* I guess I might also be a "liberal to moderate" voter in this scheme, as I do exhibit that cohort's defining characteristic: supporting the less openly-religious candidate over the more openly-religious candidate, almost always.

I'm not saying that's a Good Thing and You Should Do It Too; I'm just saying I do do that.

I like guys like Perry, Bush, or Romney, who talk about God in contexts I consider appropriate (when asked about it, when making a larger point about meaning and metaphysics, when solemnizing a thought, or when discussing points (abortion, marriage) in which religious thought is especially presented), and I definitely don't like guys who bring up God a lot in contexts I would consider inappropriate and mere matters of legislative preference.

Posted by Ace at 06:57 PM Comments

NYT Reporter: Hillary Clinton's Minders Followed Me Into the Bathroom Every Single Time I Had to Go


Apparently -- this seems to me to be the only explanation -- they were determined to know the reporter's every movement (take that as you like) while she was covering a conference.

Matthew Continetti writes of a NYT reporter, Amy Chozick, who covers Clinton for the NYT. Chozick seems to be actually doing her job, and occasionally reporting things that Ready for Hillary! would prefer she didn't.

Chozick's latest piece concerned, mostly, her bathroom visits, or rather the attendance at her bathroom visits, which turned out to have a higher attendance than her usual crowd of One.

It seems Amy Chozick could not break away to relieve herself without being "escorted" to and from the bathroom, and sometimes, into the bathroom itself.

Every time she felt the urge [to go to the bathroom], a representative of the Clintons would accompany her to the ladies' room. Every time. And not only would the "friendly 20-something press aide" stroll with Chozick to the entrance of the john. She also "waited outside the stall." As though Chozick were a little girl.



The Stall.

It is creepy, embarrassing, and invasive to have a political minder eavesdropping on one's bodily evacuations.

If it was not embarrassing enough to be chaperoned to the water closet by a recent college graduate no doubt beaming with righteousness and an entirely undeserved and illusory sense of self-importance, some earnest and vacant and desperate-to-be-hip Millennial whose affiliation with the Clintons, whose involvement in their various schemes, consists of nothing more than her uniform of white shirt and silk scarf--if this was not on its own an indignity and an insult for a correspondent of the New York Times, when Chozick asked for comment on the bathroom police, she received the following response:

Craig Minassian, a spokesman for the initiative, directed me to a press release about American Standard's Flush for Good campaign to improve sanitation for three million people in the developing world. "Since you are so interested in bathrooms and [the Clinton Global Initiative],' Mr. Minassian said.

Oh, how adorable. The woman asked why she was being followed into the bathroom, and the spokesman said she was the one excessively interested in toilets.

She asked why she was being followed into the bathroom like an inmate on suicide watch at a psychiatric prison, and in response she got a snarky F**k You response.

Continetti notes that Choznick cannot do more here than report -- she cannot opine about what's going on here -- so Continetti steps up to do what Choznick's job forbids.

Corrected: The original headline suggested that Amy Choznick reported the motive for the bathroom-monitoring (to keep track of her every move).

In fact, this was my own gloss, not hers.

I have re-written to make it clear that this is my interpretation, not necessarily hers.

Though I don't know what contrary interpretation she could have.

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 05:24 PM Comments

Jeb Bush Stumps for Tillis in North Carolina, and Prompts Tillis to Distance Himself From Bush


We were told he was smart. We were told he had the right kind of political skills.

Does he? (See Note at bottom.)

A lot of us were very annoyed with Chris Christie's selfish RNC speech. Rather than promoting the nominee, he spent most of his time promoting himself, at the expense of the nominee.

There is a time for self-promotion. It is not during a speech ostensibly in service of someone else's electoral bid.

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- In one of his first public appearances of the 2014 campaign, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida had a vivid preview Wednesday of the challenges he would face with his partyís conservative base should he seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016.

Standing alongside Thom Tillis, the North Carolina House speaker and Republican Senate candidate, Mr. Bush outlined his views on two of the issues he cares most passionately about: immigration policy and education standards. But as Mr. Bush made the case for an immigration overhaul and the Common Core standards, Mr. Tillis gently put distance between himself and his guest of honor, who had flown here from Florida on a dreary day to offer his endorsement in a race that could decide which party controls the Senate.


On the Common Core, the educational standards first devised by a bipartisan group of governors, which have become deeply unpopular among conservative activists, Mr. Tillis also sounded far more conservative than Mr. Bush. The North Carolina House approved the standards in 2011, but, facing primary challengers from the right earlier this year, Mr. Tillis backed away from them.

"I'm not willing to settle just for a national standard if we think we can find things to set a new standard and a best practice," Mr. Tillis said, pivoting to an attack on the federal Education Department...

So in the context of a Senate race in which the topics of Common Core and immigration are crucial, Jeb Bush went out to plump a more liberal opinion at odds with that claimed by the candidate himself.

And Tillis, if I understand this right, is already facing skepticism from conservative voters on his (perceived) soft position on immigration.

So what did Jeb Bush have to say about amnesty?

Even though Republicans may take back the Senate by running against amnesty, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush pushed amnesty legislation while stumping for North Carolina Republican Senate candidate Thom Tillis on Wednesday.

Bush, according to the New York Times, reportedly said that comprehensive immigration reform "will restore and sustain economic growth for this country." And even though a recent Gallup poll found that illegal immigration is now the top concern among Republicans, Bush said that if immigration reform is "framed in that way, I donít think thereís a big debate in the Republican Party about the need to do this."

If you click on the link (to the NYT), you'll see Tillis looking none too happy with Jeb.

I don't mind some heterodox opinions in the party. I think it's healthy. Groupthink is Non-Think.

However, we are less than seven weeks away from an election. It is not the time to pick a fight, yet again, with the base about their preferred position on "comprehensive immigration reform."

Jeb can pick this fight if he likes -- during his actual speeches in support of himself and his own preferred agenda.

Seven weeks out from an election, with Tillis trailing Hagan as it is.

Is this smart? Is this in the party's best interests?

Hell, I don't even think it was in Jeb's best interests.

Note: An assumption I made here, without realizing it, as that Jeb went off-script with remarks that were not approved by Tillis.

I don't know if that's a strong assumption. After all, Tillis would presumably want to see Jeb's script, or he's at least heard Jeb's stump speech before.

Who knows, perhaps this was all approved. Maybe Tillis just made an error. Or maybe Tillis wants some moderate votes.

Or maybe he wanted Jeb to play Weak Cop so he could posture as Strong Cop.

I don't know. I shouldn't have assumed that Jeb surprised him with this. The NYT's account suggests that, without actually saying it.

Whatever the understanding or the plan, it just doesn't seem very smart to me.

Agendas get cooked up and ironed out before election season. I just don't see the seven weeks before the election as the time to trot out unpopular or novel ideas.

Update: I should mention we discussed this on the podcast. John (I think) made the point that Republicans are doing well in states where they've united their base, and conservative voters have, as they say, "come home."

This doesn't seem likely to unite people. This seems likely to start up old fights that really have to be papered over at least until the election.

Posted by Ace at 03:59 PM Comments

Is The GOP Stupid Enough To Agree To This?


No way, right? There's no possible way they couldn't recognize what would happen here. Too obvious.

.........I give up. They're simply incapable of learning.

Posted by JohnE. at 03:16 PM Comments

AoSHQ Podcast: Guest, Brandon Finnigan


CAC drops by to discuss the new AoSHQ Decision Desk with Ace and John.

Intro/Outro: Grateful Dead-Truckin'/Slightly Stoopid-2am

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Open thread in the comments

Posted by Andy at 01:45 PM Comments

Update: Alton Nolen Was in the "Process of Being Terminated"


As Allah notes, this is a classic trigger for workplace murders, having nothing to do with religion.

When I say "the process of being terminated," I mean that in specific present tense: He was actually being fired in the very minutes before his rampage.

That doesn't mean religion doesn't have anything to do with this -- Why was he being fired? Was it due to his attempts to convert co-workers while on the job?

And his choice of manner of murder is suggestive.

However, it should be said that the motive here is not clear. I suspect a mixture of motives -- sudden distress plus certain thoughts already lurking around his brain -- but we don't know that yet.

Signature: Why behead the woman?

Beheading, I imagine, is a fairly long process, requiring a lot of muscular effort.

It is harder and takes longer than stabbing.

It does seem to be message-sending. Or a signature.

Profilers distinguish between M.O. and signature. M.O. are the steps taken to perform the crime -- and are needed to perform the crime.

But "signatures" (in ritualistic murders) aren't needed to do the crime. They are done because they are important to the killer for emotional, ritual purposes.

Cutting off a lock of the victim's hair, for example, is a signature.

Binding a victim is usually just an M.O., if the killer wants to carry the victim off. To do so, he must tie her up.

But tying her up with specific knots, like maybe those used in S&M stuff, is a signature. Not actually necessary to carry the crime out, but important to the perp for reasons that don't have to do with mere utility.

The beheading seems to be that kind of thing.

The crime was murder. That was easily accomplished by stabbing.

The beheading was unnecessary, but obviously something important to Alton Nolen, or else why spend the time and muscle-power to do it?

That seems to be a clear signature, and so the obvious question is: Why was this signature important to him?

Reminder: I'm not just being an anti-Muslim Islamophobe in asking these questions.

IS recently called upon the faithful to rise up and begin butchering people in America and France.

In Algeria, a French national named Herve Gourdel was kidnapped and then beheaded.

Now, in America, an American woman is beheaded in a frenzy-attack.

Different methods -- the Algerian beheading was a group effort, and was coordinated, whereas the American beheading seems to have been what the FBI would call a "disorganized" type of attack, and seemingly impromptu -- but nevertheless, one Frenchman and one American woman beheaded, just as IS asked.

These are not idle questions and they're not asked without reason.

Posted by Ace at 12:53 PM Comments

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I Watched that "Madam Secretary" Show . . . Stunned Ox. A former (conservative) US Foreign Service official grits his teeth, watches "Madam Secretary", and finds it's every bit as wretched and inaccurate as he feared. Also, if you're not reading his blog, you should be. [Fritzworth]

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"Brown said in a statement that the bill appears to be too narrow and could go beyond what the state and federal constitutions would prohibit." So what, Jerry? That's what they wanted. Why have a bill at all if you're just going to rely on what you believe constitutional limits are? Added: From Time, "[L]egislators will probably respond by proposing a complete moratorium on drone use in the state...." [rdbrewer]
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Victor Davis Hanson, PJM: The Moral Failures of Eric Holder
Via @EdDriscoll. [rdbrewer]

Calf born with "7"

Jon Gabriel, Ricochet: 13 Most Ridiculous Predictions Made on Earth Day, 1970
Environmental Marxists have been using the same scare tactics since forever. Back then, we just had 15 years or so before famine, overpopulation, pollution, and freezing were going to kill us all. Sound familiar? [rdbrewer]

Ginni Thomas, TheDC: Princeton Professor: Cultural Elite Can No Longer Tolerate Christians
"'Christians, and those rejecting the me-generation liberal dogma of "if it feels good do it," are no longer tolerable by the intellectual and cultural elite,' says George...." Related: From Mediaite, Maher Tears into PC Liberals: Whereís Your Outrage on Violent, Oppressive Islam? [rdbrewer]

Ed Driscoll, PJM: Neil DeGrasse Tyson Enters into Dan Rather Territory [rdbrewer]

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Mollie Hemingway: Neil DeGrasse Tyson: Just Trust Me On Those Things I Said, OK?
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Vice: Your Face, Voice, and Tattoos Are the FBI's Business Now
"There is plenty to be concerned about with the FBI's system, especially if we still entertain the idea that the agency's primary goal is criminal investigation, not general civilian surveillance." [rdbrewer]

Video: The History of Political Correctness
Cultural Marxism and the Frankfurt School. A must-see. Via @AdamBaldwin. [rdbrewer]

Robert Tracinski: Five Things I Learned from ĎGeekí Culture
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The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
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John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
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