Overnight Open Thread (3 Jul 2015)
I know the news lately has been a solid downer but don't give up. Cowboy up, conservatives.
Check Yer Oil
Pretty sad you have to do this for a new car. Especially some of the higher priced European ones. Nearly 1.5 million vehicles have higher than average oil consumption.
Adventures in Dentistry
I'm pretty sure it's never a good idea to hire a dentist via facebook and then have your procedure done at home. Fake dentist accused of pulling 5 teeth from woman on her couch.
Airplane came out this week 35 years ago.
I finally watched John Wick last night and that's a pretty damn good flick. I think I'll give Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes a try this weekend.
Darwin Award Contestant
When Animals Attack
Crazy Foods At America's State Fairs
Violin GnR Cover
Bark and Awe
Tonight's ONT brought to you by Corgi athletes that are trying their best:
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The #VoxTake Game
Here's a game you can play.
I was talking with a friend about Vox, and its painfully stupid "Actually the American Revolution was a bad idea and here's why" story.
I said their whole business plan was aggressive stupidity. The more provocatively dumb they are, the more hits they get.
Then we start parodying #VoxTakes, which consist, usually, of the following formula:
Actually + [prattish, assholish contradiction of a thing that is obviously true] + and here's why
Actually burning my dick off with a soldering iron was the best thing that could have happened to my genitals
and I said
Actually AIDS is awesome and here's why
Obviously you don't need the actually/and here's why part. All you really need to do is be an attention-seeking prat and say really stupid shit.
So you can try that if you want.
Oh, and here's Sulu's stupid non-apology fake apology.
I keep looking for stuff but I can't find anything. I don't know whether to post real news, which is horrible, or something nice.
I guess this is horrible -- Greece out of cash; economy crashing -- but on the plus side, it's not the US.
I mean, that won't come for like 10, 12 years.
"That's okay! In 10-12 years, I'll be dead!"
Americans Not So Proud to be American Under America-Hating President, Poll Shockingly Reveals
Fundamental Concepts - Birthright [Weirddave]
Birthright: ( burth-rahyt ) noun 1. any right or privilege to which a person is entitled by birth:Last week, I wrote one of these columns entitled “Game Over”. In it I lamented what the latest SCOTUS rulings have done to our country. I focused on King, but it easily could have been Obergefell or another SCOTUS decision. Or executive action, or Congressional surrender. There is almost literally no end to the examples of my country being killed that I could have chosen from to illustrate the point: America, as founded, is dead. There is really no argument about it, the fundamental principles upon which this nation was formed have been eroded or eclipsed to the point where the greatest Democratic Republic in history, a model for the world and a beacon for freedom, is now nothing more than another damned dirty Oligarchy, impoverished peons subservient to a greedy ruling class. In short, we've reverted to the norm. American exceptionalism is dead because America isn't exceptional anymore, we're just like all the rest of the countries in the world, just like all the rest of the countries throughout history. We are no longer sovereign citizens, we're are subjects of a ruling elite.
I thought this would be the perfect subject for a Fourth of July weekend post. The Fourth of July holiday celebrates the Declaration of Independence, the document where America declared it's freedom and boldly stated it's grievances against an out of touch ruling elite. We'll have fireworks, fellowship, celebration, and community. Flags will be raised, rockets shot, anthems sung and BBQ eaten. It's all one great big orgy of Americana, and although most people aren't even aware of it, they are celebrating a dead letter, an antiquated concept, an ideal that has been killed by an unelected cadre of black robed tyrants, cowardly legislators more interested in power than oaths and an executive drunk on the power to destroy everything that he is honor bound to safeguard. It's Independence Day! Time to celebrate our independence from the values that made us great! Who cares? It sure feels good, don't it? That's what our betters tell us anyway. WHOO HOO! PARTY TIME! 'MERICA! F*** YEA!, right?
Just that: No.
I say no. I am an American, and I have a birthright. What is that birthright? Well, to start with, I suggest that we read the text of the Declaration of Independence in its entirety. Really read it. Read it, and try to understand what it MEANS. I'm reprinting it below, and I know its a wall of text, TL;DR, etc, but please, I urge you, if you do nothing else this holiday weekend, READ THIS:
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
That document was written 239 years ago by an assembly of the brightest human minds ever joined for one purpose in the history of mankind. Those men accepted the challenge presented by an uncontrolled aristocracy seeking to rule over all people, as had been the case throughout history, and calmly and clearly destroyed the idea of an oligarchy. What a brilliant victory for mankind, for liberty, for freedom for self expression.
Unfortunately you and I are living in the era of Revolution 2: The Oligarchy Strikes Back. Make no mistake, the oligarchy has struck back, hard. Most of the freedoms guaranteed to We The People by the follow up document to the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, have been abandoned or overturned. King kills rule of law. Obergefell killed the 1st Amendment. Roe invented imaginary new “rights” somehow magically hidden in “penumbras and emanations". Wickard basically gives the Federal Government leave to do anything it wants under the guise of “regulating commerce”. Plyler v. Doe dilutes the birthright of Americans, rendering it meaningless. The list goes on. A small cadre of elites, both elected and unelected, has managed to almost completely gut the rights that we are born with. They have succeeded because we have been too busy to notice, or too lazy, or too afraid. The majority of us, Nock's “Mass Man” (what we call LIVs today), have been complicit in their own enslavement. All of this has already come to pass. It is done. Over. Finished.
Except for one tiny thing......
The birthright. Your birthright. My birthright. OUR BIRTHRIGHT.
They. Can. Not. Take. Our. Birthright. Away.
They've done their bit. Now the question is what do we do? Scroll up and re-read the Facts that our Forefathers submitted to a candid world. Are there any that don't apply today? Appallingly few. We stand metaphorically on a dusty battlefield of American history. Around us lie the tattered remains of various flags that other Americans have held high as they did their bit to establish or preserve the birthright; Gadsden. Goliad. Gonzalez. Culpeper. 1st Naval Jack. Appeal to Heaven. Behind us the dark eyes of those who came before us watch, in each eye a silent question burns: “What are you made of?”. The time has come. We must answer that question with our Lives, our Fortune and our sacred Honor.
Do you deny it? If so, may your chains lie lightly. If not, then I repeat the eternal American question: “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
Close it up
Perry Emerges as Leading Trump Critic
The main reason the revolution was a mistake is that the British Empire, in all likelihood, would have abolished slavery earlier than the US did, and with less bloodshed.
Abolition in most of the British Empire occurred in 1834, following the passage of the Slavery Abolition Act. That left out India, but slavery was banned there too in 1843. In England itself, slavery was illegal at least going back to 1772. That’s decades earlier than the United States.
Can anyone spot the fallacy in this argument? In 1772, the colonies still belonged to the Crown...and it didn’t end slavery here at all. It didn’t impact the British slave trade much either; it took William Wilberforce more than three decades to end the British domination of the slave trade in 1807.
Scientists say about a theory so disconnected from reality that it can't even be tested that it's "not even wrong."
Vox pieces are not even wrong. They're not intended to be taken seriously. They are, as Jeff Goldbum described writing articles for People Magazine in the movie The Big Chill, calculated to be read in the time it takes the average person to take a shit.
This just continues the frivolous left's frivolous practice of posting nonsense to get outrage clicks.
EMT 7/3/15 - Dependence Day edition [krakatoa]
Welcome to the 3rd of July. Something important happened 239 years ago and a day.
I think that thing Thomas Jefferson said about 1689 English Declaration of Rights is particularly appropriate:
1689? That's like, ancient history, amiright?
Overnight Open Thread (7-2-2015) – Pre-Third of July Edition
The Prince and the two children were standing with their heads hung down, their cheeks flushed, their eyes half closed; the strength all gone from them; the enchantment almost complete. But Puddleglum, desperately gathering all his strength, walked over to the fire. Then he did a very brave thing. He knew it wouldn't hurt him quite as much as it would hurt a human; for his feet (which were bare) were webbed and hard and coldblooded like a duck's. But he knew it would hurt him badly enough; and so it did. With his bare foot he stamped on the fire, grinding a large part of it into ashes on the flat hearth.
..."One word, Ma'am," he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. "One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one more thing to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things - trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's a small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say."-- Puddleglum in The Silver Chair
Depressed and despondent over the political course of the country? Bewildered that the LIVs can be so ignorant and unconcerned about what's going on in Obama's government?
So why even bother trying to change people's minds at this point. Well let Albert Jay Nock's classic essay, "Isaiah's Job", explain what your real purpose is.
This essay was first published in the Atlantic in 1936 near the height of FDR's New Deal and it still applies today. Except that now the Remnant also have the internet.
The prophet's career began at the end of King Uzziah's reign, say about 740 B.C. This reign was uncommonly long, almost half a century, and apparently prosperous. It was one of those prosperous reigns, however - like the reign of Marcus Aurelius at Rome, or the administration of Eubulus at Athens, or of Mr. Coolidge at Washington - where at the end the prosperity suddenly peters out and things go by the board with a resounding crash.
In the year of Uzziah's death, the Lord commissioned the prophet to go out and warn the people of the wrath to come. "Tell them what a worthless lot they are." He said, "Tell them what is wrong, and why and what is going to happen unless they have a change of heart and straighten up. Don't mince matters. Make it clear that they are positively down to their last chance. Give it to them good and strong and keep on giving it to them. I suppose perhaps I ought to tell you," He added, "that it won't do any good. The official class and their intelligentsia will turn up their noses at you and the masses will not even listen. They will all keep on in their own ways until they carry everything down to destruction, and you will probably be lucky if you get out with your life."Isaiah had been very willing to take on the job - in fact, he had asked for it - but the prospect put a new face on the situation. It raised the obvious question: Why, if all that were so - if the enterprise were to be a failure from the start - was there any sense in starting it? "Ah," the Lord said, "you do not get the point. There is a Remnant there that you know nothing about. They are obscure, unorganized, inarticulate, each one rubbing along as best he can. They need to be encouraged and braced up because when everything has gone completely to the dogs, they are the ones who will come back and build up a new society; and meanwhile, your preaching will reassure them and keep them hanging on. Your job is to take care of the Remnant, so be off now and set about it."
What chiefly makes it so, I think, is that in any given society the Remnant are always so largely an unknown quantity. You do not know, and will never know, more than two things about them. You can be sure of those - dead sure, as our phrase is - but you will never be able to make even a respectable guess at anything else. You do not know, and will never know, who the Remnant are, nor what they are doing or will do. Two things you do know, and no more: First, that they exist; second, that they will find you.
Read the rest here.
[This is a repeat from two years ago but I think it's even more apropos now than ever]
The left does not care about social justice. It cares about power.
That is why no truce is possible with the left. Not on social issues. Not on any issues.
The left is a drunk in a bar trying to pick a fight with you. Trying to convince him that you didn't disrespect him, put something in his beer to make him dizzy or make his feet so heavy won't work. There's no 'agree to disagree' possible here. He's picking a fight with you because he wants a fight.
The left does not care about Bruce Jenner. It does not care about gay rights, equal pay, police brutality or even slavery. Its activists 'care' about those things a great deal right now, but they could easily be persuaded tomorrow to be outraged by telephone poles, shredded wheat or people in green sweaters....The left will destroy the things you care about, because you care about them. It will destroy them because that gives them power over you. It will destroy them because these things stand in the way of its power. It will destroy them because a good deal of its militant activists need things to destroy and if they can't attack you, they'll turn on the left in a frenzy of ideologically incestuous purges.
Their end goal? Passivity and compliance on your part.
The constant shifts create their own version of future shock. They leave people baffled and uncertain. Society no longer seems to resemble what they knew, even though the real society of men and women has not really changed much, only the media's presentation of it has. But a beaten down mass of ordinary people now imagines that the country is filled with gay men and trannies. They accept that what they thought was common sense no longer applies and that it's someone else's country now.
And that is the prize that the left dearly wants. Surrender.
I recommend operant conditioning instead. Complaining and crusading is what they do, but even a flatworm is smart enough to turn away from pain. Make it painful for them to mess with things that you consider important, and they'll likely turn their attentions elsewhere.
Actually despite the recent demonization campaign against it opinions haven't shifted much at all since the year 2000. The hullabaloo has been mostly elite activists bullying other elites and lecturing the hoi polloi.
The poll shows that 57% of Americans see the flag more as a symbol of Southern pride than as a symbol of racism, about the same as in 2000 when 59% said they viewed it as a symbol of pride. Opinions of the flag are sharply divided by race, and among whites, views are split by education.
Among African-Americans, 72% see the Confederate flag as a symbol of racism, just 25% of whites agree. In the South, the racial divide is even broader. While 75% of Southern whites describe the flag as a symbol of pride and 18% call it a symbol of racism, those figures are almost exactly reversed among Southern African-Americans, with just 11% seeing it as a sign of pride and 75% viewing it as a symbol of racism.
The patient must always be reminded that he is on the side of progress when he begins to experience any shame or doubt.
Which folks are happy to be contrarian and swim against the tide? Gays, obviously, and the hard left, which is one reason things tend to go their way. But also Muslims. Look at that woman in the ice-cream van at the top of the page. That's a British "ice-cream lady" of the 21st century. At a certain level, it's ridiculous serving 99s and raspberry ripples in a burqa. But at another, far more important level, it's not in the least bit ridiculous: it's telling you that these guys mean it - and they've figured out that you don't.
That ice-cream lady knows she's a minority now, and part of a larger minority tomorrow, and then one day a majority.
In Defense of the F-35:
Two articles pushing back on the view that the F-35 is a POS.
There are a great number of valid reasons to criticize the F-35 program, from its very inception envisioning one jet operating as a vertical jump jet, a carrier jet, and a conventional runway jet. The costs associated with the avionics and computer programming have been astonishing. The deliberate spread of subcontracts across every possible Congressional district as a defense against cancellation is another issue worthy of debate.
But taking one small canned scenario, one intended not to see if the F-35 could out fight the F-16, but rather explore the flight envelope, and proclaiming that it invalidates the entire development program, is the type of sensationalistic clickbait reporting that does little to inform the public on the actual state of the program.
"You can only be avant-garde for so long, before you become garde."
As the relationship between England and its North American colonies deteriorated, Massachusetts contacted the venerable Benjamin Franklin, who was living in England, to petition the Crown. He had after all prevailed in 1757 in a dispute Pennsylvania had with the Crown, and Franklin lobbied successfully for the repeal of the dreaded Stamp Act of 1765.
On January 29, 1774, Franklin appeared before the Privy Council, advisors to the king, which humiliated him.
That may have cost Britain her colonies, for Dr. Franklin went into that meeting an Englishman who was loyal to the crown. But he emerged from that meeting with the realization that he was an American. His decision to declare independence came a full two years before the formal declaration by the Continental Congress, which he edited.
...At the end of the harangue, Franklin declined to speak in his defense. That night, he returned to his lodgings at 7 Craven Street, London, feeling all of his 68 years. He removed his clothes and vowed not to wear the outfit again until he could degrade the British government. And he would, when he wore the same suit to the signing of the Treaty of Paris.First, Franklin had to return home to America in 1775 to help her declare her independence and sovereignty.
In London in September 1774, mathematician George Lewis Scott of the Royal Society and Commissioner of the Excise introduced Dr. Benjamin Franklin to a 37-year-old rabble-rouser named Thomas Paine, whose political hectoring had put him at odds with the Crown and cost him his employment as an excise officer. After hearing Paine out, Franklin suggested he move to America.
It was like handing Michael Jordan his first basketball.Armed with a letter of recommendation from Franklin, Paine headed to America -- and nearly died on the way. The ship suffered an outbreak of typhoid fever -- the result of contaminated water. As fate would have it, Franklin's physician greeted Paine upon his arrival and after six weeks of recovery, Paine was off to pursue his destiny: Guiding the American Revolution. He would within a year of his arrival pen the most popular and most important title in American history, "Common Sense," a pamphlet that sold out 100,000 copies in its first month in a nation of 2 million free men and women.
Sir Nicholas Winton, who organised the rescue of 669 children destined for Nazi concentration camps, has died aged 106.
Sir Nicholas, then a stockbroker, arranged for trains to carry Jewish children out of occupied Prague.
...Sir Nicholas brought the children to Britain, battling bureaucracy at both ends, saving them from almost certain death, and then kept quiet about his exploits for a half-century.He organised a total of eight trains from Prague, with some other forms of transport also set up from Vienna.
As a side note to the article my aunt is one of the Pedro Pan children rescued from Cuba. She didn't see her mother again for 5 years and her father for 10 years. Today she and her mother and extended family live happy, successful lives in Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia.
7. You avoid large urban areas
The Lamborghini Aventador is currently the widest production vehicle in the world right now. Including it's mirrors, the car is around 7.4-feet in width. That's a lot of car. While driving a Lambo in the city is fun if you're an attention seeker, everything else about the experience is miserable. Most Lambos have small rear-windows, they're only a few inches off the ground, you'll never hit the second gear in a city, and again, these cars are just absolutely massive. Driving them in small street filled with potholes in a city is a nightmare. There's an episode of Top Gear where the hosts examine how supercars perform in dense urban areas, and without getting into that much detail, it's a headache (parking garages? good luck with that).
Yahoo group. That is all.
Come on be a smartie and join the yahoo group party! For the children. Why do you hate children?
And my lo-fi Twitter spew.
Tonight's post brought to you by TCB and KBO:
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Late Hits: Why Were Liberal Democrats Raising Money For Darin LaHood?
It's another battle pitting the K Street wing of the GOP against the Tea Party wing. LaHood's past and his donor list show his close ties with the Beltway lobbyist class.
LaHood first came to office when he was appointed to a vacant State Senate seat a few years ago. In 2011, running for his first full term in the State Senate, LaHood came to Washington for a fundraiser. The fundraiser was hosted by Democratic lobbyist Bernie Robinson, the former chief of staff to liberal Democrat James McGovern of Massachusetts.
Why would a chief of staff for a Massachusetts Democrat throw a fundraiser for a Republican state senate candidate? "Darin is my friend," Robinson said at the time. LaHood had worked in D.C. for years, as a congressional staffer and at the Justice Department. Robinson also has Illinois GOP ties, having been the state's lobbyist in Washington for two years when Republican George Ryan was governor.
Oh, and also Robinson was a transportation lobbyist who was lobbying the U.S. Department of Transportation, at that point run by LaHood's father.
Robinson is a partner at the Livingston Group lobbying firm. Among his practice areas, according to his bio on the firm's website, is "Transportation, Shipbuilding, Shipping and Ports."
It gets worse.
This proximity to K Street and big business is the norm for LaHood.
Comb through LaHood's PAC donors, and you see plenty of transportation PACs: Warren Buffett's BNSF railroad contributed the maximum $5,000 as did Caterpillar. The Union Pacific Corporation's PAC gave $2,500....
LaHood says he would vote against crony capitalism, including the Export-Import Bank, but his FEC filings suggest his donors don't believe that. The PACs for Boeing, Caterpillar, John Deere -- all top Ex-Im beneficiaries --- are all LaHood donors. Sean Mulvaney, who sits on the board of Ex-Im, also donated to LaHood.
K Street is coming out in droves for LaHood. Lobbyist Robinson has donated to LaHood again. Eight lobbyists from the Podesta Group --founded by Obama chief of staff John Podesta and run by John's brother Tony -- have donated to LaHood.
If we can't even win this one, then let's just never bother again.
Evening Open Thread, With Links Which Contain Words and Stuff
If it's a family holiday, it must be time for progressive Stepford Relatives to get their dose of Obama Talking Points to inflict on family members again.
The Obama administration wants you to bring a side of healthcare politics to your family picnic this weekend.
After ObamaCare's big win at the Supreme Court last week, federal health officials are serving up some tips about talking to family members who may be less-than-enthused that ObamaCare is here to stay.
"You should be prepared when Aunt Janine says something like, 'Obamacare hasn’t helped anyone!'" a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services wrote in a blog post on Thursday.
For instance, if your Uncle Ted starts calling Obamacare a train wreck, you should calmly explain that he's "otten ahold of some old talking points," the spokesman recommends.
Then, he suggests that you recite a three-paragraph response citing 14 figures ranging from healthcare inflation to the growth in full-time versus part-time employment.
"With greater access to affordable, quality health insurance, the Affordable Care Act is helping individuals and strengthening our economy!" the sample script goes.
"Now, would you like more corn?"
I think all people aspire to be Walking Commercial Messages for someone else's propaganda organs.
This really is a weird thing, and tells you something about the bent and insecure psyches of the progressive -- the value the intellect, but have so little of it! They crave someone giving them a Bluffers Guide to Sounding Smart.
This year, Uncle Ted will see how smart I am. He'll see.
In case you've forgotten, the New York Times is a stuffed full of lies like a Lie Mule smuggling 20 pounds of lies from Colombia in condoms, each filled with 400 grams of Lies.
From the sidebar, this scientist lies.
NASCAR tells fans to stop bringing their confederate flags to races.
"As members of the NASCAR industry, we join NASCAR in the desire to make our events among the most fan-friendly, welcoming environments in all of sports and entertainment.
"To do that, we are asking our fans and partners to join us in a renewed effort to create an all-inclusive, even more welcoming atmosphere for all who attend our events. This will include the request to refrain from displaying the Confederate Flag at our facilities and NASCAR events."
I'd like to see one of these craven corporations driven into bankruptcy by a righteous counter-boycott, just to show we have had it. It would be nice to see NASCAR go.
And don't tell me you love auto-racing. So what? NASCAR is not auto-racing; NASCAR is a corporation that maintains some records and contracts. Could be replaced in a month.
You're not going to believe this, but Obama f***ed more shit up in the world, pressuring Arab allies not arm one of the few groups willing to fight ISIS, the Kurds.
Because, you know: Iran's going to do that. Just as soon as Obama gives them their nukes.
Chris Christie can't shake Hug-Gate.
Brit Hume thinks that Hillary Clinton is a big fat liar.
This professor warns that "Trigger Warnings" may chill speech and thought and retard the intellect, but, get this, this dummy says that like it's a bad thing rather than precisely that which is intended.
Since we have no podcast for you this week, why not give Brent's and Alex the Chick's a whirl?
Or Jeff B's?
Below, a well-received speech by Rick Perry on economics.
And that's all I got. Tomorrow I'll post a few open threads and some light Mike Flynn propaganda, but I'll mostly be taking the day off.
Close it up
David Steinberg: Leak from LaHood Camp Reveals That Governor Rauner, a Chicago Politician, Is, Get This, Trying to Fix a Political Race
Here are some highlights, but it's all pretty awesome.
EXCLUSIVE: A Shocking Admission Comes From Within Darin LaHood’s Disillusioned Campaign -- About IL GOP Governor Bruce Rauner Directing the Race After Darin LaHood's embarrassing debate performance and kingmakers Mark Levin and Dana Loesch endorsing Mike Flynn, details emerge from those fed up that Ray LaHood's son got this far.
by David Steinberg
As we've reported here, those involved in the behind-the-scenes GOP nomination process — from sheriff to presidential candidate — are quite aware that the GOP leadership’s carefully chosen argument employed against conservative, grassroots challengers is perhaps the least authentic, defensible opinion you'll hear coming out of Washington....
Darin LaHood, the son of former Obama administration Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, is the GOP leadership/establishment favorite to replace disgraced former Rep. Aaron Schock in Illinois’ 18th District. The district is heavily conservative, and John Boehner, Steve Scalise, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the rest of the House GOP leadership fear an actual conservative holding this seat, as one would be able to retain it and be a consistent problem for them....
After Monday’s final debate and the following endorsement for Flynn from kingmakers Mark Levin and Dana Loesch --recall, Darin LaHood's campaign had only agreed to a debate if the candidates were limited to 90-second answers and not allowed to address each other -- tips have been flowing to me from the disillusioned within LaHood’s campaign.
If it seemed to you, immediately following Aaron Schock’s resignation, that the state GOP and Governor Bruce Rauner were trying to clear the field for Darin LaHood, that's because they were trying to clear the field for Darin LaHood....
Remember when Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned in 2012? Under then-Governor Pat Quinn (D), potential candidates were given 12 weeks to gather enough signatures to make the primary ballot.
Governor Rauner instead decided that candidates could begin circulating petitions on about April 7 until April 20: 13 days, instead of 12 weeks.
Rauner also set the initial primary date for June 6. Eventually he relented and moved the date until July 7, this Tuesday. But the petition period was kept at 13 days.
A source who was working in Rauner's office at the time -- and still is -- says the reason for this was exactly what it appears to be: Governor Rauner wanted to clear the field for Darin LaHood, hoping he would run unopposed.
Further, the petition dates seemed to only apply to challengers like Mike Flynn. Witnesses report that at the McLean County Lincoln Day Dinner on April 2, LaHood’s team was circulating petitions.
Five days earlier than allowed.
Governor Rauner's undemocratic support for John Boehner's chosen candidate appears to have gone much further than setting near-impossible dates for challengers to comply with. In a special election primary, turnout is everything. Candidates must focus on getting out the vote for this election, which is predicted to only have a single-digit percentage of district voters participating.
Obviously, having an accurate roll of likely supporters to reach out could be the resource that decides the election.
The approximately 40 interns who have been knocking on doors for Darin LaHood have been sent out prepped only with an app loaded with address information for voters who pulled the lever for Governor Rauner in 2014.
They will be using the Red Dialer app over the next few days until the July 7 election to contact those Rauner voters by phone.
Click here for Governor Rauner's office number: ask them why they shared their voter data with one candidate.
Okay, so there's that.
Mike Flynn has an advantage here, though:
Some of LaHoods troops are... defecting.
They are counting on their interns --several have dropped off, they now have about 36 -- to really get out the vote on Election Day via using that Red Dialer app and their database of Rauner voters.
They shouldn’t be so confident.
Since the Monday debate, calls are now being made that proceed like this:
Hello, I’m calling from the Darin LaHood for Congress campaign. AND I’M CALLING TO TELL YOU TO VOTE FOR MIKE FLYNN. What’s been going on in here is not OK, and you need to know about it.
Great piece. Steinberg tackles two other broad points. First, he questions if LaHood's method of paying "volunteers" to come to events is legal. One political commentator notes that, legality aside, if you have to "pay for your friends," you're probably not really generating actual support.
The other stuff Steinberg goes into is questions about LaHood's background, and how he got his various government jobs.
Here’s the Chicago Tribune in 2006 -- the same year LaHood left his post after three prosecutorial misconducts -- raging angry that former House Speaker Dennis Hastert had forwarded Darin LaHood's name to President George W. Bush for consideration for a vacant U.S. Attorney post in central Illinois:Given their party's devastating experiences with cronyism and insider politics, you'd think the Illinois Republicans in Congress would be careful about even the appearance of favoritism in choosing new federal prosecutors to enforce our public corruption laws.
But if you do think that, you’re wrong. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, with an assist from several of this state’s clueless GOP congressmen, has given President Bush the names of three candidates for the vacant U.S. attorney’s post in central Illinois. One of the three is Darin LaHood, the son of, that’s right, Ray LaHood, the distinguished GOP congressman from Peoria.
After spectacularly failing as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's office, Darin LaHood has since received aggressive support from two -- TWO -- GOP Speakers of the House. Dennis Hastert and John Boehner.
He says he can find no evidence for LaHood's boast that he was involved in any terrorism prosecutions while in his Daddy-Got-Me job. And given his poor record, it does seem unlikely that he'd be entrusted with a high-profile case.
Even if you don't want to donate, please consider volunteering to make voter-contact phone calls for Mike.
Oh, and if you're in the district -- please volunteer as a walker! It now comes down to GOTV. LaHood has pursued a low-turnout strategy, just contacting Rauner's voters, apparently from Rauner's own list, but that strategy could result in a high percentage of RINOs turning out for LaHood. Mike Flynn might actually benefit from a larger turnout in the very-conservative district.
Feminist Scientific Researchers Employ Subatomic Grievance Smasher to Discover New Incredibly-Tiny Oppression Quark: Commenting Favorably on a Woman's Tattoos
"What a dumb time to be alive." -- John Ekdahl
Feminist Scientists are hailing the discovery of the long-sought Tattoo Microagression Quark "even more revolutionary" than last year's discovery of Oppression By Shirt.
Update: Money quote from a professional complainer, about the privacy of having silly shit doodled on her body:
“They feel like love letters written to the parts of my body I grew up hating."
Space Retard George Takei Has More Stupid Shit to Say
Oh my. https://t.co/wrSZ0EePkQ— Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) July 2, 2015
AllahPundit calls out the venomous snakes.
I think it was Dan McLaughlin of Red State who tweeted after last week’s SSM decision was released, "Now the contest begins to see who’ll be the angriest winner." His point was that, for a movement that’s been unstoppable culturally over the past 10 years, there’s a curiously strong impulse towards nastiness in some lefties’ reaction to each new victory. With this remark from George Takei, I think it’s safe to say the contest is now over....
Takei not only willfully misunderstands [Clarence Thomas'] intentions but slides easily into a nasty racial crack about Thomas’s black authenticity. He'll pay no price for it, needless to say. If anything, this is high-five material for jerkoffs who’ve already moved past last week's landmark ruling and are busily gaming out how to bust tax exemptions for Catholic soup kitchens or whatever.
Hit the link for Allah's explanation as to the "willful misunderstanding" of Thomas' point.
But is it willful? George Takei has alway struck me as a stupid man. He was always a terrible actor -- he could barely convince me he was really pushing up a lever when he was actually pushing up a lever on Star Trek -- and his major claim to fame is being an idiot people make fun of to his face, without him actually knowing they're making fun of him.
What I mean is the whole "Oh my" catchphrase. Sitcom characters have catchphrases; real people oughtn't. But people that was funny -- and not in a laughing-with-you way -- on Stern 15 years ago, and this moron has been dining out on that for a decade and a half.
One of my favorite interviews on Stern was with William Shatner, who tried to explain why Sulu hated him. Sulu's -- let's call him Sulu; let's not pretend we know this failed actor from anything other than pushing some buttons on Star Trek -- main beef with Shatner was that Shatner thought he was the star of Star Trek, well, him and Nimoy and Kelley, and to a lesser extent Doohan.
Which... well, Shatner was embarrassed at trying to defend himself against this charge, but ultimately his defense really consisted of: Well yes, Idiot, in fact I was the star.
The other thing Shatner talked about is how Sulu was always angry that Sulu was not promoted to Captain (until the last Star Trek movie). Sulu wanted to be promoted to captain ages ago. He wanted his own command.
Shatner tried to put this delicately to Stern: Did Sulu not understand that if he got his own command, on his own ship, he was off the show and out of the movies?
Jay Leno had a great joke that in Japan, Star Trek is called Sulu: Master of Navigation.
But this braying jackass really did think that if Sulu got promoted, somehow, there would in fact be a new movie franchise called Sulu: That Guy Who Used to Sit Next to Checkov.
Or maybe he didn't even think that. Maybe he just thought he would be in every Star Trek movie, discussing tactics with Kirk as an equal.
Who knows what he thought? He was a terrible actor 50 years ago who, as far as I can tell, had steady (but minor) work for two and a half years, then was brought back to appear briefly in movies for reasons of nostalgia.
He's a loser, and a failure, and like most failures and losers, a venomous, angry person.
Obama Negotiators Claim They Have Super Plan to Guarantee Incredible Transparency in the Iran Deal-- But That Plan Will Have to be Kept Secret from Both the Iranian and American Publics
I don't know why I expected that sentence would end any other way.
Eli Lake & Josh Rogin:
Important details of the nuclear agreement President Barack Obama says would bring unprecedented transparency to Iran's nuclear program will themselves be shrouded from the U.S. and Iranian publics, according to nuclear experts.
Officially, negotiators in Vienna have not made any decisions on what parts of the agreement would be released openly and what elements will be briefed to Congress but not publicly disclosed...
Richard Nephew, who served as a U.S. negotiator in the talks until February and is now the head of the economic statecraft program at Columbia University, told us that he didn't expect that large sections of the agreement would be secret, but he anticipated that there would be some interpretations of the text that the administration would share only with Congress.
"Will there be carefully worded sections that seem odd? That will happen," Nephew predicted. "Will there be some wholesale manipulation of what is agreed to? I don't think it's possible. In the end most of this stuff will be public. There may be a few things withheld or interpretations made clear in classified interpretation."
"Some aspects of the annexes may not be made public, which is different than being secret," Daryl Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association, told us.
Oh my God.
Just put this country out of its misery now, huh?
Since Obama has started "negotiating," he's simply given up all previously-stated critical US goals and embraced wholly the Iranian position, which is the Judge Smails position: "You'll get nothing and like it."
One week before the June 30 deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made a series of demands about the final terms. Among them: He called for an immediate end to all United Nations Security Council and U.S. economic sanctions on Iran; he said Iranian military sites would not be subject to international inspections; he declared that Iran would not abide a long-term freeze on nuclear research; and he ruled out interviews with individuals associated with Iran’s nuclear program as part of any enforcement plan.
The New York Times headline read "Iran's Supreme Leader, Khamenei, Seems to Pull Back on Nuclear Talks." That’s one explanation. The more likely one: Khamenei understands that Barack Obama is desperate for this deal and will agree to just about anything to make it a reality. In private remarks caught on tape, top White House foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes likened the Iran deal to Obamacare in its importance to the administration. And on April 2, the president held a press conference to celebrate the preliminary "historic understanding with Iran" that, he said, was "a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives."
But the impending deal is not a good one. It legitimizes a rogue state, shifts regional power to the world’' most aggressive state sponsor of terror, strengthens the mullahs’ hold on power, and guides Iran to nuclear threshold status. Those are not our "core objectives." They are Iran's.
And here's why I not only quit the GOP but now cheer its coming demise: The GOP, thinking it was clever, which it is not, has already approved this treaty, whatever it turns out to be.
Corker proposed it, but then they all went along with it. Including our Senatorial presidential candidates.
This piece of shit, whatever it turns out to be, is already US law.
Corker's was the last sell-out straw that broke this camel's back.
After Corker, I just said: "I'm done."
We need a third party and frankly we need a second country.
And yes, I support Mike Flynn: Because we need someone on the inside who will not put up with this shit.
Racist, Confederate-Flag Sporting Ex-CNN Reporter's Racist, Anti-Government White Hispanic Husband Kills Innocent Home Invader in Hotel Room With Racist Gun With One of Those Parts That Goes Up
Well, I assume they're racist anti-government neo-confederates who just want to kill minorities. The media has assured me that's the only reason a White, or White Hispanic, would want to own a gun.
A road trip down old Route 66 led to a Wild West-style motel shootout for a pioneering CNN anchor and her former-soldier hubby.
Lynne Russell -- the first woman to ever solo-anchor a primetime network news show --and Chuck de Caro, 65, had stopped at a Motel 6 for the night in Albuquerque when an intruder slipped into their room as Russell went to grab something from the car around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.
"I opened the door and he materialized out of nowhere; he was inside," she told The Post. "And he pushed me into the room and onto the bed and closed the door."
De Caro, who was in the shower, emerged completely naked and tried talking to the gunman, who was demanding the couple fork over their money and valuables.
Naked, but he quickly clothed himself with a rakish .35 caliber gun,* which is really all the fashion a man needs.
Caro shot the shit out of him, and then had to be watched by police, he says, to keep him from "kicking the shit" out of the wounded, bleeding-out man.
So racist. I can't even.
By the way, even though this is obviously a dramatic, media-friendly story not only involving a celebrity but one of the media's own-- they're not covering it. Fox and the NYPost cover it, but the liberal media won't.
Because their official policy is that Guns Are Bad, and, as Buzzfeed Ben would say, there is only one side to that story.
* Hey yeah I know that's a weird caliber, but that's what the article claims.
I don't know.
Donald Trump And Acela Republicans
Yesterday we got more polling confirmation of something we already knew...Republican voters are desperate, at least at this stage of the campaign. The proof of this is the fact that in what should be one of the deepest and most appealing GOP fields in, ever, Donald Trump is in 2nd place nationally and in Iowa. Now, he's only at 12% of the vote and most of those people won't really vote for him when push comes to shove but jokes like him and Ben Carson should be background noise.
So why are so many Republican voters flirting with a crazy loudmouthed liberal? I think it's mostly because of the 2nd thing...loudmouthed.
The Trump bubble is what you get when a significant part of the GOP is tired of being lied to and screwed over. They want to be heard and they want to see their values (in this case anger, which is an emotion not a value but it's a reasonable stand in at this point) reflected in a candidate.
(And if you think he's going away anytime soon, you haven't noticed that he's already paying a price for running. There's no advantage in pulling out now. Bridges are going to be burned.)
The mostly mealy mouthed response to the resent Supreme Court ruling from most GOP candidates (certainly the "acceptable" types) does not match the anger a lot of conservatives are feeling. It seems the candidates think the anger is at gays when it strikes me it's much more at a process conservatives feel is rigged. There's almost no recognition by candidates that people feel something important about America is slipping away. They aren't seeing that being acknowledged by Jeb, Marco or even Walker.
Conservatives helped deliver historic GOP wins last year in the House and gave the party the Senate back. What exactly do they have to show for it? An amnesty cave, more deficit spending and an Obama legacy building trade package that they aren't too sure about. Oh and soaring approval ratings for Obama now that he has vanquished the GOP "hostage takers".
Funny, but I don't recall that being what the GOP was selling last fall.
And then we see the GOP putting up hacks like Darin LaHood and pulling out all the stops to beat a conservative like Mike Flynn. Ever notice that the even though the GOP keeps billing itself as a conservative party, the insurgents are always the more conservative ones. Shouldn't a supposedly conservative party be the ones finding, developing and promoting conservative candidates?
If the system is breaking down and no one is part of the system is willing to respond, then going outside the system with someone who reflects that anger (even if he doesn't really believe it) is not a crazy choice.
There's a lot of populist anger to be harnessed and led within the GOP but most Republican candidates are unwilling or an unable to do so. Nature abhors a vacuum and so...the Trump bubble.
But what does the GOP generally offer up in contrast to Trump's shtick? "Acela Republicans" for the most part. GOP consultant Rick Wilson explains why that works out as well as you'd expect.
Acela Republicans hate Republicans. There are three kinds of people who hate the Republican Party: liberals (for all their usual, tiresome reasons), hard conservatives (who value purity over winning anything, anywhere, ever) and Acela Republicans. Acela Republicans hate Republican voters, particularly primary voters, because they’re embarrassed by them. They don’t want to talk to them, for fear some of their proletarian nature will rub off. They either sit silently or join in the chorus when their friends in the media display their dripping, venomous contempt for anyone who lives outside coastal metros or was educated somewhere outside the Ivy League.
The Underpants Gnome Theory of Republican Campaigns
Acela Republicans play fantasy-league politics. “If only the rest of my party was pro-spending, pro-abortion, pro-gun control, loathed these religious bumpkins and their backward sky god, embraced a carbon tax, read the Times each morning and wanted to level the economic playing field with a bulldozer…then we’d start winning” is the lament of Acela Republicans. They fundamentally misread the electorate in both the Republican primary and the general election, time and again, and conflate contempt for pragmatism and smart politics.
I take exception to one thing Wilson writes here. "Hard conservatives" don't simply prize "purity over winning", we prize doing something with the wins that happen. "Hard conservatives" didn't make up the idea of fighting executive amnesty, the GOP ran on that last year. Same with controlling spending. It was the GOP leadership that then caved on amnesty in a heartbeat and passed the deficit hiking "doc-fix". "Hard conservatives" didn't come up with "a dollar or more in savings for every dollar we hike the debt ceiling". That was Boehner and it was Boehner who then broke that promise as fast as he could.
Hard conservatives won't get the sun and the moon from the GOP but don't be surprised that people tune you out when you promise something and fail to even try to deliver on it. You can only lie and cheat someone so many times until they walk away.
The GOP always wants to run on policy papers and 78 point plans because that's what the media and donors like to hear. They continue to ignore the emotional element of politics because they don't like it and they aren't any good at it.
Like it or not, people are swayed by their emotions and it's easier to move someone that way than it is to argue them into supporting a position they don't currently hold. People on the right are mad but also scared about what's happening to this country.They want to know that a candidate shares those feelings, that they "get it". If the GOP won't offer that candidate, it shouldn't be surprising that when one comes along who at least seems to "get it", people are intrigued by him.
Essentially Friday Morning News Dump
- Sorry Chuck Todd, But Reporters Are Not The Referees Of Politics
- A Field Guide To Acela Republicans
- 11,000 Australian Dental Patients May Have Been Exposed To HIV And Hepatitis
- Sanders Gaining On Clinton
- Hillary Begins Oppo Research On Bernie Sanders
- Apple Watch Selling Worse Than Thought
- Obama Admin Likely To Block The New Redskins Stadium
- Worker Killed By Robot
- So-Called Anti-Gay Incident In Utah Was Staged
- Having Solved The World's Problems, Obama Weighs In On Guacamole Debate
Overnight Open Thread (7-1-2015)
By that point, Helmsley had fully dropped the 'blueblood snob' gimmick, appearing in T-shirts and leather jackets. During this period, his ring name was shortened to simply Triple H. Even after the DX versus Hart Foundation storyline ended, Helmsley continued to feud with the sole remaining Hart family member Owen Hart over the WWF European Championship. This ended in a match between the two at WrestleMania XIV, with the stipulation that Chyna had to be handcuffed to then-Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter. Helmsley won after Chyna threw powder into Slaughter's eyes, momentarily 'blinding' him and allowing her to interfere in the match.
-- from the Wikipedia article on Triple H
Let's sweep away the lies and just say it out loud:
90% of the left's attempts at social control are simply attempt to outlaw behaviors they perceived as favored or engaged in by 'traditional" "conservative" "old-school" "white" etc. people.
Thus, a liberal can simultaneously demand that cigarettes be outlawed but marijuana be legalized.
Why? Because (in their conception of social reality) marijuana is a leftist intoxicant favored by the "counter-culture" while nicotine is a right-wing intoxicant favored by the "dominant culture."
"The Man" smokes cigars. "The Rebels" smoke weed.
That's all there is to it.
...It's absolute juvenile revenge fantasy, leftover from the '60s. That's all it is. The younger generation of activist are automatons acting out the revenge fantasies of their professors.-- Zombie
He picked the wrong former anchor alright.
[Former CNN Headline news anchor Lynne] Russell - a licensed private investigator and former Fulton County, Georgia, sheriff's deputy with two martial arts black belts - told NBC station KOB that she and her husband had stopped in Albuquerque for dinner with a friend and were planning to get up early because they were traveling." A man with "a 40-caliber big shiny silver handgun" pushed her into her Motel 6 room just as her husband was coming out of the shower . . .
He'll survive but the same thing isn't true of an average person who dares to say the same things that Trump has said.
For Israel. Also the world.
A lot of excuses, some plausible, some less so but still no real refutation of the claims in the report.
Machine guns and rocket launchers for me, no semi-autos or 3D-printers for thee.
Enough so that it's kept a lawsuit against it going for 26 years even though it now resides on private property.
n. a recurring thought that only seems to strike you late at night-an overdue task, a nagging guilt, a looming and shapeless future-that circles high overhead during the day, that pecks at the back of your mind while you try to sleep, that you can successfully ignore for weeks, only to feel its presence hovering outside the window, waiting for you to finish your coffee, passing the time by quietly building a nest.
And here we go: Polygamist Family Applies For Marriage License
Second look at old school LDS?
And cue the fake anti-gay hate crimes.
I used to be like you then I discovered these.
News You Can Use: What Is The Best Thing To Do When A Grenade Is Thrown At You?
3. The Fortress Resort and Spa, Fortress Stilt Fisherman Indulgence Dessert - $14,500
The Fortress Resort and Spa in Sri Lanka really likes to take care of its guests. On top of giving them high-end amenities and world-class service, the place also offers a dessert that's made for a king, thanks to its presentation and taste that costs $14,500. Made with gold leaf Italian cassata and flavored with fruit-infused Irish cream, this handmade chocolate also comes with a 80-carat gemstone. Like a few others on this list, it must be ordered a day in advance.
The Group knows your sins but doesn't care.
Tonight's post brought to you by sooo many questions about this:
Notice: Posted by implicit authority of AceCorp LLC. Please post your tips and complaints on the subway walls and tenement halls. Prepare your sacrifices - the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter has begun.
Close it up
Bill DiBlasio Vs. Mike Flynn on Freedom and Humility in Government
Bumped. The election is Tuesday -- this Tuesday. I'm trying to gin up one last moneybomb to get the campaign more district-workers and GOTV. I think we are right on the edge of pulling this off.
Contribute if you can, and if you can't, please volunteer to make calls in the district, and spread this post around.'
Updated: Ed Morrissey interviews Mike Flynn here, on the Hugh Hewitt show.
New Yorkers may soon not be able to smoke in their own homes, if Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio gets his way.
The New York Post reported on de Blasio’s new initiative to partner with health groups that will "pressure landlords" into banning smoking in apartment buildings.
"“That means smokers would be barred from lighting up in one of their last sanctuaries: their own living quarters," the paper said. "Smoking is already banned in public places, including bars and restaurants, workplaces, sports venues, and parks."
I keep saying this, but quitting smoking is the best decision I ever made, apart from eating that rib-eye a half hour ago. I would strongly urge all smokers to kick the habit -- you don't need it, just as a junkie doesn't need his drug, and you will be a better person -- healthier, more present in the moment (not thinking about your next nicotine jones), better at sex (everyone enjoying reduced lung capacity?), and richer.
Your life will become better almost immediately-- within, I'd say, about four days. Sure, three days of (some mild) withdrawal, and then just every day better and better for the rest of your (longer) life.
And I'll do what I can to help you.
But the way to persuade people is to actually persuade them.
Not to bully them.
DiBlasio begins with a truth -- smoking is bad -- and then turns it into a lie by not recognizing the most important truth of all:
A free people is only free if it is permitted to do the WRONG thing, as well as the right thing.
In Nazi Germany, you were always free to do the "right" thing (as defined by the government) of supporting the Party and hating the Jews.
It is not freedom if you are permitted to do what a collection of social-climbing, sexually-bent, bullying idiots have decided is the right thing.
It is only freedom if you are permitted to do those things that collection of social-climbing, sexually-bent, bullying idiots think is the wrong thing.*
But don't listen to me.
Let me quote Congressional candidate Mike Flynn -- dare I say the front-runner? -- explaining his definition of what conservative philosophy is.
We are all children of God, and we are all touched by the divine. And because of that we are unique, and we are all individuals. Conservatism is a humility in government, that we do not know what's best for you. That we would not try to define what's best for you. You go, with your divine spark, and pursue [your dream]. Conservatism is freedom -- within responsibilities, we enter into a social contract through the Constitution to protect those rights we have so that others do not infringe on them, but at that point Government should largely go away. And let us live. As conservatives -- I've said it before, and it amazes me, but we are selling freedom. And if we can't sell freedom, we do indeed suck.
By the way, check out his great answer on how to change the tax code-- towards the flat tax -- at 44:22. Even if you're against the flat tax, listen to his answer-- you'll be impressed.
And then check out 53:20, where he offers the idea of "regulatory budgeting," an idea implemented in Canada -- if a regulatory agency implements a new regulation costing $100 million, they must offset that by taking a regulation worth $100 million off the books.
Have you heard another politician talking about this?
One of the things Flynn said to me, personally -- this hasn't been introduced into the campaign yet -- is that he wants to implement, as far as school reform, the Dutch System.
By the way, I forget the actual country. It may not be the Netherlands. This is my several-year-old memory.
What's the Dutch system? Well, the government gives each parent a check to pay for school, and the parent can use that for any school -- including religious schools. There is no church-state question because the decision is up to the parent. All the state did was cut a check and say "Do what you think is best."
Mike is very fond of referring to this as "the Dutch model" because he knows that the liberal media is overly-smitten of ENLIGHTENED EUROPEAN WAYS OF DOING THINGS. So he always says, "Well, of course, I favor the Dutch model. Obviously, you know?"
Which is Pure School Choice -- the government's role is to deliver a check, and the money follows the student to whatever school his parent wants.
That's why I'm saying he's a genius. He's not just smart, and he's not just right on policy.
He's a little crafty about things.
He knows how stupid the liberal media is, and he eagerly wishes to exploit this.
You know what to do.
* I'm convinced they're sexually bent. No one getting his rocks off nice, no one who still has animal spirit in his blood, goes about this stupid, pointless, sport-for-fat-weaklings busybodying.
Close it up
In Britain, Teachers Are Running "Lunchbox Inspections," Searching for, Confiscating Food Deemed "Unhealthy"
They'll lay you down in a muddy ditch and shoot you in the back of the head before they let you make any unhealthy decisions that might risk your good health.
Teachers are free to take - and keep - any item from pupils' lunchboxes if they think they are unhealthy or inappropriate, the government has said.
Parents were outraged last month when it emerged children had scotch eggs and a Peperami confiscated under health eating policies.
Now ministers have backed the move, giving staff freedom to 'confiscate, keep or destroy' anything deemed to break school policies and setting out the procedure for carrying out lunchbox inspections.
Vikki Laws, of Colchester, said her daughter Tori, six, was not allowed to eat her Peperami sausage snack, which was confiscated and only returned at the end of the day with a note from teachers.
She said another parent was also told her child was not allowed to have scotch eggs in her lunch box.
This is, of course, coming to America, courtesy of La Obama.
Someone once wrote a Letter of Complaint about this sort of behavior:
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
New York Times' Public Editor: Maybe We Didn't Tell the Truth About Our Reasons For Not Publishing the Charlie Hebdo Cartoons, But That Doesn't Mean We Were Dishonest
Orwell laughed -- darkly.
By the way, the LA Times, which also embargoed the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, just tweeted this:
35% of Americans Would Expatriate
As the Fourth of July weekend looms and Americans prep their grills and ready their fireworks, some citizens are packing their bags.
A recent online poll of more than 2,000 adults by TransferWise, a peer-to-peer money transfer service based in the United Kingdom, revealed that 35 percent of American-born residents and emigrants would consider leaving the United States to live in another country.
This percentage greatly increases for those age 18 to 34. More than half of millennials, a whopping 55 percent, said that they would consider leaving the U.S. for foreign shores. Among them, 43 percent of men and 38 percent of women noted that a higher salary would be a factor in their relocation decision.
While a high percentage of Americans would entertain the idea of expatriation, only .001 percent of the population actually renounced citizenship in 2014.
You guys keep asking me why I'm studying foreign languages.
Here's a better question: Why aren't you?
Viacom Removes "The Dukes of Hazzard" Reruns from TVLand Schedule, Because Urge to Purge
Some time ago, Bill Quick attacked me, claiming, wrongly, that I was inconsistent to support a baker's right to not make a gay wedding cake when of course I would be fighting, racistly angry about a Muslim who insisted on Islamic dress codes in his own store.
I am republishing this essay because it's directly on-point.
America is in a dark chapter of its existence -- we have faced worse external threats, but not worse internal threats.
The threat now comes from within.
There are those who are insistent that we shall all have the same bland gray vanilla corporate non-culture culture, and that we shall all bow to the strange gods of the left.
As Andrew Breitbart once said:
Below, my essay on what America is, and what is not, and how cowards, idiots, weaklings, and cuckolds want to turn America into a dark perversion of itself.
He quotes me:
The New Intolerance: We Are Now Required To Embrace Just About Everything, Except the Gutter Religion Christianity
Incidentally– Are there any beliefs on the left which have not been sacralized?
That is, do they have any beliefs which are open to question without inviting their typical full-spectrum punishment regime, from group coordinated stigmatization to pursuit in the courts?
Then he asks, rhetorically, because people with few answers like to believe they know all the answers:
So, Ace: You okay with Muslim owned businesses refusing to serve women not “properly” covered -- ie., bagged in a burkha, because Religious Liberty?
By the way, I could end the post here, because he will now yammer on for a few hundred words assuming that my answer must be "no," and why that's terrible.
But the answer is "Yes."
This is an easy one. What the fuck do I care? A shop owner has the right to set a dress code. Especially if this were a store geared towards Islamic identity -- an Islamic bookstore, say, or a restaurant -- this one isn't even a question.
But even absent that-- what should I care what the dress code is here, or whom he wants his clientele to be? He doesn't want to serve me, and get this -- I don't wish to be served by him.
How about the Muslim cab driver refusing to transport passenger with dogs or alcohol, because Religious Liberty?
This is trickier because in the case of the store, I have to seek that out. I have to go to the nuisance, as it were. In the case of a cab, I could call for a cab, wait 25 minutes for it, and then, only upon his arrival, be told "Well I'm not going to take you because of these crazy restrictions I never warned you about when you hailed me."
In other words: In the case of the cab, the nuisance comes to me, and that's more of a problem.
But if that one kink could be worked out -- that I could use a cellphone app to summon only cabs that would take me, and would not be punished with discovering, in the rain, that a Muslim cabdriver was refusing to take my fare after waiting 25 minutes -- yes, again, what do I care?
If I hail him, and he does not inform me of his list of silly objections, then yes, in that case, he is bound to take me, because he did not give me his objections before the contract for service was entered into.
But as long as he tells me his objections before that -- Why would I care?
Honestly I'd prefer knowing my driver was a hardcore adherent of a religion which often encourages its faithful to crash vehicles into buildings Because God Hates Vehicular Safety.
Unlike some other Dummies, I'm not really of a mind that we must all Follow the Same Rules and all Subscribe to the Same Bland, Grey, Dead Corporate-Friendly Culture in which no one is really religious or different or odd at all Because That's Bad For Corporate Business.
I think people should have -- and by God, do have -- the right to be fairly different from one another.
That's fucking America.
Did you not know that? That that's what America is?
That America is the right to be different from other people?
I don't see why a store run by a pious conservative Muslim can't demand that women be covered, if that's his bag, nor why a store run by a pious conservative Catholic can't also insist that women cover their shoulders, if that's his sense of what his business should be, of what should happen on property he owns.
Will there be hurt feelings when some are turned away?
And who cares?
What the fuck are we, babies? Is this kindergarten, where everyone must be made to feel welcome, always?
Why the fuck would you think I would even care about this shit? Is it because you care about it so much, that you are so concerned about maintaining a Standard Generic Vanilla Corporate-Friendly Non-Culture Culture everywhere, that the idea of a Muslim religious bookstore which insists on a strict dress code for women is mentally deranging?
To be honest with you, I already assume there already are Islamic bookstops which will demand that women leave unless properly veiled.
And yet I'm not pissing myself about this.
Why would I want to go to that shop in the first place?
A culture without any rough parts, without any Proud Nails that won't be pounded down, without any Strangeness that people just insist upon because it's Their Culture, That's Why, is not a culture at all.
It's a fucking shopping mall. It's a fucking Airport Neutral Palate Color Scheme. It's the gray paste they feed to people in comas.
It's nothing. Nothing.
A lot of people seem to dream of America as a great bland nothing.
And they're winning, too.
There is a strand of thought that is often found among conservatives, which is itself actually not conservative. And that is the tendency towards a fairly pronounced Corporatism.
Let me explain what I mean by that. When you are at work, you are under a series of rules and codes designed to reduce your individuality. Businesses -- Corporations -- do not want the full flower of your individual expression. They don't want you dressing flamboyantly, they don't want you talking about deviant sex or, actually, non-deviant sex either, they don't want you proselytizing, they don't want you arguing about politics, they don't want you offering your views on the relative accomplishments of the various Races of Man.
Let me say: I have no problem with this. This makes perfect sense. When you are in a working environment, you're not there to let your freak flag fly. The business does not want to know you as a Special Snowflake in all your oddball glory.
Someone who insists on festooning themselves with all their cultural/sexual/religious/political signage at work gravely mistakes how interested anyone at work is in learning about them as a person. People at work do not, by and large, want to know you as a person. Some might; most don't.
People at work want to keep this impersonal and polite but not familiar, because impersonal and polite but not familiar is the general code of conduct for not angering strangers one is forced, by circumstances, to be within close proximity to.
Manners, in all their artificiality, do not exist to navigate relations with your close relations. Manners are an artificial code of conduct designed to reduce frictions and any chance of showing disrespect or causing offense among strangers and semi-strangers.
I have no problem with the Corporate Code of Conduct at the corporation itself. When I'm forced to be at work, yes, of course I will abide by the "no hot political talk" and the "no sex talk" and "no cursing" and "no ethnic slurs" rules. Partly because I was raised that way, but also partly because I wish the benefit of the bargain-- I myself would like to be free of other people's Freak Flags. I don't want them gratuitously offending me, or assuming an over-familiar posture with me, so I will, to modify my own behavior and dress so that it is corporate bland and business casual.
But while I completely understand and endorse the Business Casual system of empty, gray dullness at work, I do not and will not accept it outside of work.
It is one thing to demand that I comport myself as if I am walking on eggshells for 9 or ten hours a day, at work. It is another thing entirely to further insist that when I get Home, and rest at my metaphoric Castle, that I must continue to follow the Corporate Rules of Conduct.
Here's my answer to that: Go fuck yourself. You cannot pursue me from work to home and hound me with your constant need for Conformity in all things.
Bill Quick is essentially making the case for Conformity in all things, in all spheres. He sees people making their Silly Religious Objections as possibly Offensive to some people, and causing some Friction, and certainly Bad For Business.
Well so fucking what, Bill Quick? The Corporate Handbook of Proper Employee Conduct may apply when I am working in an office with 100 strangers, but it does not apply when I own my own fucking business and my own fucking property.
On that ground, I can design any rules I wish. And if this makes your gray, corporate brain go all a-flutter at the potential disorderliness!!!, well, go fuck yourself, buddy. I do not exist to appease your OCD need for Hierarchy, Structure, Order, Regularity, and Standard Procedures in all facets of life.
Some people continue to be wigged out at the idea that I can buy alcohol in one county but the next county over -- get this! -- it's illegal to sell booze.
They just seem to have this baseline devotion to the ideal that we should all be the same. That each county should follow the same rules. That a traveler, moving from one county to the next, should not be surprised or bothered to discover there are Different Rules in effect, or a Different Culture.
That we should, in short, all have the Same Rules, and the Same Culture, with all Proud Nails pounded flat to the wood, so that there is no danger of snagging anyone's clothing or giving anyone a cut.
Some find that comforting.
I find it creepy. I also find it be the height of Entitlement: In what fucking spasm of ego did you conceive that other people exist to protect your mental Safe Place from any discombobulation and discomfort?
It bothers Bill Quick that one bakery could have one set of policies, and yet a bakery down the street could, get this, have an entirely different set of policies.
That's just wrong, he apparently thinks. We all need to be on the same page as far as Bakery Policies, or else -- else -- else...! Well, That Way Madness Lies, surely.
The idea that I must never be exposed to any thoughts I find weird -- like a Muslim demanding that women be veiled -- like a Catholic church demanding that women cover their shoulders -- is simultaneously infantile, weak, and entitled.
I guess this is the difference between Bill Quick and I: Bill Quick seems to pine for an orderly world in which a controlling hierarchy pursues us in our every waking hour to impose the Corporate Rulebook on us, even when we're not at the Corporate Headquarters, even when we own our own business which is not governed by any Corporate Rulebook but our own.
He finds that comforting.
I find it terrifying.
I think conservatives have long been overly trusting of corporate and social power, usually assuming we'd be in control of it, so that we would be protected from any misuse thereof.
I think we are now suddenly discovering that was a terrible assumption to make, and that we should have been asking ourselves, all along: What if this power to gin up the forces of social conformity and legal bullying were not in our hands, but in fact used against us?
Well, if any conservatives were previously unaware of the danger of empowering scolds, busybodies, bureaucrats, and police to Make You Behave As The Group Thinks Is Proper, surely none can still be ignorant.
If you're still fighting for Statism and Conformity and Group Decisionmaking, you are an enemy of liberty and an enemy of conservatism.
I think you get the point.
But do you get the point, Dummy? You seem to think I care about these things, because, Of course I must.
After all, I'm to be playing a Strawman Role you've assigned to me in your fat-clotted head.
But in fact I don't. I don't give a shit. I don't give a shit about being denied service at a Muslim Halal Shop, and, as long as we work out a system which avoids me waiting in the rain for a cab which later rejects me, I don't care about Muslim cab drivers refusing to ferry alcohol or dogs around, either.
You cannot be logically consistent on this issue unless you drop the bullshit about Christians being singled out -- (Muslims famously murder gays), and accept that if religious liberty permits Christians and Christian businesses to discriminate against gays, then you have to also permit Muslims and their businesses to discriminate against gays -- and women, and dogs, and drinkers, and kaffirs, and the whole host of religious proscriptions that religion subscribes to.
I have no idea what you're rambling on about, but it is much easier to be logically consistent on this issue than you seem to imagine, Dummy.
And if you say, "pshaw, I’m just talking about Christians here. We can’t let the Muslims run wild, that would be crazy."
Another thing Dumb People like to do is put Dumb Objections in your mouth -- Dumb Objections they can then easily, and dumbly, swat aside.
Well, at that point you’re demanding the state to establish a religion -- and that, dear friends, is really unconstitutional -- re-read that First Amendment you’re shrieking at the top of your lungs about.
You're blathering on quite a bit assuming that I'd object to either of these hypotheticals. Which I don't.
Also, yes, this is terribly, terribly important -- to the dozen or so gay couples who will request wedding cakes from the dozen or so bakers (some of whom may well be Muslim) who will refuse them.
Mm-hm. There sure aren't many gay bakers.
And even fewer gay florists.
And gay photographers? Why, nearly none of those.
In the meantime, Obama is giving Iran nuclear weapons, but Jebus --we have much more important things to screech about.
Gee I notice you screeched about it-- just on the other side. So I guess it is worth talking about-- so long as you support the leftwing position on it.
Leftwingers do this all the time -- they employ the rhetorical gambit, "How silly it is for you to ever care about this trivium!"
So you say: Well, Old Man, if it's trivial, surely you wouldn't mind conceding the trivial point to me, eh?
At which point they say: "Are you mad? This is an important matter of principle!!!"
Just like this dummy did right here. Right after he chided me about this not being so important, he informed me that it was terribly important to about a dozen gay couples.
Well, it's probably also important to a dozen Christians in the baking business.
Either way, your childish "This is too small an issue for you to argue about!!!" gambit fails.
By the way, I've been covering Iran a lot.
When I say Americans are stupid, this is the sort of thing I’m talking about.
Me too. I completely agree with you that most Americans are stupid. In fact, many people who spit up their every pique and half-baked Blog-Slam!!! are among the stupidest of all.
Food for thought: This country is increasingly paranoid about people who don't bow to the accepted Order of Things.
The country plainly does not like Small Independent Business owners, because without a larger Corporation overseeing their decisions, How do we know they'll make the right decisions? How do we force them to make the right decisions?
Corporations are cowardly and leftwing and the height of conformism.
But what about these damned Independents-- these Wildcatters with their own businesses, their own leases, and no Board of Directors or Shareholders to answer to?
How can we endure knowing that some people are out there Making Up Their Own Rules???!!!!
When Christians and their fellow-traveling conservatives (like me) were in more of a dominant social position, we didn't have to think much about the dilemma of whether we would like a system by which we get to impose our Rules and Values on Others, or whether we would like to be free from other people imposing their Rules and Values on Us.
See, when you're in a dominant social position, you don't have to make that choice, because you get Both. You are in a strong enough position to not have to worry too much about a hostile majority pushing its Rules and Values on you. You are the Majority, or a Near Majority, at least; so you can push a regime which is more insistent on Conformity, because you are numerically strong enough to stop the worst abuses of a Conformity Regime from being inflicted on you.
But we're not in that position any longer. We can longer use our numerical might to block other people's aggressions in this sphere. We can no longer have our cake and eat it too; we must choose.
We must now begin choosing which is more important: A regime in which the Majority gets to Impose Rules on a Minority (hoping we can occasionally be the Majority and Impose some of our Rules), or a Regime in which the Majority is de-powered, so that any Minority (including, most importantly, us) is less likely to be bullied by the Majority at all.
Some people still do not get this choice they are confronted with. They continue to insist that it's still 1988 and that we can have both, that we can have a regime in which a majority bullies an unpopular minority and be free of such bullying.
Other people see a choice, but seem to think that Corporate Conformism is more important than liberty.
I choose to be self willed. Empowering myself means de-powering others.
Sorry, Bill Quick. I don't want you or any of the other rules-following, orderliness-obsessed corporatists making decisions for me.
I choose liberty, and I choose my own conscience. And choosing that means, get this, that I must also choose liberty and the right to conscience for others.
This is a time for clarity, and this is a time for choosing. This is a time to discover who it is who really supports Liberty and Freedom, and who it is who is really all about Control and Conformity.
For many years, many conservatives have really been more about the latter than the former. I have admitted, and I will continue to admit, I was among them. I have long had pronounced authoritarian and statist tendencies.
I fight against them now, like an alcoholic fights his lust for drink.
But too many conservatives continue championing Social Control and Conformity while mouthing the empty platitudes about how wonderful Freedom is.
Freedom to do exactly what is permitted on pages 36-42 of the Corporate Handbook, that is.
Anything else is A Disorder and thus Subversive.
If keeping my own freedom means, horror of horrors, also granting it to a Muslim, then I am prepared to make that deal all. day. long.
It is time to put away childish things. Either you support liberty and justice for all, or you support it for none.
I will continue responding to Fake Libertarians who wish to explain to me why True Libertarianism requires Coercion in service of Conformity— TheClassyLife (@AceofSpadesHQ) April 2, 2015
The man who says "I support freedom, up to the point it causes disorder or inconvenience" does not support freedom. He is an authoritarian.— TheClassyLife (@AceofSpadesHQ) April 2, 2015
An Awful Woman's Awful Emails
Some good ones:
Hillary is having trouble deciding between the Lear jet and the G3, just like everyday Americans pic.twitter.com/Cw8v7dkOim— Greg Pollowitz (@GPollowitz) July 1, 2015
Here, we see that Hillary's secretiveness extends to the White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel -- even though she's a Secretary of State and, presumably, would need to communicate with Emmanuel.
Why wouldn't WH chief of staff have the Secretary of State's email address? pic.twitter.com/xhtUr2npig— Ed Henry (@edhenry) July 1, 2015
Here, a friend of Hillary's says that Leslie Gelb, former NYT reporter and columnist and currently editor of Parade, will agree to give Hills "veto" power over any subject in the story and guarantees "she will like it."
"She will like it" pic.twitter.com/9I3EzPfTvu— Jimmy (@JimmyPrinceton) July 1, 2015
Apparently Hillary was super-important in national security briefings:
This email either makes Hillary look so far outside of actually being relevant to Obama's team or very irresponsible. pic.twitter.com/seXC0mm9MN— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) July 1, 2015
Emily Zanotti joked that Hillary was Selena Myers (the hapless, useless Veep on the show of the same name).
In this one, Buzzfeed Ben Smith reassures the Hillary people that he has been "talked out of" pursuing some angle in a story.
People have asked Buzzfeed Ben what story he was talked out of. As far as I know, he refuses to answer:
And of course we know David Axelrod denied knowing about Hillary's secret email account -- but then we find out he was emailing Hillary on her secret email account.
David Axelrod had a good explanation for this -- and by good explanation, I of course mean "lie."
A archetypal Clintonian answer. https://t.co/0J7Pqo6UR4— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) July 1, 2015
Sorry the AP didn't ask. As I have said before, I knew HRC had private email. I did not know she used it exclusively or had her own server.— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) July 1, 2015
And Hot Air just put this up-- Mother Jones, the ultra-left magazine, says that Hillary's emails show an intention to manipulate and mislead the press.
Gunnar Widforss, "Grand Canyon Nat Park: Widforss Postcard" (n.d.)
Good News! Kennedy's Idiotic Gay Marriage Decision Worse Than You Thought
I was wondering how this new found "right to dignity" would play out. Turns out, Kennedy wasn't satisfied with just rewriting the centuries old definition of marriage. No, he decided to unshackle judges entirety from the written Constitution. He accomplished this by overturning a precedent that laid out the ground rules for finding "new rights."
In Glucksberg, the Supreme Court reversed the Ninth Circuit’s holding that the Constitution contains a substantive-due-process right to assisted suicide. Substantive due process is a doctrine under which courts may discover and enforce unenumerated constitutional rights. The Supreme Court stated that in order to find a substantive-due-process right, a court would have to determine that the right, based on a “careful description” of what it included, was “objectively deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.”
Rather than admitting that there was no substantive-due-process right to same-sex marriage, Justice Kennedy buried Glucksberg. He acknowledged that the Glucksberg test “may have been appropriate” when talking about assisted suicide, but claimed that a more lenient approach is appropriate when “discussing other fundamental rights.”
And other than redefining marriage in a ridiculous way by judicial fiat, what other rights might courts now invent?
In Obergefell, Justice Kennedy made it clear to lower courts that, after he eliminated Glucksberg, the only remaining limit on new judge-made rights is a judge’s imagination. He noted that “when new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim for liberty must be addressed.” In other words, he believes that since the Founders “did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions,” they gave courts unlimited power to “protect . . . the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning.” The “we” in that sentence refers to judges.
The left is always on about how people have "a right" to be free from "want" and given things like "free" housing, food, a "living wage" and on and on. All the things they couldn't get via the electoral process? They will now simply sue for citing Kennedy's decision and obtain them by judicial decree.
As Gabe pointed out, Roberts' ObamaCare decision is a massive power grab by the courts from the executive. Pair it with this usurpation of legislative authority and we should just eliminate the political branches all together.
DOOM: A Serious House On Serious Earth
I been gone too long, my groovy babies. Real life doth conspire to keep us apart, but given the spectacularly DOOM-laden week gone by, I thought I should bestir myself and vent my spleen. (TRIGGER WARNING: Some Xtianist God-bothering occurs in the below text. Please keep a paper bag handy so that if your outrage causes you to hyperventilate, you can breathe into it until some semblance of emotional equilibrium is restored.)
In the wake of the Supreme Court's gay-marriage decision, there is a lot of angst among Christians about what this latest defeat in the culture war portends. Some advocate withdrawing from the culture entirely; others advocate various forms of civil disobedience. As for me...I simply feel weary. Christians have been fighting secularism in the West for more than a century now, and losing ground the entire time.
Matthew Arnold wrote "Dover Beach" more than a century ago, but it could have been written yesterday:
The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
The poet Philip Larkin brought his secularist's fear and suppressed awe to God's house in his poem "Church Going":
A serious house on serious earth it is,
In whose blent air all our compulsions meet,
Are recognized, and robed as destinies.
And that much never can be obsolete,
Since someone will forever be surprising
A hunger in himself to be more serious,
And gravitating with it to this ground,
Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in,
If only that so many dead lie round.
Religious faith is serious, and only takes root in serious folk. To me and many of my Christian cohort, the diminution of Christianity in the West coincides more or less with a loss of seriousness in the West. Not just a decay of virtue (both public and private), but a decay of gladness, hope and optimism -- a loss of belief in the ideal that being moral, upright, kind, steadfast, and honest is something to be aspired to even when it brings no direct benefit. Even when no one is watching (for God is always watching). There has been a progressive (in both senses of the word) loss in the belief that there is pneuma as well as sarx and soma -- and that pneuma is the most important part.
A church is a serious house on serious earth...but much of the earth is no longer serious.
But we do not despair, we Christians. The faith will go on -- if not here, then somewhere else. Our religion is not a game of numbers, to be given up when the score goes against us. Over the course of two millennia, we have faced graver threats. Every Christian is taught over and over again that our lot on earth is hardship -- we are commanded to go forth even so and carry the Word with us. (1 Peter 4:11-12)
The recent failure of a SpaceX mission was a lousy end to a lousy week. That's three ISS cargo runs that have failed in the past year, for those keeping track: an Orbital Antares rocket exploded on the pad; a Russian Progress freighter was lost; and now a SpaceX resupply mission has failed. For some weird reason, the space-launch industry goes through these periods of high failure-rates -- there doesn't seem to be any common denominator. Just Murphy exerting his invincible will. NASA assures us that the ISS has enough supplies to last for quite a while, but the margins have narrowed significantly.
"This is humiliating," said Athanasios, an 80-year-old former army officer. "I used to receive a monthly pension of 1,500 euros and now I have to line up for hours to receive 120? This is unfair."
You elected the Socialist government now driving your country into the abyss, friend. If you believe as I do that people in democracies get the government they deserve, then this is perfectly fair. Socialism is a one-way ticket to misery and failure. As George Will put it, "There cannot be too many socialist smashups."
It's easy (and completely justified) to blame the Greeks for their predicament, but the Greeks are simply the vanguard in a long line of nations who have buried themselves under mountains of unpayable debt. (Puerto Rico is in pretty much the same straits as Greece financially, but since they use the US dollar and the US government is their sovereign, they will not face nearly the same downside as the Greeks.)
All beneficiaries of government largesse should remember one thing: a promise to pay benefits does not guarantee an ability to pay benefits.
The government is not a person -- it does not love you, or particularly care about your welfare, or worry about how well you're getting on. To the government, you are a ledger entry and that's pretty much it. The government is a set of rules and processes overseen by politicians and bureaucrats who have absolutely no personal investment in your welfare. Your value to the government is a statistical one, insofar as you are a member of some larger collection: part of a voting bloc, a certain class, or interest group. Most governments aren't evil, but they're not benevolent either. It is a colossal mistake to ascribe personal feelings or motivations to any government. Individuals within that government, sure, but not the government itself.
I've said it many, many times, but it bears repeating: the Euro was a horrible idea right from the start. It was a system so fragile and brittle that failure was inevitable -- the only surprise it that the Eurozone has managed to stagger along for this long without a major rupture.
Next up in the "California is boned" pageant: the city of Richmond! Let's give them a big hand!
Before I close, I want to say a few words about debt. I'm seeing a lot of hyperbole from my hard-money and libertarian friends that there is something intrinsically wrong with debt, and that one should never go into debt unless at gravest need -- and maybe not even then.
This is silly.
Why do I say this?
Because debt is simply one side of the coin; the other side of the coin is investment. You cannot borrow money unless someone is willing to loan it, and you cannot loan money unless there are borrowers. Without debt, there is no investment. Without investment, wealth cannot be created and the economy cannot grow.
People run into problems with debt in the same way they run into problems with food: they eat too much. The problem with debt are not intrinsic to the concept, but in the inability of many human beings to manage it. As in so much else in economics, debt is a behavioral problem. Many policy answers to the "debt problem" try to focus on the incentives of debt, but the problem is that the government wants people to go into debt -- requires them to go into debt, in fact. A consumer-driven economy in a fiat-money system cannot function without high levels of debt at all levels; this churn is needed to keep money in motion and provide opportunities for the investment side of the ledger. (Though in a ZIRP environment, the "investment" side of the equation is barely worthwhile, and it is this asymmetrical relationship that is at the root of our economy's underperformance.)
Debt is much like any other intoxicant: its usage requires self-control. Lacking that, all the laws and regulations in the world won't stop people from getting into trouble with debt -- as with a habitual drunkard, the only remedy is to cut them off.
Close it up
Wednesday Morning News Dump
- You Can't Compromise With Culture Warriors
- Why The TSA Posted A Photo Of Cash Filled Luggage On Twitter
- Docs Reveal A Long Spying Operation In The John Doe Case
- Why I'm Filling A Civil Rights Lawsuit
- WH Knew About Hillary's Private E-mal Server
- Axelrod Caught Lying About Hillary's E-mails
- Befuddled Grandmother Has No Clue How To Work A Fax Machine
- TV Land Pulls Dukes Of Hazard Reruns Because Of Confederate Flag
- Girl Scouts Return $100,000 Donation To Anti-Transgender Donor
- Greek Crisis: Chaos As Retires Try To Withdraw Cash
- Winning The Selfie Vote
- Failed President Sharpens His Message On Race
- What Good Is VA Medical Coverage When They Won't Accept You As A Patient
—Dave In Texas
Andy didn't tell me how hard this was.
Overnight Open Thread (6-30-2015) – Link-o-rama Edition
When Greece's finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, in an early round of negotiations in Brussels, complained that Greek pensions could not be cut any further, he was reminded bluntly by his colleague from Lithuania that pensioners there have survived on far less. Lithuania, according to the most recent figures issued by Eurostat, the European statistics agency, spends 472 euros, about $598, per capita on pensions, less than a third of the 1,625 euros spent by Greece. Bulgaria spends just 257 euros. This data refers to 2012 and Greek pensions have since been cut, but they still remain higher than those in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Croatia and nearly all other states in eastern, central and southeastern Europe.
And here Mark Steyn describes the onerous life of a Greek civil servant:
Greek public sector employees are entitled not only to 14 monthly paychecks per annum during their "working" lives, but also 14 monthly retirement checks per annum till death. Who's going to be around to pay for that?
So you can't borrow against the future because, in the crudest sense, you don't have one. Greeks in the public sector retire at 58, which sounds great. But, when ten grandparents have four grandchildren, who pays for you to spend the last third of your adult life loafing around?
In the 1950s, the most puritanical place in America was somewhere in Kansas. Today it is Los Angeles.
-- Richard Miniter
Blogger Glenn Reynolds noted that when the South was solidly Democratic, we got "Gone With the Wind" nostalgia. Now that it is profoundly less racist, but also less useful to Democrats, it's the enemy of all that is decent and good.
-- Jonah Goldberg
The F-35's ability to compete against other fighter aircraft in a close-in dogfight, even against the decades old designs it looks to replace, has always been a contentious issue. Long ago, the F-35's maneuverability was planned to far exceed that of fourth generation fighters. Over time, those claims eroded to the point where the troubled stealth jet is described as being "about as maneuverable as an F-16."
Also: The F-35 can now take off from a ski jump. So it has that going for it.
Hard to argue effectively with that, although as I've noted earlier Greece is still an ally, which leads me to rather sentimentally not want it to collapse into some sort of Anarchy Free-Fire Zone. But, hey, elections have consequences. Greece has been making some very bad calls all throughout this crisis; not least of which was its inexplicable decision to hire Marxists to solve its economic problems. That's like hiring a radical Greenie to run your fission pile; he doesn't want to do the job, and even if he did he still doesn't know how. Hopefully the Greeks will wise up, soon. because the end result of that fission pile analogy would quite likely be a pile of corpses, and that is something that Commies are quite good at producing, alas.
What, you don't think that you can have a Third World collapse in Europe? Why? It's not like there's some sort of Cause And Effect disruption field covering the continent.
Part of a pattern.
In 1975 the Clintons attended in a voodoo ceremony in Haiti. Hillary has also been known to communicate with the dead.
Nevertheless, the DEA took all of Do's money under the assumption that he's involved in the drug business, despite being more than willing to let him go without even a citation. Do had planned to take his money to California to help his financially-struggling siblings out, but ran into the DEA first.
Then there's this:The Plaintiff did not know that it was a violation of Federal regulations to carry cash in excess of $5,000 at the time of the seizure.There's a good reason for not knowing this. There is no federal regulation prohibiting citizens from walking around (or boarding planes) with any amount of cash. Asset forfeiture laws make this practice unwise, but nothing in federal law says Do was forbidden from boarding a plane with his $44,000.
Note that not only was there no evidence of any connection with drugs but that DEA agents simply took the money without even issuing a citation or summons. This is Mexican Federales shit.
And then it got worse.
In 1980, Ted Benna was fed up with the pension consultant business. Instead of looking for ways to help employees when they retired, employers were looking out for themselves and seeking tax deductions, while minimizing pensions.
...The 401-k was a page-and-a-quarter of the 1978 Tax Reform Act. It allowed companies to set up defined contribution plans in which employees put money in, invest it, and collect the money when they retire. No one envisioned what Benna did with the 401-k, and it is doubtful Congress intended it that way. Unions have come to oppose defined contribution plans. Perhaps because the 401-k makes it easier for workers to participate in capitalism.
He was working on refining the pension plan of Cheltenham National Bank of Philadelphia in 1980. He had gone into work on Saturday where he would not be distracted by colleagues and phone calls, he read the code and had a Eureka moment. He credits God for the discovery, and who am I to argue with him?
Benna's plan was brilliant, because it allowed pre-tax payroll deductions of the money, and allowed employers to match some of the investment to encourage hourly workers to save money for retirement by investing their savings in mutual funds. Because it was retirement money, this forced workers to think in the long term and not worry about day-to-day changes in the market.
But his plan was not in the law. Benna wrote it. None of that was in the 401-k legislation. Unsure of the legality of his plan, Cheltenham National Bank. He said, "My approach was that if the code doesn't say thou shalt not, then thou should be able to."
Johnson Cos., an insurance and finance company in Newtown, Pennsylvania, was the first to take the plunge. Benna received initial approval from the Internal Revenue Service, which later promulgated regulations enabling Benna's plan.More than 30 years later, the 401-k is now a $4 trillion industry.
"A blast furnace that fits in a vest pocket."
-- Wilhelm Ostwald, winner of the 1909 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Rosie O'Donnell could not be reached for comment.
With hidden games, liquor, and pr0n.
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If Hillary Clinton's Speaking Fee of $237,000 Is Too Much For You, You Can Hire Her Useless Failure-Puddle of a Daughter for $65,000
What the Clintons lack in dignity, they make up for in graft.
I know I'm way late on this but can I just say: Oh my shit.
Racism is a powerful animating force. And yes, this is racism. This is Female Superiority Racism mixed with Liberal Comfortable Class Tribalism Racism.
This is all about paying someone to stand as an avatar for one's own Superiority.
You can make a lot of money by giving the unaccomplished a racial or chromosomal excuse to feel that they're Important, too.
When the University of Missouri at Kansas City was looking for a celebrity speaker to headline its gala luncheon marking the opening of a women's hall of fame, one of the names that came to mind was Hillary Rodham Clinton.
But when the former secretary of state’s representatives quoted a fee of $275,000, officials at the public university balked. "Yikes!" one e-mailed another.
So the school booked the next best option: her daughter, Chelsea.
The university paid $65,000 for Chelsea Clinton’s brief appearance...
Now, let's see what a University gets for it's $65,000. Or what I call "full ride for a deserving underprivileged student."
The schedule she negotiated called for her to speak for 10 minutes, participate in a 20-minute, moderated question-and-answer session and spend a half-hour posing for pictures with VIPs offstage.
That long, huh? I hope she's monitoring her pulse rate. That kind of pace can kill someone.
As with Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches at universities, Chelsea Clinton made no personal income from the appearance, her spokesman said, and directed her fee to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
Yes... and let's pretend that Foundation doesn't pay for their wardrobe, offices, transportation, travel, and five man staffs. (Yes, Chelsea has a five man staff.)
You know what most people call those things?
The cost of living. (Plus, jet plane rides and five-man staffs!)
So yes, they are in fact being paid by the Foundation.
If I started a "charity" and contracted to pay all your food and rent costs for the rest of your life, would you claim that you were being 'uncompensated"?
So the university turned back to others, eventually choosing Chelsea Clinton when the agency indicated she was willing. Just shy of her 34th birthday, Clinton commanded a higher fee than other prominent women speakers who were considered, including feminist icon Gloria Steinem ($30,000) and journalists Cokie Roberts ($40,000), Tina Brown ($50,000) and Lesley Stahl ($50,000), the records show.
Chelsea's done so much more, just by being born to Hillary Clinton and... well it really doesn't matter.
Officials with the school appeared to believe Clinton was worth her fee, which university spokesman John Martellaro said was paid using private donations. They exulted to Clinton’s representatives that the luncheon sold out quickly, with 1,100 tickets selling for $35 each -- which would equal $38,500. University officials say the event was intended to boost attention for the new hall of fame, not raise money.
So you funneled money to the Clintons at a fundraiser, lost money (as usual), and then you say "It wasn't about the money anyway, it was a about the attention?"
What f***ing attention? Who the hell ever heard of this before now?
I'm reading an article about this "hall" you supposedly boosted the profile of and I can't name the hall or guess what this hall's function is.
This was about funneling other people's money to political figures the left likes -- as usual.
"Chelsea was the perfect fit," Amy Loughman, an alumni relations official who managed the event, wrote in an e-mail a few days later. "It created fantastic buzz in the community."
She created fantastic buzz on NBC News, too, before she was fired for having the charisma of a urinal cake.
In dozens of e-mails exchanged between University of Missouri officials and Clinton’s representatives at the Harry Walker Agency, which arranges appearances by all three Clintons, there was no reference to her $65,000 fee going to charity. Nor was there any reference in the five-page contract.
Because it didn't.
What can this charmless, talentless, pointless woman do except collect graft-checks on behalf of her parents?
The university paid the fee -- which also covered Clinton’s travel expenses -- in two disbursements to the Walker Agency. But Martellaro said, "We have no knowledge of how funds were disbursed from that point."
Bazbaz said all of Clinton’s paid speeches through the Walker Agency are delivered on behalf of the foundation "to support implementing its life saving work" and that this was "always the intention" with the University of Missouri. He added that neither she nor her hosts receive charitable tax deductions.
Because it's not charity.
Oh now let's look at the contract, which has more riders in it than Van Halen did at the peak of their popularity.
The contract stipulated that Clinton would have final approval of everything, such as the selection of her introducer (celebrities, journalists and elected officials were prohibited from consideration), the onstage setup (there must be "room-temperature water" next to her podium along with "two comfortable armed-and-backed chairs" for the question-and-answer session) and the type of microphone provided for her use (both lavaliere and handheld).
In e-mails with university officials, Clinton’s aides closely edited the texts of press releases, marketing materials and introductory remarks. Clinton’s representatives instructed that a line about her being the daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton be deleted from one news release and that her title of vice chair of the Clinton Foundation be added beneath her name on an electronic flier. Other materials mentioned her parents, however.
When reviewing the script that a student would read introducing her, a Clinton Foundation aide asked university officials to remove the list of Clinton’s degrees. A Clinton adviser, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the event, said "this was by no means an intention to script a high school student's introduction of Chelsea," but rather to avoid what otherwise would have been a recitation of all of Clinton's achievements.
There's so many of them, who could list them all?
Oh, there you go. I just did list them all.
Not as hard as I thought.
Clinton’s representatives also closely managed her time on campus. They asked whether she would be free to depart from the event once she finished her remarks, rather than waiting until the luncheon concluded. Martellaro said she stayed until the end.
Clinton agreed to pose for photographs backstage with 100 VIPs prior to the speech. But her representatives requested that only 20 to 30 minutes be budgeted for the photo line, rather than 45 minutes the university initially sought.
You know what there's no news about?
Anything Chelsea Clinton said there that day.
For $65,000 for thirty minutes' work, you'd think that this graceless walking graft-bag could have said something interesting or insightful, no?
But no, no one expects anything from the Clintons; no accomplishments, no successes.
Just nothing but an extended hand, palm up, demanding their next pay-off.
Contest: Play this video -- Chelsea Clinton talking with Stella McCartney about how harrrrd it is to have rich parents -- and watch the counter.
Tell me the time at which you Tap Out.
How far can you make it?
Suggestions Box for the Next Book Club Thread
I don't think I picked a great one last time, but I want to do this again.
People will want to read a political book. There are two such books I want to read, and which are endlessly recommended to me, but which I need a nudge to read (which the point of a bookclub, the nudge): Thomas Sowell's Vision of the Annointed and F.A. Hayek's Road to Serfdom.
One book I'd like a nudge to read is Dracula, which I was enjoying before I put it down for no good reason. I was surprised it was well written -- for some reason I expected it to be gothic trash. Maybe it is, but I liked the scenery-painting of Transylvania.
The only type of book I'm going to call in the book club is one that people need a nudge to read -- classics, smart-stuff. I don't need a nudge to read the sort of entertainment fiction I already read. Like, I don't need a nudge to read the Jack Reacher book Killing Floor; I already did that, without a nudge. Nor the sci-fi candy Ready Player One.
So, that said, and feel free to recommend books, but there's no point saying "You should read the Vince Flynn book" because, while I take your recommendation seriously, it's also the case that I'd read the new Vince Flynn book if I liked the cover and the first few pages.
Ultimately I want to do Moby Dick, but I guess I need to build to that. Maybe at some point I'll try Huckleberry Finn, another classic I was supposed to have read but did not.
Choice: CBD suggested Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher," which I always wanted to read. I have no idea what it's about, though I suppose there's a house involved, and some substandard foundation work.
It's 7000 words, so it's just a short story, a mere tenth of a novel, and it's free on Kindle (and B&N, I assume).
It's also available freely at project Guttenberg, here.
So Fall of the House of Usher it is!
This is very exciting!
Let's go for... um, I dunno. Let's go for the Sunday after next.
It Is Time to Scrap the F-35 And Simply Begin Building Somewhat Updated F-15s Again
Have you heard the bad news? We have spent one trillion dollars on the F-35, which is intended to be the main battle plane across three different services (Navy, Air Force, Marines), filling at least two different roles (air superiority, that is, dogfighting and radar-destroying, and ground-striking) and the thing is an absolute piece of shit which will kill our pilots.
This is not some niche plane. This is intended to be the main airframe in use by all of our military. This will end up being 70% of the planes we fly. (Note: I just made that up, but I really want to push that this is not just some niche flier we can afford to limp along with.)
A test pilot has some very, very bad news about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The pricey new stealth jet can’t turn or climb fast enough to hit an enemy plane during a dogfight or to dodge the enemy’s own gunfire, the pilot reported following a day of mock air battles back in January.
"The F-35 was at a distinct energy disadvantage," the unnamed pilot wrote in a scathing five-page brief that War Is Boring has obtained. The brief is unclassified but is labeled "for official use only."
The test pilot's report is the latest evidence of fundamental problems with the design of the F-35 -- which, at a total program cost of more than a trillion dollars, is history's most expensive weapon.
The fateful test took place on Jan. 14, 2015, apparently within the Sea Test Range over the Pacific Ocean near Edwards Air Force Base in California. The single-seat F-35A with the designation "AF-02" -- one of the older JSFs in the Air Force --took off alongside a two-seat F-16D Block 40, one of the types of planes the F-35 is supposed to replace.
The F-35 was flying "clean," with no weapons in its bomb bay or under its wings and fuselage. The F-16, by contrast, was hauling two bulky underwing drop tanks, putting the older jet at an aerodynamic disadvantage.
But the JSF's advantage didn't actually help in the end. The stealth fighter proved too sluggish to reliably defeat the F-16, even with the F-16 lugging extra fuel tanks. "Even with the limited F-16 target configuration, the F-35A remained at a distinct energy disadvantage for every engagement," the pilot reported.
In the end, the F-35 -- the only new fighter jet that America and most of its allies are developing -- is demonstrably inferior in a dogfight with the F-16, which the U.S. Air Force first acquired in the late 1970s.
I am not even close to expert. One caveat I'd note here: Dogfighting is not everything. Agility is not the most important thing. Speed is. For example, I remember in the nineties some lesser plane -- maybe the F-16, maybe some British fighter -- would routinely beat F-15s in dogfighting.
But the F-15 pilots laughed. They said, basically, this: "We lost because we were under the artificial conditions where we had to dogfight. In real life, we get to decide whether we have the superiority and thus whether to engage at all. And in the air, speed, not agility, is king: we can close on them if they flee, and we can flee them if they close on us. Add in our ability to hit them from very far away, and it all shakes out that the F-16's advantage in dogfighting is trivial, and not one that will make a difference on the battlefield very often."
But no one hears anything but one problem after another with this plane. (See video below for more.) Australia's going a little big wiggy that they've contracted to buy this lemon.
There is no doubt that the US fighter fleet could use a refreshing -- but this plane seems to be awful.
We need some brave voices to stand up to the serious Career-Momentum of this thing -- that is, everyone who shepherded this piece of shit along is going to suffer a career-ending embarrassment if we pull the plug on it, or put it back on to the chalkboards -- to take a stand and say that our boys, and our security, are more important than some Pentagon Procurement Asshole's career.
Put the F-35 back into the chalkboard stage, and begin designing some incremental, evolutionary changes to the F-15.
No, a slightly upgraded F-15 will not give us the sort of dominance we need.
But the F-35 sure won't, either, and at least we know, with the F-15, we're getting a reliable and effective platform.
We do need more stealth. Fine. Use the money saved from canceling the F-35 rollout (and buying cheaper upgraded F-15s) to buy some extra stealth planes.
But this F-35 seems to be a disaster, and Washington seems to be doing with this disaster what it does with all disasters of its own making: Pretending it's not happening so that no one actually has to (gasp!) get a demotion over the catastrophe.
For a contrary take, see Defense Tech, quoting pilots who claim flying the F-35 is "like magic."
I don't know.
There's a certain rah-rah that happens when you're in a group project and you want it all to turn out all right...
New Video Added: Dave in Texas recommends the below video-- from the co-designer of the F-16.
He calls the F-35 "dumb," and the whole F-35 plan a "stunt" and "public relations campaign."
Reporter Misreported Nobel Scientist Tim Hunt's Words, Then #SocialAttentionWhores Just Ran With It Until They Forced His Resignation
Unbelievable. According to a third-party EU official, and Sir Tim Hunt himself, she took words out the context, and concealed the fact that Hunt's remarks were jokes at his own expense.
The Guardian has now heavily re-edited this Social Attention Whore's story to make it less defamatory -- but the Guardian doesn't alert you to that, contrary to its own claimed rules.
Hunt has now resigned from his important work in cancer research. And this Social Attention Whore got her scalp.
New revelations about the speech and the context of the joke have surfaced. An account of a European Commission Official who took detailed minutes of the event adds key information absent from the original report:According to the new account, Sir Tim started with: "It's strange that such a chauvinist monster like me has been asked to speak to women scientists” which makes clear he mocking sexism, rather than indulging in it. St. Louis reported this as Hunt simply admitting: "he has a reputation as a male chauvinist."
Immediately after the now infamous joke, according to the new evidence, he proceeded to make several very pro gender equality remarks, including: "Now seriously... Science needs women and you should do science despite all the obstacles, and despite monsters like me," which was similarly disregarded in St. Louis's twitter report.
Hunt has already protested that he added, "now seriously" to indicate the joke was over.
The Daily Mail is now vetting this #SocialAttentionWarrior, Connie St. Louis, and finding lots of troubling facts.
Then, early this week, the simmering dispute took a further, seismic twist.
It came courtesy of The Times newspaper, which revealed the contents of a leaked report into Sir Tim's fall from grace compiled by an EU official who had accompanied him to the Seoul conference.
This individual, who has not been named, sat with him at the lunch and provided a transcript of what Sir Tim 'really said'.
Crucially, it presented a very different take to the one which had been so energetically circulated by Connie St Louis.
However, Sir Tim's critics remained unmoved and disputed the EU report's contents. Importantly, given how the scandal had originally emerged, they were led by Connie St Louis.
Perhaps, therefore, we should ask two other related questions: who exactly is Connie St Louis? And why, exactly, should we trust her word over that of a Nobel laureate?
A good place to start is the website of London’s City University, where St Louis has, for more than a decade, been employed to run a postgraduate course in science journalism.
Here, on a page outlining her CV, she is described as follows:
'Connie St Louis . . . is an award-winning freelance broadcaster, journalist, writer and scientist.
'She presents and produces a range of programmes for BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service . . . She writes for numerous outlets, including The Independent, Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, BBC On Air magazine and BBC Online.'
All very prestigious. Comforting, no doubt, for potential students considering whether to devote a year of their lives (and money) to completing an MA course under her
stewardship. Except, that is for one small detail: almost all of these supposed 'facts' appear to be untrue.
I've quoted too much so I'll leave you to click on the Daily Mail to see what's untrue.
Think about the sort of person who becomes a Social Attention Whore.
Think about the psychology at play.
Then wonder: Why do we ever give these unaccomplished, envious, grasping monsters any credence at all?
thanks to @comradearthur
Kurtz: The Media Is an Intolerant Mob of Jungle-Tribe Witchdoctors and Zealots
Will be back in a few -- but needed to get something up.
Morrissey quotes Hugh Hewitt's interview with Buzzfeed Ben, an interview that makes me more sorry for Buzzfeed Ben than usual.
What astonishes me is that Buzzfeed Ben is like this guy Dietz in the Illinois 18th race -- it is quite obvious that he has never even thought about the questions Hugh Hewitt poses before. Simple, obvious questions everyone even pretending to be a thinker must ask himself, like "Why is it I feel comfortable declaring there are no two sides on gay marriage, and yet I cannot bring myself to criticize Shariah law?"
Again, this is obvious.
And Buzzfeed Ben is not an uncommonly dumb person for the media. Among media types, I'd wager he's actually highly intelligent (for the cohort, I repeat).
But this exposes how painfully, embarrassingly shallow and utterly disconnected from any kind of intellectual rigor these people are.
These creates are not thinkers, and hell, they're barely even writers. What they are are Social Climbers, social animals with a fondness for telling those lower in the social pecking order What's Hot and What Not, but with not a dollop of actual interest in the ideas that are supposedly informing their Viral Persuasions.
These people are shallow, they are incompetent, they are in the arena of idea without actually having any taste for thinking, and they must, and will be, swept aside.
Here's What I'm Doing: Just a brief personal note. This is no big deal. But it doesn't cost me anything to write some frivolous words.
I have a good job. In fact, I have a great job. But like many people, I lose sight of just how fortunate I am. I get annoyed that I have to blog every hour, I get lazy, I get bored by the same sorts of stories day in, day out.
And what people do, and what I certainly do, is just forget all the wonderful parts of this job, and just look at the annoyances of it. But here's what I get to do: I get to write every day, I get to think about things (which, unlike Buzzfeed Ben, I find enjoyable), and then I get them read by you guys -- who, in the main, like most of what I write, so I get a huge amount of affirmation every single day-- far more than 99% of the world, which works harder than I do but gets only the most meager appreciation for their toil.
The other thing I get to do, and this is why I had to run, is do things like grill two huge rib-eye steaks in the middle of the day.
I'm Intermittent Fasting, which means I don't eat for about 16-18 hours a day. I eat in a short window of 6-8 hours. When I wake up, I'm pretty hungry. My last meal was at about 5:30 last night, and it was a couple of hardboiled eggs.
So I woke up hungry and did my early-afternoon walk and thought about getting some food.
And then I remembered: I actually went shopping this weekend and bought two big rib-eyes.
I completely forgot about those. Ever do that? Ever let good, expensive meat spoil because you just forgot?
Anyway, I realized I had to eat those steaks. So I'm grilling them.
That's why I had to post quick and run -- had to turn the steaks.
Anyway, I know that many of you wish you could work from home. It has some downsides (isolation, lack of stimulus), but obviously it has huge upsides.
And I think it's important for me to occasionally acknowledge how lucky I am, and drop the depressive Woe Is Me act.
I really am grateful.
And soon, I will will be almost drunk on rib-eye.
Steak Update: These guys are thicker than what I'm used to so the first cut revealed they were purple-pink inside, and I don't play that.
Got the alarm set for another five minutes, but I think it's going to be like ten.
I am so hungry. You have no idea.
Close it up