November 29, 2015

Sunday Morning Book Thread 11-29-2015: Do It Yourself [OregonMuse]

—Open Blogger

The Last Bookstore , Los Angeles.jpg
The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles, CA.

Good morning to all of you morons and moronettes and bartenders everywhere and all the ships at sea. Welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread. The Sunday Morning Book Thread is the only AoSHQ thread that is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Or kilts. Also, assless chaps don't count. Serious you guys. Kilts are OK, though. But not tutus. Unless you're a girl.

‘All words have some power. We feel it instinctively. Some, like magical spells and the true names of the gods, have a great deal. They must be treated with respect. In Klatch there is a mountain with many caves, and in those caves are entombed more than a hundred thousand old books, mostly religious, each one in a white linen shroud. That is perhaps an extreme approach, but intelligent people have always known that some words at least should be disposed of with care and respect...Enough words crammed together can affect time and space.’

--Terry Pratchett, Going Postal


Here is something new. Well, actually, it's not new, it first came out over 50 years ago.

I'm talking about the first "do it yourself" novel:

Composition No. 1 by Marc Saporta was the first-ever do-it-yourself or interactive novel. It was published in French in 1962, and an English translation followed a year later. The novel came in a box, as a set of looseleaf pages. Readers were instructed to "shuffle them like a deck of cards" before reading, so that chance would decide the order of events in the narrative.

You can actually purchase a copy of Composition No. 1 on Amazon.

In fact Saporta's novel has 150 opening paragraphs, because it consists of 150 unbound pages, printed on one side only, which the reader is meant to shuffle and read in any order.

The Guardian review describes the plot as being a bit thin:

How does the randomness work, and how does it affect our perception of the narrative? The story is a flimsy wisp of a thing, really no more than a jumble of fragments. The setting is Paris during the German occupation. The central character is little glimpsed and never named. He has a mistress called Dagmar, a depressed wife (I think) called Marianne, and a young German au pair whom he rapes during the course of the novel, before being injured in a serious car accident.

I suppose the "wispiness" is a necessity, since if too many details are locked down, that would tend to diminish the "DIY" nature of this experimental novel.

The Argentinian author Julio Cortazar did something similar with his experimental novel Hopscotch. There you have a choice of reading the chapters sequentially, or you can "hopscotch" around the chapters at random, and it should make sense either way. As one reviewer says about Hopscotch:

There is an abundance of metaphors, of connections, bridges, symbols, and artistic allusions. There are ejaculations of phrases in foreign languages and an interjection of aphorisms in verse. If history were to rewrite itself and eradicate all traces of Joyce, Hopscotch would have been the equivalent of Ulysses. The language is incredibly vivid, infinitely descriptive, colorful, sensuous, poetic, maddeningly abstract, and psychedelic.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of these experimental-type novels, but as the poet says, de gustibus non est disputandum.

But if you're craving a bit of surrealism in your life, you can do it like my brother once told me he does, on the cheap: If you have a new novel to read, start reading it chapter by chapter backwards, from the last chapter down to the first. Brother swears he gets more out of the novel that way, but I've never tried it, so I don't know. But telling the story backward is a well-known narrativt technique. I think of movies such as Memento and Betrayal as examples of this, and there are others.

Thanks to 'mindful webworker' for this tip

Yet Another E-Book Spotting Service

It's called Early Bird Books:

Each edition of Early Bird Books offers a curated list of titles across many of the genres you enjoy. For a more personalized experience, set your preferences and we’ll deliver a custom selection of ebooks based on your categories of interest!

The interface is a bit clunky, but other than that, I'm curious to see if it gives me different selections other than what I get with the daily BookBub e-mail.

Continue reading

Posted by Open Blogger at 08:28 AM Comments

EMT 11/29/15 [krakatoa]

—Open Blogger

Heading to Secaucus today, where my ccl doesn't apply.

Gov Christie is no daisy at all.

Posted by Open Blogger at 06:00 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (28 Nov 2015)


Don't get this article confused with the AoS HQ barrel. What happens as decades pass in a whiskey barrel.

Continue reading

Posted by CDR M at 09:56 PM Comments

Just A Thought...[CBD]

—Open Blogger

If the Colorado Springs shooter (who sounds like a lunatic) entered the Planned Parenthood clinic/abattoir and began shooting out of a window at people outside PP, wasn't his intent to kill everyone but PP staff and customers?

So this guy could just as easily be described as a PP supporter and protector.....

And Open Thread.


Posted by Open Blogger at 05:38 PM Comments

Saturday Gardening Thread: What is your Statice? [Y-not and KT]

—Open Blogger

Y-not: Good afternoon, gardeners!

This week the incomparable KT asks "What is your Statice?"

When I went to do my own "status assessment" it went something like Kryten's in this classic Red Dwarf episode:

Continue reading

Posted by Open Blogger at 02:45 PM Comments

Colleje Football Thread: Week 11 [CBD]

—Open Blogger

Some serious rivalries this week.....

#1 Clemson visits South Carolina @ 12:00pm
#2 Alabama visits Auburn @ 3:30pm
#3 Oklahoma visits #11 Oklahoma State @ 8:00pm
#5 Michigan State hosts Penn State @ 3:30pm
#6 Notre Dame visits #9 Stanford @ 7:30pm
#8 Ohio State visits Ann Arbor and the Michigan Wolverines @ 12:00pm

Finding photos that will get past the censor office is sometimes difficult, but what is interesting is that some schools are shockingly underrepresented in the cute/hot/not-unpleasant-to-look-at bracket. I will leave to your imaginations which of this week's schools is in that sad group. This of course does not include the Playboy pictorials of the various schools and conferences. The airbrush is an invention that, while supposedly feminist magazines use to excess, should not be wielded to exploit the tender and innocent college co-eds who pose for that charming but ultimately sleazy guy from "Garçon Qui Joue."


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Posted by Open Blogger at 12:33 PM Comments

Saturday Politics Thread: Turnout Trends and Strategies [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

I side-barred this the other day, but you may have missed it. Dan McLaughlin wrote a great piece about trends in voter turnout over the past several presidential elections. It's full of crunchy data -- follow this link to read it.

The gist of the article concerns the much-circulated myth that some 4 million conservative voters stayed home in 2012, leading to Romney's loss.

Here's what Dan has to say about that:

Continue reading

Posted by Open Blogger at 10:44 AM Comments

EMT 11/28/15 [krakatoa]

—Open Blogger

Absent some inconceivable deus ex machina, victory over the 2015 Turkey menace would appear to be secured.

Posted by Open Blogger at 06:00 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (27 Nov 2015)


Hope you morons had a good Thanksgiving and are surviving the Black Friday brawls and traffic jams.

You can rest easy knowing we have top people tracking the "JV team". FBI using elite surveillance teams to track at least 48 high-risk ISIS suspects. Only 48?

"It is a big resource drain. Yes it is. Almost overwhelming," Coats said when asked about the demand placed on the FBI. "There will be a lot of people over the Thanksgiving weekend that will not be enjoying turkey with their family. They'll be out there providing security for the American people and the threat is particularly high during this holiday period."

So the FBI is strained as it is and the President wants to bring in more "refugees" and law enforcement won't even be able to ask about a person's religious affiliations or beliefs? That's a recipe for a disaster.

Continue reading

Posted by CDR M at 10:00 PM Comments

Colorado Springs Shooter Arrested


Press conference on now.

Posted by Ace at 07:01 PM Comments

NYT: Reality Is Limiting Obama's Ability to Spin His Fantasies


Damn reality.

via Jonah Goldberg (@jonahnro), who made a very similar point.

Posted by Ace at 05:52 PM Comments

Active Shooter in Colorado Springs


Harris Faulkner is covering it calmly and straightly on Fox. I can only imagine what Shep Smith would be doing right now if he had the helm.

The "Sam Hyde" thing is a hoax. Hyde and his comedy troupe frequently claim that the "right wing extremist Sam Hyde" is responsible for this shooting or that.

This video shows Hyde giving a TED talk, having conned his way in by claiming to have an impressive resume of helping people in Africa.

Posted by Ace at 03:25 PM Comments

Can You Believe It? It's an Open Thread


Fully open!

University presidents buy off radicals with huge slush funds for diversity centers and minority hires.

Posted by Ace at 02:17 PM Comments

Bonus Open Thread


(n.n.)(n.t.)(n.d.)(oh, well)

Posted by rdbrewer at 11:41 AM Comments

Open Thread


Charles Partridge Adams, "Fall Sunset" (n.d.)

Posted by rdbrewer at 08:45 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (11-26-2015) – Happy Thanksgiving Edition


So this happened.


Thanksgiving Dinner Keeps Getting Cheaper

In 1986, Thanksgiving dinner cost $28.74. In October 1986, an average worker made $8.96 an hour. That means that s/he had to work 3 hours 12 minutes and 27 seconds, or 50 minutes and 30 seconds longer than [a] worker today.

So, enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner and rejoice in knowing that you have worked almost an hour less to earn it than would have been the case in 1986.

Good News For Your Defense: Your Appalling Drunken Behavior Might Be Genetic

Megafauna vs. Pumpkin Pie and Squash

"As God Is My Witness..."

The key 15 minutes of the classic episode which was based on a real life incident.

Yahoo group. That is all.

And my lo-fi Twitter spew.

Tonight's post brought to you by same BMI, different body:


Notice: Posted by authority of AceCorp LLC. Happy-fun ball may not be capable of flight but he is not to be trifled with. Reminder: Just 29 days left until Life Day.

Posted by Maetenloch at 09:50 PM Comments

Open Thread: Happy Thanksgiving!


Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's officially time for this.

Posted by Ace at 08:10 PM Comments

On This Thanksgiving, I'm Grateful For the Gullible Goons of Salon


[H]e wasn't alone on his righteous indignation. Conservative blogger Ace of Spades wrote an entire treatise on how to deal with the miscreant liberals in your family when they use any of these "Vox explainer" talking points. It's very elaborate and very, very serious....

As I said, it's all very elaborate. He goes on to lay out a complicated set of tactical arguments designed to tie the foolish liberal up in knots. It is obviously something that merits a lot of serious thought and preparation. Clearly, it's extremely important.

Pearls before dum-dums.

As Aldous Huxley obsevered: "Every man is the author of his own pwnage."

Incidentally, Charles Cooke's piece was also panned by this Very Intelligent Pyrsyn, as trying for humor with "mixed results." That must mean it's pretty good.

Posted by Ace at 02:19 PM Comments

Blowoff Thread: Silly Inventions [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

Here's a silly thread while we all sit, sans pants, waiting for the turkey to roast.

A couple of weeks ago I spotted this in our local Hobby Lobby:


There's a product for a problem I didn't know existed!

Reminded me of silly invention ideas. For example, an old boss of mine wanted to invent something called a Buffet Buddy to solve the very real problem of how to hold your plate, drink, and silverware while navigating through a buffet.

Here's another invention that Mr. Moxie came up with, inspired by the sight of so many abandoned and beater cars on the rural roads of our new state (and the assumed transportation needs of the owners of said cars):

Continue reading

Posted by Open Blogger at 12:00 PM Comments

Happy Thanksgiving


Posted by rdbrewer at 09:06 AM Comments

Early Birder Thread [krakatoa]

—Open Blogger

Time to smoke the turkey.

I wish I were more thankful today. Persevering through a flu bug that has completely detailed my original plans.

Nevertheless, despite the ick, I have much to be thankful for.

My loving wife who holds together the homestead far more than she should have to due to my work travel.

My amazing daughter who with a hug of her tiny arms can make me forget for precious moments the burdens of the job and of a society hellbent on finding new depths of inanity to call civilized.

My job, despite it's travel requirements. It is a job after all, and not a hobby. At the end of the day, providing for one's family is the ultimate measure of the designated breadwinner.

I know I have it better than most, and despite my general ambivalence of religion, I can't possibly claim to have made it purely on my own merits. Providence, luck, karma, whatever you want to call it, I am thankful for it.

Posted by Open Blogger at 07:30 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (11-25-2015) – Pre-Thanksgiving Edition


Tonight's theme is cooking tips and recipes. So share'em if you got'em.

And this evening's Food Octagon event will be Oatmeal vs. Cream of Wheat vs. Grits. Three hot cereal foods enter, one food leaves.

Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC and NotWearingPants LLC. Note: the AoSHQ dumpster is NOT a toy for your amusement. And a reminder from Ace: If you want to participate in this year's AoSHQ Premium Secret Santa exchange, be sure and register by Dec. 1st. Please review the new rules about live animals and sorcery.

Posted by Maetenloch at 08:27 PM Comments

Open Thread: Happy Thanksgiving Edition



If you didn't see yesterday's post on how to screw with your Millennial Vox-reading nieces, check it out.


Rubio's Maneuver Might Have Crippled Obamacare

By keeping fresh government money out of the "risk corridors" (a mechanism by which the government would reimburse money-losing insurers via a slush fund), he might have hastened the death spiral of Obamacare.

Montana Daily Newspaper Plans to Reveal All Previous Posts by Anonymous Commenters

They're changing to a named-commenter system. And they say it would be too hard to have current comments by user name, while leaving old comments anonymous. Despite the fact they previously guaranteed anonymity. "Oh well!" they were quoted as saying.

Nerds and Hot Chicks Are Just Oil and Water

Angry, useless self-harming nerds continue to go after Katherine Timpf for saying she doesn't like Star Wars.

Yeah, that'll show them that you're well-balanced.

Paradigm Shift 2070: One Man's Vision of the Future

This scientist, Sam Hyde, has a lot of interesting facts you can use in your Thanksgivingmanship activities.

No, but seriously, apparently his schtick used to be to bluff his way into conferences, claiming a series of made-up credentials, and then give, well, the kind of speech you see below. He conned a local TED x conference into letting him speak, claiming to have done all these humanitarian things in Mogadishu, and then... well, you can see.

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 06:20 PM Comments

New Morgan Freeman Thriller Makes $69 In Opening Weekend in UK


They're hoping to build up from there, though.

The movie's called Momentum.

Posted by Ace at 04:59 PM Comments

"That Doesn't Sound Like Me:" Chris Christie Surprised by Question About His Entering Politics To Block Efforts to Repeal "Assault Weapons" Ban; Claims to Not Remember It Happening Either Way


The Star Ledger (of NJ) said that he had told them this, and reported it long ago.

Christie says "That doesn't sound like me" and claims a failure of memory.

Obviously, Bret Baier did not promise him a "no surprises" interview.

A look of panic spread across Christie’s face. "Yeah, I don't remember saying that. So, you know, we’ll see," he said.

Just then, a quote appeared on the screen—one Christie gave to the Star-Ledger in April 1993--that would seem to contradict his answer.

"The issue which has motivated me to get into this race is the recent attempt by certain Republican legislators to repeal New Jersey’s ban on assault weapons," Christie said at the time.

The full quote, not shown by Fox News, goes even further: "In today's society, no one needs a semiautomatic assault weapon," he said. "We already have too many firearms in our communities."

Christie, who has been enjoying renewed interest in his candidacy after months of low poll numbers, looked dumbfounded by Baier's question.

"Listen, I--that's 22 years ago,” Christie said. "Bret, I don’t remember. I could've! It doesn’t sound like me."

Video at HuffPo.

Posted by Ace at 03:14 PM Comments

CNN "Journalist" Caught Red-Handed Doing Media Favors for Hillary; Politico's Mike Allen Caught Red-Handed Promising Hillary's People a "No Surprises" Interview of Chelsea, in Which Questions Would Be Worked Out Beforehand


Hillary wanted some self-serving quotes publicized, and CNN's "journalist" -- the same one who just got suspended for her liberal angst about concerns about Syrian refugees -- duly complied.

She also hit Rand Paul for not attending all the hearings -- just as she was seemingly asked.

Here's that journalist reporting back to Team Hillary about the anti-Rand-Paul tweet she'd tweeted out at their apparent behest:

She also pumped out this quote that Hillary's people wanted out there:

Meanwhile, Gawker catches Politico's Mike Allen promising the Hillary staff (Phil Reines, I think) a "no surprises" interview of Chelsea. I won't link them, but instead will link the Washington Post's alleged journalistic column "The Fix," which, when presented with evidence that a liberal colleague in the media is promising against-the-rules favors to a liberal politician, affixes blame squarely where it belongs: on conservative critics of the media who allege that liberal reporters do favors for liberal politicians.

Here's Mike Allen's email promising a very cozy, reputation-boosting interview for the black hole of negative charisma Chelsea:

We're hosting a Politico New Leaders Brunch on Sunday, Jan. 20, with a brief on-stage interview with moi. We would love to honor Chelsea Clinton, and it sounds like she has some issues, marriage and others, that she enjoys talking about these days. This would be a way to send a message during inaugural week: No one besides me would ask her a question, and you and I would agree on them precisely in advance.

This would be a relaxed conversation, and our innovative format (like a speedy Playbook Breakfast) always gets heavy social-media pickup. The interview would be "no surprises:" I would work with you on topics, and would start with anything she wants to cover or make news on. Quicker than a network hit, and reaching an audience you care about with no risk.

The Washington Post's The Fix column immediately spins for their pal, and lets you know who the real villains are here.

A bit of context might be helpful here, since we’re talking about events that happened almost three years ago: President Obama had just been reelected, and Allen was requesting an interview with Chelsea Clinton on inauguration weekend, which is basically one big party in DC. The news of the moment in Clinton world was that Hillary was just a couple weeks away from stepping down as secretary of state, having previously said she would not serve in Obama’s second term.

One interpretation of Allen’s e-mail to Philippe Reines, the Clinton aide, goes something like this: Hey, I’m looking for just a few minutes with Chelsea during an important time for her mom. This isn’t a probing,"“60 Minutes"-style sit-down, so don't worry about fielding anything out of left field.

Not so bad, right?

But the Republican translation will likely go more like this: What can I do to make Chelsea look good because, as we all know, I and my Web site (and most of the media) live to serve the royal family of the Democratic Party.

The GOP field has already put the media on blast this campaign season. There was that memorable rant by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas during the third primary debate....

He then goes on to note, disapprovingly, the criticisms lodged about the media by Republican candidates.

Elsewhere in the article, he casts Republican criticisms of the media as phantasmal -- though allowing that this incident looks like it could be evidence of that paranoid fear.

And you can bet the Republican presidential candidates -- who often accuse the media of pro-Clinton bias-- will pounce on this as confirmation of that belief. It's a ready-made "liberal media" conspiracy theory...

Republican White House hopefuls sometimes go looking for bias where it's not obvious, or nonexistent. But, in this case, they won't have to look very hard. This time, Politico made their job easy.

Pro-tip for The Fix: A conspiracy requires more than one person. Mike Allen's wrongdoing was just his wrongdoing.

It's your rushing to his defense, and attacking his critics, all over an incident you concede looks very bad, that makes it a liberal conspiracy.

You're all in this together, and you make it more obvious every single day.

Glenn Thrush: We Do This All The Time. It's No Big Deal.

Correction: Chris Cilizza is the main voice of The Fix, but he's not the only voice -- and he did not write this particular column. I have omitted his name from the post.

Posted by Ace at 01:50 PM Comments

Al Qaeda Terrorist Detonates Suicide Bomb Amidst ISIS Commanders


What heavenly joy is this!

A recent suicide bombing in southern Syria shows the rivalry between Al Qaeda and ISIS is more than just a contest to see who can kill the most infidels -- the groups are using classic terror techniques on each other.

The Nov. 15 bombing came at a top-level meeting of the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, a key ISIS militia known for its bloody and vicious hold over parts of the Golan Heights. Six of the group’s top men were killed, including Muhammad "Abu Ali" al-Baridi, the shadowy head of the group who went by the nickname "The Uncle."

Al Nusra Front, Al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, quickly took credit, gloating on Twitter about the "heroic" attack.

Posted by Ace at 12:18 PM Comments

Open Thread


Bob Ross, "Okay This Is My One Painting Without Happy Trees I Was Having a Bad Day Piss Off" (probably) (n.d.)

Continue reading

Posted by rdbrewer at 09:17 AM Comments

Morning Thread (11-25-2015)


Happy turkey day eve. Don't forget to brine, inject and rub like the Pilgrims did.

Posted by Andy at 06:11 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (11-24-2015)


Quote of the Day I

The most powerful tool we have to fight ISIL is to say that we're not afraid. To not elevate them and to somehow buy into their fantasy that they're doing something important.

-- President Mom Jeans the day before the State Department issued a world-wide travel advisory for Americans due to ISIL terrorism

Quote of the Day II

For Democrats, I think there's a sense of responsibility here. You know, President Obama waxed self-righteous about the Republican bill and the Republican behavior, but he's made a series of cold and, to me, amoral decisions over the past five years to allow this genocide. And maybe they were the right decisions, but they were not moral decisions.

-- David Brooks finally starting to get over those glorious perfectly creased pants

Quote of the Day III - Privilege With a Death Rate Edition

So this November, let's not keep patting the Mo-Bros on the head and tolerating this childish self-involvement-fest disguised as selflessness and the propagation online and in the media of the inherent importance of North American men and their problems.

...There are a lot of people in the world who would trade your slight risk of prostate cancer for their serious risk of being raped, being killed, starving to death, or dying of preventable diseases. Prostate cancer is a hallmark of privilege. Deal with it.

-- Alex Manley complaining about Movember and raising money to fight prostate cancer

Quote of the Day IV

The point of life is to never have an unpleasant emotional response. To anything. Note I didn't say that the point is to avoid them. That suggests personal responsibility, when the onus ought to be on everyone else: offense of any kind cannot be made. What's more the definition of offense is the sole possession of the offended. To take offense is to proclaim virtue, to show your highly developed sensibilities, and the point of having these sensibilities is to find a job, or career, or office, or blog, or tumblr, or some other platform where you can ensure that offense is never given. (If one gets a job doing this, it will be by appointment, not election.) The person will pass from the bubble of college to the bubble of social enforcement, keen on perfecting the world. And for the rest of his or her or xer professional life, they'll be shouting BE QUIET to a calm, rational adult who is too terrified to say "you're a terrible child who understands nothing. Go to your room."

These people will produce nothing. They will create no great art, write no symphonies, conjure no novels that speak across the decades, sculpt nothing of beauty. The world outside the bubble is irredeemable. It cannot, of course, be remade all at once, but tomorrow's a new day. Rome wasn't wrecked in a day.

-- James Lileks

Mollie Hemingway: 16 Of The Worst Ways To Respond To ISIS' Paris Attack

And the Left is determined to execute all of them. Read the whole thing.

Sobering Trend Lines

I think future historians will come to see 2012 as the year the wheels fell off the war on terror.


Sorry for all the pre-Thanksgiving Eve bummering. So here is HappyCat to make it better. And to prepare you for The Bummering Phase II.


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Posted by Maetenloch at 11:21 PM Comments

Provisional ONT


Posted by rdbrewer at 11:15 PM Comments

Chicago Releases Video of Police Shooting of Suspect; City Braces for Violence That Some Predict Could Be Described as "Tuesday"


The cop's being tried for murder.

Having watched the tape, what I see here is cause for arrest of Laquan McDonald. I don't see anything remotely threatening enough to justify a shooting.

Apparently prosecuting someone for murder isn't enough. There must be riots.

I guess I see the point of protests, but not riots. I assume we'll have riots, because of course we must have riots.

At the Blaze, more graphic video, which includes the actual shooting. And he was shot at sixteen times, but I can't see how he was shot sixteen times. Looks like the first one two shots kills him. If he actually was shot sixteen times, then I guess he was being hit by bullets long before he falls to the ground.

Update: ArthurK. says you can see the bullets hitting him when he's on the ground.

Well, this won't be a long trial.

Seems to Have Been Some Testi-Lying About the Shooting.

Of course there was no "lunge."

It Gets Worse: Apparently Burger King had security cameras nearby.


The prosecutor says that there is no evidence of anyone "tampering with" the video files.

Alvarez, in response to a question from NBC 5 Political Editor Carol Marin, said forensic testing was done on surveillance footage from a Burger King restaurant close to where the shooting took place to determine if the video had been "tampered with."

"Forensic testing was done on the Burger King surveillance system to determine if anyone tampered with the evidence and the testing did not reveal any such evidence," she said.

She declined to comment on which agency conducted the tests, however.

I don't know who's right here, obviously.

@JimmyPrinceton has asked on Twitter why the media isn't going after Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, who, after all, presides over this police department, and and the prosecutors, and etc.

Posted by Ace at 07:34 PM Comments

Fundamental Concepts - Nothing to Believe In [Weirddave]

—Open Blogger

The latest surge by ISIS has brought to the fore one of the hallmarks of modern leftism, and that is their absolute refusal to process facts that conflict with their worldview. Here we have ISIS, a murderous, genocidal Islamic supremacy group. They have stated quite openly that they intend to carve a caliphate out for themselves by any means necessary, and by “by any means” they mean as violently as possible. They view the West, Christianity, Secular Humanists, Hindus, everybody who doesn’t conform to their brand of Islam as the enemy, and they have only one tactic for dealing with the enemy : kill them and keep on killing them until they are either all dead or their remnant is so cowed that they convert to Islam. They justify this using the Koran and various Hadiths and they will quite happily tell anyone who will listen exactly what they believe is divine rational for their actions.

You or I look at this and say “Huh. These assholes want to kill us. Let’s arm ourselves and prepare. Let’s go out and kill them first to protect our weak and vulnerable. They have demonstrated again and again that they are serious, we should take them at their word”. To us, this is the most basic common sense. When ISIS says that they are going to smuggle terrorists in amongst Syrian refuges to kill us at home, something they have demonstrated the ability to do as recently as last week, we think it’s simply prudent to halt an influx of refugees that we can not verify free of terrorists. Again, simple common sense.

Our leaders, the so called smart set, don’t seem to agree, and an increasing percentage of the population is realizing that what we see as blindingly obvious, they don’t see at all? Why? I’ve seen this question asked more than once this past week on social media and in the press, and have yet to hear a good answer. It quite simply makes no sense.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 06:37 PM Comments

Thanksgivingmanship: Your Guide to Surviving The Progressive Imbeciles Who Have Spent a Week Cramming on How to Survive You


Oxford Don Stephen Potter introduced the world to the principles of Gamesmanship, the way to win at games by resort to cheap ploys which were very close to cheating without being technically cheating. He later expanded his inquiries into the general field of "Lifemanship," the discipline of embracing life in a dickish and hostile spirit, sabotaging social rivals without quite breaching social etiquette.

Given that the progressive elder-children-yet-not-quite-adults you'll be encountering this Thanksgiving (who I will henceforth refer to as "grownchildren") will be armed to the teeth with Vox explainers and Obamacare propaganda, I herewith humbly submit these first sketches of a new branch of Lifemanship I call "Thankgivingmanship," which I define as the gentle art of insulting the stupid without alerting them to the fact that they've been insulted at all.

It is the goal of the dedicated Thanksgivingman, then, to achieve the sublime art of giving offense without offense being taken.

My basic strategy is thus: It would be as rude of you as it is rude of your cretinous grownchildren kin to allow a Thanksgiving dinner into a stupid game of Rachel Maddow Talking Points and their rebuttals.

So, rather than confront the unemployed idiots who will be assailing you, I propose instead to superficially avoid conflict and engagement on their dummy mouthflappings, and appear instead to agree with them.

But -- and here is the point -- a skilled Thanksgivingman will only appear to agree with the grownchildren to feeble intellects, such as those possessed by the grownchildren themselves. Instead of disagreeing with them -- which will cause argument and anger -- you will instead claim to agree with them, while in fact contradicting them, subverting them, of baffling them with statements that nearly, but do not quite, make sense.

Our definitions and mission now established, we turn to the first of our three primary Thanksgivingmanship gambits:

The Neutral or Nonsensical Statement Disguised as Agreement.Progressives do not process language the same way human beings do; they chiefly adduce meaning from tone and body language, like dogs.

This means that you can say many things which are either irrelevant, nonsensical, or otherwise not in agreement with the progressive subcreatures you're temporarily amidst so long as you deliver your words with a warm smile and a lot of nodding.

You may also use uptalk to express an insincere solidarity. As with dogs and babies, progressives find artificially high-pitched vocal tones to be soothing and possibly a prelude to Walkies and Snackies.

Whenever a progressive grownchild says something stupid and ignorant, which will be always, do not engage on the merits. Progressive grownchildren will become highly emotional and agitated at the slightest show of disagreement, and may wet the floor or claw at the furniture.

Instead, say something which is either neutral or nonsensical (which successfully communicates your true beliefs to other real human beings capable of deciphering obvious meaning) while deploying smiling, nodding, and uptalk to falsely convey agreement with to the more-stunted intellect of the grownchild.

For example, if a progressive grownchild says, "Rachel Maddow is just so amazing," you can respond by nodding and saying "Absolutely, Rachel Maddow is without doubt a mammal." (Or: "A mammal...?")

Possible responses to common grownchild mouthchatter include:

"Well I see that the 'Faux Noise Machice' has gotten everyone riled up about so-called 'terrorism' again."

"Doubtless! Terrorists only win when allow them to make us afraid, or dead." (Or: "Afraid, or dead...?")

"Can't people see that stupid cons are doing Just What ISIS Wants us to do?"

"It's so obvious-- the attacks in Paris weren't just an attack on human lives. They were an attack on our shared human capacity to be alive." ("To be alive, and stuff...?")

This is a very simple one, which can be deployed in a variety of contexts:

"None of this is Obama's fault -- he's doing the best he can to keep America out of another War of Choice."

"Boy that Obama-- he is really something, isn't he?"

As the evening wears on, and you are preparing to depart, you may become somewhat more blatant in your stealth insults, like so:

"I just read an explainer about this on Vox."

"Today's world is so remarkable! When I was young, we had to read books and derive our own thinking for ourselves. What a time to be alive, when sounding vaguely informed is no longer a luxury of the intellectual, but a cheaply assembled ware available to the common man!"

Fake Statistics. It was my old friend Boston Irish who alerted me to this ticklish little trope, when he observed that no matter how absurd the statistic you proposed to a progressive, if that statistic seemed to call attention to whatever bugaboos xhe was excited about, xhe would respond with a gushing "I know, right?!"

He demonstrated this to me at a party by interrupting a couple of liberals talking, and announcing to them:

"You know, based on current statistics, in ten years, the entire state of California will be homeless."

"Right! I know!" came the response.

By the way, that is not schtick. That is not a joke written for this blogpost. I was really there, he really said that, that really happened.

After having secured the agreement to his obviously-crank "statistics," he turned to me with a slightly arched eyebrow and sipped his beer in quiet triumph.

This propensity of grownchildren to agree to whatever fantastical "studies" and "statistics" you propose to them can be exploited for much private merriment at the holidays.

Other gambits include:

* "You know, the average family of four pays more in ATM fees to the Big Banksters than they spend on rent."

* "By the year 2030, global warming predicts that the entire North American landmass will be flooded by seawater and wolves."

* "99.4% of the world's wealth is controlled by six-tenths of a single person."

* "More people are killed every year by shooting accidentally shooting themselves than who died in all the wars in the world combined, except for the Korean War."

You need to throw that "Except for the Korean War" in at the end because the claim, on its face, is too preposterous, so you deduct out Korean War deaths to bring it into the real of the plausible. (Plausible, that is, for progressive grownchildren.) It makes like you've done the math and just have to make this one little adjustment to get the numbers to work.

You may follow Boston Irish's trope of the obviously-crank "liberal study" claim, or you can try your hand at claims which are simply baffling nonsense:

* "Studies have proven that if you have a gun in your house, you are more in danger of being struck by lightning than being bitten by a rattlesnake. Think about it."

A minor variation of the Fake Statistic ploy is the Fake Profundity gambit, in which you propose some ludicrous "deep thought" which derives not from social science, but from your own personal philosophical inquiry.

For example, this one is best delivered with chin uplifted, Obama-style, and a metaphysical glaze of the eye:

* "For what is it that gives the terrorists power -- their weapons, or our primitive, irrational fear that they will kill us with their weapons?"

It is generally a useful practice to prefix such bits of nonsense with faux-biblical language, such as "For what..." or "Lo" and "Thus and so."

Fake Quotes. Progressives love fake quotes -- they just love dressing up whatever passes for this week's SJW Conventional Wisdom and attributing it to some historic figure.

Generally, these historic figures are very well known, because progressives don't know any historic figures except the very well known. Thomas Jefferson is always a popular choice. For "bad sounding quotes," Hitler is preferred. Napoleon and Marcus Aurelius may be deployed as well, but be prepared for some confused looks as to who it is you're talking about.

Offering a ridiculous quote can bring you and any other lively minds at the table great amusement. Your target will probably not notice the quote is fake, because he is an imbecile, and also because you'll have a serene, self-satisfied smile on your face as you say it, which he will read as "A Fellow Progressive in Discursive Mode."

This minor camouflage will permit you to smuggle huge amounts of nonsense in the guise of Wisdom of the Ancients.

Feel free to subvert your noddingsmiles with messages that are blatantly mottos of the NRA, if only the grownchild could understand simple words, which they cannot.

For example:

"Wasn't it Mahatma Gandhi who said, 'It is not necessarily the first man to shoot who wins the battle, but it is always the last man shooting who wins the day'?"

"As Gertrude Stein said" -- and I should say here that this gambit works best when you pronounce this name, for no particular reason, in an outrageous German accent, as Gaertruude Schteinn.

So, let's begin again: "As Gaertruude Schteinn observed, 'The man who is slowest to arm himself is quickest to savor the bounties of Heaven.'"

Another gambit is to offer up the following quotes, which are applicable in a wide range of situations.

"I forget which scientist said it, maybe Neil DeGrasse Tyson, but it's worth repeating: 'Wars of religion always make me laugh because basically you're fighting over who has the best imaginary friend.'"


"A great philosopher, Gaertruud Von Schteinn, once said, 'Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true'?"

You will get big nods for these Aphorisms of the Sages. You yourself can take pleasure in the knowledge that both quotes are from the movie Point Break, delivered by Johnny Utah (Keanu Reaves) and Bodhi (Patrick Swayze), respectively.

If you get any verbal expressions of agreement, a "hear-hear" or an "amen," you can extend the joke by saying, "In the words of the spiritual master Boddhisatva, 'You can do what you want, and make up your own rules. Why be a servant to the law, when you can be its master...?" or "Six seconds and we're going to be meat waffles.'"

Make this trope your own. Have fun with it. If you want to claim that it was Niccolo Machiavelli who first advised, "Sweep the leg, Johnny," go with it, but try to get your more subtle Fake Quotes in before "going big" like that.

A Final Word. At some point, even an experienced Thanksgivingman will go too far, and give his game away. At that point, there will be sulks and silences, and the Thanksgivingman will have actually failed at his goal, which is to give offense without offense being taken.

In such straits, the Thanksgivingman, in order to be the polite person he wishes to be, will have to apologize -- it is the verminous grownchildren who have come to bicker and strife, after all, not the well-mannered Thankgivingman.

However, for the zealous Thanksgivingman, even an apology can be exploited for further Thanksgivingmanship points.

For example, if the childanimal you are speaking with declares:

"You're micro-aggressing me."

...then be sure to respond,

"Ah, then please sincerely accept my most micro apologies."

Posted by Ace at 04:35 PM Comments

If It's a Holiday, It Must Be Time for Flood of Articles from Leftwing Blogs on How to "Survive" a Routine Visit to One's Family


Well, I keep answering the question, but Ed Driscoll rounds up the latest weirdness from your Totally Not Weird and Psychologically Damaged Progressive Friends.

I have to steal this tweet from him:

By the way, the "How to Survive Thanksgiving With Your Awful, Terrible Family That Caused You to Self-Harm When You Were 14" type article has leapt from its usual perch at hardcore leftwing blogs -- the HuffPo, Salon, Vox, Slate, etc. -- to the allegedly "mainstream" media, at the Washington Post.

The Post's article is not that bad -- it is mostly about conflict mediation and perspective, rather than, as most leftwing blogs would have it, "How to DESTROY your Rush Limbaugh-Loving Uncle at Thanksgiving."

Still, it's interesting, if inevitable, that the "mainstream" media shows once again from whom it takes its cues.

As the "mainstream" media can't resist this trend, neither can I; I'm preparing my own How to Survive Thanksgiving article. Should have it up later today.

Posted by Ace at 03:16 PM Comments

Turkey Shoots Down Russian Plane; Syrian Militiamen Shoot At Pilot as He's Parachuting to the Ground


Putin's using a lot of bellicose language.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Su-24 was hit by air-to-air missiles fired by Turkish F-16s while it was flying over Syrian territory.

But Turkish military officials said the plane was engaged after being warned that it was violating Turkish airspace.

Mr Putin described the incident as a "stab in the back" committed by "accomplices of terrorists".

Putin claims the plane was wholly in Syrian airpspace. Erdogan says Russia was looking to bomb its allies, the Turkmen (who are not Turks, actually).

There was no ISIS presence along that border area, but there were Turkmen there, Erdogan said. So anyone who bombs that area attacks "our brothers and sisters -- Turkmen," Erdogan said in Ankara. (Turkmen are a Turkic-speaking, traditionally nomadic people who live primarily in Central Asia, but a small minority of them can be found in the Middle East, primarily in northern Iraq, Iran and Turkey.)

Making this an even greater provocation for the easily-provoked Putin is the shooting of the pilots:

Not to upset anyone, and not to be alarmist, but when Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, no one predicted the chain reactions that would ensue and spark off a world war.

In the video below, the expert says that Russians were not there to bomb ISIS, but rather to support Assad's forces against non-ISIS rebels.

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 01:34 PM Comments

Stephen Colbert's Ratings Tank, Because, Industry Insiders Say, He's an Asshole


No one likes Colbert.

After an initial burst of interest spurred by CBS’s big-bucks saturation advertising campaign for "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,: the show’s ratings have tanked and it is now running third in late night behind NBC’s Jimmy Fallon and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel, who rarely has managed second place before.

The reason? A survey by the Hollywood Reporter found that conservative viewers are turning off Colbert in droves. Nearly twice as many Republicans are watching Kimmel as Colbert, who has turned "Late Show" into a sort of wannabe MSNBC program.


Ratings show that 47 percent of Colbert’s viewers identify as Democrats, 17 percent as Republicans. Kimmel's audience is evenly split -- 33 percent Democrats, 32 percent Republicans, while Fallon’s is nearly so (36 percent Democrats, 31 percent Republicans).

He's also frequently losing to Kimmel "in the demo" of 25-48 year olds, or whatever that range is.

Now, you're probably saying "This is the perfect time for Salon to swoop in and embarrass themselves," and as usual you're right:

Posted by Ace at 01:20 PM Comments

Obama Joint Press Conference With Hollande


He's babbling that we shouldn't show fear, because we've done so before, to our regret.

[Update: Andy] And then this happened ...

Posted by Ace at 12:07 PM Comments

Open Thread


George Inness, "In the Berkshires" (c. 1848)

Posted by rdbrewer at 09:31 AM Comments

Morning Thread (11-24-2015)


So, Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet overnight. This could get ... interesting.

Posted by Andy at 06:38 AM Comments

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Sarcastic treehouse [rdbrewer]

President of Oklahoma college: 'This is Not a Day Care. It’s a University!'
Via @Popehat. "Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a 'safe place', but rather, a place to learn: to learn that life isn’t about you, but about others...." He has some deep insights. Read the whole thing. [rdbrewer]

More treehouses here.
KRGV: Ranchland Owners Speak Out on Death Tolls
You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet, eh @RepGutierrez? So some people die. Encouraging illegals might get you a few more votes. That's the important thing. Via Drudge. [rdbrewer]

Independent: Scientists capture black hole eating a star and then vomiting it back out [rdbrewer]

Cheshire Cat Einstein Ring
Public support for a strong global deal on climate change has declined, according to a poll carried out in 20 countries [rdbrewer]

NOAA’s climate change science fiction
"Atmospheric satellite data, considered by many to be the most objective, has clearly showed no warming for the past two decades. This fact is well documented, but has been embarrassing for an administration determined to push through costly environmental regulations." The NOAA cherry-picks data that confirms their bias. [rdbrewer]
Dan McLaughlin at Red State: The Myth of "4 Million Conservative Voters Stayed Home in 2012". Unpossible! I've been told repeatedly that it was conservatives' fault that Romney lost. [Y-not]
This Giant Rodent Loves Beer
I had no idea capybaras were so large
The Hill: GOP [establishment] in panic over Trump
"'The truth is, Trump has one of the better ground operations in Iowa. Will he turn out every single person who shows up at his rallies? No. But if he turns out a fraction, he will roll over the field.'" [rdbrewer]

Another Jimmy Kimmel video?
So fake. The mom and kid already have the veggie steamers in hand as they walk into the frame from the left--presumably, the store entrance--but the thief comes from the right. Thief takes box from kid even though the floor is littered with them. Mom and kid need three steamers? [rdbrewer]

Gun TV [rdbrewer]

Gulf Muslim states accepting no refugees [rdbrewer]
Jon Gabriel at Ricochet: Choose Gratitude. "In a far meaner age, Cicero said that 'gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.' An attitude of thankfulness is a choice that is free to everyone -- even those plagued with an education at an elite university. While it may be easier in the short term to whine, it makes for a downright miserable life -- not only for oneself, but also for the dwindling number of people who surround the complainer." [Y-not]
Cute video from Independent Journal How To Pardon A Turkey With Three Presidential Candidates. Carson seems a little afraid of old Tom Turkey, but he also had the most natural laugh. [Y-not]

"Yes, I will watch the turkey for you."

The Hunting of George Lawlor
"What is most striking in 'rape culture' discourse is how few students are willing to speak out against this dishonest feminist propaganda campaign that has demonized heterosexual males. Perhaps this is because most students realize that they are not at risk either of becoming victims or of being falsely accused.... George Lawlor took that risk, and feminist hatemongers therefore must make an example of him...." [rdbrewer]

ONN: School Of The Arts Aims To Transform Boys And Girls Into Insufferable Young Men And Women [rdbrewer]

Joel Gerhke: State Department: Iran Deal Is Not ‘Legally Binding’ and Iran Didn’t Sign It
"But here, have a bunch of cash anyway!" -Obama. Just wondering: Can I have a deal like that? I'd take, like, a billion. [rdbrewer]

Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt: New Kasich Web Video: Donald Trump Is Pretty Much a Nazi, Right?
Jeez. "See what you’ve done, Governor Kasich? Now you’ve got me, Trump hater extraordinaire, forced to defend Trump from charges of crypto-Nazism." [rdbrewer]

CBS Los Angeles: Smart Car Seat Senses Driver’s Physical And Mental State
No, that would be a dumb car. Via Drudge. [rdbrewer]

CBS Tampa: Police Bust Weekly Mahjong Game Played By Elderly Women
Exercise a little discretion, guys. Who cares if grandma is playing penny ante mahjong? Good grief. It's the old lady mahjong bandit gang. Get 'em. Word is they have a knitting circle too. Via Monty. [rdbrewer]
Landmark Achievement in Space Travel. Landing the Launch Vehicle! Amazing what real science and private industry can do that billions in public money, AGW fanaticism and "Muslim Outreach" at NASA fails. [krak/t]
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