December 31, 2009
— Pixy Misa Sorry everyone. The hamsters that run the servers got into the liquor cabinet, and the results were not pretty.
— Open Blog
Happy New Year!
And welcome to the last ONT of 2009 all. I'm so glad you all made it here tonight.
I think for most of us 2009 was a pretty sucky year. And of course to cap it off the comments are
down so you'll have to direct your drunken yells over to the old New Site in the top post back up again.
Here's to hoping 2010 is better. more...
— Ace Go here -- at the new not-quite-done site -- to comment if comments don't come up soon.
— DrewM I provide this simply as a public service because last night I had to inform two people that Bruno Kirby died...THREE years ago. Come on people, pay attention!
Be sure to check your death pool and collect your money.
Apparently the comments also died in '09.
Um, stand by.
— Open Blog Yes another top ten list...Whatever. This one really shows the creepy side of the advertising world.Enjoy it ...if you can. (click on the pictures for pop up videos).
— Gabriel Malor I don't have a top anything of the anything post for the day and I'm rather comfortable with a blanket in front of the fire with the Navy-Missouri game on the bigscreen hanging over the fireplace. Also my BFF's girlfriend's dog has fallen asleep on my legs and I'm starting to lose the feeling in my toes. So you're getting this instead.
Click over to the Google homepage and type "why" in the box. It will helpfully provide these suggestions for completing your search string. I fear that they're based on frequency:
Best wishes to you all; see you next year!
— Ace There's a record?
A Sturgis woman had a blood-alcohol level of .708 percent, possibly a state record, when she was found earlier this month behind the wheel of a stolen vehicle parked on Interstate 90, according to Meade County States Attorney Jesse Sondreal.
A South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper discovered Marguerite Engle, 45, on Dec. 1 passed out behind the wheel of a delivery truck reported stolen in Rapid City.
Her blood-alcohol level was almost nine times South Dakotas legal limit of .08 percent.
Checks with local and state labs where blood-alcohol levels are tested suggest Engles reading may be the highest ever recorded in South Dakota, Sondreal said.
Sondreal said a state chemist recalled a sample that tested .53, but nothing higher, in his more than 30 years on the job.
Dr. Robert Looyenga, who recently retired from the Rapid City Police Departments forensic laboratory, told Sondreal that the highest blood-alcohol sample he tested measured .56 percent.
Sondreals research indicates that a blood-alcohol level of .40 is considered a lethal dose for about 50 percent of the population.
Engles was almost double that, Sondreal said.
After she was found, Engle was hospitalized and freed on bond.
She failed to appear in court on Dec. 15, but Sturgis police located her Monday evening in another stolen car sitting in a ditch along S.D. Highway 34 near Fort Meade.
They didn't let her out on bond again.
Note to self: Facebook-friend Marguerite Engle. I think I have a pretty decent chance with her, if you know what I'm saying. (And what I'm saying is hot, dirty coma-sex.)
Um, let me do a PSA here: Take it easy tonight, guys. I'm really pretty much addressing this to myself, but you're welcome to take the advice yourself.
Personally, every time I go out on New Year's, I get drunker than intended and drunker than I wanted to be. It's really dumb. If three or four is enough any other night, it should be enough for tonight, when all we're really doing is celebrating the use of a new calender.
That's like whooping it up just because the new TV Guide is out.
So everyone chill, drink very slowly, alternate drinks with glasses of water (and nurse both), because you probably will end up drinking too much anyway, and it's better to drink as little too much as possible.
Everyone stay safe and stuff. It's going to be a good year, and you should be here for it.
Thanks to Rodney for the tip.
— Ace Waterboard Farouk? Abdullahlullahblullahlullah or whatever?
58% say Yes, please!
30% say "No, we're too busy being all bad-ass and ass-kicking and stuff to actually do anything about these miscreants."
Thanks to AHFF Geoff.
— Ace Okay. If I'm getting this right -- and I think I am -- we should not wet ourselves over the prospect of psychotic murder cultists blowing up our planes as they descend to land over major cities, in order to kill hundreds of additional people on the ground; but we should be afraid of polls that say 2010 will be a difficult environment for Democratic candidates.
— Ace It was no big deal, but I was/am sort of sick. Not seriously sick, just have this weariness and achiness and nappiness for three days now. Minor stuff in nose or throat. It's more like this illness that just demands I lay in bed and nap.
It's not really an excuse, because, at the end of the day, I could have fired out just headlines and some snark. So, I guess the real reason is: I didn't feel like it. Was a bit unwell (not really unwell, just enough to notice) and decided that I should indulge myself like a big, pants-wetting baby all worried about terrorism and stuff.
Plus... whoa, that Christmas holiday this year? Four days off? In a row? I guess I sorta got used to that, too.
Anyway, I'm still under the weather but will try to remember a bit more that I am fortunate enough to have a job, and that I shouldn't just take off whenever I feel like it.
On the other hand, holiday's coming up again, so...
But will be blogging and stuff on the lighter weekend-type schedule, at least until Monday.
— Ace Via Instapundit, this exquisite distillation of the left's Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella defense against terrorism:
Some idiot set firecrackers off on a jet and [we're supposed] to be afraid of that? Al-Q is a joke
And that's from Spence Ackerman, a light of the left (at least of the dimmer variety), not some random Twit-wit.
And it's not just him; another dim light of the left, Matthew Yglesias, is similarly unilaterally lowering his personal Terrorist Threat Condition Chart from "Orange" to "Hakuna Matada:"
Obviously, people shouldnt be lighting anything on fire inside airplanes. That said, all the big Christmas airline incident really shows to me is how little punch our dread terrorist adversaries really pack. Once again, this seems like a pretty unserious plot. And even if you did manage to blow up an airplane in mid-air, that would be both a very serious crime and a great tragedy, but hardly a first-order national security threat....
Ultimately, it does no favors to anyone to blow this sort of thing out of proportion. The United States could not, of course, be devastated by anything resembling this scheme. We ought to be clear on that fact. We want to send the message around the world that this sort of vile attempt to slaughter innocent people is not, at the end of the day, anything resembling a serious challenge to American power. Its attempted murder, its wrong, we should try to stop it, but its really not much more than that.
Emphases added. Although they're barely added. Those sentences pretty much just bold themselves, don't they?
On one hand, he says we should merely treat terrorism as an act of attempted murder. Well -- let's be clear. It's an attempt at mass-murder.
Soo... okay, let's say I treat terrorism as "merely" organized, sophisticated, unending institutionally-sponsored attempts at mass-murder.
I'm sorry-- I'm not clear, what level of alarm am I supposed to have over that? Because you seem to be suggesting I should take a wait-and-see attitude on it. Apparently, by your lights, I'm currently taking this much too seriously.
Though it's nice to see it acknowledged that mass murder is "wrong" and "we should try to stop it." Thanks for that.
This is obvious, but obvious is what I do, so here goes:
The left has four political goals:
1) To reverse the public perception that they are a bunch of sissy-pants (not Sassypants, which is altogether different).
2) To de-emphasize terrorism as a media issue, because terror concerns play well for conservatives. (See Goal 1 and the sissy-pants problem.)
3) To sell the public, politically, on a hateful policy of treating terrorists nicely, because, like, Dostoyevsky said something like "you can judge a nation by the way it treats psychotic murder-cultists intent on killing as many innocent civilians as possible for no other reason except to masturbate in human blood."
4) To actually reduce terrorism, because doing so achieves Goal 1 and Goal 2, and also would be a great selling point for Goal 3. (See?! It makes no sense but it works!)
Before getting any further, let us note the incandescently obvious that Goals 1-3 are Major Goals and Goal 4 is a sort of "Nice but Not Necessary" sort of thing. If they can accomplish Goals 1-3, in terms of politics, they're all set. If they can sell the public on the idea that a little bit of mass-murder never killed anyone (except for the people it actually killed, of course), they can pretty ignore Goal 4.
Goal 4 is an entirely secondary proposition which merely assists in Goals 1-3. If you nail Goals 1-3, you really don't need Goal 4. And you can pretty much tell they know that by their emphasis on the first three, and blowing off altogether the fourth. ("The system worked," you've no doubt heard.)
Now, on to the slightly less obvious stuff. Slightly.
To achieve Goals 1-3, they have settled on a basic, stupid, unserious, unpersuasive, jackass political message: Only little pussy-fairies are afraid of terrorists and terrorism; real tough strong he-men types, like us on the left, laugh at it as a big joke. Don't you want to join the super-tough guys who laugh in the face of mass-murder? (As long as it's mass-murder killing other people, of course.) So join us, and laugh at terror, be one of the Real Tough Guys with the Cocks of Burnished Blued Steel, and just put your silly-ass concerns about terrorism away. Let's focus on what really matters -- universal health care and the fundamental restructuring of the economy into something more socialistic -- and let us not be distracted by the childish antics of some Muslim head-cases who are, after all, just "acting up" in a particularly aggressive fashion.
Oh, and of course: Let us also be so bad-ass and Rambo-licious as to shower terrorists with kindness and good treatment, because, you know, if you're really a super nail-spitting fire-breathing Hard Case like us, you never let a bit of righteous fury interfere with your civility and dedication to social justice.
Endlessly repeated, endlessly repeated. It's all so stupid. But apparently some blogger -- or someone -- struck up on this idea in around 2006 (around then -- that's when I seem to remember it popping up) and the idea caught on like wildfire.
They really think that with a little "re-branding" they can solve their perennial Terrorist Gap problem.
By the way, Douchebags, not every problem in our lives can be fixed by "re-branding;" get this, some problems are actually real-world physical-reality problems and require real-world physical-reality solutions. A cute and counterintuitive marketing campaign is not, in fact, enough to stop terrorism, the same as it's not enough to cure AIDS, and it's not enough to cure cancer, and it's not enough to re-start the economy.
Their fundamental unseriousness on this topic is revealed right out of the gate as all their emphasis is on slogans and memes rather than actually doing something to stop or at least diminish the threat of terrorism.
Sure, guys, if I define a problem as not a problem at all, the problem does, in fact, effectively go away; or, at least, it goes away in the sense I'm no longer acknowledging it as a problem at all. But the fact that I no longer acknowledge it as such does not actually make it not such.
I can take a very blase attitude towards 250 people dying in an Al-Qaeda plane detonation. And yes, that will make those 250 deaths "not a problem" for me, but you know what it won't do? It won't bring those 250 human beings back to life.
This whole idea permeates the Obama Administration, which not only embraced it as a marketing campaign, but as actual, concrete US policy. The first -- engaging in a marketing campaign to soft-pedal terrorism -- is hateful enough (we are talking about human lives here, or does Hope and Change not concern itself with such petty, less-than-grandiose considerations?), but to actually reify such a vile idea into concrete, tangible US policy is unforgivable and anti-life and palpably evil.
Laugh at terrorism? Treat it less-than-seriously? This demonstrates what, exactly? Seems to demonstrate exactly what it's intended to demonstrate: A callousness to the number of preventable murders of United States citizens.
How to analogize? Well, you know, Friends of the Left, a cynical, jaded homicide cop who doesn't take murder all that seriously might be a "cool guy" and might make for an interesting character in a movie -- so jaded and sophisticated is he that he understands that Murder is an essential and unavoidable phenomenon of the human condition -- but you know what? When someone I know is killed I'd rather have the guy with the less-sophisticated attitude towards Murder, the guy who thinks Murder is a rather large trespass, working the case.
He might be a little less cosmpolitan, and a little less familiar with the New York City underground jazz scene, and maybe his apartment will be a big of disaster and not tastefully minimalist-moderne like the other guy's, but you know, I'd rather have someone who takes murder seriously working them murder cases.
Forgive me for my naive, uncouth Red State attitude toward this. I am, as you know, just a stupid, unenlightened tea-bagger. I'm not smart enough to treat Murder as a blow-off. I am not, as you so plainly are, super-smart totally-awesome bad-ass Ultra-Commandos of Cock Force Five.
The pathetic thing is they really think this crap is working. Wade into any comment section favored by the left and you'll see them all repeating this idea. Dislocating their shoulders to pat themselves on the back for their principled, elevated, hard-ass decision to take the mass-murder of their fellow citizens in an light, European que sera sera sort of fashion.
All I can advise them is: Keep it up. Keep pushing this attitude out there, keep trying to sell the American People on the idea that it's the sissy-pants and pants-wetters and nancyboys who actually take this stuff deadly seriously, and meanwhile those who mock concerns about mass murder potentially killing thousands at a clip are really the true zealots of the Cult of the Brave.
Let's both run on the same thing -- that is, after all, how true political decisions are made by the public. When both parties agree exactly that this is what we each represent, where the discussion isn't muddled by one party disguising its beliefs or trying to "hug" the other party's positions or triangulate or so forth.
When both parties run on the exact same message, the public gets the rare opportunity to make an unambiguous choice, untainted by the deliberate muddying of positions both parties so often engage in.
So let's do this. Let us both of us agree that I and my fellows take terrorism seriously, and you think we're scaredy-cats for doing so, and that you do not take terrorism all that seriously, and it is your belief -- your honest, true, serious belief -- that it makes you Courageous for treating mass murder with a puckish insouciance.
And let's go out there, and let's beat this unified message to death, and let's see what happens. Let's go to market selling our wares with the same basic message and see who tallies up the most sales.
— Purple Avenger There is nothing new under the sun. Just huge pile of old shit we haven't discovered yet.
...Three Penn State researchers have shown that certain combinations of elemental atoms have electronic signatures that mimic the electronic signatures of other elements...They go on to say that it might be able to replace Platinum with much cheaper Tungsten Carbide as a catalyst. This is pretty interesting. I'm virtually certain now that I've made these things in the lab and never realized it. It would explain a lot of unexpected results we've gotten.
...Superatoms are clusters of atoms that exhibit some property of elemental atoms. Former work in Castleman's lab has involved investigating the notion of superatoms. One of his previous experiments showed that a cluster of 13 aluminum atoms behaves like a single iodine atom. Adding a single electron to this aluminum-atom system results in the cluster behaving like a rare-gas atom...
— DrewM It's snowing where I am so....starting a fire in the fireplace and settling in for a Band of Brothers DVD marathon. Out of respect, I'll let the fire die before Bastogne and The Breaking Point (if I get that far).
I wish the DVD extras were a little better with the series but that's a minute quibble when you consider how great the series is.
Interesting note...Band of Brothers premiered on HBO the night of September 9th...2001. Certainly a timely reminder just as we were about to need to call on the dedication and sacrifice of another generation of heroes.
What do you guys have going on today and tomorrow? FTR- I don't really care, I'm just trying to start the thread off.
Oh yeah....Happy New Year to all you wonderful degenerate morons!
— DrewM First, Vlady on terrorists...cut their balls off.
Unfortunately, this is related to another story. Putin is rolling Obama in nuclear talks.
Earlier this year Obama and Medvedev agreed that missile defense wouldn't be linked to the attempt to reach a new nuclear weapons reduction treaty. Suddenly Putin the puppet master has come out from behind the curtain and says the two will have to be linked.
Josh Rogin writing at The Cable (Foreign Policy's blog) says it could be the result of a split between Medvedev and Putin or a game the two are playing against Obama.
So what can the administration do? (Atlantic Council Fellow Alexandros) Petersen recalls a similar incident when Ronald Reagan was negotiating the original START agreement with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik. Gorby demanded that START be linked to U.S. missile defense and Reagan said it was not negotiable and walked out of the room.
"The result of Reagan taking a hard line was that it wasn't linked from the beginning," said Petersen.
More broadly, the question is: What do the current problems with the START process say about Obama's pledge to reset relations with Russia? Perhaps that Russia is looking at the long term and isn't confident that Obama's overtures will be continued by successive administrations.
"They view Obama as somewhat of an anomaly in U.S. foreign policy, and START is for decades," Petersen said.
For the U.S. side, this might also change the calculation about giving Russia concessions before a negotiation is near completion.
"You give them a finger and they take an arm," said Petersen. "With this statement [from Putin], the debate has shifted completely."
The problem is Obama would be happy to dump missile defense for free let alone in exchange for some sort of concession from the Russians. The idea that Obama either by policy preference or personal temperament is going to be anything like Reagan when it comes to the Russians (or anything) is simply laughable.
Whether it be with Islamic terrorists or Obama, Vladdy is playing for keeps and Obama is still operating from that classic foreign policy text, Winnie The Pooh.
Courtesy of the man, the myth, the legend...Slublog.
I don't think this ends well for us.
— Gabriel Malor Happy last day of the year, folks. Happy last day of the decade, too.
December 30, 2009
— Dave in Texas Serious condition. He was vacationing in Hawaii, report says paramedics responded to a call at 2:41pm local time, which would have been, 3 hours ago Central I think.
He'll Probably Be Fine [ace]: I don't know anything about this, obviously, but anyone with heart pains is going to be in "serious condition," so while heart pains are a danger signal, to be sure, it's probably not the case that he's in grave danger of dying.
The fact they caught this early, and got him to the hospital, is a good sign. A heart attack tends to kill by surprise.
[Dave]: yeah, anyone taken to a hospital with chest pains is going to be listed as "serious". We kinda want them to treat it that way, here in the Pre-Obamacare" health care days.
Morning Update [Dave]: Resting comfortably, according to his website. Meanwhile the lefty blog swamp is full of heartache since he didn't DIAF.
There are a lot of people I don't like. I can manage to not like them without wishing them a painful death. It's not all that difficult, believe me, I'm not overloaded with classy or nothin. Just a smidge.
A Thought [Slublog] - This has been mentioned in the comments, and has been forwarded quite a few times on Twitter:
"The people calling for Rush Limbaugh to die are the same people who ask to control your healthcare."Quite a few of the comments on the #Rush hashtag are toxic. It's amazing to me how people can hate someone they've never met so vehemently simply because he communicates ideas with which they disagree.
Nurturing such hatred has got to be corrosive for the soul.
— Open Blog Good evening morons.
Russians Going To Blow Up Asteroid?
Okay the asteroid, Apophis, supposedly has only a 1-in-45,000 chance of hitting Earth. But that's too close for comfort for the Russians so they're planning a mission to steer it away from us. The US is not sure this is a good idea. All the Russians promise is that it 'won't involve nuclear explosions' and that they 'will obey the laws of physics'.
I'm in favor of blasting it since it's good practice for when we really need to blow up an asteroid and I just love exploding things. I just hope they have NASA check their calculations. more...
— Dave in Texas Heh.
COLUMBIA, S.C. -Republican attorneys general in 13 states say congressional leaders must remove Nebraska's political deal from the federal health care reform bill or face legal action, according to a letter provided to The Associated Press Wednesday.
"We believe this provision is constitutionally flawed," South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster and the 12 other attorneys general wrote in the letter to be sent Wednesday night to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Who really don't give a rat's ass what 13 Republican attorneys general think or threaten to do, with a (frankly) mildly worded "saber-rattle".
That is not the point. This is the point.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., said the letter was a political ploy.
"This threat stinks of partisan politics," he said in a statement. "If Henry McMaster wants to write federal law he should run for Congress not governor."
Well duh congressman, that's because it is a political ploy. And we need more of them.
As has been reported, public support for the Comprehensive Piece of Shit continues to crater, not grow. People are pissed off at Democrats.
It is the obligation, and responsibility of the opposition to keep the amps turned up to eleven. So keep painting Ben "Let's Make a Deal" Nelson with the health care stinkbrush while he airs his crappy "I loves this Bill" ads in the face of his political demise. Republicans should continue to hang it around the necks of every damned Democrat that supported it. Because it is a loser and it has people madder than all hell.
Even people who aren't all that politically motivated.
More. Faster please. Thank you.
— DrewM Not military personnel but CIA operatives.
The bomber managed to slip past security at Forward Operating Base Chapman in the eastern province of Khost before detonating an explosive belt in what one U.S. official described as a room used as a fitness center. The blast also wounded eight people, several of them seriously, U.S. government officials said.
It was not immediately clear how the assailant was able to infiltrate the U.S.-run post, which serves as an operations and surveillance center for the CIA near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. U.S. sources confirmed that all the dead and injured were civilians, adding that most of them were probably CIA employees or contractors. At least one Afghan civilian was also killed, the sources said.
...The CIA has been quietly bolstering its ranks in Afghanistan in recent weeks, mirroring the surge of military troops in the country. Agency officers coordinated the initial U.S.-led attack on Afghanistan in 2001 and have since provided hundreds of spies, paramilitary operatives and analysts in the region for roles ranging from counterterrorism to counter-narcotics. The agency also operates the remote-control aircraft used in aerial strikes on suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters in the lawless tribal provinces on the Pakistani side of the border.
First the underwear bomber gets through and now this. A very bad time for the CIA.
— DrewM So, that's nice.
The U.S. Treasury said today it will inject another $3.8 billion into troubled lender GMAC, part of a deal that will boost the federal governments stake to 56% and attempt to staunch the companys losses from bad mortgages.
All of the money injected by the Treasury will essentially go to shoring up GMACs ResCap unit, the arm best known for ditech.com and other housing-boom related mortgage offers that crashed as housing prices withered over the past couple of years. GMAC said the move, along with a $3.3 billion write-down in mortgages at ResCap and Ally Bank, should allow it to explore a sale or other action for ResCap.
"By protecting the financial performance and strength of our core automotive finance operations, we expect to increase the pace at which we can fully repay the U.S. taxpayer, said GMAC Chief Executive Officer Michael A. Carpenter.
The money comes on top of $12.5 billion that the U.S. Treasury had previously invested in GMAC to keep it afloat as the lender of choice for car buyers and dealers at General Motors and Chrysler.
The new 'loans' make the US Government the majority share holder in this zombie company.
GMAC will become the sixth company the U.S. has taken control of in the past two years.
Public-private mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, auto manufacturers General Motors and Chrysler and the largest commercial insurer in the U.S., American International Group.
Isn't that just wonderful?
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