November 28, 2014
— rdbrewer The "Blog" of Unnecessary Quotation Marks
— JohnE. Geek-enjoy or nerd-hate it below. more...
November 27, 2014
And here are the results of a poll by Gizmodo:
8 ) Kansas City International Airport
7) Dulles International Airport
6) Philadelphia International Airport
5) Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
4) Newark Liberty International Airport
3) O'Hare International Airport
2) Los Angeles International Airport
1) LaGuardia Airport
Well I've always found Newark and O'Hare to be big and kinda boring but at least not too decrepit. But Dulles feels like random buildings just hooked together by utility tunnels and LAX reminds me of an East Bloc airport built for the 1980 Olympics and barely maintained since then.
After the first 750 calories or so, your body begins to store a larger percentage of food as fat. A 2000 study found that the average adult gains a pound during each holiday season and usually never loses it.
So you have that going for you.more...
— Dave in Texas Did I let out an notch on my belt? Wouldn't you like to know? Well ok maybe not.
Cowgirls and Bears stunk it up today. Seattle and San Fran coming up.
Hate them both.
— Dave in Texas Philadelphia at Dallas, open thread below for all the open things.
The fat man weighs in (SWIDT):
— Open Blogger
How About A Little Cthurkey?
Reich-wing fascist tea-bagger George Washington is spewing dangerous religious propaganda:
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and - Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness":
Has he never heard of the separation of church and state? This is nothing but hate speech.
But wait, it gets worse:
— Dave in Texas First up Detroit and Chicago.
Not your best travel destinations or connections today I hear.
Happy Thanksgiving Morons. Oh, Cleveland not so good either. At least they're not Detroit. They're not Detroit! more...
— Open Blogger
— Open Blogger Happy Thanksgiving, my hordelings.
I have much to be thankful for. It is little baby Krak/t's first Thanksgiving, and each of her firsts bring so much of a sense of renewal to everything we experience as a family.
We were invited to Grandpa's house for this day, and there is lovely snow, and the promise of lots of company.
I have been conscripted into duty to cook the bird, and while I like to think it is because I am a good cook, but it may just be because I'm the only one who gets up this early.
Either way, I get all the tasty test bits as the bird cooks, and for that, I am very thankful indeed.
Finally, I am thankful to Ace for having provided this site we all take so much pleasure in.
If you are planning on any Amazon shopping today and throughout the weekend, help show your thanks by following his Amazon store link to start your search from.
November 26, 2014
Dozens of UCSD students brought traffic to a halt on northbound Interstate 5 Wednesday morning to protest the decision of a grand jury in Ferguson, Mo., not to indict a white policeman for killing an unarmed black teenager.
A crowd of an estimated 50 to 70 protesters marched onto the freeway at Nobel Drive at about 6:49 a.m., blocking the northbound lanes. They remained in the roadway for about 40 minutes until San Diego police arrived and removed them.
The protesters left the freeway peacefully and began marching on surface streets. There were no immediate reports of arrests.
I'll say it right now: This is such an egregious and deliberate provocation and harassment of innocent people that I will not convict anyone who assaults or even kills these kind of protesters.
Just come up with some kind of semi-plausible BS about not seeing them due to reflections of Venus trapped in swamp gas that got into your eye and you'll walk free. People get shot for less every single day. Note that this can be avoided if the police will come down hard on freeway blockers but since they won't, it'll have to be discouraged in a different, harsher way.
"Listen, you know -- here. Can I just say this, all right? I've listened to you. I heard you. I heard you. I heard you. All right? Now I have been respectful, I let you holler. All right? So let me just -- nobody is removing you. I have heard you, but you have got to listen to me, too. All right? And I understand you may disagree, I understand you may disagree. But we have got to be able to talk honestly about these issues, all right?
"Now, you're absolutely right that there have been significant numbers of deportations. That's true. But what you are not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law."
But truth must bow down before the revolutionary narrative.
The forensic evidence collected at the scene includes blood droplet spatter that suggests Michael Brown did in fact turn and then advance upon Officer Wilson.more...
Evidence collected inside the car, on Wilson's gun, from his uniform, and from Michael Brown's body in three separate autopsies are consistent with the claim that Brown was shot in the hand in the struggle over the weapon.
Multiple eyewitnesses confirmed the physical evidence that Michael Brown was advancing upon Officer Wilson when he was shot and killed.While there may not be such thing as a "textbook" shooting, every single shot fired by Officer Wilson, from the first attempt inside the Tahoe until the final shot into the apex of a charging Brown's head, was entirely justified as a matter of self-defense.
— Ace It's called, Fuck You, America: This Is What You Get.
And we deserve it, too.
Yeah I know we all love Chris Pratt but seriously. more...
— Ace Hollywood doesn't really make good movies anymore, so here are some Meh ones that are decent wastes of your time.
So if you need stuff to watch this Thanksgiving holiday weekend:
Hansel & Gretl: Witch-Hunters. Just pretty much fun from the opening. Good "Troll" make up (or CGI). I honestly just flat-out enjoyed this movie.
Oh by the way: This movie is ridiculously violent. Ridiculously.
It doesn't just have one head being squashed/exploded by powerful force (a troll's fist, a horse's hoof). It has at least two and maybe three.
Non-Stop. Cranky conservatives may whine about the solution to the mystery, but I'd object back that It's just a movie and a movie has to do something different, right?
Well the solution is dumb and really makes no sense if you think about it, but that doesn't detract from the fact that it's fun, tense, involving thriller, and they don't really make thrillers anymore, so.
Another movie I just liked.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The concept looks awful, the trailers looked like unfunny CGI-overload nonsense, and it seems kind of shitty to use the "Walter Mitty" title to sell a movie that has almost nothing at all to do with Walter Mitty.
But it turns out the movie is reasonably good. Maybe you just have to be in the mood for it. It's one of those Follow Your Dream movies, but it's especially strident about it.
But I got into it.
On the "Walter Mitty" title -- It feels like a script was written that had nothing to do with Walter Mitty at all, except for the basic idea of a daydreamer hero, but the studio decided "Wow we'd have so much more MindSpace if we had the Walter Mitty title, so let's buy the title and slap it on this unrelated movie."
Now even though that's what I think happened here, I'd point out that the unrelated screenplay is still worth shooting a movie from, and if they had to buy the Walter Mitty title to get financing (based on all that additional "MindSpace"), well, who cares.
Understand going in that this movie has nothing to do with Walter Mitty, except for the title, and except for the hero's name. Not even the better dream sequences are used for the movie.
Still, Walter Mitty is unfilmable as a movie so what did you expect? (No character arc, no actual plot movement. It's just the same joke 4 or 5 times, and then "The End.")
And also, if they felt like they needed that Walter Mitty brand name to sell an unrelated, but still worthy, script, eh, who cares. This is Jon Gruber's America, after all. Such minor deceptions aren't worth getting upset about.
The movie can't really decide if it's your typical Zoolander crazy-silliness Ben Stiller movie or a more heartfelt Follow Your Dream adventure, but it still works, mostly.
Basically a travelogue movie with some settings I wasn't expecting and didn't realize would be fun to look at (Greenland, Iceland, and Afghanistan).
Guardians of the Galaxy. Professional enough, and determined to please you like a puppy. Like a puppy, it's kind of dumb and only has three modes (Eat, Poop, and Slobber), but it's okay.
Not really anything like "The modern-day Star Wars" or anything like that. It's just not serious enough to sell you on the idea that this is what Space looks like. Some nonsense is so cheesy that it seems more Flash Gordon (and I mean the 70s movie version) than Star Wars.
The characters are kind of broad and silly... like Muppets. So it's Muppets in Space, but more violent.
Nothing really wrong with it, and I'd definitely rent it. I just don't want anyone's expectation levels to be set anywhere close to high, though. It's just a dumb, silly special effects movie that doesn't offend. Okay, but don't expect something inspired.
Live. Die. Repeat: The Edge of Tomorrow: People are mentioning this Tom Cruise sci-fi movie favorably in the comments. I reviewed it a while back, also very favorably.
— Ace From Joe Limey.
In the great progressive spirit, here are a few tips on how to talk to -- and morally improve -- your family this Thanksgiving:
1. Your crazy uncle complains in passing that the construction on Redlands Avenue is limiting the flow of traffic to his hardware store, and wonders if the job could be completed more quickly.
This must not be allowed to stand. Ask your uncle if he's an anarchist and if he has heard of Somalia. If you missed Politics 101 at Oberlin, refer to the Fact Cards that you have printed out from Vox.com and explain patiently that the government is the one thing that we all belong to and that the worry that it is "too big" or "too centralized" or "too slow to achieve basic tasks" has a long association with neo-Confederate causes.
Meanwhile there's this:
Which called to mind this article on progressive bullshit I've been wanting to link for two weeks.
"Bullshit" is American English's assertion, maximally succinct and vigorous, that a contention is factually preposterous or logically absurd. According to philosophy professor Harry Frankfurt, however, the "essence of bullshit is not that it is false but that it is phony." His slender volume devoted to the subject, On Bullshit, invites us to think of a Fourth of July orator "who goes on bombastically about 'our great and blessed country, whose Founding Fathers under divine guidance created a new beginning for mankind.'" The speakers point is not "to deceive anyone concerning American history." Rather,
what he cares about is what people think of him. He wants them to think of him as a patriot, as someone who has deep thoughts and feelings about the origins and the mission of our country, who appreciates the importance of religion, who is sensitive to our history, whose pride in that history is combined with humility before God, and so on.
It's difficult to banish the glum suspicion that life in the 21st century, for all its economic and technological benefits, necessitates putting up with much more bullshit than our ancestors had to.
What I can't stand is the endless posturing -- it's not that Ezra Klein's statement that this is an "excellent" cover is false, per se. I don't really care one way or the other if it's "excellent."
Though it's not precisely original, if we're going to debate its purported excellence:
No, the problem is that the statement does not invite us to decide whether it is true or false. The truth or falsity of the statement itself is not the point.
The statement in fact is a hollowed-out shell inside which is smuggled the real statement:
That Ezra Klein is bien pensant given to Thinking Serious Thoughts About Race and Such.
That is what drives me crazy about modern discourse. So little of it is actually designed to advance a proposition. So much of it is designed to advance The Speaker.
Modern speech is insanely "performative." Modern speech is marked not by its focus on the statement itself but on the act of making the statement, and how that act (allegedly) credits the speaker.
This shit must be called out until it stops.
We live in a Narcissistic Age. This era's defining vice is Vanity.
And we cannot allow these narcissistic headcases to get away with disguising constant self-flattery as alleged "political" speech about ideas external to them.
— Ace I thought the Schumer statement -- in which he criticized Obama for pushing Obamacare in 2010, instead of addressing the needs of the And The Middle Class -- was important.
But now I think it's just so much positioning. With Elizabeth Warren now endorsing his statement (!!!), it seems obvious to me that this does not represent a true schism in the Democrat Party, but rather a way to snooker the voters again, to Gruber them anew.
The public has turned against government "solutions," starting with its longheld opposition to Obamacare. And Obama is more personally unpopular than ever.
As John Ekdahl is always saying, at some point the 2016 elections will require Democrats to separate themselves from Obama, at least rhetorically, if not in reality.
Thus Charles Schumer's attempt at what he thinks is a cagey fillip -- he will not actually come out against Obamacare, but attempt to channel the frustration of the voters ("They spent all their time trying to pass this bill which only helps 5% of the population, instead of us, the bruised and battered And The Middle Class") without actually giving an inch on Obamacare.
They did the same thing with Clinton during Impeachment, of course. They would not vote for impeachment (just as they will not vote to repeal Obamacare or alleviate the punishing effects on the And The Middle Class) but they came up with a series of rhetorical posturings -- Clinton's behavior is "simply indefensible," for example -- intended to mimic the public's emotional response to the scandal without actually giving an inch on it in policy terms.
So now Charles Schumer, and Elizabeth Warren (!!!), are complaining that Obama spent too much time and capital and money addressing the concerns of the lower classes without sufficiently addressing the needs of the And The Middle Class.
But will they attempt to actually unburden the And The Middle Class by ending Obamacare's punishing wealth-redistributing taxes on the And The Middle Class?
Of course not.
But Schumer (and Warren, and Hillary too) hope that the And The Middle Class is enough of a cheap date to just accept some emotional grousing, rather than demanding specific action to alleviate their burdens.
— Ace Religious fervor on Thanksgiving?! How appropriate!
Think Progress has a guide on "how to argue with your Evangelical uncle" about marriage equality. Vox is advising you on Bill Cosby, Ferguson, and immigration (you're for it as much as possible, of course).
Last year, some of Michael Bloomberg's dollars trickled down to someone who gave you talking points on gun control. Chris Hayes is once again dedicating an hour of his MSNBC show to the cause.
Less combatively, Conor Friedersdorf advises you to adopt his brand of nodding empathy: "Before you focus on any point of disagreement, ask questions of your interlocutor to figure out why they think the way they do about the subject at hand."
These advice columns are becoming a genre unto themselves. The stock villain: crazy right-wing uncle, the jokes about stuffing. But I recognize them by what they unwittingly emulate: guides for religious evangelism. The gentle, righteous self-regard, the slightly orthogonal response guides, the implied urgency to cure your loved ones of their ignorance. Your raging uncle will know the truth, and the truth will set him free.
That's a problem. Our politics are taking on a religious shape. Increasingly we allow politics to form our moral identity and self-conception. We surround ourselves with an invisible community of the "elect" who share our convictions, and convince ourselves that even our closest and beloved relatives are not only wrong, but enemies of goodness itself. And so one of the best, least religious holidays in the calendar becomes a chance to deliver your uncle up as a sinner in the hands of an angry niece.
One thing that interests me about these Bluffers' Guides to Politics:
Supposedly progressives are super-informed and Love Science. Indeed, that's the main "political" argument they're actually arguing for.
So why is it so many of them seem to need these bluffer's guides to explain to them why they believe the things they believe?
It doesn't really make sense, does it? They're anxious because they're going to a Thanksgiving dinner where they won't have an Automatic Affirmation Clap Circle applauding their poses and posturings, but instead might be asked things like "Where are you getting that claim from?"
And this produces in them a terrible anxiety -- an anxiety disclosed by all these articles in their first paragraphs, which note the anxiety and fear before proposing a way to combat it.
But if they believe all these things so terribly fiercely, shouldn't they already sorta know why they believe them?
It's incredible, when you think about it -- they go through the whole year believing in their progressive catechisms zealously but only bother to ask Why do we believe this progressive religious nonsense again? one single day of the year, the one single day of the year where they fear they might be questioned about their religious beliefs.
Pissarro, "Sunset" (1872)
— Open Blogger
- Brand Unawareness
- Obama The Troll
- It's Never Enough For The Left
- Voters Overwhelmingly Oppose Obama's Amnesty
- Dear Media, How Not To Screw Up The Next Ferguson
- Illegal Immigrants Could Receive Social Security, Medicare Under Obama Action
- House Report Says CIA Monitored Arms Shipments To Syria
- Why Did President Obama Appoint Chuck Hagel In The First Place
- Michael Brown Protestors Blocking Ambulances In Boston
- More Evidence That The Left Wants To Get Into Your Bedroom
- Blue Dress Optional
- Dear Conservatives, Enough With The 'Stars'
- More How To Ruin Your Family's Thanksgiving Advice From The Left
- All That's Old Is New Again
— andy Nice work by @GerryDales on sourcing these "spontaneous" protests.
As you'd expect, it's the same old group of anarchists, Marxists, etc. that are behind anti-war protests (expiration date, Jan. 20, 2009), WTO, Occupy, etc., etc. Mike Brown? Never heard of him.
My thoughts on the protesters:
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