April 27, 2014
— Open Blogger Can you tell the story of the 9/11 attacks without frequent mention of the words Islamist and jihad?
To anyone even remotely familiar with the history of the war being waged on the United States and the West by al-Qaeda, such a suggestion is as absurd as it is unthinkable. The 9/11 terrorists were part of a movement that embarked on a campaign aimed at mass murder because of their religious beliefs. Those beliefs are not shared by all Muslims, but to edit them out of the story or to portray them as either incidental to the attacks or an inconvenient detail that must be minimized, if it is to be mentioned at all, does a disservice to the truth as well as to the public-policy aspects of 9/11 memorials.
— Open Blogger
We Politely Request That All Off-Topic or Political Comments Be Directed to the Thread Directly Below This One.
Alcohol (ethanol for our purposes) loves being around water molecules more than it loves being around other alcohol molecules, and that is a very good thing. more...
May 03, 2014
— Open Blogger Greetings, travelers! Welcome to your weekend travel thread. Today's topic is how to get the most bang for your buck and is brought to you by the "budget traveler":
April 27, 2014
— Open Blogger Be sure to check out Andy's gun post later today.
Also, be sure to check out this awesome new shirt from Magpul.
— Open Blogger
Good morning morons and moronettes and welcome to AoSHQ's prestigious Sunday Morning Book Thread.
I Wish I Had Heard About This Before I Did The Easter Thread
As far as the ebb and flow of the culture wars are going, us good guys have lately been taking it in the shorts. It's hard not to get depressed.
That's why it's encouraging to read something like this:
Muslim background believers are leading Muslims to Christ in staggering numbers, but not in the West. They are doing this primarily in Muslim-majority nations almost completely under the radarof everyone. In the new book, A Wind in the House of Islam: How God is Drawing Muslims Around the World to Faith in Jesus Christ, [author David] Garrison takes the reader on his journey through what he describes as the nine rooms in the Muslim-majority world: Indo-Malaysia, East Africa, North Africa, Eastern South Asia, Western South Asia, Persia, Turkestan, West Africa, and the Arab world. Muslims in each of those regions have created indigenous, voluntary movements to Christ.
I can only hope this is true and not just wishful thinking. We're the big dogs on the planet right now, and even though we've used our tremendous military power to kill lots of terrorists, they just make more terrorists. Bombs and bullets may have their place, but the ultimate solution for jihadist terrorism is the gospel of Jesus Christ. So I get jazzed when I hear reports of Muslim converts to Christianity, and I hope it's a trend that continues and grows.
Unfortunately, there seems to be no electronic version of Garrison's book, but you can get a paperback copy from his website.
I've Always Wished I Could Do This
If you go to Amazon.com, you will get the Amazon store. If you click on Amazon.uk, you will get the British equivalent. Ditto for Amazon.de, which is German. But if you try to go to Amazon.se expecting to find the Amazon Swedish store, you'll be disappointed.
The current owner of the domain, a fifty-seven-year-old small businesswoman, wont sell it, despite reports of repeated attempts from the retail giant to purchase it.
She's accused of being a squatter who wants to drive up the purchase price before selling, but that's not true:
The domain, purchased in 1997 by a Stockholm-based advertising agency called Amazon AB, doesnt actually lead to a website, but rather to a landing page that simply states it is under construction.
Reminds me of a case I heard about from the early days of Burger King's national expansion, where they ran into another burger joint called 'Burger King' in Mattoon, Illinois. The resulting federal lawsuit resulted in the national BK being barred from setting up one of their franchises within a 20 mile radius of the local BK. more...
April 26, 2014
— CDR M
May 03, 2014
— Open Blogger Saw this in the back yard....
April 26, 2014
— Open Blogger Welcome to the first in what I hope will become a series of the 'Movie Night With The Morons' posts. It's Spring, and the days are long, so we'll see how it goes for attendance. We'll poll the group for future feature selections.
About Gregory Gadson:
Colonel Gregory D. Gadson (born 1966) is an active duty Colonel in the United States Army and the current Garrison Commander of the U.S. Army Fort Belvoir . He is also a bilateral above-the-knee amputee, occasional actor, and motivational speaker. He served in the U.S. Army for more than 20 years as a field artillery officer and served on active duty for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Joint Forge, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Gadson played football for West Point between 1985 and 1988, wearing the number 98 jersey and serving as co-captain. He was present when the New York Giants beat the Washington Redskins at FedExField in 2007 at the invitation of West Point classmate Mike Sullivan, who was then on the coaching staff of the New York Giants. This win was the beginning of a 10-game winning streak and came after Gadson had made an inspirational speech to the team. The streak culminated in the Giants winning Super Bowl XLII. and in recognition for his contribution, Gadson received a specially minted Super Bowl ring.
Gadson graduated from West Point in 1989 and holds Masters Degrees in Information Systems and Policy Management from Webster University. He is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and the Advanced Field Artillery Officers Course and in 2010, he became an Army War College Fellow at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C.
Did I mention Brooklyn Decker?
April 27, 2014
— Open Blogger Today's open thread for all non-book related discussion is brought to you by Alberto Ginastera: more...
April 26, 2014
— Open Blogger It's only a few short months away but feels like an eternity. Fortunately, talk of the draft and of schedules keeps football from disappearing altogether in the off-season.
The 2014 season will kick off Thursday, September 4th, with Green Bay playing at Seattle. The rest of the schedule can be found here.
Here's the statement from Northwestern following the vote:
We deeply appreciate each and every one of the young men who came out today and allowed their voices to be heard. They represent what we are all about at Northwestern: intelligent, thoughtful, involved students and leaders who make up their own minds on important matters.
We have been at the center of a national discussion about student-athlete welfare that has allowed us to show how much we care about our young men and women and their education. During the most recent academic quarter, all 19 of our varsity programs achieved a GPA above 3.0 and a cumulative GPA of 3.22. Our football student-athletes lead the country with their 97 percent graduation rate.
Moving forward, our football team is concentrating on finishing the academic year with a strong performance in the spring quarter as well as preparing for next season, just as they do every year at this time.
This discussion has put us in the national spotlight. Northwestern strongly believes in the issues that have been raised, and the University has been a leader in several of these areas, including awarding four-year scholarships and providing extended medical benefits.
Our efforts as a University will continue to focus on providing a world-class experience for our 492 student-athletes, as well as working collaboratively to address the broader issues throughout intercollegiate athletics.
Were looking forward to leading new conversations that involve not just one football team but the hundreds of thousands of student-athletes across the country who participate in collegiate athletics.
— Open Blogger And an Open Thread to discuss the burning issues of the day. Or Giada's tomatoes, which would go rather well on this pizza cake.
Oops. This hat tip goes to Anna Puma
— Open Blogger "Can, say, a Republican write a defense of the minimum wage that a reader of the Daily Kos would accept, or will it just come out sounding like a straw man? " more...
— Open Blogger Welcome to the Saturday car thread.
Buckle up and hide your open containers.
The UAW is still making noise. Despite the NLRB's surprising certification of the vote in Chattanooga and despite the UAW pulling back to rethink their strategy, they just won't go away. If they were looking to set precedent by disallowing for interaction between labor and all other parties, casting them out on to an island by themselves, free from all influence (other than that of the UAW, of course) then they have failed. And, thank God for that. but, But, BUT! It's all for the workers! Isolation is good for them, right?
Now, they aim to rake Governor Haslam over the coals for reneging (suspending) on an offer of $300M in incentives to VW, allegedly due to their cooperation with the UAW vote. This approach means that they can continue with the muckraking but won't be left holding the hot potato should VW decide to build their SUV in Mexico.
You can follow the UAW
drama whining on twitter or, alternately, just look below for a snapshot of their current activities.
— Open Blogger Good morning, gardeners!
This thread brought to you by, Giada's tomatoes:
— Open Blogger This goes back to the 1970s. Remember the 70s? Impeccable fashion, timeless music and fantastic American motor cars. OK, fine, none of that is true. Still, at one point in the 70s, highly respected Canadian journalist Gordon Sinclair felt inspired to write about us, his slightly wayward American brothers. We were going through a tough time then. Our tough times now make that look like a walk in the park, but still... We're going to get out of this, LIVs, and the FSA not withstanding. That's what we do, we're Americans. It's hard these days to hold on to that belief, but we absolutely HAVE to do it. Hang tough patriots, our time will come. We just have to hope and pray that it comes from our conviction and fortitude, and not out guns.
— andy Now off to see acres and acres of guns in Indy ...
April 25, 2014
— Ace "F*** the EU," top State official Victoria Nuland said on a phone call.
This phone call had been covertly recorded by Russia and was then leaked to the press, which should have been a signal that Russia, at least, was taking this more seriously than Obama's team was.
The F-bomb is deployed because Nulands frustrated that the EU isnt doing more to pressure Viktor Yanukovych, the Putin-backed Ukrainian president whose recent deal with Moscow instigated the last few months of protests.
Why wasn't the EU doing "more" to pressure Yanukovych, Putin's choice for President?
Here's the thing: Because the EU was thinking hard about the Ukraine and realistically about itself.
The EU didn't want to force Yanukovych out of power, nor encourage the Maidan movement to force him out of power, because they knew that Russia would react as Russia has in fact reacted.
And the EU knew this about themselves: They were not prepared to do a damn thing about a Russian invasion.
So the EU made a cynical, self-serving decision to not encourage or support the Maidan movement, because they knew they would not be doing anything down the road to support the Maidan movement when the movement actually needed support.
This was an unpopular decision, and it makes them seem cowardly and weak... but ti did have the benefit of comporting with reality.
The EU was clear-minded enough and had an honest enough appraisal of its interests and capabilities to make the honest, accurate assessment that they would do nothing in Putin but offer him diplomatic protests were he to invade Ukraine.
And the EU crafted its own policy response based on that accurate, honest appraisal of its own weakness and cowardice.
You can call them cowards, but you cannot call them self-deluded fools.
At least they understood themselves.
And what has the US done, by contrast?
We encouraged the Maidan protestors to hit the gas pedal on their revolution, but as Russia has done all the things that only a child could fail to predict that Russia would do, we have been surprised at every turn by the inevitable.
Now this got Obama some good press in February, back when supporting Maidan seemed like the right move for American Social Media Foreign Policy, and was, at that moment, a cost-free gesture.
But now the check is coming due, and what do we do to support the revolution we encouraged?
We offer Tweets.
The EU knew that they too would only offer Strongly Worded Tweets, should Ukraine depose Yanukuvich and Russia in turn invade Urkaine. Which is why they attempted to discourage Ukraine from doing that.
The American President, on the other hand, urged Ukraine to do just that, without telling them that should Russia begin shooting bullets into Ukrainians, the Ukranians could expect America to respond with Precision-Guided Tweets.
Obama has long had this sense of delusion about himself, that he is so inherently good and pure and charismatic that his simple words will move oceans, like the words of God Himself.
I can only imagine he did this because the thought, in the end, his Precious Red-Letter Words would be enough to fix another disaster he'd caused.
One last point:
If Obama were serious about any of this, he'd at least offer a Presidential Address to the Nation warning Russia away.
Why? Aren't those "just words" as well?
Yes, but the trick of the Presidential address is that it's an escalation. When a President speaks to the nation, he puts his own credibility and his own political fortunes on the line.
If he fails to act in the face of aggression after that, he suffers politically.
Thus, the point of the exercise is to put one's counter-party on notice that one has invested a policy with his own personal limited cache of authority, and hence will be much more likely to back that policy up with something more than well-crafted #hashtags.
But of course Obama isn't doing that. Instead, he has a relatively low-level bureaucrat out there #TweetingForFreedom.
And I'm not sure I blame him for that.
I don't want to go to war with Russia, either.
But I do wish that perhaps Obama could have managed the reasonable, realistic assessment of his actual level of capability and willingness to employ force that the EU managed.
And unfortunately, I think the Ukrainians will soon be wishing that as well.
I Just Got an Email from Winston Churchill... who, surprisingly, approves of Obama's foreign policy.
Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of rising Russia and all the odious apparatus of the KGB state, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight on FaceBook, we shall fight on Instagram and Pinterest, we shall fight and, with growing follower lists and growing Likes, we shall defend our #hashtag, whatever the cost may be.
We shall fight on Twitter, we shall fight on Vine, we shall fight on the Washington Post's op-ed pages and in the New York Times' comment areas, we shall fight in Buzzfeed's gifs; we shall never surrender.
And if, which I do not for a moment believe, this #hashtag or a large part of it were hijacked by trolls, then our social media reach, armed and guarded by the writers at Media Matters and the Daily Beast, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, some miracle should descend upon us in rescue us so we can return, as we much desire, to the #WarOnWomen.
Romney wants to #BanTampons, please retweet.
— Ace Before getting to the "Promise of Hashtag," let's be clear about the seriousness of this moment:
Ukraine's deputy foreign minister said Friday he fears an imminent Russian invasion.
"We have the information we are in danger," Danylo Lubkivsky told reporters at the United Nations.
He spoke as an official in Ukraine confirmed that pro-Russian forces had detained a team of military observers with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The official said the team would be released after further investigation.
The stakes are high.
How does Obama's Smart Power team meet this moment, as Russia threatens a military campaign to crush the Ukraine?
Let us posit that if Putin wishes a military campaign against Ukraine, and Obama plans in response a Twitter campaign, Putin will gladly let Obama have his Fake Social Media "Victory" in exchange for a real world victory.
What signals does such a message send?
First, that Obama is not actually concerned with deterring Russia from invading Ukraine, but rather that he is only interested in being seen as being concerned about it.
If Putin didn't already know before (and frankly I doubt he didn't), this "response" by the U.S. State Department tells him that Obama has no permanent alliances, only permanent interests, and that permanent interest is pretending at strength for domestic political purposes.
He doesn't care what it means for the future or the world if Russia takes Ukraine. He only cares about what it might mean for the morale of his disciples and the November elections.
Obama is practically begging Putin to give him some sort of face-saving political cover to benefit Obama and Obama alone -- in exchange for which he'll let Putin have the Ukraine.
Actually, he'll let Putin have the Ukraine even if Putin doesn't offer him that. That's the "begging" part of it.
Second, it tells Putin that this Progressive Spirit Squad has only one skill, and that skill is "winning" on FaceBook one Like at a time.
Putin thus looks at the Obama Administration and sees it for what it is -- juvenile (if not puerile), only concerned about the next poll and the next #HashtagEvent.
Weak. Decadent. Insipid. Small.
Can you imagine what a hard-headed, black-hearted old KGB spy thinks when he looks out at America and sees it conducting foreign policy via a time-wasting medium primarily popular with 12 year old schoolgirls?
And if this doesn't work, Obama has threatened
to tap into the nation's Strategic Listicle Reserve
This is exactly the sort of feeble (and feeble-minded) response that Reagan termed "provocative weakness."
It is better to be a weakling and say nothing at all than to open one's Twitter account and remove all doubt.
Update (AP): Actual quote from the State Departments actual spokesman: They have not been following their hashtag with actions.
— Ace Via Instapundit, Byron York urges the Non-Native-American Elizabeth Warren to run because "life is unpredictable."
Clinton will be 69 years old on inauguration day 2017, nearly the oldest president ever. She has had a few health scares. By all accounts, she left her previous four-year stint in government service exhausted. She might not run, and the Democrat in second place in the polls, Vice President Joe Biden 74 on inauguration day is too old to be president. Beyond them, Democrats have nobody except Elizabeth Warren. . . . She will be 67 on Inauguration Day 2017. (Has any party ever fielded a group as old as Clinton, Biden and Warren?)
I think the aged Elizabeth Warren is probably running in a Plan B sort of way -- as an insurance policy, in case the elderly Hillary Clinton and ancient Joe Biden turns out to be too frail for a White House run.
I had a good chuckle over this National Journal piece attempting to defuse the Age Problem for the Progressive Cause.
The piece attempted to suggest Hillary Clinton's age upon her hypothetical inauguration -- 69, same as Reagan's at his inauguration -- was different than Reagan's age, because, Actuarial Life-Expectancy Tables.
As a general matter, when you're trying to argue someone isn't old, and your best argument consists of busting out the actuarial tables for the life expectancy of elderly people, you're probably doing more harm than good.
But here's the claim:
The age comparisons between Hillary Clinton and Ronald Reagan seem as natural as they are nonsensical.
Nonsensical? How is one 69 year old so different from another that it becomes "nonsensical" to compare them?
Yes, Hillary is a woman, and they have somewhat longer life expectancies than men-- a point this piece is going to rely on to the exclusion of all else.
Yes, were Clinton to win in 2016, she would take office at age 69just as Reagan did in 1981. And yes, the comparison is often made when Clinton's critics and allies debate whether she has the health to serve out two presidential terms.
But it's a wildly misleading comparison, as the number that matters when assessing Clinton's health is not her age, but her life expectancy. And there is where the Clinton-Reagan comparison is revealed as a stretch.
A combination of federal data and a more nuanced approach to calculating Clinton's life expectancyone that includes her gender, era, and other factorsprojects the would-be president living to age 86. That means Clinton would live a full 17 years after taking office, more than enough time to serve out two terms.
Under the same criteria used to calculate Clinton's life expectancy, Reagan upon inauguration was projected to live to 8112 projected years after taking the oath to Clinton's 17.
So a five year difference in life expectancy?
And based upon that, it was perfectly sensible for the Left to constantly invoke Reagan's age as a reason to not vote for him, but it's nonsensical to suggest the same with the venerable Clinton?
Incidentally, Hillary had a health scare a couple of years ago we continue to know very little about. Obviously, this hasn't been factored into this (and I use this term advisedly) analysis.
Moving past the Reagan comparison reveals a complicated picture for Clinton. In terms of total life expectancy, were she to win in 2016, Clinton would take office with the longest projected total life expectancy of any president in the modern area.
This is such an irrelevant, nonsensical sentence that I don't know what it's doing here. They're saying Hillary will have the longest life expectancy of any president before her... but not post-inauguration life expectancy, as this nonsensical bit of data doesn't consider when in her life she would become president.
So, yeah, she'll have a longer life expectancy than her husband... but her husband became president at 43, whereas the Methusala-esque HRC would become president at 69.
But in terms of life expectancy after inauguration, Clinton's projected remaining years after taking office are dwarfed by total projected years forecast for our most recent presidents on their opening inauguration days: Barack Obama (32 projected years), George W. Bush (24.5 projected years), and Bill Clinton (30 projected years).
The best Hillary Clinton comparisons of life expectancy are to Richard Nixon (19 projected years after taking office), Gerald Ford (16 projected years), and George H.W. Bush (16 projected years)all three of whom managed to take office without having to contend with concerns about their age.
Before Clinton's name entered the conversation, the most recent candidate to face age questions was 2008's unsuccessful Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain. Had he won, McCain would have taken office at 72 and was projected to live another 13 yearsfour fewer than Clinton.
And there was a great deal of Progressive Chatter about the possibility he would die in office or become too senile to carry out his duties -- these claims made in order to highlight the alleged hypothetical nightmare of President Sarah Palin.
Were those fears also "nonsensical"? These authors seem to be placing an awful lot of distinction in a basket that only holds four years' worth of difference between Hillary's and McCain's post-inaugural life expectancy.
Why, it's almost nonsensical -- almost as the writers were just Good Progressives using any claim at hand to knock down a troublesome meme that could threaten their preferred progressive candidate.
At the end of the article they admit that crucial information is missing from their analysis -- Hillary Clinton's actual health records.
And I'm sure we'll be receiving those.
She's so open about every other aspect of her life.
Elizabeth Warren (67) for President
Because it's time to give Youth a chance.
— CDR M
The deadly war on e-cigarettes. Can't have people actually quitting a bad habit with something that isn't supported by big pharma (makers of nicotine patches and gum) or taxed like tobacco. Because they keep jackin' up the taxes on analog cigarettes they're losing tax revenue to bootleggers. Throw in the declining number of smokers (either out right quitting or transitioning to vaping), it is little wonder the politicos are lashing out.
Many of the same people that use incorrect information about e-cigs (read the comment section in the above article) are probably the same types that see nothing wrong with this anti-gun ad.
And many more of the same group believe that the North Pole is melting away and will be ice free in
2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.
A bunch of know nothings trying to drive policy. more...
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