August 31, 2015

Overnight Open Thread (8-31-2015)
— Maetenloch

Quote of the Day I

The tragedy for Hillary Clinton is that she is all too human. As Bill's mortal sidekick, she's had a good ride. But whereas Bill has an almost Jedi-like ability to lie convincingly - "these aren't the interns you're looking for" - Hillary has no superpowers to fall back on. She just has to grind it out. Like Syndrome in The Incredibles or the entire cast of Kick-Ass, she has to compensate for a lack of raw superpowers through guile and technology - and minions, lots and lots of minions. They do her dirty work for her. They burrow into the bureaucracy and cover for her. They get appointed to commissions and erect firewalls against accountability. They tell her what she wants to hear and explain how all bad news is someone else's fault. They scrub the paper trail. They even shove classified evidence in their pants, if that is what is required. As Renfield to her huband's Dracula, Otis to his Lex Luthor, Gogo Yubari to his O-Ren Ishii , Alistair Smythe to his Kingpin, Tom Hagen to his Don Corleone, Bizarro World Radar O'Reilly to his evil Colonel Potter, she has amassed considerable resources and abilities of her own. There's now an entire Clinton-Industrial Complex that fuels and funds the vast interconnected network of minions. They are like agents of Hydra, embedded in the media, in government, and in academia. Places like Media Matters are like huge industrial farms for breeding Clintonian hacks where the larvae are grown in vats.

...But the problem remains; Hillary is not the charismatic leader her husband is, or was. She's good at cleaning up the loose ends of her husband's lies, but she's not the person you want out front laying down the lies in the first place. His superpowers did not rub off on her, and to assume they did is to confuse the elephant for the guy sweeping up behind it.

The thing is, Hillary's been riding shotgun on all those hairpin turns with Bill behind the wheel for so long she thinks she can do what he does. She can't. It's understandable, of course. The great ones always make it look easy.

-- Jonah Goldberg

Quote of the Day II

We judge whether we have a bias by examining our thoughts, and because we believe our thoughts are rational, we often think we're not biased when we are. Psychologists call this contradiction the "bias blind spot." Although we're quick to see biases in others, we have more trouble noticing them in ourselves.

And the more we convince ourselves that we don't have certain biases, the more likely we are to exhibit them. If we believe we're good people, for example, we may stop trying to be better and may be more likely to act indecently. Similarly, if we think we're smart, we might skip studying for a test and give ignorant answers. In general, if we believe we're unbiased, we're giving ourselves permission to be biased.

-- Jim Davies in Why You're Biased About Being Biased

Quote of the Day III

Here is the first rule of "mainstream" news coverage in America: Whenever the prejudices and illusions of left-wingers are confirmed by an individual incident, the incident is treated as representative; when those prejudices and illusions are contradicted, the incident is considered an aberration - and treating it as representative is deemed hateful.

-- Andrew Klavan

Quote of the Day IV

I mean, for the love of God: it has celebrities there. How many of those people have functional life skills outside of the ability to carry a tune or play a musical instrument? And by 'functional life skills' I mean 'iron clothes,' 'balance a checkbook,' or 'walk past a bar without drinking it*.'  Don't get me wrong: musical celebrities are often fun to hear. Just don't listen to them.

-- Moe Lane on the train wreck of the VMA awards

Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg And The Shikaakwa Way

Greg Gutfeld Has Had Just About Enough of Geraldo's Bullshit

Watch this Fox News segment right until the end and note Greg's body language as Geraldo keeps blathering on and on. You know there's an eruption coming.

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Hillary's Emails Hosted on Same Server as Clinton Foundation Emails?
— Ace

I don't really know how this works so I'll just go "hmmm" after everything to seem like I'm Informed and Engaged.

Hillary’s clintonemail.com server and the Foundation-run presidentclinton.com email server have exactly the same IP address, and the same SSL certificate (which an organization purchases for an email server to verify its trustworthiness).

mail.clintonemail.com and mail.presidentclinton.com both have an IP address of 64.94.172.146, according to an SSL Certificate Checker.

Hmmmm...

...

The fact that both of these email servers have the same IP address means that they were operating on the same network, and sharing physical space. A computer expert tells Breitbart News that the servers were probably operating on the same machine. It is also possible that they were operating on different machines on the same network, which still means that the machines would have to be close enough to exist in the same physical location.

...

Hmmmm....

People are speculating (not in that Breitbart article) that it seems possible that a hacker could hack a lower-security email account on the Clinton Foundation system and then use that exploit* to hack Hillary's email.


* I hear hackers using this word and always wanted to use it. I have no idea if anything I said makes sense.


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A Third Major Chemical Explosion In China?
— Ace

The first blast, on August 13th in Tianjin, killed 158 people at last count (and that number is a little dated).

I hadn't seen this particular video of it. It's not new, but it may be new to you as it was to me.

Then, eight days ago on August 22nd, another blast occurred at a chemical plant in the Shandong province.


Now, today, there's another blast, this time in the Shandong province again.


Below is a video purporting to be of this latest blast. However, I kind of suspect this is actually video the first blast at Tianjin. Just seems kind of similar to me.

On the chance that this is legitimate new video, here it is:


Obviously, this all seems very strange.

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State Department: 150 New Classified Emails Found in Clinton's Email System
— Ace

We're going to need a bigger SCIF.

About 150 messages in a soon-to-be released trove of Hillary Clinton emails are being censored because they contain information now considered classified, according to the State Department.

...

[T]he sheer number of emails that have been redacted stands as the latest example of how much sensitive material was contained in Clinton's email transactions.

This piece by Malia Zimmerman is even more interesting -- now how exactly did those classified emails get into Clinton's private system?


The daily revelations over classified information finding its way onto Hillary Clinton's personal email server are raising perplexing questions for former government officials who wonder how classified information made its way onto the former secretary of state's non-classified server -- especially since the two systems are not connected.

...

So if the Clinton denial is to be believed, individuals in her inner circle would have simply typed or scanned classified information into a non-classified system without regard for its contents. In this case, emails would have started in, and stayed in, the unclassified system -- albeit improperly, based on the findings of the intelligence inspector general.

But if it turns out emails literally jumped from the classified to the non-classified system -- something the State Department claims cannot happen -- it would seem to point to Clinton's staff going to great lengths to create a work-around to do so.

A government employee doing so would commit numerous felonies, according to Bradford Higgins, who served as assistant secretary of state for resource management and chief financial officer from 2006-2009. "A violation, in addition to criminal charges and potential prosecution, would likely mean that person who committed the breach would never again be given a security clearance," Higgins said.

Hillary could explain this to investigators, but of course, criminals have no interest in assisting the police.


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Jim Geraghty: Time to Go Nuclear on Obama's Nuke Deal?
— Ace

The logic is simple.

Harry Reid did away with filibusters, himself using the "nuclear option" to pass the new rule over the objections of more than a filibuster-level of opponents, for a certain category of vote -- votes with a Constitutional separation-of-powers dimension. Reid claimed the president had the right to get his personnel into the Executive and that the Senate should not stop him via a Senate rule (the filibuster rule); that such votes, affecting, as they do, a coequal branch of government, should be free of the filibuster rule and default to the rule in the constitution -- which is, of course, a simple majority rule.

Okay, makes sense.

But you know what other sorts of votes have a constitutional, separation-of-powers, turf-protecting dimension? Votes on agreements made with foreign regimes-- which the Constitution says are subject, as treaties, to the "advice and consent of the Senate" and a specified two thirds supermajority.

So, the Republicans could follow Reid's lead and pass a resolution declaring that the Iran treaty is in fact a treaty and must be treated as such. When Democrats attempt to filibuster that, they break out the nuclear option Reid did and say that given that this is a matter of separation-of-powers constitutional dimension, they will have the vote on a filibuster-free basis. (The actual process is that the question is submitted to the parliamentarian, who rules the motion to proceed without hte filibuster to be against the rules -- but then you overrule him with a simple majority vote. Which is exactly what Reid did.)

Now you have a majority of senators declaring that this is a treaty and must be treated like a treaty.

Now, Geraghty proposed this last Friday, but then backed off the idea when someone said that a resolution would also be subject to Obama's veto.

For reasons I don't understand -- and I sure wish he'd elaborate -- AllahPundit doesn't seem to think that that is much of an obstacle.

The question is, what do you do once the filibuster’s been nuked? If the GOP decides to pass a resolution declaring the Iran deal a treaty that requires two-thirds of the Senate to approve it, Obama will veto that resolution. That shouldn’t matter-- since when is Article II contingent upon the president’s assent? -- but you're looking at a court battle at least, and the public will be bewildered after weeks of "does Obama have the Senate votes to protect his Iran deal?" headlines suddenly switch to "GOP changes rules on voting to block Iran deal."

Obviously this is all hypothetical, because the Donor Class has forbidden McConnell to spend any political capital on this; the Donor Class demands that all political capital will be spent on things that really matter, like the Export-Import Bank.

Still, in order to have fruitful political discussions, it is necessary that we pretend to be members of a functioning democracy in which voters have some sort of influence on government and popular will is somehow of concern to politicians.

So we'll pretend along, because otherwise, every blog post will be very short: "The Donor Class wins."

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French-American Hero of Thalys Terror Train Attack Giving Interviews, Looks To be Healing Well
— Ace

Mark Moogalian was the guy who reportedly yanked the AK away from the terrorist.

This interview resolves a lot of questions for me. There were reports that an unidentified Frenchman, said to be an off-duty trainman, was the first to engage the terrorist, and that a French-American pulled his gun away from him.

If claims that a man heard the chuck-chuck sound of the loading of a gun in the bathroom and investigated are true, then "Damien" must be the man who did this. But I don't know if that part is true; "Damien" hasn't spoken yet.

I began to doubt those reports because the timeline I imagined, based on fragmentary reporting, had the Americans acting first.

But Moogalian's account clears most things up. The Americans did not act first -- though they did act last (that is, they took out the terrorist, put him down, and hogtied his ass).

The initial reports about a French guy struggling with the terrorist, and the French-American -- now identified as Mark Moogalian, a professor of English at the Sorbonne, married to, I think, a Frenchwoman -- did in fact pull the AK 47 away from the terrorist. He didn't just grab it; he actually disarmed the terrorist.

Partially, and for a few seconds, anyway.


I'll translate some of the interview, but here's the timeline:

The unidentified man -- who Moogalian calls "Damien" and says is a French banker, not a trainman -- in fact did struggle with the terrorist first. (This is now published so there's not much use in my suppressing these details; it's even possible Moogalian is offering disinformation to protect "Damien's" real name and occupation.)

Moogalian saw the struggle through the doors separating the train cars. He told his wife "get out of here" and got up to help.

While the terrorist fought with this man I'll call, as Moogalian does, "Damien," Moogalian grabbed his AK away from him and began to run away with it. He cried out "I've got the gun!" as he ran.

However, Moogalian says sheepishly that he didn't have much "experience" with this sort of thing, and it did not occur to him the terrorist might have another gun. In fact, the terrorist had a pistol besides the AK (a Luger I think I read) and he shot Moogalian as he ran away with the gun. The bullet went through his shoulder and out the front side of his neck. He crumpled to the ground, bleeding profusely.

The terrorist, we can assume (though Moogalian does not say), must have shot or otherwise taken "Damien" out of the fight. Because now the terrorist began walking towards Moogalian in order to retrieve his AK.

At this point Moogalian felt himself getting weaker and weaker, but didn't think he'd get the courtesy of being allowed to bleed to death -- because he was pretty sure the terrorist would put a bullet in his head as he retrieved the AK from his unmoving body.

And then Stone, Skarlatos, and Sandler came flying out of nowhere.

The timeline now makes perfect sense. The early reports were correct; they were just fragmented and disjointed.

The interview is here; below, some translation.

Why did you make the decision to intervene when you saw, from your seat at the rear of car 12, a strange scene, on the other side of the doors?

Moogalian: I was reading on article on my cellphone when i saw this man enter the bathrooms with his big wheeled suitcase, I found it strange that he was in there for so long. Then I got up when I saw, without really seeing it clearly, that something was happening, that two men seemed to be fighting one another, one of them carrying something that looked like a gun. My brain didn't want to deal with this information but at the same time I said to myself "This man is going to kill everyone. I have to do something."

You had at the same time the reflex to tell your wife to get out of there?

I turned towards Isabelle [his wife] who, herself, was still seated, and I told her "get out of here." This must be serious. I wanted more than anything to protect her. She saw in my face that I wasn't joking. And then, I don't know how, I managed to pull the Kalcahinikov from the man.
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Hugenormous: Trump, Carson Tied for First in Iowa at 23%; Fiorina in Third at 10%
— Ace

Well we seem to have a tiny little rebellion against the Establishment/political class on our hands.

This is also the first poll in forever that doesn't have Trump in the lead. Well, he's in the lead, but in a tie.

The rest of the field:


Carly Fiorina 10%, Ted Cruz 9%, Scott Walker 7%, Jeb Bush 5%

John Kasich, Marco Rubio 4%, Rand Paul 3%, Mike Huckabee,Rick Santorum 2%

Oh but CNN is still employing an algorithm which will most likely keep Mick Huckabee in and kick Carly Fiorina out.

Monmouth University's press release about the poll can be seen here.

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Playing For Keeps: Business Interests Strike Back At Republicans Opposed To Ex/Im Bank
— DrewM

I love this because it's clarifying.

Team GOP acts as if conservatives owe them their votes. "Why aren't you focusing on Democrats?" "Why do you want Hillary to win?" It never seems to occur to them that politics is transactional. If you don't deliver what I want, I won't deliver what you want and I'll go find someone who will. But even if I don't, you're out. Plain and simple. It's a version of Mutually Assured Destruction.

I've argued before conservatives need to take this kind of cold blooded approach to politics and stop pretending we're all on some team and have to stick together.

You know who gets this? Big business.

GE told Dallas business leaders in recent days it would look elsewhere for alternatives to its Connecticut home, said the people, who asked not to be identified because details aren’t public. They said GE cited some Texas lawmakers’ opposition to the U.S. Export-Import Bank, an important source of financing for some overseas sales.

GE isn't the only way turning the screws.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is indefinitely postponing a slate of political fundraisers for Republican candidates this fall, saying the influential business group must instead focus its resources on reauthorizing the embattled Export-Import Bank.

NAM's decision underscores frustration within the business community over GOP attacks on the 80-year-old bank, which helps finance private sector projects in overseas markets. The bank’s charter lapsed on June 30 and many conservatives oppose its renewal.

"We are postponing all political activity fundraising," said Ned Monroe, NAM senior vice president of external relations. "We had to prioritize away from political activity and back toward legislative activity."

Nice campaign you have their, be a shame if anything happened to it.

The GOP coalition isn't tied together by any shared ideology anymore.

So, if you're a small-government fiscal conservative, why should you give Republicans a pass for handing out YOUR money to big business?

Republicans will react to pressure. If the business groups are going to withhold money because it's in their interests to do so, then voters have to realize they will continue to get run over unless they are willing to withhold what they have to offer...activism and votes.

I don't envy Republican candidates and officeholders. This isnt an easy needle to thread but they wanted the job. Here it is.

For background on why the Ex/Im fight is important to small-government fiscal conservatives check out my talk with Dan Holler of Heritage Action.

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Open Thread
— rdbrewer


Henry Farrer, "Evening Light" (1896)

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Morning Post (8-31-15)
— Gabriel Malor

Happy Monday. Now go to work.

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August 30, 2015

Overnight Open Thread (8-30-2015)
— Maetenloch

Quote of the Day I

The Hard Left hates to hear this, but here goes: the American populace has traditionally been fairly indifferent to whether or not there are a host of rich people guzzling champagne and wolfing down caviar, provided that said populace is able to have a beer and a T-bone without too much fuss and bother. Our definition of 'poor' would make most historical eras' eyes bug out; and, again contrary to the Left's beliefs on the subject, that really does matter when it comes time for social unrest. There is a real, practical difference between being dissatisfied, and being no-fooling hungry. And all the slogans in the world won't change that.

-- Moe Lane on Income Inequality And Poverty Aren't the Same Thing

Quote of the Day II

People come here thinking of this as the center of innovation and entrepreneurship, and they see a street scene that looks like something out of a Third World country.

-- The San Francisco Chronicle on the city's turd and stench problems

Obama Renames Mount McKinley

Because he can.

Denali-Mount McKinley

How Dumb is Vox?

This dumb. For those playing along at home the logo shown is from the National Recovery Administration, one the New Deal programs.

voxdumb1

Jonathon Last: How Journalism Gets Done at Vox

They're not just inaccurate and careless and beholden to an ideological agenda - they also stiff their writers. In this case Tannsjo wrote an article - at Vox's request - pointing out that on-demand abortion has some negative consequences.

No, the really bad part is that Tannsjo hadn't just submitted a piece on spec. Vox went to him and commissioned the piece. And then, when they didn't like it, they did . . . nothing. They just sat on it.

That's bad.

The writer/editor compact has two parts. The first is that writers should live with editorial decisions and be okay with them. But the second is that editors should deal with writers promptly, transparently, and courteously.

If you solicit a piece from someone, you owe them a great deal. They've just done a bunch of work for you, for free. You're not obligated to publish them. But if you decide not to publish them, you're obligated to let them know that fact immediately. You should apologize for the situation not working out. You should pay them a kill fee. And if you want to remain on good terms, you might help them find a different home for the piece.

You don't just try to pocket-veto the piece and then, when pressed, send an email to the writer making it sound like it's their fault for writing such an offensive, deviationist essay.

The MH370 Mystery Gets a Little Weirder

It's been a month since a flaperon from a Boeing 777 was found a La Réunion beach and investigators still can't say definitively whether it came from MH370 or how it got to the island.

What was holding things up, it turned out, was that the ID plate that should have been attached to the inboard edge of the flaperon was missing. And that was not the only problem. According to the New York Times, Boeing and the National Transportation Safety Board found that the object did not match Malaysia Airlines' maintenance records.

...How the part found its way to a beach on La Réunion is another issue. The Dépêche article contained a tantalizing hint. "According to a Toulouse aeronautics expert who requested anonymity," the article stated, "the element of the wing would not have floated for several months at the water's surface but would have drifted underwater a few meters deep."

It's not yet known why investigators reached this conclusion, but one clue might be that the flaperon found on La Réunion was encrusted on every edge with goose barnacles. These animals are a type of crustacean that attaches while young to a floating object and spends its entire adult life affixed to the same spot. Since they obviously can only survive underwater, their distribution around the object suggests that the entirety of it must have spent at least several months submerged.

mh370aflaperon

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A Bit O' Twitter - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]
— Open Blogger

It's not much, but it's fresh.


This made me laugh, and hard:


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Food Thread: Is Salad A Crime Against Humanity? [CBD]
— Open Blogger

BadSalad-Uncivilized.jpg
Bad Salad

Okay, it's the Washington Post, so there is the obligatory Malthusian bullshit, and the subtext is elitist "I know better than you what is good for you." But Why Salad Is So Overrated does take some significant shots at the nation's obsession with lettuce based salads.

Personally, I like salad at the end of the meal, with a tart dressing to clear my palate. Although, if you want to serve me a great tomato and goat cheese salad as a first course I will smile and say thank you. Or Caesar Salad with good whole anchovies as garnish and lots of garlic and some crispy buttery croutons? Yeah...I'll eat that too. more...

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The Left's Willful Ignorance [CBD]
— Open Blogger

Here is an interesting article from Reason (yeah, I know) about the resounding, deafening silence from the Left and academia in response to an article exposing the shaky foundation of the campus serial rapist theory.

But is anyone surprised?

Here is what is happening all across American campuses.

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Sunday Morning Book Thread 08-30-2015: Scorched Earth [OregonMuse]
— Open Blogger


sad puppy 03 - 525.jpg
"No Award"

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.


When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.

-Desiderius Erasmus

Trigger warnings this week for free speech being a good thing, because it helps us determine who the idiots are. Also, winners should be determined by merit, not tribal affiliation.

Health warning: reading the book thread excessively may cause your debit card to spontaneously combust.

By the way, speaking of debit cards, I have a non-book question for you morons who do a lot of multi-state traveling, which is this: before you embark on one of your trips, do you have to contact your bank or financial institution and tell them what states you'll be traveling to so your debit card purchases won't automatically be declined, or does your debit card simply work wherever you go?

Backstory: my new job requires me to be expertly familiar with debit card transactions and the security thereof, and this issue came up in the training class this week.


The Residuum of WorldCon

In last week's comments, one of you morons (I forget who, sorry) linked to this article in Wired by Amy Wallace about the Sad Puppies isn't a total waste, as most of the articles written by SJW hacks usually are. This is not to say that it's good; in fact, it does regurgitate the tiresome narrative that the Sad Pupplies are reactionary white guys who are politicizing the Hugos because they hate brown people. In the first place, the author actually reached out and spoke with Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen and even the SJWs' bête noire, Vox Day. Which, by the way, puts her ahead of The Guardian, which has published a number anti-SP hit pieces without contacting any of the writers they rail against.

So Wallace does let you hear the other side, even though it's filtered through her crap narrative.

And then there's this:

In fact, their argument is actually pretty interesting. They say their beef is more class-based; Torgerson [sic] says his books are blue-collar speculative fiction. The Hugos, they say, are snobby and exclusionary, and too often ignore books that are merely popular, by conservative writers. The Sad Puppies have a name for those who oppose them: CHORFS, for “Cliquish, Holier-than-thou, Obnoxious, Reactionary Fanatics.”

I sometimes wonder if these types of class-based arguments shouldn't be pushed more by our side. Not universally, of course, but perhaps there may be situations where they're appropriate. Like here. It might not have ever occurred to Saul Alinsky that his rules could be used against his own tribe. They should be made to live up to their own rules. Since they're obsessed with "class" and "class" distinctions, we should shove "class" down their throats until they choke on it.

Wallace doesn't want to deal with this argument, though. After bringing it up, she immediately drops it and goes on to what she really wants to talk about, namely, the evil Vox Day.

Another thing I find odd with Wallace's article is that it appears to carry the evidence of its own refutation. That is, she wants the audience to believe that the Puppies are all diversity-hating white guys, then she brings up the case of Annie Bellet, an SJW author who withdrew her name from Hugo nomination consideration when her story was included on the Sad Puppies slate.

This is how Bellet describes herself:

“I’m adopted, and I have a sister who is black, a sister who’s Vietnamese. My mom is a lesbian. I grew up in a liberal, inclusive environment.

So she's a poster child for diversity. Fine. But if the Puppies hate diversity, then why would they nominate her for a Hugo? This is a question that Wallace's narrative will not allow her to ask. But the answer is right there in front of her, if only would bestir herself to look:

[Torgersen] says the Hugos are beset by identity politics. “When people go on about how we’re anti-diversity, I’m like: No. All we’re saying is storytelling ought to come first.”

Yes, it's the storytelling. Bellet wrote a damn good story (regardless of her politics or ethnic background) and that's all the Puppies care about. But, of course, that would bust the SJW narrative wide open, and we can't have that.

And speaking of unacceptable individuals...

I have yet to hear any of the social justice wankers (I think I'm going to just spell it out like that from now on) who have been soiling their nappies at the WrongThoughts™ of the Sad Puppies in general and Vox Day in particular utter one word of disapprobation, or even concern, about the unapologetic NAMBLA defender Samuel R. Delaney. I mean, if you want to enforce disqualification from society based on WrongThought™, I would think that defending child molesting would certainly qualify.

Larry Correia's take on this year's WorldCon is here. This is how it starts out:

As you all know by now, the Hugo Awards were presented Saturday, and No Award dominated most of the categories. Rather than let any outsiders win, they burned their village in order to “save it”. And they did so while cheering, gloating, and generally being snide exclusive assholes about it.

And it gets even better. As the poet says, read the whole thing.

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Early Morning Thread 08/30/15 [krakatoa]
— Open Blogger

Sunday.

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August 29, 2015

Overnight Open Thread (29 Aug 2015)
— CDR M

WTF? Pentagon not targeting Islamic State training camps.

And coalition forces may be advertising where our ISR and tanker aircraft are flying in Iraq and Syria. Not too smart.
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Robert Bork On The Martini [CBD]
— Open Blogger

[A letter he wrote to The Wall Street Journal in response to this.]

Martini's Founding Fathers: Original Intent Debatable

Eric Felten's essay on the dry martini is itself near-perfect (Don't Forget the Vermouth -- WSJ Leisure & Arts, Pursuits, Dec. 10). His allusion to constitutional jurisprudence is faulty, however, since neither in law nor martinis can we know the subjective "original intent" of the Founding Fathers. As to martinis, the intent may have been to ease man's passage through this vale of tears or, less admirably, to employ the tactic of "candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker."

What counts in mixology is the "original understanding" of the martini's essence by those who first consumed it. The essence remains unaltered but allows proportions to evolve as circumstances change. Mr. Felten's "near-perfect martini" is the same in principle as the "original-understanding martini" and therefore its legitimate descendant. Such latter-day travesties as the chocolate martini and the raspberry martini, on the other hand, are the work of activist bartenders.

Mr. Felten lapses into heresy only once. He prefers the olive to the lemon peel because the former is a "snack." Dropping a snack into a classic drink is like garnishing filet mignon with ketchup. The correct response when offered an olive is, "When I want a salad, I'll ask for it."

Robert H. Bork
The Hudson Institute
Washington

And...Open Drinking Thread (and use coasters!)

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No Longer Tropical Storm Erika, now Invest 90
— Open Blogger

Good evening, Morons and Moronettes, and this should be the final post about Erika (and, God willing, any tropical system that should threaten to hit the continental United States). If the long-range forecasting is correct, as El Nino gets going, that should inhibit tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic, and as such, restrict my posting to the odd overnight thread.

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Posted by: Open Blogger at 03:16 PM | Comments (42)
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