February 27, 2016

Protesters Heckle Bill Clinton on Hillary's Benghazi Cover-Up
— Ace

"If you'd shut up and listen, I'd answer," Clinton says at one point. more...

Posted by: Ace at 02:33 PM | Comments (510)
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Stop Bargaining with your Principles. [krakatoa]
— Open Blogger

This is from email with some of the other guest bloggers (GOBs?) and COBs. One was very much concerned about the prospect of a Clinton or Sanders filling out several SCOTUS chairs, so finding himself in the bargaining stage about who he could find himself voting for.

With some minor modifications I submit it here.

I used to find myself bargaining with my principles in presidential elections, all the way up to McCain winning the nomination in a primary season that opened my eyes to what appeared to be the orchestration of both the RNC establishment and the MSM to get the candidate they preferred. McCain was floundering against far more conservative candidates early, and suddenly the hard questions died down, the other candidates were set against one-another, and he ended up being the most "electable" candidate. Hmm. That tactic ring any bells?

At that point, I decided that it was finally time to simply stick to my principles, come what may.


Posted by: Open Blogger at 12:30 PM | Comments (519)
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Ace of Spades Pet Thread 2/27/16 [Misanthropic Humanitarian]
— Open Blogger


All of us morons need a little help, amirite? more...

Posted by: Open Blogger at 11:00 AM | Comments (250)
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In Case You Thought It Could Get No Worse
— Ace

There's now a magazine named for, and devoted to, that most wondrous of God's creations: Millennials.

Yes, the magazine is called "Millennial." It is published every month or whenever. DON'T PUT YOUR RULES ON ME, DAD!

A Generation of Chockers.

Posted by: Ace at 09:50 AM | Comments (356)
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Saturday Gardening Thread: Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder [Y-not and KT]
— Open Blogger


Good afternoon, gardeners! Last weekend in February. Spring is coming -- hooray!

Here's some information about Carolina Jessamine courtesy of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center:

Posted by: Open Blogger at 07:30 AM | Comments (137)
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Does Mass Transit Actually Save Energy? Maybe Not! [CBD]
— Open Blogger

Light rail, high speed trains, and the newest idiocy here in NY...a street car for Brooklyn and Queens...they are all unalloyed great things in the eyes of government. So what if they actually don't save any energy, and cost orders of magnitude more than the proven technology of the automobile. Coyoteblog is quite the contrarian when it comes to government investment in most things, and mass transit is one of his favorite targets. As he points out:

The key issue turns out to be occupancy -- how full is the train or bus. And it turns out that occupancy is probably lower than most people think. That is because everyone rides on buses or trains as they commute -- they are going in the direction of most people's travel at the time of day they travel, so the transit is totally full. But no one thinks about those trains having to go back the other direction, usually mostly empty. As a result, we get to this fact, from the National Transit Database as synthesized by Randal O'Toole.

2014 Energy Use per Passenger Mile

Transit: 3141 BTU
Driving: 3144 BTU

Valley Metro Rail here in Phoenix does better, at a reported 1885 BTU per passenger mile. As reported many times here on this site, the cost of building this rail line, now well over one and a half billion dollars, would easily have bought every round trip rider a new Prius, with a lot of money left over. This would have saved more energy as well. Buses in Phoenix are averaging just over 6000 BTU per passenger mile.

That's most of his post, but head over there and read it and follow his links. The actual data, as opposed to the pie-in-the-sky projections produced by biased government planners, are damning.

We do have one system that works quite well: the American freight rail system is efficient and fast. But that's because that pesky thing called "The Market" is allowed to control its success or failure.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 06:15 AM | Comments (240)
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Crunch Time [Y-not]
— Open Blogger

Super Tuesday is nearly upon us, so soon our long National Nightmare will be over. Either Ted Cruz fares well, prolonging the process for him, Rubio, and Trump (because, face it, the Carson and Kasich are going no where), or Donald Trump becomes the inevitable nominee.

Kentucky's GOP caucus is next Saturday, March 5th, so for once I'm likely to be able to cast my vote for a conservative, instead of picking over the dregs left to me after the good ones have dropped out. I'll be working as a caucus official this year -- should be interesting as this is the first time (I believe) that Kentucky has had a caucus. (Recall, the rules were changed to accommodate Rand Paul's candidacy.) Looking over the materials sent to me by the KY GOP, I can see how there could be some problems. For example, although ID is required, one of the forms of "ID" that is acceptable is being personally recognized by a caucus official. Yeah, that can't be abused! In addition, there's a chance that they will be batching and tallying votes throughout the day which would certainly lend itself to abuse should voting results be leaked out to campaigns prematurely. ("Hey, Bob, Trump is falling behind in the voting -- better bus out some more supporters to this voting site!") Anyway, if something interesting happens, I'll let you know next week.

For those of you still on the fence about which candidate you'll support, here's a short piece about Ted Cruz written by the National Program Director for the Tea Party Patriots: more...

Posted by: Open Blogger at 04:10 AM | Comments (479)
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EMT 2/27/16 Eff you too, TSA. [krakatoa]
— Open Blogger

NYC this past week.

Worst visit ever. Then spent more times in airports than I would have if I'd just driven the 630 miles.

TSA was a dream as usual.

- First, 80% of the people were getting waved by the cancer-box and through the metal detector. Not I.

- Cancer-box director wouldn't pass me through until my feet were absolutely perfectly aligned with the cartoon feet on the floor.

- Luggage x-ray fascist decided the screwdriver I'd packed in my carry-on for the past 2 years with no issue now needed extra scrutiny. Apparently none of the other 4 TSA gestapo lazing around had the qualifications to check my baggage, and this guy keeps passing through other luggage while my carry-on sits.

I finally tell them pointedly that they need to move their asses, I have a flight to catch. He gets all butthurt of course.

Asks me if there's anything sharp in my luggage. I said I'm sure you'll figure it out, it's a toolbag you're rooting through, so you'll have to take your chances.

He makes the same silly rationalization that it's to keep us safe. I explain the latest report that showed in the past year, the TSA has improved all the way from failing to find 97% of contraband in security tests, to failing to find 95%. "Not really a lot to hang your shiny hat on, now is it?" I ask.

"Well we caught this" he says, waving the screwdriver triumphantly.

"Measure it" sez I.

He then proceeds to measure and measure and measure.

"Is 7 inches the cutoff?" he yells to one of his fellows, and they grunt an affirmative.

And then he measures some more.

"Measure all you want, chief. It's not going to magically grow another eighth of an inch."

He finally puts it back in my bag, and we go back our separate ways.

Had my plane not have been boarding, I would have loved to engage him on why an eighth of an inch is the difference between an everyday tool that 99.999% of the people use with no fear of death, and an implement of terror and mass destruction.

I am so done with the charade.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 01:00 AM | Comments (256)
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February 26, 2016

Overnight Open Thread (26 Feb 2016)

I'm surprised this was published in the WaPo. The absence of U.S. leadership makes the world more dangerous than ever.

In a conversation with the leader of a European ally, some of us asked what the United States could do to be most helpful to him and his country. His answer was direct: "Elect a president who understands the importance of American leadership in the world."

That would be in our national interest and is also wise counsel to American voters as we decide whom to support in this year's topsy-turvy presidential election.

So, that pretty much rules out any Democrat right now. Hillary is a national security liability knowing that pretty much every country with a semi-pro cyber team has complete copies of the emails she went through some effort to hide from the official record. As for Sanders, he's probably just fine with Putin and the gang running roughshod over everyone. I have no idea what Trump will do. As Ace said earlier, sometimes he'll bomb the shit out of someone and other times he'll do the Ron Paul isolationism thang. Bookworm covers it well in this post.
My take on Hillary is that her frequent flier miles do not offset her spectacularly bad decisions with regard to Russia, Syria, Libya, etc.

Bernie couldn't care less about foreign policy. Like Russian Communists in 1917, he wants to withdraw from the world and turn our nation into a worker's paradise.

Trump talks big, but I don't believe such big talk will work, which leaves us with . . . nothing.

Rubio is solid on foreign policy, but amnesty. . . .

I still like Cruz - he's a hawk, but a more cautious hawk than Bush, in that he's realized that, while we could kind of remake Germany and Japan after WWII, because both were modern nations and both were bombed into the dust, that kind of nation-building doesn't work with Muslims.


Posted by: CDR M at 05:25 PM | Comments (725)
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MSNBC Has "Taken" Melissa Harris-Perry's Show and Reassigned Her to "Inconsequential" Weekend Slot; She Says MSNBC Is Changing the "Racial Composition" of Their On-Air Team
— Ace

"It's my nature," said the scorpion, as they both sunk to the river's bottom.

Here's a letter she allegedly wrote to inform her "Nerdland" viewers of her snit.

Dearest Nerds,

As you know by now, my name appears on the weekend schedule for MSNBC programming from South Carolina this Saturday and Sunday. I appreciate that many of you responded to this development with relief and enthusiasm. To know that you have missed working with me even a fraction of how much I’ve missed working with all of you is deeply moving. However, as of this morning, I do not have any intention of hosting this weekend. Because this is a decision that affects all of you, I wanted to take a moment to explain my reasoning.

Some unknown decision-maker, presumably Andy Lack or Phil Griffin, has added my name to this spreadsheet, but nothing has changed in the posture of the MSNBC leadership team toward me or toward our show. Putting me on air seems to be a decision being made solely to save face because there is a growing chorus of questions from our viewers about my notable absence from MSNBC coverage.

Social media has noted the dramatic change in editorial tone and racial composition of MSNBC’s on-air coverage. In addition, Dylan Byers of CNN has made repeated inquiries with MSNBC’s leadership and with me about the show and what appears to be its cancellation. I have not responded to reporters or social media inquiries. However, I am not willing to appear on air in order to quell concerns about the disappearance of our show and our voice.

Our voice.

Here is the reality: our show was taken -- without comment or discussion or notice -- in the midst of an election season. After four years of building an audience, developing a brand, and developing trust with our viewers, we were effectively and utterly silenced.

Lot of drama here over someone's show being "taken" due to, I assume, poor ratings, and general silliness.

Now, MSNBC would like me to appear for four inconsequential hours to read news that they deem relevant without returning to our team any of the editorial control and authority that makes MHP Show distinctive.

More drama-- that they deem relevant. So conspiratorial!

Dude you lost your show because you suck. Persevere to endure. Rub some dirt on it. Walk it off. Put some butter on it.

Hey, remember when you reminded yourself of what real "working hard" was, with that picture of the family of slaves? Maybe you should show yourself that picture.

The purpose of this decision seems to be to provide cover for MSNBC, not to provide voice for MHP Show.

Yes, that's what happens when you lose our show.

I will not be used as a tool for their purposes. I am not a token, mammy, or little brown bobble head. I am not owned by Lack, Griffin, or MSNBC.

Like I said, remind yourself of how outraged you were that someone said they "worked hard," and how that slave family were the ones who really worked hard.

Are you really claiming that MSNBC is trying to enslave you?

I love our show. I want it back. I have wept more tears than I can count and I find this deeply painful, but I don’t want back on air at any cost. I am only willing to return when that return happens under certain terms.

Maybe they took your show because you were always weeping more tears than you could count, and they were like, "I don't want to deal with this blubbering imbecile."

Oh but it's like slavery.

Undoubtedly, television nurtures the egos of those of us who find ourselves in front of bright lights and big cameras.

Maybe, just a little.

Maybe the light is beginning to dawn on her.

I am sure ego is informing my own pain in this moment, but...

"But." Nope! No self-realization.

Right dude they're enslaving you.

...there is a level of professional decency, respect, and communication that has been denied this show for years.

Because it's not very good, it's silly, and you wear tampons as earrings.

And now you're telling me you cry all the time like a crazyperson

And the utter insulting absurdity of the past few weeks exceeds anything I can countenance.

From your own self-description, you can't countenance a lot of things. What, with all the crying and stuff of countless tears rolling down your cheeks into puddles of sad.

I have stayed in the same hotels where MSNBC has been broadcasting in Iowa, in New Hampshire, and in South Carolina, yet I have been shut out from coverage.

You know who else got to stay at the same hotels as other on-air television personalities, but then who were denied on-air hits?

Slaves did, that's who.

I have a PhD in political science and have taught American voting and elections at some of the nation’s top universities for nearly two decades, yet I have been deemed less worthy to weigh in than relative novices and certified liars.

So many credentials!

Did you also get a Ph.D. in Crying Too Many Tears to Count? Because if not, it sounds like you're just a few credits short!

Hey, let's hear some more bragging about yourself.

I have hosted a weekly program on this network for four years and contributed to election coverage on this network for nearly eight years...

I'm noticing no words like "I have consistently won my time slot" or "I have succeeded in increasing ratings from our lead-in."

... but no one on the third floor has even returned an email, called me, or initiated or responded to any communication of any kind from me for nearly a month.

Maybe they were worried you would cry, and there would be too many tears to count.

It is profoundly hurtful to realize that I work for people who find my considerable expertise and editorial judgment valueless to the coverage they are creating.

That's a direct quote from a slave's journal.

While MSNBC may believe that I am worthless, I know better. I know who I am. I know why MHP Show is unique and valuable. I will not sell short myself or this show. I am not hungry for empty airtime.

It sounds like you're hungry for water, because you're dehydrated, on account of all the crying.

I care only about substantive, meaningful, and autonomous work. When we can do that, I will return --not a moment earlier. I am deeply sorry for the ways that this decision makes life harder for all of you. You mean more to me than you can imagine.

One "you" does not make up for a plethora of "I's."

Yours always,


There's a post-script, but I can't make it out, as the ink is all smeared from countless tears of crying and Not Countenancing.

Posted by: Ace at 04:02 PM | Comments (583)
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Lindsey Graham: If Someone Murdered Ted Cruz on the Floor of the Senate, No Senator Would Convict That Man
— Ace

it's time for this scumbag to go.

Gee I guess Ted Cruz is really part of the Establishment, huh? You can tell, with how bigly nice they speak of him.

Posted by: Ace at 02:28 PM | Comments (469)
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Rotherham Sexual Predators Sentenced Varyingly, From 19 to 35 Years
— Ace

Good news...?

Well, not really. No when you consider the better situation that should have happened: they should have been sentenced to 5-10 years after their first offenses, years ago.

So sure you can shellack them with big sentences after you've allowed them to groom, prostitute, and rape little girls for years and years.

But not exactly the most optimal outcome.

As Mr. Plinkett says, "Maybe you could have investigated this a little more than 'not at all.' '

Posted by: Ace at 02:03 PM | Comments (196)
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Trump: I'm Going to "Open Up the Libel Law" So That We Can Sue the Media For Something
— Ace

As Allah explains, as regards public figures, the media already can be found libel for a statement which was both false and made with "reckless disregard" for its truth or falsity.

For a private figure, simple negligence suffices.

How could it be otherwise? Hate the media as you will, and I do, but you can't have public figures suing every five minutes for a statement that turned out to be false but which was offered honestly (as in the case where one source lies, and another source confirms -- wrongly).

But whatever, I guess the First Amendment is the next thing we have to get rid of to usher in the New Age of Trumpian Plenty.

This strikes me as Trump's version of Stray Voltage. He got his ass kicked last night -- badly.

What does Trump do when he gets his ass kicked? He proposes some outre new policy proposal which he clearly has never thought of and knows absolutely nothing about in order to get people to talk about his outre new proposal (which is damaging to him, but only damaging in a survivable way) instead of talking about the fact that last night We Saw a Golden God Bleed Thin Red Blood (much more damaging to him).

Obama does this too, of course. Whenever Obama is in trouble for his incompetence, or something that can't be spun, he injects a controversial (read: blatantly false) political claim into the national narrative. He'd rather talk about the well-debunked claim that women make 77 cents on every Man-Dollar than, say, his disastrous non-management of the Veterans Administration and the deaths it caused.

It should not be forgotten how Trump's "ban all Muslims" initiative came to be. This wasn't a well-thought out expression of his thoughts on an issue that had long concerned him.

What it was was a Stray Voltage diversion, plus a flip-flop.

On O'Reilly, on September 9, Trump had declared we had to let Syrian refugees in:

"I hate the concept of it, but on a humanitarian basis, you have to," Trump said in his first Fox News appearance in two weeks, appearing on "The O'Reilly Factor."

"This was started by President Obama when he didn't go in and do the job he should have when he drew the line in the sand, which turned out to be a very artificial line," Trump said in reference to Obama's red-line warning to Syrian leader Bashar Assad in 2013. "But you know, it's living in hell in Syria. There's no question about it. They're living in hell, and something has to be done.:

Then San Bernadino happened. And people began questioning Trump's previous statements that we had to let in the Syrian refugees. Supporters wondered if maybe he wasn't the immigration super-hawk he was claiming to be.

So then he goes on TV the next day to not only announce a flip-flop, but to make the most contentious and controversial policy declaration possible -- we're going to "shutdown" "all Muslims" from "entering" the country.

Immediately, chatter about his unpopular views on bringing in Syrian refugees was off the front page, and off it so hard, in fact, that few even remember it happened.

But is this really what he thinks? Or is this just a salesman and deal-maker -- as Trump proudly proclaims himself -- saying whatever he thinks he needs to say to get the customer to sign on the line which is dotted?

It's interesting to me that his first impulse was to of course go along with the safe, path-of-least-resistance assumptions on this matter.

Because that is what people without strong principles do -- they go down the soft, easy, no-hassle path of least resistance which is provided by the liberal intelligentsia as the only safe harbor. The safe harbor you won't be attacked in.

(Yes I mixed metaphors there.)

Why I am I banging on about Trump's lack of knowledge and thinking on these thoughts?

Because, unlike many, I don't consider thinking and knowledge to be enemies of conservatism and principle. Rather, I consider them to be essential to it.

If you're going to be a conservative -- if you're going to fight the very powerful cultural forces that surround us and push liberalism on us as the easy path you won't get beat up for -- you'd better have some damn good reasons for doing so, or you'll come apart like a cheap suit.

Let me remind everyone what knowledge, deep thinking over years of consideration, and conviction can get you.

Let me remind everyone of Ronald Reagan's and Robert F. Kennedy's "Great debate" in 1967. A major issue was Vietnam (though Reagan did also take the time to call for the Berlin Wall "to disappear.")

Robert F. Kennedy, the great hope of liberals and intellectuals and liberals who wrongly believe themselves to be intellectuals, got completely obliterated, despite being on the more popular side of the Vietnam War debate.

Why? Because Reagan knew every damn thing that was required to have an opinion, and to defend an opinion, on Vietnam. When an Oxford student claimed that the Diem regime (a previous America-supported regime, ended when Diem was assassinated) had put six million people in "concentration camps," Reagan scoffed, noting the entire population of Vietnam was merely sixteen million people. How could he have possibly put six million in concentration camps, surreptitiously?

A big problem I have with Trump not knowing things, and clearly never have thought about things, combined with his obvious desire to pander and make the big sale, is that when he's caught out without any good answer, and senses that he's losing the room with an unpopular answer, he usually (75% of the time) tries to get back on the right side of popular opinion and embrace the liberal position on the issue.

You couldn't do that to Reagan, because Reagan always had a series of facts to back him up, and because he'd been thinking about things -- not feeling about them; thinking about them, theorizing about them -- for years, like during his famous GE addresses.

Unlike Trump, he never felt that he was "losing the room" with an unpopular conservative answer. He was always confident and in command, because he had earned being confident and in command. He had done the homework -- he wasn't some Millennial who had feelz that xe was right. He was a thinking, intellectually-voracious man who tested his own thoughts until he knew he was right, because he'd looked at the question from several directions.

When Reagan felt he was addressing a hostile crowd, he didn't immediately attempt to placate them by offering them a liberal position he flip-flopped to on the spot. Instead, he went into his mental note-card file and tried to convince them of the conservative opinion.

And a lot of the time, he did.

My problem with Trump is that he is a dealmaker trying to make a sale. Right now he's trying to make a deal with conservatives -- so this is the very most conservative we'll ever see him.

If he gets the nomination, he now starts working on making the second part of the deal with the other party in the negotiations, the general public.

So this is the most conservative we'll ever see Trump -- this is the absolute most conservative he'll ever be -- and he's not conservative at all, except, possibly, on immigration. He combines liberal policy impulses with frankly authoritarian or even fascist ones, which he thinks are "what conservatives want," because, frankly, he conceives of us as ugly-minded, stupid dummies who get off on this shit.

That's why he didn't put the "Ban Muslims" line in a more palatable, persuasive form, like "Reduce immigration from Muslim-majority countries or countries with a terrorism problem to a level where we can vet each individual applicant."

No, he put it in the most bigoted, ugly way he could think of, because that's about his level, and because, also, that's what he thinks "conservatives" are.

Even on issues like that, where I would like him to move the Overton Window so we can begin discussing a rational reduction of such immigration until this Jihadist Madness passes from history, I find he doesn't move it at all, because he makes the issue much more toxic and alienating than it needs to be.

What does Trump actually know about conservatives? He seems to only know five things, which he repeats in such crude ways it's preposterously insulting. Apparently we "love Jesus," so he says he does too. He knows we love guns, so he's so in love with the Second Amendment he wants to make out with it.

Does he ever explain the underpinnings of his belief in the Second Amendment, such that you get the impression if he's challenged on it, he can break out chapter and verse on the amendment like Reagan would have and remained resolute in his position?

He senses we don't like Mexicans or Muslims very much, so he wants to ban rapists and terrorists.

He knows we love babies and hate abortions, so he's reversed himself from being "very, very pro-choice" and even supporting partial birth abortion to being so against abortion you couldn't believe it. (But he'll keep on funding Planned Parenthood because they're a wonderful organization.)

He knows we love the military, so he proclaims himself, seriously, the most "militaristic" guy you've ever met. Then sometimes he talks about "bombing the shit" out of people to appease the hawks, and other times about a Ron Paul style isolationism, to appease his substantial Paulite wing.

Which is true? Who the fuck knows. I'm certain on this point he's not lying, because I don't think he knows what the fuck he thinks either.

Eh. I can't do it any longer. I have supported him, weakly, as good comeuppance for the Establishment which seems to despise actual conservative voters, but I find that Trump's own opinion of conservatives is pretty damn low too.

Down With Trump, But Vive Le Trumpism: I added this comment:

There are parts of Trumpism I want the GOP to adopt.

For example, I'm tired of the fucking GOP acting as if it is its God-given role to wage Holy War on the American working man, as if they straight-up hate them.

They're still flacking for companies bringing in foreign workers on H1Bs to replace Americans currently on the job. In fact, until recently, a lot of them were talking about expanding the already-abused H1B program.

If you take away all the jobs of the working class, or middle class for that matter, you'd better change your position on welfare to being gangbusters in favor of it, because if you're going do everyting in your power to keep a man from earning an honest dollar, you have to give him a dishonest one.

Otherwise, there will literally be bodies hanging from lamp-poles.

And I'm nationalistic -- straight up, no apologies. You're goddamn right I champion America over all others and citizens over non-citizens -- and no, it's not "racist" to discriminate in favor of citizens over non-citizens. YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO.

Otherwise you're anti-American. Period.

You gonna claim that if you protect an American's job, you hate non-citizen immigrants? Well, you hate actual Americans, buddy. It seems we both have some "hate" going on here; I guess we're just discussing whether or not we owe any degree of loyalty and fellow-feeling to our fellow Americans, or if we're all just "global citizens" now.

But while this guy has blundered across a couple of Big Truths, he is just dead wrong on too much, and entirely too emotional, unfocused, and reationary to be president.

So down with Trump, but long live parts of Trumpism.

We just need someone capable of coherent persuasion to adopt them.

Posted by: Ace at 12:30 PM | Comments (766)
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AoSHQ Podcast #136: Another Debate
— andy

Ace and Drew break down all the hot red-on-red action at last night's debate.

Listen: Stitcher | MP3 Download
Subscribe: rss.pngRSS | itunes_modern.pngiTunes

Browse (and even search!) the archives

Follow on Twitter

Don't forget to submit your Ask the Blog questions for next week's episode.

Open thread in the comments.

Posted by: andy at 10:44 AM | Comments (412)
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The Most Fantastic Thing In the History of Things: "Dual Survival" on National Geographic Discovery Channel
— Ace

I watched this all Tuesday night. I never even heard of it before. And I don't know how the channel wound up on.

The premise of the show -- which by the way, is in its seventh season; again, how did I not hear of this? -- is that they take two guys and drop them off in some wilderness situation. They have seventy two hours (give or take) to find water, shelter, and sometimes food and either find their way back to civilization or (if there is no civilization around, like if they're in the middle of the Sahara) construct a signal fire big enough to attract a passing plane or the like.

There are two guys (at least in the later season). Grady is a former Green Beret who's good at several things, including just being tough, abseiling, finding and making shelter, and "terrain association," which is looking at a map and figuring out if you're even on the map, by taking those two-dimensional contour lines and visualizing them as three-dimensional peaks and figuring if anywhere on the map would give you the vantage you're actually looking at. (This actually sounds very difficult to me.)

The other guy, Bill, is a "primitive survivalist," a survivalist geek, a guy who's spent almost his whole life figuring out how the first Indians lived on the land. Among his skills are... everything. The difference between Grady and Bill is the difference between a professional and a passionate geek: Grady learned things at his job. Bill learns things at his job (he teaches courses on this) and then all his other waking hours, because he gets almost sexually aroused when he discovers, say, a bit of shelf-fungus that can be used to tinder a fire.

It's the difference between the guy who does a good job 8-10 hours a day, and the guy who does a good job 8-10 hours a day, then goes back home and goes wandering in the woods for the rest of the night because it's how he gets his rocks off.

The sheer number of things this guy knows and can do is incredible. I did not know you could make your own fishing line with nothing resembling rope. You can. This guy sees a bunch of dogvein rushes (or reeds) and immediately says, "JACKPOT! The Indians have been using these reeds to make a primitive rope for 10,000 years."

Then he bends and folds the reeds until strips of them become rope-ish, then he ties them together, then he gets a bird's bones and makes a primitive hook, then... he just starts catching fish.

It's an interesting dynamic between the two guys, because Grady is all business and mission-oriented -- he just wants to satisfy the show's victory conditions and get out of the wilderness -- and meanwhile Bill is this shamanistic Indian-worshipping nature freak who takes the attitude that he doesn't have to rush out of the wilds, because he's at home there, and who knows, he might be able to discover some yama nuts that he really wants to taste.

One guy wants to get out of the woods, the other guy wants to take the scenic route and enjoy being lost in the woods.

The locations are incredible, from desert, to snowy 10,000 foot mountains in Idaho, to snowy mountains in Oregon (yeah, there are only so many environments), to a snow-capped peak in Chile which is actually a live volcano (!) which borders on the edge of a lush rainforest, a couple of thousand feet down the slopes.

I'm sure this show gets repetitive after a while -- heck, after five shows, I can see the repetition beginning to grow -- but it's pretty much the best reality tv show i've ever seen. It's just great to look at, it's loaded with cool moments and gee-whiz Survival Geek facts from Bill, and the dynamic between the two guys is straight out of a buddy action movie, the no-nonsense military guy and the emotional, somewhat-unfocused expert who knows everything.

Anyway, if you're at all interested in this sort of thing, check it out.

By the way: People are going to say "Oh this is just contrived survival scenarios; in a real survival scenario, you don't walk for miles, you just get shelter and water and a signaling method and you hunker down waiting for rescue."

I get that, and the show sometimes mentions that.

But this is a show, and they announce up front that they're throwing different scenarios at the guys. Some of these scenarios may be a little contrived. They don't mention that, but it's pretty implicit.

You can't make a show about a guy just making a shelter and waiting for three days to hear the sound of an airplane or car. You need them walking around. No, it's not real survival advice -- no one actually hunts for meat in a true survival situation, whereas Bill always treats these shows an an opportunity to hunt beaver or feral pig -- but the needs of making a show where people move around and do things trump perfect realism.

Update: People are saying the idea of staying with your broken down car or crashed airplane (to stay alive as long as possible with the least water or calories expended) and just waiting for help is not necessarily what you'd do in most situation, but only some.

Posted by: Ace at 09:47 AM | Comments (406)
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Rubio Starts Playing Game by Trump's Rules
— Ace

He's now doing a Trump-like comedy show, at Trump's expense, and it's pretty funny.

The below video is all pretty tough, and kind of funny, but it gets brutally funny at 5:10, when he starts reading Trump's misspelled angry tweets.

If you're a Trump supporter, I wouldn't watch this. He definitely does some damage. It's just interesting to me that he's now running Trump's entire playbook against Trump, and with a lot of natural ability at it. more...

Posted by: Ace at 08:39 AM | Comments (755)
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BREAKING: Chris Christie Endorses Trump
— DrewM

Absolutely amazing. On the cable nets now.

Rubio makes headway with mocking Trump and then Trump and Christie just STOMP on it.

Posted by: DrewM at 07:57 AM | Comments (486)
Post contains 32 words, total size 1 kb.

Open Thread
— rdbrewer

Rae Sloan Bredin, "Afternoon Hours" (n.d.)

Posted by: rdbrewer at 05:50 AM | Comments (715)
Post contains 10 words, total size 1 kb.

February 25, 2016

Overnight Open Thread (2-25-2016)
— Maetenloch

ct-kansas-business-shooting-20160225-002 meslickq34

somalimassacre2 Hungary-holds-referendum-on-EU-migrant-quotas-609x442

cecillion34 eccescrewup


zuckerblmwall2 isisthreat3faceb

manzieldacase Tlumacki_justinapelletier_metro099


Posted by: Maetenloch at 06:05 PM | Comments (779)
Post contains 16 words, total size 10 kb.

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