January 31, 2012

Late Night Bed Spins. [dri]
— Open Blogger

Late Night Bed Spins is an occasional feature showcasing talented musicians who have evaded the pop music radar. Bad timing, poor promotion, and difficult to categorize styles can all cause talented acts to not catch fire with the public. Below the fold is a trio of videos by the group "Noisettes". Please give them a listen and feel free to suggest other groups or singers in the comments who you would like to introduce to your fellow morons and moronettes. Enjoy! more...

Posted by: Open Blogger at 09:29 PM | Comments (24)
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Overnight Open Thread
— Maetenloch

What's The Oldest Internet Meme You Can Remember?

The internet has been around long enough now for people to start playing the I-remember-when game regarding various memes that have spread thru the intertubez STD-like over the years.

For the writer of this article it was the 'All your base are belong to us' meme - a true classic. This video will explain it to you if you're not familiar with it.


For me I think the first true internet meme I can recall was kibo who used to prowl usenet grepping on his name. It would been around 1993-4 or so that I saw my first kibo-response.


And going back even further into the mists of online time to the old dial-up and mainframe BBS days I remember first seeing the smiley, :-), in posts back in 1984. Which was actually when it was still all young and shiny since it was invented in 1982 by Scott Fahlman:


So what's the first internet meme you can remember? more...

Posted by: Maetenloch at 05:17 PM | Comments (756)
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Ace on FTR Radio
— andy

Ace is on Ben Howe's Internet radio show along with Adam Baldwin right now.

Listen here.

There's a replay at 11pm Eastern, and the show archive will also be available on Ben's website later on.

Open thread in the comments.

Posted by: andy at 03:16 PM | Comments (255)
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Juan Williams: "Founding Fathers," "Constitution" Now On List of Forbidden Racial Dog Whistle List
— Ace

Whan, Whan, Hwhan.

You are so, so dumb. You're like a stupid hot chick, except you're not hot, and not a chick, except soft and womanly, but not in a good chick sort of way.

B cups? Sure, B-cups. But only B-cups.

The language of GOP racial politics is heavy on euphemisms that allow the speaker to deny any responsibility for the racial content of his message. The code words in this game are “entitlement society” — as used by Mitt Romney — and “poor work ethic” and “food stamp president” — as used by Newt Gingrich. References to a lack of respect for the “Founding Fathers” and the “Constitution” also make certain ears perk up by demonizing anyone supposedly threatening core “old-fashioned American values.”

By the way, Hwhachn Williams is very butthurt that Gingrich used him like a cheap hooker in South Carolina. He's still whining that Gingrich was talking about "jobs for poor people," which is a dog whistle implying, I guess:

1, poor people are black

2, black people need jobs


Or whatever.

In the days since the debate, people have asked if I regretted the way I phrased the question. I do not. I do not know anyone on food stamps who would prefer them to gainful employment.

That's because you're culturally a white liberal, Hwanachem. You know as many people in the ghetto as I do.

And yes, there is a culture there which accepts poverty and hand-outs as the natural order of things.

We can argue about whose fault that is but we can't argue that it exists, and that it should change, unless you want generations forming a permanent underclass of hoplelessness and dependency.

Is that what you want? Hwhymie?

Posted by: Ace at 02:22 PM | Comments (229)
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Big Government: Sources Inside "One GOP" Campaign Say Exit Polls Show an Easy Win For Sweet Meteor of Death at 59%
— Ace

Or Romney.

Lot of caveats there. Big Government claims sources inside someone's camp who says their exit polls, for whatever they count, show a Romney win.

It is what it is. It's data. Sort of.

Romney 47%

Gingrich 34%

Santorum 11%

Paul 8%

(untested: Sweet Meteor of Death)

Via Drudge:


Given how Drudge has been nailing Romney, I'm going to assume Drudge's numbers come from Romney, and I'm going to assume further that Big Government's come from Gingrich.

But that would be based on the same exit polls, I assume. With some slightly different mathematical models employed to project the entire vote.

That's a pretty fair showing by Gingrich, assuming these numbers are accurate, which in fact I don't.

I'll just call this the Florida Results Thread.

Posted by: Ace at 01:25 PM | Comments (569)
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Is Palin A Lame Duck?
— Ace

Someone mentioned "Palin threads just don't have the same juice they used to."

It seems that way to me now. I don't listen to her either way anymore.

With the party now turning to a presidential election, is her role as lightning rod/lightning-thrower now more or less over?

Of course she'll never be completely over; I don't mean that. She will still be on FoxNews and still produce books and such.

But she's not really a major player now, is she?

Posted by: Ace at 11:54 AM | Comments (458)
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Some Backstory for the DC Occupier Tasing: He'd Already Been Asked To Walk Away From Cops
— Ace

There is some dispute on the right as to whether this was warranted or police brutality.

Although it's fun to laugh at hippies getting tased (oh boy is it), surely we don't want cops getting "taser happy" at protesters, generally.

I think this story ads some context. First, the video again, because someone suggested that would unite us all. And I can't argue with that.


Posted by: Ace at 11:19 AM | Comments (220)
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Palin: Vote Strategically; Don't Be "Naively Idealistic" and Waste Your Vote On Santorum
— Ace

Wait, now we're voting pragmatically?

Oh and then you get to hear "Judge" Napolitano bloviate for Ron Paul.

Let's listen to "the Judge." He's right on so many things. After all, he was a trial judge and stuff. Only a couple of million people have held that exalted position. And let's ignore the fact he hasn't been a judge, except on tv, since 1995.

Am I the only person who's sick to death of this one-note blowhard?

"The Judge" And Tower Seven. He just doesn't believe that WTC 7 came down they way they say it came down.

It’s hard for me to believe that it came down by itself. I was gratified to see Geraldo Rivera investigating it. I am gratified to see that people across the board are interested.
I think twenty years from now, people will look at 9-11 the way we look at the assassination of JFK today. It couldn’t possibly have been done the way the government told us.

That's from the Alex Jones show. Of course.

Thanks to JohnE for that tidbit.

Posted by: Ace at 11:06 AM | Comments (141)
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Odd: Newt Hits Romney On Attempted Insensitive Cuts To State Budget
— Ace

Baseball Crank observed, with regard to Romney's changeable politics, that if we ended up with him as a candidate, we'd wind up defending him and nothing else. Because we'd have to contort ourselves so to champion him that there wouldn't much much of conservatism left, apart from Mitt Romney himself.

I cited that as a good observation, and I still do think that's a problem.

However, I'm getting the same feeling about Newt.

First, it was that leftwing attack on equity funds. Which I joined, of course, as I thought it was pretty important we have a genuine, instinctual conservative as a candidate. Even though that candidate was joining in this Hail Mary stuff about "vulture capitalism."

Anyway, now it's that... Mitt Romney attempted to cut the state budget by ending expensive kosher kitchens in state-supported nursing homes, and instead called for kosher meals to get prepared off-site and bused in to the locations where they were needed.

Would have saved the state $600,000 a year. The Democratic legislature put the kibosh on it.

Anyway, that plan to save money has turned into Gingrich's new attack:

“Romney cut off kosher food to elderly Jews on Medicare. Both of them have the same lack of concern for religious liberty.”

And a Newt 2012 radio spot (listen here) goes a step further and declares that Romney...

vetoed a bill paying for kosher food for our seniors in nursing homes -- Holocaust survivors, who for the first time, were forced to eat non-kosher, because Romney thought $5 was too much to pay for our grandparents to eat kosher.

Yeah, it was never the plan they'd eat non-kosher, just that the kosher meals would be prepared in a central kitchen.

Eh, it's politics, I guess. But I suppose that must be the end of all the whining about negative attacks (as Rush Limbaugh terms it) from Newt.

I mean, honestly. Surely we won't be hearing any more about maliciously false claims after that.

Any and all cuts will be attacked by the left in this way-- there is always some inconvenience or change we're supposed to be outraged about, some protected constituency we're supposed to rally behind to keep those budget dollars a-flowin'.

If I thought Newt believed an inch of this crap, I'd be worried about him on that score. But I don't, really. Just any club in the bag.

I think in the end neither Newt nor Mitt is offering much except themselves; there is no Gingrism, like there was a Reaganism, and no Romneyism either. (And there was no McCainism.)

There is no central idea animating either campaign, just the man himself, and since we're really not discussing ideas, but rather men, the negative attack on the opposing man himself is the only game in town.

For both candidates.

Posted by: Ace at 09:22 AM | Comments (472)
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Science? Dude Evolves Cat-Like Night-Vision? And... Self-Guiding Bullet
— Ace

Right before the Sweet Meteor of Death, I'm calling this Chinese kid as my tribe's number one draft pick.

According to a news reel from China, a young boy there possesses the ability to see in the dark. Like a Siamese cat's, his sky-blue eyes flash neon green when illuminated by a flashlight, and his night vision is good enough to enable him to fill out questionnaires while sitting in a pitch black room — or so say the reporters who visited Nong Yousui in his hometown of Dahua three years ago.


Night vision is made possible by a layer of cells, called the tapetum lucidum, in the eyes of cats and other nocturnal animals. This thin layer is a "retroreflector" — when a beam of light hits it, it reflects the light directly back along its incoming path. The reflected beam constructively interferes with the incoming light beam, amplifying the overall signal that hits the retina and enabling the animal to see in very low-light conditions. Retroreflection also causes cat eyes to flash when they are lit upon at night, and experts say Nong's eyes, if they are truly catlike, should do the same.

And do they? I dunno, the video supposedly shows that glowing. I don't see it myself.

And finally, Gene Simmons' self-guided bullet from the old Michael Crichton/Tom Selleck movie Runaway.

Now, "self-guided" isn't entirely accurate. You have to keep a laser beam shining on the target. But if you manage that, the bullet will seek the laser's reflection.

Each self-guided bullet is around 4 inches in length. At the tip is an optical sensor, that can detect a laser beam being shone on a far-off target. Actuators inside the bullet get intel from the bullet’s sensor, and then “steer tiny fins that guide the bullet to the target.” The bullet can self-correct its navigational path 30 times a second, all while flying more than twice the speed of sound.

Thanks to BrotherBewapitis and CDR M.

Oh, and this was linked as an aside in the cat-eye thing: The "Forbidden Colors" your eyes can't see, Red-Green and Blue-Yellow.

Posted by: Ace at 08:52 AM | Comments (111)
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Obama To Woman Whose Husband Can't Find a Job: You're Kind of a Liar, Aren't You?
— Ace

She says her husband, an engineer, can't find a job.

Obama says he finds that "interesting" (with the contextual gloss: dubious), because someone who once did a study on people who have real jobs told him there's a big demand for engineers.

I don't think I'm overreading. I can't make the charge stick, but when Obama says "Well that's interesting," I do think he's saying "I find that unlikely."

Ever suspect someone's lying and get him to commit to a story? And then challenge him with a sentence of the type, "Well that's interesting because [fact which undermines the story]"?

In addition, our resident genius referred to ex-Soviet Republic of Georgia as "Russia," which was especially stupid, given that he was supposed to be celebrating the twenty year anniversary of Georgia's independence from Russia.

Barack Hussein Obama

You lie.

Posted by: Ace at 08:03 AM | Comments (202)
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Radical: For No Reason Except To Punish Cultures He Abhors, Obama Mandates That Catholic Organizations Must Now Pay for Abortions for Their Workers
— Ace

Elections have consequences. And Eric, I won.

Gershon uses the term "abortifacient" so I'm thinking this mandate doesn't cover surgical abortions, but abortion-inducing drugs such as Plan B.

But Catholics (and most pro-lifers) consider that an abortion (a hard-to-avoid conclusion when "aborti-" is right there at the start of the word).

The president had every opportunity to back down from confrontation. In the recent ­Hosanna-Tabor ruling, a unanimous Supreme Court reaffirmed a broad religious autonomy right rooted in the Constitution. Obama could have taken the decision as justification for retreat.

And it would have been a minor retreat....

But the administration insisted that the University of Notre Dame and St. Mary’s Hospital be forced to pay for the privilege of violating their convictions.

Obama chose to substantially burden a religious belief, by the most intrusive means, for a less-than-compelling state purpose — a marginal increase in access to contraceptives that are easily available elsewhere. The religious exemption granted by Obamacare is narrower than anywhere else in federal law — essentially covering the delivery of homilies and the distribution of sacraments. Serving the poor and healing the sick are regarded as secular pursuits — a determination that would have surprised Christianity’s founder.

Both radicalism and maliciousness are at work in Obama’s decision — an edict delivered with a sneer. It is the most transparently anti-Catholic maneuver by the federal government since the Blaine Amendment was proposed in 1875 — a measure designed to diminish public tolerance of Romanism, then regarded as foreign, authoritarian and illiberal. Modern liberalism has progressed to the point of adopting the attitudes and methods of 19th-century Republican nativists.

But bishops are pledging to defy the law.

At least three Catholic bishops have said they will not comply with the mandate the Obama administration put in place recently in Obamacare that will force religious employers to pay for birth control, contraception and drugs that may cause abortions in their health care plans.

The Anchoress finds a silver lining -- maybe this will unite Catholics.

I don't know what to say except the arrogance is breath-taking. Obama doesn't understand the point of government.

The point of government is to run an orderly house in which a great many people may live together in relative harmony despite sharply disagreeing with each other on many things.

A hotelier, if his goal is to just run a successful hotel, should not care very much if some rooms are rented by Jews, and some by Catholics, and some by atheists; and some by families, and some by pairs of cheatin' spouses.

Only if the hotelier puts his own moralism over the business would he attempt to force his guests to live by his specific rules of life.

Obama is a moralist, and an arrogant one. For all the talk of Christians being rigid moralists, the dirty little secret is that the left is far more rigidly, arrogantly moralistic, and it is cheerleaded by our cultural institutions (media, academia) rather than pushed back against, so its arrogance is encouraged.

Obama is pushing, very hard, a rigid moral system, and attempting to "shove it down the throats" of people who do not seek nor need his moral instruction.

It just happens to be that his code of morality is an unconventional one, borne not in the first century but in the twentieth, and which, when taken to extremes, has included conceptions of sexuality which are essentially Satanic in their license.

Can he make a little space for those who do not rush to embrace his Madonna Moralism?

No. For to do so would be to confess doubt about the Moral Scheme he has in mind for people; it would signal that he's not utterly certain of his own moral beliefs.

And few on the political left have any sense of modesty about any of their culture-changing schemes.

They are so right that of course the coercive power of the state -- with its machinery of stripping away the property and liberty of those who run afoul of it -- should be deployed to wipe out mendicants and heretics.

One of the most cherished rights, never expressed anywhere but truly central to any truly free society, is the right to be Wrong. By which I mean, you should not just be free to do the things which the hegemonic culture deems to be "right." No one ever tries to outlaw that which they themselves believe to be right.

What they attempt to do, of course, is outlaw that which they believe to be wrong.

If you do not respect a citizen's right to be wrong -- if your first impulse is to use the frightening machinery of state coercion to compel him to be "right," as you see "right" -- then you do not respect him at all.

This is the chief character flaw of the leftist movement -- their inability to respect anyone at all but their own. A very provincial and solipisitically childish way to view the world, of course, which leads to a vicious arrogance in attempting to pound, pound, pound square pegs into the round holes the state has cut for them.

The left would just be wrong, and not dangerous, if it weren't so arrogant about disposing of people's freedom with a single thoughtless line of legislation.

It is that, the arrogance and the profound disrespect of anyone who does not wear the feathers and warpaint of their tribe, that makes them not just wrong but sinister.

Posted by: Ace at 07:31 AM | Comments (290)
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Mostly Peaceful Occupy Oakland Teenager Murders Parents
— Ace

Helter Skelter.

Co-workers said Poff and Kamin were having some arguments with their son, some of it having to do with him spending too much time in the Occupy Oakland encampment, but nothing that sounded beyond the scope of typical teenage rebelliousness.

The story is being circulated to the media by late-entering candidate Sweet Meteor of Death. Reached for comment, Sweet Meteor of Death noted: "Only I have a plan to stop this."

Sweet Meteor of Death

Taking care of business.

Posted by: Ace at 06:31 AM | Comments (252)
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Meet The Candidates!
— LauraW

Current State Of The National Race:

'All Dead Inside Now' still commands an insurmountable advantage over all.
Obama edges both Mitt and Gingrich; Mitt gaining more ground over Gingrich.

Despair not. A new candidate has thrown his enormous bulk into the field. A Mr. SMOD. Campaign announcement materials received by AOSHQ are below the fold.

Posted by: LauraW at 05:12 AM | Comments (269)
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The Daily DOOM
— Monty


Are federal government workers overpaid? Yes. And the wingnut Republican think-tank that came up with this determination? The CBO.

His Majesty never lies, but sometimes events conspire to make previous statements inoperable. It is impolite -- and a commission of lèse majesté -- to point out such things. Best to let them pass unremarked-upon, for His Majesty loves his people and does not wish them to be unduly confused.

Posted by: Monty at 03:48 AM | Comments (144)
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Top Headline Comments 1-31-12
— Gabriel Malor

Good morning. Some headlines to get you started:

Oppo firms get ready: super PACs, campaigns have to disclose donors to the FEC today. This will also likely inaugurate another news cycle on the "dangerous" effect of money on politics.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) intends to introduce a “Buffett Rule” bill in the Senate. Here's a Forbes writer on why the Buffett Rule is a really bad idea. On the bright side, once it has been introduced in Congress, the CBO can be asked to score it, something President Obama has desperately tried to avoid.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 01:46 AM | Comments (180)
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January 30, 2012

Overnight Open Thread
— Maetenloch

How Presidential Elections Really Get Decided

We're all political geeks here which means we're OCD on the news and ups and downs of every little minor political skirmish. Mostly because we have no lives enjoy it and find it interesting.

And so it's natural to just assume that all these details that are so very fascinating to us must also be the decisive factors that will determine how the 2012 presidential contest turns out. But this is almost certainly wrong.

In fact it turns out that the results of presidential elections (okay actually the percentage of the two-party vote that the incumbent gets) can be pretty much forecast by the 'Bread and Peace index', a model developed by Douglas Hibbs that only looks at per capita real personal disposable income (RPDI) growth and military fatalities. That's it.

And when you plot his predictions versus the actual election results you get one of the tighter fits you're ever likely to see of human behavior in the real world:


Now this happens to match my gut feeling that most presidential elections already have their basic handicap built in regardless of who the candidates are and what they do. Personalities, policies, campaign strategies, and events have an effect but they're likely at best second or third order factors.

And it's interesting to note that the two most recent 'ideological' elections - 1964 and 1980 - actually fall perfectly onto the Bread and Peace trend line. Which implies that the Goldwater trouncing and the Reagan revolution were less about the American public rejecting and then later accepting conservatism than the vagaries where the elections happened to fall in the economic cycle and the ongoing rate of military casualties. There's an awful lot of luck in life and it rarely gets its full due.

So assuming the model holds true for 2012 what does it say about the prospects of Obama getting re-elected? Well based on the third quarter of 2011 it looks pretty grim for Barack:


Of course Nov. 6th 2012 is almost four quarters away and a lot could happen in between then. But unless RPDI hits 4% by the election Obama is going to stay the under-dog at least by a few percentage points. This isn't grounds for complacency but to me at least it's a sign that panicky mood swings and fatalism over every little development are unjustified. The field is likely to be against Obama and we need to hold steady and play it to our advantage.

Plus we should all have a little humility and accept the very likely possibility that all the things we obsess on and go hammer and tongs against each other over during elections - ideology, policy differences, debate performances, etc - probably matter far, far, far, far less than we like to believe. And may not matter at all.

But that doesn't mean we have to stop fighting over them. more...

Posted by: Maetenloch at 05:24 PM | Comments (561)
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CBO: Federal Workers Overcompensated By 16%, As Compared to Private Sector Equivalents
— Ace

Membership (in the Liberal Client Welfare Club) has its privileges.

Posted by: Ace at 01:03 PM | Comments (521)
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Occupy Providence Protesters Disrupt a Pro-Life Rally, Showering Condoms on Catholic School Girls
— Ace


Demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street movement threw condoms on Catholic schoolgirls, refused to allow a Catholic priest to give a closing prayer, and shouted down a pro-life speaker at a Rhode Island right to life rally on Thursday, according to its organizer. The event marked the third time protesters associated with the movement have disrupted a pro-life meeting in a week.


The pro-life organization’s executive director, Barth E. Bracy, told LifeSiteNews.com that, near the end of the rally, the Occupiers “strategically fanned out with military precision.”

That’s when they “started showering condoms down on some of the girls from a Catholic high school.”

I don't want to encourage violence, but I would warn Occupy: If I'm on the jury? No way the guy who beats the shit out of you gets convicted. And I imagine I'd have four or five like-minded people on the panel.

Better ask if you want a "counterprotest" on your teeth.

Posted by: Ace at 12:16 PM | Comments (246)
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Allen West's Redistricted District About To Get 4% More Democratic
— Ace

Read the whole thing.

The House Chairman of Redistricting says the map can only be drawn in certain ways, due to new legal restrictions on district line-drawing:

The newly approved constitutional amendments, passed by more than 60% of Florida voters, require the legislature to follow a set of standards. This is the first time the legislature has been required to follow these legal standards

These new standards have resulted in disrupting the current districts for incumbents. The Tampa Bay Times stated that the House, Senate, and Congressional maps represent “a record-breaking shakeup in incumbency.” It has been reported that at least 38 members of the Florida legislature do not currently live in their district.

I don't know if I believe that, or believe it partly, or disbelieve it, or what. I just saw this story from a commenter 90 minutes ago.

Depending on the hour, I despair about a base which is so paranoid that they're eager to believe an Establishment is so stupid and suicidal as to boot out a rock star just because he's a threat to them...

...or I despair that they are, in fact, exactly that stupid and suicidal.

Posted by: Ace at 12:06 PM | Comments (184)
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