November 30, 2013

Open Thread
— rdbrewer


Two NSFW videos below the fold. They are dramatizations of conversations found in YouTube comments. Via @tmi3rd and @CraigR3521. Plus, a video of Black Friday, 1963. more...

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A Couple Of Good Saturday Reads
— JohnE.

The first from Matt Labash over at The Weekly Standard really is a must-read. He followed around the completely "non-partisan" Enroll America group in Florida, who were walking around door-to-door looking to "inform" people about their "choices". Hilarity ensued.

One thing I've noticed, and it's a good thing for those of us that oppose the ACA, is just how deeply this Obamacare failure perception has penetrated the public consciousness. I even saw an Auburn fan carrying around a "[Nick] Saban Loves Obamacare" sign this morning (an Oregon student did the same to Stanford a few weeks ago on ESPN). It seems to have gotten to the point that the memes and lolcat generation is publicly mocking it, which is probably more dangerous to the law than supporters realize. Even minorities, the most supportive of the Obama agenda, are making fun of the law:

A few houses later, Rhianna tries to straighten out an address on her list with two guys standing on a porch—one African American, wearing flip-flops and jogging shorts with no shirt, the other looking like the Cuban-American rapper Pitbull. They exchange pleasantries, and Rhianna asks if they both have insurance and are pleased with it. Yes, they assent.

But when I ask the gents if they have any intention of signing up for Obamacare, they start laughing—at first politely, then almost violently. “No!” says Pitbull. “And wait online 18 hours?” “Obamacare!” says Shirtless, elbowing Pitbull. Pitbull then starts making finger-pistol signs directing me down the street. “Keep on walking with Obamacare,” he says, still convulsing.

Also, check out this Daily Beast article that examines the shifting demographics and leftward sprint in urban politics. Cities are becoming more and more Democrat super-majority controlled, largely because the middle class is getting squeezed out.
The decline in voter participation occurs as cities are becoming ever more one-party constituencies. Two decades ago a large chunk of the top twelve cities were run by Republicans, but today none are. America’s cities have evolved into a political monoculture, with the Democratic share growing by 20 percent or more in most of the largest urban counties.
Both are long, but well worth the time.

Posted by: JohnE. at 10:20 AM | Comments (86)
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December 01, 2013

Sunday Morning Book Thread 12-01-2013: Gratitude [OregonMuse]
— Open Blogger


FirstThanksgiving500p-orig.jpg
The Old Thanksgiving

What Are You Thankful For?

Me, I'm thankful to God for my wife, the lovely Mrs. Muse, my children, and the fact that He has caused us to live in a prosperous, secure country. Even in these days where we're thinking that it's all falling apart, our lives are still more prosperous, comfortable, and secure than 99% of the people who have ever lived. Oh, there might have been a Pharaoh or two who had it better, but when I look at the sarcophagus of a long-dead king who the archeologists tell me died of an infection caused by an abscessed tooth, I realize we have something that all the mighty Pharaohs did not: dentistry.


Fat, Drunk, And Delusional Is No Way To Go Through Life, Son

OK, so I assume nobody's reading this because you're all out buying Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked by Chris Matthews, and can't wait to get it home to read it. Me, I think it's funny when I see those who call themselves "progressives" yearning for the supposed glories of a bygone golden age. But apparently Matthews couldn't lay off the scotch long enough to do the writing, because the book is a giant load of poo, at least according to this lefty professor who reviewed it for the NY Times, and really, if your book sucks so bad that even the true believers over at the Times can't stomach it, shouldn't you start thinking about packing it in?

Also, it always cracks me up when I hear lefties like Matthews bemoaning "incivility", as if their side didn't invent it, didn't expand it, and didn't propagate it at every opportunity. They think all the disgustingly vile rhetoric they've hurled continuously at every conservative starting with Goldwater and continuing on through Nixon, then Reagan, Gingrich, Bush, Palin, etc. has been flushed down the memory hole. I think what they mean by "incivility" is really "conservatives talking back".

And those of you who just can't get enough of Tingles will be pleased to hear that all of his books (and he's written more than I thought) have been bundled into one big, corpulent, wheezing, drunken Kindle collection, a complete steal at $69.99.

Thanks to moron commenter 'ontherocks' in last week's book thread for the tip.

more...

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November 30, 2013

Overnight Open Thread (11-30-2013) - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]
— Open Blogger

Welcome to the Caturday version of the ONT. Forgive me for what I am about to do to you.

In football news, these two items cannot be ignored.

First, it looks like both Tomlin and the sideline official will be disciplined following this chickenshit move on the part of Tomlin. I'm a lifelong fan of Pittsburgh, but trash like this should not be tolerated.

And, ICYMI, this is noteworthy. Get your jollies now because this kind of fail isn't likely to repeat itself with one of the greatest football programs in our generation. They are the home team but, still, failure this epic deserves special mention.

Last week, the Florida Gators were beaten by Georgia-Southern by a score of 26-20. Worse, GSU won without ever completing a single pass. Could it get worse still? Yes. Yes it can. Did I mention that this was supposed to be a paid hit for the Gators? They paid $550k for the pleasure of this embarrassment.

From tweep Jamie Jones, this letter from NASA.

Dear Mr. Jones

We thank you for your interest in our work. Unfortunately though, we have no interest in your attached sketch entitled "A Breakthrough in Awesome Space Rockets, Now Give Me Some Money". We've long been aware of the science behind the reaction that occurs between Coke and Mentos, so believe us when we say that there's no practical use for it in our work - even if we did use "a shit load of Coke", as you so eloquently put it.

The rest can be found here. more...

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Putin on short list for Time's Person of the Year
— Purple Avenger

OK I could go along with that.

MOSCOW, November 28 (RIA Novosti) – Time magazine said Thursday that it had shortlisted Russian President Vladimir Putin as a candidate for “person of the year,”...
OTOH, it seems Milly cyrus and the Tsarnaev brothers are on the short list too.
Currently leading the online poll, with almost a quarter of the votes, is US pop star Miley Cyrus, who shocked American audiences in August with a risque performance at an MTV awards ceremony.

Other candidates are the newborn heir to the British throne Prince George, Pope Francis, Boston bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, as well as the leaders of the United States, Syria, China and Iran. The list has 42 candidates.

And of course the 800lb Snowden gorilla.

Pool anyone? I'll stake out the low ground with Cyrus.

Speaking of all things Russia, it seems Russians aren't all that happy with their legislature either.

...Only 39 percent of respondents — down 8 percentage points since 2011 — said the country could not function normally without the Duma, while 43 percent said the legislature was largely redundant, compared with 32 percent in 2011.

Only 16 percent of respondents said they had positive feelings about the Duma's work, down 4 percentage points since 2011.

more...

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Politics!
— Dave in Texas

my bad.. here you go

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 06:16 AM | Comments (34)
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47,000 Away From Home
— Dave in Texas

47,000 reasons to give thanks to them, and their loved ones.

47000.jpg

God bless them. Keep them safe and bring them home.

UPDATE: All politics all the time, here

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 06:18 AM | Comments (40)
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Turkey Weekend College Football Saturday
— Dave in Texas

I hope everyone got some pie yesterday. And if conditions are favorable, there is still some around today.

Oregon, Baylor. No longer stomping opponents with their offense, just hanging on now.

Top ten action today, all times EST:

(2) Florida State vs. Florida, noon (I miss watching this game with my cousins, two brothers who attended each school. There were fistfights)

(3) Ohio State vs. Michigan, also noon

Game of the day, (1) Alabama vs. (4) Auburn, 3:30pm. See histwah of the "Iron Bowl" in the sidebar. If you ever go to Birmingham check out the statue of Vulcan. And eat some grits.

(9) Baylor vs. TCU, 3:30pm. Bears trying to get back into a BCS game after gettin they asses kicked by Oklahoma State.

(6) Clemson vs. (10) South Carolina, 7pm

( Stanford vs. (25) Notre Dame, 7pm

(5) Mizzou vs. (21) Texas A&M, 7:45 pm. I miss the T-day matchup with Texas.

And a nod to Georgia and Georgia Tech, not top ten but both 7-4 and it'll be a good fight this afternoon at 3:30pm. I still remember Lewis Grizzard's joke about Ga. Tech.. "What time is the game?" "What time can y'all be here?"

Happy Thanksgiving weekend ya goofs.

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Posted by: Dave in Texas at 07:08 AM | Comments (159)
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Saturday Morning Open Thread
— andy

Is the website fixed yet, daddy?

Posted by: andy at 02:54 AM | Comments (4)
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Saturday Morning Open Thread
— andy

Is the website fixed yet, daddy?

Posted by: andy at 02:54 AM | Comments (301)
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Saturday Morning Open Thread
— andy

Is the website fixed yet, daddy?

Posted by: andy at 02:54 AM | Comments (4)
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Saturday Morning Open Thread
— andy

Is the website fixed yet, daddy?

Posted by: andy at 02:54 AM | Comments (4)
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Saturday Car Thread - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]
— Open Blogger

Welcome back to the easy, breezy Saturday car thread.

It is my hope that each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, full of love, laughter, and pie. And, with Thanksgiving now behind us, it's time to focus on the rape of our culture and the mass consumerism that has destroyed our country.

Ooops! Sorry! I blacked out for a moment while recalling the faux-rage of a thousand dirty hippies as they took to twitter to grieve for our lost souls.

In tribute to them, and to honor the greatest poverty-destroying system in the world, I present a thread dedicated to greed. Sorry. I slipped again. Did I say "greed"? I meant to say "giving".

A few gift suggestions for the car lovers among us.

For the heavy-footed:

A radar detector. These, however, are not your run of the mill detectors, or... at these prices... they'd better not be.

For the guy who doesn't mind a few ants in his car:

A bacon-scented air freshener. This scent is available in spray form, but I recommend this version instead. The next time a hobo approaches your car, insisting on washing your windows, just point at it and tell him that the last fella who tried that is now hanging from your rear-view mirror.

For the littlest capitalists:

Hey Dionne, check out the totally lumped-out Jeep daddy bought me!

more...

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November 29, 2013

Overnight Open Thread -- 11/29/13
— Open Blogger

My deepest apologies for the tardiness of this thread. With the holidays and some family issues in recent days, it had completely slipped my mind. So, lets start out with a fair approximation of what I feel like right about now.

more...

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Pre-ONT Open Thread - {Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]
— Open Blogger

It is my hope that someone will be along shortly to stomp this lowly thread.

In the meantime, a reminder of what might have been.

Senator Ashley Judd.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 06:09 PM | Comments (180)
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General Electric starts 3D printing jet engine parts
— Purple Avenger

This seems like a big effing deal

...on the hunt for ways to build more than 85,000 fuel nozzles for its new Leap jet engines, is making a big investment in 3D printing. Usually the nozzles are assembled from 20 different parts. Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing can create the units in one metal piece, through a successive layering of materials. The process is more efficient and can be used to create designs that can’t be made using traditional techniques, GE says. The finished product is stronger and lighter than those made on the assembly line...

Tangentially related...

Boeing plans to spend $27B over 30 years on producing titanium airplane parts in Russia.
...The parts produced by UBM are finish-machined by Boeing at its Gresham, Ore., plant.

Just over a year ago Boeing said it expects to has budgeted $27 billion for Russian-sourced titanium, aerospace design-engineering services, and other services and materials over the coming 30 years...

Posted by: Purple Avenger at 02:02 PM | Comments (372)
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A Live Tweet of an Escalating Battle Between Two Annoyed Airline Thanksgiving Travelers
— Ace

Little story about Elan and Dianne.

Their plane was late and she complained a lot about that. Her complaining annoyed Elan (who, frankly, seems like a douche). But I guess someone wigging out over a plane's lateness can be annoying to other passengers.

Anyway, he began a small war against her, with notes and alcohol, encouraging her to drink so she couldn't "use her mouth."

He tweeted it, with pictures of the notes.


If you look at Elan's picture, and his claimed occupation ("TV producer"), you'll probably get the idea, as I did, that he's got a shitty attitude himself and was spoiling to amuse himself by picking on someone.

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Delicious: The New York Times Ask Readers to Comment About Black Friday (Subtext: The Evils of Capitalism), and Their Commenters Hilariously One-Up Each Other in the Moral Preening Olympics
— Ace


New York Times readers have a chance to make it into the paper. These are the sorts of things they think will catch an editors' eye -- the sort of sentiments they think the NYT editors are looking for.

And they're probably right.

Some highlights in the Conspicuous Compassion Floor Exercise of the Moral Preening Olympics:

To me it means getting in the car with my spouse and adult daughters and heading to Cape May...Birding! None of us buy into this nonsensical consumer binge day.

I love to crawl up inside those [innocent memories of childhood Black Fridays past] and hide on Black Friday these days. It's become a blood sport that rewards the aggressive and punishes the elderly and disabled who can't partake in mad dashes for limited sale items offered during insanely early hours. This year, Black Friday becomes Black Thursday and begins the erosion of Thanksgiving and one less day to create family memories.

Note the first complaint is that the "insanely early hours" on Friday punish the disabled and elderly. However, this year, they've stopped that, and begun sales on Thursday evening. And so this guy comes up with a complaint about that, too -- ignoring the fact that they just addressed his "insanely early hours" complaint.

Whatever day they do this on, this guy is ready, willing, and able to grumble about how unfair it all is.

Now, this next guy does have a complaint that many conservatives would share -- conservatives don't really love the commercialization of the holiday season, either.

But then he loses me. Como se dice "overwrought"?

MHO Black Friday is the high holy day for the state religion of over-consumption. And it seemingly permeates our entire culture and every socioeconomic level at least for this one day. When will we learn that more "stuff" can't make us happy? I plan to stay away from the stores Friday. The savings are not irresistible to me at all - they only serve to remind me that the corporate mark-up the rest of the time is shameful.

Compare with Dave In Texas' post below, about unionists protesting against Wal*Mart. Note that Wal*Mart's strategy is to reduce prices to the lowest possible level-- that is, to attain the lowest "corporate mark-up." Yet another guy who's angry no matter what, whether the mark-up is high enough to pay a "living wage" or if it's too low for that.

He continues:


If only we could spend the day serving our neighbors, or wait a day and perhaps spend a little something in our local communities on Small Business Saturday. Or simply revel in being with our loved ones continuing for a second day to reflect on what we already have to be thankful for instead - their presence in our lives. Isn't that the most important thing of all over this and every holiday season?

He expresses a wish about what "we" could do, serving our neighbors, but I don't see any indication he actually wishes to achieve this wish. Seems to me he could do all of these things on his own. I guess he's waiting for an Official Government Program.

Next up: Despair.

Black Friday means absolutely nothing to me, except to take a moment to despair of what Christmas has become. I'm not religious, but the season itself has always been important. Seeing people kill each other over parking spots and consumer electronics of dubious value is disturbing.

Won't someone think of the local artist community?

I may do some holiday shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend. I do not shop at big box stores, rather than that, I shop at small, unique, local shops. I also buy from artists, and often I make the gifts that I give.

Talkin' about a Revolution:

Black Friday is a day to protest Black Friday at Walmart and by extension all the other low-wage places selling imported junk and garbage food to people who don't need any of it. We will protest to demonstrate the economic devastation they have wrought with their sub-poverty wages and their cheap, job killing imported stock. Their poverty wages and prices cost taxpayers between $400,000 and $2,000,000 per store per year in social services and only god knows how much in other forms of corporate welfare.

Walmart is only the beginning. Unbridled greed and insensitivity has a price and reckoning is coming, faster and harder all of the time. Revolution is building and cannot be stopped.

Someone replies that while he's all in favor of Revolution, he's worried our oppressed classes are too oppressed for a proper revolt, and in fact will join the madness:

wish I felt as sure as you do about a revolution against corporate greed and low wages. I fear that it will be those very low-paid workers who will be crashing down those doors on Black Friday because they desperstely need the biggest bargains.

"Shame:"

A day to buy even more junk that no one needs and will wind up on the floor or in the closet. Shame, shame.

You have to love Preening Leftists accusing other people of self-importance:

the selfish people who shop on Thanksgiving...should be ashamed but I am sure that their greed and sense of self importance is stronger.

That commenter failed her Saving Throw for self-awareness.

At least they're not self-bragging about how much more intelligent they are than everyday Americans.

If the total brain power of the U.S. was consolidated, there would not be enough energy to build a bomb that would blow up a peanut.

Oh right. Should have figured.

Finally, NYT commenter "LotusChild" goes for understatement in free-associating on "Black Friday:"

Black. Horrible. Like disease, doom, and death.

Yup.

Check @verumserum's timeline for more gems as he finds them.

There are a lot of legitimate criticisms to make about the commercialization of the holiday season. The religious right aren't fans of it -- and of course the religious left aren't fans of it (though they don't comprehend that their own objections are in fact religious in nature).

Plus, the Black Friday "savings" are largely an illusion. 40% off doesn't mean anything. These guys set the prices, for crying out loud. A sweater marked down from $200 to $110 was probably always intended to sell at $110.

Many Black Friday "deals" are basically exploiting people's desire to feel like they've gotten the better of someone, that is, that they've swindled someone themselves. That they've struck an unfair deal -- but unfair in their own direction.

Which is how almost all cons work, you know: The target is made to feel like he's swindling someone else.

And of course that's not what's really happening. One can't help but notice the massive profits these stores ring up after the holiday shopping season -- if they were really losing money on these deals, how would they be making a profit?

But one can make all these points without preening about it excessively.

I always say that the unexpressed Main Point of 70% of communication is "I'm better than You" or "I'm better than these Other People." The readership of the New York Times is superlative -- they cross the 90% threshold easily.

And they're just getting started showing off their #caring. I'm pretty sure this will get even sillier.

Mega Mart's Black Friday Sale: Back when Saturday Night Live was still occasionally funny (yes, there was a time when it was sometimes funny), they did this parody of Black Friday madness.

more...

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Black Friday Stupid
— Dave in Texas

The unions keep hammering away at Wal-Mart, with dozens of hired protestors at stores around the country. Their living wage today is a $50 gift card.

Redeemable at Wal-Mart, and other retailers.

In the past, the United Food and Commercial Workers and OUR Walmart, a subsidiary of UFCW, had offered $50 gift cards to anyone who showed up to protest. The National Labor Relations Board approved the practice in a memorandum this month.

Many anti-Walmart protests in the past have lacked actual Wal-Mart employees. At the protest on Friday, workers from other Wal-Mart locations were present, but none from the Ontario store.

I wonder who they are, if not actual Wal-Mart employees?

pizza now.jpg

WHAT DO WE WANT? PIZZA! WHEN DO WE WANT IT? NOW!

Never mind the poor, who need and benefit from lower prices for goods and services.

The United Food and Commercial Workers have been after Bentonville for 20 years. They would prefer lines in the street to buy toilet paper than the status quo. Because, justice or something.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 09:02 AM | Comments (171)
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Michael "Piltdown" Mann melts down at HuffPo
— Purple Avenger

There's really no way to describe this screed other than a meltdown.

Its EPIC. You can almost feel the fleckspittle flying out of the screen at you. He's losing it. more...

Posted by: Purple Avenger at 08:09 AM | Comments (104)
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