December 29, 2013

Late Afternoon Football Open Thread - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]
— Open Blogger

Because you asked nicely.

You know, now that we're in week 17, the woman in me really feels the urge to break up with football before it breaks up with me.

Oh, and...

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Food Thread: Paella: A Great Holiday Dish [CBD]
— Open Blogger

We Politely Request That All Off-Topic or Political Comments Be Directed to the Thread Directly Below This One, Which Will Serve Officially as the Current "Active Conversation" Thread for All Discussions Not Related To This Topic.

-- Sincerely, the Fascist MGMT

Maybe not for Spaniards, because they get to eat it a lot and probably get sick of it, but certainly here in America it is an uncommon dish, and one that works nicely for a large group. Just don't be fooled by the whole "one pot meal" thing. It's a fair amount of work, and it will trash your kitchen.

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January 01, 2014

Ten Years of Nonsense: JackM's Epic Poems
— Ace

I have counted the votes, and you morons decided that you wanted me to publish the epic poem that won Fox News' Miss Suzanne Sena's heart.

It's perhaps the finest work ever published in the history of the blogosphere. I say that humbly. The credit, of course, does not go to me. I am simply the vessel thru which Suzanne Sena's inspirational essence flows. (See how great that line is? It merely hints at what is to come.)

I'll put this epic masterpiece in the extended entry, so that you won't have to read it if this is of no interest to you. Don't let the fact that this will most likely be thought of by future generations as a work that is as important as "Beowulf" prejudice your decision.

And now, for your voyeuristic pleasure, I present to you my masterpiece. How long did it take me to write it? A lifetime, my friends. A lifetime.

UPDATE: They are trying to bury my masterpiece with lots of new posts, so I am bumping this one closer to the top. Humor me, or I'll publish Volume II.

UPDATE 2: (Jack M.- 2014)Thank you, Ace, for including me in your "Ten Years of Nonsense" series. Some are asking some questions below, so I just wanted to provide a couple of quick answers: Ace and I are different people (he's the one with the hobo and e-cig fetish, although not necessarily in that order. Ok, yes, exactly in that order.), this is exactly as the post appeared originally (would y'all repaint the Mona Lisa? No, no you wouldn't. But you're morons, so if you did it would come out like this, and the intro line about the "votes" is just strangely serendipitous. Also commenter AD is perhaps the greatest literary reviewer in the history of AOSHQ commenters.

Jokes aside, I appreciate greatly being included in Ace's "Ten Years" series. It's always been fun to blog here, and I'm grateful that Ace has given me opportunities over the last ten years to engage in silliness like this. Y'all are a great bunch of morons, and I wish y'all a very Happy 2014.

Jack M. (@jackmcoldcuts on twitter) more...

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December 29, 2013

Sunday Football Thread
— Dave in Texas

Last (well almost last) games of 2013. Today I get to watch my backup QB try to beat the Eagles. I don't like our chances (but I like em better than I would have if Romo was startin).

cheervpg-vertical.jpg

A repeat but repeats like this are good.

Bonus New Year cheerleaders below the thingy:

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So How Was Your Christmas Dinner? [OregonMuse]
— Open Blogger


hitler xmas photo.jpg

I hope it was better than this guy's.

I hereby declare this thread to be open. For all non-book fol-de-rol & misc. stuff.

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Sunday Morning Open Thread
— andy

Love that new thread smell.

Posted by: andy at 03:16 AM | Comments (241)
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Sunday Gun Thread
— Dave in Texas

What's this?

mg34_l.jpg

Hint: There are a lot of them in this scene.

(answer below)

Content light gun thread this morning! I hope you all had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year to you.

Tips

If there are topics you're interested in seeing in the gun thread, please send them to AoSHQGunThread at gmail. You can also send them to me (him, Andy) on Twitter at @AndyM1911.

The owner's manual for your concealed carry permit: The Law of Self Defense

Defend the Second Amendment. Join: The National Rifle Association * Gun Owners of America * The National Shooting Sports Foundation * Your state's second amendment org.

Celebrate America's firearms heritage: participate in Project Appleseed. more...

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 06:30 AM | Comments (130)
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December 28, 2013

Pre-ONT Open Thread
— Slublog

One of you asked nicely, so here you go.

Posted by: Slublog at 03:37 PM | Comments (181)
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December 29, 2013

Sunday Morning Book Thread 12-29-2013: In the Winter [OregonMuse]
— Open Blogger


winter-photos-3.jpg


Good morning morons and moronettes and welcome to the award-winning AoSHQ's prestigious Sunday Morning Book Thread.

Christmas Gifts

So, what books did all you 'rons and 'ettes find under the Christmas Tree this year? Me, I didn't get any, but the lovely Mrs. Muse did give me a $25 Amazon gift card for Kindle purchases. But elsewhere in the Muse household, my daughter-in-law gave my son, who considers himself a connoisseur of booze, a hardback copy of The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks by Amy Stewart. From the Amazon blurb:

Peppered with fascinating facts and well-chosen anecdotes, Amy Stewart’s brisk tour of the origin of spirits acquaints the curious cocktail fan with every conceivable ingredient. Starting with the classics (from agave to wheat), she touches on obscure sources--including a tree that dates to the dinosaur age--before delving into the herbs, spices, flowers, trees, fruits, and nuts that give the world’s greatest drinks distinctive flavors. Along the way, you’ll enjoy sidebars on bugs in booze and inspired drink recipes with backstories that make lively cocktail party conversation.

My daughter received The Rabbi's Cat, by French cartoonist Joann Sfar, which is a graphic novel about, well, a rabbi's cat. It's hard to talk about a book like this without giving away too much, but I think this Amazon summation is the right amount of informative without straying into Spoilerville:

A slinky gray cat lives with a rabbi and his beautiful young daughter. One day, the feline eats their parrot, only to find that he has gained the bird's ability to talk. Witty and highly intelligent, the cat immediately decides that he wants to learn more about Judaism, from the Kabbalah to the Torah.

I read this one yesterday. It was OK. There's a sequel out, too.


War on Christmas Christians

The RINO stylings of Hotair's Ed Morrissey gets him routinely booed, rasberried, and mooned here at the AoSHQ. His nickname, "Poppin' Fresh", was not bestowed out of affection. But, occasionally, he does come out with some good stuff. Like this piece here, which refers to this Fox News piece by Juan Williams (who also routinely gets booed, rasberried, and mooned here at the AoSHQ) on worldwide persecution of Christians. Ed added a reference to a book on this subject, The Global War on Christians by John Allen, that looks worthwhile.

Ed writes:

Allen’s book provides a well-reasoned, well-sourced wake-up call for Christians, especially in the West, where persecution is so rare that we tend to argue more about Christmas creches than the crushing of Christian populations...

Allen says there are a number of myths about Christian persecution that need to be debunked:

The Myth That Christians Are at Risk Only Where They’re a Minority
The Myth That No One Saw It Coming
The Myth That It’s All About Islam
The Myth That It’s Only Persecution if the Motives Are Religious
The Myth That Anti-Christian Persecution Is a Political Issue

Ed summarizes:

Allen’s book shines a much-needed light on those martyrs and the suffering of Christians around the world. If readers are interested in a real war on Christian beliefs and way of life, be sure to pick up The Global War on Christians, and make it a stocking stuffer for your friends and family.

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December 28, 2013

Talking NSA Phone Metadata Collection on Vigilant Liberty Radio at 10pm
— Gabriel Malor

FYI, I'll be discussing the NSA phone metadata cases tonight on Vigilant Liberty Radio's Cigar Lounge show at 10pm Eastern.

As Ace and Drew have discussed, the two district court decisions on the NSA's phone metadata collection came to opposite conclusions about the program's constitutionality. The first court to rule on it (PDF) straight-up admitted that it was discarding the Supreme Court precedent known as the third party doctrine, saying the precedent should not apply in the context of phones anymore because their use is so ubiquitous. The second court to rule (PDF) stuck with precedent and held that the ACLU did not have a constitutionally protected privacy right to business records created and maintained by a third party, i.e., the phone company.

You can probably tell where I come down on it. Not only do I think the program is constitutional under current precedent, I think it should be constitutional.

Here's the key holding of the second decision:


And here the judge lists analogous situations:


The first district court repeatedly mischaracterized the metadata records as belonging to the customers and not the phone company, dismissed relevant precedent, responded sarcastically to the government's arguments (it's been a while since I've seen a court decision with that many exclamation marks), and dismissed out of hand part of the government's explanation for the program. For all those reasons, I expect the first decision to be overturned on appeal and the second to be upheld.

Whether the Supreme Court ultimately overturns its own precedent with respect to the third party doctrine in the context of this case, I don't want to guess. The high court's Fourth Amendment jurisprudence is a mess. Last year they held that the Fourth Amendment forbids police from putting a GPS tracker on a car for a month without a warrant, but allows police to take DNA swabs from every person arrested on suspicion of a felony. Predicting how they'd come out on this one is probably a fool's errand. And, of course, Congress may moot the question by altering FISA or the NSA next year.

Anyway, it should be a lively discussion tonight. Jason Pye from United Liberty will be on arguing for the other side. Tune in at 10pm.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 01:03 PM | Comments (279)
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Overnight Open Thread (28 Dec 2013)
— CDR M

This is a good question. When will insurers ever say enough's enough? As it stands, I have little sympathy towards insurers. They willingly got in bed with this administration on this.

How can anyone run a business this way? This is worse than being a federal agency. No federal agency would be expected to stop and start on a personal whim like this. These aren’t rules, they aren’t regulations, they are dictates based on nothing more than Kathleen Sebelius’ momentary feelings.

These are only the “glitches” that have been made public. God knows what orders and threats are being issued in closed-door meetings.

How long will the insurance industry abide being treated like shoe shine boys?

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December 31, 2013


— Ace

Originally Published April 1, 2005.

If you've forgotten this bit, Pat O'Brien left a series of sexually explicit voicemails on the phone of a woman he was trying to arrange a tryst with. Among his various suggestions for a fun night out were getting coke, getting whores, and having a menage à trois with his girlfriend Betsy.

Frequently he advised his would-be paramour: "You have to pretend to be into Betsy." Because, Gentleman.

The voicemails can be heard on YouTube -- but note the Content Warning.

This all led to a lot of fun on the site, including commenters' doing Pat O'Brien haikus. (How come we don't do haikus anymore? Hm, we need to start doing haikus again.)

I'd like that stuff but it's very very dirty and I try not to swear so much anymore. If you go searching for Pat O'Brien stuff, don't comment on those years-old threads, because the system will deem that to be spam and ban you.

The one thing I'll link, because no dirty words will wind up appearing in this post, is AllahPundit's mash-up of Lionel Ritchie's sappy Hello with Pat O'Brien's more forward-leaning greetings. Again, Content Warning.

There's actually an ending to this tale that I forgot-- Pat O'Brien pretended to be into Betsy by proposing to her. I guess they're married now.

At the time, I guessed that O'Brien's wedding vows would be:

I, Pat O'Brien, take thee, Betsy,
as my lawfully wedded wife;
to have and to hold;
to just go craaaaazy on you;
to love and to cherish;
to get some hookers and some coke;
to honor and obey;
we can have any of these whores;
I don't know why I'm acting like this;
I'm so into you, let's do it,
let's have some sex.


Posted by: Ace at 01:42 PM | Comments (92)
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December 28, 2013

Ten Years of Nonsense: Donald Trump Grills the Democrats on Why They Lost the 2004 Election
— Ace

Originally published November 5th, 2004. This was just three days after the November 2nd, 2004 Bush victory over John Kerry, John Edwards, Michael Moore's "documentary" Farenheit 911, and of course Dan Rather's attempt to foist forged TANG documents on the public. more...

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December 30, 2013

Ten Years of Nonsense: Ace's Generic Walk-Thru For Every Video Game You've Ever Played
— Ace

Originally Published December 07, 2004. more...

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December 28, 2013

Saturday Car Thread 12/28/13 - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]
— Open Blogger

Happy last-Saturday-of-2013!

It's astonishing how this year has flown by.

Now, a personal letter to Jeep from this guest blogger:

To the folks at Jeep,

I wish I were writing to you under happier circumstances but such is not the case as, just this week, I laid eyes upon the travesty that is the 2014 Grand Cherokee.

Presently, I own a 2008 Grand Cherokee, purchased new in 2008. And, I don't think I would be overstating it to say that I love my truck. I love the looks, the ride, the dependability.... I love my Jeep. That being said, I had thought that I might trade up to a newer version this coming year. I can now assure you that such is no longer the case.

What the hell were you thinking?

Jeeps have long appealed to a certain type of auto buyer; those seeking rugged good looks with the ability to handle conditions which leaves competitors in the dust.

My affection for Jeeps goes back decades and I even wrote a post at Ace.mu.nu about the thrill of purchasing my first in 2008.

Now, I am left befuddled and, frankly, hoping that my current Jeep (and my patience) hold out long enough for the NEXT generation of Grand Cherokee to arrive because, frankly, there is simply no way I am going to spend one red cent on the 2014 model.

The 2014 Grand Cherokee could provide a ride so thrilling that only a rocket on rails could compete and I still would not purchase it.

It could possess the ability to pull a Hummer out of waist-deep mud and I still would not purchase it.

Why?

Because you have stripped any evidence of its rugged nature from its appearance. Worse, not only have you feminized it beyond belief, you have done so such a way as to create a devastatingly unattractive vehicle.

It is, put plainly, ugly.

Really, really ugly.

No matter how well it drives/pulls/feels the first thing one must desire about a personal vehicle is its aesthetics and the 2014 version leaves me more than cold. In fact, it leaves me boiling at the notion that Jeep would compromise the integrity of the brand in attempt to, what...appeal more to female-buyers rather than "Jeep" buyers? Well, this female buyer isn't biting.

As my sister remarked upon seeing it, "Well wouldn't that be just precious with some false lashes and a little bit of mascara?"

Indeed.

Here's to hoping that the folks at Jeep will remember their heritage, and their loyal fans, when designing the NEXT generation Grand Cherokee.

Just. Wow!

Sincerely,

A Jeep Owner in Jacksonville


Now, a look back...

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December 30, 2013

Congratulations, Ace
— rdbrewer

It's the tenth anniversary of Ace of Spades HQ. Ace's first post consisted of two words, "First post." It was on December 30, 2003. Very soon after that, he came up with the Dowd-O-Matic (which still works) and The Definitive D&D Guide to the Democratic Presidential Candidates, which, if I recall correctly, was his first post to be linked by some bigger sites. So, within the first few weeks he was already gaining notoriety.

Ace was looking for ideas about best posts. Part of the problem with that is there are so many. Just pick a random week over the last ten years, and one can find several outstanding posts. The archives are in the right sidebar, way down near the bottom. Scroll down, pick a date, and take a look. A lot of good stuff there.

From December 30, 2003:

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December 28, 2013

College Football Who Can Keep Up?
— Dave in Texas

Not me. Not. Me.

Four games today

Rutgers vs. Notre Dame in the New.. era.. pinstripe bowl. (WTF?). Noon.

Cincinnati vs. North Carolina in the Belk Bowl. 3 somethin

Miami (FL) and Louisville in the Russell Athletic Amazeballs Bowl. 6-ish

Meeechigan and Kansas St. in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, after 10 when we're all asleep.

miami-cheerleaders-5 (448x252).jpg

Happy New Year you goofballs.

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Lib Talk Radio: Dying? Or Maybe It Just Smells That Way [OregonMuse]
— Open Blogger


ed-schultz.jpg


One of the moonbat left's counters to Rush Limbaugh, Air America, briefly fizzled, and is now gone. And now, happily, other lib talkers are also going the way of the dodo. According to this:

2014 will mark the beginning of a massive change for liberal talk radio across the country. In New York, WWRL 1600 AM will flip to Spanish-language music and talk, throwing Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Randi Rhodes, and Alan Colmes off the air. In Los Angeles, KTLK 1150 will be dumping Stephanie Miller, Rhodes, Bill Press and David Cruz off the air in favor of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. In San Francisco, KNEW 960 will leave Miller, Hartmann, and Mike Malloy without a radio home in the market.

No doubt the progressives will complain that they're the victims of a conspiracy hatched by eeeeeevil corporations to silence their courageous dissenting voices. My response is to point out that in a sane and just world, most of the lib talk guys would be handing out towels in men's restrooms. Also, that if the mainstream media had been doing its job, Rush Limbaugh wouldn't have one. They don't seem to understand this.

I have always wondered why liberals thought they could succeed in talk radio. It seems to me obvious that the main problem they would have to face is one of market saturation. Conservative talk radio has successfully branded itself as 'the other voice'. I remember the early days of Rush Limbaugh where he'd get callers thanking him profusely just for airing views that they long held but never heard voiced on any of the big media outlets. Some restaurants even set up 'Rush rooms' were they would pipe in Rush's show to customers who wanted to hear it.

But with liberal talk radio, none of this is necessary. If you want to hear liberal and progressive views, all you have to do is turn on your TV or pick up a newspaper. The problem is not hearing liberal views, the problem is, where can you go to hear something else? Even Fox News. Liberals don't understand when you try to explain to them that Fox News isn't really "conservative", it's just a mainstream media outlet that allows some conservatives to talk on it. It only sounds conservative because you get to hear, however briefly, something other than the all-pervasive kultursmog of the liberal left.

But getting back to market saturation, I had to laugh when Air America announced they were going to set up an outlet in the San Francisco market. I thought, did they even research this?. Not only does SF have the alphabet networks and NPR, there's also KPFA, a radio station across the Bay in Berkeley that has been the voice of the progressive left for over 60 years. KPFA shows are professionally produced and presented, while over on Air America, it was pretty much amateur hour all the way. So what exactly was Air America going to be providing that Bay Area radio listeners can't get in the other progressive outlets?

Another problem was that some of those Air America guys sounded like spittle-flecked rage monkeys. This couldn't have helped.

So lib talk radio is a miserable failure. It failed in San Francisco. It failed all over the place. Even the Air America station in my college-town-liberal home of Eugene, Oregon gave it up after only a year or two. I listened to it a couple of times, but the local NPR affiliate did a much better job of broadcasting progressive-left news and opinions.

It boils down to this: if I'm a lefty, what does lib radio have to offer that I can't already get on MSNBC? Other than no Chris Matthews, I mean.

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Saturday Morning Open Thread
— andy

Mornin', all.

Posted by: andy at 01:23 AM | Comments (338)
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December 27, 2013

A&E Announces It's Welcoming Back Phil Robertson, and He'll Be Rejoining the Show
— Ace

Our long national nightmare is only warming up, I'm afraid.

Robertson only gets to speak his mind without punishment because he has millions of fans.

The rest of us are not so fortunate.


The network and the Robertson family announced Friday that Phil will still be part of the series -- and since he didn't miss any filming, his temporary suspension will have no effect on the upcoming fifth season.

Maet liked this mention of a special contractual rider:

The entire Robertson family has been on hiatus for duck hunting season, a contractual stipulation, which continues through Jan. 26 in their native Louisiana.

Here's A&E's statement:

As a global media content company, A+E Networks’ core values are centered around creativity, inclusion and mutual respect. We believe it is a privilege for our brands to be invited into people’s home and we operate with a strong sense of integrity and deep commitment to these principals.

That is why we reacted so quickly and strongly to a recent interview with Phil Robertson.

Wait, because you're a media company you have a special obligation to squelch speech you disagree with? Shouldn't your obligation run in precisely the opposite direction?

While Phil’s comments made in the interview reflect his personal views based on his own beliefs, and his own personal journey, he and his family have publicly stated they regret the “coarse language” he used and the mis-interpretation of his core beliefs based only on the article. He also made it clear he would “never incite or encourage hate.” We at A+E Networks expressed our disappointment with his statements in the article, and reiterate that they are not views we hold.

Isn't this enough? If these statements do not reflect A&E's views -- and I'm quite certain they don't -- why is it not enough to simply say "These statements do not reflect our views"?

We have reached a curious pass in the conception of free speech. First it was widely pushed by the Left that any comment it didn't like had to be "denounced" by every single person aligned with the right.

But simple denunciation turned out to be an appetizer; now it is further demanded that every person and every entity use all of its power to actively discourage, punish, and arrest disapproved thoughts.


But Duck Dynasty is not a show about one man's views. It resonates with a large audience because it is a show about family… a family that America has come to love. As you might have seen in many episodes, they come together to reflect and pray for unity, tolerance and forgiveness. These are three values that we at A+E Networks also feel strongly about.

How about we all behave like grown-ups and accept the fact that other people are going to occasionally say things we find "offensive" and that there should not be any sanction expected in such cases?


So after discussions with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups, A&E has decided to resume filming Duck Dynasty later this spring with the entire Robertson family.

"Advocacy groups."

We will also use this moment to launch a national public service campaign (PSA) promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people, a message that supports our core values as a company, and the values found in Duck Dynasty. These PSAs will air across our entire portfolio.

They always could have done this if they felt it was necessary to rebut Robertson. Why did they not simply avail themselves of such a simple (and non-coercive) means of fighting speech with, get this, other speech?

Our current social understanding of free speech is this: You can speak your mind freely if you have a large enough army of supporters to pressure a company into resisting pressure from a large army of Speech Police.

This is not free speech. This is free speech as an exceptional thing -- only for those with a wide, passionate following -- not as a routine thing.

A&E is a cowardly organization. First it puts Robertson on "indefinite hiatus" under pressure from one group of people, then it puts him back on the air because they've been pressured by a somewhat larger group of people.

At no point did they trip over anything resembling a general principle of speech free from "consequences" of broad application.

Posted by: Ace at 12:31 PM | Comments (377)
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