February 26, 2013

Obama Has New Political Tactic for Pressuing GOP: Releasing "Waves" of Illegal Immigrants from Detention Centers
— Ace

And then he'll start getting serious.

Like furloughing Border Patrol officers.

In other words, his message to the GOP is that he'll cut cops and free prisoners-- all these cuts are coming out of "our" budget, not the liberals' favorite items.

Is there any legal remedy for a president who deliberately subverts the operations of government?

Maybe. more...

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Murder Most Fowl: Former Rock Star Morrissey Says He Can't Appear on Jimmy Kimmel Because He Cannot Share the Stage with the "Animal Serial Killers" of "Duck Dynasty"
— Ace

I'm not making that up.

"Duck Dynasty" is apparently a reality tv show about a family of duck hunters. Or, "Serial Animal Killers." (That was actually the original title of the program, but it didn't test well, except with animal serial killers.)

Morrissey would be honored to play the show, if Duck Dynasty were removed.

Morrissey stated, "As far as my reputation is concerned, I can't take the risk of being on a show alongside people who, in effect, amount to animal serial killers. If Jimmy cannot dump Duck Dynasty then we must step away."

I wish there was a word for "not retarded" because I totally need it right now!

The former celebrity Morrissey then went on to opine:

What political causes mattered most to you back then, and are they still important to you now?

War, I thought, was the most negative aspect of male heterosexuality. If more men were homosexual, there would be no wars, because homosexual men would never kill other men, whereas heterosexual men love killing other men. They even get medals for it. Women don’t go to war to kill other women. Wars and armies and nuclear weapons are essentially heterosexual hobbies.

War is the most negative aspect of male heterosexuality.

Second most negative? Not buying Morrissey records.

Morrissey's One Song: Only popularly known because it became the theme song to a forgotten and very lame WB show about witches.
more...

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Lemuria Rising: Scientists Think They've Found a Sunken Continent
— Ace

Hey, In Search Of told me there was at least one sunken continent, if not three of them. Lemuria, Mu, Atlantis... all sleeping under the sea.

So here's your In Search Of news of the day.

In a paper published online Monday in Nature Geoscience, an international research team reports that it has found evidence of a lost "microcontinent" in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar. The scientists analyzed sands they found on the beaches of the island nation of Mauritius and found traces of an ancient form of the mineral zircon. That's noteworthy because Mauritius is a relatively young, volcanic island, while zircon of that age is typically found in much older, continental crust.*

The researchers propose that the minerals came from a long-submerged landmass that was once wedged between India and Madagascar in a prehistoric supercontinent known as Rodinia. The theory is that, as India and Madagascar began to drift apart some 85 million years ago, the landmass broke apart and sank, Atlantis-style. The scientists have dubbed their lost microcontinent "Mauritia."

Yeah it's fun, but I have a couple of problems. First, they call it a "micro-continent," which is another way of saying "not a continent," because "continent" is grabbier than "island." So already they've got some credibility problems.

The other things... how do continents "sink"? Ships sink because they float. When they stop floating, they sink.

Continents don't float. Well, I guess they float on magma twenty five miles down or something, but they don't "sink" like a ship, though the idea of this is stuck in the popular imagination.

They could fall lower than sea level... but... like, not all that far down. Where does all the submarine landmass wind up going? Does it just break apart like a crumbling house?

The other thing is this: Because these sorts of "Catastrophic" events are frequently pitched about the Old Earth's history, science has created a prophylactic bias against "Catastrophism." Just so many crank theories were pitched under this banner -- such as Velikovsky's magic comet, Venus, ejected from Jupiter (precisely as Venus sprang from Jupiter's head in Greek myth) -- that science began to dismiss catastrophic-explanations on their face, and insist upon Gradual Process explanations ("gradualism").

Of course this bias has its costs; for years scientists resisted the Asteroid theory of dinosaur mass extinction, because that was indeed a Castastrophic explanation, and they preferred gradualist ones (like, I don't know, overpopulation leading to mass die-offs).

But that said, there is still a reason to have one's Skeptical Cap on when reading about theories of Old Earth Continent-Sinking Catastrophes. The human brain just loves these theories too darned much! It's like Rock-n-Roll Geology! So you have to discount for human bias.

And then of course... It's suspicious that we may find Mu, Lemuria, and Atlantis too:

But if the researchers are right, Mauritia may turn out not to be the only ancient continental fragment lurking deep beneath the sea. Oxford geologist Conall Mac Niocaill told the magazine there are several other places on earth whose gravitational field might suggest the presence of submerged continental crust.

Would one of them be somewhere off the coast of Europe, perhaps? Where an advanced civilization predating the Greeks might have arisen and then fallen?

Still, I loves me some sunken continent stuff. I know it's all (or almost all) bunk, but I can't help but love it anyway.

If Velikovsky's Venus-the-Comet Theory Sounds Familiar to You But You Don't Know Why... Maybe you heard of him from the guy I did.

more...

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Enemy of the State
— Ace

fl-helium-balloon-environmental-crime-20130222-001.jpg
Arrested.

What was his crime?

Rape? Murder? Home invasion? Defrauding 10,000 people in a pyramid scheme?

Worse: As a romantic gesture, he released a dozen helium-filled mylar Valentine's Day balloons with his girlfriend.

No really.

This man is now a criminal charged with releasing Valentine's Day balloons in an effort to please his girlfriend.

Also watching the romantic gesture: an FHP trooper, who instead noted probable cause for an environmental crime.

Brasfield was charged with polluting to harm humans, animals, plants, etc. under the Florida Air and Water Pollution Control Act.

Let me say something that was very obvious, and served as the backbone of criminal law, up until 25 years ago, when the Marxists, who understand nothing of human nature (and are quite proud of that) began destroying this country:

A criminal code must track with the basic human sense of right and wrong. The law has a make-'em-up rule to prevent people from saying "I didn't know there was a law against this" (ignorance of the law is no defense, it goes), but that's a stupid ass stopgap the law requires to function at all.

Before 25-30 years ago, most people had a sense of what the law was, without having to go to law school, because they understood, intuitively, that some things were bad. Mala in se, the law calls it -- "bad in itself."

But the criminal codes have proliferated mala prohibata offenses -- "bad just because the law has prohibited it" -- like evil freedom-eating Tribbles for 30 years.

Do you know what you are currently permitted to do? Do you know what you will face a criminal penalty for doing?

You don't. None of us are aware of the myriad laws we're breaking every day, simply by doing things that seem obviously legal but some vicious Marxist bureaucrat somewhere decided to put you in jail for.

And this state of affairs works out perfectly for the Marxists.

30 years ago, you'd just assume that anything that wasn't obviously contrary to morality was legal. That is, you'd have a built-in default setting of assuming liberty. And that assumption of liberty would then propel you to take actions.

But now, you have to assume that many things that aren't contrary to morality are illegal anyway. And so you now have -- quel coincidence! -- a built-in default setting of assuming prohibition. And that assumption that many of the things you'd like to do are illegal and criminal thereby reduces your desire to take any action at all.

You become docile, unmotivated, compliant, and risk-averse.

And this state of affairs works out perfectly for those who would control you. Only half the things you'd like to do are actually criminal, but you assume the rest might be too, thus putting it in your head you need State Permission to take virtually any action besides going to work and, of course, paying the state its dues.

Life Imitates Art: I barely remember, but wasn't Winston Smith's actual crime in 1984 loving Julia?

Let's just cut to the endgame and issue people their Sleep Pills, Work Pills, and Sex Pills, and at all other times dose them with libido-reducing sedatives. So that everyone is nicely compliant and in perpetually peaceful service to the State.


Posted by: Ace at 09:17 AM | Comments (580)
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The Social Negotiation Process of Humor
— Ace

Specifically, humor at someone else's expense. Mild-mannered humor or self-deprecating humor doesn't need this sort of a negotiation.

I've talked about this before but never this clearly.

Laughter can be modeled as a three-party game in which the parties bargain for inclusion in a two-party coalition (wit and listener) that excludes the third (the butt). No one party can dictate what is risible. Instead, the selection of butts is a matter of negotiation between wit and listener. The wit proposes a butt for laughter, and this offer may be accepted by the listener through a return of laughter or rejected through silence. In such a laughter exchange, individuals may be seen to trade off butts through implicit agreements about who is risible. These bargains determine what counts as a comic vice...

I've mentioned that while the joke-teller (the "wit") is free to make any joke he likes, only the listeners, in concert with him, can decide together that the joke works or is funny or that the target is a valid one (and targeted for the right reasons).

Sometimes people will propose just "joking about how dumb Obama is," and while I agree he is kind of dumb, I don't see that as a likely avenue for widespread transmission of the idea. Too many people would disagree that that's a valid target, and hence, wouldn't laugh. And hence, while the joke may work for a smaller audience (engaged conservative partisans) it would fail at the purpose for which it is deployed (shifting the conventional wisdom of the public).*

Even though it wasn't humorous, I'm pretty confident a similar social bargaining principle underlay Romney's frequent statements that "Obama is a nice guy, but he's in over his head." I think he believed (and polling would back him up) that Obama was adjudged a "nice guy" by 55% of the public, but only a minority had confidence in his ability to do the job to which he was elected. Ergo, he made the case upon which Obama was vulnerable and avoided the case which would be more difficult.

This post is very apropos given that leftists around the blogosphere are right now claiming "I just don't see why Michelle Malkin's funny dances are funny." Well, the media -- which swears it's not liberal -- doesn't understand how anything at all about Obama or liberalism could possibly be funny. They don't agree that these things have any "comedic vice" in them at all to be valid targets of joking.

Thus, the stone-faced act.

* There's also a misguided anti-racism that thwarts such a joke. Too many people would automatically think "Gee I can never say a black person is dumb, that would be racist" without pausing to consider the more sophisticated idea that that itself is racially condescending -- that such a "rule" that black folks can never be, for reasons best left unsaid, treated Just Like Everyone Else, is itself a bit racist.

Obviously you wouldn't want to have to explain that in the middle of your joke!

Posted by: Ace at 08:18 AM | Comments (261)
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Ashley Judd, Fortune-Cookie Feminist
— Ace

Via Hot Air, a recapitulation of Ashley Judd's bizarre extreme feminist statements.

Seriously, they're SCUM-level.

— On her decision not to have kids with her husband: “It’s unconscionable to breed, with the number of children who are starving to death in impoverished countries.”

...

- On fathers giving daughters away at weddings: “To this day, a common vestige of male dominion over a woman’s reproductive status is her father ‘giving’ away her away to her husband at their wedding, and the ongoing practice of women giving up their last names in order to assume the name of their husband’s families, into which they have effectively been traded.”

...

- On how Christianity “legitimizes” male power over women: “Patriarchal religions, of which Christianity is one, gives us a God that is like a man, a God presented and discussed exclusively in male imagery, which legitimizes and seals male power. It is the intention to dominate, even if the intention to dominate is nowhere visible.”

- On men: “Throughout history, men have tried to control the means of reproduction, which means trying to control woman. This president is a modern day Attila the Hun.”

Hit the link to see the ones not about feminism (like about the coal industry and the "environmental holocaust" in the US rivaling that of the human holocaust in Rwanda).

This configuration of "feminism" just seems to be Marxism for people who don't like math or economics.

Buzzion:

We're all thinking it. What a lovely woman.

Posted by: Ace at 07:35 AM | Comments (324)
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Farrakhan Endorsement Puts Hagel Over the Top in Cloture Vote
— Ace

Farrakhan praised Hagel as a man who finally had the guts to hate the Jews. Hey, we were all thinking it.

And, as we speak, Republicans are changing their "nay" votes on cloture to "yea." Lamar Alexander's fainthearted fade makes Hagel -- a dumb man -- in charge of our military.

So, Farrakhan carried the day.

Posted by: Ace at 07:06 AM | Comments (141)
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The Evolution of Liberal Dance
— Ace

Michelle Malkin parodies Michelle Obama. more...

Posted by: Ace at 06:33 AM | Comments (198)
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President Obama Will Allow Americans To Be Preyed Upon By Criminals, To Get His Way
— LauraW

How else can you interpret this action?

The federal government released groups of illegal immigrants from custody across the country Monday at the same time the White House was making its case that impending budget cuts would harm efforts to protect the border and enforce federal immigration laws.

What a way to apply political pressure directly to American citizens. Nice country you got here. Be a shame if something were to happen to it.

Think this is a misinterpretation?

Remember, this is the same guy who sent buses full of supporters directly to harass the homes and families of Wall Street bankers, and who told the bankers "My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks."

The last time someone released scads of foreign criminals into the United States, it was Fidel Castro, and it was called the Mariel Boat Lift.

Except instead of Castro releasing foreign criminals in our country as a ‘screw you,’ gesture, our own president is doing it to us.

In pretty much the same spirit.

“Lots of us are getting out who were brought in for driving without a license or other small things,” Manuel Perez, a detainee at the Polk Detention Center in Livingston, Texas, said in a statement released by the National Immigrant Youth Alliance. “I hope more of us are able to get out soon.”

'Small things.' Why, it's not like unlicensed, uninsured motorists cause any big problems.

And I'm fully confident that our Chicago-tough political class will only release those who did such 'small things,' and that they will take full responsibility for any resulting chaos, instead of blaming it on budget 'cuts' that actually only represent a (slightly) smaller increase in spending.

Call or write your Senators and Congressmen. Especially the Democrats. Let them know that it is absolutely unacceptable to use the threat of releasing foreign criminals as a political bludgeon against American citizens.

Posted by: LauraW at 05:42 AM | Comments (186)
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Top Headline Comments 2-26-13
— andy

3 days 'til SEQUESTERMAGEDDON, You Guys!

Posted by: andy at 02:08 AM | Comments (305)
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February 25, 2013

Overnight Open Thread (2-25-2013)
— Maetenloch

Are Americans Too Weird for Science?

A lot of psychology studies have been based on Americans (and other Westerners) over the years. But recent studies involving games and even optical illusions suggest that some cognition may be cultural and not universal. And that Americans are exceptional in their ways of thinking even among Westerners.

Without measuring which of these corners is longer?

mullerlyercomparison2

If you said the first one, you're probably an American and almost certainly from a Western country. If you said they're the same size, you just might be a redneck San tribesman from the Kalahari. Or an American who has seen this trick before. Although the possibility of a Bushman in an American suit can't be ruled out.

So given this much of a difference from a single image how much about human psychology do we really know?

It is not just our Western habits and cultural preferences that are different from the rest of the world, it appears. The very way we think about ourselves and others-and even the way we perceive reality-makes us distinct from other humans on the planet, not to mention from the vast majority of our ancestors. Among Westerners, the data showed that Americans were often the most unusual, leading the researchers to conclude that "American participants are exceptional even within the unusual population of Westerners-outliers among outliers."

Yep we're not quite like most of the world - we're special, we're outliers, we're the Group W of countries. And yet people risk their lives daily to sneak into our asylum.

CSF914

more...

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February 26, 2013

Lena Dunham: Let's Save Our Nasty Lookist Attacks for Women Who Aren't Feminists
— Ace

The twit Twittered:

@lenadunham

Ladies: Anne Hathaway is a feminist and she has amazing teeth. Let's save our bad attitudes for the ones who aren't advancing the cause.

I wrote about it at The Conversation.

Bumped, just because this was posted four minutes before the ONT.

Posted by: Ace at 05:40 AM | Comments (129)
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February 25, 2013

Brit Hume: Obama's Making this Sequester, Which He Proposed and Signed Into Law, as Painful for the Country as Humanly Possible
— Ace

Or words to that close effect.

You understand, of course, that when the government fears it may have to lay off nonessential workers, or reduce funding to unnecessary low-priority programs, it always goes after the essential workers in the essential functions of government to make them hostages.

Give us all the money we want, or we'll stop inspecting chickens for salmonela.

Senator Coburn has some ideas for reducing spending. Perhaps these unnecessary new hires could be cancelled in lieu of reducing anti-terrorism efforts.

nationallamp.jpg

Posted by: Ace at 02:32 PM | Comments (440)
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The Reason I'm Defending the Onion's Joke? Because We Just Went Through This With Limbaugh
— Ace

Someone on Twitter called The Onion's joke "tasteless."

That's fine, I think: If a joke strikes you as tasteless, call it such.

But we don't tend to do that. The "tasteless" insult doesn't seem to carry enough weight, so people start spinning off all sorts of monstrous theories about the utterer of the statement: that he must secretly hate women or children, for example.

This is exactly what the left did with Limbaugh's joke about Sandra Fluke.

It's a tasteless joke; it was designed to provoke.

And? So, call it tasteless. And then let's move on.

What's this crap with spinning out ever-wilder speculations about the diseased mind that uttered this Forbidden Joke?

How about this: He was speaking off-the-cuff, as people do, and doing what people do when they make jokes (which is to say, finding surprising connections between things), and he tossed out a joke that some didn't like.

Did the media really need to fucking give Sandra Fluke a bishopric for the hardships of having had to endure it?

Tastelessness is an error, not a crime, and we ought to treat it way. And we should also trust that demeaning a joke as "tasteless" is enough of a penalty.

I've noticed this tendency; maybe you have too. But I believe the left has a whole series of things that they insist are Serious You Guys Not Funny.

But all of these objections are rooted in either taste or partisan advantage. And yet, even though they're rooted in subjective, biased perspective, they insist on forcing their own sense of taste on everyone else.

And how they do it is by two tactics:

1. What Does This Joke Say About The Mind of This Monster?

Correct answer: Virtually nothing, especially given that most people will, at one time or another, make a dark or tasteless joke, and they don't hold it against themselves for having done so.

So, how about we all drop this How Dare You act and allow that other people are allowed to do likewise?

The other tactic is...

2. Let Me Spin Out a Wild Series of Indirect Consequences of This Joke, Such as "Encouraging a Mindset In Which Violence Against Women Is Acceptable."

Wait, what? Limbaugh made a joke and you're now claiming that that conditions people to think it's okay to beat or rape women? You're claiming an indirect, but nonetheless real, link between Limbaugh's joke and a rape?

What?

What the F*** are you talking about?

What people do when they can't prove their own sense of taste or sensitivity to some issues is immediately begin postulating a ridiculous string of X leads to Y and Y and leads to Z reasoning to claim that they're not just objecting on grounds of personal, idiosyncratic, biased, and politically-motivated taste, but are in fact attempting to reduce real-world tangible evils like rape and violence against women.

See? I'm not just objecting on grounds of taste that Limbaugh said Sandra Fluke was "like a slut;" what I'm really doing is fighting rape.

So I win: My sensitivities must carry the day.

Or, with this Onion writer: I'm really not objecting on grounds of simple taste; what I'm really doing is fighting the sexualization of children.

Well, no; what you're doing is objecting on grounds of taste (which itself is perfectly fine) but then aggrandizing that into a defense of children.

The fact is, there is no I Win card in matters of taste. De gustibus non est desputandum -- In matters of taste, there is no argument, as it's out of the realm of the intellectual and things that can be proven. And it's In Latin (TM), so you know it's true.

But what people are doing is trying to craft an intellectual argument -- drawing in lots of risible claims of causality -- to "prove" that their taste is not merely taste but An Fact.

Well, it's not An Fact. Never will be An Fact. And all this crap about Limbaugh's Fluke joke leading, somehow, to violence against women is just an absolutely stupid argument offered up by someone who Rilly Rilly Rilly Rilly Wants to Win an Argument Because, Rape.

I have noticed this growing tendency of people to reject the proper language when discussing things. Instead of using the language of taste in discussing matters of taste, we instead begin discussing things like "hostile environment" and "real world effects."

It's a scam. The left created this, of course (as they have created most abuses of language and conceptualization). But we should resist it. Because ultimately this sort of thinking -- that even the most trivial action (or inaction) by a person somehow results in a real world horror which we are duty-bound to avoid, by whatever means necessary -- is ultimately an argument that People Can't Be Trusted With Freedom and We Need Some Sort of Enforcement Mechanism To Make Sure They Think and Say the Right Things.

I seized upon this Onion thing because I've been thinking about this lately -- that I can't seem to see anyone ever saying "That's tasteless" anymore. The left abandoned that 20 years ago, as every Word became a Weapon and they began their disarmament campaign against Assault Language.

But I see a lot of conservatives doing it too. I don't know if we (as a group) are claiming this in order to use this tactic against the left (and, by doing so, get the left to knock it off), or if we're just doing it because we've been conditioned to accept the Left's basic premises on Language Too Dangerous to be Uttered.

It's all so false. There is virtually no action or utterance one can undertake now without someone who disapproves of that action or utterance, whether on the left or right, claiming it will result in some Parade of Horribles which we simply cannot abide.

Posted by: Ace at 01:42 PM | Comments (484)
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Great Podcast with Glenn Reynolds
— Ace

A whole lot of sense here. Quoted here are his thoughts on liberals deciding to selectively ignore the Constitution -- which makes him wonder if he therefore has any obligation to obey it.

REYNOLDS: Here’s the problem with public officials — because that’s really [Seidman’s] audience — deciding to ignore the Constitution: If you’re the president, if you’re a member of Congress, if you are a TSA agent, the only reason why somebody should listen to what you say, instead of horsewhipping you out of town for your impertinence, is because you exercise power via the Constitution. If the Constitution doesn’t count, you don’t have any legitimate power. You’re a thief, a brigand, an officious busybody, somebody who should be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail for trying to exercise power you don’t possess.

So if we’re going to start ignoring the Constitution, I’m fine with that. The first part I’m going to start ignoring is the part that says, I have to do whatever they say.

ROBERTS: But his argument is that we already ignore the Constitution; it’s not really much of a binding document.

REYNOLDS: Oh, well, then I’m free to do whatever I want! And actually, that is a damning admission, because what that really says is: If you believe Seidman’s argument; if you believe that we already ignore the Constitution anyway, then in fact, the government rules by sheer naked force, and nothing else. And if that’s what you believe, then all of this talk of revolution suddenly doesn’t seem so crazy, it seems almost mandatory.

ROBERTS: Well, he would say – well, I won’t speak for him, but some would say that, well, there’s a social contract, we’ve all agreed to kind of play by these rules…

REYNOLDS: Oh really?!

ROBERTS: …of electing officials, and…

REYNOLDS: Well, the rules I agreed to electing these officials are the Constitution. I thought we were going to ignore that. That’s my social contract.

He talks about government being too big for democracy at around 4:30-- quoting Jerry Pournelle's thoughts. Capture of the Government is now too important a prize:

POURNELLE: We have always known that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. It’s worse now, because capture of government is so much more important than it once was. There was a time when there was enough freedom that it hardly mattered which brand of crooks ran government. That has not been true for a long time — not during most of your lifetimes, and for much of mine — and it will probably never be true again.

Reynolds carries this thought:

That captures an important point. The more powerful the government becomes, the more people are willing to do in order to seize the prize, and the more afraid they become when someone else has control. So it was after the 2004 election when liberals talked revolution, and so again after 2012, when secession petitions flooded the White House.

There are two possible ways to address this problem. One is to elect people that everyone trusts. The problem with that is that there aren't any politicians that everyone trusts -- and, alas, if there were, the odds are good that such trust would turn out to be misplaced.

The other option is to place less power within the political sphere.


His column discussing this is here here.

Posted by: Ace at 01:01 PM | Comments (146)
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Guess The Crime
— CAC

Somewhere between the horse-lover and couch-admirer, we find this week's entry. Go ahead. Take a crack at it.

more...

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Trek Geeks Win: Pluto's 3rd Moon to be Named "Vulcan"
— Ace

The naming agency insisted that, per protocol, the moon be named something that had something to do with Pluto.

Well, Vulcan was Pluto's son, so the Trekkies get a win. Even though they're totally not pushing "Vulcan" just because it's the name of Pluto's son.

They know why. We all know why.

Vulcan loopholes.

The other moon will be named Cerberus. There probably is a Star Trek thingamabob named Cerberus too.


Via @danriehl.

Posted by: Ace at 04:24 PM | Comments (196)
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CNN's Zucker to Discuss Lack of Black Journalists at His Network
— Ace

And yet still no media coverage, outside of a website called Mediabistro (which really is not "The Media," of course).

CNN President Jeff Zucker is scheduled to meet today in Atlanta with the leadership of the National Association of Black Journalists to discuss the state of black journalists at the network, FishbowlDC has learned.

Posted by: Ace at 12:33 PM | Comments (109)
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Seth McFarlane, Barack Obama, and Rush Limbaugh's Observation About David Letterman's Sudden Fans
— Ace

A long, long, long time ago Rush had an observation about David Letterman's fans that I didn't agree with, at all.

At the time.

Now I get it: He was completely right.

This was back when David Letterman was completely apolitical, so none of this was due to Limbaugh's animus about Letterman's politics. In fact, at this time, Letterman was suspected of being a "nonvoting Republican" (as one of his writers, I think, guessed to the media).

So, Letterman had gone on CBS at 11:30 and instantly zoomed to the top of the ratings. Everyone Loved Dave.

Limbaugh -- again, not making a political observation but a purely human one -- said that that would not last, and that the people suddenly watching Letterman did not really find Letterman funny, but were simply being told by people who were funny that he was funny and so were claiming to find him funny.

Limbaugh probably (though I don't remember if this is true) noted that if these new viewers really liked Letterman's humor, nothing previously prevented them from VCRing the long-running 12:30 am NBC Letterman show every night and then watching it the following evening. (Yes, these were the days of the VCR, and yes, I used to do that myself).

So he just didn't believe that these people really liked Letterman. They had had more-than-ample previous opportunities to like Letterman, and had passed on them all.

This is just hype, he said, and the herd mentality of people; if enough people say It's Popular, they'll follow along.

But not forever. Because while people will watch a show for a while to be part of the It's Popular crowd, ultimately they'll find it to be too much of a labor and will start doing what they actually prefer.

Now, at the time, I was a Dave Letterman Super Fan. I loved the guy's humor. I'd been watching him since he would guest host on Carson. So I thought Rush was just crabbing here, maybe being jealous of another broadcaster's success. No, I judged, Rush is quite wrong; people love Letterman because he's always been super-funny and only now are they really catching up with Cult Opinion on the matter.

But we all know how that turned out. Jay Leno did one high-visibility show-- the Hugh Grant appearance -- and from that moment on all half of Dave's Super-Fans moved immediately, and irretrievably, to Leno's camp.

I was thinking about this as I read this Mediaite writer claiming Serious You Guys, Seth McFarlane killed the Oscars last night, so funny you guys.

Really? Or have you just heard These Kids Are Really Into Seth McFarlane now and so you're jumping on?

Seth McFarlane is a guy with some real comedy chops... which he used up five years ago and has been coasting on since without any update to his act. Now he's a Cartoon Salesman who does the Stewie Voice.*

There was a time when Sarah Silverman was, in fact, intensely funny. But no schtick can stay funny forever, and at some point, you've made enough Rape jokes.

And Obama.... Well, I don't know if he was every actually anything at all, except a rabble rouser who could turn his "black dialect" on and off, as Harry Reid observed. But I do know the same Follow the Lead Sheep thing has been going on with him for a while.

* The Star Wars parodies were pretty good.

Here's a Big Problem with Seth McFarlane: Ironically, Seth McFarlane now insists upon himself.

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Posted by: Ace at 11:41 AM | Comments (326)
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