December 29, 2016

Shock: Boys Prefer Puzzles and Games to Dolls, and This Somehow... Is Harmful to Girls
— Ace

I noticed this story on National Geographic's feed a couple of weeks ago.

What was it doing there? I thought National Geographic's mission was to take us to little-seen corners of the globe, not to pluck stories off the Jezebel Network.

But I didn't read the actual story. I should have. Because I don't have enough stupid in my life already. (Link to PJ Media, which quotes this stupid Jezebelized Nat Geo article.)

Apart from the routine stupidity you'd expect -- that gender is a social construction and that kind of garbage -- is this mystifying claim:

This is because girls have leeway in American society that boys do not. "We've really defined a much narrower role of what counts as masculinity," Auster says. "'Tomboy' can mean anything from neutral to great. 'Sissy' is not meant in a positive way among kids."

A 2015 study found that boys are more likely to play with toys that develop spatial intelligence--K’nex, puzzles, Lego bricks--than girls are.

So, if I have this right: Boys are more prone to play with "boy" toys because boys are afforded less freedom by social norms, and are essentially forced to play with boy-toys, and girls are afforded more freedom to play as they choose, and this means that... girls are the oppressed sex?

The authoress goes on to state that the spatial skills that boy-type toys teach are important for later-in-life abilities in STEM fields. (And you can tell how important STEM fields are to feminist theorists by the exactly zero of them who majored in a STEM field.)

So if you follow this dingbat's logic -- and why should you? She obviously hasn't -- then, in order to spur girls into being better at STEM, you should force them, as boys are forced, to play with boy-toys against their inclinations.

And that, you see, will result in more "choice" for girls!

Listen, honey: Why don't you start taking some credits at community college in chemistry or calculus and then get back to me about the crisis of girls choosing fluffier majors than boys choose.

Maybe the Russians #hacked feminists' brains to make them think they didn't want to take courses with icky prereq's like calculus.

Wasn't it Saint Augustine of Hippo who said, "O Lord, give us STEM degrees, but don't give them to us yet"?

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Flashback: In 2008, "Journalists" Demanded that Obama Be Sworn In Early to Avert the National Catastrophe of Allowing Bush His Lame Duck Period
— Ace

"One president at a time," Obama said last week.

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This is Your Brain on Leftism [Warden]
— Open Blogger

Because spiteful, punitive self-righteousness never rests, this kindhearted Carrie Fisher tribute from Steve Martin was immediately met with sputtering outrage from the usual suspects.


The outrage, I guess, was in Steve Martin leading off with (or noticing?) Fisher's attractiveness. Martin, a left winger himself, deleted this expression of fond remembrance shortly after taking heat for it.

I'm tempted to feel sorry for Steve Martin, but I don't. He's a coward. He's willingly joined a tribe that forces him to submit to the angry, ever-changing whims of its loudest and most extreme members. Nothing is sacrosanct. Nothing is yours and yours alone. Every utterance, friendship, and affiliation is open to their raging condemnations.

Steve Martin, because he is a leftist, let a bunch of booger eating Twitter nobodies who have no personal relationship whatsoever with Carrie Fisher tell him how to express his feelings about the loss of a friend.

A bunch of strangers told him what he could and could not say about the death of someone close to him.

The audacity.

The fucking nerve of these creeps.

Can you imagine?

Steve Martin can. He let it happen. He could have told all of them where they could stick their opinions. He could have blistered them with an attack on their arrogance, presumption, and low character. He could have found the nearest camera and blasted every single last one of the professional complainers who egged the crowd on.

But with all that accumulated wealth and fame, he still couldn't muster the strength to defend the very simple principle of thinking for oneself and being your own man.

This is your soul on leftism. They own it, not you.

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University of Kansas Library Offering "Pick Your Pronoun" Badges
— Ace

Xe's always a woman to me.

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Impotent Rage: Obama Boots 35 Russian "Diplomats" From US, Orders Closed Two Russian "Encampments"
— Ace

An "encampment" is apparently a piece of property owned or rented by a foreign government which is not actually a mission or embassy, but is nevertheless used for privacy and to house visiting dignitaries.

Apparently he didn't actually order the encampments "closed" per se, but the US will, the story goes, deny access to any "Russian officials" to enter them.

I didn't quite know how to shorten that for a headline.

As for the 35 "Diplomats" Obama booted: I'm sure that most of them are actually spies. Usually "diplomats" given the boot have been suspected (or have been proven) to be spies operating under diplomatic cover.

Of course, any of these measures could have been taken at any time during the past 8 years. Or the last year. Remember, Obama refused to consider Senator Tom Cotton's anti-Russian-propaganda bill earlier in the year.

This is just the lashing out of a man-child who is butthurt that he's lost.

Historically, presidents have refrained from making big moves in their lame-duck period before a new president replaces them. But Obama is "historic," we must remember.

And vain. So very, very vain.

After years of denying Russia was any kind of threat, and now being blamed by Democrats for having not acted more forcefully when Russian hacking was first suspected, Obama must now prove he's a Tough Guy and take piddling symbolic actions.


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Cost to the American People for 8 Years of the Obamas' (Frequently His-and-Hers) Vacations: $85 Million
— Ace

The last vacation will be very costly -- a lifetime of Secret Service protection -- but damn, that's money well-spent.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

As America’s first family enjoys its eighth and final vacation in Hawaii, new estimates put the price tag of the Obamas' annual trip at $3.5 million or more.

In total, the cost of the the first family's personal or largely personal travel during the last eight years comes to $85 million -- though that is likely to climb to $90 million after additional records are released, according to the conservative group Judicial Watch based on federal government records.

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Liars: White House's Denials About Having Orchestrated Anti-Israel Vote Crumble
— Ace

It must be that he's too good for us, again.

Senior Obama administration officials are scrambling to provide explanations after multiple reports, including in the Washington Free Beacon, identified the White House as being a chief architect of a recent United Nations resolution condemning the state of Israel, according to conversations with multiple former and current U.S. officials.

On the heels of the hotly contested resolution, which condemned Israel for building homes in its capital, Jerusalem, senior Obama administration officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden, have been identified as leading the charge to ensure the anti-Israel measure won approval by the U.N. Security Council.

The administration's denials of this charge broke down during the past several days as multiple reporters confirmed the Obama administration worked behind-the-scenes to help shape and forward the resolution.

We should definitely take their word about all other things.

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Mid Morning Open Thread: Grrl Power Edition
— Open Blogger


Giuliano Bugiardini - Judith and Holofernes.jpg
Judith and Holofernes
Giuliano Bugiardini


The story of Judith and Holofernes appears in the Book of Judith, which is generally relegated to the Apocrypha by Protestants and Jews, but the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics consider it canonical.

Judith is a beautiful woman who is who is upset with her fellow Jews for not trusting God to deliver them from the Assyrians. So, pretending to be an Israelite deserter, she uses her beauty to charm her way into the tent of Holofernes, the on-site CiC of the Assyrian forces. He is smitten with her beauty and, after a few days, invites her to a banquet, hoping to get lucky. Spoiler: he doesn't. He drinks "more wine than he had ever drunk at one time in his whole life" (Judith 13:20), and passes out. After the other guests bid their adieus, Judith, with the help of her maidservant, removes Holofernes' own sword from the scabbard and use it to take his head clean off. This allows the Israelites to defeat the Assyrians.

There are numerous paintings that take up the theme of Judith and Holofernes (see, for example, here, here, here, and here). I was surprised at how many of the artists painted Judith either topless or naked. I guess they think that she did a little more to get Gen. Holofernes to lower his guard than flash a winning smile. However, there's little or no indication of this in the text. Judith is a pious Jewish woman, not Mata Hari.

(naturally, mild NSFW warnings on those links for tasteful noods. Mostly. One of them pushes the boundary a bit)

You can read the story of Judith and Holofernes online, starting here. A painting of Judith by a modern artist is below the fold.
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The Morning Report 12/29/16
— Open Blogger

kerry_vietnam1.jpg

Good morning, kids. As the clock winds down on the eight-year-long national hostage crisis, our captors and their confederates have completely lost any pretense of civility and revealed themselves to be the unwashed, unreconstructed, puerile, blind, pig-ignorant, bigoted ideologues we always knew them to be. I suppose our only consolation is that perhaps it took eight years of the SCOAMF treatment to awaken the nation. And yet, as the late Momma Sefton always warned "evil never rests." So this insanity will inevitably repeat itself, but let's hope that we can keep it in check and marginalized for as long as possible. On a personal note, I'm stunned but not surprised by the death of Debbie Reynolds. "Singin' In the Rain" is among my all time favorite movies and was one of a handful that kindled my lifelong obsession with film. RIP Miss Reynolds and thanks for the memories. Have a better one and remain blessed.

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December 28, 2016

Wednesday After Christmas ONT
— Open Blogger

And so, 2016 lurches towards its conclusion, a rough beast, its hour finished at last, slouching towards Bethlehem to be killed. I, for one, won't miss it, although January 20 means no more of these:

SloJoe.jpg

Other than that, I think Curly Bill said it best:

Bye.gif

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Debbie Reynolds, 84, Dies a Day After Her Daughter, Due to Stroke
— Ace

Apparently one can really die of heart-break.

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Don Lemon Grills Trump Surrogate On... The Lower Level of Celebrities Trump Has Attracted to His Inauguration
— Ace

They're very, very proud to belong to the Tribe of People Who Wear Make-Up on TV.

That, and whether low-orbit black holes sometimes swallow up commercial airplanes.

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HumpGAINZZZ Thread
— Ace

A few articles today.

First, a couple of observations I've noticed about what works. Although I've been sticking, mostly, to HFLC (high fat, low carb), even through the Christmas day feast, I have backslid a great deal on Intermittent Fasting. I only do IF maybe three or four days a week.

I've reverted to a bad old habit: eating late at night. The justification I give myself for this is that I have to eat when I'm hungry because I'm working out, and my body needs muh food to power muh GAINZZZ, but that's a dumb lie, and I know it, because I can always have an extra dose of cassein protein powder with dinner if I'm really worried about protein.

Also, I've largely stopped drinking my before-bedtime potion of water, a dash of salt (to boost electrolytes), apple cider vinegar, and guatamine and BCAA's (for recovery and during-the-night muscle growth). BCAA's are Branch Chain Amino Acids, the building blocks of protein. I don't know if they have any calories, and even if they did, they would't have much, because you only have like 5 grams of them in a dose.

I think both IF and the apple-cider-plus-various-powders drink were effective, because I'm stuck in low-GAINZZZ mode recently. Maybe I'll drink the apple cider vinegar earlier because supposedly it's an appetite suppressant, and so maybe will curb my recently-returned eat-late-at-night habit.

Ketosis is definitely weaker since I stopped the vinegar and IF.

By the way, thanks to whoever it was who recommended the apple cider vinegar trick.

I haven't gained weight but I haven't lost any for a week, either.

So here are some articles:

FiveThirtyEight looks at a recent study comparing different diet regimes, and finds that within the first six months, Atkins (which is pretty much the HFLC diet I'm doing) delivers the most GAINZZZ (22+ pounds on average), but after a year, Atkins slips to basically a four-way tie with four other plans (including a low-fat one) at around 14 pounds lost.

It should be noted that while Atkins posted the most weight lost in the first six months, it was very close, just about a pound separating it from the second-place diet, which was a conventional "eat less of everything" diet.

And at the year mark, the conventional eat less of everything diet beat Atkins by 0.4 pounds.

Basically, the study found that everything works -- assuming you can actually keep to the diet.

But much more important is the observation that most people seem to find diets hard to maintain. For example, people on Atkins lose 22 pounds in the first six months, but gain about eight pounds back six months later. This means that the particular diet you choose is likely less important than choosing one you can actually stick to.

I can testify to this. I've lost a lot of weight four times in my life, once by the conventional "eat less, move more" plan, three times by Atkins. At some point, you give up on all of them. I got some big GAINZZZ, but then got bored or just snacky and started listening to my fat cells all singing out "Feed us, feed your little belly children."

The reason that I even began this thread was because I was determined that this time, I was not going to stop the plan five or six months in, but keep it going for at least a year (or maybe two) before moving to maintenance.

I'm about seven months in now (I began in late June) and I've lost 33 pounds, and maybe 41 pounds of actual fat. I'm 3.8 pounds away from my waypoint weight of 170, which isn't my goal weight, really, just a number that seemed doable to me and so would make for a good waypoint.

Keep at it, keep at it. It takes three things to win a war: willpower, firepower, and staying power. Staying power is where most people lose.

Gary Taubes just released a new book on the dangers of sugar, and previews it in this article for Aeon.



The case against sugar

A potent toxin that alters hormones and metabolism, sugar sets the stage for epidemic levels of obesity and diabetes

[The current, related epidemics of obesity and diabetes are] a 'slow-motion disaster' suggests the critical nature of the problem: 'population-wide' explosions in the prevalence of obesity along with increases in the occurrence of diabetes that frankly strain the imagination: a disease that leads to blindness, kidney failure, amputation, heart disease and premature death, and that was virtually non-existent in hospital inpatient records from the mid-19th century, now afflicts one in 11 Americans; in some populations, as many as one in two adults are diabetic.

In the midst of such a public health crisis, the obvious question to ask is why. Many reasons can be imagined for any public health failure, but we have no precedents for a failure of this magnitude. As such, the simplest explanation is that we’re not targeting the right agent of disease; that our understanding of the aetiology [causes, pathways] of both obesity and diabetes is somehow flawed, perhaps tragically so.

Researchers in harder sciences have a name for such situations: 'pathological science', defined by the Nobel Laureate chemist Irving Langmuir in 1953 as 'the science of things that aren't so'. Where experimental investigation is prohibitively expensive or impossible to do, mistaken assumptions, misconceived paradigms and pathological science can survive indefinitely....

The history of obesity and nutrition research suggests that this is indeed what has happened. In the decades leading up to the Second World War, German and Austrian clinical investigators had concluded that common obesity was clearly caused by a hormonal disturbance; starting in the 1960s, other research would link that disturbance to the sugar in our diets. But the German and Austrian thinking evaporated with the war, and the possibility that sugar was to blame never took hold, dismissed by a nutrition community who, by the 1970s, became fixated on dietary fat as the trigger of our chronic diseases. Now, with an explosion of the epidemic and compelling new research, it's time to reconsider both our causal thinking on obesity and diabetes, and the possibility that sugar is playing the critical role.

When researchers and public health authorities today discuss their failure to curb the rising tide of obesity and diabetes, they offer the explanation that these disorders are 'multifactorial and complex', implying that failure is somehow understandable. But this obscures the reality that prescriptions to prevent and treat the two depend almost entirely on two simple causal concepts, neither one of which is necessarily correct.

The first assumption equates obesity and Type 2 diabetes (the common form of the disease, formerly known as 'adult-onset' until it began appearing in children as well). Because obesity and Type 2 diabetes are so closely associated in both individuals and populations, the assumption is that it's the obesity -- or at least the accumulation of excess fat -- that causes the diabetes. By this logic, whatever causes obesity is ultimately the cause of the diabetes as well.

The second assumption then strives to explain 'the fundamental cause' of the obesity itself: an energy imbalance between calories consumed on one hand, and calories expended on the other hand....


The energy balance paradigm implies that the only way in which foods influence our body fat is through their energy content, or calories -- that is, through the energy that we absorb without excreting, and so make available to be oxidised or stored. This is the only variable that matters. It’s the implication of the phrase
'a calorie is a calorie', which, by the 1960s, had become a mantra of nutrition and obesity researchers, evoked invariably to support the dogma that only calories count when it comes to understanding and treating human obesity.

...

Thinking of obesity as an energy-balance disorder is as meaningless as calling poverty a money-balance problem...

So here's another way to frame what is now the imperative question: is the energy-balance hypothesis of obesity correct? Is it the right paradigm to understand the disorder? The competing hypothesis has existed for over a century: in this paradigm, obesity is not an energy-balance disorder but a disorder of excess fat accumulation and so, clearly, a hormonal and metabolic disorder – the result of an
'endocrine [hormonal] disturbance', as it was phrased in the 1930s by Eugene Du Bois, then the leading American authority on metabolism. By this logic, the foods we eat influence fat accumulation not because of their caloric content but because of their macronutrient content, the proteins, fats and carbohydrates they contain. This paradigm attends to how organisms (humans, of course, in particular) orchestrate the careful 'partitioning' of the macronutrient fuels they consume, determining whether they will be burned for energy or stored or used to rebuild tissues and organs. It proposes that dysregulation of this exquisitely-evolved, finely-tuned homeostatic system (a system that is biologically balanced) is the necessary component to explain both the excessive storage of calories of fat -- obesity -- and the diabetes that accompanies it.

This alternate hypothesis implies that sugar has unique effects in the human body leading directly to both diabetes and obesity, independent of the calories consumed. By this way of thinking, refined sugars are indeed toxic, albeit over the course of years or decades. We get fat and diabetic not because we eat too much of them -- although that is implied tautologically merely by the terms 'overconsumption' and 'overeating' -- but because they have unique physiological, metabolic and hormonal effects that directly trigger these disorders. If all this is right, then thinking of obesity as an energy-balance disorder is as meaningless as calling poverty a money-balance problem (caused, of course, by earning too little or spending too much, or both). By conceiving of obesity as a problem caused by the behaviours of excessive consumption and physical inactivity, researchers not only took a physiological defect – the excess accumulation of fat, often to a massive extent – and turned it into a behavioural problem. But they made a critical error, one that has grown over the course of decades into an idea that seems too big to fail.

...

By von Bergmann’s logic, obesity was clearly not a problem of energy balance, but of fat trapping (just as global warming is not an energy-balance problem, but an energy-trapping one). The question that had to be answered is why this trapping occurs. Any viable hypothesis of obesity had to explain why the fat tissue of the obese is so avid in hoarding calories as fat, rather than allowing that fat to be metabolised and provide energy for the body.

As I've noted before, Taubes' argument is that saying obesity is an "energy imbalance" problem is simply a way of avoiding the question itself. Obviously yes, obesity is an "energy imbalance" problem -- you're packing away too much energy as fat.

But giving a name to something does not explain why that something happens in the first place. I can tell you that the force which attracts your body to a heavier body is "gravity," but in doing so, I have not afforded you a single clue as to by what mechanism this "gravity" causes, instantaneously (faster than the speed of light!), heavy objects to pull towards each other.

Slapping a descriptor on something is a way of avoiding confessing "We do not know how to actually describe the process that's going on here."

So: Why is it that some people -- most people, actually, now that we're all on supposedly "healthy" low-fat diets -- pack on large amounts of excess fat, some people pack on smaller amounts of excess fat (and yet are still kind of overweight by historical standards), and some people pack on little to no excess fat?

Study after study has shown that fat people actually do not eat appreciably more than lean people -- at least, not nearly enough to explain their weight gain.

His theory -- well, not his theory; it goes back centuries, as you can see above -- is that some foods (simple carbs and, crucially, sugars) cause a disturbance in the hormones that regulate fat storage and cause the body to sweep sugar out of the blood and into muscles for immediate use and into fat cells. And if you're not exercising right now, that means the sugar just gets swept into fat cells.

Even worse, an overproduction of insulin results in too much blood sugar being swept out of your blood, so after you eat a sugar or carb-rich meal, you feel hungry a short time later. And that's not just an illusion; your body really is signalling "I need more blood sugar, eat something," because you really are low on blood sugar.

The blood sugar has already been stored as fat, to (almost) never be touched by your body's metabolism again.

Thus eating sugar causes immediate fat gain as well as subsequent fat gain, as your body needs to replenish the blood sugar it just all locked up into fat cells.

The problem is that insulin, a hormone which keeps blood sugar within what the body considers acceptable bounds, is released in great, great quantities in response to a sudden spike of sugar in the body -- especially in those who have a "disturbed" hormonal system, whether due to genetics or just because they've spiked and crashed their blood sugar so much by overconsuming sugar they've turned a once-functioning hormonal system and made it dysfunctional.


Anyway, rather than babbling on some more, I'll just link his video explaining the aetiology of weight gain again.

As January 1st comes up, consider either committing to your GAINZZZ or, as many people (such as myself) need to do, re-committing to the GAINZZZ, lest months and months of work is let to slip by the wayside yet again due to mere thoughtlessness and inattentiveness and boredom at having made some GAINZZZ already.

Oh, another by the way: Whoever suggested that I swap out pork rinds for potato chips and have some pork-rinds-and-onion-dip (loaded with fat, almost no carbs) was an effin' genius.

It's a great snack.
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On Way Out the Door, Obama Administration Changes Rule So That Now Those Who Receive SSI Payments Will be Categorized Officially as "Mental Defectives" and Thus Flagged on Gun-Purchase Background Checks as Ineligible to Buy Guns
— Ace

The Administration says that it suddenly realized it was required to do this to comport with the law.

Very odd that they're reversing a previous ruling, that they didn't have to automatically categorize SSI recipients as "mental defectives," after letting that ruling stand until three weeks before this clownish ideologue was booted out of public housing.

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Egyptian Press: Kerry Negotiated with Palestinians for an Anti-Israel Measure He Could Support
White House: No Meeting Occurred; Total Fabrication
Palestinians: Um Yeah There Was a Meeting. We Were There.

— Ace

Israel papers are reporting that Egyptian president Sisi's mouthpiece newspaper reported that Kerry worked with the Palestinians on an anti-Israel condemnation the US could support:



Egyptian news website Al-Youm al-Saba'a, which is considered to be Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's mouth piece, published a supposed protocol on Tuesday of a meeting that was held in Washington on December 12 between US Secretary of State John Kerry and US National Security Advisor Susan Rice and a Palestinian delegation headed by senior Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) member Saeb Erekat.

The protocol states that Kerry and Rice told the Palestinian delegation that the current US administration under President Barack Obama would be willing to cooperate with them in the UN Security Council given that the resolution would be a balanced one. The added that they have instructed US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power to be in contact with Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations Riyad Mansour.


During the meeting, Kerry and Rice were reportedly both severely critical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accusing him of wanting to destroy the possibility of a two-state solution. They also praised Erekat for predicting Netanyahu's policy trajectoy four years ago00namely, one of maintaining the status quo while making minor adjustments.

Kerry said that he could present ideas for a possible permanent solution on the condition that the Palestinians would endorse them upon their publication. Furthermore, he apparently advised the Palestinians to send a representative to Riyadh in order to share the suggestions with the Saudis.

The article says Kerry also advised the Palestinians about how to work with (against) the incoming Trump administration.

The Obama Administration-- known for never lying, ever -- says this is untrue and a complete fabrication.

Ned Price, spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council, denied the claims in an early-morning tweet. He called the reports a "fabrication" and said the "meeting never occurred."

The "meeting never occurred?" Here's the problem with that, Ned: You shouldn't deny a meeting which is advertised on the State Department website:

The State Department’s own website reflects that Kerry was scheduled for a meeting with Erekat at the State Department on Dec. 12, around the time of the reported discussions. The official website, however, offers no details on what was discussed.

Click on all the unreadably-small tweets packed into this tweet to see all the people who claim the meeting did occur. Including the Palestinians themselves:


More coming January 20th, it seems:


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in response, called the address "skewed" and reiterated that his government has "absolutely incontestable evidence" that the U.S. organized and advanced the resolution.

Further, he referred to the details reported in Egyptian media as the "tip of the iceberg."

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Thomas Sowell Retires at 86 to Focus on Photography
— Ace

He's certainly earned it, though we'll struggle a bit more without him.

Then again, who knows. Maybe he'll be really good at photography, too.

Even the best things come to an end. After enjoying a quarter of a century of writing this column for Creators Syndicate, I have decided to stop. Age 86 is well past the usual retirement age, so the question is not why I am quitting, but why I kept at it so long.

It was very fulfilling to be able to share my thoughts on the events unfolding around us, and to receive feedback from readers across the country -- even if it was impossible to answer them all.

Being old-fashioned, I liked to know what the facts were before writing. That required not only a lot of research, it also required keeping up with what was being said in the media.


During a stay in Yosemite National Park last May, taking photos with a couple of my buddies, there were four consecutive days without seeing a newspaper or a television news program -- and it felt wonderful. With the political news being so awful this year, it felt especially wonderful.

This made me decide to spend less time following politics and more time on my photography, adding more pictures to my website (www.tsowell.com).

Riccochet rounds up some of their favorite Sowell quotes, and they're all damn good.

"Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good."

"The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics."

...


"The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty."

...

"I have never understood why it is 'greed' to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money."


This is my favorite, I think:

"People who pride themselves on their 'complexity" and deride others for being 'simplistic' should realize that the truth is often not very complicated. What gets complex is evading the truth."

I follow that rule, sort of, though I never had an expression of it in my mind. When I've found myself attempting to defend this or that Republican screw-up or dirty dealing, and I found my attempted justification becoming too convoluted and too stuffed full of weird assumptions and unevidenced assertions, I've generally decided that "This crap is too convoluted and dubious to possibly be true" and I've stopped there.

I wish the #NeverTrumpers would have realized that rather than continue down the rathole path of insisting that it's "binary thinking" to say that opposing Trump is somehow different than supporting his only rival, Hillary.

Was Obama's abstention on the anti-Israel UN different in principle (or outcome) than simply voting in favor of it? Of course not, but the #NeverTrumpers can't even say that, for fear of blowing their whole cover, fig-leaf though it might be.

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First the Stab In the Back, Now the Twist of the Knife: Obama, Kerry Set to Declare Palestinian Statehood
— Open Blogger

If the despicable action of not vetoing the blatantly anti-Israeli UN resolution was supposed to be a parting kick in the groin to the Jewish state - and it's pretty clear that the US actually crafted Resolution 2334 - Obama would have done it on January 20th, 2017 some time before noon. But there are still 23 days left for this momzer to inflict an incredible amount of damage. And it seems as if he's about to commit one of the worst acts imaginable, after eight years of heretofore unimaginable destruction and strife.

Multiple media outlets are reporting that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is finalizing a document that the Obama administration hopes will form the basis for a UN Security Council resolution that officially recognizes a Palestinian state before the end of Barack Obama's term on January 20th. This comes on the heels of the UN Security Council's adoption of resolution 2334 on December 23rd. That resolution declared that all Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal, it stated that the Security Council recognizes the 1967 ceasefire lines as the border between Israel and "Palestine", and it officially gave East Jerusalem to the Palestinians. But it stopped short of formally recognizing a Palestinian state. Resolution 2334 speaks of a Palestinian state in the future tense, but this new resolution that John Kerry is reportedly working on would give immediate and permanent UN Security Council recognition to a Palestinian state.

For those who have not looked at a map, the distance from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea is roughly 35-40 miles, give or take. Not exactly vast open country, but it's defensible. Barely. If Israel were to go back to its pre-1967 borders, as per Obama's and Kerry's plan, that distance would be cut to about 10 miles at its widest point. The Israelis refer to that as the Auschwitz borders for good reason. more...

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Mid-Morning Open Thread
— Open Blogger

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The Lucca Madonna
Jan van Eyck

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The Morning Report 12/28/16
— Open Blogger

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Good morning, kids. Aside from the deaths of Carrie Fisher and George Michael, the final days of 2016 are slow in real news. Except that as the clock runs out on the SCOAMF 8-year reign of error (and terror), we can expect the shit to hit the fan con gusto. And if you thought last Friday's stab in the back of Israel at the UN was the coup de grace, you ain't seen nothing yet. It looks as if Obama and Kerry are set to move forward with a motion at the UN to declare Palestinian statehood. Stay tuned for a post on this later today. Anyway, have a better one and remain blessed.


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December 27, 2016

Tuesday Overnight Open Thread (12/27/16)
— Open Blogger

Quotes of The Day

Quote I

The press is our chief ideological weapon.
Nikita Khrushchev

Sounds familiar doesn't it?

Quote II

Our Republic and its press will rise or fall together.
Joseph Pulitzer

Quote III

Numerous politicians have seized absolute power and muzzled the press. Never in history has the press seized absolute power and muzzled the politicians.
David Brinkley


Jake Tapper confirms what most of us knew. The media agrees that we are Deplorables.

Monday on CNN’s “Wolf,” while discussing the 2016 presidential election when Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said that half of Republican Donald Trump’s supporters belong in a “basket of deplorables,” guest host Jake Tapper said, “I don’t think there’s any story that demonstrates the divide between the people who report on politicians and the voters, than that story,” adding our reaction was, “a lot of them are deplorable, a lot of them are racist.”


Notable mistakes from a year of astounding mainstream press bias and incompetence


“Outside of the Civil War and World War II, and including 9/11, this may be the most cataclysmic event the country has ever seen.”
more...

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