January 29, 2016

4th Quarter Growth Rate Falls to 0.7 Percent
— Ace

Must have been the unexpectedly mild early winter.


The U.S. economy's growth slowed sharply in the final three months of 2015 to a 0.7 percent annual rate. Consumers slowed spending, businesses cut back on investment and global problems trimmed exports.

The slowdown could renew doubts about the durability of the 6½-year-old economic expansion, though most economists expect growth to rebound in the current January-March quarter.

Obviously the question is whether this is the crash landing signalling a new recession (which itself would be confirmation that we've just been scootching along in a Depression) or if we return to the anemic less-than-inflation-plus-population-growth we've so long enjoyed under Obama.

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Open Thread
— rdbrewer


Benjamin Williams Leader, "The Silent Evening Hour" (1890)

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Morning Comment Cafe
— Open Blogger

You can comment here if you'd like.
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Morning Thread (1-29-2016)
— andy

Happy Friday, master debaters.

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January 28, 2016

Overnight Open Thread (1-28-2016)
— Maetenloch

Quote of the Day

Kanye West - 侃爷 (kan yé): a transliteration of Kanye. In Beijing dialect, this means someone who brags a lot with no actions to follow it up.

-- from Chinese nicknames for American pop stars

What If The Refugees Are Not Just Ignorant Savages?

Here's what I think is going on: The refugees are acting as they are, not because they see themselves as charity cases, but because they see themselves as conquerors. They know perfectly well that one doesn't defecate in a pool in which people (especially children) are swimming. They're doing it because they are performing the literal equivalent of the expression "I don't give a shit about you." They know you're not supposed to rape women . . . that is, unless those women are the products of conquest, in which case raping them is one of Mohamed's commandments.

It's almost funny seeing Europeans trying politely to teach their conquerors how not to treat those whom they have conquered. I wonder how long it will take before the Europeans figure out that they're no longer in the driver's seat. And then I wonder whether they'll be able or willing to mount a counter-strike, or whether the twelve-hundred year-long Islamic jihad against Europe will finally have succeeded.
refugeeselfie23.jpg

Related: "Men of Germany, please, patrol the streets and protect us. Do this for your women and your children."

Also Related: Welcome to the West! A FAQ For Immigrants

Who Owns This Woman?

Well, that's the thing: She owns her. The notion that women have zero say in their lives seems limited to countries that people thoroughly enjoy emigrating from. Not sure if there's a correlation there, but it's just wise to disabuse yourself of the notion that women are chattel. By and large, they cannot be told what to do, and you will not be able to prevent them from watching "Downton Abbey."

You will have to accept that you are not the boss of them. Any other mindset is dated and coincidently ensures you will not be dated. In Western society, it is quite common for women to rise to positions of great prestige and power. In fact, Republicans are working hard to ensure that a woman is elected president of the United States!

My Daughter Has Dishonored Me and Needs to Be Killed. Cool?

Nope! Nope! Listen, we really want a hiccup-free assimilation, so we're glad you asked. Most of us in the West-actually, all of us-are incapable of picturing a scenario where strangling a daughter is an actual option. This bears repeating: Countries that turn a blind eye to filicide seem to be the very same countries people don't want to live in. Coincidence? Who knows, but no. Perhaps this little rhyme can help: To live here in the West, God willing, just say no to honor killing.

Heh: NATION'S TWO LEADING SOCIALISTS MEET AT THE WHITE HOUSE, CONCLUDE EVERYTHING IS BUSH'S FAULT.

The House of Clinton is Dead, Long Live the House of Clinton

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Thread Two: Debate, Counter-Event
— Ace

I once again renew my objection about moderators making themselves so central to a debate.

That is good and proper for a Meet the Press appearance. But this is a debate; the candidates are supposed to interrogate each other.

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Debate & Trump's Counter-Programming Thread
— Ace

I'll watch some of both. Mostly the debate. i'll change channels when like Kasich and Rand are speaking.

Oh, the debate's on Fox, and CNN is carrying the Trump counter-program as a "live news event," which means they'll cover it for as long as they think it's news, or at least good for ratings.

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Is This Something?
— Ace

Risen, a mystery/thriller about a Roman centurion charged with tracking down Christ's body to dispel rumors of his resurrection, and thereby quell a Jewish uprising.

As pure propaganda -- and "propaganda" has a strictly neutral meaning for anyone who actually knows the word -- I don't think I've heard a better plotline for evangelizing.

The trick here is that the movie actually begins (I imagine) like a pretty secular affair -- we've got a political problem with this uprising of Jews and these silly claims, so we're sending in a detective to find the body.

I don't think, in this movie, the centurion is going to find the body.

So what begins as a secular detective mystery (with odd historical trappings) winds up as a conversion piece.

That's pretty brilliant, isn't it?

It's a religious movie (I assume) that isn't even definitely religious until, say, the last fifteen minutes or so.* Heck, even I could sit through that, and I really don't like religious movies.

Plus, given that (I imagine) pretty much all of this is made up (unless you guys know of a story of the Roman centurion charged with this task), the writers wouldn't have the problems that dog movies like Noah, with people shooting down things for, allegedly, not being properly scriptual. All they really need for scripture here is a bit of Roman history and a very little bit (I assume) taken from the Bible.

* Well I imagine there are lots of ambiguous, is-He-or-isn't-He hints dropped before then, with, I imagine, that sort of musical cue they now use in every movie to suggest the holy and mysterious. (Sort of an ancient middle eastern fanfare.) Like the hints of the Ark's power in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

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Early Debate Open Thread
— Ace

Some dudes yapping on Fox.

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Rome Covers Up Nude Statues For Visit of Iranian Mullah
— Ace

Interesting piece by Mollie Hemingway on the custom of "when in Rome, live as the Romans live; when elsewhere, live as the natives do."

Except, when it comes to Islam, people defer to Islamic custom when in Islamic countries, and then defer to Islamic taboos when in their own countries, as well.

This may be seen as "respect" for the Iranians' prudery and barbarism, but it's not, it's capitulation. Respect is really a two way street, and I mean that in the sense that if it's not reciprocated, it's not respect -- it's simply fear of one party for the other.

In addition, you can't really respect someone else unless you have respect for yourself.

Again, if you don't have respect for yourself, the deference you show to others isn't "respect;" it's just fear.

The French may be arrogant and jingoist, but, on the other hand, they're also arrogant and jingoist -- Hollande refused to take wine off the menu at a scheduled lunch, just because Iran's Mullah began throwing his menace around.

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Reporters Ask Sanders About Rumors of Planned Voter Fraud in Iowa to Benefit Him; Sanders Blames David Brock for the Rumors
— Ace

And he questions why someone would believe David Brock's claims, noting, sarcastically, Brock's "integrity."

"Really? Is that what they’re saying?" Sanders shot back, heatedly.

"Based on what did they say that? Based on David Brock's long history of honesty and integrity? The man who tried to destroy Anita Hill? Is this where this is coming from?" the 74-year-old bellowed.


The rumor concerns the Sanders' campaign allegedly scheming to bus out-of-state students into Iowa to rig the caucuses against Hillary.

James Taranto noted that Hillary Clinton has before told us all that any Republican concerns about voter fraud were just all racist fearmongering.

But apparently now, when she's got this rumor going, it's something that should concern us all.

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Tremors, Shaking Felt In Southern New Jersey Counties; USGS Says No Earthquake Detected, but a Sonic Boom Was
— Ace

I'm posting this in hopes that one of you knows something about this subject and can tell me how a sonic boom could produce tremors so far away, and what the heck could produce a sonic boom so big.

This is a reverse blog post.

Update: They say it was fighter jets breaking the sound barrier but the local Air Force bases say they're not doing any exercises.

I'm officially opening up an X File on this.

Posted by: Ace at 11:01 AM | Comments (281)
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Trump's Riskiest Move: Going Without a Real Ground Game
— Ace

The National Journal writes about this.

I've heard it myself -- people want to caucus, but haven't been told where to go, or people have volunteered to speak on his behalf (as one does in a caucus), but have not been told whether they've been appointed to do that myself.

Trump is trying to win this election on the cheap -- free media, as-little-as-possible spent on campaign activities. On the advertisement front, fine, that works; he's got plenty of free advertising.

But I don't think you can skimp on GOTV. I believe that remains the thing you absolutely have to spend money on.

If Iowa and even NH turn into unexpected losses, it will have been lost largely due to this factor.

Trump's decision to spend (mostly) his own money is a double-edged sword. Sounds good in a campaign pledge.

On the other hand, when you're spending your money instead of donors', I guess you get very cheap and stingy and start wondering "Do we really need to spend on that...?"

I guess, as with everything else about Trump, this will remain a total X Factor until Brandon and the AoS Decision Desk start putting up numbers Monday night.

Posted by: Ace at 09:30 AM | Comments (607)
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Steven Crowder Explains The Gun Show Loophole for America
— Ace

Look how easy it is to buy an automatic weapon, through the gun show loophole!

more...

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Ronald Reagan's Challenger Speech
— Dave in Texas

Less than 5 hours after the accident. I had forgotten he cancelled his State of the Union Address and instead did this, 30 years ago today.


I remembered the crew here.

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Open Thread
— rdbrewer


Ivan Shiskin, "Stream by a Forest Slope" (1880)

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Hiatus
— Open Blogger

Taking a break until the primaries begin to shake out. I'll probably post a random story or link to a music video so yinz have a place to comment.

Be sure to sign up for the new Decision Desk News Letter which is currently free. more...

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Morning Thread (1-28-2016)
— andy

Good morning, Dana & Jasper!


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January 27, 2016

Overnight Open Thread (1-27-2016)
— Maetenloch

Quote of the Day

Continuously pretending that a group is somehow eventually going to become like the rest of us is perhaps the deepest form of disrespect.

Because what you are essentially saying is the fact that they behave in a different way, some of which we may not like, is because they haven't yet seen the light. It may be that they see the world differently to the rest of us.

-- Trevor Phillips, former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, on why the UK should just accept that Muslims will never integrate

Revealed: How The Brother of Hermann Goering Saved Jews From Dachau and Supported the Anti-Nazi Resistance

From all this we may learn that there are two races of men in this world, but only these two - the "race" of the decent man and the "race" of the indecent man. Both are found everywhere; they penetrate into all groups of society. No group consists entirely of decent or indecent people. In this sense, no group is of "pure race" - and therefore one occasionally found a decent fellow among the camp guards.

-- Viktor Frankl in Man's Search For Meaning

Albert Goering and his brother Hermann were only two years apart in age, had a nearly identical upbringing, and both fought in WWI. But their lives quickly diverged afterwards; while Hermann was rising in the Nazi ranks, Albert was living a bohemian lifestyle in Vienna and they had little contact during the 1930s. That came to an end with the Anschluss and Albert was soon sucked into the Nazi war effort.

In 1945 he was in custody in Nuremburg being interrogated - and assumed to be just as guilty of war crimes as his brother and soon to follow him to the noose. But Albert claimed that not only was he innocent of any crimes but that he had personally rescued many Jews from being sent to the death camps and helped sabotage the Nazi war machine from within.

Then Albert astonished the Allies by writing out by hand a list of 34 people he claimed to have helped escape the Nazis. The Pilzers were at number 24. Dr Kurt Schuschnigg, the former Chancellor of Austria, was also on the list.

So was the Archduke Joseph Ferdinand of the royal Habsburg dynasty.

Albert claimed that his brother Hermann was so triumphant after Austria was annexed, he 'allowed everyone a wish. My sister and I asked for the release of the old archduke'. Hermann 'was very embarrassed' but the next day 'the arrested Habsburger was free again'.

Albert went on to say that he was saved from the Gestapo and SS - who over time had four warrants out for his immediate arrest - by Hermann himself. 'As far as he could [Hermann] helped me,' Albert claimed, adding that when it came to family, Hitler's deputy 'had a warm heart'.

Albert's claims were immediately dismissed by his Allied interrogators as far-fetched. An interrogation report said he was guilty of 'as clever a piece of rationalisation and whitewash' as the interrogators had ever seen.

It concluded: 'Albert Goering's lack of subtlety is matched only by the bulk of his obese brother.'

But Albert got a very lucky break. By sheer chance one of the American interpreters, Viktor Parker, happened to be the nephew of one of the women on the list - and when he reached out to his aunt, she verified Albert's story.

He was a Jewish refugee to America and his family had changed their real name, Paschkis. His aunt, Sophie, had converted to Catholicism and married the Austro-Hungarian composer Franz Lehar, best known for writing The Merry Widow. Lehar had been detained by the Nazis because of his marriage to someone born Jewish.

And by an amazing coincidence, Sophie was number 15 on Albert's list! Parker spoke to his aunt about how Albert had helped them to leave Austria. Thanks to a most unlikely twist of fate, Albert's story was validated by one of the men sent to help convict him at Nuremberg.

And others later verified other parts of Albert's claims:

Yet Albert's troubles were not over. He had worked as the export manager at Czech car firm Skoda, which had been converted to Nazi war production, and the post-war authorities in Prague wanted him on charges of Nazi collaboration.

Now members of the Czech resistance who worked in the Skoda factory came forward and testified that Albert had helped them undermine the Nazi occupiers, passing on information to the resistance and encouraging acts of sabotage.

Albert, it emerged, had not only lobbied his brother to release individual prisoners from Dachau, but also forged Hermann's signature on documents that allowed anti-Nazi activists and Jews to escape Hitler's henchmen.

He took company trucks and drove away inmates as 'forced labourers' before parking in secluded areas and allowing them to escape.

All charges were dropped against Albert but his post-war life was not a happy one and he died in obscurity in 1966. However half a century after his death he has been recently submitted for recognition as Righteous Among The Nations.

Note that there is a twist at the very end of the story that might explain everything about Albert. Or nothing. Perhaps it did tilt him in a certain direction but I think that the brothers were just fundamentally different men who at critical points made their own divergent choices about how they would live their lives.

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Lena Dunham: Hollywood Should Have More Minorities Like My Own Show Doesn't
— Ace

Super white girl on super white show watched by super white audience thinks you gotta have more diversity.

In case you missed it, Hollywood is letting more people into the Academy to boost diversity.

Also, they'll be purging old white people. No really. They'll be making sure you've been active in the business within the last ten years, or else you forfeit your Academy membership.

I can kind of see some sense in that. A lot of years lame movies win the Oscars, and it's because a lot of old people, who aren't very current at all, decided that they should make Out of Africa the winner because it was directed by someone whose name they recognize.

Still... I don't know.

This woman, who did the costumes for The Deer Hunter, is arguing against the new diversity rules.


Our job is to evaluate talent and excellence. But now your actions have added a new, unspoken category -- the "what is your ethnicity" category. This, unfortunately, comes with the ugly subtext that if you don't vote for a person of color you are a racist. Excellence is rewarded regardless of ethnic background.

...

A few years ago, I had a situation arise which completely exemplifies our recent troubles. An Asian actress friend of mine wished to join the Academy. She had theater and TV credits, but little in the way of film credits. I cautioned her that she may not be accepted because of this, but her response was only that she was a minority and therefore would get in. Needless to say, she did not because she lacked the essential credentials. This friend of mine then turned around and blamed the Academy for not accepting her because of her race, the very thing she was convinced would get her in in the first place. Now with your new policies and the climate they create, my friend will apply again and this time most likely she will be accepted. Her eligibility has not changed -- she did not have the film credentials then, nor does she now.

But now, perhaps, that may just be enough. Not only is the value of the Academy as a measuring stick for excellence in film lessened, but it will always raise the question: did one get in because of merit or because of race? For any person of diversity, this will always shadow their acceptance into this fine institution.

I support these rules for a simple reason: Liberal institutions have long ignored the onerous, stupid rules they inflict on everyone else. They don't realize how bad these rules are, because they except themselves.

Thus we get super-white Vox arguing about other companies not hiring enough minorities.

It's time that they lived under their own rules. Period.

If they have a change of heart after living under the regime they'd force on everyone else, so much the better.

Open Thread.

Sorry, gotta run. Plans.

Posted by: Ace at 01:33 PM | Comments (1122)
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