Actually, if you took a picture of him right now he’d look exactly the same, the bastard.
Minus the onesie, I hope.
ths update: I’ll add a “GREATEST HITS” medley. WUBS you, little bruzzer.
And by “good” I of course mean sad
Haunting this year’s presidential contest is the sense that the U.S. government no longer belongs to the people and no longer represents them. And this uneasy feeling is not misplaced. It reflects the real state of affairs.
We have lost the government we learned about in civics class, with its democratic election of representatives to do the voters’ will in framing laws, which the president vows to execute faithfully, unless the Supreme Court rules them unconstitutional. That small government of limited powers that the Founders designed, hedged with checks and balances, hasn’t operated for a century. All its parts still have their old names and appear to be carrying out their old functions. But in fact, a new kind of government has grown up inside the old structure, like those parasites hatched in another organism that grow by eating up their host from within, until the adult creature bursts out of the host’s carcass. This transformation is not an evolution but a usurpation.
What has now largely displaced the Founders’ government is what’s called the Administrative State—a transformation premeditated by its main architect, Woodrow Wilson. The thin-skinned, self-righteous college-professor president, who thought himself enlightened far beyond the citizenry, dismissed the Declaration of Independence’s inalienable rights as so much outmoded “nonsense,” and he rejected the Founders’ clunky constitutional machinery as obsolete. (See “It’s Not Your Founding Fathers’ Republic Any More,” Summer 2014.) What a modern country needed, he said, was a “living constitution” that would keep pace with the fast-changing times by continual, Darwinian adaptation, as he called it, effected by federal courts acting as a permanent constitutional convention.
read the whole thing and have a depressing weekend.
(via the sidebar at Ace’s)
Honestly if I had written that and someone stole it I would never call them out; I’d be too embarrassed to be associated with such banal pablum.
It was quite lurvly last night.
…that make me want to warm up the Enola Gay
Taliban use ‘honey trap’ boys to kill Afghan police
•June 16, 2016
The Taliban are using child sex slaves to mount crippling insider attacks on police in southern Afghanistan, exploiting the pervasive practice of “bacha bazi” — paedophilic boy play — to infiltrate security ranks, multiple officials and survivors of such assaults told AFP.
The ancient custom is prevalent across Afghanistan, but nowhere does it seem as entrenched as in the province of Uruzgan, where “bacha bereesh” — or boys without beards — widely become objects of lustful attraction for powerful police commanders.
The Taliban over nearly two years have used them to mount a wave of Trojan Horse attacks — at least six between January and April alone — that have killed hundreds of policemen, according to security and judicial officials in the province.
“The Taliban are sending boys — beautiful boys, handsome boys — to penetrate checkpoints and kill, drug and poison policemen,” said Ghulam Sakhi Rogh Lewanai, who was Uruzgan’s police chief until he was removed in a security reshuffle in April amid worsening violence.
“They have figured out the biggest weakness of police forces — bacha bazi,” he told AFP.
Excuse me while I go vomit.
will the last one to leave please put her away gently
Especially when they’re right
Sorry, Venezuela haters: this economy is not the Greece of Latin America
Predicting a Venezuelan apocalypse won’t make it happen
For more than a decade people opposed to the government of Venezuela have argued that its economy would implode. Like communists in the 1930s rooting for the final crisis of capitalism, they saw economic collapse just around the corner. How frustrating it has been for them to witness only two recessions: one directly caused by the opposition’s oil strike (December 2002-May 2003) and one brought on by the world recession (2009 and the first half of 2010). However, the government got control of the national oil company in 2003, and the whole decade’s economic performance turned out quite well, with average annual growth of real income per person of 2.7% and poverty reduced by over half, and large gains for the majority in employment, access to health care, pensions and education.
Now Venezuela is facing economic problems that are warming the cockles of the haters’ hearts. We see the bad news every day: consumer prices up 49% over the last year; a black market where the dollar fetches seven times the official rate; shortages of consumer goods from milk to toilet paper; the economy slowing; central bank reserves falling. Will those who cried wolf for so long finally see their dreams come true?
Not likely. In the opposition’s analysis Venezuela is caught in an inflation-devaluation spiral, where rising prices domestically undermine confidence in the economy and currency, causing capital flight and driving up the black market price of the dollar. This adds to inflation, as does – in their theory – money creation by the government. And its price controls, nationalisations and other interventions have caused more structural problems. Hyperinflation, rising foreign debt and a balance-of-payments crisis will mark the end of this economic experiment.
But how can a government with more than $90bn in oil revenue end up with a balance-of-payments crisis? Well, the answer is: it can’t, and won’t.
An opinion piece in The Guardian.
Well, okay, this is not a big shock.
But isn’t it amazing that in one of the most crime-infested cities in the country (and I’m not even including Congress or the White House…or the IRS or the State Department) the Powers That Be™ in Washington DC decide that what they REALLY need to devote their resources to, the scourge that they need to fight to keep their citizens safe is, well, er chickens
The chickens of the 3900 block of Jenifer Street NW are, by all appearances, well-cared for, each looked after by one of the four children of Allison Sheedy and Daniel McInnis.
There is the fluffy, yellow Mrs. Tiggy-winkle; the big, black-and-white Minnie Mouse; the mottled-orange India; and the burgundy-toned Red, named for Washington’s football team.
Their coop rests under a holly tree in the spacious back yard of a 10,000-square-foot Chevy Chase double lot that features two gardens — one for vegetables, one for herbs — where neighborhood kids have been known to stop by, say hello and, perhaps, pick up a fresh-laid egg.
But now, Mrs. Tiggy-winkle and her feathered friends have been targeted by the D.C. Department of Health. The health department has declared the chickens contraband — and Sheedy and McInnis, both attorneys, have filed suit against the department and sought a temporary restraining order to keep their birds.
…The District government doesn’t agree, at least when it comes to fowl. Officials with the health department and D.C.’s attorney general’s office declined to comment on the case or restrictions on chickens and coops in the city.
Sheedy and McInnis’s analysis of D.C. law, however, challenges the city’s restrictions. They say city regulations prevent building a coop within 50 feet “of any building used for human habitation.” Though that might rule out a coop for a D.C. rowhouse, an expansive Chevy Chase lot like theirs could host one, they argue.
…In addition, Sheedy and McInnis focused on a 1993 amendment to the D.C. Animal Control Act that they say the health department relies on in banning chickens. The amendment was meant to outlaw wolves, wolf-hybrids and other “exotic” animals, they say, not backyard fowl. They also say it specifically permits “captive-bred species of common cage birds.”
“Plaintiffs are unaware of any chicken breeds that are part wolf or wolf-dog,” their complaint read. “Plaintiffs are also unaware of any incidents in the District of dangerous chickens biting people.”
They have a large lot, and they have four hens. Please note, hens. Ours neighbors are dear sweet people, and they have chickens (they used to have a bunch of quail too, they were awesome but that’s another story). I love their chickens, and have no problem with them.
However, once they had a rooster.
Every morning at 4 am and 5 am that sonuvabitch would cock-a-doodle-doo.
Now, since I leave the house at 4 it only annoyed me on the weekends; my Bride, well she was annoyed 24/7, so I did the Good Neighbor Thing and talked to those good folks and Old Foghorn disappeared real quick.
But these good folks are very clear that they DON’T have a rooster, just 4 hens laying eggs, eating bugs, and teaching their kids how to be responsible and care for other living creatures. Oh, and savvy readers will notice that Daniel has a TOTALLY kick ass Lodge cast iron pan that he is frying up those eggs in.
People, you want to vote for Big Government to solve all your problems…this is what you get.
This halibut is good enough for Jehovah
The owners of the most prominent vegan restaurant chain in Los Angeles were found to be raising and “harvesting” animals at their Northern California farm. Now Hollywood’s vegan community is angry, and death threats have been made. “People have taken up the mob mentality,” says Cafe Gratitude owner Matthew Engelhart.
L.A.’s vegan vortex has angrily turned on the most prominent vegan restaurant group in town this week as word has spread that its owners are not just eating meat but raising and slaughtering animals at the working farm where they live in Northern California.
…The trouble began last week when animal rights activists discovered and then widely circulated a 14-month-old blog post written by Terces on the Engelharts’ Be Love Farm website, which mixed an announcement of their transition back into a meat diet again after nearly 40 years of vegetarianism (they had been vegan since 2003) with posted pictures of strained beef broth and a freezer full of pastured beef from their own dairy cows. Matthew tells THR they have kept chickens on the farm for seven years “for eggs only,” along with the cows for five years for milk, cheese and butter that’s for sale. (He claims they’ve “harvested,” or slaughtered, several cows in total and never sold the meat, only shared it with “our friends, neighbors and community.”)
The news has come as a shock to many vegans, who have been regular customers of the restaurants and claim the Engelharts have built their brand on not just serving vegan food but clearly wrapping themselves in the righteousness of the vegan cause — which they argue has now been undermined. “The reason we’re so upset is that veganism is a belief system,” says Carrie Christianson, who started the Facebook boycott group. “You are patronizing a restaurant that you think has that philosophy, and it turns out it doesn’t. Vegans should know that this restaurant has a farm that slaughters animals.”
God, they get annoying. This morning’s example is this long, highly researched, data-packed article on Amazon’s Prime Same-Day Delivery service
For residents of minority urban neighborhoods, access to Amazon.com’s vast array of products—from Dawn dish soap and Huggies diapers to Samsung flatscreen TVs—can be a godsend. Unlike whiter ZIP codes, these parts of town often lack well-stocked stores and quality supermarkets. White areas get organic grocers and designer boutiques. Black ones get minimarts and dollar stores. People in neighborhoods that retailers avoid must travel farther and sometimes pay more to obtain household necessities. “I don’t have a car, so I love to have stuff delivered,” says Tamara Rasberry, a human resources professional in Washington, D.C., who spends about $2,000 a year on Amazon Prime, the online retailer’s premium service that guarantees two-day delivery of tens of millions of items (along with digital music, e-books, streaming movies, and TV shows) for a yearly $99 membership fee. Rasberry, whose neighborhood of Congress Heights is more than 90 percent black, says shopping on Amazon lets her bypass the poor selection and high prices of nearby shops.
As Amazon has expanded rapidly to become “the everything store,” it’s offered the promise of an egalitarian shopping experience. On Amazon and other online retailers, a black customer isn’t viewed with suspicion, much less followed around by store security. Most of Amazon’s services are available to almost every address in the U.S. “We don’t know what you look like when you come into our store, which is vastly different than physical retail,” says Craig Berman, Amazon’s vice president for global communications. “We are ridiculously prideful about that. We offer every customer the same price. It doesn’t matter where you live.”
All well and good, right?
Yet as Amazon rolls out its upgrade to the Prime service, Prime Free Same-Day Delivery, that promise is proving harder to deliver on. The ambitious goal of Prime Free Same-Day is to eliminate one of the last advantages local retailers have over the e-commerce giant: instant gratification. In cities where the service is available, Amazon offers Prime members same-day delivery of more than a million products for no extra fee on orders over $35. Eleven months after it started, the service includes 27 metropolitan areas. In most of them, it provides broad coverage within the city limits. Take Amazon’s home town of Seattle, where every ZIP code within the city limits is eligible for same-day delivery and coverage extends well into the surrounding suburbs.
In six major same-day delivery cities, however, the service area excludes predominantly black ZIP codes to varying degrees, according to a Bloomberg analysis that compared Amazon same-day delivery areas with U.S. Census Bureau data.
In Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Washington, cities still struggling to overcome generations of racial segregation and economic inequality, black citizens are about half as likely to live in neighborhoods with access to Amazon same-day delivery as white residents.
The disparity in two other big cities is significant, too. In New York City, same-day delivery is available throughout Manhattan, Staten Island, and Brooklyn, but not in the Bronx and some majority-black neighborhoods in Queens. In some cities, Amazon same-day delivery extends many miles into the surrounding suburbs but isn’t available in some ZIP codes within the city limits.
Bloomberg then goes on and on with this implication that there is some nefarious plot afoot to specifically deny black Prime members the delivery service, this “right” they are yet again having stolen from them.
Because, you see, if you specifically go out of your way to not make decisions based on racial data you are, naturally, a racist:
Amazon, he says, has a “radical sensitivity” to any suggestion that neighborhoods are being singled out by race. “Demographics play no role in it. Zero.”
Amazon says its plan is to focus its same-day service on ZIP codes where there’s a high concentration of Prime members, and then expand the offering to fill in the gaps over time. “If you ever look at a map of service for Amazon, it will start out small and end up getting big,” he says.
This is a logical approach from a cost and efficiency perspective: Give areas with the most existing paying members priority access to a new product. Yet in cities where most of those paying members are concentrated in predominantly white parts of town, a solely data-driven calculation that looks at numbers instead of people can reinforce long-entrenched inequality in access to retail services. For people who live in black neighborhoods not served by Amazon, the fact that it’s not deliberate doesn’t make much practical difference. “They are offering different services to other people who don’t look like you but live in the same city,” says Rasberry.
No, they are not, because THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE. Sorry; in fact, they don’t even CARE what you look like.
And that is their unpardonable sin.
Stanford students reject Western Civ
An effort by a group of Stanford University students to restore a Western civilization class requirement has been decisively rejected by the student body, with voting results released Monday showing it mustering less than 15 percent support.
I wonder if one of the kids was named “Nick?”
More likely “Slash”
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A high school musical in New Zealand got a little too real this week when a prop razor used in a throat-slitting scene ended up cutting the necks of two boys and sending them to a local hospital overnight.
Students at Saint Kentigern College in Auckland were performing the opening night of Sweeney Todd before parents and other audience members Wednesday when things went badly wrong. Set in Victorian London, the musical depicts a barber who slits his customer’s throats with a razor and uses the bodies to make meat pies.
The head of Saint Kentigern College, Steve Cole, told radio station Newstalk ZB the razor used in the show was real but had been bound in duct tape. He said he has no idea what went wrong during a scene midway through the Second Act.
Now, mind you, someone needs to explain how TWO kids cut cut.
One, that I can understand.
But the Second??
…as soon as TBS flashed that helpful graphic
Tony Bennet has never lost a game when leading by 10 or more points at halftime (68-0)
…when you have the NYT giving you pointers on how to make explosives
Making TATP typically requires meticulous, time-consuming work, adding the catalyst, drop by drop, to a mixture that must be stirred and kept cool, often with a large quantity of ice.
Without specialized equipment, little can be rushed. Adding the catalyst too quickly can lead to aggressive bubbling and rising temperatures. If the reaction gets too hot, it can cause inadvertent explosions.
Even after TATP precursors are acquired, its manufacture can attract attention, because some of the chemicals often involved can generate strong odors.
Drying TATP at room temperature, a last step after rinsing and filtering, also requires a fairly large area, another American official said, unless a vacuum drying chamber is involved. At that point, the TATP would be stored in a relatively airtight container, but if pure, it could not be stored long. After a few weeks, it would be much less powerful.
The intelligence on the explosives suggested that the attack could have been more lethal, the first official said, because two improvised explosive devices constructed with TATP, ammonium nitrate, and a mix of metal bolts and nails were found in suitcases, undetonated, at the airport. A suicide belt was also recovered at the airport, and two more suitcases with bombs were later confiscated during a sweep of a residence used by the suspects.
…The officials noted that in the Paris attacks, TATP had been used as a main charge — packed into smaller, plate-like bundles that were sealed with tape and inserted in suicide vests. The tape was apparently intended to limit the explosive’s exposure to oxygen and slow its decay.
Now class, any questions?
Update: Here’s a bold tweet from the mayor of Paris:
In solidarity with the people of Brussels, #Paris will illuminate this evening @LaTourEiffel in the colours of the Belgian flag. #NousSommesUnis
Now if we can only get a fancy #hashtag from Lurch and the State Dept then by GUM we will have those terrorists on the run.
Even he says the current President is “awful”
Former President Bill Clinton asked Democratic voters to shrug off the “awful legacy” of President Obama’s years in office in a speech Monday to support Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
“Now if you don’t believe we can all grow together again, if you don’t believe we’re ever going to grow again, if you believe it’s more important to re-litigate the past, there may be many reasons that you don’t want to support her,” Clinton told a Spokane, Wash., audience.
“But if you believe we can all rise together, if you believe we’ve finally come to the point where we can put the awful legacy of the last eight years behind us and the seven years before that where we were practicing trickle-down economics with no regulation in Washington, which is what caused the crash, then you should vote for her,” he added.