Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year! (or not)

As crappy as 2011 was, I predict that 2012 will somehow manage to be even crappier.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

The Council Has Spoken!

This week's results for the Watcher's Council vote are in, they've been posted over at Watcher of Weasels. The winning council entry for the week was "Syria – The Tipping Point Into Hell" by The Noisy Room, and the winning non-council entry for the week was Daniel Greenfield's post "Mr. Islam's Blindfold and Machete" over at Sultan Knish. Congrats!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The state of the race so far

I only caught bits and pieces of the most recent GOP debate... all I really took away from it is that Rick Perry finally seems a little less awful at the whole debating thing, Jon Huntsman seems a little less douchey now than he did in the early debates, and Ron Paul is still batshit crazy at worst and incoherent at best.  It was nice seeing Michelle Bachmann go after Ron Paul, but unfortunately I think she's already destroyed herself with all the unfair attacks she's previously made on other candidates.

I don't know if there was a clear winner of this last debate, but from what I saw of it Rick Santorum had the best line of the night when he said something along the lines of: "We don't need a president we can believe in, we need a president who believes in us."

So where do I stand as of now?  I'm still not really sure yet who to support, but I think Ace makes a pretty persuasive case for Rick Perry.  Sadly, at the moment it still looks like a battle between Romney and Gingrich for frontrunner status... I'm really not too keen on either one of them.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Council Has Spoken!

This week's results for the Watcher's Council vote are in, they've been posted over at Watcher of Weasels. The winning council entry for the week was "My Mother’s War, Courtesy Of Pearl Harbor" by Bookworm Room, and the winning non-council entry for the week was Barry Rubin's post "Middle East: We’re Going to Have a Revolution and We Can Do it the Hard Way or the Easy Way" over at Rubin Reports.  Congrats!

Some sad news

Christopher Hitchens passed away a few days ago after a long bout with esophageal cancer.  And today Vaclav Havel has also passed away.

Rest in peace.

Update: Wow, I guess they really do come in threes... now Kim Jong Il has died, or North Korea finally admitted that he died.  This reminds me of a speech Christopher Hitchens made where he ragged on North Korea quite a bit:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

8 candidates, 10 words

We've had lots of debates, but I'm still not sure which GOP candidate to root for in the primaries...  and I think I actually get less sure with each debate.

To help me sort out my thoughts on all the remaining candidates, I thought I'd try to force myself to describe each candidate in exactly ten words.  Here goes nothing...

Newt Gingrich:  Giant head.  Funny name.  Not exactly a one woman man. 

Mitt Romney:  Nice hair. Funny name.  Taken every side of every issue.

Michelle Bachman:  Nice name.  Crazy eyes.  Forever tainted by the Tardasil incident.

Jon Huntsman:  Former Obama lackey.  Current douchebag.  Definitely in the wrong primary. 

Rick Perry:  Created lots of jobs.  Awful debater.  Forgets too many things.   

Rick Santorum:  A decent guy, but too conservative for Pennsylvania in 2006.  

Ron Paul:  Insane foreign policy.  Screechy voice.  Often answers easy questions incoherently.

Buddy Roemer:  I keep hearing this name mentioned, but not sure why.

Not sure how much that actually helped me, but that was kinda fun...  ok, now it's your turn!  ;-)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Beck threatens to vote for Ron Paul

Glenn Beck recently floated the idea that he might vote for Ron Paul as a third party candidate if the GOP ends up with Newt Gingrich as the nominee.  I've listened to his explanation a few times now and I am really having a hard time following it... basically, Beck is claiming that Gingrich is somehow a progressive, and that he prefers the lesser evil of Ron Paul's nutty foreign policy to Gingrich's progressivism.

Gingrich has supported a lot of stupid stuff, but is it really fair to call him a progressive?  Seems to me like his problem is a defect of personality, not ideology.  He has managed to come up with some pretty good ideas over the years, and he's come up with loads and loads of bad ones too... but he's such a vainglorious prick that he thinks all his ideas are equally brilliant.

Furthermore, even if you think Gingrich is a progressive, how is voting for a crank third party candidate going to keep progressivism out of the White House?  There is no chance in hell that Ron Paul could ever come close to winning a presidential election... honestly, I don't think he could even manage to come in second in a three-man race.  The only question would be whether or not he steals more anti-war votes away from Obama than he steals anti-Fed votes from Gingrich.

Update: Ok, if Gingrich is going to run around calling himself a "realpolitik Wilsonian" then I can't really criticize Glenn Beck for calling Gingrich a progressive.

Monday, December 12, 2011

RSM on Obama's stupid Keynesian crap

Robert Stacy McCain didn't care for Obama's recent '60 Minutes' interview at all:
Obama thinks he can just rattle of a laundry list of spending projects, call them “common sense, mainstream ideas” and — POOF! — the money magically appears to pay for this stuff.

And something else: He loves to talk about infrastructure — “investments in road and bridges” — as if that was the majority of the what he’s spending money on, when in fact, infrastructure projects were less than 5% of the stimulus bill. It’s like me sprinkling a turd with sugar and asking you to eat it and when you refuse, I accuse you of disliking sugar.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ace on Obama's apparent lack of smarts

Ace is less than impressed with Obama's supposedly keen intellect:

This occurred to me due to Obama's claim that paying people not to work creates more jobs than actually creating jobs.

It is a thoroughly stupid and ignorant statement. Even as a weak bit of political spin, it verges, apologies for the word but I mean it, on being mentally retarded.

A year or two ago one of those guys who's supposedly a libertarian but seems to make his rent attacking conservatives posited that the right suffers from "epistemic closure," a mis-named term which he claimed to mean "closed off to information or experience inconsistent with one's prior views."

A tasteless and unnecessary neologism for the very old idea of a Community-Based Reality, a group which decides what reality is according to a group. Contrary information will not be permitted to interfere with the Community-Based Reality the group is deciding upon; they reason backwards from their conclusions to decide what the Facts are which prove those pre-supposed conclusions.

Not a particularly new idea. But he made up a (poor) neologism for it, and attacked the right, so of course he got lots of links and probably a few invitations to MSNBC.

Using this terminology: Is Obama's mind epistemically closed?

Obama is supposedly a learned man. We are told he is a rara avis, in Chris Buckley's dribblings, a true intellectual.

When was the last time Obama actually learned something about the world?

Did he, as the book's title might have it, Learn Everything He Needed To Know By Second Semester Sophomore Year?

When was the last time Obama was actually confronted by new information and new experience and actually adapted his beliefs to fit the new fact-pattern, rather than consistently adapting the new fact-pattern to fit his old beliefs?

For, we were told, anyone who does not do this is is "epistemically closed."

The Council Has Spoken!

This week's results for the Watcher's Council vote are in, they've been posted over at Watcher of Weasels. The winning council entry for the week was "Heart Of Darkness; Obama’s Campaign To Make Israel A Scapegoat And Fool America’s Jews" by Joshuapundit, and the winning non-council entry for the week was Andrew McCarthy's post "Fears and Smears" over at National Review. Congrats!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I've been working out some computer problems, so haven't been posting as much lately... I'll try to get something new up here soon.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I can sort of understand why Newt Gingrich might initially benefit from Herman Cain's recent drop in the polls, but why is Newt still doing so well after announcing his silly immigration proposals?  Especially when you consider how much damage Rick Perry did to himself with his infamous "heartless" remark in response to a question about in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.

In terms of policy, Perry's stance on immigration should actually be easier to defend than Newt's.  Yet, somehow, Perry's gaffe has led to an implosion of his poll numbers, and paved the way for Cain to be in the lead, at least for a while... and now Newt seems to be replacing Cain as the new anti-Romney, but can that really last if Newt is proposing what amounts to a sort of amnesty?  If Perry's poll numbers have dwindled all the way down to Ron Paul levels, how will Newt ever manage to remain the frontrunner?

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Council Has Spoken!

This week's results for the Watcher's Council vote are in, they've been posted over at Watcher of Weasels. The winning council entry for the week was "Book Burning – It’s All The Rage" by The Noisy Room, and the winning non-council entry for the week was Baron Bodissey's post "An Iron Burka Has Descended Across the Continent" over at Gates of Vienna. Congrats!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Cain Conundrum

This has been one of the weirdest campaign seasons that I've ever seen in my life.  With Obama's spectacular failure to come through on his promise to prevent the unemployment rate from exceeding 8%, you'd think it would be easy for the GOP to cough up a worthy opponent to run against him... but they just can't seem to settle on a frontrunner for some reason.

For a while there, it was looking like they finally settled on Herman Cain, but his poll numbers have fallen a bit in the wake of whatever the hell these past couple of weeks have been.  I'm not sure that "scandal" is the right word to describe it, because I don't even know what I'm supposed to be outraged about.  I've seen a lot of allegations being thrown at Herman Cain, but no credible person has stepped forward yet to make a specific allegation that can be backed up with any kind of evidence.

The way that the media has covered this story has been utterly atrocious, which may earn Cain some sympathy points from conservatives who are sick to death of having our candidates chosen for us by a blatantly corrupt media over and over again... but as unfair as the media may have been to Cain, his campaign's handling of all this hasn't been so great either.  When it's all said and done, I worry that the idea that Cain did something wrong will be cemented in the heads of too many people, even if those people aren't really sure what that something is.

But all the nebulous accusations of impropriety aside, there is another problem for Cain here: he seems to be "winging it" way too much.  I want to support him, but I'm not entirely sure where his head is at on some issues... and lately, I'm not even sure if he knows where his own head is at.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying he'd make a terrible president... just about anyone would be a thousand times better than Obama.  The question is, how would Cain be as a candidate in the general election?  Obama has been campaigning for years now, it's just about the only thing he knows how to do... any time there is a problem, he just reverts back to campaign mode.  He is a lousy president, but he is very comfortable with pretending to be a great president, and he can afford to "wing it" now and then because the media will be covering for him every step of the way... whoever the GOP nominates won't have that luxury.

So then, where does that leave us?  One of Ace's commenters makes this dire prediction:
Too late. Newt Gingrich is now the Wave of the Future.

We are accelarating towards the point of anti-Mitt singularity where the last anti-Mitt ends up being Mitt Romney himself, so we have 2 Mitt Romneys running against each other.

In other words, Mitt Romney's existing political platform which goes Schrodinger's cat on every issue.

The Council Has Spoken!

This week's results for the Watcher's Council vote are in, they've been posted over at Watcher of Weasels. The winning council entry for the week was "War Drums On Iran?" by Joshuapundit, and the winning non-council entry for the week was Raymond Ibrahim's piece "Muslim Prayers of Hate" over at PJ Media. Congrats!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Frank Miller not a fan of OWS

Frank Miller is probably best known for his work as a graphic novelist and as a director, but he's also something of a curmudgeon.  Here's his unflattering take on OWS:
The “Occupy” movement, whether displaying itself on Wall Street or in the streets of Oakland (which has, with unspeakable cowardice, embraced it) is anything but an exercise of our blessed First Amendment. “Occupy” is nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists, an unruly mob, fed by Woodstock-era nostalgia and putrid false righteousness. These clowns can do nothing but harm America.

“Occupy” is nothing short of a clumsy, poorly-expressed attempt at anarchy, to the extent that the “movement” – HAH! Some “movement”, except if the word “bowel” is attached - is anything more than an ugly fashion statement by a bunch of iPhone, iPad wielding spoiled brats who should stop getting in the way of working people and find jobs for themselves.
(found via @jtLOL)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Council Has Spoken!

This week's results for the Watcher's Council vote are in, they've been posted over at Watcher of Weasels. The winning council entry for the week was "President Obama's Latest Horror - A Trillion Dollar Timebomb For America's Economy" by Joshuapundit, and the winning non-council entry for the week was Anestos Canelides' essay "Slavery and Jihad" over at Gates of Vienna. Congrats!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Oy, gevalt!

Writing at Yid With Lid, Jeff Dunetz has this to say about Occupy Boston's attempted takeover of the Israeli Consulate this weekend:
The attempted attack on the consulate should be a big surprise to people who read the mainstream media because they have been reporting the anti-Israel/anti-Semitic incidents coming from the Occupy protests were the product of a few lone-wolf nuts. This particular Anti-Israel event wasn't a fringe group or a lone nut, it was an officially sanctioned Occupy Boston event.

Thankfully they didn't get into the consulate - only the building's lobby, but even if they got to the embassy there would have been no one there because these Occupy "friends of the Jewish Community," forgot that Consulates of the Jewish State are closed on the Jewish Sabbath.
(found via Right Truth)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mac vs. PC vs. Reality

It's funny how there always seemed to be a political aspect to the Mac vs. PC divide, with left-leaning people seeming to favor the Mac and right-leaning people seeming to favor the PC... at least that's how it always seemed to me.  And yet a biography of Steve Jobs has Jobs warning Obama of being a one-term president, and complaining to him about overregulation killing business and the teachers' unions having too much power, among other things... meanwhile, Bill Gates is running around trying to get a global poverty tax imposed on us.  What the hell??

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Matt Welch urges Salon to grow up a little

Matt Welch doesn't sound too impressed with Salon's New Declaration of Independence:
I don't recall anything like the promises so cruelly unkept in Salon's list. I do remember my father warning me that an engineering degree would be much more useful in the workplace than English, to which I uttered a phrase available to 18-year-olds everywhere: Thanks, Dad; not your call. Ditto for the legions of well-meaning adults urging me to finish my undergraduate degree, to sign up for the Selective Service, and even (when I finally attained a decent living in the second half of my 30s) to pay a mortgage instead of paying rent. One of the best perks about being a grown-up is that you get to make your own choices, and to own the results, good and ill.

Which is why phrases like "wage slaves," "inescapable debt," and "force" "force" "force" leave me feeling like a brother from another planet. Adult human beings have agency, the ability (even responsibility!) to run their own cost/benefit analyses and choose accordingly. You could go to a state school (or community college) instead of an over-inflated prestige mill. You could pay for a 10-year-old car in cash, instead of a new one on installments. You could try to make it in Minneapolis before living the dream in Williamsburg. You could stare into the face of a no-money-down, adjustable rate 30-year mortgage at the tail end of a housing-price run-up and conclude "Maybe that one's not for me." You could even choose to turn down a bad if high-paying job when you're living below the poverty line. If we indeed live in a "candid world," let us state bluntly that offloading 100% of the blame for your own mountain of debt on a group of Greedy McBanksters who "forced" you to "play by the rules" is more than a little pathetic.
(found via Insty)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

The Walking Dead

Man, Ace's commenters are really hating on The Walking Dead... the show has had its ups and downs, but I think overall it's been pretty good, and I really enjoyed last night's episode.  I think my favorite part was the guy they found who had tried to hang himself but just ended up as a zombie dangling there flailing about for who knows how long... and all the flesh from his legs had already been eaten away by other zombies before they found him, it was pretty nasty.

My favorite comment over there so far was this gem posted by AmishDude:
Zombies are a metaphor for communism / liberalism / socialism

Every time you think you have it dead & buried, it comes back as another group of unthinking, resource killing evil that tries to kill everything that is good and living

They have no memory of the past or of prior failures.

But if #OWS has taught me one thing, it's that the Zombie Apocalypse will have rape. Lots and lots of rape.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

My very first YouTube video ever

I was messing around with the face morph gizmo over at Morph Thing and decided to make a slideshow out of some of my favorites:

All these were made with pictures that were already uploaded and prepared for morphing, I tried to upload a few of my own but didn't have much luck with them.  The piece of music I used was something jazzy called Kool Kats by Kevin MacLeod.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Council Has Spoken!

This week's results for the Watcher's Council vote are in, they've been posted over at Watcher of Weasels.  The winning council entry for the week was "Is it true that the poor ye always have with you?" by Bookworm Room, and the winning non-council entry for the week was Bruce Thornton's "Obama's Libyan Disaster" over at FrontPage Magazine.  Congrats!

It's nice to see the group is still going after all this time, JoshuaPundit has done a great job taking over as Watcher.  Hopefully it won't make him quite as crazy as it made me.  Hehehe.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Zombie in a Penguin Suit

Here's an awesome short film I found via Allah and HuffPo:

It's based on the short story What's Black and White and Red All Over?, by Hugo Garza.  I'd link to his site but I'm not really sure which Hugo Garza he is.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Running the numbers on OWS

Using some of Nate Silver's crowd size estimates as a starting point, Eric over at Classical Values got out his calculator and crunched a few numbers of his own:
OK, so there are about 15,000 in New York (all of whom cannot fit into Zuccotti park), but let’s be liberal go with the highest possible figure of 100,000 protesters.

What is that in terms of percent? The United States population is 312,441,000, so Occupy Wall Street is less than a third of one percent.

0.032006042740869475, to be exact.

Their claim of 99% seems either a bit high or a bit arrogant. Or both.
If these filthy OWS hippies really represented 99% of the country then you'd think they could manage to gather more people together than the Tea Party movement could, right?  By most accounts, there were well over 100,000 people just at the Restoring Honor rally alone.  And that was just one event... I'm sure if you added up the numbers for all the tea party events it would really put the OWS numbers to shame.  Yet the media constantly fawns over the OWS protests and denigrates the Tea Party.

Update:  Eric updated his post to point out that 0.032006042740869475 percent is actually less than one thirtieth of one percent, not just less than one third of one percent.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Cosby Doctrine

Jay Tea over at WizBang takes a lesson from one of Bill Cosby's standup routines and tries to apply it to the situation in the Middle East:
But what they did — where they failed to observe the Cosby Doctrine — was they didn’t look beyond getting rid of the dictator. They didn’t ask themselves the most important question: will this make things better? As bad as these dictators are, are we saying that any change would be an improvement?

In brief, they said “things can’t get worse.”

And worse said “oh, yeah?” Next thing you know, Coptic Christians in Egypt are getting run over by tanks and Libyans are looking at each other and saying “Shariah law? Who the hell wanted that?”
Even if we ignore our own self-interest here for a minute, what have you really accomplished for the people of Egypt and Libya if you just end up trading one form of tyranny for another?

Movies about people going nuts

Dave Schuler poses an interesting question over at The Glittering Eye:
What are the best movies, among genre films or straight drama, in which the main character starts sane and loses his or her mind during the course of the film?
Being both a lover of movies and a crazy person, I feel compelled to weigh in on this topic.  Several good examples were already mentioned in Dave's post and by his commenters there, but here are a few more that come to mind for me.

I think the richly bizarre Coen Brothers movie Barton Fink would apply, depending on how you interpret the ending.  Has Barton gone insane?  Is he in Hell?  Or is the whole whole movie meant to be metaphorical?

One that certainly would apply is What About Bob?, in which Richard Dreyfuss plays an egotistical psychiatrist driven completely insane by a patient who intrudes upon the doctor's family vacation... Bill Murray is funny as the clingy patient, but for me Dreyfuss makes the movie.

Session 9 might also apply... it becomes clear by the end that one of the characters is insane, but you aren't quite sure when he became insane.  It may have started before the movie began, or it may have developed as a result of stress and remorse.  There also may have been a supernatural element to the madness, which confuses the issue a bit.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

How to reset the PRAM on a Mac

I was having some trouble with my Mac Mini after doing a firmware update.  After trying to reboot there was no video at all, just a black screen with a white box.  It would make the chime sound when I tried to restart it, so I knew it was still alive, but I couldn't see anything... and it's pretty damn hard to do anything on a computer when you can't see anything.

If you are having the same problem I was having, you may need to reset your Mac's PRAM.  You will lose some settings but that's a small price to pay for having a working computer again.  What you need to do is try to boot up the Mac and as soon as you hear the chime sound press Command+Option+P+R if you have an Apple keyboard, or press Windows+Alt+P+R on a Windows keyboard... and once you press those keys keep them all pressed until you hear a second chime.  If you have no video, it can seem like nothing is happening, but be patient... don't let go until you hear that second chime or this won't work.  Eventually there should be a third chime, and then you can just boot normally.

Depending on what problem you are trying to fix, if resetting the PRAM doesn't help, then you might want to also try resetting the System Management Controller.  There are different ways of doing this depending on what kind of Mac you have and how old it is

And if that doesn't work either, you are probably screwed... at that point I think you will pretty much have to make a trip to an Apple Store to get it fixed.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Been wrestling with Twitter widgets all day. Made a bit of progress thanks to some good tips posted at ONWEBDEV, but a couple of the widgets still aren't working properly.  Twitter hasn't made a @mention widget available, so you have to use the search widget to search for @mentions... which would be fine, if only the search widget would display the results in chronological order.  Hopefully they will fix that problem someday.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

More to Come

Still sorting things out here, and gonna redo the color scheme... not that anyone reading the RSS feed is gonna care too much. By the way, if you see your blog in one of my blogrolls on the right sidebar and then it seems to disappear, that's probably because each one only shows the 5 most recently updated blogs at a time out of several. Or it could mean that I suddenly decided I hate you.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Holy Crap

What the hell is this?

Is the horrible screeching thing in this video a man or a woman?  I really can't tell.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Pardon the mess, this is my first post and I'm still getting things set up here.

More to come soon... in the meantime, since today is this blog's birthday,  I'll start things off with some nifty factoids about today's date.

Celebrities born on October 8th:  Frank Herbert(1920), Paul Hogan(1939), Harvey Pekar(1939), Jesse Jackson(1941), Chevy Chase(1943), R.L. Stine(1943), Dennis Kucinich(1943), Johnny Ramone(1948), Sigourney Weaver(1949), Darrell Hammond(1955), Stephanie Zimbalist(1956), Nick Bakay(1959), Peter Greene(1965), Emily Procter(1967), Julia Ann(1969), Jeremy Davies(1969), Matt Damon(1970), Soon-Yi Previn(1970), Bruno Mars(1985), and Molly C. Quinn(1993).

Politicians who died on October 8th:  John Hancock(1793), Franklin Pierce(1869), Wendell Willkie(1944), and Prescott Bush(1972).

The Great Chicago Fire started on October 8th, 1871.

Bruno Hauptmann was indicted on October 8th, 1934 for the murder of Charles Lindbergh's infant son.

(Some sites list Che Gevuara's death as being on October 8th, 1967 but that was the date of his capture... he wasn't actually executed until the next day.)

The Weather Underground started The Days of Rage riots on October 8th, 1969.

Tom Ridge was sworn in as the first Office of Homeland Security Advisor on October 8th, 2001.