"During my long journey through the world of evil, I had discovered three sources of power: the power of an individual's inner freedom, the power of a free society, and the power of the solidarity of the free world."-- Natan Sharansky, "The Case for Democracy"

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November 27, 2014

"...and snacks and stuff."

The funniest stuff I've read in a long time is in this "article" on the California ballot initiative voters "approved" to build a high-speed rail line to Hawaii.

"This is a great day for California," says Walter Miller, leader of the Yes on 49 campaign. "Sure it's relatively easy and cheap to fly to Hawaii. But why would you want to take a 5-hour flight, when you can take a 15-hour train ride in an underground tube?"

November 26, 2014

I do know me some folks...

Wow. I have mentioned that -- in addition to my moonbat crazy lefty friends on Facebook -- I do have some on the right who should probably have their meds monitored pretty carefully.

A great guy and superbly talented musician I know put this up:

slavery.gif

I suggested that "Slavery" was a pretty special word which should not be debased to equal "my job sucks." My friend did not respond, but two of his did. Oh yes, Oh, yes this is life. We had some respectful banter but they are not buying what I am selling.

The url in the cartoon www.rawforbeauty.com features posts to cure your diabetes with yam juice and the like. The original Facebook poster was the FB group "The Matrix Report." I am afraid to link to either: Matrix Report is Rothschild/New World Order stuff "Wake Up People!".

I have a great new Libertario Delenda Est FB friend who was actually the LP candidate for CO Attorney General this year. Enlightened debate with he and his friends, but they are so convinced of the existence of a big libertarian majority I find non-extant. To even get close, you have to start counting some people who may not be entirely reliable.

But Keith Arnold thinks:

And yet, I may be willing to compromise with your friend's point of view on the cartoon.

Consider the concept of "Tax Freedom Day," a concept I believe all ThreeSourcers are familiar with. The popular theme is that for the average wage-earning American, we labor for between three and a half and four months out of twelve to satisfy our tax burden. We are - dare I use the word? - indentured to our government to do that. Imagine! Our government, at all levels, represents a 30% frictional loss for the operation of the national production machine.

Beyond this, the distortion of the economy as reflected by higher prices - how much has a gallon of gasoline gone up since 2007? How about meat and bread? How about medical costs and health insurance? Ethanol drives up the cost of your grocery bill; that's been discussed on these very selfsame pages. So have gasoline prices. When the cost of necessities (fuel, heating your home, groceries, electricity, medical) all eat a greater and greater part of what we earn, then we have less disposable income to spend; our want-tos become dwarfed by our have-tos.

"Slavery" is certainly a harsh word to use, but I do see the point your friend's trying to make. Perhaps it would be more charitable to say that we're experiencing a large patch of Mr. Heinlein's "bad luck" and we're not accustomed to it.

On Facebook, I've been trying to help my friends to prepare for that "bad luck," and you've been gracious enough to take note. When we have an Administration in DC that is bound and determined to plunge this nation headlong into the bad luck, there's nothing wrong with being a little prepared. If I've helped just one person...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 26, 2014 7:34 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I'm not sure whether that means my meds ought to be monitored, unless you're thinking of the pleasant little bottle of Merlot I'm hoping to crack open.

Which reminds me, I've picked up a few nice books on homemade wine, beer brewing, and the like...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 26, 2014 7:38 PM
But Jk thinks:

Well, it happens that that was right where I went. I thought there would be some common ground. But I next objected to Monoply Man and the bag of $

I view that as a charge against business, not government. Somebody choosing that "villain" is not suggesting tax freedom day be moved backwards.

Cheers, my friend, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Posted by: Jk at November 26, 2014 8:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Send them the article linked in 'Democrats - The New "Party of the Rich" two posts down. Maybe that will open some eyes.

I'm a big fan of Cory Pate at The Party of Choice [watch a few vids] who explains that the most effective way to reach people who disagree with you is to find the part of what they believe that you agree with and reinforce it first, before politely and methodically correcting the wrong parts. Most of us, even if we do remember that first step, go for a one-move checkmate with a pithy one liner smacked on the top of their head.

You're right, I can't believe how much harder it's become to earn a living anymore in this country. In our parents' day they could easily advance their career earnings by going to work for another company who needed them and was willing to pay more to get them. And one parent could almost always afford to stay home if he or she wanted! Which do you think is the biggest cause of this, the higher prices or the lack of job choices? Maybe it's both? I'm not sure, what do you think?
Posted by: johngalt at November 27, 2014 11:09 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Oh, and Keith, it is 4-1/2 to 5 months.

And another way government robs "the folks" without them knowing it is a favorite point of my dad's: Inflation drives up prices and wages, meaning it takes more dollars to do the same things, but since progressive tax brackets are not indexed to inflation this amounts to a perpetually creeping tax rate hike on everybody, as we are ever so slowly pushed into higher tax brackets.

Posted by: johngalt at November 27, 2014 11:14 AM

Potato, Potahto

Is it best to pass an 18-wheeler on the left, or on the right? Or perhaps another side?

It wasn't worth creating its own category so I'll just file this under "science."

But jk thinks:

And one does not argue with science.

Posted by: jk at November 26, 2014 6:08 PM

Democrats - The new "Party of the Rich"

I could write an eloquent flowing post, where I lay out a premise and support it with pull quotes, but that would take too long. Besides, this one almost writes itself, given the pull quotes.

From Thomas B. Edsall's NYT editorial - Who Will Save the Democratic Party From Itself?

First,

Webb is one answer to the weaknesses of today's center-left, the so-called "upstairs-downstairs" coalition described by Joel Kotkin, presidential fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University. Kotkin argues in his recently published book, "The New Class Conflict," that the Democratic Party has been taken over by what he calls "gentry liberals," an elite that has undermined the historic purpose of the Democratic Party.

Kotkin contends that

The great raison d'étre for left-wing politics - advocating for the middle and working classes - has been refocused to attend more closely to the policy imperatives and interests of small, highly affluent classes, as well as the powerful public sector.

I asked Kotkin what he thought of the themes Webb intends to raise, and he wrote back "I think he's onto something."

Then,

As much as such a shift to a class-based strategy might result in economic policies more beneficial to less affluent Democratic constituencies, and therefore to more votes in the long haul, so far there has been insufficient intraparty pressure to force a change in strategic orientation.

And,

The current approach depends on a Republican Party that refuses to adjust to the transforming composition of the electorate. The 2014 elections demonstrated, however, that the Republican Party and its candidates are not immune to feedback and will change if they have to in order to win.

Insofar as the Republican Party tempers its retrograde stance on social-sexual and moral-racial issues, Democratic campaigns stressing alleged threats from conservatives-- the threat to freedom and privacy posed by the Christian right; the threat to Hispanic family unity posed by anti-immigrant activists; the threat to programs serving the poor posed by deficit hawks -- will run out of gas.

Finally,

The Democrats' lack of credibility on economic issues will hobble, if not extinguish, the party's prospects. Unless the Democrats develop a coherent, comprehensive strategy for the have-nots, it won't matter whether the party's nominee is Clinton, Webb or anyone else.

Okay, a smart man once said, "If you have something important to say, don't be subtle about it."

I contend the Republican Party is in a perfect position to not only temper its stance on retrograde moral and social issues, but also to develop a coherent, comprehensive strategy for the have-nots. One that cuts across white, black and Hispanic "identity" boundaries and undermines the entire "demography is destiny" strategy of the Democrats.

But nanobrewer thinks:

Uh-huh, and I have to wonder what or who will be arbiter of what is "retrograde" ? In today's pop-culture climate, which sadly is little different than when I went to college (though the slippage of NewsTime and other Media dinosaurs gives hope), I assume that "progress" on moral/racial/social/sexual matters will be judged by the same yardstick whereby the definition of "bipartisan" is in practice "whatever Ted Kennedy would have done."

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 26, 2014 7:00 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

And now for a moment to try to move this ball forward: agreeing with JK that the GOP is now primed for a primary thrust of how free markets and reasonable regulation benefit the poor & middle class.

I suspect that it will be easier for the party to assert the failure of over-regulation/taxation and in general the gov't picking winners & losers (of course always picking the loser, even in the best case falling just short of picking the plucky underdog). Easier partly b/c of the environment whereby the Mass Media still mostly drives the common gestalt, and easier b/c making the case for "blood, sweat, toil" is always harder than "let Senator Asskiss fight The Man for you."

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 27, 2014 1:14 AM
But Jk thinks:

Quick point of order: while I like this post, I cannot in good conscience take credit for Brother jg's work.

Didn't you notice that all the words were spelled correctly? That's usually a giveaway.

Posted by: Jk at November 27, 2014 8:44 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Discussions on how to make the case for "we'll create a better life for the 'have-nots'" will wait for another day. As for "who will decide" what is retrograde in moral and social issues, the correct answer is the same as who will rightly decide what kind of health insurance to buy or whether to have ham or turkey or tofu for Thanksgiving - each of us, individually. Them's free markets.

Posted by: johngalt at November 27, 2014 10:57 AM

Tweet of the Season

But johngalt thinks:

I am compelled to add one caveat - Don't use port wine for basting in a gas-fueled oven. The open flame can ignite the vaporized alcohol and, BOOM!

Posted by: johngalt at November 26, 2014 4:25 PM

Underpants Gnomes -- Solved!

How do we cash in on this great new business craze:

1) Form a minority-owned business;
2) Get looted and have somebody start a Kickstarter to rebuild;
3) Profit.

KIDDING!! KIDDING!! I think it is awesome on stilts. Neil Cavuto had the owner of an Antiques store on last night and it was absolutely gut-wrenching; I thought Cavuto was going to cry and I know me and the lovely bride were. You can rebuild a Subway or McDonalds, but how do you do antiques? Any help tweeting Cavuto to pursue something like this would be appreciated.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:41 PM | What do you think? [0 comments]

Happy Thanksgiving!

A day early -- so sue me!

Posted by John Kranz at 2:02 PM | What do you think? [4 comments]
But johngalt thinks:

I invite you to share this to my FB page - and tag our pal Paul. (I'm sure he can find something to be depressed about with it.) Ugh.

Posted by: johngalt at November 26, 2014 4:37 PM
But jk thinks:

I do not believe Paul and I are friends. But it is on your wall and you may get into whatever mischief you feel warranted.

Posted by: jk at November 26, 2014 5:24 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Thanks! I'll take it from there. :)

Posted by: johngalt at November 26, 2014 6:04 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

This is awesome; feeds well into my reply to JK's
"Party of the Rich" post. I hope they link Human Progress to that of free markets & freedom of movement/speech/association.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 26, 2014 6:53 PM

November 25, 2014

Nothing good ever happens after midnight

CNN: Ahead of the announcement about the decision, the Brown family had urged people not to react with violence and destruction. Their lawyer said the violence that took place on the streets of Ferguson overnight was "completely inappropriate."

But Michael Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, and Michael's stepfather, Louis Head, reacted much differently when, overcome with the emotions of the situation, this happened at, according to the New York Times, about 12:13 am.

The video is embedded at a new CNN article here with appropriate context.

Michael Brown's stepfather consoled the dead teen's distraught mother after Monday's controversial grand jury announcement, and then turned to the crowd of demonstrators, saying, "Burn this mother f---er down" and "Burn this bitch down," according to a New York Times video.

Just prior to that another man yelled, "That was somebody's son. Y'all murdered her f---in' son!"

In fairness, the pyromania began before midnight CST, but this couldn't have helped quell any "violence and destruction."

But jk thinks:

Help me out if I'm wrong (read "nod your head and agree with me") but why are "peaceful protesters" out at 11PM, Midnight, 1AM?

I'm not saying there were no peaceful protesters and I would not say for a second that they did not have every right to be out. But I would ask, firmly: what was the upside? Was some goal advanced?

I had this argument with a niece of mine. When Bush was president, they had these things they called peace protests (really, look it up on Google!) My niece would march in them and tell me that she was not throwing rocks at cops or torching cars. I pointed out that her presence was a great benefit to those who were.

My whole protect career consists of two Tea-Party rallies. Had they gotten out of hand, I would have left. Had the first one destroyed property, I would not have been at the second.

So yes, peaceful protesters -- you absolutely have a right -- but you are playing into the hands of those who will move you further from your goals of nonviolence and justice.

Posted by: jk at November 25, 2014 3:02 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Partially because the verdict was scheduled for 9pm, I suppose. Not that any other time of day would have been better, save maybe 3 am?

I understand the one-sided perspective of Brown's friends and family who believe, because he was black and unarmed, his shooting death at the hands of the "po-lice" was, on its face, unjustifiable and therefore criminal. But I believe they ignore the many mistakes the late Mr. Brown made which, in totality, appear to amount to a case of "suicide by cop."

My sense is that if there is one mistake Officer Wilson made, it was to engage the suspect without backup.

This morning on CNN I watched a woman, whose name I did not notice but who professed and exhibited legal training, suggest that because of the circumstances of the shooter being an agent of government the judgment of a grand jury convened by that same government amounted to a one-sided trial adjudicated solely by defense counsel. I thought that charge had some merit and would be willing to explore it further - if half of Ferguson, MO were not on fire.

Posted by: johngalt at November 25, 2014 5:24 PM

I bet they do

It's like they do not totally get this Capitalism thing. WSJ:

Venezuela Seeks Oil Price Up Back at $100 a Barrel
Ahead of OPEC Meeting, Foreign Minister Says His Country and Others Want a Fair Price

VIENNA--Venezuela wants oil prices to return to $100 a barrel, the country's foreign minister said on Tuesday, ahead of an OPEC meeting.

Speaking to reporters, Rafael Ramirez, who will represent Venezuela at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries gathering on Thursday, said "the [oil] price has to be $100 per barrel, [that] is a fair price."


And Fender Stratocasters should be $700.

UPDATE: In completely, totally, unrelated news: US Imports from OPEC at 30-year low.

But johngalt thinks:

Minimum price for oil? Why not? Governments seem to believe they can mandate minimum prices for hourly labor.

Posted by: johngalt at November 25, 2014 2:54 PM

November 24, 2014

All Hail Taranto!

He's back from vacation. Our ten day national nightmare is over!

Anyway, this isnít the first time a journalist has "fact-checked" a "Saturday Night Live" sketch. As we noted in 2009, CNN's Wolf Blitzer did the same thing back then. By amazing coincidence, that was also a sketch making fun of President Obama. -- James Taranto


Huzzah!

Military campaigns should be constrained, to the extent practicable, to declared wars. And in this country, Congress declares war. Not the POTUS. To wit:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This joint resolution may be cited as the "Declaration of War against the Organization known as the Islamic State".

Thank you candidate, err, Senator Paul.


Iran moves foward

PowerLine notes that the expiration of the Obamanites latest deal making with Iran ends up not as a simple stalemate, which the Lamestream Media (Motto: "Live, from Obama's little finger!") will probably report as such.

It's a good article, if depressing: noting Iran will get $700 million in assets unfrozen. So, their economy will grow, and that bargaining chip is lost.

This is the point from Mirgenoff's article that I wished to present, as it provides a window to BHO's recent actions on illegal immigrants:

Obama will feel pressure to make additional concessions. Clearly, he wants a deal; otherwise he would have walked away in the face of Iranís intransigence. Obama wants a deal for his legacy. Two of the three major components of that legacy ó Obamacare and Obamnesty ó are subject to possible reversal. The third component ó pulling out of Iraq ó has exploded in his face

I am beginning to wonder if he's gone from a goal of Fundamentally Transforming the Country to a snide and cynical attempt at giving the fundamental finger to the country and all the things he despises about it (which is nearly everything, it seems).

Posted by nanobrewer at 5:25 PM | What do you think? [0 comments]

All Hail Insty!

Vicious. Partisan. Ad hominem. You're welcome.

2016 Posted by John Kranz at 2:02 PM | What do you think? [0 comments]

Meme, Answered.

Seen this piece of nonsense? President Lincoln asks "You know what else was an Executive Order that bypassed Congress and affected millions?" and answers "The Emancipation Proclamation, bitches."

This passes for wit and history among my lefty friends. One could respond that it was not an Executive Order; a lunatic like me could argue that our 16th president is not a model for Constitutional restraint; or, one could summon his inner 10-year old, boot up Photoshop® and:

FDR_9066.jpg

UPDATE: The Wikipedia link.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:29 AM | What do you think? [2 comments]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Hmmm. I like all three of your given options there - after all, I am a firm believer in the principle of negotiating from strength.

Strictly speaking, the Emancipation Proclamation was not an Executive Order; it was an order to his military forces to recognize the freedom of all former slaves within the Confederate states. It made no changes within the United States remaining in the Union, created no new law, and changing no one's status within the Union, only within occupied territory, similar to the status of occupied Japan after World War Two. If San Fran Nan wanted a more applicable Lincoln reference, she might have gone with his suspension of habeus corpus - oh, but wait, that was later found to be an illegal abuse of power by the executive; the more applicable Lincoln reference actually works against the SCOAMF, doesn't it?

And yes, Honest Abe did certainly expand the role of the Federal government at the expense of the States, and the Constitution. "Before the Civil War, the states were all separate. People used to say 'United States are.' Wasn't until the war ended, people started saying 'The United States is.' Under Lincoln, we became one nation." That, from the mouth of no less a Constitutional scholar than Nicholas Cage himself.

And yes, the FDR comeback is a delight. There is no joy in this world quite like seeing a fool hoist upon his own canard.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 24, 2014 12:28 PM
But jk thinks:

Thanks for the kind words and ever-trenchant commentary. I just hope my biological brother, against whom I first deployed this, enjoys it just as much. Well, it is the holidays and all...

I was trying to remember the plot of Steven Spielberg's Lincoln -- was it not about SecState Seward's and the President's arm-twisting to get Congressional support for the proclamation? Anybody recall?

Posted by: jk at November 24, 2014 12:43 PM

November 22, 2014

Wherein jk Parts Company with Jonah Goldberg

Jonah -- proudly -- represents Burkean conservatism and I am grounded more in a Lockean, rights-based libertarianism. So we have parted on shading and nuance several times. But my history with, respect for, and appreciation for Goldberg has always provided the benefit of the doubt to his case.

But we have found a cross product of -1 on an important issue. Jonah finds mondo-scientist and hateful shirt-rocker Matt Taylor culpable in shirtgate -- not of misogyny, but of fashion violations and a class 3 abuse of casual Friday.

Many of my friends and colleagues on the anti-PC right have responded with understandable outrage. And it's true: Taylor's confession of wrongdoing did feel forced -- awfully North Korean.

Still, the feminists have a point. Although I like the shirt (which is now selling like hotcakes), I would never wear it to a nice restaurant, never mind on a globally broadcast TV interview. The reason I wouldn't wear it has very little to do with my fear of offending feminists. It's simply unsuitable professional attire. I'd ask critics of the feminist backlash, would you wear it on a job interview? How about to church or synagogue?


So the Burke-Locke split is just a small creek compared to the sartorial ocean that divides me and Mister Goldberg. I always wanted to explore things more deeply with blog friend Perry. He was a Wall-Streeter and his blog linked to the occasional "Ten Must-Do Men's Dressing Tips" of which I would follow . . . zero.

There is a huge split between East Coast and West US, more between urban and rural, and a monstrous divide between technical professions and New York Journalism. I don't know that I'd wear "the shirt" to a job interview but I have interviewed and hired many who were dressed equally casually. Nor would I refrain from hiring a candidate who showed up in that. I would shave points off only if it reinforced some other concerns.

I think a lot of people choose technical professions because they don't like to dress up. And on a higher plane, most want to be accepted for their achievements if not the content of their character -- certainly not the color of their shirt. Law and Investment Banking might be swell occupations, but to the tech worker they appear capricious with the attractive, well dressed and obsequious worker advancing faster than his or her better qualified rivals.

Doctor Taylor probably went into science to avoid being judged by his shirt. Jonah Goldberg makes a mistake to apply his standards outside his profession.

But nanobrewer thinks:

Sounds like a finalist for defining kerfuffle, but I'm happy the news cycle is slow. For what it's worth, I agree 100% with JK, right down to agreeing with Mr. Goldberg 99% of the time.

I've noticed this sartorial divide as well.... strengthens my resolve to never live east of Denver!

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 24, 2014 12:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Perhaps I need modify my pronouncement of Friday last - "Only women, and gentrified easterners, notice clothes." I realize this suggests our blog friend Perry is gentrified but I'll guess he prefers that to "blue collar."

Posted by: johngalt at November 24, 2014 1:09 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm still doing the math. Brother nb agrees with Jonah 99% of the time; jk agrees with Jonah 99% of the time. Yet, jk & nb agree with each other about 90% of the time.

It's not quite the Riemann Hypothesis, but it does give one pause...

Posted by: jk at November 24, 2014 1:37 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Just nobody, ever, say "97%" and I'm good.

Posted by: johngalt at November 24, 2014 2:37 PM
But jk thinks:

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Posted by: jk at November 24, 2014 5:03 PM

November 21, 2014

"Universally accepted"

While looking up the prescribed quarantine period for persons exposed to the Ebola virus I found this gem of an edit as the second sentence of the Ebola Virus Disease Wikipedia entry:

It is universally accepted that the Ebola virus scare was the brainchild of the pharmaceutical industry. (Witness the H1N1 panic that resulted in millions of unused vaccine doses.)

I checked the date of the latest edit and found it to be ... today.

It has since been edited again and that passage removed. Interwebs. Sheesh.


Cry Havoc -- and Let Loose the "Contact" Spoilers!

Party like it is 1999! JK has become the last person on the planet to see "Contact," discussed in post and comments this week.

I liked it plenty but do not plan to rank it up there with Serenity. Some of it may be the terminal 1990s-ish of it. At least it wasn't the 70s; the 90s were berry berry good to me. But the computers and President Clinton cameos jar one out of plotline immersion.

It gets three and a half stars right off the bat for location footage of the VLA -- I went to school for a year right down the road from the VLA in Socorro. Dialogue gives the location as Socorro, but I think the actual location is Magdalena.

Bonus points [seriously, we're ignoring potential spoilers in a 17-year old movie now, are we not?] for the ambiguity given to her experience. It reminded me of "Normal Again," one of my five favorite Buffy episodes. Buffy spends half the episode in a mental hospital with a kindly doctor telling her (living, happy and married) parents that she has constructed this fantastic world where she is a superhero. She spends the other half in Sunnydale fighting monsters.

I'd like to watch Contact again, but I only got a 24 hr. rental. But on first, I think they did the same admirable job of not taking sides.

There are many interesting questions asked. I think I see why it is loved and perhaps why in one case it is not. The production is good (I bet mind blowing in '97). I am on record as an anti-Sagan grouch but was not bugged by Saganism. The lovely bride thought it lacked for sympathetic characters. I think I could find twenty minutes to trim. But these are small beer in a ThreeSources review.

What did I miss?

Art Posted by John Kranz at 5:09 PM | What do you think? [2 comments]
But nanobrewer thinks:

I'll take this:

1. An excellent story of a scientist struggling mightily against various nefarious sources (competing scientists, doubtful colleagues, speedbump bureaucrats...) that attempt to sway, thwart, divert, etc... many times over the frustrating banality of ignorance, with a sprinkling of greed and envy.

I found Ellie's character heroic, perhaps sympathetic... I could relate. I also found Foster appealing back then, which surely helped. It was a mystery and an adventure rolled into one, with a great script. No real villain to wrap your bile around: brilliant! The premature death of her father wasn't played up for sympathy but became integral to the story.

2. I also found the deist sub-theme probing and intelligent, with Joss posing some worthwhile questions to both Ellie's atheism and the storefront, instant-conversion of the others'. It also fed the story (well, a dramatic and fun diversion really), by allowing Joss to play spoiler and Drumlin (T.Skerrit) to show a conniving side - and the mass of agnostics to find a way to hang their risk-aversion hats on (and perhaps position themselves for payoff?).

3. The science sure seemed solid (which helped me relate to Ellie), and the hoopla - bad and good - around the discovery of ET intelligence felt just right.

4. The inclusion of historical figures: digitized Clinton, Leno, King, etc... touched me. Sorry if it seemed Passe to others after Forrest Gump.

5. I found the denouement terrific: I LOVE IT when aliens are portrayed in this fashion. As far from Star Trek as could be (and I like Trek). Bablyon 5 did this a time or two (looks like very similar time lines too: B5/S4 was in '97 and featured a similarly filmed confrontation with humans v. "first one" aliens in the conclusion to the Great Shadow War), and I've always preferred enigmatic aliens in books.

It really hit on all levels for me. It was at that time, my favorite all time SF movie. Clearly still in the top 5.

My favorite line: "so beautiful.... they should have sent a poet."

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 23, 2014 12:08 AM
But jk thinks:

No arguments. (Well, I might classify Dr. Drumlin as villain -- he did not tie up Jodie Foster on the train tracks and twirl his mustache, but he shut down two of her projects and then claimed credit.)

Other than that, all your points are valid -- and I did like the movie. To show good faith, I'll add another plus: the scientists listening to the data streams as audio over trusting a scanner. Then the blind guy hearing the harmonic that inspired them to look at interleaved data. Cool.

Posted by: jk at November 24, 2014 11:34 AM

Plain Old Quote of the Day

By the power of greyskull, this is ridiculous. This guy is supposed to be a lawyer. The question of his authority to do X is independent of what Congress does. The executive branch may not write laws. You could look it up. Letís imagine China pulls a Pearl Harbor and sinks the Seventh Fleet. On the merits, the U.S. should declare war. Those merits do not entitle the Gary, Indiana Department of Motor Vehicles to usurp Congress's authority and declare war unilaterally. -- Jonah Goldberg [Subscribe]
But johngalt thinks:

Help me out here. I'm not slow, per se, but I am literal-minded.

If Congress declares war and the Executive does not wage it, the states may not? Same for invasion by immigrants?

Posted by: johngalt at November 21, 2014 7:02 PM

Quote of the Week

Perhaps Emperor Obama has an effective plan. It's not a Constitutional plan, and it's not really even an American plan -- but it could be a strong plan for tyranny, based on new imported demography.

As we have seen, the Founders worried greatly about Caesarism, and they did their best to safeguard against it. But back in the 18th century, they couldn't be expected to foresee every possible subversion of their new Republic. Today, in the 21st century, it's our job to assess the new threat to our Constitution, and to make a new strategy to preserve and defend it.

- Breitbart columnist "Virgil" in A Republic, If We Can Keep It: The Founders vs. 'Emperor Obama'


November 20, 2014

And They Wonder Why Men Don't Do Punditry

Katie Pavlich and her hurtful shirt:

But nanobrewer thinks:

Took me 4-5 clicks to figure this out... and I think I've gotten part of it. I do like the AAS reply to the ShirtGate kerfuffle:

the AAS is committed to the philosophy of equality of opportunity and treatment for all members, regardless of gender, gender identity or expression, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion or religious belief, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, veteran status, or any other reason not related to scientific merit.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 21, 2014 3:02 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Only women notice clothes.

Posted by: johngalt at November 21, 2014 7:51 PM

Don't click this. Comments (2)