Super Mega Monkey Ultra Extreme III Alright!!!!

He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.
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    What are you doing here?

    Go eat a tofurky or something.

    We got an early start on the holiday feasting this year, starting with our vegan ham roll (not as good as we hoped), and we've had so many tofurkies and the like that Min is getting fancy with them now. She put today's in a pot pie (also more convenient for bringing to the homestead).

    Bluespawn Godslayer included for scale. Actually, it's a Thanksgiving Bluespawn Godslayer. They're weak to mashed potatoes.


    By fnord12 | November 27, 2014, 2:00 PM | My stupid life & Vegan Vittles | Comments (0) | Link




    Witness #40

    I don't know what happened at Ferguson and i didn't see all the evidence the grand jury saw, so i'm keeping mum on their decision. But the written testimony of Witness #40 is bizarre.


    By fnord12 | November 26, 2014, 9:00 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link




    More Cola in My Milk

    Link

    Fairlife, which will launch in the US next month, will cost twice as much as regular milk and will have 50% more protein and 30% less sugar.

    Sandy Douglas, Coke's global chief customer officer, said Fairlife was "a milk that's premiumised and tastes better and we'll charge twice as much for it as the milk we're used to buying".

    He told a conference: "We're going to be investing in the milk business for a while to build the brand, so it won't rain money in the early couple of years. But like Simply [Coke's premium fruit juice line], when you do it well, it rains money later."

    Do you think Sandy has any idea how douchey he sounds? "We're going to charge you twice as much for milk and then we're going to be rolling in dough. Suckers!"

    It's just milk, though. So, until they start mixing it with cola, i think Pepsi still has them beat on sheer fantastic-ness (which is more of a word than "premiumised". douche.).


    By min | November 26, 2014, 8:38 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (0) | Link




    Abolish Term Limits

    Kevin Drum touches on something that's increasingly been a bugaboo of mine: term limits.

    The key point for me is the first sentence in this quote from Jim Newton writing in the LA Times.

    Power has shifted from those we elect to those we don't, to the permanent bureaucracy and to lobbyists. Problems get kicked down the road in favor of attention-grabbing short-term initiatives that may have long-term consequences.

    I'm absolutely not in favor of term limits at the Congressional level, and i am in favor of repealing them for the president. It's worth remembering that they were only imposed after FDR. As the quote says, lobbyists and bureaucrats don't have term limits, so every time we get a new president they have to fight against the entrenched interests that have always been there and will remain there long after they are gone. If a president wants to, for example, reform the CIA, the career officials at the CIA can basically slow pedal any reforms and hope the next president will think differently. The president also has to face more experienced people in Congress and is basically a relative newbie his entire time in power.

    It's also worth observing that based on approval ratings, i'm not sure that either George W. Bush or Barack Obama would have been elected to a third term in any event. If we have a democracy, then we shouldn't need artificial ways to prevent "dictatorship". We can vote people out of office if we don't want them anymore. I should note that i also support a better primary process and campaign finance reform, so that it's easier for an incumbent to be challenged. But we need those things anyway.


    By fnord12 | November 25, 2014, 10:27 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link




    Understandable

    Mike Sterling is doing his semi-regular "ask me a question" feature, and here's one question:

    "When a collection comes into the shop, what is one (fairly common) book you always buy and one you never buy?"

    The "always buy" comic is Robin #1, but here's part of his answer for "never buy":

    There are lots of common books I never buy. 98% of Marvel Comics Presents.

    Yep. With where i am in my timeline project, generally speaking and even moreso when you talk about Marvel Comics Presents specifically, i feel like i ought to be able to find someone that will pay me to take them. I mean, i've got to be the only person on Earth that actively wants some of this stuff at this point. Anything halfway worthwhile i already have, so anything i'm picking up now just for the project is going to be absolute dreck that no one in their right mind (i.e., not me) would want.

    You can of course get everything at the online stores but even at about a dollar an issue, there's so much of it that it winds up being more than it ought to be. I guess i should be scouring local conventions and garage sales but that seems too much like work.


    By fnord12 | November 25, 2014, 10:12 AM | Comics | Comments (3) | Link




    Cap'n Contract'n

    Ron Frenz at The Swerve Magazine:

    I even remember one time somebody got their ass fried by Jim Shooter because there was a Cap'n Crunch ad that they did, where they were running some contest with Spider-Man, and they did a two-page ad for this contest. They asked me to pencil it, they got Joe Rubinstein to ink because we were the team at the time. I remember hearing that Jim Shooter went apeshit because in the course of the copy--and I don't know if it was corrected before publication or not--Pete was speaking with a lot of contractions, which is not the way he was speaking in the comics at the time. Shooter fried somebody's ass good for it because the editors are responsible for the stewardship of these characters. So you've gone from that to every writer who does Peter Parker now does 'his' Peter Parker, and there's no real consistent voice on the character anymore. So it's apples and oranges.

    It wasn't fixed before publication and i always did find his dialogue weird.


    By fnord12 | November 24, 2014, 10:38 AM | Comics | Comments (1) | Link




    Can't keep a good conspiracy down

    On Friday afternoon, the Republican-controlled House Select Intelligence Committee quietly released their findings from investigating the various Benghazi related conspiracy theories. As Kevin Drum writes:

    It's hard to exaggerate just how remarkable this document is. It's not that the committee found nothing to criticize...

    But those are routine after-action critiques, ones that were fully acknowledged by the very first investigations. Beyond that, every single conspiracy theory--without exception--was conclusively debunked. There was no stand down order. The tactical response was both reasonable and effective under the circumstances. The CIA was not shipping arms from Libya to Syria. Both CIA and State received all military support that was available. The talking points after the attack were fashioned by the intelligence community, not the White House. Susan Rice followed these talking points in her Sunday show appearances, and where she was wrong, it was only because the intelligence community had made incorrect assessments. Nobody was punitively reassigned or polygraphed or otherwise intimidated to prevent them from testifying to Congress.

    As designed by the Friday afternoon news dump, the media has largely not covered this report. But on one of the Sunday cable talk shows, Gloria Borger asked Lindsey Graham about it, and he's not letting facts get in the way of a good conspiracy saying, "I think the report is full of crap" and "That's a bunch of garbage... That's a complete bunch of garbage." I suppose he thinks the Obama administration has infiltrated the Republican-controlled House Select Intelligence Committee, perhaps mind-controlling the Republican Chairperson, Mike Rogers.


    By fnord12 | November 24, 2014, 9:49 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link




    Shouldn't mess with perfection

    I was flipping through some old comics and realized that one of my favorite ads, which i blogged a long time ago, had actually been redrawn.

    I like the more thuggish original Hulk better, and i don't approve of these George Lucas style revisions in any event.


    By fnord12 | November 23, 2014, 12:25 PM | Comics | Comments (0) | Link




    Closer to a Solution for Repairing Brain Damage

    Scientists have raised hopes that brain damage caused by strokes, stab wounds and even bullets could one day be repaired by converting structural cells into functioning neurons.

    For the first time, they have managed to regenerate damaged areas of the cerebral cortex of living animals by transforming a type of support cell found in the brain.

    The cerebral cortex, which is the outer layer of tissue in the brain, is involved in controlling movement, interpreting the senses, conscious thought and memory. Usually almost no new neurons are grown in this area of the brain in adults, so once the cells are damaged or die, they are not replaced.

    However, by injecting mice with viruses carrying a short piece of extra genetic code, scientists were able to coax structural cells, called NG2 glia, in the damaged part of the brain to develop into neurons. These then grew in the injured area and were found to be capable of receiving signals from neurons around the damaged area.

    Link

    So, on the one hand, this research is great and the possibility of repairing brain damage, regrowing neurons, treating Alzheimers is fantastic. On the other hand, they had to test this on mice whose brains they stabbed in order to create an injury to treat. Eek! Poor mice. Someone hurry up and invent the future so that we can test things in a holographic environment instead of on actual mice.

    Also, i recently watched a movie where they used a virus to deliver a treatment for brain injury. It didn't end well for the human race. If they start developing an airborne application, we might want to consider being extra nice to our pet chimps is all i'm saying.


    By min | November 21, 2014, 2:25 PM | Science | Comments (0) | Link




    Nation of immigrants

    Lots of angles to the immigration debate, but TPM has an interesting guest writer explaining that the US mainly had open borders until relatively recently so the question of whether or not earlier immigrants came here "legally" is more complicated than it sounds. Especially in contrast to the likes of Bill O'Reilly telling people you don't deserve to be here.

    For a more economic argument, i point you to the final three points in Mathew Yglesias' explainer, and on the legal angle (i.e., is Obama overstepping his bounds) here's an explainer from Kevin Drum.


    By fnord12 | November 21, 2014, 11:43 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link




    Rand Paul and the Filibuster

    In some of my darker moments while contemplating a Hillary Clinton presidential candidate, my mind has turned to Rand Paul. I know that Paul is largely a fraud, and that's on the issues where i agree with him like the surveillance state and military invention and things like marijuana legalization. On the topics not related to his supposed civil libertarian views, i know he's no better than any other Republican. But even so, i've felt like a Paul candidacy could wind up being transformative to the Republican party or at least create a much needed debate that we wouldn't get between Clinton and any other Republican.

    But - and speaking of debate - my already faint hopes in that direction took another blow yesterday when Rand Paul failed to vote "for" the NSA reform bill. If Rand Paul had voted "for" it and convinced just one friend to vote with him, the bill would have "passed". Instead the bill "failed" by "only" getting 58 people to vote for it. Paul claims to have not voted for the bill because it did not go far enough.

    I call bullshit on that (you don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good and all that, especially when you're not going to get another shot at this), but more to the point, you'll notice the abundance of quotation marks in the paragraph above. That's because the vote that happened wasn't actually the vote for the bill; it was the vote to open debate on voting for the bill. So basically, the bill's supporters failed to overcome the nowadays automatic filibuster. And in that context, Rand's refusal to vote in favor of it makes no sense. The bill didn't go far enough so he thinks we shouldn't even debate it? He didn't want to, maybe, submit an amendment to make it go further? It's just not consistent and it makes Paul look like more of a phony than ever.

    On a more general note, we have got to get rid of the filibuster. It just doesn't make any sense. You have to get 60 votes just to allow the vote on the bill, which itself only needs 50 votes. It's madness; the Senate has effectively re-written the Constitution without an amendment. And yes, i'm fine with the 60 vote requirement getting eliminated even though the Republicans are taking over the Senate. But it will never happen if Democrats don't force the issue, and with Democrats like Joe Manchin and Claire McCaskill vowing not to filibuster now that they're in the minority, it's never going to happen. So we'll only have the 60 vote requirement when Republicans are in the minority. Brilliant, guys.


    By fnord12 | November 20, 2014, 1:06 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link




    Wrought and Wrong

    I wish i could find the full transcript of US ambassador to the UN Samantha Powers' words, but as far as i can tell the source is this article. I'd like to find the full text because i really hope she's got some good supporting clauses hidden in those ellipses. Otherwise, i have to wonder what planet she's coming from.

    "I think there is too much of, 'Oh, look, this is what intervention has wrought' ... one has to be careful about overdrawing lessons," Power said Wednesday during the Defense One Summit. At the same time, she said, "we are asking an awful lot right now of our forces."

    Sure, everywhere i look i see politicians being overly cautious about military intervention. They're always too busy worrying about how the last intervention went wrong.



    By fnord12 | November 20, 2014, 9:36 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link




    Symmetry

    I hate running. It makes my lungs hurt. It makes my head hurt. It's just horrible all around. But i'm shockingly a decently speedy sprinter (as compared to other non-athletes such as myself). I guess my knees are just more symmetrical than fnord12's.

    In the new work, published November 17 in PLoS ONE, Rutgers University evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers and his colleagues measured the knees, ankles and feet of 73 elite Jamaican track and field athletes, including Olympic runners and one world champion. The researchers also examined the same body areas of 116 nonathlete Jamaicans of comparable age, sex and weight.

    The comparison revealed that the sprinters' knees and ankles were significantly more symmetrical than those joints in the control group. Within the elite sprinter group the knees and ankles of the 100-meter sprinters were the most symmetrical of all; symmetry in the longer-distance sprinters (200, 400 and 800 meters) was less marked but still linked to the best race times.

    Course, after about 200 meters, i'm about ready to lay down and die, so the victory is a little tainted.


    By min | November 20, 2014, 9:07 AM | Science | Comments (0) | Link




    The extraordinary stupidity of Ron Fournier

    Ron Fournier, the guy who until 2010 was the head political reporter for the Associated Press, wrote this today:

    On health care, we needed a market-driven plan that decreases the percentage of uninsured Americans without convoluting the U.S. health care system. Just such a plan sprang out of conservative think tanks and was tested by a GOP governor in Massachusetts, Mitt Romney.

    Instead of a bipartisan agreement to bring that plan to scale, we got more partisan warfare. The GOP resisted, Obama surrendered his mantle of bipartisanship, and Democrats muscled through a one-sided law that has never been popular with a majority of the public.

    Seriously, he wrote that. The guy who covered politics for AP all through the period where Obamacare was being drafted and voted upon doesn't know that the law is essentially a direct copy of the Massachusetts law. Fournier must have also slept through the 2012 elections, since that point was brought up repeatedly when Obama was running against Romney.

    Fournier has been writing endlessly since his AP days about how sad it is that there's no more bipartisanship. But what do you when one sides resists a law that they were responsible for in the first place? Well, you automatically forfeit your Mantle of Bipartisanship (+1 on saves vs. getting anything done) and then Ron Fournier gets to cry about how "both sides do it".

    The sad thing is that the Democrats could have just as easily "muscled through" a non-convoluted Single Payer system or at least a Public Option, but they wanted to please guys like Fournier. It sure worked out!


    By fnord12 | November 17, 2014, 3:23 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link




    Sometimes this happens


    By fnord12 | November 17, 2014, 9:52 AM | Music & Ummm... Other? | Comments (3) | Link




    Seems unnecessarily complicated

    I guess it's Obamacare renewal time, and Kevin Drum has some tips that no ordinary non-political blogging people will ever know about. Also as you probably know, the Supreme Court is getting ready to cripple the law based on a technicality (and for partisan reasons). Couldn't we just give everyone Medicare instead?


    By fnord12 | November 15, 2014, 12:26 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link




    No *you* can't escape *your mom*

    For today's weekend kickoff, i leave you with the best comeback line ever in a video game.


    By fnord12 | November 14, 2014, 4:04 PM | Comics & Video Games | Comments (0) | Link




    Planes Mimicking Cell Towers to Spy on Us

    Surprise surprise. Link

    The allegations, reported in the Wall Street Journal late on Thursday, suggest that the US Marshals Service has for seven years flown Cessna aircraft outfitted with "dirtbox" devices that mimic cellular towers, permitting the collection of thousands of unique IDs and location data from users.

    According to the Journal the planes operate from at least five metropolitan airports, permitting a "flying range covering most of the US population".

    The reportedly indiscriminate collection would permit the marshals and potentially other justice department agencies to avoid having to seek records from the phone companies themselves, especially in criminal investigations where a court order may be required.

    ...

    In official testimony US officials have routinely denied that the NSA collects phone location information in bulk, but they frequently add the caveat "under this program", leading to widespread suspicion that other government programs perform that function, and prompting freedom of information requests seeking the truth.

    I wonder how many more methods of secret mass surveillance we'll discover over time. These agencies - the NSA, CIA, and FBI - are out of control with no one really governing them. They exist forever, independent of who's in office, loyal to no one but themselves. Their agendas can span decades because they have no term limits. If they have a president or Congress that seems unfavorable to their operations, all they need do is wait it out until the next election. Or wave around the "fear" card.

    Michael German, a former FBI agent now with New York University Law School, said: "The government's attitude seems to be if it can, it should, without regard to the violation of Americans' rights, so long as nobody knows. The overriding problem is the excessive secrecy that hides the government's ever-expanding surveillance programs from public accountability."

    "This isn't about tipping off criminals. Every criminal or terrorist I ever worked undercover against knew they were criminals and terrorists, and therefore that there was probable cause to believe they were criminals and terrorists, so the government could get warrants to listen to their calls or search their homes."

    "So long as nobody knows" - and if someone does find out and makes it public, the spy agencies aren't repentant or embarrassed. They're outraged that you exposed their dirty dealings. How can you think of rights in the face of all this peril? Don't you know that the only way to protect your freedom is to take it away?

    There's a vote in the Senate on a bill to curb the NSA. Start contacting your senators plus any senators currently opposed to the bill and especially those jerks on the Intelligence Committee who only got upset about spying when they were the ones being spied on.


    By min | November 14, 2014, 8:31 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link




    Wealth Inequality Back to 1920s Levels

    Thanks, Reagan.

    Wealth inequality in the US is at near record levels according to a new study by academics. Over the past three decades, the share of household wealth owned by the top 0.1% has increased from 7% to 22%. For the bottom 90% of families, a combination of rising debt, the collapse of the value of their assets during the financial crisis, and stagnant real wages have led to the erosion of wealth.

    Link

    Having just read Piketty, i'm not surprised by this. His book says the same thing. It's just depressing how little will be done to fix it. The rich will get richer and everybody else can go fuck themselves.


    By min | November 13, 2014, 12:29 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link




    They Will Not Explode

    A group campaigning against male violence on the Metro in Paris came up with this sticker:

    I just love that it says "Testicles are not made of crystal and will not explode." I think many men will be relieved to hear that.


    By min | November 13, 2014, 11:35 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link




    Better headline

    Obama's call for an open Internet puts him at odds with person he nominated to head the FCC, because the person he nominated to head the FCC was a telecom lobbyist.


    By fnord12 | November 13, 2014, 10:02 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link




    SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

    Elektra #7 - Another issue missing the Michael Del Mundo which is its main selling point, but still has decent, more straightforward art by Alex Sanchez. The way Elektra defeats Lady Bullseye is the most weird and gross thing i've seen in a while, so points for that. One of my complaints about last issue was that Elektra defeated a whole bunch of cool villains off panel, and this issue sort of makes up for that by bringing some of them back. But they return mutated by the Assassins Guild so they are unrecognizable as classic villains, and the worst insult is that Elektra is facing off against Whiplash, Jack O'Lantern, and Tiger Shark and she says that Whiplash is the most dangerous. There's something really weird about fisticuff-level books nowadays where they are completely dismissive of super-powers. I mean, forget that fact that Tiger Shark is normally a Sub-Mariner/Avengers level villain. In this story he's mutated into a giant shark man. And Jack O'Lantern is a living ball of flame. You're telling me the guy with whips (albeit now four of them, and four arms to whip them) is the guy Elektra thinks is the most dangerous? I dunno; hoping Del Mundo comes back soon.

    She-Hulk #9 - There were some bad layouting decisions in this issue. One of the double page spread problems where you don't know whether to read across or down. And this one where you have four quadrants of panels and you read each quadrant separately:

    You can figure it out but seems like unnecessary work on the reader's part. Beyond that i thought this was still good. The trial is being done well and Captain America is very much in character, surely to the annoyance of both She-Hulk and Daredevil.

    New Warriors #11 - I'm both relieved and disappointed that the Celestials aren't really coming. Disappointed because i thought it was going to be a cool story. Relieved for two reasons: 1) because the book is cancelled and however much time is left there probably wouldn't have been enough to do it just, and 2) because a Celestial visitation ought to not be limited to just the New Warriors book. Which says to me that this was probably the plan all along. Oh well. This issue had the team just getting stomped by the Eternals, so it was a little less "fun" than previous issues, but it was a good continuation. I take it that the High Evolutionary will be appearing in Uncanny Avengers when that book returns, and when asked if people should check out this book to see what the High Evolutionary has been up to, Tom Brevoort's response was Not especially, no. Marvel always was good at cross-promotion.

    Axis #3 - Having now read this i agree with Wanyas that the Sentinels being unable to defeat the villains makes no sense. I mean, Carnage can rip out one of their eyes, but the heroes couldn't do anything? I also agree with a good percentage of the internet that Remender is overly quippy and yet not very funny. There's no need for every villain to be so quippy. Dr. Doom even got in on it a little, responding to Loki's "No offense" with "None taken" which i know doesn't sound quippy but it is in context (Doom should not even acknowledge Teen Loki's flippancy!). All that said, i really enjoyed watching the villains stomp the Sentinels. It was a lot of fun. And maybe they just won because the heroes had already softened the Sentinels up or something. I also think Remender does write a fun and funny Deadpool (as he did in Uncanny X-Force). So minor quibbles about the scripting or how much better the villains did than the heroes aside, i was quite enjoying this. Until we got to the point where the Avengers and X-Men started fighting with each other. It was this bickering that had me eye-clawing myself during Remender's Uncanny Avengers run, and i see that literally no progress has been made. Ugh. Luckily that didn't last long. I am now looking forward to seeing exactly what Inverting means.


    By fnord12 | November 10, 2014, 9:06 PM | Comics | Comments (6) | Link




    A view into the ancient past

    This is awesome. And what was up with those CompuServe numbers?


    By fnord12 | November 10, 2014, 1:31 PM | Science & Ummm... Other? | Comments (0) | Link




    Things You Can Do With Diapers

    We needed a Suggestion/Opinion box for a baby shower. Since we were low on table space, i decided to make the "activity" into something that could also be considered "decoration". Luckily, nuttier people than i already came up with the idea of a "diaper carriage" and posted videos on YouTube on how to make one.


    That's right. I made carriage wheels out of diapers.


    At the event, i stuck flowers into the axles so you couldn't see the paper towel rolls.


    I had to buy this bib.


    More importantly, the tape held all the bits together long enough to get to the end of the event.

    I also made a bunch of centerpieces with jungle animal (giraffes live in jungles?) wood toppers i bought on Etsy. I only got a semi-blurry picture of one of them. I meant to take a shot of all of them together to show off my fantastic hot gluing skills (i.e. i didn't burn myself), but didn't manage it (ok, i admit i'm a little bitter about not having that pic), so you get one. Imagine seven more, each with a different animal. And less lopsided.


    By min | November 8, 2014, 5:54 PM | My stupid life | Comments (0) | Link




    Baby Blanket

    I needed to knit something for a baby and seeing as i'm only qualified to do flat things, i made a blanket. I found the pattern on Ravelry, but the pattern was wrong (as so many commenters pointed out) which meant i had to first figure out what was wrong and fix it before i could even start knitting it. And ofc because why do something easy, i deliberately picked a pattern that involved stitches i was unfamiliar with. So, yeah, that was fun. Took me the entire summer to knit this blanket. I gave up my plan to re-read all of the Hitchhiker's Guide books to work on it. I've told the parents-to-be that their baby better be wrapped up in this goddamned blanket every single time i saw it. They could keep it (the blanket, not the baby) stowed at the bottom of some drawer the rest of the time but it had better be out when i was there.

    It's machine washable and dryable and yellow hides spit-up stains best, so you're welcome.


    By min | November 8, 2014, 5:34 PM | My stupid life | Comments (0) | Link




    Democracy Day

    Good old Senator Bernie Sanders is soliciting supporters to make Election Day a national holiday.


    By fnord12 | November 8, 2014, 12:19 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link




    Probably equally articulate

    To make up for my political rant below, here is a video of a chicken sneezing.


    By fnord12 | November 5, 2014, 10:56 AM | Cute Things | Comments (1) | Link




    All politics is national part two

    Most of these assholes lost last night and the rest are into runoffs and/or legal challenges and may ultimately have lost as well.

    Ed Kilgore at TPM has a postmortem which after finding the right nugget of data seems to miss the point. His key paragraph:

    So despite talk of millennial "disappointment" with Obama, the best evidence is that their enthusiasm for him as manifested in 2008 and 2012 is not transferable to other Democrats -- or is not exhibited in the mix of millennials willing to vote in a midterm. And the same may be true of the minority voters discussed above.

    But Kilgore doesn't note that most of the Democrats who lost actively ran against Obama. You can't have the votes of people who support Obama when you are running commercials showing yourself shooting Obamacare with a gun.

    Since that resulted in utter failure, let's try it my way next time. I bet that you could get those votes if you ran a campaign explaining to people that they had to vote in the midterms to defend the president. Turn it into a national election. People don't vote in midterms because they don't think they matter, or because they're turned off looking at two candidates tripping over each other to attack the president. But those who supported the president in the presidential election years are likely to turn out if they understand that the president they voted for is going to lose something if they don't vote now. And here's the thing: even if you still lose, at least you didn't spend literally billions of dollars attacking your own party's policies. A full-throated defense of those policies might actually help turn the political climate around for next time.

    It's true that you might lose the mythical independent moderate vote with this strategy, but it seems clear that independents broke for Republicans in this election anyway. If those people truly are independent, perhaps a strong argument in favor of your party's policies might persuade them. If not, the idea is that the young and minority voters that won you your office in the presidential years would come out and counterbalance the independents that you're not winning (and wouldn't win anyway). We've been trying it the other way as long as i've been watching politics and it's not working, so why not give this a shot next time?

    One more recrimination: this can't just be an election strategy. You should really govern this way, too. If "moderate" Dems hadn't stymied Obama on the stimulus, acceded to the 60-vote filibuster, demanded that he hold off on his executive order on immigration (hey, that worked out really well, huh? Bye, Senator Udall. You were one of the better ones...), and generally shot themselves in the feet for the past six years, maybe they'd have more to show for it now.


    By fnord12 | November 5, 2014, 10:21 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (2) | Link




    It's a Fake Penguin on Wheels!

    It looks comical - a remote controlled car zipping around a penguin colony dodging irritated snaps from the birds.

    But using the diminutive vehicle to study penguins, researchers have found, has has much less impact on their behaviour than being approached by a human.

    Scientists say the unusual approach provides "a less invasive and stressful way to collect data on these species".

    ...

    The researchers worked with the team of nature filmmakers, who produced the penguin documentary Spy in the Huddle.

    This resulted in an even more a comical-looking rover, with a fake chick sitting on top, which the researchers used to infiltrate the colony.

    But the disguise was effective; the emperor penguins allowed the rover to approach close enough to read their tags. Some birds even interacted with it - vocalising at the fake chick.

    Link

    I imagine the penguins who tried to talk to the rover were saying things like "Dude! What happened to your legs? Was it sea lions? I bet it was sea lions. A sea lion once bit my sister. No, really!".


    By min | November 4, 2014, 8:39 AM | Cute Things & Science | Comments (0) | Link




    They Just Keep Climbing on Him

    If they don't want to take their medicine, why don't they try to get away?

    And what is in that medicine? Because as soon as he successfully gets one of them to take the medicine, it immediately stops trying to wrestle with the guy and just sits there. I want that medicine. I think it might be the good stuff.


    By min | November 3, 2014, 10:29 PM | Cute Things | Comments (1) | Link




    NAFTA all over again

    The one thing Democratic presidents and a Republican congress can agree on is something no one else wants.


    By fnord12 | November 2, 2014, 3:17 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link




    Recap 62

    Entrance to the Underdark or "I can't believe how many 1s you rolled".

    Plus, an additional post on what Havoc Company was doing while the Motley Crew was running around in the kobold cavern.


    By min | October 31, 2014, 9:23 AM | D&D | Comments (0) | Link




    Endorsement

    My quality of life has improved 7.8% ever since i changed my Shockwave Flash plugin setting in Firefox from Always Activate to Ask To Activate. Pages load faster, no more mysterious crashes, and no auto-playing videos.


    By fnord12 | October 30, 2014, 3:58 PM | My stupid life | Comments (0) | Link




    Hey, Baby, Why Don't You Smile? You'd Look More Approachable.

    Once again, a woman who is trying to demonstrate the daily harassment women face when doing something as commonplace as walking down the street has been threatened with rape.

    Shoshana B. Roberts -- who walked around New York City for 10 hours while being filmed by a hidden camera so that she could record the harassment she received from men on the street -- is already getting rape threats.

    Roberts's video, which after a day online has already racked up more than 1 million views, documents the over 100 catcalls, whistles, and other forms of harassment she received over the course of the day. One persistent character walked alongside her for five minutes and wouldn't leave her alone.

    ...

    Let's lay this out in plain terms. Women are forced to feel uncomfortable and scared for walking down the damn street. Then, when one woman takes the time to show just how uncomfortable those interactions are, people threaten to physically assault her. If the video reminded us that women are constantly made to feel unsafe when they leave the house, the response is a reminder that women are constantly made to feel unsafe when they simply turn on their computer.

    The problem here isn't just that men are ignorant of how women are treated. The problem is that many know exactly what they're doing to women, and will try to intimidate and silence women who try to fight back.

    Clearly, the way to prove that women in no way face any sort of sexism or harassment is to start and end your argument with "She was asking for it, the stupid cunt. I hope she gets raped." Who, i ask, could argue with that kind of logic?


    By min | October 29, 2014, 5:55 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link




    Voter Suppression in Texas

    With the help of the Supreme Court. Good job, guys. Link

    Kennie is one of an estimated 600,000 Texans who, though registered to vote, will be unable to do so because they cannot meet photo-identification requirements set out in the state's new voter-ID law, SB14 .

    The law, which has been deemed by the courts to be the strictest of its kind in the US, forces any would-be voter to produce photographic proof of identity at polling stations. It was justified by Governor Rick Perry and the Republican chiefs in the state legislature as a means of combatting electoral fraud - in a state where in the past 10 years some 20m votes have been cast yet only two cases of voter impersonation have been prosecuted to conviction.

    Earlier this month a federal district judge, Nelva Gonzales Ramos, struck down the law, slamming it as a cynical ploy on the part of Republicans to fend off the growing strength of the minority electorate in Texas by "suppressing the overwhelmingly Democratic votes of African Americans and Latinos". She linked SB 14 to a long history of racial discrimination in state elections spanning back generations, and declared the new law to be an unconstitutional poll tax.

    But last week, in the early hours of 18 October, when most Texans were sleeping, the US supreme court snuck out a one-line judgment that allowed the voter-ID restrictions to be applied this election cycle. Without any explanation, a majority of the justices effectively threw Eric Kennie and many thousands of others like him - particularly black, Hispanic and low-income Texans - into a state of democratic limbo.

    That Texas is doing this isn't surprising. That the current Supreme Court us upholding it is also not surprising. It's pretty distressing, but not surprising.

    But the most distressing part of this story is this bit here:

    On a usual day he makes about $15 to $20 from recycling the cans and other scrap. On a good day - after a holiday like Valentine's or Easter when people consume more - his earnings can rise to as much as $40 a day. He has no bank account or credit cards, and no savings - he only deals with cans and cash.

    I asked him how much $23 means to him. His said what he does when he feels flush with money is decide to splurge on a special treat for himself and his friends. "I do chicken Tuesday at Popeyes."

    What's that, I asked.

    "Two pieces of fried chicken for 99 cents - one dollar seven with tax. When things are good I might get five or 10 boxes and hand them out to my neighbours."

    So what passes as a reckless binge for Eric Kennie - a splurge on about $10-worth of fried chicken - is less than half of what he spent getting himself a copy of his birth certificate.

    This man, who makes less than $20/day on average, who has probably lived a very hard life, can still be so generous that he'd spend half of that day's pay on his neighbors so that they too can benefit from his "good" times. This depresses me because it basically shows how most people are just shits. We are all such assholes.


    By min | October 27, 2014, 2:23 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link




    Marvel Sales

    September.

    In related news, She-Hulk's been cancelled.


    By fnord12 | October 24, 2014, 1:21 PM | Comics | Comments (2) | Link




    Who doesn't enjoy a little super-hero costume mocking?

    I was double-confirming that Numinus* never appeared again, and i came across this, which is pretty funny. The people mocking the costumes know nothing about the characters, and sometimes they are way off the mark or not realizing that the character actually is a joke character, but it's still pretty funny.

    *if you don't know who Numinus is, count your blessings and maybe don't go too deep into the above link.


    By fnord12 | October 23, 2014, 12:59 PM | Comics | Comments (3) | Link




    Finally

    A concise, clear, and fearless summary of Gamergate.


    By fnord12 | October 23, 2014, 10:56 AM | Liberal Outrage & Video Games | Comments (0) | Link




    File retrieval is buggy

    Bwooo! Bwooo! BWOOOOOO!!!


    By fnord12 | October 22, 2014, 2:18 PM | Comics | Comments (0) | Link




    Hey, We're Pretty Sure Most of Them Got to the Right People...

    Link

    Video footage released by Isis shows what appears to be one of its fighters for in desert scrubland with a stack of boxes attached to a parachute. The boxes are opened to show an array of weapons, some rusty, some new. A canister is broken out to reveal a hand grenade.

    The Pentagon said it was investigating the claim but admitted that one of its airdrops had gone missing.

    ...

    Kirby confirmed the weapons shown in the video were the kind that were dropped. "So it's not out of the realm of the possibility in that regard," he said.

    "I do want to add, though, that we are very confident that the vast majority of the bundles did end up in the right hands. In fact, we're only aware of one bundle that did not."

    ...

    As well as grenades, the boxes appeared to contain parts for rocket-propelled grenades.

    Yeah. Tell me again how precise your targeted drone strikes are, too.


    By min | October 22, 2014, 10:50 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



    No need to stop here. There's plenty more SuperMegaMonkey where that came from.