Men's Rights Open Thread

mmghosh's picture



“Women don’t marry men in unemployment lines,” he said. The audience nodded in agreement.

Today, Farrell’s concerns are not just financial. He speaks in favor of developing a male birth control pill, establishing better programs to care for veterans and helping boys struggling through adolescence. His allies rally against what they see as rampant paternity fraud (when a woman attempts to pin paternity on the non-biological father of her child with the hopes of getting child support), a biased court system that favors mothers over fathers, soaring male suicide rates and prominence of domestic violence against men.

Women, they say, have distorted private life and taken over public life.


“Then about six years ago I kind of realized that there were a lot of other people like me; it’s not uncommon for men to be sexually abused, it’s not uncommon for men to be sexually abused by women. But because there’s this lack of knowledge, there’s this lack of community–you’re completely isolated. You have no one to talk to who understands this.”


Throughout the three-day event, the specter of feminism, or what British domestic violence activist Erin Pizzey called “the evil empire,” loomed large, threatening to rip children from their fathers, lobby false rape accusations and remind men that in parenting, work and war they are forever disposable. (The movement includes a small fraction of women dedicated to the same mission.)

And finally, this

Stefan Molyneux, a Canadian radio host, blamed mothers for the violent behavior of men.

Molyneux said that because 90% of a child’s brain is formed by the experiences it has before the age of 5, and women have “an almost universal control over childhood,” violence exists in the world because of the way women treat children.

“If we could just get people to be nice to their babies for 5 years straight, that would be it for war, drug abuse, addiction, promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases,” he said. “Almost all would be completely eliminated, because they all arise from dysfunctional early childhood experiences, which are all run by women.”

h/t Tamino


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Clayton Kershaw Fails

M Scott Eiland's picture

Scoreless innings string snapped at 41. Of course, since it's Clayton Kershaw we're talking about here, "failure" is comprised of a complete game 2-1 win where he struck out eleven and walked one. And since it was a Dodger home game, he had the advantage of Vin Scully being present to deliver the epitaph for the epic streak:

The bubble has burst, the chain of pearls has been concluded, and the crowd now standing, giving Clayton a round of applause.


. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Christian organizations taking on pollution


Story herethe World Council of Christians, a global coalition of 345 churches moved to no longer invest in oil, gas, or coal companies and urged their members to follow their lead.

Yeah, that's been a fad among some Evangelicals, too.


See, we're sposta be guardians of the earth, stewards of what we were given, passing it on intact to future generations.  From what I've seen, this ethos doesn't translate into much effect but it's been bandied about for about a decade or so, actually somewhat longer, going back to the 70s, that's when I first ran across this rhetoric.


This is a big change for Christians.  The original verse in Genesis uses the verb kabash , to subdue, to achieve mastery, to describe man's mandate to the earth.  This has been the standard interpretation for centuries.  But now, the current fad says we're supposed to read this as being caretakers, based on the prior verb, mala, to replenish.  



Kids, don't try this at home


So Much For Those Alligators

M Scott Eiland's picture

Apparently, independents aren't buying the "Hobby Lobby is the new Dred Scott" screed from the left. But don't let it worry you, Harry--keep pushing that line for the election, along with calling Clarence Thomas a white guy. That's bound to bring in the votes!

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Low Information voters like a decision

brutusettu's picture

that they don't know much about?   Even low information voters can learn a few things between now and election time. 


Plus there will be an influx of companies looking to pay less to employees or undermine duly elected laws etc, all because of a company's sincerely held religious beliefs.



... Just posting the graph of the YouGov poll since it's pretty surprising given how popular contraception is:

The article also notes that D support for SCOTUS fell 7 pts., so it's not clear that it's a bad strategy to push in a midterm election that often depends on getting out the base ... 

A Study In Contrasts

M Scott Eiland's picture

On the occasion of LeBron James deciding to go back to the Cleveland Cavaliers:

Dan Gilbert four years ago: [tantrum worthy of a spoiled three year old, preserved on the Cavs' website for four years before it was conveniently whisked away this week].

Micky Arison, owner of the Miami Heat, today: I am shocked & disappointed in today's news. However I will never forget what Lebron brought us for 4 years. Thanks for memories @KingJames

Good luck back in Cleveland, Mr. James--but there will be no sympathy forthcoming from me if you find yourself in a crappy situation again with this Donald Sterling wannabe.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

In praise of Rand Paul's bipartisanship


On Tuesday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) released a proposal for a wide-ranging criminal justice reform bill — authored with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ).


Paul has, again and again, crossed party lines ... On a range of important issues — from surveillance reform, to highway funding, to combating sexual assault in the military, he's been eager to work with liberal Democrats.


Link (watch out for all the Derp).

Harry Reid: Senile Moron, Racist @$$#ole, Or Both?

M Scott Eiland's picture

All of the above, I'd say. Or he can't count.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).


Bird Dog's picture

I agree with moron and a**hole. I don't think he's senile (yet) and I don't think his "five white men" comment is racist. He's either an a**holey moron for not realizing that Thomas was with the majority or a moronic, race-baiting a**hole for suggesting that Thomas isn't a real or authentic black guy. 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Where's the racism?


Obviously a dumb mistake, but I think you're getting a little carried away here. Can you articulate what's racist about Reid's remarks?

uh, he said "white"?



“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

Clarence Thomas Is Black

M Scott Eiland's picture

One would think that liberals--including the senile/racist Majority Leader--would be acutely aware of this, given all the effort they have put over the years in suggesting that he's a traitor to his race.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

you keep saying 'racist' w/out saying what's racist


Given all the effort in your past comments of identifying 'race hucksterism,' one would think your present comment would be more acutely aware of calling someone a 'racist' w/out justification

"Na Na Na I Can't Hear You!" Response Noted -nt-

M Scott Eiland's picture


. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Projecting much?



"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Comment, Not The Commenter

M Scott Eiland's picture

Next one of those is a yellow.

Also, comment #321159 contained more than adequate elaboration on what my meaning was, to the point that if I made a similar comment elsewhere and received a similar response, I would have no hesitation as labeling it as being made in bad faith, particularly if the source was someone who had recently confessed to trolling.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

My apologies


I merely meant to suggest that your response to another was an appropriate response to yourself.


Any suggestion that you were subject to that Freudian mechanism whereby you feel an unpleasant sensation (like for instance "nah nah nah I can't hear you!",) deny it in yourself because it is an unacceptable sensation, and to protect yourself, attribute that sensation to another is -- you are perfectly right in saying -- completely out of bounds. How would I know that being asked to defend a thinly argued point would cause such anxiety? i don't... not for sure.


Aw, heck, why not just give yourself a yellow card. I mean me! It's getting hard for me to figure out who's who here.



"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

I think it's an inadequate elaboration


All you said was that Clarence Thomas was black.


someone who had recently confessed to trolling



It's true, I trolled! That damn map, it was so tempting! I beg yours and everyone's forgiveness, and ask you to trust me that I'm not trolling now. Do you trust me, MScott?

I Will Say This,The Insults Here are at least Intelligent & Tart


...well thought out even if done on the spur of the moment.


Smart people are like that.


They can nicely avoid being cruel, smarmy, stupid in their inarticulation.


Best Wishes, Traveller



I don't know why calling someone white who is black is racist.


If you don't want to answer the question, at least don't pretend I'm not listening. 



to the 21st century conservative, bringing up race is racist.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

In related events, Sterling's grand faux pas

brutusettu's picture

was that he didn't use coded language, too explicit mon ami. 

Ouch. Sorry, Harley.

M Scott Eiland's picture

Masahiro Tanaka suffers partial UCL tear, will undergo experimental therapy in hope of avoiding Tommy John surgery. It's ultimately Tanaka's choice, but this sounds like a dangerous gamble with a terribly valuable arm. TJ surgery is *very* reliable these days, and this other therapy is unproven, meaning Tanaka is probably just delaying the inevitable lost year from TJ surgery and might even damage his arm further while trying to rehab it without the surgery. This might be the final, tragic event that brings this "no down time for rebuilding" cycle for the Yankees to an end.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Effects of raising the minimum wage and job loss


It's insignificant, or may actually create employment


The average change in payrolls in the 13 states that increased their minimum wages [on January 1] was 0.99% vs. 0.68% in the other states.



"I'm Not Interested In Photo Ops"

M Scott Eiland's picture

I'm going to enjoy exploring this brand new parallel universe we've all fallen into, where Obama apparently isn't an epic level narcissist who never saw a photo op he didn't like.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

"This isn’t theater. This is a problem.


I’m not interested in photo-ops; I’m interested in solving a problem. And those who say I should visit the border, when you ask them what should we be doing, they're giving us suggestions that are embodied in legislation that I’ve already sent to Congress. So it’s not as if they're making suggestions that we’re not listening to. In fact, the suggestions of those who work at the border, who visited the border, are incorporated in legislation that we’re already prepared to sign the minute it hits my desk." 

Well now get a load of this: when you put the quote back into the context in which it was uttered, it appears the President was saying exactly the opposite of what the conservative Yip Yips (referring to nobody here of course) are claiming he was saying. Not interested in photo ops in general? No: in this particular situation, he's not interested in turning a serious problem into a photo op. 


Dear conservatives: context is never, ever your friend. Why is that, do you think?

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

I don't see how the context changes the meaning


Conservatives are saying Obama regards an actual visit to the border as a mere photo-op and so is Obama.

Conservatives are saying Obama regards photo ops


as always and everywhere wrong, vain and inappropriate. Actually Obama is just saying in this one instance a photo op is inappropriate. He isn't dissing photo ops in general.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Obama is Hiding...I'll Come back to this Later...n/t



The bigger story


is that we've got a Republican governor from the nation's 2nd largest state accusing Obama of conspiring to transport 10s of thousands of foreigners into the country and systematically violate the nation's immigration laws:


"We either have an incredibly inept administration, or they're in on this somehow or another ... I mean how do you move that many people from Central America across Mexico and then into the United States without there being a fairly coordinated effort?"


-- Rick Perry


But hey, something something Chosen One.



You Ignored The "Either" Part

M Scott Eiland's picture

I'd settle for "incredibly inept, then despicably opportunistic." They're provably not competent enough to set this up on purpose, but busing the illegals to the four corners of the land rather than keeping them in one place for easier quick deportation demonstrates malice after the fact, designed to gin up support from the base.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

"designed to gin up support from the base"


says a comment on yet another incident with which Republicans are ginning up their base's racism and love of Obama conspiracy theories.


Nice try tho with the "It's A or B, probably B" = "It's A!" ... but it raises the question of why your comment is carrying water for Gov Perry and comments he made on Sean Hannity's show. The comment seems to contain implicit denial re: the actual character of the GOP.

The narcissism angle is one option, racism is another


I'm sure people paying more attention are cataloging all the Republican racism about this event, which of course happens in the run-up to elections. Everyone get ready for racist crappola in 2014, just like we had in 2012:



Obama is an epic level narcissist?


Are we seeing the birth of a new conservative meme?

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

No, A Reminder Of A Well Known Reality -nt-

M Scott Eiland's picture


. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

To sum up: Obama's refusal to grandstand on this issue


is proof that he's a grandstanding narcissist. That is some... breathtaking logic there.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Um, No

M Scott Eiland's picture

The progression is:

--Obama states that he is declining to go to the border in response to the crisis his policies helped to create because it would be, by implication, grandstanding;

--(conservatives post countless examples of how Obama is infatuated with that sort of grandstanding to the point of extreme narcissism, then point out that it seems odd that he objects to it on *this* occasion);

--liberals in locations which are not the Forvm feign confusion as to why this is hypocritical, and conveniently forget their reaction to GWB declining to land in New Orleans after Katrina.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

As someone who flies into New Orleans a fair bit


It's not a question of declining to land - but that he couldn't land.  From Louis Armstrong Airport down Airline Hwy or I-10, every route was screwed up.  I don't recall anything about Bush43 declining to land.  I know more about Katrina and New Orleans than is good for anyone.  I never heard about this declining.  Those who charge folks with Hypocrisy must now demonstrate their bona-fides. 


I don't much like these photo ops, especially those nifty little windbreaker jackets worn by the Preznit, as if he's gonna get out of his suit and start shovelling out flood muck from some house.  Bush's disgraceful response to Katrina is evidence enough he didn't give a crap about NOLA and everyone knows it.  The Feds waded into that situation, interfered with all the first responders, marched a bunch of troops around and then proceeded to blame the governor for everything they did wrong.  Even now, driving through Gentilly and points south, you can still see Katrina damage, the streets looking like the inside of a crackhead's mouth, here a tooth, there a tooth.  You drive down those side streets off Chef Menteur, you'll see here a house, there a house, with these weed filled yards everywhere.  NOLA was never particularly nice but out towards Gentilly - everyone seems to know about Ninth Ward but Gentilly was hit even harder - it's just awful.


Growing increasingly weary of all this crap about Feigning Confusion.  Obama does many things for purely symbolic purposes.  That's a sizeable part of his job, to be the Commander in Chief, as it was Bush43's job.  Out there on the deck of that aircraft carrier, sailing just out of sight of land, goddamn Commander Codpiece telling us the Mission was Accomplished.  Symbolic visits and little polyester windbreakers with the Presidential Seal on them may not accomplish the mission of shovelling the muck out of some old lady's house - but it is beyond my understanding how you can call Obama a hypocrite for a photo-op, when he's done more to evict illegal aliens than any president in history.

I always enjoy the spectacle of Preznitial Visits.


Expeshally when Disaster strikes!


I don't blame Bush for not creating a circus in a


disaster zone. I DO blame Bush for filling the staff of a disaster relief agency with a bunch of conservative zealots determined to spend every day on the job proving the truth of Reagan's dictum: "Government *is* the problem." Well, when you put nincompoops in charge, yes it is.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Bush couldn't have landed at Louis Armstrong if he wanted to.


I'm awaiting some supporting evidence for this claim of Bush43 declining to land in New Orleans.  I don't believe it.  Louis Armstrong was full of federal troops, marching up and down I-10.  The Pontchartrain Bridge was shut down.  Metairie had some high ground but it was a wreck.  New Orleans proper was inundated.  


Obama Derangement Syndrome is just everywhere.   It's like Inspector Dreyfuss in the Pink Panther movies, the mere mention of Clouseau drives these bozos into a barking rage.   Obama the Narcissist.  Well, folks, when it comes to psychiatric diagnoses, I think what we have here is Mark David Chapman Syndrome - the overwhelming urge to get close to someone famous - and shoot him.  The hatred for Obama isn't based on any factual assertions:  take the labels off him, just look at his policies, he's governed far to the right of any of his Democratic predecessors.  His administration has shoved more illegal aliens out of this country than anyone.


Here's the deal.  We aren't going to have any immigration legislation because the GOP has divided on the issue, not because of anything Obama's done.  

I missed the examples of Obama grandstanding on


other occasions. I believe I remarked how much I appreciated the shots of the President horsing around with minor celebrities, however. Note that having a sense of humor in one's job is normally perceived as the exact opposite of narcissism.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Where's Heckuva Job Brownie when he's needed?


The Obama Derangement Syndrome is reaching Feverish Heights these days. I reckon with Benghazi gone, their batshit cuh-rezzy must find an outlet somewhere, eh, Jordan?

Trivial or false


Obama as having an immense ego is trivially true, since he's president of the United States.


Obama as uniquely narcissistic among US presidents is right wing nonsense.

Narcissist, naive, can't lead


These common personal and substance-free conservative criticisms of Obama and also Clinton make sense if political conservatism is mostly an emotional exercise.

A universe where Obama has been chastised the other way

brutusettu's picture

He’s asked to go out to take a few more pictures with soldiers and embassy staffers. He’s asked to sign copies of his book. “He didn’t want to take pictures with any more soldiers; he was complaining about it,” a State Department official tells me. “Look, I was excited to meet him. I wanted to like him. Let’s just say the scales fell from my eyes after I did. These are people over here who’ve been fighting the war, or working every day for the war effort, and he didn’t want to take f*cking pictures with them?”

-from Michael Hastings' The Operators

No. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .that's a "it's funny how certain things he can't be bothered with when under ordinary circumstances you can't keep him away from photo ops." As can be well documented, including the "ME ME ME!" aspects.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

The McKayla Maroney shot is one of the greatest things ever.


However I'm more than a little puzzled by how a shot of the President goofing off with a teenage athlete can be evidence of narcissism.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

"it's funny how certain things he can't be bothered with"


I see, Obama doesn't care about protecting the country against brown hoards of immigrants and he hates the South. He was there with Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast, but won't pay enough attention to Texas and AZ.


This is regional politicking clap-trap. Anyone who believes the executive under Obama has been soft on deportation deserves to be roundly mocked.



he's catching some flak from Democrats in TX for not making a personal appearance in the RGV, for example this.   Obviously for the Democrats, it isn't about whether he's aggressive enough on deportation,  it's the symbolic value.


Of course I completely agree that personal visit is of zero practical value in addressing the problem,  and BHO could do far more good staying in Washington trying to get relevant bills passed. 



Sometimes the symbolism is understandable


if people are suffering hardship, need bucking up, need to feel like there's strong leadership and a plan that will guide them through a tough situation, etc. Peter Jennings calling on Bush to make an appearance after 9/11 reflected that sensibility.


But American citizens aren't suffering any hardships b/c a bunch of desperate minors from central america headed north. Give me a break.

No! No break for you!


He's not supposed to visit to buck up American citizen xenophobes.   He's supposed to visit to comfort the suffering children in the camps.


How can you be so heartless as to deny those children this small but so very meaningful gesture.


Edit:  Wendy is piling on.

Obviously A Stealth Republican, That Wendy Davis

M Scott Eiland's picture

Maybe Harry Reid should accuse her of packing a secret Y chromosome, too.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

It's a sign TX isn't ready to elect a D


Latinos aren't strong enough yet to be a political constituency whose interests get represented by one of the parties. 

You do realize


that the Chief Complainer among the Democrats is Henry Cuellar,  who aside from being Latino is also anti-border fence and pro-immigration reform.



Out of curiosity, do you think a border fence will work?


Or that immigration reform is needed?  I don't mean to phrase that rhetorically, but I've seen other fences of this sort, elsewhere.  They didn't work, there.  I think particularly of the border between East and West Germany.  



I have a "No Border Wall" bumper sticker on my car.  Just last week an LEO went out of his way to tell me he liked the sticker,  and the BP guys at the checkpoints don't seem the least bit upset by it.  I've actually had a lot fewer secondaries (none, in fact) since the sticker went on. The pro-fence agitation is coming more or less entirely from people up north who don't see one tenth of the immigrants we see everyday here.


Aside from the large scale property seizures and massive inconvenience to the local population, the fence is also ineffective unless you have a massive number of personnel to patrol it,  detect tunnels,  shoot down ultralights,  etc.   It's basically like a deadbolt on a glass door:  only keeps out honest people.

Here's my take on the immigration crisis...


and let's face it, the situation is dire - discounting the xenophobes and other crazies, both for and against - with opinions on this subject.


Refugees always run away from the Bad Guys towards the Good Guys.  BlaiseP's Rule of Refugees.  If Mexico wasn't so screwed up, nobody would be trying to get across the border.  We don't see Canadians furtively fleeing through the night, crossing the empty plains of North Dakota to get here.  We do see busloads of American Oldsters going north to take advantage of Canada's regulated medication prices - but that's another subject entirely.


The USA can't fix Mexico's problems: we can only fix our own.  There's a strong argument which says America's drugs addiction crisis makes them worse - we could do something about that, theoretically.  But it won't fix Mexico or Guatemala or Honduras or El Salvador or the like.


The worst aspect of crossing the border into El Norte is how tough it is to get back.  If you cross, you enter a world of hurt.  Many of them want to return to see their families.  If the USA were to implement a go-and-return policy, where migrant workers could enter, do a few months of work, then return, as we did in the era of the braceros, (though there were problems, see links) - with some proper monitoring of these folks, the need for a border fence would evaporate.  I just can't believe this situation has been allowed to degenerate to this point.  We need the cheap labour, they need the money, they're already being exploited by the coyotes, the demimonde of illegal hiring, the gangs who extort them up in the States, they're just screwed all the way around.  

Agree with most all of that


The situation is dire now only because of the unaccompanied kids - when it's adults and the detention center is filled for the day,  the BP officers can just go back in the A/C and relax for the rest of the shift.  When it's children they (or the local CPS) have to do something,   and that particular problem appears to be mainly driven by some misinformed people in Central America.   I predict that once the planeloads of kids start landing back home things will go back to previous levels.






You have a bumper sticker on your car, eeyn?

mmghosh's picture


freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency



It's mounted on a 2004 Corolla with 114,000 miles,   and it's questionable whether my driving style does more harm than good for the cause.

I'm with manish on this one



So you were serious


that Ds want Obama to come down and comfort the migrant children or inject some other humanitarian efforts? 


I thought that wasn't a significant component of the calls for Obama to visit, and that it was just Ds following conservatives' lead



Of course the whole thing is theater,  it's just that there's more than one play going on.  Both sides want BHO to come down here,  pat heads,  and spread money around.  They just differ on whose head to pat and whether the money should be spent on shelters or barbed wire.

Donald's Last Stand

M Scott Eiland's picture

And the ghosts of Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie showed up and commented, "Man, this looks grim, hopeless, and pointless."

Donald, this song's for you:

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Donald Sperling owns the team


This PC witch hunt to coerce a man into giving up a major sport franchise, which he bought with his hard-earned money, has to be the most anti-conservative campaign in the country. I'm surprised you support it.

*rolls eyes*

M Scott Eiland's picture

Comment comprised of cartoonish parody of "what real conservatives should think" noted.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

May all your dreams come true


Washington began legally selling marijuana on Tues.:


Greene, 65, a retiree, said she doesn’t smoke pot often. But now she could enjoy it legally at her Ballard home, maybe with “Game of Thrones” on TV. “It’s incredibly liberating,” she said. “It’s the dream of every retiree, sleep in and smoke a bowl.” 

Question Of The Day

M Scott Eiland's picture

Is LeBron James *really* enough of a masochist for this to be true? Particularly considering that Dan Gilbert's post-"The Decision" written tantrum from four years ago was still on the Cavaliers' website until a few days ago?

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

The Decision was 4 years ago

brutusettu's picture

He'd be a masochist if he heavily hinted that he could very likely go back to Cleveland, set up a special called The Decision 2: The Return, which would be recorded just before free agency ended, and then decided to go elsewhere.

Brazil v. Germany


"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Nice Of The Germans. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .to give the local authorities time to assemble every riot squad member within a thousand miles.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Israel loses the plot.

mmghosh's picture

A Gaza invasion, now?


With their entire ME opposition at sixes and sevens fighting each other venomously, the one action that could possibly unite their enemies against them is escalating aggression against Palestinians.


As for Israeli settlers, rather than using these times to buy peace with Palestinians, the hilltop youth and their price tag extremism may bear a nasty price.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

This has been a while in coming.


Hamas and the PA have been fighting for control, everyone acting like idiots, nobody giving an inch.  Do Hamas a world of good to get yet another beatdown.  Without Israel to hammer on them, they'd lose their reason for existence.  I know you don't believe in Evil but really, it's as Kafka said, once you've accepted the ground rules of evil and made them your own, evil doesn't demand that you believe in it.  Thus it is with our Semitic Brethren, the Jews and the Arabs.  They've fully accepted the ground rules of evil.  

Well, yes. Its all pretty futile.

mmghosh's picture

Caabu shows a way forward.  But it won't be taken, naturally.


Caabu Director, Chris Doyle said: “The last thing the Middle East needs now is another bunch of pyromaniacs adding to the fire.  Invading and smashing Gaza has never worked. It did not work in 1956, 1967, 1973, 1987-93, 2006, 2008-9, 2012 among other assaults, so why will an Israeli invasion work now? It seems that lessons have not been learnt, that there is no military solution to Gaza. And as horrific and futile an Israeli invasion would be, rocket attacks from Gaza are equally futile, wrong and when fired indiscriminately at civilians, a war crime.  Likewise, any Israeli actions must be in conformity with international law.


Caabu has repeatedly argued that a failure to resolve the Gaza crisis will inevitably lead to a further conflagration. The blockade of Gaza and its de-development have rendered this tiny strip of land with 1.9 million people almost uninhabitable with its water undrinkable and acquifer on the brink of collapse. The Palestinians of Gaza are increasingly aid dependent unable to engage in economic activity during a blockade that has lasted seven years.  The political failure to resolve the Gaza crisis has resulted in a catastrophic humanitarian disaster that will only be aggravated by military escalation.


A ceasefire must be followed by a completely new strategy for Gaza. This means the opening of the Gaza Strip not its closure. It means allowing legitimate economic activity to provide jobs, growth and hope. As stipulated in the Oslo Accords it also means ensuring that the West Bank and Gaza Strip remain part of one single territorial unit.  There is no other alternative if Israelis and Palestinians want to enjoy security and peace.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Peace never arises from reasoned discourse, Manish.


It generally arises from exhaustion and grim acceptance.  All national borders I've ever heard of arose from that premise.  Maybe it's we who are the crazies, believing in reason and the rights of man.  These people don't want peace.  They've long since dismissed peace as a fairy tale, the Dream Time, of the time when men could talk with the animals.


I have no more sympathy for any of them, none at all.  They deserve none, frankly.  Tired of these people, crapping on their own dinner plates.  They deserve each other.  It's a pity children have to be involved in all this, but they grow up in the images of their fathers, all of them, reciting the Litany of Grievance as their fathers did, as their children will.  May they all die in a fire they lit for the Hated Other.

The equivalence is false. One side has an overwhelming

mmghosh's picture

military superiority.  And this superiority is exerted, in peacetime, largely to favour settlement building in the Occupied Territories.


I agree, reason is a casualty here.  But Israel cannot simply wish the Palestinian problem away.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Being Weaker Is Not A Moral Talisman

M Scott Eiland's picture

Hamas is an unapologetic terrorist group masquerading as a government, and the Palestinians have chosen to embrace them as their representative. Their problem.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Being weak is not a reason for expropriation either.

mmghosh's picture

Its a bad time for the Palestinians, though - Hamas is in deep trouble, having been shafted by both Egypt and Iran.


Maybe Israel can see an end-game here.  It is possible that the Palestinian problem in Gaza might be solved by wiping it out.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency


brutusettu's picture

The Israelis have embraced a government that makes them conscripts, one that chose to take land by force, at a place that a lot of neighbors don't want them, and it's a government that forced the locals to move to ghettos. Their Problem?

The great think about the Muddle East


is how everyone thinks the same way.  Poor pitiful us, all abused and nobody wants us around here - they're trying to kill us all - we must respond in kind - and guess what?  They're all correct.  They would all kill each other in a heartbeat.  They're beyond redemption, any of them.  

There is no equivalence in what I stated.


Tired of hearing about Israel the Bully and absolutely nothing about Hamas the Bully.  Sofa Sophistry just won't cut it. 



Impeach Obama - he don't do nuttin' bout illegals!!!

McCain responds to Palin's calls for impeachment


"I always respect other people's opinions"


-- John McCain, extremely responsible patriot and elder statesman

I want to do a video of all the Obama Haterz


I have made this Argument Myself...But Obama Has Made the...


...border an Attractive Nuisance, a legal term that imputes liability for creating a situation that draws individuals into danger.


I fear the White House Lies & I fell for it...the truth is we are deporting men, destroying families, leaving women and children to fend on their own. And of course, there is very little negative reason not to come and make the journey since women and children are treated so differently.


My problem is that my liberal agenda, sadly that includes immigration reform, now lies a dying on the back of some El Salvadorian teenager.


This is easy to solve, easy for the Democratic Party to seize the initiative on immigration, please large swaths of the American Public, win a few elections in 2014 and ensure a Democratic President in 2016...but no, easy to do, flood the boarder with temporary immigration judges, hearings within 72 hours as specified under Bush's 2008 law...and this problem is solved.


Chart of actual deportation of minors below...why not make a run for the border?




My immigration rhetoric goes in this wise:


Let us find common ground where we can:  the immigration system must be orderly and equitable.  No cutting into the queue, no special favours.  Millions of people now languish in refugee camps, all looking for a new home:  they cannot all come to America.


Why, for the love of all that is good and decent, are these people leaving their own countries?  BlaiseP's Law of Refugees:  the footprints in the sand show the refugee always runs away from the bad guy and towards the good guy.  These people don't want to leave their own nations and wouldn't, if things were any better there. 


And it's not just the hapless victims running away, often their tormentors come too. The vicious gang MS13 formed here in the States as a protection racket preying on Salvadoran refugees.  It's since moved into interesting places, Canada.  They like Canada.  Canada has even softer hearts - and seemingly softer heads - when it comes to Pore Old Refugees.  Los Mareros also like Washington D.C. - no surprise there, the worst police department in the nation.  Never mind that the worst enemy a refugee will ever face is another refugee, these ignorant little Refugee Pity Parties are held in many places.  MS13's signature crimes are murder and child prostitution.


Many people deserve political refugee status.  Others do not.  USA have deported the jefe of MS13 four times now.  We ought to shoot him but we won't. 


The southern border has always been an Attractive Nuisance.  It's run by gang cartels.  And let's not get too misty-eyed over these kiddoes , while the USA still has a jus solis citizenship system, families will be busted up.  Immigration law has always been a bigger mess than the border itself.  The USA has always relied upon the importation of cheap labour:  at one point, I am told, slaves constituted the bulk of capital in the USA.  And this nation of moralistic ninnies cannot grasp the fundamentals of this problem:  if that cheap labour ever stopped coming, from nations even more screwed up than ours, the entire system would grind to a halt.

Demonstrating The Principle Of Positive Feedback

M Scott Eiland's picture

--certain Americans decide they don't like soccer because of certain elements of the game (ties, low scoring, overly dependent on arbitrary refereeing);

--certain douchey liberals notice that more people who don't like soccer come from "red" states, and pontificate at length about how liking soccer is a sign of sophistication and open-mindedness, and how people who don't like it are Neanderthals;

--certain conservatives read the reactions from the douchey liberals, and decide to engage in particularly obnoxious trolling in response that *does* make them look like Neanderthal morons ("why are you celebrating Howard? He gave up the goals that lost the game!") and also identifying being a soccer fan with being a douchey liberal;

--rinse and repeat until the universe explodes.

It's a sport, people--with its own strengths and weaknesses (yes, ties suck and the officials are often terrible and easily fooled--but it can be very intense and exciting, and games are finished in a reasonable amount of time, which MLB games often are not these days even when only nine innings). Stop pontificating and trolling and either watch it or ignore it.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

As a conservative and soccer dad who...

Bird Dog's picture

...watched his daughter play at the club and varsity level for five or six years, I finally know enough about the game to really enjoy World Cup. Four years ago it didn't interest me at all. Nevertheless, even today I can't say I'm a big fan of the sport, especially when M's are seven games over .500, have the 7th best record in MLB, King Felix is dominating and Cano is doing what they're paying him for.


"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

I'm not getting the whole soccer bashing

brutusettu's picture

"mean liberals hurt my feelings, so I won't like soccer" seems weird.


I used to call soccer "cross country running with a ball" i.e. not easy, but mainly just way too much running around to overtake the place of other sports played during the same season.



Anyway, during games, there's all of the running around while while putting thousands of hours plus worth of skill to work, every chance at a goal is huge because goals aren't easy to come by unless you're playing Brazil in the semis, there's a certain highly dedicated work ethic that's needed to win.  Faking injuries and learning when to walk around conserving energy notwithstanding.



Maybe a big part of soccer not being huge in the US is it not being huge in the US before other sports were.


It takes more conditioning to play soccer than football.  Maybe that has something to do with football overtaking baseball instead of soccer overtaking baseball.  Soccer was too hard for them conditioning wise, so they tried to sissify it, leading to not as many kids wanting to play a sport that wasn't as manly.


I would have probably played soccer poorly if it was a spring sport, the more indolent kids were be far less likely to play soccer.  Too much work.


-football had ties for eons, at least before it didn't

-football has holding flagged on cutback runs and basically never when the holding is maximizing the cheating.   WRs that can push-off w/o getting flagged have a huge advantage.  Some DBs are very good at holding w/o getting flagged.   Close enough to arbitrary refs there.

Agreed: the differences are all but illusory.


Soccer is hardly the only sport with flaws, scandals and cheating.  


I've often felt that the reason America glommed onto football and basketball and stuck with baseball is because of television advertising. If you want to make serious money off a sport by broadcasting it on TV, what you really need are regularly-spaced breaks in the action in which to slot a block of 3-4 (or 7-8) :15 and :30 spots. That or sell pay-per-view for $60 a pop like Floyd Mayweather, although boxing has plenty of room for commercial breaks too. Soccer is too relentless and too mercurial (the outcome of the game can change in a split second at any random point during the 90+ minutes of play). 


But maybe that's over-cynical, and you're right that the real answer is simply that the other sports got here first. "Marathon with a ball" is a great analogy for soccer. 


I'm a championship-only sports fan. I watch the Superbowl, NBA playoffs, US Open tennis (and maybe 1-2 other majors), Tour de France, the Olympics, I generally skip the World Series because meh baseball. The problem with pro sports in the US is that teams are so fluid that it makes little sense to be a fan of one club or another, and I can't be assed to bother following the careers of particular athletes with enough attention to make the statistical side of sports very interesting. So I hardly follow regular seasons of any sport, soccer included (which has the same problem of professionalization these days).  


But among all the championships, the World Cup is the most exciting to me personally, probably because a) it is rare, occurring every 4 years like the Olympics used to, and b) the teams represent individual nations and therefore there are real, meaningful stakes for winning and losing and finally c) the game itself is gripping and pure in the way boxing is... no real equipment required, just incredibly conditioned athletes pitting their utmost reserves of talent and endurance against each other in a contest that can turn on a dime. Do I care if Denver or Seattle wins the Superbowl? Maybe I would if the teams were legitimately homegrown, but they aren't: players and coaches come from all over and mix incestuously. Pro sports is generally about rooting for the biggest pile of money: moneyball. But maybe that's over-cynical too. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Last night was pure theatre.

mmghosh's picture

Football is the most massively overhyped phenomenon in modern culture, and the World Cup has been accused of everything from irrelevance to massive corruption – but at moments like this it is clear why for so many people, the sport is so much more than a game.

According to Aristotle, tragedy should lead to catharsis – and perhaps there is some great catharsis in these pictures, as people contemplate every sorrow, loss and despair they can remember or imagine in the bitter 90 minutes of a savagely hopeless sporting defeat. The suffering on the pitch becomes a rich black wine in the heart. It is good to experience such purging sorrow.

Just for one night football stopped being about sport, entertainment or even nationalism. It became tragic theatre. It became art. It became profound.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Theatre - in an obscenely expensive stadium.


Brazil spent great sums of money on these stadiums, evicted thousands upon thousands of poor people.  When the poor protested, Brazil quickly passed a horridly undemocratic bill, Bill 449, to deal with them.  If Brazil is mourning today, they will mourn more once they see the consequences of Bill 449 tomorrow.  Never did a government return a right it took away, not without a huge push, usually accompanied with violence.

Heh. Just wait unti Qatar 2022! nt

mmghosh's picture


freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Oh Lordy. Qatar. What a bunch of jumped-up babus.


And they're great friends of America, too.  They built Al Udeid airbase for the USA, cost them a ton, something like a billion USD.  We run the war in Afghanistan and used to run the War in Iraq out of Al Udeid.  Seems there no regime too disgusting, no petty nawab too vile for America to embrace....

Given That They Talked FIFA. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .into holding a World Cup in the middle of a country where the temperature gets well north of 110 degrees F in the summer, it seems like a lot of countries (or at least their corrupt hack FIFA reps) are willing to embrace them.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Dubai is a step up from Qatar. Now, airconditioned cities

mmghosh's picture

is what they want - from the outside, that is.

Unveiled this week, the Mall of the World is a vision for a climate-controlled leisure district, a place of hotels and shops, entertainment and healthcare, all connected by hermetically sealed avenues – 7km of them – along which trams will trundle.


"We plan to transform Dubai into a cultural, tourist and economic hub for the two billion people living in the region around us," said Sheikh Mohammed as he launched the project in front of a sparkling model of the 48 million sq ft (4.5 million sq m) complex. "And we are determined to achieve our vision."

A kind of pick'n'mix urban collage, the project samples bits of cities from around the world with gay abandon.

I think MA is right.  We are not a rational species.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Some "hub"

Jay C's picture

We plan to transform Dubai into a cultural, tourist and economic hub for the two billion people living in the region around us,

And just how many of those two billion souls are likely to be able to afford to visit Dubai's new Beverly-Hills-under-a-dome? Other than as coolie labor to be exploited en masse  in horrid working conditions to keep these sort of artificial paradises functioning for the .001%?


But, then Dubai's experience may come in handy when it comes time to build shopping malls on Mars.....

I Think There Has Been Real Benefits to Brazil in Hosting the WC



..fourfold actually:


1. There was lots of doubt internationally that Brazil as a country could pull this off...that they were too disorganized, too Brazilian...even.


This has been proven wrong.


2. The Olympics are coming up and some of the Stadium facilities will be used for this.


3. The various venues introduced much of the world to parts of Brazil that are known to me, but how many people in the world knew that Manaus had a population of two million?


4. There has always been a delightful but also slightly ditsy vein of Magical Thinking in losing and losing big, I think that this will now be tampered down...all across  the board; Brazil will have a more realistic view of itself. And this will also be good.


Best Wishes, Traveller

Is Brazil an unusually horrible country in which to be poor?


Or does it just get more attention here because of tourism in Rio?

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Hard to say. Seems quite horrible, the favelas and such.


And it's a big ol' country, too, hard to sum it up in any statement starting with "Brazil is...".  Long legacy of slavery and problems with the local tribes -- sound familiar?   Never been there so my opinion is worthless.


The Brazilians laugh at the USA, sorting people out by colour.  When Michael Jackson started in on his skin-lightening regime, I know he lost lots of fans on that basis:  they thought he wanted to turn into a white man.  But they sort people out by class, as does pretty much everyone, hardly an improvement on the idiocy of the race line.  I don't have a clear picture of why Brazil's poverty would be any worse or better than America's, but for anyone looking for the startling dichotomy between the Powerful and the Poor, we need go no farther than Washington D.C.  A few blocks within sight of the Capitol Dome, you'll find staggering poverty and crime.  

It would help if people grokked Ann Coulter.


She's just a meaner version of Stephen Colbert's Conservo-Persona.  She exists to make Liberals and other Sensitive Persons generate stomach acid.  That's her schtick, whole and entire.  Does anyone take her complaints about soccer seriously?  For or against, anyone who listens to her is an idiot.


By extension, the Conservative Trolls are just so many Coulter wannabes, malevolent without the cleverness.  Rush Limbaugh's Dittoheads.  The Folx who Watch Fox.  The Weakly Standard grumposaurs.  They're all a collection of thickies, devoid of a sense of humour.  They actually take Ann Coulter seriously!   This I find even more preposterous than the Granoloids who take offence at her japes.


As for soccer and its fans in the USA, this is a nation still running on feet and inches, roods, ells, pounds, ounces and yards.  The USA - and Burma.  Last two nations still running on this idiotic system.  Unlikely to change and for the same reasons soccer won't grow any more popular here.   A nation of Ann Coulters.

You're a great guy Blaise


but your last comment is blatant decimocentrism.   If you belonged to a species with 12 fingers instead of 10 you'd see things differently.


In any case,  the Europeans are lying when they say they've gone fully metric.  I was there and they use things like "week" and "day" and "hour".   A week is 10X what?  


Get back to me when they change all their clocks to read in kiloseconds and their calendars in megaseconds.

Sixty is a fine number. Goes back to the Sumerians.


Last artifact of their culture in modern life and certainly the most powerful.   Mayans liked it, too.  Only problem with our decimal system, no useful thirds of anything, which gets important in triangulation.  

On the other side


I think a really good case can be made for the kilosecond (ks) as an everyday unit.


One ks is just about the right time limit for a sermon,  a graduation speech,  or waiting for your meal at a restaurant.  


All my GPS data is in decimal


Which is actually time-ish, when you consider it.  


44.863767° Lat -91.355620° Lng is 44°51'49.56"N 91°20'51.09"W 

I see the feedback too


But your comment glosses over conservatives' initial neanderthalism:


certain Americans decide they don't like soccer because of certain elements of the game (ties, low scoring, overly dependent on arbitrary refereeing)


Right at the outset, you've missed that many conservatives are too nationalistic to look favorably on things popular in other countries, consider anything vaguely associated with Europe to be effeminate, etc. 


You've got the initial douchiness coming from liberals, but that's prolly just a sign of bias in your comment.

Except That. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .Americans--conservative and otherwise--like all kinds of sports that are popular in Europe and elsewhere. For some reason, douchey liberals have decided that not liking soccer's attributes is some sort of sophistication test, leading to said cycle of escalating obnoxiousness.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

It is a problem for Americans, face it.


Two generations of kids have been carted around to games by Soccer Moms, it's a fine game for people who aren't tall enough for basketball or big/fast enough for American football.  Soccer is for people who can run long distances, shoot and have footy skillz.  Parochial dumbitude is everywhere in the world but Americans have it in spades.  


Sneering at Europeans is for lumpen jingoists.  The Europeans are no better or worse than we are, collectively or individually.  Asia, South America, the world plays soccer and we treat it as a nice sport for little kids.  So yeah, like what you want in life, I'm still a big cricket fan, artifact of my own Pimply Yoot.  I don't expect others to like it.  But sneering at soccer is just stupid - sorry, that is not only unsophisticated, it betrays a certain piggy-eyed provincialism, yes it does.

I'm allowing the escalating cycle


You just can't see the source of the ... "cycle of escalating obnoxiousness"


Hmmm ... what's a typical conservative's attitude toward cycling and e.g. the Tour de France? Real mysterious stuff here.

The mystery to me


is why liberals would like a game that has serious problems with racial taunting from fans,  and rioting/violence at games that sometimes has an ethnic or nationalist side to it.    Maybe the reporting is biased but it seems like these problems are far more prevalent in European soccer than in mainstream US sports.

In American football, the violence is on the field.


In soccer, it's in the stands.

Tell That To The Poor Brazillian Player With. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .broken vertebrae. Not to mention the guys that lunatic Suarez keeps biting.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Well, that's true. But the Lager Lout phenomenon


in Europe is pretty awful.  Anyway, it was just a joke told to me many years ago by a German who spent some time in the States.

It Could Be Worse

M Scott Eiland's picture

Norman Spinrad's "The National Pastime" imagined a world where the NFL was replaced with "The Combat Football League," and the government got the bright idea to let the fans duke it out among themselves without police protection as a means of bleeding off social unrest. Body count for both the stands and the field for the big games.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

I've often explained American football as infantry.


Ten men and a lieutenant.  Two sets of specialities, offense and defense.  Forward pass opens up the game to all the standard infantry tactics, flanking, Schwerpunkt, envelopment, it's all there.

When you have a diesel truck and a sad

brutusettu's picture

throw a bunch of money into your truck and then spend more at the pump.


A totally cool subculture of people love modifying their diesel trucks to emit black plums of smoke because they are manly man men that love burning money showing how super cool they are.

Hey it's just modern conservatism


 in action. The overriding principle is "does it piss off liberals". This is just another manifestation. Wasting money, polluting the atmosphere and giving yourself lung cancer is A-OK as long as it satisifies the prime directive.

The going line


If Obama came out in favor of respiration, we'd have a one-party state in about a week.

We all share the same air.


Therefore, breathing is socialist. Can I be a columnist for Hot Air now?

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

That's pretty funny... (nt)



"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Oh I dunno. Stupid is as stupid does.


Here's the deal:  everyone now understands air pollution, even these knuckleheads.  Incomplete combustion of anything is a bad proposition from a physics perspective.  The same sort of knucklehead wears the Stars and Bars of the Confederacy - because it annoys people, especially black people.  But it's protected speech, so there's not much to be done about the Stars and Bars.


But the Coal Rollers, they can be shut down.  Most states (can anyone think of a state without exhaust pollution regs?) require emission tests for vehicles.  Around here, in Wisconsin, the conservatives are also conservationists.  They're hunters, you see.  Oh, they sneer at the Tree Huggers but I had an interesting conversation the other day with a young man, muscular little critter, out in some teeny little town around here, about as rural as you can get in the Lower 48.  Showed me where a deer had taken out his driver's mirror, where the antlers had scraped his car.  Just a salt of the earth kid, conservative values all the way.  We were talking about the wolf population, how it's recovered - he's looking forward to the wolf hunting season.  We both agreed the wolf was improving the deer herd, taking out the weak ones.  


I don't buy the idea of Conservative == Stupid.  Many conservatives are stupid.  But around here, people who don't understand the dynamics of this landscape, don't know that this area can support about a thousand wolves, that the excess can and should be hunted - that we humans are responsible for the mess we've made - they're kinda stupid, too.  And there's a lot of Liberal sentiment against the wolf hunt, also the bear hunting.  Humans fit into this landscape, too.  This notion that Conservatives are dumb, well, on the whole, a lot of the louder ones are unscientific morons.  But not all of them.  We ought to keep that in mind.

Shutting down the "Coal Rollers"

Jay C's picture

Good idea, in theory: but as the old saying about theory and principle goes....


Given the (presumed) location of most these jackasses, it doesn't take a lot of imagination to posit that any serious enforcement effort against the "Coal Rollers" would be immediately seized on by the right-wing media, and exploited to the max as a "heroic" protest against jackbooted envirofascist tyranny or whatever. "Pissing off liberals" is the main point of the exercise, but there's always a bonus attached if the Angry White Guy demographic can be roiled up even more by painting them as hapless victims ("just good old boys") of un-American freedom-hating elitist snobs. Or whatever.


Oh, and "cars" (actually "trucks") are involved: that's almost as much a piss-off trigger as "guns" to the AWG crowd...

Kowtowing to lawless, angry right-wingers isn't the solution


Appeasement just encourages the thousands and thousands of neanderthals roaming the countrysides, some named Cliven, who believe laws are for other people.

Counting chickens and coal rollers....


Let them squeal, for all the good it will do them.  Why get pissed at 'em?  They're just stupid persons and the world is full of 'em.  Getting annoyed is only giving them what they want.  Soon enough, as the price of hydrocarbons rises sufficiently, they'll be rolling around in jacked-up electric monsters, all hat and no horse, all of 'em.  Then they'll be singing country songs about how they can't find gasoline for their old putt-putts.  Steel guitars will weep all over it.


EDIT: coal rolling is already illegal

Don CHeadle is making a movie about Miles Davis


"Miles Ahead" is the working title.

Republican Fed reform proposals


Don't let anyone tell you Republicans don't care about American workers:


Texas Congressman Kevin Brady is sponsoring a bill that aims to strip the Fed of its low unemployment mandate

A multi-billion top-down, government-funded


research project based on a bottom-up research program for understanding the brain.

I'm just looking forward to the part where Dr. Markram plugs


his machine in, and it promptly seizes telephone and internet exchanges, cell networks, and begins learning at a geometric rate.  


"Turn it off! Did you design the stupid thing with an off button or not? Turn it off!"  


"I don't think we can. I think it's too late."

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

I've been watching Human Brain Project


as it's run up on the reefs.  I assert HBP is using the wrong model.  The brain isn't mappable as if it were a set of electrical pathways:  this has always been a paradigm problem for AI.  Every generation wants to apply its own current hi-tech paradigm to the brain and they all fail.


Now here's the reality of the problem.  Neurons are important, but they're not as important as you might think.  The brain isn't just electrical.  It's mostly chemical.  For every neuron in the brain, there are at least four or five glial cells.   We're just now coming to terms with the glial cells and their functions in the brain.   For a long time, we thought the glial cells were rather like the styrofoam peanuts in a shipping carton.  Turns out they have all sorts of functionality, including operating as variable resistors and roaming repair teams.  They cluster around important neural junctions, absorbing the acetylcholine and cholinesterase generated at the junctions,  providing alternate pathways between junctions.


HBP can't possibly model the glial cell interaction at this point in time.  Sure, it will be useful to have a better map of the brain, which we need very badly.  But the current HBP is so badly organised it should be pulled down and its mission re-evaluated.


More about the glial cells here, standard wiki wisdom but it's a good starting point.  

Your critique is the opposite of the boycotting EU researchers


you're advocating more "bottom-up" information by having the models drill down to the cellular level.


The top-down boycotters are claiming no one will know what to make of such data if researchers merely try to simulate biological systems at low levels -- they claim we need higher-level organizational principles to be able to separate out noisy data and abstract away from irrelevant biological details for whatever's being studied.


Probably nobody knows if you're right or the top-down people are right, but perhaps that's reason to be inclusive in a multi-billion dollar project that was supposed to integrate separate research strands in neuroscience.


One note for the top-down approach is that we have a wiring diagram and can simulate the connectivity for the millimeter-long C. Elegans and its 300 neurons. But we can't predict its behavior based on this information, and one diagnosis is that even though there's plenty of data and maps/diagrams of the organism at the neuron-level, there's no higher-level theory to interpret these findings. 

That's absolutely correct. The only way I can describe


the problems faced at the intersection of AI (with which I'm fairly versant) and neurobiology (of which I'm blankly ignorant, with just enough amateur interest to be sophos-moros dangerous*) is rather like an aircraft on descent, at night.  We can see the highways, lit by headlamps.  Then we can see the individual cars themselves - but to what end are these cars moving and why?  Each has its own story in there, like the Bridge over the San Luis Rey.  The problem will not be solved by applying any existing CompSci paradigms to the brain.  I know I'm not right, in the sense that we ought to focus only on the interaction of the players at the synapse level, but C Elegans is a great place to start, as it's been for so many other projects.


I'm fascinated with the glial cell.  It's got its corollaries in AI, well, in my AI anyway.  I have what I call a Witness, always applied to pattern matching.  


*I did one project, years ago, working with the turtle brain, two separate vision systems, one above water, one below water - but I was just a data factotum....

House votes to end Medical MJ raids by the DEA


219 votes in favor - 49 Rs, 170 Ds.

Looks Like The Ball Is In The Senate's Court

M Scott Eiland's picture

I'd bet against a filibuster here, so 51 votes should do the deed.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

I haven't seen an analysis of social media's impact


on pot and gay marriage attitudes in America, but surely it's not a coincidence that social media has been on the rise the past 5-10 yrs while there's simultaneously been rapid a change by historical standards on both issues. 

I'm not sure there has been that much acceleration


The change of heart has been gradual but inexorable. The magic ingredient has been going over the 50% mark.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

The Paternity Fraud Issue Is Readily Solvable

M Scott Eiland's picture

Simply pass laws on the state and federal level that require DNA testing for the courts to enforce child support (with the state fronting the money for the test in cases where the parties can't afford it up front and sending the bill to the "losing" party to be paid back over time if necessary). This should be retroactive, really, as there are well known cases where state law is forcing men to pay child support for children who have been proven to not be biologically related to them in spite of their former spouse's claims to the contrary. Horribly unjust and despicable, not to mention making the state party to fraud.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Child support is one of those beastly parts of law


where I wish we had some sort of fast-track through the system.  DNA isn't as conclusive as all that:  if two brothers are potential fathers, you might be surprised how indefinite the DNA results can be, without spending a LOT more money on more advanced tests.  


EDIT: but yeah, in principle, I'm in favour of your approach.

Cases Like That. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .could be dealt with by requiring an additional statement made under penalty of perjury by the mother that she has no reason to believe that a close biological relative of the (apparent) father is the actual father. This would set the stage for a fraud prosecution (and lawsuit) if later revelations occurred that made it clear that a particularly nasty betrayal had taken place.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Yeah, this should be guided by the biologists


and ethicists.  It's a statistical problem:  DNA cannot (well, unless you do a complete genome mapping, which is REALLY expensive) point to one man with absolute certainty, excluding all other potential fathers.  And you can bet the defense attorneys will start demanding more conclusive proof than the current paternity tests, should the tech improve.....

Great review of Transformers 4


A movie made around product placements within product placements

brutusettu's picture

A toy line gets a movie as an ad.

The movie has endless product placements.

Scenes with the sole purpose of being a product placements.

Throws in some Chinese stars to woo Chinese audiences.

Micahael Bay would die if he wasn't constantly moving the camera around with low angle shots and building scenes around product placement.

Weekend Jazz, Latin Flute edition


Pucho and His Latin Soul Brothers are summer weekend fun -



I'm Ron Burgundy?

brutusettu's picture

Dave Valentin and Pupi Lagaretta

Zelig's picture

come to mind when I think of latin flute. This guy played an interesting intro, then settled into Herbie Mann.

Me: We! -- Ali

Dear Zelig


Based on your past tastes, maybe have a listen to this album instead if you haven't already:


I agree it's on the smooth side


However, is similarity to Herbie Mann supposed to be an insult?



... you'll hafta point me towards some good Dave Valentin and Pupi Lagaretta. The Valentin stuff I just looked at on youtube was not very good. The Lagaretta I came across was more traditional, and better.

Republican infighting


"I lament the fact that our governor could now pass for a West Coast metrosexual and has embarrassed us all with his sartorial change of direction."  -  TX Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson commenting on Rick Perry's decision to stop wearing boots.

Whereas judging other men by their footwear


is more East Coast metrosexual.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Why do we need


this new word when English already had fop and dandy ?

The British also say "Bob's your uncle"


when they mean "and there you have it." They call a sandwich a "butty." Should we really be taking linguistic cues from those people?

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Bob's Your Uncle is a bit more than "there you have it."


It carries a sense of "it's a done deal" especially in a sense of a foregone conclusion or the inevitability or even triviality of some achievement. 

And... it doesn't sound like any of those things. -nt-



"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

It certainly is not "and there you are."


For one, Bob's yer Uncle is always cast in the near future.  "Two cups of flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla, sugar, stir in the milk and it's pancake batter, Bob's your uncle."  


Furthermore, "butty" as a sandwich isn't really English so much as a North Country expression, say Newcastle.  Everywhere else in UK, "buttie" is what Americans would call "buddy".  A sandwich is a sarnie.

Still better


than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick, now innit?

They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist...
-- General John B. Sedgwick, 1864

That's strictly south of the Equator. Oz and Kiwi.


Never heard it in England or Ireland.

Hold on. What would one call a chip butty?

mmghosh's picture

Fries in a Burger Bun?  I think not.


freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

CO's 2014 weed legalization experiment




According to his latest budget proposal, Gov. John Hickenlooper expects a healthy $1 billion in marijuana sales over the next fiscal year. That's nearly $134 million in tax revenue — money that will go to public schools and infrastructure ... Sales from recreational shops are expected to hit $600 million, which is a more than 50% increase over what was originally expected.


According to government data, the Denver city- and county-wide murder rate has dropped 52.9% since recreational marijuana use was legalized in January. This is compared to the same period last year, a time frame encompassing Jan. 1 through April 30.

Heh. "Funding schools" - in Illinois, we were promised the same


from the riverboat gambling.  Would it shock anyone who reads this if I told you the funding pipeline between those boats and the educational establishment developed a few leaks along the way?  Like pretty much all of it? 

52.9% drop


That's good news,  assuming it's due to would-be murderers mellowing out,  rather than victims' families being too spaced out to report crimes.


The sales figures are interesting.  $1B sales in a state with 5M people = $200/person,  a lot more than that for regular users. 

Re: Sales figures


For regular smokers, buying 1/8th of weed a month is typical, I think, where 1/8th = $60 on average, so upwards of $700 a year.


So outside visitors and residents purchasing $1B doesn't seem too surprising and consistent with a sizable majority of Coloradoans who aren't touching the stuff.

Out Of State Business


I doubt all that money comes from Coloradans. A big part must be from visitors.


Surprised about the murder rate impact being so great. I would have expected it to go down measurably, but not by half. Not sure what is going on there.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Re: out of state visitors


"For an hour, I felt nothing [...] But then I felt a scary shudder go through my body and brain. I barely made it from the desk to the bed, where I lay curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours"


-- Maureen Dowd

Funny, that's exactly how I feel


when I read one of her columns.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

The murder stat was challenged on metafilter


Denver's murder rate isn't very high, so apparently murders have dropped by 3 the past 6 months.



how does one get 52.9% out of a change by 3?


3/4,  3/5,  3/6,  3/7.....

By subtracting from a non-whole number


viz. an average of the previous years totals.


My guess is it's a technically accurate but not yet statistically significant stat.

Tens of thousands of years ago, a Tibetan banged a Denisovan,

Bird Dog's picture

thus enabling the Tibetan's descendants to live comfortably at high altitudes. The Denisovans are no more. Link.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

fascinating article!



Fascinating stuff.

mmghosh's picture

Although "banged" might be difficult to stomach to a Tibetan reading this.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

The Men's Movement is just sad.


It's true, men do face problems women don't seem to understand.  Boys are raised to stereotypes as surely as girls.  Gender studies could do more to examine the problems of boys and men.  There isn't a good dad to be found on television.  Dads are a running joke:  you can stretch out a Homer Simpson or an Al Bundy into multiple seasons of entertainment.


Men and women need to get the hell over themselves.  Pity is a contemptible thing. I believe the closest I ever came to a moment of enlightenment was a terrifying vision of the inner suffering of every human being, a horrifying chorus of secret misery.  Oh be kind, said Plato, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.


Men may fight a different battle, in fact they do.  For millenia, it's been the men who went to war.  But there are no more heroes, save only accidental ones, whose heroism is only exposed in some terrible moment of need.  And in that moment, the hero acts to save others, usually at the cost of his own life. Most Congressional Medals of Honor are awarded posthumously- and to a man, each recipient has the same reaction, the hero's reaction.  He never accepts it for himself, but for those he saved.


If the lot of men and boys is to improve, if we're to advance as a species, putting away old stereotypes and removing injustice from the system, we might start with the Hero's Reaction, that we must make these changes for each other and not for ourselves.  Wailing about injustice - without any goal, without describing a viable route to change, where boys and girls are freed to be themselves - the Men's Movement fails as Feminism has largely failed before it.  Women now have more rights but men have not always shouldered the burdens of what have always been considered women's responsibilities.


Men's Rights are human rights. They can't exist in isolation of women's rights, too.

Happy 4th of July weekend to the Americans here


everybody else, I'm sorry you dont get to celebrate our nation's B-day with fireworks and beer.