Monthly Archives: April 2013

Evening Links

HOLY SHIT. Alas, All My Children is back, baby!! Only on Hulu, but David Hayward is back!!

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If global warming happens, women will become whores, according to Congressional Democrats. Do not use poor women to push your political agenda, scumbags. Or poor people in general.

Pew has released a not very encouraging poll on Muslim attitudes toward Sharia, suicide bombing, etc.

Macbeth and the Shakespearian roots of evil in relation to the Boston bombing, according to Ron Rosenbaum.

Follow a food stamp recruiter around Florida as she tries to sign people who don’t want or need food stamps up for food stamps by telling them it’s what they are “entitled to” and what they “deserve.”

Democrats have lost the sequester battle. Nice try, though, Mr. President.

I don’t know how many of you saw the 60 Minutes special on America’s war dogs two Sundays ago, but it was amazing and sparked my interest in this book on the history of war dogs.

Botswana’s President has been injured by a cheetah.

Some idiot mom in Michigan wants The Diary of Anne Frank banned because it’s too ‘pornographic.’

Are the Tsarnaev brothers also responsible for slitting the throats of some Jewish “friends” on the 10th anniversary of 9/11? The evidence is mounting.

Iran might be preparing to cut the entire nation off from the world wide web as elections loom. It will be replaced with a “national internet,” similar to North Korea’s style. The BBC reports:

For months now, Iranian social media sites have been full of postings about slow download speeds and intermittent access…Aziz Ashofteh, the co-founder of the popular Iranian website Balatarin (an Iranian version of Digg) says government programmers have spent the past few years working on a system which will enable people to go about their business and communicate with each other inside the country, while at the same time giving the government the power to control their access to the world outside. He told the BBC that the government “now has a ‘switch off’ button for the internet, without being concerned about potential damage to governmental departments and the banks”….According to the latest Iranian figures about 45 million people out of a population of 75 million are now online, making Iran the country with the highest proportion of internet users in the Middle East…For much of the past decade these young Iranians have been finding increasingly sophisticated ways of bypassing the government’s attempts to filter a succession of sites. The result is that global social media sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are all hugely popular and widely used in Iran despite being officially off limits. This became especially evident after the disputed presidential election in 2009 when big street protests were organised via the internet.

The WSJ has a great piece on this as well.

Iran’s national Internet will be “a genuinely halal network, aimed at Muslims on an ethical and moral level,” Ali Aghamohammadi, Iran’s head of economic affairs, said recently according to a state-run news service. Halal means compliant with Islamic law…Eventually, he said, the national network could replace the global Internet in Iran, as well as in other Muslim countries…Since the 2009 protests, the government has ratcheted up its online repression…The Revolutionary Guard, a powerful branch of the Iranian security forces, has taken the lead in the virtual fight. In late 2009, the Guard acquired a majority stake of the state telecom monopoly that owns DCI. That put all of Iran’s communications networks under Revolutionary Guard control.

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Filed under Around the World, Literature, Politics, Religion, TV/Movies, Uncategorized

Video of the Day

You have got to be kidding me. A nanny worse than Bloomberg?

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April 30, 2013 · 8:08 pm

Book of the Week

Darkness At Noon by Arthur Koestler

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Published in 1941, this remarkable novel will haunt and enlighten you. It is an account of Stalin’s 1930s Moscow show trials and an exploration of the ironies and horrors of any revolution, dictator or system that believes it is liberating ‘the people’ and will impose its beliefs by any means necessary. The willingness of people to commit horrible crimes in the name of ‘high ideals’ is a danger that is always lurking and waiting to destroy freedom, civilization and the individual and is something we must constantly be vigilant about. Like Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four, Koestler’s novel makes the frightening point that fanatics don’t just want you to obey them, they want you to agree with them. Both Koestler and Orwell’s finest works should be required reading and if you haven’t read them yet, you simply must.

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Your Daily Dose of Cute

This sloth and this cat…it’s so fantastically awkward. I can’t take my eyes off of it.

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April 30, 2013 · 3:36 pm

Your Morning Cup of Links

Donald Kagan, one of the last of a dying breed of professors, gave his final lecture at Yale last week. The Wall Street Journal has a great interview with him. Here’s a brief quote:

Democracy, wrote Mr. Kagan in “Pericles of Athens” (1991), is “one of the rarest, most delicate and fragile flowers in the jungle of human experience.” It relies on “free, autonomous and self-reliant” citizens and “extraordinary leadership” to flourish, even survive. These kinds of citizens aren’t born—they need to be educated. “The essence of liberty, which is at the root of a liberal education, is that meaningful freedom means that you have choices to make,” Mr. Kagan says. “At the university, there must be intellectual variety. If you don’t have [that], it’s not only that you are deprived of knowing some of the things you might know. It’s that you are deprived of testing the things that you do know or do think you know or believe in, so that your knowledge is superficial.”…Faculties have gained “extraordinary authority” over universities, Mr. Kagan says. The changes in the universities were mirrored in the society at large. “The tendency in this century and in the previous century at least has been toward equality of result and every other kind of equality that could be claimed without much regard for liberty,” he says. “Right now the menace is certainly to liberty.”

Speaking of liberty, the government is coming for your cheese. Your raw milk cheese, to be specific. That includes brie and camembert. Now you’ve officially gone too far, government. TOO FAR. I will not put up with you messing with my cheese. YOU CAN PRY IT FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS. The most infuriating part is that it’s complete bullshit. There is no need to regulate this…

…She calculated in an email to me that the chances of a person in a high-risk group (e.g., a pregnant woman) being sickened by pasteurized cheese are the same as the likelihood of someone from the general population being sickened by unpasteurized cheese—in both cases a scant 1 in 55 million. Erber notes that means “1/6 of the entire country could eat camembert at the same time and ONE person would get really sick.”…Erber points out the report notes just “725 reported illnesses in the entire world over a 25 year period,” a startlingly small number given worldwide cheese consumption.

A Swedish company has produced a luxury bird house, complete with swimming pool and garden furniture.

Meet the man who helped stop Hitler’s A-bomb. A little background below, but read the article for the whole amazing story.

Seventy years ago, a small team of Norwegians was sent from Britain to carry out one of the most daring and important undercover operations of World War II – the aim was to prevent Adolf Hitler building an atomic bomb…The SOE raid Mr Ronneberg led 70 years ago was described as the most successful act of sabotage in the war and one with the potential to alter its course…The target of the raid was in Vermork, in a remote part of Norway, home to the largest hydroelectric plant of its type in the world…British intelligence had realised that the Nazis were protecting the plant because it produced a supply of heavy water, which could be used in the production of an atomic bomb.

In Saudi Arabia, a woman has been sentenced to eight lashes for accidentally sending a text message allegedly promoting the Shiite sect of Islam.

Read this chilling report about how close al-Qaeda is to getting Syria’s chemical weapons. The Syrian war is a humanitarian and geopolitical NIGHTMARE on a scale that most people can’t even imagine. We should have done something about this TWO YEARS AGO. Who cares if most of the American people don’t want to get involved overseas? Most of the American people can’t find Syria on a map and a good portion can’t even name the country we fought in the Revolutionary War. We will pay a horrible price for our inaction on this one.

More than 500 times as toxic as cyanide and deadly in milligram-sized doses, a single canister of sarin could unleash carnage if released on a Tube network in London or New York…As the Syrian uprising has intensified in the past year, the regime has been secretly moving its stockpiles to weapons dumps all over the country, much of which it barely controls anymore. Nobody knows, therefore, when or where a cache might be captured by the opposition’s more militant factions…The Syrian regime’s chemical warchest is indeed vast – the biggest in the Middle East, and the fourth largest in the world…As Syria has not signed the international Chemical Weapons Convention, it has never declared details of its stockpiles to the outside world. But outside intelligence estimates reckon that Damascus has between 100 and 200 warheads filled with sarin for its Scud missiles, and thousands of chemical artillery bombs filled with sarin and VX.

Also in Syria, an Islamic cleric has decreed it ok for Syrian rebels to rape women, so long as they’re non-Sunni. According to The Washington Times the cleric said:

It’s a “legitimate fatwa” for Muslims waging war against Mr. Assad and trying to put in place a Sharia government to “capture and have sex with” Alawites and other non-Sunni, non-Muslim women…The cleric called non-Muslim women by their Arabic term, “melk al-yamin.” The term is from the Koran and refers to non-Muslim sex slaves. A preacher in Saudi Arabia, Muhammad al-Arifi, sent forth a fatwa a few months ago giving jihadi fighters the right to have “intercourse marriage” with Syrian women they caught, and for that act to take enough time “to give each fighter a turn,” Human Events reports.

The creation of the term ‘Islamophobia’ to describe those who criticize this kind of thing is one of the dumbest things the Left has ever done. Islamonausea is more like it. Sick of this wicked religion and the misery and evil it inflicts all over the world.

Those who thought the Obama administration was misleading the public on Benghazi have been proved right in a scathing report released recently. Here’s a brief sample of the findings:

It noted that State immediately reported the attack to the White House Situation Room and two hours later noted an al Qaeda affiliate’s claim of responsibility. There was no mention of a spontaneous protest of an anti-Muslim video. Yet Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Press Secretary Jay Carney spoke repeatedly for days later of a video and a protest. Clinton assured one victim’s family member that the video-maker was being prosecuted. In the meantime, a CIA draft of talking points for the House intelligence committee was edited at the behest of State Department officials. Omitted were references to previous Benghazi attacks, the al Qaeda affiliate in Benghazi and intelligence estimates of threats in Libya. Also struck, the Interim Report says, were “any and all suggestions that the State Department had been previously warned of threats in the region.”

The CIA is buying Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s support. Literally. They are dropping bags of cash at his feet.

Ending on a happy note, the Lost Boys of Sudan are giving back in amazing ways.

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Music Monday

Divinyls singer Chrissy Amphlett passed away last week at age 53 so this one’s for her. Also, check out more of the dirtiest songs in the history of music here.

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April 29, 2013 · 7:14 pm

Afternoon Links

Starting off with 16 movie posters improved by sloths.

The replacement of the traditional The Great Gatsby book cover with the Leo DiCaprio-central movie book cover has started a fight. As it should.

Why does Anne Boleyn obsess us?

Just as some portraits say more about the artist than the subject, so do representations of Anne speak volumes about different historical moments. “Anne Boleyn” is a “skanky schemer” today and “unsung hero of the Protestant Reformation,” to the Elizabethans; a Romantic heroine one decade and a Victorian cautionary tale the next; in the 1950s she was a typical teenager, admiring her figure in the looking-glass; by the 2000s she’s a Mean Girl, stealing her sister’s boyfriend. Most recently, post-Showtime series The Tudors, she’s a feminist icon, “too smart, sexy, and strong for her own time, unfairly vilified for her defiance of sixteenth-century norms of wifely obedience”….Anne has been as magnetic to posterity as she was to her contemporaries. Her story has been told countless times since her death, in histories, plays, operas, novels, films, television series, etc. Certain elements have seemed unimpeachably true for one generation, only to be revised and reversed by the next. Susan Bordo’s delightfully cheeky, solidly-researched The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England’s Most Notorious Queen aims to investigate “the erasure of Anne Boleyn and the creation of ‘Anne Boleyn.” Bordo, a well-known scholar of cultural studies, uses her good sense and academic training to shrewdly chip away at historical commentary, which has hardened speculation into supposed “facts.” The result is a sensible look at the way Anne’s image has been manipulated and shaped by different agendas and historical periods over the centuries.

The UN group for “Combating Terror Finance” is going to convene in Sudan, state sponsor of terror. It’s become so typical that now I usually just laugh instead of groan.

Last week’s Bush Library opening was lovely and the contrast between the presidents was apparent. I miss having a classy, down-to-earth president who was humbled by the office and awed by its history.

A soldier reflects on the good we did in Iraq.

Before Sabre Squadron arrived in our part of Diyala, it was so deeply in the control of al-Qaeda that they named that part of the world the “Islamic Caliphate of Iraq.” They implemented the most draconian form of sharia law imaginable, they placed bombs in children’s backpacks to kill their enemies, they sawed the heads off of women and children (shrieking “Allahu Akhbar!” the entire time), and they filmed the killings for posterity. They shot infants in the face, then killed the mothers as they cradled the remains of their children, they raped, they plundered, and they blew up restaurants and killed first responders. In short, al-Qaeda was savage beyond the comprehension of Americans. And we beat them. By the time we left, bombings were few and far between. Markets were open, the rhythms of daily life had returned, and we were driving and walking over ground that we once could only fly over. One of the reasons so many Iraq vets remain proud of our service, and are often resentful of the crowing of the war’s opponents, is that we know the extent of the horror of both Saddam’s tyranny and the tyranny of those who tried to replace Saddam. We have no illusions about our nation’s mistakes and tactical failures, but we actually met the enemy and know that its defeat was an unmitigated good.

An Iraqi journalist emphasizes why stopping Saddam was a noble thing to do and wants America to stop feeling guilty about the war.

There was not, and will never be, anything wrong with toppling a dictator, let alone one as bloody as Saddam….The continuing violence in Iraq, even after the U.S. withdrawal, is proof that not all of the Iraqi rage was because of American occupation. Self-criticism is good, and there are lessons to be learned from American mistakes in Iraq—whether the error was abandoning the Kurds and the Shia in 1991, or not planning for lawlessness in 2003. Nonetheless, America handed back to Iraqis a country that, by the standards of the Arabic-speaking Middle Eastern, is closest in the region to being a normal one. Americans paid dearly for that, not only in lives lost, and money spent, but also because of a bruising debate that divided Americans and made them lose faith in their country’s power and role on the world stage. Now it’s time for Americans to stop feeling guilty about Iraq. The United States went to war in good will and wanted to spread democracy. But the Iraqis were not, and are still not, ready for democratic government. The fact that the whole Middle East has devolved into a Sunni-Shia war tells us that the chaos in Iraq that followed the U.S. invasion was only a small reflection of the problems in a region that was on fire long before 2003. We should also recognize that the United States still has a large role in influencing events in its interests, and shaping them according to its ideals.

Literary figures with the weirdest obsessions. D.H. Lawrence enjoyed climbing mulberry trees while nude. Well, who doesn’t? Immanuel Kant required an assistant to get out of bed in the morning because he couldn’t sleep unless “comprehensively mummified in blankets.” Check out more at the link.

A look at the environmental and political crisis in Ethiopia.

A store pulls peanuts off the shelves because the packaging failed to warn that the product may contain peanuts. If you didn’t realize that was the case, KILL YOURSELF.

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