Monthly Archives: September 2015

Afternoon Links

So cool: 100-year-old footage of famous artists.

Obama’s diplomatic fairyland

You’ll never believe it but Trump’s tax plan is – wait for it – idiotic. If we’re going to have an income tax (and we shouldn’t) everyone with an income should have to pay it. Especially the people who keep voting for a welfare state. You want a welfare state? You fucking pay for it. I couldn’t agree more with this Ace post. Here’s an excerpt but go read the whole thing:

I believe it was after Reagan that Republican theorists began justifying his model of tax-cuts-now-spending-cuts-later as the “starve the beast” theory of limiting government — if we cut taxes, therefore cutting government’s resources, we should, logically, force the government to adapt itself to living with fewer taxpayer dollars. Ergo, spending should be forced down by the practicalities of the situation — either you start cutting spending, or else you start running up dangerous, Greece-level of debts. The problem is that this country has always elected the “or else” part of this syllogism: We are racking up dangerous, Greece-levels of debts, and we’re barely even talking about that any longer.

So I no longer believe in the “starve the beast” theory, because the “starve the beast” theory relies upon Americans understanding the mid-to-longer term trajectory of their spending choices, which they plainly do not. Since Americans are not capable of understanding the mid-to-longer term trajectory of their spending choices, it seems to me the only way to impose budget discipline and spending rollback is to offer Americans an immediate, as opposed to future, confrontation with reality: that is, if Americans wish to have so much government, they should be forced to pay for the level of government they are choosing, and not defer that payment (as they apparently will choose, every single time) into the future, to be imposed upon their children.

But, instead, they must be forced to reckon with the level of government they are choosing now by paying the full freight and cost of that government now. That is to say: I believe that rolling back spending is only possible when Americans are made to feel the costs of the government they’re choosing, and that will only happen when they’re forced to actually pay for it. If Americans want 21% of GDP to be wasted on government, then we should make them pay 21% of their GDP to pay for this clumsy, murderous goliath. And when they grow tired of paying 21% of GDP for this level of gold-plated, clay-footed government, perhaps they will see the sweet reason of reducing government expenditures down to, say, 19% of GDP, or, dare we dream, 18%.

I don’t see any other way, frankly. And removing ever-more people from the tax rolls altogether — making lower income people not even pay a small amount of tax — accelerates the growth of government, as we create a larger and larger class for whom Big Government has tangible inducements and no visible drawbacks.

Here’s a good Kevin Williamson piece along similar lines. I’ll excerpt a little bit but go read the whole thing, especially for the hedge fund explanation, which most people don’t get.

If you’ve ever met anybody who believes that we can balance the budget by cutting foreign aid, that the Social Security “trust fund” is a real thing rather than a figure of speech, or who is a Trump enthusiast, you know that certain Americans are not about to let their minds be troubled by facts. But here are the facts: One, Americans earning $100,000 or more pay basically all of the federal income taxes, about 80 percent. That is far in excess of their portion of national income (“national income” being another thing that does not exist but which we are obliged to talk about), and they are only about 15 percent of all taxpayers. Households earning $250,000 or more, a tiny group (2.4 percent of taxpayers) pay about half of all federal income taxes, which is, again, disproportionate to their income relative to the rest of the population.

You do have to stop pretending that you can give the American middle class a big income-tax cut when it hardly pays any income taxes, and stop pretending that you can get spending under control without touching the tiny handful of popular programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, national security) that constitute the vast majority of federal spending. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel; you just have to cut federal spending from 21.4 percent of GDP to 19.1 percent a couple of years from now, and maybe reform the tax code with an eye toward making revenue meet spending halfway. That isn’t going to make everybody happy, but it isn’t landing on Omaha Beach, either…Voters sometimes look around and wonder, “Who is going to be the adult in the room?” Fact is, it had better be you, citizen.

POTUS should probably invite this girl to the White House. Especially since she was doing an actual science experiment, not just taking the cover off a Radio Shack clock and putting it in a briefcase.

You have got to be kidding me with this.

That is the heart of a case now before a federal court in New York, in a class action lawsuit brought by parents who say that they bought Welch’s Fruit Snacks because they thought it was a healthy option based on the company’s fruit- and nutrition-filled messaging both on the box and elsewhere.

Are you retarded?

“You don’t need to go to church to be a Christian. If you go to Taco Bell, that doesn’t make you a taco.”

A former spook on Hillary’s payroll was the top intel consultant for CBS News during its coverage of Benghazi. He’s dead now, so there’s a lot we’ll never know.

Victim culture and the death of American manhood.

The 50 CENTCOM whistleblowers are just the tip of the iceberg for this administration.

Oh my god, there are no words. How disgraceful. New York City Council honors Soviet spy who gave Stalin the atom bomb.

Idiot Germans finally come to their senses now that it’s too late.

Farkas joins the long list of competent people who finally had enough of not being listened to and said “fuck this incompetent administration, I’m out.”

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Afternoon Art Break

“The Yerres, Rain”
Gustave Caillebotte (1875)

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Your Morning Cup of Links

Water on Mars, guys.

If you wonder why conservatives are so viscerally opposed to climate action, it’s because they see these forces at work.

This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve read in quite some time. Carly had some jobs in between being secretary and CEO so she’s lying, says idiot.

This happened in America.

Might have to go see this movie.

This will get her a bump in the polls and a great ad cut by Tuesday featuring these loons. I encourage this behavior, progressive toddlers. Keep it up. “Being against abortion means you’re against condoms!” -idiot Leftists

Electing people who don’t know anything has consequences. Sadly, a lot of people seem ready do it again in 2016.

Obama’s wonderful Iran deal: arming Iran AND financing Putin.

Group of annoyed tourists “refugees” leave Finland because it’s “cold and boring.”

“How political ideology made me boring and intolerable” by Shannon Keating

The toxic worldview of Ta-Nehisi Coates:

Suppose you were a white person with a deep-seated dislike for black people, and you were intent on training your son to feel the same way. Suppose that, day after day, week after week, you instructed him to study the details of every instance of black-on-white crime. Say you advised your son to extrapolate from these incidents the notion that black people are generally dangerous, and that your zeal to present him with disturbing anecdotes along these lines never waned. You would be wrong, in just about every possible way: statistically, sociologically, morally. You would be doing your son a gross and damaging disservice. For yourself you would invite, and earn, broad contempt. If your opinions became publicly known, you might well find yourself unwelcome in polite company and your job at risk…for harboring roughly the same level of suspicion, fear, mistrust, distaste, and unease about whites…the essayist and blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates has found himself crowned America’s leading civic thinker.

Egypt is vying for the title of “the largest jailer of peaceful political opponents in the world.”

This man is a self-described “archivist and historian.” Of denim jeans. Which he digs for in silver mines.

Muahahahahaha!

We can no longer have political debates in America because we don’t even agree on what’s real.

Able-bodied adult male “refugees” bitch about how horrible the refugee camp is, with its slow internet and whatnot.

RAF airman ordered moved from hospital waiting room because staff says “other cultures” might be offended by his uniform. RIP Britain.

Totally agree with Schlichter here. Cruz can’t win, Rubio and Fiorina are the only ones I don’t completely despise, everyone else sucks or is out of the race.

DEA agents caught dealing drugs, lying, attending sex parties allowed to keep their jobs of course, because it’s almost impossible to get fired from a government job.

New dinosaur species discovered that lived above the Arctic Circle, the furthest north dinosaurs have ever been found.

“Watch adults encourage this confused child to probably ruin his life.” 14 years old. Fourteen.

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Afternoon Art Break

“Autumn Effect at Argenteuil”
Claude Monet (1873)

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Music Monday

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Afternoon Art Break

“Pandora”
John William Waterhouse (1898)

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Weekend Links

Artist Alexey Kondakov imagines figures from classical paintings as part of contemporary life

It’s not Israel doing it, so no one cares.

This is insane. Police arrest coach for saying a bad word to an off-duty police officer.

You won’t hear it on the news, but Obama’s ISIS intel scandal is growing. HPSCI, SSCI, multiple IGs now investigating.

Lol. Somebody wake me when a “new” and “modern” progressive policy doesn’t involve the same old combo of price controls, taxes, subsidies, mandates, more spending, etc.

Not The Onion

A macaque monkey who took now-famous selfie photographs should be declared the copyright owner of the photos, rather than the nature photographer who positioned the camera, animal-rights activists (PETA) contend in a novel lawsuit filed Tuesday.

This Williamson post on Oreos and capitalism brings to mind the coffee scene from “Moscow On The Hudson.”

Why can’t the next Secretary of the Army be a veteran?

US says it loses track of rebels once they enter Syria. Division 30 says they warned US one of their guys was al Qaeda. Again, if this were a Republican president this epic clusterfuck would be all you would hear about day and night.

Was Hamlet fat?

“This irritated people, because the changes were said to be “gender appropriate”, and ruined the more innocent feel Swift lent to the song by mentioning the word ‘ass.’ Some suggested that it meant his masculinity was fragile, because he couldn’t sing about loving a man.” I just rolled my eyes so hard I think I injured myself.

“Supreme Leader revives feared intelligence unit of IRGC.” Great. Just great.

The history of the French frame

I’m so glad I found a man years ago. Between this and man-buns…god help you, single ladies.

Wait, there were people that thought this was a spontaneous thing? LOL, guys. You’re adorable.

This is awesome. Your feel good story of the day.

Imagined meetings with Joyce, Dickens, Hardy, and Lawrence

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