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February 28, 2014

Let The Judgement Begin

Wellll, allrighty then! If I'd known Jimmy Fallon would cause this much of an uproar I'd have looked for something specifically a long time ago. There were so many entries this week, I couldn't just narrow it down to three. So, for the first time ever, there will be a top ten. Yes, the Dark Lord is feeling magnanamous tonight. I had the opportunity to gaze upon and judge potential lords of science - Darkness as yet to be determined - yesterday and enjoyed myself tremendously. So you lucky villains get to share in the good feelings.
Take it while you get it.
Now, to the judgement and old business:

Like last week, a reminder of our current caption picture:

However, unlike other weeks, and since this week is a top ten, I'm going to start at the bottom and work up.
So, let's get to it.

Starting off our list this week is George Pal coming in at number ten - "Jimmy prays To the Muse Thalia for an uncanned laugh."

Making his first appearance in the list this week (because he apparently had nothing else to do, but I'm not complaining) is spd rdr at number nine - "Oh no! " Jimmy thought suddenly, "Did I remember to bring the cat in?"

frequent flyer drops in out of the clouds at number eight with - "Afraid of the long list of possible side effects listed in Cialis commercials, Jimmy joined a group session that used the time-tested and all-natural method for erectile dysfunction.
The Therapist did her best. Though it worked for others, from the expression on his face--his body language--and his hands folded in his lap, it didn't work for Jimmy."

Ron F. rolls a lucky numba seven and wins Double Entendre points for - "Not gonna get caught gaping for Facebook and YouTube! Not gonna get caught, nope, nope, nope.
But it's so hard ...."

And a second dose of spd rdr rounds out the bottom half of this week's list at number six - "Her campaign for the Texas governor sagging following allegations that stories of her struggles as a destitute single mother were highly embellished, Wendy Davis took to the Town Hall circuit to demonstrate to voters her qualifications as the only candidate with actual experience 'birthin' babies.'"

And now this:

The top half of the list sees George Pal again, this time at number five with a vocabulary lesson in observation - "ennui
en-nui |änˈwē| noun
1. ...
2. a feeling of listlessness during a kegel demonstration"

While Grim is obviously still thinking about snow in Georgia at number four - "Hey Jimmy, how 'bout that weather we've been having, huh?"
"Yeah, it's been very... clear."

And frequent flyer, on a return flight, makes a fine three-point landing with - "In an attempt to bolster sagging ratings, and attract more of the coveted 18-30 demographics, Americas Got Talent added an adult-themed category."

Now I've come to the top two. And quite frankly, they're interchangeable in my mind. I love the petulant snarkiness of one, yet the imagery evoked by the other is snort-worthy everytime I read it. So, with that in mind...,

Coming in at number two is the ever-so snarky petulance of Yu-ain Gonnano's - "If you want attention, act like Miley Cyrus, they said."
You'll be popular, they said."

Which means this week's "Numba One" is spd rdr, who was obviously on a roll this week, with - "Madonna's nightmare never varied."

Obscure Movie references go to both ObloodyHell and frequent flyer for: (in order)

2016 headlines, Today:
Needless to say, the 2015 remake of Perfect, with Jimmy Fallon in the John Travolta role, though it was popular with the NY critics, absolutely tanked at the box office.


Did you ever see the movie "A Clockwork Orange"?
"Jimmy, having undergone aversion therapy, was sickened by the very sight of a beautiful woman. He couldn't bear to look at her--he averted his eyes......"

Well, that's it for this week, villains. You've been judged and, once again, found most hilarious. Congrats to the winners and thanks to everyone who participated for creating a fantastic week of comments.
Outstanding job.
A new caption contest will be up shortly.

Posted by DL Sly at 08:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 26, 2014

Oh Yeah, They Really Said That

East entrance to Glacier Park.jpg

Some people. Ya gotta love 'em, even when they're this "Pragmatically Challenged". I mean, I'm sure some of them "mean well",...well, okay, there are a few that think they're just staying in some nouveau rustic hotel -- a hotel without any walls, electricity, bathrooms, or housekeeping for that matter,....I just wish they wouldn't vote. The following are just a few of the comments left by hikers on Forest Service registration forms at the end of their trip.

"Escalators would help on steep uphill sections."
"A small deer came into my camp and stole my bag of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed? Please call."
"Instead of a permit system or regulations, the Forest Service needs to reduce worldwide population growth to limit the number of visitors to wilderness."
"Ban walking sticks in wilderness. Hikers that use walking sticks are more likely to chase animals.

"Found a smoldering cigarette left by a horse."
"Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill."
"Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the area of these pests."
"Please pave the trails so they can be plowed of snow in the winter."
"Chairlifts need to be in some places so that we can get to wonderful views without having to hike to them."
"The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals."

My three favorites from these wise and worldly travellers?
"Need more signs to keep area pristine."
"A McDonald's would be nice at the trailhead."
And, last but certainly not least (hilarious), "The places where trails do not exist are not well marked."

Well, of course not! How else are we knuckle-dragging, Bible-clinging, gun-toting conservatives supposed to meet in private to drink copious amounts of beer and make plans for world domination?
Silly people.

Posted by DL Sly at 07:07 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Shocker: Risky Sex Is Risky For *Both* Men and Women

Via another excellent and evenhanded essay by Cathy Young, the Editorial Staff are disturbed to learn that the National Organization for Offended Womyn is calling for the firing of James Taranto:

The subject of alcohol and sexual assault, particularly among college students, has generated much sound and fury recently. A few months ago, there was the outcry over Emily Yoffe’s Slate.com article arguing that we should be more outspoken in warning young women that heavy drinking puts them at risk of rape. Now, Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto is under heavy fire, accused of arguing that rape victims who are drunk are just as guilty as their rapists.

Taranto, whose past commentary includes blaming too much female education for the downfall of marriage, is not a particularly sympathetic figure when it comes to gender issues. But on this occasion, he’s getting a bum rap, and his column makes an important (and egregiously misinterpreted) point that needs to be made: A lot of current rhetoric wrongly conflates drunk sex and rape—and perpetuates a blatantly sexist double standard.

The "Ready-FIRE!-Aim" response seems to be NOW's default answer to any argument they don't like. Rather than marshaling their inherently-equal brain cells to craft a reasoned rebuttal, their first impulse is to threaten and intimidate anyone who disagrees with them. Their claim that women can handle anything men can (so long as that list doesn't include drinking alcohol, doing pullups, exercising reasonable discretion in their choice of sexual partners, simple budgeting, or participating in public policy debates in a dispassionate and civilized manner) cannot and must not be questioned.

As it happens, we actually read the offending column the day it came out and - despite previous objections to Mr. Taranto's rhetoric and reasoning when it comes to the mare's nest of "gender issues" - we couldn't see a single thing wrong with what he said or the way he said it. His column was measured in tone, impeccably reasoned, well written, and thankfully avoided the one-sidedness that has landed him in hot water with us in the past. All in all, it was an admirable piece of work that we would have been more than proud to call our own.

It's hard to see how anyone could object to it.

Mr. Taranto did not, as NOW dishonestly alleges. assert that rape victims are just as much to blame as their attackers:

In his Monday Wall Street Journal column, James Taranto stated that in sexual assault cases where both the victim and rapist are drunk -- both parties are equally to blame for the attack.

Taranto even went as far as to compare rape to a car crash involving two drunk drivers saying, "one doesn't determine fault on the basis of demographic details such as each driver's sex."

The point Taranto actually made is lucid, astute, and devastating. In his column, he asks a simple question: "If alcohol consumption presumptively renders women incapable of consenting to sex, then wouldn't intoxication have exactly the same effect on their male partners?"

This point is so clear and compelling that it's not hard to see why NOW - despite their frequent assertions that women are just as intelligent and capable as men - would try to silence Mr. Taranto instead of responding to his argument on the merits.

On the merits, there is no principled rebuttal to Mr. Taranto's point - at least for an organization that claims to support equal treatment of men and women under the law. Ms. Young does a fine job of exposing the lunacy behind the "alcohol incapacitates ostensibly-equal women, but not men" argument:

...if sexual assault is defined as drunk sex that one later feels was unwanted, the gender gap may not be that huge: several studies find that male college students are almost as likely as their female peers to have such experiences. In a 2005 survey of 2,400 students at the University of New Hampshire, 11 percent of women and 8 percent of men reported having sex when “too drunk to consent” in the past six months.

To a large extent, the double standards reflect a decidedly pre-feminist, conservative mindset that lingers despite women’s liberation: sex is something men get from women. Many social conservatives would no doubt argue that this assumption is based on natural distinctions and that trying to get rid of it is both futile and harmful. Some of those conservatives, including Taranto, regard the crusade to redefine rape as evidence that women can’t handle sexual freedom: take away traditional norms of male chivalry and female chastity, and young women will end up feeling hurt and used by sex-seeking men and clamoring for special protections.

Actually, there is little evidence that, outside a dedicated core of activists, college women are demanding special protections from drunk or reckless sex. (Reports of women feeling victimized by the campus “hookup culture” are greatly exaggerated.) Yet the activists, for all their feminist rhetoric, are indeed promoting a disturbingly paternalistic view of women. A man who has too much to drink and wakes up in bed with someone he wouldn’t have chosen to sleep with when sober may feel embarrassed or queasy, but he is generally expected to move on and perhaps learn from his mistake. A woman who has the same experience is encouraged to see it as devastating, traumatic—and not her fault.

Taranto's column was written in response to an excellent article in the NY Times about programs that encourage young people to look out for each other and step in when they see intoxicated fellow students - male or female - endangering themselves. This is good advice, and in response, Mr. Taranto made another point that deserves to be repeated (and not just because we've made that point so many times): men and women who voluntarily ingest large quantities of alcohol or drugs are behaving recklessly. Contrary to what a disturbingly large number of conservatives maintain, this behavior isn't just reckless and harmful when women do it. It's reckless and harmful when men do it, too:

Whom exactly did Martel save from danger? The answer is quite possibly both the young woman and his friend. Had she awakened the next day feeling regretful and violated, she could have brought him up on charges and severely disrupted his life. Both of them were taking foolish risks, and it seems likely that he as well as she had impaired judgment owing to excessive drinking.

Winerip notes that between 2005 and 2010, "more than 60 percent of claims involving sexual violence handled by United Educators"--an insurance company owned by member schools--"involved young women who were so drunk they had no clear memory of the assault." We know from Sgt. Cournoyer that the accused young men typically are drinking to excess, too. What is called the problem of "sexual assault" on campus is in large part a problem of reckless alcohol consumption, by men and women alike. (Based on our reporting, the same is true in the military, at least in the enlisted and company-grade officer ranks.)

The problem with so many identity politics movements who claim to want only equal rights is that over time, it turns out that their real goal is not equality but preferential treatment: delivered via government-enforced "equal outcomes" that limit choice and ignore real world incentives and behavior.

This is not just true of feminists, by the way. We are seeing the same weak arguments from the more radical of the men's rights crowd. Taranto's argument deserves to be taken seriously, not used as a flimsy pretext for shutting down discussion.

If you agree, please link to his column and give him your full support. Thuggish intimidation and heavy handed persecution are not fit tactics for debate in a free society. I believe Mr. Taranto's point is an excellent one that deserves our support, our attention, and hopefully, wider dissemination.

Fair is fair. Or at least it should be in any discussion, the purported goal of which is "equality".

Posted by Cassandra at 07:56 AM | Comments (32) | TrackBack

February 25, 2014

Off On A Tangent...

Grim has a fun post up about jokes that require you be a *little* smarter than a fifth grader to understand. At the end of the list (you can tell by the number, btw, not to mention the fact that there aren't any more jokes afterward 0>;~}), is this:

25. A programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.” The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.

And it got me to thinking of this gem...

I now return you to your regularly scheduled snark, and "stimulating conversation" as Mike D. so eloquently put it ....

Posted by DL Sly at 10:51 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

A Classic Take(n) Down

Facebook has apparently jumped the shark and rewrote their site to allow up to 50 different gender choices. Now comes, from over at The People's Blog, a little mood music for those who are *Decisionally Challenged*...

"The problem is not inside your head" she said to me.
"The answer is easy if you change your sexuality
I'd like to help you in your struggle to be free
There must be fifty ways to name your gender"
She said "It's really not my habit to intrude
Furthermore, I hope your gender isn't lost or misconstrued
But I'll repeat myself and ask you if you lube?
There must be fifty ways to name your gender
Fifty ways to name your gender"

It's prime snark in the First Degree.

Posted by DL Sly at 12:49 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Finally: A Plan to Stop Income Inequality Before It Kills Us All

Income inequality - the distressing fact that some people *have* (ignorant folk might say "earn", but we all know that's just crazy talk) more money than other people - is a Very Big Problem.

In fact, economic injustice may just turn out to be the defining challenge of our time (this, according to members of the evil, Chinese toy-loving 1% income bracket whose selfish refusal to 'do their part' is single-handedly preventing the rest of us from achieving the American Dream:

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama earned $608,611 in adjusted gross income in 2012, down 23 percent from 2011 as royalties from the president’s books kept declining, tax returns showed.

Obama and his wife paid $112,214 in federal income taxes, according to the returns released yesterday, for an 18.4 percent rate. That’s less than the 20.5 percent rate they paid the year before.

While still making more than 10 times the U.S. median income, they made less money in 2012 than in any year since 2004, when Obama -- then a state legislator -- was running for the U.S. Senate in Illinois and started attracting national attention.

By taking widely used deductions for state and local taxes, mortgage interest and charitable contributions, the Obamas were able to get themselves out of the top marginal tax bracket, which was 35 percent last year.

And before you knuckle draggers start asking ignorant questions like, "Why is a man who thinks rich people ought to do the right thing and pay more taxes working so hard to avoid paying his so-called 'fair share'?", we have two words for you:

Warren Buffet.

Admit it: the remorseless logic of the War on Income Inequality is undeniable and inescapable. Income brackets are inherently divisive and unfair. Why should one person get to be in the top 20% of wage earners while another who made different choices or has different talents has to settle for being in the bottom 20%? Why can't we all be in the top 20%? Surely a great nation can find a way for every single person to become a selfish, money-hogging oppressor of the proletariat?

That's how we'll know when things are finally fair enough in America. When we're all equal, we'll be forced to outsource our economic exploitation of the under classes to Third World nations. In the meantime, baby steps:

Why ban Harvard? Simple. It is well known in the empirical literature that one of the drivers of increasing inequality is a change in the way people match themselves up – mostly in families, but also in other ways of interacting. The simple story was that in the 1950s there was much more marriage and relating across classes than there is today. The “typical” married couples today consist of highly educated people marrying highly educated people and lowly educated people (at lower rates) marry people from their same educational and income class. This perpetuates and deepens inequality. Of course, where does most of the high-talent, high-income, high-class sorting happen? At the elite colleges. Ban them and then you fix that “problem.”

...Other reasons to ban Harvard on inequality grounds should be obvious. If you take the view that education is a way to enhance productivity, and you understand that those folks who are already more productive and more privileged are more likely and more prepared for Harvard, then by banning Harvard you would reduce the already large advantage the already productive people have. After all, Harvard can’t possibly enroll, in equal shares, the less productive members of society along with the more productive members. AND … there are not enough good colleges in the US to ensure that we represent people across the skill, income, productivity distribution in equal proportions, so the only obvious choice is to ban Harvard.

If you take the view that education does nothing to improve productivity but instead acts as a signal, that would seem to be even MORE reason to ban Harvard. In other words, the reason Harvard grads get paid so well upon graduation is that the mere act of graduating from Harvard reveals a signal that they are indeed more productive workers. This signal is easier for truly rich and bright people to obtain and harder for the less fortunate to obtain. Therefore, by eliminating the signal entirely, it would be harder for the truly productive to signal this to future employers (and mates) and we would therefore have a pooling equilibrium wherein inequality is reduce. So again it is obvious that we should ban Harvard.

We shouldn't stop with closing the President's alma mater, though. We need to find all the causes of income inequality and fix them the way the ACA fixed insurance inequality. Marriage inequality is a big problem, for one thing. And since we very well can't expect poor people to change their behavior, the obvious solution is for rich folk to stop making choices that widen the gap between the top and bottom income brackets:

One of the differences between the haves and the have-nots is that the haves tend to marry and give birth, in that order. The have-nots tend to have babies and remain unmarried. Marriage makes a difference. Heritage reports that among white married couples, the poverty rate in 2009 was just 3.2%; for white nonmarried families, the rate was 22%. Among black married couples, the poverty rate was only 7%, but the rate for non-married black families was 35.6%.

Marriage inequality is a substantial reason why income inequality exists.

And then there's assortative mating. BRING BACK HYPERGAMY!!!!

If marriages occurred randomly across educational categories, Greenwood and his co-authors show, the Gini coefficient for household income in the U.S. in 2005 would decline to 0.34 from 0.43. (The coefficient falls as inequality decreases.) That would more than offset the entire increase in inequality that has occurred since the late 1960s. (This comparison is not entirely fair because even in the late 1960s, some assortative mating occurred. Nonetheless, it shows how large the effect is.)

Marital sorting also affects women’s participation in the workforce. Since the 1970s, the correlation between the wages of husband and wife has doubled, Christian Bredemeier and Falko Juessen of the University of Dortmund found. Over the same period, wives of high-income men have increased their working hours more than wives of low-income husbands have.

In the 1970s, wives with high-earning husbands tended to work fewer hours than other wives did. Assortative mating changed the pattern.

And all these women working outside the home. That has definitely got to stop.

In general, the "greedy rich" owe their ill-gotten gains to three factors: they stay in school, they work longer hours, and they reside in dual income households:


Looking at the median number of wage earners in various income brackets is instructive:


The conclusion is both obvious and beautifully simple: wealthy married households are taking all the jobs. Once upon a time, womynfolk knew their place. They stayed home and let their husbands support them. All this women's liberation nonsense has made things worse, not better.

Good Lord. We might have stumbled upon something the Left and Right can agree with.

Posted by Cassandra at 07:40 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

"Do As We Say, Not As We Do"


Women, like so many other groups, seem not to be dedicated to fulfilling the prevailing fetish among the intelligentsia that every demographic group should be equally represented in all sorts of places.

Women have their own agendas, and if these agendas do not usually include computer engineering, what is to be done? Draft women into engineering schools to satisfy the preconceptions of our self-anointed saviors? Or will a propaganda campaign be sufficient to satisfy those who think that they should be making other people's choices for them?

That kind of thinking is how we got ObamaCare.

Funny how the remedy to a perceived lack of "fairness" always seems to involve someone else deciding what you should value and how you should spend your money or time.

Posted by Cassandra at 07:36 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

February 24, 2014

Try This Next Time

The human body is an amazing, self-healing machine. A year or so ago, I found in my inbox one of those *life hack* kind of emails that purports to give you alternatives to well-known cures for little things in life. I don't remember the vast majority of them, but one did stick in my head because I had opportunity to try it the very day I received the email. What is it, you ask?


The next time you burn yourself, don't rush for the ice or cold water to cool it down. Instead, the key is to return the skin to it's normal temp as soon as possible. So put your other hand, fingers, what have you, over the burn and keep it there until you feel the heat diminish in the burned area. It really works. I've used this method for everything from hot water scalds to grease burns to extreme burns like you'd get from this fireplace and have not had even so much as a red mark, much less blisters, from a burn in well over a year now. In fact, last week, I was putting the chunks of wood pictured into the fireplace when I accidentally dragged all of my fingertips across the bottom metal piece. It took several minutes, but I finally managed to return all my fingertips to normal temperature by alternately pressing them gently into the palm of my other hand and onto other body parts - the crease of my elbow, etc. In the end, no blisters, no redness and just a little bit of tenderness on the tips of my fingers where the skin had touched the metal. That went away by the next morning.
Yes, the Human Body is an amazing machine.....errr, animal....whatever.

Posted by DL Sly at 02:27 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

February 21, 2014

Caption Contest

After the last week's fantastic answers, I'm curious to see what you come up with for this:


Have at it, villains.
May the Farce be with you!

Posted by DL Sly at 04:56 PM | Comments (45) | TrackBack

Let The Judgement Begin - Double, Super Secret Edition

I know you think I've forgotten, but I haven't. I was just waiting for the VD edition to run it's course, as well as giving time for any other thoughts on the first picture, before moving along. As usual, you guys were on top of your game. This was excruciatingly fun.
So, on to the judgements and old business:

First up, to refresh your memory -

Again, landing in the number one slot is frequent flyer for "Save the planet!" (pant) "Save the planet!" (pant) "Save the planet!" (pant)........."

Second place goes to Yu-Ain Gonnano's "And here we have an example of the tiny equipment that typically gets laughs.

Also pictured, a racing scooter."

And, bringing up the rear, because she flounces oh so well, is our own Blog Princess for "Secretary Kerry! Is that you???"

That's the first of our double, super secret judgements.

And now, the second judgement:

Again, a refresher -
Chicken and wine.png

Appearing out of the mists of Mordor to snatch first place this week is Frodo with, "Angry after the other chickens ridiculed his beret, Clive took his bottle and left."

Second place goes to our ever-inventive spd rdr for "Jacques' long slide into dunkenness and debauchery began when Henriette decamped for America with the devil-may-care Road Runner."

And grabbing the last spot for this week is afe for his recruiting poster-esque "Is new recruiting poster pour la militaire Francaise! I want YOU to be le big chicken en l'armee de Republique!

L'amee c'est tres moderne, with latest beret jaunty styles straight from Prada and Hermes! Le kit standarde por le poilu includes cigarette holder natty, and le vin grande reserve, pour la esprit insouciant utmost!

Be the chicken biggest you can be en L'Armee Francaise!"

Best Walk Down Memory Lane, and also Longest Caption Explanation, goes to frequent flyer for "Maybe you have to be a certain age--but does anyone else remember Arte Johnson from Laugh-In as the yellow raincoat clad adult on a tricycle? The 5-second clip would always show him stopping and tipping over.

(Gary Owens)--'Here's the news ABOUT the news--without which it wouldn't BE the news--In the news of the future, Laugh-In was re-launched in a bid to save the failing NBC network. Here's an updated version of Arte Johnson looking ridiculous--practicing his old routine.'
Found a clip of Arte Johnson on his trike http://www.timvp.com/laughin30.jpg"

Best Obscure Political Reference Coupled with a Delicious Recipe belongs to spd rdr for "Security cameras picked up fugitive secrets-leaker Edward Snowden shortly before being was apprehended yesterday attempting to sneak across the Turkish border from Russia using a fraudulent French passport. Mr. Snowden is being "processed through normal channels" and will be "made available about dinner time" said government spokesman Tavuk Izgara."

And, finally, best Obscure Song Reference (and bonus points will be awarded to anyone who can name the musical from whence it comes), the Blog Princess', "Cluck, be a lady toniiiiiiiiiiiiight!"

That's it, villains! You've been judged and found most hilarious.
Outstanding job.
A new caption contest is forthcoming.

Posted by DL Sly at 10:42 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Drug War Facts and Myths

Via the always-interesting Charles Lane:

... the data do make one thing clear: If the goal of the war on drugs is to limit demand for drugs, then you can’t say the authorities are losing. According to federally sponsored surveys that track drug usage, the rate of current-month powder and crack cocaine use dropped by half in the past 10 years. Meth use fell by a third; heroin use has remained flat.

True, marijuana use rose slightly overall — but it fell among 12- to 17-year-olds, a result that even legalizers should applaud since they generally don’t favor allowing minors to smoke.

Meanwhile, even as drug prohibition continued, violent crime and property crime fell, dramatically. Not only did the number of murders in the United States decrease from 24,703 in 1991 to 14,612 in 2011 but drug-related murders declined from 1,607 to 505, according to Justice Department statistics. Some 6.5 percent of murders were related to drugs in 1991, but only 3.4 percent were in 2011.

The drug arrest rate fell from 142.1 per 100,000 in 1991 to 97.8 per 100,000 in 2011. Yes, blacks were still 3.9 times more likely to be busted for drugs than whites in 2011 — but that ratio was down nearly 50 percent from the one recorded 20 years earlier.

Marijuana arrests account for a bigger share of drug arrests these days, 44.3 percent in 2011 vs. 22.4 percent in 1991. But when you compare marijuana arrests to actual days of marijuana usage — busts per toke, so to speak — the story’s different. By this measure, “enforcement intensity” fell 42 percent between 2007 and 2012, according to drug-policy expert Keith Humphreys of Stanford University.

Some “war.” It’s a myth that prisons are full of low-level pot smokers. Less than 1 percent of the state and federal prison population is doing time for pot possession alone; most of these prisoners are dealers who pleaded guilty to possession in return for a lesser sentence, according to the 2012 study “Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know,” published by Oxford University Press.

I've never understood most of the drug war hype. Drugs erode self control and drug addicts often have trouble holding a job or supporting themselves. Yet they still need to feed their addiction - so much so that many of them commit horrific crimes to secure their next fix.

The argument that something-or-other has made things "worse" presupposes a "better" baseline. It also assumes something we cannot know - what would have happened to that baseline if our culprit-du-jour never materialized?

Posted by Cassandra at 07:03 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

February 20, 2014

Friday Odds And Ends

[bumped to top]

No guns.JPG

Yeah, yeah, yeah....that's the ticket!

Administrators at a school in the South Suburbs of Chicago are up in arms over a state law (House Bill 0183) that requires schools to post small signs announcing that guns cannot be carried in schools.

The new law relates to a new concealed-carry license law, reports the SouthtownStar, a suburban newspaper. Schools in Illinois did not allow guns previously. Now, though, schools — and government agencies, liquor stores and certain other organizations — must post 4-by-6-inch stickers as visible reminders that guns are forbidden on premises.


Some school officials aren’t happy about the stickers because they contain a very basic image of a gun.

“It is bothersome to have to post a sticker of a gun that says, ‘Hey, folks, leave your guns at home,’” Theresa Nolan, principal of Tinley Park High School, told the SouthtownStar.

Nolan stressed that she is very concerned with “safety and security” and concerned that, somehow, someone could wrongly interpret an image of a gun emblazoned with the universal sign for prohibiting something.

“I think the general public will be alarmed by it and wonder if people have been allowed to bring guns to school in the past,” Nolan also fretted.

She said she would prefer “something more subtle.”

[emphasis mine]

Well, it *is* Chicago, I guess she thinks they should put up signs with pencils to tell people "Don't bring a knife to a gun fight." Or maybe just this:

Shirley you jest!


As the “Greatest Show on Earth” returns to Brooklyn Thursday, circus folk fear a national clown shortage is on the horizon.

Membership at the country’s largest trade organizations for the jokesters has plunged over the past decade as declining interest, old age and higher standards among employers align against Krusty, Bozo and their crimson-nosed colleagues.


“What’s happening is attrition,” said Clowns of America International President Glen Kohlberger, who added that membership at the Florida-based organization has plummeted since 2006. “The older clowns are passing away.”

“The challenge is getting younger people involved in clowning,” said Association President Deanna (Dee Dee) Hartmier, who said most of her members are over 40.


“What happens is they go on to high school and college and clowning isn’t cool anymore,” he said. “Clowning is then put on the back burner until their late 40s and early 50s.”

Funny, I would think that with all the retiring politicians that wouldn't be a problem.

Speaking of clowns....


Best side of the moon.png
Tip O'the Stetson (I think): PowerLine's Week in Pix



little voice.jpg

However, the Clown of the Week award goes to Sheikh Mohammed Yusuf, Imam of the Amena mosque in the UAE - yeah, seriously, not the dude in the pic above, but you'll see why.

Religious clerics in the UAE have issued a fatwa against one-way trips to Mars, arguing that inhabiting the Red Planet goes against Islamic teachings.

"Such a one-way journey poses a real risk to life, and that can never be justified in Islam,” ruled the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment, the Dubai-based Khaleej Times reported.

“There is a possibility that an individual who travels to planet Mars may not be able to remain alive there, and is more vulnerable to death,” the committee said.


The committee argued that trying to dwell on Mars would be so hazardous as to be suicidal and killing oneself is not permitted by Islam, the Khaleej Times said."

Achmed the Dead Terrorist.png

Posted by DL Sly at 10:47 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

February 19, 2014

What We Know (That Isn't Necessarily So) About Sex

A few tidbits on this list of "gender myths" also amused our reverse side away extremely.

1. On the question of whether men desire more sex partners than women... well, it depends on whether you're interested in what the typical man/woman wants or an average calculated from what all men/women want. We would guess what most people really want to know is what the typical person wants. The average doesn't map to an "average person":

If you ask a lot of men and women how many sex partners they'd want in a given period of time, the numbers provided by men average higher than the women's numbers. But it seems that a few randy fellows at the top are skewing the results as a whole.

Calculating an average does not always give you the clearest view of the data. (If, for example, researchers asked 10 men how many sex partners they wanted in the next year and nine said "one," while one said "20," the average would be 2.9, and you might expect that any given man wants about three sex partners in a year.)

If you look instead at the "typical" response to the question of how many partners people want, you find that the majority of both men and women offer the same answer: one.

Again, survey responses may be more about what people believe they should say, rather than what they really want, Conley said. That issue may be exacerbated because most sexual preference studies are conducted using college students, she added, and the young men are eager to conform to expectations of masculinity.

How about how many sexual partners men and women actually have? Studies generally find that men report more partners than women. But in 2003, researchers reported in the Journal of Sex Research that if you trick research participants into believing that they are hooked up to a lie-detector test, men report the same number of sexual partners as women.

2. On whether men think about sex more than women do... Yes, but then they think about other things more too:

In a study published in 2011 in the Journal of Sex Research, psychologists asked research participants to record their thoughts throughout the day. They found that men pondered sex 18 times a day to a woman's 10 times a day, but men also thought about food and sleep proportionately more than women. That suggests sex doesn't hold as vaunted a position for men as you might expect.

3. On the whole hypergamy/hypogamy thing:

An underpinning of evolutionary psychology is that men look for sexy women who are likely to provide them with attractive, healthy offspring, while women are more concerned than men about getting a high-status mate who can be a good provider.

When psychologists ask research subjects (mostly college students) to imagine their ideal mate, that is indeed what they typically find. But when people in an actual speed-dating event rated the importance of attractiveness and status, these gender differences evaporated, according to a 2008 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

When the research participants met potential dates face to face, there was no difference in the way they rated their romantic interest based on those people's attractiveness and earnings. So it seems real-world attraction may go beyond simple stereotypes.

Shocking, isn't it?

4. Women are more selective than men. Is this biology? Or culture? Or some combination?

A 2009 study published in Psychological Science found that people are choosier when they're approached by a potential partner, and less choosy when they're doing the approaching. The experiment, conducted in a real-life speed-dating environment, showed that when men rotated through women who stayed seated in the same spot, the women were more selective about whom they chose to date. When the women did the rotating, it was the guys who were pickier.

Posted by Cassandra at 06:09 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

What We Know (About Science, At Least)

We've been discussing attitudes towards science vs. religion, so when we ran across this quiz about general scientific knowledge, we had to take it:

There's room for improvement in the United States when it comes to science literacy.

The average American scores 6.5 correct answers in response to these 9 questions covering basic physical and biological science, according to the results of the 2012 General Social Survey, conducted by the National Opinion Research Center.

Much to our surprise, we got a perfect score. That almost never happens, by the way. That's even more surprising considering the Editorial Staff never took physics or chemistry in high school or college. The bar seems to be set awfully low here.

Posted by Cassandra at 06:03 AM | Comments (46) | TrackBack

February 18, 2014

How You Know Mom Still Loves You

Elephant tea:


Posted by Cassandra at 02:20 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Coffee Snorters: Cold Hell Edition

In an article luridly titled, "Wild Winter's Looming Dangers!", the folks at NBC offer an Important Tip For Surviving All This Climate Change. Whatever you do, don't stand directly underneath those ginormous icicles hanging from your roof:

Sure, they're beautiful. But they can also be heavy projectiles.

If you're one of the millions of Americans socked in by this winter's serial snowstorms, the approach of warmer weather must be welcome. But be careful what you wish for. All of that snow and ice has to go somewhere when it melts — and that means monster icicles.

"Certainly, a business or a home with icicles forming over a walkway or an entryway, they are a hazard," said Dan Sincock, deputy fire chief of Elmira, N.Y.

While it's rare, it is possible for icicles — which can grow to 2 feet long and balloon to 30 pounds as they thaw and refreeze — to come crashing down on your head,

The Editorial Staff have taken this sage advice to heart:

"You're going to want to take a broom — maybe a roof rake — and stand away as best you can and brush across them to knock them down," Robert Ferrier, a fire lieutenant in Agawam, Mass., told NBC station WWLP of Springfield.

"We don't want you looking up," he said.

It is well known that America is an extremely dangerous place. As if all those pasty white guys running about waving handguns weren't bad enough, it seems that the United States is especially prone to "violent weather". So if you must venture outside, make sure you consult a professional journalist first to get the latest scoop on surviving the polar vortex:

And above all, guard your eyeballs. Because they could totally freeze out there.

Update: OK, we totally did not expect this:

What State Do You Actually Belong In?

You got: Louisiana

You’re the life of any party and someone who is great to have on your side. You can probably drink like 10-15 beers at once. Not even in succession, at once. You’re a creative person, and even if you get a little wild from time to time, you’re a good person to know no matter what.

You know, we say that sort of thing to ourselves every morning when we wake up and look in the bathroom mirror. We are a good person to know.

No matter what.

Today's winner in Affordable Care Act winners and losers... Medical coders:

There are different numbers for getting struck or bitten by a turkey (W61.42 or W61.43). There are codes for injuries caused by squirrels (W53.21) and getting hit by a motor vehicle while riding an animal (V80.919), spending too much time in a deep-freeze refrigerator (W93.2) and a large toe that has gone unexpectedly missing (Z89.419).

At the AAPC conference in San Francisco, the organization sold shot glasses inscribed with “F10.950” — the code for an unspecified alcohol-induced psychotic disorder. “Give ICD-10 a shot!” it says in blue script.

Hospitals and insurers have fought the new codes, calling them a massive regulatory burden that will cost them billions of dollars to implement without improving patient care. For years, their protests succeeded: The federal government has twice delayed implementing the new code set, which was initially set for 2008.

ICD-10 proponents contend that adding specificity to medical diagnoses will provide a huge boon to the country. It will be easier for public health researchers, for example, to see warning signs of a possible flu pandemic — and easier for insurers to root out fraudulent claims.

“How many times are people going to be bitten by an orca? Probably not very many,” said Lynne Thomas Gordon, chief executive of the American Health Information Management Association. “But what if you’re a researcher trying to find that? You can just press a button and find that information.”

Just think how much fun it will be when all our medical records are available online! Good luck keeping that regrettable gerbil incident dark.

Posted by Cassandra at 05:33 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

February 17, 2014

Another Beautiful Liberal Narrative Slain by "Science"

Aren't these religious folks supposed to be burning scientists at the stake or something?

The supposed rift between science and religion has led to the commonly held view that Christians overtly dismiss the sciences. But a new study released by Rice University actually finds that evangelicals are more likely than the general public to believe that science and faith can work together.

Sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund recently conducted the study, titled, “Religious Understandings of Science,” which found that only 38 percent of the general public believes that “science and religion can work in collaboration.”

That said, the proportion of evangelicals was even higher.

“We found that nearly 50 percent of evangelicals believe that science and religion can work together and support one another,” she said in a press release announcing the results.

This wasn’t the only fascinating find. The results also indicated that scientists aren’t far off from the rest of the public when it comes to attendance at weekly religious services. While 20 percent of the U.S. attends church each week, so do 18 percent of scientists.

Additionally, while 19 percent of the U.S. considers itself very religious, 15 percent of scientists report feeling the same. Similar results were found when it comes to the weekly reading of religious texts (17 percent versus 13.5 percent).

And while 26 percent of the general populace prays several times per day, so do 19 percent of scientists.

Bonus question: does this make Bill Nye a "Science Denier"?

Posted by Cassandra at 11:01 AM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

"Iffy" Prosecution Watch

What constitutes an "iffy" case? If you answered, "One where a senior military leader admits violating the UCMJ by carrying on an adulterous affair for 3 years with a subordinate", or "one where four other subordinates have come forward claiming inappropriate conduct (including pressuring them to send him nude photos)", you win today's "FACTS??? We don't need no stinkin' facts!" award:

Hmm. Awful lot of iffy discipline cases among the military brass lately.

We've covered the ongoing (and, so far as we can tell, completely baseless) suggestions that holding senior military leaders accountable for following the rules they get paid to enforce somehow amounts a politically motivated witch hunt here, here, and here.

The facts are that Sinclair admits carrying on a 3 year affair with a subordinate. He has offered to plead guilty to adultery and conduct unbecoming - both offenses under the UCMJ:

General Sinclair, who is married with children, has offered to plead guilty to conduct unbecoming of an officer and to adultery, which is punishable under military law, his lawyers say. But they have pressed hard in negotiations against his serving prison time.

Did we mention that he also demands no reduction in rank because that would reduce his retirement pay? Or that cares so little for the reputation of the service that he has created a web site used to trash his accuser? The folks at This Ain't Hell don't think much of that tactic, and frankly neither do I:

Bottom line: the site strikes me as primarily a blatant and rather transparent PR effort, designed to garner sympathy for Sinclair among members of the public. Even if Sinclair is innocent, I personally find such a public PR effort distasteful and beneath what I’d expect from a military GO. YMMV regarding both the site and how distasteful you find it.

Sinclair at this point has to know his career is over. He’s now simply fighting to stay out of jail and keep his pension. I’d guess he probably doesn’t much care about appearances and decorum.

One TAH commenter nails it:

There are always more lenient sentences and “wink wink” results for GoFo’s. It’s been that way since the first Neandertal clan organized a hunting party.

Sinclair will be given a slap on the wrist, lose his star, but be allowed to retire as an O-6 with full pension. Bank on it.

And the rest of the Junior Officers and all the enlisted will take note and remember.

The charges against this guy are not limited to his affair:

At Sinclair's arraignment at Fort Bragg, he deferred entering a plea to charges that include forcible sodomy and other alleged misconduct committed while furthering an affair with the female captain. He also faces charges he engaged in inappropriate relationships with four other women — soliciting nude photos from two of them — and charges he possessed alcohol and pornography in the war zone.

Prosecutors have presented testimony about Sinclair's conduct with the five women who were not his wife, including officers who served under his direct command. The charges involve activities when he was in Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany and at bases in the U.S.

The female captain at the heart of the case said she carried on a three-year sexual relationship with Sinclair. Adultery is a crime under military law, and her admission could end her career.

The defense has cast her as scorned lover trying to ruin the life of an outstanding warrior and patriot.

There is no physical evidence in this case. Therefore, the charge of forcible sodomy is going nowhere. This is a guy who, after flouting the UCMJ, seriously believes he should be allowed to simply retire with no reduction in rank and no jail time.

That's a deal a lot of enlisted men and women accused of similar offenses would jump at. It's hard to think of anything more destructive to morale than a self-serving senior officer being honorably retired with no reduction in rank or punishment for offenses junior personnel are harshly punished for committing. Senior officers should be held MORE accountable, not less, because they are charged with enforcing the rules.

But hey, who needs facts when you've got a narrative to promote? Isn't this exactly what bloggers keep accusing the media of doing?

Posted by Cassandra at 09:23 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

February 14, 2014

Caption Contest - Special VD Edition

Given the Princess' love of this holiday, not to mention her lovingly written post on H.L. Mencken, it seems only natural to have a caption contest for the day.
Love is in the air, n est ce pas ?

Chicken and wine.png

Have it, villains.
May the Farce be with you.

Posted by DL Sly at 06:01 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

Love, In An Unexpected Place

Before she happened upon this diary excerpt in the comments section of a post about a college class called Marriage 101, the blog princess knew HL Mencken mostly as a self described cynic and the author of several stinging quotes about marriage that men seem to rejoice in repeating.

So imagine her surprise to read this:

Sara is dead five years today--a longer time than the time of our marriage, which lasted but four years and nine months. It is amazing what a deep mark she left upon my life--and yet, after all, it is not amazing at all, for a happy marriage throws out numerous and powerful tentacles. They may loosen with years and habit, but when a marriage ends at the height of its success they endure. It is a literal fact that I still think of Sara every day of my life, and almost every hour of the day. Whenever I see anything that she would have liked I find myself saying that I'll buy it and take it to her, and I am always thinking of things to tell her.

-- H. L. Mencken, diary, May 31, 1940

Curious about the woman who had touched such a cynical heart, I searched for something about her life and was touched to find this tidbit:

In 1930, Mencken married German American Sara Haardt, a professor of English at Goucher College in Baltimore and an author who was eighteen years his junior. Haardt had led efforts in Alabama to ratify the 19th Amendment. The two met in 1923, after Mencken delivered a lecture at Goucher; a seven-year courtship ensued. The marriage made national headlines, and many were surprised that Mencken, who once called marriage "the end of hope" and who was well known for mocking relations between the sexes, had gone to the altar. "The Holy Spirit informed and inspired me," Mencken said. "Like all other infidels, I am superstitious and always follow hunches: this one seemed to be a superb one." Even more startling, he was marrying an Alabama native, despite his having written scathing essays about the American South. Haardt was in poor health from tuberculosis throughout their marriage and died in 1935 of meningitis, leaving Mencken grief-stricken. He had always supported her writing, and after her death had a collection of her short stories published under the title Southern Album.

Eventually my random Googling led me to some of Mencken's writings which I had not known existed, but which pretty much sum up my view of the oft-mangled relations between men and women. I am not sure I agree with Mencken in the particulars but I could not agree more in his final conclusion that neither men nor women are all one sex and without each other, we fail to reach our full potential as human beings:

Women, in truth, are not only intelligent; they have almost a monopoly of certain of the subtler and more utile forms of intelligence. The thing itself, indeed, might be reasonably described as a special feminine character; there is in it, in more than one of its manifestations, a femaleness as palpable as the femaleness of cruelty, masochism or rouge. Men are strong. Men are brave in physical combat. Men have sentiment. Men are romantic, and love what they conceive to be virtue and beauty. Men incline to faith, hope and charity. Men know how to sweat and endure. Men are amiable and fond. But in so far as they show the true fundamentals of intelligence—in so far as they reveal a capacity for discovering the kernel of eternal verity in the husk of delusion and hallucination and a passion for bringing it forth—to that extent, at least, they are feminine, and still nourished by the milk of their mothers. "Human creatures," says George, borrowing from Weininger, "are never entirely male or entirely female; there are no men, there are no women, but only sexual majorities." Find me an obviously intelligent man, a man free from sentimentality and illusion, a man hard to deceive, a man of the first class, and I'll show you a man with a wide streak of woman in him. Bonaparte had it; Goethe had it; Schopenhauer had it; Bismarck and Lincoln had it; in Shakespeare, if the Freudians are to be believed, it amounted to downright homosexuality. The essential traits and qualities of the male, the hallmarks of the unpolluted masculine, are at the same time the hall-marks of the Schalskopf. The caveman is all muscles and mush. Without a woman to rule him and think for him, he is a truly lamentable spectacle: a baby with whiskers, a rabbit with the frame of an aurochs, a feeble and preposterous caricature of God.

It would be an easy matter, indeed, to demonstrate that superior talent in man is practically always accompanied by this feminine flavour—that complete masculinity and stupidity are often indistinguishable. Lest I be misunderstood I hasten to add that I do not mean to say that masculinity contributes nothing to the complex of chemico-physiological reactions which produces what we call talent; all I mean to say is that this complex is impossible without the feminine contribution that it is a product of the interplay of the two elements. In women of genius we see the opposite picture. They are commonly distinctly mannish, and shave as well as shine. Think of George Sand, Catherine the Great, Elizabeth of England, Rosa Bonheur, Teresa Carreo or Cosima Wagner. The truth is that neither sex, without some fertilization by the complementary characters of the other, is capable of the highest reaches of human endeavour. Man, without a saving touch of woman in him, is too doltish, too naive and romantic, too easily deluded and lulled to sleep by his imagination to be anything above a cavalryman, a theologian or a bank director. And woman, without some trace of that divine innocence which is masculine, is too harshly the realist for those vast projections of the fancy which lie at the heart of what we call genius. Here, as elsewhere in the universe, the best effects are obtained by a mingling of elements. The wholly manly man lacks the wit necessary to give objective form to his soaring and secret dreams, and the wholly womanly woman is apt to be too cynical a creature to dream at all.

When either sex imagines itself to be the source of all that is good and right in the world, we deny our true nature; one that is in no way as separate and distinct from the other half of humanity as we would like to believe.

Men and women were - and are - meant for each other.

Posted by Cassandra at 01:38 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

When Public Policy Imitates The Onion

White House Considers Allowing Consumers to Make Decisions:

The Journal reports on another possible revision proposed by backers of the Affordable Care Act: allowing consumers to choose an affordable insurance plan, with higher out-of-pocket costs. Such plans with lower -priced premiums would be similar to what was legal before the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. Another attractive part of this latest proposal to salvage ObamaCare is that its backers are implicitly suggesting that the President must follow the constitutional process and allow Congress to rewrite the law, rather than claiming this power for himself.

We dunno.... sounds pretty risky. Can these so-called "consumers" do as good a job as the administration did in planning and rolling out the ACA?

The bar is set pretty high.

Posted by Cassandra at 08:22 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

The Procrastinator's Guide to Buying Memorable VDay Gifts

Every year at about this time, the Editorial Staff inveigh against the horror that is Valentine's Day. But because we are all about the caring and sharing, every year we womanfully strive to help the Oink Cadre impress their significant others with a gift that truly reeks of thoughtfulness and empathy.

So without further ado, we present this year's last minute gift list - carefully chosen to make a lasting impression on the lady (or gent) in your life.

#1 Choice:

Feeling tongue-tied? Let Mr. Romance do the work for you!


2. With this dandy little gift, the object of your affections will always carry a little piece of you with them:


3. Nothing says "I put a *&^%load of thought into this )%^@^%$# so-called holiday" like Build-a-Bear:


4. It's the thought that counts... Really.

5. Please tell me this is a cooking implement....

6. A new twist on an old favorite... plus, you can say you made it yourself!


7. The Nanny State wants you to get lucky:


8. Don't have a "special someone" to spend the holiday with? There's always Craigslist:

My friend and I are 2 mid-twenty guys in Boston from some where far away on business. Don't ask us where we're from - you've probably only seen it in movies. We're old enough to be successful (I bet you have our app on your phone) but still young enough to have fun and not have wrinkly balls.

We're looking for 2 females interested in spending their Valentine's Day with 2 pretty awesome dudes. We like to eat and get fat on good tasty food (even though we're both pretty fit). We're willing to buy you dinner and dessert in exchange for some awesome company. We don't really care if your "boyfriend" is out of town or that you were dumped last week and we're not dudes who expect you to eat a salad - Get that big ass steak and a bud light. Maybe not the bud light though, lets go for something classier like a Mai Tai or one of those girly Apple-Tini things like in "The Social Network".

Sheer magic.

9. A bouquet of roses is, like, so unimaginative:

bouquet of puppies.jpg

10. For the do-it-yourselfer in your life: the personalized Love Kit.

Bonus gift for pachyderm lovers.

Posted by Cassandra at 08:21 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

February 13, 2014


Not the "what", but the "who". (No, smartasses, not The Who. sheesh)

Ninth Circuit: The Second Amendment guarantees the right to carry a gun in public

The particular statute at issue here was San Diego’s law banning concealed carry. The only way to get a permit there is to show a “unique risk of harm.” Wanting to carry a gun for self-defense without showing a special need isn’t good enough. The Supreme Court’s Heller ruling six years ago already guaranteed the right to possess a gun at home, so the question today was whether limiting carry to one’s own household is a permissible state regulation of the right to bear arms or an impermissible outright prohibition.
Given the text of the Amendment, says the Ninth Circuit, the answer is obvious:

The Second Amendment secures the right not only to “keep” arms but also to “bear” them—the verb whose original meaning is key in this case. Saving us the trouble of pulling the eighteenth-century dictionaries ourselves, the Court already has supplied the word’s plain meaning: “At the time of the founding, as now, to ‘bear’ meant to ‘carry.’” Heller, 554 U.S. at 584.3 Yet, not “carry” in the ordinary sense of “convey[ing] or transport[ing]” an object, as one might carry groceries to the check-out counter or garments to the laundromat, but “carry for a particular purpose—confrontation.” Id. The “natural meaning of ‘bear arms,’” according to the Heller majority, was best articulated by Justice Ginsburg in her dissenting opinion in Muscarello v. United States, 524 U.S. 125 (1998): to “‘wear, bear, or carry . . . upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose . . . of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.’” Heller, 554 U.S. at 584 (quoting Muscarello, 524 U.S. at
143 (Ginsburg, J., dissenting) (quoting Black’s Law Dictionary 214 (6th ed. 1998)); see also id. at 592 (concluding that the Second Amendment “guarantee[s] the individual right to . . . carry weapons in case of confrontation”).

Speakers of the English language will all agree: “bearing a weapon inside the home” does not exhaust this definition of “carry.” For one thing, the very risk occasioning such carriage, “confrontation,” is “not limited to the home.” Moore v. Madigan, 702 F.3d 933, 936 (7th Cir. 2012). One needn’t point to statistics to recognize that the prospect of conflict—at least, the sort of conflict for which one would wish to be “armed and ready”—is just as menacing (and likely more so) beyond the front porch as it is in the living room. For that reason, “[t]o speak of bearing’ arms within one’s home would at all times have been an awkward usage.” Id. To be sure, the idea of carrying a gun “in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose . . . of being armed and ready,” does not exactly conjure up images of father stuffing a six-shooter in his pajama’s pocket before heading downstairs to start the morning’s coffee, or mother concealing a handgun in her coat before stepping outside to retrieve the mail. Instead, it brings to mind scenes such as a woman toting a small handgun in her purse as she walks through a dangerous neighborhood, or a night-shift worker carrying a handgun in his coat as he travels
to and from his job site.

Granted, this was the 3 judge appellate panel, and the full 9th can (and may very well) choose to revisit this should this opinion produce more media-generated nukular wedgies than they care for. This opinion steps through the door opened by Heller and MacDonald and affirms the entire 2nd Amendment - not just bits and pieces here and there dictated by personal ideology. This is headed for the Supremes, however, I seriously doubt it will end there. Until then, score one for the 2A from a most unlikely source.

Tip O'the Stetson

Posted by DL Sly at 06:29 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

It's Gettin' Real...

...in the 'hood Whole Foods parking lot:

A North Carolina father is being hailed as a hero after a rampaging driver engaged him in what resembled a demolition derby in a Whole Foods parking lot on Saturday.

The terrifying road rage incident occurred when Christoper Jost was driving down the highway in Raleigh, North Carolina with his daughter when a man rammed his car from behind unprovoked.

The Man identified by Raleigh Police as Remy Blaisdell Gagon then proceeded to chase Jost and his daughter off the freeway into the parking lot and then continued to ram and smash their vehicle until it looked like it was ready for the scrapyard.

Hero Christopher, managed to evade Gagon for long enough to enable his daughter to bolt from the car and run into the grocery store to seek refuge and he followed swiftly after.

However, their nightmare did not end there.

Gagon ran after Christopher into the store and chased him around a checkout until police arrived and subdued him.

Mood music:

Posted by Cassandra at 08:09 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Lending a Paw

It may look like a shovel, but it doubles as a chew toy.

We tried to post this yesterday but the video wasn't playing. Hopefully it will be better today.

20 inches of snow and it's still coming down like gangbusters!

Posted by Cassandra at 07:22 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 12, 2014

Another NYT Reporter Mugged By Bent Cost Curve

Perusing the Paper of Record has been unexpectedly entertaining of late:

What drives shortages is often a mystery.

...Economic factors are also a contributing factor. Narrow profit margins are making some drug companies reluctant to invest in fixing old production facilities. Changes in Medicare reimbursement and the role of group purchasing organizations, which buy drugs on behalf of hospitals, could also be contributing, by further reducing prices that producers get for the drugs.

Mein Gott im Himmel! Is the Times seriously suggesting that capping prices without reducing cost might cause business owners to shift resources to more profitable product lines? Egad - that's exactly what they're suggesting!

... in a peculiarity of the generic drug industry, a drug is often made by only a few producers, making it difficult to mitigate the effects of a shortage when it happens. The accountability agency’s report cited a study that found just three manufacturers produced 71 percent of the country’s sterile injectable cancer drugs in 2008.

What is more, generic drug producers have significantly ramped up the number of drugs they are producing, pumping out many different drugs on a single production line, which stretches already limited factory capacity and creates a situation ripe for quality problems, the report said.

One study it cited found that production in the sterile injectable market had increased by half between 2006 and 2010, without a similar rise in manufacturing capability. Manufacturers, motivated by profit, will often choose to increase production of higher profit drugs on their busy factory floors, even if that means risking a shortage of less profitable drugs.

WHO COULD POSSIBLY HAVE FORESEEN THIS???? It's almost as though the real world operates under a set of rules (commonly referred to by the unwashed masses as "cause and effect") incomprehensible to politicians. A world where reality is kept strictly at arm's length. CWCID.

In related news, the EPA (following the wildly successful example afforded by the ACA) shows it can bend the cost curve too!

An Obama administration official has said that the new clean coal rules could increase electricity prices by as much as 80 percent.

Dr. Julio Friedmann, the deputy assistant secretary for clean coal at the Department of Energy, told House lawmakers that the first generation of carbon capture and storage technology would increase wholesale electricity prices by “70 or 80 percent.”

...“The precise number will vary, but for first generation we project $70-90 per ton (on the wholesale price of electricity),” Friedmann said. “For second generation, it will be more like a $40-50/ton price. Second generation of demonstrations will begin in a few years, but won’t be until middle of the next decade (2022-2025) that we will have lessons learned and cost savings.”

Friedmann added that these high costs could not be made up by power companies through increased production volumes.

Oh stop complaining. You didn't really want all that inferior, plentiful, cheap power did you? How can you be so selfish? We'll all be much better off in the long run.

Posted by Cassandra at 07:02 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

That Oozing Sense of Entitlement

The Editorial Staff used to laugh every time she read that line from Glenn Reynolds. Today, he links to a story about a woman who complains that her ex-husband was a sex addict, commenting:

SO A “SEX ADDICT” IS A MAN WHO wants to keep having as much sex as when you were first married.

Actually, in the linked article a sex addict was defined as a man who demands sex once a day and tells his wife she's lucky he isn't demanding it thrice daily (or more!). A man who - if we can believe the author - simply "climbs on board" whether she's willing or not. Granted, we have only her word for this. But it's her story he's commenting upon. That's the scenario being evaluated.

Question: what kind of person seriously thinks that marriage will be exactly like courtship? Would it be reasonable for a woman to expect exactly the same number of dates, gifts, compliments, attention from her husband as the relationship matures, children arrive, and new responsibilities are added to her husband's plate?

Again, we have only this woman's word for what actually transpired during the marriage. And readers are justified in viewing tell-all articles with a certain degree of skepticism. But let's assume for a moment that she's telling the unvarnished truth here:

My ex-husband truly believed he owned my body and that I was in the wrong if I ever denied him access. When I wouldn’t give in to his advances because I was friggin’ tired from taking care of little kids, or not feeling well, or just because I didn’t feel like it right then, he would coldly turn his back on me and heave deep sighs of put-upon-ness, and I would cry myself to sleep because I just wanted to feel loved without having to have sex.

He told me that he was being respectful by only wanting it daily, because he thought three times a day or more would be a good amount, but even he realized that was a bit much to ask of a wife.

Is this reasonable behavior for an adult?

The Blog Princess is trying to imagine the spousal unit's reaction to her demanding that we sit down as a couple and have a good, long talk about our feeeeeelings (PAY ATTENTION TO ME, DAMN YOU!) once a day because durnitall! that's what he did during courtship and she's ENTITLED to her emotional fix!!!! Nothing must ever change or the whole deal's off!

Is that a reasonable interpretation of the marriage vows?

This is what happens when one starts viewing every story through the lens of identity politics. If you can't turn a story around and imagine it from the someone else's point of view, you're not looking at things straight. Marriages require compromise and consideration: the ability to understand someone else's point of view and feelings. Marriage vows are not intended to be a set of inflexible and non-negotiable demands. The Editorial Staff happen to enjoy sex greatly, but it's a team sport. Generally speaking, people don't have to be pressured into playing when the game is actually fun for them, too.

We can't think of a single activity that an adult would be justified in expecting/demanding their spouse to participate in with them three times a day. Or even, necessarily, once a day without fail 365 a year. In any event expecting your relationship not to change (at least temporarily) after you have children is just plain delusional.

Sheesh. That's not a marriage. It's a straightjacket.

Posted by Cassandra at 06:39 AM | Comments (49) | TrackBack

February 11, 2014


In water there is.png

And fish poop.
Nuff said. I stand completely validated.
Double Heh.

Posted by DL Sly at 01:28 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Central Planning Fail

We steadfastly refuse to pay attention to Twitter, but this has "hashtag" written all over it:

“HealthCare.gov will be out of service for two and a half days beginning on Feb. 15 — the last day people can sign up to obtain coverage that begins on March 1.

And we want to give these people MORE power? They can't plan their way out of a paper bag.

Posted by Cassandra at 08:00 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

February 10, 2014

Redneck Security System?

These bitter gun clingers country folk are crafty:

Big Mouth Billy Bass apparently got the best of a would-be burglar in Minnesota.

Authorities in Rochester say the motion-activated singing fish apparently scared off an intruder who tried to break into the Hooked on Fishing bait and tackle shop.

The novelty bass had been hung near the door and would start singing "Take Me to the River" whenever someone entered the shop.

Posted by Cassandra at 07:47 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Let The Judgement Begin

Even in anonymity, DWS can garner proper snark. heh I have to say the Dark Side does enjoy getting these comments into the Inbox for regular giggles and guffaws. So, with that in mind, on to the judgement and old business:

Gliding in for a first place landing despite turbulence from raucous laughter over the Rockies, is frequent flyer for this truly prime snark, "When the Democrat "talking points" didn't come up on the TelePrompTer, Debbie was uncharacteristically speechless. She had no original ideas--nothing to fall back on. She had experienced that nightmare before--on stage--unable to speak--she clasped the microphone for security and inspiration, but it provided neither, leaving her mute in front of the crowd, unable to speak--her worst nightmare was happening..................."

Second place finds Grim and his YouTube classic standing alone, "Let me sing you the song of my people."

And last, but certainly not least in a line-up of great entries, is George Pal for: "Before I proceed, I'd first like to thank the
Leadership Council's Oversight Commission Super Committee Task Force on Shit Happens for this opportunity to fling it like a chimp"

Best Double Entendre (at least I hope it was 0>;~}) without knowing the subject of the picture goes to OBloodyHell for: "Feh!! Monica and her cigar. Just wait till they get wind of what I can do with THIS thing!!"

Nicely done, everyone.
And now, on to new business!


Have at it, villains.
May the Farce be with you.

Posted by DL Sly at 02:12 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

Choosing Income Inequality

In a post bizarrely entitled, "Why Do Republicans Want Us to Work All the Time?", a professor of leisure studies makes an excellent point about the relationship between working and prosperity. Over time, the number of hours we all work to deliver the same standard of living has gone down, drastically:

During the Industrial Revolution, Americans worked incredibly long hours. It was common for people to work from dawn to dusk, often into the night, six days a week—better than 60 to 70 hours a week with no vacation and few holidays. It was all very Dickensian— remember Bob Cratchit’s appeal to Scrooge for Christmas day off? That was America in the 19th century.

The birth of the labor movement changed that. Beginning in the 1820s, laborites began pressing for higher wages and shorter hours. For more than a century, and until about 40 years ago, unions, supported by numerous economists, pressed for shorter hours as one of the primary ways to deal with unemployment. They argued that as the economy improved, workers would need higher wages to buy what they produced and more free time to use all the new products.

For more than a century before 1930, the average American’s working hours were gradually reduced—cut nearly in half. Labor played a part in these reductions, but they were largely a product of the free market, reflecting individuals’ choices to work less and less.

Most Americans approved, counting work reductions as the better half of industrial progress (higher wages and shorter hours). No one expected this progress would end. Quite the contrary. Through the last century, observers such as John Maynard Keynes, Julien Huxley, Dorothy Canfield Fisher and Eric Sevareid regularly predicted that soon America would enter an age of leisure in which we would chose to devote more and more of our lives to the “pursuit of happiness” promised in the Declaration of Independence. As technology created “labor-saving” machines and the economy grew, they reasoned, we would gradually be able to buy back more of our time from our jobs, preferring leisure to new goods and services that we had never needed, or even seen before.

What gets left out of this analysis is that midway through the 20th Century, the government began confiscating the wages of some workers and giving them to other people, some of whom work and some don't, in the form of welfare, unemployment checks, and other "entitlements". Past some point, the continued decline in hours worked to deliver the same standard of living was driven, not by industrial or technological progress, but by confiscating wages earned by some workers and giving them to others.

Which begs two questions:

1. It's one thing to speak of "economic justice" when income inequality is argued to be largely involuntary and beyond the control of most individuals. But what happens when otherwise able people deliberately choose to make less than others? If this is a voluntary choice, where's the injustice?

Under what moral rationale does the government punish one set of voluntary choices (self-sufficiency and hard work) and reward another set of voluntary choices (voluntarily increasing income inequality by choosing to work part time ...or not at all)?

2. What happens to the pot of redistributable income when more people choose to work fewer hours?

All of this reminds the Editorial Staff of an old joke:

The population of the United States was 180 million at the time of writing, but there are 64 million over 60 years of age, leaving 116 million to do the work.

People under 21 total 59 million which leaves 57 million people to do the work.

Because of the 31 million government employees, there are only 26 million left to do the work.

Six million in the armed forces leave twenty million workers.

Deduct 17 million State, county, and city employees, and we are left with three million to do the work.

There are 2,500,000 people in hospitals, asylums, and treatment facilities leaving half a million workers.

However, 450,000 of these are bums or others who will not work, leaving 50,000 to do the work.

Now, it may interest you to know that there are 49,998 people in jail so that leaves just 2 people to do all the work, and that is you and me, and I'm getting tired of doing everything myself!

Posted by Cassandra at 08:10 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Dr. Freud, Your Slip is Showing...

Nothing does reason more right, than the coolness of those that offer it: For Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders, than from the arguments of its opposers.

- William Penn


Feminism is not an idea or a collection of ideas but a collection of appetites wriggling queasily together like a bag of snakes.

Of all the unlikely events in a constantly surprising world, we never thought we'd find ourselves complimenting Sandra Fluke for anything. But it's hard not to admire her ability to provoke ostensibly rational and intelligent men into saying unbelievably stupid things.

We can only repeat what we said when Ms. Fluke managed to provoke Rush Limbaugh into suggesting that using birth control pills makes one a slut and a prostitute. Oh, and that Ms. Fluke should post sex tapes online so he can watch them:

During any debate, both sides try to frame the issue on their own terms. The right wanted to frame this debate around religious liberty and limited government. The left desperately wanted to talk about evil, sex hating conservatives and their dubious War on Women. They wanted to talk about the conspiracy to snatch our birth control and force women to bake cupcakes in pale pink Easy Bake ovens while dressed in stiletto heels and frilly aprons.

And while I don't for one moment buy into that framing, I have to admit that for the very first time in my adult life, this 3 decade conservative-voting woman saw what the left sees when they look at Republicans. I don't buy their framing because I refuse to concede that Rush or some conservative bloggers have the right to speak for all Republicans or all conservatives. They don't, and we shouldn't encourage that notion.

Here's a hint: when your rhetoric alienates and offends loyal voting conservatives, you're doing the persuasion thing wrong.

Posted by Cassandra at 07:27 AM | Comments (56) | TrackBack

We're All Obama Now

Many moons ago, the Editorial Staff lampooned the White House's "Obama Everywhere" social media campaign, in which the President of the United States was marketed to the public as an available-on-demand commodity. Get Obama on your mobile phone! Invite the President to your Inbox! Watch him on YouTube, MySpace! (MySpace??? Seriously?), FacebookTwitterMyBatangaBlackPlanetAsianAveMiGente. He's everywhere you go:

"Stick out your tongue."

I did so, and the dentist wrapped some gauze around it and said, "I need to explain myself about the public option."

Stunned, I raised myself up in the chair and looked. It was Barack Obama.

"I'm both for it and against it," the president said. I tried to bolt but he had me by the tongue. I squirmed and cursed like Rahm Emanuel, and finally he had to let go. I ran from the exam room, pausing in the outer office to make my next appointment but the receptionist looked a lot like Barack Obama and so I kept on moving. Hitting the street, I jumped a cab. "The Washington Post," I said, "and step on it."

"You got it, buddy," the driver said -- and turned around. It was Barack Obama. "Let me tell you something," he said. "The public option is not what it sounds like. It’s not socialism. This is what I tried to explain on "Meet the Press," "Face the Nation," "State of the Union," "This Week With George Stephanopoulos," Jorge Ramos on Univision and, I think, "Sesame Street," although I may not have done that one yet.”

Those of you who fret about not having 24/7 access to Barack Obama can now rest easy. In the unlikely event that you find yourself completely alone in a room without access to a mobile device, cable TV, radio, email, or Internet connection, rest assured that you can still connect with the President by simply looking in the mirror.

Apparently, we're all Obama, now:

After Meade took the test and came up as Barack Obama too, I formed the belief that the point of this test was to promote Barack Obama, who's so very very normal. He's just like me and the same as you. ALSO: The overeagerness of this test to tell us that we're like Barack Obama is shown by the fact that Meade and I were not the same on 4 of the 5 elements. He was average on extroversion (where I was above average), below average on openness (where I was above average), average on conscientiousness (where I was high), and low on neuroticism (where I was average). The only thing were the same on was agreeableness, where we were both average. I call bullshit on the test (and palpable bitchery on myself).

The Editorial Staff were also judged most similar to Barack Obama, though it's hard to see why three completely different patterns would all yield the same result. If we were smarter, surely this would be obvious:

Compared to the general population, you are:

Average on Extroversion, indicating that you are somewhere in between a pure extrovert and a pure introvert - an "ambivert."

Above average on Openness, indicating that you prefer to strike a balance between seeking out novelty and preserving the status quo.

Above average on Agreeableness, indicating that you are very empathic, tolerant of others, and socially adaptive.

Average on Conscientiousness, indicating that you take a balanced approach between sticking to plans and deadlines and being flexible about updating your current goals.

Below average on Neuroticism, indicating that you are relaxed, cool under pressure, and not shy about presenting yourself or your ideas.

How could you not vote for this man? His essence is constantly changing and protean. Vast enough to encompass multitudes. He is - simultaneously, just like you and just like everyone else on the planet! It's a miracle!

Surely, all this reassuringly constant inconstancy is just more evidence of Obama's uniquely complex and sophisticated thought processes? He's much too smart to be just one person. Individual personhood seems too confining for such a mighty intellect. His unprecedented capacity for dispassionate, analytical, highly-nuanced flexibility pretty much forces him to be everything, to everybody.

...every wretch, pining and pale before,
Beholding him, plucks comfort from his looks.
A largess universal, like the sun,
His liberal eye doth give to everyone,
Thawing cold fear, that mean and gentle all
Behold, as may unworthiness define,
A little touch of Barry in the night.

Are you Barry too? Take the test and find out.

Update: Incroyable! Applying the transitive property of Internet quizzes, it would appear that Barack is a Republican!


Don't worry - he sides with whatever party you support too.

Posted by Cassandra at 06:26 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

February 06, 2014

You Really Don't Want to Google "Amorous Pig"








And thus she spoke in thrilling tone, —
Fast fell the tear-drops big: —
“Ah! woe is me! Alas! Alas!
The Pig! The Pig! The Pig!”

- [wait for it....] Oliver Wendell Holmes

Posted by Cassandra at 05:50 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

How Guilty Are You?

There's normal guilt, "Jewish Mutha" guilt, old-style Soviet Russia "You got a larger slice of beet than I did" guilt, and then's there's Progressive Guilt. Now, the good comrades over at The People's Cube know guilt when they see it, and they have an idea that just might be the next presidential pivot.

Progressive Guilt Chart.png

"Now that the properly conditioned guilt-ridden voters have elected the first Certified-Oppressed-Minority™ president, America has officially entered a new Guilted Age. The Guilted Age is similar to the Gilded Age, only instead of being motivated by the acquisition of gold, the nation is motivated by the distribution of Guilt™.

A guilty electorate is a less demanding electorate: beggars are not choosers. Collective remorse makes the masses more malleable. Workers toil harder for less pay and donate surpluses to progressive causes within the hope that it would offset their culpability for having the wrong color, ethnicity, religion, zip code, profession, hobbies, vehicles, grocery bags, communing and shopping patterns, taste in food, living standard higher than in Zimbabwe, and exhaling the CO2 while breathing.

~ The pursuit of happiness in the Guilted Age becomes to mean this: the stronger your guilt, the happier you are to give your stuff to us. We call it Sharing™."

Head on over for the rest. Don't forget to take the Guilt Test and let us know how much you should really be Sharing™

By the way, the Dark Lord scored 480 on the guilt scale. I was hoping for at least my credit score, but, alas, it was not to be.

Posted by DL Sly at 10:14 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

When You've Lost the ACLU....

Today's bitter little ray of schadenfreude:

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) slammed the Obama administration’s new proposed IRS rules to restrict the political activity of nonprofit 501(c)(4) groups in a 26-page comment submitted to the IRS and obtained by The Daily Caller.

ACLU said that the new “rule,” which is comprised of many different provisions, open the door to more of the kind of politically-motivated IRS targeting that snared conservative groups between 2010 and 2012.

ACLU also stated its “serious concerns with the rule… from a First Amendment perspective,” saying that “the proposed rule threatens to discourage or sterilize an enormous amount of political discourse in America,” and noted that even the ACLU Foundation’s activities would be negatively impacted.

This is particularly delicious:

“As we explain in detail in our comments below, while we support replacing the current ‘facts and circumstances’ test for political activity by affected tax-exempt organizations with a bright-line standard, we have serious concerns with the rule as proposed in the Notice, both from a First Amendment perspective and as a simple matter of workability,” ACLU Washington Legislative Officer director Laura W. Murphy and ACLU legislative counsel/policy advisor Gabriel Rottman stated in their comment to the IRS.

Executive waiver watch commences now.

Posted by Cassandra at 08:46 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Saul Alinsky Was Unavailable for Comment

As you do to others, so you will be done by:

The union that represents low-ranking Department of Labor (DOL) employees alleged racial hiring discrimination and discrimination of people with disabilities in an internal assessment being presented to DOL Secretary Thomas Perez Thursday.

The document, obtained by The Daily Caller, alleges that DOL is making a conscious effort to deny claims of discrimination among many other complaints including “abysmal” training procedures and “subjective performance appraisals” that promote “cultural norms” and “less diverse” college-educated employees over experienced non-college-educated veterans.

Our favorite complaint:

Hiring discrimination against black males, black females and Hispanic females:

“The statistics from our own Civil Rights Center reflect the discrimination in hiring, promotions, and removals at the Department of Labor. What is more frustrating than these statistics are the other statistics that show that when EEO claims are filed, discrimination is rarely, if ever, found to have occurred.

“There were a total of 22 removals from DOL, of which 12 (54.5%) were women and 10 (45.5%) were minorities. The percentages of removal actions taken against black males, black females and Hispanic females were higher than their respective representation in the DOL workforce. Black males accounted for 13.64% (3 individuals) of the removals, black females accounted for 22.7% (5 individuals) of the removals, and Hispanic females accounted for 9.09% (2 individuals) of the removals, compared to their DOL workforce representation rates of 6.54%, 15.99% and 4.4%, respectively.”

Yikes! Let's hope the EEO folks don't find out about the White House wage gap:

Paycheck Fairness: The president who repeated the feminist "77 cents" myth and touted equal pay for equal work in the State of the Union hasn't practiced what he preaches with the women he employs.

The feminist heroine that prompted the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act might be surprised to learn of the Obama White House's war on women, paying its female staffers only 87 cents on the dollar compared with their male counterparts.

We are shocked... SHOCKED to find this administration winking at blatant pay discrimination!!!11!

In his State of the Union address last week, President Barack Obama applauded the success story of Mary Barra, 52, the new chief executive of General Motors (GM) who sat with First Lady Michelle Obama. Barra became the first female CEO of the global automaker after a 33-year career at GM.

The White House said in a statement that State of the Union guests like Barra who "have been invited to sit with the First Lady represent the stories of millions of Americans across the country, who are working hard to better their communities, improve their own economic outcomes and help restore opportunity for all."

Trouble is, Barra is not even getting 77%, but less than half, 48%, of the pay of GM's outgoing male CEO who had no prior experience running a car company.

It's almost as though these folks don't really mean what they say.

Posted by Cassandra at 07:28 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 05, 2014

Hairy Oppressors from Hell...

Of course you knew we were referring to Beastly Bearded Men and their Facial Hair Flaunting Ways:

...Like countless other histories, [the story of American facial hair] is rife with contradictions. It begins with white Americans at the time of the Revolution who derided barbering as the work of “inferiors.” It continues with black entrepreneurs who turned it into a source of wealth and prestige. And it concludes with the advent of the beard—a fashion born out of desperation but transformed into a symbol of masculine authority and white supremacy.

Yep. That's exactly what the Blog Princess thinks whene'er she doth espy a manly mug sprouting a veritable forest of whiskers... THERE GOES YET ANOTHER DEEPLY SCARY SYMBOL OF MASCULINE AUTHORITY/WHITE SUPREMACY. There are days when she doesn't know if her delicate ladyparts can bear the sight of one more "potent.symbol.of.mastery". But one thing's for certain: all this talk of "manly appendages" and rampant, unrepentant Othering is leaving her feeling downright tingly.

Good nightshirt. We're not sure we even want to know what this means:

Johnson’s diary even refers to a moment of unexpected intimacy between two townsmen: “Mr [Blank],” Johnson confided, “attempted to suck Mr [Blank]s El panio.” Just as Johnson had intended, no one discovered this record until long after he had died.

Indeed. We are thinking that delays of this sort are probably a very good thing.

More patriarchal oppression here and here:

Young Romney, showing early signs of the sociopathic tendencies breezy leadership style that would one day shower him with undeserved race, gender, and class privileges, grabbed a pair of scissors, rounded up a few classmates, and...did Lauber's hair. Sadly, this was not to be Young Mitt's last foray into the wild and woolly world of non-consensual makeovers, though the obvious connection to Barack Obama's startling evolution on gay marriage may require a bit of explaining...

Thankfully, would-be explainers are as abundant as the hair on a shameless oppressor's mug.

Posted by Cassandra at 12:26 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Ice Pruning

So.... I've been working at my home office since about 4 am to the sound of enormous tree branches breaking off from the weight of the ice that's coating them.

One tree in my neighbor's yard extends over the property line and overhangs my office. It has lost 6 (count 'em! SIX!) branches over 10 feet long in just a few hours.

I'm beginning to wonder if I should work in the kitchen?

Posted by Cassandra at 08:15 AM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

Write Your Own Headline

Reportedly, the Oink Cadre were not available for comment:

Police responding to reports of screaming coming from a home in Maine didn't find a victim of domestic violence as they feared. Instead, they found an amorous pig.

State police say a woman called last week after hearing what she believed to be a fight coming from a neighbor's home in the town of China. The caller said she heard screaming and thought there was a domestic assault.

The Morning Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1jafexV ) reports that four state troopers responded and talked to the neighbor.

The neighbor explained that she raises pigs and the screaming was coming from an overjoyed male pig that had been placed in a pen with five sows in heat.

Police say there was no assault and no disturbance "other than the screaming male pig."

Posted by Cassandra at 06:23 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

February 04, 2014

Let The Judgement Begin

Slick Willy and Shillary. I thought, "What could go wrong with this pic?"
Even with this, y'all still managed to go places I never think of when choosing the next picture for the caption contest. Not that that's a bad thing, mind you, her commenters are what make VC, IMNSHO, one of the best *little* sites on the innertubes. (Which is a grand site better than being the site with the biggest tail....jus' sayin'.) So, let's get down to it, shall we?
On to the judgement and old business:

This one was tough, guys. For the first time, I enlisted help to decide the winner - but got none...it's not like I asked if my butt looked big in these jeans or anything. However, after much deliberation, and another beer...

htom takes first this week with "Yes, Hillary, I remember."

And spd comes in a very close second for "What lipstick?"

Which means, landing in third place, but still on time even with the newest polar vortex rolling down, is frequent flyer's "Bill--one more "Bimbo eruption" and we'll be taking a walk in Ft. Marcy Park!"

Obscure TV (and movie) reference #1 goes to spd for "Why, thank you, Thing!"

Obscure TV reference #2 and Best Hijacking of a Thread kudos go to the Blog Princess (who doesn't often get to hijack a thread on her own site), aided and abetted by frequent flyer, htom, Rex and CAPT Mike for the walk down Jack Benny memory lane.

Most excellent, villains.
And now, on to new business!

DWS I.png

Have at it, villains.
May the Farce be with you.

Posted by DL Sly at 08:38 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

February 03, 2014

Return of Rob. Frost's Bratty Little Sister

Watching the snow swirl outside the window of her home office today, the Blog Princess was reminded of this blast from the past:

Whose job is this? I think I know.
My aching back is screaming, though;
As abs not flexed for many a year
Are tortured by the mounting snow.

The frozen tundra's almost clear
As through the drifting flakes I peer
I'm tempted to postpone the rest
To step inside, and have a beer.

My mighty shovel does its best
To carve neat swaths at my behest
But buried decks and frozen stairs
Begin to seem a hopeless quest.

The snow is lovely, silent, deep.
It drifts in mountains, chill and steep
My weiner dog's ass-deep in snow
I wish he'd hurry up and go.
I wish he'd hurry up and go.

Hopefully the Princess has not already re-posted this. Still applies.

Posted by Cassandra at 05:16 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack