Open Thread, Thursday 8 August 2013

On this day in 1786, Michel-Gabriel Paccard and Jacques Balmat made the first recorded summit of Mont Blanc (pictured) in the Alps.  According to Wikipedia, this was considered by many to signal the birth of modern mountaineering.


About GruntOfMonteCristo

Fearless and Devout Catholic Christian First, Loving Husband and Father Second, Pissed-Off Patriot Third, Rocket Engineer Dork Last.
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23 Responses to Open Thread, Thursday 8 August 2013

  1. Proof that college students are getting dumber. AND smugger. Hat tip: IOTW.

  2. Dr. Michael Mann, please pick up the charlatan phone.
    Science is the pursuit of knowledge through logic, reason, and experimentation. We derive knowledge from testing and retesting falsifiable hypotheses. When new evidence proves, disproves, or casts serious doubt on a theory, science mandates the flexibility to adapt to changed circumstances.

    But Dr. Mann leads a cabal of scientists who refuse to accept these basic premises. They defend old theories and promote accompanying policy prescriptions with a strident rigidity and dogmatism that would make the most fundamentalist religious zealot blush.

  3. Obama Lied on Leno. Where’s the outrage? by David Seaman.
    I’m tired of living in the pro-Obama, anti-facts Twilight Zone that has taken over our nation’s airwaves.

    Last night, President Obama did a face to face interview with comedian Jay Leno on the “The Tonight Show,” because our commander in chief wouldn’t dare give such access to, say, anyone remotely resembling a journalist at this point. Too many of those “phony scandals” to wade through.

    Obama offered a fantastic fireworks display of dishonesty and Orwellian doublespeak to Leno’s 4 million or so viewers at home.

    “We don’t have a domestic spying program,” Obama assured Leno. What we have, instead, are “mechanisms that can track a phone number or an e-mail address that is connected to a terrorist attack … That information is useful.”

    Which is the very definition of a domestic spying program: obtaining American citizens’ phone records and one-click access to emails, Facebook messages, and all Web history without a specific warrant. And then sharing that data with domestic law enforcement agencies, in a secretive agreement Reuters claims the government is now actively trying to cover up.

    As one commenter on Reddit wisely put it, we shouldn’t be concerned that a politician is lying to us. That happens all the time. We should be concerned with the fact that he’s not even trying to make it a palatable lie at this point. Obama has become the man cheating on his wife who doesn’t bother to wipe off the lipstick or take a shower. Just throws his keys on the table, slips into bed, and says, “I’m not cheating on you, go to sleep.”

    A new version of America is emerging through this fog of dishonesty and misdirection.

    The New York Times recently reported that the TSA now operates outside of airports: the agency deploys bulletproof vest wearing, lethally armed teams at sporting events and music festivals. These VIPR teams, as they are called, believe themselves to be “exempt from probable cause” when searching patrons of these events, according to the Times.

    Obama’s Orwellian police state has been fully unfurled, and the public’s collective response has been “Meh,” along with some cheering on “The Tonight Show.”

    Shame on those who are letting everything this country stands for be destroyed. It is pathetic.

    *snork* Got this one from WeaselZippers.

  4. Marcus Luttrell’s story:
    “I’m a patriot,” he added. “I fight for my country. A patriot is someone who spends most of their life trying to help other people and not themselves. And that’s kind of the way I look at it.”

  5. Creepy much? Hat tip: House of Eratosthenes.
    This is an actual Obama campaign graphic sent out via email to people who haven’t contributed lately. They do this all the time. And nobody complains that it’s a little frightening. Especially the part where his campaign is still fundraising two years after the last time he’s allowed to legally run for President.

  6. Today’s date: 08/08… reminded me of the beginning of this song…

  7. Paul Craig Roberts uses the “I-Word.” Hat tip: IOTW.
    “The South African apartheid regime was more legitimate than the regime in Washington. The apartheid Israeli regime in Palestine is more legitimate. The Taliban are more legitimate. Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein were more legitimate.”

  8. Kate Upton won’t be forced to hide her religious values.

    The stunning supermodel got a tattoo of a cross on her finger so she could always show her devotion to God, she explained in the September issue of Elle.
    “I was at a photo shoot and I was wearing a cross necklace that my mom bought me, and somebody made a joke like, ‘Why are you wearing a cross? Like you would be religious.’ And then they took [my necklace] away,” Upton told the magazine. “I was really affected by that. The whole thing made me realize that I do want [a cross] with me, at all times.”

  9. Michael Hastings fiery death getting “more suspicious by the day.”
    “New footage obtained from the LAPD by San Diego 6 shows three distinct explosions in the final moments of Hastings’ life. Oddly enough, the curb only suffered a scratch and the tree the 3,500+ pound car hit at 100 mph only suffered minimal damage.”

  10. Coyote says:

    Rabbi Steven Pruzansky a spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, NJ writes about Obama & the election.

    Please take a moment to digest this provocative article by a Jewish Rabbi from
    Teaneck, N.J. It is far and away the most succinct and thoughtful explanation
    of how our nation is changing. The article appeared in The Israel National News,
    and is directed to Jewish readership. 70% of American Jews vote as Democrats.
    The Rabbi has some interesting comments in that regard. Rabbi
    Steven Pruzansky is the spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in
    Teaneck, New Jersey. The most charitable way of explaining the election results
    of 2012 is that Americans voted for the status quo – for the incumbent
    President and for a divided Congress. They must enjoy gridlock, partisanship, incompetence,
    economic stagnation and avoidance of responsibility. And fewer people voted.
    But as we awake from the nightmare, it is important to eschew the facile explanations
    for the Romney defeat that will prevail among the chattering classes. Romney
    did not lose because of the effects of Hurricane Sandy that devastated this area,
    nor did he lose because he ran a poor campaign, nor did he lose because the
    Republicans could have chosen better candidates, nor did he lose because Obama benefitted
    from a slight uptick in the economy due to the business cycle. Romney lost
    because he didn’t get enough votes to win. That might seem obvious, but not for
    the obvious reasons. Romney lost because the conservative virtues – the
    traditional American virtues – of liberty, hard work, free enterprise, private
    initiative and aspirations to moral greatness – no longer inspire or animate a majority
    of the electorate. The simplest reason why Romney lost was because it is
    impossible to compete against free stuff.
    Every businessman knows this; that is why the “loss leader” or the giveaway is such a
    powerful marketing tool. Obama’s America is one in which free stuff is given
    away: the adults among the 47,000,000 on food stamps clearly recognized for
    whom they should vote, and so they did, by the tens of millions; those who – courtesy
    of Obama – receive two full years of unemployment benefits (which, of course,
    both de-incentivizes looking for work and also motivates people to work off the
    books while collecting their windfall) surely know for whom to vote. The lure
    of free stuff is irresistible.
    The defining moment of the whole campaign was the revelation of the secretly-recorded
    video in which Romney acknowledged the difficulty of winning an election in
    which “47% of the people” start off against him because they pay no taxes and
    just receive money – “free stuff” – from the government. Almost half of the
    population has no skin in the game – they don’t care about high taxes,
    promoting business, or creating jobs, nor do they care that the money for their
    free stuff is being borrowed from their children and from the Chinese. They
    just want the free stuff that comes their way at someone else’s expense. In the
    end, that 47% leaves very little margin for error for any Republican, and does
    not bode well for the future.
    It is impossible to imagine a conservative candidate winning against such
    overwhelming odds. People do vote their pocketbooks. In essence, the people
    vote for a Congress who will not raise their taxes, and for a President who
    will give them free stuff, never mind who has to pay for it.
    That engenders the second reason why Romney lost: the inescapable conclusion that
    the electorate is ignorant and uninformed. Indeed, it does not pay to be an
    informed voter, because most other voters – the clear majority – are
    unintelligent and easily swayed by emotion and raw populism. That is the
    indelicate way of saying that too many people vote with their hearts and not
    their heads. That is why Obama did not have to produce a second term agenda, or
    even defend his first-term record. He needed only to portray Mitt Romney as a
    rapacious capitalist who throws elderly women over a cliff, when he is not just
    snatching away their cancer medication, while starving the poor and cutting
    taxes for the rich.
    During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai Stevenson:
    “Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!” Stevenson called back:
    “That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!” Truer words were never spoken.
    Obama could get away with saying that “Romney wants the rich to play by a different
    set of rules” – without ever defining what those different rules were; with
    saying that the “rich should pay their fair share” – without ever defining what
    a “fair share” is; with saying that Romney wants the poor, elderly and sick to
    “fend for themselves” – without even acknowledging that all these government
    programs are going bankrupt, their current insolvency only papered over by
    deficit spending.
    Similarly, Obama (or his surrogates) could hint to blacks that a Romney victory would lead
    them back into chains and proclaim to women that their abortions and birth
    control would be taken away. He could appeal to Hispanics that Romney would
    have them all arrested and shipped to Mexico and unabashedly state that he will
    not enforce the current immigration laws. He could espouse the furtherance of
    the incestuous relationship between governments and unions – in which politicians
    ply the unions with public money, in exchange for which the unions provide the
    politicians with votes, in exchange for which the politicians provide more
    money and the unions provide more votes, etc., even though the money is gone.
    Obama also knows that the electorate has changed – that whites will soon be a
    minority in America (they’re already a minority in California) and that the new
    immigrants to the US are primarily from the Third World and do not share the traditional
    American values that attracted immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is
    a different world, and a different America. Obama is part of that different America,
    knows it, and knows how to tap into it. That is why he won.
    Obama also proved again that negative advertising works, invective sells, and harsh
    personal attacks succeed. That Romney never engaged in such diatribes points to
    his essential goodness as a person; his “negative ads” were simple facts, never
    personal abuse – facts about high unemployment, lower take-home pay, a loss of
    American power and prestige abroad, a lack of leadership, etc. As a politician,
    though, Romney failed because he did not embrace the devil’s bargain of making
    unsustainable promises.
    It turned out that it was not possible for Romney and Ryan – people of substance,
    depth and ideas – to compete with the shallow populism and platitudes of their
    opponents. Obama mastered the politics of envy – of class warfare – never
    reaching out to Americans as such but to individual groups, and cobbling
    together a winning majority from these minority groups. If an Obama could not
    be defeated – with his record and his vision of America, in which free stuff
    seduces voters – it is hard to envision any change in the future. The road to
    Hillary Clinton in 2016 and to a European-socialist economy – those very
    economies that are collapsing today in Europe – is paved.
    For Jews, mostly assimilated anyway and staunch Democrats, the results demonstrate
    again that liberalism is their Torah. Almost 70% voted for a president widely
    perceived by Israelis and most committed Jews as hostile to Israel. They voted
    to secure Obama’s future at America’s expense and at Israel’s expense – in
    effect, preferring Obama to Netanyahu by a wide margin. A dangerous time is
    ahead. Under present circumstances, it is inconceivable that the US will take
    any aggressive action against Iran and will more likely thwart any Israeli
    initiative. The US will preach the importance of negotiations
    up until the production of the first Iranian nuclear weapon – and then state
    that the world must learn to live with this new reality.
    But this election should be a wake-up call to Jews. There is no perm anent empire,
    nor is there is an enduring haven for Jews anywhere in the exile. The American
    empire began to decline in 2007, and the deterioration has been exacerbated in
    the last five years. This election only hastens that decline. Society is
    permeated with sloth, greed, envy and materialistic excess. It has lost its
    moorings and its moral foundations. The takers outnumber the givers, and that
    will only increase in years to come. The “Occupy” riots across this country in
    the last two years were mere dress rehearsals for what lies ahead– years of
    unrest sparked by the increasing discontent of the unsuccessful who want to
    seize the fruits and the bounty of the successful, and do not appreciate the
    slow pace of redistribution.
    If this election proves one thing, it is that the Old America is gone. And, sad for the world, it is not coming back.
    “Despotism can do without faith, but liberty cannot…When a people’s religion is
    destroyed…then not only will they let their freedom be taken from them, but
    often they actually hand it over themselves.” – Alexis DeTocqueville

    • barnslayer says:

      This guy couldn’t be more wrong.
      Romney failed because:
      – He rolled over after his first powerful debate
      – He is a moderate with too many goals that were just like the democrats
      – He refused to ally with the TEA Party
      – He refused to attack oblamer for acting living like a king in the face of a failing economy
      In summary Romney lost because he did not offer a strong enough departure from the democrats in the minds of many voters. We needed and wanted a true conservative. Too many republican and independent voters were unwilling to settle for democrat-lite. He was the governor of Kennedyland. How conservative could he have been?

      The reason 70% of Jewish Americans vote democrat is because they are traditionally socialists/liberals. That oblamer is a threat to Israel is of little impact on them. They are observant Jews during a couple of holidays out of the year so they can talk about it at work. They are also very critical of Israel’s policies. No surprise they don’t have a huge problem with moslem behavior either.

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