Monday, July 15, 2013

Closing up shop.

Lem's place is now the gathering place for Althouse refugees, so I don't need to indulge in this any longer. I'll keep it up for now just because.

In the future I do plan on setting up another blog of my own. I've got ideas about what I want to cover (government, economics and their relation to society) and I've even got a title for the blog. I will probably start that one fresh under another nom de plume though. So I can't even tell people where to look at this point.

But if I'm going to start writing in volume again for a tiny audience (myself and about three people that have interest in my yammerings), I am not going to restrict myself to writing about someone else's blog. Again, the point here was for Althouse refugees to have a place to congregate, and that mission has been accomplished (in style, it must be noted) by Lem.

So, so long and thanks for all the fish, and I hope to see you at Lem's or Trooper's joints.


Yeah, this is going to help....

Anyone else think we'd be better off if we put actual lunatics in charge of the media than the people we've got there now?

"There's an app for that."

Apple to probe smartphone charging death mystery

Catch-all Thread for comments: 2013/07/15

Okay, trying to keep up with a tenured professor with grown children, money and time to burn, with a retired spouse is pretty damned hard. It shouldn't come as a surprise that law professors have a good niche in the blogosphere: They're well positioned to have the time and resources to blog a lot.

So, since I won't be able to comment on everything in as timely a manner as I would like, here is a thread for people to comment on until something better gets posted by me. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Catch-all Thread for comments: 2013/07/14

Okay, trying to keep up with a tenured professor with grown children, money and time to burn, with a retired spouse is pretty damned hard. It shouldn't come as a surprise that law professors have a good niche in the blogosphere: They're well positioned to have the time and resources to blog a lot.

So, since I won't be able to comment on everything in as timely a manner as I would like, here is a thread for people to comment on until something better gets posted by me. Enjoy!

Verdict in, everything quiet - so far....

Zimmerman found not guilty. The neighborhood has remained fairly quiet so far.

I was outside about a half-hour after the verdict was announced moving the car. There were sirens off in the distance, but that means nothing - there are frequently sirens. Hell, there was a stretch earlier this year where the fire trucks were up the street danged near every other day for about a month.

There were some raised voices up the street, too. But I couldn't tell what they were saying, and it may have had nothing to do with the Zimmerman case.

I did hear one seeming gunshot not far off. But even that might have just been a firecracker.

So far so quiet. We'll see what happens after tomorrow's church services.


Watching the news has been depressing. So many MOTHERS are saying that they will tell their sons to do exactly what Trayvon did, to not run if followed, and to attack anyone they think is "profiling" them. It is depressing to realize that so many people are so fucking stupid that they think that is both the safest thing to do, and the right thing to do. So many completely fucking stupid people.

It's also depressing to see how fucking stupid the NATIONAL news people are. The locals have been pretty good, at least on News13, but the folks on CNN and the NBC networks and Fox have been completely fucking brain-dead. There's no point in even going into the particulars.

Addendum: Based on what is being said by the people being interviewed, a non-black person has no right to self-defense if attacked by a black person. Apparently Zimmerman was supposed to lie there  until sweet little Trayvon caved in his skull.

Addendum 2: Al Sharpton is planning to come to Florida to stir up more racial strife.

Addendum 3: The NAACP is demanding that the Federal government get Zimmerman no matter what it takes. Presumably they will be happy with drone strikes.

Addendum 4: The NAACP says the the absolute worst crime anyone can commit is to NOTICE THINGS. They are demanding that all profiling be made illegal. Yes, they want thought crimes, and the repeal of several amendments of the Constitution.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Creeley23 asks the question we're all wondering about. [BONUS added.]

In the comments, Creeley23 asks, "So what are the theories on Althouse's meltdown?"

He has his speculations. Here's mine:
Personally, I think it is just one of those things that happens on the internet. I don't think that just Althouse had a meltdown, I think the whole commentariat had a bit of a meltdown. Althouse did throw fire on a couple of on-going flame wars, but the wars were already long standing affairs. She just dropped some fuel bombs before going nuclear.

There really were a lot of people getting extremely pissy about the gay marriage stuff (including me), and the whole "War on Men" thing has been a growing meme and an increasingly sore spot for a while now. Althouse picked the wrong commentariat to get contrary with on that issue.

Frankly, a lot of people were behaving badly. That's not to exclude Althouse, because she was also behaving badly. Mocking the losing side is NOT a classy move, and is guaranteed to increase the heat. The fact that she won't even acknowledge that's what she's doing just makes it worse.

Also, a lot of people think (rightly in my opinion) that the Professor is much more insulated from what's happening in the rest of the country than most everyone else. Sometimes she really does seem stuck in the young Boomer mythos, but times have changed. Hell, us Gen-Xers are starting to get up there in years now. This isn't the country of 1993 anymore, much less the country of 1973.

And then, to add to everything else, Mary showed up again. And that was the final straw. No one who has been subjected to that shit would want to put up with it again, and it has been an periodic problem Althouse has faced. (Other friends of mine have been subjected to that as well - Mary is a destroyer, plain and simple.)

So that was it, bad attitudes all the way around, napalm and fuel bombs (redundancy alert!), neutron bombs and a closed comment section.

And now there's a lot of butt-hurt all the way around, people are nursing grievances, and what was once one of the most entertaining large blog commentary groups (if not the most entertaining) is now kaput.

Mostly I think it was all simple human foibles (stubbornness, willfully refusing to acknowledge the other person's point of view, doubling down of stupid) all the way around, and that people looking for big explanations are just ignoring the obvious: Sometimes people just behave badly, even if they're not fundamentally bad people.

So now us refugees wander the lonely sands of the internet, looking for fellow exiles. 
What's needed now is for everyone to "Hug it out, bitches!", but that ain't happening.

BONUS: Who wrote:
I don't think diagnosing them as crazy or non-crazy is helpful. Those who are behaving like assholes need to be called on it. Plain and simple.  
Answer after the break.

Cow Appreciation Day FAIL

Brazilian man dies after cow falls through his roof on top of him The damaged roof after the cow plunged through it

Never let your cows parachute into populated areas - you never know where they'll land.

(First non-Althouse-related post.)

"There's been much speculation — some of it stupid and ugly — about how Zimmerman's antagonists will react if he's acquitted."

- Althouse

The only problem with this is that Zimmerman antagonists were at the courthouse yesterday chanting "No justice, no peace!" Anyone want to bet on how the jurors might interpret such chants if they hear them?

And it isn't so stupid to speculate about riots when (a) Zimmerman antagonists have been threatening to riot, (b) the police are taking this very seriously, (c) community leaders are worried that their people might riot and (d) there was looting last year at some of the anti-Zimmerman rallies in south Florida last year.

It is stupid to pretend that this isn't a real problem.


With any luck, it will be raining all across Central Florida when the verdict is announced. The should help keep things cool here. 

Caught looking.

Couldn't get any time to blog yesterday until 1 in the morning, at which point I didn't care. Blogging daily is a grind.

Looking at Althouse's posts yesterday, I just want to make one comment. She encouraged people to start their own "journeys", start their own blogs. Those with stuff worth listening too would thrive, those that weren't wouldn't, and so on. She then launched Lem's blog, after which he got hundreds of comments.

But here's the thing: blogging is no more like commenting  than giving a speech is to having a conversation. Lots of comments are merely asides, attendant to a conversation but usually not worth much exposition. Furthermore, schtick that works really well in comments may not work as a blog.

Finally, not everyone has the time or energy to blog every day. Blogs are similar to newspapers in that their immediacy is a good deal of their charm. People that can't blog every day simply aren't going to keep readers no matter how well they blog, and they will fall by the wayside.

A Weathered Traveler

Catch-all Thread for comments: 2013/07/13

Okay, trying to keep up with a tenured professor with grown children, money and time to burn, with a retired spouse is pretty damned hard. It shouldn't come as a surprise that law professors have a good niche in the blogosphere: They're well positioned to have the time and resources to blog a lot.

So, since I won't be able to comment on everything in as timely a manner as I would like, here is a thread for people to comment on until something better gets posted by me. Enjoy!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Catch-all Thread for comments: 2013/07/12

Okay, trying to keep up with a tenured professor with grown children, money and time to burn, with a retired spouse is pretty damned hard. It shouldn't come as a surprise that law professors have a good niche in the blogosphere: They're well positioned to have the time and resources to blog a lot.

So, since I won't be able to comment on everything in as timely a manner as I would like, here is a thread for people to comment on until something better gets posted by me. Enjoy!

Note: I did do better yesterday. But a lot of the posts at Althouse just aren't much fun without comments. The metaphor I keep seeing is that Althouse is now like an empty room. I think it's more like a big,old house, with high ceilings and no closets in the bedroom, just old armoires. And Althouse is now the last member of the family, walking from room to room, talking to ghosts only she can hear (those "emailers" such as Freeman Hunt), discussing topics from long ago (Bob Dylan, the Scott Walker recall). It's got a big, sad, lonely feel to it now.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Three posts I don't care about, and one that is kind of interesting.

Althouse has had three posts this afternoon on boring stuff like reality TV, her never ending BobDylan fixation, and Wisconsin politics. (Apparently Wisconsinites are just as jingoistic and parochial in their desire to be Number 1 as any other set of people.)

And then there is a mildly interesting post about the difference between travel and tourism. Two travel writers make a big deal out of travel being superior to mere tourism, and Althouse takes them to task. At least before she gets side-tracked by her fixation with My Dinner with Andre.

My own take is that travel is something you do for work, or when you're on the lamb. Therefore I much prefer tourism. But then I always liked crapping on real toilets. (Travel is likely to get you either crapping in the woods, hoping that you don't piss off the bears, or stuck with things as described here.)

ADDED: It's not an empty room, or a empty old house. It's a desert

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

Althouse can't make enough penis references...

... so she gets help from another "reader".

Phallic symbol of the day.

I still say that "reader" is a demotion from "commenter". Also, yet another post driven by "reader" email.Was the blog always driven this much by "reader" supplied content?

I'm pretty sure we're not going to see the media reporting that Obama is the first self-identifying black President whose father is Kenyan anytime soon.

Not in every single article. Which makes Zimmerman more special than the President, I guess.

Althouse has another post driven by "reader" email:

"Martin was black and Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic."

Words and meanings are discussed, as well as framing.

Fear of a guilty verdict.

Althouse has a post up about Professor Jacobson's concerns about a guilty verdict:

"I have a really bad feeling about the Zimmerman verdict."

Jacobson (of Legal Insurrection) writes, and is quoted by Althouse:
Logically, it should be a slam dunk of “Not Guilty” on all charges, since the evidence clearly shows Zimmerman was acting in justifiable self-defense as he was being beaten by Trayvon Martin. Or at least there is a reasonable doubt as to self-defense, which the law requires result in a Not Guilty verdict.

I’ve said it before, this was a case which never should have been brought, and it wasn’t. Not until a carefully orchestrated professionally managed publicity campaign based on false racial accusations, resulting in a Special Prosecutor....
Althouse retorts with
I don't have a bad feeling. And I don't feel drawn to this cynicism about jury trials. I think the case has been tried on the evidence — to a sequestered jury. The racial politics and folk sociology that have permeated the media were not part of the trial, and I expect the jury to handle the case properly.

I understand the point of commentary like Jacobson's and the people on the other side as well. They're laying the groundwork for the political use of the case after we see the verdict. All the hot air about the outrage that will meet an acquittal has stirred up a need to puff about the outrage that should accompany a conviction. But are we a nation of hotheads or do we believe that we have a rule of law? If we want the jury to look at the actual relevant evidence, why don't we wait and hear the closing arguments and see what the jury does? Why anticipate lawlessness? 
 Much to respond to in the Althouse response.

First, we have no idea how much of the racial politics have reached the jury. One potential juror got caught out as someone who had been campaigning for the trial and conviction of Zimmerman. How do we know the other people on the jury really didn't come to this with preconceived ideas? One can never be certain about these things. We do know that the President himself has had his DOJ act to make certain that Zimmerman gets fucked in the ass.

Second, even though the jury is sequestered, that doesn't mean that someone somewhere isn't whispering something in their ears. We don't really know what they may be finding out.

Third, one can cite plenty of examples of the country being hot-headed or a nation that believes in rule of law. But it is impossible to now remember the LA riots that followed the Not Guilty verdicts in the trial of the police officers who beat Rodney King.

It is also impossible to ignore Prof. Jacobson's point that the trial wasn't brought until after much racialist politics had been brought to bear. No Al Sharpton, no President Obama adopting Trayvon as the son he never had, and this story (which was a non-story here locally*, initially) would have never garnered any national attention. Throw in the President ordering his DOJ to investigate Zimmerman for civil rights violations and the DOJ actively organizing protests against Zimmerman, and it is hard to take talk about this being a nation of laws seriously. And that ignores the IRS scandals, the HHS scandals, Obama enforcing or suspending laws willy-nilly, and so on. This is no nation of law anymore.

Also, it is impossible to take the notion that there won't be any violence if Zimmerman is acquitted seriously. Perhaps there won't be. But there are plenty of "No justice, no peace" type folks around, complete with tee-shirts that say that on one side, and "Justice for Trayvon" on the other. It's really easy for a lily white law professor living in a nice neighborhood in Madison Wisconsin to take the attitude that concerns over violence are exaggerations for political effect, and it is quite another thing to take that attitude in places on the firing line. Especially if one is lily white in a black neighborhood, as I am.

I should also note that having various black celebrities (e.g. Spike Lee tweeting out what he believed to be Zimmerman's home address, Russell Simmons stating that Zimmerman will pay whether he is guilty or innocent) making threats against Zimmerman doesn't make for a believable case that we have NO reason to fear violence. Nor do all the threats against Zimmerman that have been tweeted out, apparently with no concern from law enforcement that numerous people are threatening to off Zimmerman and his family.

So is Althouse seriously stating that lawlessness shouldn't be anticipated? Does she really think law enforcement agencies shouldn't make preparations for violence when violence is being explicitly threatened?

(I should note that law enforcement agencies in the city of Sanford, Seminole County and Broward County have taken the opposite position, and are actively preparing for potential violence.)

* I live in Orlando, Florida, Sanford is a short drive away, and I've got friends who live in Sanford.

Mini-grab-all, early morning addition, 2013/07/11

Althouse has a short post on cats being sent to Vietnam, a post about crime going up in Milwaukee (it's the cell phones as easy targets on the street) leading her to be happy that Tom Barrett didn't win against Walker last year (Madisonians want nothing to do with Milwaukee if it means their cell phones will be at risk), and another post answering an email from a reader about the OED, which turns into another chance to push the Amazon portal.

That's two posts today (and counting) driven by reader emails.

Bin Laden and hats and stuff from "readers". UPDATED

Althouse starts the day off with more on the bin Laden hat story:

That story about Bin Laden wearing a cowboy hat needed a picture, "even if only an artist's rendering."

She manages to link Freeman Hunt's comment to the George Zimmerman trial.

Enough with the hats already! 

PS I want to see the Chip Ahoy version with bin Laden in a hoodie eating some Skittles and drinking ice tea.

Catch-all Thread for comments: 2013/07/11

Okay, trying to keep up with a tenured professor with grown children, money and time to burn, with a retired spouse is pretty damned hard. It shouldn't come as a surprise that law professors have a good niche in the blogosphere: They're well positioned to have the time and resources to blog a lot.

So, since I won't be able to comment on everything in as timely a manner as I would like, here is a thread for people to comment on until something better gets posted by me. Enjoy!

The Daily Grab-All

So, couldn't get to the blog thing at all today. So here's a grab all for all the Althouse stuff.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Catch-all Thread for comments: 2013/07/10

I'm seven posts behind today. I don't plan on blogging about ALL Althouse posts (for however long I keep this up), but I don't mean to be this far behind. Except that I have other duties, of course. So anyone looking for  a place to gripe, bitch, moan or even (*gasp*) make positive comments about Althouse posts for this date can do so here. I probably won't get back to this until late this evening.

I think I'll just start putting up these catch-all posts every day.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Crack Emcee Bait

Althouse has a post guaranteed to have gotten Crack Emcee's Irish up:

"Terrible as it sounds, it was easier than divorcing him," says the 21-year-old woman, hiring a hitman.

Uh-huh, alrighty then! Go read about it there, and comment about it here. Or at Lem's. Or your own place. Just don't do it at Althouse. Besides, you can't do that anyway.

Althouse, Gatsby, The Atlantic and people that aren't me.

Althouse gets pissy over The Atlantic intruding onto her Gatsby gig. Gotta say, I don't see why the upset. It's not like _I_ didn't have to slave over damned F. Scott's writing back in Tenth Grade all the way back in 1982-1983 school year. It's hardly HER gig!

Plus, I always skipped those posts anyway. The only rendition of The Great Gatsby that I'm interested in is if Andy Kaufman comes out of hiding and does another reading.

Althouse does Disability Porn.

Without comments, is it even worth reading?

Signs point to "NO!" Or maybe I just don't care. But looking at the first part of the post I come across this:
How can you have a right to something that would require another human being to do something with his/her body, when the other human being has a right over his/her body?
Am I the only person that sees a problem with this vis-a-vis gay marriage? Or any marriage right? Or abortion? Perhaps I merely lack subtlety of mind needed to get these things.

Also note that even the back-door commenting has been turned off. Meade gets a vacation!

The Tyrant tells everyone to "Chill the fuck out!" The "OR ELSE" was merely implied. [UPDATED]

Althouse writes about "President Obama gave a speech Monday instructing Americans not to be so 'cynical' about government."

Well, isn't that just dandy! The guy whose administration sends out the IRS to hammer his opponents, has the NSA spying on everyone EXCEPT the goddamn terrorists, wants to replace the populace of the country with Third World peasants to keep wages suppressed and unemployment high, and enforces only the laws he likes or finds convenient, tells everyone to quit being so cynical about government. I guess if we don't he'll send the drones out to kill us.

Incidentally, Althouse has a post entitled
"Of all the stretches of executive power Americans have seen in the past few years, the president's unilateral suspension of statutes may have the most disturbing long-term effects."
 The body of the post consists solely of a quote that reads:

"As the Supreme Court said long ago (Kendall v. United States, 1838), allowing the president to refuse to enforce statutes passed by Congress 'would be clothing the president with a power to control the legislation of congress, and paralyze the administration of justice.'"
The linked article by Michael McConnell explains further:
Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution states that the president "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." This is a duty, not a discretionary power. While the president does have substantial discretion about how to enforce a law, he has no discretion about whether to do so.

This matter—the limits of executive power—has deep historical roots. During the period of royal absolutism, English monarchs asserted a right to dispense with parliamentary statutes they disliked. King James II's use of the prerogative was a key grievance that lead to the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The very first provision of the English Bill of Rights of 1689—the most important precursor to the U.S. Constitution—declared that "the pretended power of suspending of laws, or the execution of laws, by regal authority, without consent of parliament, is illegal."
Basically, Obama's failures to enforce the laws was an essential element of the tyranny which helped foment the Glorious Revolution of my English forefathers.Damned near every day Obama looks more and more the Tyrant.

From the Wall Street Journal's blurb at the bottom of the page:
Mr. McConnell, a former judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, is a professor of law and director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.
 From Wikipedia I see that Mr. McConnell as "a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, 1985–1996, where he brought Harvard Law graduate Barack Obama on a fellowship after being impressed with a suggestion Obama, then Harvard Law Review president, had made on one of McConnell's articles.[2] "

The sourcing is to a NYT's article, so consider that either well sourced or bilious vomit as you see fit. 

UPDATE: Obama is now telling federal workers to spy on each other as a matter of policy.
In an initiative aimed at rooting out future leakers and other security violators, President Barack Obama has ordered federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues based on behavioral profiling techniques that are not scientifically proven to work, according to experts and government documents.
The techniques are a key pillar of the Insider Threat Program, an unprecedented government-wide crackdown under which millions of federal bureaucrats and contractors must watch out for “high-risk persons or behaviors” among co-workers. Those who fail to report them could face penalties, including criminal charges. 
Thank God we elected the most brilliant man in the history of the Multiverse to run the country. Otherwise this whole era would look like one completely stupid fuck-up after another.

Read more here:

I wonder if I've gotten out ahead of an Althouse post with this one.... [posted at 10:03pm 2013 July 9] 

"Respect" DOES NOT EQUAL "Agree with"

 "I guess I've got my own distinct mix. I'd say I respect the genuine traditionalists, that I don't seek a traditionalist life for myself, and I tend to scoff at the fence-straddlers.... Be something! Stand for something! Think! That's my message."

That's something I wrote years ago — in May 2005. 
 Lem's take, with many of the old commenters weighing in.

Forests, trees and perception.

Althouse vigorously tears apart an article from the New York Times about the George Zimmerman trial. Here's a representative sample. (The Professor's comments are indented once, the NYT's twice.)
It's not awkward to shunt the backdrop of all the other things that have happened before to the sidelines during a trial. Rather, it's precisely what the judge and lawyers and jurors are required to do.

Yet inside a Seminole County courtroom, with the prosecution’s case against Mr. Zimmerman now over, race only occasionally punctuated the proceedings. 
Yet?! No! Race should not be put where it isn't relevant under the rules of evidence. Punctuation like that would violate the norms of a criminal trial. The backdrop of all the other things that have happened before is reason for Americans — especially black Americans — to care about these norms.
For supporters of the Martin family, Mr. Martin’s death was part of a more complex tale of profiling and injustice. 
But trials are not to be transformed into a "more complex tale." They are to be kept focused on the specific incident under consideration. And those who care about the more complex tale ought see the connection between their concern and the law's insistence on that focus.
This is good stuff from Althouse, very on point. She is basically showing that the NYT's writer (and editors) are missing the trees for the forest.

However, what Althouse doesn't seem to acknowledge here is that this case (since it became part of the larger public awareness) has always been about "the larger narrative" and has never been about the specifics of the case. When it was just another shooting in Florida, when it was about the specifics of the case, the State Attorney in charge of the case decided to not press any charges.

It wasn't until the race baiters and the grievance industry got hold of the case that anyone outside of those immediately affected cared. At that point, the specifics of the case no longer mattered. The President of the United States of America symbolically adopted Dear Little Trayvon, and then it was all over for Zimmerman. There was no way he could avoid charges, and the Republican Governor of Florida found another State Attorney who would prosecute the case to the greatest extent possible. (Zimmerman is really lucky that, as a matter of politics, he wasn't charged with First Degree Murder.)

So the specifics do not matter to an organization like the New York Times, the State of Florida or the Federal Government of the United States of America. The only thing that matters is that racial animosity must be cranked up to the maximum degree possible so that The Powers That Be can profit to the maximum extent.

Althouse appears to be missing the forest for the trees.

ADDED: I believe Steve Sailer's take on this article is more appropriately cynical.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Why only morning or evening?

What about the middle of the night?

Althouse post: Why do you have sex at the time of day when you have sex?

The body of the post:
16% say: "Already in bed."

That made me laugh out loud. Already in bed! Why bother? If convenience is your thing, it's even easier to just go to sleep. Or are we talking about the morning version of already in bed
My wife and I have gotten frisky in the middle of the night many times, usually when I roll over and just start molesting her in my sleep.

Also, what's wrong with convenience?

Hipster douchebags? Or douchebag hipsters?

The Althouse post title: "Hmm, should I listen to the old man's advice?"

The body of the post: "Or should I listen to 20-something douchebag hipsters who majored in film? I'm going with the old man."

My response: I believe it should be phrased 20-something hipster douche-bags instead. Is the essence of the people in question their hipster-ness, or their douche-bag-ness? I'm pretty sure it is the latter.

Getting used to the new format.

Althouse asks on her post "A group of Tibetan monks will spend a week, beginning Sunday, creating an elaborate piece of artwork near Spring Green out of tiny grains of colored sand."

"What are you working on now that is like that mandala?"

She catches herself in the comments: "What is the sound of one commenter commenting?"

Yep, this is going to take some getting used to....

Oh, but to answer the question, if one believes the Buddhists monks, EVERYTHING I am doing is like that mandala! As for what I believe? I also believe that ultimately everything is transitory and impermanent, even the Universe itself.

The inevitability of Hillary

Althouse write: "If Secretary Clinton runs, she’ll be the nominee — the first female nominee of either party."

The article Althouse links to goes to a Politico piece that quotes Stephanie Cutter, former Obama advisor, who provides the quote Althouse uses for the title of the post. The more extended Cutter quote follows:
“If Secretary Clinton runs, she’ll be the nominee — the first female nominee of either party,” said Stephanie Cutter, a former top adviser to the Obama White House and campaign. “That breaks through the ‘old’ tagline that the Republican geniuses are cooking up because, if handled correctly, women of all ages will absolutely be inspired by that. I don’t recommend that be the totality of her message or platform, but there’s no way to hide that fact and it certainly shouldn’t be discounted. “ 
So apparently the most important reason for nominating Hillary is because people will vote for a woman just because it is something new to try - and that's it. (This has worked out beautifully when voting for someone who is black, or rather half-black, rather than actually using any other reason whatsoever.)

First, as I have mentioned elsewhere, I do not think Hillary will be the nominee because Dems historically worship youth above all. Forget that Obama was the magical half-Negro, he was also young. Dems have loved youth since 1864, and I see no reason why they will stop now. So rule out Hillary and Joe Braindead as the nominees. (A list of Dem nominees and their ages here.) Repubs like stolid old candidates, not Dems.

Second, Hillary can't run from her record for forever. Eventually someone is going to point out that her most successful political achievement thus far is providing cover for her husband's philandering. Or maybe she thinks she'll get to do a reset on THAT, too.

And third, what makes anyone think that someone named Obama won't be on the ballot again in 2016? If Barry doesn't run again himself (why should he care about following the XXII amendment any more than he has the rest of the constitution?), what makes you think he won't put Michelle on the ballot. I'm already seeing bumper stickers around town proclaiming that that Michelle is going to be the next President. They've got the same look as Obama's stickers from 2008 and 2012. Clearly someone is getting excited about establishing a true royal dynasty in the USA.

Things going "BOOM!" in the night....

Althouse posts Why did that train explode in Lac-M├ęgantic, Quebec?

Althouse writes: 

If it was sabotage, what interests did the saboteurs have in mind? They could have been opponents of fracking, but they could have been proponents of pipelines — radical environmentalists or radical opponents of environmentalism. 
I can't imagine any group of radical opponents of environmentalism trying this kind of stunt. All the risk is on the side of those wanting to get at the oil and transport it. People aren't going to even want new pipelines near their towns of they start thinking the things will start blowing up all over the place. (Never mind all the pipelines already in place - out of sight, out of mind.) I just can't see anyone trying that kind of stunt for the purpose of pushing pipelines - too easy to demagogue from the anti-oil people.

Tigers, men, a tree and a rescue.

Some idiots managed to get themselves caught in a tree surrounded by tigera in the Mount Leuser National Park on Sumatra Island. Althouse initially linked to the story here, and provided a follow-up here when the men were rescued.

I've got two reactions. First, Althouse mentioned in the second post that it had been "Previously discussed" on the initial thread. Sadly, no it hadn't as the comment "ban" had already gone into place. I think it will take the Professor a couple of weeks to break the linguistic habits formed from years of having a comment section.

Second, I say, "Let the tigers have them!" We've got far more men than tigers in the world, and if men are going to insist on wandering into what's left of Tiger Land in search of exotic profits or thrills, let 'em get eaten.

And it should be noted that the group that got trapped had "accidentally" killed a tiger cub last Thursday. Yeah, uh-huh, sure.

Let the tigers have 'em!

Also, did anyone else think of that scene in Disney's Jungle Cruise with all the men stuck up a pole with an angry rhino at the bottom? "I'm sure they'll get the point ... in the end."


Althouse has closed comments! ARGH!

This is frustrating as Hell to a comment junkie such as myself. Althouse has explained why she has shut down comments here and here and here. And later, here and here.

Personally, I would like to see at least a part of the comment community live on, without having to go through the problem of banging Meade's patience into the dirt.

So that's what this is, at least experimentally. I've got a couple of blogs of my own (one singular, one group), but I don't want to clutter those up with this project.

So here's what I'm going to do, at least for the moment, and perhaps only as long as it takes for Althouse to tell me to stop:

I am going to comment on the posts she puts up, but only those that interest me. Then, others can comment on my comments, or whatever. This seems like fair blogging etiquette to me.

Here's what I'm not going to do: put up an Amazon portal, or put in BlogAds, or do anything else designed to profit off of Professor Althouse's output. This blog is purely reactive, and anything else I have to say I will say elsewhere.

Furthermore, I am not going to tolerate any nonsense in the comments. I do not mind arguments, or even name calling. But by God, you had better be contributing something instead of just pissing all over the place. I should be able to get by avoiding initial problems simply by being obscure. If a large chunk of the blog commentariat follows me here, then it may become an issue. I have a plan, in that case, and it is something of a nuclear option. If it comes to that I will select the people I view as decent, upstanding blog commenters and make them members, and then I will only allow team members to comment.

So that last is the nuclear option, and I only expect that to happen if more than two people show up to comment. And that is that.