Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Last Call

Steve M. is right, of course.  Under no circumstances are liberals ever alowed to fight back, or it's all our fault.  Witness Michael Kinsley defend El Rushbo:

These umbrage episodes that have become the principal narrative line of our politics are orgies of insincerity. Pols declare that they are distraught, offended, outraged by some stray remark by a political opponent, or judicial nominee, or radio talk-show host. They demand apology, firing, crucifixion.

The target resists for a few days, then steps downs or apologizes. Occasionally they survive, as Limbaugh probably will, but wounded and more careful from now on.

More careful means less interesting. Limbaugh is under no obligation to stop saying offensive things just to keep me entertained. Still, it's a pity....

Rush is just "a radio talk-show host".  He's not important at all.  He's certainly not responsible one iota for the political climate we find ourselves in these days, of course.  You stupid liberals keep bringing this up.  It's all your fault.  Steve:

Give me a freaking break. Nobody with a conscience wants Rush Limbaugh to wallow in the pig-trough of his misogyny on the public airwaves for several days, directing his unbridled hate at a genuinely vulnerable target. (Well, nobody except Michael Kinsley, perhaps, or others who consider this sort of thing "interesting.") Wanting Limbaugh (or Murdoch) to get his comeuppance for beyond-the-pale behavior isn't the same as cheering the fact that that behavior happened in the first place.

Kinsley has set a standard whereby no one can call out an opponent's behavior without being accused of insincerity. If I opposed the Catholic Church on abortion or gay marriage or condom use and then felt it was justifiably disgraced in the priest sex-abuse scandal, was I delighted that boys got raped? Where's the limit? How do I escape Kinsley's la-di-da-everyone's-a-cynic infinite loop?  

You don't.  And our media never will, at least not in my lifetime.  It's always false equivalence.  "Because you guys compared Bush to Hitler" will forever justify any behavior by Rush and his friends.

At Least His Obama Hate Is Open

Overlooked in last night's Oklahoma Democratic primary was the fact that Operation Rescue founder and rabid anti-choice loon Randall Terry ran against President Obama as a "pro-life Democrat" and managed to actually win about 18 percent of the vote, giving him an actual delegate.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday, Obama won 57 percent of the vote. Four other candidates combined for 43 percent of the vote, including anti-abortion activist and Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry who received 18 percent of the vote.

According to Democratic Party rules, Terry is eligible for a delegate since he won more than 15 percent of the statewide vote. Terry beat Obama in 12 counties, mostly in western Oklahoma. Terry acknowledges he can't win the presidency but says he hopes to cause Obama's defeat in the fall.

Terry won 15 Oklahoma counties in what has to be the most anti-Obama state in the country.  A number of folks ran against the President with the clear intent of weakening him, and it showed with the President getting less than 60% of the vote.  Randall Terry says he plans to "torment" the President and steal delegates from him in a number of swing states.

“There are still Democrats who love innocent babies more than they love the party,” he said from his Tulsa campaign office. “(Obama’s) policies of murdering babies is going to deny him the White House.”

Terry promised to torment Obama in the upcoming New Jersey primary, take delegates to the national convention to voice a pro-life agenda, and run on the general election ballot in six swing states.

Yeah, Terry is a certified loon.  Give him his 15 minutes of fame and then be done with him as far as I'm concerned.

But hey, at least Terry is honest with his abject hatred for the Preisdent, right?  More than I can say for some "Democrats."

Another Milepost On The Road To Oblivion

And the odds that we'll get to somebody dropping the ni-CLANG word on President Obama took a really big step forward today, along with bonus misogyny to boot.  They say a picture's worth a thousands words, and judging from the latest Mike Lester political cartoon from the Rome (Ga.) News-Tribune, none of those words are fit to print in a gorram family blog like this one.

Yeah, let that sink in. You've got the African-American President is a 70's pimp angle, the Sandra Fluke is a whore angle, the "evil light-skinned brother" angle, the white girl subservient to the black man angle, a complete misrepresentation of Ms. Fluke's statements to boot and it's all rolled up into one big insulting awful package of pure hatred for black people, women, and human beings with working souls.

 It's actually impressive, in the same way ebola-tipped bullets fired into crowds of baby sloths is impressive: just overwhelmingly, unremittingly awful on multiple levels. Kudos to you, Mr. Lester. You're a deeply nuanced and multi-layered asshole who has clearly mastered the art of the economy of visual vitriol. On a personal note, your awesome little piece of garbage here just won me the "Can we call them racist, misogynist bigots now?" argument in one very convincing little package.

It will not be long now until we descend past 2008's nadir of Obama Waffles and 2010's witch doctor with a bone through the nose and hit actual use of ni-CLANG. It's only March, people. We'll get there by Memorial Day at this rate.

Buckle up.

Symmetrical Stupidity

A guy had a neat idea for a fun driver's license photo.  Adam Bard shaved off half of his hair and half of his facial hair to create an offset effect.  You can follow the link for more photos showing the process.  I included the final photo so you could see the end result.

Yeah, it's a bit of a slow news day, but I also owed you a funny because I forgot Saturday morning's giggle.  Enjoy!

A Silky Solution

After much studying and experimentation, scientists have found a way to make violin strings out of spider silk.  This link takes you to the entire article and also lets you preview the a sampling played on the strings. It could have been the recording quality, but the tone sounded mellow and soft to me, without the precision of traditional strings but with a sound of its own that was really unique.  I'd love to hear a quartet to get a sense of what it sounds multiplied across several instruments.

For each string, Dr Osaki twisted between 3,000 and 5,000 individual strands of silk in one direction to form a bundle. The strings were then prepared from three of these bundles twisted together in the opposite direction.

He then set about measuring their tensile strength - a critical factor for violinists wishing to avoid breaking a string in the midst of a concerto.

The spider-silk strings withstood less tension before breaking than a traditional but rarely used gut string, but more than an aluminium-coated, nylon-core string.

A closer study using an electron microscope showed that, while the strings themselves were perfectly round, in cross-section the strands had been compressed into a range of different shapes that all fit snugly together, leaving no space between them.

Dr Osaki suggests that it is this feature of the strings that lends them their strength and, crucially, their unique tone.

"Several professional violinists reported that spider strings... generated a preferable timbre, being able to create a new music," he wrote.
This also gives us insight into how we can create sounds, change a musical standard and enjoy something new while upholding tradition.  Spider silk is an amazing thing, but I'd have never thought to try it for a stringed instrument.  Strings must be so perfectly crafted, so uniform to hold the tension required to get the right sounds.  I thought spider silk would stretch too much and refuse to stay in tune.

I still maintain my "the only good spider is a dead spider" standards, but at least we can get some use out of the nasty little critters.

The Romney Curve On Wage Pricing

The Marquis de Mittens and Larry Kudlow get their monocles and harrumphing on over the soshulist redistribution ploy known as "minimum wage".  Now, Kudlow's bad enough by himself...
“A lot of conservatives led by the Wall Street Journal editorial page were horrified when you said you want to index the minimum wage for inflation,” CNBC host Larry Kudlow said. “They said, look, that’s just going to raise the minimum wage. That’s going to raise the unemployment rate, especially for young people, especially for minorities. Why do you want to raise the minimum wage?
Yeah, let's pause here for a sec.  In Kudlow's world, raising the minimum wage equals more unemployment, because really jobs exist out there where $7.25 an hour is just too awful.  Why, if we cut that in half, we could hire twice as many people and lower unemployment, especially for minorities (because hey, menial labor is all those people are good for.)  Heck, we eliminate the minimum wage, we could have zero unemployment!  Utopia accomplished!  Sure, it's not like $3.50 a hour is a living wage or anything, but we can call it "workfare".

Meanwhile Mittens devours his own foot again.

Romney responded by noting that as governor, he had vetoed a bill to raise the minimum wage in Massachusetts.
“I vetoed it and I said, look, the way to deal with minimum wage is this: On a regular basis, I said in the proposal I made, every two years, we should look at the minimum wage, we should see what’s happened to inflation, we should also look at the jobs level throughout the country, unemployment rate, competitive rates in other states or, in this case, other nations,” he said.
“So, certainly, the level of inflation is something you should look at and you should identify what’s the right way to keep America competitive,” Romney continued. “So that would tell you that right now, there’s probably not a need to raise the minimum wage.”

If we got rid of the minimum wage, we could be more labor-price competitive with countries like Haiti, Somalia, China and Tonga.  So, there's that.   This is how President Bain Capital here would solve America's problems.  We don't have working poor.  They're making $7.25 an hour!  How can you be poor if you're making that much money?  Heck, we cut that minimum wage, have states compete for corporations by seeing how low wages they can offer to enslave their workers,and that profit will trickle down to the working stiffs automatically!  It's the Laffer Curve of wage pricing, cut wages by enough and total incomes will skyrocket and lift all boats and stuff.  Boom, competition creates winning.

What utter nonsense.   But the most striking thing is that once again, Mitt can't help himself.  He honestly believes this stuff because to him, $7.25 isn't an hourly wage, it's a breakfast tip amount.  In America, you can get that waiting tables.  How can there be poor people in America when that happens?  So why raise the minimum wage?  You guys making $11,500 a year?  You'll be fine.  Just get a better job.  This is America.

Just look at Mitt Romney.  Remember that come November.

The Big Super Tuesday Thread

Mitt Romney's narrow win in Ohio and his five other wins last night now gives him a pretty healthy lead in delegates, but at this point both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have every reason to stay in the race and keep bleeding Romney, forcing him to fight them and not President Obama (Ron Paul was going to stay in anyway).

Everyone thought it would be over by now.  That's just not the case,  Romney still can't get more than 40% or so in a competitive primary, meaning that the majority of Republicans are against him still.  If Gingrich or Santorum were gone at this point, the other would have a commanding lead, and Romney knows it.  Neither one will drop out with Kansas coming up this weekend and Alabama, Hawaii and Mississippi next Tuesday, states that Romney are not assured of winning by any means.

Meanwhile in Ohio, the primaries claimed two sitting members of Congress:  Mean Jean Schmidt is out on her ass after getting rolled by former Army doctor Brad Wenstrup, and I'm not sorry to see her go, considering she's a Birther and likes to give first-graders speeches about stopping abortion.  Wenstrup however is a Tea Party meathead, so we'll see how fast he goes Birther himself.

And up in Cleveland, Marcy Kaptur easily defeated Dennis Kucinich and I'm not really sorry to see him go either, considering he voted against the Democrats time and time again.

We'll see what the next couple of weeks bring.  The biggest prize remaining in March is Illinois in two weeks, a place where Romney can probably pick up a number of delegates.  He's going to need them.


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