Sunday Funnies: Green Nude Eel Edition

Well, another week where Occasional Cortex proves the point. There really is no intelligent life in there. And so on we go, like a runaway bumper car.

From Italy comes The God Emperor Trump, including the Twitter sword

Might just be the best thing the Italians have given us since this

click to embiggen

Jungle Love

And, of course

Mostly, but not all, from PowerLine, as usual

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Endings

Well, you may have heard, AOC, or as we are inclined to call her, Occasional Cortex has with some help from her friends, cost New York City that new Amazon headquarters. I’m not a fan of government subsidies to get big businesses to move in, but it is what it is. via the New York Post:

“For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term,” the company said.

“While polls show that 70 percent of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City.”

According to the reports I’ve seen, that’s 25, 000 jobs with an average salary of $150,000 per year (Yes, I also think it either insane or obscene, but that’s life). That works out to $3,750,000,000 lost. That’ll leave a mark on tax revenues. And it doesn’t count the other jobs, janitors, food service people, road crews, even ambitious young female bartenders. Nice job, Alexandria.


Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is apparently dead. Science reporter Jacob Margolis told us Wednesday via PJ Media.

“She was bouncing along, doing well, until a massive dust storm engulfed all of Mars in June 2018, knocking out communications with the team on earth,” he explained. The team has not heard from Opportunity since and it is unclear exactly what happened, he said. “The last message they received was basically, ‘My battery is low and it’s getting dark.’ They hoped that the windy season would clear dust off the solar panels (if that was the problem). “

Since then they’ve been pinging her “again and again, every way they knew,” to no avail. “Winter is coming,” said Margolis. “The windy season, which runs from November – January has come to an end, ” which is bad news for the rover because it will be dark and temps could dip to -100 C. The only way she has to keep warm is to move around, so “If components haven’t broken already, the extreme cold will likely serve the final blow…. If the solar panels do start to sip energy from the sun and feed it to the battery, Oppy’s emergency heaters will kick in and it’ll spend that energy warming its little robot heart, which contains its most important components.”

“We have made every reasonable engineering effort to try to recover Opportunity and have determined that the likelihood of receiving a signal is far too low to continue recovery efforts,” said John Callas, manager of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project at JPL on Wednesday afternoon.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine officially declared Opportunity dead in a 2 p.m. EST tweet:

Someday mankind will walk on Mars, and some of the credit will go to #Oppy and the brilliant Americans who designed, built, and operated the rover. Bravo Zulu, guys and girls.

And there a lesson there, Oppy was American technology, designed and built by Americans, designed to operate somewhat autonomously in a known hazardous atmosphere for 90 Martian days and travel 1100 yards. Instead:

NASA said in a statement. “In addition to exceeding its life expectancy by 60 times, the rover traveled more than 28 miles (45 kilometers) by the time it reached its most appropriate final resting spot on Mars — Perseverance Valley.”

Margolis shared what was likely Opportunity’s last photograph:

Nobody does it better!

As Dr. Tanya Harrison, one of the rocket scientists at JPL Tweeted:

.

Time to Change Models

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Twitter’s algorithms and content monitoring on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 5, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie – RC1D5C3E3B60

When we talk about our freedoms, the ones enshrined in the Bill of Rights are critical ones that ensure the rest, and they are all interdependent. The second does defend the rest, but so does the first, and the seventh and so on. It’s an integral whole, none of which are subject to negotiation.

That said, they do apply in law only to the government, the prohibit the government from doing certain things. In themselves, they do not prohibit private entities from doing those same things. But they hold up the ideal.

A century or so ago, a system was set up, and yes, Theodore Vail had considerable to do with it, that the US Government wouldn’t interfere with certain monopolistic practices of the Bell Companies, and in return, they would strive to supply affordable, universal service. It worked quite well for bringing central station telephone service to even the remotest part of the nation -with an agreed tweak here and there.

But the other thing about the phone company is that they simply did not care what you said on their lines. You could attempt the overthrow of the president, you could threaten to kill those attempting to overthrow the president whatever, the phone company did not care. It was (is actually) a common carrier, if you had the money for the service, it would carry the message, no questions asked.

Now the government, with due process involving some of those amendments we spoke of above might record and use your statements in a court of law, but the key phrase is due process and government. Nobody ever got disconnected by Northwestern Bell for saying something the CEO didn’t like on the phone.

So why this history lesson? Some lessons have seemingly been lost. Ashe Schow in The Daily Wire tells us:

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in an interview last week that the company could no longer “afford to take a neutral stance anymore.”

He made this statement after being asked by podcaster Sam Harris why Twitter’s bans and suspensions always seem to “reliably land[s] on one side of the political divide.”

He pointed out that progressive feminist Megan Murphy – who is no friend to conservatives – was banned for tweeting that “Men are not women” and asking, “How are transwomen not men? What is the difference between men and transwomen?” yet unapologetic anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan is still allowed on the platform.

“I don’t believe that we can afford to take a neutral stance anymore. I don’t believe that we should optimize for neutrality,” Dorsey said immediately.

Later in the podcast, Dorsey mentioned the Murphy ban again, saying, “The case you brought up. I’m not sure what was behind that, but I certainly don’t believe it was that one tweet.” He added that most people who are punished by the platform were repeat offenders.

Dorsey, according to NewsBusters, also dodged a question about the First Amendment. Harris had asked him why Twitter couldn’t just ban actual violent speech, but allow all other forms of speech, even those many vehemently disagree with. Dorsey said Twitter’s policies follow “the spirit of” the First Amendment.

Read the rest but you get the gist of it. Twitter itself is taking sides.

US law has assumed that Twitter Facebook, Google, all the others, are like the phone company, simple carriers of information, common carriers that if you pay the fare, will carry the message. It’s a good proven model, but it is inaccurate. Dorsey just denied again that his company is a common carrier, and he’s right, it is selectively choosing messages it is willing to carry from chosen clients. That’s OK too, but it is a different model.

It’s the model of the editorial page of any newspaper, they can print what they want, supporting their opinion. It’s also the model we use here, I’m not required to be fair or balanced, this blog is basically my opinion, what news is here I try to make accurate, but no guarantees.

But there’s another factor here, Bell Tel as a common carrier has no responsibility for the messages they carry. The New York Times is responsible for every word printed on its editorial page.

And so it is time for the lawfare to begin. Doxxing people? – Twitter’s at fault, Threatening public figures? Twitter dunnit. On and on. Time to break these self-righteous protectors of snowflakes, soy boys, and other so-called people that oppose American freedom.

And you know, I suspect the world will be a better place when we have destroyed them, and their owners.

The Company One Keeps

My mother often told me, “You’ll be known by the company you keep”. Somehow it often came up when she didn’t really approve of one friend or another. Invariably, she was right. She was referring, of course, to Proverbs 13:20 “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”

Well, not everyone had the advantage of my mother. the Democrats in Washington are one example. Fred Lucas at Fox News explains.

What a difference a year made for Joseph Alcoff.

On Monday, the 37-year-old has a court date in connection with charges he’s facing in Philadelphia that include aggravated assault and ethnic intimidation for allegedly being part of an Antifa mob in November that attacked two Marines, Alejandro Godinez and Luis Torres, both Hispanic. Alcoff and two others charged in the attack have pleaded not guilty.

ANTIFA FIGURE CHARGED IN MARINE ATTACK

But while Democratic officials are distancing themselves from Alcoff now, until recently he was a well-connected, aspiring political player in Washington who may have even had a hand in key policy proposals.

His endorsement apparently mattered when several congressional Democrats in February 2018 issued press releases with his quote backing their bill on regulating payday lenders.

As the payday campaign manager for the liberal group Americans for Financial Reform, Alcoff participated in congressional Democratic press conferences, was a guest on a House Democratic podcast and met with senior officials at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from 2016 through 2018.

He was also pictured with now-House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and ranking Democrat on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Both committees oversee financial regulatory policies Alcoff was advocating.

Alcoff met with then CFPB Director Richard Cordray and other senior CFPB officials on April 2016, again in March 2017 and a third time in May 2017, as first reported by the Washington Free Beacon.

During this time, he reportedly was an Antifa leader in Washington.

Alcoff’s former employer had little to say about the matter.

“As of December, Mr. Alcoff no longer works for AFR,” Carter Dougherty, spokesman for Americans for Financial Reform, told Fox News in an email.

Dougherty didn’t answer whether Alcoff had been fired or resigned. He also didn’t answer whether the organization was aware of Alcoff’s associations during his employment.

Alcoff was reportedly also an organizer for Smash Racism DC, the group responsible for gathering and shouting threats outside the home of Fox News host Tucker Carlson in November and for heckling Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and his wife Heidi at a Washington restaurant in September. Reports have not said Alcoff was directly involved in either incident; only that he was associated with the group.

Keep reading but there is no real surprise here. We’ve long known that the Dims have nothing but disrespect for those who wear our uniform, for those of different colors, for any of the myriad differences between us, that makes people so fascinating. For the Dims it is simply a crack to apply a crowbar to, to attempt to separate us and play us off, one against the other. They call it diversity politics or intersectionality, or some other made up word. I call it bullshit. The only difference that matters is character, and in that, Joseph Alcoff is entirely lacking. Those that associated willingly with him, Maxine Waters and Sherrod Brown, for example, are no better.

They too are known by the company they keep.

Riding to the Sound of the Guns; Defending Men

I’d guess that by now you’ve all heard of the American Psychological Association’s guidance for treating boys and men. No, I haven’t read it, nor do I intend to. Most of what I’ve heard is intensely negative, making ‘pure crap’ sound like a compliment. Plus I’m a technical, engineering type guy, you know, yes or no, right or wrong.works or doesn’t work, ‘0’ or ‘1’. If it’s not absolutely right, it’s completely wrong. I’m mostly digital, not analog, although I do tend to have quite a lot of empathy for the fixes people get themselves into. Been there, done that. I still sort of believe the engineering school definition of psychology: “Nuts and S**ts. Deal with it, that’s the sort of guy I am.

But I’m not everybody, and more and more I notice a lot of young guys (girls too) seem a bit screwed up, so maybe somebody should help them and I’m very likely not that guy, so maybe psychologists do have a place. But I don’t think these guidelines, or at least what I’ve read about them, are helpful.

Quillette Magazine reached out to 12 well-known practitioners (some I’ve even heard of, and even read some of their stuff). What they said is about as balanced as I’ve seen. And it is interesting. A few excerpts follow. much more at the link.

Introduction — John P. Wright, Ph.D.

Thirteen years in the making, the American Psychological Association (APA) released the newly drafted “Guidelines for Psychological Practice for Boys and Men.” Backed by 40 years of science, the APA claims, the guidelines boldly pronounce that “traditional masculinity” is the cause and consequence of men’s mental health concerns. Masculine stoicism, the APA tells us, prevents men from seeking treatment when in need, while beliefs rooted in “masculine ideology” perpetuate men’s worst behaviors—including sexual harassment and rape. Masculine ideology, itself a byproduct of the “patriarchy,” benefits men and simultaneously victimizes them, the guidelines explain. Thus, the APA committee advises therapists that men need to become allies to feminism. “Change men,” an author of the report stated, “and we can change the world.”

But if the reaction to the APA’s guidelines is any indication, this change won’t happen anytime soon. Criticism was immediate and fierce. Few outside of a handful of departments within the academy had ever heard of “masculine ideology,” and fewer still understood how defining traditional masculinity by men’s most boorish—even criminal—behavior would serve the interests of men or entice them to seek professional help. Instead of passing quietly into the night, as most academic pronouncements do, the APA’s guidelines did what few such documents have ever done: They engendered a social media maelstrom, and likely not only lost professional credibility, but potentially created new barriers for men who need help. […]

We are heartened by the criticism that emerged from the APA’s guidelines. Why? Because we don’t believe that most of the backlash resulted from crass political motives. Instead, much of it was rooted in a deep concern about men and boys. The culture wars have not been kind to men, and data from an assortment of surveys tell us that boys and men are not thriving. Documents can be edited, but goodwill is a commodity no one should erase. If the APA is truly concerned about the mental and emotional health of men, it will recognize the goodwill and constructive intent underpinning much of the criticism, and consider the feedback as a starting point for a broader and more productive discussion of how to most effectively provide successful treatment for boys and men.

A sample from one contributor.

Who Will Mount Up and Ride to the Sound of the Guns? — B. Christopher Frueh, Ph.D.

The APA’s latest manifesto is an embarrassment to the discipline of psychology. It is an abdication of scientific responsibility, denying biological and evolutionary realities in favor of a progressive fantasy pushed by “social justice” and “feminist” ideologies. It is harmful to all members of our society and dangerous to our national security. Masculine qualities like rugged individualism, courage, stoicism, ambition, and a willingness to protect and sacrifice for others helped secure the freedom and prosperity that so many now take for granted.  

At a time when many academics are virtue-signaling by whining about “toxic masculinity,” taking offense at every imagined “microaggression,” and listing their “pronouns” in their email signature blocks, we should ask where does this line of absurdity end? Perhaps the next APA manifesto will seek to abolish religion, athletics, heterosexual marriage, eating meat, etc. Whatever happened to common sense? And where does this take us? Will we next ban books, movies, and podcasts by people named Ernest Hemingway, Clint Eastwood, or Jocko Willink?

OK, I’m not neutral in this fight, and Dr. Frueh says what I think, so I featured him here. That makes neither him nor me correct, but he damn sure raises a valid question. Read the whole thing, I found that each of the 12 contributors has something valuable to add. None of this is simple. I can’t speak for you, of course, but often I wonder exactly why I think, speak, or write as I do. Dr. Frueh also quotes one of my favorite authors, and it is important that we keep it in mind as we move forward. Remember, life is movement, if we’re not moving forward, we are slipping back.

“We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”

—C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (1943)

Saddle Up!

 

Sunday Funnies: State of the Union

Well, this has been quite the week, upside down inside out every which way. Let’s have a look.

Grantham, Lincolnshire, England has agreed to have a statue of their favorite daughter, Baroness Margaret Thatcher. Good for them, although given that they are from the Labour party, they may be a bit halfhearted. But many, many people from Russia to America know better than they do.

As opposed to

I hear this time and again in talking with Britons.

 

And, of course

Mostly, but not all, from PowerLine (including comments) this week.

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