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December 31, 2014

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I'd be happier to see the back of 2014 if I was actually confident that the problems which have boiled up this year were actually going to get resolved in the next. But I'm not so much.

Middle East? Not likely to get much better. ISIS may get taken down -- maybe. But it will just get replaced by the next gang of fanatics. Tunisia looks more and more like an outlier. Something to be thankful for, of course. But no reason to be hopeful about the rest of the region.

Ukraine? Unless the price of oil shoots back up (which doesn't seem likely real soon; it takes too long for drilling new wells to wind down), Russia is going to be hurting more and more. But even if Putin get tossed, it seems doubtful that his successors would actually withdraw their guys from eastern Ukraine.

Ebola? Yeah, we're starting to get a handle on it. But whether it will, in 2015, go the way of swine flu or mad cow disease?

On the other (positive) hand, we may manage to actually get a treaty done with Iran. The (very quiet) cooperation and coordination in dealing with ISIS could help some there. (Or course, the Senate may refuse to ratify the treaty, lest they somehow give Obama a "win.")

And the Tesla fast-charge station that I discovered last week along I-5 may get joined by others. Who knows, by the end of 2015 there may even be enough of them to make looking at a Tesla for my next vehicle seem viable. Assuming, of course, that they take up making one with the kind of interior space that a station wagon or crossover has....

Finally, I am going to be fascinated to see what the Pluto probe finds. Seems like every time we spend some time around a new body in the Solar System, we get to revise a lot of theories about how the whole thing came to be, and what it looks like now. (I, for one, didn't expect a comet head to look anything like what it turned out to.)

My wife and I have a friend who has, somehow, already seen the entire season 5 of Downton Abbey.

He understands that his life is forfeit if he speaks a word.

Apparently, I'm looking forward to a new laptop in 2015, because my current one appears to have bricked itself overnight.

I'm busted, This is why I haven't been writing much, so as not to reveal any spoilers.

Might I predict...

A hangover (mulled wine; gin & tonic; espresso beer; too much champagne... If such a thing were possible) tomorrow.

Greece possibly to bring down the euro - a little after that.

The petro-economies to encounter problems - sadly, Saudi Arabia can probably weather the storm it created, but places like Venezuela, Russia, Iran and Libya will suffer quite a lot (and the Norwegians might look down a little less condescendingly on the Swedes).

Wj to discover the Tesla Model X.

I could go on at (more) tedious length, but instead would like to wish you all a very happy new year.

Norwegians will admit that Swedes have better neighbors than they do.

Norwegians will admit that Swedes have better neighbors than they do.

I predict that, in the coming year, Typepad will continue to have glitches.

My ex wrote to me to remind me how one New Year's Eve we stood on up on the ridge and shook our fists at the old year and cursed it. I can't remember if the year that followed it was better or worse than usual. Still, I recall that it was fun to do that.

I happened to read The Last Policeman this morning, so I've still got an end of the world = end of the year thing stuck in my head. So no predictions about 2015 from me.

three weeks of putting the wrong year on forms.

other than that, nothing changes on New Years Day.

Nigel, thanks of the reference to the Tesla Nodel X.

But one of the other things that I really like about my current vehicle (a Honda CRV) and the minivans that I had previously is the height. It really helps to be high enough to see what is going on. Looks like the Model X is a little weak on that front.

Inherently so; Electric vehicles generally start at a huge deficit in the area of available energy, (Because the energy density of batteries is so much lower than hydrocarbon fuel.) so to be feasible for anything but short trips they need to very heavily weight their design in the direction of favorable aerodynamics. Which means being close to the ground, unfortunately, since the frontal area needs to be minimized, and it needs to start at the ground. So, don't expect long range electric SUVs any time soon.

Maybe a periscope would help?

Now, I've got a short commute, and I'm seriously considering one of these for my drive to work, when the beater I'm driving now finally dies.

Ah, those coal burning electric cars...

Charles, they may be coal-burning in the Northeast. But in California, they mostly run on hydro.

Half my electricity is nice, clean nuclear. Yeah, a nuke powered motorcycle, that does sound cool.

I'm still waiting for smellevision to replace television.

if you got a really short commute, there's always one of these.

No, for a really short commute, all you need is these

And you do mean all you need...

When I don't have to haul tools this would do me fine http://www.monsterscooterparts.com/electron-wheel.html

or one of these. This appears to be the Ikea model.

The X is only a inch less tall than the current CRV, I think:
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Model_X

And a lot quicker off the lights.

Nigel, you are a gem! Now just another year or two for the production models to come available....

A nuke powered motorcycle would have a terrible power/weight ratio, which sort of defeats the whole wonderfulness of motorcycles.

Ok, ok, maybe a Harley.

I looked at electric/hybrid a couple of years ago, but the thing that bugged me then was that they were all front- or rear-drive; none had all-wheel drive. You would THINK it would be simple to just put two more electric motors on the wheels and adjust the programming, since it's the batteries that are the big cost driver.

Maybe in a few more years. I hope.

Nuke Airship? Totally practical.

More electric motors to make all-wheel drive?

Could be, could be--
http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/dual-motor-model-s-and-autopilot

For a particularly short commute this

Got the bike, and at my last job one of the employees did an hour each way commute on a recumbent bike each day. But, since I rang in the new year by being diagnosed with congestive heart failure, (Yet another side effect of the chemo, the gift that keeps on giving.) I think maybe I'll pass on commuting that way. My cardiologist might not approve.

Brett:

I'm so sorry to hear that. Take care of yourself.

Don't get more broke up about it than I am; I view every day since my lymphoma back in 2009 as bonus time. Probably the worst part of it is the low sodium diet: I love ham, and had to give up my hobby of making my own bacon.

Anyway, so far a mild case, I won't be running any marathons, but so long as I take my diuretic and avoid salty foods, I'm no invalid.

enjoy!

A black woman was filling out forms at the welfare office. Under "Number of children," she wrote "10," and where it said "List names of children," she wrote "Leroy." When she handed in the form, the woman behind the desk pointed out: "Now here where it says "List names of children," you're supposed to write the names of each one of your children." "Dey all named Leroy," said the black woman. "That's very unusual. When you call them, how do they know which one you want?" asked the welfare worker. "Oh, den I uses the last names."


What do you call a black woman who gets an abortion?
A member of Crimestoppers of America.

What does NAACP stand for?
Now Apes Are Called People

Where is the best place to hide a nigger's food stamps?
Under his work boots.

How can you tell when a black as been on your computer?
It is not there.

Well, that's so mid last century retro... :(

Liberals are so entertaining when they pretend to be conservatives... They're so bad at it.

Yes, for true entertainment, always rely on the real item:

http://www.newsmax.com/newswidget/rush-limbaugh/2015/01/02/id/616028/?Dkt_nbr=11604-1&nmx_source=Ballon_Juice&nmx_medium=widget&nmx_content=339&nmx_campaign=widgetphase2

Brett, good health and fortune to you in this new year.

Brent, I hate to break this to you, but that ip address seems to be from the same block that holds mighty whitey, just sayin', factoidal and blackhawk. I know it's depressing, but whoever he is, liberal he ain't.

it's the truth sounds like my old man having a bad day.

nice try brett, but i don't think he (or she) is one of ours.

stay well.

Liberals are so entertaining when they pretend to be conservatives... They're so bad at it.

Yeah, that's why Colbert had to give up the gig.
:-)

All the best to you in the new year, Brett.

Fake conservatives are common enough that, when conservatives protest, they often bring "Not really one of us" signs along to point out the fakes. It was an organized movement. I doubt it has stopped.

Again, unfortunately, the person you identify above isn't a liberal. If you'd like me to send all of the crap he's tried to post to the site, I'd be happy to, just let me know your email address. You can send it to me at the link under the kitty.

Brett,

Best wishes for your mental health in the new year.

--TP

Jim Hoft never fails to live up to his honorary title.

this is currently the top Google hit for "Jim Hoft".

Not sure what you're saying, LJ; That Jim Hoft isn't a liberal? Of course he isn't, if he were, why would he want to expose liberals pretending to be racist tea party members?

Crash the Tea Party was real, just like Journolist was real, and in both cases you'd have to be pretty credulous to think the activity ended when the organizations nominally folded. Ideological battle is kind of like war, "all's fair", and both moles and false flag operations are a regular part of the conflict.

I could give you a list of false flag operations the DNC has run, if you like. It's a regular part of American politics to have your people pretend to be the other side's people, and then say things the other side wouldn't say.

According to today's purified Republican Party, most fake conservatives are Republicans and are outed as RINOs.

Abe Lincoln: fake conservative, one of the greatest genuine article liberals, in the sense the word is used now, in American history.

You can tell, because a real conservative put a bullet in his head.

Richard Nixon: fake conservative, but legit thug

A cursory look at Ronald Reagan's record and weakness for compromise has fake conservative written all over it, according to today's Stalinist keepers of the pure conservative straightjacket.

I would venture that nearly all Republican candidates for elective office who speak in front of groups of true blue conservative enforcers are faker than a frigid woman's orgasm, or maybe Kramer's fake orgasms.

Conservatively speaking, Barack Obama is one fake liberal.

I suspect that a canvassing of Libertarians would find plenty of fakes, given their penchant for excepting themselves from one libertarian stipulation or another, like, say, the libertarian plank against any governmental restrictions on abortion.

Bingo!

Faking it is as American as a grinning realtor.

Without fakery, the economy would collapse.

Wow, cleek, Mediamatters doesn't like a right-wing blogger? I never would have guessed.

See, right there, Brett, you're faking that you never would have guessed.

If there is anything I can't stand, it's a guy who walks around ACTING nonplussed when in reality he knows everything and is certain of all of it.

Have you ever thought about being telephone sales rep?

Brett, faux naïveté doesn't suit you very well, you know what I was talking about. If you want to walk around with your foot in your mouth, that's your business, but I tend to see your inability to admit that you screwed up as a much more embarassing trait than any political belief you hold or claim to hold.

A cursory look at Ronald Reagan's record and weakness for compromise has fake conservative written all over it, according to today's Stalinist keepers of the pure conservative straightjacket.

Once again we have reached the point in a thread where the Count is being completely serious and accurate. As usual, it says something about the subject at hand.

Not sure what you're saying, LJ; That Jim Hoft isn't a liberal?

No, LJ is saying that it's the truth is not a liberal.

Mediamatters doesn't like a right-wing blogger?

not quite the point.

if you Google Jim Hoft and go down to Related Searches, you'll see "jim hoft dumbest man on the internet" as one of the proposed searches.

and if you follow that link, then you can see why he's earned that title, as link after link discusses his long history of ineptitude.

Big deal, so he's hated enough on the left he's been google bombed.

Is Jim Hoft really the guy whose hill you want to die (rhetorically speaking) on, Brett?

Even the viciously crazy conservative thug punk Charles Johnson thinks Hoft is nuts:

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/43795_Jim_Hoft_Plagiarized_a_White_Supremacist_Hate_Site_for_His_Latest_Race-Baiting_Post

And Johnson himself is being avoided like the plague by conservatives (I was going to write "decent conservatives", but since we're dealing with the far-Right cesspool into which today's conservatism continuum drains itself, why be nice?)

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/conservatives-wont-claim-blogger-charles-johnson/article/2557219

Would you credential yourself somewhere between Hoft and Johnson (is there room?) on that continuum or are you just playing the third stooge for our entertainment this weekend?

Because your recipes alone place you at a higher level than those guys, you leftist food monger.

Whoops, mistook Charles Johnson of LGF for Charles C. Johnson, right-wing agitator clown.

But, I suspect Charles C. has few bad things to say about Hoft, so my question about the company you want to keep stands.

I spose now you're going to tell us you are Brett C. Bellmore.

oh, i'd be very surprised if anybody on the left hates Jim Hoft. he's a bumbling knucklehead whose buffoonery and ham-headed punditry earns him a lot of mockery. but i doubt many people take him seriously enough to hate him. he's an unintentional clown.

Hoft is far, far too entertaining to "hate". Sometimes his antics will grate on the nerves, not unlike Jerry Lewis, but unless Hoft is a next-door neighbor or relative or cow-orker that you can't escape, hatred is just not on the menu.

Amusement? Oh, yes.

I can't stand anyone who orks cows.

How about someone who cows orcs? (Looking at you, Gandalf)

I think the point here is, conservatives don't take direction from the left on who to listen to, any more than liberals take direction from the right.

Anyway, the bigger point is, yeah, liberals do pretend to be racist conservatives to make conservatives look bad. There was a case in Michigan when I lived there, some folks showed up at a conservative rally holding Nazi signs. Somebody followed them after they left, and they went straight to the campaign headquarters of a local Democratic candidate to drop off their gear, and their photos were afterwards matched to that some of that candidate's campaign workers.

Or, look at this case.

Or the Democratic party running fake Tea Party candidates to divide the opposition vote.

Happens all the time. So, no, don't bother pretending everybody who shows up claiming to be a conservative and spouting racism is really a conservative.

Al Sharpton, much to the Democratic party's shame, really is a Democrat, though.

Funny, I thought the point here is that you instinctively felt it necessary to point out your unshakeable conviction that it was a liberal masquerading as a conservative. Unfortunately for you, all evidence suggests that it is someone with some deeply seated problems. I realize that you don't want to see what else the spam filter has stopped, but if you want to avoid the taste of your foot in your mouth, you might want to hold off on your first instinct. If you do succumb, trying to squirm out of it with misdirection is not going to sway many people here, which I assume is what you want to do, rather than look like an idiot.

Of course, I don't know the contents of your spam filter, and there's probably no viewpoint that's so over the top that nobody actually could hold them.

All I can really say, is that I know for an absolute fact that there are liberals who, for a variety of reasons, go around pretending to be conservatives saying reprehensible things. And my actual experience with real-world conservatives doesn't involve a lot of such things being said.

"And my actual experience with real-world conservatives doesn't involve a lot of such things being said."

Didn't bother watching the GOP presidential nominating debates in 2012, then? Don't blame you.

By "reprehensible" things, I mean things ordinary people would find reprehensible for normal reasons, not things liberal Democrats would find reprehensible for purely political reasons.

And, seriously, I don't know how Democrats can go on and on about David Duke, with a straight face, while Al Sharpton has his own show on TV, and gets invited to the White House.

Yeah, sure. Race grifter (by some folks judgement, not mine)Al Sharpton is exactly the same as neo-nazi white supremacist, anti-semitic, conspiracy mongering, convicted tax fraudster, authoritarian loon like DaviDuke.

You fucking need help.

I'd say Sharpton, whom I've criticized on these pages for his antiSemitism, is more similar (as a mirror image) to Pat Buchanan, (or even the late James Kilpatrick) whose racist and anti-Semitic remarks seems to only fatten his wallet.

I'd be fine with a duel to the death (hopefully both of them) between the two.

But I blame the degree to which capitalists have taken over the news and commentary industry from journalists.

The bigger the mouth, the more camera time.

Duke is beyond the pale.

Probably capable of genocide if placed in any position of power.

Looks good in a suit though. Like Putin.

Pat Buchanan has inspired mobs to burn people alive? Duke has?

I'd say Duke is beyond the pale, so's Sharpton, but only one of them gets treated as beyond the pale.

I suppose saying someone is beyond the pale comes down to where you think the pale is.

Mind, I think Sharpton is a demagogue, and a miserable excuse for a human being. But he really isn't in Duke's league.

Methinks, pretty quick we'll be debating the Hitler/Stalin standoff again.

Yes, Sharpton shouldn't be where he is.

Duke was inspired to become the head of a lynching organization, but with designer nooses for the hip among us.

Buchanan supporters will be miffed that more of his Zulu enemies haven't been either lynched or burned alive.

It's like the Yankees versus the Red Sox.

"But he really isn't in Duke's league."

You're right, he's got a bigger death toll than Duke, and had a lot more staying power than Duke.

He's in a worse league.

Really? I hadn't realized that. What is Sharpton's death toll? (And how is it figured?)

Oh, you never heard of the Crown Heights riots? Duke never managed anything like that, so far as I know.

But Duke signed up to be Grand Wizard of the KKK, which committed atrocities on a major scale. His contribution has been to fully elaborate on the worldwide Jewish conspiracy, unlike Sharpton's piecemeal efforts.

You might want to bring up Senator Byrd at this point, just to hit your marks.

Put me down as favoring Sharpton being fired from his various media gigs and becoming persona non grata among Democrats and polite company.

If we're counting bodies, how many lives were shortened and ruined by the policies that William F. Buckley championed?

I look forward to your ledger detailing the body count if the Supreme Court rules against Obamacare subsidies for folks currently enrolled in the programs and if the Republicans in the legislature refuse to provide a fix.

Or is it the Constitution that you fall back on to justify murder by policy?

Stalin's starvation of the Ukraine was agricultural policy.

If only Pol Pot or al Qaeda had such a Constitution to rely on.

We'd all be copacetic.

Sheesh. And David Duke is pretty much a non-entity in Republican politics, and Sharpton gets regular invites to the White House. I'm not saying there aren't marginalized Republicans as bad as Sharpton. I'm saying Sharpton is as bad as they, and doesn't get marginalized.

Treat Sharpton the way the GOP treats Duke, and maybe you won't be hypocrites talking about Duke.

And my actual experience with real-world conservatives doesn't involve a lot of such things being said.

but my experience does.

i'm sure that's because all the conservatives i know are really liberals trying to discredit conservatism. because no real Scotsman conservative would say such things.

Treat Sharpton the way the GOP treats Duke, and maybe you won't be hypocrites talking about Duke.

Sharpton is Falwell, not Duke.

Maybe Sharpton is Pat Robertson in that they both ran for president -- and both have TV shows, come to think of it. The parallel is not exact because only one of them blamed 9/11 on "the gays", as far as I know.

I forget whether Duke ever ran for the GOP nomination, but when Robertson ran (and lost, like Sharpton) he was merely rejected by the primary voters, not denounced or shunned by All True Non-Hypocrites.

Lee Atwater and his protege Karl Rove probably did not invent rat-fncking, but they appear to have coined the term. "Billionaires for Bush" never quite got the hang of it.

SPOILER ALERT:
Brett's false parallels and one-sided outrage will not abate in 2015.

--TP

Treat Sharpton the way the GOP treats Duke, and maybe you won't be hypocrites talking about Duke.

"Your demagogic asshole is worse than my demagogic asshole!".

Seriously, I don't think you want to pursue this line of argument.

In any case, time to put the goalposts back where they started.

Brett, is your claim that it's the truth is not expressing his actual beliefs, but is instead a liberal impersonating a conservative?

Also, not for nothing, but this is from Brett's NY Post cite:

Sharpton's revisionism only serves to perpetuate the fallacy that the riots erupted organically from some underlying ongoing issues between the African-American and Jewish communities of Crown Heights. In other words, that profound tensions were boiling just beneath the surface and were suddenly unleashed by the tragic death of Gavin Cato.

That is simply untrue.

Really? Things were simply fine, relations between blacks and the Hasidim in Crown Heights were going along swimmingly, and Al Sharpton single-handedly caused a riot to break out?

There appears to be lots of revisionism going on here, not all of it courtesy of Reverend Al.

who needs David Duke, when you have an endless supply of local GOP chairmen sending racist pics through email?

and, Steve Scalise is still GOP House majority whip, right?

i'm sure they're all secret liberals, too.

Clearly, "it's the truth" is Al Sharpton in conservative drag.

.... "Steve Scalise is still GOP House majority whip, right?"

Yes, but John Wilkes Booth was a Democrat, which just goes to show.

Hypocrisy down thru the ages.

Cue Brett's climb into the objective Libertarian tree house from whence all are pelted with charges of hypocrisy from far above it all.

Does Brett patrol right wings blogs too on his mission of ferreting out all hypocrisy?

I think not.

and Duke is threatening to Name Names if Scalise isn't coddled.

"Ratfucking" was not coined by either Rove or Atwater, both of whom were too young to have done so. I ran into, and employed, the term in college the very early 1960s (probably 1961-2?) and it seems to have been introduced into national politics by Donald Segretti, who had picked it up - and perhaps coined it - at nearby USC at around the same time. All Rove & Atwater did was perfect it, thus playing their distinctively corrupt part in the destruction of American politics and community. Let's not give them credit for actual creativity.

And in a probably closely related instance, this from Alan Sherman in 1963:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKhtyocZcy0

The classics never really go out of style.

Edmund Wilson, in 1922, apparently.

Ah, Wikipedia...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratfucking
It is unclear whether it was derived from the military term for stealing the better part of military rations and tossing the less appetizing portions away or if the military adopted the phrase from the political lexicon...

since this is an Open Thread...

my Name That Tune, #26 is up.

Brett, "its the truth" is in fact posting from the same IP block as "mighty whitey", "blackhawk" and "uninformed observer".

That someone could be a moby, certainly, but I've never seen any evidence for it.

I don't think I have seen a retraction or clarification on this point, yet. It couldn't hurt to pull that assertion back in, could it? There are in fact racist people out there of all political stripes, and the presence of one in any category doesn't say much as far as I am concerned.

As far as the comment itself is concerned, I think I'd let it stay in hopes that the 'net's long memory might be cause for regret.

Geographically he/she has posted from a number of IP addresses that tend to be served by a large IP company, but he/she has posted a few times from what appears to be his/her place of work, which is also geographically consistent if not coincident with what I think is his/her place of residence.

Or his/her parents' basement.

So, is "its the truth," et al a racist? Or just a twelve year old who farts in public just to see the look on people's faces?

"I'm not a racist, but I play one on the interwebs!"

So, is "its the truth," et al a racist? Or just a twelve year old who farts in public just to see the look on people's faces?

The two do not exclude each other.

No need to choose.

Ok, based on information I didn't have access to, I think it's reasonable to accept that "its the truth" isn't a false flag, though such certainly exist.

But I'll continue to think it laughable for Democrats to obsess about David Duke, when Al Sharpton is not shunned.

Brett, I don't think there's any need to even make mention of the information you don't have access to. I think in general it's better to assume that people are not agent provocateurs barring evidence that they are. Even if it means that "your team" has despicable, idiotic people on it. Newsflash, so does "their team", and "our team", and "the third team", and "not a team", and "so not a team". The key point is that all these "teams" have people, and I've never encountered a perceptibly-wide stripe of humanity that's actually free of terrible people, and as a rule they're some of the loudest ones.

Banal observations, I know.

But in this case, "it's the truth" matches the posting style of a long-term nuisance poster who's (tragically) never shown any sign of being other than sincere; that the IP range corroborates that is nice, but ultimately not necessary given that we know we have that sort of an infestation. So yeah. I seriously don't think there's any reason to bring up false flags in this context, as much as I sympathize with the urge to distance yourself from them.

Ok, based on information I didn't have access to, I think it's reasonable to accept that "its the truth" isn't a false flag, though such certainly exist.

The tell here is that your first instinct was to go for the more complicated, and therefore less likely, scenario.

Unless, of course, the idea of a conservative with an animus toward blacks is just beyond your comprehension.

But I'll continue to think it laughable for Democrats to obsess about David Duke, when Al Sharpton is not shunned.

Lots of things are laughable.

Do you want a list of conservative race hustlers?

How much time do you have?

If you want to play tit-for-tat, I'm sure folks here can play along for hours. What I'm not sure about is what you think your upside will be.

i hereby shun Al Sharpton.

Al Sharpton shuns everyone here.

The nerve!

Thanks to Slarti for taking the time and having more patience than I did to get us back to what I hope is a teachable moment (it was for me). And NV set out an explanation of why this is so problematic.

I tried to be very careful not to divulge any private information, although I was curious to see whether he'd posted any of his overtly, angrily racist crap, as he did recently, from his work address. Fortunately, no.

Because in that event I'd have been tempted to notify his place of employment, along with IP address and time. Not sure I'd have actually done that, but I'd have been sorely tempted.

I'm still twisted up by that problem, actually.

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