A.M. Links: Al Qaeda-Linked Rebels in Syria Attack Village, NRA and ACLU Team Up Against NSA, NYC Public School Administrators Accused of Sexually Assaulting Students

John Kerry's freedom fighters.Credit: FreedomHouse / Foter / CC BY

  • Syrian rebels linked to Al Qaeda attacked a largely Christian village, shelling it from a mountaintop hotel that they captured. While the United States contemplates whether it will join the fight, there are new signs that rebel forces are fragmenting into autonomous ideological groups.
  • A Palestinian official said that an agreement proposed by Israel, which would create a Palestinian state but keep dozens of Jewish settlements and military bases in the West Bank, is unacceptable. 
  • The National Rifle Association is  coming into the ring to fight alongside the American Civil Liberties Union in a lawsuit challenging the National Security Administration's phone-tracking program.
  • Belts and shoes are no longer signs of being a terrorist in the eyes of the Transportation Security Administration.
  • Administrators at a New York City public school are accused of sexually assaulting students and keeping them quiet by threatening them with deportation.
  • Federal prosecutors will attempt to place a gag order on the jailed activist-journalist Barrett Brown, who faces up to 100 years in prison for alleged offences relating to his work exposing online surveillance.

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  • Lord Humungus||

    FIST!

  • Mickey Rat||

    False start, lack of content.

    Another such violation will result in immediate DQ.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Belts and shoes are no longer signs of being a terrorist in the eyes of the Transportation Security Administration.

    The terrorists have now officially won.

  • gaijin||

    Belts and shoes

    But what about underwear?

  • Ted S.||

    An excuse to get your friend [of whichever gender you prefer] out of his/her undies.

  • Rich||

    Exactly.

    expedited checkpoint lanes — where participants are allowed to keep on their belts and shoes, and leave their laptops in their bags

    How about where participants "are allowed to" not empty their pockets, etc.? You know -- the stuff that *really* eats up the time.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    No shirt, no shoes, no jihad.

  • AlmightyJB||

    You being fingerprinted ahead of time though.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    I thought you were going to make a Cleveland Browns joke. Way to let me down.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Hollande ‘village idiot’ photo sparks censorship row after image is withdrawn

    President Hollande found himself at the centre of an embarrassing debate yesterday after Agence France-Presse (AFP), the French press agency, withdrew a photograph that left him looking like a village idiot.

    Critics accused the agency, which depends largely on the French state for its financial equilibrium, of self-censorship in an attempt to avoid ruffling Mr Hollande’s feathers.
  • gaijin||

    which depends largely on the French state for its financial equilibrium,

    You dance with the devil, the devil leads.

  • Aloysious||

    This seems oddly appropriate.

    Jack Nicholson as The Joker.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gfMXEmCew4

  • DJF||

    Which is more stupid, thinking that withdrawing the photo would not be noticed or thinking that you can actually withdraw a photo once its on the internet?

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

  • John||

    Awesome!! I know it seems like liberals are shameless and don't care. But they care. Those sorts of things really hurt. It won't change their behavior. But it does make them miserable, which is not a bad thing.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Saul Alinsky’s 12 Rules for Radicals
    RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

  • John||

    Alinsky was right about that. And liberals are especially vulnerable to it because their politics is their personal identity. They want more than anything to be taken seriously and to be all that is right and good.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    That, and they're just not used to being on the receiving end, given their infestation of the media.

  • fish||

    For further information consult: Matthews, Chris, re: Tingles.

  • John||

    During the 2012 election, Michelle Bachman was on Matthews' show and she ended the segment with some quip asking Mathews if he was still feeling that tingle up his leg. Matthews practically came unglued. He cut the video feed of her and yelled "I didn't say that, IDIOT" as they broke to commercial. He looked like an 8th grader angry at being taunted on the playground. It was just priceless. You could tell he was so angry that she had the nerve to make fun of him.

  • fish||

    Matthews practically came unglued....

    Goddamn but he's the consummate political suck up/hanger on. The dawning realization that he backed the lemon currently occupying the oval office must chafe something awful!

    (hahahahahahahahahahahahah!)

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Shut the fuck up, racist.

  • Slammer||

    And we would be remiss in not constantly hammering away at them about it.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The National Rifle Association is coming into the ring to fight alongside the American Civil Liberties Union in a lawsuit challenging the National Security Administration's phone-tracking program.

    Finally, a valid excuse for the left to come out full-throated in support of domestic spying.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    We need the phone-tracking program to find the Teathuglican racists who want to use AR-15s with high-capacity magazines and shoulder-things-that-go-up to murder black children!

  • Floridian||

    The NRA and ACLU should be natural partners, except the ACLU doesn't recognize the second amendment in the BOR.

  • fish||

    All the copies delivered to the ACLU branch offices were short three constitutional amendments.

    It was almost as embarrassing as the US maps delivered to the Obama campaign

  • fish||

    ...the ones with the 57 states.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Report: There is no 97 percent global warming consensus
    ...To be part of the “consensus” one need only agree that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and that human activities have warmed the planet “to some unspecified extent” — both of which are uncontroversial points.

    “Almost everybody involved in the climate debate, including the majority of sceptics, accepts these propositions, so little can be learned from the Cook et al. paper,” writes Montford. “The extent to which the warming in the last two decades of the twentieth century was man-made and the likely extent of any future warming remain highly contentious scientific issues.”...

  • mr simple||

    Looks like there's another website to be added to the denier, do-not-listen-to list.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Drunk wasps may attack us, warns Red Cross

    With their queens fully supplied with all the nectar they need, worker wasps now have nothing to do but laze around getting drunk on fermenting fruit, according to environmental authorities.

    Perhaps better described as retired than “jobless” – since all the workers will have died out by the time winter comes around – the insects are becoming increasingly bold and angry in their old age.

    you know who else became bold and angry in their old age?

  • gaijin||

    John McCain?

  • DontShootMe||

    McCain?
    Obama?
    Hillary?
    John Kerry?
    Bashar Assad?

  • Ted S.||

    Drunk wasps may attack us, warns Red Cross

    It's too bad the Red Cross wasn't attacked by hemophiliacs who get AIDS through tainted blood.

  • alittlesense||

    Damn larva! Get off my lawn!

  • ||

    “When an insect sting is visible on the skin, a credit card can be used to scrape it away. Using the edge of the credit card, drag it across the skin. This will remove the sting. Using a credit card or your fingernail is preferable to using a pair of tweezers. Some stings contain a sac of poison and if it is grasped with tweezers you may inject the sac of poison into the skin.”

    Public official giving advice with no idea whatsoever of what he is talking about.

  • mr simple||

    Grandma?

    When drunk wasps attack it will just be with cold, passive-agressive remarks or a dressing down of the help.

  • Swiss Servator - Gnome Slave||

    The Lion in Winter?

  • Aloysious||

    McConnel?
    Booosh?
    Nixon?
    Bob Barker?

  • Lord Humungus||

    all true, but I was looking for "my dad"

  • DontShootMe||

    Hmmm, my dad just became dead in his old age.

  • Lord Humungus||

    I'm sure he's up in heaven, angrily shaking his fist at something.

  • Andrew S.||

    Happy new year to all of my fellow libertarian Jews.

    (actually, I'm pretty sure I'm the only one)

  • Zeb||

    Matrix is as well, I believe.

  • BakedPenguin||

    heller, too.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Our Heroic Mulatto is half-Jew. Me too.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The secret Zionist takeover of Hit & Run has begun.

  • UnCivilServant||

    It was a secret? Why does no one tell me not to blab about these things?

  • fish||

    Note to self......keep eye on these....ewJays.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Protocols of the Elders of Libertopia

  • Andrew S.||

    Dammit. It was discussed at the last meeting of the cabal of Jewish bankers that control the world. There was also a note to that effect with our yearly delivery of Jew Gold(tm). How could you not be paying attention to that! It's important!

  • robc||

    Our Heroic Mulatto is half-Jew.

    Which half?

  • fish||

    Well for his sake let's hope it's the upper half!

    (ducks and runs after making black penis joke)

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I thought it was a criticism of circumcision.

  • B.P.||

    It was cleverly veiled support for NY-style pizza.

  • Rich||

    Jew celebrate last night?

    /Woody Allen

  • Obese American||

    Shana Tovah, bitches!

  • Lord Humungus||

    zomg, libertarianism is apparently a zionist plot!!!

    btw, why are so many Jewish girls so damn hot? - at least the ones I met.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    zomg, libertarianism is apparently a zionist plot!!!

    Ayn Rand. Murray Rothbard. Ludwig von Mises. Milton Friedman.

    Case Closed.

  • CE||

    But I heard that libertarians were all angry white anti-Semitic racists...

  • Brett L||

    See just how hard Obamacare is gonna fuck you when your employer drops you from their insurance.

  • John||

    It is going to be so bad. We headed over a cliff and everyone is just pretending its not there.

  • CatoTheElder||

    ObamaCare is doing exactly what it was planned to do: usher in Canadian-style single payer or Brit-style NHS. Details to be worked out after the crisis becomes apparent.

  • robc||

    Im supposed to find out my premiums for next year sometime this month.

    Im sure I will come here to rant.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The comments are derpalicious:

    You DO realize that while the Income Tax is set by Congress...the costs for these plans are set by the 'market'?

    That's right...private, for-profit companies are setting these costs. Government is only stepping in to cap the costs for low income households.

    The stupid runs strong in far too many. The Derpiclorian counts are off the charts, which is surely a sign that we need new charts.

  • ||

    Jesus fucking fuck.

    "It's exactly like a market, only the government controls the terms of exchange!"

    The irony of a "in Soviet Russia..." joke would probably be lost on them.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Obama's Economy Hits His Voters Hardest

    What was largely overlooked, however, is that those who were most likely to vote for Barack Obama in 2012 were members of demographic groups most likely to have suffered the steepest income declines. Mr. Obama was re-elected with 51% of the vote. Five demographic groups were crucial to his victory: young voters, single women, those with only a high-school diploma or less, blacks and Hispanics. He cleaned up with 60% of the youth vote, 67% of single women, 93% of blacks, 71% of Hispanics, and 64% of those without a high-school diploma, according to exit polls.
  • ||

    It's like marrying that boyfriend who never got a job the whole time you were dating.

  • some guy||

    I wonder what those percentages were when you include eligible voters who chose not to vote or even register. The groups mentioned are not exactly known for their high turnout.

  • carol||

    Well, thats just a darn shame that these people are suffering due to their own dumbassness. I feel really bad for them.

  • some guy||

    Don't worry. They're used to it. Suffering from the consequences of their own mistakes is the primary way adults enter the lower class.

  • ||

    Suffering from the consequences of 50%+1 of other people's mistakes is quickly catching up though.

  • Numeromancer||

    “Many workers were shocked this week to find that, because of the high cost of compliance with the new affordable health care act, employers have dropped them....WAIT! Oh joy! This just in: WAR IN SYRIA!”

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    While the United States contemplates whether it will join the fight, there are new signs that rebel forces are fragmenting into autonomous ideological groups.

    Hurry up and bomb for them before one of the more unpalatable factions becomes too prominent!

  • Swiss Servator - Gnome Slave||

    I think we have a target...

    Syrian rebels linked to Al Qaeda attacked a largely Christian village, shelling it from a mountaintop hotel that they captured.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    The Camel's Nest

  • Bardas Phocas||

    COW TIPPING!
    The Science is Settled!
    http://modernfarmer.com/2013/0.....-bullcrap/

  • John||

    I didn't grow up in a small town. But I spent a lot of time around farms and cattle. I never believed my small town brethren when they claimed to have done this. It really is one of the great trolling operations in history. All of these small town kids spontaneously trolled millions of urban university classmates for years.

  • Rich||

    SNIPE HUNT!!

  • John||

    The other thing about that myth is that sometimes pastures have cows and the occasional bull. Bulls can be extremely dangerous. It is like going into a dark field where there might be an angry rhino waiting for you. No one who knows the slightest big about livestock would make a habit of wondering into strange fields at night.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    God I love your typos.

  • Slammer||

    Me too. But I can never figure out if they're intentional or not (and that's what makes them awesome). The typos are Yogi Berra like.

  • John||

    I aim to please. Mostly, they are because I never proofread or preview on here. Now it is a bit of a trademark. ;-)

  • UnCivilServant||

    Wait, why would you keep your bulls in with your cows? I thought you wanted to control procreation to normalize the health and yield of the herd. (That is, determine as the farmer when and which animals spawned.)

  • John||

    They generally don't. But not always. Some cows like diary cows are breed with imported seaman from champion bulls. But an ordinary cow isn't going to be. Sometimes they will turn a bull loose in with the cows to make calves. Not all breeding is done under controlled circumstances.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    You did that on purpose.

  • Swiss Servator - Gnome Slave||

    Agreed.

  • Lord Humungus||

    *arghh* it's a job when there is no ship in port *arghh*

  • R C Dean||

    why would you keep your bulls in with your cows?

    See, when the mommy cow and the daddy bull love each other very much . . . .

  • Floridian||

    It is the farmer you have to worry about.

  • From the Tundra||

  • some guy||

    DROP BEARS!

  • DJF||

    SNIPE HUNT!!

    Your the reason why I am now getting google ads about night vision rifle scopes.

  • carol||

    Who doesn't love a good snipe hunt? I almost lost my virginity during one.

  • fish||

    Get back to us when you're successful.

  • Swiss Servator - Gnome Slave||

    With the hunt or the virginity losing thing?

  • Lord Humungus||

    Vomiting in a cab could cost Florida passengers $50 puke tax

    Tired of tourists spewing in the back seat, taxi drivers in Key West, Fla. are advocating for a city ordinance that would require passengers pay a $50 surcharge for soiling their vehicle.

    “In the event that a taxicab passenger soils the interior of a taxicab with bodily fluids or solids,” read the proposed ordinance, which has been tentatively approved by the Key West City Commission. “A $50 clean-up fee will be added to the trip fare.”
  • Rich||

    So fart to your heart's content!

  • SugarFree||

    Farte Blanche!

  • Brett L||

    They weren't already running vomitting drunk tourist's credit cards for $100 over the fare? Key West, I am disappoint!

  • ||

    I'm glad they specified fluids or solids. What about the passenger who gives birth in the car? That's covered.

  • fish||

    That's fluids and solids!

  • Mickey Rat||

    I think there might be colloids as well.

  • thom||

    I can personally attest that the fee for puking in a Deutsche Bahn train in 2001 was 45DM.

  • ||

    $50 isn't nearly enough, it taxis weren't so highly regulated I imagine all taxis would set a much higher puke fee. You may very well be ending their night and costing them several hundred.

  • ||

    Instead of passing an ordinance, couldn't the cab companies just hang a sign on the door of the cab along with the rates saying "A $50 Surcharge will be added for vomiting in the vehicle"? Jesus Christ. It never even enters people's mind to solve a fucking problem without passing a law anymore.

  • mr simple||

    I just assumed that everything about running a cab there was already set by the government and they weren't allowed to even crack a window without some bureaucrat's okay.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Comment of the day
    Obama is not a politician; he is the Highest Exemplar of a Cultural Type. He therefore does not represent just a politics but pinned to him are the aspirations and hopes for validation of a cultural cohort, the New Class.

    The media could no more disown him than they could their own White Grandmother.

    The only thing keeping me sane is viewing things in these humorous (but true) terms, a bunch of people who think They're Doing Politics but are really only engaging in perpetual self-flattery.

    I guess I get very annoyed when I see this going on on the right too, with the various overheated arguments between RINOs and Traditionalists which, let's face it, are overheated precisely because they're Not Really About Politics but rather vindicating and championing one's cultural heritage.

    We need to put that aside. Government isn't about vindicating a cultural cohort's minor preferences and mode of life, it's about creating a set of policies which will promote the most cultural cohorts to live their lives in peace, without interference.

  • John||

    That is the comment of the year and a completely accurate description of our current politics. Obama is a brand. Supporting him is a way of showing that you are part of a better class.

    Black people voted for Obama because he was black. But Obama's white support really has nothing to do with black people directly. It is all about a cultural fight among whites. Obama is the white new class asserting its superiority over the white working class. Indeed, pretty much every fight about "racism" is really just a proxy war amongst whites with blacks as props.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Obama is the white earbuds of politics.

  • John||

    Hey, I like white earbuds. If Romney had been any kind of a candidate and wanted to win, he would have run a campaign commercial that was a take off of that smart phone commercial about the people standing in line waiting for the new Iphone last year. The one where they are talking about how "this time the headphone jack is going to be on the top" and such. Make that commercial only with Obama voters standing in line to see a speech talking about how all of the various stupid and mundane things he says are just so awesome. It would have been devastating.

  • WTF||

    That is way too much to expect from the Stupid Party.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    The Washington GOPenerals aren't supposed to beat the Harlem Globtrotter. That would ruin the show.

  • R C Dean||

    Government isn't about vindicating a cultural cohort's minor preferences and mode of life,

    Apparently it is. To the point where the government's failure to validate your lifestyle is the equivalent of outlawing it.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Putin Draws Cat's Bum During School Visit

    A student in the computer class asked the president what he had drawn, to which he replied: "It's a cat. The rear view."

    I lol'd.

  • alittlesense||

    So it was a self-portrait?

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    It's a cat. The rear view.
    A pussy's pussy?

  • gaijin||

    A pussy riot?

  • Lord Humungus||

    Psychic crocodile Big Wendell picks Tony Abbott as Prime Minister

    In round one, the 5.5 metre, 800kg saltie from Crocosaurus Cove knocked Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's picture to the ground, to leave Mr Abbott standing.

    There were mixed thoughts as to whether that was a draw or a reflection of Saturday's decision.

    But after setting up again, he eventually took a bite out of the Opposition Leader.

    It's a better result than most votes.

  • Ted S.||

    God I hope Abbott wins, just to piss off the people at the ABC/Radio Australia.

    They're still one of the few international broadcasters using shortwave, and I pick it up first thing in the morning. Today, the first two stories were:

    Abbott's foreign aid cuts are going to kill children!, followed by
    People throng around Kevin Rudd looking to get their photo taken with him.

    Later in the hour, the newswench interviewing somebody from Abbott's party about the foreign aid stuff constantly interrupted him and challenged his assertions, followed by a deferential interview with somebody from an aid group.

    Just a few examples of how awful it is to have an 800-pound gorilla of a state-funded broadcaster.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    If he cuts foreign aid, state radio could be next. Can't have that.

  • ant1sthenes||

    If you make cuts, they'll just excoriate you for the rest of your terms. When you play the game of cutting funds to state propagandists, either you cut them 100%, or you don't cut them at all.

    Though unlike private sector state apologists, the persistent threat of cuts can possibly shut them up.

  • ||

    I guess that's the bigger, buffer metric equivalent of the 800lb gorilla?

  • KDN||

    I would just like to nominate the New York Post for the title of worst website redesign in the history of ever. Here's a tip: if you're looking to give your readers the same experience whether they're on PC's or mobile devices, you should probably just toss the mobile page rather than converting the full version.

  • John||

    Why can't they just leave well enough alone? Functional is great. Time and time again a good website will redesign itself for no reason and spend thousands of dollars paying their developers to make the site less functional and user friendly. People should take a cue from Drudge. Its simple black and white columned design hasn't changed since the late 1990s.

  • Ted S.||

    They don't care about the comment. It's all about the antisocial networking shit, getting people to drive others to your site for the ad revenue.

    Tabloids around the world are very bad in this regard; unfortunately, so is H&R.

  • John||

    H&R's social networking plugins are an abomination. If I want to share this on facebook, I can cut and paste the link. I don't a widget to slow down my browser.

  • AuH20||

    But John, if you don't use facebook, how will your friends learn not to give a fuck about the inane happenings of your life?

  • Zeb||

    I never understand when people redesign stuff like that just because. If the point of a site is the content, just make it easy to use and simple. And if you have a product that loads of people like and are familiar with, don't change it. The redesign of MS Office comes to mind as well.

  • John||

    Every version of Office is a little worse than the last. They just randomly change shit to make everyone's knowledge of it obsolete. I wrote an entire fucking masters thesis on whatever version of Word was current in 1995. It had all of the functionality necessary to write a 50+ page heavily footnoted publication with several graphs and graphics. That was 18 years ago. And that program had every function you could possibly want in a word processing program. All they have done with the versions since is just fuck with their users and make it harder to use.

  • Lord Humungus||

    The recently added tabs on Word drive me crazy - everything useful (spellcheck, font size, page breaks, etc) used to be available in one spot.

  • John||

    I hate those. And don't even get me started on that damned auto correct that inserts bulleted lists and such and has to be turned off in about ten places.

  • tarran||

    The one frustrating thing about the Ribbon UI is that they put in an engine to allow people to publish different ribbon set ups , so that you could customize your ribbon to have all the stuff you liked in one place, and then import it to every machine you use easily.

    But, they haven't gone the last mile to make it reality. I do that sort of customization with an xml editor, and know how to insert it into an add in, and it is very obvious that the guy who came up with the interface intended to make it easy for people to import different ribbon schemes without affecting the underlying program.

    It has all the hallmarks of a work of genius being sabotaged by the clueless pointy-haired bosses.

  • tarran||

    I disagree.

    I actually think Word 2010 is the best version of Word ever. One aspect of the ribbon UI is that it allows you to work much faster than the old menu system, especially if you are making heavy use of add-ins.

    The new Office 2013 is a fucking abortion, because MS has also been infected by the 'our apps have to look the same on a small screen and a big screen' stupidity/fad that is sweeping the Marketingdroids running the big tech companies

  • Ted S.||

    I think it's not just small screen/big screen; it's adding the functionality for people who like to run their programs by fondling their screens instead of using a mouse and keyboard.

  • tarran||

    One of the major reasons I will use Linux for the foreseeable future at home is that the UNIX guys do a good job of separating the UI from the program.

    Often there's a great command line program that does the work, and the graphical program merely converts mouse-clicks into text commands that get executed. Often you can find three or for different GUI programs that all drive the same command line program and you can pick the one that suits you the best.

  • Zeb||

    I was very annoyed when I had to stop using Linux at work because we got a stupid MS Exchange email system.

  • robc||

    UNIX guys do a good job of separating the UI from the program

    Design feature from the very beginning.

    Windows, on the other hand, was designed to interlock them.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Windows wasn't designed to interlock them. That doesn't mean I haven't taken over apps which had almost, if not all, of the functionality in the fucking click handlers.

  • robc||

    Windows wasn't designed to interlock them.

    Im more referring to separation of OS from applications. And in Windows, the GUI is built into the OS and a number of Microsoft applications have hooks into the GUI/OS that make them interlocked.

    On a unix system, you can, for example, uninstall X (or never install it to begin with) and applications that arent graphical in nature wont even notice.

    I think we are talking about at a different level, but it comes from the same mindset.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Yeah, after I posted that it occurred to me that you were probably talking about interlocking at a more fundamental level rather than mixing business logic, etc. into the UI widgets' code. Given the UI inherent in a Windows program that isn't there on a UI wrapper for a command line app, for example, what you said makes perfect sense.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    Just calling them 'apps' is bad enough.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I use Excel all day. 2013 is much worse to navigate than its predecessors, and with no redeeming features that I see.

    Also, fuck Windows 8.

  • tarran||

    Also, fuck Windows 8.

    Justice demands that it be fucked with the barbed dildo of death as described in Ken Kato's Yamato: A Rage in Heaven

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    "Barbed dildo" sounds so awful that adding "of death" almost sounds merciful.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    Well, as long as they haven't made a new doc format forcing you to upgrade (.doc to .docx for example) I will not be getting a new office for a while.

    However, allowing you to add excel charts to a word doc and edit them in word was a great upgrade. Was that Word 2007 they did that?

  • #||

    Office 2007 i think actually had a bunch of improvements in the area of integrating the various programs together. You get a full excel in the charts of PP. You get full PP charts in Word, etc.

    2007 also made pivot tables better.

    Since the 2007 version though, I havent noticed any signifigant useful improvements.

  • #||

    Also 2007 excel got rid of the 64k row limit. So for any of us non lawyer types who actually use Office to analyze and manipulate data, that was quite useful.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Excel 2003 remains the best, that's for sure.

  • CE||

    See also Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows 8.... Windows XP was better than all of them.

  • Slammer||

    I agree. Just awful. What pisses me off is it was just fine the way it was.

  • Ted S.||

    I seem to recall the old design being a bit of a memory hog. Although, I could be confusing it with the Daily News.

    As I said above, though, tabloid newspapers' websites the world over seem to be memory hogs. And they have lousy layouts to boot.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    I like it...

    Please don't throw things.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Given your job, you must use Excel a lot. What part of Excel 2013 do you like?

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    I liked the NY Post redesign, I wasn't commenting on excel.

    And we're still using 2010.

  • CE||

    I nominate Yahoo. They used to have well organized News and Sports sections. Now they have a list of random stories with ads intermingled, and distracting backgrounds.

  • Gray Ghost||

    I nominate Yahoo.

    Thank you. The site's almost unreadable now. Or it will be until I get used to it, and since so many of my fantasy leagues are there, I'm going to have to.

  • Lord Humungus||

    $30,000 coffin comes with music system

    A $30,000 coffin comes equipped with speakers and a a Spotify music streaming account.

    A Swedish company is selling the pricey resting spot with two-way speakers.

    It allows the living to hear what's playing for the departed. A digital display on the headstone will allow visitors to see what's playing.
  • mr simple||

    two-way speakers

    Does this mean they get to talk with the person in the coffin? Could be useful for those worried about being buried alive like, uh, my friend.

  • BakedPenguin||

    A coffin bell would be cheaper.

  • mr simple||

    But what would you listen to while waiting to be rescued?

  • Numeromancer||

    But what would you listen to while waiting to be rescued?

    To the tintinabulation of the bell, bell, bell.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    The Cleveland Browns can still be my pall bearers, can't they?

  • Swiss Servator - Gnome Slave||

    I hear they are prone to letting people down.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    When they bury Ariel Castro, put it on a continuing loop of easy listening elevator music, lol

    servesthebastardright.com

  • Lord Humungus||

  • Slammer||

  • gaijin||

    haha. "Who are you to judge me" says politician to voter. That's rich (not Rich ;).

  • Rich||

    That's rich (not Rich ;).

    Who are you to not judge me?

  • UnCivilServant||

    Look, I don't make the pronouncements, I only mock the pronuncements.

  • Rich||

    Pistole also recently allowed travelers to join the program in exchange for a one-time fee of $85 for five years, to cover a background check and fingerprinting.

    FTS. It's my right as an American to have a *free* background check and fingerprinting.

  • mr simple||

    Belts and shoes are no longer signs of being a terrorist in the eyes of the Transportation Security Administration.

    Not quite true. This is only for people who register with the government and get their belt and shoe license.

    The free program began at specific airports for frequent fliers on airlines that now include Alaska, American, Delta, Hawaiian, United, US Airways and Virgin America. JetBlue and Southwest are likely to join soon.

    Pistole also recently allowed travelers to join the program in exchange for a one-time fee of $85 for five years, to cover a background check and fingerprinting
  • Andrew S.||

    You've always been able to "buy in". You just had to go pay $100 for Global Entry status. Bonus of that is being able to run through customs.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Double bonus is having AMEX cover the cost.

  • Brett L||

    I hearby dub the new Japanese Space Robot "Sloopy" for it's crimes against Neal Armstrong.

    "On August 21, 2013, a robot took one small step toward a brighter future for all," Kirobo said in a video that showed the humanoid creation drifting weightlessly on-board the ISS, as it moved its legs in the air.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    During college, I was in a prog rock band called "Japanese Space Robot".

  • Lord Humungus||

    and we wonder why there are no libertarian women.

  • ||

    I knew a guy (a bit of an oddball) and the rumor was that he talked like a robot after sex. My response: only after?

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    How do robots talk after sex?

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

  • Rich||

    Dozens hurt as 130 vehicles crash

    Would someone *kindly* explain why these stupid pileups in the fog occur?

    It seems to me that everyone involved should be fined for reckless driving.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Just think, years ago it's be "Dozens Killed in 130 car pileup" We've made some progress.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    They occur due to reckless driving.

  • Rich||

    Thank you.

  • Slammer||

    Why were they all driving on the wrong side of the road?

  • UnCivilServant||

    Well, if everyone is on the wrong side of the road, is it really unsafe? I mean, there'll be no oncoming traffic in your lane..

  • some guy||

    I think all highway maintenance should be paid for by those who cause accidents. Think about many billions of dollars are wasted every year because some idiot on his cell phone causes an accident that backs up traffic. If your dumbass delays 5,000 people by an average of 30 minutes, then you should have to pay for all that lost time. 2500 hours at the median wage toward highway maintenance should do it.

  • John||

    THIS

    You will be driving on a sunny day in perfect road conditions and some jackass will rear end someone. Because you were a jackass who either wasn't paying attention or were doing 80 up someone's ass, now thousands of people are stuck in traffic. Way to go dickhead.

  • WTF||

    And you should be heavily fined for rubber-necking. I can't tell you how many times I've been in a miles-long stop-and-go backup on a highway, only to get to the accident ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY DIVIDE which everyone has slowed to a crawl to look at.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Sorry. I Don't buy it. As a long time cops reporter, I came to believe that "rubber necking" was largely an urban myth. Sure people slow down, because there's a FUCKING ACCIDENT ahead and you're not sure of the situation. Even on a divide highway, it's difficult to determine exactly where the cops/accident vehicles/medics/responders/crash detritus are situated. If you're speeding past an accident scene YOU're the fucking problem.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    As a long time driver, I've lost count of the number of times I've had to honk at people who had their fucking heads turned to look at an accident on the other side of a divided highway while not moving.

    It's not an urban myth.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Really? Maybe you live in a weird place. I've been driving 35 years and have never (literally) had this happen. (And for the past 10 years I've been driving all over the U.S.)

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Or maybe it's just 'cause I'm a lucky lucky guy.

  • KDN||

    I sat in an hour of traffic through a two mile stretch last week on a divided highway because the two right lanes on the other side were closed down, a fact that was obvious for a half mile before the accident (which was definitely an eyeball magnet). Rubbernecking is a real and stupid phenomenon.

    About 3/4 of the problem with accidents is that people are too incompetent to properly execute a merge. Going from three lanes to two shouldn't cause 10 minutes of gridlock.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Meh. Perhaps, but I'll need more traffic engineering documentation. And one-half mile is only about 20 seconds at highway speed -- not much time for the average driver to process a lot of info. Then once the traffic slows, of course it takes time to speed back up, plus the highway domino effect. It's easy to blame "rubberneckers" but there's a lot more going on at the average crash-related slowdown. Any traffic engineers on this board? Oh wait. Libertarian traffic engineers? What am I saying? ROADZ!!!

  • KDN||

    And one-half mile is only about 20 seconds at highway speed -- not much time for the average driver to process a lot of info

    Like I said, people are too incompetent. Your average driver is terrible. The situation of seeing an accident and figuring out what's going on and how to react should take roughly a second, but anything beyond driving in a straight line at the speed limit induces panic in Dick and Jane Motorist, including changing lanes or approaching an onramp.

    I agree with your point, it's not just rubberneckers. But rubberneckers are symptomatic of the larger problem: most drivers suck.

  • R C Dean||

    not much time for the average driver to process a lot of info

    And why does a driver need to process info about an accident that is across a median?

  • Slammer||

    Going from three lanes to two shouldn't cause 10 minutes of gridlock.

    Totally agree. It slows down because people are selfish and want to get ahead. Going from from three lanes to two, the cars should alternate. A car from the third lanes goes into the two lane, then a car from the two lane goes ahead, repeat. It's so fucking obvious.

  • some guy||

    Going from three lanes to two shouldn't cause 10 minutes of gridlock.

    It depends on the throughput. If the 3 lanes are already at max throughput (max density and about 40 mph speed) then there's no way to avoid gridlock. The merge, no matter how it happens is going to increase the number of cars each remaining lane needs to handle by 50%. In order to do that smoothly each car would have to cut its speed AND occupied space (including following distance) by half. But cars on a highway at max capacity can't reduce their occupied space by half. So instead they have to compensate by reducing throughput. This is gridlock. The gridlock gets even worse when people get selfish, of course.

  • KDN||

    Because you were a jackass who either wasn't paying attention or were doing 80 up someone's ass,

    If you're rear-ended by someone up your ass doing 80, I have no sympathy for you. Quit being a lane hog and move the fuck over instead of brake checking the guy. FFS, 80's not even fast.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    80's a misdemeanor in some states.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    And, yeah. If you're doing 80 in a 65, you're the jackass.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    But I've probably just seen too many fucking mangled bodies. Warps the mind, don't 'cha know.

  • KDN||

    I reiterate, 80's not even fast and should probably be the baseline limit for any highway without traffic lights and with at least 3 lanes per side.

    The law has not kept up with technology in this regard (shocking, I know); braking and suspension systems on modern mid-size cars would put those on high-end sportscars of twenty years ago to shame.

  • some guy||

    But the average person's reaction time hasn't changed in those 20 years. And people don't properly adjust their following distance at higher speeds. Fortunately, most people don't actually feel comfortable driving over 80 even if they can do so legally.

  • KDN||

    But the average person's reaction time hasn't changed in those 20 years.

    And? If it used to take 250 ft and 1 sec to stop from the highway speed limit to zero for the average car (spitballing numbers here) I don't see why the speed limit shouldn't be increased so it currently takes 250 ft and 1 sec to do so for the average car of today, especially since modern cars also have ample safety features on top of improved performance. With the lighter weights of today's cars along with improvements in braking, tires, and suspension that would necessitate an increasing of the limit.

    Speed limits should be obeyed, but for them to be obeyed they must make sense. They currently do not in most places I've been to.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    Gun safety mechanisms have improved dramatically too, yet I still obey Cooper's second rule.

  • some guy||

    Frankly I think the speed limits are dumb to start with. It's basically an admission that the average driver is incapable of assessing road conditions, vehcile condition and his own abilities. Combine that with the selective enforcement of speed limits and they are total bullshit.

    My only point about reaction times is that if you keep the same following distance at 80 as you do at 35 then it doesn't matter how good your brakes are.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    If you're doing 80 in a 65 around here, you're the guy holding up traffic.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    You're not being a member of the Monocle Polishing Libertarians' Club™ by being concerned about others. I have been assured by liberals that libertarians are all "me me me" and have no regard for anyone else ever.

  • some guy||

    I'm concerned about myself, actually. I've lost many hours stuck in traffic because of stupid decisions made by others. It would be nice to know that those people were paying for the roads rather than me.

    Of course, I would prefer private ownership of roads above all else. You better believe private owners would properly punish customers for being dumbasses.

  • some guy||

    And this could be easily handled too. highway departments have good estimates of traffic flow and could easily calculate damages based on the time it took to clear the accident. Insurance would, of course have to include coverage for these charges. It's really quite simple. But instead we choose to socialize these damages rather than hold the guilty responsible.

    It's doubly infuriating because the time-lost damages of a fender bender on the freeway can easily exceed the physical damages to property.

  • William of Purple||

    Learn the zipper merge.

  • Lord Humungus||

    How the Votes are Shaping Up on Syria

    A rough survey of congressional offices by CNN established that most lawmakers remain undecided on the president’s entreaty at this late stage. More than half of the Senate – 70 members, according to CNN – remain uncommitted. The same is true in the House, where 338 of the 435 representatives have yet to make their feelings known.

    Otherwise, as predicted, it appears the president will have an easier slog through the Democrat-controlled Senate than the Republican-controlled lower chamber. Of those lawmakers on the record, supporters outstrip opponents 20-10 in the Senate, while foes maintain a 69-25 edge in the House.
  • John||

    It is still a close call. But I bet they approve it. But the resolution is going to have pretty limited language, which Obama will promptly ignore.

  • RBS||

    Just the tip...

  • gaijin||

    most lawmakers remain undecided unprincipled

    Edited for precision

  • Brett L||

    You tell this guy that male cheerleaders are sissies.

  • Zeb||

    Sissies that spend lots of time picking up fit and attractive girls by their bottoms and crotches.

  • Brett L||

    My son will be doing ballet until he's 14. By then he'll be able to dance and know all the hot dancer chicks. And when he's 18 he'll thank me.

  • Zeb||

    Just as long as he isn't a foot guy. I love dancers' bodies, but the feet can get a little scary.

  • Rasilio||

    Not to mention the footwork will make him the starting RB or QB of the Football team if he wants to play.

  • Steve G||

    No effing way do I want my son anywhere near "dancer chicks", hot or otherwise. Throw them in with thespians as complete and total nutjobs.
    My nudging will be more towards hot math/science chicks or athletes, particularly volleyball

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    One guy I knew thought it was funny as hell to talk about the "sissies" who tried out or were cheerleaders. Until I asked him, "That 'sissy' has his hand on Lisa's ass. Where are your hands?"

  • WTF||

    I knew a guy in High School who became a hair dresser. That's when I found out there are two types of guys who become hair dressers:

    1. Gay guys
    2. Poon hounds

    The guy I knew nailed more pussy than you could imagine.

  • Virginian||

    So I finally have a scummy cop story of my very own. Yesterday I was waiting in line to pay for my stuff at Wawa. The guy in front of me is a cop, and he is telling how he caught a woman at a concert with a condom of some kind of drugs inside her vagina. Not sure how he figured it out, but he did. So he is bragging to the clerk how he left it inside her so that when he arrested her and brought her to the jail he could charge her with importing contraband into a correctional facility, which is a bigger charge.

    I'm just standing there behind him listening to him gleefully recounting his ruination of someone's life, and I almost said something about how he was a real big hero. But I didn't of course, because I'm scared to death of what this moronic thug would have done to me in retaliation.

  • John||

    That is the result of him totally dehumanizing the people he is dealing with. The idea of giving her a break or being even a slightly moral person towards her never enters his mind because she is not a human being to him. That should scare you as I am sure it did.

  • Ted S.||

    You should have recorded it. Isn't Virginia a one-party consent state for recording?

  • Virginian||

    I mean by the time I realized what he was so eagerly bragging about, he'd already told the story.

    I mean, it was the tone that got me. He didn't think it was weird or sad, he was bragging. The same tone I would use if my fantasy team whipped my friend, or if I got a raise, or if I nailed the hottest girl in the bar.

  • John||

    Aren't you in Fairfax county? Isn't that the place where they shot the guy who ran the pool hall in some kind of BS raid? Fairfax cops are just a mafia. I don't blame you for staying out of it.

  • Virginian||

    Richmond. I hate NoVA it's just the spreading corruption of DC. I'm running for governor next time around on a platform of designating Fredericksburg as a fortress city and building a wall to keep Yankees out of the true soil of the Old Dominion.

    I think I'll win in a landslide.

  • John||

    People always ask me why someone as conservative as I am lives in Maryland rather than the NOVA suburbs. I always say that it is because I like my neighborhood, it is close to my job, and NOVA is no fucking different than Maryland or DC. They need to just make DC a state but expand it to include all of the NOVA suburbs and keep them from infecting the otherwise reasonable state of Virginia.

  • NoVAHockey||

    yes. it was a fairfax county [i think swat] officer who befriended a man a a bar, made small bets with him until they ran up enough ($2000 or so) that it triggered the felony charge. then they went to arrest him and [scene missing] the guy got shot by someone he thought was a friend.

  • Virginian||

    The other Fairfax one was when they shot the guy in his front yard because he played poker in his own goddamn house.

  • Andrew S.||

    Yeah, that was in Fairfax County. Sal Culosi. Balko wrote a lot about that, here on Reason and at his own blog.

    I'm still not sure how the officer's excuse (made in the report that absolved him of responsibility) was physically possible.

  • NoVAHockey||

    the county did settle with the family though.

    but yeah, it was gun got caught on the car door or some nonsense.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Only one of the two intentionally imported contraband into a correctional facility.

  • Brett L||

    Get the fuck out big kitty! Two dogs chase off cougar.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Good to see dogs earning their keep.

  • John||

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....-john-fund

    Democrats being dragooned into war. Such are the wages of calling anyone who criticized Obama a racist. They have done that for five years now. It is all fun and games until Obama wants you to support something you don't. Then it is a little bit hard to criticize him and refuse isn't it?

  • Raston Bot||

    “I think the White House candy store is open,”said John Bolton, a former U.N. ambassador under President Bush who opposes a military strike against Syria, on Fox News Tuesday. “What do you need for your district or state? A post office? A new military facility? What do you want? I think anything you want you’re going to get because the White House is going to do whatever it takes to get a majority.”

    A primary challenger? Keep it! A lost election? Yours!

  • Lord Humungus||

    as seen on Drudge:

    Gold miners near Chicken cry foul over 'heavy-handed' EPA raids

    When agents with the Alaska Environmental Crimes Task Force surged out of the wilderness around the remote community of Chicken wearing body armor and jackets emblazoned with POLICE in big, bold letters, local placer miners didn’t quite know what to think.

    Did it really take eight armed men and a squad-size display of paramilitary force to check for dirty water? Some of the miners, who run small businesses, say they felt intimidated.

    Others wonder if the actions of the agents put everyone at risk. When your family business involves collecting gold far from nowhere, unusual behavior can be taken as a sign someone might be trying to stage a robbery. How is a remote placer miner to know the people in the jackets saying POLICE really are police?
  • Ted S.||

    Wasn't there a post on this at H&R just a few posts down from today's AM Links? :-p

  • UnCivilServant||

    Yes, I was going to comment to that effet, but originally decided to let it slide.

  • Lord Humungus||

    youse rights, youse louse!

  • Brett L||

    I don't know what to think of this. On the one hand, (and I can't believe I'm typing this) good for Alan Grayson for opposing the Syria intevention. On the other hand there's this paragraph:

    But one Democratic congressman will be whipping -- against the resolution. Alan Grayson, the Florida liberal and civil-libertarian, has been rallying opposition to the use of force both among his colleagues and among the public. He believes the momentum is on his side and the authorization is doomed to fail in the House.

    Civil libertarian? Oh wait, outside of Friedersdorf that's code in The Atlantic for "favors gay marriage and abortion".

  • John||

    In fairness, maybe Grayson is like Weidner. I don't know. But knowing Freidersdorf, he doesn't have to be for him to consider Grayson a libertarian.

  • Brett L||

    Just to clarify, Friedersdorf didn't write the article, but Alan Grayson, although a supporter of Audit the Fed, is also a supporter of Fair Pay and supports the expansion of Hate Crime definitions.

  • John||

    Sorry, if you don't think economic liberties are civil liberties, you are not a Libertarian. You are a liberal who wants to smoke dope.

  • Lord Humungus||

    War by euphemism

    For supporters of a strike like me, all this temporizing has been painful to behold. The more Obama officials talk, the more fodder they give to opponents. And the administration already had an uphill climb on the right. Even conservative hawks are divided on the merits on this intervention, and the base — weary of war and distrustful of Obama — is largely opposed. Politically, a “no” vote is a free vote for Republicans.

    Most of them will be anti-war — just like John Kerry.
  • John||

    Some Muslim shouting Allah Akbar and shooting a bunch of soldiers is work place violence and bombing a country is not an act of war. Welcome to Obama's English language.

  • Virginian||

    http://minx.cc/?post=343095

    Nice little piece here on economics. Nothing ya'll don't already know, but still nice.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Blurred Red Lines
    Harry Truman, please call Obama.

    Then the President further blurred his own red lines by explaining whose credibility is at risk in the Syria vote in Congress: "Point number two, my credibility is not on the line. The international community's credibility is on the line. And America and Congress's credibility is on the line because we give lip service to the notion that these international norms are important."

    If a President wants to lose a vote in Congress, this is what he would say. Minimize his personal leadership responsibility, and tell the Members of Congress that they are responsible for whatever happens if they fail to pass his resolution, as well as for the results of any military action that Mr. Obama would conduct.
  • John||

    He is a completely incompetent President. He can't do the basic tasks that a President has to do.

  • Lord Humungus||

    my politically paranoid brain makes me think that he actually wants to lose the vote - especially after a few polls came out showing how unpopular it was.

    "My hands are tied."

  • John||

    That is not paranoid. That would be the smart thing for him to do. It would get him out of the box he created for himself. But I don't think he is that smart. I think he is bound and determined to go to war in Syria and will do so regardless of the vote. He really is that stupid.

  • Drake||

    Yep - Said it a couple of days ago.

    Obama would love to look the tough guy who would be beating the shit out of somebody if his buddies weren't holding him back.

  • ||

    Yeah that goes hand-in-glove with the whole Republican obstructionist kulak wrecker/hoarder drum that's been getting so much play recently.

  • AuH20||

    I think that all Obama knows about being President he learned from watching Deep Impact and Independence Day

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    I don't think it rises to the level of Independence Day.

    President Bill Pullman could deliver a great speech. "Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!" Obama would spend 30 minutes droning on and on about false choices and vague notions of social justice. "Let me be clear, the idea that we must fight or go extinct is a false choice, brought about by market failure. However, I have decided that the aliens' decision to blow up the White House crosses a red line. Therefore, I have authorized a kinetic military action against the alien ships. Let me be clear, this is not a war against the aliens, who have legitimate grievances against the United States. We are only attempting to assert an interstellar norm."

  • RBS||

    Needs more "umms"

  • AuH20||

    What do twerking and Hurricane Katrina have to do with each other? Absolutely everything.

    Even while the country decries Black low culture (mind you, all low culture ain’t Black and all Black culture ain’t low), white folks steadily play in the dark, hoping that the quickness with which they coopt and assimilate the lingo and gestures of Blackness into their cultural repertoire will confer on them unfadeable street cred.

    This has been a week of remembrances for Black folks, and for the most part it hasn’t been done well. Did President Obama even mention Hurricane Katrina in his speech yesterday?

    But on this week, we celebrated the 50th March on Washington, the anniversary of Aaliyah’s death, the anniversary of the lynching of Emmitt Till, and the anniversary of Katrina. Perhaps all this premature Black death, made the ether too heavy, because I surely felt uninspired by the March on Washington commemoration. It felt more like a funeral for Civil Rights and a death knell for Black dreaming.

    This is the kind of moment in which Black folks might throw a party and twerk until the wee hours of the morning, to dance away pain, to remember joy in community. Despite the respectability politics that had many Black folks clutching pearls at Miley, this is just one more reason why her stuff is so disturbing.
  • AuH20||

    Ratchetness and low culture are a part of a multi-faceted repertoire for Black people. I usually am not being ratchet on my day job. But I recognize ratchet cultural forms as part of my own cultural heritage that I can draw upon and enjoy in the appropriate cultural context.

    There is time and place for sexy gyration with wild abandon, and Black folks should never concede that this isn’t a part of our inheritance. We recognize as we participate that ratchet is a part of who we are, but not the whole picture. And it is a part of our experience that made the blues and jazz and hip hop necessary, not just for entertainment but for survival.

    Yet, it is amazing how Black people themselves float away in these remembrances, while the spaces in which we have lived for generations (Brooklyn/New Orleans — North/South) and have produced art and culture become gentrified, taken over, and unappreciated. White people want the cultural products, but not the cultural producers. They want Blackness to be the backdrop against which their whiteness in all its complexity stands out in stark relief.
  • Ted S.||

    The words are all English (well, mostly), but do they mean anything put together?

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Yeah, there doesn't seem to be a identifiable thesis other than white people steal black street culture, which isn't exactly a unique or new insight.

  • Lord Humungus||

    I'm sure we could all come up with countless examples.

    Jazz, Blues, Rock 'n' Roll.

    I have a friend who is a huge Rolling Stones. I gave him a Don Covay CD and he got mighty depressed hearing how much (the early) Stones ripped him off.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWioaVN9olY

    btw, that's Jimi Hendrix playing guitar, way back when he was just a studio musician.

  • John||

    The Stones ripped off Chuck Berry more than anyone. I saw them this summer a couple of times. And at one point Ron Wood played the opening riff to Its Only Rock and Roll and I thought for a moment they were doing "O Carol". The riff was that much of a Chuck Berry riff.

    And Richards got the idea of using open G tuning from Ry Cooder. But that is popular music. Folk music and popular music is all about creative theft. That is what makes it great. That is what makes it so accessible. You want totally original music, go listen to 20th Century classical music. It is all original and ground breaking. It is also atonal shit that is about as pleasant to listen to as listening to a cat in heat.

  • tarran||

    go listen to 20th Century classical music. It is all original and ground breaking. It is also atonal shit that is about as pleasant to listen to as listening to a cat in heat.

    ^^^^^ THIS!!!!!!!!11111!!!!!!!!

  • Slammer||

    Rock and Roll was a mix, though. African rhythm+ Blues + Gospel+ Country+ traditional folk music from England and Ireland. Mashing them up and electrifying was what really made rock and roll. It wasn't just American blacks that came up with rock and roll.

  • John||

    Slammer, a lot of people forget the influence that white country and pop had on Rock and Roll. The original Sun records really were something new. They must more twangy and pop oriented than the blues music they were based upon. People act like Elvis just ripped off black artists. And that is bullshit that sells both the black artists and Elvis short. The Big Mamma Thorton version of Hound Dog sounds nothing like the Elvis cover. Elvis is doing a new and completely different kind of music there. And it wasn't just country that early rock musicians used. Chuck Berry is very honest about his love of Nat King Cole and other popular singers of the day. His idea was to sing like a pop singer, play guitar like T-Bone Walker and put it to a beat people could dance to. Rock and Roll is a wonderful amalgamation of different things from white and black culture. I hate it when dipshits just call it white people co-opting the blues.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Also, the Beatles were hugely influenced by English Music Hall of the 30's and 40's. (Especially McCartney). And they had a bit of influence on later bands.

  • John||

    BP,

    If you listen closely to the Beatles, a lot of it sounds a bit like Gilbert and Sullivan. It is very lyrical and operatic in many ways. You can totally hear the Music hall influence in songs like Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite or When I'm Sixty Four and a lot of others.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    "Just" a studio musician? I have a lot of respect for studio musicians as a Steely Dan fan.

  • Lord Humungus||

    meaning before his years of fame.

  • Lord Humungus||

    and also a Steely Dan fan...

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Ouch!

  • UnCivilServant||

    What the hell is "twerking"?

  • Aloysious||

    You don't want to know. It actually makes attractive women unattractive.

  • Brett L||

    Ratchet culture? Versus wrench culture?

  • AuH20||

    As I have been led to understand by my fellow young people (I being hopelessly out of the loop with the rap and the MTV), a rachet is a woman you screw once but don't plan to screw again.

    ...

    So I'm still really fucking confused.

  • SugarFree||

    It seems to still have that connotation, but expanded to all manner of silliness.

  • RBS||

    That doesn't even make any sense.

  • John||

    Maybe if black people would embrace some cultural diversity and rediscover their cultural achievements of the past instead of all listening the same hip hop groups, white people wouldn't own the field in these areas so much. It wasn't white people that caused the black masses to turn away from blues and jazz and soul and embrace hip hop as a uniform cultural identity.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    So we've gone from Frederick Douglass' "Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them" and "The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous"

    And Martin Luther King's "I have a dream the one day this nation will rise up and live out the full meaning of its creed"

    to this:

    "This is the kind of moment in which Black folks might throw a party and twerk until the wee hours of the morning, to dance away pain, to remember joy in community."

    I'm trying to imagine Douglass or King getting really drunk and saying something like that. I don't think there's enough booze in the world...

  • John||

    Like every community, the black community always had an underbelly of dysfunction and criminality. But people like Douglas and King hated that underbelly. Hell, Malcolm X, the biggest hell raiser of them all, hated the underbelly. Somehow whites have managed to con black leaders into defending and embracing it. It is is downright evil.

  • Floridian||

    Ratchetness and low culture are a part of a multi-faceted repertoire for Black people

    What is ratchetness?

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    What is ratchetness?

    Flagrant, noisy, wildly self-assured bitchiness.

  • Floridian||

    Thanks for the reply

  • mad libertarian guy||

    White people want the cultural products, but not the cultural producers. They want Blackness to be the backdrop against which their whiteness in all its complexity stands out in stark relief.

    Actually, I just want metal with a side of modern prog rock.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    As long as the vocals don't sound like someone growling with no larynx with his mouth duct-taped shut, anyway.

  • Slammer||

    Have you listened to the new Gorguts yet? I've never been a huge fan, but I like the new album a lot.

  • Loki||

    WTF is "ratcheness" (is that even a real word?) or "ratchet culture"?

    This seems like a really unneccesarily long winded way of saying "I don't like it when white people try to steal 'black culture'. Wah!!!!!"

  • SugarFree||

    Think "ghetto rednecks."

  • Citizen Nothing||

    So it's not from Nurse Rached?

  • SugarFree||

    Unfortunately, no.

    I found a visual primer: http://ratchetmess.tumblr.com/

  • SugarFree||

    Trigger Warning: At that site there are midget strippers.

  • RBS||

    Are the strippers midgets or are they just stripping for midgets?

  • SugarFree||

    Midgets that are stripping.

  • Brett L||

    Oh god. That's horrible. DO NOT CLICK! Also, NSFW or anywhere.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    And..... I'm done. Off to another post for me.

  • Slammer||

    Wasn't Ratchet a Transformer?

  • Azathoth!!||

    White people want the cultural products, but not the cultural producers. They want Blackness to be the backdrop against which their whiteness in all its complexity stands out in stark relief.

    Yes, we want the beer, but not the Nazis, the salsa, but not the cartels, the anime, but not the yakuza, the riverdancing, but not the IRA.

    Melting pot. E pluribus unum.

    We want to distill all the stuff that can enrich us all and leave as much of the assholery out.

    It is so sad that black people have forgotten that to be part of America, you've gotta let yourself be part of America.

  • ||

    What the fuck does Aaliyah's death have to do with any of those other things? She died in a private plane crash for Christ's sake.

  • Rich||

    Blushing in the dark: first experimental proof

    Denise Wächter and Wolter Seuntjens used a Testo-875 thermogenic camera in a pitch dark room to film the face of a 31-year-old woman who was specially selected for her "talent to blush easily".

    "So, am I to understand you claim to have an embarrassing so-called 'talent'?"

  • Brett L||

    Why cops shoot dogs.

    He's a beloved mayor, who's held the top office in Talkeetna, Alaska, for 16 years. So imagine the townfolks' shock when he was attacked.

    Brutally mauled.

    By a dog.

    Oh, did we mention, this mayor's a cat?

  • UnCivilServant||

    Any town who elects a cat mayor deserves to have their mayor mauled.

  • Ted S.||

    And probably the best mayor in the state, too.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    No skeletons in his buried in his (her?) closet...maybe a few mice...

  • Zeb||

    I've been there and met the cat. He seemed to be doing a good job.

  • AuH20||

    Are Asians Trayvon?

    Asian people in America are perpetually caught between black and white, or in this instance,“We are Trayvon”and“We are not Trayvon.”It is a dance between shelter and targeting,complicity and outsiderness.Latinos face a similar dilemma. As Isa Hopkins wrote recently in Salon, regarding George Zimmerman’s ambiguous relation to whiteness,“The genius of white supremacy is in its elasticity:It can expand to include the not-quite-right, the off-whites,when necessary, and then otherize and eject us when convenient.”

    Some Asian Americans have been Trayvon Martin in the past:in 1975, when Peter Yew was brutally beaten by police and it took the largest rallies in New York Chinatown’s history(some 10-20,000) to secure promises of no further police harassment;in 1982, when Vincent Chin was beaten to death with a baseball bat because his killers, who never served jail time, confused him with the Japanese auto industry; in 2001, when Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Punjabi Sikh, was shot and killed by a man who mistook him for Muslim and conflated Islam with 9/11; in 2011, when Private Danny Chen was driven to suicide by the racial tormenting of his peers and superiors in the army.

    But today, the much-publicized “model minority” myth will tell you about the ‘success’ and assimilation of Asian Americans—so much that elite colleges may be quietly capping the numbers of Asians they admit.
  • Eduard van Haalen||

    If Trayvon was Asian, he would have used his Kung Fu and knocked out Zimmerman with a couple well-placed blows.

    tastelessstereotypejoke.com

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Or he'd have challenged Zimmerman to compete with him in the Math Bowl and cleaned Zimmerman's clock.

  • some guy||

    Or he would have been at home studying over a bowl of rice rather than walking around in the rain with a bag of Skittles.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Or if he was a gangsta, he wouldn't have been busted for anything as lame as marijuana. Opium, maybe.

    And he would have had a cool beard/stash combo like the best Kung Fu villains. And being the boss, before fighting Zimmerman, he would first have sent all his henchmen to fight him one after another, and Zimmerman would only get to fight him in the final climactic scene.

  • John||

    “The genius of white supremacy is in its elasticity:It can expand to include the not-quite-right, the off-whites,when necessary, and then otherize and eject us when convenient.”

    Wow. George Zimmerman never claimed to be anything. It was the liberals in the media who made him white. But now those very same liberals claim he was able to be white because of the genius of white supremacy. No, he was considered white because of the mendacity of white liberals.

  • tarran||

    It was the liberals in the media who made him white. But now those very same liberals claim he was able to be white because of the genius of white supremacy.

    ... but they aren't engaging in projection! :)

  • Lord Humungus||

    The genius of white supremacy is in its elasticity

    gah... how would one even begin to prove that assertion?

  • John||

    It is just him saying "the genius of hurling the charge of white supremacy is that you can hurl it against anyone for any reason".

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Why would you need to prove it? The fact that the subject acted in a way that forced you to make the accusation is sufficient.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    The genius of race-baiting is in its elasticity.

  • ||

    There's a huge difference between getting beaten by agents of the state and getting shot by a private citizen. Not that I'd expect any of those retards to understand that.

  • Azathoth!!||

    As Isa Hopkins wrote recently in Salon, regarding George Zimmerman’s ambiguous relation to whiteness,“The genius of white supremacy is in its elasticity:It can expand to include the not-quite-right,

    So, the genius of white supremacy is that it's not all white?

    Hmmmm....

  • Loki||

    Administrators at a New York City public school are accused of sexually assaulting students and keeping them quiet by threatening them with deportation.

    Yet another fine example of our noble public school employees.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    It seems to be a private company got a contract to run the school. Expect to hear more about this angle.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    So it's not the Rubber Room then?

  • Lord Humungus||

    duuuude

    Drug Use Drops for America's Youth, Rises in the Over 50 Crowd

    Last year, the rate of illicit drug use among children and teenagers 12 to 17 years old dropped to 9.5 percent, down from 11.6 percent a decade earlier, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) latest national survey.

    Meanwhile, illicit drug use among adults 50 to 64 years old has increased in the past decade.

    Specifically, illicit drug use among adults 50 to 54 has more than doubled since 2002, reaching 7.2 percent last year. For people 55 to 59, such drug use has more than tripled, reaching 6.6 percent last year.
  • Eduard van Haalen||

    In other words, people who really *need* drugs are using them more often than people who can manage without them.

    Teens can always stay entertained by emailing naked pictures to each other. Old people at the Shady Acres Retirement Community only have memories of Woodstock and drugs, and more drugs.

  • Brett L||

    Correlation with money approaching one.

  • WTF||

    Adults 50 to 59 were in High School during the 1970s. So this is not really an odd phenomenon as they age into this demographic.

  • John||

    A few things happening here. First, illegal drugs can be expensive. Sadly, a lot of young people don't have the disposable cash. Second, young people have to get jobs or go to schools that often require drug tests. Old people don't generally have the problem. Lastly, I really wonder how much the fact that so many young people are now living at home is depressing drug use. Hard to get stoned when mom can smell it upstairs.

  • ||

    Hard to get stoned when mom can smell it upstairs.

    Unless it's mom who is smoking out the house...

  • Citizen Nothing||

    You kids get off my fucking Mary Jane!

  • Nazdrakke||

    I really wonder how much the fact that so many young people are now living at home is depressing drug use.

    ? Take a walk, visit a buddy, hang out at the park, take out the garbage at work. What I'm trying to say is that I think this has nothing to do with it.

  • Rasilio||

    You know I never thought about it but my last 2 jobs were the first 2 jobs I've had in years that did not require a drug test

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The genius of race-baiting is in its elasticity.

    We're all victims, now.

  • Erik Jay||

    That picture certainly does get used a lot. Does anyone else think that looks like Gillespie there in the foreground? All right for Nick! Finally, he picks up something mightier than the pen AND the sword (in the appropriate context, natch).

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