A.M. Links: Philip Seymour Hoffman Dead, Yellen To Be Sworn in as Fed Chair, EU Commissioner Calls Corruption Across the EU ‘Breathtaking’

Credit: Georges Biard/wikimediaCredit: Georges Biard/wikimedia

  • Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his Manhattan apartment yesterday. Unnamed law enforcement officials told the Associated Press that Hoffman is believe to have died from a drug overdose.
  • Janet Yellen will be sworn in as the Chairwoman of the Federal Reserve today.
  • European Union Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem has said that corruption across the E.U. is “breathtaking.”
  • Al Qaeda claims that it has no ties to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, which has been fighting rebel groups in Syria.
  • Today is the deadline for top aides to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to reply to subpoenas made by legislators investigating lane closures between Fort Lee and the George Washington Bridge.
  • The recent election in Thailand has done little to end the political stalemate. 

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    European Union Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem has said that corruption across the E.U. is “breathtaking.”

    Okay, who forgot to bribe ze commissioners?

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Hello.

    Still smarting from that Seahawks secondary that smothered the Broncos.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    G'day.

    The Super Bowl is becoming less and less of an event to me. Last night was awful. At no point past the kick-off was I excited.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Yeah. It was a snoozer but I have to admit I was fascinated by Seattle's stifling defense. They stuffed Denver with bone-crushing hit after ligament damaging tackle.

    If you want drama watch the Grey Cup!

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    I think Elway was having horrible flashbacks to the late 80s and early 90s when he was routinely and soundly beaten in the Super Bowl before he bagged a couple for himself.

  • Ted S.||

    The Broncos had to violate the salary cap to win those Super Bowls.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    It was a snoozer but I have to admit I was fascinated by Seattle's stifling defense. They stuffed Denver with bone-crushing hit after ligament damaging tackle.

    It's called "football." This shit where both teams score 35+ plus isn't football, it's Madden with real people, and it's bullshit. Seattle showed that playing defense is still a winning formula. Perhaps it'll shut the "this is a QB league" nonsense down after the last 5 years or so of blistering offensive stats where it seemed the league forgot how to play defense.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    I have this debate about soccer all the time. Fanboys love 'open' soccer and all the fancy fluff that comes with it but in the end DEFENSE wins World Cups.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    And other major trophies for that matter.

    There are exceptions where total offense wins out but even where offensive teams reach a final, they win with a defensive posture. It's a one-off so if you have offensive talent you can play cautiously.

    The perfect latest example of this in world soccer is Spain. They don't win on 'tiki-taka' they won with hard defense.

  • Ted S.||

    And when Switzerland beat Spain 1-0 in the first game of the 2010 World Cup, everybody else tried to play Spain that way and failed.

    Although the Germans were missing Thomas Müller thanks to a bogus yellow card in the quarterfinal.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Both were employing defensive systems.

    It's not a coincidence Spain scored the lowest number of goals for a WC champ. They played a variation of, dare I say, catenaccio. They could do so because they have a very, very strong backline and energetic midfield.

    Yeah well, don't get me going on specious cards.

  • WTF||

    I don't think the league forgot how to play defense so much as that the league generally throws a lot of flags for playing hard defense.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    My point is not many teams play defense like Seattle does. Damn, Sherman is not even the best d player on the team!

  • WTF||

    Seattle really is stacked with a lot of talent on defense. And they have a lot of young guys, so they'll probably be good for quite a while, until they start losing guys to free agency.

  • waffles||

    Yeah, their team makes me think of a more athletic version of what the Steelers had circa 2004. The 49ers-Hawks rivalry will make the NFC west look good for some years to come. Funny, they used to be the weakest division in recent memory.

  • Ted S.||

    Part of the reason it's a QB league is because of rules changes, instituted in part thanks to Peyton Manning's bitching after the 200 AFC Championship Game. Which is part of the reason I have the dislike for him that I do.

  • Loki||

    Part of the reason it's a QB league is because of rules changes, instituted in part thanks to Peyton Manning's bitching after the 200 AFC Championship Game.

    What bitching? Serious question, I'm genuinely curious what he was bitching about, because I've never heard of it before. I didn't follow him all that closely when he was in Indy, and wouldn't really follow him all that closely now except that I live in Denver, so it's kind of unavoidable.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Those rule changes had very little to do with QBs bitching about them, but in order to bring more viewers in. They want a league where both teams score 40 because most people interpret that as "exciting" football.

    The rule changes are all about money, and little to do with making football a better game.

  • Loki||

    Those rule changes had very little to do with QBs bitching about them, but in order to bring more viewers in.

    That was my understanding as well, that it had nothing to do with any single QB or QBs in general "bitching." So I was a little surprised to say the least to see someone try to pin all the blame for the offense favoring rule changes on a single player. But "haters gonna hate" I guess.

  • TANSTaaFL||

    It wasn't QB's (well maybe Manning but indirectly). It was Bill Polian the Colt's GM at the time. He was head of the competition committee and pushed through the changes - basically Defense gets flagged for touching receivers after 5 yards.

  • R C Dean||

    A big reason Seattle won is because for once the refs actually let the defense play.

  • Loki||

    A big reason Seattle won is because for once the refs actually let the defense play.

    That's pretty much the reason why whichever team has the better, or at least more "physical" defense usually wins in the playoffs, especially the Super Bowl.

    The NBA does the same thing. They let guys get away with shit that would have been a foul during the regular season. A foul's a foul, and a penalty's a penalty. If a play would have been called in the regular season, it should be called the same way in the playoffs. As it is it's almost like there's two different sets of rules. It's bullshit, but the leagues seem to prefer it that way. As do the fans, which is why it's never gonna change.

  • TANSTaaFL||

    This bothers me, though. I agree that it is better to "let them play" and let the defense be more agressive; however, I hate the inconsistency of the way the NFL calls playoff games compared to regular season. It's inane. There should be one set of rules and one standard regardless of the game or time period of the game.

    I don't like Peyton and enjoyed the beatdown, but there is no question that the game is much different if called like a regular season game instead of a superbowl.

  • TANSTaaFL||

    Sorry, meant to agree with you, Loki, though my phrasing makes it sound like I'm disagreeing.

    Much like government and the judicial system, arbitrary enforcement of rules and regulations is just plain wrong.

  • Loki||

    No problem, it sounded to me like you were agreeing. And to clarify, if I had a preference, it would be for regular season games to be called more like playoff games, not the other way around.

    For one thing, teams that have some glaring deficiency (can't run the ball or have poor defenses, for example) wouldn't be as competetive in the regular season because they can't rely on the refs to bail out their recievers. Would the Broncos have been 13-3 if regular season games were called like playoff games? I kind of doubt it.

  • TANSTaaFL||

    Agree and Agree. On a side note, I think it's hard to argue that Manning's playoff record is directly tied to this variation in how liberal the ref are with calling defensive penalties in coverage.

    As a PAts fan (playing Manning every year), it actually is no secret that beating Peyton simply requires being able to play press man coverage effectively enough to allow your pass rush to get to him. The hard part isn't the scheme, it is having the personnel. In the regular season, you need to have a great secondary because you have to play press coverage without too much physical contact. It becomes a bit easier in the playoffs because you can be more aggressive with the receivers as we saw last night and pretty much all of Peyton's playoff career. This also jibes with his only superbowl win - against a Bears D that although was very talented, refused to play man to man coverage.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Loki, same issue in hockey. They seem to want to do away with the rules so long as we 'let them play.'

    Yes, let them play but tripping is tripping whether it's in October or in the playoffs. I don't get the logic.

  • Acosmist||

    Holding and not getting it called is not what I would calla defensive strategy.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I loved last night's game. I much prefer the defensive style that used to be around a decade ago.

    I bet LibertyMike is crying while cuddling his Manning jersey.

    I bet John is ecstatic because Manning sucked ass. (And yes, I've already seen people try to say he shouldn't have any of the blame despite multiple picks)

  • wareagle||

    of course, he gets some blame. Comes with the position, along with outsized credit for wins. Manning did not play well but I don't recall him saying otherwise. And Seattle made no mistakes.

  • Loki||

    Manning did not play well but I don't recall him saying otherwise.

    Doesn't matter. For the Manning haters out there, other people excusing Manning's crappy play last night will be magically transferred onto Manning, "proving" that he's a prima donna crybaby. OTOH, for the Manning fluffers, no amount of poor play will ever result in his team losing. It's always the other 52 players who are to blame.

    The dichotomy is really wierd. It seems very few people are willing to say "The entire Broncos team played like shit last night, including Manning."

  • Auric Demonocles||

    "The entire Broncos team played like shit last night, including Manning."

    That's exactly the case.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Seconded.

  • cryptArchy||

    Thirded

  • Libertymike||

    Peyton Manning sucks and anybody who says otherwise does not know jack about football!

  • Doctor Whom||

    Marhaba.

  • tarran||

    Nasilsiniz?

    Fuck you, server squirrels, for your anlgocentric othering!

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Hello to you too!

  • gaijin||

    “breathtaking.”

    Oh, I'll bet they are taking more than breath away.

  • Sam Grove||

    European Union Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem
    has said that corruption across the E.U. is “breathtaking".

    European Union Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem
    has said that corruption across the E.U. is “breathtaking" not unexpected.

  • Obamaphone||

    Ring***Ring***
    There are those who say the United States is washed up, past its prime. There are those who say we no longer have the ability do big things. There are those who say we can no longer afford to be compassionate. But the truth is, we can’t afford NOT to be compassionate. Since I’ve come to office, we’ve started firing on all cylinders. Export-led economic growth. A jobs policy creating jobs for the worst off. An all-of-the-above energy policy. We’re like my favorite team, the Seattle Seahawks, scoring again and again in every way possible.
    -click-

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    Every time I read an Obamaphone comment, I always think of the end of the Matrix where Neo is talking into the payphone to who knows.

    I always loved that scene (even if the next 2 movies ruined it).

  • ||

    There are those who say we can no longer afford to be compassionate. But the truth is, we can’t afford NOT to be compassionate.

    I continue to be amazed at how much cash is apparently required to demonstrate the sincerity of one's compassion.

  • ||

    Cash taken from you without your consent, let's be clear about this.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I continue to be amazed at how much cash is apparently required to demonstrate the sincerity of one's compassion.

    Let me be clear: 1/3 of your paycheck is not enough for you to show your compassion. I require request 39%!

  • R C Dean||

    I continue to be amazed at how much of other people's cash is apparently required to demonstrate the sincerity of one's compassion.

  • sarcasmic||

    Off-piste with Russia's female Olympians: Russia goes on the Sochi charm offensive with scantily clad photo-call of its athletes as you've never seen them before

    The pictures showing the host team in racy underwear go viral in Moscow
    Include a figure skater, curlers, ice hockey players, ski jumpers and more
    A website boasts: 'Our sportswomen are best campaigners for Sochi team'


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....efore.html
    I have a new found appreciation for curling.

  • WTF||

    Let's just award gold to the Russian women and call it a day.

  • sarcasmic||

    Works for me.

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    Oh my...aye.

  • gaijin||

    hmm. After viewing the position of the sport's ambassadors in the article, I'm now willing to reconsider my position and think of curling as a legitimate sport.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    I'm looking at joining the local curling club.

    It's time.

    As for the pics, you will WIN for Mother Russia! Va-va-va-VOOM!

  • Floridian||

    Why do they have to make those weird faces while posing? I like seeing their bodies but their faces are prettier in the normal photos.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Stunning.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Don't ever stop the Daily Mail links Sarcasmic.

  • ||

    I'll be in my krovat'.

  • ||

    Let he who doesn't appreciate curling throw the first stone.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Today is the deadline for top aides to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to reply to subpoenas made by legislators investigating lane closures...

    Thank God Republicans don't get to play the phony scandal card.

  • WTF||

    That traffic jam was a real scandal, not like that phony IRS/Benghazi/NSA/Obamcare shit!
    /shreeky

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    Did anyone see the NFL joke segment with Rob Riggle where he's talking to the Sopranos guys while Howie and the boys are travelling from NYC to the stadium "over the bridge"? They made a nice dig about the GW bridge scandal.

    I can't find a video of it or remember it clear enough to really repeat it well.

  • WTF||

    Yeah, Riggle managed to hit just about every New Jersey cliché. It was kind of funny, though.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    I generally find Riggle entertaining.

  • Ted S.||

    No. Why would anybody subject themselves to the 72047582475982 hours of pregame show?

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    Sunday+hungover+superbowl= I'll put the 4 hour pregame show on. The only parts I really hated were when Obama and O'Reilly filled the screen. I muted that up real quick.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The only parts I really hated were when Obama and O'Reilly filled the screen.

    What a fucking donkey show. I'm just not sure who the donkey is.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    Shreek can answer that for you!

    Palin's Buttplug|2.2.14 @ 10:50PM|#|–|filternamelinkcustom

    Obama routed Bill-O. He deftly deflected the Fox News henchman on all the fake scandals, he put down all the wingnut talking points, he called out Fox News as the primary source of the fake scandals, he even got in digs like calling Fox News an "TV Channel" instead of a news organization. It was masterful. And live.
  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Obama routed Bill-O.

    Yeah, it's rather telling that the only guy from Fox that President Cornball would sit down with was someone who is just as big a blowhard as he is.

    Watching Obama's body language, it was pretty clear he was lying his ass off the whole time. No wonder Shriek loves him so.

  • sarcasmic||

    Has a British plumber conquered the biggest wave ever surfed? Father-of-two from Devon pictured hurtling down monster 80ft wall of water off Portuguese coast

    Andrew Cotton, 34, describes fear of being sucked up into the wave as he hurtled down to Portuguese coast
    Tackled 78-80ft wave in Nazaré, Portugal, on Sunday after his team heard a storm was brewing
    Instantly nominated for this year's world record, to be announced by Billabong in May
    Wife Katie, 37, admits she was scared after receiving call from husband about dangerous waves


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....coast.html
    Wow. That's a big fucking wave.

  • Raven Nation||

    Unreal.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    See? Climate Change isn't all bad.

  • Ted S.||

    So that's what killed Madeleine McCann.

  • WTF||

    That guy either has solid brass balls the size of basketballs or is completely insane. Maybe both.

  • gaijin||

    high. clearly he is high.

  • Tim||

    I've wasted my life.

  • RBS||

    That last picture is really cool.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Nope. I used to surf and all I can say is nope.

  • playa manhattan||

    Not even close. The wave has to go top to bottom for it to count. That wave half crumbled San Onofre style.

  • So very tired||

  • sarcasmic||

    'I lost 6st on Victoria Beckham's alkaline diet after my boyfriend dumped me at my fattest': 17st waitress inspired by heartbreak

    Mimi Cizmara from London was distraught being dumped at her heaviest
    Followed alkaline diet and went from 17 stone to 11 stone in a year
    Went from size 18 to size 8
    Had to monitor pH levels of urine every morning and follow strict diet
    Says she feels better than ever and will never go back to way she was


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/fem.....-diet.html
    John has a sad =-(

  • RBS||

    WTF is an "alkaline" diet?

  • Ted S.||

    The opposite of an acidic diet, I presume.

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    It is quite basic don't ya know...

  • gaijin||

    a high pHat diet?

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    Damn you! I thought my remark was funny, and you had to go and totally one up it...

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Non-acidic food.

    http://thealkalinefoods.com/alkaline-foods-list

    Ted, I can't watch 'Hallo Bundesliga' without thinking of you.

    Oof.

  • Ted S.||

    Considering how many highlight Bayern München creates each week, it's hard to have a highlights show without them. ;-)

    Of course, they're not playing a meaningful game until the 19th. They'd better beat the shit out of Arsenhole.

  • Pelosi's Rabbit||

    Apple cider vinegar is an alkaline forming food?

  • Juice||

    Your link gave me a virus alert.

  • Snark Plissken||

    The ultra-strict regime warns against ‘very acid forming’ foods like starchy grains and vegetables such as pasta, wheat and beans, all dairy products, meat, fish and shellfish.

    Gee, I wonder how that could make someone lose weight? Oh yeah, the acid.

  • RBS||

    So all she ate were green vegetables?

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    Is water alkaline?

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    *Is water alkaline enough?

  • playa manhattan||

    I was getting off the freeway yesterday and I noticed a store. "Alkaline Water". That's all they sell.

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    And soda ash.

  • ||

    And dust. Anyone? Dust.

  • Floridian||

    Fish and chips.

    What's that? Must be some food we don't get here. I'll just write curry.

  • ||

    +1.

  • Brett L||

    Because the entireity of human digestion is based on creating a highly acidic.... oh.

    (Seriously, one of the reasons we like and eat so many acidic things is that it "pre-digests" or liberates calories for us.)

  • Rasilio||

    Yeah but she's still ugly

  • Juice||

    Very.

  • Snark Plissken||

    European Union Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem has said that corruption across the E.U. is “breathtaking.”

    It certainly is, perhaps less ubiquitous but getting more entrenched if my experience in Central Europe is anything to go by.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    European Union Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem has said that corruption across the E.U. is “breathtaking.”

    People are surprised that a vast bureaucratic machine that sets out to control virtually every facet of everyone's life would be corrupt?

  • Snark Plissken||

    Well, in the case of Czechia it's the local government that is corrupt and growing moreso. EU is mostly about enacting a bunch of stupid regulations, like declaring fructose a health food.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    My friend is of Czech origin and I remember his father (who was born there) talking not too fondly about his former homeland for its "culture of thievery." Not sure what he meant by this. I would like to visit Prague though and see some of those Czech chicks.

  • Snark Plissken||

    There is certainly a lot of petty crime here (pick-pocketing, etc), and the government is corrupt as hell, yet everyone I know is very hardworking and honest, perhaps not very efficiently working but definitely hard-working. An ex-pat friend of mine who was here had a Czech-born neighbor whisper to him before he left, "Czechs are greedy."

  • ||

    Well, it was never intended to be corrupt, and that's what matters.

  • Jon Lester||

    Another reason I question why it's a big deal if Ukraine goes with the EU or a Russia-centered customs union (and I don't really understand why it has to be only one or the other). Unlike Europe, Russia actually has a growing middle class.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Today is the deadline for top aides to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to reply to subpoenas

    Leave a little early to allow for traffic, guys.

  • db||

    Nice.

  • gaijin||

    actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his Manhattan apartment yesterday.

    What is the connection between heroin use and bath tubs? I mean, why does it seem that so many OD's happen in bath tubs?

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    On the other hand, Frank Pentangeli was found in the bath tub with his wrists slit.

  • gaijin||

    in the bath tub with his wrists slit.

    I kind of get that. Warm water ensures the blood flows quickly. Less mess for friends and family. Unless you're ODing as suicide, why the tub? Maybe it's just coincidence.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Maybe it's what 'they' want you to believe. Maybe 'they' kill the person somewhere else and 'they' transfer the body to the tub.

  • Raven Nation||

    I always wonder about unnamed law enforcement & OD celebrity deaths. Do they actually have evidence when they make those statements or is just a standard default position?

  • Rasilio||

    News blurb I saw yesterday is he still had the needle in his arm when they found him.

    No clue if it is true or not, but if it is then Drug OD sounds like a quite reasonable guess

  • Raven Nation||

    Fair enough. I was just thinking that seems to be the almost instant response on a celebrity death. Of course, law of averages and all that.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    News blurb I saw yesterday is he still had the needle in his arm when they found him.

    That's what I read in the LA Times. I'd argue a needle in the arm is good enough evidence to conclude an OD. Only an autopsy (or some form of outward showing trauma) can show otherwise.

  • GILMORE||

    I think we should hold off on snap judgements with this "dead" thing. He's a very accomplished actor. He could be preparing for his next role. As a dead person.

  • Atanarjuat||

    Al Qaeda Says It Has No Links With ISIS

    Now Reason is just blatantly pandering to Archer fans.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Clearly more of an ODIN group.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    dick trap

  • Rasilio||

    Of course they don't, ISIS is a Pagan goddess

  • Jon Lester||

    My taste in women was greatly influenced by Lynda Carter and Joanna Cameron.

  • Bee Tagger||

    European Union Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem has said that corruption across the E.U. is "breathtaking."

    Didn't Berlin already say something like that in the mid-80s?

  • Ted S.||

    Malmström was too busy riding on the metro to hear that.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Janet Yellen will be sworn in as the Chairwoman of the Federal Reserve today.

    At last, our nation's economy will no longer be at the mercy of austerian radicalism.

    Let ten thousand flowers bloom.

  • Obamaphone||

    Ring***Ring***
    Janet Yellen, the most-qualified chairperson ever appointed to the Federal Reserve, will continue my administration's record of economic reform and advancement. It won't happen overnight, but our leadership will create the world's most dynamic economy right here, in the United States of America.
    -click-

  • WTF||

    You're really the teleprompter, right?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Coca-Cola's Multicultural Super Bowl Ad Really Angered Conservatives

    Michael Patrick Leahy over at Breitbart was offended, too.

    Not only did Coke use "a deeply Christian patriotic anthem whose theme is unity – in several foreign languages," but Leahy noted that the "ad also prominently features a gay couple."

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/l.....es-boycott

    Oh, the irony. "Unity" does not mean what Mike thinks it does.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Wasn't much unity when your hero Soros helped round up his fellow Jews, amirite?

    soros.org

  • Zeb||

    "Deeply Christian"? There's some God in the song, but I don't remember anything specifically Christian in there.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Al Qaeda claims that it has no ties to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, which has been fighting rebel groups in Syria.

    So feel free to supply them with weapons.

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    Which one?

    /DoD GS-15 with shipping manifest in hand

  • Jordan||

    Reading this article about the NSA having to cancel some programs due to the Snowden leaks, I was struck by this passage:

    As a result, U.S. officials have struggled to respond to the daily onslaught of attacks from Russia, China and elsewhere, a vulnerability that U.S. intelligence agencies now rank as a greater threat to national security than terrorism.

    Could they be more obvious in their uncritical acceptance of government propaganda?

  • gaijin||

    have struggled to respond to the daily onslaught of attacks from Russia, China and elsewhere, a vulnerability that U.S. intelligence agencies now rank as a greater threat to national security than terrorism.

    So being called out on hypocrisy is a threat to national security. Nice.

  • Ted S.||

    I would have guessed that sentence was referring to actual things like cyberattacks.

  • gaijin||

    ah, that makes more sense. Their programs, that were proposed, can't get enacted for lack of political support. Therefore, their jobs are harder and they have to stick to fighting terrorists, which is so last decade. :)

  • R C Dean||

    U.S. intelligence agencies now rank as a greater threat to national security than terrorism for some reason; nobody really knows why.

  • John||

    No. And I would like to know what collecting cell phone records has to do with defending against cyber attacks.

    It would be like the NYPD claiming they can no longer handle the onslaught of identity theft cases because they were forced to end stop and frisk.

  • Ted S.||

    It's government bureaucrats. Why do you expect competence or logical thought?

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    Well, John.. there are a lot of ins and outs. A lot of synergy here that, well, just goes over your head. You don't know the threats of the 21st century. Let them do their jobs to keep you safe!

    /reasonable prog when a D man is in charge

  • John||

    I am just a stupid racist tea bagger who can't see nuance.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Well, see, when they grab everyone's internet traffic they can spot cyber attacks and intercept them before the victims are even aware of it. Just like in Phillip K. Dick's We Can Analyze It for You Wholesale.

  • trshmnstr||

    Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his Manhattan apartment yesterday.

    I've heard the name, but I don't recognize his face. I looked at his filmography, and the only one I've seen was Twister. Is that bad? I must be a sheltered person.

  • ||

    He was also in Big Lebowski as the "assistant" to Mr. Lebowski. Which is the only thing I saw him in, which it why I mention it, so don't feel bad, trshmnstr, for not seeing a lot of movies.

  • RBS||

    I will always remember him as the guy who was in the greatest scene Tara Reid ever filmed.

  • db||

    Let me go get my wallet...

  • AlmightyJB||

    And what was that in?

  • Jordan||

    He's one of those guys who shows up in lots of movies and always does a great job, but I can never recall any of his roles, except for his most recent one in Catching Fire, which was outstanding.

    And all your commas are belong to me.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yes, you are sheltered from some great films like 'The Big Lebowski' and 'Magnolia'.

  • Atanarjuat||

    He played the creepy gay guy in Boogie Nights so well I can't see him as anything else.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    I think he made his name on 'Capote.'

  • Crusty Juggler||

    It is bad and you must be.

  • Ted S.||

    Most of my film watching is of movies made before I was born, so I'm not as familiar with his oeuvre as I probably should be, either.

  • Raven Nation||

    I think the only thing I've seen him in his MI3

  • AlmightyJB||

    He was fantastic in MI3 and Charlie Wilson's War. The opening scene with him in MI3 is rivoting.

  • AlmightyJB||

  • AlmightyJB||

    If this isn't one of his best scenes, I don't know what would be. From Charle Wilson's War.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=066BFGk6QvA

  • Pelosi's Rabbit||

    Feels like I've seen him in a lot of stuff, but I think it just turns out that I really liked the things I saw him in. Before The Devil Knows You're Dead and Boogie Nights stand out.

  • ||

    In my opinion, that is what made him good. He played the characters so well, you lost sight of him and saw only the character. Like Mickey Roarke in "The Wrestler", he became the part he was playing.

    In my opinion Hoffman was the best American actor since Al Pacino in his prime.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    since Al Pacino in his prime

    You mean since Pacino wasn't screaming every other line?

  • Jon Lester||

    You might like "State and Main," which also has one of Alec Baldwin's best performances as an aging, oafish film star, which is to say, he plays himself.

  • Tonio||

    "Magnolia," as Jason Robard's hospice care nurse. Brilliant role.

  • KMA Too||

    No love for Sandy Lyle and the "shart"??

    That just seems odd around these parts

  • ||

    Saturday I went to a "ladies lunch" for a friend, hosted by another friend. These are both people I know professionally and socially, though I am not super familiar with the host. (She's a former professor of mine & now social friend). But after a bit of time at the lunch, it became liberal echo chamber Hades. The talk started from something about Chris Christie, who was praised for "embracing the president." Then the "fact" that the right "doesn't give the president enough respect" was given the inference of it (lack of respect) being "a bit racist." But this is why Christie isn't 100% welcomed by the right, since he openly embraced the president. Another lady mentioned how the current electorate has a lot of people who talk loudly, but aren't educated about issues, and perhaps aren't even voting . . .

    It was an interesting, let's say, anthropological expedition for me.

  • Atanarjuat||

    Did someone say, "I bet those rubes don't even listen to NPR!"?

  • ||

    No, but CNN was mentioned as a good source of news.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    No, but CNN was mentioned as a good source of news.

    It's good to know the people you can safely ignore in the conversation.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    No cat-fight?

  • ||

    Not that I am aware of, I was the second to leave.

  • Raston Bot||

    You are obviously a traitor in the war on womyn™.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    She's not a traitor, she's just not a real woman. She's the equivalent of Clarence Thomas or Sarah Palin.

  • JW||

    It just never occurs to them, how anyone could possibly believe anything differently than they do.

    p.s. - When a host starts talking politics at their event, they have thoroughly failed as a social host.

  • Zeb||

    Being a mainstream liberal or conservative is much more cultural for most people than actually having to do with principle or deeply held beliefs, I think. Being a libertarian or other kind of less mainstream political bent makes it more obvious that just stating your politics in casual conversation as if it is obviously true is a bit obnoxious.

  • RBS||

    Grand Moff Serious Man|2.2.14 @ 6:06PM|#|–|filternamelinkcustom

    Seahawks are going down today. Sorry, just not as polished as the Broncos and Peyton has a major chip on his shoulder given the number of people questioning his legacy.
  • trshmnstr||

    I feel bad for Peyton... most of that loss was not his fault. Receiver breaking off routes prematurely and dropping balls, an O-line that couldn't block a troop of girl scouts, and a defense that didn't show up until the game was out of hand. Granted, he didn't help by becoming "Playoff Peyton" and throwing multiple picks, but even those were all deflected at the line of scrimmage.

  • John||

    It wasn't all his fault. But it would have never been all his credit if they had won.

    I feel bad for him too. He is a good guy. But he has a fatal flaws as a quarterback that eventually get exposed. He is a bit of a Greek Tragedy.

  • trshmnstr||

    Yeah, as a Colts fan, I love the guy, but am glad that he's spending his waning years on another team. Something about playoff caliber defenses (specifically physical DBs like you mention below) throws him off big-time, and always has. He just can't handle it when his release valve gets chipped at the line of scrimmage.

  • John||

    I think you are better off with the chin beard. He is more athletic and has a livelier arm.

  • JW||

    Why won't anyone tell Luck that the beard makes look like a GEICO caveman?

  • John||

    I don't know. He is not a dumb guy. But that beard makes him look ridiculous.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Exactly, John. They win and fail as a team. Period.

    Here in Montreal it's the same crap with goalie Carey Price. When the stats support their hard on for him, they cite them. When the stats don't, it's suddenly the team in front of him that's 'letting him down.'

    It's ridiculous. When you invest so much of your reputation selling a product you will defend it to the very end no matter what even if it means playing fancy with the stats.

    With Price they took a decent goalie with good skills and turned him something bigger than he actually is. In the beginning they took the stats to support their claims, however small the sample size. Now, that the size of the sample is expanding his numbers are just what they are: Decent.

    Price is no Manning that's for sure but it's the same idea.

  • ||

    Record-setting year. MVP. Records shattered in the regular season and playoffs. All of it irrelevant in a humiliating playoff loss.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Peyton Manning's career.

  • John||

    Pretty much.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Well, Brady went 16-0 until that damn annoying loss to the flukey Giants. Giants always seem to win on fluke.

  • John||

    As much as I don't like Brady and the Patriots, I respect the hell out of them for going for 16-0. If they had mailed it in that last regular season game against the Giants, the Giants might not have had their number in the Super Bowl. we will never know. But you have to respect them for not taking the easy way out the way the Colts did in 09.

  • waffles||

    I was at that game on 12/29/07 and it was the best-feeling loss I have ever attended. There was this great feeling that the unstoppable Patriots could be beaten. I'm clearly biased, but the last seed Giants run was my favorite postseason ever.

  • John||

    That was a great game. I didn't like either team. But I loved that game. Neither team had anything the play for. The Giants were going to be the last seed in the playoffs and going to play at Tampa the next week no matter what happened. The Patriots had long since clinched home field in the AFC. But both teams brought it because the Patriots respected the game enough to go for 16-0 and the Giants respected the game enough not to roll over and let them have it.

    Pro sports teams and athletes disrespect their own sports so often. That game was a real breath of fresh air.

  • Mike M.||

    If Manning is smart, he'll retire now, because he's going to be a prime candidate to fall off the cliff next season. His arm is pretty much toast.

  • Jon Lester||

    By halftime, I was thinking to myself, the Falcons played way better games against the Seahawks than the Broncos did last night. Maybe the NFC really is the better league this year.

  • John||

    It was. The 49ers would have done the exact same thing to the Broncos.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Think we will see Mike this morning?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    As a result, U.S. officials have struggled to respond to the daily onslaught of attacks from Russia, China and elsewhere

    If the sky is full of Spetznatz paratroopers, I haven't noticed it.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    They will first send the Cubans into Colorado.

  • Rasilio||

    Hey, that wasn't just Cubans, there were Nicaraugans in there too

  • WTF||

    If the sky is full of Spetznatz paratroopers, I haven't noticed it.

    That's only because our heroes have prevented it! By spying on Americans.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    WOLVERINES!

  • Jon Lester||

    It's incredible to me how many people in that line of work have such rigid thinking, neglecting that an open society like ours freely offers almost anything a foreigner could want to know. I still feel the only substantial thing Anna Chapman and her crew did was suburban loitering.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    It's a prerequisite for keeping your job.

  • John||

    Can I have some Manning fan boy tears? They do just taste wonderful this morning. Manning had the same problems last night he has always had. He doesn't throw a good deep ball or any deep ball at all at this point in his career and as accurate as he is, he is not the most accurate and he doesn't adjust well when teams throw off his timing. Every time he has played a team in the playoffs with physical DBs and a pass rush, he has lost.

    As painful as it is to admit Episiarch is right, he called it. The Seattle DBs played physical coverage and threw off Manning's timing. Since Manning can't throw the deep ball, there was nothing he could do about it.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    His long-ball accuracy was awful.

    I wish Eli faced a punishing and tenacious defense like that. He wouldn't have one ring let alone two.

    Still can't understand how his floaters got through for TD's or how he escaped and eluded sacks.

  • John||

    The Manning family legacy is as follows.

    Archie - never got to play in a big game.

    Eli - Only played well in big games.

    Payton - Played well in every game except the big games.

    It is an odd threesome. And I think Eli would have fared better against he Seahawks. Unlike his brother he can throw it deep. That threat would have prevented the Seahawks from being so aggressive or at least made them pay a few times for being so.

  • WTF||

    The problem is the offensive line wasn't providing adequate protection to be able to get the ball deep. Eli had a terrible year, partly (only partly) because the G-men had serious o-line problems all year. No pocket passer will do well without a good game from the offensive line.

  • John||

    Yes. Eli was good when the Giants had a great O-Line and could run the ball. That made his deep throws successful.

    In fairness, most QBs would not do well without a good O-line. But Eli was even more awful than you would expect him to be.

  • Loki||

    I think Eli would have fared better against he Seahawks. Unlike his brother he can throw it deep.

    Eli can also scramble better than Peyton. Although that's not saying much. I think an 80 year old with a walker would be more mobile than Peyton at this point.

  • RBS||

    Did you see the shot of Eli in the suite with about 5 minutes or left in the 4th? Hilarious.

  • John||

    No. I saw a few of them that showed him looking a bit glum. I am sure he felt bad for his brother, although at some level he has to feel a bit of guilty pleasure at being seen as one of the clutch Super Bowl QBs of all time. He will never have his brother's numbers or MVPs and will always be considered the lesser of the two. But he has those two SB performances and that has to be sweet.

  • Briggie||

    I love hearing from all the Manning fan boys this morning. What world do they live in where having the most playoff losses and getting blown out in a Super Bowl doesn't have a somewhat negative effect on your legacy?

  • John||

    Yeah. What drives me nuts about them is they claim he is the best ever and when someone points out his playoff failures, the fan boys accuse them of just hating Manning and being ridiculous because no one could deny Manning is a great player, as if denying that Manning is the best of all time is the same thing as saying he isn't a great player.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    He's this generation's Dan Fouts. And there's nothing wrong with that--Fouts had a Hall of Fame career, and so has Peyton. But I think it's silly to put him up there with Montana, Unitas, and Elway on the QB Mt. Rushmore. The very best find a way to get it done when it's on the line, especially with the offensive weapons he's had during his career.

  • wareagle||

    unlike Fouts, Manning has been on three teams that made it to the SB. Puts him closer to Favre and why is it silly to put him alongside the others?

    Unitas' teams competed alongside the Packers of the 60s and Elway endured three blowout losses in the SB before Terrell Davis filled in the team's huge gap. As to Montana, I'll ask what I've always asked - if he is in that rarified air, why isn't Terry Bradshaw there, too? Both teams had rosters full of talent but each guy was on 4 champions. And Bart Starr was on five, including pre-Super Bowl but he's left out, too.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    As to Montana, I'll ask what I've always asked - if he is in that rarified air, why isn't Terry Bradshaw there, too?

    It's probably a question of perception, although I don't think it's a stretch to say Montana was better. His accuracy was ridiculously awesome for the offenses of the time and he cemented his legacy with that drive against the Bengals. Bradshaw was really more like Eli--wasn't all that great during the regular season, but was an absolute monster in the playoffs when it mattered.

    With guys like Starr, it's a question of context. Elway managed to drag teams to the SB that had no business being there at all, which is why they got killed so badly until TD came along. Starr was surrounded by Hall of Fame talent, and while he was an excellent QB, I'm skeptical that he'd have close to the same success without those guys around him. Before Lombardi came along, he was seen as a dedicated but very inconsistent QB.

  • John||

    Montana was a bigger part of his teams success than Bradshaw was of his. The Pittsburgh teams were built around defense and a running game. the 49er teams were built around the passing game.

    But I think Bradshaw gets undersold. As the example of Payton Manning shows, it is harder to play well on the biggest stage than people think it is. There are very few players who can honestly say they were both good enough and lucky enough to get there and rose to the occasion every chance they had. Bradshaw, like Montana, is one of those guys.

    For my money Bradshaw and Troy Aikman both get undersold. Just because you are on a great team, doesn't mean you will have enough commitment to winning to put your ego aside and be a part of a larger whole or that you can rise to the occasion when you need to.

    Aikman could have thrown for a lot more yards than he did. But he never complained or tried to do so. He knew what was best for the team and was happy to sacrifice his numbers in order to win. Bradshaw was the same way.

  • BigT||

    Otto Graham - best ever. 10 championship games, 7-3. Also had 44 rushing TD's, some interceptions, punt returns, KO returns. He was best QB in NFL every year (50-55) but one.

  • Loki||

    A lot of those old school players get overlooked nowadays. You have to wonder how some of those guys like Graham or Sammy Baugh would fare in today's league. Hell, Baugh would be a riot with modern rules. Back when he played the ball wasn't even shaped the same as today. It was more like a rugby ball, yet he still managed to set all kinds of passing records. I suspect he'd have a field day today. He'd basically be Brett Favre X 1000.

  • Loki||

    For my money Bradshaw and Troy Aikman both get undersold. Just because you are on a great team, doesn't mean you will have enough commitment to winning to put your ego aside and be a part of a larger whole or that you can rise to the occasion when you need to.

    ^THIS^

    Hell, just look at the Dallas Cowboys since Aikman, Emmitt Smith, et al left. They've had years when they had a ton of talented players on their rosters, but those talented pieces never have congealed into a talented team because Jerry Jones seems to think signing the latest prima donna diva flavor of the month like T.O. is somehow going to get him back to the promised land. It isn't.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    As a long-suffering Broncos fan, I blame the orange jerseys. They always seem to get the shit kicked out of them when they're worn in a Super Bowl.

    When I saw them come out in the home uniforms, my heart kind of sunk.

    He doesn't throw a good deep ball or any deep ball at all at this point in his career and as accurate as he is, he is not the most accurate and he doesn't adjust well when teams throw off his timing.

    I'm not too excited about his backup, either. Osweiller has a live arm, but I suspect he's going to be a transitionary QB.

    The irony of the game is that the Denver defense was actually playing pretty well, given how short-handed they were (I think about 1/4 of the starters were mostly backups during the regular season). But Manning's interceptions and the inability to sustain drives in the first half killed them.

  • John||

    Yeah. It wasn't the defense's fault. Take away the 16 points on the INT and kickoff returns and the safety and they held Seattle to 27 points. That should been good enough to win the game, had the offense done its job.

    And you are not long suffering. You won two Super Bowls not 20 years ago.

    But yeah, I don't see Denver getting back to the Super Bowl next year. Manning's arm is just going to weaker and his flaws more apparent as he gets older.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    That, and they will lose players in free agency.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    And you are not long suffering. You won two Super Bowls not 20 years ago.

    That's true, we're not Cleveland or Buffalo. But the team has a pretty odd history--absolutely awful until Ralston was hired and drafted a bunch of high-quality defensive players. Finally became a perennial playoff contender in the late 70s through most of the Reeves era thanks to Elway. Get crushed in four SBs from 77-89 before winning two SBs under Shanahan, only to be largely average the rest of his tenure because his only consistently good draft picks were running backs. Go through the rollercoaster of the McDaniels/Tebow years. Get Manning and become a mirror image of his Colts teams--great in the regular season, short in the playoffs.

  • Briggie||

    If they had gotten something done in the drive after the safety, they could have bounced back. Instead they went 3 and out and punted. Not getting a 3rd down conversion until 20 minutes into the game doesn't help either.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Even after that they still could have turned it on. The defense held Seattle to field goals, so it was still 8-0. If the Broncos just get a touchdown on that drive it's a level game again.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Long-suffering? I don't know, from where I sit, that's a reasonably successful franchise. Shit, seven SB appearances is nothing to sneer at especially considering the Steelers and Cowboys have eight. Ok, so they have 'just' two titles but still. Not too shabby at all.

  • BigT||

    Long-suffering?? Hahahaha! More like spoiled whiner.

    Red right 88, the Drive, the fumble. I've been waiting since 1964. Not even one Super Bowl appearance. Team bugged out in 1995 for Balto. I can relate to they guy who wanted to be let down one more time.

  • Loki||

    Team bugged out in 1995 for Balto.

    And then promptly won a Super Bowl a few years later. Talk about a nut punch. I think God hates Cleveland more than the rest of us do.

  • Loki||

    I blame the orange jerseys. They always seem to get the shit kicked out of them when they're worn in a Super Bowl.

    Next time they're the designated home team, they should wear their alternate blue jerseys. They won back when those were their default home unis.

  • Loki||

    I'm not too excited about his backup, either.

    He didn't look bad in some of his pre-season outings. He's not ready yet, but if he's patient with carrying a clipboard for another couple of years he might turn to be pretty good. A lot Packer fans weren't that excited about Aaron Rodgers his first couple of years either.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I've already seen some saying he's not at fault at all.

  • Rasilio||

    Mannings biggest problem is this.

    As great of a player as he is he is stuck up on his salary and since his rookie contract ended has consumed somewhere between 14 and 18% of the salary cap

    In a league with a hard cap no qb no matter how good is worth more than 10 - 12% of the cap and the average of Superbowl winning QB's is about 8% and only 2 times have QB's who earned more than 13% ever won (Elway in 97 at 14.5%, Roethlisberger in 08 at 23.4%) Manning was at 17.5% for the year.

    Same thing goes for Brady, his 3 Superbowls all came before he reached Free Agency and he consumed 0.3%, 3.2%, and 5.5% of the teams cap the years he won. When he got expensive the team no longer had the funds to put enough quality players around him and he hasn't won since.

    I won't say it is impossible for a team with a high priced QB to win a Superbowl, every now and then you'll get a team like the 06 Steelers who combine a very good veteran QB with an excellent young team against a weak opponent who lucked into the Superbowl but it will remain a rarity.

    If Manning, or Brady want to win another Superbowl they would be best served to take a massive pay cut down under $5 million a year so the team can afford to buy enough talent around them to cover up for their aging skill sets.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    In soccer we something similar to the extent a mid to lower table team with sell an asset for the transfer cash and turn around and buy several solid players. Napoli did that when they sold Cavani to PSG and took the money and signed a bunch of talent.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Pretty sure Pittsburgh lucked into some very favorable refs in 06. Which team was the wild card and which team dominated the NFC that year?

  • Rasilio||

    Arizona Cards

  • John||

    Today is the deadline for top aides to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to reply to subpoenas made by legislators investigating lane closures between Fort Lee and the George Washington Bridge.

    Given that the President replies to subpoenas selectively, isn't the new rule that executives are immune to these things?

  • WTF||

    Given that the President replies to subpoenas selectively, isn't the new rule that executives are immune to these things?

    Only if they have a 'D' after their name. And the 'Ds' control the justice department.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    It was an interesting, let's say, anthropological expedition for me.

    You should have tranquilizer-darted them, and brought them back to your private game reserve, for "further study".

  • KB Check Release||

    Only time I saw Hoffman and didn't like his character was in a certain Ben Stiller movie and Phillip still stole his scenes in which he appeared.

    The guy was straight talent and I am very sad to hear of his passing.

    Not the case with a lot of other prematurely deceased actors.

  • John||

    That is Along Came Polly, which is a lousy movie, except when Hoffman is in it. The basketball game scene is hysterical.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Hoffman introduced the word 'sharting' to the world in Along Came Polly. For that he deserves credit.

    He was a wonderful actor - loved him in Paul Thomas Anderson's films. He made whatever film he was in a bit better.

  • John||

    The sharted scene is great too. And he also gets credit, if you could all it that, for being in the most bizarre sex scene ever put on film. The scene he did with Marissa Tomei in I forget what movie was just jarring in the sense that you are going "hey that is Marissa Tomei and wow she looks as good as you thought she would" but at the same time you are recoiling in horror thinking "Oh my God that is Phillip Seymour Hoffman naked". It was a strange combination of emotions.

  • Ted S.||

    If you want bizarre sex scenes, see Girl on a Motorcycle. Marianne Faithfull couldn't act; she could barely sit in front of rear-projection photography either. Truly hilariously bad, plus psychedelc sex scenes.

  • John||

    Before she destroyed her looks with drugs Faithfull was beautiful. She has one of the best racks ever put to film.

    Have to give the Stones credit, for a bunch of skinny ugly guys, they had great taste in women.

  • WTF||

    Most guys have great taste in women. It's just that very few can actually pull models or the equivalent.

  • John||

    But not all guys. Compare Faithful and Anita Pallenberg to Linda McCartney and Yoko Ono. Hell Patty Harrison wasn't even in the same league as Faithful. But that didn't stop Harrison and Clapton from fighting over her for ten years.

  • BigT||

    Marianne Faithful now

  • Crusty Juggler||

    PSH was outstanding in everything, including the smaller role like the ones he played in "Boogie Nights" and "The Big Lebowski."

    I was enthralled by his ability in "The Master." There are moments in that film where he shares scenes with Phoenix that are so intense.

  • John||

    He was amazing in Boogie Nights. I really think his performance as Truman Capote was one of the best performances by anyone this century. People say that it was easy because Capote was so over the top. But everyone knows Capote. It is one thing to play Henry VIII or some character no one has ever seen or heard in real life. But to play someone like Capote that everyone has seen and heard and still be believable and not look like some guy acting like Capote is one hell of a feat.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    I agree very much. Every role I saw him in he did a great job. He also played a bunch of different types of roles.

    I'll always love him as Lester Bangs in Almost Famous.

  • KB Check Release||

    He is the best actor in that film by far. Even though Billy Crudup was good IMHO.

    I always tell people about that movie and how Cameron Crowe is just glamorizing an experience he had as a talented if not precocious teen. Journalists and critics love flowery depictions of journalism and all.

    Oddly many of my friends say that don't care about how narcissistic that film is.

  • Ted S.||

    Journalists are narcissitic, self-righteous hypocrites.

    Especially sports writers.

  • Ted S.||

    Oh shit; look who's back.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Especially baseball writers. Not a more insufferable, righteous bunch. Hockey writers can get silly too - particularly when it comes to Don Cherry. All the moralizing bull shit is too much for me.

  • Irish||

    Baseball writers can be smug and annoying, but they're easily the best sports writers in America.

    There actually are talented baseball writers out there. Point me to a talented football or basketball writer. I'll wait.

  • Libertymike||

    Ron Borges. He is also a good boxing writer.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Good point.

  • Apple||

    He was great in every movie I've ever seen him in, even when the movie wasn't that great. Particular favorites off the top of my head are Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Talented Mr. Ripley, Capote, Happiness. Seriously, he was amazing in everything. He had just as many good roles left in him too, he was only 46. Damn shame.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Is this the Super Bowl thread?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    My prediction is that Peyton leads Denver to a victory with his intelligence and preparation. The Seattle defense will just not be able to keep up!

  • waffles||

    You betcha. I had hoped for a Peyton loss, but not a Peyton capitulation. It's been a long time since we've seen such an epic drubbing in a championship game. As a longtime Giants fan I've always respected Peyton without feeling any love for the player. Seeing the greater Manning fail is perversely satisfying.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    I'm concerned for you, Mary. May I suggest a hobby or psychiatrist? Perhaps therapeutic knitting?

    Stalking people on the internet isn't a positive or productive hobby.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    But according to Mary, despite having a blog and Youtube channel committed to trashing a handful of reason commenters, it's we who are the stalkers!

  • ||

    Weigel'd again.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I was enthralled by his ability in "The Master."

    That movie was creepy and annoying at the same time. Hoffman seemed to be trying to play the part as Orson Welles; very irksome. I also spent the first part of the movie waiting for what's-his-name to die in a horrible hobo-falls-from-boxcar manner.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Brooks - Did you see There will be Blood?

    Not a Hoffman movie, but a Paul Thomas Anderson masterpiece. There are some messy death scenes you might like.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    That movie taught me to never go camping with Daniel Day Lewis.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    It was still enthralling. Joaquin did a great job making his character as creepy as possible, and PSH did an even better job being commanding and gregarious. The juxtaposition was obvious, but it was still very well done.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Having lived in Colorado for many years, and put up with Bronco-mania for the entire time, I have this to say:

    "Haha, Donco fanz. Choke on it."

  • John||

    Their fans are loathsome. All sorts fans are loathsome, myself included. But Broncos' fans are even worse.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Jets fans are worser, and Patriots fans are the worsest.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    We should makeout sometime.

  • John||

    In fairness to Patriots' fans they only got bad because the success went to their heads, which happens to every group of fans whose teams get good.

    The Jets in contrast don't even have that excuse. I root for the Chiefs, a team that has nearly an identical history to the Jets (AFL team great in the 60s, one Super Bowl followed by a decades of nut punching misery afterwards). And Chiefs fans are not particularly obnoxious for sports fans. We can't be. We never win anything. How can Jets fans be obnoxious? They must be a special breed of asshole.

  • wareagle||

    How can Jets fans be obnoxious?
    -----------

    New York. They come by it naturally.

  • waffles||

    Two words: Long Island

  • trshmnstr||

    Boston fans are worse than NY fans in my book, and then there's miles of space before the next worse... SEC fans.

  • John||

    Boston fans are worse than NY fans. NY fans are at least self aware enough to understand their teams generally have a huge financial advantage over other teams. Boston fans honestly think they are the little guy. That they are no different than fans in Cleveland or Minneapolis. They had to wait 86 years after all. Just ignore those 16 NBA titles and however many Stanley Cups sitting in the corner. They had to wait 86 years. They suffered!!

  • sarcasmic||

    I remember people literally crying their eyes out when the Red Sucks won that game. Grown men balling like little girls.

    I'll never understand shmortz.

  • Zeb||

    I thought that the whole post-season was very exciting the first year the Red Sox won the series and I briefly had a renewed interest in baseball. But then I went to bed with no tears shed and no urge to have a riot. Sports can be fun, but the personal investment people have in it is absurd.

  • The Last American Hero||

    They were showing how Boston Strong they are.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    The Bruins are 6-13 in Stanley Cup play and have been slaves to the Montreal Canadiens for most of the last century.

    Anyway, in terms of total championships by city, Boston is second to New York with Chicago third. So, yeah, I'd say Boston is more elite than blue-collar.

    If one city can still claim that title it's Philadelphia I reckon.

  • rbenchley||

    The saving grace for NY sports fans is the fact that outside of the Yankees, their sports teams stink. If they managed to dominate in other sports as well, they would be unbearable. Bill Burr has a great rant about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXA8z8fowf8

  • John||

    They do. It always drives me nuts when people talk about how great of a tradition the Knicks have. The Knicks have no tradition. They won a couple of titles in the 70s. They have about as much tradition as the Rockets or Trailblazers.

  • RBS||

    It's MSG, the KNicks are just piggy backing.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Never got the NY Knicks 'mecca' bit. Always thought LA or Boston or Philly easily rivaled and even surpassed it.

  • GILMORE||

    "John|2.3.14 @ 10:37AM|#

    They do. It always drives me nuts when people talk about how great of a tradition the Knicks have. The Knicks have no tradition. They won a couple of titles in the 70s. They have about as much tradition as the Rockets or Trailblazers.

    John, when you're wrong, you DO go big.

    I refer you to the Pat Riley years, and the team Michael Jordan considered his best competition.

  • John||

    Finishing second is not a tradition. They never won squat in the 1990s.

  • WTF||

    The Giants won the Superbowl two years ago, and have won four total out of five trips. Just because a team was bad in the past year doesn't mean the franchise stinks.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Jets fans are worser, and Patriots fans are the worsest.

    Pats fans are cocky and a bit douchie, but nothing compares to the loathsomeness of Jets fans.

  • John||

    I didn't watch the O'Reilly interview with his highness the Chocolate Nixon. But apparently, he addressed the issue of corruption in his administration.

    Asked by Mr. O'Reilly whether his administration used the IRS for political purposes, Mr. Obama called such implications “absolutely wrong.”

    “That’s not what happened,” the president said. “These kinds of things keep on surfacing in part because you and your TV station will promote them. There have been multiple hearings on it.”

    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....b/2/OBAMA/

    There it is. The light giver has spoken. These are not scandals you stupid race tea bagging bastards.

  • WTF||

    Henceforth, Obama shall be known as "ChocoNix".

  • Roger the Shrubber||

    I'm coo-coo for ChocoNix!

  • John||

    I stole that from someone on this board. But it is about the best name you can use isn't it?

  • sarcasmic||

    Why do they call you Red Tony?

    Occasionally on partisan issues he melts down and turns into a TEAM RED fallacy fellator.

  • Irish||

    It's Mary.

  • sarcasmic||

    Oh. Thanks. I'll ignore it now.

  • John||

    Mary. You know you are finally going to lose it and get banned. You always do. But don't worry I am sure someone else already wrote Reason with this link showing you admitting you are Mary and they probably will ban you now before it gets too bad.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    John, it's simply:

    Palin's Buttplug|2.2.14 @ 10:50PM|#|–|filternamelinkcustom

    Obama routed Bill-O. He deftly deflected the Fox News henchman on all the fake scandals, he put down all the wingnut talking points, he called out Fox News as the primary source of the fake scandals, he even got in digs like calling Fox News an "TV Channel" instead of a news organization. It was masterful. And live.
  • John||

    All Obama did was make a bunch of baseless assertions. But he routed him.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I heard some clips of the interview on the radio this morning and Dear Leader came off as a petulant child.

    And that's nearly impossible standing next to the glaring light of oreilly's ego-driven, childish insolence.

  • John||

    When does he not come off as a petulant child? I was at a class this weekend and one of the subjects was ethical leadership. They showed clips of the famous Frost interview of Nixon. Nixon is basically forced to admit that he thinks nothing the President does is illegal. It is a very powerful moment. But even in that moment of being corner, Nixon comes across as a serious and mature if misguided person. The contrast with the childish arrogance of Obama is striking.

  • General Butt Naked||

    And imagine the gravitas that Nixon would be endowed with by his contrast to Bill O'reilly. That anyone takes our boy-child president seriously is really fucked up. At least no one was deifying the last boy-child president, bush. Also, bush didn't come off as an asshole.

  • tarran||

    I came across this clip yesterday. I think it pretty much captures the zeitgeist of many modern day institutions.

    Carol Burnett's Trainee Sketch

  • John||

    Oh Mary. You are just so sad. So angry, bitter, nearly demonic. If I didn't worry about you being dangerous, I would feel sorry for you.

  • WTF||

    That whole interview just pissed me off to no end, even though I switched the channel and refused to watch it. I tuned in to see a fucking sporting event, not to listen to some political bullshit being spouted by a lying politician and a self-righteous asshole interviewer. What the fuck was Fox thinking?

  • John||

    No shit. Leave politics the fuck out of these things. Lets have a safe harbor where politics doesn't go.

    All the military stuff generally annoys me too. It is so over the top. Get a color guard and maybe have a fly over and leave it at that. We are not and should not be a militaristic country.

    The only thing that even makes the military stuff tolerable is the thought that as annoying as I find it, a lot of people I don't like find it even more annoying. I always enjoy a bit of schadenfreude.

  • Libertymike||

    How about all of those insufferable Manning apologists?

  • RBS||

    The only thing that even makes the military stuff tolerable is the thought that as annoying as I find it, a lot of people I don't like find it even more annoying.

    I agree, you should check out LRC before/after any major sporting event.

  • ||

    Yeah, and I just got into an argument with some jackanape (well, it was more two people talking past each other until I gave up) about whether or not Benghazi was a fake scandal ginned up by those evil Republicans a few days ago.

    Really feels like that godawful SOTU reenergized the koolaid-drinking base, which honestly seemed to be flagging a bit with the NSA's gross constitutional violations.

  • John||

    Just tell him the bodies don't seem to be fake. There seems to have been some cases of high velocity lead poisoning over there.

  • ||

    He seemed to be on the verge of a breakdown just talking about how disgusted he was with Republicans for (supposedly) leading on Sean Smith's mother. I pretty quickly realized that continuing would profit neither of us.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Did you see There will be Blood?

    Was that the oil wildcatter one, with Daniel Day Lewis gnawing on the scenery and swinging from the rafters?

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Yeah. Pretty much. I imagine you as a modern day Daniel Plainview, but without the blood. ;-)

  • ||

    One of my friends has recently hooked up with a new girl, who was rather pleasant in person, but unfortunately after she's added me on Facebook it looks like she's just going to be another one of the usual suspects I'm going to have to ignore or filter out.

    Warning: contains looping animated gifs of Jon Stewart smugfacing while blaming kulak wreckers and hoardersobstructionist Republicans for all ills.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Bang her, and then run.

  • ||

    I never rub a friend's rhubarb. Not while they're still together, anyways.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Ha whoops, I misread the original statement.

    Although, my advice may still apply. He'll be mad, but you may have saved him.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    you do not mow another man's lawn.

  • Floridian||

    What if his lawn mower is broken and you have spare time.... Oh, we aren't talking about law care are we?

  • Raston Bot||

    All her friends, then unfriend.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    This place sure does spend a lot of time defending Republicans - for a supposed "libertarian" site.

  • ||

    Intellectual honesty sometimes requires that you defend your enemies when they are persecuted for their virtues rather than their vices.

  • Zeb||

    Simply pointing out that Republicans are not to blame for all problems everywhere is not exactly a powerful endorsement.

  • Tonio||

    Uh, yeah, and I defend the First Amendment rights of the Phelps family, aka Westboro Baptist, even though they'd love to see me burned at the stake. It's called principles; all the cool kids have them.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    All Obama did was make a bunch of baseless assertions.

    But they were masterful baseless assertions. Also articulate, clean, and neatly pressed.

  • sarcasmic||

    Also articulate, clean, and neatly pressed.

    Chris Mathews forgot he was black.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I imagine you as a modern day Daniel Plainview

    I wouldn't be caught dead in that hat.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    And you're much funnier.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Should we have a pool on when the first class action suit is filed against the NFL and the Doncos for breach of contract, for failing to provide a football game as promised?

  • Raston Bot||

    It was so bad I gave into my addiction and switched over to Downton. Damn you, Broncos!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Alt-text please!

  • Irish||

    Jesse Myerson is back!

    Why you’re wrong about communism: 7 huge misconceptions about it (and capitalism)

    This should be good.

    This is from a section about how Communism really didn't kill that many people:

    So much for the USSR. The most horrifying episode in 20th Century official Communism was the Great Chinese Famine, its death toll difficult to identify, but surely in the tens of millions. Several factors evidently contributed to this atrocity, but central to it was Mao’s “Great Leap Forward,” a disastrous combination of applied pseudoscience, stat-juking, and political persecution designed to transform China into an industrial superpower in the blink of an eye. The experiment’s results were extremely grim, but to claim that the victims died because they, in their right minds, would not volunteer for “a left-wing dream” is ludicrous. Famine is not a uniquely “left-wing” problem.

    I don't even know where to begin. Apparently the tens of millions of people killed by Chinese Communists weren't that big a deal because famines have occurred in other places. Of course, famines have never occurred in Western capitalist countries, a fact that is conveniently left out.

  • sarcasmic||

    Advocates for central planning simply cannot comprehend the fact that markets and the price system causes goods to move to where they are needed, without any planning whatsoever.

    Does not compute.

    How can anything happen without someone threatening violence if things are not done their way? It's impossible.

  • Raston Bot||

    somehow Paris gets fed.

  • ||

    +1 Bastiat

  • General Butt Naked||

    Or that today's "pseudoscience" was yesterday's consensus pushed by all the phds, technocrats and various other central planners. And that in the future, we'll look back at the shit these people want to implement now and laugh at their backwardness.

    Disregarding the ethical and moral implications, there will never be a time when we'll have enough knowledge and technology to positively control everyone's life.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Don't be so cynical.

  • RBS||

    Funny, I was listening to a Cato podcast yesterday about Mao and his Great Leap. The famine's were not mentioned but there was a hell of a lot of brutality. School children tortured to death, shop owners executed, executioners executed for not being executiony enough..

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    20th century China and the USSR are case studies in how to remain a major player on the global stage while systematically slaughtering your own population.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    When and Where was the last famine in a capitalist western country?

    Possibly in post-WWI or WWII Germany and Japan. "Western' and 'capitalist' being very loosely applied.

  • Irish||

    The only famines in a capitalist country that I can think of started after wars. There was starvation in Europe during and after WWI and WWII, but that wasn't the result of capitalism, it was the result of roads and crops being destroyed by warfare.

    There have been situations where the colonies of capitalist countries had famines, but those colonies were never run in a capitalist manner. India had a terrible famine after WWII, but that was because the British government was trying to centrally plan India's food distribution.

    So when capitalist countries have some sort of shortage it's always the result of trying too much central planning.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Irish potato famine as well. But much like the Russian Kulak famine, it may have been intentional on the part of the British.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I'm fairly certain the Brits knew exactly what they were doing.

  • ||

    Let's not forget the repeal of the Corn Laws when this particular discussion comes up.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    So, our conclusion then: Famines take place in areas/countries ruled under totalitarianism and imperialism.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    What a complete and total fuckstick. All those people in the Ukraine obviously starved themselves.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Of course, famines have never occurred in Western capitalist countries, a fact that is conveniently left out.

    But sometimes some kids go to bed a bit hungry!!

  • Irish||

    I love Communist apologists because they always use absurd false equivalencies.

    "10 million people starving to death in Russia is like kids in America being 'food insecure!'"

    "Sure millions of political prisoners were executed by Communist regimes, but the police in America use Stop-and-frisk!"

  • John||

    America is food insecure Irish. That is why we need to control their diets to keep Americans from being so fat.

    The amount of cognitive dissonance these people engage in would be funny if it wasn't so scary.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    America is food insecure Irish. That is why we need to control their diets to keep Americans from being so fat.

    If we were to listen to our betters, you'd understand that the biggest problem facing America's less fortunate is that they aren't starving, but are too well fed.

  • John||

    Those assholes would starve millions to death if they ever got the chance. I have no about that.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Those assholes would starve millions to death if they ever got the chance. I have no about that.

    Yep.

    And of course when stores like Whole Foods moves in, they bitch about CORPORATE TAKEOVERS!!!!11!!one!!

    These people really believe that farmer's markets can feed densely populated areas like NYC.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Given the technological, material, and social advances of the last century, we could expect an approach to communism beginning here and now to be far more open, humane, democratic, participatory and egalitarian than the Russian and Chinese attempts managed.

    We'll get it right this time, we promise.

    Myerson obviously spends too much time reading Arthur C. Clarke.

  • Irish||

    What's hilarious is that this is the same argument advanced by Commies before the last try. Marx actually argued that Communism would not have worked historically because they did not have the technology necessary for high levels of production. He claimed that the industrial revolution had changed all that which was why Communism would now be effective.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    His bullshit is so thick, it's hard to know where to begin. His arguments are freshman year of college stupid. This passage is beyond belief:

    As a matter of fact, most of the greatest art under capitalism has always come from people who are oppressed and alienated (see: the blues, jazz, rock & roll, and hip-hop). Then, thanks to capitalism, it is homogenized, marketed, and milked for all its value by the “entrepreneurs” sitting at the top of the heap, stroking their satiated flanks in admiration of themselves for getting everyone beneath them to believe that we are free.

    As opposed to the communist countries that jailed and murdered the alienated artists for being dissidents.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Hell, they don't even have to be dissidents.

    The absurdists were sent to the gulags for not buying into soviet realism 100%

  • Irish||

    Don't take our word for it! Just ask Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich what he thought of the Soviet Union:

    I think it is clear to everyone what happens in the Fifth. The rejoicing is forced, created under threat, as in Boris Godunov. It’s as if someone were beating you with a stick and saying, ‘Your business is rejoicing, your business is rejoicing, your business is rejoicing,’ and you rise, shaky, and go marching off, muttering, ‘Our business is rejoicing, our business is rejoicing.
  • ||

    His bullshit is so thick, it's hard to know where to begin. His arguments are freshman year of college stupid.

    Sounds like just the kind of thing to get the go-ahead from the editors at Salon for publication. They have a brand image to maintain, after all.

  • John||

    19th Russia was to novels what 20th Century America was to movies. But somehow with the exception of Babel, whom Stalin shot, and a couple of guys writing in secret (Solzhenitsyn and Grossman), Russians stopped writing great novels. Funny that.

  • sarcasmic||

    Those "entrepreneurs" receiving a disproportionate amount of wealth creates inequality.

    Better to have Top. Men. distribute the wealth equitably under threat of violence than allow people to voluntarily cooperate with each other. Voluntary cooperation leads to inequality, and as our president said, inequality is terrible. It's worse than death. So much worse that good Communists are happy to put people to death than allow them to be unequal.

  • waffles||

    In death we are all equal comrade!

  • General Butt Naked||

    Democratic?

    Well, what do you do when people vote to actually keep the fruits of their labor?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Well, what do you do when people vote to actually keep the fruits of their labor?

    Send them to re-education camps and/or gulags?

  • ||

    It's almost like the knowledge problem hadn't been identified FUCKING DECADES AGO.

  • GILMORE||

    Serious dialog, Mary.

  • Juice||

    They sure beat the shit out of those strawmen.

  • ||

    At least the comments are brutal.

    Jon89 42 minutes ago
    7 huge misconceptions about fascism:



    Fascism killed 12 million people in the Holocaust.



    To blame this on fascism is simply ridiculous and could only be believed by a 'historical scholar of zero renown.' The truth is, what Hitler attempted to implement was a perversion of the noble fascist dream advanced by Benito Mussolini. Hitler was a madman, certainly, but it was this madness that killed all those Jews, not fascism.



    If someone wrote the above paragraph, would Jesse Myerson take him seriously? If not, why not? Because it's basically the same idiotic argument Myerson is attempting to advance.
  • Zeb||

    but to claim that the victims died because they, in their right minds, would not volunteer for “a left-wing dream” is ludicrous

    How does that make anything better? And how is it even relevant to anything? Is he saying that most of the people who were tortured, murdered or starved to death would have volunteered had they been given a choice?

  • ||

    It turns out the key to understanding that point is that he's not trying to debunk an actual misconception about Communism, just a specific statement that Greg Gutfield once made. And which also isn't actually debunked...

  • Zeb||

    Ah, OK. Wasn't in the mood to follow that link this morning.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Al Qaeda claims that it has no ties to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant"

    Which Al Qaeda?

    There are dozens of them now.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The experiment’s results were extremely grim, but to claim that the victims died because they, in their right minds, would not volunteer for “a left-wing dream” is ludicrous.

    "Well, Mister President, I hate to judge before all the facts are in, but it's beginning to look as if General Ripper may have exceeded his authority."

  • John||

    The results were grim, but don't let a few hundred million dead keep us from running it again on the American people. I am sure they have learned from their mistakes.

  • John||

    I read that Myerson article and it makes me realize how well Tolkien understood evil. It never goes away. You would think that 1989 would have ended any thought of communism for all time, just like I am sure the Eleves and humans thought Isladur killing Sauron removed his shadow from the world. Here we are 25 years later and communism's horrible specter is now acceptable again.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    The communists will never go away. As society and industry progresses, it will only take them longer to destroy a state once they capture it.

  • John||

    I think it appeals to a certain sort of egoist. If you look back at all of the left wing killers, they were usually half assed artists or intellectuals who felt the world never recognized their genius. Communism is such a ready made system for anyone with an inflated sense of self importance and an undying hatred for humanity and the world in general.

  • Irish||

    If you look back at all of the left wing killers, they were usually half assed artists or intellectuals who felt the world never recognized their genius.

    The same is true of Fascism. Hitler was a failed artist and Mussolini was actually a socialist writer who was convinced he was a genius. He created the 'Fascist' system because WWI convinced him that Socialism was a failure.

    The only Fascist who wasn't a pathetic loser prior to gaining power was Franco. He was career military and was actually a highly decorated officer.

  • John||

    I would consider fascist killers to be just a sub genus of left wing killers.

  • sarcasmic||

    Communism feels good!

    No one is an island! Everyone works together! Everyone is equal! No more inequality! No more envy! We all share!

    We all cooperate.. or die!

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I met a taxi driver in Serbia who described the majority of communists perfectly. He called them ignorant peasants drunken with power. He was referring to those who were appointed to positions of importance who had never known anything like it. They were more than willing participants in the crimes against the rest of the populace.

  • John||

    Communism offered them power, prestige and a ready made excuse for punishing their enemies (we were doing it for the greater good). That holds a lot of appeal to a lot of people, especially losers who can't cut it in a free society.

  • Fluffy||

    I don't think the personalities involved matter, except to the extent that a certain type of dreamer is emotionally moved by appeals to eternity.

    Because that's the critical thing about communism that makes it inevitable that it will be murderous: when you place the highest possible value on the group, and not the individual - and on the future, and not the present - it inevitably follows that you will view the present individual as having no value.

    People bitch when I argue that the Inquisition is baked into the Christian value system, and we go back and forth on that. But I don't see how anyone can dispute that the gulag is baked into the Communist value system. There's just no way around it.

    The real rebuttal Communism should make to the famines and to Stalin's murders is to say: So what? "Had we only succeeded, those deaths would not have mattered." Internally to the value system, those deaths would have been meaningless, had the classless utopia actually arrived.

  • John||

    People bitch when I argue that the Inquisition is baked into the Christian value system, and we go back and forth on that.

    I wouldn't say it is baked into it, but it is certainly conducive to it. The key restraint on Christianity is that everyone is sinful and thus prone to do evil no matter how hard they try not to do so. Christians often forget that. They start thinking that with the word of God, they can be God. They can go out and create God's kingdom on earth, forgetting that only God can do that. Christianity doesn't have to be that way. But it has often ended up that way because people, being who they are, forget their own limitations. Once a person starts thinking that they can save the world and do the work of God on a grand scale, rather than on their on scale with their own souls, they inevitably end up doing monstrous evil.

    Communism is similar except that it will end in monstrous evil no matter what. Christianity doesn't have to end in the Inquisition, only the branch of it that embraces the material world does. The hermit in the dessert, the individual who rejects the material world and instead worries only about the next will not end up doing monstrous evil. Communism in contrast doesn't have that option. It is by its nature about changing all of society and thus can only end in evil.

  • Duke Trshmnstr of Stench||

    But it has often ended up that way because people, being who they are, forget their own limitations. Once a person starts thinking that they can save the world and do the work of God on a grand scale, rather than on their on scale with their own souls, they inevitably end up doing monstrous evil.

    That is pretty much the best description of the origins of the Progressive movement that I've seen in a long while.

  • Fluffy||

    I have to agree with the Duke.

    The distinction you draw here between the hermit and the worldly church is quite astute.

    When your practical application of seeing this world as having no value is to withdraw from the world, the otherworldliness of the Christian value system is completely safe.

    It's when your practical application is a desire to protect others from damaging their souls by valuing this world that the trouble starts.

    But for Communism, there's no similar safety valve. The future classless utopia will be so great a value, forever, that no value surrendered for it today can possibly be too high a price to pay. If a few million Ukrainians have to die to bring the Revolution, well - everybody dies someday.

  • ||

    Communism is such a ready made system for anyone with an inflated sense of self importance and an undying hatred for humanity and the world in general.

    They all think they should/will be the ones in charge.

    I've never once met a proponent of communism who suggested that their own role should be 'factory worker'..

  • ||

    Bastiat demolished communism in 1850, but it keeps coming back. Why would you expect anything to change? Humans have an innate need to be stupid.

  • John||

    They really do.

  • GILMORE||

    Serious dialog, Mary.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Disregarding the ethical and moral implications, there will never be a time when we'll have enough knowledge and technology to positively control everyone's life.

    Nonsense. We're just one NIH grant away from perfection.

  • ||

    I'm fucking tired of the word "paleo" and especially the twits who will tell you that they're "paleo", but ground beef popcorn is a genius idea.

  • John||

    Every piece of food we eat has been selectively cultivated or bred to be something that is completely different than what it was before man discovered agriculture. You couldn't eat a "paleo" diet if you wanted to.

    Beyond that, we have no way of knowing the long term effect of their diets, since we only have archeological evidence and nearly all of them died of other things before they lived long enough to ever feel any effects of the diet.

    To me the paleo diet is like if modern man had for whatever reason ever smoked but paleo man had, people deciding that smoking must be healthy since Paleo man never died of heart disease.

  • Zeb||

    It is just another version of the mindless "natural is healthy" thing. A lot of highly processed foods are pretty bad for you. But that doesn't mean that everything that is closer to a state of nature is necessarily good for you. Nor that everything made possible by modern technology is bad.

    That said, from what I can gather, there does seem to be something to the low carb, high protein and fat aspect of the "paleo" diet.

  • John||

    Like everything else, there is a limit to that too. You can eat too much protein. What are the long term effects on your kidneys of consuming a high protein diet?

    I would submit we probably don't know since meat was a luxury for most of human history.

  • ||

    We pretty much know. Your kidneys will be fine.

    Speaking from experience, if you eat too much protein at once without enough fat, you just take an unpleasant watery shit and that's the end of it.

  • Zeb||

    Oh, sure. Too much protein is not great. But I think that being told for 40 years to eat low fat and lots of grains has contributed a lot to obesity and related disorders.

  • ||

    I eat in a way that could be considered paleo under some broad definition. Now I'm sure PS will disagree with me here, but to me, it's like how people without Celiac disease adopt a gluten-free diet and suddenly start crowing about how much better they feel. Well, no shit, if you stop eating a package of cookies every day, you'll get less fat. The same goes for if you quit drinking that 2-liter of Coke a day, and that explains almost all the health benefits of the paleo diet, or almost any other diet for that matter.

    But beyond that, although I find its practitioners ludicrous, I'm broadly sympathetic to the ideas of the diet. It makes intuitive sense that you'll be healthier if you eat the things you're evolved to eat and do the things you're evolved to do, right? So running around outside and eating antelopes and leaves is better than sitting on the couch and eating Cheetos. Duh.

    Now, the people who will argue with you until they're blue in the face about how you should only eat grass-fed beef that hasn't eaten any GMO feed, and how you should only wear your Vibrams, they're just counting the angels on the head of a pin. Ignore them at all costs.

  • Duke Trshmnstr of Stench||

    You wrote it better than if I had tried, so I'm just going to give you a +1

  • RBS||

    The anti-GMO thing from some people in the strength training community drives me insane. Also the grass-fed, wild caught shit.

  • Zeb||

    Isn't the fat in grass fed supposed to be better for you than that in corn fed beef? Could be bullshit, but given that it is pretty well known that not all fat is particularly good for you it seems plausible. The GMO thing is obviously nonsense.

  • Acosmist||

    Except it's debatable what we're best adapted to eating.

  • mr simple||

    It's not that debatable. Eating a lot of carbs (esp. sugar and grains) causes your blood-glucose to increase which causes a spike in insulin production which causes more calories to be stored as body fat. I don't really care what ancient man ate or whatever, but the science now shows that a high fat/ low carb diet is best for people to eat.

  • Acosmist||

    There's also the fact that evolution accelerated after the development of agriculture, meaning it's quite possible we've adapted far more to an ag diet in a few thousand years than our ancestors adapted to a "paleo" diet in however many hundreds of thousands of years there were before that.

  • Jerms||

    Andrew Luck knows cavemen never threw interveptions.

  • Brett L||

    I've moved on to the PHD. 50-60% calories from "good" fats like butter and bacon grease AND I get to eat potatoes again. These people are fucking genius.

    Also, my wife signed us up for a month of X-fit, which is a cult, but I can 4500 cals a day right now and as long as I keep my protein up, get stronger and leaner. Because I'm not in that good of shape.

    But the guy did have a Mark Rippetoe quote up at the orientation, so it won't be all bad. I've been good lifting form feedback.

  • ||

    Crossfit Incorporated has absolutely no control over its affiliates, so only most of them are terrible. Hopefully you found a good one. Don't do any of their ridiculous kipping pullups, and don't ever do any high-rep box jumps.

  • Matrix||

    JK Rowling: Hermione should have married Harry

    I thought so earlier in the series too, but apparently fans are OUTRAGED!

  • John||

    If you wrote and adult sequel, Hermione and Harry would end up cheating on their spouses with each other. Both of them were too egotistical to marry their equal. So instead they each married a safe and reliable inferior who was no danger of ever out shinning them. Eventually even they will grow bored of always being the special one and their spouses will grow resentful at the unspoken truth that they are not the equal Harry and Herimone. And right about then Harry and Herimone will find each other.

  • Zeb||

    Or maybe they'd all become bisexual polygamists and have some kind of big nonstop freaky wizard orgy.

  • mr simple||

    I believe that story has been written.

  • Fluffy||

    Ginny was created to be Lily back from the dead.

    That's the character's reason to exist: for Harry to marry.

    So when Rowling says that she made a mistake, she's basically saying that she fundamentally misconceived an entire character.

  • John||

    Forgive my ignorance. I never read the books and just saw the movie. So who was Ginny supposed to bee?

  • Fluffy||

    In the text, Harry is given a number of opportunities to pseudo-interact with his mother, despite the fact that she is dead.

    There's the magic mirror, immersion in distilled memories, ghosts jumping out of people's wands, etc.

    Each time that happens, Rowling includes some text snippet that an observant reader will connect to similar snippets used when describing Ginny.

  • Rasilio||

    Lily is Harry's mother.

    Not 100% certain of Fluffy's assertion of Ginny's purpose, I mean she was mentioned as being Ron's younger sister in either the first or second book so it is not like she was created with that purpose, however she could have been added to the story with that purpose I suppose

  • ||

    Ginny was created to be Lily back from the dead.

    That's the character's reason to exist: for Harry to marry.

    I always envisioned Ginny as some kind of creepy love-proxy for Ron. Like the episode of Seinfeld when George dates a woman who looks like Jerry. NTTAWWT.

    I agree with your second statement, though.

  • ||

    I only read the first book* saw a couple of the movies, but I was stunned years later to find out that Harry and Hermione didn't get married. What the fuck was JK Rowling thinking? She spent, what, 7 books building up the sexual tension between them, and then she threw it away.

    *I didn't actually read it, technically. My stupid shitty podunk high school only offered AB calculus, which doesn't have enough material to fill a full year. So on Wednesdays, our math teacher read us books. So in between days of integrating by parts or whatever, we got to listen to The Phantom Tollbooth and the first Harry Potter book. It was awesome.

  • John||

    I think it made perfect sense for the reason I give above; both of them are too egotistical to marry an equal. There are a lot of people in the world like that. I only watched the movies, but after about the third one I figured they would never actually marry. I figured Harry would go for the weird blond chick.

  • ||

    That's fine, but she was writing a fairy tale. You're expected to end them with the prince marrying the princess, unless you're German, in which case the prince and princess get eaten by wolves.

  • Rasilio||

    Honestly I don't think she should have married either of them. Even in a community as small as the wizarding world you are not going to have a huge percentage of people marrying their high school best friends/sweet hearts.

    Much more likely, briefly date, snog a bit then break up and maybe remain friends

  • mr simple||

    I hate when authors think they have to wrap up everything neatly and explain the rest of the character's lives. Rowling was especially bad as she kept coming out in interviews and explaining more of what else happened. I never read the books but saw most of the movies as I married a Potter fan.

  • Rasilio||

    I agree.

    You know what really happened to Harry after the end of the 7th book

    He woke up screaming every night from PTSD induced nightmares, daytime wasn't much better, everyone wanted to be his friend at first but as a fairly introspective and private individual he is uncomfortable with the attention and it gets worse as every one of them starts to either try and use him/his celebrity or fawning over him. Then he starts drinking, has a couple of fights with Ginny over it and probably cheats on her a few times in drunken trysts as every witch in the wizarding world wants a go round with the famous Harry Potter. After the breakup his drinking gets really bad and he starts getting dangerous till in a drunken rage he either kills or severely injures several people. The ministry then arrests him and sends him to a magical mental hospital where much of his personality and memory is wiped out and rewritten and he ends his days in quiet lonely isolation.

  • Matrix||

    Or, he just wakes up under the stairs of his Aunt and Uncle's house at 4 Privet Drive, shuffles out after the door was unlocked, wearing his fat cousin's hand-me-downs, and starts on breakfast.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    Unnamed law enforcement officials told the Associated Press that Hoffman is believe to have died from a drug overdose.

    I hope that what they actually said is:

    "We just don't know, Dude."

  • Brett L||

    Like the old Bill Hicks joke about Iraq's armaments:
    "How do you know?"

    "Uh, we checked the receipt"

  • Charles Hurst Author||

    I have stated in the past that the Progressive is usually a failure.
    That's where the Charlie Sheen anger comes from that is exhibited by
    them. And the anti reason. How many times have you wondered how the
    Progressive can possibly look into non reality and continue to believe
    their worldview of insanity? This is why. Yes Sheen and Hoffman are
    rich. Granted. And they still failed life. Look at them. How many
    Hollywood sages of Leftist agenda have died this year?

    Of course Hollywood sides with the Leftist. For people like Hoffman to
    side with reason and morality they would have to look deep into
    themselves. They would have to judge themselves as immoral. And it is
    much easier to believe that they are just evolved--a higher level of
    thinking than the rest of us. Trust me I know--I'm in the literary field as a conservative writer. The Artist is usually a Left wing proponent that lives in chaos. If the Artist were to understand that you can have morality and be an Artist maybe these deaths wouldn't happen so much in the media. This is what evil does in the end---it takes you whether you are wealthy or not. You would think that Hollywood would recognize this after enough of their friends passed away young. Unfortunately, like a five year old in a tantrum, they only scream their agenda with higher volume.

    Charles Hurst. Author of THE SECOND FALL. An offbeat story of Armageddon. And creator of THE RUNNINGWOLF EZINE

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