RIP Stephen Hawking, National School Walkout Today Over Gun Laws, U.K. Demands Answers From Russia on Nerve-Gas Attack: A.M. Links


  • Julie Edwards/LFI/Photoshot/Newscom

    Iconic scientist Stephen Hawking has died, his family announced Wednesday. He was 76.

  • High-school students across the country are planning to skip school today—you know, for politics.
  • "Despite Mr. Trump's boast, the choice of [Gina] Haspel for promotion" to CIA director "is no victory for women," writes New York Times op-ed writer Mona Eltahawy.
  • Dogs will now be allowed in Virginia breweries, wineries, and distilleries.
  • Democrat Conor Lamb is being named the (narrow) victor over Republican Rick Saccone in a special election in Pennsylvania's 18th District.
  • The U.K. Foreign Ministry is calling for an urgent U.N. Security Council meeting on the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Scripel and his daughter Yulia in a small British town, as Prime Minister Theresa May demands answers from Russia that haven't come.

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    1. High-school students across the country are planning to skip school today?you know, for politics.

      Some kids just don’t like being in school. Hashtag #TimelessTruths

      1. I say we counter this movement by walking out of work today.

        [stands atop desk]

        Who’s with me?!

      2. Hello.

        It’s amazing (D) get victories at all given who runs that joint now.

        1. Yes. Apparently (R) has won 7 / 8 special elections so far, but this one could indicate a “blue wave”.

          1. 6 / 8 … I forgot Roy Moore.

            1. Yea and Roy Moore was not elected because almost 50% of Republican voters that voted for Trump did not vote for Roy Moore.

              #bluewave according to wishful lefties like Tony.

    2. Democrat Conor Lamb is being named the (narrow) victor over Republican Rick Saccone in a special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th District.

      Passive voice is the new electoral college!

      1. He’ll be derailing Trump’s agenda in two shakes of a Lamb’s tail.

        1. Any more than twice and he’s just playing with himself.

      2. March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a Lamb, amirite?

      3. Might as well be hung like a sheep as a Lamb.

      4. Silence of the lambs?

      5. Serious question, can anyone here name an election decided by less than .5% of the vote that the Democrats have not won in the last 10 years? I can’t think of one. And can’t find one by searching the internet. Statistically, that is impossible. Elections that close should break evenly or close to evenly for both parties. Yet, the Democrats never lose such elections. That makes it a mathematical certainty that Democrats are engaged in significant voter fraud compared to the Republicans. If they were not, they would lose a close election once in a while.

        1. Now you know the reason for the big push behind common core math.

        2. It starts with the media.

          The media makes various claims that a district that voted for Trump is going blue in a “blue wave”. This is signalling to mobilize the Tammany Halls. As with this election, people from outside the district “accidently” try and vote because they thought this was their congressional district. The media “announces” the winner before its even unofficially announced by the state’s secretary of state. The media makes fun of any recount option the other candidate might make as futile. The state certifies the results some weeks later for the media’s choice.

          Yay! Democracy as seen by the left who literally want to enslave Americans.

        3. There was that one in Virginia that they settled by drawing lots.

          1. A Republican won a Virginia state house of delegates race so close that its outcome was determined by pulling the candidate’s name out of a ceramic bowl on Thursday.”

            I forgot about that close race.

        4. That’s not really how things work with something like voting though since it’s inherently biased rather than inherently evenly split. You’d have to start with the assumption that voting districts are all 50/50 or close to 50/50 for that to be true.

          I suspect their narrow victories are more of a function of their contracting voter base.

      6. He won’t be in Congress in two shakes of a lambs tail?

    3. “Despite Mr. Trump’s boast, the choice of [Gina] Haspel for promotion” to CIA Director “is no victory for women,” writes New York Times op-ed writer Mona Eltahawy.

      Now, if his predecessor or a mythical President Hillary had elevated her…

      1. Women should be promoted more because of the diversity they bring. We can’t have women not supporting leftist ideology though… that’s not diversity.

        1. Its like that race traitor Thomas being the first black supreme court justice.

          The left hates that guy which kind of illustrates how they just use non-whites and whites alike.

          1. Well, the second one.

            1. Holy crap. I forgot about Thurgood Marshall.

              I guess he was mainly in black and white photos, so I forgot he was a black man. Thanks for correction.

          2. Or the first black woman Secretary of State – Aunt Jemima, I mean, Condoleezza Rice.

    4. Dogs will now be allowed in Virginia breweries, wineries, and distilleries.

      Looks like we have a new meaning to…

      [dons sunglasses]

      …hair of the dog.

      1. I’m really not sure how to feel about dogs in breweries. Yay for the win, but WTF?

      2. I’m really not sure how to feel about dogs in breweries. Yay for the win, but WTF?

    5. “Free Speech”?

      The knee-jerk libertarians over at the ACLU have been very clear about this: Students may be punished up to the normal punishment–but not further–for walking out of class this morning. There is no 1A right to play hooky.

      And yet, when I say I would not permit this walkout, that I would punish any students I were in charge of as normal truants based on their objective behavior, I am accused of wanting to stifle their fictitious “free speech.” When I stress I would react the same way if the students wanted to attend an NRA rally, I get the familiar “prog scoff” that that is some kind of excuse. This even from those who assume I’m anti-2A. No one can be principled, you see; one can only be less or more committed to the cause. Those who know I’m pro-2A, forget about it! For wanting to apply a content-neutral policy to student speech, I’m the tyrant.

      1. Not one of these districts that is electing not to punish today’s kids–not one–could tenably be adopting a blanket policy that any student can be excused from class whenever he claims he will be attending a political rally of some kind. Many would no doubt not excuse students to attend an NRA rally. (Perhaps many the reverse.) A KKK rally, almost certainly none.

        Why has the media, even the friendly media, talked about the districts threatening to punish students today as though this is technically legal but potentially “problematic,” when if anything it is the prospect of supporting student expression of certain views but punishing all others that seems so? In the Bible belt, it could be abortion; in the past, could have been desegregation. Can’t we praise the students, while suggesting they learn the valuable lessons: (1) what rights they do and do not have; and (2) that an inherent part of a gesture’s nobility is its costs and sacrifices? It’s what their predecessors through time have done!

        1. The other odd thing here is that they seem to expect their civil disobedience to come with no consequences. Which kind of misses the point of civil disobedience.

          And they are fucking children who know nothing about anything. Why are people acting like we should take their policy advice? (I know why, but come on).

          1. You should listen to their wisdom! Listen to it before it’s too late, before they turn 18 and revert to being overgrown toddlers who can’t be trusted with a rifle.

        2. An interesting point I suppose since, ultimately, these students are literally forced to attend the institution in the first place which makes the 1st amendment concern sort of bizarre since they apparently can be forced to do a number of things that would otherwise be considered a violation of individual rights. Of course, this is because they’re minors which seems to be utterly glossed over here.

      2. Eh, you could be accused of being a vindictive jail warden, instead.

        1. Leave it to Libertarians to die on the hill of expecting kids to attend school. Why Libertarians can’t attract any supporters despite being right about many important things, the mystery continues.

          1. Yeah, I’ve always found the whole (public) school==jail meme to be a bit overwrought. They’re kids, they don’t have the same freedoms adults do. Private schools and home schools are every bit the “jail” that public schools are.

            1. Their parents decided to send them to school and once there they ought to have to abide by the rules. If they were not in a public school, they would be in a private school. Libertarians make a fetish about things being government run. Just because things should not be run by the government doesn’t mean that if the government is running them that everything it does is wrong. If we are going to have government schools, then those schools need to have rules. The objection is to the government running the school not to having rules of behavior once it does. A lot of libertarians just can’t grasp that distinction and end up making very overwrought and silly arguments that do a lot to discredit the entire ideology.

            2. School is not jail.

              Being a kid means that parents and a bunch of other adults tell you what to do. Mainly parents though.

              Its actually preparing you for life when there are consequences for not making good decisions and living by the rules (we need less rules though).

              If kids would just be focused by parents and educators on outstanding educations, the USA would have a lot less problems.

          2. For the record, I don’t favor compulsory education. So fine, don’t bust them for truancy; just don’t excuse their coursework. Or do, and do so consistently so they are indeed allowed to be excused from anything they feel like just because they claim to attend a “Bong Hits For Christ” rally. I don’t give a fuck.

            Normally “dying on the hill” suggests some sort of trade-off for one’s purity. I am not sure how this applies here. “Kids should attend school” is not even a particularly controversial or unpopular sentiment–nor is “these kids should be in school” a particularly unpopular sentiment among the Americans libertarians have a prayer of winning over. Skepticism about education is the fringe libertarian eccentricity. So I don’t know what the fuck is going on here.

            Yes, I do think that government-sponsored schoolchildren speech–basically using them as a mouthpiece for expressing the state educator class’s preferred views–is an increasing problem. In NYC teachers have their classes make posters for various prog causes and then take “educational” field trips to City Hall for rallies, a photo op behind friendly politicians. It happens all the time. Yes, I would like more people to think more about this practice–to cast a skeptical eye on it, Constitutional though it might strictly speaking be. It seems to have become quite widespread as of today, no?

            1. Oh, fuck. You were actually making the opposite point. Dumb me. Carry on.

            2. If the kids were not in a government school, they would likely be in a private school with the same rules. Yet somehow attaching “government” to the same thing makes it horrible.

              1. Government = compulsory. Yes, that makes it more horrible.

                1. It is not compulsory. You don’t have to go to the government school. You can home school or send the kid to private school. School is not jail. You may have to send your kid to a school but you don’t have to send them to public school.

                  Moreover, as a taxpayer, if we are going to have government schools, I don’t want them wasting time with marches. I want them doing their jobs. Hey, why not let the cops or the fire department out for a march? Libertarians are just dense as fucking bricks on some issues.

                  1. Almost 60% of my property taxes go to the school district.

                    Kids are fucking dumb dumbs to compete in the World and now they are being excused to march to strip away a natural and constitutional right to protect oneself with arms.

                    This is utter Bullshit. Every one of those kids should suffer the punishment for skipping school.

            3. This has been going on for a very long time.

              I went to high school in very conservative East Texas. On the first Earth Day, back in 1970, it was the teachers who instigated a student march. Students were, of course, somewhat concerned about the environment, but they were much, much more interested in anything that would break the monotony of high school classes.

              1. It actually works better if the kids are younger, at least with some audiences. The NYC teachers often use elementary school kids. As that recent H&R piece on the Denver girl scouts earning their “statism” merit badge demonstrated, people seem to think that saying “Ban such and such!” somehow demonstrates a precociousness that allows these kids to combine the wisdom of older people with the moral clarity of youth or something or other. I don’t know. Bonus is that when their picket signs say shit like “Ban fracking so the fishes in the ocean don’t choke!” you can’t attack them because “they’re just kids.” It’s a pretty sweet deal.

              2. Of course, I have yet to hear any media outlet point out that marching to strip away gun rights not only violates the 2nd Amendment’s protection of civil rights but also protecting oneself is a natural right.

              3. I guess I’m lucky (and very glad) most of my schooling was in the eighties where nobody gave a much of a crap about being “activists”.

                1. I’m Gen X too. That was a good mix of good education and the World getting awesome toys like personal computers, video games, and other technology marvels.

    6. Hawkings died on Pie Day. Nerd to the end. RIP.

      1. Eh, he probably died yesterday. Though maybe it was Pi Day in Japan.

        1. Why are you trying to ruin this for us?

          1. I’ll label MJGreen: RUINER.

      2. Hell got quite a bit smarter today.

      3. He was British. They don’t celebrate Pi Day until July 22nd.

        1. Nicely done.

    7. The U.K. Foreign Ministry is calling for an urgent U.N. Security Council meeting on the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Scripel and his daughter Yulia in a small British town…

      Hopefully their Russia-investigating special counsels can stay on point.

      1. So elderly ex Soviet spy living in a small British town on what is probably a very small amount of money from the British government dies. How much you want to bet it suicide.

          1. He is an ex Soviet spy.

      2. Doubt it. It will take years, numerous threats of “life in imprison”, and millions of dollars to link this Russian plot to kill ex spies in Britain with stealing election 2016 from Hillary.

    8. Iconic scientist Stephen Hawking has died, his family announced Wednesday. He was 76.

      Not bad, considering his doctors gave him less than two years to live… almost 50 years ago.

    9. Iconic scientist Stephen Hawking has died, his family announced Wednesday. He was 76.

      His passing has left a black hole in all of us.

      1. There certainly are a few holes here on Earth left unfilled today (though we haven’t yet heard of any black ones). Motherfucker sure was a horndog for someone who hasn’t moved his tongue in forty years.

    10. I’ll just note here that there is still no official denial that Hawking’s death was auto-erotic asphyxiation related.

      1. It would be shocking if he didn’t have some sort of robotic exoskeletal gimp suit.

      2. Or auto-erotic tidal mass elongation

      3. 01111001 01100101 01110011 (yes in binary)

    11. We skipped class when the cops who beat Rodney King to a pulp were acquitted – but instead of going to the local protest, we stayed at home and smoked the 3 foot bong and played Sega NHL 92 hockey.

      1. Frankly, it’s what Rodney would have done.

        RIP, big guy.

        1. He got no respect.

        2. Can’t we all just get along?

          1. Sure, STOP RESISTING! That’s all.

            1. I know. That’s my curse.

    12. Democrat Conor Lamb is being named the (narrow) victor over Republican Rick Saccone in a special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th District.

      This is the “Blue Wave 2018”? Haha. What a joke. This race is still undecided, the PA Supreme Court gerrymandered this district, and as many Democrat voters that could vote (dead and alive) voted. It was a close race in a formerly Democrat state and right outside the Democrat stronghold of Pittsburgh.

      I guess we have to wait for the final count.

      1. This is the unadjusted district. It is something like R+20, industrial region, mix of Rust Belt/Appalachian suburb and rural, Trump remains extremely popular there according to polls so it’s not even about him (and America feels good about our present peace and prosperity anyway).

        If Democrats are still not self-destructive enough to run a fleet of Conor Lambs in heartland America–in other words, if they still have it in them to revert to a 00s strategy–they will indeed ride a hell of a wave crushing the GOP in the House. (Still will lose Senate seats though.) Easy victory is, and has always been, in their hands if they are just willing to take it.

        1. We’ll see. Pennsylvania is becoming a red state overall not that it is a red state.

          Looks like there are no certified results yet but Lamb is leading unofficially by 579 votes (1113,111 to 112,532). The Libertarian candidate took 1,372 votes.
          PA Secretary of State unofficial results

        2. This is the unadjusted district.

          All of the districts for now are the same as they were in 2016, but the state Supreme Court is illegally trying to create a whole new district map for the November election.

          Hopefully the U.S. Supremes will overrule this blatant power grab usurpation of authority in time.

          1. They have already declined to do so. The map is already drawn and in effect. It’s done.

      2. And they ran a democrat who was a former marine, and a prosecutor. Sort of a DINO (I wonder).

        1. By current standards, yes, in that he isn’t pitching his campaign to the purplehairs in the middle of Appalachian Pennsylvania. We are supposed to have become so polarized (mostly by the Dems, though you won’t hear that mentioned too often) that the type of Democrat the party ran to take back the House in 06 (when the war gave even the ultras the inclination to subordinate all other issues to that–Daily Kos, e.g., constantly editorialized about the need to run pro-lifers–creating a temporary remoderation, with Howard Dean having boasted about his NRA A+ and his appeal to “guys with Confederate flags on their trucks”) cannot be run today. The Dems are too fargone to react to a Trump victory the way they reacted to a Bush (for instance, by running away from gun grabbing for 12 years), the conventional wisdom says.

          Conor Lamb is not really a DINO by any sane standards; if I were still a prog I’d trust him more than that $3 bill Elizabeth Warren, a Republican turned ultra-prog for some reason. But will the Dems really wise up and take the easy W this fall, or snatch defeat from the jaws of victory? (Because, among other things, they won’t stop talking about snatches.)

    13. “Despite Mr. Trump’s boast, the choice of [Gina] Haspel for promotion” to CIA Director “is no victory for women,” writes New York Times op-ed writer Mona Eltahawy.

      Somebody want to give me the gist of the op-ed? Is it because Haspel isn’t an “authentic” woman or because she’s a horrible piece of shit and her promotion isn’t a victory for the human race? I’m assuming it’s the “authentic” woman thing because although women are exactly like men they are only exactly like men in the ways that they are good, not in the ways that they are bad.

      1. I only skimmed it but it looks like a little of both. I was hoping for something more along the lines of “who gives a shit” but I guess that wasn’t ever going to be in the cards.

    14. Dogs will now be allowed in Virginia breweries, wineries, and distilleries.

      My dog is going to be so stoked when our next walk ends up at Smartmouth.

      1. But Citizen X will not rest until cat equality is a reality. I mean who doesn’t want cats in his or her brewery?

        1. The cat kill’d the rat that ate the malt, dude.

          1. I am Jack’s worried cat.
            I am Jack’s tossed dog.
            I am Jack’s cow with the crumpled horn.
            I am Jack’s forlorn maiden.

    15. RIP, Stephen Hawking. Amazing that he lived so long with ALS and made important contributions to physics.

      1. Indeed.

        He got a little derpy at the end, but is body of work more than makes up for it.

        1. I saw this posted on another blog, and the commenters (mostly conservatives) mostly trashed him. Really sad. So what if, as Rufus noted, he got a little derpy at the end. All through living with ALS–a horrific disease–he did good work as a physicist, popularized the heck out of physics, and, shockingly, was an entertainer. Thinks that’s enough to justify an ad astra.

          1. Shame on the people who trashed him. Someone’s politics do not define who they are unless they are a politician. Having loopy politics doesn’t take away from his accomplishments in physics. If he had been a full blown communist or fascist maybe it would. But he never was that as far as I know.

            He also seemed to have a good sense of humor about himself. He did all of those cameos on the Big Bang Theory. Even someone as cool as Feynman could have never done that.

            1. I like to think he’s not dead, just in a state of superposition.

            2. You’re right about Hawking’s sense of humor, but there has never been a Nobel physicist that even approaches the coolness of Feynman. Hawking was a great cameo for BBT because he was immediately recognizable by most viewers.

              1. Feynman was very cool. And Hawking never won a Nobel. But, as cool as Feynman was, he was wound a bit tight. For example, he got invited on the Tonight Show once and was about to accept when his friends told him to watch it first. He had never seen it. He watched it and thought it was absurd and politely declined the invitation. No way in hell would Feynman have ever agreed to do a cameo on a sitcom.

            3. Forget BBT, have we forgotten his cameos on superior products like The Simpsons and Futurama already? Hell, he was even on ST:TNG.

              1. I just saw a promo for a Cal State lecture with Hawking and Paul Rudd playing “quantum chess” last night. It’s on YouTube.

          2. It’s a shame they’re doing that.

            1. Many people these days are all about politics, 24/7/365. Conservative and leftist. Even libertarians, at times.

              1. Libertarians are never all about politics you statist asshole! Stop slandering our tribe! You’re excommunicated!

      2. He was given two years to live when he was in his 20s. He died at 76. That is remarkable. The interesting thing is that before he got sick, he was always a brilliant slacker. He was so smart even things like getting a first class degree in physics from Cambridge came very easily to him. He was always one of those really smart guys who could fuck off and still succeed but seemed destined never to reach his potential. Being told he had two years to live and living with the threat of death hanging over him got him to focus and likely made him great. Funny how things work out.

        1. Think of that for a second. Today, if someone was told of his condition while pregnant, they’d be encouraged to abort the baby. We see this when someone is confronted the fact their baby may have down syndrome. But in the case of Hawking, the world would have been deprived of a great mind.

          God speaks and acts in mysterious ways.

          1. Either people have an innate dignity and right to life by virtue of being human beings or they do not. Once you reject that and say “this person’s life is not worth living”, you have turned down the road towards murder and evil. Genocide never happens by accident or suddenly. It happens after years of conditioning people to think of the target as something less than full human beings.

          2. Kids with Down Syndrome actually lead very happy lives these days in America, and are well treated by their peers (my own observations certainly back this up). It’s the parents that can’t handle it. Not that I’m dismissive, even as a pro-lifer, of the unexpected weight of raising a special needs child. But hopefully they fully face up to that fact, rather than lying to themselves and saying it’s about the sake of the kid.

    16. Victory comes when all CIA agents wear pussy hats and have “but she persisted” tattoos – and when it smells like napalm in the morning.

      1. She has a real prison matron look about her too. She seems to be of the stuff that sick fantasies are made of.

    17. Beware the Ides of March. There I said it. You’ve been warned. Don’t come crying to me. I don’t want to hear it.

      1. Oh, come on, the Senate needs me.

    18. Democracy at risk!

      “If you think fake news is bad, fake video is coming”
      “”I’m worried about the death by a thousand cuts to our sense of reality as it gets easier and easier to mimic it, and the impact that will have in neutering checks on actual crime and corruption, even at the highest levels,” said Aviv Ovadya, chief technologist for the University of Michigan’s Center for Social Media Responsibility.
      “This is a way that democracies fail.””

      Yep, the only way to preserve democracy is a Fake News Agency to tell us poor humans what is “true”. Maybe we could call it “True”; at least is has historical meaning.

      1. chief technologist for the University of Michigan’s Center for Social Media Responsibility

        Speaking of the death of our sense of reality…….

      2. “Minitru” has a nice ring to it.

      3. This is a way that democracies fail

        Really? Can he provide an example of a democracy that has failed that way?

        1. Weimar Germany and Russia under the Menshaviks are two examples If people lose faith in their government to provide for their security, people will turn to someone who will. Indeed, every radical movement tries to undermine and destroy democracy so that people will be forced to turn to them.

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