Late Evening/Early Morning Open Thread: The Sky is Falling

Perseid meteor shower live feed!

In It To Win It

This made my day.


Friday Morning Open Thread: Praying for Field Reports…

gop red meat bare hands toles

(Tom Toles via

… Because at this event, “injuries” will be pretty much a given. Via Alicublog, the Rough Creek Lodge in Glen Rose, TX has found a filler event for the post-Thanksgiving, pre-holiday lull:

Bullets & Bourbon
A special program about, and in exercise of, the Second Amendment – December 2-5, 2015

Join Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit and one of America’s foremost Second Amendment Scholars, Dana Loesch, author of Hands off My Gun as well as Steve Green, Ed Morrissey, Mark (Rip) Rippetoe, Roger Simon, Helen Smith and Kevin Williamson for a weekend dedicated to the Second Amendment…

Because of a very low speaker to guest ratio (1:9), guests will have the opportunity to schmooze, eat, drink, ride ATVs, go zip lining, shoot model rockets, use the golf driving range, hunt and shoot with our speakers…

From looking at the site’s web page and various internet reviews, this seems to be an “upscale” gun-themed resort that caters to business conferences and wedding planners — lots of emphasis on their spa, petting zoo, pony rides, video game lounge, paintball, ‘wildlife tours’ in addition to the shootin’ and fishin’ stuff. So, for slightly less than $2K per person (not including spa, pony rides, etc.) proud ammosexuals who would rather pretend to be Dick Cheney than William F. Buckley will be able to bring the wife along on a more active, manly alternative to the annual National Review cruise

The B&B organizers are careful to state that “with our speaker program, only upland bird, and perhaps duck will fit into our schedule”, which I assume means shotguns only. None of the large-bore weaponry fit for the Lodge’s Exotics – Axis Deer, Blackbuck Antelope, Fallow Deer, Corsican Rams, Black Hawaiian Rams; Trophy White-Tailed Deer and Wild Hogs (canned hunts, I’m guessing), so the organizers run less risk of a lawsuit when an overexcited participant accidentally blasts another paying guest. But I’m sure the stories will be epic, regardless.

Apart from being duly grateful we’re not the B&B target market, what’s on the agenda as we wrap up another week?

Open Thread: Pew Pew Pew Starbursts

Which Rich Lowry is more starbursty this week, the one that wants endless war against “evil” in the Middle East, or the one that wants endless war against Putin in Ukraine?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Open thread.

Superb Owl thoughts

I’ll get back on my health insurance beat this afternoon or evening with Part 3 of pricing a plan series, but I’m still in happy shock about the results of last night’s game.  Here are a couple of quick thoughts.

  1.  I was bitching mightily to Loki or whatever trickster deity after the Kearse catch — not another Super Bowl loss on a WTF catch where the first player to touch the ball was a perfectly positioned Patriots defender.  Not another Helmet catch, not another Manningham catch.
  2. Holy Shit was my reaction to the Butler interception.  I don’t have a problem with a pass play at the 1.  I have a problem with an inside slant to the #4 receiver.  If there was a pass play, I would have thought it would have been one of the following three choices: play action to a leaking tight end, a corner fade to play on the Seahawks height advantage or a roll-out high low comination.  There were 22 seconds left and a time out.  The goal was to score a touchdown with minimal time on the clock.  A run, time out, run combination gave them two chances, a pass, run, time-out run sequence gave them three chances.  I understand the logic, and it is an aggressive logic (see the last 10 seconds of 1st half), execution fail.
  3. The basic philosophy of the Seattle’s defense is that they’ll more than willing to concede as a pass catching area a zone that is three yards behind the line of scrimmage to five yards in front of the line of scrimmage and outside of the tackle box all day long.  That allows them to minimize deep plays and stuff the run.  The bet that the Seattle defense makes is very few offenses can consistently generate points at five or six yards a pop ten or twelve times in a row.  That is a good bet against most teams.  It is a bet they lost.  The Patriots game plan reminded me the plan that they used against the Vikings when they were a run stopping wall.
  4. The basic philosophy of Seattle’s offense is to be extremely efficient at running the ball inside, force safeties and linebackers to cheat up and then take a series of low percentage, high pay-off shot plays downfield.  It worked.  The Seahawks #3,4,5 receiving options picked on the Patriots #3 and #4 cornerbacks while the 5th cornerback won his match-ups.


Caught in a Desperate Act

It’s not too often that you actually catch the rats in the act of scurrying to get off the sinking ship, but here’s a good view of Matt Lewis swimming for his life:

It’s time to admit that, whatever their motivation was at the time, the Alaska governor’s critics always had a point.

Has conservative genuflection at the altar of Sarah Palin finally come to a halt?

In case you missed it, her speech in Iowa this week was not well received on the right. The Washington Examiner’s Byron York called it a “long, rambling, and at times barely coherent speech” and National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke said she slipped into self-parody. And there’s more. The Examiner’s Eddie Scarry, for example, contacted several conservative bloggers who were once Palin fans, but have since moved on.

But here’s my question… what changed?

Yes, in 2008, Sarah Palin delivered one of the finest convention speeches I’ve ever heard (trust me, I was there), but she hasn’t exactly been channeling Winston Churchill ever since. Remember her big speech at CPAC a couple of years ago? You know, the one where she took a swig out of a Big Gulp and said of her husband Todd: “He’s got the rifle, I got the rack.” Not exactly a great moment in political rhetoric.

So why is anyone surprised when, this weekend, she said: “‘The Man,’ can only ride ya when your back is bent?”

Demosthenes, she is not, but there’s nothing new about Palin’s penchant for populism or lowbrow rhetoric. What does feel new is that she has finally gotten around to roundly losing conservative opinion leaders. (OK, this has been a long time coming. In 2011, Conor Friedersdorf noted that the hard right was skewering Palin, and that Kathleen Parker had been vindicated. And as recently as this past April, I wondered whether it was finally safe for conservatives to criticize her publicly. But it does feel like we have finally reached a tipping point where criticizing Palin isn’t only acceptable for conservative opinion leaders, it’s now almost expected.)


Is it possible that Kathleen Parker saw something I didn’t when she attacked Palin? I saw it as strangling the conservative baby in the crib; Parker probably saw it as snuffing out a monster.

Such is the plight of a writer; I got some stuff right, and my position was justifiable at the time, but in hindsight I regret contributing to the premature deification of Sarah Palin.

I still say she was an incredibly talented political force, but she squandered her opportunity for greatness, and instead became a fad. And it’s worth considering that maybe her early critics saw some fundamental character flaw—some harbinger of things to come—that escaped me.

What she saw was that Palin is and was an idiot. The reason you didn’t notice is because stupid people don’t notice stupidity until it is personally painful for them. And then, sometimes, they notice the pain, but don’t understand the source, and continue to blame it on the wrong thing, as the few remaining Palin dead-enders will no doubt do. In fact, here is Mark Hemingway doing just that- blaming the media for the fact that Palin is a moron.

We Just Broke Hanlon’s Razor

Hanlon’s Razor (or Heinlein’s Razor, depending on who you ask) is the old adage “Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity“, and usually that explains National Review carbuncle Rich Lowry on most days.  Today is not that day however as he gets a slot over at Team WIN THE MORNING Magazine, and goes beyond his usual simpering semi-clueless stupidity directly into pure evil territory on the subject of Darren Wilson.

The bitter irony of the Michael Brown case is that if he had actually put his hands up and said don’t shoot, he would almost certainly be alive today. His family would have been spared an unspeakable loss, and Ferguson, Missouri wouldn’t have experienced multiple bouts of rioting, including the torching of at least a dozen businesses the night it was announced that Officer Darren Wilson wouldn’t be charged with a crime.

Instead, the credible evidence (i.e., the testimony that doesn’t contradict itself or the physical evidence) suggests that Michael Brown had no interest in surrendering. After committing an act of petty robbery at a local business, he attacked Officer Wilson when he stopped him on the street. Brown punched Wilson when the officer was still in his patrol car and attempted to take his gun from him.

The first shots were fired within the car in the struggle over the gun. Then, Michael Brown ran. Even if he hadn’t put his hands up, but merely kept running away, he would also almost certainly be alive today. Again, according to the credible evidence, he turned back and rushed Wilson. The officer shot several times, but Brown kept on coming until Wilson killed him.

To believe this version of events, you have to be completely and with purpose, blind to basic human instinct to the point of malice.  Or you could be Rich Lowry, same thing.  You would have to believe that A) Wilson knew that Brown committed a crime, B) that Brown would go for Wilson’s gun, and C) that after Brown was shot and ran away that he changed his mind and charged the guy who just shot him.

And on top of all that, you have to believe that there was no probable cause whatsoever to dispute this.  None.  Come to think of it, nine other Rich Lowrys on that grand jury did just that, didn’t they?

This is a terrible tragedy. It isn’t a metaphor for police brutality or race repression or anything else, and never was. Aided and abetted by a compliant national media, the Ferguson protestors spun a dishonest or misinformed version of what happened—Michael Brown murdered in cold blood while trying to give up—into a chant (“hands up, don’t shoot”) and then a mini-movement.

Yes, because the media killed Mike Brown.  Barring that, what’s one more dead black person shot by a cop and left on the street for 4.5 hours?  Race has nothing to do with it, you see, because we all know those people are all thugs and criminals, so it’s just one more insane savage beast being put down like the beast he was.  America!

When the facts didn’t back their narrative, they dismissed the facts and retreated into paranoid suspicion of the legal system. It apparently required more intellectual effort than almost any liberal could muster even to say, “You know, I believe policing in America is deeply unjust, but in this case the evidence is murky and not enough to indict, let alone convict anyone of a crime.”

How can policing in America unjust, I wonder, if Lowry sees no injustice in this?

Oh yeah, evil.  It’s always the ni-CLANG!s fault.  Seriously.  Once again, you have to believe that there’s no possible evidence in some 70 hours of testimony that any probably cause for any wrongdoing on Wilson’s part to arrive at a no true bill decision here.  That doesn’t just beggar the imagination, it performs the entire Bush/Cheney/Greenspan subprime economic crisis collapse on it.