Sort of Maybe a Bit Like Friday Recipe Exchange on Monday: Do NOT Try This at Home Edition!!!!!

Alton Brown has been tinkering again. He’s invented a way to make ice cream in under 10 seconds. The video is below. Whatever you do, do not try this at home!

Bon appetit! And open thread.



A Moment’s Respite

Seems to me that we could all use just a moment of something else to think about. So here’s a bit of pure fun, in the Be-Wary-Of-The-Smiling-Stranger category:

I just love the opponent’s reaction at the end.

Talk about anything that doesn’t involve explosions or Republicans.








And Now for Something Completely Different: Syrian Refugees Welcomed by Canadian Furries

Yes, you read that headline right. Given all the insanity we’ve been covering this weekend, I thought it would be good to post about something nice for a change. When the Vancouver, BC hotel that was hosting the annual VancouFur convention turned out to also be one of the temporary housing sites for Syrian refugees that have been admitted to Canada something really wonderful happened. The anthropomorphic animal reenactors reached out to the refugee children to welcome them to Canada.

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To quote one of the participants:

Mike Schmidt, who attended VancouFur wrote on Vancity Buzz: “One of the many highlights for me was when the new group of Syrian refugee children came in and got to interact with us. To them we were cartoons to come to life, to us [it] was a means to display our acting performance to a very appreciative audience.

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Click on over and see the videos and more pictures of the refugee children having a great time interacting with the furries (the first one is autoplay).

 

* Image found here.

** Image found here.



This is How You Defeat the Islamic State and Other Islamic Extremists!

Yesterday Thanos at Little Green Footballs highlighted (highlit?) this CNN report about an attempted al Shabaab attack in Kenya. On Monday al Shabaab fighters stopped a bus who’s police escort had broken down, stormed onto it, and demanded that the Muslim passengers get off the bus so that they could easily identify and target the Christian passengers left on board. Things did not exactly go as planned. The Muslim passengers refused to follow al Shabaab’s instructions, the Muslim women gave some of their hijabs to the Christian women, hid the other Christian passengers, and the Muslim passengers told al Shabaab that: “If you want to kill us, then kill us. There are no Christians here”. While there were still two men killed in the attack – one Christian passenger that tried to flee and the driver of a truck that was on the road behind the bus – the al Shabaab attackers left and the other 100 or so passengers and the driver survived. Kenya’s security forces were reportedly in pursuit of the attackers.

The quick thinking, courage, humanity, and generosity of spirit of the Kenyan Muslims on that bus defeated al Shabaab’s attackers and their attempt to impose an extremist interpretation of Islam by violence. The actions of the Kenyan Muslims on that bus in safeguarding their Christian fellow citizens are a shining example of what needs to be done to defeat not just Islamic extremism, but the backlash rhetoric, politics, and extremism that it engenders. Al Shabaab, al Qaeda, the Islamic State and other similar groups can only achieve their objectives/ends (win) if they scare everyone regardless of religion or nationality into providing the ways and means that they do NOT actually possess. On Monday al Shabaab was denied those ways and means and lost! This is how they, al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and other extremist groups regardless of doctrine, ideology, or nationality will be defeated: by the basic humanity and courage of the very people they seek to set against each other.








The Plural of “Noonan” Is Not “Data”

So Peggy Noonan went to the Fainting Couch Superstore over the IRS this week and got a few new pieces.  It was bad enough in her eyes that anyone would dare question the notion that Tea Party groups were perfectly non-political and deserve tax-exempt status, the real issue is that President Uppity “T-Bone” YoungBuck  dared to go after rich Romney voters, because that’s the only possible explanation for this:

The second part of the scandal is the auditing of political activists who have opposed the administration. The Journal’s Kim Strassel reported an Idaho businessman named Frank VanderSloot, who’d donated more than a million dollars to groups supporting Mitt Romney. He found himself last June, for the first time in 30 years, the target of IRS auditors. His wife and his business were also soon audited. Hal Scherz, a Georgia physician, also came to the government’s attention. He told ABC News: “It is odd that nothing changed on my tax return and I was never audited until I publicly criticized ObamaCare.”

Won’t you help America’s most victimized class, the obnoxiously rich, fend off these heartless attacks?

All of these IRS actions took place in the years leading up to the 2012 election. They constitute the use of governmental power to intrude on the privacy and shackle the political freedom of American citizens. The purpose, obviously, was to overwhelm and intimidate—to kill the opposition, question by question and audit by audit.

It is not even remotely possible that all this was an accident, a mistake. Again, only conservative groups were targeted, not liberal. It is not even remotely possible that only one IRS office was involved.

If only there was somebody who could tell us, through that person’s mastery of statistical analysis, just how remote the possibility of this not being deliberate targeting was.  Just so we’d know how worried to be when Obama comes to kill the opposition.

You know, somebody like, hmm, ohh…Nate Silver!

In the table below, I’ve estimated the number of taxpayers in each income group who were audited in 2012, as derived from statistics in the I.R.S.’s 2012 Data Book. It is also possible to estimate how many Mitt Romney and Barack Obama voters would have been audited last year. The calculation assumes that an individual’s chance of being audited was related to their income, but not to their political views.

I estimate the number of voters in each income bracket from the 2012 Current Population Survey. I then estimate the share of the vote in each income bracket that went to Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama based on last year’s national exit poll. (Note that the income brackets used in the exit poll and the Current Population Survey do not exactly match the income brackets listed in the I.R.S.’s audit data, so I use the closest available approximations.)

This results in an estimate that about 380,000 of Mr. Romney’s voters were audited last year, as were about 480,000 of Mr. Obama’s voters.

Well.  It’s almost like the IRS audits low-income Americans far more than the wealthy because there are far more low-income Americans to audit, and they are much more likely to receive a refund from the government, and that these low-income Americans are primarily Obama voters.  It’s also almost like Peggy Noonan found a couple people who had been audited and concluded, without any evidence whatsoever, that they had been deliberately targeted because of their political views, and that she then dismissed every other possible explanation for the audits.

And then Nate Silver came along and said “Wow, this woman is insane, TO THE NATE CAVE” and then squished her.  Then he probably had a tasty beverage.

It tasted like victory and Noonan tears.



Open Thread Of Panda-monium

So, I know that when I got up this morning, I’d be typing “Right wing Panda x Hillary slash fiction“.

Open thread.

 








If Guns are Outlawed, Only Morons Who Are Outlaws Will Accidentally Shoot Each Other

Today is “Gun Appreciation Day.”  An event created by right winger with penis issues, and so called because “Insensitivity To First Graders Being Slaughtered Wholesale Day” doesn’t roll as glibly off the tongue.   It also gives the game away, but I digress.

At gun shows across the country, the hicks and goobers line up to look at and buy all sorts of guns, and more guns and still more guns instead of getting the roof fixed, buying a used truck less than eight years old, or saving up for Billy Bob’s and Jolene’s tuition at the junior college that might have allowed them to not work at Walmart as adults.

So today, on this day where we are supposed to be seeing examples of law-abiding, safety conscious gun owners engaging in the patriotic past time of purchasing mass killing implements just because they can, what do you suppose has been happening?   Wait for it… Read more