Literally, the President is making a speech about how successful his foreign policy has been, while preparing to withdraw all U.S. civilians from Libya (via Marines) because the post-revolution country he helped create is falling apart.
I've had a bunch of links building up for a while. I'll try to not lose them like I did last time.
Six Lies Most People Believe About U.S. Schools at The Federalist. 1) Rich, suburban schools are better than poor, inner-city or rural schools. 2) Poverty is the root cause of poor education 3) It's better to teach generic philosophies and ideals than specific skill-sets or fundamental knowledge 4) Teachers are well-prepared professionals 5) Education is non-partisan and amoral 6) Everyone should go to college. That's the short lists. Read the reasons and get links in the article.
"Yesterday on Facebook, someone took exception to my saying that Marxist ideas are ascendant in the world. This shocked me so much I didn’t know how to react, and before I had time to explain – I was trying to finish the novel. No, it’s not done yet. Long story, but hey HVAC people this afternoon – people were in a big argument over whether or not we’re living in a police state.
I have opinions on that too (duh) but it has nothing to do with the incontrovertible fact that we’re soaked in Marxist philosophy on all sides.
It’s entirely possible, in fact, that my commenter isn’t aware of that, because fish aren’t particularly aware of water. It takes an effort to become aware of the Marxist premises underlying everything because they’re taken for granted. No one studies Marx himself, because we assume his theories as proven, and the stuff we live in, all over the world, is dictated by his premises."
I had an interesting, and admittedly disturbing experience, which made me reflect upon the end of the world.
I was listening to a radio debate between a Leftist and a Conservative concerning whether or not the Administration lied by making repeated, emphasized, and unambiguous assertions that the (ironically named) Affordable Health Care Act would not outlaw any plan, any policy or any doctor you yourself wanted to keep, if you were satisfied with it.
As I listened to the debate, a sense of disgust and weariness overtook me, for I was certain, before hearing a word, that nothing the Leftist would way would be on the topic, or would actually defend the point in contention.
Then a little cartoon angel on my shoulder appeared in a puff of pink cloud, and told me that, as a gentleman, I should give the Leftist the benefit of the doubt, and hear the argument she had to give. Whether good or bad, it would not harm me to hear the argument, and it would be an offense against openmindedness to decide without hearing.
So I listened. The Leftist, while sounding sweet and light as honey at first, personally attacked the Conservative with whom she was debating, accusing him of wanting to deprive the poor and middle class of health care: the attacks became nastier as the conversation proceeded, and when the Conservative pointed out the illogic and unfairness of this, she haughtily objected that he was attacking her.
This, while the Conservative happened to be someone in the middle class himself who was being deprived of his health care plan, the health care plan that he liked and wanted to keep, deprived by the operation of the law.
In other words, she answered his argument that he was being deprived of his health care plan that he liked by accusing him of wanting to deprive others of theirs. WHen he objected that this was an ad hominem attack, she answered by accusing him of making an ad hominem attack against her.
Five Myths about Ty Cobb. Thanks to the sensationalist (and largely, we now know falsified) biography of Cobb by journalist Al Stump, most people believe the Tigers legendary player was a violent, selfish and greedy, foul-mouthed extreme racist and murderer loved by no one. Those characterizations are mostly, if not entirely, untrue.
I linked this on Facebook. Matt Walsh discusses why the debate on abortion is comprised of two positions that are simply too far apart for compromise.
The WondLa books look fascinating. Will definitely be picking them up as soon as we're all settled in to the new year.
Donna Lewis was one of a sizable handful of female singers in the mid- to late-90's who hit the airwaves with one or two pop hits and quickly disappeared. That wouldn't be so unusual, except that it really was a veritable flood for a few years. This was arguably the precursor to the "Grrl Power" movement, as it seemed be largely triggered by the success of Melissa Etheridge and other perceived-alternative and independent musicians; a female-centric offshoot of grunge. Lewis stands out not only for the extreme catchyness of "I Love You Always Forever", but for her impressively produced debut album "Now In A Minute". A few of the songs falter due to noticeably resembling each other, a real shame that mars an otherwise outstanding sonic experience. However, the albums other great failure is that it serves as a great cure for insomnia.
Andrew Branca appeared on a California NPR broadcast a couple of months ago to serve as the token defender of George Zimmerman and Stand Your Ground laws. Havoc ensued when Branca pointed out that 33 states have Stand Your Ground laws like Florida's, and California's is actually the most liberal (in the classic sense).
World of Warcraft subscribers down to 7.7 million. I talked about this on Facebook a few weeks back. As many have pointed out, 7.7 million is still the largest subscriber base in America, and it's probably the largest user base as well. Guild Wars 2 is claiming 5 million users, although it's very difficult to compare "users" to "subscribers". However, considering how successful many free-to-play games have been, I still think if WoW trends below 5 million Blizzard starts converting the game to FTP. The next expansion will prove it either way, in my opinion.
Former NBA star Kenny Anderson comes to terms with sexual abuse when he was a child. Another long piece by SBNation. These long-form articles SBN has been doing are excellent reading.
And, again, while fantastically produced and featuring Donna's excellent voice, this is one of the songs that will put you to sleep.
Something I need to add to my list of things that I say I'll do but never get around to is reviewing a few albums. I know everyone loves hearing the opinions of a music snob. Speaking of which...seriously, who reads Rolling Stone anymore? I didn't even know they were still published.
I've been saving these up for a while. For the record, why I've not been very available lately: 1) It's that time of year again, and the weather has played hell with my attempts to A) Satisfy government regulations B) Grow a crop when we got rain about a month late C) And then it did it all again. Also, we're moving, so there's all that to deal with.
Hat-tip to Brickmuppet for linking this excellent video.
Xbox One "clearly inferior" to PS4: This is, umm, old news now. For the record, the technical specs aren't very far apart. You Sony folks remember arguing that the "technically inferior" PS2 and (arguably) PS3 "used their resources better" and so on? Seriously, though; hardware is at a point now that a 50% difference in specs would be hard to to actually "see" in any way, most of the time. (A lot of people made that argument with the PS3 and 360, which is fine, but they still need to explain why so many PS3 titles were s*****, de-rezzed and -rated performers compared to their 360 counterparts.) And before you pitch a fit on me, keep in mind that I own both a 360 and a PS3, and I prefer using the PS3. It is an objectively easier and better experience. XBox Live is a nightmare. But the 360 is still a better gaming machine.
Having said that, all of the OTHER problems with the XBox One make it a complete pile of garbage that I am not interested in owning.
And right about here is where I entered an address in the wrong place and lost the next two videos and 15 links I had entered, including a few with commentary. I remember what the videos were, but I've already deleted the links from the folder where I keep this stuff. I will now go play a video game to keep from screaming.
You remember the song "Kiss From A Rose"? Here's Angela Aki's version:
I had a link to an article about Jason Everman, the guy who was in Nirvana and Soundgarden before joining Special Forces in Afghanistan. I don't really like Nirvana, so here's a link to some classic Soundgarden: