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"The Lid": HORROR! Dr. Warren Weinstein My College Adviser, Held By Al Qaeda, Killed By A US Drone Strike

Jeff Dunetz pays tribute to "one of the people most responsible for tuning me into a political geek." Weinstein was working as a government-funded economic development adviser in Pakistan, promoting dairy development, when he was kidnapped from by al-Qaeda. He had been in captivity for three and a half years, during which time the Obama Administration and Pakistani governments did little to secure his release.

Surely you can't be serious: An oral history of Airplane! · The A.V. Club

On the 35th anniversary of the cult classic, the A. V. Club talks to the film's producers and writers and as many stars as they could round up, including Robert Hays (Ted Striker), Maureen McGovern (the nun), and two of the kids in the movie (Joey, who got to go the cockpit, and Lisa, the sick little girl with the IV that wouldn't stay plugged in).

An interesting highlight: Al White, one of the two "jive talkers," talks about the linguistic research he did to develop his lines.

Second in a series: The first was about Weird Al Yankovic's UHF.

How the Internet Became a Shame-Storm - Bloomberg View

From Megan McArdle's review of Jon Ronson's So You've Been Publicly Shamed

"Shame is, after all, a force for good as well as evil. A proper accounting of the problems with shame-storming has to convey that reality, as well as articulate how we might better balance the need to enforce some sort of social norms against the terrible harms, economic as well as emotional, that shame-storming can inflict....

"Shame is one way we enforced good behavior in small groups before there were laws or trading networks. It is a very powerful motivator, and it helps us to come together in large cooperative groups with high degrees of trust and sharing. A hatred of being shamed ourselves and a love of shaming others who have transgressed both literally helped to make us human....

"But as Lane suggests, shame doesn't just punish wrongdoers; it also turns us into our own moral enforcers. Once we've been shamed, we are strongly motivated to avoid doing the things that brought it on. Or at least, most of us are -- one of the hallmarks of sociopaths is that they don't feel shame or remorse. To paraphrase Gordon Gekko, shame is good. Shame is right. Shame works....

"In the small groups we evolved to live in, shame is tempered by love and forgiveness. People are shamed for some transgression, then they are restored to the group. Ultimately, the shamed person is not an enemy; he or she is someone you need and want to get along with. This is how you make up with your spouse after one or both of you has done or said something terrible....

"On the Internet, when all the social context is stripped away and you don't even have to look at the face of the person you're being mean to, shame loses its social, restorative function. Shame-storming isn't punishment. It's a weapon. And weapons aren't supposed to be used against people in your community; they're for strangers, people in some other group that you don't like very much....

"If we want shaming to be restorative -- to help us create and enforce better norms in a broad community -- then it needs to come paired with charity and forgiveness. Shame-storms rarely offer either; the shame is administered, then the storm drizzles away, leaving only a terrified victim and Google's memory of our momentary collective outrage. Without the mercy and restraint of the small community, it can too easily become nothing more than a particularly destructive way to pass an idle moment."

Companies: NoPhoneTrees.com

Tired of wading through endless automated phone menus? Frustrated to get through six levels of menus and waiting for an agent, only to be transferred to a different number? NoPhoneTrees.com claims to have the direct-dial number you need, and the shortest touch-tone path to talk to a live human being.

Operators in C and C++: Operator precedence - Wikipedia

In olden times, you needed to know whether a duke had precedence over a marquis. Now it's more important to know whether bitwise-and outranks element selection through pointer.

What Happened at Lydda » Mosaic

A popularized account by Ari Shavit in The New Yorker of the fighting in Lydda, during Israel's 1948 war for survival, omits or elides crucial facts -- grenades coming from inside a small mosque that was not under Israeli control; Jordanian troops controlling the city's fort-like police station to the south -- to paint a misleading picture that conveniently serves the interests of anti-Israel crusaders, according to scholar Martin Kramer, who rebuts Shavit with testimony from soldiers and locals. There are responses, pro and con, from other historians, and from Kramer himself.

Nixon, Hillary, and the Tapes: Fred's Thought of the Day: | The American Spectator

Watergate prosecutor Fred Thompson:

"During the many talks, conferences and interviews I have participated in over the years about Watergate, one of the questions I'm almost always asked is why Nixon didn't destroy the tapes. I've always replied that his lawyers knew that he would have undoubtedly been charged with obstruction of justice, since the tapes arguably could have been subpoenaed as evidence in the matters that the Watergate Committee was investigating.

"Watching Team Hillary's performance over the past three weeks in damage control over her private email server and decisions to destroy potentially pertinent correspondence to at least one ongoing Congressional investigation, I have come to the realization that Nixon's main problem turned out to be that he just wasn't devious and tough enough. As you may recall, while Benghazi documents were under subpoena Hillary's cleanup crew wiped the hard drive of her server clean and deleted more than 30,000 emails. None related to work, she promises. She has long since learned that it is better to have people think you're lying than to give up evidence that proves it."

Pyromaniacs: Going to Take the Cake

F. X. Turk (grandson of a Hungarian kulak) says it's time to sweep away the euphemisms:

"That is actually what is on the table: being part of a celebration which calls sinful sexual unions holy.  If I refuse, I'm a kulak - part of the hated class who cannot be allowed to own property anymore, who cannot be allowed to buy or sell anymore, and who must be called out as immoral and as enemies of the new way of life.

"I am really not that concerned that gay people (at least superficially) say they want to be 'married'.  I am concerned that anyone who objects to the new moral definitions is clearly being called politically unfit for use."

The Left wages total war and then plays victim | Tim Carney | WashingtonExaminer.com

"After millennia of marriage being uncontroversially a union between one man and one woman, and after a decade of electorates in most states (and President Obama in 2008) upholding that traditional definition, the Left has used the courts to redefine the institution. People are fired for having taken the losing side. On college campuses, the current fights are about banning even the articulation of traditional views....

"Religious liberty is the terms of surrender the Right is requesting in the culture war. It is conservative America saying to the cultural and political elites, you have your gay marriage, your no-fault divorce, your obscene music and television, your indoctrinating public schools and your abortion-on-demand. May we please be allowed to not participate in these?

"But no. Tolerance isn't the goal. Religious conservatives must atone for their heretical views with acts of contrition: Bake me a cake, photograph my wedding, pay for my abortion and my contraception."

Ace of Spades HQ: The New Intolerance: We Are Now Required To Embrace Just About Everything, Except the Gutter Religion Christianity

The writer is an atheist, a fiscal and foreign policy conservative, not at all a social conservative. Bottom line: If you have a problem with religious freedom laws, you're probably a totalitarian leftist. Some excerpts:

"Because that's all the gay 'rights' activists are doing here -- they are forcing people who disagree with their political beliefs to endorse those political beliefs anyway, using the crushing power of the state to compel assent....

""This is not about serving gays, this is about acceding to gays' (and non-gay Gay Enthusiasts') demands that those who dissent with gay weddings nevertheless be forced to endorse them....

"If a minority of bakers refuses services to gay weddings, what actual damage befalls gays? There are still many, many more bakers who will bake them their cakes. So what is the actual harm?

"They never answer this question -- they never ask it, so they couldn't answer it -- but the actual answer would be: 'The harm is finding out that someone disagrees with my Sacred Belief on gay marriage.'...

"What is being pursued here is not gays' right to have wedding cake. They have this, of course, and do not need the law's insistence to get it.

"What is being pursued here is hardcore gay-identity crusaders' insistence that no one has the right to disagree with them on their Sacred Belief, and that the law can and should be perverted into punishing ThoughtCrimes.

"What we are seeing here is the enforcement of a new religious code, one which puts "secular" leftist values at the center of religious dogma, and then uses the power of the state to punish heretics, apostates, and blasphemers.

"It is ugly, cruel, and stupid, as are most things the left wants."


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