Roundup – Four Loko

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Line O’ the Day:

“Sarah Palin, the patron saint of lower IQ Americans, has hovered over this sordid contest like an evil Halloween wraith.” – Eric Margolis, Hey Republican Samurai!  You Want More Wars?  Then Pay for Them!  Time for a War Tax [LRC]

Best of the Best:

Birth of a Movement [Wall Street Journal]

In August 2009, Tea Party Patriots was formally incorporated with a four-person board, including Ms. Martin, Ms. Kremer, Mr. Meckler and Rob Neppell, a conservative blogger. But relations quickly deteriorated. At one meeting, Ms. Kremer indicated she had hired her own lawyers and might try to claim ownership of the group’s intellectual property, according to an affidavit from Ms. Martin. A few weeks later, she was voted off the board.  In countersuits filed in a suburban Atlanta county court, Mr. Kremer and Tea Party Patriots are now fighting out who owns what.

U.S. Midterm Elections, Obama and Iran [StratFor]

I am arguing the following. First, Obama will be paralyzed on domestic policies by this election. He can craft a re-election campaign blaming the Republicans for gridlock. This has its advantages and disadvantages; the Republicans, charging that he refused to adjust to the electorate’s wishes, can blame him for the gridlock. It can go either way. The other option for Obama is to look for triumph in foreign policy where he has a weak hand. The only obvious way to achieve success that would have a positive effect on the U.S. strategic position is to attack Iran. Such an attack would have substantial advantages and very real dangers. It could change the dynamics of the Middle East and it could be a military failure.
But the Tea Party’s grassroots members are more hostile to trade agreements than the broader population. A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 61% of those who identified themselves as supporters of the movement believe the deals have hurt the U.S., while 53% of all respondents held the same view.But the Tea Party’s grassroots members are more hostile to trade agreements than the broader population. A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 61% of those who identified themselves as supporters of the movement believe the deals have hurt the U.S., while 53% of all respondents held the same view.

La Fuente: Slow Afternoon [Fred Reed on FredOnEverything]

The waiter came by on a resupply run with more Corona and I mentioned coming out of Angola on a story for Soldier of Fortune in a DC-3, flying ten feet over the trees to keep SAM-7s from getting a lock. This was this when Cuban soldiers, whom I rather like, were supporting the evil commmie government in Luanda. I didn’t care. The world is complex. I didn’t need to solve all its problems, or take sides.

‘Invalid’ Forms by Supposed Billionaires Skew U.S. Wage Figures [Ryan J. Donmoyer on Bloomberg]

Two people were found to have filed multiple W-2 forms that made them into multibillionaires, an agency official said yesterday. Those reports threw statistical wage tables out of whack and, in figures released Oct. 15, made it appear that top U.S. earners had seen their pay quintuple in 2009 to an average of $519 million.  The agency yesterday released corrected tables that showed the average incomes of the top earners, in fact, declined 7.7 percent to $84 million each.

Is the Religious Right Taking Over the Tea Party? [MyType Blog]

Involving the government in moral prescription is expanding its influence, not scaling back.  Karl Denninger, widely credited as one of the founders of the Tea Party, may have become the spokesman of Tea Party defectors when he recently denounced the movement, saying it has been hijacked by people obsessed with “guns, gays and God”.  Given the religious conservatives’ relative strength in numbers, the current trend will likely continue.  Already they comprise over 23.5% of Tea Party supporters, compared to 17.0% for libertarians.  A little over a year after the birth of the Tea Party, libertarians and other proponents of small government – no moral strings attached – may need to start yet another movement.

Tea Partier Backs Democrat Over Ilario Pantano [Benjy Sarlin via The Daily Beast]

Ilario Pantano shot and killed two unarmed prisoners in Iraq while serving in the Marines and survived charges of premeditated murder before returning to America to run for Congress in North Carolina this year. His opponent, Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre, has been unwilling to raise the issue of Pantano’s war record even as it’s drawn national attention, but a shocking protest against Pantano from a Tea Party leader could provide an opening…he Tea Party Express has put out a harsher condemnation of Johns, sending over a statement saying “she has absolutely no involvement with the tea party activities of the Tea Party Express, nor will she ever in the future.  We find Ms. Johns’ comments towards a proud Iraq war veteran abhorrent and reprehensible,” it continues. “They do not speak for our organization nor reflect our views in any way, shape or form.”

Aokigahara Suicide Forest [VBS News (ed note – video autoplays)]

The Aokigahara Forest is the most popular site for suicides in Japan. After the novel Kuroi Jukai was published, in which a young lover commits suicide in the forest, people started taking their own lives there at a rate of 50 to 100 deaths a year. The site holds so many bodies that the Yakuza pays homeless people to sneak into the forest and rob the corpses. The authorities sweep for bodies only on an annual basis, as the forest sits at the base of Mt. Fuji and is too dense to patrol more frequently.
Koby added that Andy, “wanted to die young. He knew it. Everyone kinda knew it. I think he wanted to be remembered like Elvis. Then, with his boy being born soon, he called and he was like, ‘I take it all back, I take it all back. I wanna be there for my boy.’ Just recently, Andy seemed like he’d been at peace with himself. He said to me, ‘I’ve done everything I wanted to do.'”

The real reason women outlive men: it’s all a matter of breeding [The Independent]

Now the answer to one of the biggest conundrums of human biology may come down to the fact that the female body seems to be better at carrying out the “routine maintenance” that keeps cells alive and ageing at bay – despite the widespread belief in cosmetic circles, based on skin changes alone, that men age more slowly than women.  Professor Tom Kirkwood, a leading gerontologist at the University of Newcastle, believes there is now growing evidence to suggest that men are literally more disposable than women, because the cells of their bodies are not genetically programmed to last as long as they are in females.

Californians say “no” to legal pot but “yes” to pot taxes [John Hoeffel on Los Angeles Times]

With Proposition 19 failing, 54% to 46%, the 10 cities will not be able to approve recreational marijuana and tax it, but most will join Oakland in imposing taxes on medical marijuana sold in dispensaries. Long Beach had proposed the highest tax on legal marijuana at 15%, but several other cities had proposed 10% levies on it.

The Last Patrol [Brian Mockenhaupt via The Atlantic]

“I don’t want my guys going,” Sgt. Andrew Bragg said. “I’ll go for them.” He passed the bottle to Knollinger, one of 2 Charlie’s most aggressive soldiers. “I want revenge,” he said, in a plain, deep-throated speaking style that reminded me of Rocky Balboa. “It’s not worth another casualty, but I personally want to go.” Knollinger passed the bottle to Lachance, who seemed to thrive on the battlefield, exposing himself to enemy fire to call in airstrikes with a surprising calm. “I don’t want to see people get blown up, because that sucks,” Lachance said. “I don’t think that this entire war is worth losing people for, so that sums it up for me.”

How To Win While Losing, And Vice Versa: Zab Judah Says Goodbye [Hamilton Nolan via Deadspin]

And then Michael Buffer read the three judges’ scores. 114-113, Judah. 114-113, Matthysse. 114-113, Judah. A split decision in favor of Zab.  It was the most corrupt thing I’d ever had the privilege of witnessing in person. Before the decision was read I’d thought Zab had lost rather pitifully, a poor showing even for an over-the-hill ex-champ. But of course losing would have been much more dignified than “winning” like that. I never would have watched another Zab Judah fight either way, but at least if he’d lost fair and square the fans could have retained some fond memories of him. It was a disgrace.

Exotic dancer Michele Suszek expects to put on a show in Sunday’s ING New York City Marathon [New York Daily News]

Earlier this year, Carol Suszek’s daughter set a course record on a 10K trail race after dancing the night before. In Michele Suszek’s dreams, she will keep up her high-energy balancing act, bettering her times and breaking 2:30 and getting one of the three spots on the Olympic team. She will become a full-fledged professional, but even then, she won’t stop dancing, or following her passions.

Faces of War [Caroline Alexander via Smithsonian Magazine]

In Sidcup, England, the town that was home to Gillies’ special facial hospital, some park benches were painted blue; a code that warned townspeople that any man sitting on one would be distressful to view. A more upsetting encounter, however, was often between the disfigured man and his own image. Mirrors were banned in most wards, and men who somehow managed an illicit peek had been known to collapse in shock. “The psychological effect on a man who must go through life, an object of horror to himself as well as to others, is beyond description,” wrote Dr. Albee. “…It is a fairly common experience for the maladjusted person to feel like a stranger to his world. It must be unmitigated hell to feel like a stranger to yourself.”
Broadcaster and writer Stephen Fry has tried to establish himself as an unlikely authority on female sexuality, claiming that straight women only go to bed with men “because sex is the price they are willing to pay for a relationship”.

My Uncomfortable Encounter With An Angry Joe Morgan [Tommy Craggs on SF Weekly via Deadspin]

“He was the perfect Billy Beane player,” says ESPN.com writer Rob Neyer, a Bill James acolyte and co-author of The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers. In fact, Morgan’s career has gotten nothing if not a boost from the statistics crowd, which makes his crusade even more puzzling. “A lot of people, myself included, think Joe Morgan was the greatest second baseman of all time,” Neyer says. “I don’t think, 25 to 30 years ago, anybody would’ve bought into that. I don’t know if people talked about him like that during his career. I suspect that if you had done a poll of the nation’s sportswriters 25 years ago, you would’ve seen a lot of names like Rogers Hornsby, Nap Lajoie, Frankie Frisch. But if you did one now, Joe Morgan would pop up a lot, in part because we have a greater respect for the things he did so well.”

What Alcohol Actually Does to Your Brain and Body [Kevin Purdy on Lifehacker]

Alcohol, like caffeine, has an enormous reputation but loose understanding in popular culture. Learn how it’s absorbed and how fast, why it’s essential to reality TV altercations, its paradoxical sexual effects, and its life-lengthening potential, whether red wine or Bud Light.

The sight of meat lowers human aggression [McGill University via io9]

Instead, the pictures of meat actually made the subjects less aggressive. That certainly suggests the subjects did have some kind of innate reaction to the meat, but not the one the researchers expected. After all, ancient humans would have associated meat with hunting and the competition for and protection of food resources. Those are all tasks where aggression would be a definite advantage, but these results suggest the exact opposite.

The Fascinating Story of the Twins Who Share Brains, Thoughts, and Senses [Maclean’s via io9]

This is one of the most surprising and awesome tales ever told in the history of medicine. These twins are Tatiana and Krista Hogan. Their brains and sensory systems are networked together, but they have separate personalities. Their story defies belief.

Scientists unlock the secrets behind growing giant bugs [PhysOrg via DVICE via io9]

VanderBrooks raised groups of dragonflies, cockroaches, grasshoppers, meal worms, beetles, and other insects in atmospheres with different levels of oxygen. As predicted, the dragonflies and many of the other insects raised in higher oxygen matured more quickly and became larger adults; when these same species of insects were raised in atmospheres with oxygen levels lower than modern Earth’s they grew to be smaller than those reared in modern atmosphere.

Coffin technologies that protect you from being buried alive [Annalee Newitz via io9]

In the eighteenth century, rumors swirled about people accidentally buried alive when they lapsed into a deathlike state from cholera. As a result, the safety coffin was invented. Here’s how it worked.  From those eighteen century fears there arose a thriving cottage industry of inventors who promised to protect the seemingly-dead from being prematurely interred. Above you can see one of the more popular kinds of safety coffin, sometimes called an “escape vault,” because each grave door was built as a hatch that could be opened from the inside.

The Cam Newton Scandal Spirals Into Incoherency [Barry Petchesky on Deadspin]

So now where are we? Gene Chizik says Newton will play this weekend, end of story. The FBI plans to meet with John Bond, to investigate “whether young men are being shopped to colleges.” (They are, obviously; they have been since well before Marcus Dupree.) And sports books are rapidly taking the Auburn game off the board, after some bigtime action appeared for Georgia +8.5. That’s not saying Vegas knows something we don’t. They’re just worried that the pro bettors know something we don’t. Which could be anything. We don’t know a hell of a lot right now.

Whimsical Remains:



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But the Tea Party’s grassroots members are more hostile to trade agreements than the broader population. A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 61% of those who identified themselves as supporters of the movement believe the deals have hurt the U.S., while 53% of all respondents held the same view.

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