Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Equally well liked

It's pretty interesting that (at least with the overall public) Planned Parenthood and the NRA's approval and disapproval numbers are pretty much the same. In fact, their approval could be identical as the 2 percentage point differences in those numbers for the two groups is probably within the margin of error.

And a pox on NBC news for not giving the margin of error for the poll when they report on its results. A pox!!!

(via Memeorandum)

...it took a bit of clicking, but I finally found the MOE for the poll by tracking down the original poll results (pdf). The MOE is +/-3.10%, which means that Planned Parenthood and the NRA effectively have the exact same approval rating in the poll.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Just gunning for Planned Parenthood

The fact that Republicans' reaction to the recent videos they claim shows Planned Parenthood "selling" fetal tissue for medical research has been to propose legislation cutting off funding from Planned Parenthood rather than proposing legislation to re-impose the ban on fetal tissue donations after abortions tells us what this is all really about.

Friday, July 31, 2015


I guess this clarifies that they are okay with stabbing anyone else:
Late Thursday, Benzion Gopstein, the leader of Lehava — which has attempted to stop Jews from marrying Muslims — issued a statement condemning the authorities for allowing the “provocative” parade to take place but clarifying that his group is “against stabbing Jews.”

Let me get this straight

Mullah Omar died two years ago in a hospital in Pakistan. No one outside of the Taliban knew he died until a few days ago when Pakistani intelligence managed to confirm his death somehow and decided to tell the world. Despite the fact that his death occurred two years ago, the Taliban did not figure out his successor until this week.

Apparently, the group really fine with being leaderless, even as they are prosecuting a war with Afghan government forces, right up until the news of Omar's death broke the other day. It is only then that they suddenly (and quickly) designated a successor.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

off to see attle

I've never seen it before (except for the airport)

Almaty 2022!

I waiver between not giving a shit at all about the Olympics and actively disliking the whole thing. And I think that hosting Olympic games (as Philly occasionally makes noises about wanting to do) would be an absolute disaster for the city, causing way more problems than it will ever solve.

But that said, for some reason I can't help but root for Kazakhstan to get the 2022 Winter Olympics out of sheer loyalty to the country. Also maybe it would get people to learn more about the place. Also, well, um, considering how much I otherwise don't like the Olympics it doesn't really make much sense. Maybe it's blind faith, but I actually think that if KZ hosts it may be good for the country overall, benefiting in a way that Philadelphia as a host city would not.

Also Almaty has real snow (it snowed when I was there in October ferchristssake). Surely that should count for something in a winter Olympics bid.

UPDATE (7/31/15): Oh well. The vote was close though.

Public shaming is never a good idea

I'm not a fan of big game hunters, but I gotta say I am a little embarrassed to watch so many friends jump on the public shaming bandwagon in this case. I'm not a fan of what Dr. Palmer did and I think he should be prosecuted. But I don't think an online mobs seeking to destroy someone's life is a good thing no matter who the target is.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

If there is no polling threshold for the debate, it won't just be 16

This change could cause more problems than Fox has anticipated. Without the polling threshold, every declared GOP presidential candidate is entitled to take part. But there are a lot more declared candidates than Fox News and Politico seem to be aware of.1 By my count, there are 35 declared Republican Candidates for President, not 16.

In every presidential election, a lot of people run who get zero coverage in the media. I really mean zero, not just Carly Fiorina-style "zero coverage." I'm talking about people like Skip Andrews, John Dummett Jr., and Jack Fellure. People who the national press completely ignores. I believe at least some, if not all of them, meet Fox's remaining criteria for participation (I'm not sure if they all have filed with the FEC, but Fellure, at least, has). If polls are no longer a threshold, why can't they get on TV with the rest of the clowns from the car?

(via Memeorandum)

1-Speaks volumes, doesn't it?

To answer Dan De Lice's question...

...yes, it looks like the U.S. has sold out the Kurds. That seemed to be the price for getting Turkey on the anti-ISIS bandwagon.

This is all part of a time-honored tradition of Western powers screwing the Kurds. And this screwing is almost in time for the 100th anniversary of Sykes-Picot!

Picking a nit

So I read this sentence in this article about how Turkish sympathy for the Turkic-speaking Uighurs is complicating Turkish-Chinese relations:
Turkey, heir to the Ottoman Empire, has long seen itself as a protector of Turkic-speaking people across the arc of Central Asia — and that includes the mostly Muslim Uighurs in China’s western region of Xinjiang, where ethnic tensions and outbursts of violence between Uighurs and ethnic Han, the dominant group in China, have been rising because of what Uighurs say is official repression, though Chinese officials blame terrorist ideology.
The first part of the sentence is odd, because the Ottoman Empire was not really a protector of Turkic-speaking people. The Ottoman Empire was a multi-ethnic empire that was Turkish ruled, but did not claim territory or justify its legitimacy based on ethnicity like the modern nation-state does. The Ottomans didn't always have good relations with their Turkic-speaking cousins in Central Asia either (e.g.). Pan Turkism (and the broad sympathy that comes with it for far-flung Turkic cousins like the Uighur) didn't exist until the last century of the Ottoman Empire and it is one of the forces that tore that country apart. It's not because modern Turkey is the heir to the Ottoman Empire that it sees itself as a champion of Turkic peoples around the world, it is because nationalism became the new grounds for national legitimacy when the Ottoman Empire collapsed. In that sense, pan-Turkic nationalism is a rejection of their Ottoman legacy, not the product of it.

(Yes, I realize that one sentence does not really matter. This is not a criticism of the overall article or the point it was making. Rather, this is just a reflection of my own obsession with Pan-Turkism (particularly since 2010). For Example. In any case, if I can't pick a nit, what is the point of having a blog?)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Plan B

Why would anyone seriously call for an investigation of this  They would have been crazy not to. Besides, the introduction of a new currency (or even the revival of an old one) has to be planned for in secrecy for it to work.