Monday, April 30, 2018
Did you know she is immune from prosecution? That she has her own personal poet, paid in Sherry wine? Or that she holds dominion over British swans and can fire the entire Australian government?
Maybe states should be allowed to have kings. But we'd have to get rid of the Guarantee Clause.
'Avengers: Infinity War' review: Marvel's biggest movie brings everyone together against Thanos, in a movie that amply delivers - CNN
(CNN)Marvel has set the hype bar high even by its standards with "Avengers: Infinity War," a massive assembly of practically every hero in its cinematic portfolio, representing the culmination of a decade's worth of groundwork. As sheer spectacle the movie amply delivers, hitting the ground running (and punching and leaping), in a gigantic enterprise that colorfully unfolds simultaneously on multiple fronts.
I went to this movie with LWJ and my 14-year old son Mark yesterday. I was lulled by the hype into thinking I would not be bored out of my mind, but alas I was. I think Mark was bored towards the end too. LWJ liked it, though. I just don't like superheros that much. Maybe if they made a movie about Sargent Rock I'd enjoy it but Spiderman and all the other men, meh. I enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy, especially the raccoon critter, but that had a plot.
The 2018 Big Wave Awards honor the world's best big-wave surfers in categories from Wipeout of the Year to the men's and women's Overall Performances, with submissions from famous big-wave spots like Nazaré, Portugal and Pe'ahi, Maui. Here are the winners from the biggest night in big wave:
Banks and credit-card companies are discussing ways to identify purchases of guns in their payment systems, a move that could be a prelude to restricting such transactions, according to people familiar with the talks.
Jeez! This sounds horrible.
Conservatism is fundamentally about preserving current in-group power structures and maintaining established social hierarchies. It keeps the powerful in power, and keeps the downtrodden underfoot. Insofar as government helps keep rich, powerful white men rich and powerful, conservatives love it and rally around the flag. Insofar as it helps equalize the balance of power, they despise it and want to drown it in a bathtub. This has always been the case for conservatism throughout history across the globe (replace “white” with “relevant regional powerful ethnic/religious majority” and it applies in all cases), and it has never been more true than of American conservatism today under Trump.
Promethean culture-bringers tend to stand in opposition to this ethic. Artists deconstruct and challenge paradigms of power. Inventors disrupt established orders. Comedians provide a softened way to speak harsh truths that would otherwise go unspoken. Academics poke holes in established doctrines and question the nature of accepted reality. Journalists afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. And so on. This is the process by which, slowly but surely, societies change and wrongs are righted if only over generations. It’s the method that gives us the confidence to assert, despite frequent steps backward, that the moral arc of the universe does bend slowly toward justice. Conservatives and totalitarians of all political stripes frequently attempt to coopt culture bringers toward their own ends–and certainly some in these professions possess conservative political instincts and agendas–but even the tightest regimes aren’t proof against creative cultural subversion in pursuit of justice.
Well, it's good to get that learnt.
Michelle Wolf --a comic I had never heard of -- was mean, dumb and notably unfunny at Saturday's White House Correspondents' Dinner, but her audience was worse. They should have unanimously walked out on her or, at the least, taken the leftover monkfish on their plates and heaved it toward the stage until the woman ceased her vulgar and unnecessarily vicious attacks on Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was sitting about twenty feet away with her husband.
But with some notable exceptions, they did nothing. Some even applauded. Or laughed at this humorless harridan. It was the Robespierre moment of the #MeToo movement. Sisterhood is no longer powerful. It's sadistic - especially when aimed at women on the "wrong" side. This is of a piece with sudden silence about the accusations against Tom Brokaw. Feminism isn't just dead. It's decomposed.
The Trump administration is once again being lambasted in social justice circles for rewriting federal guidelines covering health care for transgender people. This comes as the result of a Texas court shooting down the rules imposed under the Obama administration describing a failure to provide certain “transition” services to people as discrimination under the Civil Rights Act. Rather than fighting the judge on that one, the White House is rewriting the rule and they’re widely expected to drop the transgender requirement as part of being discrimination based on sex.
In addition to the commercial incentives of click-chasing publishers, there are the career incentives of pundits. Make an outrageous prediction, or write up someone else’s bold prediction into a news article, and by the time that prediction fails to materialize into reality, most people will have forgotten about it. If the prediction turns out to be true, however, it can pay off big time.
There’s a similar phenomenon in the stock market forecasting game. A whole class of financial pundits go around constantly predicting an impending stock market correction. When the inevitable stock market correction does finally come, some of those pundits will become known as “one of the few forecasters who correctly predicted the correction.” That appellation will attach as a badge of honor for a long time to come.
Unfortunately, when writing about energy issues in the Times, Krugman doesn’t bother to do any analysis at all. Instead, as he proves yet again with his April 16 column, “Earth, Wind and Liars,” Krugman likes to make glib pronouncements about renewables and how they can save us from climate change while making us richer and sexier. In this latest edition, Krugman completely ignores wind energy’s massive footprint and the growing backlash against the wind industry. Further, like his many fellow travelers on the left, Krugman refuses to acknowledge that if we are going to be serious about slashing carbon dioxide emissions, nuclear energy must play a major role. (I’ve written three articles in these pages about Krugman’s energy silliness. See here, here, and here.)
Probably the smartest guy I know is a big nuke supporter.