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Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Daily Drift

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Yerevan, Armenia
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Today in History

1493   Christopher Columbus discovers Antigua during his second expedition.
1556   The Englishman Richard Chancellor is drowned off Aberdeenshire on his return from a second voyage to Russia.
1647   All Dutch-held area of New York are returned to English control by the treaty of Westminster.
1775   U.S. Marine Corps founded.
1782   In the last battle of the American Revolution, George Rodgers Clark attacks Indians and Loyalists at Chillicothe, in Ohio Territory.
1871   Henry M. Stanley finds Dr. Livingstone at Ujiji near Unyanyembe in Africa.
1879   Little Bighorn participant Major Marcus Reno is caught window-peeping at the daughter of his commanding officer–an offense for which he will be court-martialed.
1911   President Taft ends a 15,000-mile, 57-day speaking tour.
1911   The Imperial government of China retakes Nanking.
1917   Forty-one US suffragettes are arrested protesting outside the White House.
1938   Fascist Italy enacts anti-Semitic legislation.
1941   Churchill promises to join the U.S. "within the hour" in the event of war with Japan.
1942   Admiral Jean Darlan orders French forces in North Africa to cease resistance to the Anglo-American forces.
1952   U.S. Supreme Court upholds the decision barring segregation on interstate railways.
1961   Andrew Hatcher is named associate press secretary to President John F. Kennedy.
1962   Eleanor Roosevelt is buried, she had died three days earlier.
1964   Australia begins a draft to fulfill its commitment in Vietnam.
1969   The PBS children's program Sesame Street debuts.
1971   Two women are tarred and feathered in Belfast for dating British soldiers, while in Londonderry, Northern Ireland a Catholic girl is also tarred and feathered for her intention of marrying a British soldier.
1972   Hijackers divert a jet to Detroit, demanding $10 million and ten parachutes.
1975   The iron ore freighter Edmund Fitzgerald breaks in half and sinks at the eastern end of Lake Superior–all 29 crew members perish.
1986   President Ronald Reagan refuses to reveal details of the Iran arms sale.

Non Sequitur


Romney “shellshocked,” fell for “unskewed” polls and Faux’s “unskewed” News

So it seems that Mitt Romney, the “numbers” candidate, and his staff, are “shellshocked” about the election results because they believed all the Faux News types who kept saying the polls were “skewed” against Republicans (and that if you “unskewed” the polls, Romney was really winning nationwide by 11 points).
Even worse, Romney decided to use a pollster who skewed more to the right than all the normal pollster, so they actually thought they were winning in the days leading up to the election, and that’s why they wasted time and money in places like Pennsylvania.
From CBS News:
As a result, they believed the public/media polls were skewed – they thought those polls oversampled Democrats and didn’t reflect repugican enthusiasm. They based their own internal polls on turnout levels more favorable to Romney. That was a grave miscalculation, as they would see on election night.
Those assumptions drove their campaign strategy: their internal polling showed them leading in key states, so they decided to make a play for a broad victory: go to places like Pennsylvania while also playing it safe in the last two weeks.
Those assessments were wrong.

“Unskewed polls” showed Romney winning the election by 11 points.
What kind of an idiot chooses a pollster who at best is spot on, and at worst is over-estimating your chances?
I talked to a senior aide on the Hill who told me that his boss always chooses the pollster who shows him lowest in the polls. That way, if anything, the campaign is scared into trying harder, rather than given a false sense of security that leads them to try to compete in Pennsylvania when they can’t even win Ohio and Virginia.
More from the folks at Unskewed Polls, who are the election version of “birthers”:
Our polls about doubly-weighted, to doubly insure the results are most accurate and not skewed, by both party identification and self-identified ideology. For instance, no matter how many Republicans answer our survey, they are weighted at 37.6 percent. If conservatives are over-represented among repugicans in the raw sample, they are still weighted at 68 percent of repugicans regardless. This system of double weighting should insure our survey produces very accurate results, not skewed either way for the Democrats or for the repugicans.
Not just accurate results, but “very” accurate results.
How’d that work out for you?
It’s one thing for Faux to try to sell the country a lie, that’s par for the course.  But for Romney to believed it?  As we posted nearly two months ago, the skills that made Romney a good CEO do not necessarily make him a good president, or a good presidential candidate.  But we took took the argument one step further and wrote that it’s a myth that Romney’s even a good CEO.
Here’s a snippet from our earlier piece:
The idea that Mitt Romney is a “good manager” has now been proven false. The ongoing disaster that is his presidential campaign proves that Romney isn’t Mr. Fix-it, he’s Mr. Broke-it…
Remember when Romney botched the religious right furor over his foreign policy spokesman being gay?  It was clear that Romney mishandled the situation, but no one realized at the time that Romney’s poor management skills weren’t a gaffe, they’re a feature.
Look at his foreign trip. His big chance to prove himself on the world stage. What did Romney do? He offended the British, insulted both the Israelis and the Palestinians, and then desecrated a Polish holy site for good measure. By the time his trip was finished, all three countries were ready for Romney to self-deport asap.
Then there’s the repugican convention, which Romney was in charge of. In addition to being incredibly boring, on Romney’s big night they let Clint Eastwood go on stage, unscripted, and wing it for 20 minutes. I don’t care how good an actor he is, no one gets on that stage without a pre-approved script. Who would permit such a thing on Romney’s big night?
Mitt Romney isn’t a bad presidential candidate because he’s a good CEO.  Maybe he’s a bad candidate because he’s a bad CEO.
Remember when, during the second presidential debate, Romney was asked what happens if the numbers for his $5 trillion tax cut for the rich don’t add up?
CROWLEY: If somehow when you get in there, there isn’t enough tax revenue coming in. If somehow the numbers don’t add up, would you be willing to look again at a 20 percent…
Do you remember how an indignant Romney responded?
ROMNEY: Well of course they add up. I — I was — I was someone who ran businesses for 25 years, and balanced the budget. I ran the Olympics and balanced the budget. I ran the — the state of Massachusetts as a governor, to the extent any governor does, and balanced the budget all four years.
And you were someone who believed the skewed truth coming from Faux News and the skewed polls from your own pollster, and now, as a result, will never be President of the United States.  That alone should disqualify you from being President.  And it did.

“Another four years of this n—–, maybe he will get assassinated this term..!!”

After posting the above on Facebook, a California woman doesn’t understand why the Secret Service got involved.  The blacked out part is the n-word.
She also lost her job as a result.
The interview she did with the local news is priceless.  From the ModBee:
She told  reporters: “I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal. … The assassination part is kind of harsh. I’m not saying like I would go do that or anything like that, by any means, but if it was to happen, I don’t think I’d care one bit.”
She added that she does in fact think the President is a n—–, but she doesn’t think that’s racist.
The ModBee reports that she lost her job as a result of this.  This case reminds me of the anti-gay bigots who lose their jobs after professing their hate.  Should people lose their jobs for being bigots?  Is bigotry, though vile, protected political speech?  Does it matter what kind of job you’re in – one that deals with the public, say, or one in which you work with children, maybe a teacher?
While it’s of course tempting to say “fire her,” it’s an interesting question as to what constitutes a firing offense when they’re comments made off-the-job about something not related to your work.  Just curious what you all think – feel free to weigh in in the comments. But first, watch the video - you’ll need to go the site to see it.

Allergic to Meat: Tiny Tick May Be Spreading Vegetarianism

A tiny tick might be to blame for a rash of meat allergies in central and southern regions of the U.S. A bite from the lone star tick, so-called for the white spot on its back, looks innocent enough.

Strange, Meat-Eating Sea Sponge Found in Deep Ocean

The meat-eating species was dubbed the "harp sponge," so-called because its structure resembles a harp or lyre turned on its side.

Attenborough's Ark

If you can save ten animals from extinction, which animals would you pick? Sir David Attenborough shows us his pick in his new TV series Attenborough's Ark [warning: auto-starting video]. The BBC has the slideshow of the ten animals he'd save, including this one above:
Another strange species highlighted by Sir David is the rare Hispaniola solenodon that has existed since prehistoric times but now only survives in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The unusual nocturnal animal has a venomous bite and an incredibly mobile nose thanks to a ball and socket joint.
A mobile nose? That's so fantastic! More

Cats and Bear Dogs

Fantastic Four The Thing
Meet the Bear Dog. Bear dogs, extinct by about 9 million years, have the body of a bear but the mouth of a dog. These fascinating animals did something that even modern domesticated dogs don't do (usually) - they got along with cats.
Led by the University of Michigan and the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales in Madrid, a team of paleontologists has analyzed the tooth enamel of two species of saber-toothed cats and a bear dog unearthed in geological pits near Madrid.
The researchers found that the cat species—a leopard-sized Promegantereon ogygia and a much larger, lion-sized Machairodus aphanistus—lived together in a woodland area. They likely hunted the same prey—horses and wild boar. In this habitat, the small saber-toothed cats could have used tree cover to avoid encountering the larger ones. The bear dog hunted antelope in a more open area that overlapped the cats' territory, but was slightly separated.
"These three animals were sympatric—they inhabited the same geographic area at the same time. What they did to coexist was to avoid each other and partition the resources," said Soledad Domingo, a postdoctoral fellow at the U-M Museum of Paleontology and the first author of a paper on the findings published in the Nov. 7 edition of Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
You can read more about their findings here.

Animal Pictures


The King