June 24, 2016
Elizabeth II, God bless her, has been Queen of England (and Scotland and Canada and Australia and Wales and not the United States) my whole life. She just turned 90 and I know no one lives forever, though her line lives remarkably long. The Queen Mother lived to be 102.
Yesterday the voters of the UK decided there should continue to be a UK for Elizabeth to be Queen of. A superb decision, for a lot of reasons, and so in honor of this tremendous achievement today's search term is "Union Jack".
(Full size version) On June 23, 2016, Brits looked at the gold-plated chains offered them by the EU and by their own leaders, turned their backs, and marched away.more...
June 23, 2016
It's not my country and it really isn't my business, but I have to confess that I hope "leave" wins, mostly for shadenfreude.
But it won't make any difference. Even if "leave" gets a huge victory, this vote is non-binding. If the UK is to leave the EU, Parliament would have to pass a bill. And they won't.
There have been many elections in various parts of Europe about the EU over the last 25 years or so, and they have never made any difference. If the voters give the wrong answer, either the government ignores them or it schedules a new vote, to give the voters a chance to correct their error. It's a slow-motion non-violent political coup pitting Europe's snobs against their slobs. The snobs know the answers (or think they do) and they're not going to let the slobs stand in the way. And so it is, here.
Even if "leave" wins big, this Parliament won't even debate such a bill, let alone pass it. The snobs have already decided that European unity is too wonderful an idea to let a bunch of slobs stop it. The only political effect will be to strengthen the UKIP, and the only way Parliament will consider leaving the EU is if UKIP is in majority. Even in the best of scenarios it would take years to reach this point.
So from the American Schadenfreude point of view, the only amusing aspect of this if "leave" wins will be to watch Cameron explain why the vote didn't actually matter, and why he and his party are justified in ignoring it.
I'm watching the vote count on the BBC, and right now "leave" has a slight edge. But it's only about 1 million votes total so far and that's maybe 2% of the ultimate total. As the wise man once said, it ain't over until it's over. And apparently that won't be until late this evening my time (i.e. morning in the UK).
As you might imagine, over at Metafilter the consensus is that "stay" should win, so another source of schadefreude is reading all the moaning as "leave" continues to lead. And, of course, anyone who votes to "leave" is a drooling racist. It's obvious, isn't it?
UPDATE: At the Guardian, this interesting comment from Andrew Sparrow:
You can always tell who is losing on an election night - it's the side where they start blaming each other. Earlier, when it looked good for remain, we saw Vote Leave have a go at Nigel Farage.
But now the recriminations are breaking out on the remain side, where Labour is blaming the government.
UPDATE: About 2 million votes counted now, and "leave" has about a 150,000 vote lead. This could get interesting. But the fat lady isn't warming up yet.
UPDATE: Now "leave" has a 175K vote lead. This is getting more awesome by the minute.
UPDATE: Well, lots of votes from the London area came in, and now "remain" has a 115K lead. But the fat lady isn't warming up yet; this is still only about 10% of the vote counted. And London isn't representative of the whole country.
UPDATE: And now the "remain" lead is down to 32K. I gotta stop doing this.
UPDATE: And now "leave" is back up to an 18K lead. Yeah!
UPDATE: "Leave" is almost 300K ahead now and has been pulling away for the last hour.
This guy says "remain" has no chance of winning, as in zero. He's using some sort of predictive model.
UPDATE: "Leave" has a 420K vote lead now and more than half the votes have been counted. I think I heard the fat lady starting to warm up.
UPDATE: I've been sitting here all evening with a big grin on my face. Some of that comes from reading the Metafilter thread. Lots of moaning, groaning, and gnashing of teeth going on there.
"Leave" now has a 600K lead and it's hard to see how anything can put "stay" back into the lead.
UPDATE: AND the fat lady just started her solo. The BBC just called it for "leave" and so did CNN International. "leave" is more than 800K ahead with about three quarters of the votes counted.
Meanwhile, financial markets all over the world are going nuts. The Pound has dropped like a stone relative to other currencies. The Dow is reported to be down several hundred points.
I think most of that economic gyration is idiocy and it'll all damp out in a few business days, but in the mean time the headlines in the WSJ are going to be interesting.
I wonder if you can sell schadenfreude futures?
UPDATE: All the cars are off the track, and here's the final result:
Leave: 17,410,742 votes, 51.9%
Remain: 16,141,241 votes, 48.1%
Difference is 1,269,501.
June 22, 2016
Added 256 grabs from Bakuon!!
Total is now 7339.
Let's get something clear from the get-go: I don't think the mangaka is trying to hide a serious story here. It's an ecchi comedy and that isn't going to change. But I do think there's a lot of story background here he's only revealing slowly. It's the skeleton onto which he's hanging a lot of good jokes and it's going to stay that way.
Nonetheless, I think it's there. And in particular I think there's something pretty interesting about Lime sempai. She's always been strange and mysterious, and I don't think that's random or haphazard. The mangaka knows the truth about her, and all the things that happen relating to her are consistent and driven by his unrevealed back story about her.
This is a monstrous spoiler about the whole series so it all goes below the fold.more...
So 5 episodes done and 144 candidates so far. I've been noticing that a lot of scenes in this show, taken out of context, are extremely confusing. Like that one; if you have seen the show you'll know why a crane is lifting a Ducati with a side car.
Now that I understand what's going on with Lime,
UPDATE: And done! 259 candidates!
June 21, 2016
June 20, 2016
Somebody named Dylan Matthews is either the troll to end all trolls or else he suffers from a case of cluelessness that sets all new records.
Matthews has a bright idea: Obama should use a presidential decree to stop all gun sales, immediately.
His idea faces a couple of big hurdles. First, the Bill of Rights. (That part's easy; you just declare it obsolete and ignore it.) And Article II of the Constitution. (That's obsolete, too, so you ignore that as well.)
Second, there are already more than 300 million guns in private hands in this country, legally. Stopping new sales immediately wouldn't achieve the goal Matthews thinks he's solving.
And seizing all of them, without "due process" (which, recently, has been another thing lefties find really annoying because it keeps getting in the way of them implementing their program)... anyway, just finding them all would be tough. Once you know where they are, seizing them will use up a lot of police officers. Like hundreds of thousands of brave men taken to graveyards.
Actually, coming up with that many men willing to sacrifice their lives for the Progressive Agenda is a serious problem as well, considering the way Progressives generally treat brave men. Maybe we can get women to do it.
Some lefties have come up with a clever argument: The AR-15 didn't exist when the Bill of Rights was written and ratified, and therefore the Second Amendment doesn't protect them. Nor, in fact, does it protect any kind of firearm except muzzle-loaded black powder rifled muskets.
To which someone else pointed out that offset printing didn't exist then, either, and therefore by the same logic the only "freedom of the press" that should be protected by the First Amendment would be hand-set printing using movable type and screw-presses. On hand-made rag paper, to boot.
The left has always been more than a bit loony in this country but it seems like it's gotten a whole lot worse in the last couple of years. And I can't really think of anything that could happen now that would bring them back to their senses (which assumes that they were ever to their senses, which may be dubious).
I honestly think that if Iran nuked NYC, the progressives would figure out a reason why it was really the fault of Republicans and Gun Owners, and therefore the entire Bill of Rights should suspended and every Republican and every Gun Owner should be rounded up and confined.
For their own good.
It's been a good run, but I'm beginning to wonder whether this country can continue as a Republic for much longer.
UPDATE: Metafilter never lets me down.
I'd like every gun in America to disappear and/or be outlawed. I realize that there are no doubt many non-profits out there who work in this space. Which is the non-profit organization that is most productive/most active/most efficient/most likely to get closest to getting guns outlawed?
If the other side is this stupid, maybe there's hope.
I've been sitting here for fifteen minutes trying to decide how I should write this up and have come to the conclusion that I shouldn't. It's the last episode of the anime, and they constructed it out of chapters 39 and 44 of the manga.
I was hoping for another onsen episode, perv that I am, but they were right. Chapter 44 was an outstanding choice for ending the series.
It's common in comedy series for them to try to find a touching story to end it, and to temporarily turn off the comedy tap, and usually it doesn't work. It did work this time. The final story made Hane cry, and it gave me tears, too.And then Lime appeared.
This is a huge spoiler. DON'T READ IT UNTIL AFTER YOU'VE WATCHED THE EPISODE!
And then we got a happy ending.
It was an excellent way to end the series. If you have fallen for the girls in this series, you'll love this episode! The second part won't make you laugh but it will make you smile.
June 19, 2016
Even though I enjoyed watching it during the original broadcast I couldn't really let myself go because I was certain that Kyoani was setting us up for a particularly dreadful Gainax ending.
Well, it turned out I was wrong. The ending is a good one, and it turns out that this series is one I like rewatching, at least parts of.more...
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