It's not insanity, it's hormones

The Daily 202: Backlash brews against erasing Woodrow Wilson’s name from Princeton - The Washington Post

"MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, a former GOP congressman from Florida, tweeted that the push to remove Wilson’s name is 'insanity.'"

At Berkeley, in the mid-60’s, students protested as part of a Free Speech Movement (sounds sort of contrary now, huh?). In ’66 they protested against the draft and in ’67, napalm.  

Civil rights protests were a standard feature of student life in the 60’s and 70’s.

At about the same time, in China,students calling themselves the “Red Guard” campaigned against "intellectual elitism" and "bourgeois” tendencies. destroyed “old” books and art, ransacked museums, knocked down statures and demanded re-education of their parents and teachers.

German university students merrily burned offending books in the late 1930’s. 

In 1766, Harvard students demonstrated against bad butter ("Behold, our butter stinketh!”) In 1229, students at the University of Paris struck for two years over issues of town and gown (you’ve gotta admire their persistence). 

Some of the protests led to good and worthy reforms, some not so much.

Adults in every case were suitably outraged, which is, after all, the point.

Time, as they used to say in those old movie newsreels—some of which undoubtedly documented students protesting—marches on. 

When they say, "Thanksgiving for the stars"…

Scientists just caught a black hole swallowing a star — and burping a bit back out - The Washington Post

"You can basically think of it as a hot plasma burp."

So…wait…you're saying…

A decade in, DHS program to detect bio-threats may not be able to detect bio-threats, auditors say - The Washington Post

"The report illustrates the difficulties the government has faced since Sept. 11 in developing a reliable and easy way to detect deadly pathogens, even though the bio-defense research industry has spent billions of dollars on the effort."

Oh. Billions of dollars. I get it now.

Da Bears

Easing the general gloom around here about Chicago football fortunes, da Bears beat the Packers last night in the rain, in Green Bay. Or, perhaps, this is some alternate universe.

Either way, I'm likely to be happy for a week, at least.


Wait, what?

State Department: Iran Deal Not 'Legally Binding' and Iran Didn't Sign It | National Review Online

"'The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document,' wrote Julia Frifield, the State Department assistant secretary for legislative affairs, in the November 19 letter."

Buckeyes are nuts

Ohio woman fined for damaging county office with glitter, 'silly string' - Yahoo News

"At her trial, jurors heard evidence that Lockhart dumped glitter, silly string and unknown powder across the employee’s desk, damaging a computer and other equipment, said James Pollack, spokesman for the Summit County prosecutor’s office. Silly string is a toy where soft plastic is propelled from a tube."

I didn't do it, judge—I was high on meth when I confessed

‘Child-porn-peddling’ dentist blames meth for confession | New York Post

"The Chelsea dentist who allegedly bragged about engaging in bestiality and intentionally spreading HIV to gay lovers by poking holes in condoms claims he lied about it all to an FBI informant because he was high on meth."


Could have made it an even 70, right?

Gas is low, terrorism fears high at onset of Thanksgiving travel | New York Post

"Airfares have increased just 69 cents on average since last year, according to the Airlines Reporting Corp…"

Are there no Lions any more?

I thought the Lions always played football on Thanksgiving day. But nooooo. Tomorrow it’s the Bears and the Packers.

That’ll be depressing.

I might need extra pie.

Four percent

Chance the Bears will make the playoffs this year. Sounds about right.

The Bengals, however, have a 99 percent chance, and the Seahawks 50. See what could change the odds…

N.F.L. Playoff Simulator - The New York Times


Home sweet Miami

Pumpkin Pie in Miami: Thanksgiving Flight Patterns - The New York Times

"Thanksgiving is known as a time to return home to family, with the holiday calling to mind images of grandmother’s house. But for many Americans, it’s also now a chance to go on vacation."

Looks like the whole city of Boston is moving to Miami for the weekend; likewise DC and, curiously, Atlanta. Well, Atlanta’s a big air hub so maybe that’s why it looks that way.

Some really cool graphics in this story of Thanksgiving travel plans.

Good news from the marketing department

U.S. working to keep up with surging weapons demand: Pentagon | Reuters

"The U.S. government is working hard to ensure quicker processing of U.S. foreign arms sales, which surged 36 percent to $46.6 billion in fiscal 2015 and look set to remain strong in coming years, a top Pentagon official said."

Still, not everybody’s happy…

"U.S. companies and some foreign countries have expressed growing frustration in recent months about delays in arms sales approvals. They argue that the U.S. government has not expanded its capacity to process arms deals despite a big spike in such transactions.

Jeff Kohler, Boeing Co's (BA.N) vice president for international business development, said earlier this month he and his Gulf customers were 'a little frustrated' with delays in getting U.S. approvals for fighter jet sales."

And we’re not talking Gulf of Mexico here, IYKWIM.


"Americans hate Washington and Washington hates Ted Cruz"

No kidding. I just heard a woman on some CNN interview show say that by way of endorsing Cruz for president.

He's our man! Everybody hates him!

"We need an outsider, but we need an outsider with insider experience," she said.

Who can argue with that?

Teddy signs Thanksgiving Proclamation act, 1902

Library of Congress

Well that's settled then

Is Donald Trump ‘Qualified’ To Be Commander-in-Chief? Ronald Reagan Was. | The Daily Caller


Me, I'm staying indoors and that's final

Hunter crushed to death when his campfire breaks overhanging boulder | New York Post


Now it all begins to make sense

Einstein’s General Relativity at 100: Put that in your pipe and smoke it - The Washington Post

"After about the fourth or fifth time Einstein fills the pipe as he ponders the structure of space and time, the viewer will naturally wonder: What exactly is IN that pipe?"

But the question is, would one

Fox News poll: Six Republicans would beat Hillary Clinton | TheHill


And who says coal is a dying industry?

Electric cars and the coal that runs them - The Washington Post

"The global shift to electric cars has a clear climate benefit in regions that get most of their power from clean sources, such as California or Norway. But in areas supplied by dirtier power, like China, India and even the Netherlands, which is on track to miss ambitious emissions targets set for 2020, the electric-car jump has slimmer payoffs."

And NATO too

Turkey downs Russian military aircraft near Syria’s border - The Washington Post

"He called the Turkish response a “stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorists” — an apparent reference to Turkish-supported rebel forces fighting Assad."

Moderate? Really?

1-minute hike: Ship Harbor Nature Trail in Acadia National Park | Act Out with Aislinn

"Difficulty: Easy to moderate."

OK, it’s 1.3 miles so it probably takes more than a minute. But still.


Yo, here's the Superman I grew up with

A 1950s Superman Poster Says What We All Need To Hear About American Values Right Now

Thanks, SGIS

The end of civilization at last

College Students Say Remembering 9/11 Is Offensive to Muslims - The Daily Beast

"'The passing of this resolution might make a space that is unsafe for students on campus even more unsafe,' said Algadi. 'Islamophobia and racism fueled through that are alive and well.'"

Big Pharma gets BIGGER

Pfizer and Allergan to Make It Official in $160 Billion Deal | Vanity Fair

"Pfizer and Allergan’s announced merger is kind of like the Brangelina of business news. The two drug companies, together responsible for brining [sic] Viagra, Botox, and Lyrica to the masses, have agreed to combine to form a record $160 billion pharmaceutical behemoth. "

Today in Triumphs of the First World

Internet cats unite for Brussels lockdown


Shoulda stuck to salad

Mississippi teacher allowed back in classroom after cucumber-condom controversy.

Hey, here’s a recipe. Chop it up into little pieces (the cucumber), add some carrot shavings, pour neon-green Jello all over it and make a mold! Have yourselves an authentic 50’s midwestern Thanksgiving. Yum!

Being a New Yorker

New York Today: Queasy Rider - The New York Times

"One recent study found 15,152 types of microorganisms in the city’s subway system.…

But take heart, germaphobes. Frequent riders may build up immunity over time.

And if a sick passenger ever delays your commute to work, the M.T.A. will issue you a late note."


California Sen. Dianne Feinstein should know better

McCaul: 'Strong indicators' Paris attackers used encryption - POLITICO

"California Sen. Dianne Feinstein said encryption is the Internet’s 'Achilles’ heel' and brushed aside concerns that Americans’ sensitive information and financial data could be put at risk.

"'I think with a court order, with good justification, all of that can be prevented,' Feinstein said."

Legislating government access to encryption is a suicidally stupid idea. And unnecessary. 

BTW I seriously doubt there is even one person currently campaigning for president (and this includes you, Carly) who has even the slightest idea about how encryption technology works or why it’s so important. Alas.

You betcha

Some funny stuff

See How Obama Is Depicted in Africa’s Political Cartoons | TIME


'Sno joke

Wisconsin cheerleaders forced to flee after snowball blitz - NY Daily News

"'Wisconsin cheerleaders getting pegged with snowballs by their own fans,' wrote Wisconsin TV reporter Elise Menaker. 'Cheerleaders had to go in the tunnel and hideout. #notcool.'"

Iowa had snow too, some nine inches, and Columbus, Ohio had sleet and really bad karma.

The Donald is really on a roll (and still ahead in the polls)

Trump: Bring Back Waterboarding To Fight ISIS [VIDEO] | The Daily Caller

"We have to be strong. You know, they don’t use waterboarding over there. They use chopping off people’s heads.…"

Yes, it's scary…

America has never actually welcomed the world’s huddled masses - The Washington Post

"By the middle of this past week, more than half the country’s governors had declared that their states wouldn’t accept any resettled Syrians."

…to think something like what happened in Paris last week could happen in an American city. But terrorism is about terrifying people: If you’re terrified, it worked. 

And if you’re paying any attention at all to what goes on in the world you ought to know that living in New York after Paris—to say nothing of living in, say, Indianapolis—is a lot less scary than driving on I-95.

Let’s get it together here.

"Sixty years ago, Eisenhower reminded the nation that the United States must accept its “full share” in assisting victims of oppression. That remains true. Denying vulnerable populations — and populations we made vulnerable — the chance to make a case for refuge goes against everything our country claims to stand for. If fear paralyzes our movements, dictates our policies and erases a proud humanitarian tradition, then those who wish us harm will celebrate indeed."


It ain't brain surgery

Who had the worst week in Washington? Ben Carson. - The Washington Post

"Congrats, or something."

Seriously. Bad. News.

Why college student protesters are battling free speech, in 1 graph - The Washington Post

"Millennials were actually about as likely to endorse some censorship at rates greater than countries that have no 1st Amendment or its equivalent."

Need a little time by yourself?

You could go climb a mountain somewhere…or just hop a flight to Las Angeles.

Celebrities Will Evade Fans and Photographers at Los Angeles Airport Lounge - The New York Times

"For a fee that will most likely run to about $1,800 per trip, a movie star, sports legend, diplomat, business magnate or regular private citizen who craves privacy will be able to enter through a private gate, avoid the infamous airport traffic, and wait far from the crush of people at the central terminal of the airport, which is known as LAX. "