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Thursday Open Thread

Geoffrey Chaucer by Thomas Hoccleve

Geoffrey Chaucer by Thomas Hoccleve

On this date in 1397 Geoffrey Chaucer first tells the Canterbury Tales in the court of King Richard II.

In Class With Floyd — Judicial Appointments

Tonight in my Judicial Process course we will be discussing, among other things… the politics of judicial appointments… A little of this:
And this:

And this:

And this for judicial elections…

Isn’t This Baby Trafficking?

I wonder how much it cost to free this kid? From KLKN-TV

A 3-year-old Lincoln boy disappeared Monday night and where he was found is pretty amazing.

After his mother called 911, the toddler was located across the street from their apartment at Madsen’s Bowling Alley and Billiards, inside the businesses, get this, claw machine.

Madsen’s Bartender, Rachell Hildreth saw the whole thing, “I really don’t think he noticed any of us outside the machine because he was just picking up stuffed animals and putting them down where they come out of.”

There’s only one way the boy could have gotten into the machine, through the prize hole. Luckily there’s a different way to get out.

“You have to weave your way in and out so he had to work pretty hard to get in there,” explains Lakey, “I had heard about this happening in other parts of the country, it’s kind of a rarity.”

The boy was uninjured, happily playing with the stuffed toys inside.

Police say no citations were issued to the mother because she acted quickly and appropriately, upon learning that her son was missing.

The youngster did walk away with a new plush toy and gave folks a story to tell for years to come.

“That’s definitely a first for Madsen’s,” says Hildreth.

Funny story — thank God, in all seriousness, the kid is all right.

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John Hiatt. I don’t know who they think they are…

From the Trailer Park: X-Men - Days of Future Past

I would like to thank Bryan Singer for using this trailer to confirm his vision for “Days of Future Past” shares little more than a name with the two issues of “The Uncanny X-Men” which inspired this movie. I can now go into the theatre next month and expect to be entertained as much as I have with all the prior X-Movies. Yes, even the third, Brett Ratner-directed one.

Wednesday Open Thread


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Pink Floyd. Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash…

European Kleptocracy

Everyone’s favorite British Member of European Parliament, Daniel Hannan is at it again… tilting against his favorite windmill. From the Daily Mail UK:

Viewed from Brussels, the Westminster expenses crisis looks Lilliputian. Call that a scandal? Bath plugs and massage chairs, patio heaters and lightbulbs? How paltry. How quaint.

Viewed from Brussels, the Westminster expenses crisis looks Lilliputian. Call that a scandal? Bath plugs and massage chairs, patio heaters and lightbulbs? How paltry. How quaint. How very British. Last week, I tried to explain to a French MEP why there was so much anger in Britain about MPs’ extravagant claims, but he simply couldn’t grasp the argument.

‘Bien. So the money is to furnish a house, and your MPs spend it on furniture. Et alors?’

You can see his point. Across much of the Continent, ‘scandal’ means briefcases full of banknotes, mafia links and, preferably, an assassination or two. The idea of resigning over a gardening bill strikes most Euro-MPs as downright Pooterish.

If you think I’m exaggerating, let me take you back to my first day as an MEP ten years ago. I’d located my office (complete with shower and bed), identified where the debating chamber was (it is used just 12 days a year) and found my way to the travel bureau. I duly presented my ticket and a brick of notes was pressed into my hand.

‘Hang on, you’ve made a mistake,’ I said. ‘I’ve only come from London.’

‘No, monsieur, no mistake,’ said the pretty official. ‘That is the standard rate of kilometrage.’

I stared at her stupidly. ‘But it can’t be. I mean, no one can spend that much travelling from London to Brussels.’

‘That’s right, monsieur, it’s the maximum theoretical fare, plus an additional sum. It doesn’t depend on how you make the journey.’

‘What, you mean I could fly Ryanair and I’d get the same amount?’

She smiled brightly: ‘Mais oui.’

In Brussels, expenses are not reimbursed on the basis of receipts. They are dished out as lump sum allowances, no questions asked.

More at the link. Hannan is on a roll. No one harangues better than him. There’s even some reform underway, but it seems clear that the EU and the UK are ill suited for one another.

Tax Man Max

The brainwashing begins early…

From the Trailer Park — God’s Pocket

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christina Hendricks(!), John Turturro and Richard Jenkins