Sunday, April 26, 2015

Nepal's Seismic Time Bomb

At LAT, "Katmandu's poorly constructed buildings worsen quake outcome":
An exploding urban population that led to taller and often poorly constructed buildings, along with an unusually hazardous combination of geological conditions, had for years prompted warnings from scientists that the Katmandu Valley of Nepal was a seismic time bomb waiting to go off.

Saturday morning, it did.

The magnitude 7.8 earthquake and a magnitude 6.6 aftershock toppled buildings, set off a destructive avalanche on Mt. Everest and killed at least 1,805 people Saturday afternoon. That number is projected to rise as high as 10,000.

Brian Tucker, president of GeoHazards International, a California-based nonprofit that works with vulnerable communities to reduce the risks of natural disasters, spent much of the 1990s in Nepal. He was assessing what would happen if there was a reoccurrence of the magnitude 8.2 earthquake that struck the area in 1934 and left more than 10,000 dead in the Katmandu Valley. The analysis projected 40,000 deaths if a similar temblor occurred.

Others who have studied quake risks in the area more recently predicted a death toll of 100,000 or more from a large earthquake, including Roger Bilham, a professor of geology at the University of Colorado who studies Himalayan seismic activity. Just days ago, Bilham spoke to seismologists gathered in Pasadena about the risks of a major quake elsewhere in the Himalayan range. Bilham said the area west of Katmandu has been overdue for a temblor of around magnitude 8.

"Unfortunately, now it's happened, and it's a tragedy beyond belief," he said.

The area has a history of frequent seismic activity, although events as large as the one that occurred Saturday happen about once every 80 years, said Ole Kaven, a research geophysicist with U.S. Geological Survey.

Unlike the earthquakes that typically strike California, with two plates sliding past each other horizontally, the earthquake in Nepal was caused by a thrust fault, in which two plates collide. The fault also is shallow, meaning that the shaking occurs near the surface, rather than deep in the earth.

U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones said faults like the one that caused this earthquake are most often found under water and can produce devastating tsunamis. But the Himalayan region is different.

"This is the one place where we have a lot of people living on top of a megathrust," she said...

Also at WSJ, "How the Nepal Earthquake Happened."

Mad Max: Fury Road (Official Trailer)

Thinking back, "The Road Warrior" is my favorite of the Mel Gibson-era "Mad Max" franchise. It's so cool!

I suspect Gibson's a little out of shape for these post-apocalyptic workouts, so I'm looking forward to the new iteration.

Baltimore Erupts Into Violence, Chaos as #BlackLivesMatter Riots Rage

I love that headline, via Big Government, "BALTIMORE, Maryland — Racial protests supposed to be peaceful quickly turned into violent riots on Saturday evening, closing down the city of Baltimore for some time—and creating a panic for thousands of people as just 50 miles away elites in Washington partied with President Barack Obama at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner."

Shock Video: Wheelchair-Bound Woman Under Attack During Baltimore Riot!

God, it's like Road Warrior out there!

You are on your own mofos!

A shocking video of Saturday’s violent riots in Baltimore, Maryland show an individual shielding a handicapped woman caught in the sights of a mob throwing bottles, trash cans, and other objects at random bar patrons.
Watch at the link.

Shocking leftist depravity!

Baltimore Riot Wheelchair-Bound Woman photo baltimore-bullpen-wheelchair-woman-640x640_zpsh7sbeoqm.jpg

Obama's Racial Healing in Baltimore

On Twitter this morning:

And on Twitter November 2014:

Free at last.

The End of Reform in China

Here's a great piece from the May/June issue of Foreign Affairs, from Youwei, "Authoritarian Adaptation Hits a Wall":

Xi Jinping photo Xi_Jinping_in_USA_zpsjt1jnbvq.jpg
Speech is censored, in the press and on the Internet, to prevent the publication of anything deemed “troublesome.” Actions are watched even more closely. Even seemingly nonpolitical actions can be considered dangerous; in 2014, Xu Zhiyong, a legal activist who had led a campaign for equal educational opportunities for the children of rural migrants, was sentenced to four years in prison for “disturbing public order.” Public gatherings are restricted, and even private gatherings can be problematic. In May 2014, several scholars and lawyers were detained after attending a memorial meeting for the 1989 movement in a private home. Even the signing of petitions can bring retribution.

Just as important is the emerging mass line—that is, official public guidance—about China’s critical need to maintain stability. A grid of security management has been put in place across the entire country, including extensive security bureaucracies and an extra-bureaucratic network of patrol forces, traffic assistants, and population monitors. Hundreds of thousands of “security volunteers,” or “security informants,” have been recruited among taxi drivers, sanitation workers, parking-lot attendants, and street peddlers to report on “suspicious people or activity.” One Beijing neighborhood reportedly boasts 2,400 “building unit leaders” who can note any irregularity in minutes, with the going rate for pieces of information set at two yuan (about 30 cents). This system tracks criminal and terrorist threats along with political troublemakers, but dissenters are certainly among its prime targets.

In today’s China, Big Brother is everywhere. The domestic security net is as strong yet as delicate as a spider web, as omnipresent yet as shapeless as water. People smart enough to avoid politics entirely will not even feel it. Should they cross the line, however, the authorities of this shadow world would snap into action quickly. Official overreaction is a virtue, not a vice: “chopping a chicken using the blade for a cow,” as the saying goes, is fully approved, the better to prevent trouble from getting out of hand.

This system is good at maintaining order. But it has reduced the chances of any mature civil society developing in contemporary China, let alone a political one. And so even as grievances proliferate, the balance of power between the state and society leans overwhelmingly toward the former. Social movements, like plants, need space in which to grow. And when such space does not exist, both movements and plants wither.


Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Vile Leftist Rania Khalek: Did Israel Learn from #NepalEarthquake 'how to kill better'?

Never a dull moment with the Israel-hating left.

And notice how there's never any pushback from Democrats and progressives. These poeple, Khalek and her disgusting pal Max Blumenthal, are the voice of the party.

At Twitchy, "‘Vile slander’: Rania Khalek wonders if Israel is helping Nepal to ‘learn from the earthquake how to kill better’."

Nepal Warns Earthquake Death Toll Could Reach 10,000 — #NepalEarthquake

At London's Daily Mail, "Faces of the missing: Nepalese officials warn death toll of devastating quake could hit 10,000 as scores of American families are among the thousands searching for those still unaccounted for."

Plus, huge coverage at the Los Angeles Times, "Massive quake hits Nepal."

Caroline Heldman reports that her mountain climbing sister has been found safe:

Thank God.

Sunday Cartoons

At Flopping Aces, "Sunday Funnies."

Branco Cartoon photo Obama-E-Day-600-LI_zpsjkl645rr.jpg

Also at Lonely Con, "Saturday Funnies," and Theo Spark, "Cartoon Round Up..."

And see Reaganite Republican, "Reaganite's SUNDAY FUNNIES."

Cartoon Credit: Legal Insurrection, "Branco Cartoon – Flying Squirrel."

Josephine Skriver

It's the powerhouse Danish fashion model, at Egotastic!, "Josephine Skriver Topless Covered and Thumper Squeezing Goodness in Thongs for Victoria’s Secret."

BONUS: "Josephine Skriver Topless Black and White Shoot in Lui Magazine December."

#FreddieGray Protesters Steal Reporter's Handbag Live on Camera

At London's Daily Mail.

And watch: "USA: Ruptly producer robbed at Baltimore protest."

The idiot thug ran straight into the arms of the police, heh.

Britain is Experiencing Same Decline as Rome in 100 BC

At the Telegraph UK, "Dr Jim Penman believes Britons no longer have the genetic temperament that sparked the Industrial Revolution":

Britain is experiencing the same decline as Rome in 100BC, with the collapse of civilisation inevitable, a scientist has warned.

Dr Jim Penman, of the RMIT University in Melbourne, believes Britons no longer have the genetic temperament to advance because of decades of peace and a high standard of living.

He claims that the huge success of the Victorian era will not be repeated because people in the UK have lost the biological drive for innovation.

Instead, Britain is existing in a period similar to the decades before the fall of the Roman Republic where social tensions were rife, the gap between the rich and poor was increasing and extremism was growing.

And when added to a growing distaste for military action, which has seen huge cuts the armed forces, by the end of the century the UK will no longer have the power, or will, to protect itself against a serious invading force, he predicts.

“There are certainly parallels between 100BC in the Roman Republic where things are starting to get pretty dodgy,” he said.
“It was a time when democracy was moving towards despotism, and in Britain we now see that politics is becoming much more about individuals rather than political parties. It’s about personalities. The two party system has started to break down.

“We live in a golden age where there have been no major wars in Europe for three quarters of a century. But the economy is stagnating and we’re having fewer children.

“And once European countries can no longer defend themselves, the end of national independence cannot be long delayed.”
The U.S. can't be far behind.

RELATED: "The Complexity of American Power."

IMAGE CREDIT: Thomas Cole's "The Destruction of Empire."

Paz De La Huerta Was 'Comfortable' Filming Sex Scenes with Dianna Agron

At PuffHo, "Paz De La Huerta Dishes On Her 'Very Comfortable' Sex Scenes With Dianna Agron In 'Bare'."

Also at WSJ, "Tribeca Film Festival 2015: Dianna Agron on the ‘Eye-Opening’ Experience of ‘Bare’":

Is sexuality a big part of this movie?
I don’t think so. It’s more about the human experience and finding love for somebody – it’s not gender specific, or Sarah finding herself as a lesbian. I was in a nail salon the other day and there were these girls holding hands, arm around the other girls, joking, laughing. Just girlfriends. But there’s some cultures and places where that’s not appropriate. It just depends on what you grow up with.

Radical Homosexual Protesters Storm Stage at March for Marriage Rally in Russellville, Arkansas

I'd say it's shocking but it's become so routine it's banal.


LGBT Activists photo CDiQMlVWMAAqudC_zpsjdmasbm9.jpg

Vans Skatepark Round-Up Huntington Beach (VIDEO)

A great video out of H.B.

That's Stevie Caballero doing the long board slides in the clover pool. Hot!

Crazy Woman With a Motorcycle Holds Off Coalition of Frightened Cheetahs

I'm seeing more videos posted to Facebook than ever --- and they all seem like they're on auto-play. I couldn't stop watching this one, though. It's pretty amazing, and available on YouTube, of course.

#WHCD is a Celebration of a System of Access Journalism That Enables Democrat Lawbreaking and Treason

Actually, I changed the headline above from that seen at Mediagazer, "WHCD is a celebration of a system of access journalism that failed to detect a phony war."

I obviously don't believe the Iraq war was a "phony war," especially since the Democrats and the entire international community considered Saddam Hussein's Iraq to be a threat to international security, as demonstrated by numerous U.N. resolutions and the continuance of economic sanctions and the no-fly zone right though the decade of the 1990s, until President George W. Bush took office. But Jay Rosen's a leftist. I give him that. All he had to do is add a couple of more paragraphs to his essay and he wouldn't have been able to avoid discussing the institutional press corp's guilt in enabling the current crimes of Washington, D.C., from Benghazi to Bowe Bergdahl to Russia securing massive strategic mineral deposits on U.S. soil. The Clinton Foundation violating U.S. law by taking foreign donations while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state? We're only now seeing the beginning of the biggest political lie of the 21st century.

But then, even people like Jay Rosen can't follow their otherwise immaculate logic to the very end.

At Pressthink, "On the deep grammar of the White House Correspondents Association Dinner":
“The Washington press corps is like that big extended family with a terrible secret that cannot be confronted because everyone knows how bad it would be if the discussion ever got real.”

Have you ever come to know members of a family who collaborate in staying silent about something bad that happened in the past, something no one wants to talk about because to talk about it would probably tear the family apart?

The innocent would have to accuse the guilty. The guilty to defend themselves would find a way to spread responsibility around— or just lie about what happened. Which would then enrage people who were there because it rewrites history and erases their experience. If you have ever come to know such a family — or been part of one, as I have — then you know how participants in the conspiracy share a signaling system that can instantly warn an incautious member: you are three, four hops away from violating the pact of silence… if you don’t want to bring the whole structure down, then I suggest you change the subject… or switch to one of the harmless work-arounds we have provided for the purpose of never getting too close to the source of our dread.

None of that has to be said, of course. It’s all done by antennae. The result is that serious talk about certain subjects is off limits. Key routes into that subject are closed off, because the signaling system activates itself three or four rings out from dread center. To an outsider this manifests itself as an inexplicable weirdness or empty quality, difficult to name. To insiders it becomes: this is who we are… the people who route around—

I mention this because I think it helps in interpreting a bizarre event that unfolds tonight in Washington and on many a media platform: the White House Correspondents Association dinner. How bizarre? Well, look at the evidence of compulsion:

It’s not like they don’t realize it. This is from Politico, house organ for the insider class in DC.
Everyone knows the White House Correspondents Association dinner is broken. What started off decades ago as a stately formal celebration of the best of presidential reporting has morphed into a four-day orgy of everything people outside the Beltway hate about life inside the Beltway— now it’s not just one night of clubby backslapping, carousing and drinking between the press and the powerful, it’s four full days of signature cocktails and inside jokes that just underscore how out of step the Washington elite is with the rest of the country. It’s not us (journalists) versus them (government officials); it’s us (Washington) versus them (the rest of America)
“Everything people outside the Beltway hate about life inside the Beltway.” True! And yet they keep doing it. Why?

I’m sure you have your ideas. Here is mine. I know it will sound crazy (and provide a few chuckles) to those in the room tonight at the Washington Hilton, but I don’t care because the event is itself one gigantic neurotic symptom that begs for some interpretation...
Keep reading at the top link.

Hillary Clinton's Campaign on the Brink of Collapse

From Michael Goodwin, at the New York Post, "Hillary on the brink of collapse":

Sinking Hillary photo unnamed7_zps0nxbrayu.jpg
A passage from Ernest  Hemingway fits the moment. In “The Sun Also  Rises,” one character asks,  “How did you go bankrupt?” and another responds: “Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”

The exchange captures Hillary Clinton’s red alert. She’s been going politically bankrupt for a long time, and now faces the prospect of sudden collapse.

If she’s got a winning defense, she better be quick about it. The ghosts of scandals past are gaining on her and time is not on her side.

The compelling claims that she and Bill Clinton sold favors while she was secretary of state for tens of millions of dollars for themselves and their foundation don’t need to meet the legal standard for bribery. She’s on political trial in a country where Clinton Fatigue alone could be a fatal verdict.

After 25 years of corner-cutting and dishonest behavior, accumulation is her enemy. Each day threatens to deliver the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It may already have happened and we’re just waiting for public opinion to catch up to the facts.
Meanwhile, her Houdini skills are being tested big time.

Hillary’s one big advantage is obvious — she’s the only serious contender for the Democratic nomination, and she beats most GOP opponents in head-to-head matchups. But everything else weighs against her, including momentum.

Start with the fact that the sizzling reports of corrupt deals are coming from major news organizations that reliably tilt left. With supposed friends making the case against her, the tired Clinton defense that the ­attacks are partisan hit jobs has been demolished.

And after digging up so much dirt, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, Reuters, Bloomberg News and others are not likely to be content with stonewalling and half-truths, especially given her recent lies about missing e-mails. No wonder the Times editorial page called on her to provide “straightforward answers” to the accusations.

I don’t see how she can meet that test. The outlines of cozy relationships and key transactions are not in dispute. The only issue is whether the millions the Clintons got amount to a quid pro quo.

On the face of it, that’s certainly what they look like. There are several deals we know of, and more could emerge, that put money in the Clintons’ pockets while helping businesses, including some loathsome international figures, make a killing. It is preposterous to argue that it’s all a coincidence.

Her position was further undercut when the family foundation announced it would refile five years of tax returns. In one three-year period, it omitted tens of millions in foreign contributions, reporting “zero” to the IRS. In another two-year period, it admitted to over­reporting government grants by more than $100 million.

A foundation aide described the errors as “typographical,” which is bizarre — and par for the Clinton course. To concede the errors during the firestorm must mean keeping them quiet was an even greater liability.

Sooner rather than later, Hillary will have to meet the press — but what can she possibly say to alter the story lines?
Keep reading.

Plus, the foundation has released a statement, "A Commitment to Honesty, Transparency, and Accountability" (via Memeorandum).

Sammy Braddy's Hot New Photoshoot for Zoo Today!

She's right up there with Lucy Pinder in the magnificent rack department!

At Zoo, "Sammy Braddy is back with an incredible new strip shoot!"

Also, "Sammy Braddy's Hot, Sexy, Topless Gallery."

Transgender People Are Actually Angry at ‘Cisgender’ People Over Bruce Jenner’s Interview

It's always good to start the day with a laugh.

At Sooper Mexican, "You would think that having Bruce Jenner come out as a transgender would make them happy that he’s bringing attention and raising awareness to the transgender cause. Not these people – they think Jenner has too much “white male privilege” and they just generally hate non-transgenders. They call us “cis-genders,” and they are not happy."

Let's Be Honest About Extravagant Consumption

I've had my share of extravagant consumption, and I'm looking forward to some more of it. YOLO.

At the Guardian UK, "Cyber heirs who flaunt their wealth online could be a boon."

Of course the Guardian's agenda is to further inflame class warfare, hence the cheers for greater transparency of ostentatious wealth. And I'll bet there's more admiration for it than the lefties like to admit. Frankly, wealthy leftists wallow in ugly guilt. Get over it and be proud of what you've earned. It could certainly be worse.

Kris Jenner Tells Perez Hilton 'Fuck Off' After Bruce Jenner Interview

Now that is righteous!

Kris Jenner photo CDaFfqNUgAAK0Z6_zps4cax4nhn.png

Maybe she deleted it, but what a riot.

Here's the tweet from the flaming idiot Perez Hilton, a.k.a., Mario Armando Lavandeira, Jr.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

#FreddieGray Protesters Riot in Baltimore

At CBS News Baltimore, "Protests Take Violent Turn In Baltimore."

And at RT, "Unrest in Baltimore as thousands protest Freddie Gray’s death."

Laverne Cox Exposes Radical Feminist Exclusionism

Seriously. It's hard to keep up with this nowadays.

At Instapundit, "FIGHT THE POWER: Laverne Cox Gets Naked, Exposes Radical Feminist Exclusionism."

Hillary Clinton is All Style, No Substance

With just a smidgen of corruption.

At the Hill:

Also at WSJ, "Carly Fiorina to Launch Presidential Campaign on May 4."

The Moral Case for Capitalism

From James Otteson, at the Manhattan Institute, "An Audacious Promise: The Moral Case for Capitalism":
“The market will take care of everything,” they tell us…. But here’s the problem: it doesn’t work. It has never worked. It didn’t work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It’s not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the ’50s and ’60s. And it didn’t work when we tried it during the last decade. I mean, understand, it’s not as if we haven’t tried this theory.

—President Barack Obama, Osawatomie, Kansas, December 6, 2011
Milton Friedman once said that every time capitalism has been tried, it has succeeded; whereas every time socialism has been tried, it has failed. Yet President Obama has oddly claimed that we’ve tried free-market capitalism, and it “has never worked.” This is rather remarkable. Since 1800, the world’s population has increased sixfold; yet despite this enormous increase, real income per person has increased approximately 16-fold. That is a truly amazing achievement. In America, the increase is even more dramatic: in 1800, the total population in America was 5.3 million, life expectancy was 39, and the real gross domestic product per capita was $1,343 (in 2010 dollars); in 2011, our population was 308 million, our life expectancy was 78, and our GDP per capita was $48,800. Thus even while the population increased 58-fold, our life expectancy doubled, and our GDP per capita increased almost 36-fold. Such growth is unprecedented in the history of humankind. Considering that worldwide per-capita real income for the previous 99.9 percent of human existence averaged consistently around $1 per day, that is extraordinary.

What explains it? It would seem that it is due principally to the complex of institutions usually included under the term “capitalism,” since the main thing that changed between 200 years ago and the previous 100,000 years of human history was the introduction and embrace of so-called capitalist institutions—particularly, private property and markets. One central promise of capitalism has been that it will lead to increasing material prosperity. It seems fair to say that this promise, at least, has been fulfilled beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. Yet people remain suspicious of capitalism—and more than just suspicious: as the Occupy Wall Street movement is only the latest to have shown, we seem ready to indict capitalism for many of our social problems. Why?

A widespread consensus is that capitalism might be necessary to deliver the goods but fails to meet moral muster. By contrast, socialism, while perhaps not practical, is morally superior—if only we could live up to its ideals. Two main charges are typically marshaled against capitalism: it generates inequality by allowing some to become wealthier than others; and it threatens social solidarity by allowing individuals some priority over their communities. Other objections include: it encourages selfishness or greed; it “atomizes” individuals or “alienates” (Marx’s term) people from one another; it exploits natural resources or despoils nature; it impoverishes third-world countries; and it dehumanizes people because the continual search for profit reduces everything, including human beings, to odious dollar-and-cent calculations.

The list of charges against capitalism is long. But some of the charges are not as strong as might be supposed. Take community. Capitalism gives us incentives to trade and associate with people outside our local community, even complete strangers, not on the basis of our love or care for them but out of our own—and their—self-interest. So capitalism enables people to escape the strictures of their local communities. But is that bad? Capitalism creates opportunities for people to trade, exchange, partner, associate, collaborate, cooperate, and share with—as well as learn from—people not only from next door but from around the world—even people who speak different languages, wear different clothing, eat different foods, and worship different gods. The social characteristics that in other times and under different institutions would lead to conflict—even violent, bloody conflict—become, under capitalism, irrelevant—and thus no longer cause for discord. Capitalism encourages people to see those outside their communities not as threats but as opportunities. It gives us an incentive to look beyond our narrow parochialisms and form associations that would otherwise not be possible.

Capitalism therefore does not lead to no community but rather to differently configured ones...

Otteson has a new book, The End of Socialism.

I came across it after reading the discussion at AEI, "‘Once you begin to see humans as the interchangeable members of a class, you begin to dehumanize them’..." (Via Instapudit.)

'Pump It Up'

I'm watching Showtime's documentary, "Elvis Costello: Mystery Dance."

Obviously, I used to love Costello back in the day, but he's anti-Israel, which makes him no different than Roger Waters these days, which is a bummer.

In any case, one for the old times, "Pump It Up."

I've been on tenterhooks
ending in dirty looks,
list'ning to the Muzak,
thinking 'bout this 'n' that.
She said that's that.
I don't wanna chitter-chat.
Turn it down a little bit
or turn it down flat.
Pump it up when you don't really need it.
Pump it up until you can feel it.

Down in the pleasure centre,
hell bent or heaven sent,
listen to the propaganda,
listen to the latest slander.
There's nothing underhand
that she wouldn't understand.

Pump it up until you can feel it.
Pump it up when you don't really need it.

She's been a bad girl.
She's like a chemical.
Though you try to stop it,
she's like a narcotic.
You wanna torture her.
You wanna talk to her.
All the things you bought for her,
putting up your temp'rature.

Pump it up until you can feel it.
Pump it up when you don't really need it.

Out in the fashion show,
down in the bargain bin,
you put your passion out
under the pressure pin.
Fall into submission,
hit-and-run transmission.
No use wishing now for any other sin.

Pump it up until you can feel it.
Pump it up when you don't really need it.

Weekend Page 3 Roundup

The British lovelies, via Egotastic!, "Lacey Banghard, Kelly Hall, Lucy Collet, Rhian Sugden, Rosie Jones All Topless Holler for a Page 3 Roundup."

Johns Hopkins Psychiatrist: Transgender is 'Mental Disorder'; Sex Change 'Biologically Impossible'


Click through for the stuff on "mental disorder." I'm just trippin' on Relia's attack on Gramscian Marxism:

Antonio Gramsci photo 50_gramsci1_zpsimzuqdoz.jpg






PREVIOUSLY: "Bruce Jenner: 'I'm a Woman'."

With Collapse of Comcast-Time Warner Deal, Dodgers Fans Still Shutout

It's becoming a protest movement.

At LAT, "For Dodgers fans, the TV shutout continues":
For Dodgers fans, the long wait to see games televised again may be headed into extra innings.

An estimated 70% of Los Angeles-area households don't get the SportsNet LA channel that carries Dodgers games. That situation was expected to be corrected if Comcast Corp.'s planned $45-billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable had succeeded.

With that merger officially pronounced dead Friday, the prospects of a deal to carry the games on other cable and satellite providers were as murky as ever.

"There's no end in sight," said David Carter, executive director of the USC Marshall Sports Business Institute. "There does not appear to be an easy workaround to get this thing done."

With few exceptions, televised Dodgers games can be seen only by customers of Time Warner Cable, which agreed to pay $8.35 billion over 25 years for the rights to distribute the Dodgers-owned SportsNet LA.

Its rivals, including DirecTV and Charter Communications, have refused to pay what they say are excessive fees to carry the games. The standoff began last season and has carried over into the current one.

On Friday, Time Warner Cable chief Robert D. Marcus said he would like to resume talks with other providers.

"It takes willing parties in order to make a deal, and we haven't had much luck getting any of the major distributors to the negotiating table so that we can have productive conversations," Marcus said. "But we are ready, willing and able to have those discussions. We'd love to have the games in front of Dodger fans as soon as we can."

But any kind of resolution is still out of reach as long as pay-TV operators that also include Verizon FiOS, AT&T and Cox Communications continue to bristle at the cost of the channel. Time Warner Cable has asked other cable and satellite TV companies to pay as much as $4.90 a month per subscriber for SportsNet LA, according to industry consulting firm SNL Kagan.

Time Warner Cable and Guggenheim Baseball Management, which owns the Dodgers, overestimated consumer interest and underestimated resistance from other pay-TV operators.

If Comcast had succeeded in acquiring Time Warner Cable, it was expected to cut the price and swallow any losses — partly to curry customer goodwill, and partly because its greater financial clout and assets would have made it easier to horse-trade with DirecTV, the nation's second-largest pay-TV provider.

That could still happen if a new potential buyer, such as Charter, succeeded in acquiring Time Warner Cable...

And for the workaround, "Dodgers fans find ways around local blackout."

The Tolerant Left Responds to Bruce Jenner’s Republican Status

At Gay Patriot.

Nepal Earthquake: Hundreds Dead, Many Feared Trapped

At the BBC, "Nepal earthquake: Hundreds die, many feared trapped."

Plus, "Nepal earthquake 'felt across entire region'", and "Moment Nepal earthquake hit."

More at Memeorandum, "Nepal Earthquake Kills Hundreds and Levels Buildings in Capital."

Bruce Jenner: 'I'm a Woman'

A pretty fascinating interview, you've gotta admit.

At ABC News (via Memeorandum).

More at the Los Angeles Times, "Bruce Jenner and the shifting dynamics of TV's transgender moment."

And of course, the "Republican" controversy, at Memeorandum, "Bruce Jenner: 'I'm A Republican And A Christian'."

Jared Leto is the Joker


At USA Today, "First look: Jared Leto is crazy for Joker."

Bill Nye the 'Science Guy' Isn't a Scientist

What a damned mountebank.

At WaPo, "Bill Nye: Climate change is “not something you should be debating or denying”":

“When James Hansen testified before Congress in 1988, I said ‘Wow, that’s really something,’” Nye says. “My first kids’ book in 1993, I had a demonstration on climate change.” Several episodes of “Bill Nye the Science Guy” also covered the subject.

“It’s not something that’s really debated in the scientific community,” Nye says. “The connection between humans and climate change is about as strong, or a little stronger, than the connection between cigarettes and cancer.”

Not, of course, that Nye is actually a scientist. He trained as an engineer, and worked at Boeing in that role, before trying out his comedic skills in a Seattle Steve Martin lookalike contest — the beginnings of his comedy career. But he says his engineering background is more than sufficient to make sense of the issue.

“I’m not a full time climate scientist, but I know enough about it to know it’s not something you should be debating or denying. It’s something you should be getting-on-with-it-ing,” he says.

Somewhere along the way, Nye also became one of Obama’s favorite science voices. This week, Nye traveled along to the Everglades as the president sought to instill a newfound appreciation not only of the climate change problem, but also for our national parks system, its value to the economy and even, yes, our place-specific memories.

“If you increase the amount of carbon dioxide, the planet’s going to get warmer,” Nye says. “So the president and I sat and talked about all of this.”

The Everglades, Nye says, are “a one of a kind on the Earth’s surface.”
I guess it figures. A movement built on the cult of "scientific" consensus elevates a non-scientist to priesthood status, a man who then becomes a spiritual adviser to President Obama, himself a political hack who maintains power through a ruthless cult of personalty that marshals the media's propaganda apparatus to whip-up the ideological fears and hatred of the left's environmental "bitter clingers" who enable the Democrat downsizing of the American dream.

Bill Nye's fomenting shuttupery of the highest order. And he's a bloody fraud. Man.

Well, as Instapundit would say, "Hit back twice as hard."

No, Farmers Don't Use 80 Percent of California's Water

From Representative Devin Nunes, at National Review, "The statistic is manufactured by environmentalists to distract from the incredible damage their policies have caused":
As the San Joaquin Valley undergoes its third decade of government-induced water shortages, the media suddenly took notice of the California water crisis after Governor Jerry Brown announced statewide water restrictions. In much of the coverage, supposedly powerful farmers were blamed for contributing to the problem by using too much water.

“Agriculture consumes a staggering 80 percent of California’s developed water, even as it accounts for only 2 percent of the state’s gross domestic product,” exclaimed Daily Beast writer Mark Hertsgaard in a piece titled “How Growers Gamed California’s Drought.” That 80-percent statistic was repeated in a Sacramento Bee article titled, “California agriculture, largely spared in new water restrictions, wields huge clout,” and in an ABC News article titled “California’s Drought Plan Mostly Lays Off Agriculture, Oil Industries.” Likewise, the New York Times dutifully reported, “The [State Water Resources Control Board] signaled that it was also about to further restrict water supplies to the agriculture industry, which consumes 80 percent of the water used in the state.”

This is a textbook example of how the media perpetuates a false narrative based on a phony statistic. Farmers do not use 80 percent of California’s water. In reality, 50 percent of the water that is captured by the state’s dams, reservoirs, aqueducts, and other infrastructure is diverted for environmental causes. Farmers, in fact, use 40 percent of the water supply. Environmentalists have manufactured the 80 percent statistic by deliberately excluding environmental diversions from their calculations. Furthermore, in many years there are additional millions of acre-feet of water that are simply flushed into the ocean due to a lack of storage capacity — a situation partly explained by environmental groups’ opposition to new water-storage projects.

It’s unsurprising that environmentalists and the media want to distract attention away from the incredible damage that environmental regulations have done to California’s water supply. Although the rest of the state is now beginning to feel the pinch, these regulations sparked the San Joaquin Valley’s water crisis more than two decades ago. The Endangered Species Act spawned many of these regulations, such as rules that divert usable water to protect baby salmon and a 3-inch baitfish called the Delta smelt, as well as rules that protect the striped bass, a non-native fish that — ironically — eats both baby salmon and smelt. Other harmful regulations stem from legislation backed by environmental groups and approved by Democratic-controlled Congresses in 1992 and 2009. These rules have decimated water supplies for San Joaquin farmers and communities, resulting in zero-percent water allocations and the removal of increasing amounts of farmland from production.

One would think the catastrophic consequences of these environmental regulations would be an important part of the reporting on the water crisis. But these facts are often absent, replaced by a fixation on the 80 percent of the water supply that farmers are falsely accused of monopolizing. None of the four articles cited above even mention the problem of environmental diversions. The same holds true for a recent interview with Governor Brown on ABC’s This Week. In that discussion, host Martha Raddatz focused almost exclusively on farmers’ supposed overuse of the water supply, and she invoked the 80 percent figure twice. The governor himself, a strong proponent of environmental regulations, was silent about the topic during the interview, instead blaming the crisis on global warming.

That is no surprise — President Obama also ignored environmental regulations but spoke ominously about climate change when he addressed the water crisis during a visit to California’s Central Valley in February 2014. Indeed, for many on the left, the California water crisis is just another platform for proclaiming their dogmatic fixation on fighting global warming, a campaign that many environmental extremists have adopted as a religion.

You don’t have to take my word for it; just listen to Rajendra Pachauri, former head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is the United Nations’ foremost body on global warming. After recently leaving his job amid allegations of sexual harassment, Pachauri wrote in his resignation letter: “For me, the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma.”

Utterly convinced of the righteousness of their crusade, environmental extremists stop at nothing in pursuing their utopian conception of “sustainability.” The interests of families, farmers, and entire communities — whose very existence is often regarded as an impediment to sustainability — are ignored and derided in the quest for an ever-more pristine environment free from human contamination. In the name of environmental purity, these extremists have fought for decades to cut water supplies for millions of Californians...

U.S. Sends Commandos Around the World in New Power Projection Strategy

Training local forces to die in the U.S. interest. Actually, that's not particularly novel, although the Obama administration's picked up the pace.

At WSJ, "New Way the U.S. Projects Power Around the Globe: Commandos":
MAO, Chad—“Is this good?” yelled the U.S. Special Forces sergeant. “No!”

He waved a paper target showing the dismal marksmanship of the Chadian commandos he was here to teach. Dozens of bullet holes intended for the silhouette’s vital organs were instead scattered in an array of flesh wounds and outright misses.

The Chadians, with a reputation as fierce desert fighters, were contrite. They dropped to the fine Saharan sand and pounded out 20 push-ups. “Next time, we’re going to shoot all of the bullets here,” one Chadian soldier said, gesturing toward the target’s solar plexus.

Such scenes play out around the world, evidence of how the U.S. has come to rely on elite military units to maintain its global dominance.

These days, the sun never sets on America’s special-operations forces. Over the past year, they have landed in 81 countries, most of them training local commandos to fight so American troops don’t have to. From Honduras to Mongolia, Estonia to Djibouti, U.S. special operators teach local soldiers diplomatic skills to shield their countries against extremist ideologies, as well as combat skills to fight militants who break through.

President Barack Obama, as part of his plan to shrink U.S. reliance on traditional warfare, has promised to piece together a web of such alliances from South Asia to the Sahel. Faced with mobile enemies working independently of foreign governments, the U.S. military has scattered small, nimble teams in many places, rather than just maintaining large forces in a few.

The budget for Special Operations Command in Tampa, Fla., which dispatches elite troops around the world, jumped to $10 billion in the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, from $2.2 billion in 2001. Congress has doubled the command to nearly 70,000 people this year, from 33,000 in fiscal 2001. The Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force provide further funding.

Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets, for example, are stationed in the Baltics, training elite troops from Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia for the type of proxy warfare Russia has conducted in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

U.S. forces are also winding down what they consider a successful campaign, begun soon after the Sept. 11 hijackings, to help Filipino forces stymie the al Qaeda-aligned Abu Sayyaf Group. And commanders believe U.S. training of Colombian troops helped turn the tide against rebels and drug traffickers.

At times, U.S. special-operations troops take action themselves, as in the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden in his Pakistani hideout in 2011, or the rescue of freighter Capt. Richard Phillips from Somali pirates in 2009.

U.S. special operators roam the forests of the Central African Republic, alongside Ugandan troops, hunting the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, Joseph Kony . The rebel group, considered a terrorist organization by the U.S., has forcibly recruited children into its ranks.

But the vast majority of special-operations missions involve coaxing and coaching foreign forces to combat extremists the U.S. considers threats.

Driving the idea are 14 years of fighting in Afghanistan, and the on-again-off-again battle in Iraq, expensive land wars that have sapped the political support of many Americans. At the same time, the U.S. faces threats from such free-range terror networks as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in Mali; al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen; Islamic State in Syria and Iraq; al-Shabaab in Somalia and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Most of these militants have no borders, instead concealing themselves among civilians disaffected with their own corrupt or inept rulers.

The special-operations strategy has a mixed record. The U.S. tried it in Vietnam, only to watch an advisory mission metastasize into a costly, full-scale war. The U.S. put years of training into Mali’s military, which crumbled before the swift advance of al Qaeda and its allies in 2012.

The partnership between U.S. and Yemeni special operators to battle al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was disrupted earlier this year when an anti-American rebel group ousted the U.S.-aligned president.

One skeptic, James Carafano, vice president for defense and foreign policy at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said relying on special-operations forces was akin to saying, “I’m not going to do brain surgery because I’m going to give you an aspirin. The world doesn’t work that way.”

Commandos can hunt down enemy leaders or train small indigenous units, Mr. Carafano said, but they alone can’t build a capable national army.

The strategy isn’t always flexible enough to meet immediate threats. American efforts to enlist, train and arm moderate Syrian rebels have moved so slowly that some potential allies have given up on Washington. Many have been overrun by the same extremist groups the U.S. sought to defeat.

The three-week military exercises in Chad, which ended last month, are a microcosm of the U.S. strategy. The annual event started small a decade ago, and has grown to include 1,300 troops, with special-operations contingents from 18 Western nations coaching commandos from 10 African countries.

“We have a common threat in the form of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Boko Haram and other extremist organizations that threaten our way of life,” said Maj. Gen. Jim Linder, the outgoing commander of Special Operations Command-Africa.
Still more.