Monday, December 5, 2016

Evelyn Taft's Slightly Cooler Forecast

Here's the weather with the lovely Ms. Evelyn, of whom I haven't blogged in a while.

Via CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

The Social Justice Left vs. the Identitarian Alt-Right

From Ben Sixsmith, who's just a kid, by the looks of his Twitter profile.

But he's good:

Shop Best Selling Products [BUMPED]

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BONUS: Adrian Goldsworthy, Pax Romana: War, Peace and Conquest in the Roman World.

The Radicals Have Taken Over Canadian Universities


They've taken over the American universities, too!

But see Margaret Wente, at Toronto's Globe and Mail, "Academic Extremism Comes to Canada."

BONUS: At the Other McCain, "Amid Dow Boom, Liberal Media Gloom."

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Tonight!

It's at 10:00pm, on CBS.

12 Days of Deals

It's the twelve days of Christmas deals, at Amazon, "We’ll see your turtle doves, and raise you bookworms and music hounds. Whether the people on your list love the smell of a new bestseller, turning pages with a swipe of their finger, or just rocking out to the movie version’s soundtrack, we’ve got stuff for them all. Oh, and we’ve never been the types to read the last page first, but we do have one spoiler alert: today’s deals are awesome."

BONUS: Steve Fraser, The Limousine Liberal: How an Incendiary Image United the Right and Fractured America.

'Westworld' Loose Ends

Well, I figure we're going to see loose ends tied up next season, so nothing to lose sleep over.

But check LAT, "'Westworld' finale: We have questions."

I did wonder about this, though:
Who programmed Maeve to escape?

The biggest surprise from the finale was Ford’s secret desire to free his creations, which made him seem less like the evil lunatic this series has threaded since the pilot. Of course, he’s still a murdering psychopath who built a sexual assault theme park— despite knowing that his creations had, or could achieve, consciousness— but the last episode tried to right a few of his wrongs by exposing his plans for a robot revolt.

But if Ford engineered the escape plan, how much of this is about true sentience? We know for certain that the hosts have memories from past iterations of their characters; this was the entire purpose of Arnold’s maze. That being said, if Ford was the one who programmed Maeve’s exit from the park, does that rob her of her own organic desire to be free? Was the purpose of Maeve’s violent exit merely to distract from the bloodbath of Delos’ board executions?

And also, doesn’t unleashing an army of murderous robots still kind of make him an evil lunatic?

The bigger questions remain: Are Maeve’s thoughts entirely her own? Is her mission just beginning? And what’s next? Will she jump from park to park looking for her lost host child? Or will she take part in the new narrative that Ford built, the uprising at Westworld?
It was a little violent for me altogether, but I like the twists. I'm already looking forward to Season 2.

More at Vulture, "Westworld Season-Finale Recap: This World Doesn’t Belong to You."

Kasim Hafeez: 'Born to Hate Jews' (VIDEO)

YouTube banned this video from the site this morning, only to reinstate the clip after realizing it's an anti-hate video, not a hate video, which would be violate the service's terms.

Via Legal Insurrection, "YouTube Banned Prager U Video “Born to Hate Jews” – Reinstated After Protest and Petition."

And watch, "How do devout Muslims born in the West feel about Jews? How do they feel about Western values in general? Kasim Hafeez, who was raised a devout Muslim in England, explains."

Hopefully it won't get pulled, but if so, click on the LI link, where another video is embedded.

Death Toll Rises to 36 in Oakland Warehouse 'Ghost Ship' Fire (VIDEO)

Burning to death has gotta be one of the worst ways to go. Perhaps the black smoke overtook some of the victims first, and they passed out before being consumed in flames.

Either way, I'd rather be shot.

Don't mean to be morbid about it, but it's just so horrible.

In any case, at SF Gate, "‘Wobbly’ wall slows work at fire scene as death toll rises to 36":

The death toll in the devastating fire at a converted Oakland warehouse climbed to 36 Monday, and as emergency crews picked through the dangerously unstable rubble they said they found what they suspect is the area where the blaze started.

The number of victims recovered from the gutted building grew by three overnight, but work on retrieving more bodies was stopped around midnight because of a “wobbly” wall that made the situation dangerous for firefighters and Alameda County sheriff’s deputies, said Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton of the Oakland Fire Department. The wall was stabilized and work resumed at 9 a.m.

A few hours later, another wrinkle arose when the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. cut power to the area so potentially live power lines wouldn’t endanger workers as they brought in a crane to move the rubble. The outage was expected to affect between 50 and 500 customers in the Fruitvale area for as many as 12 hours, said Officer Johnna Watson, spokeswoman for the Oakland Police Department.

So far, a total of 11 victims have been identified and their families notified.
More, plus additional video, at the link.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi Announces Resignation (VIDEO)

That's major!

At WSJ, "Italy Rejects Reforms, Matteo Renzi Announces Resignation":

ROME—Italian voters on Sunday rejected constitutional changes backed by the government, prompting Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to announce his resignation and handing populists a victory in the heartland of Europe.

With 91% of votes counted, 59.7% of voters delivered a stinging rebuke to Mr. Renzi’s plan to overhaul Italy’s legislature to make it easier to pass laws, including measures meant to make the country more competitive.

Mr. Renzi said he would go to Italian President Sergio Mattarella Monday afternoon to tender his resignation.

“I take full responsibility for the defeat,” Mr. Renzi said in an address from Palazzo Chigi, the premier’s residence. The Italian people “have spoken in a clear and unequivocal way...we leave with no regrets,” he added.

The result means uncertainty in Italy, the European Union’s fourth-largest economy, as the bloc struggles to revive growth and define its future. Mr. Renzi’s resignation could clear the way for the formation of a caretaker government and, possibly, new parliamentary elections next year.

Among the biggest winners from Italy’s vote is the antiestablishment 5 Star Movement, which campaigned against Mr. Renzi and his agenda, saying more radical change is needed. The party has called for a nonbinding referendum on Italy’s euro membership. It also wants to abandon EU budget strictures and has said it might favor printing a parallel currency.

Public-opinion surveys indicate that roughly 30% of Italians would back 5 Star candidates if parliamentary elections were held now. That puts it neck-and-neck with Mr. Renzi’s Democratic Party and means it will have an influential voice and could even end up in power—an outcome that could ultimately threaten the integrity of the eurozone and its common currency.

Giampaolo Brunelli, a 43-year-old supporter of the 5 Star Movement, voted against the reform Sunday morning. “Renzi hasn’t done much to change this country—just like all the other politicians before him,” he said after voting in Rome.

Europe is facing a prolonged period of political upheaval, with elections also slated for 2017 in Germany, France and the Netherlands, all countries where economic anxiety, opposition to the EU and a surge in migration have fed growing support for populist parties.

Such sentiments were also at play in Austria on Sunday, when center-left candidate Alexander Van der Bellen defeated Norbert Hofer in Austria’s presidential race by 53.3% to 46.7%, according to a final count of votes case on Sunday and a projection of mail-in ballot results.

The vote ended Mr. Hofer’s bid to become the first right-wing populist president in postwar Western Europe, but the election brought to light widespread discontent with the country’s political establishment. Like the other populists across the continent, Mr. Hofer wanted to roll back the power of the European Union, toughen border controls, crack down on the flow of refugees and migrants to Europe and improve relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin...

I like how WSJ identifies Hofer's party as "right-wing populist" and not "far-right" like almost all of the pathetic leftist outlets always do.

More at Telegraph U.K., "Live — Matteo Renzi concedes defeat in Italian referendum and steps down as prime minister."

USC to Play Penn State in Rose Bowl 2017

I pulled my USC Rose Bowl post yesterday because I got confused about the process. (My apologies.)

But it's all clarified now.

USC will play Penn State on January 2nd in Pasadena.

Both teams have huge winning streaks. USC's got an 8-game winning streak since starting 1-3 on the season. Penn State's currently running a 9-game winning streak, so the Rose Bowl match-up promises to be one of the most exciting of the New Year's "Big 6."

See the USC Trojans sports page, "No. 9 USC Football To Play No. 5 Penn State In 2017 Rose Bowl."

And at LAT, "USC earns Rose Bowl berth, capping dramatic turnaround":

The return to the Rose Bowl culminates a stunning turnaround for USC, which lost 52-6 to Alabama in the season opener, then dropped games on the road to Stanford and Utah. The Trojans finished the season with a 9-3 record.

During that stretch, pundits speculated about Clay Helton’s job security in his first season as full-time coach, and Helton changed quarterbacks, entrusting the offense to Sam Darnold. The redshirt freshman quarterback dropped his first start to Utah on a late comeback, but he has not lost since, becoming one of the most effective quarterbacks in the nation.

USC dominated its last eight games, winning by an average margin of almost 20 points. It played in only one close game late, against Colorado, when USC turned the ball over four times. But USC still would’ve won that game by two scores if not for a late knee by JuJu Smith-Schuster, who opted to end the game rather than score an unnecessary touchdown.

USC and Penn State first met in the Rose Bowl in 1923, resulting in a 14-3 USC win. They didn't meet again until 2009 for a 38-24 USC win.

Neither team has been back to Rose Bowl since. In the interim, each team was rocked by some of the most crippling NCAA sanctions in the organization’s history — USC for its student-athletes accepting impermissible benefits, Penn State for its wide-ranging child sexual abuse scandal.

USC will make its record 34th appearance in the bowl game, where it has a 24-9 record. Penn State will make its fourth. It has gone 1-2 all-time.

Sunday Cartoons

At Flopping Aces, "Sunday Funnies."

Branco Cartoon photo Recount-Fund-600-LI_zpsleiaxlzq.jpg

Also at Theo's, "Cartoon Roundup..."

Cartoon Credit: Legal Insurrection, "Branco Cartoon – Money For Nothing."

'Queering God: Feminist and Queer Theology', at Swarthmore College

The campuses will be the craziest places in America for the next four years, at least. They were already crazy, but the coming Donald Trump administration is driving these kooks off the ledge.

At the Other McCain, "Guess What Swarthmore College Will Teach Your Children for $63,550 a Year?":
"We're here, we're queer, for $63,550 a year!"
Well, it helps to have a sense of humor about things, that's for sure.

High School Romance PSA (VIDEO)

At AdWeek, "Can You Figure Out the Mystery Inside This Remarkable Ad About High School Love?"

Via Hot Air, "Video: The “Evan” high-school romance ad":
All I’ll say is that sometimes you need to tip your cap to Team Blue for an advocacy job well done.
Click through to watch. And watch it before you read the articles. You'll never figure it out ahead of time!

Seriously. Just watch, lol.

Donald Trump Can Remake the Courts

One of the most exciting things for the coming year: what's going to happen at the Supreme Court, to say nothing of the lower federal courts.

I've been attending meetings on campus, and far-leftists in the sociology department are freaking out over the Supreme Court's threat to Roe vs. Wade, "marriage equality" (as if the Court's going to roll back not one but two recent decisions guaranteeing same-sex marriage), and homosexuals ("electroshock conversion therapy").

I mean really, they've gone hysterical. It's a serious problem on my campus, and around the nation as a whole.

In any case, at the Hill, "Trump gets chance to remake the courts":
President-elect Donald Trump has a chance to stack the courts with conservative judges, thrilling Republicans who suddenly have the opportunity to remake the judicial system.

Conservatives watched with dismay as Congress confirmed 327 of President Obama’s judicial nominees, fearing it would further entrench liberal control of the courts.

Now the tables have turned.

Trump could come into office with around 117 judicial vacancies to fill, and unlike Obama in his first term, will need only 51 votes in the Senate to confirm his nominees.

Democrats eliminated filibusters for most federal judicial nominees and executive-office appointments in 2013. Now only a simple majority, rather than 60 votes, is required to advance a nominee.

It was a power play that helped Democrats confirm Obama’s court picks when they held the majority. Now Republicans stand to benefit from the rule change, as there will be little Senate Democrats can do in the minority to stop Trump’s nominees.

“What goes around comes around,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) told The Hill this week.

“When you’re short-sighted and you think your majority is going to continue forever then you’re bound to be surprised when voters put you in the minority, so it counsels prudence and a longer view rather than short-term gratification.”

Republicans say Democrats only have Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to thank for the situation they will soon find themselves in.

“Here’s the irony of it: He changed the rules and we don’t want to break the rules to change the rules unlike what he did,” said Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).

“He put us in this position, and I’m sure he thought a lot about it before he did it.”

Of the 99 current judicial vacancies, 13 are openings on courts of appeals and 85 are on district courts, according to the Alliance for Justice, which is tracking the data...
Keep reading.

And see, "Trump says he'll announce Supreme Court pick 'very soon'," and "Pence details Trump’s ambitious agenda for first 100 days."

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Austria Dodges a Bullet: Voters Reject Far-Right Candidate Norbert Hofer (VIDEO)

I don't care who Austria elects actually, although Norbert Hofer isn't so much "far-right" as "not-leftist," and that freaks out Europe's open-borders socialists.

I do care about Marine Le Pen's election, though, and don't actually expect her to win. Leftist parties will form a common front if she makes it to the final runoff, and they'll unify and elect an anti-rightist consensus candidate that purportedly rejects the "far-right hatred."

In any case, at Telegraph U.K., "Austria election: Norbert Hofer concedes defeat as independent rival takes clear lead in the polls":

Norbert Hofer, the leader of Austria’s far Right Freedom party, has conceded defeat in the country's presidential elections.

Mr Hofer, who would have been the first far-right leader in the European Union, accepted defeat after exit polls showedMr Van der Bellen, the Green party backed candidate, with 53.6 percent of the vote.

The projection put Mr Hofer on 46.4 percent. Electoral officials said votes left to count would not affect the result, although the margins may change slightly.
Keep reading.

I imagine that margin's a little to close for comfort for a lot of leftists. It's comfortable, but not a blowout. So-called far-rightists will be emboldened to double-up on their efforts, in Austrian and around the E.U.

Chip and Joanna Gaines, The Magnolia Story

Following up, "Boycott BuzzFeed."

And more from AoSHQ, "Religons of the World and What is Acceptable."

As they say, success is the best revenge, and it turns out that Chip and Joanna Gaines have a non-fiction bestseller, at Amazon, The Magnolia Story:
Are you ready to see your fixer upper?

These famous words are now synonymous with the dynamic husband-and-wife team Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. As this question fills the airwaves with anticipation, their legions of fans continue to multiply and ask a different series of questions, like—Who are these people?What’s the secret to their success? And is Chip actually that funny in real life? By renovating homes in Waco, Texas, and changing lives in such a winsome and engaging way, Chip and Joanna have become more than just the stars of Fixer Upper, they have become America’s new best friends.

The Magnolia Story is the first book from Chip and Joanna, offering their fans a detailed look at their life together. From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything; from the childhood memories that shaped them, to the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today.

They both attended Baylor University in Waco. However, their paths did not cross until Chip checked his car into the local Firestone tire shop where Joanna worked behind the counter. Even back then Chip was a serial entrepreneur who, among other things, ran a lawn care company, sold fireworks, and flipped houses. Soon they were married and living in their first fixer upper. Four children and countless renovations later, Joanna garners the attention of a television producer who notices her work on a blog one day...
Keep reading, at Amazon.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Oakland Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire

Horrific tragedy.

In fact, it's possibly criminal.

At LAT, "Site of deadly Oakland fire is known as the GhostShip."

Don't Miss Out - Shop Today's Deals Now!

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BONUS: Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher, Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power.

Ph.D. Student Allegedly Murders U.S.C. Professor Bosco Tjan, Co-Director of Dornsife Cognitive Neuroimaging Center

Absolutely horrific.

Seems like we get a story like this once a year at least. Remember UCLA had the murder-suicide shooting in June.

In any case, at LAT, "USC PhD student accused of fatally stabbing professor on campus."

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The response has been great!

I appreciate it so much. Remember I blog as a hobby. I have a regular job, heh.

But reader support on Amazon's been so good I feel like I must be doing something right.

Thanks again.

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BONUS: Out February 17th, from Steven Hayward, Patriotism Is Not Enough: Harry Jaffa, Walter Berns, and the Arguments that Redefined American Conservatism.