Thursday, January 29, 2015

Social Conservatives Won't Let Republican Candidates Dodger Homosexual Marriage

Seems to me by the time the 2016 campaign kicks off the Supremes will have already announced a constitutional right to homosexual marriage. I mean, what? Social cons want the GOP to push for an amendment to the Constitution? Ain't gonna happen.

At Politico, "The gay marriage litmus test."

Joey Fisher and Stacey Poole

At Zoo Today, "Babes in Bed: Joey Fisher and Stacey Poole Together at Last!"

Popular Oakland Cafe Bans Laptops on Nights and Weekends

It's the Actual Café in Oakland. Maybe this is the beginning of a trend.

At CBS News San Franciso, "Oakland Cafe Bans Laptops on Weekends - And Survives."

Sierra Nevada Red Fox Photographed at Yosemite

Heh.

He's a cute little bugger.

At LAT, "First confirmed sighting of rare fox at Yosemite in nearly 100 years."

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Arsonist Throws Burning Container of Fuel Into Yorba Linda Home; Police Search for Suspect (VIDEO)

This is freakin' crazy.

Looks like the perp caught himself on fire too --- and he's a black mofo!

At ABC 7 Los Angeles, "YORBA LINDA ARSON SURVEILLANCE VIDEO RELEASED; SUSPECT SOUGHT."

Heidi Klum Launches Intimates Lingerie Collection in Melbourne

At Egotastic!, "Heidi Klum Launches Her Lingerie Line In Melbourne With Long Legs and Veteran Hotness."

Plus, "Heidi Klum Lingerie Line Self Pimping Hotness, The HK Intimate Photos Are Here!"

Reaction to Jonathan Chait's Essay on Political Correctness Instantly Proves Chait's Thesis Correct

Yes it does.

Heh, at Free Beacon, with the riotous recommendation to read Angry Black Lady's "whole" Twitter feed. No doubt Chait hit a nerve with that idiot:



Yeah, go wade over there for awhile. Some excellent lulz.

One American Dead in Islamic State Attack on Tripoli's Corinthia Hotel

As noted previously, we're seeing major terrorist attacks nowadays on almost a daily level.

And of course, since this is Libya, we'll see little sustained media attention on this attack beyond the initial reporting. Wouldn't want to shine the light on the Obama administration's ultimate clusterf-k in toppling Gaddafi.

At WSJ, "Gunmen Stage Deadly Attack on Libyan Hotel: American Is Among Dead After Assailants Claiming Affiliation With Islamic State Storm Tripoli Hotel":

An attack on a luxury hotel in Libya’s capital killed nine people, including an American, and stoked fears that the Islamic State militant group is expanding beyond the Middle East toward North Africa and Europe.

A group calling itself Islamic State-Tripoli Province claimed responsibility over Twitter for the attack Tuesday morning on Tripoli’s Corinthia Hotel, a seaside complex popular with foreign businessmen, diplomats and journalists.

The apparent international nature of its authors and target makes Tuesday’s attack stand out from the usual violence afflicting the North African nation, which has seen almost continuous factional fighting since longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi was killed in a popular uprising in 2011.

A posting Tuesday on a Twitter account thought to be connected to the central Islamic State organization in Syria and Iraq described two of the attackers as their own. That claim is difficult to authenticate, but if further evidence surfaces that the self-proclaimed caliphate played a role, the attack could point to a growing footprint for a group whose rapid advance has unsettled much of the Middle East and drawn U.S. forces back into Iraq.

Among those killed Tuesday was an American security contractor, David Berry, employed by the Virginia-based security firm Team Crucible LLC. The 34-year-old former marine sergeant, a native of Arizona, had been in Libya since last year and was fluent in Arabic, his father, James Berry, said.

“My son is a warrior, he always wanted to do what he’s doing right now, or what he did up to this day,” Mr. Berry said. “He was a man who had more respect and honor for this country than you would believe.”...
Also at Telegraph UK, "'Four foreigners killed' as Isil storm Libya hotel."

Laurie Burchfield Testimony on Idaho's HB 2 Homosexual Rights Bill

At Idaho's Spokesman-Review, "Testimony: 'Ramifications upon my church,' questions on bathroom use, 'parading their genitalia'."

Here's the bill.


“Our laws are designed to protect and keep safe the citizens of Idaho… Everyone should be free to go to a public restroom without fear of people with confused sexual orientation exposing themselves to our children or flagrantly and unnecessarily parading their genitalia in the locker rooms of our YMCAs and gyms.”
I'm surprised she wasn't arrested right then and there for thought crimes and hate speech.

Blogging's Not Dead

Following-up on RAWMUSCLEGLUTES, here's Instapundit, "IN JOHN CARTER’S WORDS, I STILL LIVE: Andrew Sullivan is going to stop blogging. No, blogging isn’t dead":


And InstaPundit gets more pageviews than pretty much everyone who’s calling blogging dead. But I can understand Andrew quitting. For me, the real strain isn’t the blogging, but having to pay close attention to the news all the time. The news is usually depressing, when it’s not angering, and that’s doubly true for the Obama years. But I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.
I like paying attention to the news all the time. It's pretty much my job anyway.

And hey, punk's not dead either:
Say to me that punk is dead
I wish you even more contempt
Don’t like the music, don’t like the words
You can all piss off tha the punks not dead

[Chorus:]
Punk’s not dead, I know
Punk’s not dead, I know
Punk’s not dead, I know
Punk’s not dead, I know it’s not

We’re all punks and we don’t care
We’re boot boys who dye our hair
Leather jackets, jeans and boots
Run about every night

[Chorus x2]

we refuse to hear their lie
Have no fear till the day I die
Swearing at yooz who walk around
Don’t like it, I’ll hit you to the ground

[Chorus x2]

RAWMUSCLEGLUTES to Quit Blogging: Will Devote Full Energies to 'Getting Healthy...'

Headlining currently at Memeorandum, "A Note To My Readers."

A strangely fascinating man, I couldn't care one whit about his blogging retirement. Lots of people are getting a kick out of this, no doubt.

I'll turn it over to AceofSpadesHQ for the gloating smackdown. Here: "Andrew Sullivan Will Stop Blogging 'In the Near Future'."

Now Sully can invest the time needed for "getting healthy." Whether that includes more intellectual repose than rim-station repose remains to be seen. He denies he's dying of AIDS, but the hard-life of homosexual abandon and licentiousness catches up with you.

Rim Chairs photo rimming_chairs_hepatitis.jpg

House Democrats Brace for Potentially Tense Retreat

"Potentially tense."

Well, as long as Pelosi's in charge the only tension will be whether to even speak. Time to throw water on that witch.

At Roll Call:

Melt the Bitch photo nancy-pelosi-wicked-witch-west-wizard-of-oz-im-melting-witch-melts-sad-hill-news2_zps1jczsb6w_1.jpg
The official theme of the House Democrats’ annual “issues conference” this week is “Grow America’s Economy, Grow American Paychecks.”

But the three-day retreat in Philadelphia, which kicks off Wednesday afternoon, could be a test of whether leaders and rank-and-file members can return to Washington, D.C., having found some common ground.

For House Democrats, the months since the demoralizing midterm elections have been characterized by several public episodes of party infighting — about the culture of the caucus, the “brand” and the perceived lack of opportunities for younger members to climb the ranks.

Power struggles and friction between factions are old story lines for the Republicans who came to power in the House in 2010, while Democrats have long been envied for keeping it together. But midterm losses that relegated the party to the biggest House minority in nearly a century have fueled some second-guessing among Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s troops.

“When you lose, the warts come out,” a House Democratic aide said of lawmakers’ sudden nitpicking of caucus politics. “Winning is what cures everything.”

One target of frustration has been the minority leader herself. As the most nationally recognized House Democrat, many members see her as the face of the caucus’s electoral woes and for ambitious lawmakers, she is an obstacle in the way of new blood flowing into senior leadership ranks...
The very personification of defeat and decay. Boil the bitch.

Outspoken, Marxist and Anti-Austerity: Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Unveils His Cabinet

Heh, the Independent UK calls out Greek Prime Minister Tsirpas on his Marxist radicalism.

See: "From a political economics professor to the Marxist head of Syriza's far-left: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras unveils the members of his new cabinet."



Language Policing Doesn't Pervert Liberalism, It Is Liberalism

To be fair, I think Chait was genuinely trying to differentiate a genuine "liberal" politics of the left. But the left isn't "liberal." Today's "liberalism" is commensurate with ideological hostility to difference. So-called "liberals" --- routinely mislabeled in most mainstream political coverage --- are in fact radical leftists in the Marxist dialectical orientation. These cadres stand against so-called liberal tolerance and respect for ideational interplay as privileging unequal discourses of power. Chait would have saved himself some trouble be simply identifying leftists for what they are and reminisced approvingly for some long lost era of anti-communist liberal politics.

In any case, folks are going to keep using "liberalism," since it's ingrained in the cultural superstructure.

With that, here's Sean Davis, at the Federalist:
In a widely praised piece for New York Magazine, liberal writer Jonathan Chait says the leftist language police are perverting liberalism. Chait is wrong. The politically correct language police don’t pervert modern liberalism; they embody it. And amateur leftist thought cop Jonathan Chait himself is proof.

In his piece, Chait catalogued numerous discussions within a large Facebook group called “Binders Full of Women Writers” to show the toxic effect that language and thought crime policing can have on basic political discourse. At times, members of the overwhelmingly liberal group would demand that certain sentiments not be shared. Sometimes, members declared that certain people weren’t even allowed to have opinions on a subject on account of their color, gender, or sexual orientation. Here’s a small selection from Chait’s piece:

[Long block quote here.]

One of Chait’s main points — that speech codes are inherently corrosive and antithetical to a free society — is impossible to argue. He’s correct. They are. Speech codes are a widely used tool taken right out of the fascist toolbox. If they can’t control how you act, then they’ll control how you speak. If they can’t control how you speak, then they’ll control how you think. And if you act, speak, or think contrary to their demands, you will be punished. To the energetic little fascists of the online Left showcased by Chait, wrong thoughts lead to wrong words, and wrong words can incite wrong behavior. You will submit, or you will pay the price.

I’m glad Chait has suddenly decided that speech policing is a terrible idea. He’s only a couple hundred years behind the times, but better late than never, I suppose. Unfortunately, I don’t think he’s all that sincere about it. In fact, I think he just opposes speech codes when they’re used against him or his fellow travelers. And the reason I think that is because I’ve actually read what Jonathan Chait has written about people on the right who disagree with him. It’s one thing for Jonathan Chait to oppose the practice of using speech codes against Jonathan Chait and his friends, and another thing entirely for Chait to oppose speech codes used against his political opponents.

For example...
Keep reading.

And poor Jonathan Chait. He's stuck in the middle and he's got no friends!

PREVIOUSLY: "I must say, I've gained newfound respect for Jonathan Chait: Leftist 'language police' destroying liberalism. Heh, thank you."

Justin Colby, 33, Accused of Running Over Pregnant Girlfriend: 'Ready for your abortion?'

Well, the death penalty's not available for non-capital cases, but this idiot deserves it.

At the Tampa Bay Times, "Cops: Pregnant woman's boyfriend asks, 'Ready for your abortion?' — then hits her with car (w/video)."

And here's the surveillance video, "Attempted Murder Surveillance."

U.S. Spies on Millions of Drivers

You know, who isn't being spied on nowadays?

And cars? Our cars are being surveilled? Okay, but did anyone even know about this?

At WSJ, "DEA Uses License-Plate Readers to Build Database for Federal, Local Authorities":
WASHINGTON—The Justice Department has been building a national database to track in real time the movement of vehicles around the U.S., a secret domestic intelligence-gathering program that scans and stores hundreds of millions of records about motorists, according to current and former officials and government documents.

The primary goal of the license-plate tracking program, run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, is to seize cars, cash and other assets to combat drug trafficking, according to one government document. But the database’s use has expanded to hunt for vehicles associated with numerous other potential crimes, from kidnappings to killings to rape suspects, say people familiar with the matter.

Officials have publicly said that they track vehicles near the border with Mexico to help fight drug cartels. What hasn’t been previously disclosed is that the DEA has spent years working to expand the database “throughout the United States,’’ according to one email reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Many state and local law-enforcement agencies are accessing the database for a variety of investigations, according to people familiar with the program, putting a wealth of information in the hands of local officials who can track vehicles in real time on major roadways.

The database raises new questions about privacy and the scope of government surveillance. The existence of the program and its expansion were described in interviews with current and former government officials, and in documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union through a Freedom of Information Act request and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. It is unclear if any court oversees or approves the intelligence-gathering.

A spokesman for Justice Department, which includes the DEA, said the program complies with federal law. “It is not new that the DEA uses the license-plate reader program to arrest criminals and stop the flow of drugs in areas of high trafficking intensity,’’ the spokesman said.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the government’s use of license-plate readers “raises significant privacy concerns. The fact that this intrusive technology is potentially being used to expand the reach of the government’s asset-forfeiture efforts is of even greater concern.’’

The senator called for “additional accountability’’ and said Americans shouldn’t have to fear ”their locations and movements are constantly being tracked and stored in a massive government database.’’

The DEA program collects data about vehicle movements, including time, direction and location, from high-tech cameras placed strategically on major highways. Many devices also record visual images of drivers and passengers, which are sometimes clear enough for investigators to confirm identities, according to DEA documents and people familiar with the program.

The documents show that the DEA also uses license-plate readers operated by state, local and federal law-enforcement agencies to feed into its own network and create a far-reaching, constantly updating database of electronic eyes scanning traffic on the roads to steer police toward suspects.

The law-enforcement scanners are different from those used to collect tolls.

By 2011, the DEA had about 100 cameras feeding into the database, the documents show. On Interstate 95 in New Jersey, license-plate readers feed data to the DEA—giving law-enforcement personnel around the country the ability to search for a suspect vehicle on one of the country’s busiest highways. One undated internal document shows the program also gathers data from license-plate readers in Florida and Georgia.

“Any database that collects detailed location information about Americans not suspected of crimes raises very serious privacy questions,’’ said Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the ACLU. “It’s unconscionable that technology with such far-reaching potential would be deployed in such secrecy. People might disagree about exactly how we should use such powerful surveillance technologies, but it should be democratically decided, it shouldn’t be done in secret.’’

License-plate readers are already used in the U.S. by companies to collect debts and repossess vehicles, and by local police departments to solve crimes.

In 2010, the DEA said in internal documents that the database aided in the seizure of 98 kilograms of cocaine, 8,336 kilograms of marijuana and the collection of $866,380. It also has been connected to the Amber Alert system, to help authorities find abducted children, according to people familiar with the program.

One email written in 2010 said the primary purpose of the program was asset forfeiture—a controversial practice in which law-enforcement agencies seize cars, cash and other valuables from suspected criminals. The practice is increasingly coming under attack because of instances when law-enforcement officers take such assets without evidence of a crime.
More.

And related, at Reason, "Cops Are Still Robbers."

Anderson Cooper Talks to Timothy Mannix, Massachusetts Fisherman Injured When Storm Surge Crashed Into His Home

I was watching this last night. Mr. Mannix got stitches and his "nose was broken in half-a-dozen places."

Harsh.

At CNN: "Fisherman taken to ER after battling storm surge."

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Two Weeks After Zuckerberg Said 'Je Suis Charlie,' Facebook Begins Censoring Images of Prophet Muhammad

Well, he's a classic Silicon Valley prog. Totally politically correct.

So this is no surprise.

At WaPo:

Zuckerberg photo zuckpost_zpsfimy4trf_1.png
Only two weeks after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a strongly worded #JeSuisCharlie statement on the importance of free speech, Facebook has agreed to censor images of the prophet Muhammad in Turkey — including the very type of image that precipitated the Charlie Hebdo attack.

It’s an illustration, perhaps, of how extremely complicated and nuanced issues of online speech really are. It’s also conclusive proof of what many tech critics said of Zuckerberg’s free-speech declaration at the time: Sweeping promises are all well and good, but Facebook’s record doesn’t entirely back it up.

Just this December, Facebook agreed to censor the page of Russia’s leading Putin critic, Alexei Navalny, at the request of Russian Internet regulators. (It is a sign, the Post’s Michael Birnbaum wrote from Moscow, of “new limits on Facebook’s ability to serve as a platform for political opposition movements.”) Critics have previously accused the site of taking down pages tied to dissidents in Syria and China; the International Campaign for Tibet is currently circulating a petition against alleged Facebook censorship, which has been signed more than 20,000 times...
Keep reading.

Keeping the California 'Pacific Surfliner' Running on Time

At LAT, "Little-known agency keeps commuter rail network on track":
The 351-mile rail corridor that runs along the coast between San Diego, Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo is the second-busiest intercity route in the nation.

Its annual passenger load of 7.4 million is surpassed only by that of the northeast corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C., which handles more than 11.4 million a year.

But keeping those trains running on time — and safely, as they occasionally share tracks with freight traffic — is a constant challenge. The job has fallen to a little-known regional authority known as the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency.

During the last 25 years, the agency has helped synchronize schedules so passengers do not have to wait long to make connections. Maintenance and construction are better coordinated to keep trains running without significant delay.

It also tries to foster good relationships among the region's half-dozen railroads so riders can better navigate a complicated network crowded with freight and passenger trains.

Rail projects to accommodate more trains are underway, and the agency is starting to address track and scheduling issues along the popular route between Los Angeles and San Diego.

"I'm all for anything that integrates travel and fares," said Anthony Kemp, an English professor at USC who regularly rides the Metrolink commuter line from his east San Gabriel Valley home in Claremont to the campus near downtown L.A.

Kemp, who is from England, gave the agency good marks but said there is room for even more improvements. For example, European passenger railroads have long had convenient schedules and transit passes, such as the Oyster Pass in London, that allow riders to go from trains to buses to subways without buying a ticket for each boarding.

"That would be absolutely great to have that here," he said...
More.

New York Officials Defend Decision to Shut Down New York City

Hmm...

The storm wasn't as bad as folks has expected, although I don't take the "worst blizzard in history" prognostications too seriously. Someone's got an invested interest in climate hysteria.

At NYT, "Leaders in New York and New Jersey Defend Shutdown for a Blizzard That Wasn’t":
It was an unprecedented step for what became, in New York City, a common storm: For the first time in its 110-year history, the subway system was shut down because of snow.

Transit workers, caught off guard by the shutdown that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Monday, scrambled to grind the network to a halt within hours.

Residents moved quickly to find places to stay, if they were expected at work the next day, or hustle home before service was curtailed and roads were closed.

And Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose residents rely upon the transit system by the millions, heard the news at roughly the time the public did.

“We found out,” Mr. de Blasio said on Tuesday, “just as it was being announced.”

The storm largely spared the city, instead battering eastern Long Island and much of New England, where Nantucket lost power and Scituate, Mass., flooded.

And on Tuesday, local and state officials were left to defend one of the most consequential decisions elected leaders can make: effectively closing a city, in light of an uncertain forecast.

With travel bans instituted across the region, residents had little choice but to heed the warnings to stay put. Even as roads reopened and trains creaked back to life early Tuesday, there would be no normal business day, even though most parts of the city received less than 10 inches of snow, not the two to three feet that had been predicted.

The weather laid bare the civic and political high-wire act of the modern snowstorm — pocked with doomsayer proclamations and sporadic lapses in communication.

At the episode’s heart is the sort of damned-if-you-do decision that has bedeviled politicians for decades: Play it safe with closings, all but guaranteeing sweeping economic losses, or try to ride out the storm?

“I would much rather be in a situation where we say we got lucky than one where we didn’t get lucky and somebody died,” Mr. Cuomo said.

Briefings and interviews with officials suggest that recent challenges — including Hurricane Sandy, a snowstorm in Buffalo and public spats between top local leaders and forecasters — have left decision-makers even more risk-averse.

As the storm approached, a sort of one-upmanship theater had visited the local political stage: Mr. Cuomo’s announcement about the subway shutdown came hours after the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority suggested a full shutdown was unlikely. New Jersey Transit riders were told on Monday afternoon not to expect rail service until Thursday...
More.

Kayslee Collins for Playboy Plus

She's a beauty.

At Egotastic!, "Kayslee Collins Outright Hot for Playboy Playmate Spread."

I must say, I've gained newfound respect for Jonathan Chait: Leftist 'language police' destroying liberalism. Heh, thank you.

You gotta read this piece from Jonathan Chait, at New York Magazine, "Not a Very P.C. Thing to Say: How the language police are perverting liberalism." (Via Memeorandum.)

It's particularly good for its extensive and choice selection of crushing leftist p.c. attacks on ideological opponents, to say nothing of the intra-leftist policing that's scaring away many self-identified progressives from participating in contemporary political debates.

But the proof of this piece is in the outraged (if not unhinged) response it's generated from the very leftist types most likely to embody hardcore p.c. intolerance.

For example, Alex "Ping-Pong Balls" Pareene, with an hilarious, heaping lack of self-awareness, responds with a purportedly snarky piece at Gawker, "Punch-Drunk Jonathan Chait Takes On the Entire Internet." (Also at Memeorandum.)

There's a lot of inside baseball in "Ping-Pong" Pareene's response, but the bottom line is to validate Chait's argument by nicely illustrating that today's uber p.c. left operates in a rarefied world of epistemic closure on steroids. You simply CANNOT get on the wrong side of radical leftists. You will be destroyed, even if you deign to identify with them.

In sum, contemporary p.c. leftism is a sick, psychotically self-contained movement of ideological hatred and intolerance of difference. Chait simply bored down to the core, causing a catastrophic meltdown among the faithful.



U.S. Busts Russian Spy Ring in New York

At WSJ, "U.S. Charges Russian Banker in Spy Case: Prosecutors Also Accuse Two Handlers in Ring to Glean Economic Intelligence."

And at Time, "Sloppy Russian ‘Spymasters’ Burn a Deep Cover Operative in New York":
Monday was a bad day for Evgeny “Zhenya” Buryakov, the alleged spy arrested in the Bronx for his role as a deep cover case officer in a Russian ring targeting female university students, business consultants and the operations of the bank at which Buryakov worked. But it was an even worse day for his alleged spymasters, two Russian officials operating under diplomatic immunity who come across as sloppy, bureaucratic buffoons in the Justice department complaint detailing the alleged conspiracy.

Buryakov nominally faces up to 20 years in prison on two charges of acting as a foreign agent. But practically speaking he will only have to cool his heels in a U.S. jail for a few weeks or months until officials in Moscow find a suitable American operative to arrest and trade for him. Thereafter, he’ll likely return to Moscow, and given what appears to be fairly entrepreneurial work as a deep cover agent in New York, he can probably expect to thrive in the public or private sector there.

His two bosses, on the other hand, broke basic tradecraft rules and exposed Buryakov’s work, as well as other intelligence efforts by the Russian espionage services, according to the complaint. Both have already left the U.S. for other assignments. And while the days of banishment to Siberia for failed spy-handlers are long gone, the two at least face a grim professional future of pushing paper in the bowels of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service in Moscow...
More.

Doe-Eyed Jen Psaki Denies Obama Administation Traded al-Qaeda Jihadist Ali Saleh Al-Marri

Jamie Kirchick has the background, at the Daily Beast, "Exclusive: Freed Al Qaeda Agent Was Part of Proposed Swap for Jailed Americans."

But the ever-innocent Jen Psaki spins her way out of a definitive answer.

Watch: "State Dept. Spox Jen Psaki Dodges on Whether Obama Admin Traded Al Marri to Yemen."

The United States of 'American Sniper'

A great piece, from Rorke Denver, at WSJ.

American Muslim Group Attacks 'American Sniper', Demands Eastwood and Cooper Denounce Fictional 'Islamophobia'

From Pamela Geller, at Breitbart.

Victoria's Secret Superbowl Commercial 2015

Via Theo Spark:



Sharyl Attkisson: White House Hiding Photos of Obama on Night of #Benghazi Attack

A great segment, from December (via DC Clothesline).



And buy her book, Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington.