Friday, June 15, 2018

Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Charged with Wire Fraud

This woman should be behind bars. If Martin Shkreli was sent to prison for securities fraud, this woman should as well. White collar criminals get away with murder, and this Holmes woman is way worse than Shkreli, IMHO.

Here's Ryan Barber, "Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes INDICTED on charges she defrauded investors. Two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, nine counts of wire fraud."

And at CNBC, "BREAKING: Justice Dept. announces that a federal grand jury has indicted Elizabeth A. Holmes and Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani in alleged wire fraud schemes."

More at Business Week, via Memeorandum, "Theranos Says Elizabeth Holmes Has Stepped Down as CEO."

(Photo by Max Morse for TechCrunch, via Wikipedia.)



Ireland Baldwin in Skimpy Bikini

At London's Daily Mail, "Ireland Baldwin PICTURE EXCLUSIVE: Blonde bombshell flashes the flesh in skimpy bikini for racy beach photo shoot."


Also at Drunken Stepfather, "Ireland Baldwin Bikini of the Day."


Here's Yet Another Piece Bemoaning the Rise of 'Illiberal' Populist Nationalism

I think it's interesting, since at the moment all those complaining about the collapse of so-called democratic norms and the rise of "illiberal" populist nationalist regimes are the ones losing elections and being sidelined from decision-making. I love that.

At Der Spiegel, "Rise of the Autocrats: Liberal Democracy Is Under Attack":

Autocratic leaders and wannabes, from Putin to Trump, are making political inroads around the world. In recent years, Western liberal democracy has failed to live up to some of its core promises, helping to fuel the current wave of illiberalism.

Russian President Vladimir Putin isn't actually all that interested in football. He's more of a martial arts guy, and he loves ice hockey. But when the World Cup football championship gets started on Thursday in Moscow, Putin will strive to be the perfect host. The tournament logo is a football with stars trailing behind it, evoking Sputnik, and a billion people will be tuning in as Putin presents Russia as a strong and modern country.

During the dress rehearsal, last summer's Confed Cup, Putin held an opening address in which he spoke of "uncompromising, fair and honest play ... until the very last moments of the match." Now, it's time for the main event, the World Cup, giving Putin an opportunity to showcase his country to the world.

The World Cup, though, will be merely the apex of the great autocrat festival of 2018. On June 24, Turkish voters will head to the polls for the first time since approving President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's constitutional reforms last year. The result of the vote will in all likelihood cement his claim to virtually absolute power until 2023 or even beyond. Should he miss out on an absolute majority in the first round of voting -- which is certainly possible given rising inflation in the country -- then he'll get it in the second round. The result will likely be a Turkey -- a country with around 170 journalists behind bars and where more than 70,000 people have been arrested since the coup attempt two years ago, sometimes with no grounds for suspicion - that is even more authoritarian than it is today.

And then there is Donald Trump who, after turning the G-7 summit in Canada into a farce, headed to Singapore for a Tuesday meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. And many pundits have argued this week that the greatest beneficiary of that summit was actually Chinese President Xi Jinping, the man who poses a greater challenge to Western democracy than all the rest.

At home, Trump is continuing his assault on the widely accepted norms regarding how a president should behave. He has the "absolute right" to pardon himself in the Russian affair, he recently claimed -- and then he went off the rails in Canada, picking fights with his allies and revoking his support for the summit's closing statement by sending out a tweet from Air Force One as he left. Trump, to be sure, is an elected president, but he is one who dreams of wielding absolute power and sees himself as being both above the law and above internationally accepted norms of behavior.

The Backward Slide

The upshot is that global politics are currently dominated by a handful of men -- and only men -- who have nothing but contempt for liberal democracy and who aspire to absolute control of politics, of the economy, of the judiciary and of the media. They are the predominant figures of the present -- and the decisions they make will go a long way toward shaping the future ahead. The globalized, high-tech, constantly informed and enlightened world of the 21st century finds itself in the middle of a slide back into the age of authoritarianism.

And this is not merely the lament of Western cultural pessimists, it is a statement rooted in statistics. A recent study by the German foundation Bertelsmann Stiftung found that 3.3 billion people live under autocratic regimes, while the UK-based Economist Intelligence Unit found that just 4.5 percent of the global population, around 350 million people, live in a "full democracy." In its most recent annual report, issued in January of this year, the nongovernmental organization Freedom House wrote that in 2017, "democracy faced its most serious crisis in decades." It went on to note that "the right to choose leaders in free and fair elections, freedom of the press and the rule of law are under assault and in retreat globally."

How can this global trend be explained? Are autocrats really so strong, or are democrats too weak? Is liberal democracy only able to function well in relatively homogeneous societies where prosperity is growing? Why do so many people doubt democracy's ability to solve the problems of the 21st century, challenges such as climate change, the tech revolution, shifting demographics and the distribution of wealth?

The optimistic Western premises -- that greater prosperity leads to more freedom, increased communication leads to greater pluralism, and more free trade leads to increased economic integration -- have unraveled. Following the end of the Cold War, the American political scientists Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan said in 1996 that Western democracy was "the only game in town." Now, though, it would seem to have lost its attraction. The expectation that democracy's triumphant march would be impossible to stop has proven illusory. China is currently showing the world that economic success and societal prosperity are also possible in an authoritarian system.

The fact that established dictatorships in the world, such as those in Belarus, Zimbabwe or Vietnam, aren't showing any signs of change is only part of the problem. Rather, everywhere in the world, authoritarian phases are following on the heels of brief -- or more extended -- experiments with democracy, a development seen in places like Egypt, Thailand, Venezuela and Nicaragua, for example. At the same time, liberal democracy is eroding in many countries in the West.

Perhaps the greatest danger, though, is the increasing attraction of autocratic thinking in Europe. Some elements of such systems are sneaking into Western democracies, such as the growing contempt for established political parties, the media and minorities.

In Italy, a new government was just sworn in under the leadership of Matteo Salvini, an avowed Putin fan. In Hungary, Viktor Orbán just won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections held, according to OSCE election observers, in an atmosphere of "intimidating and xenophobic rhetoric." Polish voters are set to go to the polls next year, and there too, the right-wing nationalist PiS stands a good chance of emerging victorious.

Across the Atlantic, the U.S. under the leadership of Donald Trump has thus far resisted sliding into autocracy, but only because the institutional hurdles in the form of the judicial and legislative branches of government have managed to hold their ground. Nevertheless, liberal democracy is under attack in precisely the country where it first emerged.

Anxiety is likewise growing in other Western democracies. "Until recently, liberal democracy reigned triumphant. For all its shortcomings, most citizens seemed deeply committed to their form of government. The economy was growing. Radical parties were insignificant," writes the Harvard-based German-American political scientist Yascha Mounk in his book "The People vs. Democracy." But then the situation began changing rapid: Brexit, Trump's election and the success of other right-wing populist movements in Europe. The question, Mounk writes, is "whether this populist moment will turn into a populist age -- and cast the very survival of liberal democracy in doubt."

The Western political system, Mounk writes, is "decomposing into its component parts, giving rise to illiberal democracy on the one side and undemocratic liberalism on the other." The one, he argues, is dominated by manipulated majority opinion while the other is controlled by institutions such as central banks, constitutional courts and supranational bureaucracies like the European Commission that can operate independent of direct, democratic debate.

"Take back control" was the slogan used by the Brexiteers during their successful campaign. Indeed, the feeling of living in an era in which they have lost control is likely a common denominator among all European populists. Taking back that control is something they all promise.

It is combined with the desire to shake off the corset that allegedly makes life in the West anything but free. All the laws, rules, decrees and contracts that dictate to people, companies and entire countries how to behave. What they are allowed to say and what not. What they can buy and what is off limits. How things may or may not be produced. This desire to apply a new set of self-made, simpler rules to the world is feeding the popularity of the autocratically minded.

These days, it is rare that democracies collapse under attack from armed, uniformed adversaries. Such images belong to the past; the coup d'état has become a rarity. On the contrary, many autocrats have come to power by way of the ballot box, govern in the name of the people and regularly hold referenda to solidify their power.

But once in power -- in Turkey, Venezuela or Russia -- they bring the institutions of democracy under their control. They tend not to be committed ideologues. Rather, they are strategists of power who used ideologies without necessarily believing in them themselves. Furthermore, they don't generally wield violence indiscriminately, another difference to the murderous regimes of the past. Sometimes, a journalist loses their life, or an oligarch ends up in jail. But otherwise, the new autocrats are much subtler than their totalitarian predecessors. Generally, a timely threat issued to insubordinate citizens suffices. And they are particularly adept at the dark art of propaganda. They know that many people have become insecure and are afraid of the future and foreigners. They have learned how to augment those fears, so they can then pose as guarantors of stability...
Still more.

California Judge Finds in Favor of Jarod Taylor and 'American Renaissance'

I didn't realize he'd been banned from Twitter.

At Bloomberg, "Twitter to Face Claims by ‘White Advocate’ Over Banned Accounts":
Twitter Inc. lost its bid to dismiss a lawsuit by a “white advocate” who was banned from the site in a challenge to the company’s ability to exclude users it deems objectionable.

California Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn in San Francisco rejected Jared Taylor’s claims that Twitter violated his free speech rights and discriminated against him when it permanently suspended his accounts in December.

But he said Taylor properly supported his allegations that Twitter’s policy of suspending accounts, in the judge’s words, “at any time, for any reason or for no reason” may be unconscionable and that the company calling itself a platform devoted to free speech may be misleading and therefore fraudulent...
And, at American Renaissance, "Jared Taylor Wins First Round in Anti-Censorship Suit Against Twitter":
For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Henry Wolff
Assistant Editor
Phone: 703-716-0900
Email wolff@amren.com

Yesterday, California Superior Court Judge Harold E. Kahn rejected Twitter’s petition to dismiss the suit Jared Taylor brought against Twitter for banning his Twitter account and that of his organization, American Renaissance. The judge also rejected Twitter’s motion under California’s Anti-SLAPP law to strike the complaint, adding that it was “hard to imagine a clearer public interest lawsuit.”

Judge Kahn described Taylor’s complaint as “very eloquent,” adding that “it goes to the heart of free speech principles that long precede our constitution.”

Judge Kahn recognized Taylor’s claim under California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL) that Twitter could be, in effect, guilty of false advertising by holding itself out as a public forum for free speech while reserving the right to ban the expression of ideas with which it disagrees. Judge Kahn also recognized Taylor’s claim under the UCL that Twitter’s terms of service—according to which it claims the right to ban any user any time for any reason—may well be “unconscionable,” and a violation of the law.

In oral argument, Judge Kahn asked: “Twitter can discriminate on the basis of religion, or gender, or sexual preference, or physical disability, or mental disability?” Counsel for Twitter conceded that it claimed that right—even though it would never exercise it. Judge Kahn denied that Twitter has such a right.

This is the first time censorship by a social media platform—an increasingly widespread practice seen by many as discrimination against conservative viewpoints—has been found actionable under state or federal law. This finding could have far-reaching consequences for other internet platforms that have become essential vehicles for the expression of ideas but that silence voices with which they disagree.

Twitter now has 30 days to answer Taylor’s claims.

The hearing transcript is available here. Coverage: Bloomberg, Associated Press, Law 360.

Jared Taylor and American Renaissance are represented by Washington, D.C., attorney Noah Peters (noah@noahpeterslaw.com), Michigan State University law professor Adam Candeub (candeub@msu.edu), and prominent free speech advocate Marc Randazza (702-420-2001).
More.

Note that it's not a First Amendment lawsuit, but is basically civil rights and fair business practices litigation.

Clarinetist Eric Abramovitz Discovers Ex-Girlfriend Faked Rejection Letter to Dream Music School in Los Angeles

This is mind-boggling, particularly the brazen faked rejection emails. Man.

At WaPo, "Clarinetist discovers his ex-girlfriend faked a rejection letter from his dream school":
Eric Abramovitz was 7 years old when he first learned to play the clarinet. By the time he was 20, the Montreal native had become an award-winning clarinetist, studying with some of Canada’s most elite teachers and performing a solo with Quebec’s finest symphony orchestra.

During his second year studying at McGill University, he decided to apply to the world-class Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, which offers every student a scholarship covering tuition, room and board, and living expenses. He hoped to study under Yehuda Gilad, an internationally renowned clarinet professor who accepts only two new students per year at Colburn.

Abramovitz spent hours every night practicing, he said in an interview with The Washington Post. And after his live audition in Los Angeles in February 2014, he was confident that he would be accepted.

Weeks later, he opened an email signed by Gilad and letting him know he had not been selected for the program. He was crushed. Abramovitz ended up finishing his bachelor’s degree at McGill, delaying his professional musical career.

I just invested so much,” Abramovitz said. “I gave it all I had.”

But two years later, Abramovitz would find out that he was, in fact, accepted to the program. The letter was sent not by Gilad but by Abramovitz’s girlfriend, a flute student at McGill who had spent night after night consoling him about the rejection, Abramovitz said.

The girlfriend had logged onto his email account and deleted his acceptance letter to Colburn, Abramovitz said. She impersonated Abramovitz in an email to Gilad, declining the offer because he would be “elsewhere.” Then she impersonated Gilad through a fake email address, telling Abramovitz he had not been accepted, according to Abramovitz.

Abramovitz suspects it was a scheme to ensure that he wouldn’t move away. Or perhaps, he wonders, was the girlfriend jealous?

On Wednesday, a judge in Ontario Superior Court awarded Abramovitz $350,000 in damages in Canadian dollars (more than $260,000 U.S. dollars) caused by his girlfriend’s “reprehensible betrayal of trust” and “despicable interference in Mr Abramovitz’s career,” the judge, D.L. Corbett, wrote...
More.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Callie Cattaneo

She's been featured at Maxim, "Hey Im Callie! Born and raised in Missoula Montana. Im a leo and im 23 years old. I played college soccer and i love the beach!"

And see Drunken Stepfather, "CALLIE CATTANEO OF THE DAY."

Bella Thorne Slips Out of a Bikini

Hmm.

This had to be a total accident, right?

At Taxi Driver, "Bella Thorne Boobs Pop Out of a Bikini."

Also at the Nip Slip, "Bella Thorne Nip Slips in Hawaii! (PHOTOS)."

Bruce Cumings, Origins of the Korean War, Vol. 1

At Amazon, Bruce Cumings, Origins of the Korean War, Vol. 1: Liberation and the Emergence of Separate Regimes, 1945-1947.



Melvyn P. Leffler, A Preponderance of Power

At Amazon, Melvyn P. Leffler, A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War.




Lynn Eden, Whole World on Fire

At Amazon, Lynn Eden, Whole World on Fire: Organizations, Knowledge, and Nuclear Weapons Devastation.



President Trump Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Two Norwegian legislators with Norway's governing Progress Party have nominated President Trump for the Nobel Prize in International Peace --- something leftists were snarking about just weeks ago.

At Fortune and Fox News:


Trump and Kim Just Walked Us Back From the Brink of War

This is good. It's a sober assessment of the nuclear summit. From Victor Cha, at NYT:


This Is What a Nuclear Bomb Looks Like

This is an excellent, excellent article, at New York Magazine:

One of the greatest misconceptions about nuclear bombs is that they annihilate everything in sight, leaving nothing but a barren flatland devoid of shape and life. In truth, the physical destruction inflicted by a nuclear explosion resembles that of a combined hurricane and firestorm of unprecedented proportion. Consider one example: A ten-kiloton nuclear bomb detonated on the ground in Times Square would explode with a white flash brighter than the sun. It would be seen for hundreds of miles, briefly blinding people as far away as Queens and Newark. In the same moment, a wave of searing heat would radiate outward from the explosion, followed by a massive fireball, the core of which would reach tens of millions of degrees, as hot as the center of the sun.

When such a bomb explodes, everyone within 100 feet of ground zero is instantaneously reduced to a spray of atoms. There are photos from Hiroshima and Nagasaki showing eerie silhouettes of people cast against a flat surface, such as a wall or floor. These are not, as is sometimes claimed, the remains of vaporized individuals, but rather a kind of morbid nuclear photograph. The heat of the nuclear explosion bleaches or darkens the background surface, except for the spot blocked by the person, leaving a corresponding outline. In some cases the heat released by the explosion will also burn the patterns of clothing onto people’s skin.

Near the center of the blast, the suffering and devastation most closely conform to the fictional apocalypse of our imaginations. This is what it would look like within a half-mile of Times Square: Few buildings would remain standing. Mountains of rubble would soar as high as 30 feet. As fires raged, smoke and ash would loft into the air. The New York Public Library’s stone guardians would be reduced to pebble and dust. Rockefeller Center would be an unrecognizable snarl of steel and concrete, its titanic statue of Prometheus — eight tons of bronze and plaster clad in gold  — completely incinerated.

Within a half-mile radius of the blast, there would be few survivors. Those closest to the atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki have described the horrors they witnessed: People with ripped sheets of skin hanging from their bodies; people whose brains were visible through their shattered skulls; people with holes for eyes. Sakue Shimohira watched her mother’s charred body crumble into ash as she tried to wake her. Shigeko Sasamori’s father cut off the blackened husk of skin all over her face, revealing pools of pus beneath.

As the fireball travels outward from the blast, people, buildings, and trees within a one-mile radius would be severely burned or charred. Metal, fabric, plastic, and clay would ignite, melt, or blister. The intense heat would set gas lines, fuel tanks, and power lines on fire, and an electromagnetic pulse created by the explosion would knock out most computers, cell phones, and communication towers within several miles.

Traveling much farther than the fireball, a colossal pressure wave would hurtle forth faster than the speed of sound, generating winds up to 500 miles per hour. The shock wave would demolish the flimsiest buildings and strip the walls and roofs off stronger structures, leaving only their naked and warped scaffolding. It would snap utility poles like toothpicks and rip through trees, fling people through the air, and turn brick, glass, wood, and metal into deadly projectiles. A blast in Times Square, combined with the fireball, would carve a crater 50 feet deep at the center of the explosion. The shock wave would reach a diameter of nearly 3.2 miles, shattering windows as far as Gramercy Park and the American Museum of Natural History.

All this would happen within a few seconds.
Keep reading.


Laura Ingraham on the Left's Reaction to President Donald Trump North Korea Nuclear Breakthrough (VIDEO)

I just don't watch much cable news these days, so I missed on the idiot commentary denouncing Donald Trump's meeting with Kim Jong Un, and I'm glad. Laura Ingraham rounds up some of these talking heads, and this is reminds me of exactly why I don't tune in. The news has changed so dramatically in, say, 20 years. I used to be a reliable viewer of CNN, and that's up to just a couple of years ago. But it's no long news but partisan cheerleading, and it's not worth my time. I don't even watch Fox News, except for these videos I post from time to time.

In any case, this is good. I didn't blog yesterday because I had all kinds of health appointments for my wife and I, and my young son, who's getting behavioral therapy to help with his ASD.

More on that later. Meanwhile, here's Ms. Laura:


Monday, June 11, 2018

Jordan Peterson: 'Post-Modernists' Are Teaching Your Kids

A great new video, from Prager University:



'Operation Finale' Trailer (VIDEO)

Looks like a very high caliber (MGM) production, including Ben Kingsley starring as Adolf Eichman.

From the promotional blurb:
Mossad agent Peter Malkin embarks on a covert mission to Argentina in 1960 to track down Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi officer who masterminded the transportation logistics that brought millions of innocent Jews to their deaths in concentration camps.


'Rapture'

Heard on the way in to my office (to finish posting semester grades) during drive-time, at Jack F.M. 93.1.

Blondie "Rapture":


Brown Eyed Girl
Van Morrison
10:24am

All Apologies
Nirvana
10:20am

Rapture
Blondie
10:15am

Rock 'N Me
The Steve Miller Band
10:12am

Clocks
Coldplay
10:07am

Don't Stop Believin'
Journey
10:03am

The Love Cats
The Cure
9:59am

(Oh) Pretty Woman
Van Halen
9:49am

Today
Smashing Pumpkins
9:45am

One Love/People Get Ready
Bob Marley
9:43am

Set Fire To The Rain
Adele
9:34am

American Girl
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
9:22am

Whip It
Devo
9:19am

Better Man
Pearl Jam
9:15am

You Make Lovin' Fun
Fleetwood Mac
9:11am

Today's Deals

At Amazon, Today's Deals. New deals. Every day. Shop our Deal of the Day, Lightning Deals and more daily deals and limited-time sales.

And especially, Practical Power: Luminoodle LED Light Rope - USB Powered Outdoor LED String + Camping Lantern - Waterproof Lights for Tents, Hiking, Safety, Emergencies.

Also, LEGACY HEATING Rectangular Fire Pit Table, Mocha powder coated finish.

And, Millennium Assorted Energy Bars (6 Count) - Long Shelf Life Fruit flavored Bar Bundle - Survival Pack for Calamity, Disaster, Hiking and Meal replacement - with Emergency Guide.

More, Mountain House Just In Case...Breakfast Bucket.

Plus, Koffee Kult - Medium Roast Coffee Beans (2 lb Whole Bean) Highest Quality Delicious Coffee - Fresh Gourmet Aromatic Artisan Blend - Packaging May Vary.

BONUS: Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning, The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars.


Jennifer Delacruz Summer Sunshine Weather

It's not officially summer until June 21st, but it sure does feel like it already. We've had temperatures in the mid-80s in the O.C. the last few days, and folks are out walking and enjoying their time off, gulping down some cold slushies while out strolling with friends.

I love summer!

Here's the lovely Ms. Jennifer, for ABC News 10 San Diego:



Charles Krauthammer's 'Unipolar Moment'

I had been reading Charles Krauthammer's column's back in the 1980s, when he was a columnist for Time Magazine. So, I was familiar with him by the time he published a path-breaking essay in 1990 at Foreign Affairs, "The Unipolar Moment":



Ever since it became clear that an exhausted Soviet Union was calling off the Cold War, the quest has been on for a new American role in the world. Roles, however, are not invented in the abstract; they are a response to a perceived world structure. Accordingly, thinking about post-Cold War American foreign policy has been framed by several conventionally accepted assumptions about the shape of the post-Cold War environment.

First, it has been assumed that the old bipolar world would beget a multipolar world with power dispersed to new centers in Japan, Germany (and/or "Europe"), China and a diminished Soviet Union/Russia. Second, that the domestic American consensus for an internationalist foreign policy, a consensus radically weakened by the experience in Vietnam, would substantially be restored now that policies and debates inspired by "an inordinate fear of communism" could be safely retired. Third, that in the new post-Soviet strategic environment the threat of war would be dramatically diminished.

All three of these assumptions are mistaken. The immediate post-Cold War world is not multipolar. It is unipolar. The center of world power is the unchallenged superpower, the United States, attended by its Western allies. Second, the internationalist consensus is under renewed assault. The assault this time comes not only from the usual pockets of post-Vietnam liberal isolationism (e.g., the churches) but from a resurgence of 1930s-style conservative isolationism. And third, the emergence of a new strategic environment, marked by the rise of small aggressive states armed with weapons of mass destruction and possessing the means to deliver them (what might be called Weapon States), makes the coming decades a time of heightened, not diminished, threat of war.

II

The most striking feature of the post-Cold War world is its unipolarity. No doubt, multipolarity will come in time. In perhaps another generation or so there will be great powers coequal with the United States, and the world will, in structure, resemble the pre-World War I era. But we are not there yet, nor will we be for decades. Now is the unipolar moment.

There is today no lack of second-rank powers. Germany and Japan are economic dynamos. Britain and France can deploy diplomatic and to some extent military assets. The Soviet Union possesses several elements of power-military, diplomatic and political-but all are in rapid decline. There is but one first-rate power and no prospect in the immediate future of any power to rival it.

Only a few months ago it was conventional wisdom that the new rivals, the great pillars of the new multipolar world, would be Japan and Germany (and/or Europe). How quickly a myth can explode. The notion that economic power inevitably translates into geopolitical influence is a materialist illusion. Economic power is a necessary condition for great power status. But it certainly is not sufficient, as has been made clear by the recent behavior of Germany and Japan, which have generally hidden under the table since the first shots rang out in Kuwait. And while a unified Europe may sometime in the next century act as a single power, its initial disarray and disjointed national responses to the crisis in the Persian Gulf again illustrate that "Europe" does not yet qualify even as a player on the world stage.

Which leaves us with the true geopolitical structure of the post-Cold War world, brought sharply into focus by the gulf crisis: a single pole of world power that consists of the United States at the apex of the industrial West. Perhaps it is more accurate to say the United States and behind it the West, because where the United States does not tread, the alliance does not follow. That was true for the reflagging of Kuwaiti vessels in 1987. It has been all the more true of the world's subsequent response to the invasion of Kuwait.

American preeminence is based on the fact that it is the only country with the military, diplomatic, political and economic assets to be a decisive player in any conflict in whatever part of the world it chooses to involve itself. In the Persian Gulf, for example, it was the United States, acting unilaterally and with extraordinary speed, that in August 1990 prevented Iraq from taking effective control of the entire Arabian Peninsula.

Iraq, having inadvertently revealed the unipolar structure of today's world, cannot stop complaining about it. It looks at allied and Soviet support for American action in the gulf and speaks of a conspiracy of North against South. Although it is perverse for Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to claim to represent the South, his analysis does contain some truth. The unipolar moment means that with the close of the century's three great Northern civil wars (World War I, World War II and the Cold War) an ideologically pacified North seeks security and order by aligning its foreign policy behind that of the United States. That is what is taking shape now in the Persian Gulf. And for the near future, it is the shape of things to come.

The Iraqis are equally acute in demystifying the much celebrated multilateralism of this new world order. They charge that the entire multilateral apparatus (United Nations resolutions, Arab troops, European Community pronouncements, and so on) established in the gulf by the United States is but a transparent cover for what is essentially an American challenge to Iraqi regional hegemony.

But of course. There is much pious talk about a new multilateral world and the promise of the United Nations as guarantor of a new post-Cold War order. But this is to mistake cause and effect, the United States and the United Nations...
RTWT.



Anthony Bourdain Heartbroken After Split from Asia Argento?

I know, from having my heart broken too many times, if there's one sure thing to drive a man over the cliff it's the rejection of a beautiful woman. And Bourdain had problems before. He'd been a heroin addict at one point.

The Other McCain tweeted the other day:


Also at TMZ:

Here's where things get murky. We know Anthony was shooting his show in France this week -- he'd been there for at least 4 days. However, Asia was back in Rome, strolling around with a French reporter named Hugo Clément. There were photos of them holding hands and hugging, but the Italian photographer who shot the pics pulled them off the market on the heels of Anthony's death.

It's unclear if Anthony and Asia had broken up. If they did, there was no public announcement. Their last public appearance together was at an event was back in April in NYC.

Amber Heard in Thin White Shirt

At Taxi Driver, "Amber Heard Breasts in Really Thin White Shirt."

Kate Upton, Alexis Ren in Sexy Aruba (VIDEO)

Nice:



White House Economic Adviser Peter Navarro Says 'There's a Special Place in Hell' for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (VIDEO)

I love this! At LAT, "White House officials accuse Canadian leader of 'stab in the back,' intensifying fight with U.S. ally":


White House officials lashed out at the leader of Canada, one of America’s closest allies, with extraordinary ferocity Sunday as they accused him of trying to make President Trump look weak heading into his summit with the leader of North Korea.

Two of Trump’s top economic advisors branded Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a backstabber, betrayer and double-crosser who pulled a “sophomoric political stunt” that threatened to embarrass Trump before his much-anticipated meeting with Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday.

“There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad-faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door,” White House trade advisor Peter Navarro said on “Fox News Sunday.”

The administration’s actions drew rebukes from Canada’s foreign minister as well as Democrats and some Republicans in Washington, including Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who on Twitter called out his party members after Navarro’s comments: “Fellow Republicans, this is not who we are. This cannot be our party.”

The White House anger stemmed from Trudeau’s criticism of Trump’s trade policies at a news conference Saturday after the annual Group of 7 summit, which Trudeau hosted at a resort in Charlevoix, Quebec.

Trump left the summit early, and an administration official told reporters he had joined a lengthy communiqué from the world leaders crafted on Friday and Saturday.

That night, however, Trump abruptly announced via Twitter that he would not sign the joint statement, calling Trudeau “very dishonest & weak” for his trade criticism.

Navarro sharply criticized the G-7 final statement, referring to it as “that socialist communiqué.”

Larry Kudlow, the director of the White House National Economic Council, offered a somewhat different account, saying Sunday that Trump agreed with the language in the communiqué, which Kudlow helped draft. The statement outlined a shared commitment to work on a variety of economic, social, environmental and security issues.
And at the New York Times: