Wednesday, December 31, 2014

NYPD on 'High Alert' as Leftists Plan 'Kill a Pig' Protests on New Year's Eve (VIDEO)

The left is literally waging all-out war on America's law enforcement, and New York City is like ground zero. At the video, Commissioner Bill Bratton says he's not leaving anything to chance.

At Jammie Wearing Fools, "Thanks, de Blasio! NYPD Facing “Kill a Pig Night” to Celebrate New Year":

Needless to say, the “mostly peaceful” protesters are preparing for a big night. Hope nobody interrupts Obama’s latest round of golf to give him the news.
The NYPD is investigating several threats to kill NYPD officers during New Year’s Eve celebrations, DNAinfo New York has learned.

Sources say there are several gang members on social media calling for New Year’s Eve to be “Kill a Pig Night” so that it will become “The New Year’s Eve Massacre 2014.”

The threats primarily come in tweets baring a host of vicious anti-NYPD hash tags including #@deadcopseveryday, #onlydeadcops, #wingsonpigs and #laughatyourdeaths, according to law enforcement sources.

One tweet reads: “Dear Police, Don’t think this cant happen again” accompanied by a photo of armed Blank Panthers from the 1960s and 1970s, sources say.

Police officials say the NYPD is taking all threats seriously, particularly in the wake of the Dec. 20 murder of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. Their assassin, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, took to Instagram that morning announcing he was coming to New York to kill police officers.

Sources say the NYPD has received 63 threats since the shootings and there have been 16 arrests connected to them.

There are presently 23 open investigations into threats against NYPD officers, a source said.

ObamaCare's Annus Horribilis

From Michelle Malkin:

There’s no candy coating the truth: ObamaCare has had a very terrible, horrible, crappy, none-too-happy year. What it really means is that the victims of Obamacare — taxpayers, health care consumers, health care providers, employers and employees — have had a hellish, nightmarish 2014.
RTWT.

Let's Have a National Conversation About the American Ghetto

From Michael Grable, at American Thinker, "A National Conversation about the American Ghetto":
The Left has long argued ad populum that disproportionately white police forces and disproportionately black prison populations prove American law enforcement institutionally racist.

That's essentially the perception behind, for example, the Left's long campaign against racial profiling as a police engagement technique.

Media sensationalism this year about two black deaths at the hands of white policemen inflamed the argument, while the president of the United States, the attorney general of the United States, the mayor of New York, and race-hustling entrepreneurs from Al Sharpton on down to any brother in the street with a bullhorn jumped on the black-while-walking bandwagon.

Here, however, is one standup law-enforcement professional, Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr., who begs to disagree.

Sheriff Clarke publicly condemns anti-police populism as the Left's deflection of an urban reality with which he's professionally all too familiar and for which the Left's all too politically responsible. "This deflects," says Sheriff Clarke:
against the real thing that we need to have a conversation about in this country and it's the American ghetto. And that's where most of the policing unfortunately has to be applied. The American ghetto has chronic poverty, high unemployment where people can't find meaningful work, and kids shackled to failing public schools ensuring that they won't reach their God-given potential. This creates a permanent underclass in this country and ensures that this group of people will continue to live life at the bottom. That's the kind of conversation that we need to have, as to how these failed liberal government policies have led to the creation and emergence of the welfare state. And that characterizes the American ghetto. Let's have that conversation and get off this nonsense that it's the policing profession that needs to be transformed. There's nothing wrong with the policing of, or institution of, policing in America.
The very civil rights movement with its war on poverty which was to have rectified American racism has, instead, perversely perpetuated it in the creation of a permanent underclass living life at the bottom of an urban ignorance, criminality, and violence which most requires the very policing against which its political beneficiaries now rail. That's a pretty "fundamental transformation" of at least one aspect of America. And it's a transformation of which no American should ever be anything but ashamed...
Keep reading.

Sad that.

Ignoring the Facts: How to Promote Lynch Mobs

From Thomas Sowell, at RCP, "Are Facts Obsolete?":
Some of us, who are old enough to remember the old television police series "Dragnet," may remember Sgt. Joe Friday saying, "Just the facts, ma'am." But that would be completely out of place today. Facts are becoming obsolete, as recent events have demonstrated.

What matters today is how well you can concoct a story that fits people's preconceptions and arouses their emotions. Politicians like New York mayor Bill de Blasio, professional demagogues like Al Sharpton and innumerable irresponsible people in the media have shown that they have great talent in promoting a lynch mob atmosphere toward the police.

Grand juries that examine hard facts live in a different world from mobs who listen to rhetoric and politicians who cater to the mobs.

During the controversy over the death of Trayvon Martin, for example, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus said that George Zimmerman had tracked Trayvon Martin down and shot him like a dog. The fact is that Zimmerman did not have to track down Trayvon Martin, who was sitting right on top of him, punching him till his face was bloody.

After the death of Michael Brown, members of the Congressional Black Caucus stood up in Congress, with their hands held up, saying "don't shoot." Although there were some who claimed that this is what Michael Brown said and did, there were other witnesses -- all black, by the way -- who said that Brown was charging toward the policeman when he was shot.

What was decisive was not what either set of witnesses said, but what the autopsy revealed, an autopsy involving three sets of forensic experts, including one representing Michael Brown's family. Witnesses can lie but the physical facts don't lie, even if politicians, mobs and the media prefer to take lies seriously.

The death of Eric Garner has likewise spawned stories having little relationship to facts. The story is that Garner died because a chokehold stopped his breathing. But Garner did not die with a policeman choking him.

He died later, in an ambulance where his heart stopped. He had a long medical history of various diseases, as well as a long criminal history. No doubt the stress of his capture did not do him any good, and he might well still be alive if he had not resisted arrest. But that was his choice.

Despite people who say blithely that the police need more "training," there is no "kinder and gentler" way to capture a 350-pound man, who is capable of inflicting grievous harm, and perhaps even death, on any of his would-be captors. The magic word "unarmed" means nothing in practice, however much the word may hype emotions...
More.

PREVIOUSLY: "BuzzFeed Busted for Pushing the 'Myth' of the Left's 'Dead Cops Chant'."

BuzzFeed Busted for Pushing the 'Myth' of the Left's 'Dead Cops Chant'

Walter James Casper pushes this meme all the time at his Twitter feed.

But Hugh Hewitt busted publisher Ben Smith on BuzzFeed's despicable meme that the left's "dead cop chant" is a myth. See, "Making a Little News on New Year’s Eve" (via Memeorandum).
So I taped an interview with Buzzfeed’s editor-in-chief Ben Smith this morning, one that led Ben to delete a front page headline splash for this story, and which triggered a bunch of follow-on stories among media reporters like The Daily Caller’s Al Weaver. Ben’s a good guest and willing to take hard questions, but I wouldn’t have just disappeared the header that we were discussing without a note to the readers. There’s also an interesting discussion of why I think Buzzfeed will “go left” in 2015 whether it wants to or not. Anyway, here’s the audio and transcript...
Yep. Busted. If you go to the BuzzFeed article the headline's been changed.

But check this dude's tweet below, from earlier this morning, as you can see the subheading, "Protesters Against Police Brutality Aren't Advocating for 'Dead Cops'."

Uh, actually they are, and there are lots of examples, not just the video from Al Sharpton's "dead cops" protest in New York.


Lies. That's all they have. Leftists are nothing but liars. You have to call them out, constantly and repeatedly. It takes time, but when they're busted their lies often do get further exposure on MSM outlets. It takes conservatives exponentially more effort to debunk the lies with the Obama-enabling media, but it can be done.

They're all despicable liars.

Violent Crime in L.A. Rose for First Time in 12 Years, LAPD Says

This year's been victorious for the left's forces of lawlessness and disruption. From soft-on-crime legislation to the anarchy in the streets, and to the radical left's all-out war on law enforcement, it's been a rough year for the bulwarks of decency and order.

The left wouldn't have it any other way.

At the Los Angeles Times, "L.A. violent crime rises for the first time in 12 years, LAPD says":
For more than a decade, the Los Angeles Police Department has pointed to year-end statistics showing big drops in crime as proof the agency was making the city safer.

But as 2014 draws to a close and the numbers show violent crime has climbed for the first time in 12 years, Chief Charlie Beck has struck a decidedly different note.

"One thing we've become trapped in doing is looking at crime year-to-year, month-to-month, day-to-day," Beck told reporters earlier this month. "When you do that you don't get a clear, overall picture."

His comments came after months of questions about the accuracy of the LAPD's crime data, which the department has long used to set crime-fighting strategies and assess the success or failure of various operations.

Through Saturday, LAPD figures showed a decline in property crimes, but more than a 12% jump in violent offenses over the same period last year. All four types of crime that account for the city's violence total had increased: Robberies and homicides were up slightly; rapes climbed 12.4%.

By far, the most dramatic rise was in aggravated assaults — serious attacks that typically involve a weapon or serious injury — which rose 24.2% compared with 2013.

The increase in assaults coincided with a Times investigation this summer that found that the LAPD significantly understated the city's true level of crime when it misclassified nearly 1,200 serious violent crimes as low-level offenses during a recent one-year period. The bulk of those errors were made when police recorded aggravated assaults as minor incidents...
More.

Socialists Hate God, Freedom, and America!

And they also hate cops.

Hate consumes.



Anais Zanotti: American Power's Woman of the Year for 2014

I almost forgot about AmPow's Woman of the Year!

In fact, I haven't even thought about it. I can't think of a genuine media sensation this year, unlike in 2013, when Emily Ratajkowski reigned supreme. And in 2012, Kate Upton took the top honors.

So, why Anais Zanotti?

In all of this year's babe blogging and Rule 5, Ms. Zanotti has evinced more of the "Ooh Ahh" factor than anyone else. She's fit and flirty, and not overexposed. Just a sweetie. She sky dives too!



More here, from the archives.

Also at WWTDD, "Anais Zanotti in a Bikini." And, "@PlayboyVzla pictorial this month."

And at Egotastic!, "Anais Zanotti Licks the Cream from the End of Summer’s Cone."

Get Fit New Year's Resolution

Shop for stuff to speed your fitness resolutions, at Amazon.



Evelyn Taft on Year-End's Record-Low Temperatures

The lovely Evelyn Taft, from KCBS Los Angeles, with the chilly weather forecast for CBS This Morning.

Longtime readers my recall Ms. Taft as a political scientist!



PREVIOUSLY: "The Coldest Rose Parade Ever."

Foreign Fighters Flow to Syria

Love this graphic, at the Washington Post.



More 'Broken Windows' for Seattle: Police Seethe as Political Officials Rein in Prosecutions for 'Minor' Crimes

Seattle, a leftist utopia.

And the police aren't loving this policy of no prosecutions for so-called "minor" offenses. Once again, criminals get a free pass. It's a nationwide trend, apparently, and it's getting worse amid the left's all-out assault on law enforcement post-Ferguson.

At WSJ, "Seattle Police Chafe Under New Marching Orders: City Reins in Prosecution for Minor Crimes, Sends Some Offenders to Social Services Instead of Criminal Courts":
SEATTLE— Kathleen O’Toole, this city’s new police chief, recently visited some of her department’s stations to deliver an unusual message: It’s OK to arrest people who violently break the law.

Ms. O’Toole, who became head of the 1,350-officer force in June, said police showed admirable but excessive restraint when pelted with stones and bottles at a protest related to the death of Michael Brown, the Ferguson, Mo., black teen shot by a white officer. “If you get agitators who threaten the police or the public, you have to arrest them,” she said.

That a police chief felt the need to issue such instructions is a signal of the turmoil that has beset American law enforcement. After decades of aggressive policing and prosecution practices, combined with tough-on-crime legislation, there is increasing debate over whether those policies need to change. In recent months, that has taken an angry and at times violent turn, including the shooting of Mr. Brown and the execution-style killing of two New York City policemen.

The tactics many believe helped reduce American crime rates and make violent cities more habitable now appear to be at odds with a different set of consequences. Almost 80 million people, or nearly one-third of adult Americans, have an arrest or conviction record, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation data. Among minorities, in particular, there is a mistrust of law enforcement.

These tensions are playing out in Seattle, a fast-growing city of more than 600,000 that is home to corporate giants such as Starbucks Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. The police department is under the scrutiny of a court-appointed monitor, the result of a 2012 Justice Department complaint accusing it of a pattern of using force that denied people’s constitutional rights.

Seattle’s political leadership, including City Attorney Peter Holmes, has moved to rein in police tactics and cut down on prosecutions for minor crimes.

Many police officers have chafed at the restrictions. Earlier this year, one officer cited dozens of people for smoking marijuana in public and wrote some of the tickets to the attention of “Petey Holmes.” Rates of serious crime have started to tick up.

Out of this contentious debate has emerged a possible third way, the joint brainchild of civil-rights activists and law-enforcement officials. The three-year-old program gives beat officers the option of diverting some offenders into social-service programs rather than the criminal courts.

Other locales are trying similar experiments. In Durham County, N.C., prosecutors, defense attorneys, police and judges are working to give youthful first-time offenders an option other than adult court and a criminal record. Authorities in New York, Philadelphia and some other cities have stepped away from making arrests for minor pot possession. Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn has directed officers to limit searches during traffic stops, which in the past produced arrests.

The collateral consequences of an arrest and conviction—which can include difficulty in getting a job, scholarship or loan many years later—are now “definitely on our radar screen,” said Steven Jansen, vice president of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, a group representing thousands of prosecutors. “In the end, we have to ask, ‘Is this fair?’ ”
"Serious crime" is going up, but political officials are getting the "restorative justice" shakedown from leftist "civil rights activists" looking to weaken American law enforcement altogether.

This country is going to hell. Damn.

Continue reading.

Owner of L.A.'s Golden Road Brewing Better Start to 'Share His Profits More Equitably...'

Following-up from the the other day, "Los Angeles' Minimum Wage Hike Risks Driving Businesses to Nearby Cities."

No surprise, but leftist readers of the Times took issue, captured perfectly by this totalitarian letter to the editor, "Will a wage boost lift all boats or push jobs out of L.A.?":
To the editor: Golden Road Brewing head Tony Yanow asks, "Do you want to go somewhere you can make money, or do you want to go somewhere where they are stacking the cards against you?" I, an avid IPA aficionado, would respond that I would rather support a brewer who is willing to share his profits more equitably.

I applaud the entrepreneurial spirit of brewers like Yanow. They deserve their profits. Just how much do they think they need to make before they are willing to acknowledge the efforts of their employees by paying them a living wage?

I will be watching and making my decisions about where I enjoy my IPA. The greedy ones need to know they are not the only IPA experts in town.

Sharon Fane, Burbank
Well, she "applauds" them if they're willing to redistribute their earnings. Otherwise she just considers them "greedy" bastards. Typical anti-business leftist. Damn.

Surprisingly, the Times also published a much more sensible letter carefully laying out the logic of the marketplace, from Andrew Chawke in Sherman Oaks (at the link).

Central American Migrants Allowed to Stay in U.S. Go Missing, Fail to Show Up at Deportation Hearings

Well, here's an "I told you so" follow-up from last summer's blogging on the Central American illegal immigration onslaught, when I predicted that alien migrants wouldn't be sent back home. See, "Few Central American Illegals Will Ever Be Sent Back Home — #BorderInvasion," and "Wave of Unaccompanied Alien Children Swamps the United States — #BorderInvasion."

And now, via Blazing Cat Fur, "U.S. shocker: Illegal Immigrant Families With Deportation Orders Go Missing."

College Football, Awash in Money, More Like Professional Sports Than Higher Education

You don't say?

At NYT, "What Made College Football More Like the Pros? $7.3 Billion, for a Start":

After taking a sociology exam, Cardale Jones, a quarterback at Ohio State, posted a message on Twitter that echoed across college sports: “Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain’t come to play SCHOOL, classes are POINTLESS.”

Two years after publishing that provocative statement, Jones will be the starting quarterback on Thursday against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, the second semifinal game of college football’s new playoff system — and his words have renewed relevance. Never has the sport been so awash in money, a growth industry on campuses that some observers believe increasingly resembles professional football more than higher education.

In some ways, even the N.F.L., that $10-billion-a-year enterprise, might be struggling to compete. The University of Michigan on Tuesday introduced its new coach, Jim Harbaugh, who left the N.F.L.’s San Francisco 49ers to join the Wolverines. His base salary — $5 million annually for seven years with 10 percent increases after three and five years — will eventually amount to more than what he was earning in the N.F.L.

Harbaugh will have one of the highest base salaries in the country. The highest-paid college football coach at around $7 million this season was Alabama’s Nick Saban, who also chose to leave a head coaching position in the N.F.L., in 2007, for the riches of the college ranks.

“When you hear presidents and athletic directors talk about character and academics and integrity, none of that really matters,” said Mack Brown, a longtime coach at Texas who is now a television analyst. “The truth is, nobody has ever been fired for those things. They get fired for losing.”

Harbaugh, like most college football coaches, will receive bonuses. His incentives come for reaching the Big Ten championship game ($125,000), winning the Big Ten championship ($250,000), reaching a College Football Playoff bowl ($200,000), playing in the four-team national championship playoff ($300,000) and for team academic performance (up to $150,000). Winning a national title would bring him $500,000.

The story of college football’s gold rush can be told through television contracts. Under the championship playoff format that began this season, ESPN is paying $7.3 billion over 12 years to telecast seven games a year — four major bowl games, two semifinal bowl games and the national championship game. (In the first semifinal on Thursday, Oregon will play Florida State in the Rose Bowl; the title game is on Jan. 12.)

Each of the five major conferences — the Southeastern, the Atlantic Coast, the Pacific-12, the Big 12 and the Big Ten — will see its base revenue increase to about $50 million, from about $28 million under last season’s system. The base revenue will nearly triple for the five conferences that make up the next tier of college football.

The playoff is such a profitable showpiece that many believe it will be expanded to eight teams or more. On Tuesday, the top-selling college item on Fana-tics.com was a T-shirt depicting the playoff bracket.

“College football is growing closer and closer to being like the N.F.L.,” Brown said...
More.

Norway Turns Against Statoil

It's the state oil company, which generates about a quarter of national income.

Still, the far-left Norwegian population has turned against the company. You know, it's all about the environment to leftists. Too bad we can't ship all of ours to Scandinavia.

At the New York Times, "Norwegians Turn Ambivalent on Statoil, Their Economic Bedrock":
OSLO — This has not been a particularly good year for Statoil, the huge state-controlled oil company that has had a commanding presence in Norway’s economy and society for more than four decades.

In the spring, Statoil cut 1,000 jobs, or 4 percent of its work force. In September, it postponed a much-criticized project in the Canadian tar sands for at least three years. On Oct. 29, reflecting collapsing oil prices and a steep tumble of its stock, it reported its first quarterly loss since 2001. And in November, it announced disappointing results from the year’s program of drilling for new oil and gas in the Norwegian Arctic.

But it is not just the vicissitudes of oil markets and exploratory wells that are causing difficulties for Statoil. In an era of climate change, the company — and by extension Norway’s entire oil and gas industry, which accounts for nearly a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide — is coming under increasing pressure from within its own borders.

The activism goes beyond conventional environmental concerns to issues of the company’s pervasive presence in Norwegian life.

At the University of Bergen and other schools, for instance, professors and students have protested Statoil’s financing of academic research, worth about $12 million annually. And musicians and artists have campaigned against the company’s widespread sponsorship of cultural events and organizations, which has included cash awards to performers whom Statoil calls “Heroes of Tomorrow.”

“Basically, you’re a billboard for an oil company,” Martin Hagfors, a musician, said in an interview in his studio in Oslo’s lively Gronland district. “And if you have any sense that we need to change direction, you can’t be a billboard for an oil company.”

The tensions are playing out in Parliament, too. In June, majority and opposition parties pressured Statoil to agree to provide electricity to several North Sea oil fields from land, using clean hydroelectricity delivered by cable rather than greenhouse-gas-emitting gas generators offshore.

“There’s a growing concern that Norway is basing its welfare to such a large extent on something that is increasing global warming,” said Rasmus Hansson, who last year became the first member of the Green Party to be elected to Parliament. “It’s a moral issue.”

Statoil, which was concerned about costs and delays, fought back, and a compromise was eventually reached that will cut emissions by up to 23 million tons of carbon dioxide over the lifetime of the fields. The episode was seen as a milestone for Parliament, which normally rubber-stamps most Statoil projects.

“It was a very important thing to do at the time we did it,” said Terje Aasland, a member of Parliament with the Labor Party, the largest opposition party.

“Climate change is coming closer and closer every day,” he added. “I think people are more concerned about the future.”
A bunch of blithering idiots. The climate change consensus has completely collapsed, but these Norwegian socialists are still lapping up the global warming Kool-Aid.

It's not going to be good for the country's long-term prosperity, but leftists never learn.

Toddler Accidentally Shoots Mother Dead in Idaho Walmart

This is just horrible.

At Bearing Arms, "PUT IT IN A &*%$# HOLSTER! Toddler Kills Mother Via Negligent Discharge In Idaho."

Reports indicate she had a concealed carry permit but kept the gun in her purse. The toddler grabbed it and shot the mom accidentally. Just a tragic, tragic accident. The mom wasn't too smart, and that's sad.



Lena Dunham's Alleged 'Republican Rapist' is a Democrat

At Instapundit, "GAWKER: Lena Dunham’s Fictional Republican Rapist Is Actually the Democratic Son of an NPR Host":
Nice detective work here, but I don’t believe anything Dunham writes.
Also at Evil Blogger Lady, "Lena 'Liar' Dunham."

More at Twitchy, "Gawker defends Lena Dunham against right-wing ‘antagonists’ by outing alleged rapist."

Lena Dunham photo B6Kc2k_CYAECc_r_zpsb32e13d1.png

The Coldest Rose Parade Ever

It's cold. Overnight temperatures are dropping.

Here's ABC 7 Los Angeles, "SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SNOW: MORE THAN 130 DRIVERS STUCK, 15 FREEWAY, ORTEGA HIGHWAY CLOSED," and "SNOW CONTINUES TO DUST SOCAL MOUNTAINS WHILE TEMPS DROP."

And at the Los Angeles Times, "The coldest Rose Parade ever looms, but flower handlers carry on."

Crime as Politics

From VDH, at Pajamas:
Obama Crime photo B5WTXWKIEAAq2Mn_zpsd016c3b7.jpg

In the last few days, the local Fresno community was outraged — or at least was reportedly to be so — at the vandalism of a local Islamic cultural center.

The police authorities almost immediately, and without waiting for the full evidence to be collected, declared the minor burglary and damage the apparent dividend of illiberal dark forces. The chief of police, without compelling evidence, and without explaining why a secular medical building was also trashed in the spree, rushed to hold a press conference. He declared the broken window and moderate trashing of the center’s interior, not just a “hate crime,” but in fact a “brazen hate crime.”

What next followed was Fresno’s comic version of what now is normal race and gender news. Almost immediately it was learned that there was a video of the suspected perpetrator in mediis rebus. Mr. Asif Mohammad Khan was a Muslim, with a record of mental disturbances, and had attended the center. He claimed that he had vandalized the buildings as part of payback to other center attendees who, he claimed, had bullied him — and reportedly was known to be an admirer of Osama bin Laden. The “brazen” hate crime and the atmosphere of intolerance vanished with the local morning fog. The FBI, of course, is still “investigating” a possible “hate crime.” But they too will quietly go away in short order.

But just a few days earlier, there was another Fresno crime captured on video, both violent and in theory fueled by racial animus, or at least more deserving of a FBI second look at such a possible catalyst. At a local municipal bus stop an elderly man with a walker bravely protested that a large youth was bullying a smaller teen. The video captures the thug in response yelling at the defender, then striking the man to the pavement. The latter hit his head on his walker and momentarily lost consciousness.

The attacker was a large, rather young African-American; the victim a 62-year-old white man. What followed was no police hectoring. No lectures about the safety of the city’s bus stops. No police chief warnings about interracial tensions. No brazen hate crime sermons about the hale and young attacking the elderly or disabled. Indeed the police initially did not even consider the attack a crime, but rather a “fall.” Only a chance bystander’s video of the incident led to a reinvestigation and the suspected perpetrator’s arrest.

Unlike the city’s failed effort to turn the Islamic center vandalism into a teachable moment, this really was a teachable moment, perhaps in two unfortunate regards. One, heroism is rendered foolish. So far no one in the city has stepped forward to congratulate a disabled senior’s heroic (and apparently successful) efforts to divert the bullying of teenager onto his own person. His only reward was to have been knocked out by the attacker, and the crime initially not considered a crime, but his injuries due supposedly to his own clumsiness.  Second, the disabled victim is lucky he was not armed. Had he pulled out a legal, concealed weapon when the bully approached him to attack, and fired in self-defense, we would have another Trayvon Martin hate crime, and charges that a climate of racial intolerance had led to the death of another unarmed African-American. In comparison to all that, a head injury is apparently preferable.

In some cynical fashion I sympathize with local officials and the police. To rush to judgment on the pseudo-“brazen” hate crime at the Islamic center is to win laurels and careerist points; to deplore the truly brazen beating of a solitary old white guy trying to protect the weaker from a much larger African-American thug who fled the scene is to court social ostracism and career implosion. Note well that there is no downside for the police chief in feebly retracting his shoot-from-the-hip damnation of supposedly local hatred that fueled the vandalism. He just shrugged, made inoperative his prior false news release, and went on.

I don’t doubt that there are occasional hate crimes against various ethnic and religious groups. After all, the United States is still a great experiment that seeks to unite the world’s tribes into a coherent whole. And never has that gambit been more problematic in the age of hyphenation and the salad bowl in lieu of the melting pot.

But right now, discussion of crime is too often constructed as an ideological tool to serve larger political agendas...
More.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Progressives and Disorder

At the Wall Street Journal, "The next two years may be the most dangerous since the Cold War ended":
As the calendar turns toward the final two years of the Obama Presidency, this is a moment to consider the world it has produced. There is no formal Obama Doctrine that serves as the 44th President’s blueprint for America’s engagement with the world. But it is fair to say that Barack Obama brought into office a set of ideas associated with the progressive, or left-leaning, wing of the Democratic foreign-policy establishment.

“Leading from behind” was the phrase coined in 2011 by an Obama foreign-policy adviser to describe the President’s approach to the insurrection in Libya against Moammar Gaddafi. That phrase may have since entered the lexicon of derision, but it was intended as a succinct description of the progressive approach to U.S. foreign policy.

***
The Democratic left believes that for decades the U.S. national-security presence in the world—simply, the American military—has been too large. Instead, when trouble emerges in the world, the U.S. should act only after it has engaged its enemies in attempts at detente, and only if it first wins the support and participation of allies and global institutions, such as NATO, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and so on.

In an interview this week with National Public Radio, Mr. Obama offered an apt description of the progressive foreign-policy vision. “When it comes to ISIL, us devoting another trillion dollars after having been involved in big occupations of countries that didn’t turn out all that well” is something he is hesitant to do.

Instead, he said, “We need to spend a trillion dollars rebuilding our schools, our roads, our basic science and research here in the United States; that is going to be a recipe for our long-term security and success.”

That $1 trillion figure is one of the President’s famous straw-man arguments. But what is the recipe if an ISIL or other global rogue doesn’t get his memo?

ISIL, or Islamic State, rose to dominate much of Iraq after its armed forces captured the northern city of Mosul in June, followed by a sweep toward Baghdad. With it came the videotaped beheadings of U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aide worker Peter Kassig.

Islamic State’s rise was made possible not merely because the U.S. wound down its military presence in Iraq but because Mr. Obama chose to eliminate that presence. Under intense pressure from the Pentagon and our regional allies, the White House later in the year committed useful if limited air support to the Iraqi army battling Islamic State. Without question the U.S. was behind the curve, and with dire consequences.

Islamic State’s success has emboldened or triggered other jihadist movements, despite Mr. Obama’s assurance that the war on terror was fading.

Radical Islamists are grabbing territory from U.S. allies in Yemen. They have overrun Libya’s capital and threaten its oil fields. Boko Haram in Nigeria, the kidnappers of some 275 schoolgirls in April, adopted the ISIL terror model. U.S. allies in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan, are struggling to cope with the violence spreading out of Syria and Iraq. Mr. Obama can only hope that the Afghan Taliban do not move now to retake Kandahar after he announced this week with premature bravado “the end of the combat mission.”

The crucial flaw in the Democratic left’s model of global governance is that it has little or no answer to containing or deterring the serious threats that emerge in any region of the world when the U.S. retreats from leadership...
A chilling editorial.

The left's "model" is making each and every American less safe. Keep reading. The next two years will be the most dangerous for America since the end of the Cold War.

Hundreds of African 'Migrants' Storm Spanish Enclave at Melilla (VIDEO)

It's not the first time. The enclave's considered a "backdoor to Europe."

At NYT, "200 Migrants Storm Spanish North African Enclave Fence."


Thousands of African migrants living illegally in Morocco try to enter the Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta each year, hoping to reach Europe for a better life.

The ministry says 2,000 migrants have made it across in roughly 65 storming attempts this year.

#EzellFord Anti-Cop Protesters Harass, Threaten to Torch KTLA News Crew in Los Angeles (VIDEO)

As if we didn't know already: These are bad people. Very bad. And totally representative of the left's anti-police movement and cop-killing vigilantism.

At Gateway Pundit, "SHOCK VIDEO>>> Protesters Threaten to TORCH REPORTER for Covering Ezell Ford Vigil."



Front Line Warning on Peleliu October 1944

I'm watching "The Pacific."

The Battle of Peleliu was the costliest, perhaps most dreaded engagement of the entire Pacific war.

Peleliu October 1944 photo Skull_and_danger_sign_on_Peleliu_zpscfb9e173.jpg

New York Arrests Plummet Following Execution of Cops

This is exactly what the anti-cop protests are all about --- hindering police effectiveness (which allows crime to flourish) and seeing more police officers killed.

At the New York Post:


Stay Hydrated in the New Year

At Amazon, Shop Amazon Home & Kitchen - New Year, New You - Stay Hydrated

Free Beacon's 'Man of the Year' — The Israeli Defense Forces

Well done.



Karla de los Angeles Gored Twice in Mexico City Bullfight

I don't know. Maybe this isn't the best sport for women?

At London's Daily Mail, "Heels over head: Female bullfighter gored TWICE by the same animal while going for the kill."



'Transgender' Teenager Leaves Suicide Note Blaming Christian Parents Before Walking in Front of Tractor Trailer on Highway

More proof that "transgenderism" is a freakin' disease.

And note to Daily Mail: He's not a "her."

At iOWNTHEWORLD Report, "Kid Scars Tractor Trailer Driver for Life by Selfishly Walking in Front of It to Kill Himself."

Alessandra Ambrosio Flaunts Her Bikini Body on Beach in Brazil

It's summer down that way.

At London's Daily Mail, "'Sunday Funday!': Alessandra Ambrosio shows off her teeny leopard bikini while sipping from a coconut with a pal in Brazil."

Prices for Wholesale Eggs Expected to Rise 10 to 40 Percent in 2015 as California Animal Welfare Law Kicks In

The chickens should be treated decently, although remember, with progressives, everything they do forces higher costs on society. Everything. It never stops. Never.

At LAT, "Egg prices likely to rise amid laws mandating cage-free henhouses":
If your eggs seem a little pricier, consider the recent changes on Frank Hilliker's ranch.

In the last six months, the third-generation egg farmer in central San Diego County has reduced his flock by half and embarked on a $1-million overhaul of his henhouses to make them more spacious. Customers are now paying about 50% more for a dozen eggs from Hilliker's family business at around $3 a carton.

It's all to comply with a landmark animal welfare law that takes effect in California on New Year's Day. Voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 2 in 2008 to effectively abolish the close confinement of farm animals in cramped cages and crates — a practice that animal advocates say causes needless suffering and boosts the likelihood of salmonella contamination.

But to ensure the well-being of California's 15 million laying hens, consumers will probably have to pay more for the supermarket staple. Prices for wholesale eggs are expected to rise 10% to 40% next year because of infrastructure upgrades and the reduction of flocks to provide animals more space, according to Dan Sumner, an agricultural economist at UC Davis.

Already, the specter of California's regulations are believed to be contributing to record prices for eggs. The average wholesale cost of a dozen large eggs hit a peak of $2 on Thanksgiving Day — doubling in price from the start of November before settling this week to about $1.40. It comes at a time when soaring meat prices are expected to help push U.S. egg consumption to its highest level in seven years.

Adding to the pressure is increased demand for U.S. eggs in Canada and Mexico, where domestic poultry and egg industries are battling bouts of avian flu.

"It's sort of a perfect storm," said Ronald Fong, president and chief executive of the California Grocers Assn., who doesn't expect a significant egg shortage next month, but is less clear about changes in retail prices.

California's rules are rippling beyond its borders. No state consumes more eggs — and about a third of its supply must be imported. Iowa, where laying hens outnumber people 2 to 1, sells about 40 million eggs a day to out-of-state buyers.

Under a separate bill signed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010, all shell eggs arriving from other states must also comply with Proposition 2 by Jan. 1, 2015.

That requirement set off a barrage of lawsuits, including one from six leading egg-producing states. Missouri, Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska and Oklahoma invoked the constitution's interstate commerce clause by arguing that California was interfering with their local egg industries. The suit, which was dismissed by a federal judge in October, is being appealed...
More.

Cassandra Fairbanks Poses Covered Topless for Walter James Casper III

Repsac3 was reaching out to the scuzzy leftist bitch over the summer, so Cassandra's now returning the favor with some communist covered topless for the far-left loser.

Here, "This isn't the 50s. Slut shaming, body shaming, and general disdain for women is lame. Boobs are awesome, fuck you."



So disgusting. All of these people. No beauty. No decency. Just hate.

Top Conservative Columnists for 2014

Charles Krauthammer is obviously my favorite, although it's a close tie with Michelle Malkin.

From John Hawkins, at Right Wing News, "The 50 Best Conservative Columnists of 2014 (6th Annual)."

Communism Kills

Via Katie Pavlich, on Twitter.

Katie Pavlich photo B5F5jIPCUAAL_TD_zpsf68c37c8.jpg

2014: The Year the Liberal Leftist Lies Died

From Kurt Schlichter, at Town Hall.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Mayor de Basio Booed at Police Graduation (VIDEO)

At WSJ, "NYC Mayor, Booed at Police Graduation, to Meet Union Officials: Bill de Blasio, Heckled and Applauded Monday, Slated to Meet Police Union Officials Tuesday":


Mayor Bill de Blasio, who faced boos and heckling at a New York Police Department graduation ceremony Monday, is slated to meet police union officials Tuesday in an effort to defuse hostilities.

The mayor is scheduled to meet leaders of the Captains Endowment Association, Lieutenants Benevolent Association, Sergeants Benevolent Association, Detectives’ Endowment Association and the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. Police Commissioner William Bratton and senior NYPD leadership are also expected to attend.

An aide to the mayor said officials at City Hall, along with department officials, reached out to the union leaders to set up the meeting after Mr. de Blasio last week set in motion plans to meet the labor leaders.

On Monday, Mr. de Blasio praised the 884 graduates assembled for the ceremony at Madison Square Garden for choosing what he described as a “noble calling,” telling the newly minted police officers they will “stare down the danger” and “keep the peace.”

“You serve the people of the greatest city in the world. You serve in the greatest and finest police department on this Earth,” Mr. de Blasio said. “It takes a special kind of person to put their lives on the line for others.”

But the mayor, who has been the target of intense criticism since two New York City officers were fatally shot in an ambush five days before Christmas, was met by a chorus of boos amid tepid applause.

At one point when he told the officers they will confront a number of societal problems they didn’t create, a member of the audience heckled him, saying the mayor created those problems.

In an audience that numbered in the thousands, a handful in the crowd stood during the mayor’s remarks with their backs turned to him.

On Dec. 20, some officers had turned their backs to the mayor at a hospital news conference announcing the deaths of Officer Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. Some repeated that act at Officer Ramos’s funeral on Saturday.
More.

Also at the Washington Post, "De Blasio-police rift shows few signs of closing."

ADDED: From Downtrend, "Watch Bill De Blasio’s Heckler Receive a Round of Applause."

MORE: Linked at AoSHQ, "Police Boo, Turn Backs on De Blasio at Police Academy Graduation Ceremony." Thanks!

Also at Marathon Pundit, "(Video) De Blasio receives boos and catcalls at NYPD graduation ceremony." Thanks!

Poll Finds White Democrats Identify with Far-Left's Ideological Cop-Hatred

If you're a Democrat, it's pretty pathetic that your party's rank-and-file identify with the left's hardline anti-cop communist agenda.

But this report at the Washington Post really lays out the ideological divide over the public's support for the nation's law enforcement.

Basically, for Democrats, it's no friends of the police on the left. Not a good sign for our democracy, as many commentators have indicated.

See, "On racial issues, America is divided both black and white and red and blue":
The growing partisan differences among white Democrats and Republicans over issues of race and justice coincided with the deepening red-blue divisions in the country that have affected attitudes on other issues, perceptions of political leaders, assessments of the state of the economy and the hardening of voting patterns.

Political partisanship and ideology play a stronger role in white Americans’ views on these issues than almost all other demographic and regional factors, according to a statistical analysis looking at the impact of many factors at once.

Higher-educated whites and those living in areas with larger black populations are more apt to doubt that minorities are treated equally in the justice system. But these factors are far outweighed by political considerations. When holding these and other demographics constant, conservatives and Republicans continue to be far more likely to say whites and blacks receive equal treatment in the justice system.

Here are some examples of the differences among whites from the latest Post-ABC poll:

● Eight in 10 white Republicans say the killings of Brown and Garner were isolated incidents, while more than 6 in 10 white Democrats say they are part of a broader pattern.

● Over half of white Republicans say they approve of the grand jury decision not to indict in the death of Garner, but only a fifth of white Democrats approve.

● Almost twice as many white Republicans as white Democrats say they are confident that police are held accountable for misconduct, and twice as many say they are confident that police are adequately trained to avoid the use of excessive force.
See that?

Basically, eighty percent of white Democrats disapprove of the grand jury's decision in Ferguson. And more than 60 percent see some "larger pattern" against blacks in the criminal justice system.

Seriously, from Obama and Holder on down to the rank-and-file of the Democrat Party, the ideological left essentially backs the Al Sharpton "dead cops" vigilante agenda. Again, it's a terrible statement on our democracy. The Democrats are the despicable party of lies and anti-cop hatred.

Can a Democratic Win the Presidency After Two Terms of Obama?

Just seeing this posed in the MSM is not good for the Democrats. Not good at all.

From Mark Barabak, at LAT, "Big obstacles await both parties in 2016 race for president":
Twelve months before the voting is set to begin, the 2016 presidential race is shaping up as a fiercely competitive contest driven by two overriding forces that — candidates aside — will go a long way toward deciding the next occupant of the White House.

Whoever Democrats nominate — Hillary Rodham Clinton being the heavy favorite — will face the inherently difficult task of winning the presidency for the party for the third time in a row. That has happened only once since Harry Truman was elected more than half a century ago: in 1988 when Republican George H.W. Bush succeeded President Reagan.

"People always choose, even if you have a popular president, the remedy [to] and not the replica of what they have," said David Axelrod, a Democratic strategist who twice helped Barack Obama win the White House.

At the same time, Republicans face another wide-open contest for their nomination — and, with it, a gravitational pull from the right flank of the party. That wing of the GOP is far more conservative than the country as a whole, potentially making the winner less appealing to a broader November electorate.

"The stark reality that Republicans face is that the nation is younger and it's more diverse ethnically," said Dick Wadhams, a Republican strategist in Colorado, a state expected to be among the hardest-fought in 2016. "We've got to have a Republican who can speak to that reality."

With each side facing hurdles, the bottom line is a presidential contest that could be the most competitive since at least 2000, when the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in after weeks of legal jousting to break an effective tie and put Bush's son George W. in the White House...
Yeah, yeah.

Candidate quality goes without saying. In 2014, Republicans ran far superior candidates, confident "happy warriors," compared to the glum, morose and fearful Democrats who couldn't run away from Obama fast enough.

But keep reading.

PREVIOUSLY: "Hillary Clinton Faces Uphill Fight for White, Rural Vote."

Dealth Toll Rises in Fiery Greek Ferry Disaster

What a nightmare.

At Telegraph UK, "Italy ferry: 'Up to 43 still missing' amid confusion over Norman Atlantic passenger list":
Death toll rises to 10 on fire-ravaged car ferry Norman Atlantic as evacuation operation finishes, but search continues into night as over 40 people on passenger list unaccounted for.
The death toll from the Italian ferry fire in the Adriatic climbed to 10 on Monda night as Italian officials conceded that more than 40 further people may still be missing from the vessel.

The Italian coast guard said in its latest update that 10 people had died and 407 people had been rescued after the fire broke out aboard the Norman Atlantic on Sunday morning as it sailed from Patras in Greece to Ancona in northern Italy.

Earlier on Monday Matteo Renzi, the Italian prime minister, said everyone had been rescued from the ferry. But the respected Greek news outlet To Vima reported that as many as 38 passengers were still missing, forcing Italian transport ministry officials to concede on Monday night that up to 43 people were unaccounted for.

Maurizio Lupi, the Italian transport minister said at a news conference that, while the ship was officially carrying 478 people, including 56 crew, some of the rescued survivors had not been on the passenger list. “Predicting how many are missing seems premature,” he said.

The Italian navy was continuing to search for bodies around the stricken ferry, which remained in waters close to Albania, hours after nightfall.
PREVIOUSLY: "Passengers Plead to Be Saved from Burning Ferry."

Deborah Hersman on Missing AirAsia Flight 8501

Via CBS This Morning:



FLASHBACK: "Hey, Check Out NTSB's Smokin' Hottie Deborah Hersman."

Hillary Clinton Faces Uphill Fight for White, Rural Vote

Heh.

The MSM collectivists are simply obsessed with the GOP's alleged Hispanic problem, but as we saw in 2014, it's the Democrats who're facing the biggest demographic political hurdles. It's going to be extremely difficult for the Dems to win the White House in 2016, ironically so if Hillary Clinton wins the party's nomination. To put it matter-of-factly, she'll be an old white lady in a party coming off two terms of the left's so-called "rainbow" coalition of "the ascendant." It was Barack Obama who mobilized this coalition based on his diversity and radical Marxist pedigree. Clinton's got none of that, which is of course why leftists are jonesing for an Elizabeth Warren "populist" candidacy (more irony there, of course, with "Fauxcahontas").

In any case, see the Wall Street Journal, "Uphill Fight: Interviews in Arkansas Suggest Leeriness of State’s Former First Lady" (via Memeorandum):
DEVALLS BLUFF, Ark.—White, working-class voters in eastern Arkansas for years backed Democratic candidates, among them Bill Clinton and outgoing Gov. Mike Beebe, but have moved sharply toward Republicans in recent elections.

Now, as the 2016 election takes shape, some of Hillary Clinton ’s allies are trumpeting her potential as a presidential candidate to bring these voters back to the Democratic Party and to run competitively in a handful of states, including Arkansas, that have spurned President Barack Obama .

But even here, where Mrs. Clinton was the state’s first lady, many voters say they view her with the same leeriness they do Mr. Obama and other national Democrats. That points to a significant question should Mrs. Clinton run: whether enough such voters can separate her from the national party many have grown to dislike.

“I’m mad at the Democratic Party, and I don’t see Hillary changing that,” said Eddie Ciganek, a 61-year-old farmer who serves on Prairie County’s governing board and who has voted Democrat at times. “Her thinking isn’t going to be very far off from President Obama’s thinking, and I don’t think they’re moving the country in the right direction.”

Occasional Democratic voter Johnny Watkins, 64, wearing a light-blue work shirt after finishing his shift at the county landfill, said of Mrs. Clinton: “I don’t think she has any concerns about us.”

Working-class voters have long been a bedrock of Democratic support, and the party continues to do well with voters from lower-income households overall, according to exit polls.

But white, more rural voters in the South and elsewhere have been fleeing the party. Just five years ago, Arkansas Democrats held both Senate seats, three out of four House seats, the governor’s office and control of both chambers of the state legislature. The election in November of Republicans Tom Cotton to the U.S. Senate and Asa Hutchinson to the governor’s office will leave the Democratic Party without a single federal or statewide officeholder in Arkansas, a state that Bill Clinton carried twice by at least 17 percentage points.

Mrs. Clinton’s allies are confident she can attract white voters who have turned away from her party, particularly women. Democratic pollster Geoff Garin, who worked on her 2008 campaign, said she “demonstrated a significant ability to not only win votes from working-class white women but to connect with them on a personal level.”

After a rocky start in that campaign, Mrs. Clinton cast herself as a scrappy underdog and union ally while topping Mr. Obama in more than 20 states in Democratic primaries in places such as Pennsylvania and Ohio that have many white, working-class voters...
More.

PREVIOUSLY: "Why the Democrats Got Crushed — Totally Freakin' Crushed! — And Why They Have No 2016 Lock."

Heidi Klum Christmas in St. Barts

At Egotastic!, "Heidi Klum on Christmas Caribbean Bikini Making the Sexy Vacation!"

PREVIOUSLY: "Heidi Klum's Sharper Image Too Sexy for Vegas!"

Special Offers in Home & Garden, Kitchen & Housewares

At Amazon, Shop Amazon Home - New Year, New You - Organize Your Kitchen


Open Season on Cops: One Suspect Still at Large After Officers Ambushed in South Los Angeles

The continuing cataclysm of the left's all-out war on law enforcement.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Uneasiness among L.A. police as 2 officers say they were shot at":
The search for a second suspect in an "ambush" on Los Angeles police was called off early Monday, and red and yellow caution tape barred entrance to the scene of the shooting.

"We don't know what precipitated the shooting," LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman told the Los Angeles Times, but "everyone's keenly aware of what happened in New York," and there is a "sense of uneasiness."

Sunday night around 9:20 p.m., two officers in a single patrol car were responding to a call and driving southbound on Hoover Street near 62nd Place. They saw a muzzle flash -- the visible blast from a gun -- and determined they were being fired at, Neiman said.

Neither officer was hurt, and they returned fire, officials said.

Police called a citywide tactical alert and launched a massive search. One person of interest was detained for questioning, but another man remained at large.

"It was an ambush," Deputy Chief Bob Green said. "They were fired upon without any prior contact with the suspects."

Neiman said, "It's very clear that the officers were in a black-and-white police car. The people who shot at these officers knew they were the police."

Around 8:30 a.m. Monday, one of the officers involved in the shooting showed multiple investigators around the crime scene. Investigators surveyed the east side of Hoover Street, where bullet casings from the gunman's weapon lay, according to police. Minutes later, investigators huddled around a gutter on the west side of the street, where they removed a weapon that appeared to be a rifle.

The setting of the shooting is a South Los Angeles neighborhood with primarily single-family homes, a few churches and a nearby high school.

The incident came less than two weeks after two New York police officers were fatally shot in an ambush...
More.

Video at CBS News, "Massive search after suspects fire on LAPD patrol car."

And at Twitchy, "‘How bad is this going to get?’ Suspects open fire on LAPD officers; One remains at large."

Can Afghan Security Forces Beat Back Taliban Without Support of U.S. Airstrikes?

Notes from Obama's precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan.

At LAT, "U.S. airstrikes remain crucial to Afghan forces in Taliban battles":
For several days, Taliban fighters barricaded on a mountaintop lobbed rockets at the remote town of Sangar in the valley below. Residents fled while police holed up in their outposts and begged superiors for help.

At a sprawling base about 100 miles away, a contingent of Afghan army commandos prepared to board a helicopter to join the fight. But their commanders, worried that the insurgents would shoot down the aircraft, called the American military first.

U.S. Apache attack helicopters swept in and launched missiles at the Taliban posts, said Afghan officials involved in the late September incident. The firepower scattered the insurgents, clearing the way for the Afghan commandos to break the siege in the eastern province of Ghazni.

The U.S.-led coalition officially denies carrying out airstrikes in the battle 125 miles southwest of Kabul, saying international forces provided only aerial surveillance. Under former President Hamid Karzai, coalition airstrikes in populated areas were sharply restricted, although distressed Afghan commanders often requested help anyway.

In this case, several Afghan officials and military commanders say, an American air assault ensured that the district did not slip from government control in one of the largest clashes in months in a volatile province connecting Kabul with southern Afghanistan.

"The American helicopters hit two points high on the mountain where the Taliban were firing at us," said Gen. Haider Niqpai, commander of the Afghan army's 3rd Brigade, based in Ghazni. "That was the turning point."

Even as President Obama prepares to declare an end to U.S. combat in Afghanistan on Dec. 31, the accounts of the battle in Ghazni illustrate how crucial — and politically sensitive — the U.S. role remains in the fight against Taliban-led insurgents.

"In just a few days, our combat mission in Afghanistan will be over," Obama said in a Christmas Day address. "Our longest war will come to a responsible end."

The U.S. force in Afghanistan will shrink to about 10,800 in January under a pared-down mission focused on training and counter-terrorism. But under combat operations rules that Obama approved last month, U.S. commanders will still be authorized to conduct airstrikes to help Afghan troops who are suffering record casualties in ground skirmishes with a resilient Taliban.

Outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said recently that U.S. forces would provide "limited combat enabler support" to Afghan troops starting in January.

The airstrikes would allow the smaller U.S. force to support their Afghan allies, who have minimal air capability, while exposing Americans to less danger than in ground fighting.

But airstrikes also carry the risk of additional civilian casualties, which stoke public anger, keeping the United States deeply enmeshed in a conflict that the White House promised to end.
More.

Also, "Afghanistan: U.S.-led coalition formally ends 13-year combat mission."



Self-Serving Lawmakers and Unions Get a Boost from Aggravating Racial Tensions

From Professor Glenn Reynolds, at USA Today, "Politicians benefit from American tribal warfare":
"What if I told you," asks a Matrix-themed photo-meme that has been circulating on Facebook, "that you can be against cops murdering citizens and citizens murdering cops at the same time?"

Judging by the past few weeks, this really is a Matrix-level revelation, obvious as it may seem. We have Americans protesting because of police shootings, and we have police turning their backs on New York City's Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio over lack of support after two police were assassinated by Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, a gunman from Baltimore who said he was seeking revenge for the choking death of cigarette-tax evader Eric Garner.

And, as blogger Eric Raymond notes, the response has been divided: "Because humans are excessively tribal, it's difficult now to call for justice against Eric Garner's murderers without being lumped in with the 'wrong side.' Nor will Garner's partisans, on the whole, have any truck with people who aren't interested in poisonously racializing the circumstances of his death."

This is a tragedy, but not a surprise. Tribalism is the default state of humanity: The tendency to defend our own tribe even when we think it's wrong, and to attack other tribes even when they're right, just because they're other. Societies that give in to the temptations of tribalism — which are always present — wind up spending a lot of their energy on internal strife, and are prone to disintegrate into spectacular factionalism and infighting, often to the point of self-destruction.

Societies that temper those tribal tendencies, replacing them with the mechanisms of civil society, do much better. But there is much opportunity for political empire-building in tribalism, and if the benefits of stoking tribal fires exceed the costs for political actors, then expect political actors to pour gasoline on even the smallest spark.

That's pretty much what's happened in the last few months, and the results haven't been good. In America, we have both a police culture that is too quick to escalate force, and an aggressive victim culture, embodied by the loathsome Al Sharpton, that seeks to portray every police use of force, at least against members of the wrong racial and ethnic groups, as excessive.

A healthy society would stigmatize, marginalize and shun the tribalizers...
Still more at the link.

Cassandra Fairbanks Eviscerated on Twitter!

Heh, you gotta love it!



PREVIOUSLY: "Cassandra Fairbanks Not 'Plowed Down' on Hollywood Boulevard Last Night: But 'the night is young...'"

Blake Lively Talks About What the Holidays Mean to Her

The lovely Ms. Lively.



Sunday, December 28, 2014

Passengers Plead to Be Saved from Burning Ferry

At Blazing Cat Fur, "Passengers plead to be saved from burning ferry off Greek island":

Desperate passengers pleaded via mobile phone to be saved from a burning ferry off the Greek island of Corfu on Sunday as rescuers battled gale-force winds to get to them.

But with gusts of up to 100 kilometers per hour making rescue difficult and dangerous, the crew has so far only managed to get 150 of the 478 people off the stricken “Norman Atlantic”, Greek officials said.

Seas were so violent that only 35 of those have so far been lifted from a lifeboat to a tanker that came to their aid, Greek Marine Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said hours into the emergency.

He said seven merchant vessels have encircled the ferry in an attempt to shelter it from fierce Force 10 winds, as Greek and Italian firefighting vessels raced from their coasts.

Italian navy spokesman Riccardo Rizzotto said four helicopters were already at the scene and the ship’s captain had told coastguards that the ferry was now drifting towards the Albanian coast.

“The weather conditions are so bad we need an extraordinary level of support, which is effectively what is being put in place,” he said…

Search Resumes for AirAsia Flight 8501

At the Wall Street Journal, "Search for Missing AirAsia Flight 8501 Resumes: Disappearance of Plane Rekindles Fears After Flight From Indonesia to Singapore Goes Missing":
JAKARTA, Indonesia—Search teams scoured waters off Indonesia’s coast Monday after an AirAsia jetliner with 162 people on board vanished in a thicket of storm clouds the day before, kindling much of the same fear and anguish as the disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370 months earlier.

The plane, which had been bound for Singapore, lost contact with air-traffic control less than an hour after takeoff from Surabaya, Indonesia, early Sunday shortly after requesting to climb to a higher altitude to avoid bad weather, officials said.

Ships and aircraft were deployed from across Southeast Asia to hunt for the plane. But as night fell more than 10 hours later, Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said that no trace had been found. The search resumed at dawn Monday after Indonesian officials suspended it overnight.

As distraught family members of passengers gathered at airports in Surabaya and Singapore to await any information about loved ones, the scenes of grief were reminiscent of those just over nine months ago, when a Malaysia Airlines plane vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board. The fate of that plane remains a mystery...
Continue reading.

And at the New York Times, "Two Flights Missing, but Their Stories Are Not the Same."

America Needs to Crush the Enemy Within

From Jared Diamond, at LAT:
We Americans today are focused on the wrong threats to American democracy. We are obsessed with threats from overseas: from terrorists and Islamist extremists, and from other countries. But realistically, while terrorists and Islamists and other countries will continue to cause trouble for us, the chance of their ending American democracy is nil. The only real threat to American democracy comes from Americans themselves. If our politicians continue to yield to pressure from extremists not to compromise and remain mired in gridlock, the majority of decent Americans may in frustration come to view an authoritarian government as the only solution to political gridlock — as a lesser evil that has to be tolerated.
Interesting, but wrong.

The Madisonian system --- which favors so-called "gridlock" as a check on tyranny --- is what's preserving our freedom. It's the left that's "the enemy within." Rudy Giuliani said it again this morning: We haven't had this kind of radical anti-Americanism and anti-cop vigilantism since the 1960s. Leftists are emboldened. It's time to crush the f-kers.

Year-End Deals in Tech Accessories

At Amazon, Shop Amazon - Tech Accessories Year-End Deals

Sunday Rule 5 Roundup

Not sure how many fresh posts I can round up today, since I've been getting in some good Rule 5 blogging this weekend. But here goes.

Simple, Free Image and File Hosting at MediaFire
At the Daley Gator, "THE DALEYBABE MEGAN YOUNG."

Now, over at Pirate's Cove, "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup," and "If All You See……is a horrendous plastic water bottle causing the seas to rise, you may just be a Warmist."

From Ms. EBL, "Rams v. Seahawks Week 17, Rule 5 with bonus Marshawn Lynch."

And from Egotastic!, "Alyssa Barbara Big Bodacious Yum Yums in Lace Lingerie," and "Alyssa Barbara Hot in Sextastic Posing."

Now here's 90 Miles from Tyranny, "Morning Mistress."

At Soylent, "OverNighty in Leather."

More from Rio Norte Line, "Rule 5 – My Favorite Bond Girls – Monica Bellucci."

At Drunken Stepfather, "MILEY CYRUS POSTS ON INSTAGRAM OF THE DAY."

Still more from the Chive, "Red lipstick is always a nice touch (48 Photos)."

At Proof Positive, "Lackluster SF 49's vs 11-4 Cardinals."

Also at Knuckledragging, "So what’s the problem here?"

At First Street Journal, "From Around the Blogroll."

And at the Other McCain, "Are You Certain You Don’t Want to Consider Homeschooling Your Kids?"

At Ode's, "Hooter's Stop ~OR~ Rule 5 Woodsterman Style."

Guns and Bikinis, "Beautiful Young Babe."

At Postal Dogs (be sure to scroll down), "So, looks like Jeb is thinking about it."

Check By Other Means as well, "Backlit."

Crazy Uncle Bubba, "Selfie Sunday!"

A View from the Beach, "Rule 5 Saturday - Madame Secretary - TĂ©a Leone."

Don't miss Average Bubba, "Rule 5 : The Pre-Christmas Post…"

And at PCP, "Flowing Curves of Beauty."

Drop your links in the comments if I've missed your Rule 5.

Until then...