Saturday, November 18, 2017

Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing

At Amazon, Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel.

Gold Box Deals

At Amazon, Today's Deals.

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BONUS: Kay Ann Johnson, China's Hidden Children: Abandonment, Adoption, and the Human Costs of the One-Child Policy.

Flashback: Lily Aldridge Uncovered for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2016 (VIDEO)

She's so fantastic!

Elizabeth Hurley Sunbathing

She's 52 and fabulous.

Nice Tats

Seen on Twitter, heh:

Beautiful Nude Actresses

I just love Natalie Portman, heh.

At Maxim, "15 Beautiful Actresses Who Always Get Naked."

Trick Dodge Challengers

This Jerry D. on Twitter is really cool, lol.

Ethical Movies

Well, before I see any film I'll check in advance if Harvey Weinstein, or any of the Mirimax people, had anything to do with it. We just saw "Thor: Ragnarok" last week, and I can't believe Weinstein was a part of the production, but who knows these days?

I'm not planning a lot of trips to the movie house, in any case. I'm disgusted by these people, all of them.

At the Atlantic:

We're All Are Implicated in the Post-Weinstein Reckoning

From Rebecca Traister, a very radical feminist, at the New Yorker's "The Cut," "Your Reckoning. And Mine":

The anger window is open. For decades, centuries, it was closed: Something bad happened to you, you shoved it down, you maybe told someone but probably didn’t get much satisfaction — emotional or practical — from the confession. Maybe you even got blowback. No one really cared, and certainly no one was going to do anything about it.

But for the past six weeks, since reports of one movie producer’s serial predation blew a Harvey-size hole in the news cycle, there is suddenly space, air, for women to talk. To yell, in fact. To make dangerous lists and call reporters and text with their friends about everything that’s been suppressed.

This is not feminism as we’ve known it in its contemporary rebirth — packaged into think pieces or nonprofits or Eve Ensler plays or Beyoncé VMA performances. That stuff has its place and is necessary in its own way. This is different. This is ’70s-style, organic, mass, radical rage, exploding in unpredictable directions. It is loud, thanks to the human megaphone that is social media and the “whisper networks” that are now less about speaking sotto voce than about frantically typed texts and all-caps group chats.

Really powerful white men are losing jobs — that never happens. Women (and some men) are breaking their silence and telling painful and intimate stories to reporters, who in turn are putting them on the front pages of major newspapers.

It’s wild and not entirely fun. Because the stories are awful, yes. And because the conditions that created this perfect storm of female rage — the suffocating ubiquity of harassment and abuse; the election of a multiply accused predator who now controls the courts and the agencies that are supposed to protect us from criminal and discriminatory acts — are so grim.

But it’s also harrowing because it’s confusing; because the wrath may be fierce, but it is not uncomplicated. In the shock of the house lights having been suddenly brought up — of being forced to stare at the ugly scaffolding on which so much of our professional lives has been built — we’ve had scant chance to parse what exactly is inflaming us and who. It’s our tormentors, obviously, but sometimes also our friends, our mentors, ourselves.

Since the reports of Weinstein’s malevolence began to gush, I’ve received somewhere between five and 20 emails every day from women wanting to tell me their experiences: of being groped or leered at or rubbed up against in their workplaces. They tell me about all kinds of men — actors and publishers; judges and philanthropists; store managers and social-justice advocates; my own colleagues, past and present — who’ve hurt them or someone they know. It happened yesterday or two years ago or 20. Few can speak on the record, but they all want to recount how the events changed their lives, shaped their careers; some wish to confess their guilt for not reporting the behavior and thus endangering those who came after them. There are also women who do want to go on the record, women who’ve summoned armies of brave colleagues ready to finally out their repellent bosses. To many of them I must say that their guy isn’t well known enough, that the stories are now so plentiful that offenders must meet a certain bar of notoriety, or power, or villainy, before they’re considered newsworthy.

This is part of what makes me, and them, angry: this replication of hierarchies — hierarchies of harm and privilege — even now. “It’s a ‘seeing the matrix’ moment,” says one woman whom I didn’t know personally before last week, some of whose deepest secrets and sharpest fears and most animating furies I’m now privy to. “It’s an absolutely bizarre thing to go through, and it’s fucking exhausting and horrible, and I hate it. And I’m glad. I’m so glad we’re doing it. And I’m in hell.”

Part of the challenge, for me, has been in my exchanges with men — the friends and colleagues self-aware enough to be uneasy, to know they’re on a list somewhere or imagine that they might be. They text and call, not quite saying why, but leaving no doubt: They once cheated with a colleague; they once made a pass they suspect was wrong; they aren’t sure if they got consent that one time. Are they condemned? What is the nature and severity of their crime? The anxiety of this — how to speak to guys who seek feminist absolution but whom I suspect to be compromised — is real. Some of my friends have no patience for men’s sudden penchant for introspection, but I’m a sucker; I feel for them. When they reach out, my impulse is to comfort. But reason — and a determination not to placate, not now — drives me to be direct, colder than usual: Yes, this is a problem. In fact, it’s your problem. Seek to address it.

Then there are the men who are looking at the world with fresh eyes, who are startled by the unseemly parade of sexual molesters and manipulators — the cascading allegations against Louis C.K., the conservative former judge and Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, and so many more. These men have begun to understand my journalistic beat for the first time: They didn’t know it was this bad. They didn’t see how systemic, architectural, it was — how they were part of it even if they didn’t paw anyone, didn’t rape anyone. This faction includes my husband, a criminal-defense attorney who’s definitely not ignorant of the pervasiveness of sexual assault, yet reads the endless stream of reports with furrowed brow. “Who does this?” he asks. “Who does this?” Then one night, with genuine feeling: “How can you even want to have sex with me at this point?”

At elementary-school drop-off, a friend who’s a theater director tells me he’s been sorting through his own memories. “There’s this one woman, and I did ask her out, but only after she’d auditioned and hadn’t gotten the part. I wrote her, like I write to all actors who I don’t cast, to explain why. And then in that email, I asked if she wanted to go to a Holocaust puppet show with me. She said yes, and we went out a few times. This was probably 2004. Do you think that was bad?”

I laugh, put my hand on his arm, and tell him no, it doesn’t sound bad, but in fact I don’t know: Maybe it was bad or maybe it was human and they really liked each other. We are turning over incidents that don’t fall into the categories that have been established — a spectrum that runs from Weinstein-level brutality to non-rapey but creepy massages to lurid-but-risible pickup lines — and wondering whether or how any of it relates to actual desire for another person.

Still, I’m half-frustrated by men who can’t differentiate between harmless flirtation and harassment, because I believe that most women can. The other half of me is glad that these guys are doing this accounting, reflecting on the instances in which they wielded power. Maybe some didn’t realize at the time that they were putting the objects of their attention at a disadvantage, but I must acknowledge that some, even my friends, surely did....


When I thought about my #metoo moments, I first recalled the restaurant manager who instructed me to keep my blouse unbuttoned as I served pizzas with fried eggs on top, about the manager at Bruegger’s Bagels who’d rub his dick against my ass as he passed me setting out the cream cheeses in the morning. I’ve never had a job in which there wasn’t a resident harasser, but in my post-college life, I believed I’d stayed out of his crosshairs.

Perhaps, in the story I’ve told myself, it was because I was never wowed by powerful men, sensing on some visceral level that they were mostly full of shit. I gravitated toward female mentors instead. But even given my wariness of Important Men, as a young woman I could never truly believe that members of the opposite sex could be as cartoonishly grotesque as they sometimes were.

I once heard that a choking person reflexively leaves the room, embarrassed for others to see her gasping for breath. I have no idea if that’s true, but it’s how I’ve dealt with harassment. One time on the subway, the man next to me wound his hand under my thigh and between my legs, as I sat there debating whether or not to stand up or scream because I didn’t want to embarrass him on a full train. That’s why, when an important writer took me to coffee, offering to help me find a new job, and asked if I’d ever fantasized about fucking a married man, I simply laughed maniacally, as if he’d just made a joke about a 65-year-old man who suggests to a 25-year-old woman that she fuck him during a professional coffee...
Keep reading.

Vanity Fair Editors Unimpressed with Radhika Jones' Sense of Style

Oh brother. She's a hot chick, with a Ph.D. from Columbia to boot!

Welcome to Condé Nast!

Radhika Jones is learning the ways of One World Trade. Having been named the new editor in chief of Vanity Fair only this week, Jones, 44, headed to downtown Manhattan to get acquainted with the magazine’s staff.

But while Jones may have been editorial director of the books department at The New York Times, an alum of Time magazine and The Paris Review, a graduate of Harvard and holds a doctorate in English and comparative literature from Columbia — none of this impressed Condé Nast-ers. They, instead, were aghast over her sense of style.

WWD observed one of the company’s fashion editors in candid conversation with industry peers remarking not on the context of Jones’ first visit, but rather the outfit she wore.

“She seemed nervous. The outfit was interesting,” the staffer noted. According to the fashion editor — who omitted Jones’ admirable literary accomplishments from conversation — the incoming editor wore a navy shiftdress strewn with zippers, a garment deemed as “iffy” at best.

Jones’ choice of hosiery proved most offensive, according to the editor. For the occasion, Jones had chosen a pair of tights — not in a neutral black or gray as is common in the halls of Vogue — but rather a pair covered with illustrated, cartoon foxes.

The animal caricatures may have also been too much for Vogue editor in chief and Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour, who is said to have fixed one of her trademark stoic glares upon Jones’ hosiery throughout the duration of the staff meeting.

Unnerved by Jones’ choice of legwear — and Wintour’s reaction — the fashion editor proclaimed to her friends: “I’m not sure if I should include a new pair of tights in her welcome basket.” Jones is said to begin her new role on Dec. 11.
Still more at that Twitter link above.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Jesmyn Ward Wins National Book Award for the Second Time

She's on the top of my list for next reads. In fact, I have her first novel, Salvage the Bones, on the table nearby here.

She won for that book, and then this week for her second novel, Sing, Unburied, Sing.

That's quite a set of accomplishments, no matter your ideology.

Today's Deals

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BONUS: Masha Gessen, The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia.

93.1 Jack FM, KCBS Los Angeles

The Sound went down yesterday at 1:00pm. The station had a good run. The outpouring (and mourning, literally) was unheard of, man. That said, the last song I heard yesterday was Bad Company's "Moving On," so that's what I'm gonna do, heh.

Not sure what I'll be listening to, but I like Jack FM, which is still on the radio. Here's the set list from this morning:

Pumped Up Kicks
Foster The People
9:43 AM

Jimi Hendrix
Purple Haze
9:40 AM

Pardon Me
9:43 AM

Real Life
Send Me An Angel
9:25 AM

Pat Benatar
Love Is A Battlefield
9:21 AM

Vance Joy
9:17 AM

Fleetwood Mac
You Make Lovin' Fun
9:14 AM

Billy Idol
White Wedding
9:10 AM

Stone Temple Pilots
Interstate Love Song
9:07 AM

If You Leave
8:54 AM

Love In An Elevator
8:51 AM

Hey Ya!
8:47 AM

X Ambassadors
8:39 AM

Fat Bottomed Girls
8:35 AM

David Bowie
Modern Love
8:23 AM

Michael Jackson
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
8:19 AM

Foo Fighters
My Hero
8:15 AM

Dead Or Alive
You Spin Me Round
8:12 AM

The Black Keys
Lonely Boy
8:08 AM

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
The Waiting
8:05 AM
Definitely eclectic. A nice change of pace perhaps. Or, moving on.

49ers Wide Receiver Marquise Goodwin Played Sunday After Death of Premature Son (VIDEO)

This is a good family. And this is a heartbreaking story. They have faith. Their faith helped make it through the crisis. And his prayer in the end zone Sunday, seen at the video, is for the ages.


At CBS This Morning:

Slut-Shaming Al Franken's Accuser

So, Leeann Tweeden appeared on the cover of Playboy? So, she's a slut and is open game for Democrat sexual assailants, like Al Franken.

The "self-proclaimed nasty woman" is Vivian Copeland, who's apparently just earned her fifteen minutes of fame.

At Twitchy:

A Tale of Two Scandals

Bob Menendez vs. Roy Moore.

He's Got a Point

He would be Robert Stacy McCain, in light of all the sexual assault allegations, for example, here: "Al Franken."

Al Franken

I'm seriously blown away by the sheer volume of sexual assault allegations floating to the top of the much right now. Some are serious, some not so much, but why have all these been suppressed for so long?

I'd like to see more actual evidence of wrongdoing in most of these cases, for example, more than he said/she said. And of course less politics. Stop defending your side while simultaneously attacking your enemies. Of course, leftists come out far, far worse, since they're the full on social justice warriors with mountains of demons coming out of the left's collective closet: Just now all these hip progressives are retroactively calling for Bill Clinton's resignation? Give me a freakin' break.

In any case, Al Franken's an idiot and a loser, but then, he's a Democrat, so I repeat myself:

Here's Michelle Goldberg, who is very far left, at the New York Times:

And also, Kate Harding, who's got me blocked on Twitter, defending the Al Frankenstein predator:

More on this later, man.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, A Kind of Freedom

At Amazon, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, A Kind of Freedom: A Novel.

Shop Today

At Amazon, Gold Box Deals.

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BONUS: Stephen Kotkin, Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941.

Angela Flournoy, The Turner House

At Amazon, Angela Flournoy, The Turner House: A Novel.

Coup d'État in Zimbabwe as Mugabe Under House Arrest

This looks like the real thing, at the Telegraph U.K., "Zimbabwe crisis: Army 'secures' Robert Mugabe and takes control of Harare."

And from Ms. Rukmini:

Countdown at 'The Sound'

Following-up from last week, "The Sound is Going Down."

At CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Excited for Christmas

Via London's Daily Mail, on Twitter:


Seen on Twitter, a couple of weeks back:

The Trump Wave

Or is that an anti-Trump wave, lol?

At Der Spiegel:

Nice Ear Muffs

Seen on Twitter:

Starting January, Your New Monthly Premium Will Be...


Ms. Sammy

The lovely Sammy Brady, seen on Twitter:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Seen on Twitter:

Katarina Bivald, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

At Amazon, Katarina Bivald, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend: A Novel.

New Dodge Challenger

I just tweeted right now. More photos of this beautiful babe later:

Amber Lee's Wednesday Weather

The lovely Ms. Amber, at CBS News 2 Los Angeles:


At Althouse, "Drudge can't get no respect."

Today's Shopping

At Amazon, Today's Deals.

Also, North Face Men's McMURDO PARKA III.

More, CLIF BAR - Energy Bar - Peanut Butter Banana Dark Chocolate - (2.4 Ounce Protein - 12 Count).

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Here, AmazonBasics Lightning to USB A Cable - Apple MFi Certified - Black - 6 Feet /1.8 Meters.

Also, Onkyo TX-8140 2 Channel Network Stereo Receiver.

Plus, Timberland White Ledge Men's Waterproof Boot.

BONUS: Mikhail Zygar, The Empire Must Die: Russia's Revolutionary Collapse, 1900-1917.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Roy Moore

I'm just now getting home.

I taught today and I've been down at the H.B. Dodge dealer all night, buying my new Challenger.

I'll post some photos tomorrow.

The thumbnail at the dealer's page doesn't do this babe justice. It's a beautiful car.

Meanwhile, here's Memeorandum for the Roy Moore news, "Locals Were Troubled by Roy Moore's Interactions with Teen Girls at the Gadsden Mall."

Also, "Fifth Woman Accuses Senate Candidate Roy Moore of Sexual Misconduct."

And at Axios, "Four senators have pulled their endorsements of #RoyMoore, including Ted Cruz."
Cruz's full statement: "These allegations are deeply concerning. We've now seen multiple, serious allegations of criminal conduct. One of two things should happen. If these allegations are true, Judge Moore should drop out now, today. The people of Alabama deserve to have the option of voting for a strong conservative who has not committed criminal conduct. Or two, if these allegations are not true, then Judge Moore needs to come forward with strong, persuasive rebuttal demonstrating that they are untrue. As it stands tonight, the people of Alabama are faced with an untenable choice. And so it is my hope one of those two options will occur very, very quickly."

"I am not able to urge the people of Alabama to support his candidacy so long as these allegations remain unrefuted. Both last week and this week, there are serious charges of criminal conduct that, if true, not only make him unfit to serve in the Senate but merit criminal prosecution. Judge Moore, like any American, is entitled to present a defense, he's entitled to put forth facts demonstrating the charges are not true. But as it stands I can't urge the people of Alabama to support a campaign in the face of these charges without serious persuasive demonstration that the charges are not true."

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Yuri Slezkine, The House of Government

This book looks absolutely amazing!

At Amazon, Yuri Slezkine, The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution.

'White Europe'

If it's a truly anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic outburst of racist hatred, then I'm out.

But I have a feeling that's just the way leftists are painting this. If it's a genuine nationalist patriotic outpouring for the mother country, then it's fine. Call me skeptical of leftists reports until I know more.

FWIW, at the Guardian U.K., "'White Europe': 60,000 nationalists march on Poland's independence day: Xenophobic phrases, far-right symbols and religious slogans mark event also attended by families and branded ‘a beautiful sight’ by the interior minister."

Magda Szabó, Katalin Street

At Amazon, Magda Szabó, Katalin Street.

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove


At Amazon, Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove: A Novel.

Thomas Pynchon, Bleeding Edge


At Amazon, Thomas Pynchon, Bleeding Edge: A Novel.

Jennifer Delacruz's Mild and Comfortable Forecast

For Sunday, from the fabulous Ms. Jennifer, at ABC News 10 San Diego:

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Catherine Merridale, Lenin on the Train

At Amazon, Catherine Merridale, Lenin on the Train.

Gal Gadot Won't Do 'Wonder Woman' Sequels Unless Brett Ratner is Out

She's so fine, heh.

She's got power too. Say goodbye to this loser Brett Ratner.

At the New York Post, at Memeorandum, "Gal Gadot will only be ‘Wonder Woman’ again if Brett Ratner is out."

PHOTO CREDIT: Wikimedia.

Stephen R. Lawhead, The Iron Lance

I have Stephen R. Lawhead, Byzantium, at my bedside, waiting for the winter break to read.

But see also, Stephen R. Lawhead, The Iron Lance (The Celtic Crusades #1).

Ken Follett, The Pillars of the Earth

I'm really excited to read his latest, Ken Follett, A Column of Fire, but it's part 3 in a trilogy, so you gotta start at the beginning.

Here, Ken Follett, The Pillars of the Earth: A Novel (Kingsbridge).

Peter F. Hamilton, The Reality Dysfunction

I'm still building my collection on this guy.

At Amazon, Peter F. Hamilton, The Reality Dysfunction (The Night's Dawn).

Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

Okay, today I'm reading Robert Jordan, The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, Book 1), and Ken Davenport, The Two Gates.

I've been collecting more fantasy novels, though, and will be able to get to some of them over the winter break, and next summer.

For example, Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind.

Don't Disagree with Google!

I didn't blog about this at the time, I guess because there's plenty of competition in the leftist anti-freedom agenda. But James Damore's case is especially troubling.

Here's his paper, "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber." (And at the Federalist, "Read the Google Memo That Everyone Is Freaking Out About.")

And at Prager U:

George Takei Accused of Sexually Assault

Somehow this particular allegation is the most satisfying. George Takei is a disgusting far-left partisan, and now shown to be an epic hypocrite.

At the Hollywood Reporter:

Devin Brugman Red Bikini

She's so sweet.

Natasha Oakley Nipples in White Dress

At Taxi Driver:

Caroline Wozniacki Body Paint (VIDEO)


Crystal Renn Almost Loses Her Top (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:

Tesla Tells Hundreds of Workers to Take a Hike, You're No Good

Tesla pfft.

I don't like that company.

At LAT, "Hundreds of Tesla workers were let go for subpar performance, the company says":

Firing hundreds of workers all at once is rare, at least in the auto industry. But Tesla Inc. does things differently.

Word leaked out Friday that the electric car, battery and solar roof company had bulk-fired several hundred employees.

The San Jose Mercury News, which broke that story, said Tesla made clear that workers were dismissed for subpar performance, not laid off. Layoffs tend be blamed on business conditions or overstuffed payrolls, not on job performance.

It's unclear how many of the company's 33,000 workers were cut. Tesla won't pinpoint the number. News reports put it between 400 and 1,200.

A factory employee told the Mercury News that about 60 fellow workers were told to head for the exit. The company said, however, that most of those dismissed work in administrative and sales jobs.

Some workers at the Tesla plant have been trying to organize a union.

"I had great performance reviews. I don't believe I was fired for performance," said Daniel Grant, who told The Times he's worked at Fremont factory since 2014 as a production assistant. He suspects he was fired because he raised safety issues and supported a union drive.

"The company didn't show me or others our most recent reviews when they fired us," Grant said. "I would like the company to release our full reviews, including peer reviews, to us."

An assembly line worker, Mike Williams, said his firing last week could not be the result of a bad performance review because, in his last review in 2016, "my supervisor had nothing but good things to say about me."

Other fired workers were treated the same, he said. "Our reviews were due in June. In June they told us they would be in August. In September they told us October."

Williams said he received a disciplinary write-up about a year ago for playing music that contained profanity but stopped when he was ordered to.
He was fired, he believes, because he spoke up about safety issues at employee meetings and because he wore a union shirt on what's become Union Shirt Friday for some workers at the Telsa plant. "I had a union sticker on my water bottle, too," he said.

Tesla declined to discuss the claims of either fired worker...

Cadillac's CTS-V is High-End Hooligan

I never thought I'd get a Caddy, but this puppy could change my mind, lol.

At LAT, "Cadillac's CTS-V is a high-end hooligan that doubles as a daily driver":

Cadillac's CTS-V is a mild-mannered monster, a Clark Kent car that transforms instantly from milquetoast sedan to high-horsepower track master.

Moderately styled inside and out but massive under the hood, the CTS-V represents Cadillac's ambition to build the perfect all-around performance car — or what the company calls "the ultimate sports sedan."

"This is a car for someone who wants a car that can do everything," said Tony Roma, chief engineer for Cadillac's ATS, CTS and V-series family. "They don't want a fleet full of sports cars and luxury cars."

Cadillac has stuffed the CTS-V with sports car and luxury car appointments.

The four-door, five-passenger sedan is propelled by a 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine, jointly designed by engineers from Cadillac and its GM sibling Corvette, that makes 640 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque.

The CTS-V engineers said they were trying for the throttle response of a Ferrari 458 and an engine growl that "barked with a special signature," helped in part by the quad exhaust system.

Check off that box. The rear-wheel-drive CTS-V is a rubber-burning, tail-wagging hooligan car.

The eight-speed transmission comes with a track mode and a launch control function. (The daily driver modes are Touring and Sport.) The 19-inch wheels are clad in performance tires. A front splitter and rear spoiler come standard.

Together, those elements allow this refined rocket to jet from zero to 60 miles per hour in a claimed 3.7 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 200 miles per hour.

Brembo brake calipers bring the vehicle back to earth. A magnetic ride control suspension system keeps it stable. A head-up display keeps the driver's eyes on the road, and the magnesium paddle shifters allow for a pleasantly engaged drive experience.

Of course, not all buyers will be ready to take advantage of the power, speed and handling of the CTS-V. So, Cadillac has thoughtfully included in the price of the car two days of "performance training" at a race track...
Keep reading.

I'd like to got to the race track, heh.

Today's Deals

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BONUS: David Priestland, The Red Flag: A History of Communism.

Homeless People Cleared Out from Santa Ana River Trail


At LAT, "'It's been a night from hell': Homeless pushed out of Santa Ana River face uncertain futures": 
Lisa Weber pushed her red-rimmed glasses higher on the bridge of her nose Thursday morning as she pondered how best to move her belongings off the dirt trail she has called home for months.
Her blue eyes seemed to show a glimmer of hope in contrast with her doleful expression. A friend living in a tent farther down the trail passed by and waved.

Like other parts of California, Orange County has seen an uptick in its homeless population in recent years. Scores of homeless people who have set up camp in the past year along the quiet trail overlooking the Santa Ana River in Fountain Valley feel they’ve found safety and camaraderie there.

However, beginning Friday, Orange County sheriff’s deputies began evictions at the various homeless camps along the river as part of a crackdown sparked by complaints from nearby residents.

The situation underscores the tension created by the homeless surge in this suburban county, where officials removed bus benches near Disneyland after complaints from merchants and where a massive encampment in the Santa Ana Civic Center has sparked debate.

Many homeless people are now scrambling to figure out where to go next.

The county plans to permanently close the west side of the Santa Ana River flood-control channel between 17th Street in Santa Ana and Adams Avenue in Huntington Beach as it prepares to start maintenance of flood-control district property along the trail, officials have said. That area includes the Fountain Valley encampment.

“I’m on my way out the gate,” Weber said as she looked toward the fence at the entrance to the river trail on Edinger Avenue. “I’m not scared because I have a plan, but I know other people are worried about where to go.”

Weber said she likely will begin sleeping in her Oldsmobile, which she recently bought for $100. The car runs, she said, but not very well. She’s afraid it eventually will be impounded because of child support she owes from decades ago.

But right now, she figures it’s her best option...

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thomas Ricks Reviews Victor Davis Hanson's, The Second World Wars

At the New York Times, "World War II Seen by a Classicist, and Other New Books About Conflict":

For humanity in general, the low point of the 20th century was World War II, which Victor Davis Hanson accurately portrays as an unprecedented global bloodbath, killing about three percent of all human beings who were alive in 1939. Hanson, the Martin and Illie Anderson senior fellow in classics and military history at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, has a mixed reputation among military historians — essentially, it is that the further he wanders from his academic specialty of ancient Greek history, the less reliable he becomes. (For the details, see John A. Lynn’s “Battle: A History of Combat and Culture.”)

So I picked up Hanson’s THE SECOND WORLD WARS: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won (Basic Books, $40) with some trepidation. To my surprise, I found it lively and provocative, full of the kind of novel perceptions that can make a familiar subject interesting again. It wouldn’t make a good introduction to World War II, but it may win readers already familiar with the conflict’s events.

Much of the book is written at the level of the strategic overview. Hanson notes, for instance, that both Germany and Japan probably would have won the war had they stopped early in 1941 and consolidated their gains in Europe and the western Pacific, without Germany attacking Russia and Japan pulling the United States into the conflict.

One of Hanson’s running themes is that the Allied victors mainly killed German and Japanese soldiers, while the Axis focused more on killing civilians. Over all, in its accounting of the global carnage, this book amounts to an ode in praise of deterrence and against appeasement and isolationism.

Hanson is most original and enjoyable when he uses his professional background in ancient history to illuminate 20th-century war...

Richard White, The Republic for Which It Stands

At Amazon, Richard White, The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896.

William Drozdiak, Fractured Continent

At Amazon, William Drozdiak, Fractured Continent: Europe's Crises and the Fate of the West.

Macy's to Close Westside Pavilion Store, Among Others (VIDEO)

The first of many more to come, no doubt.

At LAT, "Macy's is shutting its Westside Pavilion store and others in California":

Macy's Inc. plans to close its store at Los Angeles' Westside Pavilion mall, as well as two others in California, the retail giant said Thursday as it grapples with consumers' increasing shift to online shopping.

The closures, which include Macy's stores at the Laguna Hills Mall in Orange County and the Stonestown Galleria in San Francisco, will occur early next year. It was not immediately known how many jobs would be affected.

The Macy's closure at Westside Pavilion probably is related to the recent opening of a new Macy's store at the nearby Westfield Century City mall, said Ron Friedman, co-head of retail and consumer products for Marcum.

"It's old, it hasn't been refreshed," he said of Westside Pavilion. "Why would I go to the Pavilion when I can go to brand new Century City?"

Located less than 2 miles from Westside Pavilion, Westfield Century City is wrapping up a two-year, $1-billion makeover into a high-end hangout and shopping destination.

The renovation brings five valet stations and more than 200 mostly new shops and restaurants, including famed chef Mario Batali's Eataly.

Analysts have said that malls of the future must be entertainment centers with a plethora of eating options to attract young consumers, rather than the current model that's heavily focused on apparel shops.

Westside Pavilion, owned by Santa Monica-based mall operator Macerich Co., recently lost its other anchor tenant Nordstrom to Westfield Century City...
I never go to the Laguna Hills mall. In fact, I'd forgotten about it.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Shop Deals

At Amazon, Deals Today.

Here, Bass G.H Co. Men's Weejuns Larson Penny Loafer Shoe.

Also, KIND Breakfast Bars, Peanut Butter, Gluten Free, 1.8 Ounce, 32 Count.

And, CLIF BAR - Energy Bar - Crunchy Peanut Butter - (2.4 Ounce Protein Bar, 12 Count).

More, Gatorade Variety Pack, Limited Edition, 20 Oz Bottle (Pack of 12).

Still more, AmazonBasics AA Performance Alkaline Batteries (48 Count) - Packaging May Vary.

Here, AmazonBasics Lightning to USB A Cable - Apple MFi Certified - Black - 6 Feet /1.8 Meters.

BONUS: Philip Roth, Exit Ghost.

Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Never Believed Trump Would Help

At Politico, "Johnstown Never Believed Trump Would Help. They Still Love Him Anyway":
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — Pam Schilling is the reason Donald Trump is the president.

Schilling’s personal story is in poignant miniature the story of this area of western Pennsylvania as a whole—one of the long-forgotten, woebegone spots in the middle of the country that gave Trump his unexpected victory last fall. She grew up in nearby Nanty Glo, the daughter and granddaughter of coal miners. She once had a union job packing meat at a grocery store, and then had to settle for less money at Walmart. Now she’s 60 and retired, and last year, in April, as Trump’s shocking political ascent became impossible to ignore, Schilling’s 32-year-old son died of a heroin overdose. She found needles in the pockets of the clothes he wore to work in the mines before he got laid off.

Desperate for change, Schilling, like so many other once reliable Democrats in these parts, responded enthusiastically to what Trump was saying—building a wall on the Mexican border, repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, bringing back jobs in steel and coal. That’s what Trump told them. At a raucous rally in late October, right downtown in their minor-league hockey arena, he vowed to restore the mines and the mills that had been the lifeblood of the region until they started closing some 40 years ago, triggering the “American carnage” Trump would talk about in his inaugural address: massive population loss, shrinking tax rolls, communal hopelessness and ultimately a raging opioid epidemic. When Trump won, people here were ecstatic. But they’d heard generations of politicians make big promises before, and they were also impatient for him to deliver.

“Six months to a year,” catering company owner Joey Del Signore told me when we met days after the election. “A couple months,” retired nurse Maggie Frear said, before saying it might take a couple years. “He’s just got to follow through with what he said he was going to do,” Schilling said last November. Back then, there was an all-but-audible “or else.”

A year later, the local unemployment rate has ticked down, and activity in a few coal mines has ticked up. Beyond that, though, not much has changed—at least not for the better. Johnstown and the surrounding region are struggling in the same ways and for the same reasons. The drug problem is just as bad. “There’s nothing good in the area,” Schilling said the other day in her living room. “I don’t have anything good to say about anything in this area. It’s sad.” Even so, her backing for Trump is utterly undiminished: “I’m a supporter of him, 100 percent.”

What I heard from Schilling is overwhelmingly what I heard in my follow-up conversations with people here that I talked to last year as well. Over the course of three rainy, dreary days last week, I revisited and shook hands with the president’s base—that thirtysomething percent of the electorate who resolutely approve of the job he is doing, the segment of voters who share his view that the Russia investigation is a “witch hunt” that “has nothing to do with him,” and who applaud his judicial nominees and his determination to gut the federal regulatory apparatus. But what I wasn’t prepared for was how readily these same people had abandoned the contract he had made with them. Their satisfaction with Trump now seems untethered to the things they once said mattered to them the most.

“I don’t know that he has done a lot to help,” Frear told me. Last year, she said she wouldn’t vote for him again if he didn’t do what he said he was going to do. Last week, she matter-of-factly stated that she would. “Support Trump? Sure,” she said. “I like him.”
Keep reading.

Electoral Landscape Remains Forbidding for Democrats

Following-up from last night, "Democrats Sweep in Virginia, New Jersey, and the Left Coast."

At Politico, "Democrats euphoric after Tuesday election romp: Wins in Virginia and across the country buoy the party's hopes about the 2018 midterms":

Jubilant Democrats struck a defiant tone after sweeping victories across the country on Tuesday night, led by Democrat Ralph Northam’s surprise pummeling of Republican Ed Gillespie in Virginia’s gubernatorial race.

Surveying their first electoral sweep in half a decade after a soul-crushing 2016 campaign and a desultory start to the Donald Trump era, Democratic leaders reset their expectations for the 2018 midterms. They're now expecting a fundraising and candidate recruitment surge, powered by grass-roots fury at the Trump administration.

While most Democrats stopped short of predicting the party will take the House next year, they noted in Gillespie the failure of a candidate who tried balancing between Trump-style populism and establishment Republicanism.

“We were all under a lot of pressure saying we need to win this thing, we need a boost. But we gave a rocket boost tonight,” said outgoing Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, celebrating at Northam’s election night party. The result in the race to replace him, he said, “is a rejection of Trump, of the hatred and bigoted fear that they always bring into these campaigns.”

“I certainly didn’t see this ass-kicking coming; this is pretty stunning,” added Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). “Republicans have two problems: their president and their agenda. And I don’t think either of those liabilities are disappearing anytime soon.”

The shifted landscape remains forbidding for Democrats. They must flip 24 Republican-held seats to win the House, and are forced to defend 10 incumbent senators running for reelection in states that Trump won in 2016. They must also handle a range of painful internal tactical and policy divisions threatening to rupture their unity at any moment.

Plus, Tuesday's wide victories came in one solidly Democratic state and another that's been leaning that way, making it potentially perilous to read too much into their results.

But paired with Phil Murphy’s long-expected victory in New Jersey’s gubernatorial election, upsets in Virginia’s House of Delegates races, and wins in mayoral elections from New Hampshire to Florida, the evening presented Democrats with a night to celebrate for the first time since Trump’s shocking victory in November 2016. They have repeatedly fallen short in special elections in conservative areas so far this year, but Tuesday’s results wiped that slate nearly clean in the eyes of stunned party operatives and lawmakers...
Well, we'll know in one year. We'll know if the Democrats can surge back to power in the House.