Friday, December 29, 2017

Ben Shapiro on Hollywood's Propaganda Program (VIDEO)

Ben Shapiro's got a new book, at Amazon, Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV.

As you know, I quit watching cable news, and I wasn't much for television sit-coms and talk show as it is. I like movies, but then, I can sort through the leftist clap-trap.

Sadly, most Americans don't really appreciate how powerfully they're being programmed toward leftist issues. And the ones that do, a lot of them Trump voters, are demonized as racist, misogynist, homophobic, transphobic, or what have you.

The culture war is real.

At Prager University:

Hannah Ferguson by LOVE Magazine (VIDEO)


Jennifer Delacruz's Friday Forecast

This is a woman who could make you happy, heh.

So sweet.

At ABC News 10 San Deigo. It's going to be a nice day:

So, Totalitarian Leftists Want the Vanity Fair 'Hillary Knitting' Writers Fired?

I hate politics more and more, especially since you can't say anything anymore without risking your entire livelihood, if not your very life.

Elizabeth Bruenig's a radical leftist who's blocked me on Twitter, but I agree with her here.

At WaPo, "No, the Vanity Fair staffers behind the Clinton video shouldn’t be fired."

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Kate Upton Behind the Scenes for Shape Magazine (VIDEO)

She's still got it!

Humongous Jemma Lucy Pops Out of Her Bikini


At Taxi Driver, "Jemma Lucy's Boob Pops Out of Her Bikini Top."

More at London's Daily Mail, "Jemma Lucy flashes her eye-popping assets in Spain."

ICYMI: Omar El Akkad, American War

I didn't rank books in 2017, but American War is one of my top five, for sure.

Don't miss it.

At Amazon, Omar El Akkad, American War.

Post-Christian America?

Look, I think American War is practically non-fiction, so Ima say no.

But check at NRO:

Lena Nersesian

This is the lady who let her best friend bonk her boyfriend, in an "off-Twitter" threesome.

She's sex positive, to say the least.

Jennifer Delacruz Thursday Forecast

Ms. Jennifer is back!

China’s Cover-Up

From Orville Schell, at Foreign Affairs, "When Communists Rewrite History":

The Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong’s “permanent revolution” destroyed tens of millions of lives. From the communist victory in 1949 in the Chinese Civil War, through the upheaval, famine, and bloodletting of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, until Mao’s death in 1976, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) set segments of Chinese society against one another in successive spasms of violent class warfare. As wave after wave of savagery swept China, millions were killed and millions more sent off to “reform through labor” and ruination.

Mao had expected this level of brutality. As he once declared: “A revolution is neither a dinner party, nor writing an essay, painting a picture, or doing embroidery. It cannot be so refined, so leisurely, gentle, temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.”

Today, even experts on Chinese history find it difficult to keep track of all the lethal “mass movements” that shaped Mao’s revolution and which the party invariably extolled with various slogans. Mao launched campaigns to “exterminate landlords” after the Communists came to power in 1949; to “suppress counterrevolutionaries” in the early 1950s; to purge “rightists” in the late 1950s; to overthrow “capitalist roaders” during the Cultural Revolution in the late 1960s; and to “rectify” young people’s thinking by shipping them off to China’s poorest rural areas during the Down to the Countryside Movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The ideological rhetoric obscured the extremism of these official actions, through which the party permitted the persecution and even the liquidation of myriad varieties of “counterrevolutionary elements.” One of Mao’s most notable sayings was “the party commands the gun, and the gun must never be allowed to command the party.” Long after his death, his successors carried on in that tradition, most visibly during the Tiananmen Square massacre and the ensuing crackdown that the CCP carried out in response to peaceful protests in 1989, which led to untold numbers of dead and wounded.

Today, China is enjoying a period of relative stability. The party promotes a vision of a “harmonious society” instead of class struggle and extols comfortable prosperity over cathartic violence. Someone unfamiliar with the country might be forgiven for assuming that it had reckoned with its recent past and found a way to heal its wounds and move on.

Far from it. In fact, a visitor wandering the streets of any Chinese city today will find no plaques consecrating the sites of mass arrests, no statues dedicated to the victims of persecution, no monuments erected to honor those who perished after being designated “class enemies.” Despite all the anguish and death the CCP has caused, it has never issued any official admission of guilt, much less allowed any memorialization of its victims. And because any mea culpa would risk undermining the party’s legitimacy and its right to rule unilaterally, nothing of the sort is likely to occur so long as the CCP remains in power...

Elsa Hosk by LOVE Magazine (VIDEO)

Advent's almost up but these babes are forever, dang.

Emily DiDonato Takes it Off (VIDEO)

Via Theo Spark:

Josh Meyer Gets an Echo Chamber Beat-Down

This is really good:
Twitter mob attacks by a name-calling scrum of mid-level bureaucrats, “security correspondents” for instant news outfits like Buzzfeed, interns at various NGOs and their self-credentialed “expert” bosses, partisan bot herders, and their Lord of the Flies puppet-masters are part of the price of doing journalism these days. Write something negative, and you’ll get dirtied up—and maybe some of the dirt will stick, who knows. These attacks are intended to be punitive. Brave or foolhardy reporters who deviate from the party line—the party in question being the Democrats, of course, since the representation of conservatives in newsrooms is generally reported to be somewhere in the single digits—and especially their colleagues watching from the sidelines, are meant to absorb a simple but all-important lesson: Get on the team, or else shut up. Watching even seasoned pros succumb to this kind of adolescent pressure game and publicly suck up to bullying flacks while throwing shade on members of their own profession is a depressingly normal occurrence, which shows that the two once-separate professions—partisan flackery, and reporting the news—have merged into a single, mindless borg.

More Alexis Ren (VIDEO)

She's got over 11 million followers on Instagram. *Eye-roll.*

Nice babe though.

Nina Agdal Jumps for Joy

At London's Daily Mail:

BONUS: At WWTDD, "Nina Agdal Topless."

Joseph Heller, Catch-22

I'm reading this. It's an amazing book. Kinda like a manifesto for wise guys, heh.

At Amazon, Joseph Heller, Catch-22 (50th Anniversary Edition).

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

President Trump's Political Base Unshaken

Well, it's been almost a year in office. We have the midterms in about 11 months and then we're off to the 2020 races. For the life of me I don't know how President Trump's going to pull off reelection. I thought this immediately upon his election in 2016, with the entire political establishment against him: Democrats, establishment Republicans, the corrupt media, Hollywood, and just about every other cultural institution you can think of. I love what he's doing --- and I believe he's changing this country for the better --- but the odds of beating back all the forces of leftist hatred seem insurmountable.

It'll be a miracle. We need it, though, badly, so I'll pray.

In any case, here's the Associated Press, "In the heart of Trump Country, his base’s faith is unshaken":

SANDY HOOK, Ky. — The regulars amble in before dawn and claim their usual table, the one next to an old box television playing the news on mute.

Steven Whitt fires up the coffee pot and flips on the fluorescent sign in the window of the Frosty Freeze, his diner that looks and sounds and smells about the same as it did when it opened a half-century ago. Coffee is 50 cents a cup, refills 25 cents. The pot sits on the counter, and payment is based on the honor system.

People like it that way, he thinks. It reminds them of a time before the world seemed to stray away from them, when coal was king and the values of the nation seemed the same as the values here, in God’s Country, in this small county isolated in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

Everyone in town comes to his diner for nostalgia and homestyle cooking. And, recently, news reporters come from all over the world to puzzle over politics — because Elliott County, a blue-collar union stronghold, voted for the Democrat in each and every presidential election for its 147-year existence.

Until Donald Trump came along and promised to wind back the clock.

“He was the hope we were all waiting on, the guy riding up on the white horse. There was a new energy about everybody here,” says Whitt.

“I still see it.”

Despite the president’s dismal approval ratings and lethargic legislative achievements, he remains profoundly popular here in these mountains, a region so badly battered by the collapse of the coal industry it became the symbolic heart of Trump’s white working-class base.

The frenetic churn of the national news, the ceaseless Twitter taunts, the daily declarations of outrage scroll soundlessly across the bottom of the diner’s television screen, rarely registering. When they do, Trump doesn’t shoulder the blame — because the allegiance of those here is as emotional as it is economic.

It means God, guns, patriotism, saying “Merry Christmas” and not Happy Holidays. It means validation of their indignation about a changing nation: gay marriage and immigration and factories moving overseas. It means tearing down the political system that neglected them again and again in favor of the big cities that feel a world away.

On those counts, they believe Trump has delivered, even if his promised blue-collar renaissance has not yet materialized. He’s punching at all the people who let them down for so long — the presidential embodiment of their own discontent.

“He’s already done enough to get my vote again, without a doubt, no question,” Wes Lewis, a retired pipefitter and one of Whitt’s regulars, declares as he deals the day’s first hand of cards.

He thinks the mines and the factories will soon roar back to life, and if they don’t, he believes they would have if Democrats and Republicans and the media — all “crooked as a barrel of fishhooks” — had gotten out of the way. What Lewis has now that he didn’t have before Trump is a belief that his president is pulling for people like him.

“One thing I hear in here a lot is that nobody’s gonna push him into a corner,” says Whitt, 35. “He’s a fighter. I think they like the bluntness of it.”

He plops down at an empty table next to the card game, drops a stack of mail onto his lap and begins flipping through the envelopes...

Danielle Gersh's Wednesday Forecast

Make way for a little sunnier and warmer weather.

Here's the lovely Ms. Danielle:

Alex Kershaw, The Liberator

At Amazon, Alex Kershaw, The Liberator: One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau.

Chrissy Teigen's Flight to Nowhere

Actually, it was LAX to LAX, round-trip, eight hours ---  because one passenger was able to board without at ticket.

Ms. Chrissy wasn't pleased, and for good reason.

Erotic Olga Kobzar


Izabel Goulart Sexy Bikini of the Day


Clare Richards Sexy Photos

Clare Richards is some instagram nude model who instagram hasn’t deleted for whatever reason…

She promotes some subscription model bullshit where she gets naked for some real fucking desperate dudes who have too much money on their hands…like so many of these naked on instagram girls who take it upon themselves to be entrepreneurial, using their nudity to get fucking paid, and like Cam girls, they get paid for it…as they should, to at least encourage the non nude women to deliver the goods when they realize being a waitress or school teacher is way more hours of work than pulling out their tits…

Shocking Scale of Homelessness in Downtown Los Angeles

At London's Daily Mail:

From Israeli Army to Miss Universe to Wonder Woman

She's my kind of woman!

Gal Gadot:

Gigi Hadid by LOVE Magazine (VIDEO)

The tasty Gigi:

Holiday Shopping Numbers Illustrate Success of Trump's Policies, Democrats' Difficulties

From John Hinderaker, at Power Line:
The Wall Street Journal reports on holiday shopping:
Fueled by high consumer confidence and a robust job market, U.S. retail sales in the holiday period rose at their best pace since 2011, according to MastercardSpendingPulse, which tracks both online and in-store spending.

Sales, excluding automobiles, rose 4.9% from Nov. 1 through Christmas Eve, compared with a 3.7% gain in the same period last year.

Unlike in past years, when spending was driven by high-income shoppers, this holiday a broader swath of the population opened their wallets, encouraged by rising wages and low unemployment, analysts and economists said.

“Fewer people are living paycheck to paycheck,” said Chris Christopher, executive director of economic research firm IHS Markit. “There is a lot more spending from the lower- and middle-income groups, while the upper-income groups are splurging.”
Emphasis added.

In next November’s elections, the Democrats won’t just be running against Republicans. They will be running against reality. Take the tax cut. I won’t rehash all of the crazy things Democrats have said about it; they have been compiled at many locations. But simply put, it is insane for Democrats to allege that a tax cut will raise most people’s taxes, or that cutting corporate income taxes to an internationally-normal level will destroy the economy...

I wonder if economic indicators are still the prime variable in elections these days? Perhaps the state of the economy will be important next November, but culture seems to be driving so much politics currently that I have my doubts. Republicans can't be complacent, either way. Watch for President Trump to increasingly mind his comments (and his tweets) as next year's congressional races approach.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Glenn Frankel, High Noon

At Amazon, Glenn Frankel, High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic Hardcover.

Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus


At Amazon, Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus: A Novel.

Wilbur Smith, A Falcon Flies


Wilbur Smith is really good!

At Amazon, Wilbur Smith, A Falcon Flies: A Spectacular Epic of a Wild Continent and the Few Who Dared to Tame It.

Behind the Scenes of 2018 Hooters Calendar (VIDEO)


Jay Leno's Muscle Cars (VIDEO)

Man, Jay Leno's a fine car collector!

He's got the old 1960s-era Dodge Challenger in there, and it's totally rudimentary. He's got it parked next to the new Dodge Challenger Hell Cat, heh.

Danielle Gersh's Day-After-Christmas Forecast

It's mild weather. I don't know, perhaps down to the 40s overnight, if that? Otherwise, a little cool and overcast.

But here's the lovely Ms. Danielle to tell you all about it, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Insanity Studies Major

That's about the gist of it, sheesh.

At the Other McCain, "How About an ‘Insanity Studies’ Major? UPDATE: ‘Queer’ With ‘Psychotic Episodes’ and ‘Endless Mental Fog’."

Rhian Sugden Christmas Snaps

She's still fine.

Marisa Papen in Venice Beach

This is unreal!

See, "Venice Vacant Hour - by Gary Breckheimer.

Increase in Border Attacks, Smuggling, and Deaths at Texas’ Big Bend Region

Build the freakin' wall already, sheesh.

 At LAT, "Could the Big Bend in Texas be the border's weakest link? Smuggling of drugs and migrants is on the rise":
Two Border Patrol agents bent to study the sandy dirt like animal trackers — what they call "cutting for sign."

They didn't have to look far.

Just yards from the Rio Grande, Agent Lee Smith pointed to footprints and scraps of carpet. Smugglers tie carpet to their shoes in hopes of covering their tracks, he said. Smith followed the rough trail through thick brush, his fellow agent close behind, wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a long gun.

They saw no one. But the agents sensed smugglers watching, waiting.

"They come right across. What's here to stop them?" Smith said.

Sometimes smuggler scouts cross on horseback: The muddy banks are pocked with human and horse tracks. The river here, about 60 miles east of El Paso, is just a few yards wide, one of the reasons Border Patrol agents in Texas' Big Bend region have seen troubling increases in smuggling, attacks on agents and migrant deaths in recent years.

"There's hundreds of these crossings just in our area of operation," Smith said. "The drug cartels, they own this part of the land. We have conceded large swaths of the border. There are areas where there are not agents for days."

He called the vast Big Bend "the absolute weakest link on the southern border."

The natural barriers beyond the river that made the landscape a stunning backdrop for "No Country for Old Men," "There Will Be Blood" and "Giant" were also supposed to protect it. Or at least that was long the assumption of U.S.officials. There's the river. There are mountains — the snow-covered Chinati, Chisos and Davis ranges.

There's the Chihuahuan high desert, the land full of prickly cat claw and temperatures that soar above 100 degrees on summer days and dip to below freezing on winter nights. And for many years, smugglers avoided Big Bend, that part of Texas where the border makes a gentle swoop south before swinging back north.

But smuggling routes shift according to the dictates of criminal organizations, often in response to border enforcement. In the late 1990s, border traffic moved from Southern California to remote desert stretches of Arizona; by 2013, it moved east again to Texas' Rio Grande Valley, the epicenter of migration and enforcement ever since.

But now new routes are opening up to the west, in Big Bend.

"As things in the Rio Grande Valley get tougher to cross, they're looking for other places, and this is a spot that over the past few years has become established for smuggling," said Border Patrol Agent Rush Carter, a spokesman for the agency in Big Bend.

Just as migrants once tried to cross the Arizona desert unprepared, Central Americans are arriving in Big Bend without cold weather gear, abandoned to the elements by smugglers. Migrants tell agents that smugglers advertise the area as an easy crossing, the least patrolled stretch of border.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection divides the southern border into nine sectors. Big Bend is the largest: 135,000 square miles, 510 miles of river, a quarter of the entire southern border.

The sector stretches north to include 118 counties in Texas and all of Oklahoma. Yet it has the smallest staff of any southern border sector, about 500 agents assigned to a dozen stations and several highway checkpoints including one in Sierra Blanca, notorious for large drug busts. That's fewer agents than have been assigned to a single station in the Tucson sector, Smith said.

President Trump has promised to add 5,000 Border Patrol agents, potentially doubling Big Bend staffing, but with high turnover, agents said that they would still be spread thin.

With such a small staff, agents usually patrol alone, with hand-me-down technology from other areas, including radios so spotty agents have erected makeshift cell towers in the brush to boost reception. Sometimes they just yell.

They don't have observation towers along the border as in the Rio Grande Valley, and their single aerostat blimp hovering overhead, unlike those used in the Valley, is not equipped with infrared technology, Smith said...

Challenger Wheelie

More Dodge Demon:

Irina Shayk by LOVE Magazine (VIDEO)

Here's more Irina!

Gift Wrapped Babes

Seen on Twitter:

Monday, December 25, 2017

Cash In Your Amazon Gift Cards at American Power!

Actually, Amazon sales have been rather modest this holiday season, but I absolutely appreciate every bit of support from readers.

Thanks again and Merry Christmas!

At Amazon, Today's Deals.

And see especially, All-new Echo (2nd Generation) with improved sound, powered by Dolby, and a new design – Charcoal Fabric.

Also, Greatest Hits: Billy Idol (Amazon Music).

Plus, Women's Christmas Cute Reindeer Knitted Sweater Girl Pullover.

More, Kidorable Red Christmas Soft Hat/Scarf/Glove Set With Santa, Snowman, Reindeer and More.

Still more, Christmas Is Coming Ugly Christmas Sweater Men's Sweatshirt with Xmas Prop.

Here, Chefman Slow Cooker, All Natural / Chemical-Free / Glaze-Free Pot, Stovetop and Oven Safe Crock; the Only Nonstick Paleo Certified XL 5 Qt Slow Cooker.

Finally, Samsung DM82D/US DM82D, 82'' 1080p Full HD LED-Backlit LCD Flat Panel Display, Black.

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

Performance Car of the Year 2018 (VIDEO)

At Road and Track, the whole competitive review of 10 submissions for the year, awesome, "Road & Track Performance Car of the Year 2018."

And the winner is: "The McLaren 720S Is the Future."

Sexy Santa Bruna Lima (VIDEO)

Following-up, "Sexy Santas."

Susan Rivers, The Second Mrs. Hockaday

At Amazon, Susan Rivers, The Second Mrs. Hockaday: A Novel.

Christmas Is the Perfect Time to Mock Leftists

It is. Indeed, it is.

From Kurt Schlichter, at Town Hall, "Christmas Is the Perfect Time to Mock Liberals, and Other Random Thoughts":

When we gather together this Christmas, it’s going to be super-awkward since everybody is dead because Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Scam, repealed net neutrality, and cut taxes. The depredations of Genghis Khan, the Black Plague, and the repeal of the Obamacare mandate – these are pretty much the same thing. Santa Claus and all of our dreams are dead too.

On the plus side, since we are all dead there’s no one to make egg nog, which is the worst of all possible nogs.

No. Whoever invented egg nog is the second grossest human being ever who is not Lena Dunham, exceeded in grossness only by the first person being who thought, “Look, an oyster! I know. I’ll put that slimy thing in my mouth.”

The Democrats are the egg nog of American politics. Discuss...
Keep reading.

Despite 'Star Wars' Surge, Movie-Going Audiences May Keep Fading

Well, I'm especially not going to see anything affiliated with Harvey Weinstein, and of course I won't see movies featuring any number of leftist stars, like Meryl Streep, George Clooney, or Matt Damon, to name a few.

I did enjoy "Hostiles," so it's not movies per se that are bogus. It's the far left politics for me. For everybody else? Well, who needs the multiplex anymore? Not too many, apparently.

At LAT, "Even with 'Star Wars' surge, moviegoing could hit 22-year low. Blame bad sequels, rising ticket prices and streaming":

Hollywood is celebrating the end of 2017 with astronomical sales from "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," which is on track to soon exceed $1 billion in global ticket sales and eventually become the biggest movie of the year. But that won't be enough to write a happy storyline for the industry.

Although 2017 movie ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada are expected to dip just below last year's record of $11.38 billion, the number of tickets sold is projected to drop 4% to 1.26 billion — the lowest level since 1995, according to preliminary estimates from studio executives.

The falloff in ticket sales can mostly be explained by a handful of movies that flopped, especially during the dreary summer season that posted the worst results in more than two decades. Even such massive hits as "Wonder Woman," "Thor: Ragnarok" and "It" couldn't make up for a lackluster summer lineup populated by rickety franchises ("Alien: Covenant") and poorly reviewed retreads ("The Mummy").

However, the long-term decline in attendance reflects systemic challenges facing the industry. Audiences are spending less time going to the movies and are consuming more entertainment on small screens and through streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon that are spending billions of dollars on original video content.

At the same time, while higher ticket prices have helped to offset attendance declines, they have made consumers pickier about what movies they're willing to go see. And those increasingly discerning consumers turn to social media and Rotten Tomatoes to decide what's worth their time and money.

"You cannot pull a fast one on the audience," said Greg Foster, chief executive of Imax Entertainment. "The tools that are available for consumers to decide how and where to spend entertainment dollars are so vast. Consumers know what works and what doesn't long before the product becomes available."

Challenges at the box office are helping to fuel a wave of media consolidation. Walt Disney Co. this month announced a blockbuster deal to buy entertainment assets from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion.

Murdoch's surprise decision to sell the bulk of his media empire was at least partly motivated by concerns about the future of the movie business in a world dominated by streaming, analysts said.

Cinema chains also are bulking up to better compete. Regal Entertainment Group, the nation's second-largest theater owner, last month agreed to sell itself to British theater company Cineworld for $3.6 billion.

For studios, the box office has become a land of princes and paupers, with a handful of movies and a couple studios increasingly dominating the business. As of Dec. 17, Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros. accounted for 40% of domestic market share. In 2012, the top two studios (Sony and Warner Bros.) only took up 30% of the industry total.

Of the 165 wide-release movies this year, the top 20 claimed 51% of ticket sales in 2017, representing an increase of two percentage points from last year, according to estimates from distributors. Five years ago, the 20 biggest movies accounted for about 40% of annual grosses.

"It's a really binary business between the haves and the have-nots," said Jeff Goldstein, head of domestic distribution for Warner Bros.

Nowhere was that trend clearer than last weekend, when the animated Fox movie "Ferdinand" opened against Disney's "The Last Jedi."

The $111-million kids' film about a fighting-averse bull opened with a pitiful $13 million, due to a lack of audience interest in the story and competition from Pixar's hit computer-animated movie "Coco." By contrast, the new "Star Wars" opened with $220 million — nearly 17 times "Ferdinand's" debut.

Professor Jordan Peterson on the Lindsay Shepherd Affair

At Blazing Cat Fur, "Pronouns professor Jordan Peterson on the Lindsay Shepherd affair."

And more, at the Rebel:

Gift-Wrapped Package of Horse Shit for Steve Mnuchin

Leftists are so disgusting.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Secret Service takes over investigation of package of manure sent to Steve Mnuchin's Bel-Air home."

Danielle Gersh's Christmas Forecast

She's a hot weather forecaster.

And it's nice weather for Christmas!

Here's the lovely Ms. Danielle, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles

Padma Lakshmi in See-Through White Top

At Taxi Driver, "Padma Lakshmi Nipple in See-Through White Top."

Irina Shayk Gives You a Taste (VIDEO)

I could go for a taste of this hot wench, lol.

Alessandra Ambrosio Retiring from Victoria' Secret

Well, she's had a good run, that's for sure.

Romee Strijd by LOVE Magazine (VIDEO)

Merry Christmas everybody!


Sunday, December 24, 2017

Helmand Christmas Tree

Been busy all day running around, finishing shopping, cleaning the kitchen, and watching "Die Hard" with my young son. Not too much blogging, but I'll be back on it over the next few days.

Merry Christmas everybody!

Seen on Twitter:

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Wilbur Smith, Men of Men

I gotta say Wilbur Smith's books are irresistible, man.

At Amazon, Wilbur Smith, Men of Men (The Ballantyne Novels).

Erin Heatherton Zanzibar (VIDEO)

Just in time for the holiday.

Plus, "Presenting Erin Heatherton."

Dodge Demon

Just was reminded of this monster on Twitter.

The Dodge Challenger Demon is a street-legal dragster. That's it. It's a race car, bottom line.

I've been reading about it at Road and Track and Car and Driver, and will post more later.

But watch the videos. It's seriously as mean as you can get. It's not built for Grand Prix racing. Or for Daytona, even. It's built for the drag strip and will blow your mind. (At the second video below the Demon pops a wheelie.)

Alessandra Ambrosio for LOVE Magazine (VIDEO)

She's better looking now than ever.

What a fantastic woman.

We Need to Talk About Jacob Zuma

Speaking of South Africa, here's a great piece at Johannesburg's Mail and Guardian, "After 10 years at the helm of the ANC— We need to talk about Jacob Zuma":
Of all the deleterious aspects of Zuma’s legacy in the ANC, this is perhaps the most significant: in 10 years of disastrous and amoral leadership, the ruling party has lost all capacity for self-examination. This is why most have waited in vain for the start of the party’s mythical and supposedly inevitable “self-correction”. Self-correction is a result of self-criticism, and self-criticism itself results from self-examination. Under Zuma, the ANC has become the hapless victim of malign forces, foreign powers, enemies, fifth columnists, the media, and every other external influence you can think of. Nothing is of its own doing; no problem is ever self-inflicted. This is pretty much Zuma’s personality, which has imprinted on the ANC. And it is not obvious that this unfortunate trait will cease to be a part of the ANC’s DNA when Zuma is gone.

Tamara Holder Claims Rupert Murdoch Ruined Her Life (VIDEO)

This "sex panic" moment seems to be getting more political all the time.

Tamara Holder looks terrible here, so I have to agree this whole thing is ruining her life. I used to think she looked pretty attractive when she was on Hannity's back in the day. Frankly, I'd forgotten all about her, but now, man is she bitter.

And see, coincidentally, see NYT, "Rupert Murdoch and President Trump: A Friendship of Convenience."

(Maybe a lot of leftist sexual assault criminals have to come down to get to the real target: President Trump. Now that's a dialectical idea.)

Martin Meredith, Diamonds, Gold, and War

I'm on a sort of Africa jag right now. It's been off and on, but since teaching South Africa in my comparative politics class this fall, I'm getting excited about further reading.

At Amazon, Martin Meredith, Diamonds, Gold, and War: The British, the Boers, and the Making of South Africa.

Mika Brzezinski Apologizes

She slammed Mark Halperin's accusers. I for one can't stand Mika. And one of Halperin's accusers, Emily Miller, is one of my biggest heroes.

Here's the whole sequence, via Twitter:


I took my young son to see this movie yesterday in L.A.

I love Westerns, and this one did not disappoint. Indeed, I have a newfound appreciation for Christian Bale. He deserves some nominations for his performance, as does Rosamond Pike for hers (the woman can put on the most intense emotional expression ever; she's unreal).

At the New York Times, "Review: ‘Hostiles’ Grapples With the Contradictions of the Western."

And see Kenneth Turan's review, at the Los Angeles Times, "The western springs back to life with 'Hostiles,' a brutal tale of moral survival."

The official trailer is here.

Friday, December 22, 2017

President Trump Has Better Poll Numbers Than Meryl Streep


At Breitbart:

Fighting for Elephants, in One of Africa's Most Dangerous Corners

From today's front-page, at the Los Angeles Times, "'Am I going to get out of here alive?' In one of Africa's most dangerous corners, a fight to the death for the elephants":

Kambale Mate huddled beneath a tangle of grass, looking up at bright stars in a moonless sky, a tumble of chaotic events cascading through his mind.

Where were the other wildlife rangers, Jean de Dieu Matongo and Joel Meriko Ari? Were they alive?

He had been a ranger for only five months at Garamba National Park, the last remaining preserve for disappearing populations of elephants and giraffes in this part of Africa. Yet here he was with two comrades, hiding like small, petrified mammals in the grass. If any of them moved, a large band of poachers nearby could find and kill them.

A hassock of grass cradled his back as he looked up. He couldn’t remember quite how he had escaped the shrieking storm of bullets. What he remembered was the crunch of the crisp, dry leaves as boot steps crept through the dusk.

The world is experiencing an epidemic of environmental killings. Last year 200 environmental defenders — citizens protesting mining, agribusiness, oil and gas development and logging, as well as land rights activists and wildlife rangers — were killed, according to the London-based nonprofit Global Witness. In the first 11 months of this year, the number was 170.

The reasons are many: corruption; rising global demand for natural resources; companies’ growing willingness to exploit new areas; and a dearth of accountability, as governments and corporations increasingly work together on resource development agendas.

“We’ve seen impunity breeding more violence,” said Billy Kyte, a Global Witness official. “Those carrying out those attacks know they can get away with it. We’re seeing more brazen attacks than before.”

Total attacks have doubled from what they were five years ago, and they have been spreading. In 2015, Global Witness recorded killings in 16 countries. Last year, it was 24.

Latin America, in the midst of a boom in resource extraction as billions of dollars in new investments stream in from China and elsewhere, was the deadliest region — 110 were killed through the end of November, with the heaviest toll, 44 dead, in Brazil.

But few places in the world are as consistently dangerous for environmental defenders as Africa’s wildlife preserves. In Garamba National Park, a sprawling UNESCO World Heritage site in a remote corner of northeastern Congo, some of the planet’s last, struggling populations of elephants, white rhinoceroses and giraffes are under assault by poachers seeking to cash in on the millions of dollars the animals can bring in illegal international markets.

Of the 105 park rangers around the world killed over the 12 months that ended in July, most of them were in Africa, according to the nonprofit International Ranger Federation. Garamba saw 21 attacks within a year, leading to five deaths.

The 1,900-square-mile Garamba park lies at the crossroads of international chaos. Raiders from Sudan and Chad sweep south along a route used centuries ago to traffic slaves and ivory. Soldiers, deserters and armed rebels spill into the park from South Sudan on the other side of the border. An estimated 150 fighters with the Lord’s Resistance Army, which has left a trail of death, mutilation, child sex slavery and kidnapping across a broad swath of central Africa, are believed to roam the hunting preserves bordering the park.

“It’s the Wild West here,” said Naftali Honig, the park’s anti-poaching information coordinator. “They’re coming in from multiple countries and armed groups. We have a porous border and corrupt officials who are in the ivory chain. We also have collapsed states.”

Garamba National Park is jointly managed by the Congolese government and African Parks, a nongovernmental organization based in South Africa that teams up with governments to manage 12 of the continent’s most vulnerable national parks, covering more than 7 million acres.

Days before the April 11 attack that forced Kambale Mate to hide overnight in the grass, African Parks pilot Frank Molteno had spotted five dead elephants from the air, including two youngsters. When Honig investigated the site he was sickened to find the tiny tusks of the young elephants taken.

“The adults had their faces hacked off. There’s almost no ivory in the juveniles. They would have just killed them for nothing,” said Honig.

There were multiple gunmen, from the evidence, and they were not finished. Searching from the air days later, Molteno spotted a fire site. Mate, 24, went out as part of a team of six patrollers, accompanied by four Congolese soldiers...
Keep reading.

Fabulous Britney Spears!

I've been neglecting my hotsy-totsy Ms. Britney, who's looking better than ever.

On Twitter. (Hat Tip: Hollywood Tuna, "Britney Spears’ Hard Work Is Paying Off.")

Alexis Okeowo, A Moonless, Starless Sky

I'd like to read this.

At Amazon, Alexis Okeowo, A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa.

Slavery and the Legacy of White Supremacy

This is interesting and worth pondering, no matter your ideological inclinations.

From Annette Gordon-Reed‏, at Foreign Affairs, "America’s Original Sin":

... The most significant fact about American slavery, one it did not share with other prominent ancient slave systems, was its basis in race. Slavery in the United States created a defined, recognizable group of people and placed them outside society. And unlike the indentured servitude of European immigrants to North America, slavery was an inherited condition.

As a result, American slavery was tied inexorably to white dominance. Even people of African descent who were freed for one reason or another suffered under the weight of the white supremacy that racially based slavery entrenched in American society. In the few places where free blacks had some form of state citizenship, their rights were circumscribed in ways that emphasized their inferior status—to them and to all observers. State laws in both the so-called Free States and the slave states served as blueprints for a system of white supremacy. Just as blackness was associated with inferiority and a lack of freedom—in some jurisdictions, black skin created the legal presumption of an enslaved status—whiteness was associated with superiority and freedom.

The historian Edmund Morgan explained what this meant for the development of American attitudes about slavery, freedom, and race—indeed, for American culture overall. Morgan argued that racially based slavery, rather than being a contradiction in a country that prided itself on freedom, made the freedom of white people possible. The system that put black people at the bottom of the social heap tamped down class divisions among whites. Without a large group of people who would always rank below the level of even the poorest, most disaffected white person, white unity could not have persisted. Grappling with the legacy of slavery, therefore, requires grappling with the white supremacy that preceded the founding of the United States and persisted after the end of legalized slavery.

Consider, by contrast, what might have happened had there been Irish chattel slavery in North America. The Irish suffered pervasive discrimination and were subjected to crude and cruel stereotypes about their alleged inferiority, but they were never kept as slaves. Had they been enslaved and then freed, there is every reason to believe that they would have had an easier time assimilating into American culture than have African Americans. Their enslavement would be a major historical fact, but it would likely not have created a legacy so firmly tying the past to the present as did African chattel slavery. Indeed, the descendants of white indentured servants blended into society and today suffer no stigma because of their ancestors’ social condition.

That is because the ability to append enslaved status to a set of generally identifiable physical characteristics—skin color, hair, facial features—made it easy to tell who was eligible for slavery and to maintain a system of social control over the enslaved. It also made it easy to continue organized oppression after the 13th Amendment ended legal slavery in 1865. There was no incentive for whites to change their attitudes about race even when slavery no longer existed. Whiteness still amounted to a value, unmoored from economic or social status. Blackness still had to be devalued to ensure white superiority. This calculus operated in Northern states as well as Southern ones.


The framers of the Confederate States of America understood this well. Race played a specific and pivotal role in their conception of the society they wished to create. If members of the revolutionary generation presented themselves as opponents of a doomed system and, in Jefferson’s case, cast baleful views of race as mere “suspicions,” their Confederate grandchildren voiced their full-throated support for slavery as a perpetual institution, based on their openly expressed belief in black inferiority. The founding documents of the Confederacy, under which the purported citizens of that entity lived, just as Americans live under the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, announced that African slavery would form the “cornerstone” of the country they would create after winning the Civil War. In 1861, a few weeks before the war began, Alexander Stephens, the vice president of the Confederacy, put things plainly:
The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution—African slavery as it exists amongst us—the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast had anticipated this as the “rock upon which the old Union would split.” He was right. . . . The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. . . . Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error.
Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—subordination to the superior race—is his natural and normal condition.

Despite the clarity of Stephens’ words, millions of Americans today are unaware of—or perhaps unwilling to learn about—the aims of those who rallied to the Confederate cause. That ignorance has led many to fall prey to the romantic notion of “the rebels,” ignoring that these rebels had a cause. Modern Americans may fret about the hypocrisy and weakness of the founding generation, but there was no such hesitancy among the leading Confederates on matters of slavery and race. That they were not successful on the battlefield does not mean that their philosophy should be ignored in favor of abstract notions of “duty,” “honor,” and “nobility”; Americans should not engage in the debate that the former Confederates chose after the war ended and slavery, finally, acquired a bad name.

It has taken until well into the twenty-first century for many Americans to begin to reject the idea of erecting statues of men who fought to construct an explicitly white supremacist society. For too long, the United States has postponed a reckoning with the corrosive ideas about race that have destroyed the lives and wasted the talents of millions of people who could have contributed to their country. To confront the legacy of slavery without openly challenging the racial attitudes that created and shaped the institution is to leave the most important variable out of the equation. And yet discussions of race, particularly of one’s own racial attitudes, are among the hardest conversations Americans are called on to have...

Bella Thorne Christmas Lingerie


Alexis Ren in Christmas Bikini

At Hollywood Tuna, "Alexis Ren Gets in the XMAS Bikini Spirit."

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Danielle Gersh's Windy Weather Forecast

It was cold and windy as I dropped off my kid for school this morning.

And I've got head back out to buy a few Christmas presents. Now it's getting to be like winter weather around here. Sheesh.

Here's the lovely Ms. Danielle, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Holiday Deals

Keep shopping people, at Amazon, Today's Deals.

And see especially, Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine by Breville, Piano Black.

Also, Citizen Men's BJ7000-52E Nighthawk Stainless Steel Eco-Drive Watch.

More, Tommy Hilfiger Women's 1781396 Rose Gold-Tone Watch.

Plus, Thunder Bolt Coffee 1 Pound Ground French Roast Colombian Freshly Roasted Restaurant Quality Gourmet Coffee - Ideal for French Press, Drip Coffee from Koffee Kult.

Still more, PowerBar Performance Energy Bar, Chocolate, 2.29 Ounce Bars (Pack of 12).

And, Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 5500 Wet & Dry,S5370/81, with Turbomode and Precision Trimmer.

More here, Beckham Hotel Collection Luxury White Down Feather Pillow (2-Pack) - Premium 100% Cotton Shell - Queen.

BONUS: Heather O'Neill, The Lonely Hearts Hotel: A Novel.

Wildfires Aren't the Only Threat to the So-Called 'California Dream'

It's too expensive to live here.

This is a great piece, at NYT, "Quakes and Fires? It’s the Cost of Living That Californians Can’t Stomach":

OAKLAND, Calif. — Russel Lee and his wife spent the past few years going online to do the depressing math of how much less housing costs pretty much everywhere that isn’t California. They looked at Idaho, Arizona, North Carolina and Kentucky, but Mr. Lee, who was born in San Francisco and has lived in the Bay Area his entire life, could never quite make the move. Then the fires came.

In October, as the most destructive wildfire in state history swept through Northern California, Mr. Lee’s three-bedroom home in Santa Rosa was consumed by the flames. He lost everything: his tools, his guns, his childhood report cards. Forced to confront the decision of whether to stay and rebuild or pick up and go somewhere else, Mr. Lee finally decided it was time to go. He used the insurance payment to buy a $150,000 home outside Knoxville, Tenn., and will soon leave California for good.

“It was like ‘Welp, it’s time,’” Mr. Lee said. “It’s kind of like ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ in reverse.”

For the half-century after World War II, California represented the epitome of middle-class America on the move. As people poured into the state in search of good weather and the lure of single-family homes with backyard orange trees, the state embarked on a vast natural engineering project that redirected northern water southward, creating the modern Southern California and making the state the most populous in the nation.

Those days are long gone. For more than three decades, California has seen a net outflow of residents to other states, as less expensive southern cities like Phoenix, Houston and Raleigh supplant those of the Golden State as beacons of opportunity. California still has a hold on the national imagination: It has lots of jobs and great weather, along with the glamour of Hollywood and the inventiveness of Silicon Valley.

Still, for many Californians, the question is always sitting there: Is this worth it? Natural disasters are a moment to take stock and rethink the dream. But in the end, the calculation almost always comes down to cost.

Last Friday was Saul Weinstein’s last day at work, and the start of his last weekend as a Californian. Mr. Weinstein, a 67-year-old commercial banker, retired and moved to Nevada. He has lived through several fires, and the 1994 earthquake that killed 57 people and shook him and millions of other Southern Californians out of bed at 4:30 in the morning.

But what finally sent him packing was money. Mr. Weinstein is selling his 2,000-square-foot house in Baldwin Park, east of Los Angeles, for $570,000. He paid less than half that for a similarly sized place in Pahrump, Nev., about an hour’s drive west of Las Vegas. He moved on Monday.

“When you retire you have to watch your money,” Mr. Weinstein said. “The San Andreas Fault is what they politely call ‘overdue,’ and I will be much more comfortable when I’m away from that. But if it wasn’t for the cost of living I probably would have stuck around and taken my chances.”

California was once a migration magnet, but since 2010 the state has lost more than two million residents 25 and older, including 220,000 who moved to Texas, according to census data. Arizona and Nevada have each welcomed about 180,000 California expatriates since the start of the decade. Next week, as people start decamping for the holidays, airports throughout the South and Southwest will fill up with people who are from California and are now traveling West to see the family they left behind...
In the end, it won't be the astronomical cost of living that drives me out of state. It'll be the soul-crushing radical left-wing politics. It's already intolerable. I'm just not ready for retirement yet.

Keep reading, in any case.

Christmas Shopping

Natasha Oakley and Devin Brugman:

Kendall Jenner in See-Through Black Turtleneck

At Taxi Driver, "Kendall Jenner Nipples in See-Through Black Turtleneck."

Stella Maxwell for LOVE Magazine (VIDEO)

You gotta love these LOVE videos, heh.

Corey R. Lewandowski and David N. Bossie, Let Trump Be Trump


This book's flying off the shelves, or off the delivery lines.

At Amazon, Corey R. Lewandowski and David N. Bossie, Let Trump Be Trump: The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency.

The Left’s Power Play with Sexual Politics

At American Greatness, "Raping the Voters: The Left’s Power Play with Sexual Politics."