Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Shop Today


At Amazon, Today's Deals. Save on our top deals every day.

And especially, Instant Pot DUO Plus 8 Qt 9-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and Sterilizer.

Also, Ultimate Ears BOOM 2 LE Limited Edition Wireless Speaker Phantom.

More, bObsweep Pet Hair Plus Robotic Vacuum Cleaner and Mop, Midnight.

And, Nutrichef Upgraded Multi-Function Rotisserie Oven - Vertical Countertop Oven with Bake, Turkey Thanksgiving, Broil Roasting Kebab Rack with Adjustable Settings, 2 Shelves 1500 Watt - PKRT97.

Still more, Craftsman Evolv 83 Pc. Homeowner Tool Set W/bag (41283).

Plus, MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder - Essential blend of Whey, Isolate, Casein and Egg Protein with BCAA's and Glutamine for Recovery, Chocolate Milk, 4 Pound.

Here, WORKPRO Axe and Fixed Blade Knife Combo Set Full Tang Wood Handle for Outdoor Camping Survival Hunting, Nylon Sheath Included.

And, Maglite ML50LX LED 2-Cell C Matte Black Flashlight.

Plus here, Samsung QN65Q6F Flat 65” QLED 4K UHD 6 Series Smart TV 2018.

BONUS: James Johnson, The Black Bruins: The Remarkable Lives of UCLA's Jackie Robinson, Woody Strode, Tom Bradley, Kenny Washington, and Ray Bartlett.

Katya Apekina, The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish

I'm picking up a copy.

At Amazon, Katya Apekina, The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish: A Novel.

Emma Roberts Bikini

At Drunken Stepfather, "Emma Roberts Bikini Book Club of the Day."

She's reading Oyinkan Braithwaite, My Sister, the Serial Killer: A Novel. (Very progressive and right-thinking, lol.)

Far-Left Judd Legum Targets Tucker Carlson for Destruction (VIDEO)

Tucker Carlson's spot-on commentaries assailing open borders have been so effective that he must be stopped, so says radical leftist Judd Legum, a Soros lackey who was the former editor-in-chief at the Center for American Progress attack site "Think Progress."

On Twitter:

Carlson's crime? He rightfully argued that the illegals of the migrant caravan will make America "dirtier." The migrants are soiling Tijuana, and sowing crime and anarchy in the streets of that city. Of course that will happen here if we throw open our borders to them. Judd Legum would never face the consequences of that anarchy in his own life's reality. Leftists never do, holed up in their elite beachfront mansions and (exclusive and unaffordable) progressive urban enclaves. This is all politics. Populist nationalism is winning and leftists must therefore resort to fascist tactics to destroy it.

Fight the left people. They're your enemies. Fight them.

Here's Tucker's segment from last night. He's very effective. When you're that good the left paints a target on your back:

Danielle Gersh's Wonderful Weather Forecast

She's so beautiful.

And it's going to be calm Christmas weather this week. That's why folks live in California. It's Palm Springs weather most of the time, heh.

Here's Ms. Danielle:

Vita Sidorkina Reveals Her Struggles (VIDEO)

She can reveal some of her struggles to me, lol.

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:

Salvatore Babones, The New Authoritarianism

At Amazon, Salvatore Babones, The New Authoritarianism: Trump, Populism, and the Tyranny of Experts.

William Easterly, The Tyranny of Experts

At Amazon, William Easterly, The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor.

First Couple's Official Christmas Portrait

So happy we have the Trumps in the White House. We are blessed.

Sue Prideaux, I Am Dynamite!


[I'm currently reading this one, and it's great!]

At Amazon, Sue Prideaux, I Am Dynamite! A Life of Nietzsche.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

An American classic, at Amazon, John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath.

P. W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking, LikeWar

At Amazon, P. W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking, LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media.

Francis Fukuyama, Identity


At Amazon, Francis Fukuyama, Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment.

Kaya Jones Christmas Wishes

She's wonderful.

Salena Zito and Brad Todd's, The Great Revolt, Has Made Foreign Affair's 2018 List of Top Books

Here's the book, at Amazon, Salena Zito and Brad Todd, The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics.

And on Twitter:

Chantel Jeffries at the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball (PHOTOS)

She's nice.


Friday, December 14, 2018

Today's Shopping

At Amazon, Today's Deals. Save on our top deals every day.

And especially, Sun Joe SJFP28-STN-CL Fire Joe 28" Classic Stone Fire Pit, and Sun Joe SJFP35-STN-RWD 35-in. Cast Stone Base, Wood Burning Fire Pit w/Dome Screen and Poker, Rivetted Wood.

Also, Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Titanium Perpetual Chrono Atomic Timekeeping Watch with Date, AT4010-50E.

And, Leather Travel Duffle Bag Gym Overnight Weekend Luggage Carry on Airplane Underseat Bag.

More, Smith & Wesson SWMP4LBS 8.6in Stainless Steel Assisted Folding Knife with 3.6in Clip Point Blade and Aluminum Handle for Outdoor Tactical Survival and Everyday Carry.

Plus, Barnett Whitetail Pro STR Crossbow, 400 Feet Per Second.

Still more, Honeywell HCE200B Uberheat Ceramic Heater, Black.

Here, Samsung QN65Q6F Flat 65” QLED 4K UHD 6 Series Smart TV 2018.

BONUS: Victor Sebestyen, Twelve Days: The Story of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.

Ukrainian Glamour Model Stefani Kovalyova

She's on social medial, at Twitter.

She says she needs some vitamins.

And her promotion page, Stefani Kovalyova. Kiev, Ukraine.

Checking Robert Mueller

From Kim Strassel, at WSJ:
Robert Mueller has operated for 19 months as a law unto himself, reminding us of the awesome and destructive powers of special counsels. About the only possible check on Mr. Mueller is a judge who is wise to the tricks of prosecutors and investigators. Good news: That’s what we got this week.

Former national security adviser Mike Flynn a year ago pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. Mr. Flynn’s defense team this week filed a sentencing memo to Judge Emmet Sullivan that contained explosive new information about the Flynn-FBI meeting in January 2017.

It was arranged by then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who personally called Mr. Flynn on other business, then suggested he sit down with two agents to clear up the Russia question. Mr. McCabe urged Mr. Flynn to conduct the interview with no lawyer present—to make things easier.

The agents (including the infamous Peter Strzok) showed up within two hours. They had already decided not to inform Mr. Flynn that they had transcripts of his conversations or give him the standard warning against lying to the FBI. They wanted him “relaxed” and “unguarded.” Former Director James Comey this weekend bragged on MSNBC that he would never have “gotten away” with such a move in a more “organized” administration.

The whole thing stinks of entrapment, though the curious question was how the Flynn defense team got the details. The court filing refers to a McCabe memo written the day of the 2017 meeting, as well as an FBI summary—known as a 302—of the Flynn interview. These are among documents congressional Republicans have been fighting to obtain for more than a year, only to be stonewalled by the Justice Department. Now we know why the department didn’t want them public.

They have come to light thanks to a man who knows well how men like Messrs. Mueller and Comey operate: Judge Sullivan. He sits on the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, and as he wrote for the Journal last year, he got a “wake-up call” in 2008 while overseeing the trial of then-Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska. Judge Sullivan ultimately assigned a lawyer to investigate Justice Department misconduct.

The investigator’s report found prosecutors had engaged in deliberate and repeated ethical violations, withholding key evidence from the defense. It also excoriated the FBI for failing to write up 302s and for omitting key facts from those it did write. The head of the FBI was Mr. Mueller...
Still more.

Kim Strassel's the best. Seriously.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Alistair Horne, The Fall of Paris

Here's a classic, great for under the tree.

At Amazon, Alistair Horne, The Fall of Paris: The Siege and the Commune 1870-71.

Genevieve Morton Sexy

At Drunken Stepfather, "Genevieve Morton is Naked of the Day."

David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest


Following-up from last night previously, "New Interview with David Foster Wallace."

At Amazon, David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Don DeLillo, White Noise


At Amazon, Don DeLillo, White Noise (Penguin Orange Collection).

Pauline Ivashevskaya by Olga Mordach (Photos)

At Drunken Stepfather, "Pauline Ivashevkaya Nipples of the Day."

Drug Overdoses Caught on Video

This is a devastating, heart-wrenching piece, at the New York Times, "How Do You Recover After Millions Have Watched You Overdose?" (Via Althouse, "'In October 2016, Ron Hiers and his wife, Carla, feeling despondent after years of addiction, had made a suicide pact to get high until they were dead, and ended up passed out by a bus stop in Memphis'.")

Like Althouse, I'm not embedding videos --- for me, they're just too sad and they seem like things that shouldn't be watched.

From the article:

In Lawrence, Mass., a former mill town at the heart of New England’s opioid crisis, the police chief released a particularly gut-wrenching video. It showed a mother who had collapsed from a fentanyl overdose sprawled out in the toy aisle of a Family Dollar while her sobbing 2-year-old daughter tugged at her arm.

“It’s heartbreaking,” James Fitzpatrick, who was the Lawrence police chief at the time, told reporters in September 2016. “This is definitely evidence that shows what addiction can do to someone.”

Mandy McGowan, 38, knows that. She was the mother unconscious in that video, the woman who became known as the “Dollar Store Junkie.” But she said the video showed only a few terrible frames of a complicated life.

As a child, she said, she was sexually molested. She survived relationships with men who beat her. She barely graduated from high school.

She said her addiction to opioids began after she had neck surgery in 2006 for a condition that causes spasms and intense pain. Her neurologist prescribed a menu of strong painkillers including OxyContin, Percocet and fentanyl patches.

As a teenager, Ms. McGowan had smoked marijuana and taken mushrooms and ecstasy. But she always steered clear of heroin, she said, thinking it was for junkies, for people living in alleys. But her friends were using it, and over the last decade, she sometimes joined them.

She tried to break her habit by buying Suboxone — a medication used to treat addiction — on the street. But the Suboxone often ran out, and she turned to heroin to tide her over.

On Sept. 18, 2016, a friend came to Ms. McGowan’s house in Salem, N.H., and offered her a hit of fentanyl, a deadly synthetic painkiller 50 times more potent than heroin. They sniffed a line and drove to the Family Dollar across the state line in Lawrence, where Ms. McGowan collapsed with her daughter beside her. At least two people in the store recorded the scene on their cellphones.

Medics revived her and took her to the hospital, where child welfare officials took custody of her daughter, and the police charged Ms. McGowan with child neglect and endangerment. (She eventually pleaded guilty to both and was sentenced to probation.) Two days later, the video of her overdose was published by The Eagle-Tribune and was also released by the Lawrence police.

The video played in a loop on the local news, and vaulted onto CNN and Fox News, ricocheting across the web.

“For someone already dealing with her own demons, she now has to deal with public opinion, too,” said Matt Ganem, the executive director of the Banyan Treatment Center, about 15 miles north of Boston, which gave Ms. McGowan six months of free treatment after being contacted by intermediaries. “You’re a spectacle. Everyone is watching.”

Ms. McGowan had only seen snippets of the video on the news. But two months later, she watched the whole thing. She felt sick with regret.

“I see it, and I’m like, I was a piece of freaking [expletive],” she said. “That was me in active use. It’s not who I am today.”

But she also wondered: Why didn’t anyone help her daughter? She was furious that bystanders seemed to feel they had license to gawk and record instead of comforting her screaming child.

“I know what I did, and I can’t change it,” she said. “I live with that guilt every single day. But it’s also wrong to take video and not help.”

Nobody recorded the chaos that unfolded next. After Ms. McGowan was released from treatment, the father of her daughter died of an overdose. Two months later, that man’s 19-year-old son also died of an overdose.

Reeling, Ms. McGowan had a night of relapse with alcohol. She checked herself into treatment the next day. But at the same time, she had stopped reporting to her probation officer, a violation of parole that led to 64 days in jail. She was kicked out of a halfway house and stayed briefly at a shelter. She said she was raped this year. She checked herself into a hospital psychiatric ward for five weeks.

Ms. McGowan finally felt ready to start actively rebuilding her life. This spring, she moved to a halfway house in Boston, where her days were packed with appointments with counselors and clinicians, and meetings of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. She had weighed just 90 pounds when she overdosed; now she was happily above 140.

Just after Thanksgiving she moved in with relatives, and now hopes to find a place of her own. Her treatment continues. If she stays sober and shows progress, the charges against her will be dropped in April.

She spends part of her day doing volunteer outreach along the open-air drug market in Boston known as Methadone Mile. One recent drizzly afternoon, as she made her way down the sidewalk, she hugged old friends, asked them whether they had eaten, if they were O.K. On her rounds, she picks up hundreds of used needles that carpet the streets...

This whole epidemic makes me very sad, and fine-grained stories like this are frankly out-of-this-world to me.

There but for the grace of God I go...

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Elizabeth Rowe, Star Flutist at Boston Symphony, Files Suit Over Pay Equity

I played trumpet and French horn in junior high school, in both the concert and marching bands.

My dad, I'm sure, would have loved it had I ended up a jazz virtuoso, but that wasn't to be, heh.

In any case, the Boston symphony has an interesting argument about how oboe-ists are essentially unique, and deserve a higher pay level regardless of sex. On the other hand, if modern society is genuine about erasing gender inequality, shouldn't first chairs be paid the same, regardless of the instrument and regardless of the gender.

At WaPo, "A star flutist is paid $64,451 less than her male counterpart. So she’s suing":

BOSTON — On a winter day 14 years ago, the Boston Symphony Orchestra announced that it had finally found a new principal flutist. The search had not been easy. Two hundred fifty-one players had applied, 59 were called to Symphony Hall to audition, and when it was over, only one remained.

Elizabeth Rowe, just 29, had landed in one of the country’s “big five” orchestras. And as a principal, she occupied a special seat, the classical musical equivalent of cracking the Yankees’ starting rotation.

“If I could have a dream job, this was it,” Rowe says.

To win the slot, Rowe had taken part in the BSO’s blind auditions, playing her flute onstage behind a brown, 33-foot polyester screen. That way, the orchestra’s 12-member selection committee couldn’t see her and it wouldn’t matter whether she were a man or a woman, black or white. But after Rowe had the job, something important changed. That’s when she believes being a woman hurt her in one key way.

In July, Rowe, 44, filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the BSO seeking $200,000 in back pay. Her lawsuit came after years of appealing privately to management about the roughly $70,000 less a year she is paid than John Ferrillo, 63, the orchestra’s principal oboist. Rowe contends that she should make an equal salary and that her gender is the reason she doesn’t.

The BSO, in a statement, defended its pay structure, saying that the flute and oboe are not comparable, in part because the oboe is more difficult to play and there is a larger pool of flutists. Gender, the statement says, “is not one of the factors in the compensation process at the Boston Symphony Orchestra.”

This week, Rowe will enter mediation with the BSO aimed at resolving the conflict before it goes to court.

Speaking publicly for the first time about the lawsuit, Rowe says her case has far-reaching implications. Her lawsuit will be the first against an orchestra to test Massachusetts’s new equal-pay law, its outcome potentially affecting women across the U.S. workforce who are paid less than their male colleagues.

“Money is the one thing that we can look to to measure people’s value in an organization,” Rowe says. “You look at the number of women that graduate from conservatories and then you look at the number of women in the top leadership positions in orchestras, and it’s not 50-50 still. Women need to see equality, and they need to see fairness in order to believe that that’s possible.”

Ferrillo doesn’t just sit next to Rowe in the woodwind section. They’re musically joined at the hip, whether dancing across Debussy or the second movement of Beethoven’s Sixth. They’re also friends and mutual admirers.

They both know what it takes to earn a prominent spot in such a competitive field. Both attended music school, paid their own way to travel to auditions while in their 20s and dealt with rejection. It took Ferrillo 10 years and 22 tries to earn his first symphony position, as second oboe in the San Francisco Symphony in 1985.

But by the time the BSO approached Ferrillo to fill its oboe vacancy, he was a prized member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. In 2001, to lure him away, the BSO paid him twice what the orchestra’s rank-and-file make. The BSO and Ferrillo have a nondisclosure agreement in place, which prohibits disclosure of his salary. But the figure, now $314,600, became public as part of the BSO’s tax filing. (Nonprofit organizations are required to list the top five compensated employees earning more than $100,000.)

Coming into the BSO in 2004, Rowe had done her homework. She asked to be paid the same salary Ferrillo had negotiated. The orchestra turned her down. Rowe says management also would not make her “overscale” — the term for what all principals routinely receive over their base pay — a percentage of her base, which would allow her to avoid asking for a raise every year. Instead, the BSO offered her $750 a week over base the first year, $950 the second and $1,100 once she earned tenure.

Rowe accepted the offer but did not forget. Over the next 14 years, she says, she regularly asked to be paid the same as her male colleague.

For someone who considers herself a private person — Rowe doesn’t use social media or even have a website, as many professional musicians do — going public has been trying, she says. Even when she decided to sue, Rowe had hoped that only her bosses would know. Instead, a Boston Herald reporter stumbled upon the case and published an article. Even though the stress prompted her to ask a doctor for sleep medication, Rowe says, she has no regrets about filing her suit. She says the BSO gave her no other choice.

In her suit, Rowe alleges that the orchestra ignored her and retaliated when she continued to demand a raise, even pulling an invitation to be interviewed by Katie Couric for a National Geographic TV special on gender equality.

It is the orchestra’s argument — in a response filed with the court — that “the flute and the oboe are not comparable.” In the statement to The Washington Post, the BSO also said the oboe is “second only to the concertmaster (first chair violin) in its leadership role” and is “responsible for tuning the orchestra.” The limited pool of great oboists, the BSO said, “gives oboists more leverage when negotiating compensation.”

Although four other principal BSO players — all men — earn more than Rowe, the orchestra notes that she is paid more than nine other principals, of which only one, harpist Jessica Zhou, is a woman. Rowe has been given occasional raises, and her current salary is $250,149 a year...
Keep reading.


At Amazon, Today's Deals. Save on our top deals every day.

And, All-New Kindle Paperwhite – Now Waterproof with 2x the Storage – Includes Special Offers.

Also, shop Kindle Daily Deals.

BONUS: Vox Day, Jordanetics: A Journey Into the Mind of Humanity's Greatest Thinker (Kindle Edition).

A Pet's Dogged Devotion

That's the title at the hard-copy paper yesterday, and that is some darned devotion, dang!

At LAT, "Despite the devastation all around him, Camp fire dog waited for his owners to return home":

At first, Bill Gaylord didn’t think much of the black smoke that loomed across the horizon near his home on the morning of Nov. 8. As his neighbors prepared to flee, Gaylord hopped in his silver Chevy Blazer and drove to a nearby cafe to grab coffee.

After all, the stubborn 75-year-old Gaylord had lived his entire life in Paradise. Why would this fire be any different than so many others? he thought.

But by the time he got home about 7:15 a.m., all hell had broken loose.

Gaylord looked out his kitchen window and saw black embers sprinkling across the canyon. The dry brush instantly caught fire. He heard the flames roar as they raced toward his home.

Gaylord alerted his wife of 50 years, Andrea, who had just awakened, that they needed to leave. Fast.

Andrea, still in her pajamas, grabbed three pairs of underwear and some pants, hopped in her Nissan and left.

Bill didn’t grab anything.

As the flames approached, he parked his car on top of a hill, and focused on trying to save his two 8-year-old half-Anatolian shepherd, half-Pyrenees guard dogs, Madison and Miguel.

But the dogs were confused, and with black smoke surrounding them and the noise of first responders shouting in loudspeakers, the dogs refused to let Bill lift them into his car.

He was left with two choices: Stay and risk their lives or leave.

As Bill drove off that day, he felt a lump in his stomach. It wasn’t because he was worried that his house would burn down or that he wished he had grabbed his belongings.

It was because he had abandoned the dogs that had spent their lives protecting the Gaylords. When it came to Bill’s turn to protect his cherished canines, he felt as if he had failed.

Surely the dogs wouldn’t survive, he thought, as he saw a wall of flames in his rearview mirror.

In that moment, Gaylord felt like a captain who abandoned ship before his crew.

But a series of unlikely events not only led the Gaylords to a reunion with their beloved dogs nearly one month after the deadly Camp fire raged through Paradise and the neighboring communities of Magalia and Concow, but also helped forge a new friendship.

It was 11 days after the fire, on Nov. 19, when Shayla Sullivan, a volunteer with the animal rescue group Cowboy 911, returned to Paradise to try to find Madison and Miguel.

She was assigned to help the Gaylords and several other homeowners who had left their pets behind.

She knew Camp fire victims had had little time to escape the flames and were forced to leave their pets. She wanted to help and try to reunite evacuees with their animals.

But it was nearly impossible to find the Gaylords’ property. The entire city was flattened by the fire, and without cellphone service, Sullivan had to rely on maps to navigate through the destruction.

She called Andrea to make sure she was looking in the right place. That was the first time they had talked.

Sullivan returned the next day. There was no sign that Madison and Miguel were alive. She left food and water anyway, hoping the small gesture would provide some comfort to the Gaylords.

On the third day, Sullivan had a breakthrough. As she peered down the canyon she spotted a small pond. Then she saw what appeared to be a white ball of fluff.

It disappeared as quickly as it had appeared.

Sullivan knew the dog wouldn’t approach her. The breed is known to be protective.

Nevertheless, she called Andrea and Bill to tell them the good news.

The Gaylords were ecstatic. But what about their second dog? And which dog had Sullivan seen? Was it Madison or Miguel?

Andrea, 75, started searching online to see if she could spot a picture of any of her dogs and whether they had been rescued. On Nov. 24, several weeks after the fire, she came across a picture that looked like Miguel.

Andrea, who has difficulty walking, called Sullivan and asked for help.

Sullivan found out Miguel was being kept in Citrus Heights, more than 80 miles from Paradise.

With the help of a volunteer, Sullivan loaded the 150-pound dog into her truck and drove to Oroville, where Andrea and Bill were staying in a trailer house at the River Reflections RV park...
Still more.

Google Employees Targeted Breitbart's Ad Revenue in 2017

The left's tech monopolies are waging war on conservatives. Twitter has been banning right-wingers like there's no tomorrow (see Gateway Pundit, "MUST SEE VIDEO–> The Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft: “How the left will Ensure Donald Trump loses in 2020 by eliminating pro-Trump voices”").

And here's Google's authoritarianism, at Blazing Cat Fur, "GOOGLE‘S ANTI-BREITBART PLOT: Employees Targeted Site‘s Ad Revenue In 2017."

Why a U.S.-Chinese War Could Spiral Out of Control

From Professor Caitlin Talmadge, at Foreign Affairs, "Beijing’s Nuclear Option":

As China’s power has grown in recent years, so, too, has the risk of war with the United States. Under President Xi Jinping, China has increased its political and economic pressure on Taiwan and built military installations on coral reefs in the South China Sea, fueling Washington’s fears that Chinese expansionism will threaten U.S. allies and influence in the region. U.S. destroyers have transited the Taiwan Strait, to loud protests from Beijing. American policymakers have wondered aloud whether they should send an aircraft carrier through the strait as well. Chinese fighter jets have intercepted U.S. aircraft in the skies above the South China Sea. Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump has brought long-simmering economic disputes to a rolling boil.

A war between the two countries remains unlikely, but the prospect of a military confrontation—resulting, for example, from a Chinese campaign against Taiwan—no longer seems as implausible as it once did. And the odds of such a confrontation going nuclear are higher than most policymakers and analysts think.

Members of China’s strategic com­munity tend to dismiss such concerns. Likewise, U.S. studies of a potential war with China often exclude nuclear weapons from the analysis entirely, treating them as basically irrelevant to the course of a conflict. Asked about the issue in 2015, Dennis Blair, the former commander of U.S. forces in the Indo-Pacific, estimated the likelihood of a U.S.-Chinese nuclear crisis as “somewhere between nil and zero.”

This assurance is misguided. If deployed against China, the Pentagon’s preferred style of conventional warfare would be a potential recipe for nuclear escalation. Since the end of the Cold War, the United States’ signature approach to war has been simple: punch deep into enemy territory in order to rapidly knock out the opponent’s key military assets at minimal cost. But the Pentagon developed this formula in wars against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Serbia, none of which was a nuclear power.

China, by contrast, not only has nuclear weapons; it has also intermingled them with its conventional military forces, making it difficult to attack one without attacking the other. This means that a major U.S. military campaign targeting China’s conventional forces would likely also threaten its nuclear arsenal. Faced with such a threat, Chinese leaders could decide to use their nuclear weapons while they were still able to.

As U.S. and Chinese leaders navigate a relationship fraught with mutual suspicion, they must come to grips with the fact that a conventional war could skid into a nuclear confrontation. Although this risk is not high in absolute terms, its consequences for the region and the world would be devastating. As long as the United States and China continue to pursue their current grand strategies, the risk is likely to endure. This means that leaders on both sides should dispense with the illusion that they can easily fight a limited war. They should focus instead on managing or resolving the political, economic, and military tensions that might lead to a conflict in the first place.


There are some reasons for optimism. For one, China has long stood out for its nonaggressive nuclear doctrine. After its first nuclear test, in 1964, China largely avoided the Cold War arms race, building a much smaller and simpler nuclear arsenal than its resources would have allowed. Chinese leaders have consistently characterized nuclear weapons as useful only for deterring nuclear aggression and coercion. Historically, this narrow purpose required only a handful of nuclear weapons that could ensure Chinese retaliation in the event of an attack. To this day, China maintains a “no first use” pledge, promising that it will never be the first to use nuclear weapons.

The prospect of a nuclear conflict can also seem like a relic of the Cold War. Back then, the United States and its allies lived in fear of a Warsaw Pact offensive rapidly overrunning Europe. NATO stood ready to use nuclear weapons first to stalemate such an attack. Both Washington and Moscow also consistently worried that their nuclear forces could be taken out in a bolt-from-the-blue nuclear strike by the other side. This mutual fear increased the risk that one superpower might rush to launch in the erroneous belief that it was already under attack. Initially, the danger of unauthorized strikes also loomed large. In the 1950s, lax safety procedures for U.S. nuclear weapons stationed on NATO soil, as well as minimal civilian oversight of U.S. military commanders, raised a serious risk that nuclear escalation could have occurred without explicit orders from the U.S. president.

The good news is that these Cold War worries have little bearing on U.S.-Chinese relations today. Neither country could rapidly overrun the other’s territory in a conventional war. Neither seems worried about a nuclear bolt from the blue. And civilian political control of nuclear weapons is relatively strong in both countries. What remains, in theory, is the comforting logic of mutual deterrence: in a war between two nuclear powers, neither side will launch a nuclear strike for fear that its enemy will respond in kind.

The bad news is that one other trigger remains: a conventional war that threatens China’s nuclear arsenal...
Keep reading.

And see, Stephen Biddle and Ivan Oelrich, at International Security, "Future Warfare in the Western Pacific: Chinese Antiaccess/Area Denial, U.S. AirSea Battle, and Command of the Commons in East Asia."

Socialist Regimes Use Brutality (VIDEO)

It's Gloria Alvarez, at Reason TV:

Arielle Scarcella: The LGBT Community Thinks I'm Trash (VIDEO)

She's a cool chick.

Crazy Emily Ratajkowski

Gawd this women never ceases to amaze.

Kendall Jenner Wears Skimpy Thong and No Bra Under Sheer Gold-Beaded Gown at British Fashion Awards

She's at the top of her game now.

At London's Daily Mail.

America's Bureaucratic Mandarins

It's Professor Philip Hamburger, who argues that our all-powerful bureaucratic mandarins constitute a new monarchical elite in America.

An interesting video:

Eiza Gonzalez is Bikini Bombshell

At London's Daily Mail, "Eiza Gonzalez is a bikini bombshell as she walks around in Daisy Dukes while soaking up the sun in Honolulu."

Bethany McLean, Saudi America

At Amazon, Bethany McLean, Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking and How It's Changing the World.

Tim Wu, The Curse of Bigness

Just out last month, at Amazon, Tim Wu, The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Barbara Palvin Never Better (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:

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.

Alexis Ren Topless on Instagram

At Drunken Stepfather, "Alexis Ren Topless of the Day":
Alexis Ren is topless on instagram – dancing in her underwear because she wants to teach her new Dancing With the Stars fans that she has from being on dancing with the stars, what her success is all about…getting naked on instagram…which is that website that they’ve heard of, maybe their grand kids have it, because no one watches TV anymore…unless they live in the trailer park in some hick town in the south…

There is no way anyone under 75 is into watching Dancing with the Stars. It is not possible...

Padma Lakshmi is Hot

At Drunken Stepfather, "Padma Lakshmi Got Them Titties out of the Day."


Sunday, December 9, 2018

Emmanuel Macron's Nightmare

The worst riots in France in a couple of generations. Folks are being reminded of 1968.

At the Economist, "Emmanuel Macron’s problems are more with presentation than policy."

Jennifer Aniston for Elle Magazine


And at Elle:

Jennifer Delacruz's Weekend Forecast (Late)

I'm late getting to this, but as you know, I just love Ms. Jennifer.

At ABC 10 News San Diego:

Graham T. Allison, Destined for War

At Amazon, Graham T. Allison, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?

Ezra Vogel, Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China

At Amazon, Ezra Vogel, Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China.

Odd Arne Westad, Restless Empire

I'm posting a bunch of new books as suggestions for under the Christmas tree.

Thanks for your support!

At Amazon, Odd Arne Westad, Restless Empire: China and the World Since 1750.

Arrest of Meng Wanzhou Further Roils U.S.-China Relations

Bloomberg has an excellent piece, "China's Ire Finally Flares as U.S. Opens Huawei CFO Case."

And at the Los Angeles Times, "The arrest of a top Huawei executive is 'a shot into the heart' of China's tech ambitions, analysts say":
The arrest of a top executive at one of the most successful Chinese global companies threatens to upend a delicate detente between the U.S. and China in their months-long trade war.

Meng Wanzhou, deputy chairwoman and chief financial officer of telecommunications giant Huawei, was arrested Saturday during a transit stop at a Vancouver airport and could face possible extradition to the U.S. and an appearance in federal court in New York.

A U.S. law enforcement official, who was not authorized to discuss the case by name, said the action against Meng involves violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran. Another U.S. official described the violations as serious. Neither official provided specifics.

The arrest comes at a sensitive time as Washington and Beijing aim to strike a trade deal before March 1. White House officials told CNN that Meng could be used as leverage in trade talks. It’s unclear whether President Trump knew about the arrest in advance, though national security advisor John Bolton told National Public Radio that he did.

Now any trade agreement has to overcome what will probably be viewed as a provocation in the eyes of China’s leadership, given Huawei’s importance.

“Huawei embodies the existential angst of China hard-liners in the U.S. concerned about China's ostensible grand plan for global domination of new high-tech industries,” said Eswar Prasad, a professor of trade policy at Cornell University. “Meanwhile, such actions by U.S. and other governments crystallize fears among Chinese leaders that the real intention is to hold back China’s economic progress and transformation.”

China demanded the immediate release of Meng, who is among the cream of China’s corporate elite. She is the daughter of tech billionaire Ren Zhengfei, Huawei’s founder and CEO and a former engineer in the People's Liberation Army.

Chinese officials said she had not broken any laws, accused the United States and Canada of violating her rights and demanded an explanation as to why she was arrested.

Huawei said in a statement it was unaware of any wrongdoing by Meng.

Chinese state media accused the U.S. of harassing Huawei to gain advantage in the worldwide competition for control of next-generation 5G cellular networks.

U.S. officials have not officially confirmed the reasons for Meng’s arrest. The U.S. has long considered Huawei a front for the Chinese government and military.

The arrest “wasn't a shot across the bow, but a shot into the heart of the ship” because Meng was basically considered an official of the Chinese government, a former U.S. official involved in national security matters said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed Saturday to suspend planned tariff hikes for 90 days to allow negotiations on a deal to end the trade conflict.

In a sign that China wanted to push for a deal despite anger over Meng’s arrest, officials said Thursday that trade talks would go ahead on agricultural products, automobiles and energy.

Meng’s arrest, significant because of her elite connections and prominent corporate position, triggered shock in China. The arrest is doubly sensitive because it threatens the rise of one of China’s top cutting-edge brands, now the world’s second-largest smartphone company, surpassing Apple in sales this year.

The state-owned Global Times reflected Chinese outrage over her arrest in an editorial accusing Washington of “resorting to a despicable rogue approach” in a bid to hurt the company. The paper also tweeted Thursday that China should be ready for an escalation of the trade war, warning that Meng’s arrest was vivid evidence that Washington would not soften its stance against Beijing.

“It is clear that Washington is maliciously finding fault with Huawei and trying to put the company in jeopardy with U.S. laws,” the editorial said.

Washington is demanding sweeping changes to China’s industrial policy, in particular its state support for key high-tech industrial firms, forced transfers of technology by American companies doing business in China, and tolerance or tacit encouragement of intellectual property theft...
Still more.

This is What Sovereignty Looks Like

Seen on Twitter:

America's New Religions

Folks are diggin' on this new piece from Andrew Sullivan. I admit I enjoy his writing, but never forget that he's got a few screws loose. Remember the 2008 campaign and Dr. Andrew Gynecologist diagnosing Sarah Palin as not able to have birthed her baby Trig (or something like that)? (See the Other McCain, "Dear Andrew Sullivan." Also, at AoSHQ, "Don't Go Over There, But Sullivan Is Pushing (of Course!) Trig Trutherism Now.")

At New York Magazine:

Democrats Are Just Too Darned Smart

From Ed Driscoll, at Instapundit, "LIVING THE SMUG LIFE."

It's especially the smug Mazie Hirono.

Dexter Filkins, The Forever War

Following-up from C.J. Chivers, The Fighters: Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.

This one's a classic study of the U.S. military in the post-9/11 era.

At Amazon, Dexter Filkins, The Forever War.

C.J. Chivers, The Fighters

This looks awesome. Chivers is a Pulitzer Prize winner.

At Amazon, C.J. Chivers, The Fighters: Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Brandon Hobson, Where the Dead Sit Talking

At Amazon, Brandon Hobson, Where the Dead Sit Talking.

Former President George W. Bush Overcome by Emotion During His Eulogy for His Father, George H.W. Bush (VIDEO)

I know a lot of conservatives dislike George W. Bush, but I love him. I wish I could meet him. He's my favorite president. I love Trump too, but there was the dignity of George W. while in office, and his dogged perseverance on the Iraq war I'll never forget.

And this is a wonderful eulogy.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Alexis Ren as Never Before (VIDEO)

She's a luscious little tart, dang.

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:

Tommy Orange, There There


I'm gonna pick this one up myself.

At Amazon, Tommy Orange, There There: A Novel.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

UPDATE: Not Cancelled! Meghan Murphy Cancels Vancouver Appearance

UPDATE: The Other McCain has a blog post with the correct information, "Buzzword Alert: ‘Neoliberalism’."

The cancellation was a hoax.

And Global News Morning's piece below has been updated, "Meghan Murphy’s gender identity talk at Vancouver Public Library not cancelled."


See, "Controversial feminist speaker Meghan Murphy cancels Vancouver Public Library appearance."

"Trans activists" shut her down.

Progressive Denmark, the Scandinavian Wet Dream of Leftist 'Democratic Socialists' the World Over, Will Warehouse 'Unwanted' Refugees on Remote Pestilential Island

Seriously, the 2015 international refugees crisis has turned Europe upside down. Now those dang fascist Danes have produced a plan to house their virus-ridden unwanted refugees on some godforsaken island. You couldn't invent this in your most dystopian novel.

At the New York Times, "Denmark Plans to Isolate Unwanted Migrants on a Small Island":

COPENHAGEN — Denmark plans to house the country’s most unwelcome foreigners in a most unwelcoming place: a tiny, hard-to-reach island that now holds the laboratories, stables and crematory of a center for researching contagious animal diseases.

As if to make the message clearer, one of the two ferries that serve the island is called the Virus.

“They are unwanted in Denmark, and they will feel that,” the immigration minister, Inger Stojberg, wrote on Facebook.

On Friday, the center-right government and the right-wing Danish People’s Party announced an agreement to house as many as 100 people on Lindholm Island — foreigners who have been convicted of crimes but who cannot be returned to their home countries. Many would be rejected asylum seekers.

The 17-acre island, in an inlet of the Baltic Sea, lies about two miles from the nearest shore, and ferry service is infrequent. Foreigners will be required to report at the island center daily, and face imprisonment if they do not.

“We’re going to minimize the number of ferry departures as much as at all possible,” Martin Henriksen, a spokesman for the Danish People’s Party on immigration, told TV 2. “We’re going to make it as cumbersome and expensive as possible.”

The deal allocates about $115 million over four years for immigrant facilities on the island, which are scheduled to open in 2021.

The finance minister, Kristian Jensen, who led the negotiations, said the island was not a prison, but added that anyone placed there would have to sleep there.

Louise Holck, deputy executive director of The Danish Institute for Human Rights, said her organization would watch the situation “very closely” for possible violations of Denmark’s international obligations...
Oh, like the U.N.' s1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol? Well, doesn't sound like Denmark's too worried about non-compliance or anything, but who am I to critique? (*Eye-roll.*)

Still more.