Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Kim R. Holmes, The Closing of the Liberal Mind

Out in paperback, Kim R. Holmes, The Closing of the Liberal Mind: How Groupthink and Intolerance Define the Left.

Florida Shooter Nickolas Cruz Left 180 Rounds of Ammunition Inside the School Along With His Rifle (VIDEO)

Earlier entries on Parkland are here.

Release the Florida School Shooting Surveillance Video

From the irrepressible Michelle Malkin:
Open government isn’t just good government. It’s the public’s right.

In Florida, the Broward County Sheriff’s office and Broward County school district are fighting to keep exterior surveillance video from the day of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School hidden from view. As journalists and citizens who’ve waged uphill battles against secrecy well know, government agencies too often invoke broad disclosure exemptions in the name of protecting public safety when they’re really just trying to protect their own jobs.

Feckless Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and media-luvin’ school Superintendent Robert Runcie are defendants in an open records lawsuit filed Tuesday by the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the Miami Herald and CNN.

Here is the lawsuit petition...
Click through to read the petition and the rest of the post.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Tipped Off Illegal Aliens Ahead of ICE Enforcement

At the Washington Post, via Memeorandum, "Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf tipped off immigrants about ICE raid and isn't sorry she did."

And at Althouse.

More at the San Francisco Chronicle:

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Martin Meredith, Diamonds, Gold, and War

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

By More Than 2-1 (63-29 Percent), Public Says Semi-Automatic Weapons Like the AR-15 Should Be Banned

From Susan Page, at USA Today, "Poll: Americans support tougher gun laws, don't expect Congress to act."

The USA TODAY/Suffolk Poll of 1,000 registered voters nationwide, taken Tuesday through Saturday, has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

On guns, a nation that is often divided on issues is remarkably united:
* By almost 2-1, 61%-33%, they say tightening gun-control laws and background checks would prevent more mass shootings in the United States.
* By more than 2-1, 63%-29%, they say semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15, used by the Florida shooter, should be banned.
* By more than 6-1, 76%-12%, they say people who have been treated for mental illness should be banned from owning a firearm.

Even gun owners are inclined to support those three measures. But a majority of Republicans say tighter gun laws wouldn't prevent more mass shootings, and they oppose banning semi-automatic weapons.

James Damore at Portland State University

From Andy Ngo, at Quillette, "Damore, Diversity, and Disruption at PSU."

No Party in Britain Speaks for, or Even Appeals to, the Working Class

At Spiked Online, "How the Working Class Was Shut Out of Politics."

Monday, February 26, 2018

The Homeless Are Not Who You Think They Are

Following-up, "Los Angeles' Homelessness Crisis is a National Disgrace."

At LAT, "Los Angeles' Homelessness Crisis is a National Disgrace."

'Decolonizing' Everything

I tell you, I'm dealing with more and more of this kind of radical ideology even at my school, at the community college level.

It's unreal, frankly.

At the American Conservative, "The Censorious Left’s Latest Mania: ‘Decolonizing’ Everything":

At Northern Michigan University, students can discover how to “decolonize” their diet. That means learning “about where the common foods and ingredients come from, what a ‘decolonizing diet’ is, and how they can incorporate the diet into their daily lives.”

Meanwhile, the editors of the American Historical Review have announced plans to decolonize the journal and confront its “past lack of openness to scholars and scholarship due to race, color, creed, gender, sexuality, nationality and a host of other assigned characteristics.”

In the UK, London’s School of Oriental and African Studies has announced plans to “decolonize” its degree courses following high-profile student campaigns such as “Why is My Curriculum White?” that are critical of “the domination of white ‘Eurocentric’ writers and thinkers.” Last year, students at Reed College protested the Eurocentrism of their Introduction to Humanities course. At Yale University students petitioned for the removal of a course in Major English Poets that featured, surprisingly enough, mostly white men. Thanks to their efforts, that course has now been downgraded to optional.

The fight to decolonize Harvard led to the removal of the Royal family seal, for fear that it might “evoke associations with slavery.” At the University of Oxford a plaque honoring Cecil Rhodes, the British imperialist who established the Rhodes Scholarships, has been taken down. At Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada, professors can take a course in decolonizing education in order to “understand indigenous perspectives in the history of colonization to contemporary realities in Canada.” All around the world, universities are decolonizing courses, buildings, libraries, and reading lists.

The drive to decolonize is not confined to academia. In the UK we have discussions about decolonizing health care, translation, and feminist art. There are campaigns to decolonize architecture in the United Arab Emirates, the media in New Zealand, design in Mexico, bookshelves in South Africa, and seemingly the whole of Alaska. Throughout the U.S. we’ve seen the removal of Confederate monuments. Clearly, we have many unresolved issues with the past. But too often the rush to decolonize evades a discussion of history and instead paints everything that happened before today as irredeemably racist and wicked—in need of obliteration rather than discussion.

Last year, the journal Third World Quarterly published an article in which Bruce Gilley set out “The Case for Colonialism.” Those who read the piece criticized it for shoddy scholarship and historical inaccuracies. But most of us will never know how it measured up, as the publication was soon withdrawn following threats to the journal’s editor. In the UK, Oxford University’s Professor Nigel Biggar wrote a newspaper article arguing that people should not “feel guilty about our colonial history,” and as a consequence received a critical letter from over 200 colleagues and scholars condemning him as “an apologist for colonialism.” Biggar said: “There is a view that people with views like mine are not to be reasoned with, but only to be silenced.”

Preventing all discussion of colonialism erases, rather than confronts, the past. Indeed, the logic of the decolonize movement is that colonialism is not a legacy of history but a malignant impact upon the present. This sleight of hand allows campaigners to equate past invasion, murder, oppression, and exploitation with being made to sit through a lecture on Kant or Shakespeare in an expensive and elite institution...
Sill more.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Los Angeles' Homelessness Crisis is a National Disgrace

The L.A. Times begins a series of editorials on the city's homeless crisis today.

It's a thoughtful piece, putting a lot of things in context, including recent local voter initiatives to fund new programs and housing to alleviate the crisis.

See, "Los Angeles’ homelessness crisis is a national disgrace":

How did we get here? From the founding of this newspaper in 1881, the pages of The Times have been filled with stories of those we have called, at various times, vagrants, hobos, tramps, transients and drifters. And for as long as there have been homeless people, there has been a tendency to blame the victims themselves for their condition — to see their failure to thrive as an issue of character, of moral weakness, of laziness. Since the “deinstitutionalization” of the mentally ill in the second half of the 20th century, and the subsequent failure of government to provide the promised outpatient services for those who had been released, the problem has grown significantly worse.

Today, a confluence of factors is driving people onto the streets. The shredding of the safety net in Washington and here in California is one. (Consider the inexcusable shortage of federal Section 8 vouchers for subsidized low-income housing, or the dismally low level of “general relief payments” for the county’s neediest single adults.)

At the same time, California is experiencing a severe housing shortage. Gentrification is taking more and more once-affordable rental units off the L.A. market, and restrictive zoning laws along with high construction costs and anti-development sentiment make new affordable units hard to build. Over the last six years, the rent for a studio apartment in Los Angeles has climbed 92%, according to UCLA law professor emeritus Gary Blasi, so that even people who have jobs can find themselves living on the streets after a rent spike or an unexpected crisis. As Blasi notes: “In America, housing is a commodity. If you can afford it, you have it; if you can’t, you don’t.”

Contrary to popular belief, the homeless in Los Angeles are not mostly mentally ill or drug addicted, raving or matted-haired or frightening — although a sizable minority meet some of those descriptions. They are not mostly people who drifted in from other states in search of a comfy climate in which to sponge off of others; the overwhelming majority have lived in the region for years. Today, a greater and greater proportion of people living on the streets are there because of bad luck or a series of mistakes, or because the economy forgot them — they lost a job or were evicted or fled an abusive marriage just as the housing market was growing increasingly unforgiving.

It will surprise no one to learn that it is the most vulnerable among us who usually end up without a place to live. According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, more than 5,000 of the county’s 58,000 homeless people are children and more than 4,000 are elderly. About one-third are mentally ill. Some 40% are African American. Also heavily represented: Veterans. The disabled. Young people from the county’s overwhelmed juvenile justice system and its foster care programs. Men and women just released from jail, without the tools or skills needed for reentering society. Patients released from public hospitals — often with untreated cancers, infections, heart disease or diabetes. Victims of domestic violence.

All the great social issues of American society play out in homelessness — inequality, racial injustice, poverty, violence, sexism. Naturally, life expectancy for the homeless is short: about 47 years, according to skid row doctor Susan Partovi, compared with 78 in the population as a whole...

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel with Jake Tapper on CNN's 'State of the Union' (VIDEO)

The sheriff actually claims "I've given amazing leadership to this agency..."

I can't believe he hasn't been fired yet.

At Hot Air, "The Brutal Waterboarding, Er… Interview of the Broward County Sheriff.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America (VIDEO)

From David French, at National Review, and with Michael Smerconish below:

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Disastrous Visit to India

From Ed Driscoll, at Instapundit, "The Gross Cultural Appropriation Sideshow of the Trudeau Family in India."

And at Blazing Cat Fur, "Trudeau Deals With Fallout From Disastrous India Trip."

More, via Iowa Hawk:

Dana Loesch on 'This Week with George Stephanopoulos' (VIDEO)

At Twitchy, "Tough as NAILS: WATCH Dana Loesch SCHOOL George Stephanopoulos while BLASTING Sheriff Israel."

And at ABC News:

Friday, February 23, 2018

Today's Deals

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BONUS: Glenn Harlan Reynolds, The Judiciary's Class War.

The Gun Debate: Another Shooting, But Different This Time (VIDEO)

At the New York Times, "Another Shooting, Another Gun Debate. Will the Outcome Be the Same?":

WASHINGTON — Around 2:30 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, President Trump was in the study off the Oval Office when John F. Kelly, his chief of staff, arrived with news of a school shooting in Florida. Mr. Trump shook his head, according to an aide, and muttered, “Again.”

Mark Barden was visiting a playground named for his 7-year-old son killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School when a friend texted him: Be careful watching television. It’s happening. Again.

His senator, Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, heard about the Florida shooting while he was on his way to the Senate floor and ripped up his speech to declare that through inaction, “we are responsible” for a mass atrocity. Again.

Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the Republican whip and gun rights supporter who was himself grievously wounded last year when a man opened fire at a congressional baseball practice, huddled with colleagues on the House floor, reliving his horror. He knew what was coming: the activists who in his view would exploit tragedies like his to advance their anti-gun agenda. Again.

Within hours of the blood bath in Parkland, Fla., where 17 students and adults were killed on Feb. 14, the machinery of the American gun debate began grinding into motion.

By evening, one anti-gun group had mobilized and already sent out its first email: “RESOURCES + EXPERTS AVAILABLE: Florida High School Shooting.” Another group, Everytown for Gun Safety, founded and financed by Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York mayor, activated the 1,500 members of its “survivors network,” and soon paid $230,000 for an advertisement in The New York Times shaming pro-gun lawmakers.

The National Rifle Association followed its own playbook: remaining silent for several days — a recognition that its message might be unwelcome during the initial burst of grief. But it used its NRATV channel to argue to its members that more guns in schools could prevent massacres. Sales of so-called bump stocks, which can make a semiautomatic weapon fire like an automatic, rose out of fear that they would be banned.

The battles waged after shootings in Newtown, Conn.; Orlando, Fla.; Las Vegas; and Sutherland Springs, Tex., began playing out all over, presumably heading toward the same stalemate.

But this time, a few things are different: The gun control side has developed a well-financed infrastructure that did not exist when Mr. Barden’s son Daniel and other schoolchildren were fatally shot at Sandy Hook. Within days of the Parkland shooting, one anti-gun group flooded Florida lawmakers with 2,500 calls and 1,700 emails opposing a bill allowing guns in schools.

Another difference is an unpredictable president who belongs to the National Rifle Association and promotes the N.R.A.-favored solution of arming trained teachers but has also embraced a couple of modest gun control measures opposed by gun rights groups.

And perhaps most dramatically, the We-Call-B.S. teenagers of Florida have injected a passionate new energy into a stale debate, organizing demonstrations, flooding the Statehouse in Tallahassee, composing songs, creating protest signs, confronting politicians and taking to TV airwaves with an intensity and composure and power rarely seen in recent years.

“The initial reaction was the same kind of sickened resignation — this is one of the worst ever, and this probably won’t be enough either,” said Matt Bennett, a founder of Third Way, a center-left advocacy group in Washington.

“What has changed since then is the kids and the extraordinary, galvanizing force they have become,” he added, interrupting an interview to take a call from his 17-year-old son, whose class was leaving school to march to the White House. “No one knows when we are going to hit a tipping point on this issue. We may have hit it — we don’t know. But if we did, it’s because of them.”

Still, veterans of both sides said the fundamental dynamics of Washington have not changed. If President Barack Obama could not pass gun control in a Democratic-majority Senate in 2013, months after Sandy Hook, they said, it was unlikely that Mr. Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress would.

The N.R.A. remains as potent as ever, and the debate resumes as Republicans head into a primary election season when many worry about challenges from the right. In December, the House passed a bill to bolster criminal background checks before gun purchases, but Republicans paired it with a provision requiring states to allow anyone to carry a concealed weapon if they are allowed to carry one in their home state, essentially making it a national right, anathema to Democrats, who have their own liberal base to satisfy.

Gun rights advocates also plan to focus on the failure of the F.B.I. to pursue tips about the suspected Florida gunman, arguing that blame should be on the federal authorities, not the firearms.

“We have seen breakdowns in existing laws,” Mr. Scalise said. “Before people talk about putting new laws on the books, when we find out that multiple laws on the books were not followed, that should be the first thing we figure out.”

The rapid mobilization of the anti-gun movement is a phenomenon that has evolved with the emergence of lobbying groups filled with veteran political operatives and growing lists of supporters. By now they are used to it...

MAGA: Americans More Satisfied With Their Country Than They Have Been in a Decade

Bad news for the Democrats?

At Gallup, "U.S. Satisfaction Jumps to Highest Since Trump Took Office."

Camille Kostek Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search Finalist (2018)

Very nice.

'Ratings Gold': Dana Loesch Slams News Networks' Exploitation of Mass Shootings (VIDEO)

Following up, "Dana Loesch Talks to Sean Hannity at CPAC 2018 (VIDEO)."

Here she is with CNN's Alisyn Camerota:

Dana Loesch Talks to Sean Hannity at CPAC 2018 (VIDEO)

Following up, "Dana Loesch at #CNNTownHall."

Parkland Sheriff's Deputy 'Never Went In' During Shooting (VIDEO)

Following-up from last night, "Broward County Deputy Sheriff Scot Peterson 'Never Went In' During Florida Shooting."

At CBS This Morning:

David Horowitz, The Left in the Universities

At Amazon, David Horowitz, The Black Book of the American Left, Volume 8: The Left in the Universities Hardcover.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Broward County Deputy Sheriff Scot Peterson 'Never Went In' During Florida Shooting

This really makes me sad.

The school's "resource officer."

Here's the New York Times' headline, at Memeorandum, "Armed Sheriff's Deputy ‘Never Went In’ During Florida Shooting."

And at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, "Stoneman Douglas cop resigns; sheriff says he should have 'killed the killer'."

And more on Twitter:

An Epidemic of Dishonesty on the Right

I don't read National Review, but I swear this is good. I hate conspiracy theories. I don't, for example, read Gateway Pundit, and I quit watching cable news, both CNN and Fox. I just can't take politics anymore, which is bad, because I teach this stuff.

In any case, it's Kevin Williamson:

Religion, Patriotism, Fatherland in Poland

At the New York Times, "Poland’s Nationalism Threatens Europe’s Values, and Cohesion":
SNIADOWO, Poland — The young mayor of this small town deep in eastern Poland is extremely proud of its new Italian fire engine, which sits, resplendent, next to a Soviet-era one. Nearby, the head of the elementary school shows off new classrooms and a new gymnasium, complete with an electronic scoreboard.

All of this — plus roads, solar panels, and improved water purification and sewer systems, as well as support to dairy farmers — has largely been paid for by the European Union, which finances nearly 60 percent of Poland’s public investment.

With such largess, one would hardly think that Poland is in a kind of war with the European Union. In recent months, the nationalist government has bitten the hand that feeds it more than once.

The European Union has accused Poland of posing a grave risk to democratic values, accusing it of undermining the rule of law by packing the courts with loyalists. Western leaders have also criticized Poland’s governing party for pushing virtually all critical voices off the state news media and for restricting free speech with its latest law criminalizing any suggestion that the Polish nation bore any responsibility in the Holocaust.

The tug of war has intensified as Eastern Europe becomes the incubator for a new model of “illiberal democracy” for which Hungary has laid the groundwork. But it is Poland — so large, so rich, so militarily powerful and so important geostrategically — that will define whether the European Union’s long effort to integrate the former Soviet bloc succeeds or fails.

The stakes, many believe, far outweigh those of Britain’s exit from the European Union, or Brexit, as the bloc faces a painful reckoning over whether, despite its efforts at discipline, it has enabled the anti-democratic drift, and what to do about it.

The growing conflict between the original Western member states of the bloc and the newer members in Central and Eastern Europe is the main threat to the cohesion and survival of the European Union. It is not a simple clash, but a multibannered one of identity, history, values, religion and interpretations of democracy and “solidarity.”

“It’s yes to Europe, but what Europe?” said Michal Baranowski, the director of the Warsaw office of the German Marshall Fund, noting that Poland’s support for European Union membership runs as high as 80 percent but can be shallow.

The Polish government, which is dominated by the Law and Justice party, itself dominated from the back rooms by the party chief, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, seems to have its own answer to the question.

It is more than happy to take European Union economic support, but worries that Poland’s share could dwindle if the member nations use the budget to pressure Poland to fall in line. The country is to get nearly 9 percent of the European Union budget for 2014 to 2020, around 85 billion euros, or $105 billion.

But the vague threats to apply the brakes to the gravy train are unlikely to push the Kaczynski government to change. It has responded to European criticism by accusing Brussels and Germany — until recently Poland’s greatest ally in Europe — of dictating terms to newer members and trying to impose an elitist, secular vision. It has also positioned itself at the forefront of central and eastern European nations opposing migration quotas, saying it is acting in defense of Christian values.

The governing party has campaigned on Polish national pride and “getting up off our knees;” it has also portrayed predominantly Roman Catholic Poland, which traditionally sees itself as a victim of history, as the “Christ of nations.”

After being squeezed between empires and occupied in turns by fascism and communism, Poland is ready to take its place as an equal, Mr. Kaczynski asserts, no longer relegated to serfdom or secondary status...
Still more.

Today's Deals

Shop today, New deals. Every day. Shop our Deal of the Day, Lightning Deals and more daily deals and limited-time sales.

BONUS: Nancy Houston, Love and Sex: A Christian Guide to Healthy Intimacy.

Dana Loesch at #CNNTownHall

At CNN, "NRA spokesperson: 'Insane monster' shouldn't have been able to get firearm."

And at the Guardian U.K., "Who is Dana Loesch? The NRA's chosen defender after the Florida shooting."

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

'Alt-Right Conspiracy Theories' Following Stoneman-Douglas Parkland Mass Shooting (VIDEO)

Seems as though leftists are feeling their oats. Perhaps if they ratchet up the attacks enough they'll be able to shame the public and government office-holders into banning firearms, lawful gun-owners be damned.

And as for the conspiracy theories, I don't go for them. But it's weird that this David Hogg kid was just on the West Coast last year being interviewed on local CBS News 2 about some activist issue, and now apparently some viral videos show him rehearsing his gun control talking points before going on the national news in Parkland. You can see why people are slamming him as a "crisis actor."

It's creating a firestorm of controversy. At the Tampa Bay Times, for example, "Florida lawmaker’s aide fired after saying outspoken Parkland students are actors."

And here's far-left Anderson Cooper, who was in Parkland interviewing survivors shortly after the massacre. FWIW:

Barbara Palvin Photos

At Editorials Fashions Trends, "BARBARA PALVIN BY BEN WATTS FOR SI SWIMSUIT 2018."

PREVIOUSLY: "Barbara Palvin Returns (VIDEO)."

Social Justice 'Moral' Tyranny

This really is quite an essay.

At Quillette:

Haley Kalil Sexy Belize Photo Shoot (VIDEO)

On Twitter here and here.

And watch:

Shop Today's Deals

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BONUS: Stephen B. Oates, With Malice Toward None: A Life of Abraham Lincoln.

President Trump’s Surprising Grand Strategy

From Professor Barry Posen, at Foreign Affairs, "The Rise of Illiberal Hegemony":
On the campaign trail, Donald Trump vowed to put an end to nation building abroad and mocked U.S. allies as free riders. “‘America first’ will be the major and overriding theme of my administration,” he declared in a foreign policy speech in April 2016, echoing the language of pre–World War II isolationists. “The countries we are defending must pay for the cost of this defense, and if not, the U.S. must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves,” he said—an apparent reference to his earlier suggestion that U.S. allies without nuclear weapons be allowed to acquire them.

Such statements, coupled with his mistrust of free trade and the treaties and institutions that facilitate it, prompted worries from across the political spectrum that under Trump, the United States would turn inward and abandon the leadership role it has played since the end of World War II. “The US is, for now, out of the world order business,” the columnist Robert Kagan wrote days after the election. Since Trump took office, his critics have appeared to feel vindicated. They have seized on his continued complaints about allies and skepticism of unfettered trade to claim that the administration has effectively withdrawn from the world and even adopted a grand strategy of restraint. Some have gone so far as to apply to Trump the most feared epithet in the U.S. foreign policy establishment: “isolationist.”

In fact, Trump is anything but. Although he has indeed laced his speeches with skepticism about Washington’s global role, worries that Trump is an isolationist are out of place against the backdrop of the administration’s accelerating drumbeat for war with North Korea, its growing confrontation with Iran, and its uptick in combat operations worldwide. Indeed, across the portfolio of hard power, the Trump administration’s policies seem, if anything, more ambitious than those of Barack Obama.

Yet Trump has deviated from traditional U.S. grand strategy in one important respect. Since at least the end of the Cold War, Democratic and Republican administrations alike have pursued a grand strategy that scholars have called “liberal hegemony.” It was hegemonic in that the United States aimed to be the most powerful state in the world by a wide margin, and it was liberal in that the United States sought to transform the international system into a rules-based order regulated by multilateral institutions and transform other states into market-oriented democracies freely trading with one another. Breaking with his predecessors, Trump has taken much of the “liberal” out of “liberal hegemony.” He still seeks to retain the United States’ superior economic and military capability and role as security arbiter for most regions of the world, but he has chosen to forgo the export of democracy and abstain from many multilateral trade agreements. In other words, Trump has ushered in an entirely new U.S. grand strategy: illiberal hegemony...

Leftists Allege U.S. Separating Illegal Alien Families

Actually, that sounds like a plan. But to leftists, it's just evidence that immigration enforcement is evil.

At the Los Angeles Times, "U.S. is separating immigrant parents and children to discourage others, activists say."

Collapse of the Global Elite

From Professor Eliot A. Cohen, at the Atlantic, "Witnessing the Collapse of the Global Elite."

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Cold Weather Forecast

I was in Fresno over the weekend and blogging was sporadic. I missed posting Jennifer Delacruz's forecast. (She's so lovely.)

Meanwhile, here's Garth Kemp, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

West Boca High School Students March to Protest Gun Violence (VIDEO)

At the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, "Student walkouts underway in push for gun law changes and school safety."

Nikolas Cruz Was Reported Over 30 Times (VIDEO)

Here's Dana Loesch, for the N.R.A.:

And see, "Warning signs in Florida school shooting have officials taking a hard look at procedures."

Katherine Heigl Selfies


Claudia Romani in Sheer Black Dress

At London's Daily Mail, "Playboy pin-up Claudia Romani exhibits her model body as she wears a see-through dress with nothing but a black satin lingerie set."

Also, at Egotastic!, "Claudia Romani Sexy Valentines Lingerie Shoot."

The Dark Stain of American Gun Exceptionalism

Boy, each new shooting brings out more and more of the worst people. And even military personnel can go batshit crazy on stuff like this.


At Task & Purpose, "The View From Afghanistan: The Dark Stain of American Gun Exceptionalism."

Samantha Hoopes in Tropical Nevis (VIDEO)

The new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition is on newsstands.

Here's the lovely Ms. Samantha:

Monday, February 19, 2018

Steve Coll, Directorate S

Andrew Bacevich had an excellent review in yesterday's New York Times.

And at Amazon, Steve Coll, Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

James Forman, Jr., Locking Up Our Own

Now out in paperback.

At Amazon, James Forman, Jr., Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.

Chloe Benjamin, The Immortalists

This looks intriguing.

At Amazon, Chloe Benjamin, The Immortalists.
If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?

It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes...

Barbara Palvin Returns (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:

Blake Lively Fitness


Deep Jennifer Lopez

At Drunken Stepfather, "JENNIFER LOPEZ OF THE DAY."

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Parkland Shooter Nikolas Was Mentally Disturbed

And apparently he's on the autism spectrum and at some point had been taking medications for ADHD.

Leftists now are decrying talk about mental health, claiming it's a ruse to divert attention from "common sense" gun control, as always.

At the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

Leftists Turn to Connecticut in Wake of #Parkland Massacre

I guess it's better to push radical policy change at the state level, closer to the people. But this time as previously, mental illness appears to be the single biggest factor contributing to the carnage.

Leftists never learn.

At NYT, "In Wake of Florida Massacre, Gun Control Advocates Look to Connecticut."

Parkland Shooting Survivors Plan March on Washington

Well, we'll see how this turns out. When you "march on Washington," people expect massive crowds, filling the public spaces. We're talking hundreds of thousands of people. That's a tall order, especially to organize in six weeks.

Boston Globe Front-Page on #Parkland Shootings: 'We Know What Will Happen Next'

Hmm, more of the same old gun control hysteria, this time at the Boston Globle: "Parkland. Las Vegas. Sutherland Springs. Newtown. On and on: In America, mass shootings have become so familiar that they seem to follow the same sad."

Deport Amanda Marcotte!


The Other McCain calls for Marcotte's deportation, on Twitter:

Mandatory Minimum Age Requirements for Gun Ownership

After ruminating on and endorsing the role of firearms in America's civic nationalism, Ross Douthat proposes age limitations on guns ownership: 18 years old on hunting rifles, 21 years old on "revolvers," 25 on "semi-automatic pistols, and 30 years old for semi-automatic rifles, like the AR-15.

He argues these gun control proposals would be specifically geared toward "the plague of school shootings, whose perpetrators are almost always young men."

At the New York Times, "No Country For Young Men With AR-15s."

Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook

I finished the book yesterday.

It took me almost a month to read, because school started and I had the flu. Besides, it's almost 700 pages. It's good though. Thought provoking. At times powerfully written.

At Amazon, Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook: A Novel.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Eleanor Henderson, The Twelve-Mile Straight

At Amazon, Eleanor Henderson, The Twelve-Mile Straight: A Novel.

ICYMI: Janet Fitch, The Revolution of Marina M.


At Amazon, Janet Fitch, The Revolution of Marina M.

More Than 16 Years After 9/11, Some Americans Say It’s Time to Reevaluate Our Foreign Military Deployments

From Rukmini Callimachi, et al., at the New York Times, "‘An Endless War’: Why 4 U.S. Soldiers Died in a Remote African Desert":

KOLLO, Niger — Cut off from their unit, the tiny band of American soldiers was outnumbered and outgunned in the deserts of Niger, fighting to stay alive under a barrage of gunfire from fighters loyal to the Islamic State.

Jogging quickly at a crouch, Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black motioned to the black S.U.V. beside him to keep moving. At the wheel, Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright tried to steer while leaning away from the gunfire. But the militants, wielding assault rifles and wearing dark scarves and balaclavas, kept closing in.

Sergeant Black suddenly went down. With one hand, Sergeant Wright dragged his wounded comrade to the precarious shielding of the S.U.V. and took up a defensive position, his M4 carbine braced on his shoulder.

“Black!” yelled a third American soldier, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, checking for the wounds. Sergeant Black lay on his back, motionless and unresponsive.

Cornered, Sergeant Wright and Sergeant Johnson finally took off, sprinting through the desert under a hail of fire. Sergeant Johnson was hit and went down, still alive.

At that point, Sergeant Wright stopped running. With only the thorny brush for cover, he turned and fired at the militants advancing toward his fallen friend.

These were the last minutes in the lives of three American soldiers killed on Oct. 4 during an ambush in the desert scrub of Niger that was recorded on a military helmet camera. A fourth American, Sgt. La David Johnson, who had gotten separated from the group, also died in the attack — the largest loss of American troops during combat in Africa since the 1993 “Black Hawk Down” debacle in Somalia.

The four men, along with four Nigerien soldiers and an interpreter, were killed in a conflict that few Americans knew anything about, not just the public, but also their families and even some senior American lawmakers.

The deaths set off a political storm in Washington, erupting into a bitter debate over how the families of fallen soldiers should be treated by their commander in chief. In a call with one of the families after the ambush, President Trump was accused of diminishing the loss, telling the soldier’s widow that “he knew what he signed up for.” Mr. Trump angrily disputed the claim, leading to a public feud.

But beyond the rancor, dozens of interviews with current and former officials, soldiers who survived the ambush and villagers who witnessed it point to a series of intelligence failures and strategic miscalculations that left the American soldiers far from base, in hostile territory longer than planned, with no backup or air support, on a mission they had not expected to perform.

They had set out on Oct. 3, prepared for a routine, low-risk patrol with little chance of encountering the enemy. But while they were out in the desert, American intelligence officials caught a break — the possible location of a local terrorist leader who, by some accounts, is linked to the kidnapping of an American citizen. A separate assault team was quickly assembled, ready to swoop in on the terrorist camp by helicopter. But the raid was scrapped at the last minute, and the Americans on patrol were sent in its place.

They didn’t find any militants. Instead, the militants found them. Short on water, the patrol stopped outside a village before heading back to base the next morning. Barely 200 yards from the village, the convoy came under deadly fire.

Four months later, tough questions remain unanswered about the chain of decisions that led to American Special Forces troops being overwhelmed by jihadists in a remote stretch of West Africa.

How did a group of American soldiers — who Defense Department officials insisted were in the country simply to train, advise and assist Niger’s military — suddenly get sent to search a terrorist camp, a much riskier mission than they had planned to carry out? Who ordered the mission, and why were the Americans so lightly equipped, with few heavy weapons and no bulletproof vehicles?

More broadly, the deaths have reignited a longstanding argument in Washington over the sprawling and often opaque war being fought by American troops around the world. It is a war with sometimes murky legal authority, one that began in the embers of the Sept. 11 attacks and traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan. It was expanded to Yemen, Somalia and Libya before arriving in Niger, a place few Americans ever think of, let alone view as a threat.

The ashes of the fallen twin towers were still smoldering on Sept. 14, 2001, when Congress voted overwhelmingly, with virtually no debate, to authorize the American military to hunt down the perpetrators. It was a relatively narrow mandate, written for those specific attacks, but it has become the underpinning of an increasingly broad mission around the globe. For more than 16 years since that vote, American service members have been deployed in a war that has gradually stretched to jihadist groups that did not exist in 2001 and now operate across distant parts of the world.

The result has been an amorphous and contested war that has put Navy SEALs in Somalia and Yemen, Delta Force soldiers in Iraq, and Green Berets in Niger in harm’s way...

Friday, February 16, 2018

Joy Corrigan in Jumpsuit

At Taxi Driver, "Joy Corrigan Without Her Bra in See-Through Jumpsuit."

Alexis Ren Sultry Aruba Photo Shoot (VIDEO)

She's babe of the year material, heh.

Malcolm W. Nance, The Plot to Hack America

FWIW, at Amazon, Malcolm W. Nance, The Plot to Hack America: How Putin's Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election.

Grand Jury Returns Indictment Against 13 Russian Nationals Over Election Interference

Seen just now on Twitter. Louise Mensch must be going crazy, lol.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Today's Deals

At Amazon, Gold Box Deals.

Also, Cuisinart ICE-70 Electronic Ice Cream Maker, Brushed Chrome.

More, BERTA 1875W Negative Ions Hair Blow Dryer with 2 Speed and 3 Heat Setting Ceramic Hair Dryer, Black.

Here, Coleman Oak Point Cool Weather Big and Tall Adult Sleeping Bag.

Plus, Craftsman 220 pc. Mechanics Tool Set with Case, # 36220 (Newest Version), and Craftsman 11 pc. Metric 12 pt. Combination Wrench Set, # 49822.

And, LG 55UJ6300 55-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017 Model) + HDMI 1080p High Definition DVD Player + Solo X3 Bluetooth Home Theater Sound Bar + 2x HDMI Cable + LED TV Screen Cleaner.

BONUS: Mary Katharine Ham and Guy Benson, End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).

'The View' Star Joy Behar Mocks Vice President Mike Pence for His Christian Faith (VIDEO)

Tomi Lahren speaks out against Joy Behar, at Fox News:

Angela Davis' Papers Acquired by Harvard

She's a communist. Actually, she's a communist with a large "C." But of course, media outlets will just call her an "activist," like the New York Times, "A New Home for Angela Davis's Papers (and Her 'Wanted' Poster)."

Shaun White Completes the Comeback (VIDEO)

He won the gold medal last night, and today's he's apologizing for "gossip" comments about sexual harassment allegations?

Politics is the cancer of everything right now.

At LAT, "Shaun White saves best for last to win third halfpipe gold."

And at USA, "Shaun White apologizes for calling sexual harassment allegations 'gossip' after Olympic gold."

ADDED: From Christine Brennan, "As Shaun White cements legacy, why so little attention paid to sexual harassment allegations?" (Via Memeorandum.)

Chloe Kim Steals the Spotlight (VIDEO)

She's a good young lady.

At LAT, "Gold-medal winner Chloe Kim, a daughter of Korean immigrants, is a star in two cultures":

Shortly after winning gold in the Olympic halfpipe, Chloe Kim was ushered into a tent at the bottom of the hill to face a clutch of international reporters.

The 5-foot-3 Southern California snowboarder had delivered a stunning performance, doing tricks no other woman in her sport could do, but that wasn't the only reason she has become the breakout star of the 2018 Winter Games.

When a reporter asked a question in Korean, the 17-year-old quickly waved off the interpreter, saying: "I've got that."

Kim is a first-generation Korean American, the daughter of immigrants who settled in the greater Los Angeles area. She speaks both languages and, throughout her life, has made visits to family in this country.

That helps explain why her face has been splashed across local newspapers and television this week.

"It's so cool being here," she said. "Competing in my first Olympics in the country where my parents came from is insane."

This aspect of her Olympic experience has not only boosted her celebrity, it seems to have touched her in a personal way that extends beyond sport, perhaps helping her to reconcile a childhood spent straddling two cultures.

Kim said: "I definitely, when I was younger, struggled a little to understand my identity and who I wanted to be."

Not all the attention here has focused on her, not in a part of the world that has a reputation for producing, among other things, top-notch short-track speedskaters.

It was a big deal when Lim Hyo-jun earned the host nation's first gold medal in a 1,500-meter race last Saturday. But Kim quickly stole the spotlight with a historic performance at Phoenix Snow Park three days later.

In capturing gold, she became the first woman in Olympic history to land consecutive 1080s — two triple rotations. Her near-perfect score of 98.25 outdistanced silver medalist Liu Jiayu of China by almost 10 points.

"I feel like I got to represent both the U.S. and Korea today," she said.

The feeling, apparently, was mutual.

"The media has given her very glowing coverage because they see her as one of their own," said Peter Kim, a New Jersey native who works as an assistant English professor at Kookmin University in Seoul.

In particular, it seems that people here have responded to reports that her father, trained as an engineer, gave up his career to focus on Chloe and her snowboarding...
When she won the Gold, her dad reportedly said "this makes all the sacrifice worth it."


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer Shot and Killed During 'Tactical Chase' of Armed Suspect (VIDEO)

This is really intense.

At the Chicago Tribune, "Chicago police Cmdr. Paul Bauer shot to death at Thompson Center in Loop."

Kate Upton Swept Into the Water During Photo Shoot for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Ed Driscoll has the story, from Daily Mail, "'Everybody was very scared': Kate Upton shares footage of frightening moment she got swept off rock by wave while TOPLESS during SI shoot."

Plus, some video:

'Blitzkrieg Bop'

From yesterday's drive-time, at the Jack F.M.

Blitzkreig Bop - Ramones
9:45 AM

Jimmy Buffett - Margaritaville
Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes
9:41 AM

Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
9:37 AM

ZZ Top - Legs
9:33 AM

Foo Fighters - Everlong
9:22 AM

Rod Stewart - Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?
Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?
9:16 AM

Kings Of Leon - Sex On Fire
9:13 AM

John Mellencamp - Pink Houses
9:08 AM

O.M.D - If You Leave
9:04 AM

Bon Jovi - Wanted Dead Or Alive
8:52 AM

Oasis - Champagne Supernova
8:46 AM

Queen - Fat Bottomed Girls
8:42 AM

The Cars - Just What I Needed
8:38 AM

Sports Illustrated's #MeToo Swimsuit Issue (VIDEO)

Sports Illustrated taking the heat for some alleged hypocrisy.

Is it feminist to openly celebrate women's bodies, or is it regressive, "objectifying" women solely to satisfy the patriarchal gaze (and to make massive amounts of money)?

I don't care, frankly. As long as women remain free to do as the wish, then it's all good. Once you start policing this stuff, banning soft-porn from the marketplace, it's all overreaction. (Think of the "lads' mags" in Britain, which were banned from the magazine racks, bringing an end to an era.

In any case, Paulina Porizkova's doing great!

Republicans Abandon Traditional Goal of Balanced Budget

Following-up from Sunday, "U.S. Budget Deficit Could Balloon to $1 Trillion This Year."

It's kinda like when you've lost the battle over waist-size: You say screw it and start wearing sweats all the time. You're never going to lose all those pounds you've packed on over the last few of years. You let yourself go.

That's what it is with the budget. America has let go. Of course, if something can't go on forever it won't. At some point America's going to have a budget reckoning. Bills are coming due. It's going to be a nasty political blowout at that time. We'll all be Mel Gibson in the "Road Warrior" at some point.

At WaPo, "Trump plan will drop GOP’s traditional goal of balancing budget within 10 years":
President Trump is remaking the Republican economic playbook in his own image, abandoning ideological consistency in ­favor of a debt-busting strategy that will upend how Washington taxes and spends trillions of dollars each year.

On Monday, Trump is slated to announce a new budget plan that will no longer seek to eliminate the deficit over the next decade, forfeiting a major Republican goal, according to three people familiar with the document. The plan will call for a range of spending cuts that reduce the growth of the deficit by $3 trillion over 10 years, but it will not attempt to balance the federal budget, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the proposal before its official release.

The decision to relinquish the deficit goal comes after Trump pushed a $1.5 trillion tax cut through Congress late last year and signed a two-year budget deal last week that lifts federal spending limits by $500 billion, suspends for one year the ceiling on the national debt and is expected to lead to $1 trillion annual budget deficits.

The Republican turnaround on economic policy stands in sharp contrast to the party’s opposition to President Barack Obama’s stimulus program during the Great Recession. At that time, Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), now the speaker of the House, warned of a “debt crisis” and said that “spending is the problem.” Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, then a congressman from South Carolina, derided Obama’s spending plans as a “joke” and backed a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.

Now, GOP leaders are largely silent on the two issues that had preoccupied them for the past decade — total spending and the growth of federal entitlements — while Trump has signed legislation that will lavish cash upon both defense and domestic programs far beyond what he had earlier proposed.

On Sunday, amid a backlash from conservative groups, Mulvaney defended the decision, while acknowledging that ballooning deficits are “a very dangerous idea” and that he wouldn’t have voted for the legislation if he were still in Congress. In an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” he said that his job now is “to get the president’s agenda passed,” which included Pentagon funding that Democrats would allow only if the administration accepted big domestic spending increases.

On the same show, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said the bargain was unacceptable. “The swamp won,” he said. “And the American taxpayer lost.”

A month and a half before signing the spending legislation, Trump demonstrated similar ideological flexibility with his tax cut, shelving his campaign promise to focus on the “forgotten men and women” and signing a bill whose biggest benefits flow to corporations and the wealthy.

As Trump turns next to plans to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and overhaul U.S. trade policy, his disregard for the traditional Republican economic catechism will again be on display Monday with the release of his detailed spending plan...

Also,  from Matt Kibbe, at Reason, "The Tea Party Is Officially Dead. It Was Killed by Partisan Politics."