Friday, February 23, 2018

Today's Deals

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

See, especially, FlexiSpot Stand up Desk - 35 Height Adjustable Standing Desk Riser with Removable Keyboard Tray (Black).

Also, Timberland PRO Men's 6" Pit Boss Steel Toe.

More, Wrangler Men's Long Sleeve Quilted Lined Flannel Shirt Jacket With Hood.

Here, Buck Knives 110 Famous Folding Hunter Knife with Genuine Leather Sheath - TOP SELLER.

And, Pure Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides, Dietary Supplement, Grass Fed, 16 OZ.

More here, Koffee Kult Thunder Bolt Whole Bean Coffee, with French Roast Colombia Coffee Beans - 32 ounce bag.

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...
More.

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

At Amazon, Gold Box Deals.

Here, Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans - Highest Quality Gourmet - Whole Bean Coffee - Fresh Roasted Coffee Beans, 32oz.

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.

More, Evony Warm Slouchy Beanie Hat - Deliciously Soft Daily Beanie In Fine Knit.

Also, Winter Gloves, HiCool Unisex Touch Screen Gloves Thermal Warm Gloves Driving Cycling Running Gloves Outdoor Sports Gloves for Men and Women.

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

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...
More.

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

At Drunken Stepfather, "KATHERINE HEIGL SLUTTY SELFIES OF THE DAY."

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.

Freaky.

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.


ICYMI: Edward E. Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Edward E. Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism.



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

At Drunken Stepfather, "BLAKE LIVELY GOES BOTTOMLESS OF THE DAY."

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!

Heh.

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.

*BUMPED.*

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...
More.


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."

More.

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
02/12/18
9:45 AM

Jimmy Buffett - Margaritaville
Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes
02/12/18
9:41 AM

Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
02/12/18
9:37 AM

ZZ Top - Legs
02/12/18
9:33 AM

Foo Fighters - Everlong
02/12/18
9:22 AM

Rod Stewart - Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?
Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?
02/12/18
9:16 AM

Kings Of Leon - Sex On Fire
02/12/18
9:13 AM

John Mellencamp - Pink Houses
02/12/18
9:08 AM

O.M.D - If You Leave
02/12/18
9:04 AM

Bon Jovi - Wanted Dead Or Alive
02/12/18
8:52 AM

Oasis - Champagne Supernova
02/12/18
8:46 AM

Queen - Fat Bottomed Girls
02/12/18
8:42 AM

The Cars - Just What I Needed
02/12/18
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!



Howard Kurtz, Media Madness

At Amazon, Howard Kurtz, Media Madness: Donald Trump, the Press, and the War over the Truth.



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...
More.

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


Leftist Obsession with Russia is the New McCarthyism

At great piece, from Ted Galen Carpenter, at the National Interest, "Why Democrats Are Obsessed with Russia":
Progressives need to adopt a course correction. Those who sincerely believe their shrill rhetoric need to get a grip and not succumb to Russia Derangement Syndrome. Those who are cynically using the anti-Russia hysteria as a club with which to beat the Trump administration need to pause and consider how their actions are triggering a second “cold war” with the one power that has the military wherewithal to destroy America. In either case, their current behavior is doing their country a grave disservice.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea

I have this sitting in a pile next to me, and I've got to start it.

I mentioned before, but I expect existentialist theory's going to go a long way to help me cope with this current political period, since I've never tuned out of politics this much in my life.

At Amazon, Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea.



Thomas C. Foster, How to Read Literature Like a Professor

This book's really good, heh.

At Amazon, Thomas C. Foster, How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines.



Paige Spiranac for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (VIDEO)

See, "Golfer Paige Spiranac Is the Newest Member of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2018."



Jennifer Delacruz's Sunday Forecast

I know Sunday's half over, but I've missed my Ms. Jennifer blogging. She's so incredible!

At ABC 10 News San Diego:



Lais Ribeiro Sneak Peak (VIDEO)

For Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:



We All Live on Campus Now

From Andrew Sullivan, a.k.a, "RawMuscleGlutes," at New York Magazine:



Bari Weiss on 'Real Time with Bill Maher' (VIDEO)

She got some attention the other night on Twitter for her appearance on "Real Time." I don't know, she seems so young, heh.

Either way, she's the best writer at the New York Times right now. I'm blown away by the quality of her analysis. Every time.

Watch:


U.S. Budget Deficit Could Balloon to $1 Trillion This Year

I've long ago given up any hope that the political system, regardless of which party's in power, will get a handle on our perpetual budget deficits, and concomitantly, the national debt.

But a projected $1 trillion deficit for this year does seem like some apocalyptic milestone, my god.

At Forbes, "Trump's Federal Budget Deficit: $1 Trillion and Beyond."

And while I'm still in the neocon camp, I'm definitely in favor of winding down the Afghanistan deployment these days. It's just gone on too long. No once can say the U.S. didn't make an effort there, or at least some kind of effort. Perhaps a different strategy, or different historical circumstances (like no Iraq war in 2003), would have made things better.

In any case, I give props to Rand Paul on discussing the budgetary drawbacks of endless wars. A few years ago I would have blown off such talk. But not now. It'll be 17 years this November.

From Face the Nation this morning:



Circling the Drain

I don't think it's a question of if. California's a far-left basket case. A leftist, politically correct bureaucratic nightmare. Even San Francisco is witnessing an exodus of people these days.

This post, from Steven Hayward, at Power Line, has to be read in full at the link. It's amazing. Utterly mind-boggling.

See, "Is California Starting to Circle the Drain?"

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Meghan Murphy Fights for Feminism — Feminism for Women

I've been reading Canadian feminist Meghan Murphy quite a bit lately. She's up in Vancouver, and she proudly represents the critical strand of "trans-exclusive" radical feminism, although I doubt she'd use that phrase to describe herself, because "TERF" is an epithet used by radical transgender identity activists to demonize opponents.

In any case, she's good. See her "Open Letter" to the British Columbia New Democratic Party, "Open Letter to the BC NDP regarding the conduct of BC NDP Vice President Morgane Oger":

Dear Sirs and Madams,

We — the undersigned — are Canadians deeply concerned with recent public statements and behaviour on the part of Morgane Oger, Vice President of the BC NDP.

On January 20th, Women’s Marches took place across North America. Initially fuelled by anger over Donald Trump’s election and boasts of sexual misconduct, this year the #Metoo campaign galvanized women around the world towards solidarity and action. No longer can we deny that women and girls everywhere continue to suffer abuse and harassment in every arena of life, at the hands of men.

In Vancouver, one woman who attended the march carried a sign reading:
“Transwomen are men. Truth is not hate. Don’t believe the hype — trans ideology is misogyny and homophobic. Woman is not a ‘feeling,’ a costume, or a performance of a stereotype. Woman is a biological reality. There is no ethical or moral reason to lie to soothe the male ego.

Do not cis-gender me. Stop the stereotypes. I am neither conforming nor non-conforming. My preferred prefix is neither cis nor trans. I am a female. Resist Orwellian Newspeak.”
After being posted to social media, a photo of the woman holding this sign went viral. She was subjected to numerous threats of violence and death as a result.

Oger shared the image online as well, publicly requesting the identity and address of the woman, stating intention to file a human rights complaint against her. On Facebook, Oger wrote:
“Apparently not everyone at the Vancouver Women’s March was equally enlightened about why trans women are women… A concerned citizen passed this photo on to me. This is hate speech. Anyone know who this person is? I’d like to speak to her.

… That person in the photo is free to have beliefs and to express those beliefs without breaking the law. I feel that she has overstepped. What this person has done is take things to the next step, like publishing it in a newspaper or distributing it in mailouts. I believe that what she has done is prohibited in BC. She is invited to contact me for a chat or email my office at morgane@morganeoger.ca.”
In a comment on the same post, Oger wrote:
“Who is a woman in Canada and British Columbia is not based on their plumbing but on our gender identity. Women are women because we say we are. Attributes usually associated with women are protected for all women, whether they possess them or not, like plumbing or biological function. We have six months for somebody to file a complaint against this woman on the basis of gender identity. But to do this, who she is needs to be known. If somebody knows who she is please email me the information at morgane@morganeoger.ca”
These comments equate to a public threat and defamation, and have led to further harassment of the woman in the photo. Oger has knowingly continued to fuel these threats and this harassment through ongoing, numerous posts on social media. We wonder why the BC NDP has yet to take action on this behaviour? In this case, the statements are particularly disturbing, as they have put an individual woman’s life and livelihood in danger.

Oger has referenced a “team of lawyers” on social media numerous times. One tweet read:
“The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld human rights tribunal rulings about hate speech twice. My legal team is confident that the act of publishing hateful material is the only test in this case and the material on that sign matches the hate test.”
In another, Oger stated:
“There are laws put in place to protect transgender people from transphobia. One such law bans the publishing of hate in public. I expect Canada’s laws to be applied.”
We are curious to know who this “team of lawyers” is and how they are being financed. Either Oger is in a financial position to hire a “team of lawyers” to bully and silence women who cannot afford such a luxury, or the lawyers in reference are the BC NDP’s legal team. Is the BC NDP using its government resources to persecute and harass citizens who disagree with their representatives? Does the BC NDP support Oger’s intention to potentially impoverish a woman by forcing her to hire “a team of lawyers” to defend her right to hold a sign Oger does not like at a women’s protest march?

We are concerned by these tactics and an expressed desire to silence those whose opinions conflict with those held by the Vice President of the BC NDP. We are concerned that many people have refrained from commenting on Oger’s behaviour or addressing it for fear of retribution, in large part due to the way Oger has responded with regard to this particular woman and her sign. Oger is leveraging political power in a deeply troubling way, with intention to intimidate fellow NDP members and constituents into fear and silence.

Politicians should expect that people will disagree with them — that is par for the course. But politicians should be gracious and deferential to their critics when those critics are just members of the public. Potential voters are being insulted, demeaned, bullied, and smeared by a representative of the NDP. This is not how Canadian politicians should handle conflict and disagreement. Instead of engaging in meaningful, principled debate, Oger invites and escalates conflict, is unable to negotiate or reach consensus with a large portion of voters, defames and insults them, targets individuals with relentless harassment and smear campaigns, and advocates that real, material harm be inflicted on them (i.e. loss of job, reputation, criminal charges, financial ruin, etc.). We would ask whether the BC NDP believes that this behaviour is reflective of the Party’s values, and the values of its constituents.

The woman who is being intimidated by Oger was expressing ideas and sentiments that are important and meaningful to her and to many other members of the Canadian public. All Canadians should feel comfortable expressing ideas that are meaningful and important to them, free from intimidation, bullying, and harassment.

“Gender identity” itself remains vaguely defined. It rests on an ideology that claims gender is innate, when in fact gender roles are socially imposed, based on biological sex, as a means to normalize the hierarchy that exists between men and women under patriarchy. Women’s sex-based rights, on the other hand, rest on material reality: we know that women in our society are discriminated against and subjected to male violence on account only of having been born female. We have judgments protecting women from discrimination based on things like pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, and breastfeeding, on the explicit reasoning that only one sex gives birth and only one sex breastfeeds. The notion that males can actually be female if they “feel” it or if they emulate feminine stereotypes conflicts with women’s sex-based rights as it not only reduces “woman” to something intangible and undefinable, but claims women’s oppression is rooted in “feeling” or personal identity rather than on biological sex. Challenges to the concept of “gender identity” should be not only acceptable but encouraged...
Keep reading.