Thursday, January 31, 2019

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Donna Tartt, The Secret History

At Amazon, Donna Tartt, The Secret History.

Extreme Cold Kills Several as Polar Vortex Spreads Into Midwest

This to me is mind-boggling.

I've never experienced anything like this in my entire life, and honestly this is one reason I'm happy to still live in Southern California. (*Shrug.*)

At WaPo:

Russell Blackford, The Tyranny of Opinion

This is supposed to be great.

At Amazon, Russell Blackford, The Tyranny of Opinion: Conformity and the Future of Liberalism.

Stephen Harper, Former Prime Minister of Canada, Explains Why Trump Won (VIDEO)

This is an excellent video.

Harper is so exceptionally well-spoken it's no wonder he was elected prime minister. What a guy, dang!

Excellent discussion of the current populist moment as well.

Harper's new book is available at Amazon, Right Here, Right Now: Politics and Leadership in the Age of Disruption.

And at Prager Univeristy:

Megan Barton Upskirt

At Taxi Driver, "Megan Barton Black Panty Upskirt" (SITE VERY NSFW).

Kristin Cavallari Flash


The Jussie Smollett #MAGA Attack Hoax

I've never heard of Jussie Smollett before this week, but as soon as I heard he was allegedly attacked by white suspects screaming "MAGA country," I totally blew it off as joke. And a joke it is.

See Michelle Malkin, "The MAGA-phobic manure-spreaders of media sensationalism":
Here we go again. If you think the manure-spreaders of sensationalism who masquerade as ethical practitioners of journalism learned anything from last week’s MAGA-bashing Covington Catholic High School hoax, I have three words for you:

Ha, ha, ha.

On Tuesday morning, uncorroborated claims by actor Jussie Smollett that he was the victim of a “brutal” hate crime by Trump supporters in Chicago went viral across social media. Entertainment rag first splashed “exclusive” headlines that the “Empire” cast member was “beaten by MAGA backers” in a “homophobic attack” at around 2a.m. in Chicago. If you have no idea what “Empire” is or who Smollett is, join the club. The TV star is apparently a vocal critic of Trump and attacked “45 and all his white hooded cohorts” on Instagram last week.

But I digress.

Within minutes, the gossip site’s squib on the TV star’s alleged victimization trended on Twitter and rocketed up to USA Today, Variety, CBS, CNN, and the New York Times. The Fishwrap of Record breathlessly reported lurid details of two people who “wrapped rope around his neck,” which multiple outlets characterized as a “noose.” A police statement providing incident background stated that “the offenders began to batter the victim with their hands about the face and poured an unknown chemical substance on the victim,” according to Smollett. Multiple websites reported that the substance was bleach.

This is truly horrible, if true. But color me cautious and skeptical. TMZ initially reported that Smollett had exited a Subway chain restaurant near his luxury apartment when accosted by the racist, homophobic assailants, who allegedly recognized him from his work on “Empire.” Allegedly, Smollett received a hate mail with the word “MAGA” on it addressed to him and sent to his studio in Chicago last week. If this was a premeditated “attack,” the FBI should get to the bottom of it.

But oddities and discrepancies abound:

TMZ quoted one of the “MAGA country” attackers who allegedly hurled epithets at Smollett: “Aren’t you that f***ot ‘Empire’ n*****?”

Question: How many racist, homophobic menaces wander around the upscale Streeterville neighborhood of liberal Chicago at 2 a.m. carrying rope and bleach, yelling about “MAGA country?”

Question: How many racist, homophobic menaces have ever heard of “Empire,” could recognize Jussie Smollett, or know or care anything about his sexuality?

Despite TMZ’s claim that Smollett had the “hell beat outta him” and attackers “broke his ribs” plus subjected him to a chemical attack, an ambulance was not called and he instead “self-transported” to the hospital. CWB Chicago, a local public safety watchdog site, reported on police dispatch records documenting that Smollett’s friend “Frank” refused EMS services for Smollett; no mention of bleach was made; “no or minor injury” was observed; and “officers never sent a ‘flash; message with offender descriptions to field units.”


Another assertion not included in the CPD’s initial press release on the incident: Any mention of “MAGA supporters” or any mention of the race of the alleged assailants. Police clarified that they had not received any official information backing TMZ reporter Charles Latibeaudiere’s claim, which he attributed to sources close to Smollett, that the alleged attackers shouted, “This is MAGA country.”

Nor had the police corroborated that the attackers were white, since Smollett had told them their faces and hands were both covered. After launching a search for surveillance video and potential witnesses, the police department reported late Tuesday that “thus far we have not found anything to be able to put out a description.”

I was told that public records requests for the incident report may take “weeks” to be approved. I was also told the Chicago police remain in charge of investigating the alleged incident, while the FBI probe of the alleged hate mail remains separate.

CPD’s public information office also told me late Tuesday that when police responded to the 911 call regarding the incident, Smollett gave them no details about where it occurred or what the attackers looked like. None. They were reportedly on scene for an hour with Smollett. When I asked again how the claims about white “MAGA attackers” were disseminated in the press, the PIO replied:

“We have no idea where that came from.”

Minutes after I hung up the phone with her, a local Chicago reporter tweeted that Smollett did mention the “MAGA” angle in a “follow-up, supplemental interview.” Which is it?

Despite all the holes, contradictions, and unanswered questions, the MAGA hate crime narrative has already calcified. (Sound familiar?) By 5pm Eastern on Tuesday, a search for “MAGA” and “Smollett” on Google yielded 3,520,000 results. And TMZ ended its day of social justice pot-stirring with the Rev. Al Sharpton calling for President Trump to “denounce Jussie Smollett’s MAGA attackers” who have yet to be identified.

Classic manufactured “news:” Report on an uncorroborated hate crime. Plant unverified details. Repeatedly blame white male Trump supporters. Stoke Hollywood outrage. Enlist the Godfather of Hate Crime Hoaxes to call on the president to denounce phantom attackers. Reap clicks and publicity. Indict all skeptics as racists and haters. Repeat.

Smears first. Facts later. How much deader can American journalism get?
Also, at Instapundit, "SHIFTING STORIES CLOUD CLAIMS OF ALLEGED HATE CRIME ATTACK TARGETING EMPIRE ACTOR JUSSIE SMOLLETT: Read the whole thing, and whatever your conclusions, remember the 48 Hour Rule," and "WHAT’S THE FREQUENCY, JUSSIE?"

Jennifer Delacruz's Midweek Forecast

Well, at least it's not -50 degrees, dang!

Her's the scrumptious Ms. Jennifer, at ABC 10 News San Diego:

Reading Totalitarian Philosophers

I read "totalitarian philosophers" all the time. The trick is to reject totalitarianism yourself. Never fall prey to exiling certain authors because of political correctness. That's what the Nazis did. You might as well be burning books yourself.

In any case, this is interesting, at Quillette, "How Should We Read the Totalitarian Philosophers?"

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


The nostalgia is killing me!

These women are so hot!

Heard yesterday on K-EARTH 101 FM Los Angeles:

Sunday, January 27, 2019

A Stinging Defeat for President Trump

Actually, I'm glad the government reopened. I just wish it had been the Democrats who caved.

This feels like a real turning point in Trump's presidency, mostly it's really the one time I think he's seriously hurt politically. Democrats were gloating, as I would have been too, given both the stakes and polarization. But more importantly, Trump's capitulation, especially after the longest shutdown, hurt him with the base --- yes, even folks who've been die-hard Trump supporters were turned off by the long impasse.

If there's no deal on this supposed set of congressional conference negotiations, Trump will either deploy the Army Corps of Engineers or blow off any hopes of reelection.

We'll see.

At NYT, "For a President Consumed With Winning, a Stinging Defeat":

WASHINGTON — President Trump famously declared that in his administration the nation would become tired of all the winning. So on Friday he tried a little losing.

After the longest government shutdown in history, Mr. Trump surrendered with nothing concrete (or steel) to show for the battle, taking essentially the same deal that was on the table in December that he originally rejected, touching off a 35-day impasse.

With Senator Mitch McConnell on the telephone, rank-and-file Republicans in revolt and televisions in the White House showing air traffic slowing in the Northeast because of the shutdown, Mr. Trump bowed to the inevitable and agreed to reopen the government until Feb. 15 without the money for his border wall that he had demanded.

For a president who believes in zero-sum politics and considers compromise a sign of weakness, it was a bruising setback, a retreat that underscored the limits of his ability to bull his way through the opposition in this new era of divided government. As it turned out, the art of the deal at this stage of Mr. Trump’s presidency requires a different approach and the question is whether he can adjust.

“By any measure, it was an unequivocal loss,” said Patrick J. Griffin, who was the White House legislative director for President Bill Clinton during the government shutdowns of the 1990s. “No interpretation is needed. No wall and probably lost votes rather than gain or strengthen his base.”

The next three weeks will test whether Mr. Trump can rebound as he faces a new deadline to come up with an agreement. If he can find common ground with Democrats led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer while making progress on his wall, he may yet emerge from this searing ordeal claiming a political victory.

If not, however, he may discover his disgruntled fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill less willing to go along with a renewed government shutdown, forcing him to decide whether to provoke a constitutional clash by declaring a national emergency to bypass Congress altogether and build the wall without legislative approval.

White House officials argue that there are more moderate House Democrats who are willing to support a wall even though Ms. Pelosi has called the project “immoral” and opposed spending even a single dollar on it. In the days to come, they hope to either peel off those Democrats and force Ms. Pelosi to meet somewhere in the middle or to drive a wedge among Democrats highlighting their own divisions.

“Moving forward for the next three weeks, have the Democrats boxed themselves into a corner with zero for wall funding that makes them look weak on border security?” asked Marc Short, who was Mr. Trump’s White House legislative director earlier in his presidency. “Will the White House be able to work around Pelosi to gain enough Democrat support for some wall funding?”

After watching Ms. Pelosi this week disinvite Mr. Trump from delivering the State of the Union address while the government remained closed, Mr. McConnell concluded that she would never cave and decided to come off the sidelines to try to end the standoff. He scheduled votes for Thursday on two plans to end the stalemate, one on Mr. Trump’s terms and another Democratic version, mainly to demonstrate to the president that he did not have enough support to prevail.

After both bills failed to muster the 60 votes required for passage on Thursday, Mr. Trump was fed up and ready to get it over with, according to advisers. He was eager to get the dispute resolved at least temporarily so he could deliver his State of the Union address. He told Vice President Mike Pence and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser, to give him options.

They came back with four ways to reopen the government: a three-week spending bill that included a prorated portion of money as a down payment on the border wall pending further negotiations; a “clean” short-term spending bill that included no such money; a clean short-term bill with a bipartisan House-Senate conference committee to negotiate border security; or a declaration of national emergency that Mr. Trump would use to move money on his own while resuming government operations for the rest of the fiscal year...
Still more.

Jean M. Twenge, iGen

At Amazon, Jean M. Twenge, iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy – and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood – and What That Means for the Rest of Us.

Jacob Silverman, Terms of Service

At Amazon, Jacob Silverman, Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection.

Russell James, Angels

At Amzon, Russell James, Angels.

Fixing Facebook

I doubt it can be fixed, but this is interesting.

From Time's cover last week:

Friday, January 25, 2019

Aly Raisman's Inner Wonder Woman (VIDEO)

She's not flat, heh.

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:

Traffic Camera on Stop Sign in La Jolla (VIDEO)

About 15 years ago I was pulled over by a highway patrolman after I picked my kid up from daycare. The daycare site was located in Fountain Valley, in a residential neighborhood, way out of the way of commuter traffic or what not. I rolled the stop sign nearby, making a right turn heading back towards Magnolia Street and the 405 freeway. As I reluctantly signed the ticket I asked the cop if he didn't have better things to do than ticket a generally law-abiding citizen picking up his preschooler from daycare? How about all the folks on the freeway nearby driving in excess of 80 mph? He said he was under a lot of pressure. (*Shrug.*)

Anyway, I stop more carefully at stop signs these days --- it's been 15 years since that ticket at least --- but I notice most other drivers do not. Cops maybe should station themselves at stop signs, like the one where I got busted, to better police these infractions. Sometimes drivers show no courtesy to pedestrians or oncoming traffic. It's actually pretty dangerous. I'm getting old though, even in my Dodge Challenger, heh.

At ABC News 10 San Diego:

Rachel Riley's Powerful Speech to the Holocaust Education Trust Reception (VIDEO)

From David Bernstein, at Instapundit, "WHO WOULD HAVE PREDICTED IN 1945 THAT THE UK’S LABOUR PARTY WOULD BE THE CLOSEST IDEOLOGICAL DESCENDANT OF THE NAZIS IN THE WEST? British t.v. presenter Rachel Riley describes the anti-Semitic abuse she’s encountered since publicly criticizing rampant Jew-hatred in Labour."

Video at the link above.

Also at the Jewish Chronicle, "I thought the horror of the Shoah would mean no more antisemitism. I was wrong: Read Rachel Riley's powerful speech to the Holocaust Education Trust reception in Westminster."

Michelle Malkin Blasts Leftist Media's Coverage of #CovingtonCatholic Students (VIDEO)

She'a always hard-hitting.

At Fox News:

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Out in Paper: Stephen Kotkin, Stalin

I saw the paperback copy when I was out shopping around Christmas time, and this book is massive!

At Amazon, now in paperback, Stephen Kotkin, Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941.

Alessandra Ambrosio on Twitter

She hasn't posted much this year.

But see Drunken Stepfather, "Alessandra Ambrosio Nipple of the Day."

Megan McArdle Posts Truly Amazing Twitter Thread on the #CovingtonCatholic Controversy

I have not read her WaPo op-ed, but this Twitter thread is genuinely great.

I think it's the longest sustained political thread I've ever read, and she never loses the flow or rhythm. This is a cool thing about Twitter, and that's saying a lot.

The Dude Revives!

Well, I was hoping for a sequel, lol.

It might be a Super Bowl commercial, but still, this could be a real salve for a society's dysfunction.

What Conservatives Get Wrong About Labor Markets

I've blogged Oren Cass's new book, The Once and Future Worker: A Vision for the Renewal of Work in America.

I haven't read it yet, so I can't say if it's good or bad, but James K. Galbraith's got a review up at Foreign Affairs.

Caveat Emptor.

See, "The Trouble With the “Working Hypothesis”":

Oren Cass, domestic issues director for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign and a writer for National Review and other journals, has produced a conservative's treatise on the social and economic ills of America, and what might be done to repair them. The Once and Future Worker, published in November, holds that a social philosophy based on consumption, equality, the welfare state and quality of life achieved through regulation—the essential vision of a liberal century from the Roosevelts through Richard Nixon—should be scrapped for more solid values: work, family, country, one might say. Above all, Cass believes in a society and culture rooted in the pride and pleasures of productive labor. “[The] argument at its most basic," he writes, "is that work matters. More specifically, [the book] offers what I will call the Working Hypothesis: that a labor market in which workers can support strong families and communities is the central determinant of long term prosperity.”

Thus the labor market, in Cass’s view, is the proper medium for delivering a work-friendly world. And the trouble comes when politicians, especially Democrats, “trample” on the market. The Democrats’ “actual agenda,” according to Cass,
centers on the interests advanced by its coalition of labor unions, environmentalists and identity groups. Its policies rely on an expectation that government mandates and programs will deliver what the market does not. This agenda inserts countless regulatory wedges that aim to improve the conditions of employment but in the process raise its cost, driving apart the players that the market is attempting to connect. Better market outcomes require better market conditions. Government cannot command that workers be more valuable or employment relationships be more attractive, but by trying, it can bring about the reverse. The economic landscape is pocked with the resulting craters.

The vision of a labor market offered by Cass is Deist; it is the idea of the clockmaker, of intelligent design. Its Western roots lie in pre-revolutionary France, which borrowed the theme from classical China and Confucius. In the English language, it owes much to that great figure of the Scottish Enlightenment, Adam Smith. Supply and demand work like Yin and Yang: natural law and celestial harmony prevail in the equilibrium between two fixed and immutable, separate yet inseparable social forces—in this case the employer and the employed, the capitalist and the worker. The latter seeks a job; the former offers one. A bargain is struck at a given wage, when the employer decides that the worker is worth his keep, and the worker decides the wage is worth the leisure foregone. Work and production follow. The “abandonment of the worker” lamented by Cass began when the government intruded in the labor market by, among other things, creating social insurance, supporting unions, and introducing regulations to protect the environment.

Thus Cass criticizes environmental laws, going all the way back to the Clean Air Act of 1970, for killing jobs. He attacks “adversarial” unions and proposes that they be transformed into non-confrontational “co-ops” concerned with how to “optimize workplace conditions.” He finds fault with the U.S. educational system for promising an equal chance for all, and suggests that it should embrace tracking and begin funneling students deemed less able into vocational training at an early age. He supports the exclusion, to a degree, of foreign workers and products. He promotes the big idea of a wage subsidy to persuade employers to take on low-productivity workers whom they might otherwise shun. And he favors decentralizing welfare policies to the states in order to promote experiments, diversity, and local measures appropriate to local needs.


Each of these proposals builds on the mental model of a labor market, in which it is the interaction of supply and demand that set wages and determine levels of employment. Clean air and water (and workplace and product safety) regulations raise costs to business, forcing them to move offshore or close down. Therefore, to cite two examples offered by Cass, standards for particulates or mercury should be rolled back. Unions have already achieved what their members reasonably need, and now only serve to prevent the labor market from reaching its natural balance. The result is wages that are too high and jobs that are too few. And employers should be subsidized to create jobs on the principle that if labor is cheaper, they will hire more of it rather than invest in capital improvements.

These measures would supposedly increase employment. But even if one accepts that premise, one might first ask, “Does America really need more work?” Americans have the highest labor-force participation in the industrial West. They work the longest hours and enjoy the shortest vacations. The United States is, notoriously, a working country. And it has a pretty good record on unemployment too, with by far the fastest recovery to near-full employment from the Great Financial Crisis of any major economy.
Keep reading.

President Trump Recognizes Venezuelan Oppostion Leader

The scale of the protests is absolutely stunning.

Even veteran die-hard Trump-haters are praising him for backing the opposition leader in Venezuela, including former Mexican President Vicente Fox.

At the Los Angeles Times, "As protesters fill streets of Venezuela, Trump recognizes opposition leader as rightful president":

As masses of Venezuelans turned out to protest their government, the Trump administration took the unusual and provocative step Wednesday of recognizing the leader of Venezuela’s political opposition as the country's legitimate president.

In Caracas, the leader, a young and charismatic engineer named Juan Guaido, declared he was assuming the mantle of acting president — and braced for reaction from President Nicolas Maduro and his security forces.

And react he did: Maduro announced he was breaking diplomatic ties, already strained, with Washington and giving U.S. personnel 72 hours to abandon the country. But Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said late Wednesday that the U.S had no plans to withdraw personnel.

“Anyone can declare himself president, but it’s the Venezuelan people who elect him, not the gringo government,” Maduro declared to his supporters rallying outside the presidential palace. He swiftly branded Guaido a “puppet” of U.S. “imperialism.”

The dramatic escalation came as the Trump administration seeks ways to ramp up pressure on Maduro’s socialist government, which it accuses of widespread human rights abuse, drug trafficking and a host of other crimes. Already, Washington has blacklisted 70 senior Venezuelan officials and entities and put sanctions on some of its export industries.

Venezuela has teetered on the verge of collapse for some time, mired in social and economic chaos that has depleted supplies of food and medicine and sent millions of Venezuelans fleeing as refugees. Roughly 80% of the people here now live in poverty.

In a statement, President Trump said he was recognizing Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela because he is the head of “the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people,” a reference to the country’s National Assembly, Venezuela's legislative body that Maduro has sidelined and replaced with his own legislature stacked with his supporters.

The sequence of events represented a rare and potentially dangerous dive into international diplomacy unusual for this administration. It delivered a diplomatic blow to Maduro, but a much-needed boost to the long-suffering, largely ineffective opposition movement.

The movement was in need of new energy after Maduro’s violent suppression in 2017 of nationwide marches that left protesters dispirited and leaderless. An estimated 165 people died, 15,000 were injured and at least 4,800 arrested.

Wednesday’s march, which occurred on the anniversary of the 1958 overthrow of dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez, was seen as a test of Guaido’s strength of leadership and ability to summon the masses to the street, a test he seems to have passed.

“Today, on Jan. 23, in my status as National Assembly president before all powerful God, and my colleagues, I swear to formally assume the duties of national executive to achieve the end of usurpation, [form] a transitional government and [hold] free elections,” Guaido told tens of thousands of Venezuelans who crowded Caracas’ downtown streets.

“I am not afraid, [rather] I fear for the people who are [living in] bad times,” Guaido proclaimed...

Jennifer Delacruz's Thursday Forecast

It's been nice weather the last couple of days, and that reminds me: I need to wash my car, lol.

Here's the fantastic Ms. Jennifer, for ABC News 10 San Diego.

New York Daily News Accuses #CovingtonCatholic Students of 'Blackface' Racism

I'm not keeping up with this, especially all of the horrific attacks on the students.

Nick Sandmann wasn't even in high school at the time of this blackout basketball game, where the blackout is directed at all team opponents, regardless of race. But for leftists, racism is the catch-all demonizing attack. The left has launched a collective effort to destroy Nick Sandman, as well as his school. It's based not just in Trump hatred, but in vicious anti-Catholic bigotry as well.

Dana Loesch is demanding a retraction, and she's persistent.

A New Social Movement in Los Angeles?

This is interesting.

At the Los Angeles Times, "How L.A. teachers scored a decisive political victory with strike":
Los Angeles is often criticized for its lack of public engagement and low voter turnout, and as a place where neighborhoods have a sense of community but the city overall feels fragmented.

But the nation saw a different side of L.A. when last week’s teachers’ strike galvanized the city. Thousands of red-clad teachers marched and rallied on the streets, drawing vocal support not just from residents and parents but from politicians and celebrities eager to back their cause.

By keeping a tight message and engaging parents, the United Teachers Los Angeles union and its president, Alex Caputo-Pearl, were able to highlight issues of inequality and L.A.’s struggling school system in a way that supporters hope has lasting significance.

Over the six-day walkout, teachers made the strike less about their salaries than about class sizes, services for children and the future of public education. Many parents in Los Angeles have fled traditional public schools in favor of charter schools, which are expanding rapidly across the city.

The strike may not have hurt the allure of charters to parents frustrated with the Los Angeles Unified School District. But it brought attention to the financial toll that defections are having on the school system and the difficult learning conditions, especially for students from lower-income families, in L.A. Unified.

The union’s message was that “public education is rooted in democracy and in the tradition of the school district,” said Charles Kerchner, a labor relations historian and professor emeritus at Claremont Graduate University. “They were actively selling this idea to parents, to the public.

“UTLA and Alex handled this brilliantly,” he added. “It almost became a movement.”

The long-term implications of the strike are unclear. The teachers union remains in an uncertain position, with half the current members of the L.A. Board of Education having been elected with backing from charter advocates. That could change in March with a special election for the board’s seventh seat.

Moreover, it’s hard to know whether other labor movements would have similar success without the issue of childhood education in the forefront.

Some see the teachers’ strike as a larger increase in political engagement that began with the election of President Trump in 2016 and the many protests that came with the blue “resistance” in California. That continued in 2018, when Democrats took several key House seats across the state in areas once considered safely Republican.

“You’re having a consecutive number of events where people are in the streets or supporting people in the streets,” said Jaime Regalado, professor emeritus of political science at Cal State L.A., adding that there’s a “spirit of resistance, a spirit of support” in California in the Trump era.

Time will tell how long this shift will last. Los Angeles has become notorious for its low voter turnout in local elections, which hit an all-time low of about 18% in the 2009 mayor’s race and was only 20% when Eric Garcetti was reelected.

Union leaders said preliminary counts show the agreement was approved by a large majority, but the contract between L.A. Unified and the teachers union wasn’t universally embraced by educators, and UTLA’s Facebook page was flooded with complaints Tuesday about the agreement. Some teachers complained it was vague on details and watered down. Also, gains were modest on reducing class sizes compared with what union leaders said publicly.

Still, the union achieved its goal, at least temporarily, of uniting parents, educators and their supporters. Downtown rallies backing educators over the last week followed several other recent marches in Los Angeles focused on gun violence and women’s rights.

The strike gained momentum as images of marching teachers spread, but parents also played a key role as they picketed alongside their children’s teachers or had their kids stay home...

I don't like teachers' unions, but I like school administrators even less. Thus I'm giving it up for UTLA, and especially for the families which might indeed see some improved services.

The school district's student population is more than 75 percent Latino. A lot of these students are the first in their families to get a grade school education, if not a majority of them. If these same students go on to college and graduate, their levels of education are light years away from their parents and grandparents, most of whom came to the U.S. as scrub-poor migrant laborers.

Do something for the people, the regular people, in this state for once. The Bay Area elites, with the Sacramento Democrat cronies, are killing California. And don't even get me going about the stupid Eric Garcetti Democrat-Party machine in Los Angeles. Ugh, the evil is through the roof with these ghouls.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Obligatory Covington Catholic Kids in #MAGA Hats Harassed Elder Native American 'Vietnam War Veteran' Blog Post

As you may have noticed, I've held off from posting on this story.

I have to admit, the very first short video I saw looked like it could have been the Catholic students harassing the Native American man. But I didn't comment about it. I kept doing my regular reading and tweeting, etc., and then more and more videos became available, and more information became available, and then there was a backlash against the backlash.

It turns out, for one thing, that the so-called Native American "Elder," Nathan Phillips, is not a Vietnam veteran. This Aint' Hell, the military blog, put in official requests to get government confirmation of Phillips' military service. See, "Nathan Phillips – “Vietnam Times” Veteran." Now, though, the Washington Post is correcting its initial story on the controversy, saying in fact that Phillips did not serve in Vietnam.

It's a big deal.

On Twitter:

Okay, as you also may know, this story has just dominated Twitter for days, and for me it was overwhelming keeping up with all the different reports and hot takes. Your mileage may vary.

In any case, see Robert Stacy McCain, "Lessons From an Online Lynching (Why #StandWithCovington Is Going Viral)."

And at Reason, Robby Soave did his homework, watching hours of video, to post a smackdown debunking over the weekend. See, "The Media Wildly Mischaracterized That Video of Covington Catholic Students Confronting a Native American Veteran." Also, "If You Still Think Nick Sandmann’s Smile Is Proof of Racism, You’re Seeing What You Want to See.

Neo-Neocon has been doing awesome stuff on this, but see in particular, "The Covington chronicles: on hating the face of a teenage boy." And she's linked by Ed Driscoll, at Instapundit, "NEO: Nathan Phillips and the surprise video."

Although these kind of lynch mob stories aren't new, this whole thing for me has been extremely clarifying. Twitter is a radioactive dump of hatred and lies, and as the site's run by leftists, it won't get better. I don't use any other social media, so I begrudgingly continue to use it, even though it sucks.

And of course no amount of factual truth seems to change minds in our extremely ideologically polarized era. And it's interesting, because I keep hearing people say, "talk to each other; listen to the other side." But talking to each other is only helpful if the "other side" is open to what you have to say. I work with radical leftists. They have their narrative and they don't budge. If you get on the wrong side of them, especially in any official capacity, they can be merciless, even using the power of the state to coerce compliance with the leftist agenda (the school hired lawyers to investigate me for disciplining a black student at one point). It's bad.

Check this leftist's thread for the perpetuation of the left's diabolical narrative, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary:

So again, it's been clarifying. If you're a Trump supporter leftists want to destroy you. They literally want to kill you. (See Uncle Shoes on Twitter, for example, a guy who wants to burn down Covington Catholic High School, with all the kids inside.)

More later. (*Sigh.*)

Rachel Notley's NDP Government Launches Stalinist Campaign to Shut Down Rebel Media (VIDEO)

It's shockingly unreal that this kind of stuff is going on in one of the West's great democracies, but that it is calls into question how democratic is Canada under all the far-left governments, at the national and the provincial levels.

This is really stunning.

At the Rebel, "Stand With The Rebel Against Elections Alberta - The Rebel."

Elena Iulia Rotari

At Drunken Stepfather, "Elena Iulia Rotari of the Day."

Monday, January 21, 2019

Alejandra Guilmant in Feminist Shirt


BONUS: Busty Blonde Babe Jiggles in Her Red Bikini (VIDEO).

How's It Going to Be?

When you don't know me?

It's Third Eye Blind.

No drive time music until February, but I just started singing this song, for some reason, while I was doing the dishes. (*Shrugs.*)

Jennifer Delacruz's MLK Holiday Weather

Nice weather for the holiday.

Here's the fabulous Ms. Jennifer, for ABC News 10 San Diego:

About the Los Angeles Teachers' Strike

At Theo Spark's, "About that 'teacher's strike'..................from Rico."

Susan Sontag, Against Interpretation

At Amazon, Susan Sontag, Against Interpretation: And Other Essays.

Prince Philip Stokes Debate on Older Drivers

This is really good, at the New York Times (two), and an extra hilarious tweet below:

John Ogbu, Black American Students in An Affluent Suburb

At Amazon, John U. Ogbu, Black American Students in An Affluent Suburb: A Study of Academic Disengagement.

Jayde Nicole Wet T-Shirt

At Drunken Stepfather, "Jayde Nicole Wet T-Shirt Nipples of the Day."

She's pretty amazing!

As MLK Foresaw, U.S. Racism's Been Largely Overcome

From the great Jeff Jacoby, at the Boston Globe:

“I have no despair about the future,” wrote the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in his 1963 “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” “I have no fear about the outcome of our struggle in Birmingham. . . . We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom.”

He was right.

It is a commonplace that racism is America’s original sin. Hardly a day goes by without attention being focused on instances of the racial injustice, friction, and double standards that can still be found in this nation. Open the morning paper or watch cable news, and there will be something to remind you of the country’s racial tensions — from controversy over flying the Confederate flag to NFL players protesting police brutality, from accusations of voter suppression in Georgia to an Iowa congressman defending “white nationalism.” It isn’t surprising that when Americans are asked in opinion polls whether race relations are getting better, many of them — sometimes most of them — gloomily reply that racism is still a major problem.

But it isn’t. It is only a minor problem now, one that has grown steadily less toxic and less entrenched. King predicted confidently that America would surmount its benighted racial past, and his confidence was not misplaced. Though his own life was cut short by a racist assassin, he foresaw that racism would lose its grip on American life.

“We’ve got some difficult days ahead, but . . . I’ve been to the mountaintop,” King said in his final speech. “I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land.” He knew that American racism would wither away. Fifty-one years later, it mostly has.

Consider some of the data on changing American values...
Keep reading.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Why We Can't Wait

At Amazon, Martin Luther King, Jr., Why We Can't Wait (Signet Classics).

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilyich

At Amazon, Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilyich.

Where Have You Gone, Martin Luther King, Jr.?

A great video, featuring Jason Riley, at Prager University:

More on Idiot Instagram Influencer Caroline Calloway

Following-up from yesterday, "The Case of Caroline Calloway and the Influencer Economy."

See Robert Stacy McCain, at the Other McCain, "Caroline Calloway and the ‘Creativity Workshop’ Influencer Tour From Hell."

Miss Calloway is 27 now. She’s no longer the fresh-faced girl posting #adventuregram photos and spending Daddy’s money on an extended vacation “studying art history” in Cambridge. She’s got hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers but has yet to succeed in monetizing her “brand” because she’s unwilling to do any actual work.

Like, you land a $500,000 book contact — half a million dollars! — at age 24, and you can’t deliver the manuscript? Why? Because you were too busy “studying art history” and hanging out with Oscar? Or was it because you realized that your shallow life wasn’t really interesting enough to merit a “memoir”? But if somebody’s willing to pay you $500,000 for it, maybe you could fake it? For $500,000 I could write all kinds of wild stuff, maybe even the True Story of the Kentucky Fried Chicken Robbery, although otherwise I’d have to invoke my Fifth Amendment rights on advice of my Samoan lawyer...

Can Dems Keep a 'Big Tent' in 2020?


It's going to be a two year clown show at this point.

At McClathcy, "Democratic leaders fret: Can we keep our big tent in 2020?"

Sarah Snyder Bikini Shots


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Case of Caroline Calloway and the Influencer Economy

Every semester I have students read this Cal Newport op-ed at the New York Times, "Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend on It."

When I announce this as required first week's readings I usually see a few frowns and long faces, and one semester a student challenged me about the article, saying that people make money as "influencers," or some such thing.

The influencer thing was new to me at the time, but I got it. Nowadays it's a big thing.

I really like Sally Fitzgibbons, for example, but she's so into the product promotions, she never even likes a tweet from a follower. (I like interaction. I've had likes from television stars [Angie Harmon, for example] and lots of interaction with hot sports media and television personalities [like Liz Habib, who's the local Fox 11 sports anchor and a smokin' hottie].)

In any case, you can see why I'm not so sold on the "influencer economy." And after reading this bombshell from Kayleigh Donaldson, it's case closed.

See, "The Empty Mason Jar of the Influencer Economy: The Case of Caroline Calloway and her Creativity Workshop Tour."

Mind-boggling, really. (*SMH.*)

Nina Agdal Takes It Off

At Drunken Stepfather, "NINA AGDAL NAKED OF THE DAY."

And at the Sun U.K., "Supermodel Nina Agdal shows off sensational figure as she poses in white bikini."

Still more at the New York Post, "Nina Agdal says she wouldn’t date Jack Brinkley-Cook if he were broke."

BONUS: Nina Agdal Topless.

Caroline Vreeland Bikini Photos


Monday, January 14, 2019

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Barry Meier, Pain Killer

At Amazon, Barry Meier, Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America's Opioid Epidemic.

Sophie Mackintosh, The Water Cure

At Amazon, Sophie Mackintosh, The Water Cure: A Novel.

Helen Flanagan in Yellow Bikini

At Taxi Driver:

Diarmaid MacCulloch, Thomas Cromwell

At Amazon, Diarmaid MacCulloch, Thomas Cromwell: A Revolutionary Life.

'This is Communism'

It is.

See David Horowitz on Twitter:

Myla Dalbesio Up Close with Flamingos (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:

Democrats Look to Clamp Down Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (VIDEO)

Norms? What norms?

Well, she didn't get an assignment to the Ways and Means Committee, but she won't stop shaking things up on the Hill.

Wait 'till next year. If she backs primary challenges against centrist Democrat incumbents, you know she's going all out to overturn the entire centrist-seniority system in the House.

At Politico, "Exasperated Democrats try to rein in Ocasio-Cortez: The effort is part carrot, part stick. But it's far from clear the anti-establishment political novice can be made to play ball":

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is already making enemies in the House Democratic Caucus — and some of its members are mounting an operation to bring the anti-establishment, democratic socialist with 2.2 million Twitter followers into the fold.

The effort, described by nearly 20 lawmakers and aides, is part carrot, part stick: Some lawmakers with ties to Ocasio-Cortez are hoping to coax her into using her star power to unite Democrats and turn her fire on Republicans. Others simultaneously warn Ocasio-Cortez is destined for a lonely, ineffectual career in Congress if she continues to treat her own party as the enemy.

“I’m sure Ms. Cortez means well, but there’s almost an outstanding rule: Don’t attack your own people,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.). “We just don’t need sniping in our Democratic Caucus.”

Incumbent Democrats are most annoyed by Ocasio-Cortez’s threat to back primary opponents against members of their ranks she deems too moderate. But their frustration goes beyond that: Democratic leaders are upset that she railed against their new set of House rules on Twitter the first week of the new Congress. Rank and file are peeved that there’s a grassroots movement to try to win her a top committee post they feel she doesn’t deserve.

Even some progressives who admire AOC, as she’s nicknamed, told POLITICO that they worry she’s not using her notoriety effectively.

“She needs to decide: Does she want to be an effective legislator or just continue being a Twitter star?” said one House Democrat who’s in lockstep with Ocasio Cortez’s ideology. “There’s a difference between being an activist and a lawmaker in Congress.”

It’s an open question whether Ocasio-Cortez can be checked. She’s barely been in Congress a week and is better known than almost any other House member other than Nancy Pelosi and John Lewis. A media throng follows her every move, and she can command a national audience practically at will.

None of that came playing by the usual rules: Indeed, Ocasio-Cortez’s willingness to take on her party establishment with unconventional guerrilla tactics is what got her here. It’s earned her icon status on the progressive left, it’s where the 29-year-old freshman derives her power — and, by every indication, it’s how she thinks she can pull the Democratic Party in her direction.

The Freedom Caucus didn’t win many popularity contests in Congress the past four years, but it’s hard to dispute the hard-liners’ success dragging the GOP to the right.

Still, fellow Democrats are giving it their best, or planning to in the near future.

So far, most of them have kept their criticism of Ocasio-Cortez private, fearful she’ll sic her massive following on them by firing off a tweet. But a few are engaging with her in the hopes she’ll opt for a different M.O., especially when it comes to trying to take out Democrats in primaries.

Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) is playing a key role. Like Ocasio-Cortez, Velázquez knocked off a longtime Democratic incumbent to win her seat, and they share Puerto Rican roots.

In private conversations with Ocasio-Cortez over the past few months, Velázquez counseled Ocasio-Cortez against targeting her Democratic colleagues in future elections. The two had a “long, long conversation” about the dynamics of Congress and Washington, and how there shouldn’t be a “litmus test” for every district, Velázquez said in a recent interview.

After she defeated Democratic incumbent Joe Crowley in shocking fashion last year, Ocasio-Cortez supported primary challengers to Democratic Reps. Stephanie Murphy of Florida, William Lacy Clay of Missouri and Mike Capuano of Massachusetts.

Only Capuano lost. But Velázquez told Ocasio-Cortez she should think twice in the future before backing primaries against her colleagues. Murphy, the first Vietnamese woman elected to Congress, represents a swing district and could lose her seat if she’s forced to move left in a primary, Velázquez said during the talk...

Sunday Cartoons

At Flopping Aces, "Sunday Funnies."

And at Theo's, "Cartoon Roundup..."

And at Legal Insurrection, "Branco Cartoon – That Was Then."

Danielle Gersh's Sunday Forecast

Here's the fabulous Ms. Danielle, "Increasing cloud cover and colder temperatures expected Sunday before several storms move into the Southland this week..."

PG&E Prepares for Bankruptcy

This is big! At LAT, "PG&E may notify its employees this week of potential bankruptcy."

Bella Thorne Promotes 'F*** Me' Lip Stain (VIDEO)

She's still crazy, heh.