Thursday, February 28, 2019

'Walk This Way'

From yesterday morning's drive-time, at 93.1 Jack FM, "Walk This Way" (Run DMC cover).


It's Still Rock & Roll To Me
Billy Joel
9:16am

Hold Me Now
Thompson Twins
9:11am

Take Me Out
Franz Ferdinand
9:07am

Little Red Corvette
PRINCE
9:02am

Landslide
Fleetwood Mac
8:52am

I Ran
Flock Of Seagulls
8:48am

Like A Stone
Audioslave
8:43am

Bette Davis Eyes
Kim Carnes
8:39am

Smells Like Teen Spirit
Nirvana
8:34am

Walk This Way
Run-D.M.C.
8:22am


Islamist Democrat Rashida Tlaib Calls Out Rep. Mark Meadows for Bringing 'Black Friend' to Committee Hearing (VIDEO)

Following-up from last night, "Michael Cohen's Opening Statement to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform (VIDEO)."

Background at the Daily Beast, FWIW, "Cohen Hearing Explodes After Rashida Tlaib Calls Out Mark Meadows’ ‘Black Friend’ Stunt."

And the videos:





Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Michael Cohen's Opening Statement to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform (VIDEO)

I was teaching all morning and early afternoon, and didn't get a chance to watch live.

Here's the video in any case. I'm going to watch it and have more to say later.

Via CNN:



Also at Memeorandum, "Michael Cohen's Testimony: Live Updates."

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

'You Got Lucky'

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, at 93.1 Jack FM, from last night while out with my older son.

"You Got Lucky."


Hold The Line
Toto
8:14pm

Still Haven't Found What...
U2
8:10pm

Safety Dance
Men Without Hats
8:05pm

Black Hole Sun
Soundgarden
8:02pm

In The Air Tonight
Phil Collins
7:49pm

Beverly Hills
Weezer
7:46pm

Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Queen
7:43pm

Let's Dance
David Bowie
7:39pm

Whatever It Takes
Imagine Dragons
7:36pm

You Got Lucky
Tom Petty
7:32pm

'Is It OK to Still Have Children?'

Man, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just won't quit, and thank goodness!

The woman's a godsend for American politics, heh.

Click through and watch the video at the link, "Ocasio-Cortez on Climate Change: ‘Is It OK to Still Have Children?’"

And at the New Republic, "Is It Cruel to Have Kids in the Era of Climate Change?":


In one of his early works, the nineteenth-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche relayed an Ancient Greek legend about King Midas pursuing the satyr Silenus, a wise companion of the god Dionysus. When Midas finally captures Silenus, he asks him what “the best thing of all for men” is. “The very best thing for you is totally unreachable,” Silenus replies: “not to have been born, not to exist, to be nothing.”

Raphael Samuel, a 27-year-old from Mumbai, offered an echo of this argument to the BBC this month. Samuel plans to sue his parents for bringing him into a world of suffering without his consent. “Why should I suffer? Why must I be stuck in traffic? Why must I work? Why must I face wars? Why must I feel pain or depression? Why should I do anything when I don’t want to? Many questions. One answer,” Samuel wrote on his Facebook page: “Someone had you for their ‘pleasure.’”

Once, such thoughts might have seemed far-fetched or even self-indulgent. Today, however, similar reasoning—known as “antinatalism—seems to be spreading as potential future parents contemplate bringing children into a world climate change is likely to devastate. “Why did you have me?” Samuel asked his parents as a child. If the bleak scenarios about the planet’s future come to fruition, will parents have a satisfying answer to such questions?

Once, such thoughts might have seemed far-fetched or even self-indulgent. Today, however, similar reasoning—known as “antinatalism—seems to be spreading as potential future parents contemplate bringing children into a world climate change is likely to devastate. “Why did you have me?” Samuel asked his parents as a child. If the bleak scenarios about the planet’s future come to fruition, will parents have a satisfying answer to such questions?

The basic antinatalist argument is simple, albeit easily misunderstood. As philosopher David Benatar argued in a 2006 antinatalist treatise, life is full of suffering and strife, the moments of pleasure and happiness few, transitory, and elusive, and ultimately it all ends in death. This is not the same as saying that life is not worth living, if you happen to be alive—for one thing, living and then facing death can involve its own physical and emotional pain. The argument is rather that it would have been better never to have been born in the first place. Some lives can indeed be rather satisfactory, even rewarding. But as a potential future parent, you are taking a risk on your child’s behalf, because, Benatar kindly reminds us, “there is a wide range of appalling fates that can befall any child that is brought into existence: starvation, rape, abuse, assault, serious mental illness, infectious disease, malignancy, paralysis.”

Which brings us to a risk unique to the twenty-first century: climate change. According to the 2018 report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, humanity has only 12 years left to prevent global warming from reaching levels that would result in the poverty of millions and the greatest displacement of people in the history of humanity as they flee extreme drought and floods. Such events also tend to involve violent conflict. The political community’s tepid response to climate change so far, with world leaders like Donald Trump and Jair Bolsanaro refusing to acknowledge global warming as real, let alone as urgent, makes it hard to be optimistic. Given the very real possibility that life will be much worse for the next generation as a result of the global instability, some, recent trend pieces report, are thinking twice about becoming parents.

One might argue that, like Benatar’s catalogue of human suffering, this response is overly pessimistic. Hardship is nothing new. Life can be meaningful despite it, and sometimes even because of it. Strife gives you something to work towards, purpose; it’s what gives life meaning, not what makes it meaningless.

But if climate change causes wars to break out, would one still choose to birth children into a high likelihood of violent death? And if the looming 12-year deadline is missed, and further temperature increases become statistically inevitable, what purpose could life have in the face of an unavoidable, collective downfall? At least people living today still have the agency to change things. But bringing children into a decaying world, without even the opportunity to do something about it, seems a cruel fate to inflict on someone, especially your own child...
Still more.

But let's be honest: Leftists don't want more babies because they believe that growing populations will bring about the global warming apocalypse. If the current generation stops procreating we can save the planet. The good thing about this, I guess, is that sooner or later everyone dies. Yes, good people will die, but fortunately diabolical anti-human leftists will die too, so burn it all down. If humans are a cancer on the earth, and that's what leftists believe, then fuck 'em. Party like it's 2099. And f**kin' burn it all down.

After Five Failed Attempts to Escape Islamic State, This Yazidi Woman Tried One Last Time

At the Washington Post, "After five failed attempts to escape ISIS slavery, she tried one last time":


AMUDA, Syria — The walk to freedom lasted 53 hours, and the little boy cried all the way. It wasn’t their first escape attempt — she’d tried five times before to flee the Islamic State — but they would be shot on the spot if the militants caught them now.

They passed corpses in the darkness, and when exhaustion overwhelmed them, they huddled together and slept on the dusty path. Faryal whispered reassurances to her 5-year-old son, telling him that his grandparents were waiting and that, after four years as prisoners of the Islamic State, they were finally going home. He wouldn’t believe her.

“He was terrified,” she said, recounting their escape this month. “I held his hand and we just kept walking.”

As members of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, a largely Kurdish-speaking religious group, the pair had escaped what the United Nations has called a genocide. Islamic State militants kidnapped thousands of Yazidis on a single day in August 2014, massacring the men and dumping them in mass graves, and forcing the women into sexual slavery.

During her captivity, Faryal said she had six different owners, at times being passed on when a fighter wanted a new sexual partner or simply to settle a debt. “Monsters who treated us like animals,” is how she described them.

The atrocities committed against the Yazidis had initially prompted the United States to launch airstrikes against the militants and begin a military campaign to roll back the Islamic State’s caliphate that now, four years later, could end within days. U.S.-backed forces have the last Islamic State holdouts surrounded in the eastern Syrian hamlet of Baghouz.

In photographs, taken by aid workers on the night of her escape, a male companion hides his face but Faryal looks straight out at the camera. Her hazel eyes are fixed in a quiet stare. Her son’s face is wet with tears, and he’s sobbing. “I can’t put into words how I was feeling at that moment,” she said. “All I could think was: ‘Please, take me away from here.’ ”

Faryal, 20, told her story last week in the northern Syrian town of Amuda after being transferred there by the U.S.-backed Kurdish forces that rescued them. Throughout the interview, she kept a watchful eye on Hoshyar, her son, pulling him close as he cried and then trying, without success, to make him laugh. Details of her account were corroborated by members of her family in northern Iraq and through a team of Yazidi activists that had communicated with her secretly for months before the escape in attempts to smuggle her to safety.

Young child brutalized

The day before Faryal’s life changed forever in 2014 had dawned like any other in the Iraqi village of Tel Banat. She puttered around the house looking after her infant son Hoshyar, she recalled. By midday, the sun was roasting, and although rumors had swirled for weeks that Islamic State forces were drawing closer, few in Tel Banat were aware of the coming storm.

The Islamist militants arrived at dusk.

“We couldn’t run fast enough,” Faryal remembered, describing how she and 10 members of her extended family had piled into a car and joined an epic exodus. Yazidi towns and villages around Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq emptied within hours as more than 100,000 people fled to higher ground. Faryal and her husband, Hashem, made it only a few miles before militants blocked their path.

Yazidis have long faced persecution from more powerful religious groups for their beliefs, in part because of a false but commonly-held impression that they worship the sun, or the devil. There are fewer than 1 million Yazidis worldwide, and according to the United Nations, the Islamic State had intended to entirely wipe out those within their reach.

Yazidi men and boys who had reached puberty were separated from the women and other children and often shot dead at roadsides. Women were bused to temporary holding sites and then sold to Islamic State fighters at slave markets.

Islamic State clerics had decided that having slaves was religiously sanctioned, institutionalizing sexual violence across their caliphate. Women have reported being tied to beds during daily assaults. They were sold from man to man. Gang rape was common.

Many women and girls committed suicide in the opening months of captivity, according to Yazidi rights groups. Others harmed themselves to appear less appealing to fighters who might consider buying them.

Faryal recalled that an Islamic State fighter who was Iraqi and called himself Abu Kattab was her worst abuser. Hoshyar was abused, too, Faryal said. Abu Kattab beat him so badly there were hand prints on his face. Another had forced the boy’s arm onto a hot plate.

“He was so small, but for some reason the fighters hated him,” Faryal said. “I could never explain to him why.”

As the boy sat beside his mother last week, his eyes moved slowly from side to side as if scanning the room for threats. His blond hair was cut in jagged chunks. He did not speak and he did not smile...
More.

Monday, February 25, 2019

The Green New Mess (VIDEO)

An excellent segment, from Tucker Carlson:



Chantel Jeffries Definition

At Drunken Stepfather, "Chantel Jeffries Pussy Definition of the Day."

And on Twitter.



'Green Book' is So Not the Best Picture

This is a devastating take-down, man.

From Justin Chang, at the Los Angeles Times, "Oscars 2019: ‘Green Book’ is the worst best picture winner since ‘Crash’":


“Green Book” is the worst best picture Oscar winner since “Crash,” and I don’t make the comparison lightly.

Like that 2005 movie, Peter Farrelly’s interracial buddy dramedy is insultingly glib and hucksterish, a self-satisfied crock masquerading as an olive branch. It reduces the long, barbaric and ongoing history of American racism to a problem, a formula, a dramatic equation that can be balanced and solved. “Green Book” is an embarrassment; the film industry’s unquestioning embrace of it is another.

The differences between the two movies are as telling as the similarities. “Crash,” a modern-day screamfest that racked up cross-cultural tensions by the minute, meant to leave you angry and wrung-out. Its Oscar triumph was a genuine shocker; it clearly had its fans, but for many its inferiority was self-evident.

“Green Book,” a slick crowd-pleaser set in the Deep South in 1962, strains to put you in a good mood. Its victory is appalling but far from shocking: From the moment it won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, the first of several key precursors it would pick up en route to Sunday’s Oscars ceremony, the movie was clearly a much more palatable brand of godawful.

In telling the story of the brilliant, erudite jazz pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), who is chauffeured on his Southern concert tour by a rough-edged Italian-American bouncer named Tony “Lip” Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen), “Green Book” serves up bald-faced clichés and stereotypes with a drollery that almost qualifies as disarming.

Mortensen and Ali, who won the Oscar for best supporting actor, are superb performers with smooth timing and undeniable chemistry. The movie wades into the muck and mire of white supremacy, cracks a few wince-worthy jokes, gasps in horror at a black man’s abuse and humiliation (all while maintaining a safe, tasteful distance from it), then digs up a nugget of uplift to send you home with, a little token of virtue to go with that smile on your face.

There is something about the anger and defensiveness provoked by this particular picture that makes reasonable disagreement unusually difficult.

I can tell I’ve already annoyed some of you, though if you take more offense at what I’ve written than you do at “Green Book,” there may not be much more to say. Differences in taste are nothing new, but there is something about the anger and defensiveness provoked by this particular picture that makes reasonable disagreement unusually difficult. Maybe “Green Book” really is the movie of the year after all — not the best movie, but the one that best captures the polarization that arises whenever the conversation shifts toward matters of race, privilege and the all-important question of who gets to tell whose story.

I’ll concede this much to “Green Book’s” admirers: They understandably love this movie’s sturdy craft, its feel-good storytelling and its charmingly synched lead performances. They appreciate its ostensibly hard-hitting portrait of the segregated South (as noted by U.S. Rep. John R. Lewis, who presented a montage to the film on Oscar night) and find its plea for mutual understanding both laudable and heartwarming. I know I speak for some of the movie’s detractors when I say I find that plea both dishonest and dispiritingly retrograde, a shopworn ideal of racial reconciliation propped up by a story that unfolds almost entirely from a white protagonist’s incurious perspective.

“Green Book” has been most often compared not to “Crash” but to an older, more genteel best picture winner, 1989’s “Driving Miss Daisy,” another movie that attempted to bridge the racial divide through the story of a driver and his employer in the American South. “Driving Miss Daisy” was adapted from Alfred Uhry’s play; “Green Book” was co-written by Nick Vallelonga (with Brian Currie and Farrelly), drawn from the stories he heard from his father, Tony. The truth of those stories has been called into question by many, including Shirley’s family, which wasn’t consulted during production and which dismissed the movie as “a symphony of lies.”

Historical accuracy is, of course, just one criterion by which to judge a narrative drawn from real events, and a movie could theoretically play fast and loose with the facts and still arrive at a place of compelling emotional truth. Distortions and omissions can be interesting in what they reveal about a filmmaker’s intentions, and “Green Book,” whether you like it or not, does not have a particularly high regard for your intelligence. In its one-sided presentation and its presumptuous filtering of Shirley’s perspective through Vallelonga’s, the movie reeks of bad faith and cluelessly embodies the white-supremacist attitudes it’s ostensibly decrying.

That cluelessness has been well-documented. Earlier this season, Vanity Fair critic K. Austin Collins pointed out the gall of a white filmmaker blithely psychoanalyzing a black man’s alienation from his own blackness (especially when it takes the form of jokes about Aretha Franklin and fried chicken). Vulture’s Mark Harris aptly described “Green Book” as “a but also movie, a both sides movie” that draws a false equivalency between Vallelonga’s vulgar bigotry and Shirley’s emotional aloofness, forcing both characters — not just the racist white dude — to learn something about themselves and each other.

It’s a tactic, Harris noted, whose echoes can even be found in a terrific older movie (and best picture winner) like “In the Heat of the Night,” and it exists mainly to reassure any audience that might be uncomfortable with a black man gaining the moral high ground.

You would hope that in 2019 — even in a 1962-set movie — such strategic pandering would be a thing of the past. But in “Green Book,” we should be especially nauseated by how crudely the deck is stacked against Don Shirley from the get-go. A more honest, complex and tough-minded movie might have run the risk of actually becoming Shirley’s story, of letting the much more interesting of these two characters slip into the metaphorical driver’s seat. (The fact that Ali was pushed as a supporting actor to Mortensen’s lead campaign is telling in all the wrong ways.) But there isn’t a single scene that feels authentically like the character’s own, that speaks to Shirley’s experience and no one else’s.

His intelligence and elegant diction is continually Otherized. (Vallelonga’s intellectual inferiority is mocked as well, but the picture’s sympathies couldn’t be more clearly on his side.) The movie makes little attempt to parse or appreciate his musical gifts critically; Shirley’s artistic brilliance, much like his alcoholism or his homosexuality, is deemed interesting only insofar as it changes Vallelonga’s opinion of him...
More.

I didn't see it, and I don't know if I'm interested at all now, after reading this evisceration.

Frankly, 2018 wasn't the best year for cinema:


Kurt Schlichter, Militant Normals

*BUMPED.*

Here's Kurt Schlichter's new book, at Amazon, Militant Normals: How Regular Americans Are Rebelling Against the Elite to Reclaim Our Democracy.



Saturday, February 23, 2019

Cherry Bomb

The Runaways, just a little while ago, at 93.1 Jack FM Los Angeles:

Down Under
Men At Work
10:36pm

Highway Tune
Greta Van Fleet
10:33pm

Walk This Way
Run-D.M.C.
10:24pm

Surrender
Cheap Trick
10:20pm

Cherry Bomb
Runaways
10:18pm

Cherry Bomb
Weezer
10:14pm

Undone (The Sweater Song)
Weezer
10:14pm

Panama
Van Halen
10:10pm

I Melt With You
Modern English
10:06pm

Been Caught Stealing
Jane's Addiction
10:03pm

Life In The Fast Lane
Eagles
9:52pm


Snow Comes to SoCal

That Arctic freeze reached all the way down to sunny SoCal. Folks walked out to snowfall on the ground and didn't know what it was, lol.

At LAT, "Snow comes to L.A., with powder in Malibu, Pasadena, West Hollywood":


Xavier Bias walked out of the Whole Foods Market in Pasadena and saw another woman looking to the ground puzzled at the white stuff covering the sidewalk.

The woman wasn’t sure exactly what she was looking at. But Bias, who is originally from the East Coast, quickly set her straight.

It was snow.

“People didn’t know what it was,” Bias said. “I was like, no, this is snow.”

It was that kind of day in some parts of Southern California, where snow dropped at extremely low elevation levels, creating a winter wonderland for a short while. Snow fell in Malibu, Pasadena, West Hollywood, Northridge, San Bernardino, Thousand Oaks and other unexpected places.

Snow level hit the 1,000-foot mark, bringing tiny bits of the white stuff into neighborhoods that had not seen snow in decades. But the show was fleeting, lasting in most cases a few minutes before the sun melted anything that had hit the ground.

By Thursday evening, the storms were moving east, with officials saying the snow elevation level had dropped to 800 feet in Orange County. Snow plows were clearing Ortega Highway between Lake Elsinore and San Juan Capistrano.

An unusually chilly storm system that originated in Alberta, Canada, was lingering over Nevada and had already blanketed Las Vegas with snow early Thursday. Before daybreak, snow was falling in parts of the Southland, dusting Palmdale and the Lucerne Valley. By the early afternoon, it was snowing across Southern California and winter weather had forced the closure of the 5 Freeway through the Grapevine.

“This is probably the coldest storm system I’ve seen in my time in California,” said David Sweet, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. “We’ve had cold mornings and freeze conditions, but I don’t remember seeing anything quite this cold.”

Forecasters predict that up to 6 inches of powder could fall in the eastern San Gabriel Mountains. Sweet said snow could fall in the Santa Monica Mountains and even some sections of the Hollywood Hills.

By around noon, the predictions were proving to be true.

“We’re seeing a little bit of everything out there,” said Eric Boldt, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

After seeing the confusion on social media and as residents began calling in to the weather service, Boldt took it upon himself to clear things up.

“Correct, that is snow! Lots of confusion today,” he posted on the National Weather Service’s Twitter account.

He explained that if the precipitation bounces off the ground, then it contains ice, which would make it hail or sleet. If it floats, it’s snow. In many areas, residents reported seeing small slushy balls, which Boldt said is graupel, snowflakes slightly melted and bunched together...
More.

The Air Force is Buying New F-15s

This is really cool.

At Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Air Force Is Buying New F-15s After All: The F-15X will complement the F-22 and F-35 in tomorrow's aerial battlefields."


Perris Child-Torturing Parents Plead Guilty, Face Possible 25 Years-to-Life in Prison

Well, they certainly deserve it.

The parents from hell pleaded guilty, and they're going away for a long time.

At LAT, "Perris couple plead guilty to torturing their 13 children":

The Turpin siblings were tortured and abused by their parents for years in ways so extreme, prosecutors said, it appeared to have caused malnutrition, cognitive impairment and nerve damage in some of them.

Since being freed last year from a Perris home, the 13 siblings have had to rebuild their lives.

All that time, they have also had to contend with the prospect of a trial — of being called to testify and having to relive, in front of their parents and the public, the horrific treatment they suffered, said Jack Osborn, an attorney who represents the adult children.

“The issue of their parents’ trial has always been weighing heavy with them,” Osborn said.

So the siblings were relieved to learn earlier this month that their parents, David and Louise Turpin, had each agreed to plead guilty to 14 felony charges, ending the prospect of a trial, Osborn said.

The Turpins entered those pleas Friday during a short hearing in Riverside County Superior Court. They are expected to be sentenced in April to 25 years to life in prison, Riverside County Dist. Atty. Mike Hestrin said.

The charges include one count of torture, four of false imprisonment, six of cruelty to adult dependents and three of willful child cruelty.

Hestrin told the siblings, now ages 3 to 30, about the plea agreement during a meeting this month at his Riverside offices.

“It was a very good day for them to be all together,” Hestrin said, recalling the meeting during a news conference Friday.

The story of the abuse the Turpin children suffered made headlines around the world and left their neighbors struggling to understand how the cruelty could have gone unnoticed for so long.

Prosecutors have said the couple subjected their children to abuse and neglect for years, dating back to when the family lived in Texas in the 1990s and continuing after they moved to California several years ago.

It was brought to an end by the brave act of their then-17-year-old daughter who, early one morning in January 2018, summoned the courage to climb out a window and call 911 to ask for help.

The girl told a dispatcher that her little sisters were chained up, that they would wake up crying at night, and that they wanted her to “call somebody and tell them.”

When deputies entered the Turpin home on Muir Woods Road, they discovered a nightmarish scene, including two young girls who had been chained to their bed for weeks.

The chains were punishment for stealing candy, investigators were later told.

Twelve of the 13 siblings were so frail and malnourished that deputies at first assumed they were all minors; they later learned that seven were adults. The youngest child, a toddler, appeared to have been spared the lack of food, prosecutors said.

Deputies arrested the couple, and shortly after, Riverside County prosecutors filed dozens of charges against them related to allegations of abuse, captivity and torture of the children. Additional charges of child abuse were later filed against both parents, along with a charge of felony assault against Louise Turpin and a perjury count against David Turpin.

In June, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Bernard Schwartz ordered the couple to stand trial after finding sufficient evidence to support 49 of 50 charges.

The Turpins initially pleaded not guilty to all charges last year.

Prosecutors had been gathering evidence and preparing for trial, but after continued conversations with the defense, Hestrin said the Turpins opted for a plea agreement.

“This is among the worst, most aggravated child abuse cases that I have ever seen or been involved in in my career as a prosecutor,” he said.

Hestrin said he had hoped to spare the children any further trauma that might come with a trial...

'Nasty Woman' Amy Klobuchar is a Horrible Boss

I'm not sure what it is, but the New York Times let loose on Senator Klobachar. I mean, seriously, this is taking her down a few pegs, to say the least. She's seriously a "nasty woman," and an effing bitch, if this report is to be believed.

RTWT.



Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Kirsten Powers Apologizes

Boy, she's really gone off the deep end.

At USA Today, "I'm not proud of role I’ve played in toxic public debate. I plan to change."

We need to have humility and realize that there but for the grace of God go I. It’s easy to delude yourself that you would never do whatever today’s designated bad person is accused of doing. But don’t be so sure. Given the wrong circumstances, people would be surprised at what they are capable of doing.

We also need to recognize what we are doing: It’s called scapegoating.

In the Bible, a scapegoat was an animal burdened with the sins of others through a ritual, then driven away. This is in effect what our society does when we designate certain people to bear our collective sins. Once it's discovered that a person behaved in a racist, homophobic or misogynist way — often in the distant past — she is banished from society, creating a sense that something has been accomplished. That somehow there has been atoning because someone was punished.

This creates two problems: First, the systemic problem still exists. Second, one person is not responsible for the sins of everyone. People should not be treated as disposable and banished in perpetuity with no path to restoration with society. Would you want that to happen to you?

It’s critical to remember that people simply are not the sum of their worst moments in life. Go back through your life and write down every terrible thing you have done or said, and now imagine a video of it is on the internet. Would you want that to be the record of your life? Don’t underestimate the power of denial. I frequently hear people who I knew to be homophobic 20 years ago express indignance over anyone who doesn’t support same-sex marriage today with no sense of self-awareness...
She attacked Nicholas Sandmann, and when the fact exonerated him, she hedged and doubled down. I predicted she'd regret it, and I was right.

Still more at the link.

CNN Hires Smokin' Hottie Sarah Isgur

She's a hot chick. I can see why progressives went nuts: they're jealous.

The women's also a flaming hot MAGA conservative and former spokeswoman for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Who cares if she's got no formal "journalistic experience"? I mean, c'mon, no one's ever heard of George Stephanopoulos? *Eye roll.*

At the Daily Beast, with a nice photo of this luscious babe:


Georgia Gibbs Heats Things Up (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:



Nicholas Sandmann's Family Sues Washington Post for $250 Million (VIDEO)

Robert Stacy McCain reports, "Can Nick Sandmann Win? Covington Student Sues the Washington Post."

Plus, here's Lin Wood on Twitter, and the total exoneration video posted below:




Hard Joy Corrigan

At Drunken Stepfather, "Joy Corrigan Hard Nipples of the Day."

Sarah Smarsh, Heartland

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Sarah Smarsh, Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth.



Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Monday, February 18, 2019

Twitter Blackout: #48Dark

I saw Michelle Malkin tweeting about this earlier. I'm trying to observe the blackout. I'm getting my news on Twitter, but haven't tweeted anything today.

Loomer's a real corker.




Republicans Already Demonizing #Democrats as Socialists and Baby Killers?

It's not like Republicans are making anything up.

The Dems are an out-and-out socialist party and it's going to cost them at the polls in 2020.

Here's the New York Times, at Memeorandum, "Republicans Already Are Demonizing Democrats as Socialists and Baby Killers."


And at the Los Angeles Times, a good piece, "Trump raises a new menace — socialism — and Democrats can’t agree how to respond":

When Democrats unveiled their “Green New Deal” to fight climate change, the Republican response was swift and strikingly uniform.

“A socialist wish list,” said a spokesman for the national party.

“The socialist Democrats are off to a great start!” exclaimed a spokesman for the GOP’s congressional campaign committee.

“Socialism may begin with the best of intentions, but it always ends with the Gestapo,” chimed in Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, invoking Winston Churchill.

The echo was no accident. Rather, it marked a purposeful shift in rhetoric and political strategy as President Trump and his party increasingly focus on his reelection and wield the S-word, socialism, as their preferred weapon.

The president faces an uphill battle — his poll numbers are some of the worst in history and he just faced a drubbing in November’s midterm election. One way to boost Trump’s prospects is to shift the focus from his turbulent tenure to his eventual opponent and his frightful portrayal of that alternative.

The effort began with his State of the Union speech. “We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country,” he said, in what has quickly become a campaign staple.

It is both an old and new tactic.

The president’s political rise has been replete with dark and scary imagery and perceived threats of his own making. Marauding street gangs. Rapists, drug dealers, murderers spilling across the country’s border with Mexico. By invoking a socialist threat, he summons — at least for those of a certain age — the whiff of Red Menace, bread lines and an assault on democracy and the country’s foundational free-enterprise system.

“It’s the sense of something foreign, something un-American,” said Stephanie Mudge, a UC Davis sociologist and author of a book on left-of-center politics in the U.S. and abroad.

It also divides Democrats in a way emotional issues such as immigration, abortion and gun control generally do not.

For many younger Americans — saddled with college debt, struggling to find an affordable place to live — socialism has a more benign connotation, promising a fairer distribution of wealth and greater economic opportunity. A Gallup Poll in August found that 51% of Americans between the ages of 19 and 29 had a positive view of socialism, compared with 45% in that age group who viewed capitalism in a favorable light.

“They don’t have the legacy of the Cold War and that narrative about the West, freedom and capitalism versus the Soviet Union and authoritarian communism,” said Maria Svart, national director of the Democratic Socialists of America and, at age 38, a millennial voter.

She welcomes a debate over socialism as a chance to discuss social justice and economic inequality and ways to achieve both. “It’s absolutely the moment to shine,” Svart said. “The more people that hear our message, the better.”

That is not, however, a view that is widely shared, even among Democrats.

Peter Hart cited a September NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll he conducted that overall found strongly positive sentiments toward capitalism and negative views of socialism — attitudes, he said, that could undermine support for popular Democratic positions like expanding healthcare coverage and fighting climate change if Trump manages to define the terms of the debate...
Keep reading.

'Pretty Woman'

Some afternoon drive time, from running errands a little while ago, at 93.1 Jack FM Los Angeles.

Van Halen's cover of Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman":


Life in the Fast Lane
Eagles
2:17pm

Even Flow
Pearl Jam
2:12pm

Hungry Like The Wolf
Duran Duran
2:08pm

(Oh) Pretty Woman
Van Halen
2:05pm

Something Just Like This
Coldplay / The Chainsmokers
2:01pm

In Your Eyes
Peter Gabriel
1:50pm

Kim Kardashian Wears 'Shocking' Nipple-Strap Gown at Hollywood Beauty Awards on Sunday

At E! News and People Magazine:

Friday, February 15, 2019

Robin Holzken Sexy Shoot (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:



Selena Gomez Swimsuit

At Drunken Stepfather, "SELENA GOMEZ SWIMSUIT OF THE DAY."

A Strategy to Save the Liberal International Order

A great piece, from Jennifer Lind and William Wohlforth, at Foreign Affairs, "The Future of the Liberal Order Is Conservative: A Strategy to Save the System":


The liberal world order is in peril. Seventy-five years after the United States helped found it, this global system of alliances, institutions, and norms is under attack like never before. From within, the order is contending with growing populism, nationalism, and authoritarianism. Externally, it faces mounting pressure from a pugnacious Russia and a rising China. At stake is the survival of not just the order itself but also the unprecedented economic prosperity and peace it has nurtured.

The order is clearly worth saving, but the question is how. Keep calm and carry on, some of its defenders argue; today’s difficulties will pass, and the order is resilient enough to survive them. Others appreciate the gravity of the crisis but insist that the best response is to vigorously reaffirm the order’s virtues and confront its external challengers. Bold Churchillian moves—sending more American troops to Syria, offering Ukraine more help to kick out pro-Russian forces—would help make the liberal international order great again. Only by doubling down on the norms and institutions that made the liberal world order so successful, they say, can that order be saved.

Such defenders of the order tend to portray the challenge as a struggle between liberal countries trying to sustain the status quo and dissatisfied authoritarians seeking to revise it. What they miss, however, is that for the past 25 years, the international order crafted by and for liberal states has itself been profoundly revisionist, aggressively exporting democracy and expanding in both depth and breadth. The scale of the current problems means that more of the same is not viable; the best response is to make the liberal order more conservative. Instead of expanding it to new places and new domains, the United States and its partners should consolidate the gains the order has reaped.

The debate over U.S. grand strategy has traditionally been portrayed as a choice between retrenchment and ambitious expansionism. Conservatism offers a third way: it is a prudent option that seeks to preserve what has been won and minimize the chances that more will be lost. From a conservative vantage point, the United States’ other choices—at one extreme, undoing long-standing alliances and institutions or, at the other extreme, further extending American power and spreading American values—represent dangerous experiments. This is especially so in an era when great-power politics has returned and the relative might of the countries upholding the order has shrunk.

It is time for Washington and its liberal allies to gird themselves for a prolonged period of competitive coexistence with illiberal great powers, time to shore up existing alliances rather than add new ones, and time to get out of the democracy-promotion business. Supporters of the order may protest this shift, deeming it capitulation. On the contrary, conservatism is the best way to preserve the global position of the United States and its allies—and save the order they built.

A REVISIONIST ORDER

Since World War II, the United States has pursued its interests in part by creating and maintaining the web of institutions, norms, and rules that make up the U.S.-led liberal order. This order is not a myth, as some allege, but a living, breathing framework that shapes much of international politics. It is U.S.-led because it is built on a foundation of American hegemony: the United States provides security guarantees to its allies in order to restrain regional competition, and the U.S. military ensures an open global commons so that trade can flow uninterrupted. It is liberal because the governments that support it have generally tried to infuse it with liberal norms about economics, human rights, and politics. And it is an order—something bigger than Washington and its policies—because the United States has partnered with a posse of like-minded and influential countries and because its rules and norms have gradually assumed a degree of independent influence.

This order has expanded over time. In the years after World War II, it grew both geographically and functionally, successfully integrating two rising powers, West Germany and Japan. Supporting liberalism and interweaving their security policies with the United States’, these countries accepted the order, acting as “responsible stakeholders” well before the term was optimistically applied to China. As the Cold War played out, NATO added not just West Germany but also Greece, Turkey, and Spain. The European Economic Community (the EU’s predecessor) doubled its membership. And core economic institutions, such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), broadened their remits...
Keep reading.


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Twitter Celebrity Takeover of Politics

This is really good.

In fact, I've been waiting for a commentary piece just like it.

From Tyler Cowen, at Bloomberg, "The Twitter Takeover of Politics Is Just Getting Started":


Social media elevates the interests of politicians over parties, which means things are only going to get messier.

The latest political controversy involves Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeting and insinuating that American political support for Israel is driven by Jewish money and lobbying. Leaving aside her views for now, the general trend is striking: Social media is allowing individual politicians to further their own careers at the expense of their party’s reputation. The result is that U.S. politics is quickly changing into a parade of celebrities.

Put yourself in Omar’s shoes. You are a freshman representative in a group of 435. Most of your cohort will never receive national recognition, and as a Muslim woman, perhaps your hold on the seat is not entirely secure. You will probably never run for president, or even Senate, so your future is not tied very closely to that of the Democratic Party.

At some point you realize that if you tweet about Israel, you will get attention. You probably believe in what you are saying, and you think your opinions will contribute to the dialogue. But the tweets will also make you a national celebrity. That may help your future ability to get a book contract, hit the lecture circuit, or join a lobbying or nonprofit firm. Even if most Americans find your views objectionable, there will be a place for you in a country this large, wealthy and diverse.

I have found that when people perceive their self-interest and sense of morality to be in harmony, they are very likely to act in accordance with them.

And so it came to pass. Omar started tweeting about Israel, later tweeted a problematic remark about “Benjamins,” people were offended and accused her of anti-Semitism, and she has since apologized. But don’t be too distracted by the apology: She definitely got people talking about one of her preferred issues, and she raised her profile significantly. And she hasn’t withdrawn her main point.

Of course, it is the Democratic Party that ends up looking bad. For one thing, most Americans are pro-Israel. Even if the tweets had been less controversial, the mere act of talking about Israel exposes more fissures in the Democratic coalition than among Republicans.

Or consider Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, arguably a genius on social media. She is attracting more attention than most (all?) of the Democratic presidential candidates, and now has over three million Twitter followers. She has been setting the Democratic agenda on both tax and environmental policy, and spurring a general sense among primary voters that the party ought to be moving further to the political left.

But is this all good for the Democratic Party? The positive spin would be that she is revitalizing debate in the party and giving it greater appeal to the young. The negative spin is that she is pushing the primary candidates too far to the left, and making them look tired and stale compared to her energy and innovativeness. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s response to the Green New Deal idea was striking: “It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive. The green dream, or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?”

No matter what the final result may be, the upstarts have been empowered relative to the establishment...
Keep reading.

Stephen F. Cohen, War with Russia

At Amazon, Stephen F. Cohen, War with Russia: From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate.



Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Paul Hanebrink, A Specter Haunting Europe

At Amazon, Paul Hanebrink, A Specter Haunting Europe: The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism.



Ilhan Omar Is Not Really Sorry for Her Anti-Semitic Tropes

From the great Abe Greenwald, at Commentary, "Apology Unaccepted":

On Monday, Democrats called on Rep. Ilhan Omar to apologize for once again tweeting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, this time about rich Jews pulling the strings of American politicians. So she responded with a tweet apologizing “unequivocally” for not realizing that Jews were so touchy about anti-Semitism. And then, in that tweet, she trashed AIPAC for its “problematic role” in American politics.

What’s the point, exactly, of asking anti-Semites—or any bigots—to apologize for their bigotry? There are a few ways to look at it. Do you want them to express regret about being bigoted? Do you want them to express regret about giving voice to their bigotry? Do you really just want them to do a better job of pretending not to be a bigot? In the end, it doesn’t matter, because none of these positions changes the fact of their bigotry. Omar’s very apology contained paranoia about AIPAC.

Asking for an apology is an immoral response to anti-Semitism because it’s designed to allow the anti-Semite to move past her offense. In the public sphere, these apologies become a licensing fee paid by people like Omar every time they want to sound off about the evil Jews. She “apologizes,” people praise her willingness to learn and grow, and the headlines shift from her offense to the hysterics who won’t let her be. The only ones who benefit here are the bigots and their allies. In the case of Omar, those allies are either her fellow Democrats trying to do damage control or anti-Semites who are thrilled to see one of their own successfully playing the game...
Keep reading.

And see also, Jonathan Tobin, "Why Ilhan Omar won’t pay for peddling bigotry."

Meghan Murphy Sues Twitter

Good for her.

This last year or two she was one of my favorite people on the site (the hate dump known as Twitter).

At WSJ, "Writer Sues Twitter Over Ban for Criticizing Transgender People":


Canadian blogger tweeted ‘Men aren’t women,’ violating harassment rules on the platform

*****

In the case of Twitter’s policy update for transgender issues, the company banned the practice of intentionally referring to individuals by the wrong gender or referring to their previous names, saying it can be a form of harassment. The policy was designed to make Twitter a more inclusive space for transgender individuals.

Ms. Murphy says that Twitter locked her account on Nov. 15, telling her that to regain control of her account, she would need to remove two tweets she posted the prior month. One tweet stated: “How are transwomen not men? What is the difference between a man and a transwoman?” The other said: “Men aren’t women.”

Ms. Murphy deleted the tweets, and posted a response to Twitter, saying, “I’m not allowed to say that men aren’t women or ask questions about the notion of transgenderism at all anymore?” The post went viral, according to her suit, receiving 20,000 likes. Days later, Twitter informed Ms. Murphy that she needed to delete this tweet as well, the suit says.

Twitter then banned Ms. Murphy permanently. According to the suit, Twitter sent an email to Ms. Murphy on Nov. 23, informing her that an item she had posted previously on Nov. 8 violated the company’s hateful conduct policy because she referred to a transgender woman as “him,” according to the suit.

The suit says Ms. Murphy had tweeted “Yeeeah it’s him” to refer to an image of a Google review of a waxing salon posted by a Twitter account with a male name and a female name in parentheses. In the past year, the suit states, the person behind that account had filed complaints against aestheticians for refusing to perform Brazilian waxes due to that person’s male genitalia.
RTWT.

Previously: "Leading Canadian Feminist Meghan Murphy Banned by Twitter for Speaking Out on Trans Ideology."

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BONUS: Rick Atkinson, An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943 (Volume One of the Liberation Trilogy).

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Disaster of Public Education

This is an awesome essay.

RTWT, at Quillette:


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Democrats Opened Up Can of Sexual Assault Worms in #MeToo Era

You gotta love it!

At the Los Angeles Times, "Presidential hopefuls struggle to control damage from sexual misconduct cases in first race of #MeToo era":

As he lays ground to run for president, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock looks back with regret at his failure to recognize the gravity of a top aide’s sexual harassment of a colleague.

After he was fired, the advisor went to work for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and was soon accused of harassing two more women. Bullock now says he’s “deeply sorry” he never told de Blasio about his aide’s misbehavior.

“I was wrong and naïve to think I did enough,” Bullock, a Democrat, wrote Feb. 2 in a blog post.

Kamala Harris has similar regrets. So does Bernie Sanders. And so does Joe Biden.

The 2020 presidential race is the first to occur since the #MeToo movement changed the nation’s cultural and political climate. Democratic contenders are already struggling to control the damage from their own shortcomings in policing sexual harassment in the workplace.

“You can say you support #MeToo, and you can say you support women, but you have to be able to demonstrate that in your own organization and in your own behavior,” said Kelly Dittmar, a political scientist at Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics.

“I don’t think we’re going to see all of a sudden a wholesale overturning of the allowances that we’ve given to folks for this type of behavior, or not acting significantly to stop this behavior in the past. But I do think the bar is higher.”

Cold political math is at least part of what’s drawing heightened attention to sexual misconduct: Women consistently turn out to vote in greater numbers than men. Women have also strongly preferred Democrats in recent elections, driving the party’s takeover of the House in the November midterm.

In the White House race, Democrats face pressure to nominate a candidate who can draw a strong contrast with President Trump. A Democrat who is perceived as not dealing with sexual harassment seriously could have a hard time attacking the president over allegations by multiple women that Trump sexually assaulted them.

The accusations, which Trump denies, have not caused die-hard supporters to desert him, but the president remains highly unpopular among women in general.

For Harris, the U.S. senator from California, the issue has become fraught since the Sacramento Bee revealed in December that the state paid $400,000 to settle a lawsuit over alleged sexual harassment by Larry Wallace, one of her closest aides for 14 years.

When Harris was state attorney general, she named Wallace as chief of the Division of Law Enforcement. He was in charge of her personal security detail, and he was a crucial figure in her political life: He led Harris’ successful drive to win endorsements from dozens of police groups that had once roundly opposed her.

In September 2016, Wallace and at least four others on her staff at the attorney general’s office were notified of the initial complaint filed by Danielle Hartley, Wallace’s executive assistant.

Three months later, Hartley sued the state, alleging Wallace had “harassed and demeaned” her in his Sacramento office. He kept a printer on the floor beneath his desk, she claimed, and ordered her every day to get on her knees to put paper in it or replace the ink, at times with him and male co-workers watching. Harris’ successor, Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra, approved the settlement in May 2017.

Harris said she was not told about the case until the Bee asked about it two months ago. The inquiry led Wallace to resign as a senior advisor on her Senate staff in Sacramento.

“It was a very painful experience to know that something can happen in one’s office — of almost 5,000 people, granted, but I didn’t know about it,” Harris told CNN. “That being said, I take full responsibility for anything that has happened in my office.”

Critics have attacked the credibility of Harris, one of the Senate’s most pointed interrogators of Brett M. Kavanaugh when he faced sexual assault accusations at his Supreme Court confirmation hearing. A Bee editorial called her denial of any knowledge of the Wallace settlement “far-fetched.” And if she’s to be believed, it said, she “isn’t a terribly good manager.”

Larry Gerston, a political scientist at San Jose State, said Harris was facing the conundrum of many politicians: How do they justify actions they took — or didn’t take — prior to the #MeToo movement shifting public attitudes?

“It’s very hard for those folks to go back and undo what they did at a time when it wasn’t viewed as terrible as it is now,” he said.
Keep reading.

Bernie's in hot water too, lol.

Liz Cheney Slams Elizabeth Warren as a 'Laughingstock'

You gotta love it!

At WaPo, "Rep. Liz Cheney says Elizabeth Warren is a "laughingstock" for having claimed Native American ancestry."


Who Pissed in Her Boots?

Well, this is bizarre.

At LAT, "Who urinated in her boots? A mystery at a California military base has led to claims of a cover-up":


For Staff Sgt. Jennifer Pineda, a 15-year veteran of the California Air National Guard, the military was a family calling. She followed her older sister and brother-in-law into the guard, where she now holds an administrative position at the elite 144th Fighter Wing in Fresno.

On a March morning four years ago, Pineda was about to dress into a uniform she had stored overnight in a stall in the women’s bathroom when she made a foul discovery.

Someone had urinated in her boots.

The incident left Pineda humiliated and frightened and would trigger a series of behind-the-scenes investigations whose scope has come to extend beyond what happened that day at the Fresno base.

The defiling of Pineda’s boots has led to allegations that high-ranking officers tried to bury the incident, including by destroying evidence that could have potentially identified a suspect through DNA, and retaliated against a male pilot who supported her efforts to find the perpetrator, according to interviews and guard records obtained by The Times. Some in the wing have begun calling the ongoing saga “Pissgate.”

After The Times began asking questions about the Pineda episode, the California Military Department, which oversees the guard, asked the U.S. Air Force Inspector General’s Office to conduct an investigation.

In the backdrop of the #MeToo movement, guard leaders are concerned about the degrading nature of the act aimed at a woman, according to two sources close to the investigation, who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to publicly speak about the matter. Only about 20% of the officers and enlisted members in the guard are women.

The inspector general’s inquiry is the third investigation into the Pineda affair and part of a broader probe into whether whistle-blowers at the 144th wing suffered reprisals for questioning the actions or conduct of their superiors on a range of matters. At least five guard members from the 144th wing, including a pilot who was killed in October in a crash during a training mission in Ukraine, filed formal complaints. The guard recently suspended a 144th commander for reasons it said were unrelated to the Pineda incident.

“This boils down to just unprofessional leadership and cronyism,” said Maj. Dan Woodside, a retired 144th fighter pilot who is a witness in the inspector general’s Pineda investigation and has complained about how she was treated. “If anybody had urinated in their boots, they would have done everything they could to find the perpetrator, even if it involved calling the FBI.”

Two of the guard’s top officers held key leadership positions at the 144th at the time of the Pineda incident: Maj. Gen. Clay Garrison, who has since become head of the air guard, and Col. Sean Navin, now one of its five wing commanders. Neither responded to requests for interviews...
More.

My dad's house in Fresno, on East Ashlan, was just Northwest of the airport, and was right under the flight path of the F-15s talking off from the Air Guard. Like clockwork on most days, you'd hear those jets screaming over the rooftops in the neighborhood. I'm not living up there anymore, but it's interesting to read about it.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

The Green New Deal