Thursday, February 21, 2019

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


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

Even Flow
Pearl Jam

Hungry Like The Wolf
Duran Duran

(Oh) Pretty Woman
Van Halen

Something Just Like This
Coldplay / The Chainsmokers

In Your Eyes
Peter Gabriel

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


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.


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.

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

Shop Today

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

Also, Craftsman 450-Piece Mechanic's Tool Set.

More, Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable (USB & Analog), Silver.

And, Wireless TV Headphones Over Ear Headsets - Digital Stereo Headsets with 2.4GHz RF Transmitter, Charging Dock, 100ft Wireless Range and Rechargeable 20 Hour Battery, Black.

Plus, HP 15.6" Laptop, AMD A6-9220 Dual-Core Processor 2.50GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, AMD Radeon R4 Graphics, DVD-RW, HDMI, Bluetooth, HDMI, Webcam, Windows 10.

And, Carhartt Men's Arctic Quilt Lined Yukon Active Jacket J133.

Still more, Smith & Wesson SWA24S 7.1in Stainless Steel Folding Knife with 3.1in Clip Point Serrated Blade and Aluminum Handle for Outdoor Tactical Survival and Everyday Carry.

And, Tactical Sling Bag Pack Military Rover Shoulder Sling Backpack Molle Assault Range Bag Everyday Carry Bag Day Pack with Tactical USA Flag Patch.

More here, "Horny Goat Weed Herbal Complex Extract for Men & Women - Ginseng, 100% Maca Root Tongkat Ali Powder - 60 1000mg Optimum Dosage Capsules - Energy, Stamina ... USA Made.

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...

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

Michael Anton, After the Flight 93 Election

At Amazon, Michael Anton, After the Flight 93 Election: The Vote that Saved America and What We Still Have to Lose.

Candace Owens Clarifies Comments on Adolf Hitler

If you don't know much about Adolf Hitler and the fundamental program of the Nazi regime, it's probably not a good idea to reference them. Like at all. And this is interesting to me, really interesting, since I'm the adviser to my campus's chapter of Turning Point USA, which is planning on having Ms. Owens on campus for a talk sometime this spring semester.

In any case, at USA Today, "After backlash, conservative pundit Candace Owens clarifies viral Hitler comment."

Extreme Democrats Boosting President Trump's Reelection Prospects

This is a great piece, especially because it's so on the money it's hilarious. From Josh Kraushaar, at National Journal:

Alexis Ren Enjoys Morning Coffee

She's a tasty wench.

At Taxi Driver:

Devin Brugman in Leopard Bikini

It's the Bikini a Day lady, and she's fabulous.

At Taxi Driver:

BONUS: "Bikini blogger rocks boob spill of EPIC proportions in mind-blowing exposé: DEVIN Brugman let her ample assets roam free when she hit the beach."

William Styron, The Confessions of Nat Turner


At Amazon, William Styron, The Confessions of Nat Turner.

Scott Greer, No Campus for White Men


At Amazon, Scott Greer, No Campus for White Men: The Transformation of Higher Education into Hateful Indoctrination.

Marlon James, Black Leopard, Red Wolf

At Amazon, Marlon James, Black Leopard, Red Wolf.

Jennifer Delacruz's Rainy Saturday Forecast

It's raining right now.

I'm going to be chillin' inside today.

At ABC News 10 San Diego, the fabulous Ms. Jennifer:

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Joan C. Williams, White Working Class

At Amazon, Joan C. Williams, White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America.

Andrew R. Lewis, The Rights Turn in Conservative Christian Politics

At Amazon, Andrew R. Lewis, The Rights Turn in Conservative Christian Politics: How Abortion Transformed the Culture Wars.

Leftists Don't Share the Same Goals

An outstanding video, with Owen Benjamin, at Prager University:

Megan Parry's Tuesday Forecast

More rain today. It was biblical pours last night, man.

At ABC News 10 San Diego, the lovely Ms. Megan:

Irving Howe, World of Our Fathers

At Amazon, World of Our Fathers: The Journey of the East European Jews to America and the Life They Found and Made.

Also, inexpensive copies of the original 1990 paperback here.

Leo Strauss, Natural Right and History

At Amazon, Leo Strauss, Natural Right and History.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Ralph Northam, Refusing to Resign Over Racist Blackface Photo, Risks #Democrats' Future

First, check Robert Stacy McCain, at the Other McCain, "‘Chaos’ in Virginia: Northam Besieged, Lieutenant Governor Denies Sex Assault."

And at the New York Times, "In Virginia Governor’s Turmoil, Democrats See an Agenda at Risk":

The refusal by Ralph Northam, the Democratic governor of Virginia, to resign after the revelation of a racist photograph is threatening his party’s political fortunes in Virginia, where Democrats are on the brink of consolidating power after a decade-long rise in the once-conservative state.

With Mr. Northam’s turmoil erupting during a legislative session in an election year, Democrats and Republicans said Sunday that his fragile hold on power risked his party’s policy ambitions and its aspirations for this fall, when control of both the state’s legislative chambers is expected to be bitterly and closely contested.

“You can’t govern without a mandate, and all you’re going to do is make things worse for the state,” said Representative A. Donald McEachin, a Democrat who served alongside Mr. Northam in the Virginia Senate.

Mr. Northam met with some of his staff members on Sunday night, prompting speculation that he might announce his resignation during the Super Bowl. Most of the people he met with told him that resigning was the way to clear his name, according to a state Democrat briefed on the meeting by an attendee.

Both chambers of the Legislature are scheduled to meet on Monday morning for sessions that could bring fresh condemnations of the governor. As of Sunday evening, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who would succeed Mr. Northam if he resigned, had not been notified that the governor was stepping down.

Mr. Northam’s troubles began on Friday with the surfacing of a photograph on his medical school yearbook page, which showed a person in blackface posing with another in a Ku Klux Klan robe. The governor at first acknowledged that he was one of the figures in the image, and then denied it on Saturday, all while drawing widespread calls for his resignation. Until this episode, Democrats appeared to be on a steady roll in Virginia, a state that had increasingly become a source of strength for the party in major elections.

Since 2008, when Barack Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate in more than four decades to carry the state, Virginia has shifted steadily leftward. For the last decade, both of the state’s senators in Washington have been Democrats. And more recently, the party has gained greater sway at the Capitol in Richmond.

Two years ago, Democrats picked up 15 seats in the House of Delegates, where they had been locked out of the majority for more than two decades. They are now two seats away from control in both chambers. The biggest prize in controlling the statehouse would be the power, under current law, to draw congressional and legislative districts after the 2020 census.

More power in the Legislature has already translated into significant policy wins for Democrats. Since Mr. Northam was elected in 2017, the party has achieved long-prized goals, like the expansion of Medicaid, and seized new credit for the state’s economic growth.

And this week is arguably among the most crucial of the year’s 46-day legislative session, with an important deadline for bills to advance. The speaker of the House of Delegates, Kirk Cox, and other Republican legislators warned that Mr. Northam’s “ability to lead and govern is permanently impaired.”

Even to his Democratic allies, Mr. Northam now seems hobbled.

“You’ve got to work as one unit to move your commonwealth forward, and he’s just not going to have that ability to do it,” Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat who preceded Mr. Northam as governor, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Mr. Northam’s difficulties can be traced, in part, to his shifting accounts over the photograph, published in a 1984 yearbook for the Eastern Virginia Medical School, which said on Sunday that it would investigate how such “unacceptable photos” came to be published...

Justice Democrats to Wage War on the Party

I love this, heh.

At Politico:

No Regime Change

It's Tulsi Gabbard, whose campaign has gotten off to a rough start.

Stuart Jeffries, Grand Hotel Abyss

At Amazon, Stuart Jeffries, Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School.

David Patrikarakos, War in 140 Characters

At Amazon, David Patrikarakos, War in 140 Characters: How Social Media Is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First Century.

Noah Rothman, Unjust


At Amazon, Noah Rothman, Unjust: Social Justice and the Unmaking of America.

Bar Refaeli Bikini

At Drunken Stepfather, "BAR REFAELI BIKINI OF THE DAY."

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Kate Bock Body Covering (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:

Dua Lipa Flash

At Drunken Stepfather, "DUA LIPA PANTY FLASH OF THE DAY."


Life Without the 'Big 5' Tech Giants

Some time ago I posted the link to "Social Media Self-Defense."

I have not yet implemented the plan, but I do think about it often.

And it turns out, an operational defense plan for social media should be just a start. To be truly free in this day and age, you've got to unplug from all the biggies: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.

Who does that? Probably no one, but Kash Hill is giving it a go. She's a warrior, dang!

See, "Life Without the Tech Giants," and "I Cut Google Out Of My Life. It Screwed Up Everything."

From the latter:

Long ago, Google made the mistake of adopting the motto, “Don’t be evil,” in a jab at competitors who exploited their users. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has since demoted the phrase in its corporate code of conduct presumably because of how hard it is to live up to it.

Google is no stranger to scandals, but 2018 was a banner year. It covered up the potential data exposure of a half million people who probably forgot they were still using Google+. It got caught trying to build a censored search engine for China. Its own employees resigned to protest Google helping the Pentagon build artificial intelligence. Thousands more employees walked out over the company paying exorbitant exit packages to executives accused of sexual misconduct. And privacy critics decried Google’s insatiable appetite for data, from capturing location information in unexpected ways—a practice Google changed when exposed—to capturing credit card transactions—a practice Google has not changed and actually seems proud of.

I’m saying goodbye to all that this week. As part of an experiment to live without the tech giants, I’m cutting Google from my life both by abandoning its products and by preventing myself, technologically, from interacting with the company in any way. Engineer Dhruv Mehrotra built a virtual private network, or VPN, for me that prevents my phone, computers, and smart devices from communicating with the 8,699,648 IP addresses controlled by Google. This will cause some huge headaches for me: The company has created countless genuinely useful products, some that we use intentionally and some invisibly. The trade-off? Google tracks us everywhere.

I’m apprehensive about entirely blocking Google from my life because of how dependent I am on its products; the company has basically taken up residence in my brain somewhere near the hippocampus.

Google Calendar tells me what I need to do any given day. Google Chrome is how I browse the internet on my computer. I use Gmail for both work and personal email. I turn to Google for every question and search. Google Docs is the home of my story drafts, my half-finished zombie novel, and a running tally of my finances. I use Google Maps to get just about everywhere.

So I am shocked when cutting Google out of my life takes just a few painful hours. Because I’m blocking Google with Dhruv’s VPN, I have to find replacements for all the useful services Google provides and without which my life would largely cease to function:

I migrate my browser bookmarks over to Firefox (made by Mozilla).
I change the default search engine on Firefox and my iPhone from Google—a privilege for which Google reportedly pays Apple up to $9 billion per year—to privacy-respecting DuckDuckGo, a search engine that also makes money off ads but doesn’t keep track of users’ searches.
I download Apple Maps and the Mapquest app to my phone. I hear Apple Maps is better than it used to be, and damn, Mapquest still lives! I don’t think I’ve used that since the 90s/a.k.a. the pre-smartphone age, back when I had to print directions for use in my car.
I switch to Apple’s calendar app.
I create new email addresses on Protonmail and (for work and personal email, respectively) and direct people to them via autoreplies in Gmail. Lifehack: The easiest way to get to inbox zero is to start a brand new inbox.
Going off Google doesn’t come naturally. In addition to mentally kicking myself every time I talk about “Googling” something, I have to make a “banned apps” folder on my iPhone, because otherwise, my fingers keep straying out of habit to Gmail, Google Maps, and Google Calendar—the three apps that, along with Instagram and Words With Friends, are in heaviest rotation in my life.

There’s no way I can delete my Gmail accounts completely as I did with Facebook. First off, it would be a huge security mistake; freeing up my email address for someone else to claim is just asking to be hacked. (Update: While other companies recycle email addresses, many Googlers have informed me since this piece came out that Google does not.) Secondly, I have too many documents, conversations, and contacts stored there. The infinite space offered by the tech giants has made us all digital hoarders.

And that hoarding can be a bonanza for tech giants, allowing Google, for example, to create a “Smart Reply” feature that crawls billions of emails on Gmail to predict how you’d like to respond to a friend’s missive. Yay?

This experiment is not just about boycotting Google products. I’m also preventing my devices from interacting with Google in invisible or background ways, and that makes for some big challenges.

One morning, I have a meeting downtown. I leave my apartment with enough time to get there via Uber, but when I open the app, it won’t work. Same thing with Lyft. It turns out they’re both dependent on Google Maps such that I can’t even enter my destination while blocking Google. I’m astounded. There are no taxis around, so I have to take the bus. I wind up late to the meeting.

Google is a behemoth when it comes to maps. According to various surveys, the vast majority of consumers—up to 77 percent—use Google Maps to navigate the world. And a vast majority of companies rely on Google Maps’ API to power the mapping on their websites and apps, according to data from iDataLabs, Stackshare, and BuiltWith.

Even Google’s mortal enemy, Yelp, uses it for mapping on its website (though it taps Apple maps for its iPhone app). Luther Lowe, head of policy and Google critic-in-chief at Yelp, says there aren’t great alternatives to Google when it comes to mapping, forcing the company to pay its foe for the service.

In its Maps API, Google has long offered a free or very cheap product, allowing it to achieve market dominance. Now it’s making a classic monopolistic move: Google announced last year that it’s raising its mapping prices significantly, leading developers across the web to freak out because Google Maps is “light years ahead of its competitors.”

I become intimately acquainted with Google Maps competitors’ drawbacks using Mapquest for navigation; it keeps steering me into terrible traffic during my commute (probably because it doesn’t have the real-time movements of millions of people being sent to it).

Google, like Amazon, is woven deeply into the infrastructure of online services and other companies’ offerings, which is frustrating to all the connected devices in my house.

“Your smart home pings Google at the same time every hour in order to determine whether or not it’s connected to the internet,” Dhruv tells me. “Which is funny to me because these devices’ engineers decided to determine connectivity to the entire internet based on the uptime of a single company. It’s a good metaphor for how far the internet has strayed from its original promise to decentralize control.”

In some cases, the Google block means apps won’t work at all, like Lyft and Uber, or Spotify, whose music is hosted in Google Cloud. The more frequent effect of the Google block though is that the internet itself slows down dramatically for me...
Keep reading.

If you could create a social media defense anonymous identity, I suspect you could continue to use the Big Five relatively safely (anonymously), although you'd still be handing over all your data, which is valuable whether you're identified or not.

What a crazy world we live in!

Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism


At Amazon, Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism.

Jason Stanley, How Propaganda Works

At Amazon, Jason Stanley, How Propaganda Works.

Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism


Released on Tuesday last week.

At Amazon, Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power.

Siva Vaidhyanathan, Antisocial Media


At Amazon, Siva Vaidhyanathan, Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy.

Tim Wu, The Attention Merchants


At Amazon, Tim Wu, The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads.

Jaron Lanier, Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now


At Amazon, Jaron Lanier, Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now.

Amber Lee's Super Bowl Forecast

Well, we had record rain yesterday. Hopefully today Rams fans can make it to their Super Bowl parties without getting caught in the floods.

At CBS News 2 Los Angeles, the lovely Ms. Amber:

CBS Rejects ‘Just Stand’ Super Bowl Advertisement (VIDEO)

At the Washington Examiner, via Memeorandum, "CBS rejects pro-flag, anti-Kaepernick ‘Just Stand’ Super Bowl ad":

A veteran-owned apparel company’s pro-flag Super Bowl TV ad that punches back at Nike's promotion of Colin Kaepernick and his national anthem protests has been rejected by CBS.

According to the firm, Nine Line Apparel, CBS was apparently not satisfied the firm could pay for the 45-second ad, despite having annual revenues of $25 million. A spokesman for Nine Line charged that CBS didn’t like the ad’s content.

The ad features soldiers, first responders, and images of military graves decorated with American flags and gives credit to them for protecting the rights of those like Kaepernick to protest.

It appears to open up where the ad Kaepernick narrated and starred in ended.

Nike’s minutelong ad, which debuted at the beginning of the 2018 NFL season to great fanfare and controversy, shows Kaepernick at the end saying, “So don’t ask if your dreams are crazy. Ask if they are crazy enough.”

The ad celebrated sports achievers but was controversial because it featured the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who started a wave of political protests by kneeling during the National Anthem to protest the treatment of minorities.

Nine Line Apparel’s ad opens with, “Don’t ask if your loyalty is crazy. Ask if it’s crazy enough.”

It is narrated by Benghazi survivor U.S. Marine Mark Geist. “Some people think you’re crazy for being loyal, defending the Constitution, standing for the flag. Then I guess I’m crazy,” he said in it.

“For those who kneel, they fail to understand that they can kneel, that they can protest, that they can despise what I stand for, even hate the truth that I speak, but they can only do that because I am crazy enough,” he adds.

Nine Line Apparel CEO Tyler Merritt ripped the rejection of his ad.

"CBS’s purported reason for rejecting a Super Bowl commercial that extols patriotism is totally out of bounds," he said. "Let’s call this what it is: a blatant attempt to censor a message that their politically correct executives find offensive. We urge Americans who believe it’s important to show respect for our flag and national anthem to join us in calling out this offensive bias. It’s time to give a penalty flag to CBS."

The firm is overtly patriotic. Nine Line Apparel’s “About Us” page on its website reads: "Nine Line Apparel represents the grit and commitment of all Patriotic Americans. Founded on the principles similar to other value based organizations, Nine Line aims to promote the issues faced by all those who have served their country, on both foreign and domestic soil. Nine Line encourages a conversation between those who serve and those who support them."

Super Bowl Today

I'm obviously rooting for the Rams. I can't stand New England, and have loathed the Patriots since the snowy "tuck rule" game of 2001.

In any case, great coverage at the Los Angeles Times.