Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Left’s Empathy Deficit Came Home to Roost -- In Australia

The Chronicle of Higher Education did a recent feature on Quillette, with the totally unexceptional knee-jerk headline, "The Academy’s New Favorite Hate-Read: Is ‘Quillette’ an island of sanity — or reactionary conservatism for the Ph.D. set?"

(It's behind the paywall, but you get the gist of it from the embedded tweet there.)

Claire Lehmann's the founder and editor-in-chief, and it turns out she's a darned good writer and analyst. I enjoyed this piece from a couple of weeks back on the Australian national elections.

See, "At Australian Ballot Boxes, the Left’s Empathy Deficit Came Home to Roost":


The result of Saturday’s federal election in Australia is being treated as the most staggering political shocker in my country since World War II. Scott Morrison, leading the Liberal Party, looks to have won a majority government—a result that defies three years of opinion polling, bookie’s odds and media commentary.

In the aftermath, analysts on both sides are trying to explain what went wrong for the centre-left Australian Labor Party, and what went right for the centre-right Liberals. Some attribute the result to Morrison’s personal likeability, and his successful targeting of the “quiet Australian” demographic—the silent majority whose members feel they rarely have a voice, except at the ballot box. Others cast the result as Australia’s Hilary-Clinton moment: Bill Shorten, who resigned following Saturday’s loss, was, like Clinton, an unpopular political insider who generated little enthusiasm among his party’s traditional constituencies. In 2010 and again in 2013, he roiled the Labor Party by supporting two separate internal coups, machinations that cast him as a self-promoter instead of a team player.

The swing against Labor was particularly pronounced in the northeastern state of Queensland—which is more rural and socially conservative than the rest of Australia. Many of Queensland’s working-class voters opposed Labor’s greener-than-thou climate-change policies, not a surprise given that the state generates half of all the metallurgical coal burned in the world’s blast furnaces. Queensland’s rejection of Labor carried a particularly painful symbolic sting for Shorten, given that this is the part of Australia where his party was founded by 19th century sheep shearers meeting under a ghost gum tree. In 1899, the world’s first Labor government was sworn into the Queensland parliament. Shorten’s “wipe-out” in Queensland demonstrates what has become of the party’s brand among working-class people 120 years later.

*   *   *

Picture a dinner party where half the guests are university graduates with prestigious white-collar jobs, with the other half consisting of people who are trade workers, barmaids, cleaners and labourers. While one side of the table trades racy jokes and uninhibited banter, the other half tut-tuts this “problematic” discourse.

These two groups both represent traditional constituencies of mainstream centre-left parties—including the Labour Party in the UK, the Democrats in the United States, and the NDP in Canada. Yet they have increasingly divergent attitudes and interests—even if champagne socialists paper over these differences with airy slogans about allyship and solidarity.

Progressive politicians like to assume that, on election day at least, blue-collar workers and urban progressives will bridge their differences, and make common cause to support leftist economic policies. This assumption might once have been warranted. But it certainly isn’t now—in large part because the intellectuals, activists and media pundits who present the most visible face of modern leftism are the same people openly attacking the values and cultural tastes of working and middle-class voters. And thanks to social media (and the caustic news-media culture that social media has encouraged and normalized), these attacks are no longer confined to dinner-party titterings and university lecture halls. Brigid Delaney, a senior writer for Guardian Australia, responded to Saturday’s election result with a column about how Australia has shown itself to be “rotten.” One well-known Australian feminist and op-ed writer, Clementine Ford, has been fond of Tweeting sentiments such as “All men are scum and must die.” Former Australian Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane, who also has served as a high-profile newspaper columnist, argues that even many mainstream political positions—such as expressing concern about the Chinese government’s rising regional influence—are a smokescreen for racism.

In an interview conducted on Sunday morning, Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek opined that if only her party had more time to explain to the various groups how much they’d all benefit from Labor’s plans, Australians would have realized how fortunate they’d be with a Labor government, and Shorten would’ve become Prime Minister. Such attitudes are patronizing, for they implicitly serve to place blame at the feet of voters, who apparently are too ignorant to know what’s good for them.

What the election actually shows us is that the so-called quiet Australians, whether they are tradies (to use the Australian term) in Penrith, retirees in Bundaberg, or small business owners in Newcastle, are tired of incessant scolding from their purported superiors. Condescension isn’t a good look for a political movement.

Taking stock of real voters’ needs would require elites to exhibit a spirit of empathic understanding—such as by way of acknowledging that blue-collar workers have good reason to vote down parties whose policies would destroy blue-collar jobs; or that legal immigrants might oppose opening up a nation’s border to migrants who arrive illegally. More broadly, the modern progressive left has lost touch with the fact that what ordinary people want from their government is a spirit of respect, dignity and hope for the future. While the fetish for hectoring and moral puritanism has become popular in rarefied corners of arts and academia, it is deeply off-putting to voters whose sense of self extends beyond cultish ideological tribalism.

*   *   *

The class-based realignment of party politics isn’t unique to my country. All over the world, left-wing parties increasingly are being co-opted by politicians who reflect the attitudes and priorities of voters with higher incomes and education levels, while right-wing parties increasingly attract blue-collar workers who’ve become alienated by parties that once championed the little guy. It’s been three years since Donald Trump became the Republican presidential nominee, and so this phenomenon no longer can be described as new or dismissed as transient. Yet progressives seem to imagine that it can be dispelled, as if by a magic spell, simply by incanting the right hash tags or bleating mantras about anti-racism...
Keep reading.


Rick Perlstein, Nixonland

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Rick Perlstein, Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America.



Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Iggy Azalea Leaked

At Buzzfeed, "Iggy Azalea Says She's 'Disturbed' by Men's Reactions to Topless Photos Leaking on Social Media."



Yeah, I'm sure she's really upset. (*Eye-roll here.*)

And at Drunken Stepfather, "IGGY AZLALEA JANKED UP TITS OF THE DAY."

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Glenn Reynolds, The Social Media Upheaval

*BUMPED.*

[Added: It's out today!]

It's out May 28th, at Amazon, Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit), The Social Media Upheaval.



'Self-Esteem'

From Thursday morning's drive-time, the Offspring, at 93.1 Jack FM Los Angeles.


Under The Bridge
Red Hot Chili Peppers
6:45am

The Chain
Fleetwood Mac
6:41am

Send Me An Angel
Real Life
6:37am

Daughter
Pearl Jam
6:33am

When Doves Cry
PRINCE
6:22am

White Wedding
Billy Idol
6:18am

I Need To Know
Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
6:15am

Demons
Imagine Dragons
6:12am

Animal
Def Leppard
6:08am

Lovesong
Cure
6:05am

Self Esteem
OFFSPRING
5:53am

Monday, May 27, 2019

Mark Levin, Unfreedom of the Press

At Amazon, Mark Levin, Unfreedom of the Press.



Emily Ratajkowski Protests Alabama

She'll use just about any excuse to take her clothes off, sheesh.


University Libraries Are Seeing Precipitous Declines in the Use of the Books on Their Shelves

Well, few students read, at least on my campus. It's very hard to get them to complete their assignments, especially in the introductory American government class. And you rarely see a student reading a book while out walking around the campus. The ratio is a least 20-to-1 with students using mobile phones over reading.

I notice when a student has a book. It's so rare.

At Instapundit, "CHANGE: The Books of College Libraries Are Turning Into Wallpaper."

Marine Le Pen's National Rally Tops Vote in EU Elections (VIDEO)

At the Guardian U.K., "EU vote confirms French far right as Macron's main opposition."



Frederick Forsyth, Dogs of War

A great, great novel.

At Amazon, Frederick Forsyth, Dogs of War: A Spy Thriller.



Carla Guetta Photos

At Drunken Stepfather, "CARLA GUETTA TOPLESS NUDE MODEL OF THE DAY."

Natasha Summer Rose Bikini

She's tasty.


Out in Paper: Richard Powers, The Overstory

At Amazon, Richard Powers, The Overstory: A Novel.



Danielle Gersh's Memorial Day Forecast

Not the best beach weather today.

Here's the lovely Ms. Danielle, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles.



Old Row Babe

Seen on Twitter:


Saturday, May 25, 2019

Leftist Millenarianism and the Green New Deal

This is a great piece, a scary piece.

From David Adler, at Quillette, "Straight to Hell: Millenarianism and the Green New Deal":


With the Green New Deal, secular apocalyptic ideas have entered the mainstream of American politics. Millenarian thinking has always been present in the US, but it was avowedly religious. Today, those warning of the imminent Apocalypse are not just cranks in sandwich boards on street corners; they are seated in Congress. The radical millenarian ideas that flourished in the Middle Ages or unstable European societies in the early twentieth century can now be found at the heart of the Democratic party.
Read the whole thing --- it's very well done.

'Robert Mueller's partisan team spent 22 months and $34 million only to conclude the obvious: that Trump did not collude with Russia...'

Yep.

It's VDH, in one of the best, most succinct pieces on the left's #RussiaGate conspiracy.

At RCP, "Federal Rats Are Fleeing the Sinking Collusion Ship":
The entire Trump-Russia collusion narrative was always implausible.

One, the Washington swamp of fixers such as Paul Manafort and John and Tony Podesta was mostly bipartisan and predated Trump.

Two, the Trump administration's Russia policies were far tougher on Vladimir Putin than were those of Barack Obama. Trump confronted Russia in Syria, upped defense spending, increased sanctions and kept the price of oil down through massive new U.S. energy production. He did not engineer a Russian "reset" or get caught on a hot mic offering a self-interested hiatus in tensions with Russia in order to help his own re-election bid.

Three, Russia has a long history of trying to warp U.S. elections that both predated Trump and earned only prior lukewarm pushback from the Obama administration.

Three, Russia has a long history of trying to warp U.S. elections that both predated Trump and earned only prior lukewarm pushback from the Obama administration.

It's also worth remembering that President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation had been recipients of Russian and Russian-related largesse -- ostensibly because Hillary Clinton had used her influence as Secretary of State under Obama to ease resistance to Russian acquisitions of North American uranium holdings.

As far as alleged Russian collusion goes, Hillary Clinton used three firewalls -- the Democratic National Committee, the Perkins Coie law firm and the Fusion GPS strategic intelligence firm -- to hide her campaign's payments to British national Christopher Steele to find dirt on Trump and his campaign; in other words, to collude. Steele in turn collected his purchased Russian sources to aggregate unverified allegations against Trump. He then spread the gossip within government agencies to ensure that the smears were leaked to the media -- and with a government seal of approval.

No wonder that special counsel Robert Mueller's partisan team spent 22 months and $34 million only to conclude the obvious: that Trump did not collude with Russia.

Mueller's failure to find collusion prompts an important question. If the Steele dossier -- the basis for unfounded charges that Trump colluded with Russia -- was fraudulent, then how and why did the Clinton campaign, hand in glove with top Obama administration officials, use such silly trash and smears to unleash the powers of government against Trump's campaign, transition team and early presidency?

The question is not an idle one.

There may well have occurred a near coup attempt by high-ranking officials to destroy a campaign and then to remove an elected president. Likewise, top officials may have engaged in serial lying to federal investigators, perjury, the misleading of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the illegal insertion of informants into a political campaign, the leaking of classified documents and the obstruction of justice.

So, how can we tell that the former accusers are now terrified of becoming the accused? Because suddenly the usual band of former Obama officials and Trump accusers have largely given up on their allegations that Trump was or is a Russian asset.

Instead, John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe and Rod Rosenstein are now beginning to accuse each other of wrongdoing.

Even their progressive media handlers are starting to sense the desperation in their new yarns -- and the possibility that these hired-gun analysts or guests were themselves guilty of crimes and were using their media platforms to fashion their own defense.

The end of the Mueller melodrama has marked the beginning of real fear in Washington...
Still more.

Nancy Pelosi Drunk Video is Preview of 2020

The video's still up.

See, "Watch: Politics Watchdog Video of Drunk Nancy Pelosi."

And at the Los Angeles Times, "A doctored video of Nancy Pelosi shows social media giants ill-prepared for 2020":
Hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed a conference Wednesday, a distorted video of the California Democrat’s conversation began spreading across the internet.

The manipulated clip, slowed to make Pelosi sound as if she were slurring her words, racked up millions of views on Facebook the following day. It was posted to YouTube, and on Thursday night was given a boost on Twitter when Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer and former mayor of New York, shared a link with his 318,000 followers.

By Friday, the three social media giants were forced to respond to this viral instance of political fakery. How they dealt with the issue, three years after being blindsided by a wave of fake news and disinformation in the 2016 election cycle, may serve as a harbinger of what’s to come in 2020.

And for those who had hoped that new technology, stricter standards and the full attention of these powerful Silicon Valley companies might stem the tide of lies, the case of the Pelosi video does not bode well.

Facebook, where the clip found its largest audience, refused to take it down. A spokesperson for the company said that the video does not violate Facebook’s Community Standards, adding in a statement that “we don't have a policy that stipulates that the information you post on Facebook must be true.”

Instead, Facebook ran the video through its official fake news process, codified since the company admitted it had a problem in late 2016. It submitted the clip to a third-party fact-checking company, which rated it “false.” Following that judgment, the company drastically decreased how often the video is automatically displayed in users’ newsfeeds and appended an info box below it linking to articles that say that the clip is a fake.

“We work hard to find the right balance between encouraging free expression and promoting a safe and authentic community,” the spokesperson said. “We believe that reducing the distribution of inauthentic content strikes that balance. But just because something is allowed to be on Facebook doesn’t mean it should get distribution. In other words, we allow people to post it as a form of expression, but we're not going to show it at the top of News Feed.”

YouTube deleted all copies of the video on its site after being notified of its existence following a Washington Post report on the video. The company said in a statement that the clip violated its policies, and added that it did not “surface prominently” on the site or in search results.

The Google-owned video platform said last year that it was tweaking its algorithms to promote more authoritative news sources. The company also introduced panels similar to Facebook’s info boxes that appear below videos dealing with common conspiracy theories or produced by state-run media outlets to give viewers more context, though a Buzzfeed investigation in January found that they were inconsistently used.

Twitter declined to comment on the Pelosi clip in particular and has not taken formal action...
You know, who's helping who here?

I noted yesterday that Big Tech had deep-sixed the video in search results, not only Facebook, but Twitter and YouTube as well. I had to dig around myself to find it, and that took a while.

So, a parody video that's a literally laugh riot, of a public figure who can't claim libel, because such speech is protected, gets full censorship on offer from her political allies. That's practically a political contribution, which is regulated under federal law.

It's more than antitrust as a basis for regulation of Big Tech. It's also political racketeering, influence-peddling, and campaign finance violations.

We're in a political war. And it's the left that's waging it against normal Americans. Don't ever let the leftist media tell you otherwise.

More at that top link.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Ian McEwan, Atonement

At Amazon, Ian McEwan, Atonement: A Novel.



Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch.




Why U.S. Intelligence Agencies Must Adapt or Fail

From Amy Zegart and Michael Morell, at Foreign Affairs, "Spies, Lies, and Algorithms":


For U.S. intelligence agencies, the twenty-first century began with a shock, when 19 al Qaeda operatives hijacked four planes and perpetrated the deadliest attack ever on U.S. soil. In the wake of the attack, the intelligence community mobilized with one overriding goal: preventing another 9/11. The CIA, the National Security Agency, and the 15 other components of the U.S. intelligence community restructured, reformed, and retooled. Congress appropriated billions of dollars to support the transformation.

That effort paid off. In the nearly two decades that U.S. intelligence agencies have been focused on fighting terrorists, they have foiled numerous plots to attack the U.S. homeland, tracked down Osama bin Laden, helped eliminate the Islamic State’s caliphate, and found terrorists hiding everywhere from Afghan caves to Brussels apartment complexes. This has arguably been one of the most successful periods in the history of American intelligence.

But today, confronted with new threats that go well beyond terrorism, U.S. intelligence agencies face another moment of reckoning. From biotechnology and nanotechnology to quantum computing and artificial intelligence (AI), rapid technological change is giving U.S. adversaries new capabilities and eroding traditional U.S. intelligence advantages. The U.S. intelligence community must adapt to these shifts or risk failure as the nation’s first line of defense.

Although U.S. intelligence agencies have taken initial steps in the right direction, they are not moving fast enough. In fact, the first intelligence breakdown of this new era has already come: the failure to quickly identify and fully grasp the magnitude of Russia’s use of social media to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. That breakdown should serve as a wake-up call. The trends it reflects warrant a wholesale reimagining of how the intelligence community operates. Getting there will require capitalizing on the United States’ unique strengths, making tough organizational changes, and rebuilding trust with U.S. technology companies.

A WARNING SIGN

Russia’s multifaceted “active measures” campaign ahead of the 2016 election was designed to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, sow divisions in American society, and boost public support for one presidential candidate over another. Much of this effort did not go undetected for long. Almost immediately, U.S. intelligence agencies noticed Russian cyberattacks against the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the sharing of stolen information with platforms such as WikiLeaks, and attempts to penetrate state and local voting systems. Pointing to these events, intelligence officials warned President Barack Obama well before the election that the United States was under attack.

Yet the intelligence agencies missed Russia’s most important tool: the weaponization of social media. Studies commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of a Russian “troll farm” show that the social media operation designed to undermine the U.S. electoral process may have begun as early as 2012 and was well under way by 2014. But although U.S. intelligence officials knew that Russia had used social media as a propaganda tool against its own citizens and its neighbors, particularly Ukraine, it took them at least two years to realize that similar efforts were being made in the United States. This lapse deprived the president of valuable time to fully understand Moscow’s intentions and develop policy options before the election ever began.

In October 2016, one month before the election, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, and Jeh Johnson, the secretary of homeland security, took the unusual step of issuing a public statement about Russia’s interference in the election. Even then, the full extent of the Russian effort eluded U.S. intelligence; the statement did not mention social media at all. Johnson later stated that Russia’s social media operation “was something . . . that we were just beginning to see.” Likewise, Clapper wrote in his memoir that “in the summer of 2015, it would never have occurred to us that low-level Russian intelligence operatives might be posing as Americans on social media.” Indeed, the intelligence community did not understand the magnitude of the attack, which reached more than 120 million U.S. citizens, until well after the election. The Senate Intelligence Committee noted in 2018 that its own bipartisan investigation “exposed a far more extensive Russian effort to manipulate social media outlets to sow discord and to interfere in the 2016 election and American society” than the U.S. intelligence community had found even as late as 2017.

It was with good reason that the intelligence agencies did not have their collection systems trained on social media content within the United States, but Russia’s social media attack was carried out by Russian nationals operating on Russian soil. They were assisted by several Russian intelligence operatives sent to the United States in 2014, with the express goal of studying how to make Moscow’s social media campaign more effective. Whether the Kremlin tipped the balance in a close presidential race will never be known. What is clear, however, is that Russia’s nefarious use of social media went undetected by U.S. intelligence for too long and that this failure is just a preview of what lies ahead if the intelligence community doesn’t adapt to today’s rapid technological breakthroughs...
Keep reading.

Megan Parry's Weekend Weather

Hopefully the rain clears up, sheesh.

At ABC News 10 San Diego:



Watch: Politics Watchdog Video of Drunk Nancy Pelosi

Neither Google nor Facebook will let you search for this video. I had to go in and find Politics Watchdog and scroll down.

And people wonder why the fury at leftist social media and tech?

Watch, "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on President Trump walking out infrastructure meeting: 'It was very, very, very strange'."

Who knows how long this will be available. Leftist media outlets are in a rage, raging to have Facebook take it down.

At the Guardian U.K., via Memorandum, "Facebook refuses to delete fake Pelosi video spread by Trump supporters."

And at WaPo, "Pelosi videos manipulated to make her appear drunk are being shared on social media."

She does sound drunk, lol. What a freakin' masterpiece!


Donna Tartt, The Secret History

At Amazon, Donna Tartt, The Secret History: A Novel.



President Trump Gives Attorney General Authority to Declassify Information About Origins of Russia Probe

At the New York Times, via Memeorandum, "Trump Gives Attorney General Sweeping Power in Review of 2016 Campaign Inquiry."

I love this, heh.




Top Fashion Model Helena Lu

She's got Vogue covers under her portfolio.

At Drunken Stepfather, "HELENA LU TITTIES OF THE DAY."

Britain's Watershed Moment (VIDEO)

Following-up, "Theresa May Resigns (VIDEO)."

Pat Condell is so astonishing spot-on it's ridiculous.

Watch:



Theresa May Resigns (VIDEO)

Well, maybe that #TheresaMayResign hashtag pushed her over the edge.

At the Guardian U.K., "Theresa May announces she will resign on 7 June."

And the full video of her speech is here, "Prime minister Theresa May’s resignation speech in full."

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Theresa May Faces Pressure to Resign After Push for Second Referendum on Brexit (VIDEO)

Actually, I can't believe she still leads the government.

The Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, resigned from the cabinet in a harsh blow to the prime minister.

Frankly, May's leadership's been a disaster. I'll be glad when she's ousted.

At the Guardian U.K., "Andrea Leadsom quits over Theresa May's Brexit bill: Leader of house known to be unhappy with some of 10 concessions set out by PM."

And a live blog, "May 'could announce departure date on Friday' – politics live: Prime minister replies after Leadsom quits as leader of the House of Commons."



Also, at the BBC, "Brexit: Theresa May resists calls from MPs to resign."


Haley Kalil Intimates at the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (VIDEO)

The new collection is up.

Actually, I'm not down with the chick in the burkini, but as long as they keep posting the big-breasted babes, it's all good, lol.


Cal Newport, Digital Minimalism

At Amazon, Cal Newport, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World.



Big Sexy Woman

Seen on Twitter:


Jocko Willink Extreme Ownership (VIDEO)

This dude is rad!

At Amazon, Jocko Willink, Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win (New Edition).

And at Prager University:


Demi Lovato in Leopard Swimsuit

At Taxi Driver:


Margot Robbie in One-Piece White Swimsuit (PHOTOS)

She looks great!

At Drunken Stepfather, "MARGOT ROBBIE HARD NIPPLES OF THE DAY."


President Trump Walks Out on Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer (VIDEO)

We can't spare this man --- he fights!

At the New York Times, via Memeorandum, "Trump Walks Out on Pelosi and Schumer After 3 Minutes."



Also at WaPo, "Trump abruptly ends infrastructure meeting with Democrats after Pelosi says he is ‘engaged in a coverup’."

Louis Hyman, Temp

This book is great!

At Amazon, Louis Hyman, Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary.



Sunday, May 19, 2019

India's Untouchables

I studied the "untouchables" in college. They're now call "Dalits," but not much has changed, apparently, and voters are fed-up with campaign promises.

At LAT, "India’s lower-caste Dalits, who helped elect Modi, now threaten to oust him":


In 2014, Mukesh Kumar, like much of India’s underclass, had pinned his hopes on Narendra Modi, who became prime minister after his party won elections in a landslide.

Today, Kumar regrets voting for him.

“In five years there should have been so much progress, but nothing has changed,” said Kumar, 26, a municipal sanitation worker who earns about $200 per month sweeping the streets of Varanasi, one of the holiest cities in Hinduism.

“Modi is only building roads,” he said. “What about those of us who are cleaning those roads? We are right where we were, dying in the heat of the sun, burning on the streets.”

Kumar belongs to the Dalit community, formerly known as the “untouchables,” the lowest level of India’s ancient caste hierarchy — and in the last election an important part of the historic victory by Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

Though the party, known by its initials BJP, was traditionally seen as catering to upper-caste Hindus and the business elite, it won 40 of the 84 parliamentary seats reserved for Dalits, primarily on Modi’s promises of economic development for all.

Now as Modi seeks a second five-year term in multi-stage national elections whose results are expected Thursday, Dalits are once again expected to play a crucial role.

But here in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, many Dalit voters say Modi has failed to keep his economic pledges, while others point to growing caste-based violence and a perception that Modi’s government has diluted some legal protections for Dalits.

“In 2014 and through the early part of Modi’s tenure, the BJP was trying to use more inclusive language, saying that Modi cuts across all castes and communities,” said Neelanjan Sircar, a senior visiting fellow at the Center for Policy Research, a New Delhi think tank. “That has significantly shifted, and in the last couple of years there has been noticeable caste polarization.”

India’s constitution in 1950 outlawed caste-based discrimination and enshrined affirmative action for Dalits. But the country’s 200 million Dalits are still often denied access to basic rights such as public water sources and in some areas are still banned from marrying into higher castes or even sharing food with them.

Many are confined to the most menial jobs, such as cleaning sewers by hand, a practice euphemistically called manual scavenging.

In cities and villages, Dalits are often shunted into separate enclaves like the 1,000-person shantytown where Kumar lives, in the Ravindrapuri neighborhood of Varanasi, which runs alongside a newly paved road with recently installed LED street lamps.

The residents of the shanties say Varanasi’s progress has not made it to their doorsteps. They complain of a paucity of jobs, stagnant income, rising prices and a lack of water.

One day recently, just outside the labyrinth of tightly packed, one-room brick homes, five hogs feasted on rotting garbage that had spilled onto the side of the road. A statue of Babasaheb Ambedkar, the Dalit author of India’s constitution, stood a few hundred feet away just outside Ravindrapuri.

In 2014, Modi ran for Parliament from Varanasi, a nod to his Hindu values, and won by a large margin. Soon afterward, he established an office down the road in Ravindrapuri and embarked on ambitious plans to clean the city and the banks of the Ganges River, boost tourism and build new roads.

A partnership with the Japanese government was meant to transform Varanasi into a high-tech “smart city” in the image of Kyoto. Little of that has materialized.

Though Modi is still expected to win comfortably in Varanasi — which votes on Sunday, the last stage of the election — some analysts see his party losing ground in Uttar Pradesh. The state holds 80 of the 543 seats in India’s Parliament, 71 of which the party won in 2014.

Dalits account for roughly one-fifth of the voters in the state, and surveys by the independent Center for the Study of Developing Societies showed Dalit support for the BJP falling from 31% in January 2018 to 22% in May 2018, the most recent month for which figures were available.

The suicides of two Dalit university students in 2016 and 2017 made national headlines...
Still more.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Rebecca's Traister's Fury

She's got a new book out called Good and Mad, and she's sure personifying it.

Not a nice woman. On Twitter:


Clown Show: Bill de Blasio Officially Launches 2020 Presidential Bid

There's now 23 Democrats in the presidential primary field. Running for president is a grift at this point.

At the N.Y. Post, "Bill de Blasio officially launches 2020 presidential campaign."



Noah Rothman, Unjust

*BUMPED.*

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



The Case for Israel Has to Be Made Over and Over (Because of the Left's Incessant Demonization)

From Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, for Prager University:



San Diego Hash Oil Labs

Jennifer Delacruz reports, for ABC News 10 San Diego:



Black Woman Facing Murder Charge for Pushing Elderly Man Off Las Vegas Bus (VIDEO)

The old guy asked her to be more respectful, and the black bitch murdered him, pushed him right off the bus. Damn!

At ABC News:


Mark Bowden, Black Hawk Down

The movie's been at Showtime on rotation this month, plus I watched it on Netflix as well.

So I decided to finally pick up and read the copy I bought back in 2002 after seeing the movie in theaters. It's gripping. I haven't put it down this week.

At Amazon, Mark Bowden, Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War.



Amazing Woman

Nude, she's taking care of herself in bed.

Plus, gif featuring a hot busty blonde.

Battleground Pennsylvania

At the Los Angeles Times, "Trump and Biden, potential 2020 rivals, both head to Pennsylvania, a key battleground":


President Trump and Joe Biden have twin obsessions: with each other and with the state of Pennsylvania.

Like iron filings to a magnet, both will be drawn in the coming days to Pennsylvania, which was key to Trump’s victory in 2016 and would be central to almost any scenario for a Democratic victory in the 2020 presidential campaign.

Their trips — Biden on Saturday, Trump on Monday — elevate an emerging rivalry that has them locked in a wrestler’s grip long before Democrats even choose a nominee.

Trump, fearing Biden poses the most serious threat in industrial states like Pennsylvania, is trying to diminish him with a barrage of tweets and derisive comments. Biden welcomes the attention and sees it as validating his central argument to Democratic voters: that he’s the candidate best equipped to beat Trump.

Together they are paying little attention to the 22 other Democrats running for the party’s presidential nomination, acting as if the starting gun has already been fired on the general election.

Their Pennsylvania itineraries are emblematic of their competing political strategies. Trump, aiming to energize the white working-class voters who brought him to victory, plans to hold a rally in rural Lycoming County in the central part of the state, which went for Trump by nearly 45 percentage points in 2016.

Biden, hoping to make up for his party’s 2016 shortfall among black and working-class voters, will hold his first large-scale 2020 campaign rally in Philadelphia, a bastion of black Democratic strength. Biden’s first campaign event was a union-heavy affair in Pittsburgh three weeks ago, when he threw down the glove before the president.

“If I’m going to be able to beat Donald Trump in 2020, it’s going to happen here,” he said.

Trump’s visit, during which he is slated to campaign for a GOP candidate in a special election who looks to be a shoo-in, comes at a perilous time politically. Public surveys show Biden leading the president in this crucial battleground. The latest Quinnipiac University poll in Pennsylvania found Biden out-polls Trump 53% to 42%, with especially wide margins among independent voters and women.

The Trump team’s own polling shows him trailing in the state.

That’s a far cry from his stunning 2016 victory in Pennsylvania, which, along with narrow wins in Wisconsin and Michigan, demolished Democrats’ “blue wall” of support across the industrial heartland. Not since 1988 had a Republican presidential nominee carried Pennsylvania or Michigan. Wisconsin hadn’t voted for a Republican nominee since 1984.

But Trump’s margin of victory in Pennsylvania was only about 44,000 votes out of about 6 million cast.

Ever since that upset, warning signs for the GOP have been flashing in Pennsylvania. In special elections in 2017, Democrats flipped some long-held GOP local offices, and Democrat Conor Lamb, a centrist, won a House seat in the heart of Trump country. The 2018 midterm election was a statewide blowout as Democrats won the U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races by double-digit margins.

Moving to get a grip on the situation, the Trump political team a few weeks ago traveled to Harrisburg, Pa., for a meeting with Republican National Committee and state GOP officials to address concerns over party infrastructure, organizational readiness and their string of losses, according to two officials with knowledge of the meeting.

The Trump campaign officials — including David Urban, who oversaw Trump’s 2016 operation in Pennsylvania, and Trump 2020 political directors Bill Stepien and Chris Carr — “came to make it clear that they’ll be running the show,” one attendee said.

Trump’s hope for holding on to the state depends heavily on galvanizing Trump voters who may not have turned out in 2018...
Still more.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

'Semi-Charmed Life'

From yesterday morning's drive-time, at 93.1 Jack FM Los Angeles, Third Eye Blind:

Let's Dance
David Bowie
6:51am

Fat Bottomed Girls
Queen
6:47am

Semi-Charmed Life
Third Eye Blind
6:42am

You Shook Me All Night Long
AC/DC
6:39am

Tainted Love
Soft Cell
6:35am

Come Out And Play
Offspring
6:24am

Something Just Like This
Coldplay / The Chainsmokers
6:20am

Limelight
Rush
6:15am

99 Luftballoons
Nena
6:12am

What's My Age Again
Blink 182
6:09am

Everybody Wants To Rule The World
Tears For Fears
6:05am

American Girl
Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
5:54am

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Don DeLillo, White Noise

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Don DeLillo, White Noise (Penguin Orange Collection).



'Under the Bridge'

From yesterday morning's drive-time, at 93.1 Jack FM Los Angeles, the Red Hot Chili Peppers:


The Chain
Fleetwood Mac
8:50am

Been Caught Stealing
Jane's Addiction
8:47am

Don't You Forget About Me
Simple Minds
8:42am

Jump
Van Halen
8:38am

867-5309 Jenny
Tommy Tutone
8:35am

Hey Ya!
Outkast
8:24am

Eyes Without a Face
Billy Idol
8:19am

Walk This Way
AEROSMITH
8:15am

Under The Bridge
Red Hot Chili Peppers
8:11am

Whip It
Devo
8:08am

Friday, May 10, 2019

'What I Like About You'

From Thursday morning's drive-time, the Romantics, "What I Like About You," at 93.1 Jack FM Los Angeles:


Livin' On A Prayer
Bon Jovi
7:03am

She Blinded Me With Science
Thomas Dolby
6:52am

My Hero
Foo Fighters
6:48am

What I Like About You
Romantics
6:45am

Open Arms
JOURNEY
6:42am

Beat It
Michael Jackson
6:37am

Vaseline
Stone Temple Pilots
6:35am

Surrender
Cheap Trick
6:31am

Girls On Film
Duran Duran
6:21am

Better Man
Pearl Jam
6:17am

Go Your Own Way
Fleetwood Mac
6:13am

Pride
U2
6:09am

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Why God is Masculine

From the awesome, incredible Dennis Prager. The dude's a freakin' rabbi!

At Prager University:



Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Danielle Gersh's Tuesday Forecast

Here's the beautiful Ms. Danielle, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles:



'Drive'

From this morning's break-time, where I listen to the radio in my car in the parking lot and have a vape (which is prohibited on campus).

At 93.1 Jack FM Los Angeles, Incubus, "Drive":


Modern Love
David Bowie
9:10am

Buddy Holly
Weezer
9:07am

Another Brick In The Wall
Pink Floyd
9:04am

Beat It
Michael Jackson
8:53am

Drive
INCUBUS
8:49am

Drive
Incubus
8:49am

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?
Clash
8:46am

Barracuda
Heart
8:41am

Enjoy The Silence
Depeche Mode
8:37am

Monday, May 6, 2019

Hitler's in the Charts Again

That's the name of the Exploited's hit song, here.

And, apparently, at the L.A. Times, "Fascism is on the minds of book buyers — and publishers are taking notice":


Remember “The End of History?” Elizabeth Drummond, who spent the 1990s studying at Georgetown University, recalls Francis Fukuyama’s groundbreaking essay well, which announced "an unabashed victory of economic and political liberalism.” The Soviet Union had just collapsed in a peaceful devolution, Germany was reunified as Champagne popped alongside the crumbling Berlin Wall and democracy seemed to be inevitably settling across the globe like a gentle rain. Politicians in the U.S. talked about a smooth and comfortable “third way” between Left and Right.

“There was a lot of optimism,” Drummond remembered. The topic of her studies — European Fascism of the 1920s and 1930s — seemed distant in both time and place.

But a quarter-century later, things look a bit different. Around the world, democracy appears to be losing ground to authoritarian populism in places like Hungary, Poland and the Philippines. Neo-Fascist, anti-immigrant movements brew in much of Europe and the United States. American politics is polarized in a way it’s not been in a century. And whatever’s going on in Venezuela, Turkey, Russia and North Korea, it’s hard to describe them as democracies.

Today, the subject of Drummond’s research no longer feels like a black-and-white film from decades ago.

“When I was a grad student, I didn’t think the link between past and present would be this strong,” says Drummond, now a professor at Loyola Marymount University. “One of the challenges of teaching history is to make it relevant. But I’m not sure modern European historians ever wanted to be this relevant.”

One of the challenges of teaching history is to make it relevant. But I’m not sure modern European historians ever wanted to be this relevant.

Drummond is not alone in seeing these connections. College students, book buyers and newspaper columnists are taking a renewed interest in the bad old days of interwar authoritarianism, as well as books about threats to the present. Several scholars have even started a crowd-sourced website called The New Fascism Syllabus.

The last few years have not been great for democracy around the world. But they have been, for people who write about or teach the subject, good for business. As a book review from the Washington Post put it, “Fascism is back in fashion.”

Despite parallels like attacks on the press, racial scapegoating, demonization of opposition parties, or the constant sense of alarm dictators rely on, no credible observer says that Hungary’s Viktor Orban, the leaders of Brexit or Vladimir Putin are replays of Hitler or Mussolini.

But some in the literary world are taking more direct looks at authoritarian regimes of the past and present, while trying to imagine the future.

In the immediate aftermath of the election of President Donald Trump, a number of novels about authoritarian states — George Orwell’s “1984,” Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 book “It Can’t Happen Here,” Philip Roth’s “The Plot Against America,” in which the demagogue Charles Lindbergh defeats President Roosevelt – saw their profiles rise. Some even returned to the bestseller list. Readers continue to consume authoritarian fiction – British author John Lanchester has a new dystopian novel called “The Wall,” inspired by American insularity and the Brexit vote.

Other writers have been perceptive to the global political shifts. Recent books — Pankaj Mishra’s “Age of Anger,” Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt’s “How Democracies Die” — have become steady sellers and regular references for political commentators.

We never fall twice into the same abyss. But we always fall the same way, in a mixture of ridicule and dread.

Charles Hauther, head buyer for Los Feliz’s Skylight Books, says globally focused books like these sell better than anti-Trump tomes, and some old texts about authoritarianism are returning. “‘Anatomy of Fascism’ is back in style,” Hauther says of the Robert Paxton title from 15 years ago.

Some books — like Madeleine Albright’s ”Fascism: A Warning” from 2018, informed by her family’s flight from Nazi-occupied Central Europe — have a personal angle. Some aim for a mass audience, like 2017’s “On Tyranny,” by Yale historian Timothy Snyder. Others — “Artists Under Hitler: Collaboration and Survival in Nazi Germany,” by Claremont McKenna College historian Jonathan Petropoulos, or this year’s “Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit and Authoritarian Populism,” by political scientists Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart — are scholarly but also readable for a general public.

Authors are also searching for root causes, like Jonathan Weiler, a political scientist and YouTube star interested in the “authoritarian personality” and co-author (with Marc Hetherington) of “Prius or Pickup?” Even more broadly, London economist William Davies writes in the new “Nervous States: Democracy and the Decline of Reason” that these shifts are caused by that fact that truth and rationality itself are now under assault.

Ziblatt cites income inequality, the lack of civics education and the disappearing of public spaces as potentially increasing the erosion of democratic norms. “The main way democracies die used to be military coups,” says Ziblatt. “Now it’s elections.”

Teachings on totalitarianism

Students have been intrigued by Nazis and Fascism for decades, but their interest has surged alongside global changes taking place from Beijing to Brazil. Ziblatt offered a Harvard class on the subject last autumn: 150 students applied for 12 spaces. When he originally offered the course, in the wake of George W. Bush’s wars in the Middle East, he called it, “Is Democracy Possible Everywhere?” Now, after the failure of democratic nation-building in the region and the widespread eruption of authoritarianism, he jokingly refers to it as, “Is Democracy Possible Anywhere?”

Students are not only enrolling, they are making connections between what they study and what they read in the news. It was exactly those parallels that drove Eva Baudler, an LMU junior whose grandparents were German resistance fighters, to take Drummond’s course on Nazi Germany. The first day involved watching a short film about the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Va...
More.

Jennifer Delacruz's Fabulous Forecast

This was for yesterday, but look at this week's forecast.

Ms. Jennifer is da kine.



Democrat Enthusiasm Weakens Ahead of 2020

At NBC, "Democrats lose their enthusiasm advantage in latest NBC News/WSJ poll":


WASHINGTON — Democrats had two advantages that fueled their midterm victories in November 2018 — an edge in enthusiasm and success with independent voters.

Six months later, just one of those advantages remains.

In the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 75 percent of Republican registered voters say they have high interest in the 2020 presidential election — registering a “9” or “10” on a 10-point scale — versus 73 percent of Democratic voters who say the same thing.

That’s quite a change from the 2018 cycle, when Democrats held a double-digit lead on this question until the last two months before the election, when the GOP closed the gap but still trailed the Dems in enthusiasm.

It’s just one poll, but the numbers are a reminder that presidential elections are always different than midterm cycles.

And they should correct any Dem thinking that assumes — “Hey, we have Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in the bag because we won there in 2018” — since GOP enthusiasm now is much higher.

Oh, one other thing: overall enthusiasm for 2020 is sky-high, with 69 percent of all voters expressing a high level of interest in the upcoming election.

That’s just 3 points shy of the 72 percent who said the same thing in October 2016.

And we are still more than 500 days away from the 2020 general election.

So, yeah, turnout in 2020 is going to be through the roof...
More.

OMG! No Way! We're Doomed! Civilization is Accelerating Extinction and Altering the Natural World at a Pace 'Unprecedented in Human History'

More doomsday hysteria from the climate cult.

At the New York Times, "Humans Are Speeding Extinction and Altering the Natural World at an ‘Unprecedented’ Pace":

Photobucket
WASHINGTON — Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded.

The 1,500-page report, compiled by hundreds of international experts and based on thousands of scientific studies, is the most exhaustive look yet at the decline in biodiversity across the globe and the dangers that creates for human civilization. A summary of its findings, which was approved by representatives from the United States and 131 other countries, was released Monday in Paris. The full report is set to be published this year.

Its conclusions are stark. In most major land habitats, from the savannas of Africa to the rain forests of South America, the average abundance of native plant and animal life has fallen by 20 percent or more, mainly over the past century. With the human population passing 7 billion, activities like farming, logging, poaching, fishing and mining are altering the natural world at a rate “unprecedented in human history.”

At the same time, a new threat has emerged: Global warming has become a major driver of wildlife decline, the assessment found, by shifting or shrinking the local climates that many mammals, birds, insects, fish and plants evolved to survive in. When combined with the other ways humans are damaging the environment, climate change is now pushing a growing number of species, such as the Bengal tiger, closer to extinction.

As a result, biodiversity loss is projected to accelerate through 2050, particularly in the tropics, unless countries drastically step up their conservation efforts.

A previous report by the group had estimated that, in the Americas, nature provides some $24 trillion of non-monetized benefits to humans each year. The Amazon rain forest absorbs immense quantities of carbon dioxide and helps slow the pace of global warming. Wetlands purify drinking water. Coral reefs sustain tourism and fisheries in the Caribbean. Exotic tropical plants form the basis of a variety of medicines.

But as these natural landscapes wither and become less biologically rich, the services they can provide to humans have been dwindling.

Humans are producing more food than ever, but land degradation is already harming agricultural productivity on 23 percent of the planet’s land area, the new report said. The decline of wild bees and other insects that help pollinate fruits and vegetables is putting up to $577 billion in annual crop production at risk. The loss of mangrove forests and coral reefs along coasts could expose up to 300 million people to increased risk of flooding.

The authors note that the devastation of nature has become so severe that piecemeal efforts to protect individual species or to set up wildlife refuges will no longer be sufficient. Instead, they call for “transformative changes” that include curbing wasteful consumption, slimming down agriculture’s environmental footprint and cracking down on illegal logging and fishing...
We're all gonna die!

Allie Stuckey Interview (VIDEO)

She's with Candace Owens, and Ms. Stuckey is largely pregnant, and I mean large, especially up top.



Woman's Life Ruined by Large Breasts (VIDEO)

Impossible!

This woman has fabulously huge honkers!

Watch at the link.

Emma Roberts Cosmopolitan June 2019 Cover Story

At Taxi Driver, "Emma Roberts Topless in Cosmo."

And at Cosmo, "Emma Roberts Is Ready to Stand on Her Own, Be a Movie Star, and Wear Fewer Clothes."

Friday, May 3, 2019

Anti-Humanism

At Quillette, an excellent piece, "How Anti-Humanism Conquered the Left."

Today is International Workers’ Day, a holiday with socialist origins. Its name hearkens back to a time when the political Left was ostensibly devoted to the cause of human welfare. These days, however, some on the far Left care less about the wellbeing of people than they do about making sure that people are never born at all. How did these radicals come to support a massive reduction in human population, if not humanity’s demise? Whether it’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioning the morality of childbearing, a birth-strike movement that encourages people to forego parenthood despite the “grief that [they say they] feel as a result,” or political commentator Bill Maher blithely claiming, “I can’t think of a better gift to our planet than pumping out fewer humans to destroy it,” a misanthropic philosophy known as “anti-natalism” is going increasingly mainstream.

The logical conclusion of this anti-humanist ideology is, depressingly, the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (Vhemt). According to its founder, activist Les Knight, Vhemt (pronounced “vehement”) is gaining steam. “In the last year,” Knight told the Daily Mail, “I’ve seen more and more articles about people choosing to remain child-free or to not add more to their existing family than ever. I’ve been collecting these stories and last year was just a groundswell of articles, and, in addition, there have been articles about human extinction.”

Over 2000 new people have “liked” the movement’s Facebook page since January and, more importantly, the number of people fulfilling the movement’s goals (regardless of any affiliation with the movement itself) is growing. The U.S. birth rate is at an all-time low. According to the latest figures from the Center for Disease Control, the total U.S. fertility rate for 2017 was at an all-time low of 1.77 babies per woman (i.e., below the replacement rate of 2.1 babies per woman needed to maintain the current population).

Recent examples of writings that are warming to the idea of human extinction include the New Yorker’s “The Case for Not Being Born,” NBC News’ “Science proves kids are bad for Earth. Morality suggests we stop having them,” and the New York Times’ “Would Human Extinction Be a Tragedy?” which muses that, “It may well be, then, that the extinction of humanity would make the world better off.” Last month, the progressive magazine FastCompany released a disturbing video entitled, “Why Having Kids Is the Worst Thing You Can Do for the Planet.”

Some anti-natalists are not content with promoting the voluntary reduction of birth rates, and would prefer to hurry the process along with government intervention. Various prominent environmentalists, from Johns Hopkins University bioethicist Travis Rieder to science popularizer and entertainer Bill Nye, support the introduction of special taxes or other state-imposed penalties for having “too many” children. In 2015, Bowdoin College’s Sarah Conly published a book advocating a “one-child” policy, like the one China abandoned following disastrous consequences including female infanticide and a destabilizing gender ratio of 120 boys per 100 girls, which left around 17 percent of China’s young men unable to find a Chinese wife. Even after that barbaric policy’s collapse, she maintains it was “a good thing.”

Modern-day anti-humanism emerged in the 1970s, midwifed by a doomy strain of environmental pessimism led by Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich (but with intellectual antecedents dating back to Thomas Malthus in the eighteenth century). Ehrlich published his widely read polemic The Population Bomb in 1968, which originally opened with the lines, “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”

Thanks to human ingenuity in the form of the Green Revolution, that didn’t happen...
Keep reading.