Friday, August 7, 2020

Quick Change Artist

On Twitter:

Yesterday Was the 75 Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima

I didn't blog yesterday --- I was binge watching "Game of Thrones" --- but in what news I did follow yesterday I didn't see anything about the August 6, 1945. Last week I watched a History Channel segment on the aftermath of Hiroshima on Nagasaki. The U.S. sent American scientists to study the effects of radiation on the two leveled cities. I think young people today have no idea of the kind of human destruction possible with the invention of the atom bomb. When you get pulled back into that history and historical debate over justifications and "never again," it's just extremely fascinating.

In any case, here's a cool thread from Foreign Affairs:

Pelosi Lashes Out at Judy Woodruff During PBS Interview

At Weasel Zippers, "Pelosi Lashes Out at PBS’ Judy Woodruff During Interview, Suggests Anchor Is a GOP ‘Advocate’."

We Deserve Better Than Trump Versus Biden

Everybody should be concerned about this, if they're concerned at all, and it takes the radical Jacobin to stress it.

Monday, August 3, 2020

The Szaber Bowl: Warsaw, Poland (VIDEO)

This is excellent.

Stop Apologizing to the Mob


And this part, especially:
The article goes on to mention Trader Joe’s also pushing back against cancel culture. At Ricochet, Bethany Mandel writes, “How to Handle to Mob: Stop Apologizing:”
Ellen [DeGeneres] and her producers need to take the Trader Joe’s tactic: responding to a petition that some of their labels were racist, the supermarket chain pushed back and defended themselves, saying they are not racist and they’re not going anywhere. After the first statement about justifiably troubling workplace behavior, this is what those involved in the show should have done with repeated reports of workplace malcontent. “We are sorry that these individuals speaking to you off-the-record are not happy working on one of the most successful shows in daytime history. They know how to contact HR with a resignation letter and are invited to do so at their earliest convenience.”

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Paige Spiranac Updates

On Twitter:

Vita Sidorkina

At Sports Illustrated:

Samantha Hoopes Travel Message

She's lovely.

Isabel Wilkerson, Caste

Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.

Riots and Demonstrations from Portland to Jerusalem

From Caroline Glick:

Over the past several years, public discourse in the United States has seen a lot of new lows. It saw another one this month when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to federal officers in Portland, Oregon as “stormtroopers,” that is, Nazi Brownshirts.

In a tweet on July 18 and in subsequent remarks, Pelosi accused the federal forces deployed to Portland of “kidnapping protesters and causing severe injuries in response to graffiti.”

Pelosi’s allegations would cause a political earthquake – if they were true. But they aren’t true. And the fact that she slandered federal officers as Nazis is a deeply disturbing testament to where the Democratic Party – of which she is the senior elected official – stands today and what its intentions are.

For the past two months, the progressive city of Portland in the progressive State of Oregon, has been the scene of chaos and rioting. The liberal media have misleadingly characterized the riots as “peaceful demonstrations.”

Night after night, hundreds of “peaceful demonstrators” have vandalized and destroyed stores and other businesses, transforming downtown Portland into a war zone. Over the past five weeks, the focal point of the violence has been the federal courthouse.

“Peaceful protesters” from Antifa and other radical groups have been attacking the federal courthouse in Portland with incendiary devices including pipe bombs and commercial grade fireworks. Federal officers charged with guarding the courthouse have been blinded with lasers and attacked with stones, metal balls shot from slingshots, bricks and two-by-fours, among other things.

The rioters are backed in their efforts by city and state officials as well as national Democrats who have castigated federal forces protecting the courthouse as “occupiers,” the “Gestapo” and of course “stormtroopers.”

As for the alleged “kidnapping” of peaceful protesters, local journalist Andy Ngo explained this week that Pelosi’s statement channeled Antifa propaganda.

Ngo told Fox News, “That’s an Antifa talking point that is being repeated by sympathetic media.”

He explained that federal officers charged with protecting federal property are using plainclothes agents in unmarked vehicles to peacefully apprehend leaders of the violence. This is a routine, entirely legal tactic which Ngo explained is only being castigated now is because “it is quite effective.”

On the face of it, as Democratic politicians, Pelosi and her colleagues in Congress and Oregon should support the federal forces trying to end the riots. After all, like New York, Chicago, Minneapolis and Los Angeles, Portland is a Democratic city. The businesses being destroyed are owned by their voters.

So why are Pelosi and her partisan colleagues and their media adjuncts instead depicting the rioters rendering downtown Portland a war zone as “peaceful protesters” and slandering the law enforcement officers defending federal property as Nazis?

The obvious answer is politics. The Democrats support the rioters because as they see things, the longer chaos reigns in the streets of America’s cities, the better their chances of defeating President Donald Trump in November.

The Democrats have a number of resources that the Republicans lack and the riots bring them all to bear. They have fanatical progressive activists angry that Bernie Sanders isn’t the nominee but willing to burn America.

They have wall to wall support from the media from NBC to the New York Times to Facebook and Twitter.

The Democrats have limitless funds to maintain the violence and mayhem indefinitely. This week, Alexander Soros, George Soros’ son announced that the family foundation has earmarked another quarter billion dollars to Black Lives Matter. And the Soroses are not alone.

As the past four years of Trump-Russia mythology and legally baseless, politicized prosecutions and investigations have shown, the Democrats control much of the so-called Deep State which controls the levers of the permanent bureaucracy.

The Trump-Russia collusion narrative largely disintegrated under the weight of evidence and the absurd impeachment process over the past several months. And with its decline the Democrats began casting about for a new cause.

They found it with the coronavirus pandemic. In one fell swoop, the virus from China swept away Trump’s fast-growing economy with record low unemployment across all ethnic and racial groups.

With schools abruptly closed and jobs abruptly lost the optimistic America of 2019 became the destabilized, poor, frustrated and insecure America of 2020.

Yet, despite the best efforts of the commentators, support for Trump was not falling apart, at least not enough to ensure an electoral victory for Joe Biden. And Americans were beginning to figure out a way through, as the rising stock market indexes indicated.

But then came the riots. The proximate cause of the riots and protests was the police killing of George Floyd. But their context was the pandemic and the elections in November. The riots gave the Democrats a way to galvanize their radical progressive base (on the streets, in Congress and in the media) around their favorite issues – race and identity politics.

For the Democrats, the best part of the riots is that unlike the pandemic, for demonstrators and their media flacks, it is easy to make the case that Trump is to blame.

Trump’s in charge and America is burning. Trump’s to blame. Trump’s in charge and there is racism in America. Trump’s to blame.

If Trump quells the riots, he will be guilty of police brutality, (with stormtroopers) – thus proving the point. If he fails to quell the riots, he is an ineffective boob. And so, with a bottomless pit of money, the riots will continue, at least so long as the Democrats feel they benefit from them, and they haven’t figured out something else to do...
Still more.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

A Broad Ideological Project to Dominate Society

From Andrew Michta, at WSJ, "The Captive Mind and America’s Resegregation":

Czesław Miłosz, a future Nobel Prize-winning poet who had just defected from Poland, began work in 1951 on a book called “The Captive Mind.” Even as Stalinist totalitarianism tightened its grip on Eastern Europe, many Western European intellectuals lauded the brave new world of Soviet communism as a model for overcoming “bourgeois forces,” which in their view had caused World War II. Living in Paris, Miłosz wrote his book, which was published in 1953, to warn the West of what happens to the human mind and soul in a totalitarian system.

Miłosz knew from experience, having lived through the Communist takeover, how totalitarianism strips men and women of their liberty, transforming them into “affirmative cogs” in service of the state and obliterating what had taken centuries of Western political development to achieve. Totalitarianism not only enslaved people physically but crippled their spirit. It did so by replacing ordinary human language, in which words signify things in the outside world, with ideologically sanctioned language, in which words signify the dominant party’s ever-changing ideas of what is and is not true.

Since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, nationwide protests, which quickly turned to riots, have been hijacked by the neo-Marxist left, morphing into an all-out assault on American cities and institutions. This assault is underpinned by an audacious attempt to rewrite history that turns specific past events into weapons not only to overpower political opponents but also to recast all of American history as a litany of racial transgressions.

The radicals have turned race into a lens through which to view the country’s history, and not simply because they are obsessed with race. They have done so because it allows them to identify and separate those groups that deserve affirmation, in their view, and those that do not. What is taking place is the resegregation of America, the endpoint of which will be the rejection of everything the civil-rights movement stood for.

What is driving the radical protesters and rioters—who are enabled and manipulated by the “digital intelligentsia” in the press and an expanding segment of the political and business classes—is contempt for the freedom of anyone who fails to comport with their image of a just society. In authoritarian systems those in power seek to proscribe certain forms of political speech and social activity. Totalitarians claim unconditional authority to reach deep into each person’s conscience. They prescribe an interpretation of the world and dictate the language with which citizens are permitted to express that interpretation. Authoritarian regimes leave largely untouched the private civic sphere of human activity; totalitarians destroy traditional value systems and reorder the culture. That is why they are harder to overthrow.

The ill-named progressivism that has inspired shrill demands to dismantle police forces and destroy statues is only a small manifestation of a massive project aimed at the re-education of the American population. The goal of this project is to negate the story of the American republic and replace it with a tale anchored exclusively in race categories and narratives of oppression. The nature of this exercise, with its sledgehammer rhetoric that obliterates complexities in favor of one-dimensional “correct” interpretations, is as close to Marxist agitprop as one can get.

Why do American elites, who might be expected to favor preserving the nation that has elevated them, support the effort to dismantle it? Their thinking seems to be that the radicals destroying monuments and issuing wholesale denunciations of America’s past are wreaking destruction on ordinary Americans and their history, not on the elites and their ideology. Today’s elites as a rule do not believe they have any obligation to serve the public, only to rule it, and so they express little or no disapproval of college students toppling statues on federal land or looters raiding supermarkets. To criticize them would open elites to the charges of “populism” and “racism.”

Why do American elites, who might be expected to favor preserving the nation that has elevated them, support the effort to dismantle it? Their thinking seems to be that the radicals destroying monuments and issuing wholesale denunciations of America’s past are wreaking destruction on ordinary Americans and their history, not on the elites and their ideology. Today’s elites as a rule do not believe they have any obligation to serve the public, only to rule it, and so they express little or no disapproval of college students toppling statues on federal land or looters raiding supermarkets. To criticize them would open elites to the charges of “populism” and “racism.”

Yet the elites are playing a dangerous game. Such “canceling”—of historical and living figures alike—increasingly mirrors what happened under communism in the Soviet bloc, where the accusation of being out of step with the party was enough to end one’s career and nullify one’s reputation.

This is about more than statues and history. Those who control the symbols of political discourse can dominate the culture and control the collective consciousness. If you doubt this, ask yourself why there has been so little backlash from ordinary, nonelite Americans. Our sense of self has been progressively deconstructed. We feel in our bones the wrongness of the violence being visited on the nation but lack the language to speak against it.

The resegregation of American society is fundamentally undemocratic and un-American. It envisions a social hierarchy based on DNA. It is also incompatible with individual freedom and constitutional government. Hence the drive to overhaul the U.S. Constitution, rewrite textbooks, and restructure museums by race and sex quotas.

Democracy cannot survive in a society in which winners and losers are adjudicated arbitrarily according to criteria beyond individual control. Any society built around the principle of skin color will become a caste system in which accident, not merit, will allocate value and benefit. Civil society will be buried once and for all.

The current radical trends carry the seeds of violence unseen in the U.S. since the Civil War. The activists ascendant in American cities insist on the dominance of their ideological precepts, brooking no alternative. Such absolutism forces Americans away from the realm of political compromise into one of unrelenting axiology, with one side claiming a monopoly on virtue and decency while the other is expected to accept its status as perpetually evil, and thus assume a permanent penitent stance for all its real and imagined misdeeds across history.

Only when the state creates a space for an unbiased debate over history can a discussion truly take place unhindered by ideology and dogma. Only then can a society move toward a consensus on a shared understanding of its past and how its collective memory should be shaped. The U.S. is roiled by spasms of violence and intolerance today because government at all levels—public education systems, states that allow universities to promulgate speech codes and “safe spaces,” court decisions that define constitutionally protected speech as, in effect, everything but political speech—has abdicated its duty to protect the public space. Children are rampaging through the cities because the adults have left the room.

America is in the throes of a destructive ideological experiment, subjected to a sweeping and increasingly state-sanctioned reordering of its collective memory, with the increasingly totalitarian left given free rein to dominate public discourse...
Still more.

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Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, China Maneuvers for International Leadership

I suppose it's nearly impossible for a 100 percent decoupling from China, but it's worth a try, sheesh.

See Kurt Campbell and Rush Doshi, at Foreign Affairs, "The Coronavirus Could Reshape Global Order: China Is Maneuvering for International Leadership as the United States Falters":

With hundreds of millions of people now isolating themselves around the world, the novel coronavirus pandemic has become a truly global event. And while its geopolitical implications should be considered secondary to matters of health and safety, those implications may, in the long term, prove just as consequential—especially when it comes to the United States’ global position. Global orders have a tendency to change gradually at first and then all at once. In 1956, a botched intervention in the Suez laid bare the decay in British power and marked the end of the United Kingdom’s reign as a global power. Today, U.S. policymakers should recognize that if the United States does not rise to meet the moment, the coronavirus pandemic could mark another “Suez moment.”

It is now clear to all but the most blinkered partisans that Washington has botched its initial response. Missteps by key institutions, from the White House and the Department of Homeland Security to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have undermined confidence in the capacity and competence of U.S. governance. Public statements by President Donald Trump, whether Oval Office addresses or early-morning tweets, have largely served to sow confusion and spread uncertainty. Both public and private sectors have proved ill-prepared to produce and distribute the tools necessary for testing and response. And internationally, the pandemic has amplified Trump’s instincts to go it alone and exposed just how unprepared Washington is to lead a global response.

The status of the United States as a global leader over the past seven decades has been built not just on wealth and power but also, and just as important, on the legitimacy that flows from the United States’ domestic governance, provision of global public goods, and ability and willingness to muster and coordinate a global response to crises. The coronavirus pandemic is testing all three elements of U.S. leadership. So far, Washington is failing the test.

As Washington falters, Beijing is moving quickly and adeptly to take advantage of the opening created by U.S. mistakes, filling the vacuum to position itself as the global leader in pandemic response. It is working to tout its own system, provide material assistance to other countries, and even organize other governments. The sheer chutzpah of China’s move is hard to overstate. After all, it was Beijing’s own missteps—especially its efforts at first to cover up the severity and spread of the outbreak—that helped create the very crisis now afflicting much of the world. Yet Beijing understands that if it is seen as leading, and Washington is seen as unable or unwilling to do so, this perception could fundamentally alter the United States’ position in global politics and the contest for leadership in the twenty-first century.


In the immediate aftermath of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease now referred to as COVID-19, the missteps of Chinese leaders cast a pall on their country’s global standing. The virus was first detected in November 2019 in the city of Wuhan, but officials didn’t disclose it for months and even punished the doctors who first reported it, squandering precious time and delaying by at least five weeks measures that would educate the public, halt travel, and enable widespread testing. Even as the full scale of the crisis emerged, Beijing tightly controlled information, shunned assistance from the CDC, limited World Health Organization travel to Wuhan, likely undercounted infections and deaths, and repeatedly altered the criteria for registering new COVID-19 cases—perhaps in a deliberate effort to manipulate the official number of cases.

As the crisis worsened through January and February, some observers speculated that the coronavirus might even undermine the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. It was called China’s “Chernobyl”; Dr. Li Wenliang—the young whistleblower silenced by the government who later succumbed to complications from the COVID-19—was likened to the Tiananmen Square “tank man.”

Yet by early March, China was claiming victory. Mass quarantines, a halt to travel, and a complete shutdown of most daily life nationwide were credited with having stemmed the tide; official statistics, such as they are, reported that daily new cases had fallen into the single digits in mid-March from the hundreds in early February. In a surprise to most observers, Chinese leader Xi Jinping—who had been uncharacteristically quiet in the first weeks—began to put himself squarely at the center of the response. This month, he personally visited Wuhan.

Even though life in China has yet to return to normal (and despite continuing questions over the accuracy of China’s statistics), Beijing is working to turn these early signs of success into a larger narrative to broadcast to the rest of the world—one that makes China the essential player in a coming global recovery while airbrushing away its earlier mismanagement of the crisis.

A critical part of this narrative is Beijing’s supposed success in battling the virus. A steady stream of propaganda articles, tweets, and public messaging, in a wide variety of languages, touts China’s achievements and highlights the effectiveness of its model of domestic governance. “China’s signature strength, efficiency and speed in this fight has been widely acclaimed,” declared Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. China, he added, set “a new standard for the global efforts against the epidemic.” Central authorities have instituted tight informational control and discipline at state organs to snuff out contradictory narratives.

These messages are helped by the implicit contrast with efforts to battle the virus in the West, particularly in the United States—Washington’s failure to produce adequate numbers of testing kits, which means the United States has tested relatively few people per capita, or the Trump administration’s ongoing disassembly of the U.S. government’s pandemic-response infrastructure. Beijing has seized the narrative opportunity provided by American disarray, its state media and diplomats regularly reminding a global audience of the superiority of Chinese efforts and criticizing the “irresponsibility and incompetence” of the “so-called political elite in Washington,” as the state-run Xinhua news agency put it in an editorial.

Chinese officials and state media have even insisted that the coronavirus did not in fact emerge from China—despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary—in order to reduce China’s blame for the global pandemic. This effort has elements of a full-blown Russian-style disinformation campaign, with China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman and over a dozen diplomats sharing poorly sourced articles accusing the U.S. military of spreading the coronavirus in Wuhan. These actions, combined with China’s unprecedented mass expulsion of journalists from three leading American papers, damage China’s pretensions to leadership...
Still more.

Leila Lowfire

At Celeb Jihad, "German Actress Leila Lowfire Nude."

BONUS: Joanna Kulig.

Professor Mike Adams

From Robert Shibley, at Instapundit, "PROFESSOR MIKE ADAMS WAS MY FRIEND":
He was also a fighter for free speech and due process on campus, who was persecuted in his lifetime and, after being driven to take his own life, was mocked and cursed after his death. He deserved better — we all do. But that won’t happen until we treat people as people instead of as instruments for our own agendas. This will take a general awakening, and I can only pray it happens soon.
And from Michelle Malkin:

'Largely Peaceful,' Translated to English, Means Violent

It's Michael Barone, at the Washington Examiner, "Intensifying Into Violence":

"Protestors in California," tweeted ABC News, about an incident in Oakland, "set fire to a courthouse, damaged a police station and assaulted officers after a peaceful demonstration intensified."

If you'd presented your ninth-grade teacher with that sentence in your weekly writing assignment, she might have taken out her red pen and asked you, "How does a peaceful demonstration intensify?"

This sentence, however, was written not by a ninth-grader but by an adult, a professional journalist working for one of the world's major television news organizations. It was not an accident. As Modern Age editor Daniel McCarthy noted, "George Orwell could not improve on this."

Any "peaceful demonstration" capable of "intensifying" into setting fire to a courthouse, damaging a police station and assaulting law enforcement personnel was never really "peaceful" in the first place.

As The New Criterion editor Roger Kimball wrote, "the overriding criterion for choosing which narrative to plug" is which "will do the most damage to Donald Trump and Republican prospects in the November election."

The narrative that serves that purpose is that the demonstrations that broke out after the May 25 death of George Floyd are peaceful, and the demands of many demonstrators to "defund" the police are a reasonable response with no downside risk. Video footage suggesting the contrary has appeared sparingly, if at all, on broadcast news, CNN and MSNBC...

Dancing Girls

Well, maybe I'm not for banning TikTok after all, lol.


Seen on Twitter:

Total Badass


Join the Club!

Iryna's club!

Victims of Communism

One can't be reminded enough of this historical abomination.



Still making it in the porn industry.

Tomi Lahren

I don't subscribe to Fox Nation, but if I did, it'd be to see this woman's legs.

The Lincoln Project Attacks President Trump (VIDEO)

Sarah Rumpf has it, at Mediaite:

Commentary at Althouse, "The Lincoln Project indulges in fat shaming, color shaming, and the depreciating masculinity in this tone-deaf attack on Trump":
I only got half way through this before clicking it off. It might be funnier to fans of David Attenborough nature programs, but to me the reliance on a English-accented supercilious male voice was just embarrassingly out of touch with present-day America...

Matt Stoller, Goliath

At Amazon, Matt Stoller, Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy.

Placerville's 'Horrific Vigilante History'

I didn't know this history, which is interesting.

Religious Faithful Navigate the Lockdown in Riverside County's 'Bible Belt'

You have to go inland to find evangelical conservatives. I'm surprised sometimes just how many are out there. Still, until the public evicts the criminal Democrats in Sacramento, this state is toast.

At LAT, "In California’s ‘Bible Belt,’ churches find ways around state’s coronavirus lockdown orders":

Jennifer Trujillo made a 30-minute trip from her home in San Diego County to the country roads of Wildomar in Riverside County for the first time in weeks.

For the last year, the Pala resident had made the trek up every Sunday to attend the service at Bundy Canyon Christian Church, a complex of colorful old-timey buildings along a rural road.

The coronavirus outbreak had sidelined Trujillo, 37, from her trips to church, leaving her to reading the Bible and practicing her faith at home. She knew about the worries of church services leading to outbreaks of COVID-19. That health officials criticized such gatherings as posing a public health risk to parishioners and others they may come in contact with.

But Trujillo would not ignore the call of her pastor to return.

“I feel safe around this community,” Trujillo said. “The word that the pastor gives forth is amazing and its better in person. I just wanted to go back.”

And so she did on a mid-July Sunday to an all-too-familiar scene of parishioners packing the pews. She was instructed not to sit next to anyone outside of her immediate household members.

It was a vain attempt at social distancing.

After scouring for a seat, her 9-year-old daughter Morgan and Trujillo settled for a spot near the center of the pews. Like others, they were squeezed in closer than six feet from other people. A fan conjured up a light breeze. Three vocalists and a drummer performed on stage as dozens of people sang along.

Churches across the state have been whipsawed by state closure and reopening orders, as church events have been tied to coronavirus outbreaks. In May, infections tied to singing in a church service in Redwood Valley and two more outbreaks from Mother’s Day church services in Mendocino and Butte counties drew concern from public health officials. Cases linked to singing during church services have drawn the ire of scientists and even some church leaders.

till, Bundy Canyon kept its usual choral arrangement as the congregation swayed their arms like concertgoers to the singing.

When the services in this church along Bundy Canyon Road began, congregants greeted one another with hugs. Few wore masks.

“I will give power to my two witnesses ... these men have power to shut off the sky so that it will not rain during the time that they are prophesying and they have the power to turn water to blood and to strike the earth with every type of plague,” Randy Eichert intoned from the pulpit as he read from Revelations.

But whatever final judgment the junior minister preached about — the pandemic seemed, at the moment, far from a growing concern.

The tension between safety and faith has coalesced in the suburbs of Southern California. In parts of California’s so-called Bible Belt, the controversy over rising cases of infection and deaths related to the coronavirus has not stopped residents from packing in-person services.

It’s what his flock wants, Bundy Canyon Christian Church Pastor Michael Khan said.

“They didn’t like being apart at all,” Khan said. “We have trust in God that nothing will happen. Since the start of the pandemic, not one of our members got sick or lost their job. The church will always be victorious.”

It is an altogether not surprising development in this part of Southern California. In May, Riverside County was quick to rescind stay-at-home orders and was among the largest proponents for reopening services...

Jia Lynn Yang, One Mighty and Irresistible Tide


At Amazon, Jia Lynn Yang, One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic Struggle Over American Immigration, 1924-1965.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred Warns of Shutdown

I'm not going to be surprised at all --- indeed, the next team outbreak should shut down the season for good. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Thursday, July 30, 2020

Viral Video of Abuse

I watched this yesterday.

Story at WaPo, via Memeorandum, "He held a BLM sign in what he called 'America's most racist town.' The result? A viral video of abuse."

Minka Kelly

At Phun, "Minka Kelly Nude Scene in the TV-Show Titans."

And at the Fappening.

Demi Rose Showcases Her Assets

At Taxi Driver, "Demi Rose Showing Off ALL Her Cleavage in a Purple Jumpsuit."

And at Daily Mail:

Herman Cain Has Died

I met Herman Cain at CPAC in 2011, when he was running for president.

Rest in peace, brother.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

John C. McManus, Fire and Fortitude

John C. McManus, Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943.

BREAKING! Dodgers Pitcher Joe Kelly Suspended 8 Games by MLB

Following-up, "Benches Clear in First Astros-Dodgers Game After Cheating Scandal (VIDEO)."

Workers Denounce New York's 'Contact-Tracing' Program as 'Disaster'

This is front-page news at the Old Gray Lady.

See, "City Praises Contact-Tracing Program. Workers Call Rollout a ‘Disaster’":

It was only a few weeks into the rollout of New York City’s much-heralded contact-tracing program, a vital initiative in the effort to contain the coronavirus and to reopen the local economy. But in private messaging channels, the newly hired contact tracers were already expressing growing misgivings about their work.

One said the city was “putting out propaganda” about the program’s effectiveness.

Another wrote, “I don’t think this is the type of job we should just ‘wing it,’ and that’s the sense I’ve been getting sometimes.”

A third tracer said, “The lack of communication and organization is crazy.”

The authorities around the world — especially in East Asia and Western Europe — have rapidly enacted contact-tracing programs, which are used to identify and then isolate groups of people who may be infected with the coronavirus.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared that the city’s new Test and Trace Corps, which has hired about 3,000 contact tracers, case monitors and others, will make a difference in curbing the virus now that the outbreak that devastated New York in the spring has waned.

But contact-tracing programs have presented an array of challenges to government officials everywhere, including difficulties hiring many workers, privacy issues and faulty technology, like apps. And New York City’s seems to have been especially plagued by problems.

The de Blasio administration acknowledged that the program, which began on June 1, had gotten off to a troubled start, but said that improvements had been made.

“All signs indicate that the program has been effective in helping the city avoid the resurgence we’re seeing in other states,” Avery Cohen, a spokeswoman for the mayor, said.

Still, some contact tracers described the program’s first six weeks as poorly run and disorganized, leaving them frustrated and fearful that their work would not have much of an impact.

They spoke of a confusing training regimen and priorities, and of newly hired supervisors who were unable to provide guidance. They said computer problems had sometimes caused patient records to disappear. And they said their performances were being tracked by call-center-style “adherence scores” that monitor the length of coffee breaks but did not account for how well tracers were building trust with clients.

Some also bristled at what they described as crackdowns on workers talking to one another.

The New York Times developed a portrait of the program through interviews with several current and former workers, as well as through an examination of internal documents. Further information was obtained from screenshots of Slack messaging channels used by tracers, which featured numerous conversations about workplace conditions.

“It reminds me of an Amazon warehouse or something, where we are judged more on call volume or case volume than the quality of conversations,” one newly hired contact tracer, a public health graduate student, said in an interview.

“To me, it seems like they hired all of us just to say we have 3,000 contact tracers so we can start opening up again, and they don’t really care about the program metrics or whether it’s a successful program,” she said.

Most of the current workers interviewed for this article spoke only on the condition of anonymity, saying that they feared losing their jobs if they spoke out publicly.

The complaints mounted so quickly that on July 9, Dr. Neil Vora, one of the leaders of the program, apologized during a virtual town-hall-style meeting with hundreds of workers...
It's bad.

Keep reading.

Benches Clear in First Astros-Dodgers Game After Cheating Scandal (VIDEO)

Joe Kelly tells Carlos Correa to fuck off. It's just right there, lol.

At LAT, "Joe Kelly doesn’t back down to Astros as benches clear in Dodgers’ win":

HOUSTON — The first clue underscoring the animosity between the Dodgers and the Houston Astros didn’t surface until the bottom of the sixth inning Tuesday night.

The Dodgers were up three runs en route to a 5-2 victory at Minute Maid Park. The bases were empty. Alex Bregman had worked a 3-and-0 count against Dodgers right-hander Joe Kelly. The scene didn’t scream tension. But Kelly abruptly reminded the Astros of his club’s feelings with a 96-mph fastball behind Bregman’s head. Bregman calmly looked away, bent over to remove his ankle guard, and took his base without a word. Kelly then yawned.

The next close call wasn’t disregarded. Three batters later, with runners on first and second and two outs, Kelly hurled an 87-mph curveball that narrowly missed Carlos Correa’s head. The ball bounced away and the runners advanced. It was ruled a wild pitch. Correa stared at Kelly.

The at-bat ended with Correa swinging through a curveball for strike three. He and Kelly exchanged words as Kelly walked off the field. Kelly stuck his tongue out at Correa. He mocked him with a pout. He sprinkled obscenities around the faces...
Keep reading.

More on Twitter:

TikTok Hoo Boy!


Seen on Twitter:

White Women in Pennyslvania Still All In for Trump


At Vanity Fair, "“You Might See People Digging In”: Can Joe Biden Actually Sway Obama–Trump Voters?":

In Pennsylvania, Joe Biden is hoping to peel off just enough white, working-class voters in crucial counties to edge out the president. But the women here—waitresses, churchgoers, bingo players, lifelong Democrats—show no signs of budging, pandemic be damned. “I am 110% Trump,” says one. “I love him.”

It was a Thursday night in January, before the coronavirus shut everything down, meaning it was time for bingo at St. Andrew Parish in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Three dozen regulars—almost all of them women—filed into the church basement. Some grabbed “cuts” of pizza from the front of the room; a few lingered in the cold for one last smoke. As the clock approached 6:00, they settled into metal folding chairs, spread out their game sheets, and focused on the numbers.

The entire political world, in turn, has been focused on these women and the numbers—and potential power—they represent. The bingo players are part of the white working class, a prized group that helped elect Donald Trump in 2016. Many are Democrats who supported Barack Obama in one or both of his races and had never pulled the GOP lever before. To Republicans they represent the path to the president’s reelection. To Democrats they personify opportunity, a chance to siphon off just enough Trump votes in swing states to remove him from office. “I don’t need to win them,” said Democratic pollster Jill Normington. “I need to lose by less.”

Ever since Trump pulled off upset victories in the former Democratic strongholds of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, both parties have viewed white women without college degrees as pivotal 2020 voters. White, working-class women and men are the nation’s largest bloc of voters, especially here in the Rust Belt, and women are considered more likely to reject Trump this time around. Polls bear this out, showing that the men in this group remain overwhelmingly behind the president, while many of the women are having second thoughts. Democrats hope that just as suburban women outside cities like Philadelphia, about two hours south of Wilkes-Barre, turned on Republicans in 2018, white, working-class women will follow suit this year.

But the bingo players at St. Andrew and their counterparts in their key region of Pennsylvania may be unexpectedly resistant. In this historically Democratic bastion, where coal once ruled and black-and-white photos of JFK still adorn walls, women who voted for Trump show few signs of wavering. They applaud his brusque demeanor, or they don’t. They support his right-wing policies, or they don’t. It doesn’t matter. They think Democrats have persecuted him without justification, believe he’s doing everything possible to combat COVID-19, and generally support his “law-and-order” response to what are likely the most pervasive protests in U.S. history. They have faith that he has the business acumen to reinvigorate the economy. Mainly, they have faith in him.

They support Trump because they like him. Actually, the word many of them use is “love.”

The reason is simple: He speaks to them, not down to them, eschewing words like “eschew.” While his life experience as a New York playboy-celebrity rich kid is wholly different from their own, they feel he’s one of them. “I am 110% Trump. I love him,” Barbara Bono said as she set up her bingo cards. “I love the way he talks. I understand him more than any other president. This whole place is Trump,” she said, sweeping her arm across the room as women around her nodded.

Bono, a 63-year-old retired Lord & Taylor warehouse worker, is precisely the kind of voter Joe Biden’s campaign hopes to win over: She’s a registered Democrat and former union member who never voted Republican before casting a ballot for Trump. She is Catholic, like so many in these parts, but supports abortion rights. She thought Bill Clinton was a “wonderful” president and didn’t care for George W. Bush. She voted for Obama in 2008, but sat out the election of 2012 because, she said, his Affordable Care Act drove up her health insurance costs. Still, she didn’t support Obama’s GOP opponent, Mitt Romney, another rich guy who, it must be noted, speaks nothing like her.

“I love the way he talks! Crazy Nancy!” Bono said, echoing the president’s nickname for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking elected woman officeholder in the history of the United States. “I love it. He is up early in the morning...He’s always talking to the American people. He’s all about our country.

“Pelooooski,” she continued, drawing laughs from the other bingo players. Then, in the spirit of Trump: “I can’t wait for her teeth to fall out!”

Bono is like a lot of the women I met during visits to Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties in northeastern Pennsylvania, called “NEPA” by locals, in late 2019 and early 2020. She has lived in Wilkes-Barre, the county seat of Luzerne, her entire life, though she now spends part of her winters in Valdosta, Georgia. She is a high school graduate, one of the white women without college degrees whose support Trump can’t afford to lose.

During conversations spanning seven months, the women I spoke to made plain that there is little, if anything, that would make them abandon Trump. Not the emergence of Biden, who’s fond of invoking his early childhood in nearby Scranton. Not a quarantine that has cost some of them their wages. Not the ensuing economic fallout. And certainly not the Trump detractors who say he has mishandled life-and-death issues that have consumed the nation: the coronavirus, the police killing of George Floyd, and the systemic racism it brought to the fore.

“A lot of people hate him, but I don’t get it,” said Florence “Flo” Eldredge, a waitress who missed months of work because of the pandemic. “I think he’s doing the best he can under the circumstances.”

Added her next-door neighbor Linda Stetzar: “I would give him a crown.”

It’s hard for an outsider to distinguish between Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties, which share a rolling landscape in the Appalachian Mountains and in the valleys along the Susquehanna River. Many of their towns flow smoothly into one another, their Americana displayed in street banners that celebrate their war heroes. But locals know the difference between Pittston and West Pittston, Old Forge and Forty Fort. They will tell you that the Irish settled this town, the Italians that town, the Poles moved here and the Germans there. They say it while acknowledging that influxes of immigrants weren’t always made to feel welcome. Their ancestors came from Europe to mine anthracite coal, which they did for generations until the mines closed in the middle of the last century. All these years later, they wear their heritage proudly.

Families remain close. I came across more than one pair of sisters, mothers and daughters, aunts and nieces dining or working or playing bingo together. Almost all were descendants of those early miners. But in recent years, after the mines closed and lace factories came and went, more and more residents have departed. Young people who attend college leave most frequently, unable to find white-collar jobs close to home. Those who stay are mostly white and older. They are often more conservative than their children. They still attend the churches, predominantly Catholic, that their forebears built. They are courteous and unhurried, the kind of people who call strangers like me “hon.” They work for state or local government or health care providers or a local university or, increasingly, one of the numerous warehouses and call centers that have popped up along the tangle of highways that crisscross here. They don’t expect something for nothing.

“There’s that dignity piece,” Scranton mayor Paige Cognetti told me. “If mom and dad worked in coal and lace, they worked their asses off. People don’t want programs or help. They want to earn it.”

Before the novel coronavirus, the economies in these two counties had improved considerably. Though they weren’t as strong as elsewhere in the state—the median income was lower, the unemployment rate higher—people didn’t despair. In fact, in Donald Trump, a lot of them saw hope.

Trump beat Hillary Clinton by a total of just 77,744 votes in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, states once considered Democrats’ “blue wall.” More than half of that vote margin—44,292—came from Pennsylvania. And more than one third came from Luzerne County, a place that hadn’t voted Republican since George H.W. Bush in 1988 and that has voted for the presidential candidate who carried Pennsylvania since 1932. Trump carried Luzerne by 26,237 votes and had the biggest margin of victory there—19 points—since Richard Nixon in 1972. Next door, in Lackawanna County, Clinton won by a scant 3,599 votes even though she had personal ties to the area, having spent her childhood summers at a family cottage on Lake Winola, a short drive from her father’s hometown and final resting place, Scranton. Four years earlier Obama beat Romney there by 26,579 votes.

Theories abound as to why Trump did so well, particularly in Luzerne, which Pennsylvania pollster G. Terry Madonna told me was “a place where in my lifetime I never thought a Republican would win.” Madonna, director of the Franklin & Marshall College Poll, said Trump stepped into a void created by Democrats, who essentially abandoned cultural conservatives. “As the Democrats became an urban-based party, they moved away from the working-class roots that had been a part of their constituency,” he said...
Still more.

It Ain't Over 'til It's Over

Heard just now while out for a newspaper run (I buy a daily copy of the New York Times at Gelson's market nearby).

At 93.1 Jack FM Los Angeles, Lenny Kravitz, "It Aint Over 'til Its Over."

It Aint Over Til Its Over
Lenny Kravitz

Danger Zone
Kenny Loggins


All Apologies

I Ran (So Far Away)
A Flock OF Seagulls

Sweet Home Alabama
Lynyrd Skynyrd

Get Lucky
Daft Punk Feat. Pharrell Williams

No One Like You

Hungry Like The Wolf
Duran Duran

Self Esteem

Hey Hey What Can I Do
Led Zeppelin

Dont Stand So Close To Me

Just A Girl
NO Doubt

Walk This Way
Run D.M.C./Aerosmith

Missing Persons


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Robby Soave, Panic Attack

At Amazon, Robby Soave, Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump.

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BONUS: Michael T. Osterholm, Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs.

Rally Car Driver Ken Block 'Hoons' the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E (VIDEO)

Ken Block is the CEO of Hoonigan's.

This car supposedly pulls off 1,400 horsepower, all electric.

Listen to the discussion at the video about adding torque, etc. This is hardcore.

Bebe Rexha on Twitter

She's amazing!

At Drunken Stepfather, "BEBE REXHA TITS OF THE DAY."

One Nation Under Anarcho-Tyranny

It's Michelle Malkin:

The America you grew up in is not the America we live in now.

One nation under God? Ha.

Land of the free? Ha.

Domestic tranquility? Ha.

Equal protection under the law? Ha.

The right to bear arms? Ha.

Freedom of speech? Association? Peaceable assembly? Ha. Ha. Ha.

It’s not “socialism” or “communism” under which we suffer. Our dangerously chaotic, selectively oppressive predicament is more accurately described as “anarcho-tyranny.” The late conservative columnist Sam Francis first coined the term in 1992 to diagnose a condition of “both anarchy (the failure of the state to enforce the laws) and, at the same time, tyranny—the enforcement of laws by the state for oppressive purposes.”

The “criminalization of the law-abiding and innocent,” Francis expounded, is achieved in such a state through:

“exorbitant taxation, bureaucratic regulation;
the invasion of privacy, and the engineering of social institutions, such as the family and local schools;
the imposition of thought control through ‘sensitivity training’ and multiculturalist curricula;
‘hate crime’ laws;
gun-control laws that punish or disarm otherwise law-abiding citizens but have no impact on violent criminals who get guns illegally;
and a vast labyrinth of other measures.”

The toxic combination of Pandemic Panic and George Floyd Derangement Syndrome has thoroughly destroyed the home of the brave. It is a paradise for the depraved and dictatorial.

Anarcho-tyranny is how hoodlums can toss statues into rivers with impunity, while citizens disgusted by Black Lives Matter street grafitti are charged with “hate crimes” – as David Nelson and Nicole Anderson in Martinez, Calif., were by a George Soros-funded district attorney two weeks ago.

Anarcho-tyranny is how rioters can shut down highways and byways on a whim without fear of arrest, while commuters trying to escape the window-smashing barbarians obstructing traffic are charged with “assault”—as poor Jennifer Watson of Denver, Colo., was this week.

Anarcho-tyranny is how hordes of gay pride activists marching shoulder to shoulder can defy social distancing guidelines with gushing approbation from radical left-wing medical “experts,” while anti-lockdown and anti-mask mandate protesters are deemed public health menaces who now face snitch hotlines, fines, house arrest, or jail time.

Anarcho-tyranny is how 1,000 black militia members can take over the streets in Georgia and point their guns at motorists as they demand reparations, while white citizen militia members in Idaho, Utah, and New Mexico have been smeared publicly as racists and face injunctions for peacefully defending their neighborhoods.

Where do the police stand in this regime? It pains me to say it, but those of us who have backed the blue so loyally and vocally can no longer do so under the assumption that the blue will back us.

It’s rank and file cops who are issuing citations to citizens who want to breathe freely.

It’s rank and file cops who are standing by while our monuments and courthouses and landmarks are burned and obliterated.

It was rank and file cops in Denver who watched as my patriotic friends and I tried to hold a Law Enforcement Appreciation Day this past Sunday were besieged by Black Lives Matter and Antifa thugs who had declared that their sole intent in invading our permitted celebration was to “shut us down.” I livestreamed the chaos as pro-police attendees were beaten, including the organizer Ron MacLachlan, who was bloodied in the face and head just a few feet from me by black-masked animals. One Antifa actor wielded her collapsible baton just inches from me.