Monday, April 26, 2021

Astonishing: Dodgers Blow 6-Run Lead, Lose to Padres, First Time in Fifty Years Team Trailing by Six or More Runs in Seventh Inning Wins (VIDEO)

And I was watching the game, which is also astonishing, since not only do I almost never get the chance to watch the Dodgers (as their Sports Net Sports Network isn't even available where I live), I also had more family issues at home that were preventing me from staying focused on the play action. 

Maybe you were watching, if you're a sports fan (and maybe a Padres fan, and thus laughing your ass off)?

Mike DiGiovanna tweeted

Final from LA: #Padres 8, #Dodgers 7 (11 innings). Entering tonight, in the last 50 years, teams trailing by six or more runs in the seventh inning or later were 100-13,547, a winning percentage of .007. They are now 101-13,547 after Padres comeback from 7-1 deficit entering 7th.

And ...!, it turns out the Padres cheated on Saturday, and Bill Plaschke, always being, well, Bill Plaschke, deliverers the smackdown, "Dodgers get cheated again, this time by sign-stealing Fernando Tatis Jr. of Padres."

More at the Los Angeles Times, "Dodgers fall in 11-inning thriller after Padres rally from six-run deficit":


A postseason game wasn’t played as the sun sparkled, set and vanished, making way for a chilly night at Dodger Stadium on Sunday. It just felt like baseball suited for October.

Game 7 of the 19-game season series between the Dodgers and San Diego Padres produced the energy, oddities and stomach-churning drama that captivated audiences in each of the first six matchups — aptly split evenly between the clubs.

Sunday’s bout included a blown six-run lead, 12 relievers, 422 pitches and two pitchers-turned-pinch-hitters over four hours and 59 minutes. There were hearty boos from the 15,316 in attendance, wasted opportunities and, after 11 innings, an 8-7 comeback win for the Padres in the rivals’ final meeting until June 21.

The Padres (13-11) scored the winning run on Eric Hosmer’s sacrifice fly off Garrett Cleavinger after San Diego executed a double steal to put runners in scoring position.

Cleavinger was the fifth reliever to emerge from the Dodgers’ taxed bullpen, which didn’t have Kenley Jansen, Blake Treinen or Scott Alexander available. David Price, the first reliever used, gave up two runs — one earned — in the seventh inning and didn’t reappear for the eighth because of a hamstring strain.

The shortage handcuffed the Dodgers (15-7) as they dropped the four-game set, three games to one, for their first series loss of the season after taking two of three from the Padres in San Diego last weekend. In all, the clubs have been separated by two or fewer runs in 61 1/2 innings across the seven games.

“I think the net is they outplayed us,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

The Dodgers held a 7-1 lead Sunday upon Dustin May’s exit after six innings and entered the ninth leading 7-5. That margin vanished when Manny Machado, atop Dodger fans’ list of villains in brown and yellow, tied the score with an RBI single off Jimmy Nelson, who surrendered two runs on four singles.

Nelson next walked Hosmer to load the bases but managed to keep the game tied by getting the next two batters out. The right-hander then escaped the 10th inning with runners on second and third unscathed.

“My command overall wasn’t up to my standard,” Nelson said.

The Dodgers, starting with a runner at second base, loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame against Tim Hill after the Padres elected to intentionally walk Max Muncy and Chris Taylor to bring up the pitcher’s spot.

Roberts’ bench was empty so he chose Clayton Kershaw to pinch-hit, and he struck out. DJ Peters, called up to the majors for the first time Friday, then swung at a 3-2 fastball out of the strike zone to squash the chance...

Read the whole thing (and weep, if you're a Dodgers fan). 


Saturday, April 24, 2021

Substack! Holy Crap!

This blows my mind. 

My tweets are set to private, but in response to Steven Perlberg's tweet, linking his Business Insider piece (which is behind a paywall, of course), I quote-tweeted: 

.@MelissaTweets Elizabeth Bruenig's a freakin' self-declared communist? Did she take the 100 percent boost in pay? Or did she decline on principle? Can't say, because the article's behind a paywall, hence, capitalism. I can't even. *Man facepalming.*

Now, while you probably can't read the article to which Perlberg is linking, it turns out Mediaite did read it, and they've written up a piece that reveals the mind-blowing information. See, "Substack Offered NYT Reporter Taylor Lorenz $300,000: Report." 

Now that's why I yelled holy crap! when I saw that headline. You may not recall, but Ms. Lorenz is a very bad terrible person, and Tucker Carlson called her out a few weeks back, and it was glorious. But I knew how bad and terrible a person she was long ago, because, for one reason, she's been an awful no-good person for a long time, and Robert Stacy McCain wrote about her years ago, after Ms. Lorenz doxxed Pamela "Atlas Shrugged" Geller's daughters. You can't make this stuff up. (And Ms. Lorenz has of late been accused of stalking teenagers for inside interviews without the kids' parents permission, she's that bad.)

But no! She's getting offered a $300,000 advance to quite the Old Gray Lady and start her own newsletter? Well, I guess you gotta love free-market competition, which is why the New York Times is so freaked and has basically declared all-out war on the newsletter hosting platform, and this Sulzberger fellow, the publisher (or at least he used to be), is putting up some big bucks to go after top talent (some at Substack!) and have his own "by-line" bigwig writers up their game to meet the challenges of the day. Hoo boy, this is interesting.

At NYT, "Why We’re Freaking Out About Substack":

Danny Lavery had just agreed to a two-year, $430,000 contract with the newsletter platform Substack when I met him for coffee last week in Brooklyn, and he was deciding what to do with the money.

“I think the thing that I’m the most looking forward to about this is to start a retirement account,” said Mr. Lavery, who founded the feminist humor blog The Toast and will be giving up an advice column in Slate.

Mr. Lavery already has about 1,800 paying subscribers to his Substack newsletter, The Shatner Chatner, whose most popular piece is written from the perspective of a goose. Annual subscriptions cost $50.

The contract is structured a bit like a book advance: Substack’s bet is that it will make back its money by taking most of Mr. Lavery’s subscription income for those two years. The deal now means Mr. Lavery’s household has two Substack incomes. His wife, Grace Lavery, an associate English professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who edits the Transgender Studies Quarterly, had already signed on for a $125,000 advance.

Along with the revenue the Laverys will bring in, the move is good media politics for the company. Substack has been facing a mutiny from a group of writers who objected to sharing the platform with people who they said were anti-transgender, including a writer who made fun of people’s appearances on a dating app. Signing up two high-profile transgender writers was a signal that Substack was trying to remain a platform for people who sometimes hate one another, and who sometimes, like Dr. Lavery, heatedly criticize the company.

Feuds among and about Substack writers were a major category of media drama during the pandemic winter — a lot of drama for a company that mostly just makes it easy to email large groups for free. For those who want to charge subscribers on their email list, Substack takes a 10 percent fee. “The mindshare Substack has in media right now is insane,” said Casey Newton, who left The Verge to start a newsletter on Substack called Platformer. Substack, he said, has become a target for “a lot of people to project their anxieties.”

Substack has captivated an anxious industry because it embodies larger forces and contradictions. For one, the new media economy promises both to make some writers rich and to turn others into the content-creation equivalent of Uber drivers, even as journalists turn increasingly to labor unions to level out pay scales.

This new direct-to-consumer media also means that battles over the boundaries of acceptable views and the ensuing arguments about “cancel culture” — for instance, in New York Magazine’s firing of Andrew Sullivan — are no longer the kind of devastating career blows they once were. (Only Twitter retains that power.) Big media cancellation is often an offramp to a bigger income. Though Substack paid advances to a few dozen writers, most are simply making money from readers. That includes most of the top figures on the platform, who make seven-figure sums from more than 10,000 paying subscribers — among them Mr. Sullivan, the liberal historian Heather Cox Richardson, and the confrontational libertarian Glenn Greenwald.

This new ability of individuals to make a living directly from their audiences isn’t just transforming journalism. It’s also been the case for adult performers on OnlyFans, musicians on Patreon, B-list celebrities on Cameo. In Hollywood, too, power has migrated toward talent, whether it’s marquee showrunners or actors. This power shift is a major headache for big institutions, from The New York Times to record labels. And Silicon Valley investors, eager to disrupt and angry at their portrayal in big media, have been gleefully backing it. Substack embodies this cultural shift, but it’s riding the wave, not creating it.

And despite a handful of departures over politics, that wave is growing for Substack. The writers moving there full time in recent days include not just Mr. Lavery, but also the former Yahoo News White House correspondent Hunter Walker, the legal writer David Lat and the columnist Heather Havrilesky, who told me she will be taking Ask Polly from New York Magazine to “regain some of the indie spirit and sense of freedom that drew me to want to write online in the first place.”

(Speaking of that spirit: Bustle Digital Group confirmed to me that it’s reviving the legendary blog Gawker under a former Gawker writer, Leah Finnegan.)

And a New York Times opinion writer, Charlie Warzel, is departing to start a publication on Substack called Galaxy Brain. (Substack has courted a number of Times writers. I turned down an offer of an advance well above my Times salary, in part because of the editing and the platform The Times gives me, and in part because I didn’t think I’d make it back — media types often overvalue media writers.)

The Times wouldn’t comment on his move, but is among the media companies trying to develop its own answer to Substack and recently brought the columnist Paul Krugman’s free Substack newsletter to the Times platform. And newsrooms can offer all sorts of support that solo writers don’t get. Jessica Lessin, the founder and editor in chief of The Information, a newsletter-centric Silicon Valley subscription publication, said part of its edge was “sophisticated marketing around acquiring and retaining subscribers.”

Substack’s thesis is, in part, that media companies underpay their most prominent writers. So far, that seems to be bearing out. Mr. Warzel isn’t taking an advance, and many of the writers who took advances now regret doing so: They would have made more money by simply collecting subscription revenue, and paying Substack 10 percent, than making the more complex deals with money up front.

The former Vox writer Matthew Yglesias calculated that taking the advance wound up costing him nearly $400,000 in subscription revenue paid to Substack. The writer Roxane Gay told me she earned back her advance within two months of starting The Audacity ($60 a year) with an audience of 36,000, about 20 percent of them paying. She also wrestles with what she sees as Substack “trying to have it both ways” as a neutral platform and a publisher that supports writers she finds “odious,” she said, but has concluded that her dislike of someone’s work is “not enough for them to not be allowed on the platform.”

Isaac Saul, who told me his nonpartisan political newsletter Tangle brought in $190,000 in its first year, wrote recently that he came to Substack “specifically to avoid being associated with anyone else” after being frustrated by readers’ assumptions about his biases when he worked for HuffPost...


 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Tucker Carlson and Mark Steyn (VIDEO)

I'm going to be busy and tired today, as I'm swamped with grading. 

On most days, at least at this point in the semester, and given what's happening at home, I don't get to watch much news. I am watching "Outnumbered" right now, though, which is really the only other Fox News show that I can watch, or well at least for now, as the network's changed a lot of its programming, and I need to sample more of it, so I'll know more about that later. 

In any case, I did get to watch Tucker last night, but it took me until after 7:00pm pacific time to finish it, due to all the home stuff mentioned above (though I did take a nap in the mid-afternoon, and that's because I've been getting little sleep due to all the things mentioned here, and that's not good for my health, but no worries, because I have a good doctor, and I have anxiety meds I can take as needed; and I haven't needed them much, because I have a plan and schedule that I'm [pretty much] able to keep, so that keeps me busy and my mind off all the things that make me want to take my meds in the first place.)

Jonathan Turley's been on Tucker's this week already, but he was on some Fox show yesterday, and that video's here, "Evidence was overwhelming in Derek Chauvin case, jury got it right: Turley."

Here's Tucker and Steyn, the later of whom is even more hilarious than Tucker, and hopefully he gets his own show too, as he not only deserves, but we do, sheesh. *Eye-roll.*


Tucker's full opening segment from last night is here, "Tucker: Political leaders took advantage of George Floyd's death."

And here's some Amazon shopping links, "Best Selling Products" and more here.

Have a good day! 


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

New York Parent Andrew Guttman Pulls Daughter from Elite Brearley Private Academy, and His Scathing Letter Has Gone Viral (VIDEO)

Tucker Carlson read the guy's letter on last night's show (video below). 

It turns out parent Andrew Guttman published an open letter at Bari Weiss' page slamming pretty much everybody over at Brearley, an elite private school in Manhattan. His daughter's been attending the school for seven years, for good reason, as apparently the school's got creds, with such folks as Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, having attended there, and with media elites like Drew Barrymore and Tiny Fey sending their daughters to the school as well. 

I think all of those working on these issues --- or suffering through them --- feel as though the tide is turning, although I'm skeptical, as it's not just a few New York private schools we're talking about here, but virtually the entire U.S. educational establishment, public and private schools, colleges, and universities all, that's been infected by this evil --- honestly, diabolical --- ideological "teaching" agenda. 

And "suffer" might not be a strong enough word: Remember Ms. Jodi Shaw was fired from her position at Smith College, after months of uproar at the school over bogus claims of "racism," and then with Ms. Shaw's own travails in taking a principled position standing up to the powers that be there, who are still there, and not Ms. Shaw; and said powers, especially the president of that school, Kathleen McCartney, have never made amends to, much less apologized for anything (or not that I'm aware of), the staff at that campus who endured the abuse of whatever totally privileged black (international) woman student who made all the accusations that further inflamed an apparently already hostile climate up there in Northampton, Massachusetts.

And a brave and courageous teacher at Grace Church High School, also in Manhattan, was "relieved of his duties" this week, after he published an earlier piece at Ms. Weiss' Substack page, and the ghouls at Grace weren't pleased, but up until now, it looks like, have been not so thrilled about the "critical race theory" pedagogy then working its way over to that campus, after nearly burning down others similarly overrun campuses that have been destroyed by this wicked and evil "antiracist" shame of a "woke" teaching and learning curriculum.  

The New York Post has the story of Mr. Guttman and his daugher, and read the letter at Ms Weiss' page, "You Have to Read This Letter":


April 13, 2021

Dear Fellow Brearley Parents,

Our family recently made the decision not to reenroll our daughter at Brearley for the 2021-22 school year. She has been at Brearley for seven years, beginning in kindergarten. In short, we no longer believe that Brearley’s administration and Board of Trustees have any of our children’s best interests at heart. Moreover, we no longer have confidence that our daughter will receive the quality of education necessary to further her development into a critically thinking, responsible, enlightened, and civic minded adult. I write to you, as a fellow parent, to share our reasons for leaving the Brearley community but also to urge you to act before the damage to the school, to its community, and to your own child's education is irreparable.

It cannot be stated strongly enough that Brearley’s obsession with race must stop. It should be abundantly clear to any thinking parent that Brearley has completely lost its way. The administration and the Board of Trustees have displayed a cowardly and appalling lack of leadership by appeasing an anti-intellectual, illiberal mob, and then allowing the school to be captured by that same mob. What follows are my own personal views on Brearley's antiracism initiatives, but these are just a handful of the criticisms that I know other parents have expressed.

I object to the view that I should be judged by the color of my skin. I cannot tolerate a school that not only judges my daughter by the color of her skin, but encourages and instructs her to prejudge others by theirs. By viewing every element of education, every aspect of history, and every facet of society through the lens of skin color and race, we are desecrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and utterly violating the movement for which such civil rights leaders believed, fought, and died.

I object to the charge of systemic racism in this country, and at our school. Systemic racism, properly understood, is segregated schools and separate lunch counters. It is the interning of Japanese and the exterminating of Jews. Systemic racism is unequivocally not a small number of isolated incidences over a period of decades. Ask any girl, of any race, if they have ever experienced insults from friends, have ever felt slighted by teachers or have ever suffered the occasional injustice from a school at which they have spent up to 13 years of their life, and you are bound to hear grievances, some petty, some not. We have not had systemic racism against Blacks in this country since the civil rights reforms of the 1960s, a period of more than 50 years. To state otherwise is a flat-out misrepresentation of our country's history and adds no understanding to any of today's societal issues. If anything, longstanding and widespread policies such as affirmative action, point in precisely the opposite direction.

I object to a definition of systemic racism, apparently supported by Brearley, that any educational, professional, or societal outcome where Blacks are underrepresented is prima facie evidence of the aforementioned systemic racism, or of white supremacy and oppression. Facile and unsupported beliefs such as these are the polar opposite to the intellectual and scientific truth for which Brearley claims to stand. Furthermore, I call bullshit on Brearley's oft-stated assertion that the school welcomes and encourages the truly difficult and uncomfortable conversations regarding race and the roots of racial discrepancies.

I object to the idea that Blacks are unable to succeed in this country without aid from government or from whites. Brearley, by adopting critical race theory, is advocating the abhorrent viewpoint that Blacks should forever be regarded as helpless victims, and are incapable of success regardless of their skills, talents, or hard work. What Brearley is teaching our children is precisely the true and correct definition of racism.

I object to mandatory anti-racism training for parents, especially when presented by the rent-seeking charlatans of Pollyanna. These sessions, in both their content and delivery, are so sophomoric and simplistic, so unsophisticated and inane, that I would be embarrassed if they were taught to Brearley kindergarteners. They are an insult to parents and unbecoming of any educational institution, let alone one of Brearley's caliber.

I object to Brearley’s vacuous, inappropriate, and fanatical use of words such as “equity,” “diversity” and “inclusiveness.” If Brearley’s administration was truly concerned about so-called “equity,” it would be discussing the cessation of admissions preferences for legacies, siblings, and those families with especially deep pockets. If the administration was genuinely serious about “diversity,” it would not insist on the indoctrination of its students, and their families, to a single mindset, most reminiscent of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Instead, the school would foster an environment of intellectual openness and freedom of thought. And if Brearley really cared about “inclusiveness,” the school would return to the concepts encapsulated in the motto “One Brearley,” instead of teaching the extraordinarily divisive idea that there are only, and always, two groups in this country: victims and oppressors.

l object to Brearley’s advocacy for groups and movements such as Black Lives Matter, a Marxist, anti family, heterophobic, anti-Asian and anti-Semitic organization that neither speaks for the majority of the Black community in this country, nor in any way, shape or form, represents their best interests.

I object to, as we have been told time and time again over the past year, that the school’s first priority is the safety of our children. For goodness sake, Brearley is a school, not a hospital! The number one priority of a school has always been, and always will be, education. Brearley’s misguided priorities exemplify both the safety culture and “cover-your-ass” culture that together have proved so toxic to our society and have so damaged the mental health and resiliency of two generations of children, and counting.

I object to the gutting of the history, civics, and classical literature curriculums. I object to the censorship of books that have been taught for generations because they contain dated language potentially offensive to the thin-skinned and hypersensitive (something that has already happened in my daughter's 4th grade class). I object to the lowering of standards for the admission of students and for the hiring of teachers. I object to the erosion of rigor in classwork and the escalation of grade inflation. Any parent with eyes open can foresee these inevitabilities should antiracism initiatives be allowed to persist.

We have today in our country, from both political parties, and at all levels of government, the most unwise and unvirtuous leaders in our nation’s history. Schools like Brearley are supposed to be the training grounds for those leaders. Our nation will not survive a generation of leadership even more poorly educated than we have now, nor will we survive a generation of students taught to hate its own country and despise its history.

Lastly, I object, with as strong a sentiment as possible, that Brearley has begun to teach what to think, instead of how to think...

Hot damn! No wonder this thing's gone viral! 

Still more at the link, and a response at the letters to the editor at the New York Post.

Been Busy *Shrugs*

Sorry for the lack of posting of late, dear readers. I don't mean to let anybody down, heh.

The fact is I've been swamped with work and a lot of stuff at home --- home issues especially dealing with my two sons (which, come to think of it, isn't "My Three Sons," and I'm glad, sheesh). 

I did score an Instalanche over the weekend, for this post, "New Capitol 'Attack' Investigative Report Released: D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser Indeed Called for Capitol Police to 'Stand Down', and the Feds 'Botched' Everything With Clueless Mixed-Messages and Incompetence (VIDEO)," which was nice. 

And of course, as many of you know, I'm a blogger at Theo Spark's, and often my babe-blogging hits posted there generate a little traffic back this way, as this one did last week, "Twins?"

So, to that end, here's a couple of more hotties, at Babe Gallery, and this lovely lady below from the University of North Carolina, via Rad Chicks:




Thursday, April 15, 2021

In Bottom of the 9th, Phillies Score at Atlanta, as Braves Lose in 'Blown' Call at M.L.B.'s Replay Booth in New York (VIDEO)

AoSHQ has a post on the fall of the N.B.L, "Poll: MLB Falls To Lower Approval Ratings Than Football."

I was going to just do some grading for a bit, but I miss reading around the blogroll, and I miss reading Ace (near) everyday anyway, so here you go: 

It turns out I was watching Sunday night's game, on Sunday Night Baseball, and I honestly couldn't believe what happened, and no doubt I'm not alone. See USC's Annenberg Review, "Spitballing: MLB’s replay review system is flaming garbage. The solution: Fight fire with fire." 

In a Sunday night fiasco that was a perfect combination of thrilling baseball and inexplicable umpiring, two parties emerged primarily victorious: ESPN and the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Phillies, for obvious reasons. Alec Bohm’s “run” in the top of the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park — you know, the one he scored without touching the white pentagon in between the batter’s boxes — was the Phillies’ seventh of the game. The Braves scored six. That sounds like a victorious happening to me.

And for its part, the ESPN crew, led by USC Annenberg alum Matt Vasgersian and Minnesota Timberwolves soon-to-be-co-owner Alex Rodriguez, got to head the broadcast of a thrilling ballgame that caught the entire baseball world’s attention in a matter of minutes.

Here’s the rundown. A whirlwind of home runs by Ozzie Albies, Rhys Hoskins, Didi Gregorius, Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuña Jr. and the underrated Bryce Harper helped the Phillies and Braves enter the ninth inning tied at six. Gregorius stepped to the plate with one out and Bohm on third and lifted a fly ball to Atlanta outfielder Marcell Ozuna in shallow left. Bohm tagged, was surprisingly sent and, well, see for yourself...

And, yes, watch the video yourself below. These are my thoughts:

If you watched the Phillies at Braves game yourself, on ESPN, you might still be in daze (or not, if you don't care) at how those freakin' desk-jockey replay "umpires" at M.L.B. studios on New York City could possible botch an obvious "out" at home plate call, so as just give the stupid game to Philadelphia? My theory is that M.L.B. doesn't like the "tomahawk chop" music playing on the loudspeaker, and they obviously don't like the fans "chopping" along like a bunch of "racist" crackers; and somebody at M.L.B., way up there in the top ranks, has let it be known that the Braves ain't getting any breaks this year, which is, like duh, as those hacks already moved the All-Star game to a literally all-white city in Colorado, leaving Atlanta short of about $100 million in revenues, that could have, you know, maybe helped the majority black folks there, I mean, those folks still recovering from this messed up lockdown, and who've no doubt been put through enough trauma already; well, let's just say M.L.B. hasn't got the "brightest minds" working up there; either that, or most of those folks literally have "no balls," because all of this is not going play well with "middle America," which sooner or later will even abandon "America's pastime" if "cooler" [and more intelligent] heads don't prevail in the executive office of the league.



Atlanta's manager, Brian Snitker, and his reaction, is hilarious, and I appreciate how he kept his cool while arguing with the umps, and was not thrown out, even though, it was practically the end of the game.

Also interesting is Pedro Sandoval, who came in to hit late in the game, and as you may know, he had a couple of phenomenal years with the Giants, and then took his skills to the Red Sox, but seemed to hit a pretty long-lasting slump, and never returned to his most outstanding level of play he displayed in San Francisco?

You gotta love baseball, right? Well, maybe not, as Ace discusses above, as "woke" politics is now infecting the league like the other major national sports, especially football and basketball, and America will indeed lose its "national pastime" if someone, anyone, jeez, doesn't step in to save the sport. 

Stephen Soukup, The Dictatorship of Woke Capital

At Amazon, Stephen Soukup, The Dictatorship of Woke Capital: How Political Correctness Captured Big Business.




New Capitol 'Attack' Investigative Report Released: D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser Indeed Called for Capitol Police to 'Stand Down', and the Feds 'Botched' Everything With Clueless Mixed-Messages and Incompetence (VIDEO)

Now, as you know by now, I do check out CBS This Morning when I can, and as noted previously, it's the only national morning show I can watch, because the others previously mentioned are so far to the loony left that, well, it's just impossible for me to even contemplate taking these goons seriously. 

And very interestingly here, CBS's investigative reporter is none other than former Fox News correspondent Catherine Herridge, who is freakin' good, and I'll bet she got a hefty pay raise to take the job at CBS; and, from what I've heard, Fox News already pays its reporters handsomely, so good for her for making bank AND still being able to report honestly on this blockbuster cluster of a situation (and CBS should be lauded for that). 

My long headline above pretty much includes all the relevant points I might expand on in the post here, but I just have to note that if anyone looks bad --- and all the relevant official parties in D.C. and in the federal government look bad, except for former President Trump, who indeed requested a full deployment to the Capitol building, as a "preemptive" measure to guarantee security there, so I can't see how anyone in the leftist media can still blame him (but they will) --- it's Mayor Bowser; but of course all of the "M.S.M." ghouls will certainly find a way to praise her, so just f*ck 'em, as they're the biggest asshole lying media hacks anywhere, even worse than those in the official state media of Communist China or the evil propagandists for Vladmir Putin's extremely repressive regime in Moscow, now basically murdering dissident Alex Navalny by imprisoning him and denying him healthcare, after he came down with some mysterious new and suspicious COVID-like symptoms; but don't worry, the Biden administration will indeed find a way to beat out these two murderously un-democratic monster regimes, and that really is really something, when you think about it. 

Watch: 



CBS This Morning had another literally bombshell report, with some interesting twists involving the correspondent in question, but as I hate to post from the same sources back-to-back all the time, I'll try to add some variety of posts later today, if I have the chance. Until then, thanks always for reading my humble blog.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Once a Backer of Military Force, Biden Nominee Now Embraces Soft Power

Well, this is the New York Times again, so feel free to click over to the next blog on your own personal blogroll if you'd prefer not to read this below (and I wouldn't blame you, frankly).

But, I do feel it's of interest, and perhaps of great importance (not good importance, sadly), so here you go:

At NYT, "If confirmed to oversee the U.S. Agency for International Development, Samantha Power will confront adversaries by bolstering democracy and human rights. China is an early focus."

I know, she's a "very bad woman!", though the quote's not mine, as I'm one-quarter-quoting from the Twilight Zone's old episode, "You're a Bad Man!"

And here's the obligatorily video of our former Ambassador the the United Nations, and who is the former Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, at Harvard University (or she still may in fact be a current professor there, because evil dolts like this lady don't give a crap about ethics nor morals, or all those "bourgeois" things that us "backward rubes" in "flyover country" might think are important, as those "old-fashioned" kind of things are what're actually "keeping the republic," and dang, that's a miracle at this point, sheesh):  



Monday, April 12, 2021

Ms. Hostetter

I mentioned how once in a while the New York Times does "get it right," or nearabouts, which, as noted, is why I still read the paper (along with the L.A. Times) on most days. 

Now, I'm not saying this article is perfect, but it's pretty good --- and darned interesting --- as it's a story that literally "hits close to home," in the O.C. where I live, and where, actually, there are indeed a lot of crazy nut cases (and while I don't know if Ms. Hostetter is crazy, her husband sounds questionable, which adds to the intrigue here, so, well, that's it). 

At NYT, "A Teacher Marched to the Capitol. When She Got Home, the Fight Began":

Kristine Hostetter was a beloved fourth-grade teacher. Then came the pandemic, the election and the Jan. 6 riot in Washington.

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. — Word got around when Kristine Hostetter was spotted at a public mask-burning at the San Clemente pier, and when she appeared in a video sitting onstage as her husband spoke at a QAnon convention. People talked when she angrily accosted a family wearing masks near a local surfing spot, her granddaughter in tow.

Even in San Clemente, a well-heeled redoubt of Southern California conservatism, Ms. Hostetter stood out for her vehement embrace of both the rebellion against Covid-19 restrictions and the stolen-election lies pushed by former President Donald J. Trump. This was, after all, a teacher so beloved that each summer parents jockeyed to get their children into her fourth-grade class.

But it was not until Ms. Hostetter’s husband posted a video of her marching down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Capitol on Jan. 6 that her politics collided with an opposite force gaining momentum in San Clemente: a growing number of left-leaning parents and students who, in the wake of the civil-rights protests set off by the police killing of George Floyd, decided they would no longer countenance the right-wing tilt of their neighbors and the racism they said was commonplace.

That there was no evidence that Ms. Hostetter had displayed any overt racism was beside the point — to them, her pro-Trump views seemed self-evidently laced with white supremacy. So she became their cause.

First, a student group organized a petition demanding the school district investigate whether Ms. Hostetter, 54, had taken part in the attack on the Capitol, and whether her politics had crept into her teaching. Then, when the district complied and suspended her, a group of parents put up a counter petition.

“If the district starts disciplinary action based on people’s beliefs/politics, what’s next? Religious discrimination?” it warned.

Each petition attracted thousands of signatures, and San Clemente has spent the months since embroiled in the divisive politics of post-Trump America, wrestling with uncomfortable questions about the limits of free speech and whether Ms. Hostetter and those who share her views should be written off as conspiracy theorists and racists who have no place in public life, not to mention shaping young minds in a classroom.

It has not been a polite debate. Neighbors have taken to monitoring one another’s social media posts; some have infiltrated private Facebook groups to figure out who is with them and who is not — and they have the screenshots to prove it.

Even the local yoga community, where Ms. Hostetter’s husband was a fixture, has found itself divided.

“It goes deeper than just her. A lot of conversations between parents, between friends, have already been fractured by Trump, by the election, by Black Lives Matter,” said Cady Anderson, whose two children attend Ms. Hostetter’s school.

Ms. Hostetter, she added, “just brought it all home to us.”

Complicating matters is Ms. Hostetter’s relative silence. Apart from appearing at protests and the incident at the beach, she has said little publicly over the past year, and did not respond to repeated interview requests for this article. People have filled in the blanks.

To Ms. Hostetter’s backers, the entire affair is being overblown by an intolerant mob of woke liberals who have no respect for the privacy of someone’s personal politics. Yet Ms. Hostetter’s politics, while personal, are hardly private, and to those who have lined up against her, she is inextricably linked to her husband, Alan, who last year emerged as a rising star in Southern California’s resurgent far right.

An Army veteran and former police chief of La Habra, Calif., Mr. Hostetter was known around San Clemente as a yoga guru — his specialty is “sound healing” with gongs, Tibetan bowls and Aboriginal didgeridoos — until the pandemic turned him into a self-declared “patriotic warrior.” He gave up yoga and founded the American Phoenix Project, which says it arose as a result of “the fear-based tyranny of 2020 caused by manipulative officials at the highest levels of our government.”

Throughout the spring, summer and fall, the American Phoenix Project organized protests against Covid-related restrictions up and down Orange County, and Mr. Hostetter’s list of enemies grew: Black Lives Matter protesters. The election thieves. Cabals and conspiracies drawn from QAnon, the movement that claims Mr. Trump was secretly battling devil-worshiping Democrats and international financiers who abuse children.

By Jan. 5, Mr. Hostetter, 56, had graduated to the national stage, appearing with the former Trump adviser Roger Stone at a rally outside the Supreme Court.

His appearance there and the next day at the Capitol prompted some of San Clemente’s more liberal residents to make bumper stickers that read: “Alan Hostraitor.” It also led the F.B.I. to raid his apartment in early February, though he was not arrested or charged with any crime. (He, too, did not respond to interview requests.)

Ms. Hostetter was there every step of the way, raising money and filming her husband as he rallied supporters at protests. When the American Phoenix Project filed incorporation papers in December, she was identified as its chief financial officer.

The Teacher

Ms. Hostetter grew up in Orange County back when locals still joked about the “Orange Curtain” separating its conservative and overwhelmingly white towns from liberal and diverse Los Angeles to the north. In the late 1960s, Richard M. Nixon turned an oceanside villa in San Clemente into his presidential getaway, christening it La Casa Pacifica. John Wayne kept his prized yacht, Wild Goose, docked up the coast in Newport Beach.

“Orange County,” Ronald Reagan once declared, “is where the good Republicans go before they die.”

It also was where surfers and spiritual seekers met cold warriors and conspiracy theorists, where some of the conservative movement’s most virulently racist, anti-Semitic and paranoid offshoots went. In the 1960s, Orange County saw a surge in the popularity of the John Birch Society, an anti-communist organization that in many ways presaged the rise of QAnon. In the 1980s, its surf spots became a magnet for neo-Nazis and skinheads. And in 2020, the onset of the pandemic produced a new generation of Orange County extremists.

If Ms. Hostetter had any strong political leanings before last year, she did not let on, said her niece, Emma Hall. She only picked up the first hint of her aunt’s rightward drift at small party to celebrate the Hostetters’ wedding in 2016.

“There were about six people, friends of theirs, that did not let up asking me if I was going to vote for Trump,” recalled Ms. Hall’s husband, Ryan.

Neither of the Halls gave it much thought. Ms. Hostetter seemed happy, and her new husband exuded the laid-back charm that typifies a certain kind of Southern California man in the American imagination...

More later.

 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Britain's Prince Philip, 'His Royal Highness', Queen Elizabeth's 'Beloved' Husband, Dead at 99 (VIDEO)

I first actually read the news of the passing of "His Royal Highness" at the New York Times, on the app on my iPhone.

And it did still include this headline, which has now been changed by the disgusting "Old Gray Lady, embedded at left, though I tried to "center it," but it messed up all the formatting of the rest...


...And you know, it's no surprise at all, as the New York Times, as much as I do enjoy reading the country's "newspaper of record" (as I do learn a lot there, and sometimes the editors "hit the mark" with real, good, and actual journalistic reporting), it's truly a trash site most of the times these days, with literally no "balance" of views, unless you consider columnists Ross Douthat and David Brooks actual "conservatives"; and don't get me going about the hack, hit piece "journalism" routinely published at that rag (here's looking at you, Taylor Lorenz); and I actually feel bad for longtime N.Y.T. science reporter, Donald McNeil, who was fired by the newspaper, after profusely apologizing, more than once, for simply having a discussion of the "N-Word," which he uttered himself during said discussion with a young person he was responsible for during a field trip to Peru a few years back. 

Here's the piece, with the changed title, though I'm not going to read it all again to see if the editors "fixed" their asinine and stupid editorializing about this truly great and candid Duke of Edinburgh: "Prince Philip, Husband of Queen Elizabeth II, Is Dead at 99."

The Los Angeles Times has a much, much better obituary, which I read in hard-copy yesterday morning, by Kim Murphy, a veteran foreign affairs correspondent, who started her career at the paper, and returned to it recently. And Ms. Murphy, who discusses Prince Philip's notable public and "gaffe-tastic" quips and rejoinders, puts up an overall balanced and well-meaning commemoration to the man, who, one might argue, literally save the British monarchy.    

It was an enduring alliance that outlasted the Cold War, 15 prime ministers, war and peace in Northern Ireland and Britain’s union with Europe — followed by the country’s shattering decision, 43 years later, to leave.

Side by side for as long as most Britons could possibly remember, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II stood as a reassuring constant even during the most trying or turbulent times, an epic love story that seemed unshakable.

But the longest marriage of a reigning monarch in British history came to an end Friday when the prince — two months shy of his 100th birthday — died at Windsor Castle in England. The flag above Buckingham Palace was immediately lowered to half-staff, and the official announcement of Philip Mountbatten’s death was posted on the palace gates.

“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement Friday, just after noon in Britain. “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”

Standing outside No. 10 Downing St., Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised Philip for a life of service and endurance.

“Like the expert carriage driver that he was, he helped to steer the royal family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life,” Johnson said.

“Over the course of his 99-year life, he saw our world change dramatically and repeatedly,” President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden said in a statement. “From his service during World War II, to his 73 years alongside the Queen, and his entire life in the public eye — Prince Philip gladly dedicated himself to the people of the U.K., the Commonwealth, and to his family.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Philip and the queen had been staying at Windsor Castle, west of London. Though he enjoyed robust health for most of his life, he was hospitalized for a month this year, from Feb. 16 to March 16, during which he underwent a heart procedure.

He was treated for chest pains in 2011, was hospitalized for two days in 2017 and was hospitalized again for 10 days in 2018 for a hip replacement. He was forced to give up driving in 2019 — at the age of 97 — after smashing into another car while driving his Land Rover.

Prince Philip never held the official title of prince consort, as did Queen Victoria’s Prince Albert, but he nonetheless was Queen Elizabeth II’s closest confidant, most reliable political advisor and the undisputed master of the royal household for more than seven decades.

Philip was known equally as a curmudgeon and a charmer who could quickly put nervous guests at ease with an easy (and sometimes outrageous) one-liner. Courtiers, his own children and the queen herself backed down under the quick flash of his temper, and guests at Buckingham Palace were expected to stay up to speed with his lively intellect and encyclopedic command of facts or were hastily dismissed as being not worthy of the duke’s time.

While Elizabeth presided over affairs of state, Philip championed dozens of charities, including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which has promoted self-reliance, physical development and other personal accomplishments for more than 6 million youths around the world.

[EMBEDDED TWEET HERE.]

He also set down the ground rules for rearing of the royal children, wrote books about horses and equestrian sports, oversaw the palaces and handled hundreds of official engagements every year until he retired from his official public schedule in August 2017. (“Unveil your own damn plaque,” read a cartoon drawn specially for the occasion, to Philip’s delight.) He was nearly always at the queen’s side during more than 73 years of marriage.

“Prince Philip is simply my rock. He is my foundation stone,” the monarch said at a lunch in 1997 honoring their 50th wedding anniversary. “He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments, but he has quite simply been my strength and stay all these years, and I and his whole family … owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know.”

Philip, for his part, seldom talked about his contributions to the royal enterprise, though he was known on rare occasions to reflect on what he had given up to be the man who walks two paces behind the queen, the husband of one monarch and the father of presumably the next, with no historic role of his own.

“It was not my ambition to be president of the Mint Advisory Committee,” he told the Independent on Sunday newspaper in 1992. “I didn’t want to be president of [the World Wide Fund for Nature]. I was asked to do it. I’d much rather have stayed in the navy, frankly.”

His chief contribution in the end was simply to have been there for the queen: a man of keen rationality and wide reading who in some ways intimidated her, who was not legally answerable to anyone and who was available as a voice of reason and dissent when all around had a habit of agreeing with her.

He had a slight reputation for pushiness and being opinionated … and he is as right-wing as ever, but there’s never been the slightest suggestion that he influenced the queen in that way,” said Robert Lacey, the British historian best known for his work on the award-winning drama “The Crown.”

“We can now see he was free to state his own opinions because he had no constitutional responsibilities,” he said. “So that made him a particularly strong and useful pillar for the queen.”

A former government secretary told the Daily Telegraph in 2001 how the Duke of Edinburgh had once quizzed him about a policy issue in his department.

“‘What’s the object of the exercise?’ he asked me. I stumbled through the answer and tried to explain that the aim was a bit of A and a bit of B. ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘but which is it — A or B?’ I replied, probably rather incoherently, that it really was a mixture of both. ‘I’d always thought that what was wrong with this country was that all the best brains went into the civil service,’ said Prince Philip, ‘but that was before I met you!’ — and walked away.”

He also had a knack for the painfully politically incorrect remark. Amid the recession of 1981, as more Britons sought public assistance, he observed: “Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed.” When the royal couple were introduced in 2002 to a teenage army cadet who had been blinded in an Irish Republican Army bombing, the queen asked the 15-year-old boy how much sight he had left. “Not a lot, judging by the tie he’s wearing,” Philip quipped, as the crowd fell silent.

But Philip was also the ultimate salt-of-the-earth English country gentleman. Royal hunting weekends would not be complete without the sight of Philip, his head wreathed in smoke, barbecuing the day’s take of pheasants. He was an enthusiastic sailor, polo player and carriage driver who went bolting with his horses around the royal estates until well into old age, when Elizabeth begged him to give it up. (The Daily Mail carried photos of the prince once again at the reins of his carriage in November 2017, prodding his horses around Windsor Castle at the age of 96.)

There's still more at the link.

And Fox News' report from Friday:


I'll try to put up some more entries tonight or tomorrow.

Thanks for reading. (I'm watching Sunday Night Baseball, and I'm looking forward to a "normal" season, hopefully, and I plan to take my family to as many Angels games as possible, as that's, really, the best kind of "family therapy" I can think of.)


You Don't Say? Black Lives Matter Co-Founder, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Has Purchased $1.4 Million Home in Secluded -- All White! -- Topanga Canyon

Woo boy, this story's a doozy, but entirely predictable, sadly. 

From Jonathan Turley, "Twitter Censors Criticism of BLM Founder Buying $1.4 Million Home In Predominantly White Neighborhood":

We have been discussing the expanding censorship on Twitter and social media. The latest example involves the story of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors, 37, and her purchase of a $1.4 million home in a secluded area of Los Angeles whose population is reputedly less than 2% black. The professed Marxist received considerable criticism for the purchase, including from Jason Whitlock, an African-America sports critic who has also been a critic of BLM. When Whitlock called out Khan-Cullors, Twitter promptly censored the tweet — leaving a notice that it was “no longer available.”

Last week, various cites like dirt.com reported, “A secluded mini-compound tucked into L.A.’s rustic and semi-remote Topanga Canyon was recently sold for a tad more than $1.4 million to a corporate entity that public records show is controlled by Patrisse Khan-Cullors, 37-year-old social justice visionary and co-founder of the galvanizing and, for some, controversial Black Lives Matter movement.”

It produced a firestorm of critics who noted that Cullors has long insisted that she and her BLM co-founder “are trained Marxists. We are super versed on, sort of, ideological theories.” Critics like Nick Arama of RedState pointed out: “[I]t’s interesting to note that the demographics of the area are only about 1.4% black people there. So not exactly living up to her creed there.”

Jason Whitlock posted a link to a story but was promptly censored by Twitter:

[SCREENSHOT HERE]

The controversy is illustrative of the age of Internet censors. Tweets, and in some cases Twitter accounts, vanish without explanation. Twitter is notorious for not responding to media inquiries over such censorship and even less forthcoming on the decision-making process behind such decisions.

If Whitlock was expressing his contempt for the purchase, it is core political speech.

Even the head of New York City’s Black Lives Matter chapter is calling for an independent investigation into the organization’s finances in the wake of the controversy. This controversy follows an Atlanta-based figure being criminally charged with fraud. According to the Justice Department, Sir Maejor Page, or Tyree Conyers-Page is accused of using a Facebook page called “Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta.”

The New York Post and other publications have reported that Cullors is eyeing expensive properties in other locations, including the Bahamas. However, it is not clear if this money came from BLM which has reportedly raised almost $100 million in donations from corporations and other sources. Indeed, Cullors seems to have ample sources of funds. She is married to Janaya Khan, a leader of BLM in Toronto, and published a best selling memoir of her life and then a follow up book. She also signed a lucrative deal with Warner Bros to develop and produce original programming across all platforms, including broadcast, cable and streaming. She has also been featured in various magazines like her recent collaboration with Jane Fonda.

The issue for me is not the house or claimed hypocrisy. It is the censorship of Twitter of such criticism. Cullors is a public figure who is subject to public scrutiny and commentary. Twitter is rife with a such criticism over the lifestyle choices of figures on the right ranging from Donald Trump Jr. to Rand Paul. That is an unfortunate aspect of being in a high visibility position. I would be equally concerned if criticism of Trump Jr.’s big game hunting exploits or Giuliani’s lavish tastes were censored...

Still more.

And at London's Daily Mail, "BLM founder is branded a 'FRAUD' after buying a $1.4 million home in an upscale mostly white enclave in L.A.

Personally, I don't care much that this woman bought a ritzy house in "exclusive" Topanga Canyon (good for her!); and the Twitter censorship is par for the course, in any case; and is, perhaps, less interesting to me than it is to Mr. Turley.

It's the hypocrisy and --- the literally satanic --- double-standards. Not only can I not stand "Black Lives Matter," as their movement is, obviously, a sham that's virtually 100 percent responsible for the "B.L.M." riots last summer than burned down darned near every Democrat-run city in the entire country, but this woman, as noted above by Mr. Turley, is a self-declared "Marxist"; that is, she's a real, dyed-in-the-wool communist, and for her to be out there scooping up million dollar properties, not just in L.A., but perhaps in the Caribbean as well, that's a bit rich for me, and I find it absolutely disgusting. (As, for one thing, the wealth-creation derived from such purchases is literally the same anathema that these ideological and partisan ghouls are always yapping about, and, frankly, I often sympathize with these very same "concerns" that they have about "capitalist racist oppression" or "structural racism," or, well, on and on and on, blah blah). 

What is more, as political science professor, at a genuinely "minority-majority" college, a place really filled with the kind of "marginalized" kids that these "B.L.M." hacks and liars constantly say they're "all about," I can't even say how much this pissed me right the f*ck off. But that's life, and honestly, lately I mostly just "get with the program" at my school, because radical leftists already tried to get me fired ("cancelled") 10 years ago, and I have no interest in dealing with any such sort of related campus-based ideological conflicts again, despite the fact that I'm tenured. It's just too much. You become a pariah, and it's even worse, because you become a pariah to a lot of people with whom you'd had perfectly fine and collegial relationships prior to such libelous, illegal, and FUBAR attacks. 

I mean, if you've heard folks online, or in commentary pieces, etc., argue that "it's hard" for conservative faculty members on America's college and university campuses these days, well, you have no idea. And take it from me, because I'm a pretty hardy soul, but also pretty mellow and totally friendly to those with whom I work, but no matter: All that good cheer and outstanding professionalism (and professional relationships) goes out the window should you wind up in the cross-hairs of these truly satanic ideological and partisan monsters. 

While I would never say this to a student of mine, I really don't recommend anyone WHO IS NOT a freakin' Marxist to go into college or university teaching, and that's to say nothing of just recommending graduate training in the humanities or social sciences (or even English literature, etc.) to my students, because as bad as it all is, I'm not one to crush a young person's dreams, and I'll only speak frankly on the cancerous toxicity of "academe" if the student brings it up herself (or himself, or "themselves," or whatever). 


Saturday, April 10, 2021

Twins?

This is so freaky, right? 

They've gotta be twins, but it also looks like a "mirror image," as one woman would be right-handed and her sister left. This is "vewy, vewy" interesting, to borrow from Elmer Fudd. (At least their shoes give it away, dang!)

At Country Girls.

Also, Anne Hathaway and Demi Rose.




Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Shades of Blue

From Thomas Chatterton Williams, a fellow I read from time to time at the Old Gray Lady, who hits the nail on the head here like Thor smashing some enemy antagonist to dust. 

At Harper's Magazine (surprisingly):

Late on election night, when the betting markets were just realizing that Trump’s path to victory had narrowed, and leading voices on the left were lamenting the failure of anything resembling a blue wave to swell up and wash the country clean, Ruben Gallego, a Democratic congressman from Arizona and an Iraq War veteran, tweeted a triumphant message to his supporters: “Az Latino vote delivered! This was a 10 year project.” Gallego had ample reason to rejoice. For the first time since 1996, a Democratic presidential candidate had won the state of Arizona, thanks in large part to strong Hispanic support. This development stood in sharp contrast to outcomes in Texas and Florida, where Latinos provided crucial votes for Trump, and in California, where they even helped to doom a pro–affirmative action ballot measure. In light of this fragmented result—and amid much hand-wringing in the media over whether Latinos still form a coherent category in our obsessively charted racial landscape—one user responded:

Ruben, honest question, how do we as a party improve our work with the LatinX community across the country as well as we’ve done in AZ? Its so frustrating to see so many republican LatinX voters, but I know its on people like me to help convince them dems are the place to be.

Gallego’s blunt reply went viral: “First start by not using the term Latinx,” he told him. The MSNBC host Joy Reid, who only hours earlier had referred to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as “Uncle Clarence,” popped into the thread dumbfounded, seeming surprisingly out of touch for a professional commentator. “Can you elaborate on this a bit more?” she asked Gallego, with what seemed like genuine incredulity. “I was under the impression that this was the preferred term, and as a Black person, I’m definitely sensitive to what people prefer to be called.”

In fact, not only is “Latinx” decidedly not the term most Latinos choose, but a significant number—about three fourths of the Latino population—have never even heard of it. A bilingual national survey conducted in December 2019 by the Pew Research Center found that a mere 3 percent of Latinos use the descriptor. And yet, the “new, gender-neutral, pan-ethnic label, Latinx, has emerged as an alternative,” the report observes. It is what prominent progressives—from Elizabeth Warren to Ibram X. Kendi—insist on using to describe a community to which they do not themselves belong. During the Democratic primaries, Senator Warren tweeted, “When I become president, Latinx families will have a champion in the White House. #LatinxHeritageMonth.”

“When [Latinx] is used I feel someone is taking away some of my culture,” Gallego wrote in response to Reid’s question. “Instead of trying to understand my culture they decided to change it to fit their perspective.”

The disagreement over such progressive jargon may seem like inside baseball to those who aren’t extremely online, but it is worth considering seriously, emblematic as it is of deeper fissures in the always tenuous patchwork of identity groups and economic classes that constitutes the contemporary Democratic coalition. The lives of progressive, college-educated, predominantly white “coastal elites” have become far removed from those of white Republicans, but more significantly from those of the nonwhite voters their party depends on to remain electorally viable—and whose validation lends them an air of virtuousness. The battle over “Latinx” might be understood as an instance of what the conservative commentator Reihan Salam has called “intra-white status jockeying”—an opportunity for “those who see themselves as (for lack of a better term) upper-whites . . . to disaffiliate themselves from those they’ve deemed lower-whites.” What Gallego knows, and can’t help but bristle at, is the fact that this semantic gatekeeping is ultimately not even about Latinos.

Last February, whites on the left expressed shock and disappointment when Joe Biden beat the surging Bernie Sanders in the South Carolina primary, due in large part to moderate and conservative black primary voters who chose to reject the socialism they’d been told was in their best interest. Why should this have been surprising? Again, according to widely publicized research conducted by Pew, black Americans’ self-reported ideology has remained relatively stable throughout the twenty-first century. In 2019, about 40 percent of black Democratic voters considered themselves “moderate,” while an additional 25 percent identified as conservative. Just 29 percent of black Democrats described their views as “liberal.”

Yet these glimpses into the heterogeneity of black and Latino—to say nothing of Asian—political preferences did not prepare influential progressives for the far less welcome November revelation that Donald Trump—whose behavior and associations have earned him the reputation of a kleptocratic xenophobe, if not an outright fascist—had gained traction with every major demographic (including Muslim voters, despite his travel ban). In a year of inescapable talk of racial identity and white supremacy, mass protests against systemic and interpersonal racism, and a fifteen-thousand-person rally in Brooklyn for black trans lives during the height of the pandemic, the extraordinary irony was that one of the very few groups whose support for Trump declined even modestly was white males.

“This is so personally devastating to me,” began an emotional thread of tweets from the New York Times columnist Charles Blow the morning after the election. “The black male vote for Trump INCREASED from 13% in 2016 to 18% this year. The black female vote for Trump doubled from 4% in 2016 to 8% this year.” Analyzing the exit polls (which are admittedly imperfect), he also picked out white women and LGBTQ voters for opprobrium—“the percentage of LGBT voting for Trump doubled from 2016. DOUBLED!!!”—before landing on an insight that should spur an enormous amount of introspection on the left:

The percentage of Latinos and Asians voting for Trump INCREASED from 2016, according to exit polls. Yet more evidence that we can’t depend on the “browning of America” to dismantle white supremacy and erase anti-blackness.
Not only did Latinos, Asians, and, it must be reiterated, black voters join whites in delivering Trump more votes than the record 69.5 million Barack Obama got in 2008—more votes, that is, than any candidate in the history of the United States except Biden—they also upended assumptions down-ballot as well. In California, Proposition 16, the lavishly funded proposal to once again allow race and gender to be considered in government hiring and contracting and in public-university admissions, was roundly defeated, despite the state’s shifting demographics in the twenty-four years since the ban on affirmative action was imposed (white people now make up 36 percent of the population, second to Latinos at 39 percent).

The measure commanded strong support in just five counties in the Bay Area as well as the city of Los Angeles, Alexei Koseff noted in the San Francisco Chronicle: The “yes” campaign “vastly outspent opponents and drew high-profile endorsements from across the political spectrum,” yet the supposed progressive landslide didn’t come.

Fashionable narratives about the Democratic coalition and its members’ goals and ambitions can efface what many minorities think is in their best interest. Such misreadings are not just insensitive but dangerous. They can lead Democrats to pursue ill-conceived, poorly articulated policies that backfire to the benefit of conservatives, or worse, inflict harm on vulnerable communities. The recent push to defund the police is one of the most extravagant examples of what is, at best, high-minded intellectual recklessness. Those calling to do so “have shown a complete disregard for the voices and perspectives of many members of the African American community,” Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil-rights lawyer who formerly led the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP, told the Star Tribune in July, after the city council moved to defund the MPD in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. “We have not been consulted as the city makes its decisions, even though our community is the one most heavily impacted by both police violence and community violence.”

The tragic reality is that homicides in Minneapolis increased by 50 percent in 2020. More than 500 people had been shot by December, the most in a decade and a half. Meanwhile, the city’s mayor noted a “historic” rate of attrition among Minneapolis police, with twice as many leaving the force as in a typical year. Though 2020 was exceptionally frustrating for many reasons, most notably the substantial loss of life and of economic security wrought by COVID-19, it’s hard to imagine that a stark drop in officer morale didn’t contribute to the mayhem.

Like the niche semantic preference for “Latinx,” but with far more direct and dire consequences, viral slogans such as “abolish the police”—created by people of color, but powerfully amplified by whites situated at a considerable remove—have been foisted on black communities that have a far more equivocal relationship with policing than is often acknowledged.

Online, some very audible voices argue for the abolition of prisons and police departments. Offline, countless black Americans are forced to confront the harsh inadequacy of stark rhetorical binaries. They are overpoliced and underpoliced at the same time. Outside the brutal videotaped killings by police that fill our news feeds, or the numbing grind of quotidian degradations like stop-and-frisk, it is underpolicing that causes the most harm. Jill Leovy’s masterly 2015 book, Ghettoside, presents a thorough, unsentimental account of the social dynamics plaguing American cities and the senseless killings that routinely occur in them—often perpetrated, as we are so frequently reminded, by other black people. Leovy quotes the Harvard legal scholar Randall Kennedy: “The principal injury suffered by African-Americans in relation to criminal matters is not overenforcement but underenforcement of the laws.” The late Tupac Shakur put it most vividly in making a case for black self-defense in a 1994 BET interview: “We next door to the killer,” he practically screamed. “We next door to ’em, you know, ’cause we up in the projects, where there’s eighty n——s in the building. All them killers that they letting out, they right there in that building. But it’s better just ’cause we black, we get along with the killers or something? We get along with the rapists ’cause we black and we from the same hood? What is that? We need protection, too!” Anyone who speaks with black people outside of academic or activist circles knows that this is hardly a fringe view...

Still more.

 

Now THIS Is Some Big Pandemic News

It's at Gallup, "Americans' Worry About Catching COVID-19 Drops to Record Low."

Obviously this is monumental news, and it's especially big because this data goes against practically everything the elites in D.C. and virtually all the "blue states" are telling everyone --- which means, of course, they're lying. 

The only thing more they needed at the report here is a breakdown by party identity, because while the huge overall majority reports little to no worry about catching the "'rona," no doubt idiot leftist Dems are swallowing everything that comes out of the D.C. swamp (and the stupid so-called progressive "blue state" capitals, with their idiot governors, and Cuomo, Newsom, and Whitmer come to mind), and, naturally, these "woke" Democrats love their masks and social distancing, and are ready to keep up with this crap until mid-century, if not later. 

No need to quote the whole thing (just read it at the link above), although I'll post the conclusion here:

Americans have become substantially less worried about contracting COVID-19 as a growing proportion of adults have been fully vaccinated and as satisfaction with the vaccine rollout has improved. These shifts have occurred while coronavirus infection rates have fallen substantially from highs reached in January of this year. Optimism about the COVID-19 situation has also spiked to a record high. Gallup previously observed a meaningful relationship between Americans' perceptions of the coronavirus situation and changes in reported numbers of daily new cases.

After the March survey was conducted, infection rates began to rise again. This may be at least partially connected to the decrease in reported strict social distancing by Americans at a time when more contagious variants of the virus are spreading. Public health experts see the U.S. now in a race to get large numbers of Americans vaccinated before those variants spread further. The outcome of that race will determine the future course of infections in the U.S. and will likely determine whether Americans show continued increasing optimism about the COVID-19 situation or a course correction in their attitudes.

So, if you do decide to "RTWT," the graphs at the peace are real nice. 

UPDATE: Idiot me spoke too soon without checking on the tables (rather than the graphs), although, despite that, I'm not much wrong: Still half of all Democrats surveyed reported being being "worried" about catching the virus; although Dems are more likely to see things as "getting better," but that's an artifact, no doubt, of having the "Harris-Biden" administration in power, and these still stupid "woke" Dems are more likely to be "swallowing down" all the new "regime's" lies and propaganda --- so, I guess I wasn't too off in my estimations, despite the absence of a couple of more detailed graphs.

Mea culpa! Mea culpa, lol! 


Sunday, April 4, 2021

The 'Woke' New Appeal of Totalitarianism

I don't know Roger Kimball, the bow-tie-wearing editor of the New Criterion (which I do not read), and the editor (publisher?) of Encounter Books.

But his essay today is quite good, and it's interesting to me, because I could've written it myself. I've been saying the exact same things all semester, in my (at least) twice-weekly "all class" announcements, where I sometimes add an "optional" section below the "all business" section that starts my messages, and then I offer some of my own (humble) thoughts on the news of the day --- providing links to books, as needed --- and if students read those or not, I tell them, it doesn't matter much to me, because, I also tell them, they are "free to choose" what's best for themselves; and they might not care one whit what I might have to say on the bloody, horrific violence, mayhem, and organized "mainstream" media hypocrisy that's very likely propelling us to a new --- and very "hot" --- civil war, not a "cold war," which is probably what we've been in since the 1970s, in the aftermath of the mayhem and murder inflicted back during the 1960s, care of the "Destructive Generation" that grew out of the "rights revolution" of the era, and especially the "antiwar" movement that arose in opposition to the alleged U.S. "imperialist" war in Vietnam (which was, actually, a war of the most vital national security interests), and one that's a shame we lost, as I doubt Vietnam today is anywhere near as successful, as, say, South Korea, which was not "unified" by the force of arms of both Chinese and Soviet military power.

All that said, just read Kimball, who, although he can't stomach baseball (which is strange to me, indeed), is a good guy, and a darned good thinker and writer.

At American Greatness, "The Appeal of the New Totalitarians":

It’s easy to understand and reject the horrors of totalitarianism. It is much less easy to grasp its inexorable logic or its seemingly implacable attractions.

I am not a follower or a fan of baseball. But I understand that it is, or has been, an important national pastime, beloved by many, not least, as Andrew McCarthy observes in a recent column, because it offered its acolytes a respite or oasis from politics, an arena where our differences of opinion could be redeemed or at least temporarily forgotten in the benign if intense partisanship of fandom.

It is for this reason that, impervious though I am to the charms of the sport, I regard with disdain the decision on the part of the woke commissars who run Major League Baseball to abandon Atlanta, Georgia. The reason they gave was that Georgia had passed new voter rights legislation requiring, among other things, that voters present valid identification in order to be eligible to vote. They called that a violation of “fair access to voting” when in fact it is legislation, very similar to that in effect in many other states, whose chief effect will be to make elections fairer. You need an ID to board a plane, check into a hotel, enter most urban businesses, but not to vote?

I see that Delta Airlines has also joined the woke brigade by taking a public stand against the Georgia legislation. How will the airline respond if you refuse to show a valid identification before boarding? (After Delta finished with its woke high horse, American Airlines borrowed it to present its own little exhibition of politically correct grandstanding with respect to similar legislation in Texas.)

This is all just business as usual in what more and more seems like the twilight of the republic. The cultural critic Stephen Soukup has anatomized the phenomenon in a new book that we just published at Encounter called The Dictatorship of Woke Capital: How Political Correctness Captured Big Business. Quite apart from its illuminating historical analysis, the book is a plea to turn away from the politicization of everything that stands behind such phenomena as sports concessions and airlines—to say nothing of Hollywood, the media, and the fount of it all, academia—insinuating politics into every dimension of life. “The choice here,” Soukup writes in his conclusion, “is simple.”
If we, as a civilization allow even the spirit of capitalism to become part of “the political” and part of the total state, then we will have order—for however long that lasts. If we resist the politicization of business and of capital markets, however; if we determine for ourselves that disorder and depoliticization are the preferable options, then we not only preserve liberty but also preserve the spirit of innovation and expression that harnesses liberty to create wealth and prosperity. I think Soukup is correct, and his analysis of the way the totalizing process of the politicization of everything has proceeded in other situations should give us all pause.

Political correctness has always had a silly as well as a minatory side. The silly side is evident in its juvenile narcissism. It is so obviously a product of a rich and leisured society that it is hard to take its antics seriously. There is a reason that it had its origins in the academy. Those privileged eyries could afford to allow their charges to prance around whining about how oppressed or “triggered” or offended they were since they occupied the coddled purlieus of a place apart—apart from the serious business of everyday life and in this country, anyway, apart from the less forgiving imperatives of genuine want...

Later, I'll write a full post linking this new book from Soukup, of which and whom I was unaware, but appears to be a real winner, and, obviously, reflects back well on Mr. Kimball.

And I should have more blogging tonight, or tomorrow, so thanks again for reading. 

Plus, there's still more of the American Greatness piece at the link.

 

Two Dead After 32-Year-Old Man Stabs Mother and Her Brother During Live Zoom Session With Four Others Watching (VIDEO)

Honestly, if it wasn't for my wife, who uses some news app on her phone, which bombards her all the time with stories (and me, as I had to finally download that sucker, as my wife constantly forward articles to me), I doubt I would've caught it.

The New York Times reported on the story last week, with a lot of details there, "Woman Is Fatally Stabbed by Her Son During Video Call, Authorities Say: At least four people were on a work video call when Carol Brown and her brother were stabbed in an Altadena, Calif., residence on Monday."

Also at KABC Eyewitness News 7 Los Angeles, "2 fatally stabbed at Altadena home in incident partially witnessed on Zoom, officials say: Part of the incident was witnessed on a Zoom call, officials say."


Apparently, Ms. Brown worked as "a coordinator of Pasadena City College's Black STEM Program," according to London's Daily Mail, and her son, Robert, is black.

So, there's not much point in belaboring the argument, but as Altadena is in Los Angeles County, which foolishly elected the radical, Soros-backed District Attorney George Gascón last year, it's hard to see how justice will be forthcoming for Ms. Brown and her brother.

And while it's likely that her son had mental issues, and as I don't see anything about the motive for the killings, one can bet that that ghoul Gascón will find some way, perhaps justified, but likely not so much, to let this man, Robert, get away with murder.

And I'm already grieving for the four witnesses, because no matter how much psychotherapy they're offered or go through, they'll never get those heinous images out of their minds. 


Saturday, April 3, 2021

Please Shop Amazon Until I Can Get Back to This Blog, Tomorrow, or the Next Day

I'm heading out to Fresno/Clovis in a bit, so here's the link to Amazon, if you'd like to do some shopping, which is appreciated. 

And for some reason, I woke up with Elvis Costello's "Alison" on my brain, and I was singing the song in my head while taking my morning piss, heh.


I'll be back up blogging again as soon as I can. Have a great Easter holiday!

G. Gordon Liddy, 1930-2021 (R.I.P.)

Gordon Liddy has passed away.

I'll just note, briefly, that Liddy was, of course, one of the MAJOR figures in the Watergate scandal, a topic I cover every semester, and teach the history of which, during my week of coverage on the presidency in my POLSC 1 classes. And of note, while Liddy himself has been really no interest to me all these years, the Watergate scandal has been. You see, in my very first "Introduction to American Politics Class," at Saddleback College, in 1986, our professor had all students read two books (besides the required textbook), and students were required to write a review and analysis of their chosen books, and I read two by the late, great American journalistic icon, Teddy White, who was, perhaps, one of the most important chroniclers of the Watergate scandal. These two tomes were, The Making of the President 1960, and Breach of Faith: The Fall of Richard Nixon, both of which I still have copies sitting on my bookshelf; and which, especially the latter, I read parts thereof, from time to time (especially when similar such scandals erupt in current politics, and I need to "get a grip" and perspective on things).

In any case, read the obituary, at the New York Times (with video here, featuring Judy Woodruff, at the P.B.S. News Hour, who is not a "newbie," and would actually know something about what happened back then), "G. Gordon Liddy, Mastermind Behind Watergate Burglary, Dies at 90":


G. Gordon Liddy, a cloak-and-dagger lawyer who masterminded dirty tricks for the White House and concocted the bungled burglary that led to the Watergate scandal and the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon in 1974, died on Tuesday in Mount Vernon, Va. He was 90.

His death, at the home of his daughter Alexandra Liddy Bourne, was confirmed by his son Thomas P. Liddy, who said that his father had Parkinson’s disease and had been in declining health.

Decades after Watergate entered the lexicon, Mr. Liddy was still an enigma in the cast of characters who fell from grace with the 37th president — to some a patriot who went silently to prison refusing to betray his comrades, to others a zealot who cashed in on bogus celebrity to become an author and syndicated talk show host.

As a leader of a White House “plumbers” unit set up to plug information leaks, and then as a strategist for the president’s re-election campaign, Mr. Liddy helped devise plots to discredit Nixon “enemies” and to disrupt the 1972 Democratic National Convention. Most were far-fetched — bizarre kidnappings, acts of sabotage, traps using prostitutes, even an assassination — and were never carried out.

But Mr. Liddy, a former F.B.I. agent, and E. Howard Hunt, a former C.I.A. agent, engineered two break-ins at the Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate complex in Washington. On May 28, 1972, as Mr. Liddy and Mr. Hunt stood by, six Cuban expatriates and James W. McCord Jr., a Nixon campaign security official, went in, planted bugs, photographed documents and got away cleanly.

A few weeks later, on June 17, four Cubans and Mr. McCord, wearing surgical gloves and carrying walkie-talkies, returned to the scene and were caught by the police. Mr. Liddy and Mr. Hunt, running the operation from a Watergate hotel room, fled but were soon arrested and indicted on charges of burglary, wiretapping and conspiracy.

In the context of 1972, with Mr. Nixon’s triumphal visit to China and a steam-rolling presidential campaign that soon crushed the Democrat, Senator George S. McGovern, the Watergate case looked inconsequential at first. Mr. Nixon’s press secretary, Ron Ziegler, dismissed it as a “third-rate burglary.”

But it deepened a White House cover-up that had begun in 1971, when Mr. Liddy and Mr. Hunt broke into the office of the psychiatrist of Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times, looking for damaging information on him. Over the next two years, the cover-up unraveled under pressure of investigations, trials, hearings and headlines into the worst political scandal — and the first resignation by a sitting president — in the nation’s history.

Unlike the other Watergate defendants, Mr. Liddy refused to testify about his activities for the White House or the Committee to Re-elect the President, and drew the longest term among those who went to prison. He was sentenced by Judge John J. Sirica to 6 to 20 years, but served only 52 months. President Jimmy Carter commuted his term in 1977.

“I have lived as I believed I ought to have lived,” Mr. Liddy, a small dapper man with a baldish pate and a brushy mustache, told reporters after his release. He said he had no regrets and would do it again. “When the prince approaches his lieutenant, the proper response of the lieutenant to the prince is, ‘Fiat voluntas tua,’” he said, using the Latin of the Lord’s Prayer for “Thy will be done.”

Disbarred from law practice and in debt for $300,000, mostly for legal fees, Mr. Liddy began a new career as a writer. His first book, “Out of Control,” (1979) was a spy thriller. He later wrote another novel, “The Monkey Handlers” (1990), and a nonfiction book, “When I Was a Kid, This Was a Free Country” (2002). He also co-wrote a guide to fighting terrorism, “Fight Back! Tackling Terrorism, Liddy Style” (2006), and produced many articles on politics, taxes, health and other matters.

In 1980, he broke his silence on Watergate with his autobiography, “Will.” The reviews were mixed, but it became a best seller. After years of revelations by other Watergate conspirators, there was little new in it about the scandal, but critics said his account of prison life was graphic. A television movie based on the book was aired in 1982 by NBC.

Mr. Liddy found himself in demand on the college-lecture circuit. In 1982 he teamed with Timothy Leary, the 1960s LSD guru, for campus debates that were edited into a documentary film, “Return Engagement.” The title referred to an encounter in 1966, when Mr. Liddy, as a prosecutor in Dutchess County, N.Y., joined a raid on a drug cult in which Mr. Leary was arrested.

In the 1980s, Mr. Liddy dabbled in acting, appearing on “Miami Vice” and in other television and film roles. But he was better known later as a syndicated talk-radio host with a right-wing agenda. “The G. Gordon Liddy Show,” begun in 1992, was carried on hundreds of stations by Viacom and later Radio America, with satellite hookups and internet streaming. It ran until his retirement in 2012. He lived in Fort Washington, Md.

Mr. Liddy, who promoted nutritional supplements and exercised, was still trim in his 70s. He made parachute jumps, took motorcycle trips, collected guns, played a piano and sang lieder. His website showed him craggy-faced with head held high, an American flag and the Capitol dome in the background.

George Gordon Battle Liddy was born on Nov. 30, 1930, in Brooklyn to Sylvester J. and Maria (Abbaticchio) Liddy. He grew up in Hoboken, N.J., a fearful boy with respiratory problems who learned to steel himself with tests of will power. He lifted weights, ran and, as he recalled, held his hand over a flame as an act of self-discipline. He said he once ate a rat to overcome a repulsion, and decapitated chickens for a neighbor until he could kill like a soldier, “efficiently and without emotion or thought.”

Like his father, a lawyer, Gordon attended all-male St. Benedict’s Prep School in Newark and Fordham University in the Bronx. After graduating from Fordham in 1952, he took an Army commission with hopes of fighting in Korea, but was assigned to an antiaircraft radar unit in Brooklyn. In 1954, he returned to Fordham and earned a law degree three years later. In 1957, he married Frances Ann Purcell. The couple had five children. Along with his son Thomas and daughter Alexandra, he is survived by another daughter, Grace Liddy; two other sons, James Liddy and Raymond J. Liddy; a sister, Margaret McDermott; 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Mr. Liddy’s wife died in 2010.

From 1957 to 1962, Mr. Liddy was an F.B.I. field agent in Indianapolis, Gary, Ind., and Denver, and a supervisor of crime records in Washington. He then worked in patent law for his father’s firm in New York for four years. He joined the Dutchess County district attorney’s office as an assistant prosecutor in 1966.

In 1968, he began a dizzying, three-year rise from obscurity in Poughkeepsie to the White House. Challenging Hamilton Fish Jr. in a primary for the Republican nomination for Congress in what was then New York’s 28th District, he fell short, but his consolation prize was to take charge of the Nixon campaign in the mid-Hudson Valley, which the president won handily.

His reward was a job at the Treasury Department in Washington as a special assistant for narcotics and gun control. He helped develop the sky marshal program to counteract hijackers. Impressed, Egil Krogh, a deputy assistant to the president, recommended him in 1971 to John N. Mitchell, the attorney general, who recommended him to John D. Ehrlichman, the president’s domestic policy adviser...

Still more.