Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Mark Levin, The Democratic Party Hates America

At Amazon, Mark Levin, The Democratic Party Hates America.

SpongeBob Bikini Top

Seen on X.com

'Try That in a Small Town' (VIDEO)

I love country music. 

Jason Aldean's a freakin' patriot. It's a certainty the left'd come after him. Democrats hate this country. Anyone who countermands that message must be destroyed.

At the New York Times, "Jason Aldean, Decrying ‘Cancel Culture,’ Has a No. 2 Hit": “Try That in a Small Town” went from overlooked to almost topping the charts after a week of controversy":

In May, the country star Jason Aldean released a single, “Try That in a Small Town,” with lyrics that paint contemporary urban life as a hellscape of crime and anarchy: “Sucker punch somebody on a sidewalk/Carjack an old lady at a red light.”

“You think you’re tough,” Aldean sings. “Well, try that in a small town.”

Initially, the track got relatively little notice, landing at No. 35 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. That changed last week, after the song’s music video became a culture-war battlefield, with some accusing Aldean — one of country’s biggest hitmakers for nearly two decades — of employing racist dog-whistle tactics and the singer defending himself as the latest victim of an out-of-control “cancel culture.”

The controversy led to a rush on Aldean’s song, with both streams and downloads exploding over the course of last week. “Try That in a Small Town” makes its debut at No. 2 on the Hot 100, Aldean’s best showing ever on Billboard’s all-genre pop chart, beating current hits by Olivia Rodrigo and Morgan Wallen. Aldean was surpassed this week only by Jung Kook of the South Korean supergroup BTS, whose debut solo single, “Seven,” opens at No. 1.

The video for “Try That,” released on July 14, opens with Aldean performing before a stately building draped with an American flag; the structure was quickly identified as Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tenn., where in 1927 a young Black man named Henry Choate was lynched by a vigilante mob after being accused — falsely, historians believe — of raping a white girl.

The video features one montage after another of violent street protests, robberies and people antagonizing police officers in riot gear. Those scenes are juxtaposed with images of American flags being hoisted, children playing and what appears to be a television news segment about farmers helping out a neighbor.

Three days after it was released, the video was pulled from rotation on Country Music Television, without explanation. But it has been widely criticized as a thinly veiled attack on the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.

Justin Jones, a Tennessee state representative, wrote on Twitter that lawmakers “have an obligation to condemn Jason Aldean’s heinous song calling for racist violence. What a shameful vision of gun extremism and vigilantism.”

Aldean, 46, has denied that race plays any part in the lyrics, or that “Try That” is a “pro-lynching song,” saying on social media, “These references are not only meritless, but dangerous.”

Some artists came to his defense...

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Carol Roth, You Will Own Nothing

At Amazon, Carol Roth, You Will Own Nothing: Your War with a New Financial World Order and How to Fight Back.

So Much for Local Control of Education: Gavin Newsom Takes on the Temecula Valley Unified School District (VIDEO)

And why?

Because the locally elected conservative board members don't want a social studies textbook that references homosexual icon Harvey Milk. 

So much for local control of schools? This is really pushing ahead the front lines of the culture war. 

At at time when average working- and middle-class families can't afford the cost of living, you know 100 percent that Newsom --- and the state's Democrat Party junta in Sacramento --- couldn't care less about the problems facing the state's everyday citizens. 

At the Los Angeles Times, "Temecula school board outrage over LGBTQ+ lessons motivates Newsom to rush new textbook law":

Temecula and most of southwestern Riverside County lean Republican, favoring former President Trump in the 2020 election and creating a rift with California’s Democratic state leaders. In December, the school board voted to ban the teaching of critical race theory.

On Wednesday, Newsom announced that the state is entering into a contract to secure textbooks for the district in time for the first day of school next month.

“The three political activists on the school board have yet again proven they are more interested in breaking the law than doing their jobs of educating students — so the state will do their job for them,” Newsom said in a statement, reiterating his commitment to fining the district.

Newsom — a national voice against red state policies — was so inspired to take on Temecula conservatives that he has publicly vowed to hold the school district accountable on the basis of a law that does not yet exist...
Laws? What laws?!! We make it up as we go!

More at KCAL News Los Angeles, "California Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced that the state has imposed a $1.5 million fine on the Temecula Valley Unified School District for 'willful violation' of the law," after board members voted not to adopt a new curriculum mentioning activist Harvey Milk":


On Instagram.

Emma-Jo Morris

This woman is amazing.

Click through to watch the video:

Flaming Skull: Burisma Founder Mykola Zlochevsky Allegedly Paid 'Protection Money' to Hunter Biden and His Dad, President Joseph Robinette Biden

At AoSHQ, "FBI Report: Burisma Founder and Oligarch Who Bribed Joe and Hunter Biden Alleges He Was 'Coerced' Into Giving Them Money."

ADDED: At the Other McCain, "‘Smoking Gun’ on Biden Bribery Scandal."

The Political Rise of Ultra-Orthodox Jews Shakes Israel's Sense of Identity

This is interesting.

At the Wall Street Journal, "Fast-growing group of religious conservatives allies with Netanyahu to take on Supreme Court, spawning mass protest movement; mandatory military service emerges as a key issue":

BNEI BRAK, Israel—Since Israel’s founding, mandatory military service for Jewish Israelis has been widely embraced as a unifying force in a divided society.

Now the issue threatens to tear the country apart. Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Jews, a fast-growing and potent political bloc, have long shunned military duty along with other aspects of secular society. Their effort to obtain a permanent exemption from service has repeatedly been foiled by Israel’s Supreme Court. Allied with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, they are pushing for a judicial overhaul to weaken the court.

The first part of the overhaul, which sparked mass protests that have shaken Israel for 28 straight weeks, is expected to be ratified by the Israeli parliament, or Knesset, as early as Sunday.

The clash goes to the heart of Israel’s inherent identity issue: Is it a modern liberal democracy or a society defined by religion? Many secular Israelis see the judicial reforms as a step toward increasing the power of people who would use religion to roll back fundamental civil rights.

“Secular society wants a full modern state,” said Gilad Malach, a scholar with the Israel Democracy Institute, a Jerusalem think tank. “The ultra-Orthodox aim is to have a strong religious society.”

Ultra-Orthodox Jews such as Yehoshua Menuchin, who at 40 has a wife, six sons and no steady job, refer to themselves as Haredim, meaning those who tremble before God. Many Haredi men don’t work regularly, instead choosing to study holy texts in religious seminaries called yeshivas. They argue that they contribute to the state in their own way by preserving Jewish tradition and providing divine protection for Israel.

“I don’t think we are making any less of a sacrifice,” Menuchin said. “I’ve passed on the pleasures of this world. I’ve given up on restaurants, on the cinema, on going to clubs. I’ve given up many things in my life.”

One element of Israeli society Menuchin and many other Haredim avoid is mandatory military service, a rite of passage in mainstream Israeli society. Most Jewish men and women spend two to three years in the army beginning at the age of 18. Friendships made in the army can also serve as the basis for professional connections after military life.

The Israeli Supreme Court has twice struck down legislation aimed at formally exempting Haredim from the draft, most recently in 2017 on the grounds that it created unequal treatment of citizens. The court has permitted temporary exemptions so that the government can find a solution.

Those decisions exacerbated friction between religious conservatives and the Supreme Court, which has long served as a strong defender of individual liberties, upholding the rights of Israel’s Arab citizens, women and LGBTQ people.

The Haredim now have the political heft to fight back. Their two political parties—one representing Jews of European descent and the other Jews from the greater Middle East—make up the second-largest bloc in the current government after Likud, with 18 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. They are key to Netanyahu’s grip on power, since his alliance controls just 64 seats in total. They have often threatened to leave the coalition if their various demands aren’t met.

The Haredi bloc in the Knesset hopes to enact legislation that would permit separating men and women in some public places. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Netanyahu called the Supreme Court “the most activist judicial court on the planet,” and said that “there is a growing understanding in the Israeli public that there’s a need for judicial reform.” Still, he says he has aimed to moderate several of the original proposals and instead “proceed in a measured way.”

The government wants to overhaul the system and hand more power to elected officials. Proposals include striking the court’s ability to overturn government decisions and giving lawmakers a majority say on the committee that picks new judges.

The backlash from secular Israelis and some moderate religious Jews has been intense.

In March, Ron Scherf, a 51-year-old reserve lieutenant colonel, helped organize a march through Bnei Brak, Israel’s largest Haredi city. Protesters carried signs urging Haredim to join the military. Some Haredim dropped fliers on protesters saying they would never serve in an “apostate” army.”

“We really believe there needs to be a new contract in Israel between the secular and Haredim,” Scherf said. “I don’t see a way that Israel can exist as a liberal, prosperous and strong country if the current situation doesn’t change.”

“We are getting close to a major clash,” counters Yisrael Cohen, a popular Haredi media figure. “If no side takes responsibility, it won’t end up in a good place.”

Military service aside, many in Israel believe the Haredi way of life represents a direct threat to the future prosperity of the country. About half of Haredi men don’t work. Instead, they pursue religious studies and live off a combination of their wives’s salaries, charity, government grants and subsidies. With a steadily increasing birthrate that today stands at around 6.5 children per female, compared with around 3.0 for the general population, according to the Israeli central bureau of statistics, the roughly 1.3 million Haredim represent 13.3% of the population. As its fastest-growing segment, they are on pace to be nearly one-third of all Israelis by 2065.

Haredim have used their political power to expand discounts on municipal taxes, subsidies for early child care and rental assistance for large low-income families—benefits that are technically available to all Israelis but that tend to favor Haredim because of their demographic characteristics. They or their yeshivas also enjoy stipends or grants for around 140,000 Haredim men who study full-time, according to the Israel Democracy Institute. The Institute, led by a former centrist politician, found Haredim pay one-third less in taxes than non-Haredi families.

In a letter to Netanyahu in May, over 200 leading Israeli economists warned that a plan to increase funding to Haredi educational institutions that refuse to teach secular subjects, along with the increase in stipends for full-time Torah learners, would transform Israel into a “Third World” economy by leaving Haredi children unprepared for today’s workforce.

The Haredim aim to expand religion in even more areas of public life. Since Netanyahu returned to power last year, they have passed a law allowing hospitals to ban bread products from entering public hospitals over the Jewish holiday of Passover. They have also said they hope to enact legislation that would permit separating men and women in some public places or events frequented by Haredim, something widely recognized by Israeli lawyers as unconstitutional.

Haredim already wield tremendous power over many aspects of public life. They control the Rabbanut, a governmental body that oversees marriage and divorce and determines who is a Jew. The Rabbanut’s long-standing refusal to recognize any non-Orthodox branches of Judaism has been a point of tension, particularly among diaspora Jews. They also have managerial control over prominent Jewish holy sites.

The recent protests in Bnei Brak left Yehoshua Menuchin’s wife, Dvora, unimpressed. “The people who are protesting, they don’t know anything about Judaism,” she said. “They are like babies. If they knew about Judaism, they wouldn’t do this.”

Her neighborhood is crowded, loud and vivacious, with pedestrians—including many children—filling the sidewalks on narrow streets lined with sacred book stores and small eateries selling traditional Eastern European Jewish food such as kugel, gefilte fish and cholent. On each corner and by each bus station stand rows of charity boxes, much of which will end up going to yeshiva students and their families...

Witness Describes Moment When U.S. Army Private Travis King Crossed the Demilitarized Line Into North Korea (VIDEO)

Following-up, "U.S. Army Soldier in North Korean Custody After Crossing Border 'Voluntarily'."

It turns out the kid was in big trouble and was in the midst of being sent back to the U.S., apparently for some kind of disciplinary action. Private King may have literally defected.

At WSJ yesterday, "Travis King, U.S. Soldier Held in North Korea, Had Been Detained in South Korea: The American’s ‘willful’ entry to the North instead of facing disciplinary actions creates fresh challenge for Washington and Pyongyang."

The Autism Surge

This is an amazing article. 

I mean, there's just so much information here. As a parent of a child "on the spectrum," it's quite refreshing.

At the Free Press:

Allie Forever!

This woman, oh god.

On Instagram:

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

U.S. Army Soldier in North Korean Custody After Crossing Border 'Voluntarily'

This is really bizarre.

I'm still figuring out this story. 

At the Wall Street Journal, "U.S. Soldier Held in North Korea After Crossing Border: American man on a tour of South Korean side of the Joint Security Area crossed over the military demarcation line without permission, U.N. says."

Monday, July 17, 2023


It's Rob Thomas and Matchbox Twenty:

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Heather Mac Donald, When Race Trumps Merit

At Amazon, Heather Mac Donald, When Race Trumps Merit: How the Pursuit of Equity Sacrifices Excellence, Destroys Beauty, and Threatens Lives

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., In Hot Water After Comments Suggesting Chinese and Jews Were Spared Covid (VIDEO)

Kennedy's desperately denying things on Twitter

But he says it.

At the New York Post, "RFK Jr. says COVID may have been ‘ethnically targeted’ to spare Jews."

And here comes the New York Times with the antisemitism angle: "Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Airs Bigoted New Covid Conspiracy Theory About Jews and Chinese."

You be the judge:

The 2024 Election Is a Fight Over America's Way of Life

Yeah. Isn't the next election always the one to save the American way of life? How's that been working out?

At WSJ, "GOP voters see a country corrupted by liberal ideals":

To win Jason Stewart’s vote, a presidential candidate should talk about stopping illegal immigration, taming inflation and keeping academic theories about race out of the classroom. But one overarching task is more important to the 51-year-old Republican than any single issue: rescuing American culture from liberals.

“Democrats and liberals have invaded every aspect of culture for the past 40 or 50 years, and we’re at a line-in-the-sand moment for conservatives,” said Stewart, a sales executive and Army veteran who lives outside Philadelphia. “What I’m looking for in a candidate is someone who can put up a fight across multiple fronts.”

The animating force in the Republican presidential primary, many voters and policy leaders say, is a feeling that American society—the government, the media, Hollywood, academia and big business—has been corrupted by liberal ideas about race, gender and other social matters. Democrats, in turn, feel that conservatives have used their political power in red states and in building a Supreme Court majority to undermine abortion rights and threaten decades of work to broaden equal rights for minority groups.

That has turned the next race for the White House into an existential election, with voters on both sides fearing not just a loss of political influence but also the destruction of their way of life.

“My biggest fear is about advancing that far-right agenda,” said Laurie Spezzano, 68, a Democrat and insurance agent in Louisville, Ky., who believes one of her own senators, Republican Mitch McConnell, subverted the legitimacy of the Supreme Court by using his leadership post to block a Democratic nominee to the court and to advance GOP nominees. Abortion rights have been diminished, she said, and gay rights in employment and marriage are at risk.

“I’ve never been against all Republicans, but it’s gotten to where they’re really scary now,” she said.

Republican Julie Duggan, by contrast, sees conservative values and traditional gender roles under attack amid social change that is moving too quickly. “It’s like half the country has lost their minds. People don’t even know what gender they are,” said Duggan, 31, a public safety worker in Chicago. If Republicans lose again, “it’s going to be the downfall of our society.” The Heritage Foundation, the conservative policy institute, has brought together 60 right-of-center organizations to compile a 900-page document of policy specifics to guide the next Republican president. But the group’s president, Kevin Roberts, says those specifics take a back seat to a broader goal. The next election, he says, “may be our last, best chance to rescue the nation from the woke, Socialist left.” “Their vision is to destroy everything that makes America America—our values, our history, our rights,” Roberts said recently at the group’s leadership summit. In an interview, he added, “We have lost our K-12 schools to radical-left activists. We’ve certainly lost our universities to the same, and other institutions,” including large businesses and even churches. “Everyday Americans,” he said, are being forced “to bend your knee to the rainbow flag.” Democrats and others say the GOP culture war is a backlash against greater acceptance of the nation’s growing diversity, which is long overdue in America, and that no one is being forced to bend a knee or otherwise get involved. Richard Blissett, 33, a Democrat and university staff member who lives in Baltimore, said that some Republican complaints are at odds with the party’s traditional faith in free markets. “There’s a big difference between government and Hollywood. If Republicans want more Republican movies, they can make them. No one is stopping them,” he said. The heightened feelings on both sides are reflected in a poll that found that about 80% of Republicans believe that the Democratic agenda, “if not stopped, will destroy America as we know it.” About the same share of Democrats had the same fear of the Republican agenda, saying it would destroy the country, an NBC News survey found last fall. The GOP’s sense that U.S. culture has gone off-track snarled legislation in Congress this week, as House Republicans pushed through a set of contentious social-policy amendments to an annual defense bill. The measures stripped money for diversity initiatives in the military and added restrictions on abortion and transgender care for service members. GOP lawmakers said they acted because liberal ideology was weakening the military. But the amendments endanger the bill’s path in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Many Republican voters say the pace of social change has left them off-balance, with schools and businesses pushing for racial diversity and transgender Americans raising difficult questions for parents, schools and sports officials. In Wall Street Journal-NORC polling this year, three-quarters of Republicans said society had gone too far in accepting transgender people. More than half said society had overstepped in accepting gay and lesbian people, and that businesses and schools had gone too far in promoting racial and ethnic diversity. Far fewer Democrats held those views.

In an Ipsos poll this March, about half of Republicans agreed with the statement, “These days I feel like a stranger in my own country.” Fewer than 30% of Democrats agreed.

While past GOP primary races have turned in part on policy disputes, such as remaking Medicare or scrapping the current tax code for a flat tax, the differences among candidates this year over matters such as abortion policy and aid to Ukraine have been a more muted part of the discussion. “Very few people are talking about tax reform, and everybody is talking about the cultural issues,” said Jondavid Longo, a Republican and mayor of Slippery Rock, a borough outside of Pittsburgh. Within both parties, he said, “they see politics as almost a life-or-death situation. Many voters believe that if their candidate does not win, then doom will follow.”

Wes Anderson, a Republican pollster who recently conducted focus groups with GOP voters, said the feeling of cultural alienation among Republicans stretches well beyond issues of race and gender to include the economy. “It’s all one and the same—there’s a cultural glue that goes from taxes and inflation to transgender policy,” he said. “Our base believes that we’re losing our country, and that the left has become radicalized to a point that they no longer believe in America and want to burn it all down and remake it in their image.”

GOP voters, he said, are asking two main things of candidates: Do you understand that we’re on the verge of losing our country? And can we trust you to fight back?

ormer President Donald Trump’s defining characteristic as a politician is his eagerness to both challenge the norms of Washington and fight culture-war battles. He regularly uses heightened rhetoric to emphasize what he sees as a threat from the left, warning of “pink-haired Communists teaching our kids” and promising to “keep foreign, Christian-hating Communists, Marxists and socialists out of America.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is also responding to the hunger among Republicans to take up cultural battles...

In Rolling Hills Estates, Million Dollar Homes Slide Down the Canyon (VIDEO)


At the Los Angeles Times, "In pricey Palos Verdes, the ocean view is great — until your house slides into a canyon."

Kaddy Reeves

Just wow.

On Instagram.

Video Animation of Titan Implosion Gets 5 Million Views in 11 Days (VIDEO)

Interesting viddy.

At the New York Post, "Animation of Titan sub’s demise garners 5 million views in 11 days."

It's got 15 million hits now.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023