Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Ukraine Policeman Killed as Grenade Thrown During Protests Outside Kiev Parliament (VIDEO)

At the BBC, "Ukraine crisis: Deadly anti-autonomy protest outside parliament."

And at the New York Times, "2 More Officers Die in Violent Protest Over Autonomy for East Ukraine":

KIEV, Ukraine — The results of a fiercely contested parliamentary vote over autonomy for eastern Ukraine were counted on Monday, partly in blood: 265 in favor, three major parties opposed and one dead policeman.

About 130 other officers were wounded, the authorities said Tuesday, in an attack during a protest that intensified after Parliament approved a measure on constitutional changes that could grant autonomy to parts of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

The authorities said a man later identified as a member of a nationalist party had thrown a grenade at the police lines, killing one police officer. On Tuesday, two more officers died of their injuries while hospitalized, and the Interior Ministry reported that 10 protesters had also been wounded.

The violence underscored the tensions over a vote that many here see as a concession to Russia in exchange for peace...
More at that top link.

Dick and Liz Cheney's New Book is Out Today!

I'm looking forward to diving in.

Get your copy, at Amazon, Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America.

And ICYMI, "Restoring American Exceptionalism."

Iowa Poll: Sanders Within Striking Distance of Clinton in Iowa

I love this.

At Bloomberg, "The latest Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll shows concerns about Clinton, enthusiasm for Sanders, and the possibility of Biden roiling the Democratic field":
Hillary Clinton’s once-prohibitive advantage in Iowa has slipped enough to jeopardize her front-runner status and Bernie Sanders has moved to within striking distance, revealing a Democratic presidential field in unexpected flux as Vice President Joe Biden mulls whether to make a late entrance into the race.

The results of the latest Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll, released Saturday, show Clinton is now the first choice of 37 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers in the state where the first ballots of the presidential contest will be cast early in 2016. She's followed by Sanders at 30 percent and Biden at 14 percent. It’s the first time the poll has had Clinton's support under 50 percent.

In May, the Iowa Poll put Clinton, a former secretary of state, U.S. senator and first lady, at 57 percent, Sanders at 16 percent, and Biden at 8 percent.

"It looks like what people call the era of inevitability is over," said J. Ann Selzer, president of West Des Moines, Iowa-based Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll. "She has lost a third of the support that she had in May, so any time you lose that much that quickly, it’s a wake-up call."

The decline in Clinton's rating in the poll comes despite her dominance of the local broadcast airwaves. During the past month, she was the only Democratic candidate or political action committee advertising on Iowa broadcast television stations. The heavy Clinton buy, which aired in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, focused on her biography and her record as a champion of American families. According to Kantar/CMAG data, the Clinton campaign was not only unopposed on the Democratic side, but had more than twice as many spots in the markets where it bought, than all Republican advertising combined.

Biden, who is expected to make a decision about whether to enter the race by the end of September, placed ahead of several declared candidates. If Biden is not in the race, the poll shows Clinton leading Sanders by 43 percent to 35 percent. The margin of error on the full sample of likely Democratic caucus-goers is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points

The biggest surprise is Sanders. Unlike his recent strong showing in New Hampshire polls, his performance here cannot be dismissed as a result of the Vermont lawmaker’s regional appeal...
Keep reading.

Plus, "Gaining Speed: On Sunday Shows, Bernie Sanders Reflects on Iowa Poll Momentum."

Professor William C. Bradford Resigns His Position at U.S. Military Academy at West Point

Bradford, at controversial law professor, published "Trahison des Professeurs: The Critical Law of Armed Conflict as an Islamist Fifth Column," at the National Security Law Journal, out of Georgetown University. The article is available in here in PDF.

The journal's editors repudiated the article, lamenting that they couldn't unpublish that which was already published, and apologed profusely for their errors, pledging never to let it happen again. The website was overloaded the other day when I tried to access the site, but I was able to read the apology at the cached version.

The law article is something like 100 pages long, and frankly I have no desire to wade through it.

That said, Jeremy Rabkin wrote a critical response (very critical), "A BETRAYAL OF RATIONAL ARGUMENT."

And Ilya Somin wrote about the controversy yesterday, at the Washington Post, "Student-edited “National Security Law Journal” repudiates article that advocates targeting legal scholars as “enemy combatants” in the War on Terror."

Plus, at the Chronicle of Higher Education, "Academics Who Criticize War on Terror Are ‘Lawful Targets,’ West Point Professor Says."

And now he's resigned, at the Guardian, via Memeoradum, "West Point law professor who called for attacks on ‘Islamic holy sites’ resigns."

So, wade in and you be the judge.

Personally, I agree these leftist law professors are traitors who deserve a nice healthy predator drone strike. But alas, freedom of speech protects us all, even treasonous progs, and Professor Bradford apparently crossed a line for too many on the PC left.

ICYMI, Marijuana Debunked

Here's my earlier post, "In the Mail: Ed Gogek, Marijuana Debunked: A Handbook for Parents, Pundits, and Politicians Who Want to Know the Case Against Legalization."

And the book link is here, Marijuana Debunked.

Satellite Images Show the Extent of Islamic State's Destruction of Palmyra

At the Independent UK, "Satellite images confirm that Isis have destroyed the ancient Temple of Bel in Palmyra":
A satellite image of the Syrian city of Palmyra confirms that the ancient Temple of Bel has been destroyed, according to the United Nations.

There have previously been unconfirmed reports that the Temple of Bel in Palmyra had been destroyed, but solid reports could not make it out of the Isis-controlled city.

Maamoun Abdulkarim, the head of the Syrian Department of Antiquities, said that although he believed there had been a large explosion at the temple, most of the site remained intact.

However, UN satellite analysts have now said that almost nothing remains of the 2,000-year-old temple...
More.

Bidding Wars Become the Norm as Orange County Rental Market Goes Off the Chain

Bidding wars for rentals?

No wonder my lease keeps going up.

At CBS News 2 Los Angeles, "It is not uncommon in the rental frenzy for renters to offer a year's rent up front."

From May, 'In just a few short weeks, a newly-united rebel coalition has captured almost all of northwest Syria's Idlib province from government forces, overturning assumptions over the war's course, and threatening the regime's ability to defend its heartland...'

Following-up, "A New Kind of Bomb Is Being Used in Syria and It's a Humanitarian Nightmare."

Here's video from Vice, from earlier this year, "Jihadists vs. the Assad Regime: Syria's Rebel Advance."

Migrant Crackdown Sows Chaos in Europe

At WSJ, "European Efforts to Stem Migrant Tide Sow Chaos on Austrian-Hungarian Border":
German chancellor warns of need to share burden across EU; Austria steps up border, highway checks.

Austrian and Hungarian efforts to stem a growing tide of migrants sowed chaos along their frontier on Monday as Germany’s chancellor warned that Europe’s open-border policy was in danger unless it united in its response to the crisis.

In Austria, police toughened controls on the border, triggering miles of traffic jams as they checked cars and trucks for evidence of people smuggling. They said they were compelled to conduct the highway searches after discovering the decomposed bodies of 71 people, most of them believed to be Syrian refugees, in an abandoned truck last week.

Authorities also stopped and boarded several Germany-bound trains overcrowded with hundreds of migrants, refusing entry into Austria until some of them got off. Migrants had packed into the trains in Hungary earlier in the day after officials in Budapest abruptly lifted rules barring them from traveling further into the European Union without visas.

Such temporary checks remain in accord with the Schengen Agreement, which allows people to travel freely across the borders of 26 European countries that have signed onto the treaty. But in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel cautioned that some countries could move to reintroduce systematic passport controls at their borders—unless EU governments agreed to more equally bear the burden of the bloc’s escalating crisis, “Europe must move,” she told reporters in Berlin. “Some will certainly put Schengen on the agenda if we don’t succeed in achieving a fair distribution of refugees within Europe.”

Ms. Merkel’s warning—aimed at governments in the bloc’s east that have resisted taking on a greater number of migrants—marked her most direct intervention in the fraught debate between those European countries, such as Germany, Italy and France, that have called for a fairer distribution of migrants across the bloc, and those that have opposed binding quotas.

The comments also came as a rebuttal to opposition politicians and some members of the chancellor’s ruling coalition who have accused her of being slow to address the crisis. Echoing comments she made last week in a German town shaken by three days of antimigrant riots, Ms. Merkel urged her compatriots to welcome those fleeing war or persecution while warning that economic migrants, namely those from Southeastern Europe, couldn’t expect to settle in Germany.

“If Europe fails on the question of refugees, then [Europe’s] close link with universal civil rights will be destroyed and it won’t be the Europe we wished for,” she said.

The warning from the Continent’s most powerful leader has weight: The chancellor has repeatedly described free movement in Europe as a core value of the bloc. Her comments underline the pressure that the record wave of migrants arriving on European soil is putting on the region’s most exposed member states—mainly countries at its periphery, such as Hungary, Italy and Greece, as well as Germany and Sweden, which have received the bulk of migrants since the crisis started early last year.

Schengen rules have been contested before amid rising migrant numbers. In 2011, France and Italy called on the EU to impose tighter border controls in an effort to stop the influx of migrants unleashed by North African unrest. But the EU failed to reach a concrete agreement over how Europe should handle the wave.

Germany, which was the destination for 40% of asylum seekers in Europe last year, has repeatedly said the bloc must agree on binding quotas for the redistribution of refugees across the EU. The number of arrivals has soared over the summer months, forcing the government to nearly double its forecast for migrants this year to 800,000 from 450,000—equal to almost 1% of Germany’s population.

“We face a huge national challenge that concerns all of us, it will be a central challenge not only for days or months but as far as we can tell for a longer period of time,” Ms. Merkel said.

Germany said last week that it would allow Syrian refugees to stay in the country regardless of where they first entered the EU—both for humanitarian reasons and in an attempt to speed up the review of asylum claims filed by Syrians.

Still, Ms. Merkel said the German government had been in touch with Hungary over what she called Budapest’s misunderstanding that all Syrians could travel to Germany without having to register in Hungary. The chancellor insisted Hungary should register migrants who arrive there and review their asylum applications.
Still more.

Arizona Woman Drowns 2-Year-Old Twin Boys in Bathtub (VIDEO)

It's just incomprehensible to me.

And she was going kill the twins' baby brother. Horrible.

At the Arizona Republic, "Avondale woman says she drowned twin boys, police say."

And at ABC News 15 Phoenix:



More at London's Daily Mail, "Mother charged with murder after drowning her two 2-year-old twin sons in the bath at their Arizona family home."

Hey, Thanks to the Reader Who Bought Carhartt Men's Canvas Work Dungarees

You know, I don't blog for money, but it's always nice to have readers purchase a few items through my Amazon links. I appreciate it, and frankly, I'm fascinated by the goods some folks have been picking up, like these pants, Carhartt Men's Canvas Work Dungaree.

Another reader bought a Philips Norelco PT724/46 Shaver 3100, which is also very cool.

Thanks again!

Donald Trump Will Change Denali's Name Back to Mt. McKinley

Following-up from yesterday, "Kenyan Marxist Interloper Renames Mount McKinley 'Denali', Outrage Ensues (VIDEO)."

And dang is Trump like hermetically tuned into the pulse of the people.



Donald Trump Is Setting the GOP Agenda

Well, fine by me.

Let the RINO establishment party hacks figure it out. Trump's throwing the political system up in the air.

At Politico, "Every Republican presidential contender is playing Trump’s game. And losing at it":
Remember way back to two weeks ago when the Donald Trump candidacy was the best thing to ever happen to Jeb Bush?

The billionaire business mogul would distract the other contenders for the nomination, the Bush team assured pundits all over Washington. Trump is “other people’s problem,” declared Mike Murphy, chief strategist of the pro-Bush Super PAC Right to Rise. The Donald would allow Jeb to just keep on chugging along. Bush would become the safe and responsible brand—the Honda Odyssey of 2016—to which panicked Republicans would eventually flock.

That didn’t last long. A week after boasting that it would ignore Trump, with its usual Clouseau-like finesse, JebWorld decided to hit Trump every day. Which means every GOP candidate is now playing Donald Trump’s game instead of their own—and doing about as well as you’d expect.

The decision to engage him has outsized consequences for the GOP “brand,” whatever that is these days. Not since Joan Collins sauntered onto the set of “Dynasty” or Gary Coleman uttered his first “Whatch talkin’ about, Willis,” has anyone so dominated a universe as Donald Trump has the GOP. Trump single-handedly has moved the GOP to the right on immigration, to the left on free trade and in circles on pretty much everything else. He has the other candidates so confused that they are stepping all over their own messages. After all, how else can one explain Bush’s latest effort to show he is not an establishment loser by going [sic] flaunting an endorsement from Eric Cantor, the most notorious establishment loser in history?
Keep reading.

Can Americans Still Take a Joke?

Well, Americans can take a joke, but the market nowadays contains a significant number of anti-American leftists. They can't take a joke, to the consternation of comedians.



Washington State Professors Will Punish Students Who Use the Wrong Words

At the Lonely Conservative.

And following the links, at Campus Reform, "Professors threaten bad grades for saying ‘illegal alien,’ ‘male,’ ‘female’."

Support for Hillary Erodes

Dick Brennan reports, for CBS News 2 New York:



The Off-Grid Administration

"The many ways Obama officials have ducked public accountability."

You think?

At the Wall Street Journal:
In a famous remark two years ago during a Google Plus Hangout, President Obama boasted that “this is the most transparent administration in history.” This is belied by Administration officials, from Hillary Clinton on down, who have run their communications off the government grid.

A bipartisan consensus has long held that a healthy democracy requires a significant measure of government transparency. That is why since 1950 Washington has operated under the Federal Records Act, which requires the government to preserve documents about its decisions.

Since the 1960s the government has been subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), giving citizens the right to view those records. In 2009 the National Archives issued rules requiring agencies to preserve employee work on nonofficial accounts in a government record-keeping system.

Then came the Obama Administration, whose modus operandi has been to hide from this legal regime. This year the world learned that Hillary Clinton conducted most of her correspondence as Secretary of State on a private, homemade email system that she failed to disclose and kept away from the federal government.

We have since learned that at least one of her aides, Huma Abedin, also had an account on that private system. When the press exposed the system, Mrs. Clinton deemed herself the arbiter of what she would allow the American people to see. Mrs. Abedin still hasn’t bothered to deliver her government records to State. In late July another Clinton aide, Philippe Reines, gave State 20 boxes of work-related emails, taken in part from his private email account.

In August the Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a motion in court to gain access to the private email account of White House science czar John Holdren, who may have used it for government work. Some years ago CEI helped bring to light that then-EPA Chief Lisa Jackson used a secret alias, “ Richard Windsor,” when emailing on the EPA system. This seemed designed to thwart FOIA requests for her conversations, since “Lisa Jackson” appeared nowhere on her emails.

In 2013 an Associated Press report revealed the practice was rampant among Administration officials, including the Secretaries of Agriculture, Labor, and Health & Human Services. All had secret government email accounts that neither Congress nor the public knew about.

Last Monday the IRS was forced to acknowledge to a federal court that it recently discovered that Lois Lerner (of political targeting fame) used a second, private email to conduct government work. The account was set up under the name “ Toby Miles,” and the IRS still can’t account for its contents.

It has been two years since Congress first subpoenaed Ms. Lerner’s emails. In 2013 when Mrs. Lerner was still directing the IRS’s Exempt Organizations unit, she cautioned colleagues to be careful what they said on email; then she inquired whether the agency’s instant-messaging system was archived. Told it wasn’t, she responded by email: “Perfect.”

Last week a federal court subpoenaed former EPA official Phillip North after a complaint by a mining concern called the Pebble Partnership. Mr. North worked from inside the EPA with outside activists to scuttle Pebble’s proposed Alaskan mining project, and he did so on private email.

The Lerner and North cases also highlight the Administration’s sloppy, or willfully obstructionist, approach to recordkeeping. Recall the crash of Ms. Lerner’s hard drive, and the IRS’s claim for months it had no backup of her work. Treasury’s Inspector General would later find some. Mr. North’s hard drive also crashed, and Pebble claims that key North emails and documents have gone missing from EPA’s official record.

In 2012 the Gawker website filed a FOIA request for documents involving Mr. Reines, the Clinton adviser. State said in 2013 it couldn’t find any such documents. In mid-August this year, the department declared in a court filing that it had suddenly found close to 18,000 after all. Watchdog groups report similar behavior across nearly every department and agency—processing delays, missing records, and a tendency to redact information that ought to be made public...
Still more.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Ferguson Effect: Murder Rates Rise Sharply in Urban Areas Across the U.S.

Well, events are proving Heather Mac Donald correct. Remember her piece on the "Ferguson Effect" at WSJ? See, "The New Nationwide Crime Wave." Radical leftists went batshit crazy.

Well, murders have surged across the U.S., no doubt coinciding with the retreat of law enforcement from the most dangerous urban areas.

See the New York Times, "Murder Rates Rising Sharply in Many U.S. Cities":
MILWAUKEE — Cities across the nation are seeing a startling rise in murders after years of declines, and few places have witnessed a shift as precipitous as this city. With the summer not yet over, 104 people have been killed this year — after 86 homicides in all of 2014.

More than 30 other cities have also reported increases in violence from a year ago. In New Orleans, 120 people had been killed by late August, compared with 98 during the same period a year earlier. In Baltimore, homicides had hit 215, up from 138 at the same point in 2014. In Washington, the toll was 105, compared with 73 people a year ago. And in St. Louis, 136 people had been killed this year, a 60 percent rise from the 85 murders the city had by the same time last year.

Law enforcement experts say disparate factors are at play in different cities, though no one is claiming to know for sure why murder rates are climbing. Some officials say intense national scrutiny of the use of force by the police has made officers less aggressive and emboldened criminals, though many experts dispute that theory.

Rivalries among organized street gangs, often over drug turf, and the availability of guns are cited as major factors in some cities, including Chicago. But more commonly, many top police officials say they are seeing a growing willingness among disenchanted young men in poor neighborhoods to use violence to settle ordinary disputes.

“Maintaining one’s status and credibility and honor, if you will, within that peer community is literally a matter of life and death,” Milwaukee’s police chief, Edward A. Flynn, said. “And that’s coupled with a very harsh reality, which is the mental calculation of those who live in that strata that it is more dangerous to get caught without their gun than to get caught with their gun.”

The results have often been devastating. Tamiko Holmes, a mother of five, has lost two of her nearly grown children in apparently unrelated shootings in the last eight months. In January, a daughter, 20, was shot to death during a robbery at a birthday party at a Days Inn. Six months later, the authorities called again: Her only son, 19, had been shot in the head in a car — a killing for which the police are still searching for a motive and a suspect.

Ms. Holmes said she recently persuaded her remaining teenage daughters to move away from Milwaukee with her, but not before one of them, 17, was wounded in a shooting while riding in a car.

“The violence was nothing like this before,” said Ms. Holmes, 38, who grew up in Milwaukee. “What’s changed is the streets and the laws and the parents. It’s become a mess and a struggle.”

Urban bloodshed — as well as the overall violent crime rate — remains far below the peaks of the late 1980s and early ’90s, and criminologists say it is too early to draw broad conclusions from the recent numbers. In some cities, including Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Newark, homicides remain at a relatively steady rate this year.

Yet with at least 35 of the nation’s cities reporting increases in murders, violent crimes or both, according to a recent survey, the spikes are raising alarm among urban police chiefs. The uptick prompted an urgent summit meeting in August of more than 70 officials from some of the nation’s largest cities. A Justice Department initiative is scheduled to address the rising homicide rates as part of a conference in September...
The Justice Department? What a joke.

No one's going to address the problem, which is the glorification of black thug life and the evil of political correctness that prohibits leftist elites from even discussing it.

It's going to get worse before it gets better, and it won't get better until we elect law-and-order Republicans to office in the country's inner cities.

Still more at the link.

A New Kind of Bomb Is Being Used in Syria and It's a Humanitarian Nightmare

At Vice:
Syrian government jets struck a market in Douma, a suburb northeast of Damascus, on August 16, killing almost 100 people. Some reports attribute the lethal strike to a volumetric weapon, also known as a vacuum bomb.

In his condemnation of the attack, Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy for Syria, alluded to the possibility that the Syrian air force used a vacuum bomb, saying that "[a]ttacks on civilian areas with aerial indiscriminate bombs, such as vacuum bombs, are prohibited under international law."

However, researchers and human rights advocates, observing from a distance, are unable to confirm or properly investigate whether this is the case.

"We suspect they may have been used," Mary Wareham, the advocacy director of Human Rights Watch's Arms Division, told VICE News.

In conflicts like Syria, investigators and human rights groups face an uphill battle in making determinations about the particulars of such an attack. Lacking solid video evidence and unable to access the blast site, investigators have little to go on. These obstructions to research and investigative capability leave clear information on the use of volumetric weapons in Syria out of reach.

Related: Syrian Regime Bombs Kill Dozens in Damascus Suburb for Second Week in a Row

Volumetric weapons are a family of munitions that includes such better-known subtypes as thermobaric and fuel-air explosive (FAE) weapons, and are variously referred to as vacuum bombs or enhanced blast weapons. The differences between thermobaric weapons and fuel-air explosives are fairly arcane, but the fundamental effects on the people injured and killed by these weapons are pretty much the same.

"If you're a civilian on the ground in a marketplace and the bomb goes off, the effects are going to be very similar," Robert Perkins, a weapons researcher at Action on Armed Violence, told VICE News. "It's going to achieve an incredibly destructive shockwave, which is the thing that unites these weapons."

Volumetric weapons work by dispersing an explosive element or fuel, which creates an aerosolized cloud on impact. The weapon's explosive then ignites the aerosolized cloud, producing a powerful shockwave and high temperatures.

The shockwave produced by volumetric weapons lasts longer than the blast of conventional high explosives; a little like the difference between a bellowing explosion and a sharp bang. Conventional high explosives typically explode and create most of their effect by propelling shrapnel out in a cloud of deadly high-speed projectiles, or from the short, sharp blast. By contrast, volumetric weapons generate effects through heat and extreme pressure over relatively long periods of time, and are very effective against certain kinds of soft targets, such as minefields and aircraft parked in the open.

Related: 'This Instrument Can Kill': Tasers Are Not as Harmless as Previously Thought

Alternately, volumetric weapons work well against certain kinds of concealed targets, such as those hiding in caves or bunkers; the twists and turns of the tunnel or building would normally protect people from flying shrapnel, but the cloud of explosive can penetrate some distance before detonating, while the walls themselves channel and focus the blast.

A Human Rights Watch background report on volumetric weapons used by Russia in 2000 describes the weaponry as "prone to indiscriminate use" and likely to cause high rates of civilian casualty when deployed in urban environments.

"The fuel-air explosive is just another way of killing people in ways that leave bodies that are horrifying to look at," Dr. Theodore Postol, MIT physicist and missile expert, told VICE News. "So it increases the terror in regard to these attacks on innocent civilians."

Like barrel bombs or sarin gas, the point of using vacuum bombs goes beyond the destruction of city blocks and the unfortunate civilian inhabitants. The ultimate purpose of such weaponry is to terrify, to sow fear amid chaos...
Yeah, well, that's not going to set off any red lines, or anything.

But keep reading.

Jessica Mendoza Debuts on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball

Hey, this is great, "Jessica Mendoza draws rave reviews in historic Sunday Night Baseball debut."

But should Ms. Mendoza replace Curt Schilling permanently, after the former Red Sox pitcher tweeted some politically incorrect comments? See the Boston Globe, "ESPN removes Curt Schilling from ‘Sunday Night Baseball’ broadcast."

Plus, at USA Today, "ESPN's John Kruk speaks out on Curt Schilling during broadcast," and Awful Announcing, "SHOULD ESPN PERMANENTLY REPLACE CURT SCHILLING WITH JESSICA MENDOZA ON SUNDAY NIGHT BASEBALL?"

Classic SuperBreak Backpack by JanSport

Great for back to school!

At Amazon, Classic SuperBreak Backpack: Ultra-functional school backpack/daypack with 600-denier construction.

Plus, from by Ken Robinson, Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education.

Kenyan Marxist Interloper Renames Mount McKinley 'Denali', Outrage Ensues (VIDEO)

Frankly, it's just a mountain. If Obama wants to rename it let him rename it. It's not like this is telling us anything new about this fucking Kenyan collectivist interloper. We just need to get him out of there then name it back to McKinley, the way it should be. I mean, it's named after a former president. Screw the Aleutian natives the White House is pandering to, or whoever came up with that idiot name "Denali." Sheesh.

Here's the background, at the Anchorage Daily News, "McKinley no more: North America's tallest peak to be renamed Denali."

And at Politico, "GOP blasts Obama's Denali name change: Republicans are criticizing the president's decision to rename America's tallest mountain." (Via Memeorandum.)

Also, at the Hill, via Memeorandum, "Ohioans fuming over Mt. McKinley name change."



Get Out of My Class and Leave America

"Feel free to use this material if you already have tenure..."

Heh.

From Mike Adams, at Town Hall:
Welcome back to class, students! I am Mike Adams your criminology professor here at UNC-Wilmington. Before we get started with the course I need to address an issue that is causing problems here at UNCW and in higher education all across the country. I am talking about the growing minority of students who believe they have a right to be free from being offended. If we don’t reverse this dangerous trend in our society there will soon be a majority of young people who will need to walk around in plastic bubble suits to protect them in the event that they come into contact with a dissenting viewpoint. That mentality is unworthy of an American. It’s hardly worthy of a Frenchman.

Let’s get something straight right now. You have no right to be unoffended. You have a right to be offended with regularity. It is the price you pay for living in a free society. If you don’t understand that you are confused and dangerously so. In part, I blame your high school teachers for failing to teach you basic civics before you got your diploma. Most of you went to the public high schools, which are a disaster. Don’t tell me that offended you. I went to a public high school.

Of course, your high school might not be the problem. It is entirely possible that the main reason why so many of you are confused about free speech is that piece of paper hanging on the wall right over there. Please turn your attention to that ridiculous document that is framed and hanging by the door. In fact, take a few minutes to read it before you leave class today. It is our campus speech code. It specifically says that there is a requirement that everyone must only engage in discourse that is “respectful.” That assertion is as ludicrous as it is illegal. I plan to have that thing ripped down from every classroom on campus before I retire...
That's great!

Keep reading!

South Coast Cinemas in Laguna Beach Closing Its Doors

End of an era.

At the O.C. Register, "Landmark theater closes in Laguna Beach":
...the theater opened as the Lynn Theatre in 1923 at a cost of $12,000. It was erected three years before the Coast Highway and was dedicated by Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. It still has a stage and an orchestra pit.
Sad to see it go, but amazing that it stayed open so long.

Dick and Liz Cheney on CBS 'This Morning'

The Cheneys' new book's out tomorrow, Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America.



Miley Cyrus Flashed Bare Nipple to the Camera Before Appearing on Stage at MTV Video Music Awards

Hey, this is the culture nowadays.

At Truth Revolt, "Miley Cyrus Flashes Camera at MTV Video Awards."

Also at PuffHo, "Miley Cyrus Comes Out as Pansexual."

Robert Stacy McCain Blogs 'Tinder Is the Night'

Following-up, "The Tinder Hookup Culture and the End of Dating."

At the Other McCain, "‘Hit-It-and-Quit-It on Tinder’."



Good Morning!

This photo popped up in the links from my eXTReMe Tracker.

Jordan Carver? She's nice.

More at Pirate's Cove, "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup."

Simple, Free Image and File Hosting at MediaFire

The Mystery of Islamic State

And essay from "Anonymous," at the New York Review, "The Mystery of ISIS."

It's an interesting piece.

Reviewed there are Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan, ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, and Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger, ISIS: The State of Terror.

The Tinder Hookup Culture and the End of Dating

"Tinder is the night."

Heh.

At Vanity Fair, "Tinder and the Dawn of the “Dating Apocalypse”":
Mobile dating went mainstream about five years ago; by 2012 it was overtaking online dating. In February, one study reported there were nearly 100 million people—perhaps 50 million on Tinder alone—using their phones as a sort of all-day, every-day, handheld singles club, where they might find a sex partner as easily as they’d find a cheap flight to Florida. “It’s like ordering Seamless,” says Dan, the investment banker, referring to the online food-delivery service. “But you’re ordering a person.”

The comparison to online shopping seems an apt one. Dating apps are the free-market economy come to sex. The innovation of Tinder was the swipe—the flick of a finger on a picture, no more elaborate profiles necessary and no more fear of rejection; users only know whether they’ve been approved, never when they’ve been discarded. OkCupid soon adopted the function. Hinge, which allows for more information about a match’s circle of friends through Facebook, and Happn, which enables G.P.S. tracking to show whether matches have recently “crossed paths,” use it too. It’s telling that swiping has been jocularly incorporated into advertisements for various products, a nod to the notion that, online, the act of choosing consumer brands and sex partners has become interchangeable.

“It’s instant gratification,” says Jason, 26, a Brooklyn photographer, “and a validation of your own attractiveness by just, like, swiping your thumb on an app. You see some pretty girl and you swipe and it’s, like, oh, she thinks you’re attractive too, so it’s really addicting, and you just find yourself mindlessly doing it.” “Sex has become so easy,” says John, 26, a marketing executive in New York. “I can go on my phone right now and no doubt I can find someone I can have sex with this evening, probably before midnight.”

And is this “good for women”? Since the emergence of flappers and “moderns” in the 1920s, the debate about what is lost and gained for women in casual sex has been raging, and is raging still—particularly among women. Some, like Atlantic writer Hanna Rosin, see hookup culture as a boon: “The hookup culture is … bound up with everything that’s fabulous about being a young woman in 2012—the freedom, the confidence.” But others lament the way the extreme casualness of sex in the age of Tinder leaves many women feeling de-valued. “It’s rare for a woman of our generation to meet a man who treats her like a priority instead of an option,” wrote Erica Gordon on the Gen Y Web site Elite Daily, in 2014.

It is the very abundance of options provided by online dating which may be making men less inclined to treat any particular woman as a “priority,” according to David Buss, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin who specializes in the evolution of human sexuality. “Apps like Tinder and OkCupid give people the impression that there are thousands or millions of potential mates out there,” Buss says. “One dimension of this is the impact it has on men’s psychology. When there is a surplus of women, or a perceived surplus of women, the whole mating system tends to shift towards short-term dating. Marriages become unstable. Divorces increase. Men don’t have to commit, so they pursue a short-term mating strategy. Men are making that shift, and women are forced to go along with it in order to mate at all.”

Now hold on there a minute. “Short-term mating strategies” seem to work for plenty of women too; some don’t want to be in committed relationships, either, particularly those in their 20s who are focusing on their education and launching careers. Alex the Wall Streeter is overly optimistic when he assumes that every woman he sleeps with would “turn the tables” and date him seriously if she could. And yet, his assumption may be a sign of the more “sinister” thing he references, the big fish swimming underneath the ice: “For young women the problem in navigating sexuality and relationships is still gender inequality,” says Elizabeth Armstrong, a professor of sociology at the University of Michigan who specializes in sexuality and gender. “Young women complain that young men still have the power to decide when something is going to be serious and when something is not—they can go, ‘She’s girlfriend material, she’s hookup material.’ … There is still a pervasive double standard. We need to puzzle out why women have made more strides in the public arena than in the private arena.”
Sorry. Not buying it.

Attractive women have tremendous power. And frankly, if this story's any clue, looks like you're getting a lot of skanky people of both sexes on Tinder. Perhaps there's a few classy babes using the apps (or some real together dudes), but if you're hot and single, it's not like the chances for hooking up were all that bad before all these dating gizmos. Maybe the quantity has gone up, but not the quality. And for some people, that's not going to be an improvement. (But then, what do I know? I'm a fifty-something happily married man in the process of losing a few pounds, heh. I'm not on any dating market, which is kind of a relief.)

But keep reading. It's a kind of juicy piece, heh.

The Circuitous Routes Foreigners Take to Syria and Iraq

At the Wall Street Journal, "Jihadi Trails."

Via Julia Ioffe, "This WSJ project showing the paths of 10 foreign #ISIS recruits is just wow."

Black 'Activist' Podcast Calling for Killing of Cops Gets Pulled After Publicity

Update from the left's race war.

At Weasel Zippers.

New York Post Reporter Goes Undercover as Topless Street Performer

And Instapundit quips, "Under cover? More like uncovered."

More at the Mirror UK, "New York mayor Bill de Blasio to ban 'near naked' ladies from Times Square."

Leftists Blame the Gun, Not the Homo

Heh.

From Anna Maria Perez, on Twitter:


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Taylor Swift and Scott Eastwood in 'Wildest Dreams' Music Video

The video just dropped, to coincide with tonight's VMAs.

And I noted, "Scott Eastwood is a dead ringer for his dad, damn."

Watch: "Taylor Swift - Wildest Dreams."

And at Us Magazine, "Taylor Swift, Scott Eastwood Gush About 'Wildest Dreams' Music Video."

My oldest boy's at the show, so he'll be telling me all about it later, heh.

Dear Feminists: You Think Too Much

At the Other McCain, "Third-wave feminism requires that males be 'vestigial,' because women must be so 'empowered' that men are either peripheral characters — clowns and tagalongs — or else sinister villains representing the Oppressive Patriarchy..."

Sarah Palin Interviews Donald Trump for One America News Network (VIDEO)

This is why the network's website crashed the other day.

Watch, at One America News Network, "'On Point' with Gov. Sarah Palin and Donald Trump."

BONUS: At Telegraph UK, "Could Sarah Palin join the Donald Trump ticket?"

Plus, more at Memeorandum.

Blonde Bombshell Rachel Mortenson on Horseback

Hmm... This is delightfully unusual.

At Egotastic!, "RACHEL MORTENSON SPILLING CLEAVAGE ON A HORSE."

Mission Beach Bikini Girl

Here's a nice summer video for you.

At SoCal Beaches Magazine, "Swimsuit Model Summer in Mission Beach 'Mission Beach Girl'."

Shooting at Venice Beach Boardwalk Leaves One Dead, One Injured (VIDEO)

The suspect's described as an "Hispanic male," and is apparently still at large. A 20-year-old black man by the name of "Shakespeare" has died.

At LAist, "One Man Killed In Early Morning Shooting On Venice Beach."

And watch, at CBS News 2 Los Angeles, "Man In His 20s Killed In Shooting on Venice Beach Boardwalk, 2nd Man Wounded."

The #BlackLivesMatter Revolution Will Be Televised

From Matthew Vadum at FrontPage Magazine, "Reporters' lives don't matter to a double-minority shooter trying to foment racial violence":

Simple, Free Image and File Hosting at MediaFire
Hoping to start a bloody "race war," a black, gay, in-your-face Obama-supporting former TV reporter horrified Southwest Virginia TV viewers yesterday when he stalked and coolly murdered two white former TV station colleagues and wounded a white interview subject during a live broadcast.

The shooter, Vester Lee Flanagan II, 41, apparently a registered Democrat and former prostitute, said he attacked the three white people during the "standup" report about local tourism from the marina at Smith Mountain Lake as racial payback for white-supremacist Dylann Storm Roof's June 17 attack in Charleston, S.C. that left nine black churchgoers dead. Roof, who reportedly confessed, also said he wanted to start a race war by committing acts of violence.

Flanagan, who used the name Bryce Williams professionally, left behind a lengthy, rambling, written rant explaining his explicitly race-based motive for the murders. Although the full document was sent to ABC News, it has not yet found its way online. Media outlets have provided highlights. ABC News reports that "A man claiming to be Bryce Williams called ABC News over the last few weeks, saying he wanted to pitch a story and wanted to fax information. He never told ABC News what the story was."

Well, now we know.

Using online accounts created only recently, Flanagan promoted the political murders he committed as well as any team of seasoned, high-priced publicists could have. In the process he demonstrated his diabolical mastery of social media for the world to see. He shot his victims early in the morning and made the morning news. He sent out a horrifying video of the cold-blooded killings and caught the noonday news. He died in the afternoon in time to make the evening news. All the saturation coverage on cable TV news and news-on-dead-tree exposure is a bonus, a sort of contribution-in-kind that media outlets are providing to his cause.

Emulating the cost-conscious Muslim terrorists who flew airplanes into buildings on 9/11, Flanagan got perhaps tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars in free media worldwide for his evil cause on what must have been a shoestring budget. Perhaps radical leftist public relations outfits Fenton Communications or SKDKnickerbocker of Anita Dunn fame will teach Flanagan's techniques to incoming employees.

In the empowering age of the Internet, fomenting civil unrest and violent revolution is becoming more affordable. Not that the George Soros-funded Black Lives Matter movement needs the money.

The black-nationalist mobs and leftover Occupy Wall Street goons wreaking havoc in Baltimore and other big cities with the encouragement of the Obama administration believe now is the time for decisive action against the country they hate. The desire to concoct a massive racial conflagration in America has been on the Left's laundry list for decades.

Starting a race war in which blacks violently rise up against whites has long been the goal of unrepentant terrorist and Obama pal Bill Ayers and was the reason mass-murderer Charles Manson and his followers went on a homicidal rampage in 1969. Leaders of the racist and increasingly violent Black Lives Matter movement nowadays are also calling for "war." President Obama hasn't called for race-based hostilities specifically but he has helped to craft the Left's false narrative that racist whites kill innocent blacks all the time. Obama, a Marxist community organizer by profession, wants racial groups and everyone else to be at each other's throats because, as the familiar leftist adage goes, "you never want a serious crisis to go to waste."

Flanagan can be seen in his own homemade video he later posted online holding a handgun in front of him as he walked unnoticed towards reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, and interviewee Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Ward's video camera recorded the 6:45 a.m. attack and captured the shooter's image after Ward dropped the still-functioning machine and the live feed from it made it to the airwaves. The perpetrator's hand can be seen in his own video as he takes his time aiming at Parker and then opening fire. Parker, who can be heard screaming in both videos, and Ward succumbed to their wounds at the site of the shooting. Ward was engaged to be married and yesterday was to be his final day at Roanoke-based WDBJ-7 before he started a new job in Charlotte, N.C. Parker had recently moved in with her boyfriend, an anchor at the station. Gardner was in stable condition in hospital at press time.

Flanagan fled the scene and shortly before 8:30 a.m. reportedly faxed a hateful 23-page manifesto to ABC News. He reportedly told ABC that the police are “after me” and “all over the place,” before hurriedly ending the telephone call. Tweeting as Bryce Williams, Flanagan complained "Adam went to hr [human resources] on me after working with me one time!!!" and "Alison made racist comments[.]" He also boasted "I filmed the shooting see Facebook[.]"

His rental vehicle was later spotted by Virginia State Police who gave chase. Flanagan's car ran off the road on Interstate 66 in Fauquier County and he shot himself at 11:30 a.m. He died in hospital about two hours later.

NBC-4 in the national's capital reports that employees of WDBJ-7 were cautioned about Flanagan two years ago when his employment was terminated. Management was so concerned about his behavior that employees were reportedly made to clear the room as he cleaned out his desk. After he left workers were instructed to "call 911 immediately" if they spotted the former employee on company property.

Flanagan, Parker, and Ward had worked together at the CBS affiliate "[b]ut when Flanagan was fired in February 2013, a 911 call summoned police to remove him from the premises." The report continues...
Keep reading.

Europe's Migration Crisis: Hungary Builds Barbed-Wire Fence as Immigrant Siege Continues (VIDEO)

This is becoming one of the more fascinating spectacles of European politics that I can remember, even more amazing than the recent financial crises.

Watch, via Telegraph UK:



And see Elizabeth Price Foley, at Instapundit, "EUROPE’S BORDER CRISIS: Hundreds of thousands of “refugees” from the Middle East and Africa are crossing the Mediterranean, seeking a better life in Europe."

BONUS: From last week at the New York Times, "Migrants Race North as Hungary Builds a Border Fence," and "Europe's Halting Response to Migrant Crisis Draws Criticism as Toll Mounts."

Socialist Bernie Sanders Slams Iraq War as 'One of the Worst Foreign Policy Blunders' in History' (VIDEO)

Well, at least he voted against it.

Hillary voted for it, so if he's going to ramp up attacks on the Iraq war as basically getting us into the mess we're in now in the Middle East, he's going to have to take it to the former senator for New York, who voted along with the rest of her Democrat Party colleagues to approve the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.

At ABC News, via Memeorandum, "‘This Week’ Transcript: Sen. Bernie Sanders and Gov. Bobby Jindal."

And Martha Raddatz has Sanders on the hot seat a bit here. It doesn't look like the dude has a clear personal criteria for the use of force. Watch: