Friday, November 27, 2015

Planning for #ParisAttacks Hatched in Plain Sight

This story is still front-page news, almost two-weeks later.

At WSJ, "Paris Attacks Plot Was Hatched in Plain Sight":
BOBIGNY, France—Three days before the attacks that ripped through Paris, Djazira Boulanger handed the keys to her row house, across the street from a kindergarten, to a guest who had booked it over the website His name was Brahim Abdeslam.

She didn’t know that Mr. Abdeslam was a central figure in plotting the deadly assault. As Ms. Boulanger tended to her two young children at home, authorities say Mr. Abdeslam and a band of cohorts were down the street preparing weapons for an assault on the Stade de France and Paris’s nightlife district.

“Did I suspect something was wrong? Not at all,” Ms. Boulanger said.

A day after he checked in, Mr. Abdeslam’s younger brother, Salah, pulled up to the roadside hotel Appart’City on the southern outskirts of Paris, according to staff, to claim reservations he made on—also under his own name. The rooms were for another set of gunmen in the attacks: those assigned to mow down spectators inside the Bataclan concert hall.

Prosecutors suspect the brothers were preparing the logistics for Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the alleged architect of the massacres, to arrive in Paris and swiftly mount one of the deadliest terror attacks in French history. Brahim would later blow himself up during the attacks, while Salah is now the target of an international manhunt.

Mr. Abaaoud was the kind of adversary France had dreaded since the Syrian conflict began drawing European nationals in droves. Mr. Abaaoud—who would die several days after the Paris attacks in a police raid—drew on his experience as a battlefield logistical officer in Syria to launch a guerrilla-style ambush on unarmed civilians in the French capital.

The account emerging from French officials, witnesses and those who interacted with the suspected terrorists shows how the operation hinged on Mr. Abaaoud’s ability to use the tools of everyday modern life to lay the groundwork for the massacre. The ease with which he and his teams moved—all while avoiding detection by France’s security apparatus—suggests the challenges in identifying would-be terrorists and preventing further attacks in the fluid, digital and transnational world of today, especially when they are European citizens...
That doesn't inspire much confidence, now does it?

Keep reading.

Donald Trump Under Fire for Mocking Disabled New York Times Reporter (VIDEO)

At this point, who freakin' cares?

Donald Trump's going Donald Trump. All the outrage just keeps him in the news. It's brilliant, actually.

At the Washington Post, "Trump draws scornful rebuke for mocking reporter with disability."

Alessandra Ambrosio for Maxim (VIDEO)

Following up from earlier, "Alessandra Ambrosio Is Maxim's 'World's Sexiest Businesswoman...'"

Here's the video:

World's Sexiest Robot Steals the Spotlight at World Robot Exhibition

Well, flashback to September at Instapundit, "NOBODY TELL NOTORIOUS ROBOPHOBE MATT YGLESIAS: By 2050, human-on-robot sex will be more common than human-on-human sex, says report."

Well, I guess by then you'll have your pick of robot hotties, lol.

At London's Daily Mail, "The 'world's sexiest robot' revealed: Eerily life-like female android turns heads in China."

Laquan McDonald Found to Have PCP in His System

Well, there goes another angelic-black-protester-gunned-downed-by-racist-white-cops narrative.

See Robert Stacy McCain, "The #LaquanMcDonald Farce":
Laquan McDonald had PCP in his system on Oct. 20, 2014. We know this from the autopsy performed after McDonald, 17, decided to exercise his constitutional right to vandalize cars and stagger down the middle of Pulaski Road, brandishing a knife at the Chicago police officers who were trying to arrest him. The coroner’s conclusion was that the cause of Laquan’s death was institutional racism...
Keep reading.

RELATED: At the Chicago Tribune, "Protesters, joined by the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union, marched down the Magnificent Mile on Black Friday in support of police shooting victim Laquan McDonald and called for the resignation of police Superintendent Garry McCarthy."

Plus, video at Ruptly, "Protesters disrupt Black Friday shopping demanding justice for Laquan McDonald."

Save 20% on Digital SLR Cameras

I don't know how well actual cameras go over these days, considering all the cellphones in use. (Frankly, I'm not all the photographer that I used to be either.)

In any case, shop for cameras at Amazon.

Plus, Canon EOS Rebel T5 Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm IS II plus EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Bundle.

Holiday Book Buying for 2015

Suggestions, at Free Beacon, "It’s Not All Doom and Gloom: Holiday Book Buying for 2015":
Politics, history, literature, sci-fi, fantasy, classics, and more.
I don't see it there, but check out Diary of a Minecraft Zombie Book 1: A Scare of A Dare (Volume 1).

Maybe I'll get that for my kid, heh.

More books at Amazon.

Violent Black Friday Shopping: Walmart 'Riot' (VIDEO)

I suppose I should update my last post at bit, here, "Black Friday Has Lost Its Edge."

Turns out Black Friday's been pretty violent so far, especially at Walmart. See the Syracuse Post-Standard, "Black Friday 2015 fights: Videos show Kentucky mall brawl, Walmart 'riot,' more." And at that link, "People Riot Over Black Friday Sales at Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas."

Black Friday Has Lost Its Edge

Well, it hasn't completely lost its edge, what, with all the Black Friday brawls.

But with fewer outlets participating in the super-duper early-bird crush of pre-dawn sales, it's getting to be less of a thing.

At the New York Times, "Black Friday Falters as Consumer Behaviors Change":
In 1939, the nation’s largest retailers sent Franklin D. Roosevelt an urgent plea. Thanksgiving fell on the last day of November that year, giving merchants too few days before Christmas to unleash the season’s sales.

The holiday might be a time-honored tradition, but wouldn’t Mr. Roosevelt consider moving the day up by a week?

The president’s acquiescence to retailers helped cement the pre-eminence of the post-Thanksgiving sales rush, now known as Black Friday. The day became an annual ritual, a family affair — a shopping orgy that delivered big profits for retailers, as well as a lift to the entire economy.

Seven decades later, Black Friday has lost its distinctive edge. Tens of millions of Americans will still hit the malls this Friday. But the relentless race for holiday dollars has blunted the day’s oomph, as stores offer deep discounts weeks before Thanksgiving and year-round deals in stores and online are causing sales fatigue. Some fed-up shoppers cheered this year when the outdoors retailer, REI, declared it was opting out of Black Friday sales altogether.

On the eve of yet another Thanksgiving weekend, retail experts and economists are asking the question: Is Black Friday over?

“It definitely matters so much less than it’s mattered in the past,” said John J. Canally, chief economic strategist at LPL Research. “The last couple of years, ‘Black Friday disappoints’ has been the usual story.”

But contrary to doom-and-gloom predictions this holiday season, dwindling sales for the long Thanksgiving weekend (which now begins Thursday afternoon) do not necessarily signal a cautious consumer. Americans are generally spending just as much of their hard-earned dollars as in the past.

Overall consumer spending since the beginning of 2014 has risen at a rate of 3 percent after lackluster gains in 2012 and 2013, and most stores achieve decent profits, on an earnings per share basis, during their holiday quarter.

The decline of Black Friday instead points to a shift in the way consumers spend their money.

“They’re online,” Mr. Canally said. “And they’re spending more on experiences. A day at the spa, a baseball game, the ballet — rather than a sweater or a pair of socks that no one wants.”

As a result, retailers rang up $51 billion on the day after Thanksgiving last year, down from a peak of almost $60 billion in 2012, according to the San Diego-based private equity firm LPL Research, which crunched data from the National Retail Federation and comScore...

Family of Milagros Perez Gets $10,000 Donation to Replace 4-Year-Old Girl’s Specialized Wheelchair (VIDEO)

It's almost impossible to believe that someone would actually steal this little girl's custom wheelchair. It cost the family $1,500 and would have been difficult for them to replace.

But now they're received a charitable gift, just in time for the holidays. That's the spirit.

At the O.C. Register, "$10,000 donation made to replace stolen specialized wheelchair for girl, 4, born without legs":

A Beverly Hills philanthropist has given $10,000 to the family of Milagros Perez to replace the 4-year-old girl’s specialized wheelchair, which was stolen from her Santa Ana home over the weekend, police said.

Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department said Thursday that Joyce Brandman gave the family a check, delivered through NBC4, which aired a story about Perez and the missing wheelchair.

Brandman is the president of the Saul and Joyce Brandman Foundation, which gives funding to medical, educational and Jewish causes and organizations, including Chapman University, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Perez was born without legs among several other medical issues. She wasn’t expected to survive. Her mother gave her a name which means “miracles” in Spanish.

After the story of Milagros’ missing wheelchair appeared on news outlets, donations began pouring in...

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Amid Tight Security, Millions Turn Out for Macy's Thanksgiving Parade (VIDEO)

Most excellent.

At WSJ, "Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Draws Millions":

Extra police officers lined the route of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, but the most visible first responder of the day was a firefighter: Harold, a 32-foot-tall balloon, guided by a contingent of New York’s Bravest.

With the Fire Department of New York celebrating its 150th anniversary, the department sent firefighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, fire inspectors and dispatchers to guide Harold from Manhattan’s Upper West Side down to Macy’s flagship store at 34th Street.

Among those holding Harold’s ropes were Mike Prior, of Merrick, N.Y., and his three sons, who are all firefighters.

For the Priors, the parade was a rare chance to collaborate, as on most days they are spread throughout the city. J.T., 28 years old, works in East New York; Kristian, 32, in Crown Heights; Matt, 36, in South Jamaica; and Mike, 62, works in Corona.

“It’s great, just being with my family,” said Kristian, who held the rope attached to Harold’s right heel.

The firefighter balloon was accompanied by a 1924 Ford Model T firetruck and the FDNY Pipes & Drums to celebrate the anniversary.

More than 3 million New Yorkers and visitors lined the parade route for the annual event, Macy’s said.

At a news conference before the parade began, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the turnout was evidence that New Yorkers wouldn't be intimidated by acts of terrorism abroad.

“The people of this city are voting with their feet,” he said.

In a lighter moment, the mayor joked that there is a tie for his favorite balloon: Snoopy and Underdog, who he said was “an inspiration for my political career.”

Police Commissioner William Bratton said Wednesday he believed the New York Police Department was sending a record 2,500 officers to the parade. Their presence was noticeable along the city blocks packed with families, as well as in the parade itself when a van containing armed personnel drove down Sixth Avenue.

Among those on the sidewalks for a view of the festivities was Orly Epstein, a 7-year-old who lives with her family on the Upper West Side.

“I think it’s the best parade so far,” she said. Her favorite balloon was Scrat, a saber-toothed squirrel from the “Ice Age” animated film franchise, a new addition to the 2015 parade...

Enjoying Stephen Kotkin's Stalin

This book is incredible.

And it's supposed to be the first of three volumes!

At Amazon, Stephen Kotkin, Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928.

Stalin photo 11201866_10208431040516569_3693727945838748804_n_zpsgotupyem.jpg

Troops Get Hot Turkey Meal Overseas (VIDEO)

Generals served soldiers Thanksgiving dinner.

Via ABC News 10 San Diego:

Four New Laquan McDonald Videos Released

At the Chicago Tribune, via Memeorandum, "Four new Laquan McDonald shooting videos raise more questions."

And from last night, at CBS News 2 Chicago, "Additional Dashcam Videos Released Of Laquan McDonald Shooting."

Plus, ICYMI, "GRAPHIC: Police Release Video of Officer Shooting Laquan McDonald."

Families Host Camp Pendleton Marines Who Miss 'Hometown Chow' for Thanksgiving

So special.

At the O.C. Register:

They all have unique backgrounds, hailing from different states and serving in different fields.

But there is one thing that binds the men and women of the U.S. Marine Corps.

“They always love a good home-cooked meal,” said Cassie Craft, wife of Col. Joseph Craft, commanding officer of the Camp Pendleton’s Headquarters and Support Battalion. “The Marines always say, we miss the homemade chow.”

On Thursday evening, more than 40 Marines from the battalion will be bused to the Bear Creek community in Murrieta, where they’ll be matched up with families who will be providing a Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings.

Craft said 42 Marines had signed up for the trip as of Wednesday and more could be jumping on the 55-seat passenger coach, which was paid for by the Bear Creek Master Association.

The community, which counts a large number of retired military members as residents, did something similar last year, welcoming in 50 Marines from the base at the suggestion of Mary and Eddie Doidge.

The Doidges moved to the community from Corona about a year-and-a-half ago. After an October 2014 visit to the Vietnam Wall exhibit in Temecula, which found them reading names for two hours, they were inspired to do something more for the nation’s servicemen.

Mary Doidge is credited with coming up with the idea and she sent out a call for people to host.

Her neighbors -- a patriotic bunch that flies U.S. flags from the community’s light poles -- quickly backed the idea. It has grown this year to include 20 host families, each taking in two or four Marines.

Marilyn Spooner and her husband Roland Behny, a retired Marine, are hosting again this year and helping coordinate the community’s welcome party, which includes snack bags donated by Barons Market...

Kelly Brook Has 'Marilyn Monroe Moment' at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards on Sunday

Whoo hoo!

The wind swept up and lifted her gown to reveal the tender under-areas, heh.

At London's Daily Mail, "Kelly Brook snaps a saucy selfie in her underwear... just days after suffering wardrobe malfunction on the red carpet."

At on Twitter, "Thank you @standardnews and @mrevgenylebedev for having me tonight!"

White House on Lockdown After (Another) Fence Jumper Caught (VIDEO)

At London's Daily Mail, "Obama Thanksgiving dinner put on lockdown as man draped in the American flag jumps the White House fence while the first family celebrate."

I guess this isn't the first time.

At CBS Evening News:

Holiday Gift Guides

In electronics, at Amazon.

More, Holiday Gifts.

And for him and her, Amazon Fashion Gift Guide.

Plus, Braun Series 7- 790cc Pulsonic Shaver System, Silver.

BONUS: From Perry Anderson, American Foreign Policy and Its Thinkers.

#ParisAttacks Have Many in France Eager to Fight Back

Well, yes, when it really looks like they're about to kill you and your family, you'll fight back. Most people aren't suicidal, even Europeans, despite the suicidal policies of the European leadership.

At the New York Times, "Paris Attacks Have Many in France Eager to Join the Fight":
PARIS — The attacks by militants tied to the Islamic State less than two weeks ago in Paris have awakened a patriotic fervor in France not seen in decades.

Thousands of people have been flocking to sign up with the military. Those seeking to enlist in the French Army have quintupled to around 1,500 a day. Local and national police offices are flooded with applications. Even sales of the French flag, which the French rarely display, have skyrocketed since the attacks, which left 130 dead.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Col. Eric de Lapresle, a spokesman for the French Army’s recruiting service. “People are coming in and contacting us in droves through social media, using words like liberty, defense and the fight against terror.”

The surge in France, which no longer has conscription, mirrors what happened in the United States after the Sept. 11 attacks. In the two years after those terrorist assaults, the number of American active-duty personnel rose more than 38,000 to 1.4 million. The reasons many of those young Americans offered for volunteering to serve are echoed by some of their French counterparts today.

A few miles from where gunmen stormed restaurants and the Bataclan nightclub on Nov. 13, recruiters at the Fort Neuf de Vincennes in eastern Paris were deluged the next day with inquiries from young people, former military personnel and even retirees wanting to know whether and how soon they could take up arms.

Jeremy Moulin had been walking with friends near the Bois de Vincennes in Paris when the texts started flashing on his cellphone about the terrorist attacks. On Monday, 10 days after the mayhem, he went to Fort Neuf to ask how quickly he could be in uniform.

“These attacks motivated me even more to protect my country,” said Mr. Moulin, 23, a former legal intern who said he had often thought about joining the army but now is newly determined. “The terrorists struck in the heart of Paris. If we don’t stop them, they will do it again.”

The French Air Force, whose retaliatory airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Raqqa, Syria, were seen in images that went viral on the Internet, has likewise seen enlistment applications soar to about 800 a day from around 200, an air force spokesman said. And the French national police recruitment website was visited more than 13,500 times daily last week, compared with the usual 4,500, while applications jumped to 4,500 from 1,500.

“Young people especially identify closely with what happened,” Mr. de Lapresle said. “The targets at the Bataclan and elsewhere were French youth, and the young are saying they want to do something.”

A 17-year-old interviewed at Fort Neuf said the attacks had shaken him and his family, who live in a working-class Parisian suburb.

“I’m ready to go to war,” said the prospective enlistee, who asked to be called only by his first name, Jeremy, to protect his privacy. Dressed in a blue sports outfit, he had gone that afternoon to the military base for a rigorous physical test to determine his fitness. He applied a month before the attacks, but now, he said, “This has motivated me more than ever to be a soldier.”
Keep reading.

AoSHQ: Thanksgivingmanship

This is great, at Ace of Spades HQ, "Thanksgivingmanship: Your Guide to Surviving the Progressive Imbeciles Who Have Spent a Week Cramming on How to Survive You."

Plus, all in good fun. See, "On This Thanksgiving, I'm Grateful For the Gullible Goons of Salon."

Hat Tip: Ed Driscoll, at Instapundit, "HOW DOES IT HAPPEN THAT EVERYTHING HAS BECOME POLITICS? Dreading a Politicized Thanksgiving."

Timberland Men's Magic Glove with Touchscreen Technology

At Amazon, Timberland Men's Magic Glove.

Plus, GoPro HERO4 Session.

Also, Shop Holiday Home & Garden Gift Guide - Gifts for the Winter Decorator .

And from Michael Morell, The Great War of Our Time: The CIA's Fight Against Terrorism - From al Qa'ida to ISIS.

Holly Williams Reports: Turkey and Russia Attempt to Ease Tensions After Jet Shootdown (VIDEO)

Well, they're not completely "easing tensions," according to the Wall Street Journal, "Russia Takes Aim at Turkish Economy Amid Fighter-Jet Spat."

But check out Holly Williams, reporting last night, for CBS Evening News:

Hot Californian Hailey Clauson for Sports Illustrated

She pretty cool.

BONUS: "Hailey Clauson In Nothing But Body Paint - Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2015 (VIDEO)."


Retailers Brace for Massive Holiday Onslaught

A shopping onslaught. Not a terrorist onslaught, or at least we hope.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Target and other retailers brace for holiday shopping onslaught":
At the Target store in Eagle Rock, workers are sprinting to get ready for the retail world's equivalent of the Super Bowl: Black Friday.

The store will throw open its doors on Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. to welcome crowds of shoppers eager to score deals after stuffing themselves with turkey and pie.

"It's a huge day for us," store manager Gilbert Diaz said of the Thursday-into-Friday shopathon. "It's probably the best time of the year."

In recent weeks, consumers have been sending mixed signals about how spendy they're feeling for the holidays.

Consumer confidence rose sluggishly in November, according to the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index, released Wednesday. The increase to 91.3 from 90 the month before was less than economists had forecast and down from the preliminary estimate of 93.1 earlier in the month.

Consumer spending managed only a modest 0.1% increase in October, the second straight month of weakness, even though personal income jumped 0.4%, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

That means people are saving rather than buying, economists said, with the silver lining being that they might be saving to spend on presents and holiday fripperies. Consumer spending isn't a frivolous measurement because it accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.

Macy's and Nordstrom said this month that slow shopper traffic led to disappointing third-quarter financial results and higher inventory levels. Retail sales in October edged up only slightly after two flat months, Commerce Department data show.

Target and other merchants need to do well on Black Friday, which traditionally kicks off the crucial holiday shopping season. Retailers can earn up to 40% of their annual revenue during the last few months of the year.

The National Retail Federation trade group forecasts that sales during November and December will climb 3.7% to $630.5 billion, slightly below the 4.1% growth of 2014.

To handle that kind of festive consumerism requires lots of planning at Target and retailers across the nation...

Special Report's All Star Panel: Americans More Worried Than Ever About Terrorism (VIDEO)

Remember, "Fully 83 percent of registered voters say they believe a terrorist attack in the United States resulting in large casualties is likely in the near future..."

This is a very unusual period we're in, extremely reminiscent of the days and weeks after September 11th, 2001.

Here's a great segment from yesterday's Fox News Special Report:

UCLA Bruins Riding the Wave of College Football's Crosstown Rivalry in Los Angeles (VIDEO)

This is the time of year in college football I love the most. The college rivalries are awesome, and L.A.'s crosstown rivalry is more interesting than ever. The Pete Carroll era at USC is ancient history; the Trojans are corrupt shell of their former selves. Amazingly, I find myself warming up to UCLA's football program, and believe me, this is a first.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Beating USC turned tide for Jim Mora and UCLA, and Bruins are still riding the wave":

Security was sparse at UCLA's football practice Tuesday.

The workers the school employed to guard the practice field before the Bruins played rival USC in 2012 haven't been seen in a few years.

Even the rhetoric has been dialed back. Jim Mora, UCLA's coach, used to routinely refer to the Trojans as the team from "Southern Cal," a variation of University of Southern California that is universally disliked by the USC faithful.

He still slips in the term occasionally, though in recent days it has seemed like he was trying to avoid mentioning UCLA's next opponent by any name at all.

This is evolution.

When Mora arrived in Westwood, USC was firmly established on top in the crosstown rivalry. The Bruins were wannabes.

Since then, the momentum has flipped entirely. Mora-coached teams have three consecutive victories in series.

The teams meet again Saturday at the Coliseum, where two years ago Mora could be heard shouting "We own this town!" in the tunnel near the USC locker room.

"Beating USC validated Jim's position as the head coach," said Dan Guerrero, the UCLA athletic director who hired him. "It was important for him to flip that switch."

But ruling the home roost was only part of Mora's end game.

The winner Saturday advances to play in the Pac-12 Conference title game Dec. 5. From there, the Pac-12 champion goes to the Rose Bowl game...

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Black Book of the American Left — Volume 5: Culture Wars

The new volume's out from David Horowitz, The Black Book of the American Left — Volume 5: Culture Wars.

Turkey’s Warning Shot

At the Wall Street Journal, "Putin may be testing NATO’s resolve, and the Turks need U.S. support":
A pair of Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian Su-24 over Turkish airspace on Tuesday, and Russian President Vladimir Putin called it a “stab in the back” that would have “serious consequences for Russian-Turkish relations.” This is what we mean when we say the last months of the Obama Administration will be the most dangerous since the end of the Cold War.

Turkish military officials said the Russian pilots ignored 10 warnings over five minutes to return to Syrian airspace before their plane was shot down. That rings true given Ankara’s warnings against previous intrusions. Russian planes twice violated Turkish airspace in early October, incidents NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said did “not look like an accident.” Around the same time a Russian MiG-29 locked its radar on a pair of Turkish jets patrolling the Syrian border for more than four minutes. Next a Russian-made drone entered Turkish airspace and was shot down. Moscow denies it was one of theirs.

More recently, the Turks summoned Russia’s ambassador to Ankara after an attack on ethnic Turkmen in Syria. “It was stressed that the Russian side’s actions were not a fight against terror, but they bombed civilian Turkmen villages and this could lead to serious consequences,” according to Turkey’s foreign ministry. This fits the Russian pattern of bombing enemies of the Assad regime except Islamic State—a useful reminder that Mr. Putin is not a fit partner in the coalition to fight ISIS.

The larger question is why Mr. Putin would risk provoking Turkey, with its powerful military and NATO ties. Part of the answer may lie with Moscow’s alliance with Iran and its Shiite Muslim proxies in Damascus and Beirut, who see themselves as competing with the Sunni Turks for regional dominance.

Mr. Putin may also be testing NATO cohesion. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is an impulsive leader who has alienated his allies with his autocratic instincts and Islamist sympathies. If Russia continues to prick Turkey and NATO fails to support Ankara, it will expose the hollowness of NATO’s Article 5 collective-defense obligations.

The Obama Administration failed to invoke Article 5 on France’s behalf after the Paris massacre. And on Tuesday President Obama said that while Turkey had the right to defend its airspace, his priority is to “discourage any escalation.” But what if Mr. Putin retaliates against Turkey? Mr. Obama should have said that the U.S. will stand with its NATO partner...
Good luck with that.

More at that top link.

Radical Parents, Despotic Children

From Bret Stephens, at WSJ, "Sooner or later, Orwellian methods on campus will lead to Orwellian outcomes":
“Liberal Parents, Radical Children,” was the title of a 1975 book by Midge Decter, which tried to make sense of how a generation of munificent parents raised that self-obsessed, politically spastic generation known as the Baby Boomers. The book was a case study in the tragedy of good intentions.

“We proclaimed you sound when you were foolish in order to avoid taking part in the long, slow, slogging effort that is the only route to genuine maturity of mind and feeling,” Miss Decter told the Boomers. “While you were the most indulged generation, you were also in many ways the most abandoned to your own meager devices.”

Meager devices came to mind last week while reading the “Statement of Solidarity” from Nancy Cantor, chancellor of the Newark, N.J., campus of Rutgers University. Solidarity with whom, or what? Well, Paris, but that was just for starters. Ms. Cantor also made a point of mentioning lives lost to terrorist attacks this year in Beirut and Kenya, and children “lost at sea seeking freedom,” and “lives lost that so mattered in Ferguson and Baltimore and on,” and “students facing racial harassment on campuses from Missouri to Ithaca and on.”

And this: “We see also around us the scarring consequences of decade after decade, group after group, strangers to each other, enemies even within the same land, separated by an architecture of segregation, an economy of inequality, a politics of polarization, a dogma of intolerance.”

It is an astonishing statement. Ms. Cantor, 63, is a well-known figure in academia, a former president of Syracuse University who won liberal acclaim by easing admissions standards in the name of diversity and inclusiveness. At publicly funded Rutgers she earns a base salary of $385,000, a point worth mentioning given her stated concern for inequality. The Newark Star-Ledger praised her as a “perfect fit” for the school on account of her “exceptional involvement in minority recruitment and town-gown relations.”

Yet this Stanford Ph.D. (in psychology) appears to be incapable of constructing a grammatical sentence or writing intelligible prose. All the rhetorical goo about the “architecture of segregation” and “dogma of intolerance” rests on deep layers of mental flab. She is a perfect representative of American academia. And American academia is, by and large, idiotic.

That’s why I’m not altogether sorry to see the wave of protests, demands, sit-ins and cave-ins sweeping university campuses from Dartmouth to Princeton to Brandeis to Yale. What destroys also exposes; what they are trashing was already trashy. It’s time for the rest of the country sit up and take notice...
Well, the rest of the country that includes grownups might sit up and take notice. Remember, there aren't too many grownups on college campuses these days. Indeed, the conservative students at Claremont McKenna showed a lot more maturity than the school's administration.

But keep reading, in any case.

Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points Memo: Is World War Getting Closer? (VIDEO)

Last week a student asked me, in my American government class, whether the Paris attacks would bring on World War III. I gave the suggestion kind of a chuckle, and told her no, we'd be seeing a major escalation in the terror war, but we weren't yet quite near a world war.

Then yesterday morning as I was getting ready for classes, around 7:00am, I saw the news of the Russian fighter jet shot down by Turkey, and I thought, "Man, shit just got real over there." In class I spoke again to the student and suggested that if there was going to be World War III, it's crises like this, seemingly small at first, that have the potential to escalate into major conflict.

In any case, imagine my chagrin last night when Bill O'Reilly led off with the possibility of a world war. What a trip: