Monday, May 30, 2016

It's not the first time...

Paul Sperry reports at the New York Post,
While the State Department’s own internal probe found former Secretary Hillary Clinton violated federal recordkeeping laws, it’s not the first time she and her top aides shielded her email from public disclosure while serving in a government position.

As first lady, Hillary was embroiled in another scheme to bury sensitive White House emails, known internally as “Project X.”

In 1999, as investigators looked into Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate and other scandals involving the then-first lady, it was discovered that more than 1 million subpoenaed emails were mysteriously “lost” due to a “glitch” in a West Wing computer server.

The massive hole in White House archives covered a critical two-year period — 1996 to 1998 — when Republicans and special prosecutor Ken Starr were subpoenaing White House emails.

...Thanks to another server-related problem, Clinton so far has gotten away with withholding more than 30,000 emails from congressional committees investigating the Benghazi terrorism cover-up, Clinton Foundation foreign-influence peddling and other scandals.
Read more here.

Sometimes there's just not a good answer

Rich Lowry writes in the New York post, slamming Hillary as Bill’s “enabler” and daring to invoke the allegation of rape against Clinton, Trump is again demonstrating his unsurpassed ability to needle his opponents and expose their vulnerabilities.

Hillary Clinton’s self-image as a feminist champion has always been at odds with her political partnership with a serial womanizer whose electoral career has depended on discrediting and smearing the women with whom he’s had dalliances.

...Hillary’s defenders say this is tantamount to blaming her for Bill’s infidelities. Of course, she’s not responsible for his wanderings. But as a fully vested member of Bill’s political operation, Hillary had as much interest in forcefully rebutting all allegations of sexual misconduct as he did.

...According to journalist Michael Isikoff, the Clinton campaign in 1992 spent $100,000 on private-detective work related to women. The approach, when rumors first popped up, was to get affidavits from women denying affairs — the reflex of most women is to avoid exposure — and, failing that, to use any discrediting tool at hand.

Hillary was fully on board. When a rock groupie told Penthouse in late 1991 that a state trooper approached her on Gov. Clinton’s behalf, Hillary said, “We have to destroy her story.”

When the Star tabloid reported that Clinton had affairs with five Arkansas women, including Gennifer Flowers, the Clinton campaign waved affidavits signed by all of them denying it. (This is what Clinton had advised Flowers to do in a taped conversation.) Then, Flowers admitted to an affair, saying it had lasted 12 years.

In response, Hillary did the famous “60 Minutes” interview with Bill, sitting by him as he delivered a lawyerly denial of the 12-year allegation specifically (he later admitted having sex with Flowers once). Hillary joined the strategy sessions over what verbiage to use in the interview.

When, after Bill was elected president, state troopers began to tell of how he had used them to procure women, the possibility of federal jobs and threats of retaliation were wheeled out to try to keep them silent.

...The allegation with which the Clintons have never truly had to grapple is Juanita Broaddrick’s charge of rape. The media roll their eyes whenever this comes up, but Broaddrick deserves better. Her story has been consistent over the years; she told people about the alleged assault at the time; and her account includes telling details that accord with what other women have said about encounters with Bill.

Perhaps you think Hillary had no choice but to stand by her man, or she made the correct calculation that the broader political project — both of the Clintons and of liberalism — justified waging political war against a few inconvenient women. Even so, there is no doubt Hillary compromised herself, by the standards of feminism 20 years ago, and even more by the standards of today.

Is there anyone more “privileged” than a white male who is a governor and a president? Even if you don’t believe the worst, Bill didn’t live up to contemporary norms of consent, to put it mildly. If consistency mattered, feminists would be demanding safe spaces whenever Bill Clinton approached a college campus.

Trump’s assault on Hillary is a blunderbuss affair (and, given how he’s been on all sides of everything, he himself defended Bill Clinton from these charges in the 1990s). But Hillary’s answer to Trump’s offensive is telling — nothing. Sometimes there’s just not a good answer.

"It's our job top steer away from the Clinton's past"

Aleister reports at Gateway Pundit
John Dickerson, the political director of CBS News, was recently interviewed by Stephen Colbert who asked if unpleasant aspects of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s past are fair game for the election.

His answer was stunning.

Via Truth Revolt:

CBS News Political Director: ‘Our Job’ to Steer Away from the Clintons’ Past

News political director John Dickerson told Stephen Colbert that part of a journalist’s job when it comes to covering Bill and Hillary Clinton is to steer conversations away from their pasts.

This stunning admission came Wednesday night in New York City in a live interview that took audience questions. A question surfaced about Bill Clinton’s past and how that could affect Hillary’s chances in the presidential election.
Read more here.

Trump's intellectuals -- out there beyond the Beltway

Fred Barnes writes at The Weekly Standard,
Charles Kesler, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College and Claremont Graduate University says, conservatives have the task of "offering advice and help, whether or not [Trump] has the sense to take it." To find out if he's willing to learn, "conservatives will have to engage him," according to Kesler. Abstaining in 2016, "in hopes of stimulating a recovery of full-throated conservatism in 2020, is sheer desperation."

Kesler puts Trump in the context of earlier presidents. "Do obscenities fall from his lips more readily than they did from Lyndon Johnson's or Richard Nixon's?" he writes. "Are the circumstances of his three marriages more shameful than the circumstances of John F. Kennedy's pathologically unfaithful one—or that matter, Bill Clinton's humiliatingly unfaithful one? Have any of his egotistical excesses rivaled Andrew Jackson's killing a man in a duel over a racing bet and an insult to Jackson's wife?"

..."If you compare different conservative presidents or would-be presidents to magazines," Kesler says, "Ronald Reagan was a National Review conservative. George W. Bush was a Weekly Standard conservative. Mitt Romney was a Wall Street Journal conservative. Trump will be the first tabloid conservative—the New York Post or Daily Mail. It's more a blue-collar or working-class sensibility."

...Victor Davis Hanson, a military historian, columnist, and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, wants conservatives to give Trump a chance to improve his act. What happens if by August, he's "reinvented himself into a more sober Trump and announced that if elected he'd like to appoint Ted Cruz to the Supreme Court, John Bolton as secretary of state, Larry Arnn as secretary of education, and General Jack Keane as secretary of defense?" Hanson asks in National Review.

Conservatives may be forced to decide not between two bad choices—Trump and Clinton—but between "a bad Trump and a far, far worse Clinton," he writes. "If it is the latter, then it's an easy choice in November."

Arnn, president of Hillsdale College, was criticized by National Review's Jonah Goldberg for supportive words about Trump on Hugh Hewitt's radio show in April. In response, Arnn cited in the college's newspaper the "chief things" he'd said about Trump. He liked Trump's comments about "the regulatory state" and praised "his confidence, self-direction (he seems to say what he says because he thinks it, rather than having been advised to say it), his sense of humor, and fearlessness." About Trump's character, Arnn has a few doubts.

There is a major dissenter out West, Michael Medved. He's an author, columnist, and talk radio host whose show goes to 300 stations nationwide. "I've taken a lonely stand for the world of talk radio: I am not on board the Trump train and don't expect that I will get on board," he told me.

Medved's critique of Trump is withering. "The evidence—especially the man's own pronouncements—suggests that Trump would most likely be a disaster in every regard," he says. "The risks of Trump himself utterly shredding the Constitution seem to me more formidable than the risks of Clinton-appointed justices to the Supreme Court doing that sort of damage."

But Medved says he can imagine a cleaned-up Trump who appeals to "all thoughtful conservatives," including him. "I can imagine it, but I think it's a fantasy." Judgments on Trump are often tentative. Even Roger L. Simon says, "I could change my mind on a dime .  .  . if other information comes to light or if Donald starts to act loony or, more precisely, excessively loony."
Read more here.

Is marriage as an institution struggling?

At the Daily Caller Scott Greer writes,
Marriage is in decline throughout the West, so should we be surprised cuckolding your husband is now just a thing a woman might have to do?

New York magazine’s “Beta Male” fully lived up to its pegged name Thursday when it released an article entitled, “Women Are Now Cheating As Much As Men, But With Fewer Consequences.” The piece, written by a woman, aims to answer the question as to why this phenomenon is occurring in the most sympathetic light possible.

The takeaway from this article is that men, upon entering marriage, should be fully ready for the chance that if they fail to satisfy their wives, she will cheat, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

...There’s not one, absolute reason for why marriage as an institution is struggling at the moment. There’s multiple factors. But the phenomenon of rising female infidelity shows that the new marriage seems like a terrible idea for all involved, and a return to traditional, imbalanced pairings may be a better model.
Read more here.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Researchers have fixed the problems with incandescent light bulb

Jeffrey Tucker reports at Foundation for Economic Education,
Researchers at the MIT are publicizing that they have fixed the incandescent lightbulb with a brilliant improvement. They have wrapped the interior filament in a crystal glass that both bounces light and contains heat. It recycles energy in a way that addresses the main complaint against Edison’s bulb: It burns far too much energy for the light that it produces.

Why is this interesting? About a decade ago, governments around the world developed a fetish for banning incandescents (through an efficiency rule) and replacing them with expensive LED technology and florescent bulbs. It happened in Europe first but eventually came to the United States. The last American factory to produce them closed in 2010, and they are ever harder to find in even the big-box hardware stores. (As with all such bans, there are exceptions for elites who desire specialty bulbs.

...As the MIT innovation in lighting suggests, there are possibilities yet undiscovered that regulators have not thought of. If you write detailed regulations about existing technologies, you are forestalling the possibilities that scientists and entrepreneurs will discover new ways of doing things in the future.

A vast regulatory apparatus on cell phone technology in 1990 could never have imagined something like a modern cellphone. Regulations on digital commerce in 2000 might have stopped the rise of peer-to-peer services like Uber. Indeed, one of the reasons that the digital world is so innovative is precisely because the regulators haven’t yet caught up with the pace of innovation.

Regulations on technology freeze the status quo in place and make it permanent. How, for example, will regulations respond to the news that a new and improved form of incandescent bulb is possible? Early tests show it to be more efficient than the replacements which the regulations favor. Will there be a new vote, a rewrite of the law, a governing body that evaluates new lightbulbs, the same way we approach prescription drugs? None of this can possibly match the efficiency of a market process of trial and error, of experimentation, rejection, and adoption.

In government, a ban is a ban, something to be enforced, not tweaked according to new discoveries and approaches.

Herein we see the problems with all attempts by government to tightly manage any technology. Bitcoin is a great example. As soon as the price began to rise and the crypto sector began to appear viable, government agencies got in the business of regulating them as if the sector was already taking a shape that would last forever. And because technology and industry are always on the move, there is never a rational time to intervene with the proclamation “this is how it shall always be.”

Regulatory interventions stop the progress of history by disabling the limitless possibilities of the human imagination.

By the time regulators get around to rethinking the incandescent, the industry will probably have moved on to something new and even better, something no one can imagine could exist today.
Read more here.

We are Americans

Thanks to David Adams

A day with my son in downtown Denver

Today featured a trip to downtown Denver with my alpha male sixteen-year-old son. First we worked out at the Rec Center, where Jon dead lifted 245 pounds, while his dad petered around with the lower weights. Next we each bought a cool summer hat at the Army Navy Surplus store. Then we shot pool at the Wynkoop Brewery, which was founded by now Governor John Hickenlooper.

Downtown was packed with people, many were families who had attended today's game between the Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants. It was a very relaxed atmosphere.
One more picture as we were leaving. Union Station is in the background and the Colorado sunset is just beginning.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Does this offer a contrast with what we have had the last eight years?

Divorce rates

At Alpha Game VD posts this, but does not say where he got the information.

Huffington Post editors meeting

At Alpha Game VD posts this picture of an Huffington Post editors meeting.

The definitive timeline of the Hillary Clinton email scandal

Sharyl Attkisson has provided the definitive timeline of the Hillary Clinton email scandal here.

Bernie doesn't want to talk about the collapse of socialism in South America

Freedom to create, grow, and prosper

The Elephant's Child writes at American Elephants,
An American, on average earns $130 a day, China is roughly $20 a day, and India at $10 after their release from a crippling socialism of $1 a day. And the growth of material plenty has been stunning. McCloskey quotes Matt Ridley in his book The Rational Optimist (2010) that what happened over the past two centuries is that “ideas started having sex.” There is no end to what people can do when they are set free to have ideas and have the freedom to act upon them. Once you have the ideas, getting the wherewithal to do them is simple because they are so obviously profitable.

“The Great Enrichment of the past two centuries has one primary source: the liberation of ordinary people to pursue their dreams of economic betterment.” How very odd then that the Progressives are so sure that the only route to a better world is for enlightened leaders like themselves to control and regulate the economy, and the people. (As I just said, they really don’t understand cause and effect).

The Heritage Foundation just released their annual report on the tide of red tape that threatens to drown American consumers and businesses. The Obama administration has added 20,642 new regulations during his presidency. More than $22 billion per year in new regulatory costs were imposed on Americans last year.

...The Leftists are so sure of their moral superiority, and that their aims are correct that they feel no need to study up on the questions of the day. Obama frequently notes that some things are “on the right side of history” and others are on “the wrong side of history. “Cosmic forces both agree with him, and are unimpeachable. Anything to do with climate is “settled science”and those who disagree should be punished.

Yet one gets the distinct impression that the president has never read a word of the science, and only seen that which is presented to him as from “unimpeachable sources,” without considering the possibility that there is another view.

The view that it is freedom that releases people to come up with the ideas and that the generation of new ideas leads to more and more creativity, growth and prosperity is so foreign to the philosophy of the Left that they are literally frightened of what people might do if left without the guidance of the enlightened and morally correct public servants of the nation’s capitol. For our “public servants’, Herb Meyer remarked recently, Washington D.C. is not a city, it is a profession.

We must be guided, controlled, and led down the correct paths to a brighter future. There is no other way.
Read more here.

Want to be a better role model for young girls? Try on this retro outfit of the day: Self-respect.

At National Review Michelle Malkin writes,
Listen up, ladies, what’s left of you: Extreme boobery is not a triumph of feminism. It’s just plain old bad taste. When nothing is left to the imagination, imagination atrophies — and along with it disappear mystery, sensuality, restraint, humanity, and virtue. Letting it all hang out is for apes. Want to be a better role model for young girls? Try on this retro outfit of the day: Self-respect.
Read more here.

Is it time for Biden and Warren?

At National Review John Fund thinks that because of the embarrassing revelations about Hillary's email scandals, many of the powers-that-be in the Democrat party are getting ready to replace Hillary with Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren as Biden's running mate. Biden would bring in the Obama loyalists, and Warren would appeal to the Sanders socialists. Read more here.

Transgenders in the U.S.

Open Blogger CBD reports at Ace of Spades,
How Many Transgenders In America? 0.006% = About 20,000. Total.

Commenter Golfman provided this very interesting link: Interactive map: Census estimates for transgender population by state. A quick perusal of both the high and low estimates gives me a very rough calculation of about 6 transgenders/100,000 Americans. Following the link to the Census Bureau paper yields about the same number. And yes, that is a very small number. Assuming a population of about 320,000,000, that means that you will probably never meet a transgender, and if you don't live in a particularly dense area you might not ever be within 50 feet of one.

Just to put it in perspective:

Albinism runs at about 1/17,000 worldwide.

Achondroplasia, the most common form of Dwarfism, occurs in 1 in 15,000 to 40,000 newborns.

Male breast cancer represents 1% of all breast cancers, 2,600 new cases diagnosed in the U.S. each year. That's at least 6-8 times the number of transgenders born each year.

According to Wikipedia, 6,500 U.S. Military veterans committed suicide in 2012.
That's at least 20 times the number of new transgenders.

And shall we look at the anorexia rate? "Anorexia is estimated to occur in 0.9% to 4.3% of women and 0.2% to 0.3% of men in Western countries at some point in their life." Why Anorexia? Because it is the most similar example of "Body Dysmorphia" I can think of. Transgenders look in the mirror and see something that isn't there, or they obsessively wish that the image was different. How does that differ from Anorexia?

Yet Transgenderism is celebrated and protected, but Anorexia is treated aggressively, because when left untreated, anorexics die! Of course Transgenders die too, mostly by suicide (41% attempt or succeed).

But by all means, let us celebrate and enable these profoundly disturbed Americans, instead of providing comprehensive psychiatric and medical treatment to overcome their significant, life-threatening illness.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Trump backs out of debate with Bernie

You may have heard that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are going to have a debate. Not happening. Statement by Trump four hours ago:
"Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and (Debbie) Wasserman-Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second-place finisher," Trump said in a statement.
Read more here.

More outrageous things about Obama's new transgender regulations

Robert Gehl writes at The Federalist,
There’s one part of Barack Obama’s letter to all public schools and universities about “transgender accommodation” that the media – and the rest of us – have overlooked.

It has nothing to do with bathrooms or locker rooms, either – but something much worse. Obama’s federal “guidance” requires that:

1) School districts must allow males and females to spend the night together in the same hotel on school field trips.

2) Colleges must let men who claim to be transgender room with women.

3) School officials are not permitted to tell the women (or their parents) that their new roommate is a man.

...While many opponents of Barack Obama’s new “accommodations” for transgender people, claim that the term “transgender” is vague, in fact it is not.

The eight-page letter clearly states that, as far as the Justice Department and the Dept. of Education are concerned, a student becomes a member of the opposite sex the moment he feels like it. The instant he tells school officials about his decision, they must immediately treat him accordingly.

...And there is no maximum number of times a student can “switch” their genders. “For some people, gender is not just about being male or female,” CNN reported. “In fact, how one identifies can change every day or even every few hours.” So, theoretically, one could be male during homeroom, female during gym class, then male again before he gets on the bus – and the school district is bound to comply every step of the way.

...Remember: These new rules – right or wrong – are being imposed upon us without a single lawmaker voting for it. No debate, no discussion. Just a decision by Barack Obama and his Justice Department.
Read more here.

Stop lying about race!

David Horowitz writes in Front Page Magazine,
The historically accurate view of what happened is this: Black Africans were enslaved by other black Africans and sold at slave markets to western slavers. America inherited this slave system from the British Empire, and once it was independent, ended the slave trade and almost all slavery in the northern states within twenty years of its birth. America then risked its survival as a nation and sacrificed 350,000 mostly white Union lives, to end slavery in the south as well. In other words, as far as blacks are concerned, America’s true legacy is not slavery, but freedom. As noted, American blacks today have more freedom, rights and privileges than blacks in any black nation in the world.
Read more here.

Spontaneous liar versus premeditated liar

Jonah Goldberg points out in National Review,
By setting up a secret e-mail server in her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., without proper authorization from any legal or security official, Clinton displayed a cavalier disregard for national security and an outrageous desire to hide her doings from Freedom of Information Act requests, government archivists, Congress, the press, and, ultimately, the American people.

...From the earliest days of this scandal — and it is a scandal — Clinton has lied. Unlike Donald Trump’s lies, which he usually vomits up spontaneously like a vesuvian geyser, Clinton’s were carefully prepared, typed up, and repeated for all the world to hear over and over again.

I would think this is an important distinction. Neither of the candidates is worthy of the office in my eyes, but voters might discount many of Trump’s deceits as symptoms of his glandular personality. Much like Vice President Joe Biden, who always gets a pass for launching errant fake-fact missiles from the offline silo that is his mouth, Trump is often seen as entertainingly spontaneous.

Meanwhile, Clinton — who lives many time zones away from the word “entertaining” — is marketing herself as the mature and upstanding grown-up. She does nothing spontaneously. And that means all of her lies are premeditated.
Read more here.

Republicans who supported Obama's transgender edicts

Maggie Gallagher writes in National Review about the Republican "traitors" who sacrificed women's privacy by supporting Obama's transgender edicts.
Who are the 43 Republicans who actively sided with the Democrats so fully that they were willing to insert transgender protections in an unrelated bill? Here is the list of the GOP 43: Amash (Mich., third congressional district), Brooks, S. (Ind., 5), Coffman (Colo., 6), Costello (Penn., 6), Curbelo (Fla., ), Davis, R. (Ill., 13), Denham (Calif., 10), Dent (Penn., 15), Diaz-Balart (Fla., 25), Dold (Ill., 10), Donovan (N.Y., 11), Emmer (Minn., 6), Fitzpatrick (Penn., 8), Frelinghuysen (N.J., 11), Gibson (N.Y., 19), Heck (Nev., 3), Hurd (Texas, 23), Issa (Calif., 49), Jolly (Fla., 13), Katko (N.Y., 24), Kinzinger (Ill., 16), Lance (N.J., 7), LoBiondo (N.J., 2), MacArthur (N.J., 3), McSally (Ariz., 2), Meehan (Penn., 7), Messer (Ind., 6), Paulsen (Minn., 3), Poliquin (Maine, 2), Reed, (N.Y., 23), Reichert (Wash., 8), Renacci (Ohio, 16), Rooney (Fla., 17), Ros-Lehtinen (Fla., 27), Shimkus (Ill., 15), Stefanik (N.Y., 21), Upton (Mich., 6), Valadao (Calif., 21), Walden (Ore., 2), Walters (Calif., 45), Young, D. (Iowa, 3), Young, T. (Ind., 9), Zeldin (N.Y., 1).

Read more here.

Why most Republicans will vote for Trump in November

Victor Davis Hanson gives many examples of how political discourse and behavior have been debased in the Obama years. Donald Trump gives little indication that he will restore decorum. Hanson, however, predicts that most Republicans will bite their lip and vote for Trump in November, and he gives us some possible reasons why here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What might a Trump presidency look like?

Ben Shapiro writes at National Review about what a Trump presidency might look like.
My biases are clear up front: I don’t trust Trump. I don’t trust his promises, because he has shown no willingness to hold to them. I don’t trust his ideology, because he proclaims that his guiding star is his own self-assurance. I trust Trump to be Trump: a man of convenience, a thinker of no great depth, a reactionary with no constitutional understanding and a willingness to maximize executive power.

A small excerpt of Shapiro's predictions of a Trump presidency:
The ink-blot presidency would roll forth, policy after policy. Trump’s defenders would find enough here to like that they’d proclaim him a successful president; his opponents would point to his foreign-policy and economic failures as evidence that he lied to his own supporters throughout his campaign.

One thing is certain: There’s nothing here that even hints at constitutional conservatism. Trump’s face, like Obama’s before him, would become the face of his party. In the wake of Trump’s continuous policy and media onslaught, the principles of limited government would disappear. Conservatives would fall in line behind Trump, seeking to uphold his agenda because he was “their man.” Those who failed to fall in line would be labeled enemies of the country in Republican circles. A New American Consensus would be formed, merging the ad hoc populist Right and the Democratic Left. The era of conservatism would end.

Perhaps I’m too skeptical of Trump. Perhaps he’d do only some of what I suggest. Or, more likely, this is on the milder end of what Trump would do as president. In either case, conservatives would be wise to consider the consequences of throwing their support behind an authoritarian with no allegiance to any of the ideals conservatives value.

Read more here.

The choice

Jim Geraghty asks in National Review,
Do you choose the certain foe in the corrupt oligarchic progressive pathological liar Hillary Clinton, or the unreliable nominal ally in the incoherent authoritarian populist demagogue with the white nationalist/anti-Semitic fans? (Cue Jeopardy! theme.)

...When Donald Trump says, “I gave $1 million” -- past tense -- to veterans, what he really means is, “I haven’t given $1 million, and I will only get around to actually giving it four months later when the press keeps asking me about it.” He also doesn’t feel that you’re entitled to know which veterans’ groups he gave to and how much.

What if it becomes a four-way, or even a five-way race for the presidency?

What if Sanders does not quit, even after Hillary wins the Democrat nomination? Jonah Goldberg speculates about that possibility at National Review. If that were to happen, it might open up a fourth possibility: someone like Mitt Romney or Ben Sasse making it a four-way race.
And in a four-way race (or five-way, if you include the Libertarian party), all bets are off. Theoretically, a winning share of the popular vote in a four-way race could be 26 percent. In a five-way race, 21 percent (which is where Romney is polling right now). States that haven’t been competitive in decades would suddenly become battlegrounds. Of course, if no one gets a majority in the Electoral College, the decision goes to the House, for even more exciting postseason drama.

Trump just wants to win. Sanders wants to smash the status quo in both parties. The opportunity is staring him in the face.
Read more here.


Greg Campbell reminds us at Politistick,
If the left is saying something nice about anybody who could remotely be called a Republican, we should stop and analyze the situation and scrutinize motives immediately.

He is referring to the fact that some Republicans are encouraging Mitt Romney to get in the presidential race. Similarly, tonight on Steve Deace's radio show Steve reminded us how the co-hosts of Morning Joe on MSNBC were rooting for Donald Trump in the primaries, but now that he is the presumptive nominee, they are suddenly finding things to dislike about Trump.

In related news, Leon Wolf at Red State points out that although Donald Trump is now calling Hillary an enabler of Bill Clinton, Donald Trump also enabled Bill in the nineties.
if Trump’s defense is that he was being a “true friend” to Bill Clinton and standing up for him regardless of whether the accusations that he was a rapist and serial sexual harasser were true, why isn’t that an even more compelling defense for Hillary Clinton? I mean, after all, she was married to Bill Clinton.

If it’s somehow praiseworthy for Donald Trump to have stuck by his buddy Bill Clinton regardless of the facts, why isn’t it even more praiseworthy for Hillary Clinton to have done the same for her husband? Why, when she does it, is it evidence that she’s an enabler and hates women, but when Trump does it, it’s evidence that he’s just a good friend?

Donald Trump's hair

Ashley Feinberg of Gawker writes an incredibly detailed article about Donald Trump's hair. Is it his own, or a weave? Go here to read and see the speculation.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Trump-Gingrich: Kindred spirits in more ways than one

Eliana Johnson reports at PJ Media about the idea of a Trump/Gingrich ticket.
Gingrich has, in effect, launched his own campaign to secure the nomination. “I think Newt is lobbying to be the vice president, and I think their people are paying a lot of attention to him,” says Ed Rollins, a Republican operative and former Gingrich staffer now working for a super PAC supporting Trump’s candidacy. “It’d be a ticket with six former wives, kind of like a Henry VIII thing,” Rollins says. “They certainly understand women.” (Between them, Trump and Gingrich have four former wives; both are currently married to their third wives.)

Among the similarities between the two men, they share a genius for exploiting mass media. In his 1990s heyday, Gingrich was able to dominate the news cycle by harnessing the newfound power of talk radio, much as Trump has done with television and social media this year. “I don’t know two other people who can command more media attention than Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump,” says Rick Tyler, who served as Gingrich’s campaign spokesman in 2012. For Trump, Tyler says, naming Gingrich vice president would simply be “doubling down on an already successful strategy: keeping your enemies constantly on defense, constantly off balance, constantly explaining themselves. Newt knows how to do that.”

“They talk every day,” says a source familiar with the relationship, who claims that Gingrich e-mails Trump, campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and campaign manager Corey Lewandowski “countless times a day.” On Friday, the source says Gingrich sent five messages after lunch, musing on everything from Fox host Megyn Kelly’s interview with Trump to Trump’s recently announced list of potential Supreme Court nominees to ideas for targeting Bernie Sanders’s voters.
Read more here.

On the comment of Ed Rollins that "both men certainly understand women," Jennifer Burke writes at Politifact,
I have news for Ed Rollins. Being married multiple times because you chose to cheat on your wife and then divorce her does not demonstrate an “understanding of women.” It indicates a habit of using women, lying to them, then tossing them aside when you are through.
Read more here.

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The woman card

Matthew Burke reports at Politistick that Donald Trump has produced a new ad on Instagram depicting Bill Clinton
as a rapist and serial woman abuser by playing audio from two victims of Bill’s unwanted advances, Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey.

“He starts to bite on my top lip and I try to pull away from him,” a sobbing Broaddrick says in explaining Clinton’s sexual assault against her, as an ominous cigar-chomping black-and-white picture of Bill is superimposed over the White House. It is not known whether the cigar Bill is smoking is the same brand used on Monica Lewinsky.

The ultra-quick ad then pans to a meme of Bill and Hillary with the caption “Here we go again?” while the sound changes to Hillary’s infamous witch-like laugh.

The message here is obvious: Stop trying to play the “woman card” Hillary. You have your own problems.

Trump used the “rape” word for the first time last week in an interview with Sean Hannity, in describing Bill Clinton, while labeling Hillary as an enabler.

In the 1990’s during her husband’s presidency, Hillary was the architect of the shameful “Nuts and Sluts” campaign which ruined the reputations of the women coming forward with sexual abuse and/or rape accusations against Bill Clinton, occurrences that the Clinton war room referred to as “bimbo eruptions.”

The Clintons are caught in the ultimate hypocrisy. After society has been told for decades that female victims of alleged sexual abuse must be believed over the accused man — always — they are stuck into explaining why Bill’s victims must be discarded like trash, which they can’t and will not explain and nor will the biased liberal media force them to.
Go here to watch the video.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

What do you believe?

At PJ Media Tricia Lott Williford writes about three lies that many Christians believe.
Lie #1: God won’t give you more than you can handle. Truth: God will often give you more than you can handle. He will put you in a season, a chapter of your life, when you are in over your head. Why would the Lord put you in a situation where you have too much to handle, where you cannot do it on your own? So that the world will know that there is a God, and so that everyone who is watching you will know that the Lord rescues his people.

Lie #2: God wants me to be happy. Truth: Be part of what he’s doing, and you’ll find something so much deeper, bigger, and better than happiness.

Lie #3: Following God will make my life easier. Truth: Following God will make your life better. But here’s the corollary: better is almost always harder. Anytime you undertake a journey of transformation, you know that better is almost always harder. Get healthier, pay off debts, climb a mountain, run a marathon, fix your marriage—all of these things are better and harder than the lazy life. You and I will have some pain in our lives. We’ll face heartache and disillusionment and hurt.
Read more here.


We've tried being slaves. Let's try being free.

Richard Fernandez writes at PJ Media,
We expect revolutionaries to be indifferent to money. Yet in reality the Left thinks about nothing but money as the Venezuelan socialists who have stolen $350 billion from the treasury, according to the Basel Institute on Governance, should have proved to the world. If it's any consolation to the Democratic Party, Bernie Sanders is not as indifferent to lucre as he seems. Sanders' filings show he's received money from Super PACs and donors with links to Wall Street -- so he may be normal after all.

...The progressive campaign is essentially predicated on the assumption that a sufficiently resolute government can defy the laws of financial gravity. There is now some doubt on that point.

...It's not just the Government that's broke but also its political partners. Recently the Teamsters' Central States Pension Fund announced that it was bust. Unless it gets an infusion of taxpayer money, pension benefits for about 407,000 people could be reduced to "virtually nothing."

...Teamsters who are able to intimidate everything find they are finally helpless against addition and subtraction. At the end of it all they, like everyone else who has mismanaged their pensions, can pay their retirees "virtually nothing."

...Lincoln Steffens thought he saw a future that worked but it was cruel fraud. Why not try property this time instead of slavery? We've tried being slaves. Let's try being free.

No, thanks!

"Something, we know not what."

At the American Thinker Matt Patterson asks, "What lies beneathe?"
New scientific discoveries in astrophysics and archeology make the notion of “settled science” risible. They also bring to mind the wisdom of Donald Rumsfeld in stressing the vital importance of “unknown unknowns.”

Perhaps the Western penetration of nature has been superficial at best. In fact, the foremost thinkers on the very edges of science are staring into an abyss of knowledge -- literally.

Dark matter and dark energy combined make up 95 percent of everything. And yet we have no idea what these things are, how they work, or what they mean for the fate of the universe.

Put it this way: all of the stars and star-spawned material that is visible in the universe -- including every planet, person or proton -- accounts for a mere 5 percent of existence. It reflects radiation or emits it. It shines gloriously in the night sky, begging for our gaze and our awe. The rest? We know it’s there, but we cannot see it.

It is literally dark.

Dark matter is composed of some thing other than the electrons and protons that make up our 5 percent world. Whatever it is, we can be thankful for it -- it seems to be the only thing holding galaxies together (there is not enough ordinary matter present in observable galaxies to prevent them from disintegrating).

Dark energy is a mysterious force borne by some thing other than the photons that carry energy in our 5 percent world. We know it exists because we observe its effect on our luminous matter -- the universe is flying apart. Gravity should be slowing the universe down and contracting its constituent parts; instead, things are flying apart at an increasing rate.

Scientists are hard at work of course, trying to detect and understand these phenomena. And they may one day succeed. But their failure to understand the depth of their ignorance until very recently speaks to a problem with the scientific method itself.

The long climb to scientific supremacy begun by Aristotle in his invention of symbolic logic has in the end taken us to the summit of what turns out to be a very small hill, as we crane our necks upward at a looming, unseeable, unending mountain range.

...If the dark nature of our universe is only now being acknowledged and probed by the scientific community, it will be many years yet before the realization seeps into the worlds of art and philosophy. But when it does, the minds and creations of our dreamers and thinkers will reverberate with a profound sense of insecurity that may shake the very foundations of modern existence.

How is it possible, they will ask, that so much of reality remains closed to us even after two thousand years of following the Theseus-like string left by our great scientists? It’s as if we emerge from the labyrinth, having followed the string -- not into the bright light of day -- but into a deeper and blacker chamber.

It is, ironically, parallel to what is happening in the realm of archaeology. The textbooks of our high schools and universities lay out facts about our past as if they are clean and neat ornaments to be passed around and cooed over. The reality is that the more we dig, the more it becomes obvious that what we thought we knew about our ancestors is at best incomplete, and at worst dangerously wrong.

For example: the standard model of the rise of civilization draws a very straight and neat line from the Neolithic revolution, which led to the invention of cities, the written word, etc., right up to the iPhone that’s burning a hole in your pocket.

Unfortunately, it isn't so simple.

Recent excavations at a site in southeast Turkey show an astonishing megalithic monument, covered with complex and beautiful symbols. It is called Göbekli Tepe.

...We have no idea how large it really is, who built it, what they used it for, or why. We know it was in use for thousands of years. And it was apparently, intentionally buried around 8,000 B.C. The deliberate burial of such a complex, requiring the movement of hundreds of tons of earth is in itself as stunning an engineering achievement as the construction of the monument itself.

Keep in mind this site is not some fevered imagining of some History Channel fake expert or alien conspiracy theorist. This is an actual archaeological site being excavated and puzzled over by credentialed and thoroughly disturbed scientists.

And in fact, excavators estimate that what they have found constitutes a mere 5 percent of the complex, and that digging for another century will still not reveal the whole of the structure.

It’s all so disturbing to scientists because they thought they knew the human story already. And they make their living telling that story, their entire lives are based upon the fact that they are experts in that story. How profoundly unsettling it must be to realize perhaps you understand the smallest sliver of a story that was more vast and complicated than you could have ever imagined.

And so it is with physicists confronting dark matter and energy.

In the end, Western scientists may be forced, when asked to explain what the vast majority of existence rests upon, to answer:

“Something, we know not what.”
Read more here.

He tells about

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Who can compete with Amazon?

Irwin Stelzer writes here at The Weekly Standard about the amazing pace being set by Amazon, and how other retailers are struggling to compete with Amazon's seemingly constant innovations.

An ugly legacy

Walt Heyer writes
As someone who underwent surgery from male to female and lived as a female for eight years before returning to living as a man, I know firsthand what it’s like to be a transgender person—and how misguided it is to think one can change gender through hormones and surgery.

...Obama is championing the insanity of eliminating the traditional definition of gender. He does not grasp the biological fact that genders are not fluid, but fixed: male and female.

Using the power of his position to influence the elimination of gender, overruling science, genetics, and biblical beliefs, is Obama’s display of political power.

One fact will remain, no matter how deep in the tank Obama goes for the gender nonconformists, genetics and God’s design of male and female, no matter how repugnant that is to some, cannot be changed. Biological gender remains fixed no matter how many cross-gender hormones are taken or cosmetic surgeries are performed. No law can change the genetic and biblical truth of God’s design. Using financial blackmail to achieve the elimination of gender will become Obama’s ugly legacy.
Read more here.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Barbara Boxer showed Bernie Sanders how to google pictures from the Nevada Democrat convention

The "Youth Candidate" Bernie Sanders needed help from Barbara Boxer how to google something.
At the Nevada Democrats’ convention over the weekend, Bernie Sanders supporters booed Sen. Barbara Boxer when she called for the party to unite behind Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

AP correspondent Erica Werner reported that Boxer told Bernie Sanders how he could see what happened:

Boxer wants Sanders to look at pics from Sat. "I said just google it, we talked about how to google it, it was a very warm conversation."

Where we are

h/t Moonbattery

The latest disgrace of Senate Republicans

Jeremy Carl reports at National Review on the latest Mitch McConnell travesty.
To nobody’s surprise, the Lee amendment to defund the Obama administration’s radical Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule (AFFH) (a rule that essentially turns the federal government into a national zoning board, forcing high-density housing on unwilling cities and towns while letting bureaucrats decide the racial, ethnic, and income balance of local communities) was tabled by a vote of 60–37 today, marking a defeat for conservatism, community control, and common sense.

... For what it’s worth, the following 16 GOP Senators voted for the Obama administration’s war on the suburbs. It’s a largely predictable list: Alexander Ayotte Blunt Burr Coats Cochran Collins Graham Hatch Hoeven Isakson Kirk McCain Murkowski Portman Tillis Giving political cover to Democrats. Bowing to the dictates of the most liberal members of the caucus. Splitting the party. It’s what the GOP leadership does so expertly. And yet again, they’ve outdone themselves.
Read more here.

Principles over party

Hadas Gold reports at Politico,
Daily Caller editor-in-chief and Fox News contributor Tucker Carlson is not happy with how Glenn Beck acted at the Facebook meeting for conservatives this week.

In an interview, Carlson blasted the radio and television host, saying he was sucking up to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

"I went to that meeting expecting Beck to cry, rend his garments while quoting James Madison, but that's not at all what happened. He began the most extended assiduous suck-up I think I've ever seen a grown man commit. He acted like he was auditioning to be Mark Zuckerberg's manservant — it was awe-inspiring,' Carlson said. "I don't know what his agenda is; it's either he's looking to put his tanking Web properties up for sale or he just can't help himself. There's a billionaire there, so he sniffs the throne."

In April, Beck's company The Blaze laid off about 40 employees and announced that it was relocating its operations almost entirely to Texas, where it is headquartered. Matt Frucci, whose hiring to run The Blaze's television operation in New York was announced the same week of the layoffs, quietly departed the company about a week later. In an unsigned post, The Blaze announced a reorganization and said that the changes were made because the company had "grown into a company [Beck] no longer believed in" and urging people to "stay tuned" for the company's next chapter.
In a post after the meeting, Beck offered up high praise for Zuckerberg and his team, saying he "was convinced that Facebook is behaving appropriately and trying to do the right thing. They were humble, open, and listened intently to everyone in the room."

But Beck also hit on some of his fellow attendees for asking for what he called "affirmative action for conservatives."

"When did conservatives start demanding quotas AND diversity training AND less people from Ivy League Colleges. I sat there, looking around the room at 'our side' wondering, 'Who are we?' Who am I?'" Beck wrote. "What happened to us? When did we become them? When did we become the people who demand the Oscars add black actors based on race?"
Carlson said he was one person at the meeting who brought up increasing diversity at the company, and that Beck's description was a "total mischaracterization" of what he was trying to say.

"My point was a simple one, which is diversity is deeper than ethnicity," Carlson said. "You can look different but have the same values. That's not diversity; it's conformity. … You want people with different life experiences as a backstop against bad decision."

Carlson said he "despises" affirmative action but was "making a pretty conventional point."
"It's hardly a deep insight. [Beck] turns around and says 'You're acting like Jesse Jackson trying to shake down Facebook or demand quotas.' Which of course is the opposite of what I'm in favor of,' Carlson said.
A spokesperson for Beck's company The Blaze did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

UPDATE 7:56p.m.:
In a statement Beck responded to Carlson:
"I have no beef with Tucker or any other progressive Republican, I just disagree with shakedowns of private or publicly traded companies. It is a proven fact - and Small government Conservatives have made the case - that affirmative action, quotas and sensitivity training do not work. The movement on the right is split, just as it is on the left. The left is now choosing between progressives and Marxists while the right must choose between progressives and constitutionalists. There are those who believe winning at all costs is the goal. While I understand the frustration, a Conservative by definition conserves. I don't believe we wish to conserve winning or affirmative action --- I wish to conserve principles over party."

Selling the Iran deal

Ace of Spades brings us more information about how Ben Rhodes works in promulgating Obama's foreign policy.
Group ID'd as One of Ben Rhodes' "Force Multipliers" In Selling Iran Deal Also Gave $100,000 to NPR to "Help" It "Report" on the Deal

Thanks to Melanie /‏@mrussRSF, a neat little late Friday covert news fart from the AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) — A group the White House recently identified as a key surrogate in selling the Iran nuclear deal gave National Public Radio $100,000 last year to help it report on the pact and related issues, according to the group's annual report. It also funded reporters and partnerships with other news outlets.
The Ploughshares Fund's mission is to "build a safe, secure world by developing and investing in initiatives to reduce and ultimately eliminate the world's nuclear stockpiles," one that dovetails with President Barack Obama's arms control efforts. But its behind-the-scenes role advocating for the Iran agreement got more attention this month after a candid profile of Ben Rhodes, one of the president's top foreign policy aides.

In The New York Times Magazine article, Rhodes explained how the administration worked with nongovernmental organizations, proliferation experts and even friendly reporters to build support for the seven-nation accord that curtailed Iran's nuclear activity and softened international financial penalties on Tehran.

"We created an echo chamber," said Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, adding that "outside groups like Ploughshares" helped carry out the administration's message effectively.
Outside groups of all stripes are increasingly giving money to news organizations for special projects or general news coverage. Most news organizations, including The Associated Press, have strict rules governing whom they can accept money from and how to protect journalistic independence.

Ploughshares' backing is more unusual, given its prominent role in the rancorous, partisan debate over the Iran deal.
Ploughshares' links to media are "tremendously troubling," said Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas, an Iran-deal critic.

Pompeo told the AP he repeatedly asked NPR to be interviewed last year as a counterweight to a Democratic supporter of the agreement, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who he said regularly appeared on the station. But NPR refused to put Pompeo on the air, he said. The station said it had no record of Pompeo's requests, and listed several prominent Republicans who were featured speaking about the deal or economic sanctions on Iran.

Another who appeared on NPR is Joseph Cirincione, Ploughshares' president.
Well isn't that cozy.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

More insanity out of New York

At Hot Air, Jazz Shaw brings us the latest from New York City:
I’m no longer sure on any given day if I’m watching the actual news out of New York City or reading the summary of a William Gibson novel. Either way, the crazy train has well and truly pulling into the station in the Big Apple. We learned this week that Hizzonor Bill de Blasio has yet another plan to entrench the city in “transgender” warfare and make sure that business owners are made to toe the line on political correctness. Under this latest scheme, any business which greets someone using a pronoun not matching the gender (or lack thereof) the customer “identifies” as could face a stiff fine in court. No… I’m not even remotely kidding you. (Washington Times)

Greeting customers as “Mr.” or “Mrs.” — or even not using the pronoun “ze” or “zir” — could prove costly for New York City businesses under rules drafted by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s bureaucrats.

The Gotham mayor’s Commission on Human Rights says entities that fail to address customers by their preferred gender pronouns and titles are in violation of the law and could be subject to penalties of up to $250,000.

The commission issued a “legal enforcement guidance” for the New York City Human Rights Law, which now “requires employers and converted entities to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun and title (e.g., Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification.”

So now New York City will regulate the speech of business owners and employees down to the level of punishing those who use standard, polite pronouns which have been accepted protocol for nearly as long as we’ve had language skills. If we were to stretch credulity to the point of denying basic medical science, you might be able to make the argument that someone you assumed was male could correct you and say they are female. With today’s fashions and hairstyles, who’s to say, right? If what appears to be a woman walks up to the perfume counter and, upon being greeted with a cheerful, “Good afternoon, Ma’am” informs you that they should be addressed as sir, what’s the harm? You still want to make the sale, so just call them sir and ring up the purchase. But if you fail to conform to the request, what law has been broken? Your boss might fire you for driving away business (and they would be well within their right to do so) but can you be dragged into court and fined? And we’re not talking about a small fine here.

The maximum civil fine that the commission may impose upon “misgendering” is $125,000. But when the violation is the “result of willful, wanton, or malicious conduct,” the maximum fine can double to $250,000.
That doesn’t even begin to address the question of demands to use misappropriated terms like “they/them/theirs” or worse, completely fake pronouns such as “ze/hir.” Shifting generic plurals to be used in the singular (“Would them care for some more coffee?”) is simply bad English and makes you sound illiterate. And don’t get me started on this “ze/hir” nonsense. Those aren’t even words. The city administration chooses to define them as, alternative pronoun systems developed by academics and/or LGBT communities, but that doesn’t make them part of the language and nobody is required to use these made up terms.
Read more here.

Go figure

Tom Krannawitter writes,
At one end of the education spectrum in the United States are adults who never finished high school. As a statistical, demographic fact, they tend to identify as "liberal" or "progressive," and to the extent they vote, they tend to vote for Democrats.

Those in the middle of the education spectrum -- having graduated from high school and have some college under their belt or earned an undergraduate degree -- tend to be non-progressive, and they tend not to vote for Democrats.

Those with the highest levels of formal education -- completing graduate-level programs that result in some form of a terminal degree, such as a J.D., M.D., or Ph.D. -- are similar, politically, to those with the least formal education: they identify as "liberal" or "progressive," and to the extent they vote, they tend to vote for Democrats.
This could mean that the most educated, smartest Americans are liberal, progressive, Democrat. Or that liberalism, progressivism, and the Democratic Party attract the smartest, most educated citizens among us.

Or it could mean that our universities and graduate schools are very effective at training Americans to be liberals, progressives, and Democrats.

Or it could mean that the most educated, smartest Americans know not much more about politics than Americans with the least education.

More research is needed. Stay tuned.

Reduce risks, or take risks together?

Chateau Heartiste writes today about the hidden costs of dual-income relationships,
this comment by Cail Coreshev is a valid criticism of dual-income marriages that one doesn’t often read from more mainstream sociological pundits:

Good comment, but it’s too bad he threw in that sop to getting an “education” before marriage. The “she needs it for a financial backup just in case” attitude is a big part of the feminist narrative. It leads to women entering marriage with one foot out the door, trying it out for a while before deciding whether to go with the backup. By the time she gets that college degree “just in case,” she’s already burned through several of her most attractive, fertile years; and unless she’s unusually virtuous, has been on the carousel learning bad habits.

It makes logical sense to reduce your risks as much as possible, but taking risks together is one thing that bonds a couple. When people like my parents and grandparents started a life together, owning very little and highly dependent on each other to make ends meet, it bonded them in such a way that they couldn’t imagine having done anything else. If a man died and widowed a young mother with no skills outside the home, that sucked, but it was very rare, and that’s what family and community are for. But when a married couple are both financially stable and don’t particularly need each other, you don’t get that interdependence. Instead you get a lot of people wondering if they could be doing better elsewhere.

To which Chateau Heartiste adds,
There are many good reasons why the feminist idea of a successful marriage is a warped one. Humans are not (yet) an androgynous blob of asexually-reproducing drones. Women love men who come closest to the masculine ideal, and men love women who come closest to the feminine ideal. This means, in real life, women love powerful confident men who serve as the oak tree under which they can find shelter against the storms, and men love to shelter pretty, vulnerable, feminine women whose first instinct is to nurture rather than swim with the corporate sharks.

Cail’s theory that shared risk — and shared vulnerability — helps bond couples is also worth pondering. It’s not hyperbole to say that women who depend on “having a backup in the event of a broken marriage” unwittingly encourage the breaking up of their marriages. Not a sermon, just a shiv.
Read more here.

Lost American deterrence

Victor Davis Hanson writes at National Review,
In 1939, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier warned Adolf Hitler that if the Third Reich invaded Poland, a European war would follow.

Both leaders insisted that they meant it. But Hitler thought that after getting away with militarizing the Rhineland, annexing Austria, and dismantling Czechoslovakia, the Allied appeasers were once again just bluffing.

England and France declared war two days after Hitler entered Poland.

Once hard-won deterrence is lost, it is almost impossible to restore credibility without terrible costs and danger.

Last week, Russian officials warned the Obama administration about the installation of a new anti-ballistic missile system in Romania and talked of a possible nuclear confrontation that would reduce the host country to “smoking ruins” and “neutralize” any American-sponsored missile system.

Such apocalyptic rhetoric follows months of Russian bullying of nearby neutral Sweden, harassment of U.S. ships and planes, warnings to NATO nations in Europe, and constant threats to the Baltic states and former Soviet republics.

China just warned the U.S. to keep its ships and planes away from its new artificial island and military base in the Spratly archipelago — plopped down in the middle of the South China Sea to control international sea lanes.

Iranian leaders routinely threaten to close down the key Strait of Hormuz. North Korea and the Islamic State are upping their usual unhinged bombast to new levels — from threatening nuclear strikes on the U.S. homeland to drawing up hit lists of Americans targeted for death.

After the abject pullout from Iraq in 2011 and the subsequent collapse of the country eroded U.S. credibility, after the fake Syrian red lines, the failed reset with Russia, the Benghazi fiasco, and the slashing of the military, America has lost its old deterrence.

...Israel has formed an alliance with some of its longtime enemies in the Persian Gulf based on their shared fears of Iran and their mutual distrust of American commitment. Israelis and Saudi Arabians alike are confused about whether the Obama administration naïvely appeased Iran with a nuclear deal or deliberately courted it as a new ally.

In a recent New York Times Magazine interview, deputy national-security adviser and presidential speechwriter Ben Rhodes ridiculed the “Blob” — his derogatory term for the bipartisan Washington, D.C., foreign-policy establishment. He also bragged about deceiving journalists and policy wonks in order to ram through the Iran deal without Senate approval or public support. Rhodes, who wrote Obama’s mythological “Cairo Speech” and also the infamous Benghazi “talking points,” seemed to confirm accusations that this administration has contempt for traditional U.S. foreign policy.

Recent interviews with the president and his advisers might confirm the impression abroad that the global order is, for a rare moment, up for grabs, as a lame-duck administration retreats from America’s role of world leader. And given that there are only eight months left to take advantage of this global void, Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and Islamic terrorists are beginning to believe that the U.S. will not do anything to stop their aggressions once they change global realities by force.

South Korea, Estonia, Japan, Romania, the Czech Republic, Poland, the Philippines, and much of Europe all expect provocations — and fear the U.S. might issue more red lines, deadlines, and step-over lines rather than come to their aid.

Aggressors are not sure whether Hillary Clinton, if elected, will govern more like a traditional Democratic president committed to leading the Western alliance. And if Donald Trump were to be elected, no aggressor would know exactly why, when, or how he might strike back at them.

Given those uncertainties, it may seem wise in the waning months of 2016 for aggressors to go for broke against the predictable Obama administration before the game is declared over in 2017.

For that reason, the next few months may prove the most dangerous since World War II.
Read more here.

The Renegade Party

Matthew Burke reports at Politistick that a new political party has been formed on Twitter. It is called the Renegade Party.
The new Twitter account is only following six individuals, which may provide a clue as to who has organized the party.

Besides Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, considered an establishment Republican, the account follows a group who would normally not be in 100 percent agreement on issues, from Tea Party-supported Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse , to more establishment types like 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, American Enterprise Institute’s Arthur Brooks, and General (Ret.) Stanley McChrystal, along with former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, who also ran for the presidency in 2012, and even billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks.

...It’s interesting and more than ironic that the group would use the name “Renegade,” being that on Sunday, Breitbart News, ran a piece entitled, “Bill Kristol Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew,” an opinion piece disparaging Kristol for not joining the Trump Train, a piece that former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro referred to as “garbage.”
Read more here.

Facebook bias? How about Google?

Have you seen this on your Google screen today? It is a drawing of Yuri Kochiyama, who died in 2014 (Thursday would have been her 95th birthday). Who was she and what did she stand for? Matthew Burke reports at Politistick,
On Thursday, Google honored America-hating communist and Muslim supporter of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden, Yuri Kochiyama with a Google “doodle,” on their popular Google search engine site. How evil was she? Here are two quotes from her: “To me, [bin Laden] is in the category of Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Patrice Lumumba, Fidel Castro, all leaders that I admire. They had much in common. Besides being strong leaders who brought consciousness to their people, they all had severe dislike for the US government and those who held power in the US. I think all of them felt the US government and its spokesmen were all arrogant, racist, hypocritical, self-righteous, and power hungry.”

“I thank Islam for bin Laden. America’s greed, aggressiveness, and self-righteous arrogance must be stopped. “
Read more here.


Politico's Nick Gass wrote today,
Hours after EgyptAir Flight 804 disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea en route from Paris to Cairo, officials chose their words carefully, saying they were ruling nothing out in the investigation.

But not Donald Trump, who tweeted Thursday morning that it “[l]ooks like yet another terrorist attack,” remarking upon the flight departing from Paris.

“When will we get tough, smart and vigilant? Great hate and sickness” Trump tweeted.

Well, guess what? Here is the New York Times 27 minutes ago:
CAIRO — An Egyptian jetliner carrying 66 people en route from Paris to Cairo abruptly swerved, vanished from radar and apparently plunged into the Mediterranean early Thursday, shortly before it was scheduled to land. Egypt’s aviation minister suggested terrorism was a more likely cause than technical failure.

Read more:
Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

Dissolving organs

Sarah Malm reports for the Daily Mail,
ISIS has executed 25 people in Mosul, northern Iraq, by lowering them in a vat of nitric acid, according to several local news reports.

The men had been accused of spying on ISIS on behalf of Iraqi government security forces.
According to witnesses, the 25 alleged 'spies' had been tied together with a rope and lowered in a large basin containing nitric acid until their organs dissolved.

Nitric acid is a colourless, yellow or red, fuming liquid with an acrid, suffocating odour which is highly corrosive to all parts of the human body.
It is normally used in manufacturing ammonium nitrate for fertilizer and explosives, organic synthesis, photoengraving, etching steel, and reprocessing spent nuclear fuel.
Read more here.

"Now in Hillary's testicle lock box"

Ed Rendell, former Governor of Pennsylvania, is one of Hillary Clinton's biggest supporters. But he just stepped in it big time, said Rush Limbaugh this morning. He's in trouble. Why? For telling the truth: "There are more ugly women in America than attractive women." He said this because he believes the majority of women, who are not attractive, will take personally and feel insulted by Donald Trump comments about the looks of various women, and therefore would vote for Hillary instead of Trump.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

More chemical weapons attacks in the Syria

At National Review, Jim Geraghty reports,
Chemical-Weapon Warfare Rages in Syria; Everyone Shrugs

You would think this would be a bigger deal, the sort of thing regularly discussed by President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the Republican nominee.

It was midmorning on Sunday May 8 when the rockets began to fall on the abandoned town. At first there was the thud of the shells, followed by black and white smoke and an acrid smell. The police officers deployed in the deserted town later said they began to feel pains in their chests and their airways close up. They called for urgent medical help, and were evacuated to a hospital in the next town.

In interviews two days after the shelling, two police officials who were on the scene during the attack and a physician who treated the victims said the rockets contained chemical weapons, possibly sulfur mustard (so-called mustard gas) or chlorine. A police report obtained by TIME says that rockets fired by Islamic State militants on May 8 landed in Bashir, just south of the city of Kirkuk, releasing toxic gasses. The report also lists the names of 46 people wounded in the attack.

“Yeah, yeah, there goes Jim again, ranting about chemical weapons again.”

Depending on which list you use, since 2012 there have been 60 alleged chemical-weapons attacks in Syria; the Syrian-American Medical Society puts the number of confirmed attacks at 161 and another 133 alleged but unverified. The group calculates that nearly 1,500 people have been killed with chemical weapons.

And now we know they’re in the hands of ISIS: They made 600 people sick in Kirkuk in March.

Think back to President Obama’s address to the nation, September 10, 2013:

If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons. As the ban against these weapons erodes, other tyrants will have no reason to think twice about acquiring poison gas, and using them. Over time, our troops would again face the prospect of chemical warfare on the battlefield. And it could be easier for terrorist organizations to obtain these weapons, and to use them to attack civilians.

Hey, the man may not have done anything about it, but he was prescient!

The most astounding fact about the Universe

Ethan Siegel asks us to consider at, what is the most astounding thing about the universe.
there is one fact that stands out as the most astounding. The entire Universe,

on all scales,
in all places,
and at all times,
obeys the same fundamental laws of nature. This is the most remarkable thing of all. Imagine what things would be like if this weren’t true. Imagine an existence where nature behaves randomly and unpredictably, where gravity turns on-and-off on a whim, where the Sun could simply stop burning its fuel for no apparent reason, where the atoms that form you could spontaneously cease to hold together.
Image credit: NASA, ESA, the ACS Science Team and N. Benitez et al.

The core of the Tarantula Nebula, as revealed for the first time by Hubble back in 2009. Image credit: NASA, ESA, and F. Paresce (INAF-IASF, Bologna, Italy), R. O’Connell (University of Virginia, Charlottesville), and the Wide Field Camera 3 Science Oversight Committee.

When you put it all together, it means the most astounding fact about the Universe is this: that it exists in such a way that it can be understood at all.
Read more here.
h/t American Digest

When a reporter does his job

Will this help you to decide to vote for Trump?

Donald Trump has released a list of suggested names he would consider appointing to fill the Supreme Court vacancy. You can read a paragraph about each of them here. Ann Althouse writes,
Saying the reaction was "mixed," the Times quotes Nan Aron (president of the liberal Alliance for Justice Action Council), who found these people "dangerous" — "some of the most extreme conservatives on the federal bench today" — and Ed Whelan ("a prominent conservative legal commentator") who said it was "a good list of some of the outstanding judges who give ample sign of being faithful to the Constitution." Actually, that sounds like an unmixed reaction: It sounds like the reaction that the potential nominees all seem to be conservative.

A commenter named Quizbowla at Ann's blog added,
Some notes on the 11: Only one attended Harvard or Yale (Yalie Steven Colloton), nine clerked at the federal level (Gruender and Hardiman did not), three former law profs, two (Hardiman and Sykes) have experience as a trial judge, two (Colloton and Gruender) former US attorneys. Of the nine federal clerks, six made it to the Supreme Court. Three (Eid, Lee, Stras) clerked for Thomas, and one each clerked for Rehnquist (Colloton), Kennedy (Kethledge), and Scalia (Larsen).

Geographically, this list is a shot against the bi-coastal dominance of the current Court. One Yale graduate, one Georgetown graduate and one Duke graduate, with the rest from decidedly "flyover" country. (Stras attended U Kansas law school!) This is a "freshwater" list.

Finally, almost half (5 of 11) would come directly from a state supreme court. The last SCOTUS justice to come directly from a state supreme court was Bill Brennan (NJ) in '56. O'Connor came from AZ's intermediate appellate court.

Commenter Madison Man noted that none the 11 are Harvard grads:
Steven Colloton: Yale Law.
Raymond Gruender: Wash U St. Louis
Thomas Hardiman: Georgetown
William Pryor: Tulane
Diane Sykes: Marquette
Raymond Kethledge: Wayne State/U. Michigan
Allison H. Eid: U. Chicago
Joan Larsen: Northwestern
Thomas Lee: Chicago
David Stras: Kansas
Don Willett: Duke

Commenter EDH notes,
But Trump isn't promising. He's just saying these are people "he would consider as potential replacements for Justice Scalia."

Interesting how Trump limited this short list to only replacing Scalia.

Trump can address any center-left backlash by saying these are the nominees he's considering to replace Scalia's "conservative seat" on the SCOTUS, giving him some wiggle room if criticism mounts about limiting himself to naming one of these to replace, for example, RBG's "liberal seat."

Commenter Bay Area Guy adds,
Good move by Trump. Without googling, I can opine that Colloton, Pryor, & Sykes are excellent judges (meaning conservative in the same manner than Scalia was).

So, if the remaining judges are of the same ilk, Trump, on the merits, has provided convincing evidence to the #NeverVoteTrump crowd, that he is superior to Hillary on this critical issue.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Plain old pot has lost its edge

Sarah Maslin Nir reports in the New York Times that some marijuana users are chasing bigger highs, called "dabbing."
On a recent bright afternoon, two teenage boys in boat shoes and shorts strolled up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan in a crowd of passers-by. At 56th Street they paused as one pulled an electronic pipe out of his pocket and held it to his friend’s lips. Inside was a potent and little-studied drug made from distilled marijuana; they were emboldened, they said, by the fact that the gooey wax hardly has a smell, and is so novel in New York that, even if discovered, parents, teachers or even the authorities hardly seem to know what it is.

As throngs walked by, the boys stood in front of the diamond-filled windows of Harry Winston, getting high.

The practice of consuming marijuana extract — a yellow, waxy substance that can contain high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the chemical in unprocessed marijuana that produces a high — appears to have risen rapidly in New York City over the past few years, according to federal law enforcement officials as well as people who use and sell the drug. Its rise crosses social lines, from experimenting teenagers to workers on Wall Street. And it is driven by many factors, including the Eastward-trickling effects of a much more permissive marijuana culture in the West, where it is now dispensed legally in some states.

marijuana extract photo by Sam Hodgson of the New York Times

...Federal law enforcement officials, however, say the drug, also known as shatter, butter and honey, is now on their radar. “We monitor any type of new twist on drug use in order to warn the public of its danger,” James J. Hunt, special agent in charge of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York division, said in an email. Referring to the marijuana extract, he said, “Not only is the method of production explosive, but the use has serious physical and psychological side effects.”

Underscoring the drug’s rise is a profound cultural shift: As social mores regarding marijuana have loosened, there is a sense among some that dabbing, as the practice of using the extract is popularly known, titillates because plain old pot has lost its edge.

“A lot of it is, we’re doing it in disguise,” said one of the teenagers on Fifth Avenue, both students at the Masters School, a private boarding school in Dobbs Ferry, New York. The two asked that their names not be used because they did not want get in trouble with the police or school administrators. The advent of vaporizers and the smaller “vape pen,” a device similar to an e-cigarette, users say, is also increasing the popularity of dabbing. Just squeeze the extract into a chamber inside the pen, one teenager said, and inhale. “And we can do it so freely,” he said.

His classmate says the appeal is the ferocity of the high. Users can sometimes pass out after inhaling, and the stupefying effects can last for hours, and border on the hallucinatory. Marijuana, in its traditional plant form, has a THC concentration of about 20 percent, according to information distributed by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The wax used for dabbing can have a concentration of up to 80 percent.

The extract is typically made by pouring a solvent over marijuana plants to extract the THC, then letting the solvent evaporate. The waxy substance that remains, and its variants, now make up a booming sector of the marijuana economy, according to the ArcView Group, a company that studies and invests in the cannabis industry.

There has been little research on marijuana concentrates and whether they affect the body differently than other forms of marijuana. But what is known is cause for concern, according to Emily Feinstein, the director of health law and policy for the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. “There is some evidence to suggest that the outcomes, like the effects, may be supercharged,” Ms. Feinstein said in an email. “Side effects can include: a rapid heartbeat, blackouts, psychosis, paranoia and hallucinations that cause people to end up in psychiatric facilities.”

In New York, users say there is a heightened appeal: the ease of evasion. Videos are traded among teenagers that show off brazen dabbing in public, in the bleachers at high school sports games, or even in school.

One user, a 27-year-old man who lives in Midwood, drew a parallel with the technological advances that have shrunk computers into palm-size smartphones and as driving the fad for a smaller, more powerful punch. “Back in the day, people had to find a way to smoke weed, to roll it into something,” he said, adding that to do so now, in this era of concentrates, seems archaic.

...A man who sells marijuana on Craigslist, who identified himself as Tony Holl, said in an interview that his business had risen dramatically. “I was surprised; once one person asked, then a whole bunch of people asked,” he said. “It’s definitely a trend.”

On a recent afternoon in SoHo, Mr. Holl, who is 40, produced manila envelopes he said he was on his way to deliver. A police officer walked nearby, but Mr. Holl said he was not concerned as he displayed his wares: white paper smeared with brownish wax. He said most people would not recognize it as a drug.

One thing Mr. Holl says he will not do, however, is use his product. The high, he said, is too intense. “That’s the only dangerous thing about it,” he said. “Opportunities can pass you by.”
Read more here.


I am now listening more to NPR than to conservative talk radio. I realized I had heard the commercials so often that I almost had them all memorized. There are just so many of them, and they are too long. NPR just gives two sentence ads that say, "support comes from..." and goes on in those two sentences to list one or two notable things about those businesses. (However, NPR is now in their Spring drive to build more listener financial support, so I am flipping back to conservative talk radio during their membership drive).

I am also reading more centrist blogs, such as Ann Althouse. I realized during this primary season that the mainstream media is not the only place that is biased. The Drudge Report and Breitbart were two internet sites I used to read regularly. I used to prefer Fox News to CNN. No longer. I now view them as similar, while Drudge and Breitbart have been in the tank for Trump, who was not my first choice during the primary season.

It's up to us readers and viewers to realize the biases influencing how news stories are presented by those sources. Glenn Beck is one I still listen to. He stands for the principles inherent in the founding of our country. Today he told us that he is going to a face-to-face meeting with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg tomorrow. It was revealed recently that Facebook's "trending" stories are not always based on computer algorythms, as they are purported to be. Stories of interest to conservative readers often do not make that list. But Beck recognizes Facebook's rights as a private business. They should be free to run their business any way they want, and they must be doing something right, because they have over one billion users! If businesses make the wrong choices, they should eventually lose customer support. Beck just wants to "look Zuckerberg in the eyes" and see what he has to say about the allegations of bias.

Where do I go to find news stories I post on this blog? That's changing, too. Notice that in my last two posts I have quoted from New York Times stories three times. That used to be anathema. For years Rush Limbaugh has been showing us how the media is biased against conservatives, especially. places like the New York Times and CNN. That remains one of Rush's strengths, and I still tune him in for brief moments during the day. Oh, and by the way, I am using Facebook more than I ever have. I am finding stories there every day that are worth discussing here on this blog.

Lifestyle choices: becoming drug free, or staying unemployed!

Jackie Calmes reports in the New York Times,
All over the country, employers say they see a disturbing downside of tighter labor markets as they try to rebuild from the worst recession since the Depression: They are struggling to find workers who can pass a pre-employment drug test.

I know that is true here in Colorado, and I think it is due to the legalization of marijuana. Marijuana can stay in ones blood stream several weeks. One can't just smoke or eat some marijuana and wait a couple days before applying for a job. The test will be positive for marijuana. Drug users know that, and many just skip applying at places that require drug testing, or skip going to the drug-testing place.

Calmes continues,
That hurdle partly stems from the growing ubiquity of drug testing, at corporations with big human resources departments, in industries like trucking where testing is mandated by federal law for safety reasons, and increasingly at smaller companies.

But data suggest employers’ difficulties also reflect an increase in the use of drugs, especially marijuana — employers’ main gripe — and also heroin and other opioid drugs much in the news.

Another New York Times article from January pointed out that
Deaths from overdoses are
reaching levels similar to the H.I.V. epidemic at its peak. ...The number of these deaths reached a new peak in 2014: 47,055 people, or the equivalent of about 125 Americans every day.

Calmes adds,
In Colorado, “to find a roofer or a painter that can pass a drug test is unheard-of,” said Jesse Russow, owner of Avalanche Roofing & Exteriors, in Colorado Springs. That was true even before Colorado, like a few other states, legalized recreational use of marijuana.

In a sector where employers like himself tend to rely on Latino workers, Mr. Russow tried to diversify three years ago by recruiting white workers, vetting about 80 people. But, he said, “As soon as I say ‘criminal background check,’ ‘drug test,’ they’re out the door.”

Testing dates to the Reagan administration. The 1988 Drug-Free Workplace Act required most employers with federal contracts or grants to test workers. In 1991, Congress responded to a deadly 1987 train crash in which two operators tested positive for marijuana by requiring testing for all “safety sensitive” jobs regulated by the Transportation Department. Those laws became the model for other employers. Some states give businesses a break on workers’ compensation insurance if they are certified as drug-free.
Read more here.