Saturday, October 31, 2015

Don't forget this fact about Hillary



h/t Andrea Shea King

Is the GOP the Party of Democrat Lite?

Former Congressman Tom Tancredo, whom you may remember was a GOP candidate for president in 2008, has written a piece in Breitbart, announcing that he is quitting the Republican Party.
In a panel discussion at the University of Colorado after the recent Republican debate, I was asked by a student why she should be a Republican. The question forced me to ask myself the same thing.

I gave the young woman the standard talking points–that Republicans believe in smaller government, individual rights, fiscal responsibility, and free enterprise. But as I drove home, her question–and my inability to respond with any level of real conviction–got me thinking: Does the Republican Party leadership fight for these values and principles today?

After much thought, I reluctantly concluded that the answer is “no.” The proudly socialist Democrats are full of passionate intensity, while the Republican leadership is full of pathetic excuses. After this week’s House GOP “budget deal,” which betrays nearly every promise made to grassroots conservatives since 2010, I have decided it is time to end my affiliation with the Republican Party.

This decision has been incubating over the past 17 years, years of watching the downward spiral of the Party of Lincoln and Reagan into the Party of Democrat Lite.

...What I will do instead is join the largest political group in the nation, unaffiliated Independents. In Colorado, they outnumber both “major” political parties.

The next day I will begin working my tail off for the next twelve months to organize Independents to help elect Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as President of the United States. Cruz is the only candidate who both understands the left’s agenda and has demonstrated the courage to fight for our liberties, our sovereignty, and the survival of constitutional government.
Read more here.

Will ISIS get a nuclear weapon from Pakistan?

India is concerned that Islamic State militants (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) could get their hands on a nuclear weapon from its regional foe and fellow nuclear power Pakistan.

Hatf IX (NASR) missile being fired during a test at an undisclosed location in Pakistan (Reuters / Pakistan Military Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) via Reuters TV / Handout) / Reuters
Read more here.

What is each candidate's record?


Conservative Review has published a very informative guide to the 2015 presidential candidates, rating them as good, bad, or mixed on the most important issues. Ted Cruz comes out way up on top. You can find the guide here. All you have to do is click on a candidate's photo to find out in detail why Conservative Review's staff ranked the candidate the way they did on each issue.

h/t JB Wisotski

Don't try to tell Ted Cruz that he hasn't won any victories!



h/t Curt Dale and Randy Corporon

Halloween costume for which candidate?

Can you guess which presidential candidate this cute little guy is for Halloween?

h/t Andrea Shea King

Former staffer for both Clinton and Gore was in charge of CNBC debate team


The PC Graveyard writes,
Well, well well. Imagine that. Brian Steel, senior vice president of communications at CNBC. He was the executive on hand. He is a former Clinton White House staffer, who held three positions under Bill Clinton. He was a domestic policy adviser to Vice President Al Gore, he served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Policy Development and associate director of the department’s Office of Public Affairs. Isn’t that a coinkidink? Hey!!! I just realized, Bill Clinton’s wife is running for president isn’t she?

So a former staffer for Hillary Clinton’s husband was in charge of a debate in which moderators asked questions like “Aren’t you running a comic campaign, Donald Trump?” and “Can you do math, Ben Carson?” and …well, you get the idea. Steel said that he was in charge of planning the event and revving up publicity for the event. Wouldn’t choosing the moderators be part of the planning of the event? That might explain why a debate on the economy didn’t pick Jim Cramer or Rick Santelli to be the main moderators, since they are the biggest stars with the most knowledge of the subject at hand.

...For his part, Steel claims the questions weren’t improper, just tough. The last laugh could be on him. NBC can’t afford not to have any republican candidates appear on their shows, especially since they have three stations. They may be forced to sacrifice him and keep the three moderators out of future debates.
Read more here.

h/t Clarice Feldman

Happy Halloween (and leave the witches alone)

Seth Godin writes,
Witch hunts make no sense.

They are based on a fallacy: "I am irrationally afraid and persecuting this innocent person will make me feel better."

Which is expressed by those in power as: "There's a good reason I'm afraid and punishing this person will make that reason go away."

Hunting witches never makes things better. Partly because there are no witches.

But mostly because it's really unlikely that we're afraid for a good reason (our fear is just about always irrational). And of course, our irrational fear has nothing to do with the person or the group we're using a scapegoat.

So much more useful and productive to say, "I'm afraid," and leave it at that.

In case you missed the Democrat debate

Friday, October 30, 2015

Charlie, you seem upset!

An Uber for the trucking industry?

Walter Russell Meade writes at The American Interest about how technology is changing the trucking industry.
The wave of creative destruction unleashed by twenty-first century information technology has left no industry untouched. The latest beneficiary—or victim, depending on your perspective—is the trucking industry. The Wall Street Journal reports on a handful of Silicon Valley backed startups looking to cut costs in the industry by reducing the need for intermediaries between truckers and customers.

...Teamsters and the big trucking companies will likely try to use their political clout to stop change in its tracks, and will cite everything from safety to fairness—as taxi medallion fleets have done against Uber, as teacher unions have done against charter schools, and so on. There will be some truth to some of these claims—no changes come without a cost. But what will really be driving their ire isn’t the general good of the public, but the mortal threat to the business models on which they depend. There is nothing wrong with that moral point of view — it’s only natural that people who are heavily invested in one way of doing business should organize to protect their way of life. In a democracy, citizens have every right to do this.

...Of course, the new trucking economy—if in fact Silicon Valley succeeds in making one—won’t be the end of the story. Next up: self driving trucks…
Read more here.

Unfounded



Count his guy has a climate change skeptic. Eric Worrall reports at Watts Up With That,
Putin’s scepticism dates from the early 2000s, when his staff “did very, very extensive work trying to understand all sides of the climate debate”, said Andrey Illarionov, Putin’s senior economic adviser at the time and now a senior fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington.

“We found that, while climate change does exist, it is cyclical, and the anthropogenic role is very limited,” he said. “It became clear that the climate is a complicated system and that, so far, the evidence presented for the need to ‘fight’ global warming was rather unfounded.”
Read more here.

The tail is wagging the dog

Vincent DeVita and Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn write at Aeon,
That more people than necessary continue to die from cancer has nothing to do with ‘the failed war on cancer’ – a familiar refrain in the press – or a lack of scientific tools, which have begun to accumulate at a breathtaking pace. Rather, obstacles take the form of not using the tools we already have to cure more; a reluctance to drop outdated beliefs; bureaucratic battles among physicians and medical groups; and outdated regulation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) whose policies hinder the innovations wrought by cancer drug‑development in recent years. These issues are well‑known to doctors and researchers, but many are reluctant to talk about them overtly for fear that they could damage their colleagues or their chances of getting a grant or drug application approved.

...On 23 December 1971, in front of a throng of journalists, a jubilant President Richard Nixon signed the National Cancer Act, launching the war on cancer – an unprecedented $100 million federal research effort. Today more than 40 years have passed, and the country has spent more than $100 billion on the war on cancer. I have now seen that war from every possible angle: as a researcher, clinician and the longest-serving director at the NCI; as physician‑in‑chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC); as director of Yale University’s Cancer Center; as president of the American Cancer Society (ACS); and, most recently, as a patient myself.

...Childhood leukemia is now almost completely curable. Hodgkin’s disease and several types of advanced lymphomas are almost completely curable. Mortality from colon cancer has dropped by 40 per cent in the past two decades. Mortality from breast cancer has dropped by about 25 per cent; for prostate cancer, by 68 per cent.

So much of the mortality declines come from refinement of old technology: mutilating surgeries, such as the radical mastectomy, have given way to more refined ones that still get the job done; radiotherapy equipment has become more refined, allowing radiotherapy to be delivered to the tumour without killing the normal tissue surrounding it; drugs have been developed to prevent nausea and vomiting, the bane of the existence of chemotherapists, so people can tolerate drug treatment.

And the best is yet to come. We have the critical mass of usable knowledge to get us the rest of the way, to bring about the end of cancer as a major public health issue in the next decade.

Part of the reason for the remarkable progress is a series of three paradigm shifts in our thinking about cancer. The first was the recognition that combination chemotherapy could cure advanced cancer. That led to the decline in mortality of the leukemias and the lymphomas in which the original work was done. And it gave birth to the use of adjuvant chemotherapy – cancer drugs paired with surgery and/or radiotherapy – that led to the decline in mortality of common cancers such as those of the breast and the colon.

The second paradigm shift resulted from research that validated targeted therapy – drugs developed for and aimed at specific molecular lesions that characterise certain cancers. This kind of targeted therapy could convert a previously fatal leukemia into a chronic disease that did not reduce the patient’s lifespan. This finding is now being applied to common tumours such as lung cancer and melanoma.

The third paradigm shift was in understanding how we could unlock the immune system. Now immunotherapy – turning the patients’ immune defences against cancer – can work in a majority of patients. Though recent, this finding has already had a major impact on patients with advanced melanoma, formerly a tumour highly resistant to treatment, and very advanced leukemias and lymphomas and even the difficult‑to-treat lung cancers.

A cancer cell starts as a perfectly normal adult cell packed tightly, shoulder to shoulder, with other similar cells. They can talk to each other by communicating through their contact points, like pressing a buzzer on an intercom. Depending on which organ the cells are in, the signals generally say: Sit still, do your job, make proteins, excrete waste, but, as much as you might like to, don’t even think about dividing.

But, unbeknown to the soon-to-be cancer cell, some changes have been taking place behind the scenes. The cell genes that suppress unwanted, dangerous growth might have been altered by a mutation or by inheriting defective genes in a way that makes them unable to respond.

These cells aren’t cancerous yet, but they are primed to become cancer cells. These abnormalities can be inherited, as with some familial cancer syndromes, usually apparent from a careful family history. Or the abnormalities can occur because our genes are bombarded with materials that damage them (for example, chemicals in cigarette smoke that cause lung cancer) and bring about structural changes known as mutations (as occur in colon cancer). Or a cancer-causing virus captures the genes that control growth to allow the cell to replicate (as the papilloma virus does to cause cervical cancer).

Even then, cancer might never develop without a second incident – another mutation, or extra copies of the gene, or an abnormality in the controlling element of the gene to cause cancer. With a second incident, the cell receives a steady signal to grow and begins to divide. It continues, all the while looking back over its shoulder, fully expecting a rap on the head from the suppressor gene for disobeying orders. But if that suppressor is broken, the rap doesn’t come.

These are the first two hallmarks of cancer: sustained willy-nilly growth; and a deactivation of the braking system present in normal cells. Then the cancer cell is like a car rolling down a hill – all acceleration and no brakes.

...These are the first four hallmarks of cancer cells: growth, deactivation of the braking system, the loss of the suicide mechanism, and the trickery of the immune system. They might not emerge exactly in that order, and what I’ve described could take place slowly, over months to years, but they are the essential elements that convert a normal cell to a cancer.

...But there’s more: the cancer must spread. Cancer patients, with few exceptions, die because cancer cells metastasise, or develop ‘secondaries’ – deposits of cancer cells in vital organs elsewhere in the body. A breast cancer patient never dies because of the tumour in the breast. She dies when it metastasises, or spreads, to bone and liver or brain. The patient dies from the expanding brain tumours or liver failure. A colon cancer patient rarely dies because of the tumour in his colon. He dies because the cancer cells have populated the liver and cause it to fail.

...So instead of 100 different cancers, each with its own pattern of growth, we have these eight hallmarks typical of all cancers. The importance of each of them varies with the type of cancer. For example, leukemias and lymphomas derive from cells that are normally mobile, so for them activating the EMT programme is less important, because they normally travel in the bloodstream. But with few exceptions, for a cancer to kill its host, it needs all hallmarks.

...These studies hold extraordinary promise, but they are virtually impossible to achieve under the government’s current regulations. Normally, when we test a new treatment, we establish a protocol and hold that constant during the trial to isolate the effect of the treatment. But in these new multi-hallmark trials, we will need to monitor the effects and adjust the approach on the fly – during the trial – to fully use all the information at our disposal. Current regulations make it difficult to get that kind of study approved.

Recently, at a dinner for the FDA Commissioner, I sat next to an outstanding clinical investigator who works with the exciting new drugs recently available for advanced melanoma. For the first time in my long career, we are seeing remissions that are likely cures of this ferocious disease. I asked my dinner companion how he was affected by all the regulations that have been piled on the FDA and the NCI. He said: ‘Vince, if they would leave me alone, I could cure so many more patients.’

...Not only is there today a very significant component in private industry, but hundreds of millions of dollars of support for cancer research now exists in the US Defense Department, the US Centers for Disease Control, and other agencies.

...the centres are tightly overregulated by both the NCI and the FDA. Combination anti-hallmark therapy? Forget it. It’s virtually impossible under the constraints we face today. The FDA and the NCI should delegate all authority for early clinical trials (phases I and II) to cancer centres. Modern approaches to developing clinical trials require flexibility and the ability to adjust protocols on the run. Each centre deserves the right to have the equivalent of its own Society of Jabbering Idiots. Most important is the fact that far more expertise exists at cancer centres than at the NCI and the FDA combined. Today we have the tail wagging the dog. And as a result, we are depriving cancer patients of what they – and their families – want most. A chance. We are losing too many people who should not be lost.

...We are so close to ending the death threat of cancer. We have the science. We just need to put the final pieces in place. But forward movement requires that some people relinquish their positions of power, and power players can be entrenched.
Read more here.

What is triggering your allergies?

Brian Handwerk reports at Smithsonian Magazine,
Peanuts. Bees. Pets. Trees. For most people, these things are harmless parts of everyday life. But for allergy sufferers, plenty of seemingly innocuous items can be unbearably irritating and even lethal. Now scientists have uncovered a possible molecular reason why humans evolved to have allergies, and it could lead to new ways to treat the troublesome condition.

Allergies are immune reactions gone wrong that can cause problems from upset stomachs and asthma attacks to deadly anaphylactic shock. While we've gotten pretty good at understanding what triggers allergies and how to mitigate them, researchers have been unsure why we even have allergies in the first place.

A new computer-powered analysis of the proteins involved in allergic responses supports the theory that a natural immune response that evolved to fight parasites is being misdirected in allergy sufferers against otherwise harmless triggers.

Humans have likely cohabitated with parasitic worms for our entire evolutionary history. But during recent decades, such parasites have largely disappeared in parts of the developed world, while allergy rates have risen. The "hygiene" hypothesis, now several decades old, suggests that with no parasites to fight, the immune system doesn't know when to quit and ends up targeting allergens.
Read more here.

Compared with the costs of crime, prison is a bargain.

Excerpts from Heather Mac Donald's testimony before Congress on criminal justice and the deincarceration movement:
Prison remains a lifetime achievement award for persistence in criminal offending. Drug enforcement is not the driving factor in the prison system, violent crime is. Even during the most rapid period of prison growth from 1980 to 1990, increased sentences for violent crime played a larger role than drug sentences in the incarceration build up. Since 1999, violent offenders have accounted for all of the increase in the national prison census.

Today, only 16 percent of state prisoners are serving time for drug offenses—nearly all of them for trafficking. Drug possession accounts for only 3.6 percent of state prisoners. Drug offenders make up a larger portion of the federal prison caseload—about 50 percent—but only 13 percent of the nation’s prisoners are under federal control. In 2014, less than 1 percent of sentenced drug offenders in federal court were convicted of simple drug possession; the rest were convicted of trafficking. The size of America’s prison population is a function of our violent crime rate. The U.S. homicide rate is seven times higher than the combined rate of 21 Western nations plus Japan, according to a 2011 study by researchers of the Harvard School of Public Health and UCLA School of Public Health.

The most dangerous misconception about our criminal justice system is that it is pervaded by racial bias. For decades, criminologists have tried to find evidence proving that the overrepresentation of blacks in prison is due to systemic racial inequity. That effort has always come up short. In fact, racial differences in offending account for the disproportionate representation of blacks in prison. A 1994 Justice Department survey of felony cases from the country’s 75 largest urban areas found that blacks actually had a lower chance of prosecution following a felony than whites. Following conviction, blacks were more likely to be sentenced to prison, however, due to their more extensive criminal histories and the gravity of their current offense.

...Incarceration is not destroying the black family. Family breakdown is in fact the country’s most serious social problem, and it is most acute in black communities. But the black marriage rate was collapsing long before incarceration started rising at the end of the 1970s, as my colleague Kay Hymowitz has shown. Indeed, the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan issued his prescient call for attention to black out-of-wedlock child-rearing in 1965, just as that era’s deincarceration and decriminalization movement was gaining speed.

It is crime, not incarceration, that squelches freedom and enterprise in urban areas. And there have been no more successful government programs for liberating inner-city residents from fear and disorder than proactive policing and the incapacitation of criminals.

Compared with the costs of crime, prison is a bargain. The federal system spends about $6 billion on incarceration; the state system spent $37 billion in 2010 on institutional corrections. The economic, social, and psychological costs of uncontrolled crime and drug trafficking dwarf such outlays. And prison spending is a minute fraction of the $1.3 trillion in taxpayer dollars devoted to means-tested federal welfare programs, as Senator Sessions has documented.

Violent crime is currently shooting up again in cities across the country. Police officers are backing away from proactive enforcement in response to the yearlong campaign that holds that police are the greatest threat facing young black men today. Officers encounter increasing hostility and resistance when they make a lawful arrest. With pedestrian stops, criminal summons, and arrests falling precipitously in urban areas, criminals are becoming emboldened. While I do not think that the current crime increase is a result of previous changes in federal sentencing policy, it behooves the government to tread cautiously in making further changes. However, I unequivocally support the “productive activities” component of Section 202 of the Act, to the extent that it aims to engage all prisoners in work.

In closing, let me say that the committee would provide an enormous public service if it could rebut the myth that the criminal justice system is racist. Thank you for your attention.

Honoring those who have died for us



h/t Bird Dog

RNC pulls out of NBC debate

Ben Kamisar and Jonathan Easley report at The Hill,
The Republican National Committee on Friday pulled out of a planned Feb. 26 debate with NBC News amidst a revolt by candidates after Wednesday’s CNBC debate.

"While debates are meant to include tough questions and contrast candidates’ visions and policies for the future of America, CNBC’s moderators engaged in a series of 'gotcha' questions, petty and mean-spirited in tone, and designed to embarrass our candidates," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus wrote in a letter to NBC News

Chairman Andrew Lack.

Since CNBC is an NBC Universal property, "We are suspending the partnership with NBC News” for its Feb. 26 debate.
Read more here.

Waiting to be appreciated

Peggy Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal,
...It was said of Scott Walker that the great question was whether he had the heft and ability to go national. The same should have been asked of Jeb. He had never been a national candidate, only a governor. Reporters thought he was national because he was part of a national family.

He was playing from an old playbook—he means to show people his heart, hopes to run joyously. But it’s 2015, we’re in crisis; they don’t care about your heart and joy, they care about your brains, guts and toughness. The expectations he faced were unrealistically high. He was painted as the front-runner. Reporters thought with his record, and a brother and father as president, he must be the front-runner, the kind of guy the GOP would fall in line for. But there’s no falling in line this year. He spent his first months staking out his position not as a creative, original chief executive of a major state—which he was—but as a pol raising shock-and-awe money and giving listless, unfocused interviews in which he slouched and shrugged. There was a sense he was waiting to be appreciated.

I speak of his candidacy in the past tense, which is rude though I don’t mean it rudely. It’s just hard to see how this can work. By hard I mean, for me, impossible.

November 16 tax deadline looms for Clinton Foundation

Ken Silverstein reports at Byline,
The Clinton Foundation has until November 16 to amend more than ten years’ worth of state, federal and foreign filings, but it’s going to be virtually impossible to do so without acknowledging that it has engaged in massive accounting fraud since its inception.

According to Charles Ortel, a financial whistleblower, it will be difficult if not impossible for the foundation to amend its financial returns without acknowledging accounting fraud and admitting that it generated substantial private gain for directors, insiders and Clinton cronies, all of which is against the law under an IRS rule called inurement.

...A New York Post story about the development noted that in 2013 the family’s foundation “took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in…but spent just $9 million on direct aid.”

...Last April, Clinton Foundation acting CEO Maura Pally acknowledged “mistakes” in its tax filings and promised they would be corrected by November 16.

The problem, Ortel says, is that filing correct returns is impossible for the Clinton Foundation without admitting to criminal felonies. “The foundation has never filed a legitimate, independently certified and complete audit of their financial statements since it was founded, as is required under state, federal and foreign law” he told me during one of multiple phone conversations. “The IRS has let them get away with serious fraud.”

...Note here that as board members and trustees, Bill, Hillary (from 2013 to early 2015) and Chelsea are legally accountable for any foundation misconduct.

The Clinton Foundation was initially authorized by the IRS to act as a library and research center about Bill Clinton’s presidency. It expanded its purposes and began raising billions of dollars without asking the IRS for permission to do so. That’s illegal.

“Using a charity that exploits victims of AIDS for your personal gain and advancement puts you in the lower circles of hell, but New York and the IRS haven’t done anything to stop them,” Ortel said.
Read more here.

Regrettably, there is no constitutional “procedure for dealing with nuts.”

Alex Thompson writes in Politico,
Political taboos, campaign dealbreakers and electoral glass ceilings are crumbling. Members of Congress are openly gay and bisexual, there’s a black man in the White House, and a woman may be next. Voters have accepted all sorts of behavioral warts and missteps in their political candidates, too. DUIs? A mistake of their youth. Draft dodgers? There’s a long list. Womanizers? A much longer list. Illegal drugs? In just a few short elections, we’ve gone from a president who “didn’t inhale” to one who openly admits using cocaine in his youth.

Yet one large taboo remains stubbornly fixed—mental illness. Sure, it’s part of the conversation, in that pundits these days can, and do, speculate casually about whether Donald Trump has narcissistic personality disorder, Joe Biden has slid into depression, Hillary Clinton is clinically paranoid or Jeb Bush will be undone by a Freudian sibling tangle. But here’s the really sick thing: For a politician to admit to seeing a psychiatrist would likely be far more politically damaging than any of the possible symptoms of actual mental illness.

For a president or a candidate, it’s the “kiss of death,” says Burton Lee, George H.W. Bush’s presidential physician. It would “create a crisis of confidence” in the country, says David Axelrod, former senior adviser to President Barack Obama. “I’d like to believe I’m wrong,” he adds, but a commander in chief who disclosed a mental illness would face an almost insurmountable political problem: “Every time he said a cross word or expressed frustration, people would say, ‘He’s having one of those days.’” Instead, Axelrod wryly notes, “We just watch their hair turn gray.”

More than 40 years have passed since Thomas Eagleton, the 1972 Democratic vice presidential candidate, withdrew from the race after revealing that he had been hospitalized for depression. Since that political firestorm, the issue has remained firmly off-limits: No Democratic or Republican nominee running for president or vice president has disclosed mental illness or treatment for it ever since—to do so would be politically incurable. And as recently as the last election cycle, congressional and state-level campaigns were digging up past psychiatric treatment to bludgeon their opponents.

...Nixon and John F. Kennedy clandestinely filled their medicine cabinets with psychotropic drugs, recently uncovered documents reveal. In fact, Kennedy aide and historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. suggested in his journals that several modern presidents were mentally unbalanced; he recorded top aides arguing whether President Lyndon Johnson was clinically paranoid or a manic-depressive, and fretted that there was no constitutional “procedure for dealing with nuts.”

...Which raises the question: When roughly a fifth of American adults use medication and millions go to talk therapy for their mental health, why shouldn’t the people governing the country be able to as well?

...In the White House, Axelrod says, “The pressures are beyond anything that human beings are designed to handle.”

...Abraham Lincoln was famously melancholy, experiencing periods of such deep depression throughout his lifetime that he contemplated suicide and spent weeks at a time bedridden. The future president even tried the 19th-century version of an antidepressant: “blue mass” pills that, unfortunately for Lincoln, were a poisonous combination of ground mercury, rosewater and honey. (“The opposition researchers of today would have been very eager to discover Lincoln’s propensity for depression,” says presidential historian Michael Beschloss. “If they had, we might have lost perhaps our greatest president.”)
Read more here.

Better to be called an asshole in faux anger than to be hugged asexually in faux desire.


Read more here.

Is Rubio a puppet for Silicon Valley?

One of the low moments in Wednesday debate for Donald Trump was when he was questioned about his relationship with Mark Zuckerberg and the issue of immigration. Trump granted Breitbart News an interview to discuss his immigration views, and to try to recover from his debate gaffe.
BNN: Hundreds of workers at Disney were forced to train their foreign replacements. But while Florida Senator Nelson rallied to their cause, Senator Rubio did not. While Nelson has called for an investigation, Rubio has not. While Nelson has called to reduce H-1Bs, Rubio has demanded more. Senator Rubio has been the top promoter in Congress for expanding the H-1B program even though millions American tech workers are out of jobs. Rubio’s new bill triples H-1Bs and has zero protections for American workers. Advocates for tech workers said Rubio’s bill would “destroy” the U.S. tech workforce. Rubio’s bill is even endorsed by the CEO of Disney. What do you think of Rubio’s bill?

DT: It’s a disaster. It would allow any company in America to replace any worker with cheaper foreign labor. It legalizes job theft. It gives companies the legal right to pass over Americans, displace Americans, or directly replace Americans for good-paying middle class jobs. More than 80 percent of these H-1Bs are paid less than the average wage. Senator Rubio works for the lobbyists, not for Americans. That is why he is receiving more money from Silicon Valley than any other candidate in this race. He is their puppet.

BNN: During the debate, Senator Rubio listed several protections he thought American workers should receive. But the New York Times said Rubio’s bill would does the opposite of what he said, and does not contain a single one of the protections he mentioned. Instead, his bill simply triples the number of H-1B visas given as low-wage substitutes to corporations. Does Rubio have a problem with the truth?

DT: Yes, Senator Rubio is incapable of telling the truth. He should be disqualified for dishonesty alone.

BNN: Do you agree with Senator Rubio that there is a shortage of talented Americans?

DT: Rubio is dead wrong. America produces the best and brightest in the world. It’s time to stand up for own students–many of whom are racked with terrible, terrible debt and facing a disastrous job market. We are graduating two times more students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) than find jobs in those fields every year. We have a surplus of talented Americans and we need them to get jobs first.

BNN: What should happen with the Florida workers who have been replaced?

DT: I am calling TODAY on Disney to hire back every one of the workers they replaced, and I am calling on Rubio to immediately rescind his sponsorship of the I-Squared bill and apologize to every Floridian for endorsing it. I am further calling on Rubio to return the money he has received from Silicon Valley CEOs and to donate the money to a charity helping unemployed Americans whose jobs Rubio has helped to destroy.

Are we now down to four?

Roger L. Simon writes at PJ Media,
The big story — the A-story — on Wednesday night — the actual full blown, clumsily-executed seppuku — was CNBC. The network will never seem the same. Their moderators — Becky Quick, John Harwood, and Carl Quintanilla — were so obviously biased you would have thought it was a parody, if you hadn’t known it was real, a kind of black comic nightmare out of a leftwing theatre of the absurd. Ted Cruz superbly caught the temper of the evening when he called them out, specifying how they had attempted to poleax each of the candidates one-by-one. This turned the already alienated audience completely against the moderators with the candidates abandoning their competition and joining forces as well against the moderators in a red versus blue color war. It was fascinating to watch and quite amusing.

But more than that, the debate revealed something I had thought about before, but never seen so clearly — how bias can affect the brain, almost make it dysfunctional. I assume John Howard is an intelligent man. He writes for the New York Times. (Make of that what you will, but I did write for that newspaper myself once upon a time, so mind your manners.) Nevertheless, Harwood did something extraordinary. He lied about Rubio’s tax plan in the exact same way not once but twice — once at the debate and once about two weeks before the debate. What made it extraordinary was that Harwood had apologized for that same lie the first time on Twitter on October 14 and then lied again Wednesday night as if he didn’t remember his own apology and correction. (The Federalist has the full story with the tweet – Surprise! John Harwood Lied About Rubio’s Tax Plan…)

Cognitive disorder? Quite possibly. I submit that media bias (and the moral narcissism from which it stems) can be so strong that it is akin to a brain disease. It literally renders you stupid or makes you disbelieve what you know to be true. Bias has hallucinogenic properties. Who knew?

...It’s hard to see how Jeb Bush recovers from his self-inflected wound at Wednesday’s CNBC Republican debate in Boulder when he went after Marco Rubio just after the young senator had hit one out of the park. Rubio was defending himself from an editorial in the Sun Sentinel calling on Marco to stop “ripping off” the public and quit the Senate because of his poor attendance record. Rubio responded that John Kerry and Barack Obama had been even more truant from the Senate while running for president and the paper had not only ignored that, but given these men their endorsement. It was an example of liberal media bias at its most obvious. The crowd erupted in its first ovation of the night. Advantage Rubio.

Clueless, Bush jumped in as if nothing had happened, taking the paper’s side and schoolmarmishly doubling down on Marco. He got his head handed to him by Rubio (politely) and the audience. It was so mishandled on Bush’s part, such an obvious case of self-sabotage, it left you wondering whether Jeb really wants to be president. You didn’t have to be a Freudian to think his unconscious had gotten the better of him — well, unconscious mixed with envy mixed with entitlement mixed with who knows. During the break you heard what Ross Perot famously called ”the giant sucking sound,” but this time it was of pledged Bush supporters calling their bundlers.

But that’s just, as we say in H-wood, the B-story. Everyone already knows Jeb Bush’s financial backers have been nervous for some time about his campaign. I think it is effectively over after Wednesday night, as are those of almost all the other candidates but four — Trump, Carson, Rubio and Cruz.
Read more here.

Cultural cow manure for your brain

Call His name; He'll find you in a hurricane



h/t American Digest

All Saints Day

Gerard Vanderleun recalls memories from when he and his girlfriend did Europe for $5 a day:
Once upon a time, when Europe could be had at $5 a day, I found myself hitchhiking on the freezing plains of Spain just outside of Madrid. Car after car swept past me, the winds in their wakes chilling me further. This was very disconcerting since I had with me my fail-safe ride generator, a hot hippie girlfriend (Think a good-looking Janis Joplin.) My ride generator had never failed me before but on this day she was generating zero rides even though the traffic on the road was heavy. Then I noticed two things.

First there seemed to be no trucks on the road. Second, the cars that huffed past us were filled to the gills with whole Spanish families bearing vast bouquets of flowers. And all those Spaniards looked, to the last, very grim.

After a few futile hours, we made our way -- walking -- a few kilometers down the road to a truck stop where, using my pidgin Spanish, the mystery of the ride drought was solved. It seemed that we were trying to get to Barcelona on one of the most holy days of the Spanish year -- All Saints Day, or as we have it here in America, Halloween.

The Spanish tradition on this day is for the whole family to load up the car with flowers and other offerings and haul off to the local graveyard for a visit and picnic with the dearly departed. After that many go off to a traditional performance of Spain's Faustian epic Don Juan Tenario in which the final act takes place in a cemetery. On this holy day in Spain we had almost zero chance of getting a ride anywhere other than the local graveyard. Chastened, we made our way back to Madrid by bus and set out the next day with much better luck.

What remains in my memory from watching the parade of cars on that long-lost Spanish highway is just how dour and serious the Spanish were on their Halloween. They weren't fooling around with death, but taking it at its word. They not only believed in death they also, in their prayers and rituals and their traditional play, believed that what you do in life determines how you will be treated in the afterlife. They had, at bottom, that adamantine belief that is the pearl beyond price of the Catholics. But even if you were to strip away the 2000 years of dogma, these people still had the one thing that more and more Americans lack at the core of their lives: a belief in something greater than themselves, a belief in something greater than man, greater than death.
Read much more here.

The perpetually outraged

Sarah Hoyt gets a kick out of the perpetually outraged. Remember the
University of Virginia rape case. Oh, it turned out to be complete bovine excrement, but the perpetually outraged, now in damage control mode, claimed that while the story itself wasn’t true it outlined a very real problem and was therefore important.

Again, bovine excrement.

If the issue was as widespread as many claim, then why was a false story needed. Why weren’t the perpetually outraged screaming about how fake rape claims make it harder for people to believe the real cases? Where was the outrage at that?

Let’s talk about rape on college campuses. It’s a real problem, right? Well, that’s the allegation, anyways. However, heaven forbid you talk about avoidance tactics for young women. Nope, can’t have that. If you do, it’s victim blaming.

Of course, I fail to see how it’s victim blaming when you advise a woman to avoid drinking too much at parties, or to not walk across the dark, deserted campus alone, but it’s not to tell someone to not pull money out of an ATM in a bad part of town or to not let anyone see how much cash you’re carrying. [To be fair, we should advise young men not to drink too much at parties, either, because pictures and the internet is forever. Is that victim-blaming too? — editorial note, SAH.]

All of those are avoidance tactics, ways to prevent becoming a victim. Women are generally warned about the rape avoidance tactics primarily because they’re far more likely to be victims of rape than men. However, we tell all genders about avoiding criminal threats. Yet only the warnings on rape are apparently wrong. Why is that?

The perpetually outraged can’t see their victories. They can’t see them because they are too busy looking for more enemies. They’re seeking out villains in everything they look at. It’s why they can’t seem to enjoy a work without filtering it through the lens of their outrage. “There aren’t enough minority characters,” or, “the minority lead character is a token,” or, “this movie full of aliens has insufficient diversity”.

Seriously, it leaves us scratching our heads. We can’t comprehend it, because we just can’t win.
Read more here.

Get your $125 sex kit here!

Our old friend Planned Parenthood is back in the news. Here in Colorado there is a recall election on November 3 in one of the state's largest school districts. Three conservatives are presently serving on the board. Those conservatives are in the way of Planned Parenthood, which is aggressively pushing sex ed to younger and younger kids. Jennifer Kerns reports at Life News,
Why is Planned Parenthood interested in a local school board election in the battleground state of Colorado?

That is what parents and voters are asking themselves in Jefferson County, Colo., this week after Planned Parenthood waded into a local recall election aimed at ousting three Republican school board officials in the middle of their terms.

Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado, a non-profit 501(c)4 organization, has sent letters to voters asking them to become involved in the school board recalls by first signing the petition to recall their elected officials, then volunteering for the effort to oust their local school board members.

The Planned Parenthood affiliated organization has also endorsed some of the candidates who are running to replace the current school board members in an announcement titled, “Vote in the Election on November 3rd for Real Sex Ed!”

...the Planned Parenthood group boasts of advancing “Colorado youths’ rights to real sex education and reproductive health care.” The group still opposes the state’s Parental Notification Act passed by the legislature in 2003 that requires parents of school-aged children under the age of 18 must be notified within 48 hours prior to abortion.

So what exactly does Planned Parenthood stand to gain from involvement in a local school board race?

Access, for one thing.

It turns out that Planned Parenthood is selling sex kits to local schools—including schools in the county in question—which Planned Parenthood’s own national website calls “Birth Control Training Kits.”

According to Planned Parenthood’s website, each of the kits contains 10 male condoms, two “female condoms,” one intrauterine contraceptive, one package of oral contraceptives, one “dental dam,” two samples of “water-based lubricants,” “cycle beads” for natural family planning purposes, one “Today” contraceptive sponge, one “syringe” containing a Depo Provera shot, and two vaginal contraceptive spermicidal films.

At least one local official in Jefferson County familiar with the kit reports that it includes a faux “Plan B” pill to familiarize school-aged students with “the morning after” pill.

At $125 per kit per student, it stands to reason that Planned Parenthood may view access to schools not simply as an opportunity to educate, but rather as a lucrative business opportunity.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the population of children enrolled in school is expected to increase 6 percent through the school year 2024-2025—from 49.8 million to nearly 53 million.

In border states and near-border states, the increase is even higher at upwards of 10 percent and 15 percent growth. In Nevada, the increase in population growth of school-aged children is even higher, at 26 percent.

Not a bad business model, if you can get it.

Think it couldn’t happen?

In politics, one needs only to “follow the money” to see why a national pro-abortion organization is so interested in a local school board recall election.

...Perhaps the most important question of all is, if Planned Parenthood succeeds in the battleground state of Colorado, which state’s schoolchildren will they attempt to influence next?
Read more here.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Tonight Show, starring Hugh Hewitt

Tonight I attended a program put on by radio station KNUS. Hugh Hewitt, who has been living in Colorado since August, hosted the show, ala Johnny Carson, of Tonight Show fame. There were three nationally known guests in addition to Hugh: Guy Benson, Katie Pavlich, and Kirsten Powers. Benson said last night's debate had the effect of unifying the GOP candidates, with the exception of John Kasich, in opposition to the horrible interviewers from CNBC. Benson characterized the Democratic candidates as "geriatric has-beens," which may have been an unfortunate choice of words, since it pretty much described tonight's audience. Kirsten Powers was most powerful when speaking about her conversion to Christianity, which she said had perplexed many of her liberal friends, since their religion is Democrat politics.

The second half of the show featured four local talk show hosts. Peter Boyles gave us some insight into alcoholism, which he says is a shame-based genetically predisposed disease, not a behavior, in which the doctor and patient are the same person. Alcoholics learn not to talk about it, and hide in secrets and lies. Peter has been sober for thirty years. He described alcohol as "the gateway drug." Dan Caplis is a handsome young trial attorney who may run for the US Senate seat now held by Michael Bennet. Caplis is very articulate, smooth as silk, an enthusiastic supporter of Marco Rubio. He is an outspoken opponent of Colorado's recreational marijuana legalization. Boyles, the alcoholic and drug addict, is a supporter of the Colorado law, and says that Caplis will be defeated if he runs, because Boyles believes the majority of Colorado voters favor the law.

Boyles is a close friend of former Congressman Tom Tancredo, whom Hewitt believes is killing the Republican party in Colorado.

National Review contempt for Donald Trump

Kevin Williamson continues the National Review pundits hatred of Donald Trump:
...politicians and ex-politicians don’t generally starve to death, and some, such as the Clintons, cash in on their political connections with extraordinary success and rapacity, but political-guy money for the most part isn’t very much like genuine rich-guy money: the hundreds of millions to billions enjoyed by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and the cleverest Wall Street players. That’s one reason for Trump’s political pungency: His wealth and his celebrity constitute the two commodities that the political operators covet most intensely. If you naively believe that Trump’s campaign is somehow independent of the usual political operators, take a look at who is working for him and who has taken his campaign to heart.

...Barack Obama’s model of executiveship — president as celebrity — has proven unproductive, and the answer isn’t a bigger and different kind of celebrity.

...Minus the hypnotic power of celebrity, there would be no Donald Trump presidential campaign. Trump is a real-estate developer with a spotty record and a long history of the worst sort of crony capitalism, but he is famous — terribly famous. What is he famous for? He was transformed from a minor business figure little known outside of New York City into a nationally famous figure because of a tabloid divorce case that revealed him to be a man willing to betray his family in the cruelest and most callous way, and by a series of embarrassing business bankruptcies, most notably that of the hideous Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, the Mount Everest of bad taste. This celebrity he deftly parlayed into a reality-television career. It doesn’t matter why he’s famous, only that he is famous.
Read more here.

I'm a girrrrrl! Mansplaining

Are you familiar with the term "mansplaining?" Hillary Clinton's superpac is using that term today to describe Marco Rubio's attempt to explain to his wife why someone named Sally Mae was taking $1000 out of his account every month.

Here is Wikipedia's attempt to define mansplaining:
Mansplaining is a portmanteau of the words man and explaining, defined as "to explain something to someone, typically a man to woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing."[1][2] Lily Rothman of The Atlantic defines it as "explaining without regard to the fact that the explainee knows more than the explainer, often done by a man to a woman,"[3] and Rebecca Solnit ascribes the phenomenon to a combination of "overconfidence and cluelessness" that some men display.[4]

Zeke Miller reports in Time,
The super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton’s campaign is accusing Florida Sen. Marco Rubio of “mansplaining” in Wednesday night’s debate in a new web vHillaryideo.

The attack from Priorities USA — a step short of calling the surging Republican sexist—stemmed from his comments in which Rubio said he struggled to explain his student loan debt to his wife after they were married.
Read more here.

Ace writes about Hillary,
She hasn't done anything, she hasn't accomplished anything, and she has nothing to her credit, except for four dead Americans and a thick passel of lies.

So all she has is the But I'm a Girrrrrl card.
Read more here.

And she'll play it forever. And ever. And ever.

Only one right answer

Mark Tapscott reports in the Daily Caller,
A Texas 7th grade girl says one of her teachers gave an assignment requiring students say God is a myth or receive a failing grade.

Jordan Wooley, who attends West Memorial Junior High School in the Katy Independent School District, told her school board Tuesday night they were given an assignment asking them to identify whether different statements were facts, opinions or myths. On the statement, “There is a God,” the teacher would only allow students to write myth, or else they’d fail, Wooley said.

“Today I was given an assignment in school that questioned my faith and told me that God was not real. Our teacher had started off saying that the assignment had been giving problems all day. We were asked to take a poll to say whether God is fact, opinion or a myth and she told anyone who said fact or opinion was wrong and God was only a myth,” Wooley told the board, KHOU reports.

Wooley said students who argued were threatened with punishment. Wooley said her teacher asked her to prove God was true so she referenced the Bible and people who died and went to Heaven but came back to tell their stories.

“She told me that both were things that people were doing to get attention,” Wooley told the board. “I know that it wasn’t just me that was affected by it. My friend went home and started crying.”

Wooley said her friend put God as “fact” on the assignment, and the teacher crossed it out several times and told her it was “completely wrong.” A different friend got so upset that she threw everything off of her desk.

“Another child in my class had asked the teacher if we could like try to put what we believe in on the paper, and she said you can if you want to get the problem wrong, which you’ll fail the paper if you do,” Wooley said. “I felt like this was really wrong, and I didn’t feel like it was fair for my faith and my religion to have anything to do with what I’m learning about in school.”

Wooley said she and her parents called the principal, who said she would handle the situation.

The school responded in a statement that the assignment was “unnecessary” and would not be used again and said the teacher is “distraught” over the attention. The school said the assignment was actually not going to be graded and that the teacher never asked students to call God a myth, contrary to the student’s account before the school board.

Hillary lied?

Dick Morris was a top political adviser to Bill Clinton, and met bi-weekly with Hillary Clinton during the Clinton presidency. He writes today that Hillary Clinton's comments to Rachel Maddow about why President Clinton supported the Defense of Marriage Act were an outright lie.
On MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, Hillary Clinton said that it was the threat of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage that led Bill to sign the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

This statement is totally untrue. I was there, and there was never any discussion of a constitutional amendment on the subject.
Read more here.

Who is killing whom?



h/t CH

"I'm a counter-puncher"

Societal suicide?



h/t VD

Hillary lied?

Marco Rubio's recognition of Hillary's lies about Benghazi is causing some in the media to be very perplexed. They had never thought of Hillary as a liar! This morning Marco was on CBS with Charlie Rose, who could not even imagine that Hillary lied about Benghazi!

h/t Rush Limbaugh

Women who like cruel men

Do you consider yourself a submissive woman? Dominant? Somewhere on a scale in between those two? If you are closer to the dominant end of the scale, chances are you still prefer to be with a man
who is the stronger partner, but without a cruel streak. Those kinds of pairs are what we recognize as healthy couples.

Now, the woman with an extremely submissive nature will seek a sadistic male. Counterintuitively, such a girl is not demure or frail. She is often the cocksure, claws-in-your-face, shit-testing bitch because that’s how she screens out normal men in order to find a sadist with whom she will find satisfaction. The way I see it play out in real life is that those kinds of women end up badly; the relationship dynamic is destructive when adult things such as paying bills and raising children come up. Overly submissive women are damaged goods for most men because they will only respect a partner who leads them to a miserable end.

Occasionally, an extreme submissive will marry a submissive man, who defers to her under the misguided notion that her aggressive demeanor means that she want to wear the pants in the relationship. Perversely those submissive men in turn find fulfillment with that kind of a woman, even as as she is perpetually frustrated with him. A couple with a disrespectful wife and a “yes dear” husband could be an example of this.
Read more here.

Is it now going to be Cruz versus Rubio?

Dick Morris believes that in last night's debate, Jeb Bush "cemented his downward fall," and "is now down for the count." Morris continues to criticize Ben Carson: "Carson showed again and again that there's no there there." "He couldn't describe his own programs accurately."

Morris believes Cruz showed himself to be the most brilliant of the candidates, Rubio the most charismatic. Morris further believes that the race will now become one of Cruz versus Rubio, with Cruz representing the evangelicals, Tea Party, and the "straight conservatives," and Rubio attempting to be a bridge between the conservatives and the moderates.

View the Morris video here.

Gender identity issues

Jazz Shaw reports at Hot Air,
In one of many “transgender student” bathroom lawsuits currently clogging the nation’s judicial system, the White House has chimed in with a Friend of the Court brief to come out in firm denial of biology and the will of local communities when it comes to social standards.
photo by Dominic Holden/BuzzFeed News, who reports,
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration filed a groundbreaking legal brief in a federal appeals court on Wednesday evening, supporting a transgender student’s challenge to his school’s policy banning him from using the restroom that corresponds with his gender identity.
Read more here.
Jazz Shaw continues at Hot Air,
The details of the case will come as old hat to anyone who has been following the evolution of such cases in recent years. A young girl was likely encouraged by her parents to believe that she was actually a boy, began going by a new, male name and dressing like a boy as well. She then issued the usual demand we see every time, insisting that she should be able to use the boy’s bathrooms and other gender specific facilities. The school, in an effort to keep things on a some sort of even keel, offered to let her use a single stall, uni-sex bathroom, but that wasn’t good enough for her or her parents. She had to impose her “choice” on everyone else in the school and use the boy’s room contrary to school policy. A federal district court judge (amazingly) refused to intervene and stop the school from enforcing their policy and the case has headed to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Now the Obama administration is wading into the fight on the girl’s behalf. Perhaps they took issue with the fact that this school chose to grapple with reality and identify confused children such as Ms. Grimm as having ‘gender identity issues‘ rather than pretending that they are something they’re not. They also refused to enforce the acceptance of one child’s “rights” at the expense of everyone else in the community. That’s unthinkable in today’s PC culture and the SJW was quickly on the march in support of Grimm’s claim.

Perhaps my memory is getting fuzzy in my declining years, but I thought that the Democrats prided themselves on being the Party of Science and insist that the GOP is the home of the Science Deniers. What ever happened to that? Identifying the gender of a child is not much of a trick unless they unfortunately fall into the roughly .05% of live babies born as hermaphrodites. (I am assured that the PC term is “intersex” now, so take that as you will.) It’s not a question of what you look like or how you dress or cut your hair. It’s not even totally dependent on the physical appearance of your genitals (which can be surgically altered) so much as the fact that it’s coded into your genes. And if you do fall into that tiny percentage where the chromosome structure has its wires crossed, that’s not an alternate lifestyle. It’s a genetic mutation. This is all just science, but apparently the Obama administration is choosing to be selective when it comes to believing in science depending which way the PC winds are blowing at the moment.

Federal agency refuses to comply with Congressional subpeona on climate change

Timothy Cama reports at The Hill,
The federal government’s chief climate research agency is refusing to give House Republicans the detailed information they want on a controversial study on climate change.

Citing confidentiality concerns and the integrity of the scientific process, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said it won’t give Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) the research documents he subpoenaed.

“It was inconvenient for this administration that climate data has clearly showed no warming for the past two decades,” he said in a statement. “The American people have every right to be suspicious when NOAA alters data to get the politically correct results they want and then refuses to reveal how those decisions were made.”

Smith also said NOAA’s assertion of confidentiality is incorrect.

“The agency has yet to identify any legal basis for withholding these documents,” he said, adding that his panel would use “all tools at its disposal” to continue investigating.
Read more here.

Disingenuous horse-pucky

Maybe the best thing you can say about last night’s debate is that the GOP candidates demonstrated they could get through two hours of mostly hostile questioning.

RNC chair Reince Priebus is getting a lot of grief this morning, with people contending he should never have agreed to have CNBC host a debate. Remember, before this cycle, any media entity could announce they were hosting a debate and the candidates decided whether they wanted to show up. This is how we ended up with 20 debates in 2012. The big change with the RNC-set schedule is that MSNBC didn’t get a debate at all. The next one is on Fox Business; after that it’s CNN again, Fox News again, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News/Telemundo -- with National Review participating -- then Fox News again, then CNN again.

...it’s fascinating that Marco Rubio gets a question about his personal finances long after that New York Times story generated scoffing and skepticism, while Hillary Clinton didn’t get a single question about donors to the Clinton Foundation and conveniently timed State Department policy changes.

...Because of this, Ted Cruz won the night when he took a rhetorical flamethrower to the moderators, spelling out the dismissive, DNC-talking-point-style questions they had posed to each candidate. He contrasted it with the comparative softballs the Democrats received from CNN. The audience in the hall agreed and judging from the reaction on Twitter, a lot of viewers at home were applauding, too. It was Cruz’s best moment of his campaign so far.

Besides that fantastic moment, Cruz just seemed to be dramatically better last night: His answers were concise, succinct, and direct; he hit the right emotional notes.

...Marco Rubio had the second-best moment of the night when he declared, “Democrats have their own SuperPAC, it’s called the mainstream media.” Jeb Bush and the CNBC moderators both came after him and there’s little sign they did much damage. What’s fascinating about the incoming fire is that technically he’s running a distant third. The fact that so many people are aiming for him is an indicator that people don’t think he’ll be a distant third for long.

Carly Fiorina was as good as the previous debate. (I like how her glare somehow spurred Harwood to give her a few extra moments at the end.) Her fade in the polls since the last one was one of the stranger phenomena of this cycle. She’s mastered this debate format; now she needs a venue where she gets more time and doesn’t get forgotten about for ten to fifteen minutes at a time. Also, she needs a way to stay in front of the cameras in between debates. “In your heart of hearts, you want to see a debate between Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina.” Yup.

Jeb Bush tried to attack Marco Rubio and I don’t think it really worked for him. Attacking doesn’t seem to be part of Bush’s natural instincts. Explaining policies, maybe, but not attacking. It’s difficult to run for president if you can’t attack a rival effectively, and just about impossible to come from behind if you can’t do that.

...Chris Christie had another speaking-directly-to-the-camera good night; we’ll see if this does much for his numbers in the coming weeks. “We’re seriously talking about fantasy football?” he asked incredulously towards the end of the night. A few moments later, when Harwood interrupted him, he zinged, “Do you want me to answer, or do you want to answer? Even in New Jersey what you’re doing is called rude.”

I wrote the original story on Ben Carson and Mannatech back in January. I thought the question was fair but mangled in its wording. The simplest explanation is that Carson didn’t know that much about the company, certainly didn’t know about the allegations of false advertising, and probably should have done more due diligence. Whether you think this is a deal-breaker for a presidential candidate is up to you, but in the grand course of Carson’s life, not doing enough research on a company paying him for speeches and taping some videos is pretty small compared to, say, separating those conjoined twins.

Having said that, Carson’s claim last night that he has no relationship with the company is disingenuous horse-puckey.
Read more here.

End Times

Ace writes,
Ages are marked by their paranoias and despairs, and we see those paranoias and despairs in the art an age produces. What we dread in earnest we enjoy in fantasy.

After Watergate, there were a series of very paranoid and nihilistic films -- The Parallax View, Capricorn One, The Conversation on the paranoid end; then all the violent ones about a growing nihilism in the world -- Dirty Harry, Death Wish, and so on.

Cultural observers had no problem pointing directly at Watergate (and the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King, Jr.) to explain the paranoia, and nor were they so blind as to not notice the decay and malaise (and rising tide of bloody crime) of the seventies were responsible for the various violent retribution films.

During the Carter years and the first few years of Reagan (bear in mind, movies take a year or year and a half to greenlight, make, and exhibit), there were lots and lots of movies about taking the money and running and pulling heists. Even normal, everyday suburbanites were just stealing stuff (Fun with Dick and Jane, The Thief Who Came to Dinner), due to the economic insecurity of the age and the lingering recessions of the late seventies.

Lot of outlaw movies made then: one about D.B. Cooper, a new burst of Old West movies, this time all about the outlaws.

In the eighties, cultural observers had no problem tracing movies' focus on wealth and excess for the "Age of Greed" they said was a product of Reagan, nor even in the nineties did they fail to notice that a spate of paranoid entertainments -- Murder at 1600, Absolute Power, Wag the Dog -- were all rooted in a very definite cultural consciousness that Bill and Hillary Clinton's co-presidency was a shady affair. You'll no doubt remember the "Arkansas Death List" emails that circulated about.

Since 9/11, we faced a lot of movies about cataclysm and the end of the world. It's easy enough to see that connection.

But the Age of Obama has not produced any uplift, nor any respite from the current preoccupation of people with the End Times. As a non-religious person, I don't mean this literally (though many may), but it is impossible not to note the idea of Apocalypse and Cataclysm is in the air.

Look at the number of zombie films and zombie tv shows -- as obvious a metaphor for decay and rot as can be imagined. Or the still-doing-bonzo-business cataclysm fantasies. Even the latest Man of Steel was about cataclysm.

And now add into that the large number of paranoid, rotten dystopia movies.

If the Age of Obama is so swell, if we're all filled with Hope, why is this age not producing the spate of feel-good, have-fun, get-rich movies the 80s did?

Why are our collective fantasies in the Age of Obama so single-mindedly focused on the idea of dystopia, cultural decay, and ultimately cultural destruction?

Whether liberal cultural critics want to admit it or not -- and they seem very much to not want to admit it, because this is so obvious it's painful, and yet they fail to make this obvious connection -- the Obama years are years of economic want, emotional depression, and spiritual chaos, at least as reflected by entertainments resolutely focusing on the end-times and the wretched dystopias that arise after the End Times, when civilization is dead but just hasn't stopped moving yet.

...This is all very obvious. The people in Hollywood turning out one cataclysm-and-dystopia entertainment after another surely sense this, as do the talentless idiots paid to comment on the culture at fluffy magazines like the Atlantic and New York and the New Yorker; and yet, another aspect of the Age of Obama -- that one must never admit the horrible truth; one must always pretend it away, and give only praise to Dear Leader -- keeps people from stating what is so obvious it's increasingly uncomfortable to remain silent about it.
Read more here.

Jim Geraghty adds,
allow me to offer a giant, glaring counter-example that just happens to be the top-grossing film of 2014:

Somewhere in this gloomy America, American Sniper made $350 million, and nearly another $200 million overseas.

Maybe Americans are hungry for stories about true heroes in a time as challenging as this.
Read more here.

Equalism

PA writes,
The experience of ordinary citizens as well as dissident intellectuals and artists behind the Iron Curtain is relevant to the contemporary Western people’s subjection to a suite of anti-White, anti-man, anti-reality politics known as Equalism. That is a Heartiste-coined term for the ideology based on the belief that human beings and their distinct groups are fungible.
Read more here.

Bolshevists versus Mensheviks

Did you know what Ted Cruz was talking about when he referred to the Democrats as being divided between the Bolshevists and Mensheviks? I didn't. So, two clicks of the mouse brings us the answers:
The Mensheviks (sometimes called Menshevists Russian: меньшевик[1][2]) were a faction of the Russian socialist movement that emerged in 1904 after a dispute in the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party between Vladimir Lenin and Julius Martov, leading to the party splitting into two factions, one being the Mensheviks and the other being the Bolsheviks. The dispute originated at the Second Congress of that party, ostensibly over minor issues of party organization. Martov's supporters, who were in the minority in a crucial vote on the question of party membership, came to be called "Mensheviks", derived from the Russian word меньшинство (men'shinstvo, "minority"), whereas Lenin's adherents were known as "Bolsheviks", from большинство (bol'shinstvo, "majority").[3][4][5][6][7]

The Mensheviks subscribed to an Orthodox Marxist view of social and economic development, believing that socialism could not be achieved in Russia due to its backward economic conditions, and that Russia would first have to experience a bourgeois revolution and go through a capitalist stage of development before socialism was technically possible and before the working class could develop the necessary consciousness for a socialist revolution.[8] Thus, the Mensheviks were opposed to the Bolshevik idea of a Vanguard party and pursuit of socialist revolution in Russia.
Read more here.

And thank you, Ted Cruz, for enabling me to learn something new! Wouldn't that be a nice change in a president?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The extrovert versus the introvert

One of the things I find most interesting about Trump and Carson being at the head of the GOP pack entering tonight's debate is that Trump is an extrovert and Carson is an introvert. It is rare for an introvert to be in politics. I have a substantial introvert side to my personality. Maybe that's why I root for Carson to do well.

Trump's "locker room" speech in Sioux City, Iowa

Donald Trump went to my old home town this week and humorously asked Iowans, "What the Hell Are You People Doing to Me?" He was referring to the latest polling results which show Iowans preferring Carson over Trump. Ace links to Joe Scarborough enjoying watching the video of Trump's speech in Sioux City.

I endured many locker room speeches in Sioux City. My favorite was when at half time all the guys started singing Tennessee Ernie Ford's Sixteen Tons, and then we went back out and kicked our opponent's butt in the second half!

Workout euphoria



Ben Thomas reports in Discover Magazine about certain chemicals our bodies release when we work out.
As we continue to learn more about our bodies’ diverse toolkit of endogenous pain relievers and psychoactive chemicals — many of which are still poorly understood — we gain a better understanding of the ways these systems work. That way, we can get better at turning on a natural high right when we need one, delivered for free by the cutting-edge manufacturing equipment in our own muscles, bones and brains.

Go here to read about Endocannabinoids, Endorphins, Enkephalins, Dopamine, and much more.

h/t Glenn Reynolds

Herpes virus spreading worldwide

Tony Pugh reports at McClatchy DC,
Nearly seven in 10 people under age 50 – more than 3.7 billion teens and adults worldwide – are infected with herpes simplex virus type 1, a highly infectious and incurable disease, the World Health Organization announced Wednesday.

More than 1 billion people are infected with HSV-1 in the Western Pacific region, while Southeast Asia has nearly 1 billion cases, according to WHO’s first global estimates, published Wednesday in an article in the journal PLOS ONE.

More than 700 million people are infected in Africa, nearly 400 million in Europe and 320 million in North and South America.

Known as “oral herpes” and typically spread through kissing, oral sex and the use of shared objects like eating utensils, HSV-1 typically causes cold sores around the mouth. But it can also cause genital herpes, which leads to painful blisters and ulcers in the anal and genital areas.

...the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that 54 percent of Americans carry the virus.

After infection through oral secretions or skin sores, the oral herpes virus settles in nerve tissue at the top of the spine, while genital herpes sets up shop in the base of the spine. Once activated, both move up nerve pathways to the skin’s surface, sometimes without signs or symptoms.
Read more here.

Cruz rips media

Rubio destroys Bush, or rather, Bush destroys himself



Jonathan Last opines in the Weekly Standard,

The Bush hit on Rubio was obviously premeditated, so it wasn’t gaffe or a mistake. It was a revealing measure of his political talent and judgment. Let’s count the ways in which it was strategically ill-conceived and tactically incompetent:
Jeb Bush

1) He attacked Rubio not from a position of strength, but of weakness. “I’m a constituent and you’re not doing your job for me” is the personal complaint of a whiner. He looked like a disgruntled employee, not a leader.

2) He attacked Rubio on grounds of procedure and not substance. However important they might be, no one actually cares about voting absentee rates—the same way they don’t care about filibuster rules or the nuclear option. To think that this was the angle to blow up Rubio is insane.

3) As I said, Bush’s attack was almost certainly a pre-meditated set piece. Yet he didn’t have the political sense to see that Rubio was in a very good frame coming off of an answer where he beat the snot out of the moderators. Bush had no ability to read the scene and understand that it would have been better in that moment not to take the shot. He had a plan, so he robotically stuck to it.

4) On top of all of that, Bush didn’t understand that Rubio’s biggest concern at this point is being slotted as a tool of the establishment. Getting attacked by the establishment guy is the best luck Rubio could wish for. The only thing Bush accomplished is helping Rubio cross over, which will lift him in the polls, which will increase the donor pressure on Bush to drop out.

In sum: Bush’s attack on Rubio was both a tactical and strategic failure. His campaign is cooked.

Future voters give their views on tonight's debate.

Okay, here are the results of my survey of my three kids, who watched tonight's GOP debate with their mom in New Mexico.

First, daughter Sara, who will be twelve-years-old next month and has a great sense of humor. She wanted to comment on Donald Trump. She said his mantra could be summed up, "I have money, but check out my hair!"

Fifteen-year-old Jon wanted to comment first on whom he didn't like: Huckabee and Kasich. He had four candidates he really liked: Rubio, Christie, Cruz and Carson, although he did not like Carson's voice. (More on that subject in a later post).

Fourteen-year-old Greg liked Rubio, because "He's smart." He most disliked Trump, because "He's cocky."

That is the most I could get out of them, and it is their bedtime. They get up at about 5 each morning to make the trip into Santa Fe from their remote location in the mountains east of Santa Fe.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The five genders

Our daughter Sara came home from school the other day laughing about an absurd presentation a guest lecturer made to her sixth grade class. It was about identity issues. Students were asked to stand up and tell classmates if they identified with one or more of five genders. (I'll bet you didn't know there were five genders, did you? Can you name them? There will be a test tomorrow.)

Sara's mom Colleen, who completed a career as a school psychologist back in the day when there were only two genders, was amazed and perplexed. She contacted school administration, who referred her to the lecturer. Colleen asked the lecturer if she had heard of the concept of parental permission? Why were the parents not given the opportunity to withhold permission for their children to be subjected to this crap?

The dialogue has only just begun.

Is bravery just for other people?

Seth Godin is thinking today about bravery:

Bravery is for the people who have no choice, people like Chesley Sullenberger and Audie Murphy.

Bravery is for the people who are gifted, people like Ralph Abernathy, Sarah Kay and Miles Davis.

Bravery is for the people who are called, people like Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks and Mother Theresa.

Bravery is for other people.

When you see it that way, it's so clearly and patently absurd that it's pretty clear that bravery is merely a choice.

At least once in your life (maybe this week, maybe today) you did something that was brave and generous and important. The only question is one of degree... when will we care enough to be brave again?

China's solution: polyandry

You think we here in America have problems? Ours don't compare with China's, where 30 million baby girls have died due to the country's policy of selective abortion. Now they have 30 million bachelors who can't find a wife. An economics professor thinks he might have a solution. Read about it here.

A new calendar (to keep up with insanity)

Manhattan Infidel has an idea. Why not have 300 months of 6.5 days each?
This will allow all weak, helpless and oppressed minorities to have their own history month.

...All except the Cubans. As Republicans Cubans have betrayed their Hispanic heritage and joined the ranks of the oppressors. Cubans! No month for you!

...Note: Asians, like Cubans, are ineligible for their own month. They are good at math, get good grades at school and start their own businesses. All signs of being infected by the white man’s lust, greed and madness.

...Monday will be renamed “Barack Obama” and will officially become the new beginning of the week, as befits a god of his status.
Tuesday will be renamed “Bernie Sanders.” Note: As I write this I have no idea where the money will come from to rename Tuesday. But that’s just an annoying economic fact. We can safely ignore it.
Wednesday will be renamed Friday. This befits the glory of socialism as all comrades will now only have to work three days. Note: TGIF will be renamed TGIW.
Thursday will be renamed “Gender is a Bourgeois Construct Day.” During this day, the first day of the new four day weekend, people will be encouraged to cross dress.

...Saturday will be renamed “Kale.” Too many people choose to eat an unhealthy brunch on this day consisting of bacon and sausages. By renaming this day “Kale” we hope to shame our subjects into digestive subjection.
Read more here.

Fly Me to the Moon? I don't think so, Mr.Sinatra.



Manhattan Infidel dissects the Sinatra song, "Fly Me to the Moon."
With the centenary of Frank Sinatra’s birth fast approaching we here at the Worldwide Headquarters of Manhattan Infidel™ (still proudly serving gluten) have thought it best to examine one of Mr. Sinatra’s most famous songs: “Fly Me to the Moon.”

To wit: Are the events described in this song scientifically feasible?

The song begins with this wish:

Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars

Flying to the moon is expensive and would take three days at least. And unfortunately the United States no longer has the ability to put people into space as NASA’s mission has changed to improving the self-esteem of Muslims.

As for playing among the stars this is not to be desired. If a human were to come into contact with celestial star he would die instantly.

So to flying to the moon? Expensive.

Playing among the stars? Not to be desired. Unless Sinatra meant playing among the stars in Hollywood, which is possible but almost as dangerous.
Read more top notch satire here.

Has World War III already begun?

Michael D. Brown is a talk show host for KHOW in Denver. Having served as Bush's Homeland Security FEMA Director, he has actually been a US negotiator in Brussels. Today he said something shocking: we may already be in the beginning stages of World War III! He was referring to the slaughter of Jews and Christians in the Middle East, and the Islamic invasion of Europe. What will happen if the European countries turn to NATO and ask for help? Brown points out that the US is legally obligated to help NATO countries who ask for help.

Prime Minister Netanhayu has told Israelis that all citizens there should arm themselves to defend against attacks. Barack Obama has recently spoken in Chicago to Chiefs of Police, telling them we need more gun control laws. Chicago, where Obama comes from, is the city with the highest murder rate and the strictest gun laws.

How would Carson fare in a debate with Hillary Clinton?

This is something I don't want to hear. Dick Morris, an experienced political analyst, says Hillary would eat Dr. Carson alive in a debate, and spit him out. Why? because she is super aggressive, and he is laid back and soft-spoken. He also believes Carson has a very limited knowledge base about American government. Moreover, Morris thinks Carson as a candidate would be a combination of Sarah Palin, who "never did her homework," and John McCain, who was "so soft-spoken he never made his points." Morris was also appalled by Carson's reply to a question in the last debate about what Carson would have done in responding to 9-11.

I hope Morris is wrong, like so many of the pundits we have come to rely upon for analysis. I'd love to see an introvert be president! And a brilliant one, too!

Despite the criticisms of Morris and others we have come to acknowledge as reputable pundits, both Carson and Trump continue to outflank the rest of the GOP candidates, as we get ready for tomorrow night's third debate.

Watch the Morris video here.

A journey to New Mexico



My son Jon has been working very hard to develop his skills as a linebacker for the Santa Fe Junior Varsity football team this year. The team has struggled, to put it mildly, but nevertheless, Jon requested my presence at his final jayvee game yesterday in Taos, New Mexico. I told him to contact his older brother Erik, and that if Erik could get time off from his job, I would also request time off. Erik came through, and drove me down to Taos and back to Colorado after the game and a family dinner.

We left early yesterday, and, while waiting for the rest of the family to join us for lunch, even had time to do some fishing on the Red River in northern New Mexico. Alpha male Erik never goes anywhere without fishing gear. He baited my hook and loaned me a fishing pole.



Expert fisherman Erik then proceeded to catch three beautiful brook trout. He encouraged me to drop my line in a pool just beyond a big rock. This was the result a few minutes later!



I'll end this post with this: after the game Jon's coach told him that although his jayvee season had come to an end, he still needed Jon to extend his football season a few more days, so Jon could be promoted to the varsity team for Friday night's season-ending varsity game!

I am so proud of Jon and all the kids Colleen and I have raised, and are currently raising. Each one of them has so many admirable character traits.

What difference does it make now?

Thomas Sowell writes at National Review,
Many people may share Senator Bernie Sanders’s complaint that he was tired of hearing about Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. But the controversy is about issues far bigger than e-mails. One issue is the utter disaster created by the Obama administration’s foreign policy in Libya, carried out by Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.

One issue is the utter disaster created by the Obama administration’s foreign policy in Libya, carried out by Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. An even bigger issue is whether high officials of government can ignore the law and refuse to produce evidence when it is subpoenaed. If they can, then the whole separation of powers — the checks and balances in the Constitution — gives way to arbitrary government by corrupt officials who are accountable to no one.

This is not the first time Hillary Clinton has defied the law to cover up what she had done. When Bill Clinton was president, back in the 1990s, both he and Hillary developed the strategy of responding to charges of illegal actions on their part by stalling and stonewalling when either courts or Congress tried to get them to produce documents related to these charges.

Hillary claimed then, as now, that key documents had disappeared. Her more recent claim that many of her e-mails had been deleted was just Hillary 2.0. Only after three years of stalling and stonewalling on her part has the fact finally come out this year that those e-mails could be recovered, and now have been.

By this time, however, Hillary and her supporters used another tactic that both Clintons used back in the 1990s — namely, saying that this was old news, stuff that had already been investigated too long, that it was time to “move on.”

That was Hillary 1.0. More recently Hillary 2.0 said, melodramatically, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

One of the things that the former secretary of state was now trying to cover up was the utter disaster of the Obama administration’s foreign policy that she carried out in Libya.

Having intervened in Libya to help overthrow the government of Moammar Qaddafi, who was no threat to America’s interests in the Middle East, the Obama administration was confronted with the fact that Qaddafi’s ouster simply threw the country into such chaos that Islamic terrorists were now able to operate freely in Libya.

Just how freely was shown in September 2012, when terrorists stormed the compound in Benghazi where the American ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, was staying. They murdered him and three other Americans who tried to defend him.

Moreover, the terrorists did not even have to go into hiding afterwards, and at least one of them was interviewed by journalists. That’s how chaotic Libya had become.

Meanwhile, there was an American presidential election campaign in 2012, and Barack Obama was presenting himself to the voters as someone who had defeated al-Qaeda and suppressed the terrorist threat in the Middle East.

Obviously the truth about this attack could have totally undermined the image that Obama was trying to project during the election campaign, and perhaps cost him the White House. So a lie was concocted instead.

The lie was that the attack was not by terrorists — who supposedly had been suppressed by Obama — but was a spontaneous protest demonstration against an American video insulting Islam, and that protest just got out of control.

Now that Hillary Clinton’s e-mails have finally been recovered and revealed, after three years of stalling and stonewalling, they showed explicitly that she knew from the outset that the attack that killed Ambassador Stevens and others was not a result of some video but was a coordinated terrorist operation.

Nevertheless, Hillary 2.0, along with President Obama and national security adviser Susan Rice, told the world in 2012 that the deaths in Benghazi were due to the video, not a terrorist organization that was now operating freely in Libya, thanks to the policy that got rid of the Qaddafi government.

Yet that key fact was treated by the media as old news, and what was exciting now was how well Hillary 2.0 outperformed the congressional committee on television. If the corruption and undermining of the American system of Constitutional government eventually costs us our freedom, will the media say, “What difference does it make now?”