Tuesday, May 31, 2016

She broke the rules; did she break the law?

The Editorial Board of USA Today writes,
Everyone, including Hillary Clinton, now agrees that the newly confirmed secretary of State made a mistake in 2009 when she decided, for the sake of “convenience,” to run her own email system out of her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., rather than use an official State Department email account.

But a new report by State's inspector general makes clear that within two years, Clinton's bad decision had turned into something far worse: a threat to national security, one that she repeatedly ignored despite multiple warnings.

The Editorial Board details four warnings Clinton received in six months, then writes,
If Clinton wants to become the president of the United States, she needs to explain how she could make such a reckless decision. She had a chance to answer questions when the Obama administration-appointed inspector general contacted her about the investigation that was released last week. Among five recent secretaries of State, only Clinton refused.

While Clinton is under potential criminal investigation by the FBI for the mishandling of classified material sent through her email, remaining silent might be in her best interests and it is certainly her right. But to be president, she is going to have to convince voters that she can put the national security of the United States above her own short-term self-interest.

It's already clear that, in using the private email server, Clinton broke the rules. Now it remains to be seen whether she also broke the law.
Read more here.

Do you know anyone who is in slavery?

Do we still have slaves today? Ann Althouse links to the Walk Free Foundation, which says there are 45.8 million.
Unlike historical definitions of slavery in which people were held as legal property, a practice that has been universally outlawed, modern slavery is generally defined as human trafficking, forced labor, bondage from indebtedness, forced or servile marriage or commercial sexual exploitation.

According to this definition, even the United States has slaves — 57,700 (0.02% of the population).
[In the United States,] the most reported venues/industries for labour trafficking included domestic work, agriculture, traveling sales crews, restaurants/food service, and health and beauty services. In 2015, the most reported venues/industries for sex trafficking included commercial-front brothels, hotel/motel-based trafficking, online advertisements with unknown locations, residential brothels, and street-based sex trafficking.

Habits are the spine of our self-control.

Ann Voskamp suggests
The best way to live a good year is to do a reset halfway through the year.

June is the Second January.

Get up early and watch the sun rise. Open a window so you can breathe it all in. Open His Word. Pour a cup of orange juice. Don’t try to face anything until you’ve faced Him.

...To love your life, do nothing with rush or resentment, but do everything as if you love it.

...Let the world go ahead and get loud and large. There are fresh starts in quiet starts. There are small and hidden seeds that are growing into forests, that are growing into the greatest yield.

...It’s never, ever too late to begin again. June can be about new beginnings.

...Our habits unclothe us — they expose our wounds, our insecurities, our idols, our addictions — or our hopes, our dreams, our prayers. Our habits are us.

...Make gratitude your attitude of habit — there’s no other way to make joy your life.

...Habits matter because: Habits are the spine of our self-control.
Read more here.

A conservative to run against Trump and Hillary?

Mark Halperin and John Heilemann report at Bloomberg that
Two Republicans intimately familiar with Bill Kristol’s efforts to recruit an independent presidential candidate to challenge Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have told Bloomberg Politics that the person Kristol has in mind is David French -- whose name the editor of the Weekly Standard floated in the current issue of the magazine.

French is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. According to the website of National Review, where French is a staff writer, he is a constitutional lawyer, a recipient of the Bronze Star, and an author of several books who lives in Columbia, Tenn., with his wife Nancy and three children.

David French

Read more here.

Here is a CBN interview with David and Nancy French.

Thinking Can Only Damage the Righteousness and Morale of Our Cause

Ace of Spades made the mistake of ambling over to Twitter, and he found that the
that #NeverTrump was more than the dominant group norm -- it was the enforced group norm, with a cadre of Orthodoxy Defenders who responded to any questioning of it with the typical (dumb) means of Group Opinion Enforcement -- lame insults, drive-by demurrals, etc. My problem is with the people who seem to think that Thinking Can Only Damage the Righteousness and Morale of Our Cause, and seek to bully -- or at least ridicule -- discordant voices (neurons firing in stubborny contrary manners) and either marginalize them and delegitimize them or apply social pressure to re-align them to fire in a more socially acceptable direction.

As I've mentioned a thousand time, though I am (I think) naturally more inclined to the liberal side of things on many issues, I am so antagonistic to the group-think/social-pressure/tribal-loyalty signalling side of things that I broke angrily from not only that style of liberalism (which is really leftistm/progressivism) but liberalism itself, tossing out the baby with the befouled bathwater, out of pure pique.

Make any argument you like, my motto goes, but I must insist it actually be an argument, and not simply an attempt to bully someone into silence or coerced agreement by heaping abuse and denigration on them.

...Nevertheless, as with anything, it strikes me that we have our better selves and our worse selves, and while no one should curse his creation for having a worse self, one should strive to be one's better self, at least most of the time.

Every human being is more reasonable, civil, moral, virtuous, and intelligent in a one-on-one discussion than he is when he is speaking -- or howling -- as part of the pack. When one deems oneself to be speaking -- howling, hooting -- for the Pack, one not only begins resorting to more animalistic expressions (words become quite secondary to the emotional charge those words act as the mere carrier signal for) but one also begins justifying behavior one would never justify on one's own behalf.

That is, when you're acting to defend the privileges and rights of the group, one quickly finds oneself succumbing to Ends Justify the Means thinking -- I am not acting out of a selfish desire to champion myself, but out of an altruistic desire to champion a large group of beings who I am, at least temporarily, the advocate of.

Incivil behavior and anti-intellectual howls become not merely allowable, but nigh imperative -- after all, the pack is counting on you to vindicate them.

Were you just speaking for yourself, you wouldn't feel that sort of obligation to be cruel on behalf of the group, that license for incivility and, frankly, stupidity.

It is the imperative of defending the pack that justifies that.

Add into this the fact that 90% of political "communication" in the Age of Twitter is not chiefly expressive but instead chiefly performative.

It grows very hard to distinguish the things people really believe when they say them, and the things they merely say to declare loyalty to the pack.

...Is the man raging about Principles really talking about those principles, or is his major goal in talking about principles to convince the hearer that he is the sort of man deeply interested in Principles?

So there's a mix of things going on in any political utterance, both a declaration of the sacredness of principles, and implicitly -- unavoidably -- a very strong suggestion about the sacredness of the being so unselfish as to declare his devotion to principles.

...Anyway, to sum up:

1. Social media is anti-social media. ...But I would say that it's no terrible thing to parade civility and reasonableness around like virtues from time to time.

...2.People telling other people to shut up, or people attempting to humiliate people into silence, should be told to shut up, and should be themselves humiliated into silence, so the rest of us can have an actual exchange of ideas without their mouth-breathing poop-flinging chest-beating Dominance Displays.

3. No one should forget that everyone is human. We should recognize our own human vanities and cruelties in ourselves, and we should recognize the human capacity to be hurt or to be made to feel excluded in others.

4. People need to think more and take longer to respond. They should react less, and react less quickly. #HotTakes are for the stupid and insecure. #CoolTakes are better.

5. People need to stop signalling which tribe they belong to. By this point, with everyone babbling, hooting, and howling online for years and years and years, we all know damn well which tribes we align with. There's really no need to further advertise one's tribal loyalty. It's as obvious as someone's height and weight.

6. People knock contrarianism too damn much. Contrarianism, sure, is often lodged as a performative, look-at-me thing. (For example -- Look at Me Now!!!!)

But without contrarians, you get smug conformity, and worse yet, smug conformity enforcement officers.

The moment you have something resembling a Received Wisdom, you will have self-appointed Inquisitors sniffing out any heretical rejection of that Received Wisdom. (I'm a believer in Jung's archetypes -- I think this archetype, the Priest archetype, will always exist, particularly in politics, which is just Religion By Other Means.)

People should be more contrarian just to make sure the conformity being created is being created honestly -- with all of the demerits of that conformity examined and acknowledged -- and especially to prevent the odious rise of the conformity enforcement officers, a group of intellectually useless people involved in the creation of zero ideas but the suppression of quite a number of them.

7. Anything worth saying is worth spending more than 140 characters on saying. If you find your contribution to the public debate seems to occur in 140 character bursts, you might want to consider starting a blog, where you can post more thought-out essays, or you might want to consider shutting the fuck up.

For the good of all.
Read more here.

Accidents happen?

What do you think about the decision of the Cincinnati zoo director to shoot the 400 pound gorilla who was dragging around a four-year-old boy?

RT reports
...The boy was inside the gorilla cave for well over 10 minutes before being rescued after the animal was shot dead by zoo-keepers.

While for some it seemed as if the animal was protecting the child, the sight of the boy’s head banging on the concrete floor while being dragged through the enclosure led to the decision to shoot Harambe, according to the zoo’s director, Thayne Maynard.

“The gorilla was clearly agitated. The gorilla was clearly disoriented. Looking back, we would make the same decision,” Maynard told a news conference on Monday.

The zoo also released a statement saying: “We are heartbroken about losing Harambe, but a child’s life was in danger and a quick decision had to be made.”

The child’s mother, Michelle Gregg reportedly attempted to defend herself in a Facebook post that she later deleted.

“God protected my child until the authorities were able to get to him. My son is safe and was able to walk away with a concussion and a few scrapes [...] no broken bones or internal injuries.

As a society we are quick to judge how a parent could take their eyes off of their child and if anyone knows me I keep a tight watch on my kids. Accidents happen […],” Gregg wrote, as cited by several media outlets.

Nevertheless, animal rights activists and social media users mobilized on Monday to express their outrage over the killing of a representative of an endangered species. Some 270,000 people signed online petitions to protest the shooting, some of which called on police to hold the child’s parents accountable.

...Many have questioned the zoo-keepers’ decision to shoot Harambe instead of tranquilizing him.

...Maynard explained, however, that tranquilizing Harambe was not even considered because “tranquilizers do not take effect for several minutes and the child was in imminent danger. On top of that, the impact from the dart could agitate the animal and cause the situation to get much worse.”

“They made a tough choice and they made the right choice because they saved that little boy’s life,” Maynard added.

Many social media users have defended the zoo-keepers’ decision, saying the animal’s reaction would have been hard to predict and the child’s life was, in fact, at stake.
Read more here.

Computer Vision Syndrome

How are your eyes? Have you heard of Computer Vision Syndrome? Jane Brody writes about it in the New York Times.
One reason the problem is so pervasive: Unlike words printed on a page that have sharply defined edges, electronic characters, which are made up of pixels, have blurred edges, making it more difficult for eyes to maintain focus. Unconsciously, the eyes repeatedly attempt to rest by shifting their focus to an area behind the screen, and this constant switch between screen and relaxation point creates eyestrain and fatigue.

Another unconscious effect is a greatly reduced frequency of blinking, which can result in dry, irritated eyes. Instead of a normal blink rate of 17 or more blinks a minute, while working on a computer the blink rate is often reduced to only about 12 to 15 blinks.

But there are additional problems. The head’s distance from the screen and position in relation to it are also important risk factors. To give the eyes a comfortable focusing distance, the screen should be about 20 to 26 inches away from the face. The closer the eyes are to the monitor, the harder they have to work to accommodate to it.

In addition, when looking straight ahead, the eyes should be at the level of the top of the monitor. The University of Pennsylvania’s ophthalmology department advises that the center of the monitor should be about four to eight inches lower than the eyes to minimize dryness and itching by lessening the exposed surface of the eyes because they are not opened wide. This distance also allows the neck to remain in a more relaxed position.

...Improper lighting and glare are another problem. Contrast is critical, best achieved with black writing on a white screen. The screen should be brighter than the ambient light — overly bright overhead light and streaming daylight force the eyes to strain to see what is on the screen. A bright monitor also causes your pupils to constrict, giving the eyes a greater range of focus.

You might need to reposition the desk, use a dimmer switch on overhead lights, or lower window shades to keep out sunlight. In addition, using a flat screen with an antiglare cover, and wearing glare-reducing or tinted lenses can help to minimize glare.

Be sure to use a font size best suited to your visual acuity, and have your eyes examined regularly — at least once a year — to be sure your prescription is up-to-date. This is especially important for people older than 40 and for children who are heavy users of computers because visual acuity can change with age. Make sure, too, that your monitor has a high-resolution display that provides sharper type and crisper images. And clean the monitor often with an antistatic dust cloth.

While prevention is most important, if you already have symptoms of computer vision syndrome, there are ways to reduce or eliminate them. Ophthalmologists suggest adhering to the “20-20-20” rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.

Consciously blink as often as possible to keep eye surfaces well lubricated. To further counter dryness, redness and painful irritation, use lubricating eye drops several times a day. My ophthalmologist recommends products free of preservatives sold in single-use dispensers.

You can also reduce the risk of dry eyes by keeping air from blowing in your face and by using a humidifier to add moisture to the air in the room. And Dr. Reitano said her eye doctor also suggested applying warm moist compresses to her eyes every morning.
Read more here.

Rush Limbaugh analyzes media reaction to Trump

Rush Limbaugh is so good at analyzing what is going on. Today he had this to say about Donald Trump and media coverage of him.
If Trump were any other Republican, they would have practically destroyed him by now and they'd be worried about rehabbing Hillary's image and building her up. But she's so unexciting, she's so dull, she's so scandal ridden, they've got nothing to work with. All they can do is try to destroy Trump, but they don't know how. Because they didn't make Trump, they can't destroy Trump.

...The upshot of this is Trump's constant access to media and Trump's unpredictability is frustrating Hillary and the Drive-Bys' capacity to shape and control the narrative.

They are unable to write the daily soap opera script as they have become accustomed to being able to do. They're unable to do it because Trump is so unpredictable. They'll write a script, they'll write a narrative for the day and Trump will go out and do an appearance and blow it to smithereens, at the same time blowing their plans. Then Hillary is frustrating, 'cause there's nothing to cover. All there is with Hillary is emails and shady financial dealings and Mao pantsuits and basic incompetence and boredom and a total lack of excitement.

So there's no way that they can write a narrative every day that destroys Trump and builds up Hillary because... See, the first mistake in the New York Times is worrying about granting Trump access. They're not "granting" Trump access. Trump is commanding access. Trump is taking access. Trump is dictating the daily narrative, as this press conference today on his donations to the vets and to various groups illustrate.

...They make some factual misrepresentations that Trump is lying about all the money he's raised for the vets. They claim that Trump claims he's raised $6 million or whatever it is and they go out and they're doing what they can to try to convince people that Trump's lying about it, that he hasn't raised that much -- and, even worse, that if he has raised that much, he hasn't passed it on. He's holding on to it. He hasn't donated it all. All of these insinuations and allegations were the Washington Post piece.

And Trump felt the need to correct the record today and did so in his own inimitable way, which basically attacked the media for dishonesty and corruption. And the thing is he stood there for, what, 45 minutes? I mean, he didn't hide, didn't run away from it, answered every question. He just took them on. They have no complaint. They can never say Trump avoids them. They can never say Trump does this or that to try to evade any kind of scrutiny, even though he got that question about scrutiny.

But the New York Times... This is actually kind of funny, I think, because they're worried that Trump's constant access to the media and his unpredictability is frustrating Hillary. Hillary doesn't know how to deal with this. Hillary doesn't know how to counterprogram Trump, if you will. Hillary doesn't know how to go out and write her own narrative of the day. Hillary doesn't know whether to focus on herself or to criticize Trump or to go after Crazy Bernie. She doesn't know what to do. And the press doesn't, either.

"It's not fair! It's not fair! We can't control the media 'cause of Trump." The problem is -- and they don't want to say this, but the problem is -- that Trump, no matter what anybody thinks of him, is interesting. And Trump, no matter what anybody thinks of him, is funny. Trump, no matter what anybody thinks of him, is different. Trump, no matter what anybody thinks of him, is drama. Trump, no matter what anybody thinks of him, is unpredictable. All of that means, you can't miss it.

You can't roll the dice and not cover it, hoping that it isn't anything. You have to be there, as the media, and you have to hope that he's gonna attack you as the media. But Hillary, on the other hand? Dull, totally colorless, mistake prone, scandal ridden, because Hillary doesn't have any natural talents. Hillary doesn't have any natural connection to people. Hillary doesn't have any charisma, magnetism. All of that has to be manufactured by the media.

Hillary needs to be hyper-scripted while, at the same time, have limited availability in a campaign that's about spontaneity and entertainment. This has become a pop culture campaign. Like it or not, that's what it is. And that's why so many in the political world are having trouble understanding it, dealing with it, being involved with it, defining it, what have you. But Hillary Clinton has this problem. The more she's seen, the more she's heard, the worse she does. This is not arguable.

Here you have a guy who's nothing more than a candidate right now, and the New York Times, over the weekend -- the Memorial Day weekend -- with a story: "Rise of Donald Trump Tracks Growing Debate Over Global Fascism." Never mind that both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton's positions are far more in line with the German National Socialism approach than Trump could even dream of being.

Forget, you know, that the Nazis were National Socialists. National Socialists! I mean, we're closer to having that currently in the White House than anywhere on the campaign trail right now on the Republican side. And now we find out that Hillary Clinton's campaign set up this veterans against Trump protest to begin with. We find this out after the fact. The media could have found out before it happened, but, no, no, no, no!
Read more here.

More progress in combating cancer

David Nield reports at Science Alert,
Scientists have found a new way of triggering the death of cancer cells, using the body's own cell-clearing function. By harnessing the activity of a protein called Bak - known for its function as the biological assassin that kills off old, dysfunctional cells - the Australian team has figured out how to turn the killer protein on cancer cells instead.

"We were excited when we realised we had found an entirely new way of activating Bak," said one of the researchers, Ruth Kluck, from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Bak is used by our bodies in the normal, programmed cell-death process known as apoptosis. Apoptosis removes unwanted cells from our insides, but when it fails to kick into action, cancer cells are allowed to spread unchecked.

Using information about Bak's three-dimensional structure, the team discovered that a certain antibody could bind itself to the Bak protein and activate it, leading them to investigate if they could control where the protein would strike.

"There is great interest in developing drugs that trigger Bak activation to treat diseases such as cancer where apoptosis has gone awry," says Kluck. "This discovery gives us a new starting point for developing therapies that directly activate Bak and cause cell death."

Scientists already knew that a class of proteins called BH3-only proteins could be used to send Bak into action, but they now have a new activation site to work with. The next stage is to develop the antibody into a drug that targets Bak inside cells, and to test it in living models.

Autoimmune diseases could also be treated using the same drugs. In autoimmune diseases, a breakdown in the apoptosis also allows immune cells to inappropriately attack the body, so Bak could be harnessed to kill of those cells too, the researchers report.

It's exciting times for cancer research, as scientists chip away at the disease bit by bit, discovering new possibilities for more effective and personalised treatment options beyond chemo and radiotherapy.

From the development of nano-carriers that can carry chemo drugs directly into brain cells, to a better understanding of what causes cancer in the first place, progress is constantly being made in our fight to better understand the root causes of this disease. That progress now includes this new Bak-activating antibody, which will hopefully continue to show potential as the researchers develop it further.

Helping the communists in Viet Nam

Richard Pollock at The Daily Caller writes about how the US anti-war activists helped the communists end the war in Viet Nam, defeating the U.S.-allied government in the 1970s.
The defeat ultimately triggered an international humanitarian crisis where at least 800,000 Vietnamese “boat people” fled their communist conquerors. Many bravely undertook perilous journeys in small boats across the Gulf of Thailand to escape the new communist warlords. An unknown number of refugees drowned in the exodus.

After the communists defeated the South Vietnamese army, more than 1 million South Vietnamese citizens who had supported the United States were left behind and imprisoned in “re-education camps.” About 100,000 faced summary execution by the communist victors.

Obama visited Vietnam last week for a three-day trip, and hailed its communist leadership and downplayed the human rights problems that persist.

Hours before Air Force One touched down, Vietnam had scheduled national “elections” for its one-party National Assembly. Reminiscent of previous old communist regimes from the Soviet Union days, the state-run press reported that 98.77 percent of the public “voted” in the election.

Only one sentence in Obama’s main speech to the Vietnamese public made any reference to human rights problems in the country.

Vietnamese government officials also blocked dissidents from meeting with Obama or his advisers when the American delegation arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said it shows the meeting was “the source of significant discomfort” for Vietnam’s rulers.

The White House never rescheduled the meeting, however, and Rhodes claimed the U.S. government was going to follow up to ensure the activists are not being punished.

During the president’s visit, he lifted an arms embargo on Vietnam to allow the sale of modern weapons to the country. He did not tie the arms sales to any improvement in human rights.
Read more here.

Money and sex

Brandon Wade, the creator of SeekingArrangement.com says it's an "alternative to financial aid" but claims the site didn't set out to target students, but it stumbled on the niche and began offering students premium free memberships in 2011 which normally cost $30 a month. Sugar daddies are charged $70 to $180 a month, depending on membership level.

Student users of the site jumped from 79,400 worldwide in 2010 to 1.9 million this year, which accounts for one third of its users. Interestingly, the company says enrollment jumps during August and January when tuition is typically due, sometimes to more than double normal levels.

Women who have used the site report experiences that are wide ranging, from respectful dates all the way to aggressive solicitation online, and although sex is not guaranteed, most users say it is implied.

...SeekingArrangement.com was created out of his own frustration with women, and realized that a site such as his would highlight what set him apart: money.

"Money and sex are things that people want. I think the controversy comes into play on seeking arrangement because we are so up front about it." Wade said.

Alas, with the jobs recovery being as weak as it is, it's only a matter of time before more students transition into full time users of sugar daddy services instead of looking for employment. Perhaps when Tim Geithner penned the now infamous "Welcome To The Recovery" piece in the New York Times back in 2010, he should have followed it with "And The New Modern Hooker Economy."

Have you found a person who is good at disagreement?

Alain de Botton writes in the New York Times,
It's one of the things we are most afraid might happen to us. We go to great lengths to avoid it. And yet we do it all the same: We marry the wrong person.

...The problem is that before marriage, we rarely delve into our complexities. Whenever casual relationships threaten to reveal our flaws, we blame our partners and call it a day. As for our friends, they don’t care enough to do the hard work of enlightening us. One of the privileges of being on our own is therefore the sincere impression that we are really quite easy to live with.

Our partners are no more self-aware. Naturally, we make a stab at trying to understand them. We visit their families. We look at their photos, we meet their college friends. All this contributes to a sense that we’ve done our homework. We haven’t. Marriage ends up as a hopeful, generous, infinitely kind gamble taken by two people who don’t know yet who they are or who the other might be, binding themselves to a future they cannot conceive of and have carefully avoided investigating.

...We need to swap the Romantic view for a tragic (and at points comedic) awareness that every human will frustrate, anger, annoy, madden and disappoint us — and we will (without any malice) do the same to them. There can be no end to our sense of emptiness and incompleteness. But none of this is unusual or grounds for divorce. Choosing whom to commit ourselves to is merely a case of identifying which particular variety of suffering we would most like to sacrifice ourselves for.

...The person who is best suited to us is not the person who shares our every taste (he or she doesn’t exist), but the person who can negotiate differences in taste intelligently — the person who is good at disagreement. Rather than some notional idea of perfect complementarity, it is the capacity to tolerate differences with generosity that is the true marker of the “not overly wrong” person. Compatibility is an achievement of love; it must not be its precondition.

...Romanticism has been unhelpful to us; it is a harsh philosophy. It has made a lot of what we go through in marriage seem exceptional and appalling. We end up lonely and convinced that our union, with its imperfections, is not “normal.” We should learn to accommodate ourselves to “wrongness,” striving always to adopt a more forgiving, humorous and kindly perspective on its multiple examples in ourselves and in our partners.
Read more here.

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,
...in 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 Papers.org,
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.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/435715/donald-trump-newt-gingrich-gop-ticket-kindred-spirits

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/435715/donald-trump-newt-gingrich-gop-ticket-kindred-spirits

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/435715/donald-trump-newt-gingrich-gop-ticket-kindred-spirits

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.