Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Palestinian Mountain of Hate

Following-up, "Omar al-Abed, Hamas-Allied Terrorist, Murders Three Israelis in Jihad Knife Attack in West Bank's Halamish Settlement (VIDEO)."

From Liel Leibovitz, at the Tablet, "How the Noble Sanctuary, sacred to Jews and Christians as the Temple Mount, was transformed into a megaphone for bigotry, murder, and genocide":
Tens of thousands of faithful Muslims pack Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque every week. Things have been particularly tense in the holy site this week, after Palestinian terrorists murdered two Israeli police officers last Friday. Israel responded by putting up metal detectors, an act that led thousands of Palestinians to riot and assualt Israeli soldiers with rocks, bottles, and clubs.

What could make folks gathered for prayer so rowdy? Listen in on some of the mosque’s sermons, and the answer becomes painfully obvious.

“The Israelites,” roared Khaled al-Mughrabi, one of al-Aqsa’s top preachers, in the summer of 2015, “have a holiday, Passover. Every holiday, each group would look for a small child. They would kidnap the child, steal him, and put him inside a barrel, called ‘the barrel of nails.’ They would put the small child inside the barrel, and his body would be pierced by the nails. At the bottom of the barrel they would put a faucet, and that faucet would run with the boy’s blood. This is because Satan demanded of them, in return to doing everything they want, that they eat bread kneaded with the blood of children.”

When they’re not ritually slaughtering babes, Mughrabi said on other occasions, the Jews have a full agenda of evil: they’re the real culprits behind the 9/11 attacks, are planning to take over the world, and are actual blood-drinking vampires, which is why the industry they control, Hollywood, loves making so many movies about the Jew Dracula.

Not to be outdone, Ekrima Sa’id Sabri, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, is fond of using the mosque to talk about one of his favorite topics, the Holocaust. Which, to hear the renowned sheikh tell it, never happened. “Six million Jews dead? No way, they were much fewer,” he told an interviewer. “Let’s stop with this fairytale exploited by Israel to capture international solidarity. It is not my fault if Hitler hated Jews, indeed they were hated a little everywhere.”
 Still more, but you get the idea.

Omar al-Abed, Hamas-Allied Terrorist, Murders Three Israelis in Jihad Knife Attack in West Bank's Halamish Settlement (VIDEO)

This is horrific.

It's reminiscent of the massacre of the Israeli Fogel family by a so-called "Palestinian" terrorist in 2011.

At Israel National News, "Halamish terrorist identified with Hamas: Before carrying out murderous attack in Halamish, terrorist wrote on Facebook: There's no life after what you see at Al-Aqsa."

And at Ynet, "Palestinian terrorist murders three family members during Shabbat dinner: A terrorist infiltrated a house in a settlement in the West Bank and stabbed its occupants who were having a Shabbat dinner; he murdered a 70-year-old grandfather and his son and daughter, in their thirties; the grandmother, aged 68, was badly wounded; he was then neutralized":
The attack took place when about 10 members of the family sat for a Shabbat dinner. When the terrorist burst into the house, the wife of the son who died hid the children in a room, and from there she called the police and screamed that there was a terrorist in the house who was stabbing the occupants.

A neighbor of the family—an IDF Oketz Unit soldier—heard their screams, rushed to the scene and shot the terrorist, moderately wounding him.


More at the Times of Israel, "Terror at Halamish: When a family’s Shabbat celebration turned into a bloody massacre."

And from the IDF on Twitter, "Warning: Graphic Content - This is the scene of the Sabbath massacre which killed 3 Israelis and wounded 1 other," and "Before killing 3 Israelis and wounding a 4th tonight in a heinous act of terror, the terrorist posted this message on Facebook."

Also, "While Israelis mourn the death of 3 Israelis killed in last night's massacre, Palestinians in Gaza took to the streets to celebrate."

Nicole Kidman for LOVE Magazine

Well, since I was trolling around looking for Ms. Emily photos, I came across this.

At LOVE, "'I thought about this shoot afterwards. I was like, what was I doing!?' THE Nicole Kidman for #LOVE18."

More, "LOVE 18: Nicole Kidman by Carin Backoff and Sally Lyndley."

And at the Express U.K., "Nicole Kidman, 50, flashes NIPPLES in red hot skintight swimsuit for sexy LOVE cover."

Still more, at IBD Times, "Nicole Kidman stuns fans by flaunting nipples in a sexy red swimsuit: 'She gets better with age'."

Emily Ratajkowski by Patrick Demarchelier for LOVE Magazine

On Instagram here.

And at London's Daily Mail, "Emily Ratajkowski shocks fans as she poses completely naked for LOVE Magazine."

It's not "shocking," actually. It's just what she does.

Here too, at the Scottish Sun, "Emily Ratajkowski poses completely NAKED for LOVE magazine."

Also at Drunken Stepfather, "RAT COW TITS AND OTHER TITS BECAUSE TITS FOR LOVE MAGAZINE OF THE DAY."

Gregory D. Miller, The Shadow of the Past

At Amazon, Gregory D. Miller, The Shadow of the Past: Reputation and Military Alliances before the First World War.

Protesters Crash Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges' News Conference (VIDEO)

At iOWNTHEWORLD Report, "“Bye Bye, Betsy!” Minneapolis: Chaos Erupts As Protesters Disrupt Mayor Hodges’s News Conference."



Also, at Pamela's, "VIDEO: Protests ERUPT: DEMAND MAYOR BETSY HODGES’ RESIGNATION, shut down press conference."

It’s All Russia, Russia and Trump, Trump -— All the Time

From Matthew Vadum, at FrontPage Magazine, "Mueller Expands His Probe Again":
Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III is yet again expanding the scope of his off-the-rails investigation into the Left’s wacky Russian electoral collusion conspiracy theory by examining financial transactions even vaguely related to Russia involving President Trump’s businesses and those of his associates, Bloomberg News reports.

Honest observers recognize that with the election of Donald Trump, the longtime Russophiles of the morally flexible Left flipped on their traditional friends in Moscow faster than you can say Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact or Operation Barbarossa. Ignoring its own history of rampant seditious collaboration with Russia, the Left has now managed to convince many that any past or present connection a Republican has or had to Russia, however trivial, is somehow now retroactively evidence of treason against the United States.

There is still no evidence that Trump covered up a crime, or even that there was an underlying crime to be concealed but that hasn’t stopped the Left’s witch-hunt from growing and the goalposts from being shifted.

Remember that it was just a month ago as the bizarre collusion allegations got stuck in the mud that Mueller expanded his investigation to include allegations that Trump tried to obstruct justice by firing FBI Director James B. Comey on May 9. The claim is that Trump did this to end Comey’s investigation into National Security Advisor Mike Flynn’s ties to Russia. Of course, as Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz has pointed out repeatedly, the president has authority under the Constitution to fire the FBI director for any reason or no reason at all. Comey himself has freely acknowledged he served at the pleasure of the president.

That said, “FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008,” Bloomberg reported an anonymous source saying.

The report continues, elaborating that:
Mueller’s team is looking at the Trump SoHo hotel condominium development, which was a licensing deal with Bayrock Capital LLC. In 2010, the former finance director of Bayrock filed a lawsuit claiming the firm structured transactions in fraudulent ways to evade taxes. Bayrock was a key source of capital for Trump projects, including Trump SoHo.

The 2013 Miss Universe pageant is of interest because a prominent Moscow developer, Aras Agalarov, paid $20 million to bring the beauty spectacle there. About a third of that sum went to Trump in the form of a licensing fee, according to Forbes magazine. At the event, Trump met Herman Gref, chief executive of Russia’s biggest bank, Sberbank PJSC. Agalarov’s son, Emin, helped broker a meeting last year between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer [i.e. Natalia Veselnitskaya] who was said to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton and her campaign.

Another significant financial transaction involved a Palm Beach, Florida, estate Trump purchased in 2004 for $41 million, after its previous owner lost it in bankruptcy. In March of 2008, after the real-estate bubble had begun losing air, Russian fertilizer magnate Dmitry Rybolovlev bought the property for $95 million.

As part of their investigation, Mueller’s team has issued subpoenas to banks and filed requests for bank records to foreign lenders under mutual legal-assistance treaties, according to two of the people familiar with the matter.
In addition, a federal money-laundering probe of Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has reportedly been subsumed into the larger investigation headed by Mueller. Mueller’s office is also reportedly looking at Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s tenure as vice chairman of the Bank of Cyprus and at presidential advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner’s efforts to obtain financing for his family’s real estate investments.

Newt Gingrich said yesterday that Mueller “has so many conflicts of interest it’s almost an absurdity,” but all of this seems above-board to Bloomberg.

“The Justice Department’s May 17 order to Mueller,” the media outlet reports, “instructs him to investigate ‘any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign’ as well as ‘any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation,’ suggesting a relatively broad mandate.”

Trump lawyer John Dowd disagrees. He said examining the president’s business dealings should be out-of-bounds for Mueller.

“Those transactions are in my view well beyond the mandate of the Special counsel; are unrelated to the election of 2016 or any alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and most importantly, are well beyond any Statute of Limitation imposed by the United States Code,” he told Bloomberg in an email.

Meanwhile, the Left is digging in its heels.

In a defamatory, overheated column, the buffoonish purveyor of partisan drivel Jonathan Chait claims:
New reports in the Washington Post and New York Times are clear signals that Trump is contemplating steps – firing Mueller or issuing mass pardons – that would seem to go beyond the pale. Except Trump’s entire career is beyond the pale, and in his time on the political stage, the unthinkable has become thinkable with regularity.
Chait pontificates that:
Trump’s actions are best understood in the context of the overwhelming likelihood he, his family members, and at least some of his associates are guilty of serious crimes. The investigation might not produce proof of criminal collusion with Russia’s illegal hacking of Democratic emails. (Though reasonable grounds for suspicion already exists in abundance.)
Except there is no “overwhelming likelihood” that Trump, his family members, or associates are “guilty of serious crimes,” at least not based on publicly available evidence. Chait is engaging in pure speculation precisely because there is no proof of wrongdoing.

Chait shrieks that Trump’s New York Times interview this week and other news reports citing unidentified sources are proof that the president is a threat to the republic. “The ominous threats emanating from the White House are an administration mobilizing for war against the rule of law,” he wrote.

But what did Trump actually tell the Old Gray Lady?

"I have done nothing wrong,” he said. “A special counsel should never have been appointed in this case.”

One interviewer asked the president, "Last thing, if Mueller was looking at your finances and your family finances, unrelated to Russia, is that a red line?" Another then chimed in with, "Would that be a breach of what his actual charge is?"

Trump responded, probably correctly, with “I would say yeah. I would say yes."

"Would you fire Mueller if he went outside of certain parameters of what his charge is?" an interviewer asked.

"I can't answer that question because I don't think it's going to happen," Trump replied.

It is horrifying to Chait that Trump is daring to defend himself in an interview.

Then there is that anonymously-sourced Washington Post article that claims Trump is considering firing Mueller and issuing mass-pardons – kind of like when Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) unilaterally re-enfranchised felons by the hundreds of thousands to help Hillary Clinton during the last election cycle – in order to put himself and those close to him above the law.

It’s the kind of juicy, implausible story that the “Democracy Dies in Darkness” crowd has been known for since Trump was elected. The claim that the president’s legal team is examining the backgrounds of Team Mueller – as these attorneys are perfectly entitled to do – is much more plausible, though, according to Chait, such actions mark Trump as a budding dictator.

As left-wingers like Chait see it, the president isn’t allowed to defend himself from scurrilous, malicious allegations when he’s a Republican.

Confusing matters is the fact that the straight-shooting president delivered an extraordinarily unusual public flogging of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, upbraiding him behind enemy lines in the New York Times interview. Trump said it was a mistake for Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia probe and that he may not have nominated him for the post if he had known beforehand that the attorney general would make the recusal decision.

It is true that with the benefit of hindsight, Sessions’ recusal, hailed at the time by the media and the rest of the Left as a noble, unifying gesture after a very, very nasty, hard-fought election, now looks boneheaded. Sessions is a good man and an outstanding public servant but he may have been in too much of a hurry to be liked by the Washington swamp. Appointing a special counsel calmed the Left down only briefly. Appeasing the radicals of today’s Democratic Party doesn’t work.

Although the unusual rebuke of Sessions may suggest the former Alabama senator’s days at the Justice Department may be numbered, White House Deputy Press

Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said yesterday the president “still has confidence” in Sessions despite the high-profile criticism...
Still more.

Mary Habeck, Storm of Steel

At Amazon, Mary Habeck, Storm of Steel: The Development of Armor Doctrine in Germany and the Soviet Union, 1919–1939.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Evelyn Taft's Modest Cooling Forecast

I mentioned earlier that I went to the doctor's today, for an update on my blood work.

So, my regular reading schedule was thrown off, as well as my dieting and exercise. I've lost 10 pounds this summer. I'm eating less and walking more. And except for Fourth of July, I've been abstaining from the beers lol.

I feel good. I want to go down another 10 pounds, so I'll have lost 20 pounds over the summer months. Then I can go easy on myself when school starts and I'm teaching. I'll be naturally increasing my metabolism then, especially Monday through Thursday.

In any case, very mild today for the most part.

Here's the lovely Ms. Evelyn with the forecast, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles:



Mark Mazower, Hitler's Empire

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Mark Mazower, Hitler's Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe.

Fritz Stern, Gold and Iron

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Fritz Stern, Gold and Iron: Bismark, Bleichroder, and the Building of the German Empire.

William Manchester, The Arms of Krupp

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, William Manchester, The Arms of Krupp: The Rise and Fall of the Industrial Dynasty That Armed Germany at War.

Fritz Fischer, Germany's Aims in the First World War

*BUMPED.*

My copy came today yesterday Thursday last week a while ago, via Amazon, Fritz Fischer, Germany's Aims in the First World War.

James Jones, From Here to Eternity

If you've never read it, wait no longer.

Sheesh, what a spectacular, timeless novel.

I've gotta read it again soon. That's my beat-up used paperback copy at the photo, heh. [Added: I just bought this copy today. I read the book in mass-market paperback in the 1980s, but who knows where that thing is now?]

And at Amazon, From Here to Eternity: The Complete Uncensored Edition (Modern Library 100 Best Novels)."

Mass-market paperbacks are here.

James Jones photo 20245938_10214112480109008_1380839880700983488_n_zpsla26tcbo.jpg

Majority of Republicans Say Colleges Have Negative Impact on the U.S.

At Pew Research, "Republicans skeptical of colleges’ impact on U.S., but most see benefits for workforce preparation":
Currently, 58% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say colleges and universities have a negative effect on the way things are going in the country, while just 36% say their effect is positive, according to a survey conducted last month by Pew Research Center. Just two years ago, attitudes were the reverse: a 54% majority of Republicans and Republican leaners said colleges were having a positive effect, while 37% said their effect was negative.
Noah Rothman writes about this, at U.S.A. Today, "Conservatives are increasingly hostile to higher ed. Who can blame them?":
The collapse of GOP support coincides with the popularization of a militant brand of liberal political activism that gestates on college campuses.

The Pew Research Center has a new survey confirming that, as you'd expect, Republicans have little love for institutions such as media and labor unions. What's surprising, however, is the extent to which Republicans have grown hostile toward colleges and universities, and how quickly their attitudes have changed.

Pew found that 58% of self-identified Republicans and Republican-leaning independents believe that colleges and universities have a negative effect on “the way things are going in the country.” Only 36% disagreed. As recently as 2010, 55% of the GOP viewed colleges positively.

The shift Pew observed is too uniform to be random. This is a response to external conditions. The collapse of Republican support for colleges and universities coincides with the popularization of a militant brand of liberal political activism that gestates on campuses. Take, for example, the University of Missouri-Columbia.

In 2015, Mizzou students sparked a firestorm by rallying in defense of a student who claimed that the campus was plagued by people in pickups chanting racist slurs. That accusation reopened the still festering wounds resulting from clashes that had erupted between peaceful protesters, rioters and police in Ferguson just months earlier. The popular narrative in the news media and on the left — that a righteous protest against injustice had been summarily crushed by the heavy hand of law enforcement — led to disruptions across the country in 2015.

As The New York Times observed, the protests soon became typified by the Marxist ideal of “intersectionality,” which contends that all discrimination is rooted in class, gender and race and is therefore linked. The demonstrations swelled, a series of administrators resigned, and the intersectional student movement appeared victorious.

It was, however, a video featuring communications professor Melissa Click that turned the campus controversy into a national story. She was filmed attempting to prevent a student journalist from taking pictures of the protests and calling for “some muscle” to be deployed...
More.

RELATED: At the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Details on University of Missouri cuts: 474 jobs cut; Mizzou takes the biggest hit."

Yeah, keep it up "intersectional" leftists. Just keep it up. Nothing hurts your movement more than destroying the life chances of everyday Americans. So keep it up. Overreach will destroy radical leftism. We need to see more of it.

Violent Antifa Leader Yvette Felarca Arrested

She's a middle school teacher. I wrote a letter of complaint last year, although I never heard back.

She should be behind bars, as I've said many times on Twitter. At least we're seeing some movement toward that effect.

At Legal Insurrection, "Antifa Leader Arrested for Inciting a Riot."

She should have been arrested for assault and battery at the time. Multiple videos were posted of those "battles" in Berkeley, and she was inciting and participating in mob violence against so-called "fascist" protesters.

Watch, at CBS News 5 San Francisco:



More at the Daily Californian, "BUSD teacher, activist Yvette Felarca arrested Tuesday."

Louise Mensch's Donald Trump Russian Collusion Conspiracy Theories

Interestingly, I posted this one almost one year ago today: "Louise Mensch Implores Me to Come Back to the Light."

Well, who has lost touch with the light? I don't think it's me. But Louise is extremely self-sure of her "truths," to say the least.

She asked me to write for her during her short-lived editorship at Heat Street (a publication whose days are numbered, it turns out), but nowadays she never responds when I say hello on Twitter. She's ensconced herself in a cocoon.

In any case, the very sharp Charles C.W. Cooke has a new essay on Louise's "investigations," at National Review, "Louise Mensch’s Destructive Fantasies":

Louise Mensch photo proxy1_zpsf6f507ef.jpg
Mensch, a former British MP, is now the purveyor of fantastical conspiracy theories about Donald Trump and Russia.

A few years back, my father and I voluntarily submitted ourselves to an episode of Question Time, a long-running program on the BBC on which sundry British politicians try to sound as indignant as possible while expressing nothing whatsoever beyond the day’s conventional wisdom. On the panel that evening was one Louise Bagshawe, a Tory MP from London who had a gig on the side as a writer of teen-girl books.

“That woman,” my dad said to me about half-way through the show, “is one of the dullest people I’ve ever seen. Even for Question Time.” So much for plus ├ža change.

Today, Louise Bagshawe is Louise Mensch, a show-woman and a fantasist of world-class ability. No longer a member of Parliament, Mensch now lives in the United States, where she spends at least 18 hours a day filtering current affairs through the mind of Edward Lear. Over the last six months, Mensch has unleashed her unfiltered stream-of-consciousness on the denizens of her new country — both in short-form on Twitter, which she uses in much the same way as a woodpecker uses a wall, and in longer episodes on her Patribotics blog, which describes itself as “Pro-America, pro-democracy, pro-NATO, pro-Russia, anti-Putin,” but which seems most consistently to be pro-clicks. In both arenas, she has made sure to set herself at the thriving center of a hive of unfastened theorizing and molten-hot dudgeon. If a hot topic can be linked to Donald Trump or to Russia, Louise Mensch will manage it. And if it can’t, she’ll manage it too.

In theory, Mensch represents the fact-checker’s deepest-held fantasy — the moment for which all that training was contrived and intended. In practice, she is uncheckable and unaccountable in precisely the same manner as is a primal scream. Mensch reads like a woman who speaks civics as a third or fourth language that she lost touch with long ago. She has a pidgin grasp on the American settlement, and an ersatz, bastardized relationship with reality. One part novella-fantasy, one part hallway-hearsay, Mensch’s world is one in which an ethereal “they” are omnipresent and omnipotent. “They,” she tells us, are considering executing Steve Bannon, though he hasn’t been charged with so much as speeding in a school zone. “They” have already “sentenced” Rudy Giuliani — to what fate we will presumably find out when someone next mentions his name on television. “They” will soon overturn the election results, and are on the verge of making Orrin Hatch president. Donald Trump, in turn, is perennially but a few steps from the gallows. On the 13th of April, Mensch promised that the “first arrests may be as soon as next week.” Yesterday, she related that the president faced imminent “federal execution.” Presumably, “they” just needed some more time.

Usurpation abounds, at home and abroad, and seems never to be walled in by anything as prosaic as the law. Mensch’s Supreme Court has proactive police powers and a Bruce Willis–esque “marshal” who chases down helicopters and colludes heroically with the rogue justices. Her Congress acts primarily in camera, and may already have informed Trump that he is no longer permitted to use his legal powers. Her FISA courts issue indictments they have no authority to present. And the rules? They’re suggestions, really. The America of Mensch’s imagination is a place in which the entire Republican party is imminently going to jail — on RICO charges, no less — because Paul Ryan is a partisan. What the Da Vinci Code was to Christian theology, Louise Mensch is to James Madison’s handiwork. See how the symbols line up in the moonlight?

It is on the subject of Russia, however, that Mensch has really hit her stride...
Keep reading.

What Media Elites Care About Isn't the Same as What Regular Americans Care About

Jon Gabriel's gotten a lot of attention with his recent article at Ricochet, and especially the graphic he put together.

See, "What Americans Care About vs. What the Media Cares About":
Despite the American people caring far more about health care than any other issue, the media has swamped the airwaves with Trump/Russia conspiracies to the detriment of nearly everything else.

The difference between the people and the press was so jarring, I created a chart comparing the two studies [Bloomberg and MRC]. Granted, these studies were conducted by two different organizations using very different methods, but the juxtaposition was remarkable.

I totaled the time in [this] MRC study (469 min.) and calculated the percentage of time each issue was given. I then compared the percentage of media coverage on each issue to the percentages shown as Americans’ top issues:

Media Bias photo DFJGA0SUQAAY11g_zpsklqrtv2q.png

Jon's been a little perplexed, if not pissed off, in how his graph's been swiped by major media outlets, including Fox and WSJ, without attribution.

Very well done.

PREVIOUSLY: "Why the Media's War on President Trump is Doomed to Fail."

Why the Media's War on President Trump is Doomed to Fail

From Thomas Frank, at the Guardian U.K., "The media's war on Trump is destined to fail. Why can't it see that?":
These are the worst of times for the American news media, but they are also the best. The newspaper industry as a whole has been dying slowly for years, as the pathetic tale of the once-mighty Chicago Tribune reminds us. But for the handful of well funded journalistic enterprises that survive, the Trump era is turning out to be a “golden age” – a time of high purpose and moral vindication.

The people of the respectable east coast press loathe the president with an amazing unanimity. They are obsessed with documenting his bad taste, with finding faults in his stupid tweets, with nailing him and his associates for this Russian scandal and that one. They outwit the simple-minded billionaire. They find the devastating scoops. The op-ed pages come to resemble Democratic fundraising pitches. The news sections are all Trump all the time. They have gone ballistic so many times the public now yawns when it sees their rockets lifting off.

A recent Alternet article I read was composed of nothing but mean quotes about Trump, some of them literary and high-flown, some of them low-down and cruel, most of them drawn from the mainstream media and all of them hilarious. As I write this, four of the five most-read stories on the Washington Post website are about Trump; indeed (if memory serves), he has dominated this particular metric for at least a year.

And why not? Trump certainly has it coming. He is obviously incompetent, innocent of the most basic knowledge about how government functions. His views are repugnant. His advisers are fools. He appears to be dallying with obviously dangerous forces. And thanks to the wipeout of the Democratic party, there is no really powerful institutional check on the president’s power, which means that the press must step up.

But there’s something wrong with it all.

The news media’s alarms about Trump have been shrieking at high C for more than a year. It was in January of 2016 that the Huffington Post began appending a denunciation of Trump as a “serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, birther and bully” to every single story about the man. It was last August that the New York Times published an essay approving of the profession’s collective understanding of Trump as a political mutation – an unacceptable deviation from the two-party norm – that journalists must cleanse from the political mainstream.

It hasn’t worked. They correct and denounce; they cluck and deride and Trump seems to bask in it. He reflects this incredible outpouring of disapprobation right back at the press itself. The old “liberal bias” critique, a minor deity in the pantheon of Republican paranoia since the days of Trump’s hero Richard Nixon, has been elevated to first place. Trump and company now use it to explain everything. And the news media’s reputation sinks lower and lower as they advance into their golden age.

What explains this dazzling disconnect? Yes, Trump is unpopular these days, but not nearly as unpopular as he deserves to be (among other amazing things, he is now reported to be more popular than Hillary Clinton). How can our opinion-leaders believe something so unanimously, so emphatically, and yet have so little success persuading their erstwhile opinion-followers to get in line?

One part of the explanation is the structural situation of the news media. As newspapers die off, their place in the American consciousness is taken by social networks of both the formal and informal variety. Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, these days we read only that which confirms our biases. Once upon a time, perhaps, the Washington Post could single-handedly bring down a president, but those days have passed.

But there’s also a second reason, one that is even more fundamental. The truth is that the unanimous anti-Trumpness of the respectable press is just one facet of a larger homogeneity. As it happens, the surviving press in this country is unanimous about all sorts of things....

This is the key to understanding many of their biases – and also for understanding why they are so utterly oblivious to how they appear to the rest of America.

What do I mean? Consider Politico’s famous email tip-sheet, Playbook, which is read religiously every morning by countless members of the DC press corps, including myself. About two-thirds of the publication consists of useful summaries of the day’s news stories.

The rest, however, is a sort of People magazine for the Washington journalist community, in which the reader is invited to celebrate leading journalists’ (and politicians’) birthdays, congratulate leading journalists (and politicians) for their witty phrase-making, learn which leading journalist (and politician) was seen at which party and anticipate which leading journalist (and politician) is going to be on which Sunday program.

Nor is Playbook the only entry in this genre. Before there was Politico there was ABC News and The Note, a similar email newsletter that also celebrated what it called the Gang of 500, the happy and hard-partying political and journalistic insiders who supposedly made Washington tick.

These things seem innocent and fun, of course. But there is an unwritten purpose to these daily honor rolls of journo/political friendship and that is to define the limits of what is acceptable.

Like the guestlist at Lally Weymouth’s party in the Hamptons, which was described so salaciously in Playbook a little while ago, a tiny handful of people and publications and ideas are in; everyone else is out.

It’s about legitimacy, of course, and what’s left of the respectable press is utterly captivated by the theme. It completely defines their war on Trump, for example. They know what a politician is supposed to look like and act like and sound like; they know that Trump does not conform to those rules; and they react to him as a kind of foreign object jammed rudely into their creamy world, a Rodney Dangerfield defiling the fancy country club.

I believe that the news media needs to win its war with Trump, and urgently so. But as long as they understand that war as a crusade to reestablish the old rules of legitimacy, they are going to continue to fail. Until the day they get it right, the world will burn while the in-crowd parties obliviously on.
Click on the link above to read the article and check the links therein, but here's this one, at Politco, "Out and about in the Hamptons at Lally Weymouth's annual party."

Claudia Galanti on the Balcony in Porto Cervo, Italy

At Taxi Driver, "Claudia Galanti on her Hotel Room Balcony."

And at Elite Girls Squad, "Claudia Galanti on the Balcony of a Hotel in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy (07/19/17)."

Sean Spicer Resigns as White House Press Secretary

I was out for a doctor's appointment this morning, and my Twitter feed was lighting up like a pinball machine.

Seems mainstream press flacks were really enjoying this, more so than should be normal.

But that's the way things are right now. You go to war against the media you have, lol.

Two videos at CNN, with Dana Bash (FWIW), "Sean Spicer resigns: What does it mean?", and "Spicer talks to CNN about resignation."

More at Memeorandum.

And at Politico, "Spicer quits amid White House feud: The beleaguered press secretary resigns after Trump settles on Scaramucci for communications director, splitting aides":
White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned on Friday following his disagreement with President Donald Trump’s decision to appoint Anthony Scaramucci, a Wall Street financier, as the new communications director, according to multiple White House officials.

It's a dramatic end for Spicer's White House tenure, which has been marked by combative exchanges with reporters in the briefing room and a rocky relationship with the president, who never warmed to the former Republican National Committee communications official.

It also marks a potential new direction for the White House communications shop, which has struggled to keep up with the flood of developments regarding the Russia investigations while trying to push Trump’s ambitious — yet stalled — legislative agenda. Spicer’s departure is the latest for an administration that already has seen its communications director, national security adviser, deputy chief of staff and vice president’s chief of staff leave or announce their imminent departures.

Trump thanked Spicer for his service in a statement delivered by deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders during a rare on-camera press briefing on Friday, and delivered a true-to-form compliment. "I am grateful for Sean's work on behalf of my administration and the American people. I wish him continued success as he moves on to pursue new opportunities. Just look at his great television ratings," Trump said of Spicer.

Sanders will take over as press secretary, and Spicer will stay on until August.

When Spicer found out about Trump's interest in bringing Scaramucci on board on Thursday night, he vented to confidants that he did not think Scaramucci could handle a major media campaign and didn't deserve the job, one of the confidants said. He also expressed concern about whether Scaramucci would technically be in a senior position to him, since in the Obama administration the communications director was senior to the press secretary, according to two people familiar with the conversations.

"He's never done communications in his life," said another person who spoke to Spicer about his thoughts on Scaramucci...
More.

'Dunkirk' – A 'Splendid Movie'

LAT's Kenneth Turan, an often harsh reviewer, hasn't a bad thing to say about "Dunkirk." He says it's "splendid."

See, "Christopher Nolan puts audiences in the middle of WWII in the intimate and epic 'Dunkirk'":
Very much like the pivotal historical event it celebrates, "Dunkirk" confounds expectations. Both intimate and epic, as emotional as it is tension-filled, it is being ballyhooed as a departure for bravura filmmaker Christopher Nolan, but in truth the reason it succeeds so masterfully is that it is anything but.

What happened at the French coastal town of Dunkirk between May 26 and June 4, 1940, was perhaps World War II's unlikeliest turnaround, as a complete military fiasco transmogrified into a stirring psychological victory capped by Winston Churchill's stirring "we shall fight on the beaches" speech.

This battle has fascinated writer-director Nolan for years — he once crossed the English Channel on a small boat specifically to get a sense of the setting — and he's brought a multifaceted examination of it to the screen in a way that's both structurally daring and evocative of old-school David Lean-style storytelling.

Using a cast that adroitly mixes young actors making their feature-film debuts (including former One Direction member Harry Styles) with canny veterans such as Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy, "Dunkirk" resembles previous Nolan films like "The Dark Knight" trilogy and "Inception" in concrete as well as thematic ways.

Working with repeat collaborators including cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, production designer Nathan Crowley, editor Lee Smith and composer Hans Zimmer, Nolan demonstrates his all-enveloping skill with the tools of narrative, a deep understanding of and commitment to craft as well as — witness his telling actor Styles that his boots were laced wrong — a willingness to care about the myriad details of filmmaking.

*****

If you don't see 'Dunkirk' on the biggest screen you can find, you'll be missing the heart of the experience...
More.

Previously, "'Dunkirk' – Christopher Nolan's Best Film So Far (VIDEO)."

ICYMI: Angela Nagle, Kill All Normies

I started reading this. It's a quick read and really interesting.

There's a ton of reviews already online, at Quillette, for example. I'll post a few thoughts of my own when I finish, as well as links to a few more reviews. I gotta say, though, it's a valuable treatment of current online political and ideological wars, for all the book's other faults (of which there are a few).

In any case, at Amazon, Angela Nagle, Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan And Tumblr To Trump And The Alt-Right.

Crazy Is a Pre-Existing Condition

From Robert Stacy McCain, at the Other McCain:

 photo Aryn_Maitland_zps6puukbfb.jpg
In January 2014, when I first wrote about the controversy between radical feminists and transgender activists, it seemed to me a bad joke. “The Competitive Victimhood Derby,” I called it — two rival tribes of left-wing nutjobs vying for the coveted Most Oppressed Award. Subsequent research, however, convinced me that the radical feminist nutjobs were actually right on the basic issue — being male or female is a fact of science, not subject to politically motivated revision — and transgender activists were wrongly seeking to hijack “gender identity” (and feminism, along with it) in a way that amounts to Female Erasure, to quote the title of a recent radical feminist anthology on the subject. “Facts are stubborn things,” as John Adams said, and there is something fundamentally dishonest about the ideology of the transgender cult.

Young people are becoming seriously confused by the transgender cult. Or perhaps the causation works the other way, and confused young people are magnetically attracted to the cult belief that, with the “treatment” of synthetic hormones and surgery, they can escape their adolescent woes by “transitioning” into the opposite sex. Feminists have identified the factor of social contagion in what they call “rapid-onset gender dysphoria.” Through the influence of peers, and also through online recruitment by transgender cultists, many teenagers are quite suddenly convinced that they were “born in the wrong body.” In a matter of months or even a few weeks, an otherwise healthy teenage will develop an obsession with “gender transition” and demand that parents not only accept their new transgender identity, but often threaten suicide unless parents support them in seeking hormone “treatment” immediately. This kind of emotional blackmail is part of the transgender cult’s ideology, as activists claim that anyone who opposes them is effectively sentencing teenagers to death by denying them acceptance and “health care.”

This brings us to the case of Aryn Maitland who, in April 2016, posted the following fundraising appeal on YouCaring.com...
Keep reading.

This young, er, *person* is a sympathetic figure, especially since she/he appears to be very attractive and intelligent. Then radical leftism destroyed her/his life. (Or is it "they/them's" life? I can't keep up with the inanities of gender identification.)

President Trump Has Asked His Attorneys About His Ability to Pardon Aides, Family Members — and Even Himself

This makes leftists really mad. Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe tweeted, "Memo to Trump: Anyone you pardon can be compelled to testify without any grant of immunity, and that testimony could undo you."

At WaPo, via Memeorandum, "Trump team seeks to control, block Mueller’s Russia investigation":
Some of President Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort.

Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.

One adviser said the president has simply expressed a curiosity in understanding the reach of his pardoning authority, as well as the limits of Mueller’s investigation.

“This is not in the context of, ‘I can’t wait to pardon myself,’ ” a close adviser said.

With the Russia investigation continuing to widen, Trump’s lawyers are working to corral the probe and question the propriety of the special counsel’s work. They are actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work, according to several of Trump’s legal advisers.

A conflict of interest is one of the possible grounds that can be cited by an attorney general to remove a special counsel from office under Justice Department regulations that set rules for the job.

Responding to this story on Friday after it was published late Thursday, one of Trump’s attorneys, John Dowd, said it was “not true” and “nonsense.”

“The President’s lawyers are cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller on behalf of the President,” he said.

Other advisers said the president is also irritated by the notion that Mueller’s probe could reach into his and his family’s finances.

Trump has been fuming about the probe in recent weeks as he has been informed about the legal questions that he and his family could face. His primary frustration centers on why allegations that his campaign coordinated with Russia should spread into scrutinizing many years of Trump dealmaking. He has told aides he was especially disturbed after learning Mueller would be able to access several years of his tax returns...
Still more, via Twitter.

ICYMI: H.G. Adler, Theresienstadt, 1941-1945

At Amazon, H.G. Adler, Theresienstadt, 1941-1945: The Face of a Coerced Community.

Nikolaus Wachsmann, KL

At Amazon, Nikolaus Wachsmann, KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Jeff Sessions Won't Resign

I've been ignoring the "breaking" New York Times coverage on Trump's Russia ties, including the big story that went live last night and was trending this morning, "In Interview, Trump Expresses Anger at Sessions and Comey, and Warns Mueller." (Safe link.)

Still, the news had some impact.

Here's this, at Politico, "Sessions won't resign for now, but gets Trump's message":
The president's decision to criticize his attorney general to the New York Times was intended to communicate his lingering fury over Sessions' recusal from the Russia probes, said people close to the president.

President Donald Trump’s broadside against Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a New York Times interview this week was no careless accident or slip of the tongue.

Instead, the president was sending a message, said a Trump adviser who talked with him after the interview — making a deliberate effort to convey his lingering displeasure with his attorney general, who recused himself in March from the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

“He didn’t just do that randomly,” the adviser said of the president. “There was a certain thinking behind it.”

Precisely what Trump expected Sessions to do in response remains unclear. Sessions said Thursday that he intends to remain in his position for the time being. “I plan to continue to do so as long as that is appropriate,” Sessions said at a Department of Justice news conference. “We’re serving right now. What we’re doing today is the kind of work that we intend to continue.”

One person close to Sessions said he has no interest in resigning, although he previously offered to do so in late May, following several outbursts by Trump over his recusal.

While the resignation attempt was previously reported, this person told POLITICO that Trump had demanded that Sessions submit a resignation letter. By the time Sessions did so the following day, Trump had cooled down and rejected the offer.

A spokeswoman for the attorney general and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the episode.

In the interview Wednesday with the Times, Trump suggested he would have picked someone else to run the Justice Department had he known Sessions was going to remove himself from oversight of the Russia probe, which has expanded to include contacts between Kremlin-connected operatives and Trump aides and family members...
More.

Jackie Johnson's Very Warm Forecast

Except for a bagel run, I was inside all day today. I walked five miles yesterday, though. I might do that again tomorrow or Saturday.

In any case, here's the lovely, sparkling Ms. Jackie. She's so full of life's happiness, filling out a little with the baby weight from her pregnancy.

Beautiful.

At CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Ian Kershaw, Hitler

Following up from earlier, "Allan Bullock, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny."

Here's Ian Kershaw, Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris, and Hitler: 1936-1945 Nemesis.

As noted a couple of times, I'm waiting for Volker Ullrich's new biography to be out in paperback. See, at Amazon, Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939.

Deals in Television, Audio, and Accessories

At Amazon, Save on TV, Video, Audio.

BONUS: James D. Hornfischer, Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal.

Annika Mombauer, The Origins of the First World War

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Annika Mombauer, The Origins of the First World War: Controversies and Consensus.

Antonia Okafor: How I Became Racist, Sexist, Mysogynist (VIDEO)

These Prager University videos are getting better all the time.

This one is fantastic!

I'm only vaguely familiar with Antonia Okafor, but she is a smokin' patriot!



Danica Patrick on Singer Island (VIDEO)

She's lovely.

At Sports Illustrated Swimwuit:


Shelley Baranowski, Nazi Empire

This looks interesting, especially going from Bismarck until the end of World War II.

At Amazon, Shelley Baranowski, Nazi Empire: German Colonialism and Imperialism from Bismarck to Hitler.

Victoria's Secret Model Martha Hunt

At London's Daily Mail, "White hot! Martha Hunt sizzles as she flaunts her fabulous figure in skimpy bikini on the beach as she poses for Victoria's Secret photo shoot," and "Fighting fit! Martha Hunt shows off her martial arts prowess with an impressive kick on stunning Victoria's Secret photoshoot at Coney Island."

Also, at Drunken Stepfather, "MARTHA HUNT’S ON SET PANTY FLASH OF THE DAY."

Andrew Hartman, War for the Soul of America

Following-up from my previous entry, "Patrick J. Buchanan, The Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization."

I've been meaning to pick up a copy of this book for the longest time.

See Andrew Hartman, A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars.
When Patrick Buchanan took the stage at the Republican National Convention in 1992 and proclaimed, “There is a religious war going on for the soul of our country,” his audience knew what he was talking about: the culture wars, which had raged throughout the previous decade and would continue until the century’s end, pitting conservative and religious Americans against their liberal, secular fellow citizens. It was an era marked by polarization and posturing fueled by deep-rooted anger and insecurity.

Buchanan’s fiery speech marked a high point in the culture wars, but as Andrew Hartman shows in this richly analytical history, their roots lay farther back, in the tumult of the 1960s—and their significance is much greater than generally assumed. Far more than a mere sideshow or shouting match, the culture wars, Hartman argues, were the very public face of America’s struggle over the unprecedented social changes of the period, as the cluster of social norms that had long governed American life began to give way to a new openness to different ideas, identities, and articulations of what it meant to be an American. The hot-button issues like abortion, affirmative action, art, censorship, feminism, and homosexuality that dominated politics in the period were symptoms of the larger struggle, as conservative Americans slowly began to acknowledge—if initially through rejection—many fundamental transformations of American life.

As an ever-more partisan but also an ever-more diverse and accepting America continues to find its way in a changing world, A War for the Soul of America reminds us of how we got here, and what all the shouting has really been about.

Patrick J. Buchanan, The Death of the West

Old Pat was decades ahead of his time, lol.

This book came out 15 years ago, but looks more prescient today than ever.

At Amazon, Patrick J. Buchanan, The Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization.

Michelle Malkin, Who Built That

Following-up, "Manufacturing Hate for 'Made in America'."

Michelle knows whereof she speaks.

Check out her book, at Amazon, Michelle Malkin, Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs.

Michelle Makin photo 516OdNgljdL_zpsyp2wcemg.jpg


Manufacturing Hate for 'Made in America'

From Michelle Malkin:
It’s “Made In America” week in Washington, D.C. You’d think this would be cause for bipartisan celebration. Who could be against highlighting the ingenuity, self-reliance and success of our nation’s homegrown entrepreneurs and manufacturers?

Enter Bill Kristol.

The entrenched Beltway pundit ridiculed a festive kickoff event on Monday at the White House, where President Donald Trump hosted companies from all 50 states to showcased their American-made products.

“Maybe it’s just me,” killjoy Kristol tweeted, “but I find something off-putting about turning the White House into an exhibition hall for American tchotchkes.” (That’s the Yiddish word for useless trinkets).

“Tchotchkes”?

Tell that to the engineers at Hytrol, the Arkansas-based conveyor manufacturer that brought a mechanical display of its technology to the State Dining Room. Hytrol’s late founder, Tom Loberg, started out as a gopher at an electronics parts factory during the Great Depression, worked his way up to designing Navy turbines, hydraulic pumps and cylinders, and entered the conveyor belt business after perfecting bag-transporting machinery for seed, grain and tobacco farmers.

Hytrol’s state-of-the-art products are now used by companies ranging from Amazon.com to Office Depot to leading pharmaceutical, retail, food and publishing conglomerates around the world. A pioneer in the materials handling industry, Hytrol employs 1,300 high-skilled workers and will rake in revenues of more than $200 million this year alone.

“Tchotchkes”?

Tell that to the employees of Wisconsin’s Pierce Manufacturing, which displayed one of its 30,000 custom-built fire trucks on the White House front lawn. Pierce started out as an auto body shop operating out of a converted church and now boasts a 2,000-person workforce. The company produces the iconic aerial tillers, pumpers, tankers and rescue trucks driven by first responders across the country every day.

“Tchotchkes”?

Tell that to Iowa-based RMA Armament’s founder Blake Waldrop, a former Marine and police officer, who was inspired to manufacture stronger body armor after losing a comrade in Iraq to an IED attack. His ceramic plates, also featured at the “Made in America” event on Monday, have been purchased by police departments in Baltimore, Los Angeles and Waterloo, Iowa. Waldrop is working on partnerships to bring his products to the U.S. military and overseas.

“I always tell people I didn’t invent armor any more than Steve Jobs invented the computer,” Waldrop told the Des Moines Register earlier this year. “I just found a better way to do it, just like he did.”

“Tchotchkes”?

Delaware’s ILC Dover participated in President Trump’s “Made in America” exhibition, too. Its trademark trifling bauble? The space suit worn by every U.S. astronaut since Project Apollo. Prolific inventor-turned-industrialist Abram Spanel, a Russian-born son of Jewish garment workers, spun off the company from his giant latex conglomerate that manufactured everything from girdles and swimwear to canteens and lifeboats.

ILC Dover produced high-pressure suits and helmets for the Air Force before winning a contract to design suits for NASA. In addition to displaying spacesuits used on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs, the company brought to the White House its DoverPac Flexible Isolator System used by pharmaceutical companies in their manufacturing processes; its Sentinel respirator used in the health care industry; and its SCape escape respirator used to protect U.S. government officials around the world from carbon monoxide, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear contaminants.

It’s a crying shame D.C. is infested with effete talking heads whose only successfully manufactured product is condescending hostility toward the real movers and shakers in America. Patriotism is gauche and “off-putting” to incurable Trump-bashers like Bill Kristol, who supported Hillary Clinton and her foreign-subsidized pay-to-play cash machine over Donald Trump’s unapologetic nationalism.

Could Trump and his family’s own companies do better in hiring American and manufacturing in America? Sure.

Could the White House be doing more to freeze foreign worker visas at both ends of the wage scale and truly put A
merican workers first? Undeniably.

But to nastily deride the makers and job creators proudly showing off their wares in the nation’s capital at the invitation of our commander in chief takes a special level of anti-Trump lunacy and arrogance...


Allan Bullock, Hitler

I found this while out shopping.

I love the little pocket paperback books, especially of the classics. They're so easy to carry around and light in your hands.

Also at Amazon, Allan Bullock, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny.