Sunday, December 10, 2017

President Trump Watches Television: Mainstream (Lamestream) News Reporters Freak Out

What's the big deal? Trump's a former reality star host. He likes the television and entertainment, and he gets his news from the cable channels. But oh! He's an anti-intellectual boob who watches hours and hours of TV! Heaven forfend!

Here:


Jennifer Delacruz Dry Windy Fire Warning Forecast

It was 87 degrees yesterday when I was out running errands in the early afternoon.

Oh no! Global warming!

Just kidding. It's dangerous fire weather, though.

Here's the beautiful Ms. Jennifer, for ABC 10 News San Diego:



Why the #MeToo Moment Should Be Ready for a Backlash

Heh. The backlash is coming.

At Politico (via Memeorandum).


Combined Army-Navy Glee Club Singing National Anthem (VIDEO)

At Red State, "AWESOME: Combined Army-Navy Glee Club Sings National Anthem."


Course on Political Polarization: Jennifer Victor, Associate Professor of Political Science, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University

Here's her tweet with the readings for a class in polarization. Not a conservative tome in the bunch. Not going to ridicule her too much (some of those books are great), but I'd like to see the syllabus as well. There's a lot of excellent writing on polarization, peer-reviewed, from conservatives. Balance is more crucial than ever nowadays, but leftists don't care.

Here's her teaching page at George Mason. Don't see at particular polarization syllabus, but there are related classes.


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Arthur C. Clarke, Rendezvous with Rama

At Amazon, Arthur C. Clarke, Rendezvous with Rama.



The Rise of N.W.A and the Dawn of Gangsta Rap

An excerpt from Gerrick D. Kennedy,'s new book, Parental Discretion Is Advised: The Rise of N.W.A and the Dawn of Gangsta Rap.

At LAT, "The moment N.W.A changed the music world":

Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella caused a seismic shift in hip-hop when they form N.W.A in 1986. With its hard-core image, bombastic sound and lyrics that were equal parts poetic, lascivious, conscious and downright in-your-face, N.W.A spoke the truth about life on the streets of Compton, then a hotbed of poverty, drugs, gangs and unemployment. In “Parental Discretion Is Advised: The Rise of N.W.A and the Dawn of Gangsta Rap” (Atria: 288 pp., $26), Times music reporter Gerrick D. Kennedy traces the origins of the group that birthed the first major disruption of hip-hop during the genre’s infancy. Ice Cube once said, “Everything in the world came after this group.” In this exclusive excerpt, Kennedy details the brash arrival of N.W.A.

*****

OF THE MANY BIG BANGS that have transformed rap over the decades, N.W.A’s “Straight Outta Compton” is one of the loudest.

It was a sonic Molotov cocktail that ignited a firestorm when it debuted in the summer of 1988. Steered by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella’s dark production and Ice Cube and MC Ren’s striking rhymes, then brought to life by Eazy-E’s wicked charm, the record fused the bombastic sonics of Public Enemy’s production with vicious lyrics that were revolutionary or perverse, depending on whom you asked.

The world hadn’t heard anything like it before. Radio stations and MTV refused to add the title song to their playlists. Critics didn’t get it, couldn’t see past the language, or, worse, refused to acknowledge it as music. Politicians even launched attacks, working to great lengths to condemn the music and its creators.

N.W.A were to hip-hop what the Sex Pistols were to rock — and really, what’s more punk than having a name that dared to be spoken or written in full, and music that incensed a nation?

Red-faced and outraged Americans protested the group, police officers refused to provide security for its shows, and the FBI got involved, but that didn’t stop “Straight Outta Compton,” N.W.A’s debut album, from selling three million records without a radio single.

With “Straight Outta Compton,” N.W.A didn’t just manage to put its hood on the map, the group forced the world to pay attention to the rap sounds coming out of the West Coast. It’s an album that provided the soundtrack for agitated and restless black youth across America with its rough and raunchy tales of violent life in the inner city, expressed through razor-sharp lyrics.

“It was good music,” LA rap-radio pioneer Greg Mack said. “And the lyrics, they meant something.”

The emergence of N.W.A — who billed itself as the World’s Most Dangerous Group — in the late eighties provided a jolt to the rap industry. Public Enemy had already helped redefine the genre by ushering in aggressively pro-Black raps that were intelligent, socially aware and politically charged. But N.W.A opted for an angrier approach.

The group celebrated the hedonism and violence of gangs and drugs that turned neighborhoods into war zones, capturing it in brazen language soaked in explicitness. “Street reporters” is what they called themselves, and their dispatches were raw and unhinged — no matter how ugly the stories were.

Like the Beatles, N.W.A’s lineup was stacked with all-stars: Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and MC Ren would become platinum-selling solo rappers, while DJ Yella helped Dre break ground on a new sound in hip-hop.

They were the living embodiment of the streets where they were raised, and there was zero pretense about it. And when it came to subject matter, with N.W.A, politics took a backseat. Instead, frustrations about growing up young and black on the streets of South Central Los Angeles became the driving force behind their music.

Gangs, violence, poverty, and the ravishing eighties crack epidemic swept through black neighborhoods like F5 tornadoes. People were angry and restless, and without a flinch N.W.A documented its dark and grim realities like urban newsmen.

“Straight Outta Compton” was a flash point that spoke for a disenfranchised community and disrupted the order of those who were confronted with the voices and images of a community they’d much rather ignore. Black teens and young adults immersed in street life, yet looking for something to hold on to, flocked to the album. And so did white, suburban, middle-class teens who knew nothing about the “hood” or a life inside it, but looked to rap as an outlet for rebellion in the same way their parents gravitated toward the angsty countercultural attitudes percolating in rock music during the 1960s.

As unapologetically violent, misogynist, and problematic as their lyrics often were, the group’s harrowing depictions of urban nightmares provided a vital response to the growing disenfranchisement from the Reagan-era politics that had transformed the nation and created an economic catastrophe for metropolitan Los Angeles. N.W.A introduced an antihero. The way Melvin Van Peebles’s groundbreaking 1971 film “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song” used America’s longstanding perception of black men as seething, violent hunks to politicize the image, N.W.A brought it to life by mixing reality with fantasy through its music — and the result was as terrifying as it was successful.

At its peak, Eazy’s Ruthless Records — a label he started strictly as a means to get off the streets — was the number-one independent label in the industry and the largest black-owned indie since Berry Gordy’s legendary Motown empire. Without Eazy laying down the foundation for hustlers-turned-record-executives, who knows if Death Row, Bad Boy, No Limit, or Cash Money could have existed. How would Jay-Z ever have known he could go from slinging crack cocaine to creating Roc-A- Fella had Eazy not done it less than a decade before?
More.

At least 46 Horses Dead Affter Lilac Fire Rips Through San Luis Rey Downs Training Facility (VIDEO)

What a nightmare.

At the San Deigo Union-Tribune, "Thoroughbred death toll rises to 46 from wildfire":

The number of horses killed at a thoroughbred training facility during North County’s Lilac wildfire has risen to 46, a spokesman for the California Horse Racing Board said Saturday morning.

A small number of additional horses remain unaccounted for after escaping from the facility, San Luis Rey Downs, in Bonsall, said the spokesman, Mike Marten.

The racing board previously put the number of horses killed at the facility at 35. The Lilac fire destroyed eight barns at the sprawling, 500-stall facility on Thursday.

Trainer Martine Bellocq also suffered second- and third-degree burns as she tried to rescue six horses from the facility. She was placed in a medically induced coma at UC San Diego Medical Center on Thursday.
Also at the Los Angeles Times, "At least 46 horses dead, others missing from thoroughbred facility after San Diego County wildfire":
Officials said about 360 surviving horses from San Luis Rey Downs were moved to the Del Mar Fairgrounds, and some 850 horses evacuated during the fires are stabled there.

A fundraiser for the San Luis Rey Downs horses on the website GoFundMe had raised nearly $478,000 as of Saturday afternoon.

Another 29 horses died at a Sylmar ranch overrun by the Creek fire Tuesday. There have also been reports of dead or missing horses and ponies from small farms and ranches throughout the region.

Santa Ana winds moved the fires so quickly and so unpredictably that those fleeing had only minutes to leave. In some cases, horse owners said they had to choose between saving themselves and their animals.

Some owners won't know the fate of their animals until evacuation orders are lifted and they can search their properties.

Lily Rose Depp at Chanel's Métiers d'Art Collection Party

At Chanel, "Kristen Stewart, Lily-Rose Depp, Marine Vacth, and Tilda Swinton at the ... #CHANELMetiersdArt 2017/18 show."

And at Taxi Driver, "Lily Rose Depp in Black Lacy Dress."

Starving Polar Bear

This is sad, but it's an astronomical leap to infer that humans caused this. We have climate change. There's been climate change throughout history. Radical leftists are anti-human, exploiting the death of wildlife to drive their anti-human agenda.

At USA Today, "National Geographic photographer shares emotional video of dying polar bear."

Also at National Geographic, "Heart-Wrenching Video Shows Starving Polar Bear on Iceless Land."

From photographer Paul Nicklen


My entire @Sea_Legacy team was pushing through their tears and emotions while documenting this dying polar bear. It’s a soul-crushing scene that still haunts me, but I know we need to share both the beautiful and the heartbreaking if we are going to break down the walls of apathy. This is what starvation looks like. The muscles atrophy. No energy. It’s a slow, painful death. When scientists say polar bears will be extinct in the next 100 years, I think of the global population of 25,000 bears dying in this manner. There is no band aid solution. There was no saving this individual bear. People think that we can put platforms in the ocean or we can feed the odd starving bear. The simple truth is this—if the Earth continues to warm, we will lose bears and entire polar ecosystems. This large male bear was not old, and he certainly died within hours or days of this moment. But there are solutions. We must reduce our carbon footprint, eat the right food, stop cutting down our forests, and begin putting the Earth—our home—first. Please join us at @sea_legacy as we search for and implement solutions for the oceans and the animals that rely on them—including us humans. Thank you your support in keeping my @sea_legacy team in the field.


Ivan Krastev, After Europe

Bye bye Brussels? One can hope.

At Amazon, Ivan Krastev, After Europe.
In this provocative book, renowned public intellectual Ivan Krastev reflects on the future of the European Union—and its potential lack of a future. With far-right nationalist parties on the rise across the continent and the United Kingdom planning for Brexit, the European Union is in disarray and plagued by doubts as never before. Krastev includes chapters devoted to Europe's major problems (especially the political destabilization sparked by the more than 1.3 million migrants from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia), the spread of right-wing populism (taking into account the election of Donald Trump in the United States), and the thorny issues facing member states on the eastern flank of the EU (including the threat posed by Vladimir Putin's Russia). He concludes by reflecting on the ominous political, economic, and geopolitical future that would await the continent if the Union itself begins to disintegrate.

Madison Beer for LOVE Advent (VIDEO)

Here's the next installment:



E.L. Doctorow, The Book of Daniel

At Amazon, E.L. Doctorow, The Book of Daniel: A Novel.



Peter Matthiessen, At Play in the Fields of the Lord

At Amazon, Peter Matthiessen, At Play in the Fields of the Lord.



ICYMI: Rupert Darwall, Green Tyranny

At Amazon, Rupert Darwall, Green Tyranny: Exposing the Totalitarian Roots of the Climate Industrial Complex.



Third World Dump: Los Angeles Democrats 'Help' the Homeless with Public Toilets

If you read the New York Times' piece from the other day, "End of Apartheid in South Africa?", you would have noticed that black South Africans still live overwhelming in the poverty-infested "townships," one of the key institutions of apartheid. One of the photos at the story showed rows of porta-potties spread along garbage-strewn streets.

Well, it turns out Los Angeles Democrats have a Third World hellhole to emulate.

At the Los Angles Times, "L.A. adds more public toilets as homeless crisis grows":
Los Angeles officials have debated for decades how best to provide for one of the most basic needs of homeless people.

For those camped in the 50-block skid row district, the streets have been an open-air restroom — with only nine toilets available overnight in recent months to as many as 1,800 people camped on sidewalks.

Over the years, the city would install bathrooms and then haul them away after they were commandeered for drug use and prostitution. Some in downtown also worried the restrooms would give a permanence to the homeless camps, and argued that in the lawless atmosphere of skid row, people would not use them.

But with homelessness at crisis proportions, the first new public toilets on skid row in more than a decade opened Monday.

The action represents a new consensus among many downtown interests about how to provide the essential service on skid row. The restrooms also are expected to help in the fight against a statewide hepatitis A outbreak spread by poor hygiene in homeless camps that has killed more than a dozen people in San Diego.

The Los Angeles facilities will be decidedly different from those in the past, both aesthetically and culturally.

A key will be having full-time attendants, whom activists are calling "ambassadors," to monitor the restrooms and make people feel welcome. Homeless advocates also hope to have a snack stand and a bench for resting and chatting with friends, as well as provide feminine hygiene products, which are in short supply on skid row.

The new approach comes as the border between skid row and the rest of downtown is shifting. High-end development is rising at skid row's doorstep, and the tent cities that once were largely limited to skid row are spreading to other parts of the city.

"In other places, the bathrooms might be seen as something that's going to attract certain behaviors or people," said Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council director Nate Cormier, a South Park resident. "We have so many people under those conditions, we're all looking any way we can to turn the tide and deal with the crisis."

The latest $450,000 facility is modest — eight toilets and six showers, operating four days a week, in a trailer on a city-owned parking lot sandwiched between two homeless housing and service agencies. In addition to attendants, the toilets will be monitored by a maintenance crew and security, which organizers hope will forestall the problems that so long soured skid row bathroom politics.

A January expansion will increase the number of showers and toilets and add laundry facilities, officials said.

At the formal opening Monday morning, Mayor Eric Garcetti underlined the community’s role in the project.

"It is for decades that this community has cried out for the need for public restrooms," Garcetti said at the event, which featured a bongo and guitar trio and a dozen other city and county officials. "We know here that this is one step, but it is a critical step."

The celebratory atmosphere was broken when a skid row activist who worked on the project tore up the city certificate of appreciation that Garcetti had handed him.

"It's 10 years late and three times short," General Dogon, a member of the Los Angeles Community Action Network, an anti-poverty group, said as television cameras rolled. "This ain't nothing to what we laid out and what we need."
At the photo at the piece, "Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tours the new Skid Row Community ReFresh Spot hygiene center."

We should dump his head in a public toilet and see how he likes it, the ghoul.

Driving on the 405 Near the Getty Center

It's Elex Michaelson:


Friday, December 8, 2017

Rita Ora Bootylicious (VIDEO)

At LOVE Advent:
Rita Ora is the busy little bootylicious bee of the 2017 LOVE Advent line-up. Directed by Rankin, the British singer is the latest star to be revealed for the sexy festive tradition. Ora’s sultry performance is set to her latest single, Anywhere, with the GIF-style film setting pulses racing.



Isaac Asimov, Foundation

At Amazon, Isaac Asimov, Foundation.



Corey R. Lewandowski and David N. Bossie, Let Trump Be Trump

This book's flying off the shelves, or off the delivery lines.

At Amazon, Corey R. Lewandowski and David N. Bossie, Let Trump Be Trump: The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency.



Deal of the Day

At Amazon, Today's Deals.

More, Up to 40% Off Coleman Camping Gear.

And especially, Coleman 24-Piece Enamel Dinnerware Set.

Plus, Samsung Gear VR w/Controller (2017) - Latest Edition - Note 8, GS8s, GS7s, Note 5, GS6s (US Version w/ Warranty).

More, Olive Drab Green Warm Wool Fire Retardant Blanket, 66 x 90 (80% Wool) - U.S. Military.

Also, Carhartt Men's Arctic Quilt Lined Sandstone Traditional Coat.

Still more, Honeywell 360 Degree Surround Fan Forced Heater with Surround Heat Output, Charcoal Grey.

BONUS: Charles A. Murray, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010.

Economic Freedom Fighters

Katie Hopkins was tweeting about her supposed upcoming visit to South Africa yesterday, but those tweets have been taken down. Here's a blog post (attacking her) with some screen shots, "Katie Hopkins Joins Apartheid Deniers."

She tweeted:
“If you are a white farmer / former farmer in #SA and would be prepared to share your truths face to face - katie@katiehopkins.co.uk Jan 2018 … Thank you. I am hoping to inspire ‘real journalists’ to get off their sofa / WiFi to search for the stories that matter” she Tweeted. So what are these “stories that matter”?
She also engaged the Economic Freedom Fighters, and I checked them out. They're freakin' hardcore, man. From their "about" page":

1. The ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS is a radical and militant economic emancipation movement that brings together revolutionary, fearless, radical, and militant activists, workers’ movements, nongovernmental organisations, community-based organisations and lobby groups under the umbrella of pursuing the struggle for economic emancipation.

2. The EFF is a radical, leftist, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist movement with an internationalist outlook anchored by popular grassroots formations and struggles. The EFF will be the vanguard of community and workers’ struggles and will always be on the side of the people. The EFF will, with determination and consistency, associate with the protest movement in South Africa and will also join in struggles that defy unjust laws.

3. The EFF takes lessons from the notation that “political power without economic emancipation is meaningless”. The movement is inspired by ideals that promote the practice of organic forms of political leadership, which appreciate that political leadership at whatever level is service, not an opportunity for self-enrichment and self-gratification.

4. The EFF draws inspiration from the broad Marxist-Leninist tradition and Fanonian schools of thought in their analyses of the state, imperialism, culture and class contradictions in every society. Through organic engagement and a constant relationship with the masses, Economic Freedom Fighters provide clear and cogent alternatives to the current neo-colonial economic system, which in many countries keep the oppressed under colonial domination and subject to imperialist exploitation.

5. The EFF is a South African movement with a progressive internationalist outlook, which seeks to engage with global progressive movements. We believe that the best contribution we can make in the international struggle against global imperialism is to rid our country of imperialist domination. For the South African struggle, the EFF pillars for economic emancipation are the following:

a. Expropriation of South Africa’s land without compensation for equal redistribution in      use.
b. Nationalisation of mines, banks, and other strategic sectors of the economy,       
    without compensation.
c. Building state and government capacity, which will lead to the abolishment of 
    tenders.
d. Free quality education, healthcare, houses, and sanitation.
e. Massive protected industrial development to create millions of sustainable jobs,
     including the introduction of minimum wages in order to close the wage gap
     between the rich and the poor, close the apartheid wage gap and promote rapid
     career paths for Africans in the workplace.
f. Massive development of the African economy and advocating for a move from
   reconciliation to justice in the entire continent.
g. Open, accountable, corrupt-free government and society without fear of
    victimisation by state agencies.

6. The EFF appreciates the role played by the fathers and mothers of South Africa’s liberation movement. The EFF draws inspiration from the radical, working class interpretation of the Freedom Charter, because, since its adoption in 1955, there have been various meanings given to the Freedom Charter. The EFF’s interpretation of the Freedom Charter is one which says South Africa indeed belongs to all who live in it, and ownership of South Africa’s economic resources and access to opportunities should reflect that indeed South Africa belongs to all who live in it. The EFF’s interpretation of the Freedom Charter is that which says the transfer of mineral wealth beneath the soil, monopoly industries and banks means nationalisation of mines, banks and monopoly industries.

7. The EFF’s interpretation of the Freedom Charter also accepts that while the state is in command and in control of the commanding heights of South Africa’s economy, “people shall have equal rights to trade where they choose, to manufacture and to enter all trades, crafts and professions”, meaning that there will never be wholesale nationalisation and state control of every sector of South Africa’s economy. Nationalisation of strategic sectors and assets will be blended with a strong industrial policy to support social and economic development.

8. Economic Freedom Fighters will contest political power, because we are guided by the firm belief that we need political power in order to capture the state and then transform the economy for the emancipation of black South Africans, especially Africans. The forms in which the EFF contests political power will, from time to time, be reviewed in the light of prevailing circumstances, but the primary role of mass organisation and activism, as a means to raise the political consciousness of the people, will remain the bedrock of our political practice.

9. Therefore, the EFF will be involved in mass movements and community protests that seek the betterment of people’s lives. The EFF will also associate with movements that demand land through land occupation, aimed at making the message clear that our people do need land. The EFF will support all trade unions and workers that stand up in demand of better working conditions and salaries wherever and whenever they do so. The EFF will not be bound by narrow alliance loyalties that compromise the interests of workers just because they are in a different trade union. Our pursuit of the basic demands of the Freedom Charter is above forms of organisation that the working class, and indeed black people, may fashion in the course of struggles. In other words, alliances and other forms of organisation are relevant to the extent that they maximise our march towards realising the vision outlined in the Freedom Charter.

10. The EFF is guided by revolutionary internationalism and solidarity that defined the politics of the July 26 Movement, which led the Cuban Revolutionary struggles. We will partake in international struggles that seek to emancipate the economically unliberated people of Africa and the world. We will form part of the progressive movements in the world that stand against continued imperialist domination.

Aims and Objectives:

To establish and sustain a society that cherishes revolutionary cultural values and to create conditions for total political and economic emancipation, prosperity and equitable distribution of wealth of the nation.
To attain and defend the National Integrity and Liberation of the oppressed black majority of South Africa.
To participate in the worldwide struggle for the complete eradication of imperialism, colonialism, racism and all other forms of discrimination.
To participate in, support and promote all struggles for the attainment of the complete independence and unity of African states and by extension, the African continent.
To oppose resolutely, tribalism, regionalism, religious and cultural intolerance.
To oppose oppression of women and the oppression of all other gendered persons.
To oppose patriarchy, sexism, and homophobia and any cultural or religious practices that promotes the oppression of anyone, women in particular.

Why is Everything Burning?

Arson's one of the main causes of the fires. It makes me so angry.

A good piece, at USA Today, "California fires: Why is everything burning?"






Gift Guide

Love it, heh.

At the O.C. Register, "Holiday gift guide."


Porn Star August Ames Commits Suicide

This story is sad and infuriating.

At the Independent Journal Review, "Porn Star August Ames Found Dead After Bullying Over Refusing to Shoot With Man Who Does Gay Scenes."


Also, at the Federalist, "Porn Star Commits Suicide After Mob Hounds Her for Refusing Partner Who Had Gay Sex":

For a while now, the joke has been that political correctness is moving so swiftly that not only will you have to approve of gay sex, it will become mandatory. I don’t mean this as an unfortunately literal bit of gallows humor, but Ames’ death does raise eyebrows because it speaks to a frightening dystopia where any traditional deference to female vulnerability becomes subservient to liberal pieties about sexuality.

The day Ames killed herself, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments about a case involving a Colorado cake baker who doesn’t want to make cakes for gay weddings. The baker, quite understandably and credibly, insists there’s a rather large expressive and artistic component to his vocation, so he shouldn’t be forced to endorse any particular message or religious ceremony he disagrees with. The counterargument is that it’s just a cake, and as long as you’re open for business, you have to serve anyone without discrimination.

Well, I’m scratching my head trying to figure out how Ames’s detractors weren’t extending the exact same logic of “public accommodation” to her. After all, she’s open for business, if you want to call it that. Wouldn’t it be discrimination to exclude working with an entire class of people?
RTWT.

Scenic View

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