Interesting Bits

07/21/2017 8:58

100 accept buyout packages from NY Times ‘death panels’

    As of 5 p.m. on the July 20 deadline, it appeared 100 employees at the Gray Lady have accepted “voluntary” buyout packages and are leaving the building.

Aside from the complete elimination of the title of copy editor, and layoffs of many holding that job, the Times offered buyouts to a limited number of reporters, photographers and design people, according to Grant Glickson, president of the NewsGuild of New York, who was still tallying the final numbers at press time on Thursday.

There is no word on whether the number will satisfy Times management — or whether involuntary layoffs will follow.

 (I've been laid off. Feel great sympathy for those workers. This is another sign of the New York Times decline.)

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07/21/2017 8:01

America's Media Meltdown

Between 2008 and 2016, the media were unapologetic about their adoration of President Barack Obama. Now, they are energized by their thorough loathing of President Donald Trump. In tragic fashion, the hubris of deifying Obama has now come full circle to the nemesis of demonizing Trump. The common denominator of the two extremes is the abandonment of disinterested reporting.

...Instead, journalists quickly started worshipping candidate Obama in a manner never quite seen before, not even in the days of the iconic liberal presidents like Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. Newsweek editor Evan Thomas declared Obama to be a deity (“Obama's standing above the country, above the world, he’s sort of God.”) His very words were able to make the leg of MSNBC’s Chris Matthew “tingle.” His pants’ crease proved for David Brooks a talisman of his future greatness, along with the fact that the mellifluent Obama “talks like us.”

Most Obama foreign policy initiatives proved disappointments: reset with Vladimir Putin’s Russia, the bombing of Libya resulting in postwar chaos, the withdrawal of all U.S. peacekeepers from Iraq, the faux redlines with Syria, failed “strategic patience” with North Korea, writing off the ISIS terrorist caliphate as “Jayvees,” and the expansion of Chinese bases into the South China Sea.

At home, Obama was the first president in recent history never to have achieved three percent economic growth, as labor non-participation rose and median family incomes fell. The media largely ignored a series of scandals, as if investigating them might endanger the Obama progressive moment: the politicization of the IRS, FBI, and Justice Department; ICE reduced to de facto irrelevance; fraud at the VA; overreach at EPA; and incompetence at the Secret Service and GSA.

(The only good thing is, althought the MSM  in in denial, the American people were not fooled. The credibility of the fawning leftist scribblers with bylines has fallen. Only 30 percent trust the media. it doubtufl the MSM will ever see a 50 percent credibility again.)

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07/21/2017 7:53

Obama-Iran Collusion Deal Isn't Working Out

Here the picture is decidedly bleak. Sanctions relief was intended to enable the West to purchase leverage within the Iranian body politic, by building up a prosperous middle class capable of resisting any hard-line effort to return to enrichment once JCPOA restrictions expire. However, trade and commerce has been nowhere near as pronounced as supporters of the agreement had hoped. Iran has returned to selling oil to the international market, and gained access to funds from past sales that were frozen in escrow accounts. It has also bought new shipping vessels and replenished its fleet of civilian aircraft.

Yet these are measures which largely insulate it from any return to sanctions—something bound to secure support from across Iran’s fragmented political system. On the bigger issue of ongoing commercial transactions—banking ties and foreign direct investment—progress has been halting. President Hassan Rouhani has been thwarted by the supreme leader’s insistence on constructing a “resistance economy” that is protectionist and autarkic in nature. In addition, the provision within the JCPOA that allows any P5+1 capital to snap UN sanctions back into place automatically has established a level of political risk sufficient to deter many Western investors.

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07/20/2017 9:51

Oddities of the Noor Shooting

First, I am surprised I haven’t seen more questions or comments about a most peculiar aspect of the story—that officer Noor fired at Damond from the passenger seat out the driver’s side window, meaning he shot past his partner. I am no expert in police procedure, let alone handguns, but this strikes me as beyond strange, as well as highly dangerous (to the other officer’s hearing, if nothing else). I would think that police training would discourage this kind of weapons discharge, but perhaps members of law enforcement among our readers can comment more knowledgeably than I can about this detail.

Second and related, a question that I am sure the mainstream media will not ask, and the Minneapolis political class will suppress if asked in any case, is whether officer Noor was qualified to be a police officer as part of an affirmative action push to get a Somali officer on the force. It would be interesting to see his test scores and training evaluations from whatever police academy he went through. Is there evidence of political pressure to qualify Noor for active duty? Normally I wait for more facts to emerge before engaging in speculation on stories like this, except that this is one question that, as I say, is certain to be suppressed.

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07/20/2017 10:27

A Sad Indication of our Times

San Francisco Transit Shielded Criminals over Fears of Racist Public, Now Rapes, Sexual Assaults on the Rise   

Recent reports indicate that BART has seen double the amount of rapes in the first six months of 2017 than all of 2016.


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07/20/2017 8:18

Not The first Time They've Showed Ignorance

In terms of the reviews of "Dunkirk" -  Never has so much ignorance been rendered on such a great feat by so few. Most of the reviews were very good but  a few went off the rail. Tom Rogan makes this very good point "

This is the reality Travers arrogantly ignores. But Travers does more, doubling down on his own stupidity by jabbing a finger at middle America. He complains that "especially here in Trump's America, the significance [of the Dunkirk evacuation] might be lost."

Of course, it was those of "Trump's America" — middle America — that formed the forces that saved the world from the Nazis and imperial Japan. Those young men, like my grandfather from Fishers Island, New York, knew nothing of European history. But like their brothers at Dunkirk and in the skies over Britain (like my other grandfather), they saved it anyway.

History matters.

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07/20/2017 8:10

But Remember, Multiculturalism Is Wonderful

The British Government is to take over a state-funded Muslim school following the death of a child and revelations of offensive Islamic books found in the library.

The Al-Hijrah School in Birmingham is set to become an Academy and the Department of Education has appointed an interim board to oversee problems identified by a damning report by Ofsted, the education watchdog, The Times reported.

The watchdog said earlier this year that the school has endemic problems including bullying and sub-standard teaching. It said that students weren’t “sufficiently” safe as the staff didn’t know what to do in medical emergencies. Ofsted gave the school the lowest ranking possible.

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07/20/2017 7:22

More Potental Leftist Violence

#mce_temp_url#On Wednesday, Young America’s Foundation and the Berkeley College Republicans were told by the University of California, Berkeley administration that Berkeley would not facilitate an event by Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro on September 14 on campus. Instead, administrators have informed YAF and BCR that they are “unable to identify an available campus venue.” They have not provided a list of other events taking place on campus on that time and date that would prevent Shapiro from speaking.

(What that means is leftist, violent thugs will disrupt the event and assault people and the administration has no interest or not enough backbone to stop them)

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07/19/2017 8:21

More Proof Libs Are Cowards

Kings College London is planning to remove the portraits of former university staff from the main entrance wall and replace them with BME (Black and minority ethnic) scholars.

The proposal to exclude white scholars from the entrance wall follows criticism from students who claimed that the presence of such portraits is too “intimidating” for minorities, The Telegraph reported.

 Professor Patrick Leman, who unveiled the plans, said that the university should swap “busts of 1920s bearded men” with more diverse scholars to ensure the institution feels less “alienating”.

Leman’s remarks about “bearded men” are thought to refer to two founders of Kings College London – Dr Henry Maudsley and neurologist Sir Frederick Mott – whose busts are placed in the university to recognize their work.

(In the film "No Country For Old Men" one character says to another,   "Do you realize how crazy you actually are?" Same thing can be said of King's College)


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07/19/2017 7:29

Let's Have Those Draconian Spending Cuts

The House Budget Committee's new budget proposal makes a game and laudable attempt at bending down the spending curve and moving the U.S. toward a fairer, simpler tax system. But it already has rival plans within the GOP itself.

The 10-year budget, which sketches out spending and taxing priorities from 2018 to 2027, makes a game effort at reducing spending, shrinking the welfare state, cutting regulation and restoring sanity to our tax code. It's already being savaged by the media for its "draconian" cuts, which is a good sign.

"The status quo is unsustainable," said GOP Rep. Diane Black, chair of the Budget Committee, in a release. "A mounting national debt and lackluster economic growth will limit opportunity for people all across the country."

She's right. And the House Budget Committee's blueprint is a really good start at reversing that awful status quo. Yes, we know, "cuts" is a relative word. Black's budget would spend $5.345 trillion in 2027, or $1.321 trillion more than the expected $4.024 trillion that it'll spend in 2018. And tax revenue is expected to grow $1.451 over that same time, or a 41% increase.

Yet, actual cuts, not phony ones, will be made in Medicaid, cash welfare, food stamps, government pensions, and Dodd-Frank, which all together will be cut by a minimum of $203 billion over a decade. That sounds like a lot, but given that many of these programs are rife with waste, fraud and abuse, even $203 billion might not be enough.

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George L. Duncan
George L. Duncan