Interesting Bits

08/18/2017 9:36

Let's Don't Talk About Islam

What I heard was a hell of a lot of empty language. Language that you might use in the case of a natural disaster – a hurricane, an earthquake, a tsunami. The news people quoted tweets by politicians and celebrities from around the world – Donald Tusk, president of the European Council; London Mayor Sadiq Khan; the pope; Ellen DeGeneres – about how they were praying for Barcelona, about how their hearts were with Barcelona, about how the terrorists would never manage to...well, whatever. And, even before the bodies of the dead were cold, they talked about the city recovering, getting over it, going back to normal.

It was all utterly vapid nonsense. Context was virtually nowhere in evidence. Denial was everywhere. The cliché about not seeing the forest for the trees was never more apropos. The more these things happen, it seems, the more skilled the mainstream media have become in attending to the grisly details – and thus spiking their ratings – while doing their best to look away, as much as possible, from the atrocities' ideological roots. From, in short, that fount of violence known as Islam, which has only just begun its violent assault on the civilized world

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08/18/2017 7:26

"Lay It On the Line"

Judge in tea party case orders IRS to disclose employee names, reasons

A federal judge on Thursday ordered the IRS to name the specific employees the agency blames for targeting tea party groups for intrusive scrutiny and said the government must prove it has ceased the targeting.

Judge Reggie B. Walton also said the IRS must explain the reasons for the delays for 38 groups that are part of a lawsuit in the District of Columbia, where they are still looking for a full accounting of their treatment.

Judge Walton approved another round of limited discovery in the case and laid out six questions that the IRS must answer, including the employees’ names, why the groups were targeted and how the IRS has tried to prevent a repeat.

At a hearing earlier this week, Judge Walton said it was time to get everything on the table.

“Lay it on the line. Put it out there,” he told attorneys for the IRS, who are continuing to fight some tea party groups’ demands for full disclosure.

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08/18/2017 7:16

Measuring, and mismeasuring, the Trump conundrum

Perhaps the most astonishing thing about Donald Trump's victory last November was that, according to exit polls, 60 percent of the voters had an unfavorable impression of Trump on the day he was elected president of the United States.

Now, it's remarkable that after all that has happened, Trump's favorable and unfavorable rating -- not his job approval, but whether people hold a favorable or unfavorable view of him -- is virtually the same as it was on election day.

new Marist poll, released Wednesday, found that 60 percent of those surveyed have an unfavorable view of the president, versus 34 percent who have a favorable view and six percent who don't know.

In the RealClearPolitics average of all polls on the favorable/unfavorable question, Trump is now at 55.6 percent unfavorable versus 39.0 percent favorable. That is little changed from his average on Nov. 8: 58.5 percent unfavorable, versus 37.5 percent favorable. Among the unfavorables, that is just 1.5 points difference from then to now; among the favorables, 2.9 points.

Considering all that has gone on in the Trump presidency -- it's too much to recount in a sentence or two -- the stability of the Trump favorable/unfavorable rating is notable.

The other measure, Trump's job approval rating, has fallen since he took office; it was 43.8 percent in the RCP average in his first week in office and is 37.9 percentnow. Pollsters and strategists believe the job approval rating, which Trump of course didn't have before Jan. 20, is much more important than personal approval.

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08/18/2017 7:07

Fighting Nazis doesn’t make ‘antifa’ the good guys

Fighting Nazis is a good thing, but fighting Nazis doesn’t necessarily make you or your cause good. By my lights this is simply an obvious fact.

The greatest Nazi-killer of the 20th century was Josef Stalin. He also killed millions of his own people and terrorized, oppressed, enslaved or brutalized tens of millions more.

Nazism was evil. Soviet Communism was evil. It’s fine to believe that Nazism was more evil than Communism. That doesn’t make Communism good.

This history is relevant today because of the depressingly idiotic argument about whether it’s OK to equate “antifa” — left-wing radicals — with the neo-Nazi and white supremacist rabble that recently descended on Charlottesville, Va. The president claims there were “very fine people” on both sides of the protest and that the “anti-fascist” radicals are equally blameworthy. He borrowed from Fox News’ Sean Hannity the bogus term “alt-left” to describe the antifa radicals.

The term is bogus because, unlike the alt-right, nobody calls themselves “the alt-left.” That’s too bad. One of the only nice things about the alt-right is that its leaders are honest about the fact that they want nothing to do with traditional American conservatism. Like the original Nazis, they seek to replace the traditional right with their racial hogwash.

The antifa crowd has a very similar agenda with regard to American liberalism. These goons and thugs oppose free speech, celebrate violence, despise dissent and have little use for anything else in the American political tradition. But many liberals, particularly in the media, are victims of the same kind of confusion that vexed so much of American liberalism in the 20th century. Because antifa suddenly has the (alt-)right enemies, they must be the good guys.

They’re not. And that’s why this debate is so toxically stupid. Fine, antifa isn’t as bad as the KKK. Who cares? Since when is being less bad than the Klan a major moral accomplishment?

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08/17/2017 3:53

Kind of a Bad Sign

Antidepressant use in U.S. soars by 65 percent in 15 years . (Guess the last few years have been depresssing._

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08/17/2017 6:55

More on the Death of Europe

A Labour MP has resigned from the shadow cabinet after saying Britain has "a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls".

Sarah Champion, shadow women and equalities minister, apologised for the "extremely poor choice of words" which appeared in a column in The Sun newspaper on Friday.

The MP for Rotherham's piece was headlined: "British Pakistani men ARE raping and exploiting white girls... and it's time we faced up to it."

Her remarks came just days after 18 people were convicted or admitted offences in a series of court hearings related to child sexual exploitation in Newcastle.

(Ms. Champion, of course, had nothing to apologize for. To use a hackneyed phrase she was speaking truth to power and exposing evil. As so often happens in Europe nowadays, evil and power won.)

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08/17/2017 6:48

NYT Edtorial Writers Are Liars and Lousy Writers

We now know who wrote the NY Times editorial that led Sarah Palin to sue the paper for defamation. A first draft was written by editorial writer Elizabeth Williamson. However, the offensive part connecting Palin to the 2011 Tucson shooting was added in a rewrite by editorial page editor James Bennet. Bennet testified Tuesday in a hearing the judge ordered to help him decide whether or not to dismiss the lawsuit as lawyers for the NY Times have requested. During the hearing, Bennet claimed he didn’t mean to draw a direct connection between Palin and mass murder.

...Again, his answer amounts to: I didn’t know. So, the best case scenario here is that the editor of the NY Times editorial page is both ignorant of the facts and incapable of crafting clear sentences. Hopefully, Judge Rakoff isn’t falling for his act. He said he will rule on the motion to dismiss before the end of the month.

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08/17/2017 6:40

Yes, There Were

Both NBC News and the BBC have put out videos offering fact-checks on some of President Trump’s claims about what took place in Charlottesville. Both agree there were violent anti-fascist protesters who came to the protest looking for a fight.   (This has been true in many far-right marches in the past but it's nice the BBC and NBC noticed Other networks and newspapers tried to pretend otherwise.)

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08/16/2017 7:30


A federal appeals court on Tuesday said the New York Times Co must face a defamation lawsuit by a Louisiana economics professor who said it quoted him out of context by saying he described slavery as "not so bad."

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revived claims by Walter Block, who teaches at Loyola University, over a January 26, 2014, front page article about libertarianism and a potential presidential candidacy of Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican who later ran for the White House.

"We are disappointed in the court's ruling but remain convinced that our story was accurate," Danielle Rhoades Ha, a spokeswoman for the newspaper, said in an email. "We will proceed to prove our case before the district court."

Block and his lawyers had no immediate comment.

The article, "Rand Paul's Mixed Inheritance," also quoted Block as saying the retailer Woolworth's had a right to exclude blacks from its lunch counters because "no one is compelled to associate with people against their will."

According to court papers, Block, a self-described libertarian, said that while he used the words attributed to him, the reporters Sam Tanenhaus and Jim Rutenberg distorted their meaning by omitting necessary context.

(Times having a lot of trouble with libel suits lately, and with accuracy)

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08/16/2017 7:03

Another Heretic That Must Be Condemne

Dr. Judith Curry Explains The Reality Of Bad Climate Science And Bad Politics

“On balance, I don’t see any particular dangers from greenhouse warming. {Humans do} influence climate to some extent, what we do with land-use changes and what we put into the atmosphere. But I don’t think it’s a large enough impact to dominate over natural climate variability.”

Regarding the politically contrived climate “consensus” arguments put forth by climate alarmists she concludes:

“The collapse of the consensus on cholesterol and heart disease – that one collapsed overnight. I can only hope that sanity will eventually prevail with the climate problem as well.”

Dr. Curry a world renowned and academically honored climatologist and former chair of the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology discussed political attacks she has been subjected to that started when she began to question the tactics of climate alarmist “consensus” following the revelations brought into the light by Climategate which clearly displayed the lack of transparency and openness present in mainstream climate science.

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08/16/2017 6:35

Well. This is Should Be Interesting

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08/15/2017 4:47

Bet Thomas Jefferson is Next

Leftist Activists Demand New York Museum Take Down Statue of ‘Racist’ Theodore Roosevelt

Social justice warriors are never satisfied. If you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile. After demanding that southern states take down statues of Confederate figures, the activist Left is now targeting an iconic American president featured on Mount Rushmore.

On Monday, more than 200 SJW zealots held a protest inside the American Museum of Natural History in New York City to take down the supposedly “racist” statue of former President Theodore Roosevelt. The protest’s organizers, NYC Stands with Standing Rock and Decolonize This Place, also called for Columbus Day to be renamed Indigenous People’s Day.

Marching around the museum in a fit of self-righteous rage, protesters carried signs that read “BLACK LIVES MATTER,” “DECOLONIZE THIS MUSEUM,” and “ABOLISH WHITE SUPREMACY.”

The entire spectacle was underscored by a sort of religious fanaticism.

In fact, the devout left-wing activists moved from exhibit to exhibit in a trance-like motion burning sage and exuberantly playing Native American music.

Activists had purportedly planned the event three weeks in advance in order to make the bizarre show of leftist rage as special as possible.

"The group started with a 10-stop tour of the museum in which they highlighted a variety of exhibits they felt were racist and misrepresentative, which ranged from how the representation of Africans reinforces negative stereotypes to the exoticizing of Islam in the Hall of Islam exhibit,” reports The Guardian.

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08/15/2017 7:28

Three Cheers for Jesse

I don't think The Five, in this format, is a good fit for a prime-time show but, in this case, Jesse Watters Did Hit One Out of the Park

:We can armchair President Trump’s responses all we want, but there’s a lot of hypocrisy going on here. Hillary Clinton waited two weeks after Benghazi to call that terrorism. If Trump had blamed Charlottesville on a video, maybe he would have gotten a free pass. President Obama waited four days during Ferguson while that city burned. And he was in Martha’s Vineyardhaving dinner, and when he came out then he blamed both sides, the looters and the police. When Black Lives Matter activists executed NYPD people and shot cops cold dead in the streets in Dallas, what did the president do? He didn’t condemn Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter got invited to the White House. And when he did speak about it, he goes, “It’s hard to untangle the motivations of the shooter, and we don’t want to assign blame from one kook to a larger national movement.”

Obama called terrorism “workplace violence.” So it’s hard to be lectured about word games from the left. And the Scalise shooter – this guy, a Bernie Sanders volunteer, targeted Republican congressmen with a weapon. No one blamed Bernie Sanders for that! But they want to lay this death at the doorstep of Donald Trump? It’s disgraceful. These same people who are mad at President Trump for saying “radical Islam” now all of a sudden want him to say “white supremacy?” It’s totally ridiculous."

(In another context, we'd call this speaking truth to power.)

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08/15/2017 7:06

And I wonder Why

Islamic radicalization has skyrocketed in France in the last two years. (Gosh I wonder why. Wonder if the alt-right is to blame/)

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08/15/2017 6:52

This is Very Good News

Oil output from major U.S. shale plays is poised to reach a fresh record next month, further complicating OPEC’s efforts to support prices.

The gain is being led by the oil-rich Permian basin of Texas and New Mexico, where production has risen steadily over the past two years. The Energy Information Administration projects Permian output to rise by 64,000 barrels in September, reaching a record of 2.6 million barrels a day.

The forecast comes just as Saudi Arabia and Iraq, the two biggest producers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries promised to strengthen their commitment to cutting production. Crude output in the U.S. meanwhile has climbed in nine of the last 10 months. Prices declined to a three-week low Monday as the growing U.S. output and signs of lower demand from China stoked concern that a global oversupply will linger.

Shale drillers such as Pioneer Natural Resources Co. and Devon Energy Corp. have been taking advantage of price rallies near $50 a barrel to hedge their output for next year and beyond, with some producers locking in prices as far out as 2023, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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08/15/2017 6:02

Police Did Seem to Do a Lousy Job

Police in Charlottesville, Virginia, came under criticism for failing to keep apart warring white nationalists and counter-protesters who battled it out in the city streets on Saturday amid what at first seemed an anemic response from authorities.

Anger over the how police responded came from all directions and intensified after the deaths of a woman struck by a car that plowed into a group of counter protesters. Experts said police appeared outnumbered, ill-prepared and inexperienced.

"The worst part is that people got hurt and the police stood by and didn't do a godd---- thing," said David Copper, 70, of Staunton, Va., after an initial morning melee at a park that when unchecked by police for several minutes.

Fourteen people were injured in clashes; nine others were hurt in the car crash. Later, two Virginia State Police troopers were killed when their helicopter smashed into trees at the edge of town and burst into flames. The loss of police officers only compounded the calamity on a day that pushed police, city officials and residents to their limits.

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08/14/2017 6:56

I Side With West Va, not the Coastal Elites

Spend one hour in the mile-long factory, which is sited to take advantage of both the region’s rich clay soil, perfect for making ceramics, and the skills passed on from one generation to another, and you understand intellect and talent do not have to come from a four-year institution.

Value and virtue in your work comes from a variety of skills, education and experience.

Fifteen years ago, we didn’t know what people who weren’t like us were thinking, because they were not around us, explains Dane Strother, a Democratic strategist.

“Facebook and 24-hour news and a plethora of news stations and social media has brought focus to those differences. It’s the first time different Americans have ever looked up and seen each other every day. And neither one likes what the other one is seeing,” he says.

Stereotypes are peculiar things. They make targets out of those who are different, be it in language or traditions. And it appears Appalachia remains the last minority population in America for which it is socially acceptable to question intelligence, speech pattern, the way people dress. Their uniqueness.

Last week as the president was delivering a speech in West Virginia, Stu Rothenberg, a respected Washington-based journalist, remarked on Twitter that “Lots of people can’t support themselves or speak English in West Virginia.”

Speaking to me afterward, Rothenberg did not walk back his comment, but he did offer interesting insight. Like lots of people who do not understand why anyone would “buy in” to the president, he was seeking a way to explain it — by dismissing their intelligence.

What he failed to understand is how insulting his explanation is.

When Liz McIlvain — the fourth generation of her family to work at the Homer Laughlin plant and the company’s first female CEO — reads comments like Rothenberg’s, it burns her. So does this recent tweet from The Washington Post: “Rural towns in the eclipse’s path brace for a flood of smartphone-toting visitors” — apparently implying country folk have never seen an iPhone.

“I’d challenge people with those attitudes to spend a couple of days working here and then talk to me about skills,” she said.

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08/13/2017 4:54

Listen Up Snowflakes. Trump is Still President

So, now, children, let's calm down. All of you people over there saying Trump is unqualified and should be removed? Give it up. He's qualified by the only qualification that matters: he is over 35, he is a native US citizen, and he won the damned election. The Constitution doesn't have a clause in it for removal by vote of the media, or because his political opponents don't like him. The only reason he can be removed Constitutionally is if someone finds high crimes and misdemeanors.

Now, I know that some people are fantasizing about the Democrats taking the House, and passing a Bill of Impeachment, and somehow getting the Senate to convict.

To which I say, "be careful, you'll get chafed."

Besides, look what we know now: the Russian collusion story is effectively dead -- the famous Golden Showers Dossier is the product of a Democratic opposition research house, talking to Russians is actually not a crime, and the case has gotten much stronger that the DNC emails weren't obtained by Russian hackers. If you're hanging your hopes on the Emoluments Clause, remember that George Washington ran his business while President. If George Washington could do it without hitting the Emoluments Clause, it's going to be tough passing the laugh test with Trump.

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08/13/2017 3:39

Left Politicizes Everything

This is a new low for the illiberal left: It is not enough to prevent conservatives from speaking; it is now necessary to prevent conservatives from appearing even when not speaking. Conservatives should not even be allowed to make music.

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