Sunday Open Thread [CBD] [Ace of Spades HQ]

For those of you who don't want to go off topic in the Book Thread. But...no gun talk.* Bovine Aerodynamics *What's the over/under on the first gun comment?...

Sunday Morning Book Thread 09-25-2016: E Deplorobus Unum [OregonMuse] [Ace of Spades HQ]

Public Library, Bogota, Colombia, Interior and Exterior (h/t to Rod for the library pic) Good morning to all of you morons and moronettes and bartenders everywhere and all the ships at sea. Welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed...

EMT 09/25/16 [krakatoa] [Ace of Spades HQ]

Heading to Philly for a relatively quick hitter, he said, tempting the fates. Just close enough to drive. My general rule of thumb is anything inside 9 hours (that doesn't include NYC or NJ), I'll drive. What's your favorite form...

Overnight Open Thread (24 Sep 2016) [Ace of Spades HQ]

Are aliens avoiding Earth? Well, wouldn't you with all this dumbassery going on....

Fast cars and paddock life: the IMSA Lone Star Le Mans gallery [Ars Technica]

AUSTIN, TEXAS—The annual Lone Star Le Mans races at the Circuit of the Americas is one of the highlights of the Cars Technica calendar. This year the event—which took place September 15th-17th—saw temperatures that if anything were even hotter than 2015, making it a true test of endurance for drivers, crew, and even the hardy spectators. You'll be able to read about the mighty 1000hp (745kW) hybrid prototypes of the World Endurance Championship tomorrow, but for now we thought you'd enjoy a look at the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship race.

The series heads to Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia next weekend (September 28-October 1st) for the finale in the 10-hour Petit Le Mans. Sadly next year there won't be an IMSA/WEC double-header, the former opting for a date in April that avoids clashing with college football (as well as promising more hospitable temperatures).

Read on Ars Technica | Comments

ISP explains data caps to FCC: Using the Internet is like eating Oreos [Ars Technica]

Data cap cash. (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images)

If you were worried that the debate over Internet data caps would get bogged down in technical mumbo-jumbo, fear no more—it's actually much simpler than you think.

Mediacom, a US cable company with a little over 1.1 million Internet subscribers in 22 states, has put the matter to rest by explaining to the Federal Communications Commission that its customers shouldn't get unlimited data because using the Internet is just like eating Oreos.

"You have to pay extra for double-stuffed," Mediacom Senior VP and General Counsel Joseph Young wrote in a filing with the FCC last week.

Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Liveblog: IT, the cloud, and productivity at Microsoft Ignite 2016 Keynote [Ars Technica]

(credit: Microsoft)

Liveblog starts in:

View Liveblog

Microsoft's Ignite conference for IT Professionals is in Atlanta, Georgia, all this week, and it kicks off on Monday with a keynote led by Scott Guthrie, Microsoft's Executive Vice President of Cloud and Enterprise. He'll be joined by cloud marketing executive Julia White, and they'll be talking all things IT. Windows Server 2016 is being launched this week, too, so we'd expect to hear a thing or two about that.

The keynote kicks off at 0900 EDT (2pm UK) on Monday 26 September, and we'll be there to liveblog all the demos and products.

Read on Ars Technica | Comments

Embattled Oculus founder receives support of two top executives [Ars Technica]

From left to right: Oculus Founder Palmer Luckey, VP of Product Nate Mitchell, and CEO Brenden Iribe. (credit: Kyle Orland)

Following Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey's own comments on his controversial political giving, two of Oculus's top executives have come out in support of their colleague and in defense of the company as a whole.

"I know that Palmer is deeply sorry for the impact this situation is having on the company, our partners and the industry," Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe wrote on Facebook, echoing similar sentiments expressed by Luckey himself. "Everyone at Oculus is free to support the issues or causes that matter to them, whether or not we agree with those views. It is important to remember that Palmer acted independently in a personal capacity, and was in no way representing the company."

Jason Rubin, who joined Oculus as Head of Worldwide Studios in 2014, also addressed the controversy via Facebook. After reading Luckey's statement, Rubin writes, "I take him at his word. Those of you who have known me before I joined Oculus know that I would not work in a place that I thought condoned, or spread hate. Nor would I remain silent if I saw it raise its head. I have always believed that games, and now especially VR, have the potential to bring people together. My view is unwavering. I continue to believe that Oculus can make the world a better place."

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Charlotte police release long-awaited video of cop killing black man [Ars Technica]

On Saturday, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department released dash and body cam footage of an officer killing a black man on Tuesday. The release of the footage by Chief Kerr Putney comes amid widespread calls for the footage to become public. The footage also arrives two days after Chief Putney said he would not divulge it because he never said the investigation of Keith Lamont Scott's death would involve "full transparency."

The new footage confirms what the chief said Thursday: it does not show "absolute, definitive visual evidence that could confirm that a person is pointing a gun." Charlotte is another reminder that footage from body and dash cams is not a panacea, despite widespread calls for officers across the country to deploy them.

Tuesday's shooting has sparked violent protests, requiring the North Carolina governor to declare a state of emergency and to call in the National Guard.

Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Judge skewers Oracle attorney for revealing Google, Apple trade secrets [Update] [Ars Technica]

(credit: Jeff Pachoud/Getty Images)

UPDATE 4:52pm PDT: The judge presiding over the case on Friday neither held Oracle's attorney in contempt nor issued any sanctions. Instead, the judge ruled that issuing such an order would be "heavy handed." (PDF) The judge ordered that Oracle would have to pay for Google's expenses in its successful bid to seal the transcript of the lawyer's courtroom disclosure—an amount that will be determined later.


The federal judge who presided over the Google-Oracle API copyright infringement trial excoriated one of Oracle's lawyers Thursday for disclosing confidential information in open court earlier this year. The confidential information included financial figures stating that Google generated $31 billion in revenue and $22 billion in profits from the Android operating system in the wake of its 2008 debut. The Oracle attorney, Annette Hurst, also revealed another trade secret: Google paid Apple $1 billion in 2014 to include Google search on iPhones.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Why the silencing of KrebsOnSecurity opens a troubling chapter for the ‘Net [Ars Technica]

Enlarge (credit: David Brandt)

For the better part of a day, KrebsOnSecurity, arguably the world's most intrepid source of security news, has been silenced, presumably by a handful of individuals who didn't like a recent series of exposés reporter Brian Krebs wrote. The incident, and the record-breaking data assault that brought it on, open a troubling new chapter in the short history of the Internet.

The crippling distributed denial-of-service attacks started shortly after Krebs published stories stemming from the hack of a DDoS-for-hire service known as vDOS. The first article analyzed leaked data that identified some of the previously anonymous people closely tied to vDOS. It documented how they took in more than $600,000 in two years by knocking other sites offline. A few days later, Krebs ran a follow-up piece detailing the arrests of two men who allegedly ran the service. A third post in the series is here.

On Thursday morning, exactly two weeks after Krebs published his first post, he reported that a sustained attack was bombarding his site with as much as 620 gigabits per second of junk data. That staggering amount of data is among the biggest ever recorded. Krebs was able to stay online thanks to the generosity of Akamai, a network provider that supplied DDoS mitigation services to him for free. The attack showed no signs of waning as the day wore on. Some indications suggest it may have grown stronger. At 4 pm, Akamai gave Krebs two hours' notice that it would no longer assume the considerable cost of defending KrebsOnSecurity. Krebs opted to shut down the site to prevent collateral damage hitting his service provider and its customers.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Another Booth Review [JustOneMinute]

Some of the videotape of the Charlotte shooting has been released. As advertised it is inconclusive as to whether the victim had a gun, but to my untrained eyes he appears disoriented rather than threatening. Across the continent, a mall...

FMJRA 2.0: Let The Music Do The Talking [The Other McCain]

— compiled by Wombat-socho Rule 5 Sunday: #RollTide Regular Right Guy Animal Magnetism Ninety Miles From Tyranny Proof Positive Batshit Crazy News Andrea Dworkin Accused Hillary Clinton of ‘Betraying Younger Women’ Regular Right Guy The Political Hat Batshit Crazy News EBL@RedState FMJRA 2.0: Every Picture Tells A Story The Pirate’s Cove Batshit Crazy News In […]

"Señor" Arcan Cetin - Hispanic Turk? [halls of macadamia]

So sorry, New York Times... no burritos for you...

Say ‘SubhanAllah’ 10x and then reblog this, do not stop REBLOGGING it. Lets see how many people we will get to recite SubhanAllah.
If you scroll down he calls Abu Bakr (leader of the Islamic State) his "main dude".
That's curious... all the media accounts I've seen don't even use the word "Muslim."

Kathleen Wynne's benevolent Ontario [halls of macadamia]

Sounds like a job for your local Hell's Angels...

A Toronto landlord says she's been conned by a "professional tenant" who's been living in her Yorkville home since July without paying rent. "They find places to live, hopefully stay for eight to nine months. As soon as they know they can't go any further, they find another place to move into and do the exact same thing. And our system allows them to do that."

The tenant, James Regan, 62, lost a similar dispute at the board earlier this year over another property he was occupying. The board ordered his eviction in that case. Regan appealed that eviction and lost in Ontario Superior Court, a process that took eight months, during which he lived rent-free in the condo near Old Mill Road and Bloor Street West.
The last people could have paid "an eviction service" $5000.00 and been $20,000.00 ahead.

Silence of the BLM's [halls of macadamia]

The dead tree media is collapsing all around the globe... Without the federal government's 1.2 billion dollar annual welfare cheque, the CBC would be extinct as well.REVERSE RACISM

Specifically, Omowale was asked what he thought of a video circulating on social media of a white man being beaten by black men purportedly in a Charlotte parking garage during the protests there.

“Only thing I can say is it ain’t no fun when the rabbit has the gun. And right now the black man is the rabbit.”
Like an increasing number of people in North America (and elsewhere) , I choose to get unfiltered, multi-sourced breaking news via the internet. Very often the comments that accompany the stories include updates like video and photographs from participants and witnesses. It's a refreshing change from the carefully manipulated micro soundbites presented between commercial sales pitches that pass for news via tv or radio.

Remember, defending yourself from physical threats... IS PERFECTLY JUSTIFIABLE...
The .357 slug delivers about 350 foot-pounds of energy. A 4,000-pound car at 30 miles an hour delivers 120,000 foot-pounds of energy, and almost half a million foot-pounds of energy at 60 miles an hour.”
Or you can end up like Reginald Denny.

P.S. - Aaron Weiss will not go quietly.


RELATED: A little closer to home

Things get stabby...hogtown
TORONTO - A second attacker remains on the loose days after the frightening stabbing of a 37-year-old man in the country’s busiest mall.

Toronto Police have now released security camera images of a suspect.
Bright lights, big city.


LAST WORD: Oh, look... an actual murderer

Hang on.... that's not a cop!

Flowers in the sewer — the misogyny of the disgust for Bill Clinton's lover. [Althouse]

On "Meet the Press" today, Chuck Todd was interviewing Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta:

CHUCK TODD: Is your goal of this debate is to get under his skin? Is that why you gave Mark Cuban a ticket right in the front row?

JOHN PODESTA: No, I think Mark Cuban is one of the business leaders who was never involved in partisan politics who's endorsed Hillary because he thinks she'll do better for the-- for the economy. I think that, you know, you saw his reaction, which is to do his favorite sport, which is to dive in the sewer and go for a swim.
Trump's reaction, you remember, was "Perhaps I will put Gennifer Flowers right alongside of him!" Now, I have a feminist problem with Trump's remark, one that I haven't seen anyone else notice, and that is the idea that he can "put" the woman where he likes. Flowers is a person, not an object — like a vase of flowers — but Flowers has already responded positively to the notion of getting placed in front of Hillary.*

So let me move on to the feminist problem I have with what Podesta said. He says the name, Mark Cuban, and vaunts him as a business leader who is above politics, but he won't say the name of the woman and he speaks of her as a creature of the sewer.

Todd pushes him: "You said-- you referred to diving into the sewer, so you believe that inviting Gennifer Flowers is diving into the sewer?" And Podesta has the smarts to resist further disrespecting the woman. But later, there's a panel, and one of the participants is Stephanie Cutter (who was Obama's deputy campaign manager in 2012 and who helped John Kerry prepare for debates in 2004). Todd asks her about "the idea of gamesmanship, which is the Clinton Campaign deciding to put Mark Cuban in the front row," and the response had me shouting at the TV:
STEPHANIE CUTTER: ... What Clinton and Trump are doing are trying to throw each other off their game. The difference is Hillary Clinton is doing it with a legitimate businessman, also, a celebrity. And as John Podesta put it earlier on your show, Trump is just jumping right down in the sewer and swimming in it by inviting Gennifer Flowers.
The man is "legitimate," and the woman is a "sewer."

Chuck Todd turned to another panelist, Steve Schmidt (a senior adviser to John McCain in 2008).
STEVE SCHMIDT: [The tactic of inviting Cuban] was clearly designed to provoke Donald Trump and it provoked Donald Trump, it provoked Donald Trump into going down the Gennifer Flowers rabbit hole....
The Gennifer Flowers rabbit hole?! Don't call a woman a "hole." Don't speak of a human being as a lower animal, a rodent. Whatever these people want to say about Trump, they should say it about Trump, but they instinctively jumped to express disgust toward the woman — who's really just a bystander to the pre-debate mind-games. Is this misogyny? The argument that it is not depends on the idea that the disgust is with sexuality — what happens when the man and the woman — Bill and Gennifer — get together and not with the woman herself. But the instinct — in both Podesta and Cutter — was to take the man out of the picture. Bill, like Mark Cuban, is legitimate. That horrible woman over there should be treated as a nonentity — down in a hole, there in the excrement, a rodent, a filthy pest. Anyone who would name her or treat her with equal dignity has himself fallen down into the sewer with her — "swimming in it," swimming in shit.

Being on the side of the female candidate does not absolve you of misogyny. It blinds you to it. 

* The full tweet is: "If dopey Mark Cuban of failed Benefactor fame wants to sit in the front row, perhaps I will put Gennifer Flowers right alongside of him!" You can see that Cuban's autonomy is respected in the word "wants." What does Cuban want to do? By contrast, Flowers can be put where Trump wants.

Robby Mook pushes the theory that it would be "unfair" to Hillary Clinton for the debate moderator not to intervene on her behalf and correct Trump. [Althouse]

On "This Week" this morning:

STEPHANOPOULOS: You guys have been pushing that pretty hard, this idea of a double standard, and saying it’s up to the moderator to point out falsehoods. But the debate commission has been pretty clear that they think it’s the job of the moderator basically to get out of the way and just ask the questions.

MOOK: Well, all that -- again, all that we’re asking is that, if Donald Trump lies, that it’s pointed out. It’s unfair to ask for Hillary both to play traffic cop while with Trump, make sure that his lies are corrected, and also to present her vision for what she wants to do for the American people.
Stephanopoulos pushes back. Debate moderators are supposed to let the candidates debate each other. Mook's response is that Donald Trump is "special," and "this is a special circumstance, a special debate," and Hillary won't be getting her fair share of the time if she has to use it to correct Donald Trump.

Stephanopoulos also asks Mook about the "psychological warfare" of talking about inviting Mark Cuban and getting the return fire of Trump saying he'll "put Gennifer Flowers right alongside of him" (and Flowers accepting). Mook tries to act as though Trump started it:
If this is what Donald Trump wants this debate to be about, that’s up to him. He is a reality TV star. He’s very experienced at providing television entertainment. The presidency is not about entertainment. It's about serious decisions...
Trump followed their lead.  Trump said it best back in May:
If she wants to go the low road, I'm fine with that. And if she wants to go the high road, which probably I would prefer, I would be fine with that.... I can handle the low road if I have to do it. I mean, we've had some low roads over the last few months.... I'm fine with it if we have to go that direction. Maybe you haven't noticed.
ADDED: Ironically, the argument that Trump is "special" is really an argument that Hillary is special: The rules don't apply to her. That fits a template her people should want to take care not to confirm.

"Gaming out every potential permutation of what might happen in the 90-minute showdown helps a candidate calculate how to respond." [Althouse]


Then why didn't Mitt Romney know what to do when Candy Crowley propped up Barack Obama with the infamous "transcript" remark?

Just when you think you've got everything "gamed out," there's one more game, the one you didn't imagine. But even if you could know "every potential permutation" and you could figure out the ideal reaction to each one — which is obviously impossible — could you memorize all those things and in the heat of the moment call to mind the correct one each time and deploy it? Wouldn't you look weirdly robotic cranking through all the alternatives? It's hard enough to read a prepared speech off the teleprompter in a naturally human way. And there's already a meme that Hillary is a robot. More here.

The ideal response would have to take into account how the people respond on an emotional level. There's no perfect scripted zinger for that. There's no planned facial expression or hand gesture. We the People are very sensitive to what we see and hear. We feel that we feel whether a person is good and true. We are manipulable and we can be faked out, but I think we are more likely to be manipulated and faked out by Trump's I'm-being-myself approach than by Hillary's gigantic team gaming out every potential permutation of what might happen.

"The woman, a business owner in the restaurant industry, told police that about 4 a.m. she and a male housemate heard a possible intruder..." [Althouse]

"... so she pulled a handgun and went to search the home, police said in a statement. Police said she saw three men — who were armed — walking through the front door during what police think was an attempted robbery. She fired multiple rounds, police said, striking 28-year-old Antonio Leeks, who died of his injuries."

1. I've long been fascinated by names that can read as sentences — ever since I met a man with the last name Peed. It's terrible when you've got a name like that and you suffer a misfortune that makes that sentence sound especially meaningful.

2. How many heterosexual couples sleep in bed together with the plan that if they wake up to the sound of intruders, it's the woman who's going to jump up and go looking for a confrontation?

3. I hope lots of would-be intruders encounter this viral video and factor that into their calculation whether it's worth it to break into somebody's house at night.

4. But from the looks of that video, I kind of doubt whether that was a run-of-the-mill burglary.

The emotional politics around the question whether Trump (and Clinton) are "qualified" to be President. [Althouse]

I'm reading a WaPo piece titled "Poll: Clinton, Trump in virtual dead heat on eve of first debate":

... 53 percent of registered voters say he is not qualified, 58 percent say he lacks the temperament to serve effectively....

Doubts about Trump’s qualifications have softened somewhat since midsummer, when 6 in 10 registered voters said he was not qualified....

Trump has the support of 88 percent of registered voters who say he is qualified, which is a high in Post-ABC polls. Among those who say he is not qualified, just 5 percent support him, no higher than before.
I'm not surprised at that high correspondence between responding yes to the is-he-qualified question and the plan to vote for him. His opponents have framed him as not even qualified, so those who are rejecting him are unusually likely to explain themselves in those terms.

My hypothesis is that people arrive at their connection to Trump through an emotional path, and then they address the question But is he qualified? Since they already want to vote for him, it affects their understanding of what it means to be "qualified" and it biases them toward saying he is.

A funny thing is those 5% of Trump supporters who will say "not qualified." What are those people thinking? Maybe it's something like what William F. Buckley had in mind when he said: "I would rather be governed by the first 2000 people in the Manhattan phone book than the entire faculty of Harvard."

WaPo continues:
On most of those measures, Clinton scores positively, with 57 percent of registered voters saying she is qualified to serve as president; 55 percent saying she has the right temperament....
You know, that's not that good. Clinton is touted as supremely qualified — even the most qualified person ever to run for President. How come only 57% of the respondents will give her the minimal status of "qualified"? Maybe the overuse has changed the meaning of the word, and the effort at excluding Trump from its scope has made it feel more restrictive.

Loved the concert tonight at the Stoughton Opera House. [Althouse]


Geoff Muldaur and Jim Kweskin. Love them.

Here's their new album: "Penny's Farm."

Here's a video of them playing in 2013:

"Hi Donald Trump… I’m in your corner. Of course I will see u at the debate !!" [Althouse]

Wrote Gennifer Flowers, responding to Trump's tweet:

“If dopey Mark Cuban of failed Benefactor fame wants to sit in the front row, perhaps I will put Jennifer Flowers right alongside of him!”

"This museum tells the truth that a country founded on the principles of liberty held thousands in chains." [Althouse]

"Even today, the journey towards justice is not compete. But this museum will inspire us to go farther and get there faster."

Said George W. Bush, appearing today, along with President Obama and Chief Justice Roberts, at the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Nice picture at the link of Michelle Obama warmly hugging Bush.

Here's Time Magazine's transcription of what Obama said. Excerpt:

This is the place to understand how protests and love of country don’t merely coexist, but inform each other. How men can probably win the gold for their country, but still insist on raising a black-gloved fist. How we can wear an I Can’t Breathe T-shirt, and still grieve for fallen police officers. Here, the American wear the razor-sharp uniform of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, belongs alongside the cape of the Godfather of Soul.

We have shown the world we can float like butterflies, and sting like bees, that we can rocket into space like Mae Jemison, steal home like Jackie, rock like Jimmy [sic!], stir the pot like Richard Pryor. And we can be sick and tired of being sick and tired like Fannie Lou Hamer, and still rock steady like Aretha Franklin....

I, too, am America. It is a glorious story, the one that’s told here. It is complicated, and it is messy, and it is full of contradictions, as all great stories are, as Shakespeare is, as Scripture is. And it’s a story that perhaps needs to be told now more than ever.
Obama doesn't mention Donald Trump, but last week, Obama said:
"You may have heard Hillary's opponent in this election say that there's never been a worse time to be a black person. I mean, he missed that whole civics lesson about slavery or Jim Crow.... But we've got a museum for him to visit, so he can tune in. We will educate him."
It would, in fact, be a good idea for Trump to visit the museum, but I've got to say that Obama distorted Trump's statement. Trump did not say "there's never been a worse time to be a black person." That's Obama's paraphrase. Trump said:
"We're going to rebuild our inner cities because our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they've ever been in before. Ever. Ever. Ever... You take a look at the inner cities, you get no education, you get no jobs, you get shot walking down the street. They're worse -- I mean, honestly, places like Afghanistan are safer than some of our inner cities."
It's a statement about "African-American communities." A slave was not living in an "African-American community." And Jim Crow was an evil system of exclusion, but to say that is not to understand what life was like in the communities where black people did live. I understand the political motivation for paraphrasing Trump's remark the way Obama did, but that paraphrase pretends not to see what Trump was saying. It's much harder — and much more important — to try to refute Trump's inflammatory statement if you're precise about what he said. And even if you did amass the historical and present-day journalistic record to refute it, why would you be smug?

Distribution Release: Robolinux 8.6 [DistroWatch.com: News]

Robolinux is a Debian-based desktop distribution which features many security and entertainment packages. The Robolinux project has released an update to the distribution's 8.x series: Robolinux 8.6. The new version is available in four editions (Cinnamon, LXDE, MATE and Xfce) and can be run on 32-bit and 64-bit....

Are You Pondering What I’m Pondering? [hogewash]

I think so, Brain … but the steam from the shower keeps causing electrical problems with the server.

Landing on a Comet [hogewash]

The Rosetta spacecraft will end its mission on Friday when it lands on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Video Credit: ESA

Logins [hogewash]

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Are You Pondering What I’m Pondering? [hogewash]

I think so, Brain … but if I’ve told this story before, don’t stop me because I want to hear it again.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day [hogewash]

The Kimberlins have filed a response to Aaron Walker’s motion to strike their motion to compel Mrs. Walker to appear as a witness during the motions hearing in the Walker v. Kimberlin, et al. lawsuit this Friday. Aaron noted their motion contained a great deal of scandalous, immaterial, and false information about his wife that had no connection to any of the issues before the court. Therefore, he asked that the Kimberlins’ motion be stricken pursuant to Md. Rule 2-322(e). He also noted since the upcoming hearing was not an evidentiary hearing where witnesses could be called, there was no reason to compel his wife’s attendance, and the motion should be denied in any case.

The Dread Pro-Se Kimberlin has doubled down on his use of the false story the has publicly floated via Bill Schmalfeldt’s post at Breitbart Unmasked Bunny Billy Boy Unread (No. I won’t link to it.), but he has done so in a way that contradicts the original motion. I’ll let the detail of that mistake come out at this week’s hearing.

I won’t be posting a copy of the Kimberlins’ response. When I got through redacting defamatory falsehoods, there were too many blank pixels to make it worthwhile to expend bandwidth on posting it.

However, the response contains yet more evidence that The Dread Pro-Se Kimberlin is panicking. Consider this passage.bk_tk-20160922-7Gentle Reader, there’s a significant omission in that passage. Did you catch it? If not, reread the passage again more slowly. Go ahead. I’ll wait for you …

* * * * *

… or dismiss the claims against Brett Kimberlin.

popcorn4bkJust Brett? What about Tetyana? Is he now so panicked that he ready to leave her to defend herself? To throw her under the bus?

The coming week promises to be quite interesting.

Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.

Quote of the Day [hogewash]

A modest man is usually admired, if people ever hear of him.

—Edgar Watson Howe

Login [hogewash]

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Film review: Sully [Top Picks – Hot Air]

I had two movies on my list to definitely see in the theater this summer and one of them was Clint Eastwood’s latest, Sully. I won’t bore you with the details of what the story is about because if you didn’t hear about the forced water landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in 2009 and what it took for Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger to land that bird on the Hudson River in one piece, you probably don’t have electricity or leave your house enough to watch movies anyway.

On the technical side there is nothing to complain about with the product that Eastwood produced. The cinematography, the musical score and the special effects combined with real footage of the incident and the media coverage which followed are all excellent. It’s a very immersive experience in the theater, though I believe it will carry over well to the small screen also. Tom Hanks does a wonderful job in the title role and he’s aided by a compelling supporting performance from Aaron Eckhart as his co-pilot for the doomed flight. A surprising treat is provided by Laura Linney, who plays Sully’s wife.

If you’re worried that the film is just a recreation of the flight, don’t be. That’s provided in full from various perspectives throughout the film and it doesn’t disappoint, but the real story is about the aftermath of the event, particularly the investigation by the NTSB into the details of the incident. Therein comes the only potential problem I had with this movie. Mike O’Malley plays Charles Porter, the (fictional) head of the NTSB safety team investing the crash and he’s the bad guy in the film. And I mean he’s the really bad guy. Without giving too much of the movie away, he heads up a group which grills Sully and his co-pilot relentlessly, asking questions such as when the last time was that he had a drink and if he was having marital problems. The bureau develops computer simulations and orders pilot operated flight simulator runs in what’s portrayed as an attempt to claim that Flight 1549 could have made it to either of two airports nearby and landed safely. The film makes the NTSB look like they’re purposely trying to railroad Sully and blame him not only for the loss of the aircraft, but endangering the lives of all the passengers due to his faulty judgement. I found myself immediately wondering if they were really that bad.

I didn’t do any research on this beforehand to avoid spoiling the film for myself, but it’s a question which has already come up. People from the NTSB complained during interviews that they were made out to be the bad guys when they were simply doing their jobs. (Warning: there’s plenty of background on this issue at that link, but it will probably spoil more of the film for you if you read it.) They did ask him about drinking and his home life, but they ask every pilot that after there’s been an incident. And they apparently did run the simulations in question, but how they conducted those simulations was challenged by Sullenberger. That series of events is one of the most fascinating and emotionally gripping in the movie and I won’t spoil it for you here.

All in all, I enjoyed the film immensely and I won’t deny that I teared up a couple of times. It’s a fantastic story about real heroism and people who came together to pull off a miracle.

On the Hot Air scale, Sully gets a qualified five, but I bounced back and forth between that and a four. It’s not an instant classic by any means and if you didn’t show any interest in the real story when it played out in the news you may not find it up your alley. But if you loved Sully then or just enjoy the story of a real American hero I think it will be worth your time at full price.

  • 5 – Full price ticket
  • 4 – Matinee only
  • 3 – Wait for Blu-Ray/DVD/PPV rental or purchase
  • 2 – Watch it when it hits Netflix/cable
  • 1 – Avoid at all costs

Sully is rated PG-13 for some peril and brief strong language. That’s accurate, though the “peril” is obviously more in the form of what I would call “tension” in a thriller. It should be digestible for all ages, though parents may have to explain things about aircraft safety to younger children. The course language is infrequent, understandable in the context of the events being portrayed and no worse than what you hear on television in the evenings for the most part.


The post Film review: Sully appeared first on Hot Air.

Dead heat: Clinton’s lead down to two points nationally and in Pennsylvania [Top Picks – Hot Air]

Jazz already got to the new Morning Consult poll, but the conclusion there is the same as the conclusion here. Both nationally and in Trump’s most elusive battleground state, it’s anyone’s ballgame with the debates set to begin tomorrow.

There’s a common thread in the new national survey ABC/WaPo survey and the new Pennsylvania poll by Muhlenberg, too. In both cases, you see Republican holdouts finally swinging away from Gary Johnson and towards Trump. Both polls were conducted before Ted Cruz’s very belated endorsement, but I think Cruz’s timing is in sync with other Trump skeptics. As Election Day finally appears on the horizon, most GOPers are beginning to line up. Two weeks ago ABC/WaPo had the race 46/41 for Clinton, with Johnson pulling nine percent. Today, Hillary’s still stuck at 46 but Trump is up to 44 percent with Johnson dropping to five. The difference is Republican voters shifting away from the third-party candidate: “Two weeks ago, 22 percent of Republicans who didn’t back Trump in the primaries were going to vote for Johnson. Now it’s only 8 percent.”

Same deal in Pennsylvania, where Muhlenberg finds Hillary’s 40/32 lead of a week ago shrinking to 40/38 now. Where’d that extra six points for Trump come from? You know where:

“Partisans coming home to their nominee is an expected part of any campaign as you get into the closing days,” said Chris Nicholas, a GOP consultant based in Harrisburg. “What’s notable here is the very large shift and we’re not close to the final days.”

A demographic analysis showed a double-digit jump in Trump’s support among Republicans after Trump underperformed with that group previously. This week, 85 percent of likely GOP voters said they’d choose him over Clinton, compared with 71 percent in the prior survey.

While Johnson had appeared to peel away some Republicans from Trump, that effect diminished this week, Borick said. Johnson fell by 6 points in the four-way matchup, while Trump gained by the same figure.

Not only that, but more Trump voters in PA say they’re voting for him than against Hillary, which is unusual. All summer, “against Hillary” has typically scored higher among Trump backers than “for Trump” has. Something has changed, at least temporarily, to make the people supporting him feel more confident about him. The fact that he’s still polling in the high 30s in a state he badly needs to win isn’t great news, but given that Clinton has been stuck at 40 for two weeks, that says less about Trump’s weakness vis-a-vis Hillary than it does about the reality that there are lots of undecideds in Pennsylvania. More than 20 percent of the electorate is still in play with three debates to come.

Back to ABC/WaPo, though, where the splits among white voters by age and educational level are mind-boggling:


Trump leads among white men without a college education by 59 farking points. That’s exactly the sort of world-beating margin he needs among his base to pull this off. And his margin might not be done growing. Check out this trendline:


Romney won that group by 31 points in 2012. Trump’s path to victory has always required him to outperform Mitt among working-class white men and now he’s doing it, by historic margins. Which raises the question: How is he still behind? If he’s crushing it among white men without a college degree and winning white women without a college degree and college-educated white men by double digits, how can he be losing? The answer is Hillary’s advantage among college-educated women, which has grown over the last two weeks from a 10-point lead to a 25-point lead(!) now. That’s why she’s running this ad, to try to build on it. Her formula all summer was to pile up nonwhite votes as high as, or higher than, Trump’s wall of white working-class male votes and then have white college grads push her over the top. White female college grads are complying, but if traditional Republican voters continue to come home to Trump, her formula won’t work.

In fact, it might not work anyway. WaPo notes that, despite her huge advantage among nonwhites, Clinton’s getting a smaller share of Obama’s 2012 voters than Trump is getting among Romney’s voters. She needs the Obama coalition to come through, and they’re barely coming through right now. Not only that, but after months of hype about “undercover Trump voters” possibly not registering to vote, there are more Hillary supporters in the ABC/WaPo poll who say they’re not registered than there are Trump supporters. That’s not all that surprising given that minorities tend to register at lower rates than whites, but Hillary’s vaunted ground game was supposed to remedy that problem somewhat. If her ground game is dominating his, how do you explain this?


It may be that some Trumpers are misreporting whether they’ve been contacted or not. A Twitter pal notes that no less than 45 percent of Trump fans claimed awhile back that they’d seen a Trump ad on TV recently — even though, at the time, Trump hadn’t run any general-election ads yet. On the other hand, who needs a ground game when you’ve got a big enthusiasm advantage?


Trump’s been betting all along that the greater enthusiasm among his fans will motivate them to turn out even without the usual GOTV outreach from a traditional campaign and that that’ll win him the election. He’s losing that bet right now if today’s topline numbers are right, but just barely. A week from now, he might be winning it.

The only truly discouraging news for Trump in either poll, I think, is the fact that ABC/WaPo continues to find terrible (although somewhat improved) numbers for him on questions of basic qualifications. Fifty-three percent of registered voters say he’s not qualified to be president, 55 percent say he doesn’t know world affairs well enough to serve effectively, and 58 percent say he lacks the temperament to serve effectively. Outside of his core base of white working-class men, just 43 percent say he’s qualified for the office. If you think Clinton’s going to win, that’s probably why — when push comes to shove, swing voters won’t trust the job to someone whom they fear isn’t able to do it. But then … that’s what the debates are for, right? Tomorrow is Trump’s chance to show the country that he knows his stuff and there’s really nothing Clinton can do to stop him. If he answers seriously and cogently and puts a dent in those “unqualified” numbers in the next round of polls, he’s the new favorite in November. Simple as that.

The post Dead heat: Clinton’s lead down to two points nationally and in Pennsylvania appeared first on Hot Air.

Washington mall shooter has been arrested and charged [Top Picks – Hot Air]

The man police believe walked into a Washington mall and murdered five people with a rifle has been arrested. From CNN:

Arcan Cetin, 20, was taken into custody Saturday night after a nearly 24-hour manhunt, authorities said…

Authorities arrested Cetin as he walked down the street near his home in Oak Harbor, Washington.

When officers confronted him, he did not run, said Lt. Mike Hawley of the Island County Sheriff’s Office. Instead, he froze and complied, Hawley said. Cetin was not armed at the time of his arrest.

“He said nothing,” Hawley said. “Just kind of zombie-like.”

So far police haven’t said anything about his motive but it seems there are three main possibilities. First, this could have been some kind of personal attack aimed at someone Cetin knew. At a press conference (video below) police said they were not aware of any connection between Cetin and any of the victims; however, they also hadn’t completely ruled it out. So for the time being this is still an outside possibility.

Second, this could be someone with mental problems or someone who wanted to carry out a random shooting for reasons of their own. The Seattle Times reports Cetin has a criminal record:

Skagit County court records show Cetin has a criminal record that included three domestic-violence assault charges in both Burlington and Island County, with the victim identified as Cetin’s stepfather. He also was arrested for drunken driving.

And KIRO 7 reports Cetin underwent a mental health evaluation and some mandatory counseling:

As part of that misdemeanor case, Cetin was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation in August 2015. The evaluation was completed as of March 2016, according to court records…

In May, a judge approved deferred prosecution in that assault case – meaning Cetin was not convicted – and he was ordered not to have alcohol or drugs as part of the deferment.

As of Aug. 25, 2016, Cetin was in compliance with weekly sessions for mental health counseling. He complied with the alcohol assessment, according to court records, and he had a deferred prosecution review for the case scheduled for 2018.

So maybe this is someone with a mental health problem which eventually led to this mass shooting.

Third, this could be another “lone wolf” terrorist attack inspired by ISIS. Authorities have said that they haven’t ruled out terrorism as a possible motive. Cetin is originally from Turkey though he is now a U.S. citizen. Authorities haven’t said when he arrived in the U.S. or made any indication of a connection to terrorism. Obviously that could change quickly once they talk to him.

Finally, the Seattle Times notes that some of the victims have been identified. The youngest victim was a 16-year-old girl who had survived cancer:

Sarai Lara was the youngest of the victims, at 16. The Mount Vernon High School sophomore had survived cancer as a young girl, and was a happy, responsible, driven student, her mother said Saturday evening.

Evangelina Lara said she was shopping at the mall with Sarai and her younger sister, but they split up to different stores. Sarai went to Macy’s looking for pants, her mother said through a translator. News of the shooting spread through the mall, and Lara tried to get to her daughter but was blocked from Macy’s.

Cetin has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder.

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And now the dead are eagerly voting in Colorado [Top Picks – Hot Air]

Keep in mind that opponents of voter ID laws or any other form of electoral integrity measures have repeatedly assured us that voter fraud never happens.

We recently looked at the results of a survey which shows that roughly half of the country believes that voter fraud is real and takes place on at least a somewhat regular basis. But even the authors of that poll were dumbfounded and prefaced their findings with all sorts of reminders about how there’s simply no evidence to support that idea. Tell that to the people of Colorado, who were the latest to learn that many of their dearly departed were still somehow participating in democracy with alarming regularity. (CBS 4, Denver)

A CBS4 investigation has found multiple cases of dead men and women voting in Colorado months and in some cases years after their deaths, a revelation that calls into question safeguards designed to prevent such occurrences.

“We do believe there were several instances of potential vote fraud that occurred,” said Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams after reviewing the CBS4 findings. “It shows there is the potential for fraud.”

The cases of dead men and women casting ballots ranged from El Paso County in southern Colorado to Denver and Jefferson County. CBS4 discovered the fraudulent voting by comparing databases of voting histories in Colorado against a federal death database.

Colorado’s Secretary of State (a Republican, by the way) still seemed to want to play this down, only admitting that there was the potential for voter fraud and that the system has some gaps. I suppose that’s natural, given that nobody wants something this embarrassing showing up on their watch, but it’s also another case of sheer denial of reality. The local news investigation highlights the case of Sara Sosa of Colorado Springs. The poor dear passed away in 2009, but continued to cast her ballot in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Now, Sara was married, so the first suspect might be her husband. Was he “keeping it in the family” and voting for her after she went to her eternal reward? Nope. Turns out that Mr. Sosa died in 2008 himself. And yet that didn’t stop him from voting the following year either.

And this wasn’t statewide. We’re only talking about an investigation into a couple of counties and they came up with dozens of dead voters. It’s on a smaller scale than our previous story of this type where the dead in one section of California were found to be voting in the hundreds, but it’s still troubling in the extreme. This is particularly true when you consider the 2002 election in Colorado’s 7th district where their representative to Congress was decided by 121 votes, as the reporter in this article notes.

So if we allow the media to ignore the California findings, this becomes yet another “isolated instance” of a few bad apples, right? Obviously not. I hate to keep beating a dead horse here (pun intended) but this goes back to what I’ve been trying to get across for years. Liberals get away with saying that voter fraud isn’t a problem based on the small number of confirmed, prosecuted instances on record. But the low numbers are a result of the fact that nobody is looking for it. When they do, they find it, and Colorado has simply proven that rule of thumb once again.


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NFL Week 3 open thread [Top Picks – Hot Air]

Ed: The NFL’s back, even if some of their viewers still aren’t. This week the big game comes up against the big debate, so perhaps the league should take a page from the presidential campaigns and keep expectations low. In fact, that’s not a bad strategy for your prognosticators here, too. Last week I went 3-4 while Jazz went 5-2, and now my season record is all even at 7-7. So why am I starting the post? Someone took Saturday off for his birthday. I won’t say who, but apparently the candles on the cake set off a four-alarm fire in Jazz’ hometown. Just sayin’.

Jazz: Yes, as much as politics is trying to ruin football for everyone, I’m still watching. And it’s all the more easy to get excited when I have a pretty good week in the prognostication game. Last week’s 5-2 showing brought me back up to .500 at 7-7 so Ed and I are tied going into week 3. Our corresponding favorite teams are both on thin ice this week, but I’m still hoping for good news as a belated birthday present. And yes, Ed… I did take the day off. Even Sisyphus eventually got tired of pushing the boulder up the hill.

Ed: It’s an all-Pennsylvania game day, as the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles (CBS, 4:25 pm ET). Philly has the third-ranked defense, but Pittsburgh’s powerful O will prevail, 24-17. The Jets travel to Kansas City (CBS, 4:25 pm), where the two teams match up defensively but the Jets have a more active offense. Jets over the Chiefs, 27-19. The Vikings are undefeated, but they’re going to Carolina (Fox, 1 pm) without Adrian Peterson. Even with Sam Bradford playing a surprisingly dominant game last week in his first outing for Minnesota, the Panthers should win this home game 28-20.

Jazz:As much as it pains me to say it, I think Ed may be in for an unpleasant surprise in our first game. Yes, the Steelers are favored to win by three and a half, but does anyone here remember the last time Pittsburgh actually beat the Eagles in Philadelphia? Me neither, because it was in 1965. Carson Wentz is bringing a lot to the table for the birds and Antonio Brown put in something of a disappointing showing last week. I’m going to go with the minor upset here based on home field advantage and pick the Eagles in a 30-27 nailbiter, possibly in overtime. My Jets are also the underdogs heading to Kansas City, but the only way the Chiefs shut down Ryan Fitzpatrick is by roughing him up. Their D hasn’t been able to get within smelling distance of a QB yet this season and that won’t change today. The Jets beat the Chiefs 23-19 with another strong defensive showing. The Panthers are big favorites against the injury plagued Vikings and have the home field to boot. I’m not going to buck the conventional wisdom here, so I’ll go with Carolina in a relative slow game 24-17.

Ed: What other good games are on tap for Week 3? Let’s pick ’em:

  • Broncos at Bengals (CBS, 1 pm) – Cincy’s favored in this matchup, but Denver’s defense has been pretty impressive so far. The Broncos score more points per game than the Bengals, too. Denver wins a mild upset, 27-17.
  • Lions at Packers (Fox, 1 pm) – Green Bay comes into the game with the 29th-ranked offense. That’s with Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, and their receiver corps healthy, too. What gives? Detroit’s outscoring them 27/20.5 per game, but Green Bay’s defense is 5.5 points per game better — and they’re at home this week. I’ll take the Pack over the Lions, 26-21.
  • Bears at Cowboys (NBC, 8:30 pm) – Da Bears have had a rough start, but the Cowboys have played tough in both of their games. Chicago’s offense comes in next to last in the league, but it’s defense is ranked ninth overall. In points allowed, though, it’s 24th, while Dallas’ is 14th. Take the ‘Boys to beat the spread at home, 28-17.
  • Falcons at Saints (ESPN, 8:30 pm Monday) – Not interested in watching the debate? Tune in this division rivalrly, but the only stakes in this game is whether the Saints can keep from becoming the Aints. New Orleans is looking for its first win of the season, while Atlanta comes into the week with a share of the lead at 1-1. The Saints have given up four fewer points per game, but Atlanta’s offense has scored six more points per game. Still, the Saints are playing at home and their backs are up against the wall, so I’ll go with the spread and pick New Orleans with a 27-24 win. Just don’t ask me to make a pick in the debate.


  • Broncos at Bengals (CBS, 1 pm) – I’m still a little ticked off at the Bengals because of week one and they go into this game favored by a field goal. But Cincinnati’s offense has been totally one sided. Their two main running backs have less than 100 yards between them over two games so they win or lose on Andy Dalton’s back. His shoulders won’t be that broad today so I’ll join Ed in taking the upset, but by a meager 17-14 Denver spread.
  • Lions at Packers (Fox, 1 pm) –  Why are we picking this game again? The Pack is fired up and healthy at home while the Lions are losing players to medical retreats faster than tourists in a Zika swamp. I’ll go with Green Bay 28-17.
  • Bears at Cowboys (NBC, 8:30 pm) – The Cowboys always mange to jinx me but the Bears have looked simply awful. The 1-1 record put up by Dallas isn’t much to brag about, but they’ll have enough to send da Bears to da bunker outside the margin, 28-14.
  • Falcons at Saints (ESPN, 8:30 pm Monday) –  The Saints may be the favorite by a field goal, but Atlanta has more than enough weapons to be a dangerous and unpredictable opponent this year. The combination of Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman can put plenty of points on the board, so I see New Orleans heading into a dismal 0-3 start. I’ll pick another upset here and take Atlanta with a big win 38-24.

The post NFL Week 3 open thread appeared first on Hot Air.

Sunday reflection: Luke 16:19–31 [Top Picks – Hot Air]

This morning’s Gospel reading is Luke 16:19–31:

Jesus said to the Pharisees:

“There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.’

Abraham replied, ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’ He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.’ But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’ He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.’”

We all remember the Golden Rule from our kindergarten days: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Generally we all learned this in response to demonstrating a selfish impulse. We took someone else’s toy, or made fun of them in front of others, without a shred of empathy as to how it would make them feel. At four and five years of age, those empathy skills are still in their nascent stages, and we are the center of our own universes. Our parents, family leaders, and teachers had to constantly work on our predilection for self-centeredness so that we could understand how our actions impacted others, and more importantly, to care about it. But that core, that spark, resided in us; they only needed to instill the discipline that is needed to exercise it.

Jesus put this in much more specific terms in the Gospels: Love your neighbors as yourselves. In fact, He challenged us even further by telling us to love our enemies as well.  That does not instruct us to despise ourselves, but to see ourselves, our neighbors, and yes even our enemies in our proper place in the Lord’s kingdom.

Today’s Gospel parable clearly speaks to that teaching, and in a much more understandable manner than last week’s, which almost directly precede today’s Gospel. It echoes our first reading from Amos, in which the prophet warns “the complacent in Zion,” who have been lulled into a false sense of security through a wealth of material pleasures. They put so much focus on their own pleasure that they do not seem affected at all by “the collapse of Joseph,” the coming defeat and exile of the northern kingdom of Israel. Because they do not focus on the Lord and care for each other, they are first to go into exile, as the Lord promises to Amos just a few years before the Assyrians sack Israel, but Judah will not learn the lesson either and will fall a century later.

Jesus’ parable takes a much more direct and personal approach. Speaking to the Pharisees, Jesus tells the tale of a man whose wealth blinds him to the poor at his very door. In fact, the rich man isn’t really blinded at all, as we see when both he and the poor man die. He knows very well who Lazarus is; he just couldn’t be bothered to help him. Suddenly, though, Lazarus becomes very, very important to the rich man, but by then it is too late.

It’s worth noting that the rich man still sees Lazarus as more of a servant, and is still more consumed with his own predicament than Lazarus’, whom he calls into the torment to bring him comfort. The rich man still hasn’t really learned caritas, although he has enough of a sense of it to try to save his brothers from his own fate. And this, of course, is where Jesus’ parable really stings.

The Pharisees had agitated for Jesus to perform signs for them specifically in order to prove his status as the Messiah. Jesus spent his mission performing works among the poor, not the powerful, which makes this parable a reflection of his own ministry — and casts the Pharisees into the role of the rich man in an entirely different way than the literal. The Pharisees’ desire for the Lord to serve them parallels the rich man’s desire for Lazarus to make an appearance to his family for their redemption, to which Abraham replies that they should have listened to Moses and the prophets. Jesus then predicts that the Pharisees — and many others — won’t listen even if someone should return from the dead, a prophecy that Jesus Himself will literally prove not long after this meeting.

What lessons are we to learn from this? In a literal sense, the poor remind us to live outside ourselves and to orient ourselves to service rather than greed and gluttony. In the case of the rich man, he dissipated his own salvation by ignoring Lazarus, who received justice in the bosom of Abraham. But this parable also teaches us that demanding new signs and miracles as a pretext for our belief is just another way of putting ourselves at the center of the universe rather than The Lord. We have Moses, the prophets, and the Gospel, as well as the risen Christ.

And there’s another lesson, too, one directed to us by Paul in his letter to Timothy. We are to “pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness,” not as a means to an end or for our own sake, but for the sake of Christ and the Father. This lesson calls us to orient ourselves and our lives in this fashion in order to open ourselves to that caritas that goes beyond the Golden Rule and our often more more transactional or even karmic understanding of it: Don’t be mean unless you want people to be mean to you. Jesus’ teachings emphasize love, or in the Latin, caritas — the self-giving, self-emptying love that comes from truly wanting the best for another. Love others even when they do not love you, we are taught.

And why? Because that’s how God loves us. He loves us through our sin, our rebellion, and wants us to find our way to Him out of love rather than duty or self-interest. He wants us to join Him in a kingdom of caritas love, but first we have to orient ourselves to become part of it. When we do, we can join Lazarus, Abraham, and the saints as brothers and sisters of one Father, who desires above all else to celebrate our return to Him.

The front-page image is “Dives and Lazarus,” Leandro Bassano, c. 1600. 

“Sunday Reflection” is a regular feature, looking at the specific readings used in today’s Mass in Catholic parishes around the world. The reflection represents only my own point of view, intended to help prepare myself for the Lord’s day and perhaps spark a meaningful discussion. Previous Sunday Reflections from the main page can be found here.  For previous Green Room entries, click here.

The post Sunday reflection: Luke 16:19–31 appeared first on Hot Air.

The video of the Keith Lamont Scott shooting isn’t solving much [Top Picks – Hot Air]

Earlier this week, John covered the case of the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott and the cell phone video released by his wife. (She witnessed the shooting personally and was engaged in conversation with the responding officers before and after the event.) The media narrative and the social media maelstrom arising from claims that Scott was unarmed and “only had a book” are what largely led to the recent riots in the area and something was needed to bring order to the situation. The police claimed to have video showing something different, including the fact that Scott was armed, but had thus far been siting on it.

I have been wondering, tweeting and arguing since it happened about how the cops in Charlotte should have made an exception to the rules and released the dash cam and body camera video they had as soon as it could be done without jeopardizing the case. Yesterday they apparently reached that point and put two videos out for the media to broadcast. (Charlotte Observer)

Video footage released Saturday shows Keith Lamont Scott taking four steps slowly backward with his arms at his sides when he is hit in a burst of four gunshots from police, then crumples to the pavement.

From neither vantage point – a police dashboard camera and a body camera worn by one of the officers on the scene – can it be determined whether Scott is holding a gun.

But police can be heard repeatedly shouting “Drop the gun!” at the 43-year-old Scott, who died from his wounds Tuesday as his wife stood nearby.

Before we get into what may or may not be solved by this, here are the two videos which the cops released. We offer these with the obvious warning that they contain graphic images which some readers may find disturbing.

BREAKING: Ankle Holster Clearly Visible As Police Release Keith Scott Shooting Video

Our colleague Bob Owens at Bearing Arms (who knows a thing or two about firearms and associated gear) hasn’t found a gun in the new video, but he’s pretty sure that he’s identified the ankle holster.

There’s also a free-frame of Keith Scott just before shots are fired. You cannot clearly see anything in his hands due to the grainy quality of the video, but an empty ankle holster is clearly visible on his right ankle.

The last I checked, those aren’t designed to carry books.

Here’s the frame Bob’s talking about.


As far as I’m concerned, releasing these videos was the right thing to do, but it’s not nearly as much of a game changer as had been advertised. In the end, this comes down to a case of perceptions versus rock hard proof. For my money, there’s virtually no question that Scott was armed. The cops were screaming “drop the gun” at him repeatedly, and if that was an effort to “frame” Scott it was a darned clever one since they would have had to have been working on it before they even shot him. Also, the presence of an ankle holster (even if it’s empty) is rather telling. As Bob said, you don’t strap one of those on to carry around your reading material.

But there’s also something missing from the videos and that’s a clear image of Scott holding the gun. There’s also absolutely no footage of him pointing a weapon at the cops and he doesn’t appear to have done so. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t representing a legitimate threat to the officers, but this allows a couple of avenues of attack on their story from those who are protesting and/or rioting. First, the real tinfoil hat crowd can still say that the gun was a plant and the cops just threw his book away. (That doesn’t explain his need for an ankle holster, but as I said, this one is in conspiracy theory territory.) But even if you don’t want to go that far, they can claim that the gun was still in the car when the shooting took place and the cops moved it to justify the use of lethal force.

I can see how these sorts of rumors catch fire. I’ll confess that until I took the holster and the repeated calls to drop the weapon into consideration, even I had a moment last night when I began considering how easy it would be to dispose of a book and plant a gun at the crime scene. That makes no sense with the rest of the known facts in context, but if your first inclination is to blame the cops I’m just saying I can see how a story like that takes hold.

The bottom line is that I don’t see these videos moving the ball much further down the field in either direction. If you were already of a mind to suspect a police coverup there isn’t enough here to 100% put you off the trail. If you felt the police acted appropriately, you’ll likely just reinforce your previously held opinion. And now we wait to see if the ongoing protest remain peaceful as they were last night or turn back into bloody riots.


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Morning Consult: Trump finally pulls ahead of Clinton… barely [Top Picks – Hot Air]

Another week ticks away on the countdown clock and another round of polling from Morning Consult finds Donald Trump’s previously stalled momentum creeping back into motion. For the first time since the conventions at the end of July, this survey shows trump with a slight edge over Clinton among likely voters when all four of the measured candidates are offered as options.

Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton by 1 percentage point among likely voters who were polled a few days ahead of the much-anticipated debate between the two presidential candidates. The debate will take place Monday evening.

The ratings for the televised match-up between the two candidates are expected to be at record highs. Two-thirds of registered voters say they expect to watch the debate, with 41 percent saying they are “very likely” to watch it.

In a nationwide poll of 1,712 likely voters taken Sept. 22 through Sept. 24, Trump was the choice for 39 percent of respondents, while Clinton was the choice for 38 percent. The difference between the two candidates is within the margin of error.

Here’s the track of the four way race over the past few weeks.


If you take Johnson and Stein out of the equation Clinton edges back into the lead, 44-42. In the broader sample of registered voters Clinton holds a one point lead.

The mix of participants in the likely voter sample has once again taken a strange shift, but in an unexpected direction. You may recall that in last week’s survey, Hillary Clinton was hanging on to a one or two point lead for the second week in a row, but at that time the likely voter D/I/R split without leaners was 39/29/32. In this week’s crosstabs there’s been a dramatic shift. This time, again without leaners, the D/I/R is somehow 36/32/32. The Democratic advantage in the survey dropped from D+7 to D+4. And with that shift, Trump dropped one point from the previous week while Hillary went down by four. (The two third party candidates picked up one each to make up for part of that dip.) When you take the sample shift into account it almost looks as if there was no real movement at all.

In other words, taking MC’s running survey as a trend indicator, Trump has held on to the ground he made up after Clinton’s post-convention bump, but neither of them has broken out for any open field running yet. Tomorrow night will be their big opportunity to put some gas in the tank as we weather the first debate, and that’s the last topic I wanted to touch on from the survey. Right now we’re down to the point where the parties have largely retreated to their respective corners and the candidates are slugging it out for the independent and undecided voters. But those are precisely the people who are least likely to watch.

Independent voters have a less strong opinion about the debates, suggesting that the TV events be more important in terms of shoring up commitment from party affiliates than winning over undecided voters. Independents are less likely to watch Monday’s debate than either Republicans or Democrats; 54 percent of independents say they expect to watch, while 75 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of Democrats plan to tune in.

Twice as many independents (25 percent) say they are “not at all likely” to watch Monday’s debate than Republicans (13 percent) or Democrats (12 percent).

Tucking this poll away along with the rest of the national surveys, one thing is clear. The national race is a coin toss at this point. In the swing states, Trump his picking up a lot of lost territory, but he’s nowhere near being safely past 270 electoral votes. This thing is entirely up for grabs right now, and if you ever wished to live to see interesting times, soak it all in because this is it, baby.


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Sunday morning talking heads [Top Picks – Hot Air]

A strange development on “Meet the Press” this morning as some guy I’ve never heard of named “Ted Cruz” is the star guest, booked at the last minute to discuss something or other. I assume that whatever he has to say isn’t important enough to justify watching. If you’re looking for Trump surrogates, though, you’ve got three to choose from: Kellyanne Conway will be on “This Week” and “State of the Union” and Mike Pence will be on “Fox News Sunday” and “Face the Nation,” where he’ll be followed by Paul Ryan, who … I guess counts as a Trump surrogate? Perhaps Conway et al. will shed some light on who this “Cruz” character is and why anyone should take him seriously.

Elsewhere, Clinton supporters will be out in force to try to reassure Democrats that their bumbling loser of a nominee isn’t going to blow this election for them despite trying very, very hard to do so. Tim Kaine will be on “Face the Nation,” chief pollster Joel Benenson will be on “Fox News Sunday,” and campaign manager Robby Mook will be on “This Week” and “State of the Union,” where he’ll try and probably fail to answer the most basic policy questions. The full line-up is at the AP.

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Politico: Trump putting Mike Lee on his Supreme Court list was a huge factor in Cruz’s endorsement [Top Picks – Hot Air]

No, it wasn’t. Cruz surrendered what’s left of his integrity to Trump in order to keep his Senate seat but he’s under no illusions about who Trump is. There’s no way he believes a critic of Trump’s as fierce as Mike Lee is actually in line for a Supreme Court seat. I doubt that Trump has ever, in any capacity, rewarded one of his critics without converting them to a supplicant first. Are there any examples of him, for instance, hiring a building contractor who’d criticized him publicly simply because he admired that contractor’s work? To the average person there would be wisdom in doing that, putting the quality of your project above your own petty feelings. Trump, I think, would see it as pitiful weakness absent a groveling apology from the contractor first. His entire moral code seems to be that those who praise him are good and those who criticize him are bad, and Lee falls into the second category. Why would President Trump put a bad man on the Court?

Adding Lee to yesterday’s SCOTUS list was an obvious pretext to get Cruz’s endorsement. It wouldn’t surprise me if Cruz himself suggested it in his meeting with Mike Pence last week. “I’d love to climb down and endorse, Mike,” he may have said, “but I need some sort of transparent-garbage excuse from Donald that I can point to and claim that I’m acting out of principle.” If he endorsed Trump with nothing having changed between the convention and now except Trump’s polling, he’d have no way to justify his reversal apart from raw expedience. Having Lee turn up on Trump’s list gives him a way to say that Trump is evolving into a conservative and that that’s what won Cruz over. No one believes that, but this is what Cruz has been reduced to. He had no leverage left to extract a meaningful concession from Trump so he accepted a meaningless one to save a tiny bit of face.

You know what would have been a nice concession for Cruz? An apology from Trump to his wife and father for personally insulting them. But Trump doesn’t do apologies — see the point above about weakness — so Cruz had to decide whether to let the insults stand and endorse anyway or stick with his “vote your conscience” position and possibly lose his Senate seat. He chose ambition over honor because, hey, Ted Cruz.

In recent days, strong signals emerged that the two rivals were warming to one another. Privately, Cruz huddled with Mike Pence last week. Trump backed Cruz’s effort on a legislative play involving internet regulation, then floated close Cruz ally Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) for the Supreme Court. Cruz praised Trump on Twitter.

Those moves by Trump, a source familiar with the process, were what made the difference for Cruz.

“Trump’s willingness and decisive action to release a list of conservative jurists, particularly including Mike Lee, with the promise to choose from that list, was a top factor in Cruz’s ultimate decision,” the person said on Saturday morning.

Trump already released a list of 10 solid conservative SCOTUS nominees in May. Cruz didn’t care. Now his buddy’s on the list, coincidentally at the same time Cruz’s numbers are tanking in Texas while Trump’s are climbing nationally, and suddenly Court appointments are a big deal. The idea that a piece of paper with Lee’s name on it might have actually mattered to Cruz is insulting to everyone’s intelligence, including and especially Mike Lee’s. Lee knows Trump would never reward a political enemy for a reason as flimsy as that he’d be an excellent jurist for the country for decades. He’s a pawn in this game between Trump and his “friend” Cruz, and he obviously doesn’t want to participate:

While Lee’s inclusion played a leading role in Cruz’s decision, the list will make no difference for Lee. In a statement to the Washington Examiner on Cruz’s decision to vote for Trump, Lee indicated that the new list from Trump and pledge of support from Cruz would not make Lee change his mind.

“I consistently follow certain criteria when deciding whether to endorse any candidate pursuing a federal office. Those criteria focus on each candidate’s grasp of — and willingness to work tirelessly to restore — federalism and separation of powers,” Lee said in a statement. “I am always eager to support any candidate willing to make those structural constitutional protections a priority. In this race and in every other, I will continue to use the same criteria.”…

“The Supreme Court is very important and I appreciate being considered,” Lee said in a statement. “Right now I’m focused on my job in the Senate, where I’m in a good position to defend the Constitution by fighting against government overreach. Both lists that I’ve seen from the Trump campaign are fantastic. While my brother and I might disagree as to which list is better, they’re both great.”

Ben Domenech wrote a nice piece yesterday on how Cruz lost his convention bet against Trump, but these two tweets summarize his predicament more elegantly.

Cruz assumed in July that, by not endorsing, his own political stock would rise as Trump’s inevitably collapsed this fall. That’s the second time in less than a year that he gambled badly on Trump’s support disintegrating; his bromance with Trump last year was premised on the idea that populists would eventually desert the boorish amateur and stampede towards the other anti-Washington guy in the race, Cruz. (That in turn was part of a much bigger and even more foolish gamble by Cruz that most populist conservatives really are conservative and would back him against Trump if forced to choose.) Instead Trump’s stock rose and Cruz’s fell, leaving Cruz in a dangerous position in which Trump might lose narrowly this fall instead of by a landslide and all of his new enemies within the GOP would rush to blame him and his non-endorsement for the defeat. So he rolled over.

Needless to say, after all of this, the idea of Cruz leading some sort of conservative resistance to President Trump in the Senate is up in smoke. The grim lesson of yesterday’s surrender is that Cruz’s donors own him as much as any establishmentarian Republican is owned by their own donors. At a minimum, he’ll play nice with Trump now until he’s safely past any primary challenges in 2018. And if Cruz is still serious about running for president again someday, he’ll go on playing nice after that. There’s no basis anymore for believing that he’d win a primary challenge against Trump, no matter how awful and left-ish Trump’s first term might be. Key factions of the GOP, including grassroots conservatives, have chosen Trump over Cruz at every turn. The same logic that’s used now by Republicans to justify sucking it up and voting for Trump — the Democrat is worse! — would be used as a reason to crush any primary challenge by Cruz. (“He’s weakening President Trump with the Democrats set to pounce!”) Cruz will politely disagree with President Trump as needed, but there’ll be no long filibusters or government shutdowns in protest of his initiatives because Cruz doesn’t have a base anymore that will tolerate that. He’ll keep rolling over, biding his time until Trump has passed from the stage and the GOP needs a new nominee. He left himself with no choice.

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska drops out of Obamacare exchange [Top Picks – Hot Air]

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska announced today that it will stop selling individual plans on the state’s Obamacare exchange. The decision will impact about 20,000 BCBS customers. The Omaha World Herald reports:

Blue Cross’ departure removes the state’s largest health insurer from the individual marketplace, leaving only Aetna and Medica Health to offer individual policies on the Nebraska’s exchange for 2017.

Steve Martin, the chief executive of Blue Cross, told The World-Herald that the company has lost $140 million on the exchange policies since 2014. If the trend continued, losses could total $250 million by the end of 2017, he said…

Martin said too often federal officials let people buy insurance just before they are due to receive an expensive health treatment and then drop their coverage immediately afterward. As a result, many of them pay no premiums when they are well, only when they are sick.

In other words, too many people are gaming the system. This is a problem insurers around the country have been complaining about for months. Earlier this month the Obama administration announced some changes aimed at cracking down on cheaters (and also probably aimed at keeping insurers like BCBS of Nebraska from jumping ship).

BCBS of Nebraska had already been approved for 30+% rate hikes but decided recently it would not be enough to allow them to cover their costs. Martin, the BCBS spokesman, tells the Lincoln Journal Star another year of losses could become “a hole we will never get out of.”

As a mutual insurer owned by members, he said the company operates on 1 percent margins, aiming to pay out 99 cents or less for every dollar of premiums it brings in. On the exchange policies, it has averaged a payout of $1.56 for every $1 brought in.

Another year of those kinds of losses, and “we would be digging a hole we will never get out of.”

BCBS posted an explanation for the decision on its website which labels the ACA marketplace “unstable.”

Serious issues with the health care law have made the public Marketplace unstable, which is driving increased costs and decreased competition and consumer choice.

In fact, since we began selling our individual plans on the ACA’s public Marketplace, we have lost approximately $140 million. We have a responsibility to all our members to remain stable and secure, and that responsibility will be at risk if we continue to sustain losses due to our participation in the ACA Marketplace.

The statement goes on to say that Blue Cross Blue Shield could return to the individual market in 2018 if they believe it has stabilized by then.

This is not the first BCBS to pull out of a state exchange. BCBS of Minnesota announced it was pulling out of that state’s exchange because of steep losses back in June. And last month a spokesman for BCBS in Tennessee agreed with the state’s insurance commissioner who said, “I would characterize the exchange market in Tennessee as very near collapse….” BCBST spokesman Roy Vaughn told the Tennessean his company expected to lose $500 million on the exchanges by the end of this year and said, “We agree with the assessment of the ACA marketplace in Tennessee.”

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Sunday assorted links [Marginal REVOLUTION]

1. Doubts about the supposed Chinese skeletons found in Rome, 3-5th century A.D.  Still, China to Rome just isn’t that far, and it is naive to believe this kind of contact didn’t exist.  Study the history of the Polynesians.

2. The main influences on Sam Bowman.

3. Puffin topology, with violin (short video).

4. Afghan Bistro in Springfield, the best Afghan food I’ve had, get the Aushak, kadu, and eggplant.

5. Tarkovsky’s Ivan’s Childhood, newly released in an accessible, English subtitled form, shows that even his “minor” works are better than almost anything else.

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*Hitler’s Soldiers* [Marginal REVOLUTION]

The author is Ben H. Shepherd and the subtitle is The German Army in the Third Reich.  That may seem like a timeworn topic, but I found this book consistently fresh and interesting, also well-written, analytic throughout, one of the year’s best non-fiction studies.  Here is one bit:

Two occupied populations whom the German army particularly tried to cultivate were the Muslim peoples of the Crimea and the Caucasus.  The Sunni Tatars comprised a quarter of the Crimea’s population, and German army administrators saw them, as they would also come to see their Muslim brethren in the Caucasus, as presenting an opportunity to woo Islam in the Soviet Union for political and military gain.  The Germans granted the Tatars religious rights and concessions and reintroduced major religious holidays, and Manstein’s otherwise infamous November 1941 order required his troops to treat the Tatars with respect…the Germans appointed a Muslim committee to re-establish the religious infrastructure.

…Yet the failings of German occupation were soon apparent to these Muslim peoples.

Overall the message is that the German army was less effective and less moral [sic] than many other historians had suggested.  Recommended.

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Are lies better than hypocrisy?, with special reference to some current events [Marginal REVOLUTION]

When should you place a higher penalty on transparently false outright repeated lies, and when should you be more upset by hypocrisy, namely a mix of altruism and self-interest and greed and defensiveness, bundled with self-deception and pawned off to everyone including yourself as sheer goodness?  In recent times the question has taken on further import.

From @EpicureanDeal:

“Here’s the part of the 2016 story that will be hardest to explain after it’s… over: Trump did not deceive anyone.”

From Deplorable Me:

reporters take Trump literally and not seriously. We take Trump seriously but not literally.

From Elberry’s Ghost:

in general, i prefer liars to hypocrites. A liar knows the truth and is cold-bloodedly trying to deceive you, probably for material profit or personal advantage, or malevolence – but in himself he knows the truth and so the situation is less unreal than with the hypocrite; for the hypocrite’s motive is often self-righteousness mingled with material profit and personal advantage. And the hypocrite believes his own lies, so the situation is wholly unreal, saturated with deception. With the liar one can at least guess there is a real human being somewhere behind the lies, watching, calculating; and sometimes in the midst of the deception one catches this real human being’s eye, and there is a moment of mutual recognition – that he is lying and he knows she is lying, and you know too, but of course neither will say so. With the hypocrite, all is false – through and through deception.

For purposes of illumination, say you treat this as a principal-agent problem.  You sometimes prefer if your children lie to you transparently than if they are more deviously hypocritical, even if the lies in the former case are greater.  The former case establishes a precedent that you can see through their claims, and they will not try so hard to disguise the fraud.  So transparent lies about taking out the garbage are excused if you know you can see through the later claims about drugs and drink and prepping for the SAT.

You are more worried about the hypocrite when you see bigger decisions and announcements down the road than what is being faced now.  You are more worried about the hypocrite when you fear disappointment, and have experienced disappointment repeatedly in the past.  You are more worried about the hypocrite when you fear it is all lies anyway.  Lies, in a way, give you a chance to try out “the liar relationship,” whereas hypocrisy does not.  You thus fear that hypocrisy may lead to a worse outcome down the road or at the very least more anxiety along the way.

But note: for a more institutional and distanced principal-agent relationship, it is often incorrect, and indeed dangerous, to rely on your intuitions from personalized principal-agent problems.

When it comes to how the agent speaks to allies and enemies, you almost always should prefer hypocrisy to bald-faced lies.  The history and practice of diplomacy show this.  Allies and enemies, especially from other cultures, don’t know how to process the lies the way you can process the blatant lies of your children, friends, and spouse.  They will think some of these lies are mere hypocrisy and that can greatly increase uncertainty and maybe lead to open conflict.  North Korea aside, the prevailing international equilibrium is “hypocrisy only,” and those are the signals everyone has decades of experience in reading.

Josh Barro tweeted:

People pretending to be better than they are is what holds society together.

International society too.

There is such a hullaballoo in my Twitter feed every day about the lies.  “It is now time to expose the lies!”  I feel sad when I read this, because many of the American people already are putting up with the lies or even welcoming them.  I do not see that as a correct course of action, as it is confusing personal morality with the abstract rules and principles that underlie social order (which is what voters almost always do, by the way).  We need continuing hypocrisy in the international order, and thus from our distanced political agents, even if we don’t want more of it in our personal lives.

I do not see enough people trying to understand lies vs. hypocrisy.  In fact it is tough for many people to make this leap, because doing so requires a Hayekian stress on the distinction between the personal and the abstract political and rules-based order.  That distinction does not always come easily to the non-Hayekians who comprise most of my Twitter feed.  They are very quick to invoke their own personal morality to attempt to settle political disputes.

Note also that if citizens care more about hypocrisy than lies, the media will in turn be harsher with hypocrisy than outright lies.  Some foundations will be covered (and criticized) more than others, even if the less-covered foundation has done more wrong and in a more blatant manner.  Covering hypocrisy also usually involves a longer story with more successive revelations and more twists and turns and narrative suspense and room for ambiguity and competing interpretations.

Furthermore, in this equilibrium the defenders of the morality of the hypocritical agent will in fact make things worse for that agent.  The hypocrisy will become not just a personal hypocrisy of the agent, but rather a broader, almost conspiratorial hypocrisy of greater society.  So the more you think one (hypocritical) agent is getting unfair press coverage, and the more you defend that agent, the worse you make it for that agent.

Talking about the lies of the lying agent may help that agent win popularity, by turning voter attention to the “lies vs. hypocrisy” framing rather than “experience vs. incompetence.”  The lying agent has at least some chance in the former battle, but not much in the latter.

I wonder if earnest Millennials have a special dislike of hypocrisy.

Think about it.  Or if not, at least pretend you will.

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The Economy in Pictures [Power LinePower Line]

(Steven Hayward)

Paul helpfully noted here Friday the Josh Barro article about why the economic recovery under Obama has been the weakest on record. (Shorter Barro” “It’s the Obama, stupid!”) The good folks at The Daily Shot offer some interesting charts that help visualize the story.

Usually after a recession the housing sector contributes significantly to an economic rebound. This did not happen after the crash of ’08, and as you can see from the first figure below, but the housing sector may be ticking downward just now.  Maybe we built too many houses during the bubble, but even Jerry Brown out here in CA thinks we’re not building enough housing.


Meanwhile, manufacturing of capital goods is looking anemic right now after a typical post-recession rebound back around 2010:


And repeat after me: The Federal Reserve does not control interest rates. The Federal Reserve does not control interest rates. Repeat as many times as necessary until you understand that the market determines interest rates. The Fed only controls the shortest term interest rates between banks. As the next figure shows, the market is already pushing up interest rates.


And almost unnoticed at last week’s Fed announcement that it was standing pat on its short term rates was the fact that the Fed is lowering its economic growth forecasts:


Hmm. Starting to look like the next president is going to face a recession. But maybe an American version of Brexit will “trump” all of this (heh—irony deliberate). Someone caught this nice juxtaposition of what the Certified Smart People said about Brexit:


For the House, Brian Mast [Power LinePower Line]

(John Hinderaker)

Brian Mast, one of our six Picks for the 2016 cycle, is running for Congress in Florida’s 18th District. The seat is open, as incumbent Democrat Patrick Murphy is leaving the House to run against Marco Rubio for the Senate. Mast beat five other Republicans in a primary to win the nomination, and is now facing Randy Perkins, an undistinguished wealthy liberal.

Mast is a 12-year veteran of the Army, where he served in the Joint Special Operations Command as a bomb disposal expert, saving his fellow troops from IEDs. In Afghanistan, he defused one bomb too many. The last one exploded and cost Mast both of his legs. In the course of his service, Mast was awarded the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal for Valor, the Purple Heart and The Defense Meritorious Service Medal. Since his discharge, he has continued to work as an explosives expert for the Department of Homeland Security, served alongside the Israeli Defense Force, and earned a degree from Harvard.


Mast’s positions on the issues are here. He is a solid, mainstream conservative. You can tell he is a good conservative because an ad for his Democrat opponent calls Mast “dangerously extreme” and likens him to former Congressman Allen West and the “extremist, frightening” radio host Mark Levin.

Brian Mast is the kind of inspiring, capable candidate that conservatives around the country need to get behind. Please go here to donate to his campaign. Don’t think you need to be a big hitter for your contribution to be worthwhile. Experience in recent years has shown the power of the grass roots. Give $100 or more if you can, give $10 or $20 if that is what you can afford. We need men like Brian Mast in Congress.

The Next Environmental Scare? [Power LinePower Line]

(Steven Hayward)

It’s been a parlor game for a while to decide what apocalyptic scare environmental doom mongers would come up with once climate change settles down into a normal problem. I’ve been nominating the weakening of the polar magnetic fields, which would be a Really Bad Thing for life on the planet. Sooner or later some environmentalist will blame mankind’s electrical grid for this potential calamity. (Think of the cell phone radiation and high voltage power line scams, persisting despite ample debunkings.) It’s an even better excuse than global warming to demand that we all return to cave dwelling lifestyles. So far no takers, though.

But I think I’ve spotted another potential apocalypse this week. From Science Alert:

Earth’s atmosphere is slowly leaking oxygen, and scientists aren’t sure why

Don’t panic, but researchers have discovered that oxygen is (very) slowly draining out of Earth’s atmosphere, and right now, they’re not sure why.

By analysing air bubbles trapped inside ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica, a team from Princeton University has found oxygen levels have dropped by 0.7 percent in the last 800,000 years, and figuring out why could be crucial to predicting our planet’s future. . .

Getting the answer isn’t going to be easy though – oxygen on our planet is constantly being recycled by humans, animals, plants, and even silicate rock. Right now, ice cores are among the best ways we have of getting fixed readings of how much oxygen is present.

Now just wait for it. . . wait for it. . . Yes!

Another possible cause is long-term climate change – over the last few million years, we’ve seen a slight overall drop in global temperatures, even though Earth has been rapidly heating up over the past half a century. . .

While the rate of oxygen decline is nothing to worry about just yet, Stolper does have a warning about the last 200 years since the industrial revolution started, data which isn’t included in the new report.

“We are consuming O2 at a rate a factor of a thousand times faster than before,” he told Gizmodo. “Humankind has completely short-circuited the cycle by burning tonnes of carbon… it’s yet another indication of our collective ability to do what happens [naturally] on the Earth, yet so much faster.”

Oh, I imagine Al Gore will figure out a way to panic over this. Stay tuned.

There’s something about Hillary’s health [Power LinePower Line]

(Scott Johnson)

Readers who have been following the saga of Hillary’s dubious health will remember that Dr. Lisa Bardack is Clinton’s personal physician. At Tom Lifson’s American Thinker site, Jay Michaels gives Dr. Bardack’s letters testifying to Hillary’s good health the kind of close reading that Leo Strauss brought to Plato’s dialogues. Michaels’s post comes with the suitably literary heading “Dr. Lisa Bardack’s Faustian bargain.”

Pursuing a theme we have articulated here several times, Michaels observes: “Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton corrupts everyone who serves her.” (The same observation applies of course to Bill Clinton. They are well matched in that respect.) I don’t have any expertise to bring to bear on Michaels’s post, and I find some of it questionable, but the whole (long) thing is of interest. Thanks in advance to any commenters who are willing to share their expertise in the comments below.

Statesmanship: Obama versus Bibi [Power LinePower Line]

(Scott Johnson)

Walter Russell Mead assesses the statesmanship of Barack Obama versus that of Benjamin Netanyahu in the American Interest post “The real Middle East.” The subhead provides this précis: “Precisely because he has a colder view of international affairs than Obama, Netanyahu’s leadership has made Israel stronger than ever.” In the heart of this post he writes:

There is perhaps only one thing harder for the American mind to process than the fact that President Obama has been a terrible foreign policy president, and that is that Bibi Netanyahu is an extraordinarily successful Israeli Prime Minister. In Asia, in Africa, in Latin America, Israel’s diplomacy is moving from strength to strength. Virtually every Arab and Middle Eastern leader thinks that Bibi is smarter and stronger than President Obama, and as American prestige across the Middle East has waned under Obama, Israel’s prestige — even among people who hate it — has grown. Bibi’s reset with Russia, unlike Obama’s, actually worked. His pivot to Asia has been more successful than Obama’s. He has had far more success building bridges to Sunni Muslims than President Obama, and both Russia and Iran take Bibi and his red lines much more seriously than they take Obama’s expostulations and pious hopes.

The reason that Bibi has been more successful than Obama is that Bibi understands how the world works better than Obama does. Bibi believes that in the harsh world of international politics, power wisely used matters more than good intentions eloquently phrased. Obama sought to build bridges to Sunni Muslims by making eloquent speeches in Cairo and Istanbul while ignoring the power political realities that Sunni states cared most about — like the rise of Iran and the Sunni cause in Syria. Bibi read the Sunnis more clearly than Obama did; the value of Israeli power to a Sunni world worried about Iran has led to something close to a revolution in Israel’s regional position. Again, Obama thought that reaching out to the Muslim Brotherhood (including its Palestinian affiliate, Hamas) would help American diplomacy and Middle Eastern democracy. Bibi understood that Sunni states like Egypt and its Saudi allies wanted Hamas crushed. Thus, as Obama tried to end the Gaza war on terms acceptable to Hamas and its allies, Bibi enjoyed the backing of both Egypt and Saudi Arabia in a successful effort to block Obama’s efforts. Israel’s neighbors may not like Bibi, but they believe they can count on him. They may think Obama has some beautiful ideas that he cares deeply about, but they think he’s erratic, unreliable, and doesn’t understand either them or their concerns.

Obama is an aspiring realist who wanted to work with undemocratic leaders on practical agreements. But Obama, despite the immense power of the country he leads, has been unable to gain the necessary respect from leaders like Putin and Xi that would permit the pragmatic relationships he wanted to build. Bibi is a practicing realist who has succeeded where Obama failed. Bibi has a practical relationship with Putin; they work together where their interests permit and where their interests clash, Putin respects Bibi’s red lines.
Obama’s pivot to Asia brought the US closer to India and Japan, but has opened a deep and dangerous divide with China. Under Bibi’s leadership, Israel has stronger, deeper relationships with India, China and Japan than at any time in the past, and Asia may well replace Europe as Israel’s primary trade and investment partners as these relationships develop.

Mead is an acute student of American foreign policy and international affairs. He is an excellent writer to boot. Read the whole thing here (access it if necessary via Google here).

Le Show with Harry Shearer - September 25, 2016 [Harry Shearer: Le Show]

This week on Le Show: Harry Shearer sings “Too Fat to Fight,” Creepy clown sightings, News from Outside the Bubble, Tony Blair Associates, The Apologies of the Week, The Pentagon’s Latest Military Obesity Data, News of Microplastics, Newt preps Donald Trump for the Debates, News of the Warm, and more!

Is There No Democrat Who Will Carry Out Their Duty? [Wizbang]

Where Justice is Denied, Vengeance Shall be had.

Today at Labour Conference [Guido Fawkes]

9:46am: Corbyn tells Jewish peer who quit Labour over anti-Semitism to “reflect“.

9:56am: Corbyn says he backs war crimes investigations into British troops.

10:00am: Corbyn says he opposes giving more resources to MI6.

10:22am: McDonnell defends calling Esther McVey “a stain on humanity”.

10:40am: Yvette Cooper tells McDonnell to apologise.

11:06am: McDonnell doubles down, says “yes I do” think they were the right words.

11:15pm: Derek Hatton spotted in the conference hall.

11:52am: Ken Livingstone talks about Hitler on the BBC.

1:42am: Delegate rants about “Jewish MPs” and “Jewish plot to oust Corbyn”.

1:50pm: Fringe speaker compares Tory welfare policy to Nazis’ Arbeit Macht Frei.

5:00pm: Momentum host speaker who called for a Jewish man’s throat to be cut.

5:25pm: Anti-war merchandise mocking injured British soldiers on sale.

6:00pm: Jackie Walker says anti-Semitism in Labour is “exaggerated“.

6:30pm: Leaflets circulated“Jewish Labour Movement does not belong in Labour”.

The post Today at Labour Conference appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

Momentum Mock Injured Soldiers [Guido Fawkes]


Some charming anti-war merchandise on sale at the Momentum conference in Liverpool…

Pic via Seb Payne

The post Momentum Mock Injured Soldiers appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

Labour Delegate Rants Against Jews [Guido Fawkes]

Meanwhile, over at the Labour Friends of Israel stand…

Silly mistake – he meant Zionists…

The post Labour Delegate Rants Against Jews appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

Spotted: Derek Hatton [Guido Fawkes]

Spotted in the Labour conference hall in Liverpool, Militant’s Derek Hatton. He’s been given a press pass as a columnist for his local paper, reportedly authorised by Corbyn’s office. Membership next?

The post Spotted: Derek Hatton appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

Corbyn Backs Investigations Into British Troops [Guido Fawkes]

Corbyn tells Marr that British troops should be investigated for war crimes and that he opposes giving extra resources to MI6. The war crimes probe has been condemned after the far-left law firm behind the vexatious claims, Phil Shiner’s Public Interest Lawyers, was closed down in disgrace. Shiner is an old comrade of Jez at the CND. Another vote winner.

Vid via @liarpoliticians

The post Corbyn Backs Investigations Into British Troops appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

McDonnell Defends Calling McVey “Stain on Humanity” [Guido Fawkes]

John McDonnell is asked by Peston if he wants to retract calling Esther McVey a “stain on humanity” and “joking” about her being lynched. He replies: “I was angry. Sometimes you need to express honest anger”. Esther is sitting just a few feet away!

UPDATE: Yvette Cooper orders McDonnell to apologise. He doesn’t.

UPDATE II: Esther responds: “This is a man who links violence with politics”

UPDATE III: McDonnell doubles down. Asked by Murnaghan if he thinks he was right to call her “a stain on humanity”, he replies: “Yes I do”.

The post McDonnell Defends Calling McVey “Stain on Humanity” appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

Iran, Venezuela and Sinn Fein Praise Corbyn Victory [Guido Fawkes]


Corbynmania has gone global! In Iran, Corbyn’s former employers at the state television channel Press TV last night praised his “brave position” on Israel and discussed how British voters apparently prefer left-wing candidates:

“the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn of the British Labour Party is showing that when given a choice, the mood of the British electorate stands behind more leftist and progressive candidates”

What about his comrades in Venezuela? The country’s human rights abusing president Nicolas Maduro retweeted this message of support:

Jez also received congratulations from a couple of old pals:


Has anyone heard from Hamas yet?

The post Iran, Venezuela and Sinn Fein Praise Corbyn Victory appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

I know it’s a cliche at this point, but you really do... [Conor Lastowka]

I know it’s a cliche at this point, but you really do notice something new every time you watch The Shining

Here are two and a half minutes of Shaq saying “My... [Conor Lastowka]

Here are two and a half minutes of Shaq saying “My book” and Kevin Costner in Waterworld saying “My boat”



Eddie Peasantsbane. [TimeWatch] [Moe Lane]

I have gotten the word that the TimeWatch folks don’t mind free fan-based stuff, so: enjoy.  Obviously: this dude is a time traveler, he’s designed to be a pain in the neck, and he’s blissfully unaware of just how much of a disaster he’s being. Enjoy!

Eddie Peasantsbane

TimeWatch ranks this rogue jumper as being somewhere between a nuisance and a problem; strictly speaking, he’s definitely a problem – but Eddie Peasantsbane is far too useful as a Horrible Example, and as a reason to stamp down on human beings with intrinsic time-jumping abilities.  He is, in fact, the literal poster child for the campaign to report and register all humans who don’t need an autochron to time-travel. All of this, paradoxically enough, gives Eddie Peasantsbane just a little bit more leeway in which to operate.  Not that he realizes that.

Eddie was born Edward Eugene Henry in 1948 AD: his native timeline popped into existence after a particularly disastrous TimeWatch operation in 1876 led to a series of revolutions, wars, and eventual ecological collapse in 2025. However, as Eddie’s parents were both members of America’s new Party elite, he largely missed the unfortunate aspects that followed from his world’s slowly degenerating ecological and political condition.  Eddie’s early life was, in fact, rather indolent and superficial.

Normally, Eddie would have been erased from history with the rest of his timeline when TimeWatch finally launched a repair operation; unfortunately, he is one of a vanishingly small number of humans who can time-travel without equipment.  Even more unfortunately, he had just discovered this about himself, and was actually on his first time-trip (to 1934, to witness firsthand the final destruction of the counter-revolutionary monuments of the old American regime)  when the timeline was reset.  Thus, his reappearance in the main timeline’s 1967 was quite the shock.  Eddie, naturally enough, assumed at first that he had somehow changed history; his immediate reaction was to jump back to 1934 in order to repair the damage.  Finding that things were also now different there revealed the ‘truth’ to the traveler: clearly he was jumping to different timelines, which meant that his own universe was still out there, somewhere.  

Eddie has since established a quite elaborate, and amazingly wrong, ‘scientific’ theory of dimensional travel to explain his surroundings; he’s far too in love with it to ever accept any evidence that it’s fundamentally flawed.  About the only thing that can be said for the theory, in fact, is that it’s still less idiotic than his economic and political beliefs: unfortunately, Eddie typically spreads those wherever he goes, and he has a real knack for finding places in the various timelines where his message can be heard by exactly the wrong people.  Hence the nickname ‘Eddie Peasantsbane.’ Some TimeWatch researchers estimate that this guy has indirectly killed more people than Josef Stalin.

When encountered, Eddie comes across at first as being charismatic, friendly, and highly intelligent.  In reality, the friendliness is superficial – Eddie will do anything for you, right up to the moment when your glorious sacrifice for the Revolution is required – and the time traveler is barely of average intelligence.  The charisma is real, though. The charisma is what gets the people around him in trouble. Or dead.

As noted above, TimeWatch finds Eddie Peasantsbane morbidly useful: the amount of damage that he does to history while trying to go ‘home’ goes a long way towards justifying the regulation of people with intrinsic time-traveling abilities. Typically, the atrocities he accidentally generates are erased along with the alternate timeline that they happen in, so TimeWatch does not have a dedicated team out there hunting Eddie down.  TimeWatch agents are, however, permitted to capture or eliminate him, if necessary. Or if possible: the man has a remarkably good command of time, if nothing else. Almost literally nothing else…


Eddie Peasantsbane

Defense: Hit Threshold 5, Armor 1 (Almost tangible accumulated paradox), Health 28

Offense: Scuffling +1, Shooting +1, Damage Modifier +2 (Zap Gun)

Abilities: Tempus 40, Authority 8, Charm 8, Paradox Prevention 8. Eddie believes that he has a wide variety of other Abilities: he does not.  

Special Abilities: Clock Out, Distortion, Electronic Interference, Embrace Instability, Interdiction (cost 0), Stealth. Eddie is also aging at a dramatically slower rate: he probably has several hundred years left on his personal lifespan, even without medical intervention. Lastly: by spending a point of Tempus Eddie receives a temporary knowledge of either the local language or culture.

Misc: Alertness Modifier +1, Stealth Modifier +2

Description: Tall for his original timeline (5’9”) and in excellent shape in general.  Eddie has dark hair, brown eyes, and precisely the sort of roguishly disreputable good looks that one associates with the more romanticized sort of guerillas. His clothes and equipment are always of the highest quality available – even if his current acolytes don’t have enough necessities.  A Servant of the People must have the tools he needs to carry on The Struggle, after all.

So, the car sits four. [Moe Lane]

Two adults, two kids.  My sister-in-law is visiting, and was interested in going to my wife’s church for services. My wife has to go: she’s teaching. My kids have to go: they have Sunday School. I don’t have to go: it ain’t my church. I usually just go to the local Scotsman’s and have a Sausage McGriddle.  So clearly I needed to give up my seat and stay home.

…Aww, shucks.

A couple of bottles of pinot noir/merlot later… [Moe Lane]

Did I mention that my sister-in-law was visiting? Yeah, we grabbed some takeout Pollo Compero (if you don’t have one of these places close to you then I’m sorry to hear that) and a couple of bottles of red.  Nice to veg out and shoot the breeze; absolute hell on posting, of course.  There’s a word for this, though, right?  Socialisting?  No, right: socializing.  It definitely has its points.

Tweet of the Day, Never Let Your Child Get This Close To A Boar edition. [Moe Lane]

It’s… contraindicated.  


Sep 2016 Official Broadcast [NZART Official Broadcast]

Content: Presidential News with NZART Vice President Phil Holliday ZL3PAH, HQ News with Debby Morgan ZL2DL, International News from Newsline, WARO update with Rosemary Boshier ZL1RO and NZART Branch News with Stephen McNeill ZL4HG, Duartion 18,23

Debate Prep: Who’s Even More Dishonest Than Donald Trump? [Patterico's Pontifications]

The answer is, of course, Big Media fact checkers.

A piece in POLITICO Magazine purports to warn you about “lies” that may be told by Trump and Clinton during tomorrow’s debate. (The link is to a cached version of the piece; I don’t link POLITICO directly, and haven’t for years, because they are bullies.) The problem is that two of the three “lies” they attribute to Trump are not lies at all, but are literally true. Start with this claim:

Trump’s claim: “Fifty-eight percent of African American youth are not working.”

The truth: Trump is way off on the data about black youth.

Trump has been pretty up front with African Americans, urging them to drop their longtime loyalty to the Democratic Party because that support has amounted to little in the way of economic success. “What the hell do you have to lose?” he asked during a visit to central Michigan last month.

To bring his point home, one of Trump’s favorite riffs is about just how few young African Americans have jobs right now. For example, during a stop in High Point, North Carolina, last week, Trump said that “58 percent of African American youth are not working.”

Trump should know better than to keep using that line. He’s been flogged repeatedly by fact checkers for similar statements.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the latest data actually finds that the unemployment rate for African Americans 16-to-24 years old is 15.7 percent.

The Trump campaign maintains that it gets to the 58 percent figure by counting up both the young people who are trying to find jobs but can’t get them and also the ones who are “not in the labor force.” But that’s a pretty misleading way of sizing up the situation. Under his definition, Trump is counting busy students as unemployed, whether or not they’re looking for a job.

The bottom line here is that Trump said “58 percent of African American youth are not working” and the fact-checkers admit it’s true . . . but call it a “lie” because they don’t like the implications of that true statement.

Trump has indeed stated in the past that 58% of black youth are “unemployed,” which is inaccurate. But his current statement deals with the percentage of black youths not working, and that figure is accurate.

What’s more, Trump has a point. The piece claims that counting students among those not “working” is misleading. But even the dishonest fact-checkers at the Washington Post have to admit that, when you take students out of the equation, black youths are employed at a far lower rate than white youths:

If Trump really is interested in the rate of disengagement among black youth, there is an academically accepted measure he can use. It’s called NEET, which stands for “Neither Employed nor in Education or Training.” This measure factors out students altogether, and measures the share of disconnected youth aged 16 to 24.

Pew Research Center’s Drew DeSilver, who has written about youth unemployment and NEETs, calculated a 2015 NEET rate among black youth 16 to 24 at 20.9 percent of the total civilian non-institutional population, compared with 14.7 percent among white youth of the same age range.

So it turns out that the share of unemployed black youths who aren’t students or in training is over 140% the share of white youths in the same situation (20.9% versus 14.7%). Sounds like Trump might have something of a point there! But you won’t read that in POLITICO Magazine . . .

Let’s move on to POLITICO’s second Trump “lie”:

Trump’s claim: Clinton supports “open borders” and a “550 percent increase” in Syrian refugees

The truth: Trump is wrong about Clinton’s plans for immigration and refugees.

. . . .

Clinton’s plan for handling the Syrian refugee crisis keeps getting similarly bungled by Trump. Last week provided the latest instance of this, when Trump issued a statement vowing to oppose Clinton’s “550 percent increase in the number of refugees from the conflict in Syria.”

The truth is, there’s no basis in that figure. Trump has taken a plan Clinton issued where she said she would welcome 55,000 additional refugees from the war-torn country over the course of a single year, and extrapolated it out at the same rate of expansion for the duration of a four-year term. On top of that, Trump’s assumption implies Clinton would continue with the Obama administration’s latest budget proposal for fiscal year 2017, where the U.S. would accept 100,000 refugees. Clinton, in fact, has said no such thing.

This is double-talk. Trump didn’t say anything about a four-year term or extrapolating anything. He said Hillary Clinton is calling for a “550 percent increase in the number of refugees from the conflict in Syria.” We know this is true because — God forgive me for citing these people — even lefty PolitiFact admits it:

During a Sept. 20 appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation, Clinton was asked if President Barack Obama’s plan to increase the number allowed into the United States to 10,000 was enough. (The United States had accepted about 2,000 in 2015.)

“Look, we’re facing the worst refugee crisis since the end of World War II, and I think the United States has to do more, and I would like to see us move from what is a good start with 10,000 to 65,000 and begin immediately to put into place the mechanisms for vetting the people that we would take in,” Clinton said. . . . A jump to 65,000 would be a 550 percent increase. . . . Clinton has, in fact, said that in response to the refugee crisis she would raise Obama’s limit of 10,000 to 65,000. That’s 550 percent more . . .

Once again, POLITICO’s Trump “lie” is . . . true.

POLITICO’s third Trump lie is: “I was totally against the war in Iraq.” And . . . that is a lie. Because he totally wasn’t.

Hey, Donald Trump is a giant liar. That doesn’t mean that we have to pretend every Big Media claim about him is true.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

Judges an Inadequate Fig Leaf for Cruz’s Endorsement [Patterico's Pontifications]

Ted Cruz used, as a fig leaf for endorsing Donald Trump, the fact that Trump issued a new list of possible Supreme Court nominees that included the name Mike Lee. Now, nobody loves Mike Lee more than Patterico. Nobody. That I can tell you. But Mike Lee himself indicated that he was not swayed by the inclusion of his name, and anyone who knows anything about Donald Trump knows that it is a phony move on Trump’s part to include the name, because Lee has opposed Trump. Trump will never nominate Lee and everyone knows it.

But beyond that, Ilya Somin has an amazing piece in the Washington Post laying out why Trump cannot be trusted on the Supreme Court:

Donald Trump himself has repeatedly indicated that the Supreme Court list is merely a “guide” and not binding. Moreover, Trump has a long history of lying about a wide range of issues, and there is no reason to think he will be more trustworthy in this case.

But the problem goes far beyond Trump’s dishonesty. It is also far worse than mere ignorance about constitutional issues. Though Trump is indeed ignorant about the Constitution, ignorance does not imply indifference. To the contrary, he has a wide-ranging repressive agenda that would undermine the Constitution at many points. And much of that agenda is an outgrowth of views he has consistently held since long before the 2016 campaign. Unlike the Supreme Court list, it is probably not just a campaign ploy.

For many years, Trump has sought to undermine freedom of speech (in order to shut down his critics) and constitutional property rights (in order to empower government to seize property for transfer to influential developers, including himself). He also wants to gut constitutional constraints on executive power, in numerous areas – going even farther in this respect than Bush and Obama. Much of this is a result of his deep authoritarian streak, exemplified by his lonstanding admiration for brutal tactics of foreign strongmen like Vladimir Putin and the Chinese communists who perpetrated the Tiananmen Square massacre.

The list of unconstitutional policies promoted by Trump increases almost daily. Just in the last two weeks, he has advocated gutting the Sixth Amendment rights of terrorism suspects (including even US citizens with no known connections to foreign terrorist groups) and outlined a maternity leave policy that includes unconstitutional sex discrimination.

The last claim was not immediately obvious to me, but Somin backs it up in this post, and I think he’s right. The rest of it is definitely true. I think the judge issue is the best reason to vote for this cretin, and it’s really a very bad reason indeed.

I watched the entirety of Ted Cruz’s appearance at the Texas Tribune Festival today, in which Cruz was entertainingly raked over the coals by the Texas Tribune’s CEO Evan Smith. Cruz was his usual self, doing his best to appear credible in a tough situation and succeeding as well as anyone could in such a circumstance. It is clear how reluctant he was to come to his decision and how tepid the endorsement truly is.

I still like Ted Cruz, but this Supreme Court list ain’t much of a fig leaf. The fig leaf is small enough, indeed, that we can still see what’s missing. If you catch my drift.

P.S. Also worth reading: Erica Greider’s Ted Cruz Caves.

Cruz Endorses Trump [Patterico's Pontifications]

His Facebook post is here.

I’ll make no bones about it: I am disappointed. I think it is wrong for him to endorse a man who insulted his wife and his dad as Trump did. Absent a sincere public apology, Trump does not deserve this. I understand the politics of it. But I am disappointed.

Countdown to Trump pissing all over Cruz to assert his supposed dominance in 3..2..1…

(Oh, we’ll get brief phony graciousness from Trump. But the leg is going to lift. That I can tell you.)


Julian Andres Klode: Introducing TrieHash, a order-preserving minimal perfect hash function generator for C(++) [Planet Debian]


I introduce TrieHash an algorithm for constructing perfect hash functions from tries. The generated hash functions are pure C code, minimal, order-preserving and outperform existing alternatives. Together with the generated header files,they can also be used as a generic string to enumeration mapper (enums are created by the tool).


APT (and dpkg) spend a lot of time in parsing various files, especially Packages files. APT currently uses a function called AlphaHash which hashes the last 8 bytes of a word in a case-insensitive manner to hash fields in those files (dpkg just compares strings in an array of structs).

There is one obvious drawback to using a normal hash function: When we want to access the data in the hash table, we have to hash the key again, causing us to hash every accessed key at least twice. It turned out that this affects something like 5 to 10% of the cache generation performance.

Enter perfect hash functions: A perfect hash function matches a set of words to constant values without collisions. You can thus just use the index to index into your hash table directly, and do not have to hash again (if you generate the function at compile time and store key constants) or handle collision resolution.

As #debian-apt people know, I happened to play a bit around with tries this week before guillem suggested perfect hashing. Let me tell you one thing: My trie implementation was very naive, that did not really improve things a lot…

Enter TrieHash

Now, how is this related to hashing? The answer is simple: I wrote a perfect hash function generator that is based on tries. You give it a list of words, it puts them in a trie, and generates C code out of it, using recursive switch statements (see code generation below). The function achieves competitive performance with other hash functions, it even usually outperforms them.

Given a dictionary, it generates an enumeration (a C enum or C++ enum class) of all words in the dictionary, with the values corresponding to the order in the dictionary (the order-preserving property), and a function mapping strings to members of that enumeration.

By default, the first word is considered to be 0 and each word increases a counter by one (that is, it generates a minimal hash function). You can tweak that however:

= 0
WordLabel ~ Word
OtherWord = 9

will return 0 for an unknown value, map “Word” to the enum member WordLabel and map OtherWord to 9. That is, the input list functions like the body of a C enumeration. If no label is specified for a word, it will be generated from the word. For more details see the documentation

C code generation

switch(string[0] | 32) {
case 't':
    switch(string[1] | 32) {
    case 'a':
        switch(string[2] | 32) {
        case 'g':
            return Tag;
return Unknown;

Yes, really recursive switches – they directly represent the trie. Now, we did not really do a straightforward translation, there are some optimisations to make the whole thing faster and easier to look at:

First of all, the 32 you see is used to make the check case insensitive in case all cases of the switch body are alphabetical characters. If there are non-alphabetical characters, it will generate two cases per character, one upper case and one lowercase (with one break in it). I did not know that lowercase and uppercase characters differed by only one bit before, thanks to the clang compiler for pointing that out in its generated assembler code!

Secondly, we only insert breaks only between cases. Initially, each case ended with a return Unknown, but guillem (the dpkg developer) suggested it might be faster to let them fallthrough where possible. Turns out it was not faster on a good compiler, but it’s still more readable anywhere.

Finally, we build one trie per word length, and switch by the word length first. Like the 32 trick, his gives a huge improvement in performance.

Digging into the assembler code

The whole code translates to roughly 4 instructions per byte:

  1. A memory load,
  2. an or with 32
  3. a comparison, and
  4. a conditional jump.

(On x86, the case sensitive version actually only has a cmp-with-memory and a conditional jump).

Due to https://gcc.gnu.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=77729 this may be one instruction more: On some architectures an unneeded zero-extend-byte instruction is inserted – this causes a 20% performance loss.

Performance evaluation

I run the hash against all 82 words understood by APT in Packages and Sources files, 1,000,000 times for each word, and summed up the average run-time:

host arch Trie TrieCase GPerfCase GPerf DJB
plummer ppc64el 540 601 1914 2000 1345
eller mipsel 4728 5255 12018 7837 4087
asachi arm64 1000 1603 4333 2401 1625
asachi armhf 1230 1350 5593 5002 1784
barriere amd64 689 950 3218 1982 1776
x230 amd64 465 504 1200 837 693

Suffice to say, GPerf does not really come close.

All hosts except the x230 are Debian porterboxes. The x230 is my laptop with a a Core i5-3320M, barriere has an Opteron 23xx. I included the DJB hash function for another reference.

Source code

The generator is written in Perl, licensed under the MIT license and available from https://github.com/julian-klode/triehash – I initially prototyped it in Python, but guillem complained that this would add new build dependencies to dpkg, so I rewrote it in Perl.

Benchmark is available from https://github.com/julian-klode/hashbench


See the script for POD documentation.

Filed under: General

Steinar H. Gunderson: Nageru @ Fyrrom [Planet Debian]

When Samfundet wanted to make their own Boiler Room spinoff (called “Fyrrom”—more or less a direct translation), it was a great opportunity to try out the new multitrack code in Nageru. After all, what can go wrong with a pretty much untested and unfinished git branch, right?

So we cobbled together a bunch of random equipment from here and there:

Video equipment

Hooked it up to Nageru:

Nageru screenshot

and together with some great work from the people actually pulling together the event, this was the result. Lots of fun.

And yes, some bugs were discovered—of course, field testing without followup patches is meaningless (that would either mean you're not actually taking your test experience into account, or that your testing gave no actionable feedback and thus was useless), so they will be fixed in due time for the 1.4.0 release.

Sven Hoexter: in causa wosign [Planet Debian]

Since I kind of recommended the free WoSign CA in the past, I would like to point out the issues that have piled up. Mozilla has a writeup due to a removal discussion for NSS: https://wiki.mozilla.org/CA:WoSign_Issues (Yes I'm late with this post, about a month or two by now ...)

Since WoSign, or the person behind it, silently also bought StartCom we've now with StartSSL and WoSign two of the three free CAs in one hand with a questionable track record. That leaves everyone looking for a low budget option with Let's Encrypt.

Russ Allbery: podlators 4.08 [Planet Debian]

A new release of the distribution that provides Pod::Man and Pod::Text for Perl documentation formatting.

The impetus for this release is fixing a rendering bug in Pod::Man that spewed stray bits of half-escaped *roff into the man page for the text "TRUE (1)". This turned out to be due to two interlocking bugs in the dark magic regexes that try to fix up formatting to make man pages look a bit better: incorrect double-markup in both small caps and as a man page reference, and incorrect interpretation of the string "\s0(1)". Both are fixed in this release.

podlators 4.00 changed Pod::Man to make piping POD through pod2man on standard input without providing the --name option an error, since there was no good choice for the man page title. This turned out to be too disruptive: the old behavior of tolerating this had been around for too long, and I got several bug reports. Since I think backward compatibility is extremely important for these tools, I've backed down from this change, and now Pod::Man and pod2man just silently use the man page name "STDIN" (which still fixes the original problem of being reproducible).

It is, of course, still a good idea to provide the name option when dealing with standard input, since "STDIN" isn't a very good man page title.

This release also adds new --lquote and --rquote options to pod2man to set the quote marks independently, and removes a test that relied on a POD construct that is going to become an error in Pod::Simple.

You can get the latest release from the podlators distribution page.

Dirk Eddelbuettel: tint 0.0.1: Tint Is Not Tufte [Planet Debian]

A new experimental package is now on the ghrr drat. It is named tint which stands for Tint Is Not Tufte. It provides an alternative for Tufte-style html presentation. I wrote a bit more on the package page and the README in the repo -- so go read this.

Here is just a little teaser of what it looks like:

and the full underlying document is available too.

For questions or comments use the issue tracker off the GitHub repo. The package may be short-lived as its functionality may end up inside the tufte package.

This post by Dirk Eddelbuettel originated on his Thinking inside the box blog. Please report excessive re-aggregation in third-party for-profit settings.

Ritesh Raj Sarraf: Laptop Mode Tools 1.70 [Planet Debian]

I'm pleased to announce the release of Laptop Mode Tools, version 1.70. This release adds support for AHCI Runtime PM, introduced in Linux 4.6. It also includes many important bug fixes, mostly related to invocation and determination of power states.


1.70 - Sat Sep 24 16:51:02 IST 2016
    * Deal harder with broken battery states
    * On machines with 2+ batteries, determine states from all batteries
    * Limit status message logging frequency. Some machines tend to send
      ACPI events too often. Thanks Maciej S. Szmigiero
    * Try harder to determine power states. As reports have shown, the
      power_supply subsystem has had incorrect state reporting on many machines,
      for both, BAT and AC.
    * Relax conditional events where Laptop Mode Tools should be executed. This
      affected for use cases of Laptop being docked and undocked
      Thanks Daniel Koch.
    * CPU Hotplug settings extended
    * Cleanup states for improved Laptop Mode Tools invocation
      Thanks: Tomas Janousek
    * Align Intel P State default to what the actual driver (intel_pstate.c)
      Thanks: George Caswell and Matthew Gabeler-Lee
    * Add support for AHCI Runtime PM in module intel-sata-powermgmt
    * Many systemd and initscript fixes
    * Relax default USB device list. This avoids the long standing issues with
      USB devices (mice, keyboard) that mis-behaved during autosuspend

Source tarball, Feodra/SUSE RPM Packages available at:

Debian packages will be available soon in Unstable.

Homepage: https://github.com/rickysarraf/laptop-mode-tools/wiki
Mailing List: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/laptop-mode-tools




Fuel cells set to power up the drone industry [CBC | Technology News]


Drones have been used for years by military organizations for intelligence gathering, surveillance, reconnaissance and striking targets. But their widespread use in commercial applications is only just starting to take off thanks to key advances in drone technology.

Elephant ivory trade under scrutiny at upcoming wildlife conference [CBC | Technology News]


The fate of the elephant hangs in the balance this weekend as the international body that regulates trade in endangered species gathers in South Africa.

NPOTA Activations this morning! [The SWLing Post]


If you’re around the radio this morning (Sunday, Sep 25), and you’d like to make some NPOTA contacts, note that I plan activate:

Look for me around 14,286 kHz and 7286 kHz +/- 6 kHz.

Once again, I’ll operate the lightweight Elecraft KX2/EFT Trail-Friendly combo–and that’s a good thing. To activate these sites, I’ll log at least 1 hour 15 minutes of hiking (the AT portion over steep terrain). Having a small radio package makes the experience much more enjoyable!

I hope to hear you on the air or, perhaps, you’ll hear me. I expect there will be a lot of NPOTA activators in the field today.  Should be a lot of fun!

Rare Hitachi KW-WSI WorldSpace Receiver on Ebay [The SWLing Post]

This is the first and only “WorldSpace” satellite receiver I’ve seen on Ebay, currently offered at a $175 Buy-It-Now price from a seller in Australia:


The radio is listed as in excellent condition with the original box and literature. Besides the long-gone WorldSpace satellite frequencies, the radio covers medium wave, FM, and most of the shortwave range. A brief PDF data sheet for the radio gives a description of features and operations.


Wikipedia describes this radio’s satellite service as 1worldspace, formerly known as ‘WorldSpace’, is a defunct satellite radio network that in its heyday provided service to over 170,000 subscribers in eastern and southern Africa, the Middle East, and much of Asia with 96% coming from India. It was profitable in India, with 450,000 subscribers.

I wonder if the Hitachi KW-WSI is a reasonable performer for shortwave listening? Does anyone know any technical details of this receiver?

Guy Atkins is a Sr. Graphic Designer for T-Mobile and lives near Seattle, Washington.  He’s a regular contributor to the SWLing Post.

Superman Unconsciously Fights Relativism In One Of His Most-Popular Adventures [The Federalist]

Good art directs us to fundamental truths and teaches us lessons about what is noble. Reading a Superman trade paperback on the train the other day made me think about how comic books can elevate our culture.

In their award-winning series, “All-Star Superman,” Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, and Jamie Grant send Superman on a journey that pays homage to the labors Hercules performs in Greco-Roman mythology. Faced with mortality, Superman must overcome 12 “super challenges” before he attains a final apotheosis.

Such allusions to the classics give this Superman story a depth and timeless quality lacking in contemporary comics that too often trip over themselves to appease nouveau social justice gods. “All-Star Superman” ran from 2005 to 2008—a time far-removed from our own with heroes like the dean of students at the University of Chicago fighting against so-called “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings.” The series won Eisner, Harvey, and Eagle awards for being the best series of its time and was adapted into an animated movie in 2011. IGN.com ranks “All-Star Superman” as the number one Superman story of all time.

At one point in the story, Superman faces two Kryptonian astronauts who arrive on Earth and begin to subjugate humanity. They mock Superman for serving the “barbaric” humans and for refusing to establish Kryptonian dominance. They say his actions betray his homeland. Superman responds, “What right do I have to impose my values on anyone?”

What a ridiculous question. Instead of defending natural rights in the face of a claim of “might makes right,” Superman verbally throws in with the postmodern abandonment of principle (at least in speech). Yet Superman does not live by the implications of his reply to the astronauts. He goes on to thwart their plans for world domination.

What gives? The truth is that his actions speak louder than words. The archetypal Superman’s story is so strong it can even overcome weak, contradictory writing. Perhaps that’s why so many people like it.

Superman Constantly Imposes Values Through Strength

Superman stands for truth, justice, and the American way. Those are “values” Superman has no problem imposing physically on Lex Luthor or any other menace to the common good. His right to impose them comes from the trust that the people of Earth place in him to protect them from threats to their well-being. His character repudiates the excuse so many use to cover their moral cowardice when insisting no one has a right to enforce or uphold objective truths that apply equally to every human.

Insofar as he defends the common good and does not seek to use his power to aggrandize himself, Superman has broad prerogative to fight and defend the lives and happiness of the people of Earth as their rightful champion. As a superbeing, he stands outside humanity itself, just like the eternal truths men of all ages have sought and upheld—until our postmodern era found it useful to pretend that because these can be complicated or unpleasant we should just ignore them entirely. The contradiction between Superman’s words and actions in “All-Star Superman” invites readers to consider the tension between liberal pieties like relativism and the necessity of preserving the safety and happiness of the community.

More concretely, “Let your freak flag fly” only works as a motto until freaks fly planes into buildings or shoot up night clubs. Then we realize some forms of freakery do cross the line into wrong and intolerable, and must begin to define which and why. Superman comics can help people wrestle with those issues while providing an escape from the brutality of many international headlines. After a long day at the office, I can process a nearly invincible alien flying around in tights fighting an evil sun more readily than I can a video of a young boy being saved from rubble in the aftermath of another attack in Syria.

Even if Superman does not seem to understand some of the nuances of political philosophy, he is a basically decent person who defends the honor of his adoptive planet. Readers can safely follow his example (to the extent mere mortals can, of course). Ordered liberty is the ideal of the American regime and the exaggerated stakes of a Superman story reinforce that idea without being preachy.

‘All-Star Superman’ Offers More than Hidden Philosophy

Making a political argument about a few scenes from a longer work might be interesting to some, but I recommend reading “All-Star Superman” for its artistic quality alone. It is a great example of what some of the best in the comic book industry can produce.

For anyone curious about comic books or graphic novels after the recent onslaught of movie and television adaptations, “All-Star Superman” is an accessible entry into the gargantuan Superman universe. One need not know the intricacies of Lois Lane’s attraction to Superman and her disdain for Clark Kent to appreciate the poignancy Morrison and Co. bring to the relationships between them and other characters.

Quitely’s art, particularly in the way he synthesizes Clark Kent’s affected bumbling incompetence with Superman’s duty to protect those around him, is beautiful and intelligent. The subtle way he shows Clark bumping into someone or spilling coffee to avoid a greater harm is like a clever private joke. Careless readers might miss the intent hiding behind Kent’s ostensible clumsiness.

Grant’s color choices are warm and realistic, which lends a sense of familiarity to a story that involves inter-dimensional travel and a scientist in a rainbow lab coat. DC Comics seems to have known what it was doing when it picked these three Scotsmen to tell this particular Superman tale.

The increasing popularity of comic book properties calls for a defense of the comic book as a potent medium for good art. As a blended visual and narrative print medium, comic books and graphic novels present an opportunity for artists to engage audiences in unique ways. Comic books can give more to readers than chase scenes, tights, and onomatopoeia. Done well, the comic book can reveal important truths about the world around us and raise important moral questions, like any good art.

The Justice Department’s Hillary Investigation Reeks Of Corruption [The Federalist]

According to an Associated Press report, the Justice Department reached criminal immunity deals with three of Hillary Clinton’s close advisers in exchange for information – information that could normally be obtained through subpoenas or search warrants, or, perhaps, simply by asking.

I’m not a lawyer, so I’ll assume someone somewhere has a perfectly rational, completely non-corrupt explanation for why the FBI surrendered its leverage by granting immunity to Cheryl Mills and two other high ranking staff members – all potential co-conspirators in a criminal case surrounding illegal servers and the mishandling of classified emails.

Question is: Does the Justice Department regularly grant immunity for mere cooperation? After all, Mills, Clinton’s former chief of staff, was offered protection in exchange for the sort of evidence any non-guilty person would freely offer. According to a number of reports, she handed over her computer. Hillary’s defenders persistently assure the public her staff has done absolutely nothing wrong. Why would Mills need immunity?

Why would the government give it? What if it found something? If Mills was the beneficiary of immunity before the FBI even knew what was on her computer, what pressure would prosecutors be able to exert to impel her to cooperate against the (pretend) target of the investigation? And if it didn’t think they’d find anything, anyway, why grant immunity in the first place? What made Mills so special?

And how often is a political operative like Mills granted immunity and then comfortable enough to represent the target of the investigation in an interview with the investigators and in front of Congress?

Mills is widely reported to be one of Clinton’s closest confidants, her former chief-of-staff; a person that is likely intimately familiar with her private email system. And yet, as Andrew McCarthy noted back in May, the Justice Department had worked with Mills’ lawyers to block the FBI from asking pertinent questions about the case. Why would the Justice Department limit the scope of questioning?

This is especially significant when we consider that the FBI had to engage in forensic searches to recover tens of thousands of emails that Hillary and her staff tried to delete after news of the private server became public. Hillary lied about these emails to the public, and probably Congress. Her staff – the people given immunity – likely knew, for instance, that her phones were destroyed with hammers. These are the people who first hid government documents and then destroyed them. Some of the emails are still being recovered. Some of them will never be retrieved.

Here’s FBI Director James Comey’s surreal statement arguing that Hillary was completely guilty but not prosecutable:

It is also likely that there are other work-related e-mails that they did not produce to State and that we did not find elsewhere, and that are now gone because they deleted all e-mails they did not return to State, and the lawyers cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery.

Here’s what Comey forgot to mention: One of the people tasked with deciding which emails were to be deleted and retained was Heather Samuelson, who, if reports are correct, was also offered immunity before anyone got to look at her computer. Again, I’m no lawyer, but it seems to me she’d be a really useful person to have leverage over if she broke the law. What made her so special?

Also, let’s not forget Bryan Pagliano, Hillary’s technology director at the State Department, who is now in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify. And let’s not forget IT specialist Paul Combetta, who was Reddit seeking advice on how to wipe servers clean of certain “VIP” emails addresses right after a congressional committee (negotiating with Mills, by the way) told the Hillary camp it wanted to see those correspondences. He also has immunity.

Does this strike any open-minded person like an investigation seriously concerned with uncovering the truth?

Reminder: According to the FBI, Clinton, who spent years on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Armed Services Committee and was Secretary of State of the United States of America and who is more qualified than any person who’s ever run for president in history, sent 110 emails that contained clearly marked classified information. Thirty-six of them contained secret information. Eight of those email chains contained “top secret” information. Comey, you’ll remember, asserted that hackers working for foreign nations probably had access to her emails, but would have been far too sophisticated to leave behind any evidence – which is the very reason we have laws about the mere mishandling of classified information, in the first place.

Hillary is above these laws. She was never going to be indicted. Now we know none of her friends had to worry, either.

If Keith Lamont Scott Had Followed Gun Laws, Would He Still Be Alive? [The Federalist]

The black man shot and killed by a black police officer in Charlotte, N.C. Tuesday was a felon who had gone to prison for seven years, making it illegal for him to possess a firearm.

According to records from Bexar County, Texas, Keith Lamont Scott was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in July 2005 and sentenced to seven years in prison. In relation to that case, he was charged and found guilty of evading arrest. He was also charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon, reckless driving, and assaulting his wife, but these charges were later dismissed.

Here is information about the case from the Bexar County Clerk of Court, followed by the list of other charges in Texas:

mcallister1 mcallister2 mcallister3

As reported in the Charlotte Observer (but buried at the very bottom of a lengthy post), Scott also has a criminal history in North Carolina and South Carolina, dating back to 1992.

A public records search shows Scott was convicted in April 2004 of a misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon charge in Mecklenburg County. Other charges stemming from that date were dismissed: felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, and the misdemeanors assault on a child under 12, assault on a female, and communicating threats.

In 1992, Scott was charged in Charleston County, S.C., with several different crimes on different dates, including carrying a concealed weapon (not a gun), simple assault, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He pleaded guilty to all charges. Scott also was charged with aggravated assault in 1992 and assault with intent to kill in 1995. Both charges were reduced, but the disposition of the cases is unclear.

Scott’s criminal record is significant in light of police reports that he was carrying a gun at the time of his fatal encounter with a police officer this week. Under federal law (18 U.S.C 922(g)(1-9)), it is illegal for anyone who has been “convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year” to possess a firearm.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police chief told reporters Wednesday that officers have said Scott had a handgun when he got out of his car. When he refused to drop the weapon, that’s when officers shot him.

“It’s time to change the narrative, because I can tell you from the facts that the story’s a little bit different as to how it’s been portrayed so far, especially through social media,” Chief Kerr Putney said.

Video footage from a dash-cam of the incident was made available to Scott’s family Wednesday. After viewing the video, the family said they wanted the videos released to the public immediately. In an emailed statement, the family’s attorney, Justin Bamberg, said, “After watching the videos, the family again has more questions than answers.”

Bamberg said it was impossible to see what was in Scott’s hands, and that “he was slowly walking backwards” when he was shot.

Despite reports from sources within the department that say the video shows Scott with a gun, Putney also said he can’t see Scott’s hands well enough to determine whether he was holding a weapon.

“The angle in which he’s standing, I can’t see his hands,” Putney told CNN. “Therefore, I can’t see a weapon in his hands or him pointing a weapon that would be in his hands. I can’t see, based on the angle, that definitive piece of visual evidence that I need.”

However, Putney said, a gun was found at the scene beside Scott.

“We have various statements that he had the weapon, that he wouldn’t drop it, after repeated verbal commands,” Putney said. “At the incident, there is a weapon recovered right there in close proximity to the subject.”

When Megyn Kelly of Fox News asked Putney Thursday night if he had “any doubt” that Scott had a gun, the police chief said even though it would be good to have video evidence, sometimes that’s not enough.

“There’s a lot of other evidence that I can’t speak to further,” he said. “The State Bureau of Investigations, an independent investigative body, has taken over. I really can’t speak to the investigation further, but there’s a lot of other evidence that gives us a great deal of support and comfort that the version that you heard from us before is supported by the evidence. . . . that version is still very much accurate.”

When Kelly asked him about fingerprints on the gun and whether it was registered to Scott, Putney said that’s all very relevant, but he can’t speak about it now with the ongoing investigation.

Having a criminal record like Scott’s doesn’t give police officers license to shoot. However, the facts about Scott’s criminal history cast doubt on the narrative that he was a gentle family man who was just sitting in his car reading a book.

Cyberspy chief warns of online threats [Blazing Cat Fur]

OTTAWA — The day is coming when hackers will be able to crack the encryption people rely on for secure online banking and shopping, the head of Canada’s cyberspy agency says.

Experts estimate that quantum computing could be realized within 10 years, opening the door to breaking trusted Internet protections, said Greta Bossenmaier, chief of the Communications Security Establishment.


Posters Demonizing Jews Crop Up on UC Berkeley Campus, as Controversial Anti-Zionism Course Reinstated [Blazing Cat Fur]

Antisemitic posters have been appearing on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley since a course openly hostile to Israel was first suspended and then permitted to be held this semester as planned, The Algemeiner has learned.


Objective fact is sexist? [Blazing Cat Fur]

From Tyler O’Neil at PJ Media:

Real misogynists used to argue that women couldn’t understand things as well as men could. This patronizing view is both insulting and false, but now it has reemerged in a new way — so-called feminist professors arguing that science itself is misogynist because it deals in objective truth.

That’s one of the daft arguments in “Are STEM Syllabi Gendered? A Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis” by the University of North Dakota’s Laura Parson, published in The Qualitative Report at the beginning of this year. While Parson admits that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) syllabi do not have “overt references to gender,” their language “reflects institutionalized STEM teaching practices and views about knowledge that are inherently discriminatory to women and minorities by promoting a view of knowledge as static and unchanging.” More.

Here’s the study by Laura Parson.of U North Dakota:

This study explored the gendered nature of STEM higher education institution through a feminist critical discourse analysis of STEM course syllabi from a Midwest research university. I explored STEM syllabi to understand how linguistic features such as stance and interdiscursivity are used in the syllabus and how language and discourses used in the syllabus replicate the masculine nature of STEM education. Findings suggest that the discourses identified in the syllabi reinforce traditional STEM academic roles, and that power and gender in the STEM syllabi are revealed through exploration of the themes of knowledge, learning, and the teaching and learning environment created by the language used in the syllabus. These findings inform and extend understanding of the STEM syllabus and the STEM higher education institution and lead to recommendations about how to make the STEM syllabus more inclusive for women. (public access)

It’s not really hard to figure out what is happening here: Now that there are lots of women in the STEM subjects, professional feminists are hurting for work. That sort of person often responds by undermining the fundamental strengths of the discipline, to maintain a small, select grievance group whose main problem is that they neither qualify nor show much interest in doing so, but feel entitled.

That said, this type of situation is downstream from problems at the highest level, for example, the war on falsifiability and the new craze that we did not evolve so as to perceive reality. The assault on objectivity is being waged on a number of fronts and the results bode no good for science in our century. .

See also: In search of a road to reality


The bill arrives for cosmology’s free lunch

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Bahraini Writer: I Was Shocked To Discover How Many Young Arabs Idolize Adolf Hitler [Blazing Cat Fur]

Magazine cover subtitle: Der Grossmufti von Jerusalem bei den bosnischen Freiwilligen der Waffen-SS (The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem with Bosnian volunteers of the Waffen-SS)

Magazine cover subtitle: Der Grossmufti von Jerusalem bei den bosnischen Freiwilligen der Waffen-SS (The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem with Bosnian volunteers of the Waffen-SS)

On February 27, 2016, Dr. Entesar Al-Banna, a columnist for the Bahraini daily Al-Watan, wrote that she had discovered, much to her surprise, that many young Arabs idolize Adolf Hitler, mainly for his strength and steadfastness in fighting the entire world. She assessed that this phenomenon stems from the wave of violence afflicting the region and the sense of helplessness that it causes, as a result of which people look to someone who challenged the rest of the globe. According to her, this worship of strength reflects the instability and the crisis of the Arab world, a crisis which is manifested in many ways, ranging from suppression of free expression to the use of extreme violence on all levels.


h/t Marvin


Mother-of-three, 26, ‘abducted and raped by a gang of six migrants from Iraq, Syria and Bahrain [Blazing Cat Fur]

A mother-of-three has allegedly been drugged and raped by a gang of migrants – sparking violent demonstrations.

The 26-year-old said she woke up in a strange house with cuts and bruises, and believes her drink had been spiked on a night out before she was abducted and sexually assaulted.

Police arrested and bailed six men – aged between 20-30 – from Iraq, Syria and Bahrain over the September 4 attack in Sunderland.


Shooting, Explosion Reported In Malmö, Sweden [Blazing Cat Fur]


According to local reports, a man in Audi opened fire on a crowd before fleeing the area.


No one showed up for diversity forums at Ithaca [Blazing Cat Fur]

From Christine Rousselle at Townhall:

Last year at Ithaca College, students held a walk-out to protest racism on campus and to express displeasure with how the school’s president was handling diversity issues. The school eventually organized a “diversity and inclusion” discussion group to address student concerns. This year, however, school administrators have a new concern. Nobody is going to them.More.

Reality check: The point of the whole thing was never that anyone would show up for the forums, but to force the faculty and administration to host them. The junior jackboots are getting practical training as Orwell’s Outer Party in an age when intellectual freedom is deeply suspect, especially at a university, and rage is a sign of achievement.

See also: Students skeptical of climate changed warned to drop class


First child euthanized in Belgium [Blazing Cat Fur]

From Reuters via CTV News:

A terminally ill minor has been helped to die in Belgium for the first time since the country did away with age restrictions on euthanasia two years ago, according to the senator who wrote the law.
Liberal Senator Jean-Jacques De Gucht confirmed the death of the sick juvenile to The Associated Press Saturday.

He said the minor was from Belgium’s Flemish region, but declined to provide any further details about the patient to protect the privacy of the grieving family.

Typical CTV:

The Belgian law has very strict rules for the euthanasia to be approved. More.

Reality check: Don’t forget how beneficial “strict patient privacy laws” will be to the spread of the practice.

Belgium had “strict laws” for adults too, at one time but the 800% spike in a decade, an increasing proportion of whom are not terminally ill:

Euthanasia remains largely understudied. For instance, there is no specific illness data in the study accounting for the said rise in cases. This means there’s no indication of even the amount of suffering, or the reasons a patient had to take their life.

Soon, when we raise funds for children’s health charities, it will be understood that we are raising money for this as “just one part of it.” It will go the same way as abortion and we are all “the fetus” now.

See also: Child euthanasia centre soon to open in Netherlands They are waiting to see what happens in Belgium


Obama’s Colossal Email Lie Final Test for Tarnished MSM [Blazing Cat Fur]

That Barack Obama communicated in 2012—under a redacted pseudonym—with Hillary Clinton on the then secretary of State’s permeable home-brew email server and then claimed he did not know of that server’s existence until it was reported in the press in 2014 is far more than the usual politician’s prevarication.

Since the fish rots from the top—and in this case it stinks to high heaven—the surfacing of this particular presidential lie calls to question the entire FBI inquiry into the Clinton server, an investigation whose credibility was paper thin in the first place and has now completely vanished.


Holocaust survivor, 100, takes U.S. citizenship oath [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]

(JTA) — A 100-year-old Holocaust survivor has officially become a U.S. citizen in order to vote in the upcoming presidential election.

Menia Perelman of South Florida, who arrived in the United States at the age of 84, told local media that she wanted to become a citizen so she could vote in the November election.

She took the oath of citizenship in Florida on Friday with more than 100 other new U.S. citizens.

“I am Jewish, my name is Perelman and I went through many difficult times for so many years,” Perelman said after the ceremony.

Perelman was born in Romania and survived the Holocaust, including four years in a concentration camp. After World War II she was not able to enter the United States due to restrictions on the number of refugees, and instead moved to Panama then Peru and later Venezuela. She came to the United States in 1993 to be closer to her daughter after the death of her husband.

Perelman was joined by four generations of her family at the swearing in: her two daughters and their husbands, her granddaughter and her husband, and her six-month old great-granddaughter.

Asked by the CBS local affiliate whom she would be voting for, Perelman replied that she preferred the Democratic nominee. “You know, it’s a personal secret, but I will tell you. Hillary. Hillary Clinton.”

Donald Trump hosts Benjamin Netanyahu in NY, backs defense ‘investment’ [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]

Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu meeting in Trump Tower in New York, Sept. 25, 2016. (Trump Campaign)

Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu meeting in Trump Tower in New York, Sept. 25, 2016. (Trump campaign)

(JTA) — Donald Trump hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his Trump Tower apartment and for the first time described American defense assistance to Israel as an “investment.”

The Republican presidential nominee also said he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital during the hour-plus meeting Sunday, the Trump campaign said in a statement issued afterward.

“Mr. Trump agreed that the military assistance provided to Israel and missile defense cooperation with Israel are an excellent investment for America,” the statement said.

It was the first time the nominee embraced the notion of U.S. defense assistance. In his speech in March to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, he did not mention it, although it is the lobby’s foremost consideration, and just prior to his AIPAC speech, he said he would consider making Israel pay for the assistance.

Trump in his meeting with Netanyahu also said that if he is elected president, the United States will recognize Jerusalem as the “undivided capital of the state of Israel,” according to the Trump campaign statement. The statement said the two men have “known each other for many years.”

Netanyahu thanked Trump “for his friendship and support for Israel.” Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner attended the meeting, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Trump and Netanyahu discussed “at length” the Iran nuclear deal, the fight against the Islamic State and other regional security concerns, according to the Trump statement.

“Mr. Trump said that under a Trump administration, there will be extraordinary strategic, technological, military and intelligence cooperation between the two countries. Mr. Trump recognized Israel as a vital partner of the United States in the global war against radical Islamic terrorism,” the statement said.

The men also discussed Israel’s experiences with the security fence between Israel and the West Bank. Trump has said he will erect a fence between the United States and Mexico to keep out infiltrators.

According to the Trump campaign, “Mr. Trump recognized that Israel and its citizens have suffered far too long on the front lines of Islamic terrorism. He agreed with Prime Minister Netanyahu that the Israeli people want a just and lasting peace with their neighbors, but that peace will only come when the Palestinians renounce hatred and violence and accept Israel as a Jewish State.”

Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in New York at 6:30 p.m.

Holocaust historian Saul Friedlander says he’ll leave US if Trump elected [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]

(JTA) — Historian Saul Friedlander said he would leave the United States if Donald Trump were elected president.

Friedlander, a Pulitzer Prize winning international expert on the Holocaust who lives in Los Angeles, told the French news agency AFP in an interview that Trump is a “dangerous crazy” who could pull off a win in the November election because of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s “tendency to lie and hide things.”

Friedlander also warned of the rise of anti-Semitism and of Holocaust denial during the wide ranging interview with AFP.

“Negationists are, in general, anti-Semites, and I am utterly opposed to debating with them. It gets you nowhere, they will always find a so-called detail showing that all these stories of gas chambers were a joke,” he said. “They are obsessed by the idea that Jews could have invented the story of their extermination.”

Friedlander, 83, was hidden in a Catholic boarding school in France during the Holocaust. His seminal work is a two-volume history of Nazi Germany and the European Jewish community.

He went to Israel after he left France, where he worked as an assistant to Israeli statesman Shimon Peres.

He told AFP he was worried about a rising movement that questions Israel’s right to exist. He said Jewish and Palestinian extremism has damaged the chances of peace, though he continues to call himself a supporter of the two-state solution.

Jewish official resigns from Labour party after Corbyn re-elected [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, right, at a Q&A following a keynote speech on the future of the economy, held at the Bloomberg headquarters in London, Sept. 15, 2016. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, right, at a Q&A following a keynote speech on the future of the economy, held at the Bloomberg headquarters in London, Sept. 15, 2016. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Jeremy Corbyn was re-elected head of the British Labour party, leading to the resignation of a Jewish official from the party.

The results were announced at the start of the party conference Saturday. Corbyn handily defeated challenger Owen Wilson, 313,209 votes to 193,229 votes.

Corbyn has faced allegations that his pro-Palestinian politics and endorsement of radical anti-Semites has encouraged hate speech against Jews. He been accused of doing too little to curb rampant anti-Semitism among party members and lawmakers, some of whom have been suspended for making racist and anti-Semitic statements on social media and in other public forums.

Lord Parry Mitchell announced his resignation following the results. He had told the London-based Jewish Chronicle in August that he would no longer represent the party if Corbyn remained its leader.

Mitchell, who became a peer, or member of the House of Lords, in 2000, called Labour a “lost cause,” and accused Corbyn of being “lukewarm” on tackling anti-Semitism. He also said Corbyn was surrounded by people with “violent anti-Israel views.”

“I’m Jewish and I’m very strongly Jewish and I make no bones about it and there’s no doubt in my mind that Jeremy himself is very lukewarm on this subject,” Mitchell told the BBC Sunday.

“But even more than that he surrounds himself with a coterie of people who hold violent, violent anti-Israel views and allied with it they are very hostile to Jews so, in my view, they’re pretty bad guys.”

In an op-ed in the U.K. Jewish News, Mitchell compared leaving his political party to divorce, saying “we are no longer compatible and it’s time to move on.”

He also wrote: “How can I, a Jew and a Zionist, remain in a party where the leadership is so clearly hostile to Israel (even to its very existence) and which also flirts with anti-Semitism? In the end it was an easy decision, but that makes it none the less painful.”

Male Israeli soldiers allowed to ask out of serving with women [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]

Soldiers of the Bardales Battalion training in urban warfare on an early foggy morning near Nitzanim in the Arava area of Southern Israel, July 13, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Soldiers of the Bardales Battalion training in urban warfare on an early foggy morning near Nitzanim in the Arava area of Southern Israel, July 13, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel Defense Forces soldiers can request to not serve alongside women and to be excused from any military event that goes against their beliefs, according to a new directive.

The new directive by Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, published Sunday and distributed to all units, comes as Eisenkot has decided not to establish any additional Nahal Haredi battalions, made up exclusively of Haredi Orthodox soldiers, and integrate them into regular units, Walla reported.

Soldiers can now request not to serve with women and not to share living spaces.

Formal events, such as Independence Day and Memorial Day ceremonies, Holocaust Remembrance Day, services for fallen soldiers, and Rabin’s memorial day, will still be required and more difficult for soldiers to get out of, according to the new directive.

Other events, such as cultural or educational ones, including where females sing in front of men, will be at the discretion of the unit’s commander, according to the directive.

Six Day War volunteers to gather in Jerusalem, WZO announces [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]

BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — The World Zionist Organization will host a gathering in Jerusalem of volunteers who went to help Israel during the Six Day War in 1967.

The event marking the 50th anniversary of the war was announced late last week by Avraham Duvdevani, chairman of the WZO.

The motto of the event to be held on Jerusalem Day is: “Volunteer in the past, volunteer forever.”

“The speed of the war surprised them, and a lot of volunteers arrived when the war was finished. They went to work in kibbutzim and also attended lectures. I was in charge of one group, there were hundreds. There were thousands of volunteers, and it will be very emotional to meet them again,” Duvdevani told JTA.

After the war, 6,000 volunteers remained in Israel to help. At least 550 Argentine Jewish youths flew to help. The tribute to the volunteers on the 50th anniversary is the brainchild of Manuel Junowicz, former and honorary president of Argentina Zionist Organization.

Another local idea that will be launched globally in 2017 is the “World Zionist Press Freedom Day.”

The tribute to Zionist journalists will take place on June 4. Journalism inspired the Zionist movement, according to Alejandro Mellincovsky, coordinator of WZO activities in Argentina and the mentor of the first meeting to recognize Zionist journalism, to be held in Buenos Aires.

“We chose June 4 when Die Welt (the German national daily newspaper) was created. The Zionist movement rose precisely because of the journalistic activity by Theodor Herzl when he covered the Dreyfus case in Paris for the Neue Freie PresseBut not only Herzl, also Emile Zola spread his J’ Accuse through the media,” added Mellincovsky.

Next year also will mark 120 years since the first Zionist Congress, 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, and 70 years since the founding of the United Nations.

Trump’s Israel advisor: Annexing West Bank won’t harm country’s Jewish character [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel could annex the West Bank without damaging the country’s Jewish character, an advisor on Israel to Donald Trump said.

David Friedman, who also is a long-time attorney to the Republican presidential nominee, made the remarks during a recent meeting in New York with Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council.

The remarks were video recorded, and released by Israel’s Channel 2 Saturday night, less than a day before a reported meeting scheduled to be held between the candidate and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Friedman cited figures saying that even if 1.7 million Palestinians living in the West Bank, also known by its biblical designation Judea and Samaria, were made citizens of Israel, joining 25 percent of Israel’s population of about 8.16 million, Israel would still remain a majority Jewish state. He cited as reasons for this that the Jewish birthrate continues to increase while the Arab birthrate is decreasing, and that “a lot of Arabs are leaving.”

He also said that the population estimates of the Palestinians are not accurate since they do not cull the population records when people die or leave.

“The bottom line is under most calculations if you took the entire state of Israel from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea and you annexed all of Judea and Samaria into Israel, the Jewish population would still be about 65%. That’s the conventional wisdom right now,” he said. “So the idea that if Jews somehow take control over Judea and Samaria it’s no longer a Jewish state is not true. Those aren’t the numbers.”

The figures do not include Gaza.

Earlier this month, Friedman backed Netanyahu’s claim that the Palestinian demand for a removal of settlements amounts to “ethnic cleansing.” In August, he reportedly met in Jerusalem with senior officials from the Prime Minister’s Office.

California Gov. Jerry Brown signs anti-BDS bill into law [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]

(JTA) — California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a measure that requires companies doing business with the state to certify that they do not boycott or discriminate against any sovereign state, including Israel.

Brown signed Assembly Bill 2844 on Saturday afternoon. The State Senate approved the bill by a vote of 34 to 1 on August 24, and the State Assembly passed it by 69 to 1 on August 30.

An earlier version of the legislation banned the state from making contracts worth over $100,000 with companies boycotting Israel. The bill was modified after critics said such a ban could breach speech freedom rights.

The passed version does not prohibit companies working with the state from boycotting Israel. Rather, companies have to certify that they do not violate California civil rights laws in boycotting a foreign country – including Israel, the only country mentioned by name – according to The Jewish Journal.

“We commend Governor Brown for signing this bill,” said Janna Weinstein Smith, American Jewish Committee’s Los Angeles Regional Director, in a statement. “The bill sends the clear and unmistakable message that the state of California wants no part of the goals and tactics of the BDS movement. Thanks to this legislation, those who wish to target Jews and Israelis for discrimination will not be doing business with the state of California.”

The Israeli-American Coalition for Action in a statement also praised the legislation and the leadership of Assembly member Richard Bloom, who introduced the original bill; the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, and Assembly member Travis Allen, in passing the bill.

Critics said the bill remained vague and could be misconstrued or subject to abuse.

“In a backhanded way, the bill legitimizes BDS,” Americans for Peace Now said in an op-ed in the Los Angeles-based Journal. “It states, in effect, that it is perfectly fine to support BDS, so long as you don’t discriminate in the process.”

The group, which opposes BDS but backs targeted boycotts of settlement goods, also said the bill’s prohibitions could inhibit the narrower option of focusing on settlements.

“Does the ‘the nation and people of Israel'” in the bill “include settlements that the United States government has long declared illegitimate and that are clearly illegal under international law?”

Bernie Sanders’ brother running for Britain’s Parliament [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]

(JTA) — The brother of former Democratic candidate for president Bernie Sanders is running for Britain’s Parliament.

Larry Sanders, 81, is running as the Green Party candidate for the seat being vacated by former Prime Minister David Cameron, who has held it for the Witney constituency in Oxfordshire in southern England since 2001.

Cameron resigned as prime minister in July, and announced earlier this month that he would leave the Parliament as well.

The election is scheduled for Oct. 20. The main issue of his campaign is expected to be privatizing Britain’s national health care service.

Larry Sanders, who was born in in the Brooklyn borough of New York City has lived in Oxford, England, since 1969, and taught at Oxford University in the department of social administration.

He was active in politics in the Labour Party, which he left in 2001 saying it had moved too far to the right. He then joined the Green Party. He currently serves as health spokesperson for the party.

Sanders was a delegate to this year’s Democratic National Convention representing Democrats Abroad, where he spoke about his brother and cast his vote for him.


Netanyahu apologizes for comparing Hebron shooter’s parents to fallen soldiers’ [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]

Elior Azaria arriving to Jaffa Military Court, June 1, 2016. (Flash90)

Elor Azaria arriving to Jaffa Military Court, June 1, 2016. (Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized for comparing the suffering of the parents of a soldier on trial for shooting a subdued Palestinian attacker to those of fallen soldiers.

Netanyahu on Saturday night told Israel’s Channel 2 that he did not regret making a supportive telephone call to the father of Elor Azaria, who shot the attacker in Hebron in March.

Azaria is now being tried for manslaughter in military court. He has said he believed the Palestinian attacker was still a threat.

Netanyahu called the soldier’s father, Charlie Azaria, days after the incident in March to offer his support, which critics called inappropriate ahead of a trial.

In the Channel 2 interview, Netanyahu was asked if he had called other parents of soldiers accused of violating IDF rules. The prime minister said he has not, but added: “I’ve called many distressed parents whose children fell [in combat] or were declared MIA … and here [too] we have a matter of great distress for Israelis, I want you to understand that.”

“There are countless parents who see their children — male and female soldiers — who are put in almost impossible situations. On the one hand, they need to protect themselves and on the other hand — and it is not a simple problem — need not to be light on the trigger. It isn’t easy because I was in this situation, I was in many instances, encounters or near-encounters with the enemy, and I needed to decide when I shoot and when I don’t shoot … it wasn’t easy and I think that for any soldier it isn’t easy,” he said.

Netanyahu apologized Sunday morning in a post on Facebook.

“I apologize if my remarks were misunderstood. I did not intend in any way to compare the suffering of bereaved families, a suffering I am very familiar with, to the situation of other parents in distress. There is no comparison and can be no comparison,” the post read.

Netanyahu’s office also released a statement directed at critics of his remarks.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu didn’t compare between the soldier Elor Azaria and fallen soldiers. This is a low, perverse and deceitful attempt to present his words as such. Prime Minister Netanyahu respects the families of fallen soldiers and the families of missing soldiers and is very aware of their impossible pain,” the statement said.

NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN - English News at 20:01 (JST), September 25 [English News - NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN]

OTB Caption Contest Winners [Outside the Beltway]

The A Priest, a Rabbi and a Swami walk into a Babar Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

(Photo: Shailesh Andrade/Reuters)


First: Moosebreath – No, Pritap, it’s forewarned is forearmed, not four-armed.

Second: Franklin – I didn’t think the 2016 Presidential election could get any uglier.

Third: JC – In India, you never know when it might be a rainy deity (Rainy Deity Women #12 and #35 – rodney)


Mu – The first Ganges laundry day sponsored by Tide was a huge success.

Jon WaltzThough the gathering throng might’ve hoped otherwise, Ganesha was not the Hindu god of clean drinking water.

barbintheboonies – I knew our God was the real one Take that you crazy Evangelists.

Paul Hooson – “Call me old fashioned, but I liked Bullwinkle much better…”

DrDaveT – So if you like pina coladas, and Ganesh Chathurti in the rain…

Tillman – India, the world’s largest democracy, celebrates the entry of a candidate more likable than the ones Americans have a choice over.


The NBA draft is about to get real.

Twenty fingers… Looks like he’s configured for higher math.

Going on a trip? I see you have your trunk.

Finally an unbiased moderator for the debates.

Suspect Arrested In Seattle Area Mall Shooting [Outside the Beltway]

Late  last night, police announced that they had taken the suspect in Friday night’s shooting spree at a Seattle area mall into custody, but many questions remain unanswered:

A 20-year-old man was taken into custody on Saturday night in connection with a shooting that killed five people on Friday at a mall north of Seattle, the authorities said.

The authorities, speaking at a news conference on Saturday night, identified the suspect as Arcan Cetin of Oak Harbor, Wash. He was taken into custody without incident around 6:30 p.m.

Officials said that they had received numerous tips about the gunman and that surveillance footage had helped locate him.

Lt. Michael Hawley of the Island County Sheriff’s Office said he had received a report that Mr. Cetin’s car was less than a mile from his office and when he headed that way, he found Mr. Cetin walking on the sidewalk. Mr. Cetin was carrying a satchel with a computer inside and was in a “zombielike” state when he was taken into custody, the lieutenant said.

Charges were pending, said the authorities, who said it was too early to say what led to the shootings.

On his Facebook page, Mr. Cetin listed his hometown as Adana, Turkey. Officials said he was a legal permanent resident of the United States. He graduated last year from Oak Harbor High School and listed himself on Facebook as a bagger at the Whidbey Island Commissary.

Little of his personality could be gleaned from his sparse social media presence, which included only 56 posts on Twitter.

His Facebook page offered a glimpse of his life. A posting by a friend in 2011 described him as “really annoying,” “funny” and “sometimes really nasty.” Mr. Cetin referred to lifting weights in high school and posted videos of the video game Call of Duty.

Another Facebook posting, by a friend in 2012, said of Mr. Cetin: “Truth is: You are a very odd character. You were always going on about being Russian and stuff like that, but under that you really supported America (or so it seemed to me) and I always thought that was really cool.”

Mr. Cetin was active in the Reserve Officers Training Corps, said the former classmate, Uhlaine Finnigan, 19, of Port Angeles, Wash.

She called Mr. Cetin “sexist” and said he would touch girls on their buttocks, “either slapping or grabbing them.”

“He did that to girls of all grades at the high school including my best friend and I, regardless of the blatant disgust from the girls and being told to stop,” she said in an interview by Facebook Messenger. She said he appeared to have few friends.

The attacker at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Wash., killed four women in the cosmetics section of a Macy’s department store, the authorities said. A man was critically wounded in the shooting and was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he died. The youngest female victim was a teenager, law enforcement officials said at a news conference on Saturday morning.

The gunman, who was armed with a rifle, left the scene before the police arrived. Officials said they recovered the weapon at the scene. They declined to give details about the weapon or to say how many rounds were fired. Photographs of Mr. Cetin on a Myspace account showed him holding a handgun and a rifle.

A spokesman for the F.B.I.’s Seattle field office said on Saturday that there was no evidence to suggest that the shooting was an act of terrorism.

At the news conference on Saturday night, Mayor Steve Sexton of Burlington said the shootings happened at a time and in a setting that were ordinary: a Friday night at a mall.

Referring to the shootings, he said: “They changed those families forever. It changed our city, I’m afraid to some extent, forever.”

The names of the victims had not yet been released by officials.

Hopefully we’ll learn more about motive and possible accomplices in the coming days. For now, though, this is looking less and less like an act of terrorism and more like the actions of a deranged man, perhaps one who had a particular problem with women.

Farewell Bill Nunn, aka Radio Raheem [Radio Survivor]

I was very saddened to learn that the actor Bill Nunn has died. Spike Lee announced the news on his Instagram account: “officialspikelee My Dear Friend, My Dear Morehouse Brother- Da Great Actor Bill Nunn As Most Of You Know Him As Radio Raheem Passed Away This Morning In His Hometown Of Pittsburgh. Long Live […]

The post Farewell Bill Nunn, aka Radio Raheem appeared first on Radio Survivor.

Is the Race Slipping Away From Hillary Clinton? [RedState]

If Donald Trump could have choreographed a week before the first presidential debate it would have looked a lot like this. The week started with a terror attack in NYC (and it looks like the attack was a complex one designed to hit two or three targets at the same time) by an Afghan Islamist who had been under scrutiny by the FBI but let slide because, well, you know, you can't be islamophobic and have a career in law enforcement even when your phobia is well founded. The Charlotte, NC, became ground zero in as Rodney King-like riot. When Hillary Clinton tried to show up to pull her Al Sharpton act, she was asked to stay away. Ted Cruz (much to his everlasting shame) endorsed Trump and, for all intents and purposes, announced that principle didn't really mean all that much and probably had a significant impact on GOP voters who had been reluctant to vote for Trump. And the week ended with a Turkish immigrant walked into a Macy's department store in Seattle and gunned down five people.

In poll averages Clinton has maintained a pretty consistent 4 point lead

What should be troubling her is her inability to take a decisive lead. She was right earlier in the week when she sniveled about feeling like she should be 50 points ahead. If she was a candidate possessed of normal competence, good health a functioning moral compass and the ability to relate to fellow human beings in anything other than a master-servant mode she would have run away with the race by now. The fact that it is still a four point race after the nation has seen Donald Trump in action for over a year should terrify her campaign.

But, as everyone knows, this race is not going to be decided at the national level. It is going to be decided in a handful of states. There the situation is also grim.


Trump has a small lead in the state. His lead is probably much larger because Rob Portman is beating his senate opponent like a rented mule. Portman isn't a terribly charismatic guy and it is difficult to believe that, especially after Ted Cruz's endorsement, that Trump will underperform Portman. Hillary hasn't even visited Ohio in two months.

When CNN stops fluffing for Hillary, you know it is serious:


Clinton has a 3 point lead. That might be enough but the trendline suggests she is losing momentum at a rate that may put the state out of reach for her by Election Day


Pennsylvania, as James Carville famously described it, has Pittsburgh on one end, Philadelphia on the other and Alabama (or Pennsyltucky) in the middle. What had looked like a wrap in Pennsylvania is now more uncertain

You'll note the recent polls have been tightening and the last one should scare the living crap out of the Clinton camp:

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s lead over Republican rival Donald Trump has narrowed to 3 points in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, according to a new poll.

Clinton leads Trump, 44 percent to 41 percent, in the Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll released late Saturday.

One week ago, Clinton had a 9-point advantage in that poll, 47 percent to 38 percent.

Clinton’s lead in a four-way matchup is now 2 points, 40 percent to 38 percent, pollsters found. Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson has fallen to 8 percent support, and the Green Party’s Jill Stein has 3 percent.

Essentially, in this poll, they are tied.

There is still a long way to go in this election and the polls did not cover themselves with glory during the primaries. Having said that, Hillary Clinton's failure to open up a lead or break 50% should set alarm bells ringing in her camp. There is much more that can happen in the current events that will hurt her than will hurt Trump. She is slow on her feet and her reputation for duplicity has burned down most of the reflexive goodwill that most Democrat candidates get from the press. Trump has a bit of momentum in key states and had a very good week.

Hillary Clinton reminds you of the team that goes into the 4th quarter with a 3 point lead and decides to try to run the clock out. The strategy can work but a little bit of bad luck is devastating.

The post Is the Race Slipping Away From Hillary Clinton? appeared first on RedState.

Comedian/Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and ‘Friends’ Explain Why They Don’t Make Fun of Hillary [RedState]

If you're not a fan you might not expect a performer like Jeff Dunham to delve into politics. Ventriloquism is quite impressive when done correctly but still not considered a very mainstream form of entertainment.

However Dunham - an experienced comedian - can get quite dark on occasion, even though he's the "puppet guy." Check out Dunham's latest video - a PSA in which he answers the pressing question from Trump fans across the nation:

Why don't you ever make fun of Hillary?

Dunham's "friends" talk about why they don't, won't and can't make fun of Hillary.

TRIGGER WARNING: This video does contain actual triggers attached to actual guns and violence is depicted. If you feel microaggressed in any way please hurry to the nearest safe space where a Redstate representative will be waiting with blankies, pacifiers and hot chocolate.


The post Comedian/Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and ‘Friends’ Explain Why They Don’t Make Fun of Hillary appeared first on RedState.

Will Gennifer Flowers Have Company At the First Trump-Clinton Debate [RedState]

As my colleague, Jay Caruso, notes, both major party candidates are engaged in a full court press in trying to troll one another. First, Hillary Clinton invited billionaire and Trump-twitter-stalker Mark Cuban to the debates. Donald Trump extended an invitation to Gennifer Flowers.

Now it seems that Gennifer Flowers might have company:

When Juanita Broaddrick heard Bill Clinton mistress Gennifer Flowers could be attending the first presidential debate as Donald Trump’s guest, she says that might be an opportunity she would welcome, too.

Juanita Broaddrick“Sure I would like to be at such an epic event just to look Hillary in the face,” Broaddrick exclusively tells The American Mirror.

When asked what she would say to Clinton, Broaddrick responded, “Remember me? I’m the one your husband raped and you threatened. I’m still here telling the truth and you are a liar.”

Broaddrick says then-Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton raped her in a Little Rock hotel room in 1978 while he was campaigning for governor.

She claims after the incident, Hillary confronted her and grabbed her arm in an attempt to silence her.

But wait, as the man said, there's more:

Personally, I am all in favor of this. Hillary Clinton was a prime mover in the discrediting and harassing of women who had been sexually assaulted by her husband. She wasn't a betrayed spouse, she was a co-conspirator and accomplice. We are well passed the point where sympathy will attach to Hillary by exhibiting the victims of Bill Clinton.

If Gennifer Flowers is there, she will be interviewed and she will educate a large number of young progressives -- who by the way are in love with trigger warnings, consent being expressed at every stage of a sexual encounter, "always believe women," Title IX rape Star Chambers, and who look on Emma "Mattress Girl" Sulkowicz as a hero -- on Bill Clinton's antics. Even if they want to try to engender sympathy for her they first have to explain what the attack was about.

What I really don't understand was what Clinton was trying to prove by pulling the Mark Cuban stunt. Her sole competitive advantage in this election is that she is (wrongly, in my view) perceived as a more serious person than Donald Trump. By engaging in this battle of clownishness, a battle for which she is supremely unsuited, she has forfeited her own claim to being serious and decided to fight on a ground of Donald Trump's choosing.

The post Will Gennifer Flowers Have Company At the First Trump-Clinton Debate appeared first on RedState.

Debate Prep: Who’s Even More Dishonest Than Donald Trump? [RedState]

The answer is, of course, Big Media fact checkers.

A piece in POLITICO Magazine purports to warn you about "lies" that may be told by Trump and Clinton during tomorrow's debate. (The link is to a cached version of the piece; I don't link POLITICO directly, and haven't for years, because they are bullies.) The problem is that two of the three "lies" they attribute to Trump are not lies at all, but are literally true. Start with this claim:

Trump’s claim: “Fifty-eight percent of African American youth are not working.”

The truth: Trump is way off on the data about black youth.

Trump has been pretty up front with African Americans, urging them to drop their longtime loyalty to the Democratic Party because that support has amounted to little in the way of economic success. “What the hell do you have to lose?” he asked during a visit to central Michigan last month.

To bring his point home, one of Trump’s favorite riffs is about just how few young African Americans have jobs right now. For example, during a stop in High Point, North Carolina, last week, Trump said that “58 percent of African American youth are not working.”

Trump should know better than to keep using that line. He’s been flogged repeatedly by fact checkers for similar statements.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the latest data actually finds that the unemployment rate for African Americans 16-to-24 years old is 15.7 percent.

The Trump campaign maintains that it gets to the 58 percent figure by counting up both the young people who are trying to find jobs but can’t get them and also the ones who are “not in the labor force.” But that’s a pretty misleading way of sizing up the situation. Under his definition, Trump is counting busy students as unemployed, whether or not they’re looking for a job.

The bottom line here is that Trump said “58 percent of African American youth are not working" and the fact-checkers admit it's true . . . but call it a "lie" because they don't like the implications of that true statement.

Trump has indeed stated in the past that 58% of black youth are "unemployed," which is inaccurate. But his current statement deals with the percentage of black youths not working, and that figure is accurate.

What's more, Trump has a point. The piece claims that counting students among those not "working" is misleading. But even the dishonest fact-checkers at the Washington Post have to admit that, when you take students out of the equation, black youths are employed at a far lower rate than white youths:

If Trump really is interested in the rate of disengagement among black youth, there is an academically accepted measure he can use. It’s called NEET, which stands for “Neither Employed nor in Education or Training.” This measure factors out students altogether, and measures the share of disconnected youth aged 16 to 24.

Pew Research Center’s Drew DeSilver, who has written about youth unemployment and NEETs, calculated a 2015 NEET rate among black youth 16 to 24 at 20.9 percent of the total civilian non-institutional population, compared with 14.7 percent among white youth of the same age range.

So it turns out that the share of unemployed black youths who aren't students or in training is over 140% the share of white youths in the same situation (20.9% versus 14.7%). Sounds like Trump might have something of a point there! But you won't read that in POLITICO Magazine . . .

Let's move on to POLITICO's second Trump "lie":

Trump’s claim: Clinton supports “open borders” and a “550 percent increase” in Syrian refugees

The truth: Trump is wrong about Clinton’s plans for immigration and refugees.

. . . .

Clinton’s plan for handling the Syrian refugee crisis keeps getting similarly bungled by Trump. Last week provided the latest instance of this, when Trump issued a statement vowing to oppose Clinton’s “550 percent increase in the number of refugees from the conflict in Syria.”

The truth is, there’s no basis in that figure. Trump has taken a plan Clinton issued where she said she would welcome 55,000 additional refugees from the war-torn country over the course of a single year, and extrapolated it out at the same rate of expansion for the duration of a four-year term. On top of that, Trump’s assumption implies Clinton would continue with the Obama administration’s latest budget proposal for fiscal year 2017, where the U.S. would accept 100,000 refugees. Clinton, in fact, has said no such thing.

This is double-talk. Trump didn't say anything about a four-year term or extrapolating anything. He said Hillary Clinton is calling for a “550 percent increase in the number of refugees from the conflict in Syria.” We know this is true because -- God forgive me for citing these people -- even lefty PolitiFact admits it:

During a Sept. 20 appearance on CBS' Face the Nation, Clinton was asked if President Barack Obama's plan to increase the number allowed into the United States to 10,000 was enough. (The United States had accepted about 2,000 in 2015.)

"Look, we’re facing the worst refugee crisis since the end of World War II, and I think the United States has to do more, and I would like to see us move from what is a good start with 10,000 to 65,000 and begin immediately to put into place the mechanisms for vetting the people that we would take in," Clinton said. . . . A jump to 65,000 would be a 550 percent increase. . . . Clinton has, in fact, said that in response to the refugee crisis she would raise Obama's limit of 10,000 to 65,000. That's 550 percent more . . .

Once again, POLITICO's Trump "lie" is . . . true.

POLITICO's third Trump lie is: “I was totally against the war in Iraq.” And . . . that is a lie. Because he totally wasn't.

Hey, Donald Trump is a giant liar. That doesn't mean that we have to pretend every Big Media claim about him is true.


The post Debate Prep: Who’s Even More Dishonest Than Donald Trump? appeared first on RedState.

One Weird Fact About That “Hispanic” Shooter At the Cascade Mall [RedState]

If you havent' seen a lot of coverage of the shooting at Cascade Mall in Seattle, WA, Friday night that left five people dead you are not alone. Unlike any other mass shooting in US history since the advent of radio this horrendous act has virtually disappeared from headlines in less than 48 hours. If you've followed the history of this case it is illustrative for several reasons.

Suspect was identified as "Hispanic"

Shortly after the shooting the police released surveillance video of the shooter.


They identified the suspect as "Hispanic."

Just one problem.

The shooter was a 20-year-old Turkish immigrant to the United States named Arcan Cetin. And he was a member of the Religion of Peace. One could nearly smell the political correctness blowing from the exhaust vents at the Seattel PD as they leapt at the straw that the gunman was Hispanic.

And the gun...

Cetin was a convicted felon and unable to buy a firearm. So he stole a .22-caliber hunting rifle from his father. The freakin thing was not only not an AR-15 it wasn't black and it didn't look scary.

It wasn't terrorism

This is an exact quote from USA Today and I swear I'm not making this up

Despite rumors about Islamic terrorism, authorities said during a news conference late Saturday there is no evidence of the shooting being terror-related.

The motive remains unclear, but law enforcement sources told KING-TV Cetin's ex-girlfriend used to work at the Macy's where the shooting happened. However, she has not worked there in months and now lives in another county.

The reason this shooting is not getting wall-to-wall coverage is damned simple to explain. The shooter is a Muslim immigrant. The weapon was obtained illegally and aesthetically unobjectionable. The lack of a clear motive hints that the motive was very clear. This caps off a week in which virtually every one of Donald Trump's critiques of society was proven correct.

If it doesn't fit the narrative it doesn't matter.

The post One Weird Fact About That “Hispanic” Shooter At the Cascade Mall appeared first on RedState.

Major News Sources Conceal Hillary Clinton’s Mad, Needless War on Libya [RedState]


For months, we’ve heard an incessant daily barrage of charges: Hillary Clinton violated rules of handling classified materials, set up her own e-mail server and abandoned four Americans to die in Benghazi. We’ve heard that she deleted a large number of e-mails and scrubbed the server.


But even outlets like Fox News, that clearly support Donald Trump in his race against Clinton, have shown no interest in reporting what else she did in Libya. This is odd, because open-source information that Clinton and Obama had supported and armed Libyan rebels—including terror groups such as al-Qa’eda—has been available since Apr 22, 2014, from the Citizens Commission on Benghazi. Members of the CCB include: terrorism and Middle East expert Clare Lopez, Retired Admiral James “Ace” Lyons and Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Allen West.



The U.S. armed and supported al-Qa’eda–linked rebels in Libya

The CCB team revealed that:


The U.S. was fully aware of and facilitating the delivery of weapons to the al-Qa’eda–dominated rebel militias throughout the 2011 rebellion. The jihadist agenda of AQIM [al-Qa’eda of the Islamic Maghreb], the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), and other Islamic terror groups represented among the rebel forces was well known to U.S. officials responsible for Libya policy.


[On March 18, 2011] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced U.S. government support for the Brotherhood-led Libyan Transitional National Council in its revolt against Qaddafi.


The war in Libya was unnecessary, served no articulable U.S. national security objective, and led to preventable chaos region-wide.


The CCB referenced EU-based author John Rosenthal, who publishes frequently on the Middle East. Writing in the June 23, 2011 National Review, he quoted a report by two French think tanks:


“The members of the al-Qaeda–affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group [are] the “main pillar of the armed insurrection.” And “No one can deny that the Libyan rebels who are today supported by Washington were only yesterday jihadists killing American GIs in Iraq.”



Hillary Clinton took the lead in our attack on Libya

On January 28, 2015 The Washington Times began a three-part series, based on “secret audio recordings recovered from Tripoli.” It described Hillary Clinton as the prime mover in launching the war to depose Gadhafi.


Part 1 of the series opened with: “Top Pentagon officials and a senior Democrat in Congress [Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich] so distrusted Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2011 march to war in Libya that they opened their own diplomatic channels with the Gadhafi regime in an effort to halt the escalating crisis…. The tapes …chronicle U.S. officials’ unfiltered conversations with Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s son and a top Libyan leader.”


“An American intermediary specifically dispatched by the Joint Chiefs of Staff” depicted State Department reports sent to Congress as being “full of stupid, stupid facts,” saying the State Department was “controlling” the intelligence received by U.S. officials.


Perhaps that was because Hillary Clinton’s source for information was the rebels themselves:

“Mrs. Clinton met with Libyan rebel spokesman Mahmoud Jibril in the Paris Westin hotel in mid-March so she could vet the rebel cause to unseat Gadhafi. Forty-five minutes after speaking with Mr. Jibril, Mrs. Clinton was convinced that a military intervention was needed,” wrote The Times. Jibril said he told her “The international community should protect civilians from a possible genocide like the one [that] took place in Rwanda.”


He may’ve played Clinton, knowing her personal interest in Rwanda (It occurred during the Clinton term), and the influences on her of Susan Rice, who was involved in the crisis in 1994, and Samantha Power, who wrote “moving books” about the catastrophe.


Gadhafi, a U.S. ally in the War on Terror, was fighting a civil war against “Islamist-backed rebels,” wrote The Times. “Mrs. Clinton argued that Gadhafi might engage in genocide and create a humanitarian crisis and ultimately persuaded President Obama, NATO allies and the United Nations to authorize military intervention.”



Clinton’s excuse for war shown to be false

Gadhafi’s son, Seif told Pentagon representatives that many of the U.S.-backed rebels were “‘not freedom fighters’ but rather … ‘gangsters and terrorists.’” He begged the American government to “send a fact-finding mission to Libya. ‘I want you to see everything with your own eyes.’”


John Rosenthal corroborates that, in this quote from the French report:


The NGO Human Rights Watch published casualty figures concerning [the city of] Misrata that reveal that, contrary to the claims made in the international media, Qaddafi loyalist forces have not massacred the residents of the town.


It is thus now obvious that Western leaders — first and foremost, President Obama — have grossly exaggerated the humanitarian risk in order to justify their military action in Libya.


The intelligence community had “found no specific evidence of an impending genocide.”



Gadhafi offered to step down, but Clinton pushed ahead with the war

“Army Gen. Carter Ham, the head of the U.S. African Command, sought to set up a 72-hour truce with the regime,” said The Times. Retired Navy Rear Adm. Charles Kubic, an intermediary said the terms were reasonable:


“‘[Gadhafi] came back and said he was willing to step down and permit a transition government, but he had two conditions,’ Mr. Kubic said. ‘First was to insure there was a military force left over after he left Libya capable to go after al Qaeda. Secondly, he wanted to have the sanctions against him and his family and those loyal to him lifted and free passage. At that point in time, everybody thought that was reasonable.’”

“But not the State Department.

“Gen. Ham was ordered to stand down two days after the negotiation began, Mr. Kubic said. The orders were given at the behest of the State Department, according to those familiar with the plan in the Pentagon.”


U.S. violates UN resolution and attacks Gadhafi regime

“The war continued and ultimately cost tens of thousands of lives,” declared the CCB report. On March 17, 2011 the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1973, establishing a no-fly zone to protect civilians from alleged massacre by Gadhafi’s forces. That meant patrolling the skies over Libya. But NATO far exceeded that authorization and launched an attack on the Gadhafi regime: “On March 19th, “the U.S. military, supported by France and Britain, fired off more than 110 Tomahawk missiles, hitting about 20 Libyan air and missile defense targets,” wrote The Washington Times.

In his book Worthy Fights, then-CIA director Leon Panetta admitted: “our goal in Libya was regime change.”

Surprisingly, Clinton was not just carrying out Obama’s wishes; rather, she was the leader in this mad attack on an ally:

“Numerous U.S. officials interviewed by The Times confirmed that Mrs. Clinton, and not Mr. Obama, led the charge to use NATO military force to unseat Gadhafi as Libya’s leader and that she repeatedly dismissed the warnings offered by career military and intelligence officials.”

Months of attacks on Libya by NATO and the rebels resulted in thousands dead, and in handing the country over to Islamists, including ISIS.

It seems that Hillary Clinton would have accepted Gadhafi’s terms and allowed him to step down, but she could not live with the term that a sufficient force remain in Libya to restrain al-Qa’eda—since AQ represented a significant segment of the rebels she wished to support. She’s had a history of weak-kneed adoration of Islamists, like Arafat. If Clinton allowed herself to be swayed by the rebel spokesman, and ignored intelligence of her own military, she’s utterly unequipped to be president.

Either way, outlets like Fox News owe it to the public to reveal what she really did in Libya.

The post Major News Sources Conceal Hillary Clinton’s Mad, Needless War on Libya appeared first on RedState.

Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson Has a Solution to Global Warming [RedState]

Given who the nominees are with the “Big Two” parties, I’m really open to looking at the platform of the third party candidates, and have repeatedly said that now, more than ever, this is the time to put a spotlight on those parties.

The thing about spotlights – sometimes they show everything, and by everything, I mean the really bizarre and off-putting parts.

Take this gem from Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, for instance, as he spoke with George Stephanopoulos, on ABC’s “This Week.”

Jesus, take the wheel!

Yessir. That was the Libertarian candidate suggesting that we may need to look into colonizing other planets before the sun swallows the earth.

Was he being humorous? I can’t really tell, since he seems to have the same manner in most every interview with him I’ve seen.

It’s as if he’s sure he has no shot, but since he’s already out there, his name is on some ballots, he may as well have some fun with it.

I won’t even say this was on par with then-candidate Newt Gingrich, who proposed during the 2012 presidential race that we could put a base on the moon, or have regular flights to Mars, by 2020.

We need serious options if a third party is going to be valid at any time during our near future. For those who are supporting Johnson, I have no intention of slamming you for your choices. He still makes more sense than Donald Trump, and he’s more trustworthy than Hillary Clinton.

That being said, I just have to ask a really important question, and maybe some of you can provide an answer: What was wrong with the guy who stripped onstage at the Libertarian convention, and is it possible to maybe get him back?

The post Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson Has a Solution to Global Warming appeared first on RedState.

Water Cooler 9/25/2016 – OPEN THREAD – Debate Edition [RedState]


Oh, but what could've been. The Commission on Limiting Presidential Debates continues its job in ensuring there will only be two Presidential candidates on stage, neither of whom is qualified for the job. Gary Johnson did not meet the 15% polling requirement so he was not invited to the first debate (nor his VP candidate for that debate). Basing the decision on polling for the debate is like basing your decision on having a fall picnic in Colorado on the weather report. Actually, the weather reports have lately proven to be more accurate.

Gary Johnson sat down on a park bench with a CNN reporter to discuss what might've been:

I don't find this cringeworthy, I actually find it quite hysterical. Admit it; you always wanted to see a politician do this to a reporter. And he's right actually, there are so many low information voters out there that a solid percentage of them don't even know anyone besides Hillary and Donald (when is the last time you can remember both candidates frequently referred to by their first name?) are running.

He's also correct that it wouldn't matter what he said or did, his numbers would go up because people would finally know that he exists. Presidential elections are now little different from Survivor or American Idol. The big difference this year is we are only able to find villains. The good guy just isn't there.

In honor of today's Water Cooler, here's a nice music video by Faultline.

That's it for today's water cooler. I need to get to my baseball games. -- OPEN THREAD -- Mingle amongst yourselves in the comments!

The post Water Cooler 9/25/2016 – OPEN THREAD – Debate Edition appeared first on RedState.

What Cruz Didn’t (Couldn’t) Say in His Endorsement of Trump [RedState]

Have we shaken off the shock of Ted Cruz’s endorsement of Donald Trump, yet?

If not, I’d give this small consolation: Cruz will likely be asking himself “What have I done?” for a lot longer.

In an interview with the Texas Tribune on Saturday, Cruz refused to say Trump was fit to be president.

In an interview with the Texas Tribune’s Evan Smith, Cruz said he endorsed Trump because the November election is a binary choice between Hillary Clinton and Trump. The junior senator from Texas and unsuccessful presidential candidate said he is voting Trump because he worries Clinton would appoint liberal justices to the U.S. Supreme Court and do damage to the country.

Smith asked: “Do you consider Donald Trump to be fit to be president?”

Cruz paused, then answered: “I think we have one of two choices.”

That’s not exactly an answer to the question, is it?

Are we feeling confident and comforted, yet?

Cruz was in Austin, at the Texas Tribune festival on Saturday. The reception from the crowd was mixed, with some cheering him and others not so much.

If you’ve spent any time on social media over the last couple of days, you know what a mixed bag of emotions there are out there over this surprise endorsement.

My favorites are those who try to rationalize the situation by hyper-analyzing every line of Cruz’s statement, in order to point out how it wasn’t an endorsement. He was simply supporting the candidate.

These are the people with full-page layouts, with every pertinent word from Cruz’s statement broken down to the original Latin roots of the word, combined with subtexts and Venn diagrams to explain Friday’s non-endorsement.

It was an endorsement.

And he still can’t say the GOP nominee is fit or qualified, and he’s right, because he’s not.

Smith listed several of the things Cruz has said about Trump in the past, including calling the New York businessman “utterly immoral,” “a sniveling coward,” “a pathological liar” and “a serial philanderer.”

Did he mean those things?

“I have had many, many disagreements with Donald Trump, some of which you have cataloged,” Cruz said. “And I have not been at all reluctant to articulate exactly why I believe that I should be the nominee instead of him.”

He later added, “We are in a general election now. I don’t think it is productive for me to criticize the Republican nominee today.”

I’ll give Cruz big props for not pretending that Trump had suddenly become a decent or principled person, because he hasn’t. He’s the same gilded toad that played to the dulled down intellect of the nation’s politically active Idiocracy during the primaries.

Cruz is like so many of us: He feels stuck.

The only difference is, those of us who refuse to bend our principles and support Trump with our votes will (presumably) still be able to vote in the next election. If Cruz wants to remain in politics as a profession, he has to play the game and sometimes back others that he can’t bring himself to call “fit” or “qualified.”

What a horrible, bitter, difficult position he and so many others have been forced into.



The post What Cruz Didn’t (Couldn’t) Say in His Endorsement of Trump appeared first on RedState.

Gennifer Flowers Will Be At The Presidential Debate And This Election Just Gets Worse [RedState]

Writers from Mad Magazine, Cracked, Saturday Night Live and National Lampoon collectively could not have conceived of a more absurd fiasco than the 2016 presidential election.

In one corner we have the reality television clown. Donald Trump, a man with no political core and a history of being nothing but a con-man who is good at putting his name on things has become the favorite of white nationalists, white working class men (Trump at other time couldn't give two sh**s about about them) and evangelical Christians who would otherwise be calling Trump an affront to Satan. He lies with impunity and there hasn't been one policy position he's put forward he's reversed himself on at some point, only to pivot back in the other direction.

In the other corner we have the first presidential candidate who survived by the skin of her teeth, a federal indictment for actions related to her emails when she was Secretary of State. A woman who is driven so much by her own political self-interest that she has spent the last 35 years enduring her husband behaving like a horny college frat boy. All so she could be where she is now, which is on the cusp of the presidency. Her "career" is tracing paper thin with almost zero accomplishments, unless you want to count the deaths of Chris Stevens, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith, and Tyrone Woods as one of them.

These two are the most despised presidential candidates in history, yet here we are, having to deal with this freak show.

So now comes the start of the presidential debate seasons. It is supposed to be a time when candidates are to debate ideas and policies and to make a case for why they should be elected. In leading up to the debate Monday night, what do we have?

Two candidates trolling each other with guests they'll have in the audience. 

Hillary (whether her team coordinated it is unknown) will have billionaire businessman and supporter Mark Cuban in the audience. Trump sees Cuban as an enemy because Cuban has not been one to be shy about calling Trump out and calling him a phony.

Trump, in his never end quest to one-up somebody's stupidity has invited one time Bill Clinton pork pie, Gennifer Flowers to the debate. She even tweeted about it:

Have you ever seen anything so asinine? The United States political system is supposed to be a beacon for the rest of the world. Instead it looks more like two zoo animals throwing poo at each other behind a thick sheet of glass while the world watches.

The sooner this fiasco is over, the better.

The post Gennifer Flowers Will Be At The Presidential Debate And This Election Just Gets Worse appeared first on RedState.

Politicians Should Be Treated As Investments, Not Gods [RedState]

If the stock market tanks one day, any financial adviser worth his or her salt would tell you not to make any rash judgment regarding your financial future. Typically, the market will recover, though maybe not fully, but still land you with decent returns. This all assumes that you play the long game, and one based one logistics. Making emotional decisions based on one day is a terrible idea, and not just in terms of investments.

We're now on Day Two of The Great Ted Cruz Decision, and people are still upset, confused, irritated, and any other manner of generally negative emotion. They don't know if they can trust him or if he really was what he said he was. And, I would agree that they are right to question him and his standards. They have every reason to. Of course, one of the big concerns is that we as a society tend to follow cults of personality when it comes to politicians.

The same can and should be said of Ted Cruz, or more broadly, politicians as a group, to include Ted Cruz. Ted was deified as the arch conservative. Possibly even the second coming of Ronald Reagan, who today is revered like a god of old within conservative circles. It's true that for the conservative movement, both men have heralded the right ideas and very much seem to have supported them.

But, it's when we put guys like Ted Cruz (or Marco Rubio, or Rick Perry, or, again, anyone else for that matter) up on these immortal pedestals that we get in trouble when they screw up. As they inevitably will. The question then becomes whether we dump them or not.

Several people I know and trust will swear off Cruz forever. Several more will stick with him. Even more will say they never liked the guy because they always knew he was a self-serving, ambitious impostor of a conservative. Many people, many more than exist on Political Twitter or in your Facebook feed, will just be confused. Because these are extremely confusing times.

This becomes the very reason why we should (but won't) stop deifying politicians. Instead we should treat Cruz, Rubio, and anyone we send to any political office like an investment. Any time a politician screws up - and they will because (PAY ATTENTION HERE) they are human - you should not dump them immediately. You need to look at their body of work. Is this one event in a pattern of screw-ups? Or is this something new?

As Erick Erickson said over at The Resurgent, this is a colossal error in judgment and this is usually how it starts.

There comes a moment in elected office when some politicians rationalize that if they do not do something, they may lose. And if they lose, they won’t be able to stay around and fight for the cause. They rationalize that this one cave for election purposes is okay because of the greater good.

That is always the moment a politician ceases being effective and principled. This may be that time for Cruz.

Right now, one bad decision is all that most conservatives have to judge Cruz by. And, yes, it is a big one and, yes, it is one that we will judge him on more harshly than, say, him voting to increase the federal budget. It is just one decision, however, and the question is whether or not conservatives think it outweighs the good Cruz has done and can continue to do.

I don't have an answer to that. I like Cruz, but he wasn't my choice in 2016. Rubio was. I was one of the ones who figured Cruz didn't have the likability for it, but look at what Rubio has done since then. He has continued to fight and, with the exception of voicing support of Trump over Hillary, he has stayed true to the beliefs I hold him accountable for having.

If Rubio or Cruz, or anyone else for that matter, decide to stay the course and this be the only stain on their record, I'm ultimately fine with it. I'll support them. Not in 2020, mind you, but in the Senate, or Congress, or wherever other politicians I agree with end up. They are an investment I make in the future. And that is how they should be treated. By me, by you, by everyone. Left, Right, or Center, we shouldn't make gods of men. We should treat them as vessels for improving our situation. They are investments, which may go down on some days, but as long as they have a history of good returns, I'll hold on to them.

The post Politicians Should Be Treated As Investments, Not Gods appeared first on RedState.

BREAKING: Body Cam and Dash Cam Footage from Charlotte Police Shooting [VIDEO] [RedState]

After the looting, the riots, the protests, the singing, the sadness, and the national furor, the video has now been released by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department showing the shooting of Keith Scott that took place earlier this week.

Two viewpoints were released. First is the body cam footage.


The second video is the dash cam footage.


We reserve analysis at this time. Presented for your own assessment.

Police also released some photos of the evidence.

BREAKING: CMPD releases this picture of gun they say #keithscott had in his possession at time of shooting death. @wsoctv pic.twitter.com/Fv5aX2zVm9

— Tina Terry (@TinaTerryWSOC9) September 24, 2016 -->

Here is the statement released with the video, from CMPD.

There have been numerous unconfirmed reports published in the media concerning this case. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has prepared the following case update to provide factual information about the officer-involved shooting.

Two plain clothes officers were sitting inside of their unmarked police vehicle preparing to serve an arrest warrant in the parking lot of The Village at College Downs, when a white SUV pulled in and parked beside of them.

The officers observed the driver, later identified as Mr. Keith Lamont Scott, rolling what they believed to be a marijuana “blunt.” Officers did not consider Mr. Scott’s drug activity to be a priority at the time and they resumed the warrant operation. A short time later, Officer Vinson observed Mr. Scott hold a gun up.

Because of that, the officers had probable cause to arrest him for the drug violation and to further investigate Mr. Scott being in possession of the gun.

Due to the combination of illegal drugs and the gun Mr. Scott had in his possession, officers decided to take enforcement action for public safety concerns. Officers departed the immediate area to outfit themselves with marked duty vests and equipment that would clearly identify them as police officers.

Upon returning, the officers again witnessed Mr. Scott in possession of a gun. The officers immediately identified themselves as police officers and gave clear, loud and repeated verbal commands to drop the gun. Mr. Scott refused to follow the officers repeated verbal commands.

A uniformed officer in a marked patrol vehicle arrived to assist the officers. The uniformed officer utilized his baton to attempt to breach the front passenger window in an effort to arrest Mr. Scott.

Mr. Scott then exited the vehicle with the gun and backed away from the vehicle while continuing to ignore officers’ repeated loud verbal commands to drop the gun. Officer Vinson perceived Mr. Scott’s actions and movements as an imminent physical threat to himself and the other officers. Officer Vinson fired his issued service weapon, striking Mr. Scott. Officers immediately rendered first aid and requested Medic to respond to the scene.

Homicide Unit Detectives interviewed multiple independent civilian witnesses at the scene and at police headquarters. Those witnesses confirmed that officers gave numerous loud verbal commands for Mr. Scott to drop the weapon and also confirmed that at no time did Mr. Scott comply with their commands.

A lab analysis conducted of the gun crime scene investigators recovered at the scene revealed the presence of Mr. Scott’s DNA and his fingerprints on the gun. It was also determined that the gun Mr. Scott possessed was loaded at the time of the encounter with the officers. The investigation also revealed that Mr. Scott was wearing an ankle holster at the time of the event.

Attached are photos of the gun, ankle holster and marijuana “blunt” in Mr. Scott’s possession at the time of the incident. Additionally, links to the portion of the digital mobile video recorder (dash-cam) and body worn camera footage that capture the time of the shooting are included below.

The body worn camera illustrates the footage from the moment it was turned on until officers began rendering first aid to Mr. Scott

The dash-cam footage is from the time in which the officer operating the car with the dash-cam video arrives on the scene until officers began rendering first aid to Mr. Scott.

All future inquiries about this investigation should be directed to the SBI by contacting them at sbimedia@ncsbi.gov or 919.582.8581.

The post BREAKING: Body Cam and Dash Cam Footage from Charlotte Police Shooting [VIDEO] appeared first on RedState.

The Honourable Member From Iranistan [Small Dead Animals]

Toronto Sun;

The Peterborough MP was previously known as Canada's first Afghan parliamentarian, coming to Canada from Afghanistan in 1996 at the age of 11. But, after being questioned by the Globe and Mail, Monsef says she spoke to her mother and found out she was actually born in Iran.

She's confirmed her passport incorrectly lists Herat, Afghanistan, as her place of birth. It's not known whether her proper birthplace was provided on her citizen or refugee applications.

[...] she's currently leading the charge to change the voting system we've used for 150 years.

Reader Tips [Small Dead Animals]

Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of Nirvana's release of the album Nevermind. So, here's Smells Like Teen Spirit to start your tips thread off.

Or, if you prefer -- the Weird Al version. (h/t nold)

Turnbull's Transformers delete GitHub repo for federated ID project [The Register]

The Digital Transformation Office typifies Australian Government agencies' troubling attitude to privacy

What is going on at the Digital Transformation Office (DTO)?…

R2D2 delivery robots to scurry through the streets of San Francisco [The Register]

Have the makers SEEN the rates of street crime here?

An Estonian robotics company is trailing six-wheeled delivery robots that can trundle through San Francisco delivering goods to the local population.…

Big Software is the next, er, big thing [The Register]

Canonical on OpenStack dev

You’ve heard of hyperscale, but now “Big Software” is the new big thing over at Canonical, and the open source outfit is keen to promote anything that fits with its vision of how massive, hyperscale infrastructure is going to be built and managed in future.…

Australian border cops say they've cracked 'dark net' drug sales [The Register]

'We are well aware of these websites' says black-shirted Border Force

Australian authorities say they can detect dark net transactions.…

New iOS 10 security flaw makes it easier to crack iPhone backups [The Verge - All Posts]

According to Forbes, Apple’s latest iOS release seems to have accidentally weakened the the iPhone’s security, potentially allowing unauthorized access to localized backups.

Elcomsoft, a Russian firm that has created tools to break into iPhones, discovered the vulnerability as it worked to update its phone breaker tool. It found that backups saved after a user updates to iOS 10 uses a new "password verification mechanism" that skips several security checks, according to a blog post.

The attack targets password-protected backups made by iOS 10. If an attacker managed to get one of those backup files without the associated password, Elcomsoft’s new attack would allow it to crack the encryption "approximately 2500 times faster compared to...

Continue reading…

The Fruit Ninja game is going to be a movie [The Verge - All Posts]

After Angry Birds earned more than $300 million at the box office, it was only a matter of time before other studios decided to jump on the bandwagon to adapt mobile phone games. The next one? Fruit Ninja.

New Line Cinemas has snapped up the rights to turn the mobile game — which lets its users slice fruit in half with a swipe of the finger — into a film. J.P. Lavin and Chad Damiani will write the script, which The Hollywood Reporter says will "revolve around a team of misfits who are recruited to become Fruit Ninjas in order to save the world."

Expect plenty of fruit juice merchandising tie-ins when this eventually hits theaters.

Continue reading…

To reduce shipping damages, a Dutch bike company printed a television on their boxes [The Verge - All Posts]

Dutch bicycle manufacturer VanMoof found that it had a problem. As it shipped its products to customers, it found that they were arriving to customers damaged. The company came up with a genius solution: print a graphic of a flatscreen television on the side of the box.

VanMoof had planned on keeping the trick a secret, and it wasn’t until Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal posted up an image of the box that it was revealed:

The damage reports were a major problem for the company because the street bikes that it manufactures are at the...

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Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe weighs in on Palmer Luckey’s apology [The Verge - All Posts]

After revelations that its founder had donated money to a pro-Donald Trump group, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe has joined the discussion, noting in a Facebook post on Friday that "Palmer acted independently in a personal capacity, and was in no way representing the company."

Oculus Rift founder Palmer Luckey apologized on Friday after a Daily Beast article revealed that he had donated a considerable amount of money to Nimble America, a group dedicated to "shitposting" and "meme magic," during the 2016 Presidential Election.

Here’s Iribe’s full statement:

I want to respond to the recent press stories involving Palmer. I know that Palmer is deeply sorry for the impact this situation is having on the company, our partners and the industry.


Continue reading…

A pair of cute robots run into unexpected peril in short film Planet Unknown [The Verge - All Posts]

Shawn Wang’s recently completed short film Planet Unknown looks a bit like WALL·E. It features a pair of rovers sent to a planet to see if it can harbor life, and as they set out to complete their mission, they run into some unexpected troubles.

Comparisons to WALL·E are appropriate

Wang told The Verge that comparisons to WALL·E are appropriate: he was inspired in part by Pixar’s 2008 film. But inspiration came from other places as well: "The idea [for the film] was actually inspired by Interstellar's two robots TARS & CASE. I love those two characters, so I started developing the story about intellectual robots on mission without humans."

In addition to other films, Wang noted that he drew on the design of NASA’s Curiosity,...

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IMDB would be required to remove actors' ages when asked under new California law [The Verge - All Posts]

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill that will require commercial websites to remove information about an actor’s age upon request, in an attempt to combat agism in the state’s film industry.

The law, known as AB-1687, states that commercial online entertainment employment service providers will be required to remove "certain information regarding the subscriber’s age on any companion Internet Web site under the provider’s control if requested by the subscriber." In other words, websites such as the Internet Movie Database and StudioSystem would be compelled to remove an actor’s age if requested.

AB-1687 only applies to commercial websites - which it defines as websites that display ads or receives payment from...

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Tokyo Thrift: The Rez Trance Vibrator is gaming's most intense peripheral [The Verge - All Posts]

If you read our coverage of Tokyo Game Show earlier this month, you'll know that Rez is my favorite game of all time, and that the new version for PlayStation VR is its most spectacular iteration yet. Rez Infinite is the rare example of a pre-existing game that feels like it was designed for virtual reality, despite first coming out fifteen years ago.

But fifteen years ago, designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi was no less concerned with how to amplify the Rez experience, even on modest hardware like the PlayStation 2. Okay, so you couldn't immerse yourself in Rez's wireframe world by enveloping your field of vision with a stereoscopic OLED display. But you could use the Trance Vibrator.

Tokyo Thrift is a column on The Verge where Sam Byford,...

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Europa changed how we saw the solar system [The Verge - All Posts]

On Monday, NASA is set to hold a press conference about some “surprising activity” on Jupiter’s icy moon of Europa. There’s no indication as to what that activity might be, other than it involves the Hubble Space Telescope, but it’s garnering more than one 2010 reference around the internet. Europa has always been a fascinating world that has challenged our view of the nature of the solar system.

First Glimpse

Europa was discovered by accident. Galileo Galilei turned his telescope to observe Jupiter on January 7th, 1610, when he made a startling discovery: the planet was accompanied by four small objects, and over the next several nights, he determined that these objects orbited the planet. He wasn’t alone in this observation: a German...

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How to be human: how to be happy and alone in New York City [The Verge - All Posts]

Leah Reich was one of the first internet advice columnists. Her column "Ask Leah" ran on IGN, where she gave advice to gamers for two and a half years. During the day, Leah is a Senior User Researcher for Slack, but her views here do not represent her employer. You can write to her at askleah@theverge.com and read more How to be Human here.

Dear Leah,

Eight months ago I graduated from a university and moved to New York City to chase my dreams. In the process of doing so, me and my girlfriend (of 18 months) broke up, despite the fact that we were both graduating and moving to NYC at the same time. It was her decision, not mine.

Her stated reasons were that she wanted to enter this new stage of her life unhindered by a relationship....

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The best reason to become US president is to get a new species named after you [The Verge - All Posts]

On Monday night, the two candidates running to be president of the United States will square off in the first debate. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are probably after this job for plenty of reasons, but one neat bonus is having new species named after you. A whole bunch of presidents — past and present — have animals and trees that bear their names.

The current commander in chief, Barack Obama, is pretty popular — especially among fish. In 2012, scientists named a freshwater darter that lives in the Tennessee River Etheostoma Obama, and cited Obama’s environmental leadership as influencing the choice. Earlier this month, a saltwater fish discovered in Hawaii was named after Obama because its dorsal fin coloration was reminiscent of...

Continue reading…

NSA Analyst: The FBI Investigation Of Emailgate Was A Sham… [Weasel Zippers]

FBI going through the motions. Via The Observer: From the moment the EmailGate scandal went public more than a year ago, it was obvious that the Federal Bureau of Investigation never had much enthusiasm for prosecuting Hillary Clinton or her friends. Under President Obama, the FBI grew so politicized that it became impossible for the […]

Protester Arrested At Panther’s Game In Charlotte With Loaded, Concealed Gun [Weasel Zippers]

Protesters were around the stadium, but so far no other incidents. CHARLOTTE, N.C. – One man was arrested outside Bank of America Stadium Sunday after police discovered he was carrying a concealed weapon. According to CMPD, Bruce Garmon, 30, was charged with carrying a concealed weapon. A large crowd of demonstrators assembled outside the stadium […]

Jordanian Christian Writer Shot Dead By Islamist Gunman Outside Court After Being Charged With Insulting Islam… [Weasel Zippers]

Above is the ‘offensive’ cartoon. Via The Telegraph: A prominent Jordanian writer was shot dead by a suspected Islamist gunman on Sunday outside the courtroom where he was due to stand trial for offending Islam by sharing a cartoon on Facebook. Nahed Hattar, a 56-year-old intellectual from Jordan’s Christian minority, was gunned down on the […]

Trump Meets With Netanyahu, Talks Wall, Agrees Jerusalem Capital Of Israel [Weasel Zippers]

Got pointers on walls from Netanyahu. Via The Hill: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for more than a hour on Sunday and talked about the relationship between America and Israel. During the meeting, the two addressed military assistance, security and regional stability, according to a readout from Trump […]

Hillary: We Cannot End Terrorism Without Gun Control… [Weasel Zippers]

When guns are outlawed… Via Breitbart: In response to questions from AARP Bulletin, Hillary Clinton made clear her position that to be successful, policies for ending terrorism must include gun control for all Americans. AARP Bulletin asked, “What would you do to address terrorism?” Clinton responded: Well, these are legitimate fears. I believe that people […]

FBI Docs: State Dept Interfered With FOIA, 1000 Emails To Gen. Petraeus Deleted, Hillary Didn’t Know How To Use Computer… [Weasel Zippers]

We keep finding more emails deleted despite Hillary’s swearing under penalty of perjury that she turned everything over. Also most experienced and intelligent woman ever doesn’t know how to use computer… Via Washington Examiner: A 189-page summary of interviews conducted in the year-long investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private server shed new light on the shifting […]

Tens Of Thousands March Against Same-Sex Marriage In Mexico… [Weasel Zippers]

Obama regime threatens to build the wall if same-sex marriage is denied. Mexico City • Tens of thousands of people marched through Mexico City on Saturday in opposition to President Enrique Pena Nieto’s push to legalize same-sex marriage. Organizers of the National Front for the Family estimated at least 215,000 people participated, and while that […]

Charlotte Officer Involved In Shooting Always Wanted To Be A Cop [Weasel Zippers]

Protesters don’t get that cops are human and don’t actually want to shoot people, especially when they view themselves as wanting to help people, like this guy apparently did. Via Charlotte Observer: Brentley Vinson, the CMPD officer involved in a fatal shooting that sparked protests Tuesday night, grew up in Charlotte, played football at Ardrey […]

Seven People Arrested At Statue Of Andrew Jackson Protest In New Orleans… [Weasel Zippers]

Removing the Confederate memorials will stop the shootings. Via WDSU: Seven people were arrested Saturday at Jackson Square during a protest and attempted removal of the monument at the center of the space. New Orleans police Chief Michael Harrison said during a news conference that he is proud of the work his officers did to […]

Walmart Workers In Georgia Refuse To Make Cake For Police Officer’s Retirement Party, “Could Be Racist” [Weasel Zippers]

Via Todd Starnes: Three Walmart workers in McDonough, Georgia refused to decorate a “thin blue line” cake for a police officer’s retirement party because they said it was racist. A number of my Georgia readers alerted me to the story and on Saturday night I spoke directly with the police officer’s daughter. She asked that […]

Obama’s Global Warming Legacy On Trial… [Weasel Zippers]

Solyndra expected to make a comeback. Via Washington Examiner: The centerpiece of President Obama’s climate change agenda goes to court on Tuesday, where it will face challenges from 28 states, the coal industry and more than 100 other groups. But in a broad sense, it’s the opening salvo of a fierce legal battle that will […]

Cascade Mall Shooting Suspect Arcan Cetin Had Tumblr With Chant To Allah, Pic Of Ted Bundy, Was Sent Pic Of ISIS Leader… [Weasel Zippers]

Arcan Cetin’s actions and social media could lead you to multiple rationales – mentally snapped, upset at former girlfriend who used to work at the place of the shooting. Here’s another. His Tumbler page had a chant to Allah and a picture of Ted Bundy on it. He has contact with someone ‘@meowfraulein’ who has […]

Cascade Mall Suspect Arcan Cetin Had Prior Arrests For Assaults, Police Not Ruling Out Terrorism [Weasel Zippers]

Via Fox News: A suspected gunman believed to have killed five people at a Washington state mall was arrested Saturday, according to authorities. At a news conference, officials said they had not ruled out any possible motives for why 20-year-old Arcan Cetin allegedly shot four women and one man at the Cascade Mall in Burlington […]

Teachers Disciplined For Calling Trump-Supporting Students ‘Racists,’ Stomping On Old Glory In Class… [Weasel Zippers]

A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Via The College Fix: Teachers vent about their jobs all the time, and sometimes they do it on Twitter, Facebook or other social media outlet. But usually it’s in the vaguest of terms: “Man, what a rough day! Period 5 was off the wall!” … or something […]

No, Gennifer Flowers Will Not Be Going To The Debate… [Weasel Zippers]

Aww nuts, that would have been interesting. But they really should invite Juanita Broaddrick. WASHINGTON – Gennifer Flowers, the one-time mistress of Bill Clinton, will not be Donald Trump’s guest at Monday’s debate, his campaign said Sunday in breaking away from the GOP nominee’s public threat. “She will not be attending the debate tomorrow night,” […]

Deputy Secretary Of State Under Hillary May Have Had Personal Email Account Hacked While Negotiating With Iran… [Weasel Zippers]

The hits keep coming. Via The Daily Caller: The Obama administration’s top negotiator on the Iran nuclear deal — and a candidate for secretary of state in a Hillary Clinton administration — told the FBI that hacking attempts were made on her personal email account several years ago during a negotiation session. The bombshell revelation […]

NY Times Endorses Hillary Clinton: “Respect For Her Intellect, Experience And Courage” [Weasel Zippers]

Courage? The courage to break the law with impunity? Via Daily Caller: The New York Times endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president Saturday reads almost entirely as a list of excuses for the candidate’s past mistakes, failings and perceived lack of character. “Running down the other guy won’t suffice to make that argument,” the editorial […]

Seahawks Michael Bennett: ‘You Need A White Guy To Join’ Kaepernick’s Protest… [Weasel Zippers]

Stick to studying game film and leave social justice to the Soros-paid agitators. Via SB Nation: There isn’t a team that has been more outspoken for Colin Kaepernick’s anthem protest than the Seattle Seahawks. On Thursday, Michael Bennett talked about what he feels is the next major step that must happen for the Kaepernick-led charge […]

Demands Of Some Charlotte Protesters: Release All Arrested During ‘Uprising’, Defund Police, Reparations [Weasel Zippers]

Good luck with that… Here’s their page where they repeat the same language and promote false information such as the claim that the police shot Justin Carr during the riots. They are of course asking for money to continue to agitate and for bail. In their statement, they also decry ‘bankers’. They basically justify rioting […]

Extra Security Planned For Panthers-Vikings Game, Declared ‘Extraordinary Event’ After Charlotte Protesters Vow To Shut It Down.… [Weasel Zippers]

The NFL can’t have any outside agitators making a political statement. ‘Protesters’ have vowed to block the entrances so people can’t get into the game. Via Fox News: Charlotte officials plan to add extra security around Bank of America Stadium for Sunday’s NFL game between the Carolina Panthers and Minnesota Vikings amid ongoing protests over […]

Welcome to the Sunday Vignettes! – by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘nother Mike [According To Hoyt]

*I’m trying to do this thing, to increase visibility for the promos.  You should look at the post just below this for the promo.*

Welcome to the Sunday Vignettes! – by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘nother Mike

We hope you will enjoy these, and join in. Luke, Mary Catelli, and ‘nother Mike had this idea that it would be fun for everyone if we ran a regular scheduled vignette session. We asked the Beautiful but Evil Space Princess and she agreed to let us try it.

So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it!  For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.

We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Your writing prompt this week is alchemy.

Hot Promo Coming Through – Free Range Oyster [According To Hoyt]

Hot Promo Coming Through – Free Range Oyster

Happy Saturday, y’all! Autumn has arrived at last, and we have two weeks in a row with a bumper crop of books. Two of our recent guest posters have new releases out, and we’ve several other new books for you to peruse. I’m off to battle bagunça trolls, so have a great weekend and don’t forget to rate and review books! As always, future promo post entries can (and should!) be sent to my email. Happy reading!

Jason Dyck, AKA The Free Range Oyster
Wordsmith, Code Monkey, Chief Cook and Bottle Washer

Alma Boykin

Forcing the Spring

Colplatschki Chronicles Book 9

In NovRodi, danger lurks without the walls. And within.

Pjtor Adamson Svendborg, co-heir to the Empire of NovRodi, survives his best friend’s murder to grow up in the shadow of his ambitious half-sister. But more danger rides outside the walls of the cities, danger that threatens to undo all that the Svendborgs and their followers clawed back from the Great Fires.

To free his people and reclaim that which is his, Pjtor must look outside NovRodi for help, to the men of the Sea Republics. But not all those in the court and Church agree. And Pjtor’s impetuous nature leads him into grave danger indeed.

Stephanie Osborn

Fear in the French Quarter

Displaced Detective

Fear in the French Quarter revolves around a jaunt by no less than Sherlock Holmes himself – brought to the modern day from an alternate universe’s Victorian era by his continuum parallel, who is now his wife, Dr. Skye Chadwick-Holmes – to famed New Orleans for both business and pleasure. There, the detective couple investigates ghostly apparitions, strange disappearances, mystic phenomena, and challenge threats to the very universe they call home.

It was supposed to be a working holiday for Skye and Sherlock, along with their friend, the modern day version of Doctor Watson – some federal training that also gave them the chance to explore New Orleans, as the ghosts of the French Quarter become exponentially more active. When the couple uncovers an imminently catastrophic cause, whose epicenter lies squarely in the middle of Le Vieux Carré, they must race against time to stop it before the whole thing breaks wide open – and more than one universe is destroyed.

David L. Burkhead

The Hordes of Chanakra

Knights of Aerioch

Pulled into an alternate world mired in the middle ages, Kreg finds allies in Kaila, a rough swordmistress, and her wizardly father. He’s also found their foes – an unending horde pouring forth from the small nation next door.

Now, he’s in a race against time to find the true source, before everything he cares about ends in fire and death!


Science Fiction by Scientists

This anthology contains fourteen intriguing stories by active research scientists and other writers trained in science.

Science is at the heart of real science fiction, which is more than just westerns with ray guns or fantasy with spaceships. The people who do science and love science best are scientists. Scientists like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Fred Hoyle wrote some of the legendary tales of golden age science fiction. Today there is a new generation of scientists writing science fiction informed with the expertise of their fields, from astrophysics to computer science, biochemistry to rocket science, quantum physics to genetics, speculating about what is possible in our universe. Here lies the sense of wonder only science can deliver. All the stories in this volume are supplemented by afterwords commenting on the science underlying each story.

Includes stories by Stephanie Osborn, Tedd Roberts, and Les Johnson

Now available for preorder

Enigma Front: Burnt

CAUTION: Don’t burn your fingers turning the pages of this action-packed volume!

From elemental wizardry gone wickedly wrong to devilish deeds and futures up in flames, these twenty one stories set the pages ablaze exploring the myriad ways of getting singed, fried and outright incinerated. Read stories by established, award-winning authors, as well as newly ignited lights in the creative universe.

Flames, acid, radiation, steam, broken hearts and broken deals…


Includes the story Ember by Christopher Chupik

Kal Spriggs

The Sacred Stars

The Shadow Space Chronicles Book 4

You can never go home.

Alannis Giovanni has followed in her family’s footsteps and joined the United Colonies Fleet. As a bare Ensign, she’s been assigned to the Fleet’s newest, most powerful cruiser, the Constellation, on it’s maiden voyage: a simple show-the-flag mission that should be good for her to learn what it is to be an officer.

But things are never simple. At their most distant port, they come across allies in need. The Ghornath species are in search of their origins and an array of enemies are trying to stop them. The crew of the Constellation will have to face pirates, aliens, and uncover a ten thousand-year-old secret in order not just to save their allies, but to thwart a threat that might well catch the rest of the Fleet off-guard.

These battles will test Alannis, force her to grow and become the officer that her position and blood demand of her… yet the greatest threat may be one she is the least prepared to face.

J.M. Ney-Grimm


Prince Kellor, cursed by the troll-witch Mandine to live as a north-bear, wrestles with the challenges of his beast form. Pain wracks his body. Unpredictable rages blur his mind. And straight thinking proves elusive, confusing his search for the loopholes that every curse possesses.

His curse turns on the choices of his childhood friend Elle. She once shared Kellor’s idyllic rambles through the wilderlands. She now loves all things musical. Might Kellor persuade her to neglect her own dreams to confront his lethal nightmare? Should he?

But no troll-witch permits her prey to escape with ease. The illusory loopholes in Mandine’s curse all twist back to its entombing heart.

J.M. Ney-Grimm tells a lyrical Beauty and the Beast tale, rife with moments of shining glory, dark magnificence, and unexpected significance. The fate of an empire, a people, and a world unfurls from Kellor’s deeds and Elle’s choices.

Also available from these fine booksellers:

Edward Willett

Flames of Nevyana

Blue Fire is both blessing and curse.

A gift from the gods, its mystical light and energy powers and protects the land of Nevyana, but it also divides her people into three distinct groups. In the wrong hands, it becomes a formidable weapon. When sacred objects for channelling Blue Fire are stolen, sworn enemies Petra, Amlinn, and Jin set out to find them, and their paths converge on a collision course with the truth. Can they bridge the centuries old division between their communities? Or will their search for the truth and the explosive power of Blue Fire signal the end of Nevyana?

Anti-Economics from The Economist [International Liberty]

When I was younger, folks in the policy community joked that BusinessWeek was the “anti-business business weekly” because its coverage of the economy was just as stale and predictably left wing as what you would find in the pages of Time or Newsweek.

Well, perhaps it’s time for The Economist to be known as the “anti-economics economic weekly.”

Writing about the stagnation that is infecting western nations, the magazine beclowns itself by regurgitating stale 1960s-style Keynesianism. The article is worthy of a fisking (i.e., a “point-by-point debunking of lies and/or idiocies”), starting with the assertion that central banks saved the world at the end of last decade.

During the financial crisis the Federal Reserve and other central banks were hailed for their actions: by slashing rates and printing money to buy bonds, they stopped a shock from becoming a depression.

I’m certainly open to the argument that the downturn would have been far worse if the banking system hadn’t been recapitalized (even if it should have happened using the “FDIC-resolution approach” rather than via corrupt bailouts), but that’s a completely separate issue from whether Keynesian monetary policy was either desirable or successful.

Regarding the latter question, just look around the world. The Fed has followed an easy-money policy. Has that resulted in a robust recovery for America? The European Central Bank (ECB) has followed the same policy. Has that worked? And the Bank of Japan (BoJ) has done the same thing. Does anyone view Japan’s economy as a success?

At least the article acknowledges that there are some skeptics of the current approach.

The central bankers say that ultra-loose monetary policy remains essential to prop up still-weak economies and hit their inflation targets. …But a growing chorus of critics frets about the effects of the low-rate world—a topsy-turvy place where savers are charged a fee, where the yields on a large fraction of rich-world government debt come with a minus sign, and where central banks matter more than markets in deciding how capital is allocated.

The Economist, as you might expect, expresses sympathy for the position of the central bankers.

In most of the rich world inflation is below the official target. Indeed, in some ways central banks have not been bold enough. Only now, for example, has the BoJ explicitly pledged to overshoot its 2% inflation target. The Fed still seems anxious to push up rates as soon as it can.

The preceding passage is predicated on the assumption that there is a mechanistic tradeoff between inflation and unemployment (the so-called Phillips Curve), one of the core concepts of Keynesian economics. According to adherents, all-wise central bankers can push inflation up if they want lower unemployment and push inflation down if they want to cool the economy.

This idea has been debunked by real world events because inflation and unemployment simultaneously rose during the 1970s (supposedly impossible according the Keynesians) and simultaneously fell during the 1980s (also a theoretical impossibility according to advocates of the Phillips Curve).

But real-world evidence apparently can be ignored if it contradicts the left’s favorite theories.

That being said, we can set aside the issue of Keynesian monetary policy because the main thrust of the article is an embrace of Keynesian fiscal policy.

…it is time to move beyond a reliance on central banks. …economies need succour now. The most urgent priority is to enlist fiscal policy. The main tool for fighting recessions has to shift from central banks to governments.

As an aside, the passage about shifting recession fighting “from central banks to governments” is rather bizarre since the Fed, the ECB, and the BoJ are all government entities. Either the reporter or the editor should have rewritten that sentence so that it concluded with “shift from central banks to fiscal policy” or something like that.

In any event, The Economist has a strange perspective on this issue. It wants Keynesian fiscal policy, yet it worries about politicians using that approach to permanently expand government. And it is not impressed by the fixation on “shovel-ready” infrastructure spending.

The task today is to find a form of fiscal policy that can revive the economy in the bad times without entrenching government in the good. …infrastructure spending is not the best way to prop up weak demand. …fiscal policy must mimic the best features of modern-day monetary policy, whereby independent central banks can act immediately to loosen or tighten as circumstances require.

So The Economist endorses what it refers to as “small-government Keynesianism,” though that’s simply its way of saying that additional spending increases (and gimmicky tax cuts) should occur automatically.

…there are ways to make fiscal policy less politicised and more responsive. …more automaticity is needed, binding some spending to changes in the economic cycle. The duration and generosity of unemployment benefits could be linked to the overall joblessness rate in the economy, for example.

In the language of Keynesians, such policies are known as “automatic stabilizers,” and there already are lots of so-called means-tested programs that operate this way. When people lose their jobs, government spending on unemployment benefits automatically increases. During a weak economy, there also are automatic spending increases for programs such as Food Stamps and Medicaid.

I guess The Economist simply wants more programs that work this way, or perhaps bigger handouts for existing programs. And the magazine views this approach as “small-government Keynesianism” because the spending increases theoretically evaporate as the economy starts growing and fewer people are automatically entitled to receive benefits from the various programs.

Regardless, whoever wrote the article seems convinced that such programs help boost the economy.

When the next downturn comes, this kind of fiscal ammunition will be desperately needed. Only a small share of public spending needs to be affected for fiscal policy to be an effective recession-fighting weapon.

My reaction, for what it’s worth, is to wonder why the article doesn’t include any evidence to bolster the claim that more government spending is and “effective” way of ending recessions and boosting growth. Though I suspect the author of the article didn’t include any evidence because it’s impossible to identify any success stories for Keynesian economics.

  • Did Keynesian spending boost the economy under Hoover? No.
  • Did Keynesian spending boost the economy under Roosevelt? No.
  • Has Keynesian spending worked in Japan at any point over the past twenty-five years? No.
  • Did Keynesian spending boost the economy under Obama? No.

Indeed, Keynesian spending has an unparalleled track record of failure in the real world. Though advocates of Keynesianism have a ready-built excuse. All the above failures only occurred because the spending increases were inadequate.

But what do expect from the “perpetual motion machine” of Keynesian economics, a theory that is only successful if you assume it is successful?

I’m not surprised that politicians gravitate to this idea. After all, it tells them that their vice  of wasteful overspending is actually a virtue.

But it’s quite disappointing that journalists at an allegedly economics-oriented magazine blithely accept this strange theory.

P.S. My second-favorite story about Keynesian economics involves the sequester, which big spenders claimed would cripple the economy, yet that’s when we got the only semi-decent growth of the Obama era.

P.P.S. My favorite story about Keynesianism is when Paul Krugman was caught trying to blame a 2008 recession in Estonia on spending cuts that occurred in 2009.

P.P.P.S. Here’s my video explaining Keynesian economics.


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Transterrestrial Musings XML 2016-09-25 18:07 2016-09-25 18:17
Ubuntu Fridge XML 2016-09-25 18:07 2016-09-25 18:17
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Voices for the Library XML 2016-09-25 18:07 2016-09-25 18:17
Walt at Random XML 2016-09-25 18:07 2016-09-25 18:17
Weasel Zippers XML 2016-09-25 18:07 2016-09-25 18:17
Welcome to the FUNcube Web Site XML 2016-09-25 18:07 2016-09-25 18:17
WIL WHEATON dot NET XML 2016-09-25 18:07 2016-09-25 18:17
Wizbang XML 2016-09-25 18:07 2016-09-25 18:17
Works and Days XML 2016-09-25 18:07 2016-09-25 18:17
Xfce Blog XML 2016-09-25 18:07 2016-09-25 18:17
xkcd.com XML 2016-09-25 18:07 2016-09-25 18:17
Xubuntu » Blog XML 2016-09-25 18:07 2016-09-25 18:17
Yourish.com XML 2016-09-25 18:07 2016-09-25 18:17