Thursday, July 20, 2017
More than a year after a mandate for the Pentagon opened previously closed ground combat and special operations jobs to women, officials say the Navy has its first female candidates for its most elite special warfare roles.
What's that movie with Demi Moore? Terrible movie.
As the shepherd Ercan Ozer explains, one sheep first jumped off a cliff and then all the other 79 followed. The sheep owner tried to stop the crazy animals in vain only saving a small part of his herd.
The shepherd cannot explains the suicide phenomenon and argues the sheep were not scared and were not in danger.
The University of California, Berkeley officially announced it has been unable to find a venue for conservative commentator Ben Shapiro’s September 14 speaking engagement on the university campus.
The cancellation comes just months after Berkeley cancelled a speech with Ann Coulter, and the campus riot which prevented Milo Yiannopoulos from taking the stage.
While some on social media are calling it just another example of liberal hypocrisy and the left playing gatekeeper, Shapiro is calling it “bullshit” and vows to make it to the campus one way or another.
Donald Trump has a secret weapon. Even as controversies swirl around him like galaxies colliding, one scandal or outrage smashing into the next before the last one has fully sunk into citizens’ brains, Trump remains on his feet, defiant. He knows something his foes don’t know—or can’t admit. He knows that as low as he might go in the polls, his enemies are truly, comprehensively, utterly bankrupt in the public’s eyes. The American people may not like Trump, but they loathe the forces of respectability arrayed against him. The media? Congressional Democrats? The Republican establishment? With enemies like those, Trump hardly needs friends.
Warning: don’t read too much about the future of jobs in an era of Artificial Intelligence if you are—psychologically speaking—in a dark place. If you’re a lover of the arts and humanities, for example, you should probably go full hermit in the basement of a university library with plenty of provisions (but no WiFi). If you greet all technological advances with gee-whiz enthusiasm, you’d best avoid long conversations with people who make a living driving trucks or reading X-rays. If you’re an antiglobalization protectionist, get ready to look with longing on a time when the biggest threats to jobs were NAFTA and an ascendant China. And even if you believe in the long-term benefits of what economist Joseph Schumpeter called creative destruction—as I do—prepare to have your convictions tested.
This is what I'm afraid of.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
After McConnell conceded Monday night that he did not have enough votes to pass the Senate version of the healthcare bill, he suffered another defeat Tuesday when GOP colleagues quickly smacked down his backup plan: pass the ObamaCare repeal-only bill that cleared the Senate and House in 2015.
But a senior Senate Republican aide bristled at the notion that McConnell fumbled the ball.
“Repeal-only is what Leader McConnell wanted to do in January. The president wanted to do repeal and replace,” the aide said.
Oy vay chihuahua.
OJ Simpson could be denied parole after he was caught pleasuring himself in his cell - strictly verboten in federal prisons in the U.S. - a prison source has told Dailymail.com.
'OJ is facing a disciplinary hearing after being written up for masturbating in his prison cell,' said the source. 'He was caught by a female corrections officer making her normal rounds in late June.'
I'm not sure this story is true. I'm not sure OJ did this. Even if he did, it's a ridiculous, inhumane rule. What else are you supposed to do in your cell? Still, the guy did kill two people. (He also gained over 10,000 yards in NFL play.)
Too many people believe that slavery is a "peculiar institution." That's what Kenneth Stampp called slavery in his book, "Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South." But slavery is by no means peculiar, odd or unusual. It was common among ancient peoples such as the Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Hittites, Greeks, Persians, Armenians and many others. Large numbers of Christians were enslaved during the Ottoman wars in Europe. White slaves were common in Europe from the Dark Ages to the Middle Ages. It was only after A.D. 1600 that Europeans joined with Arabs and Africans and started the Atlantic slave trade. As David P. Forsythe wrote in his book, "The Globalist," "The fact remained that at the beginning of the nineteenth century an estimated three-quarters of all people alive were trapped in bondage against their will either in some form of slavery or serfdom."
Three-quarters is a lot. Not sure about Williams's source. Still, 1800 was a pretty primitive place.
Pope Francis’s political, social, and economic thinking has created great consternation, but he has also roused tremendous interest of Catholics and those outside the Catholic Church in his pontificate. Daniel Mahoney has written widely about Pope Francis and joins this edition of Liberty Law Talk to discuss what he thinks are the keys to understanding the current head of the Roman Catholic Church.
The internet as we know it is nearly 30 years old. Sure, the web is a bit more complicated — and more intricately connected — than it was 30 years ago, but it’s no less of a modern Wild West today than it was in the 90s (although you may need to dig deep into the darknet to experience the real gun-slinging). The freedoms and anonymity we enjoy online are, however, constantly under scrutiny, by both governments and businesses alike.
This is a guide to online speech that was sent to me. It looks OK, from what I can tell.
Monday, July 17, 2017
A “hard mass” that appeared to be a “bluish foreign body” was removed from the woman’s eye by surgeons who learned it was really 17 lenses fused together by mucus, The BMJ said in a report published this month.
Doctors used a microscope and found another 10 lenses in her eye.
The woman, who was not identified, said she has worn disposable contact lenses for 35 years – but didn’t regularly visit the eye doctor. She chalked up her eye discomfort to old age and dry eye.
Just wear glasses. Yes, you look better in contacts but you're not that great looking anyway.
The most adventurous choose from among a half-dozen vintage tanks, steering one like the Cold War-era Leopard around a rugged course through the South Texas brush. Topping the menu is one of the M4 Shermans that helped the Allies win World War ??II. For $2,800, guests can drive the famed tank and then hurl a round from its massive turret at an abandoned car hundreds of yards down range.
Jason and Bill, are you reading this?
Some of the responses to the news that Donald Trump Jr. met with a slew of Russians seem a tad unhinged. We should reject the outlandish claim that the meeting “borders on treason,” as former White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter put it. Moreover, it is far from evident that the meeting even violates campaign finance laws, as a number of legal scholars have asserted.
But we should also dismiss those who argue that the meeting is “such a nothing” (in the words of Trump Jr.). We can do so because that runs counter to months of insistent denial that there was any connection between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. It now seems clear that several members of that campaign were willing to make a connection.
This article is by Sai Prakash, who used to be my colleague at USD. A good guy.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — O.J. Simpson, the former football star, TV pitchman and now Nevada prison inmate No. 1027820, will have a lot going for him when he asks state parole board members this week to release him after serving more than eight years for an ill-fated bid to retrieve sports memorabilia.
Yes, he's a murderer, but he's a murderer who gained over 10,000 yards.
An article in the Sunday Review section of the July 16 New York Times posed a question which, once upon a more innocent time, would have been considered nonsensical: “When Is Speech Violence?” The response of any person who cares about the clarity of language would properly be “Never,” but Lisa Feldman Barrett, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University, asserts in the Times piece that the science is settled: “speech that bullies and torments” is “literally a form of violence.”
It might seem obvious, Barrett begins, that “violence is physically damaging; verbal statements aren’t.” Yes, that should be obvious to anyone except illiberals, who know that whoever controls the language controls minds. So they are hell-bent on weaponizing words to advance their totalitarian agenda.
Actually speech can be violence of a sort. As is silence. Just about anything can be violent, if you're particular about the context. If I am conspicuously silent when a piano is about to fall on your head, and you could easily move out of the way, it's not that much of a departure from ordinary speech to say my silence is violent, if I don't say anything because I relish the prospect of seeing you crushed by a piano. We just draw the line a speech/no speech because it's proved to be the most convenient line to prevent the state from abusing its powers. But the cost of this pragmatic line is that I expose myself to the various stupid or malicious things people say out there in the public or semi-public forum. You don't need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out that the left and especially the philosophical left thinks there's something to be gained by discussing various ways to shut people up who are engaging in what was formerly known as political speech. Of course political speech sometimes hurts feelings. And if you like, that's violence of a sort. Does that mean no one should speak in a way that hurts people's feelings? Hardly. The truth hurts. Worse to be false than hurtful. The left seems to specialize in statements that baffle the right, soothe the left, and are quite false. That should be permitted, but not encouraged, valorized or made exclusively legal.
Justine Ruszczyk called 911 on Saturday night because she thought a sexual assault might be taking place in a back alley near her home, the source said.But after Minneapolis police arrived, an officer shot and killed Ruszczyk.Police still haven't explain how, or why.
That'll teach her.
The “decadent, lazy, spoiled” Americans who aren’t good enough for Bill Kristol and who ex-conservative Bret Stephens wants to deport and replace with cheap foreign imports, the small towns that National Review’s Kevin Williamson says deserve to die are fighting for their lives. They want their country back. And they have more in common with Kid Rock than with the Republican elites who have turned their backs on flyover America.
I don't think I've ever listened to a Kid Rock song. Maybe I have and just don't know it. But there absolutely is something to this view of professional conservatives who just inhabit think tanks and pet jobs at liberal publications and live on the East Coast. I'm not sure that gets one all the way to Kid Rock, however. We need a national conservative party and someone better than Trump to lead it.
The Victoria police in his native Australia have now announced that they are filing “multiple charges in respect to historic sexual offenses” against Pell. This has come as no surprise to those familiar with the fantastic campaign of false allegations of sexual abuse that has been conducted against the cardinal: allegations of which he has been consistently exonerated. But despite that fact — or perhaps because of it — the campaign has recently intensified Down Under, creating a thoroughly poisonous public climate exacerbated by poorly sourced but widely disseminated allegations, no respect for elementary fairness, and a curious relationship between elements of the Australian media and the Victoria police during the two years the investigation leading to the current changes has been underway. So it may be worthwhile, before offering a few of my own thoughts on another angle in this tawdry business, to note several recent comments from Australians who have not been caught up in an atmosphere of hysteria and persecution that inevitably invites comparison to Salem, Mass., in the 17th century.
MELBOURNE, Australia July 14, 2014 (LifeSiteNews): There’s something rotten in the State of Victoria, and Cardinal Pell’s defenders say it is the Police Commissioner’s decision to charge him. Prolific author George Weigel, a friend of Pell’s for fifty years, compares the case to the Salem witch trials.
TONTO NATIONAL FOREST, Ariz. -- Adults, teens and children as young as 2 were enjoying a summer afternoon by cooling off in an Arizona creek when.
The group from the Phoenix and Flagstaff areas had met Saturday for a day trip along a popular swimming hole near Payson, about 100 miles northeast of the capital. They set up lounge chairs not knowing an intense thunderstorm was dumping heavy rainfall just upstream in the Tonto National Forest.
The storm unleashed 6-foot-high floodwaters, dark with ash from a summer wildfire, onto the unsuspecting family and friends. The torrent carried away tree branches and other debris and left a wake of nine bodies.
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Update, 9:37 p.m. A second student has been arrested in connection with the case, according to online records from the sheriff’s office. He’s identified in the Inmate Locator system as 21-year-old Peter Estrada. Estrada, also a UC Berkeley student, was arrested on a warrant in Berkeley at 5:10 p.m. Friday. He is being held on $85,000 bail on suspicion of the same crimes Chamu is alleged to have committed. Both are set for arraignment Monday.
Original post, July 14, 11:23 a.m. A UC Berkeley student who said Berkeley police racially profiled him when they arrested him near campus in late June is back in jail in connection with a vandalism and hate crime case BPD said it was investigating last week.
I just assume most of these crimes are provocations. Also, this is why I took off my relaxed rattlesnake don't tread on me sticker (the Navy Jack) before traveling to Berkeley. I didn't want to get my tires slashed. I left on my USSOC sticker because I don't think these bozos are much for reading the semi-fine print.
“War for the Planet of the Apes” is officially the box office champ, during a weekend that demands a close look.
My 13 year old and I saw it over the weekend. My verdict: pretty good for a movie about intelligent apes. My favorite character was the naked ape who had to wear clothes to keep warm and was the comic relief. I also liked (spoiler alert) the big avalanche and mysterious physics that wiped out the humans yet spared the apes. Given that Ceasar (spoiler!) dies in the end, it's all rather Mosaic. I think the original better though.
Ladies, brace your ovaries.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was serving up a pancake breakfast at the Calgary Stampede on Saturday and he was photographed with a very special little man. Trudeau met baby Justin Trudeau, the son of Syrian immigrants who was named after the man as an act of gratitude. The boy’s parents, Afraa Hajj Hammoud and Mohammed Bilal, arrived in Canada in February of 2016 and named their newborn in May.
This is, a believe, what free republic calls a "barf alert."
The farcical element continues to predominate in Russiagate, including with the mostly ignored Russian influence on FBI chief James Comey’s actions.
But real trouble can flow even from a farce. Thinkers for whom Russia was just one problem in a world full of problems, who previously did not identify Moscow as the No. 1 enemy, now do so, vociferously, for fear of being lumped in with Mr. Trump as a traitor to America or some such.
A mob is a machine for mass-producing cowards and bullies. That’s where we are now. Just turn on cable TV.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
The framers of our Constitution gave the president important authority over foreign affairs, including the power to nominate ambassadors, negotiate treaties and receive foreign ambassadors. From the earliest days of the Republic, other nations sought to reciprocate their appreciation by giving presents to the American chief magistrate. In 1791, for example, Washington received, accepted and kept a valuable gilt-framed full-length portrait of King Louis XVI from the French ambassador to the United States. Here too, Washington did not seek congressional consent for this gift.
On Supporting Donald Trump in 2016
"I'm digging Trump. I feel like a lot of people, whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, feel like if you get Hillary or Bernie, or you get Rubio or Cruz or whoever, there's going to be the same shit. Has that much fucking changed when anyone's in office, whether it's been a Republican or a Democrat in office, in our lifetime, anyway? I haven't really seen this big, like, fucking change. Obviously some people fucked up. [Laughs] That's a long debate. My feeling: let the motherfucking business guy run it like a fucking business. And his campaign has been entertaining as shit.” – Rolling Stone, February 2016
When the worms are ready for lunch, their multitasking orifice unfolds “a sheet-like pharynx lined with glands" that "lays on top of the animal that it’s about to eat," usually earthworms, Ducey says.
Whatever floats your boat.
On July 14, a truck carrying thousands of fish wrecked on Oregon’s highway, covering the road and at least one car in slime and creating surely one of the most bizarre traffic jams in history.
The culprit? Hagfish, deep-sea scavengers that look a bit like eels and are capable of generating massive amounts of anti-predator mucus at a moment’s notice. The Pacific Northwest is home to several hagfish fisheries that supply the fish to many Asian countries, including South Korea, where it is a prized dish.
Hagfish are eyeless, jawless chordates that burrow into their victims (usually dead; they're scavengers) and eat them from the inside out. Just so you know. Their copious and extremely slippery mucous somehow helps them in this process. They are found at the bottom of the deep ocean.
Trump administration lawyers voicing frustration with a federal judge in Hawaii have asked the Supreme Court to intervene again and to allow the government to strictly enforce its temporary foreign travel ban.
The acting U.S. solicitor general said the justices should issue a ruling to clarify the travel ban or, at minimum, block the latest ruling by U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii.
"At this point, this court's intervention is both necessary and warranted," Jeffery Wall, the acting Solicitor General, said in an appeal filed Friday evening.
SHOCKER. You Won't Believe Who Employed the "Former Soviet Counterintelligence Official" in Trump Meeting
Naturally, the same cadre of NeverTrumpers and anti-Trumpers were quick off the mark tying this guy, Rinat Akhmetshin, by inference, to the KGB/SVR/FSB and to the Trump campaign. Sometimes to read this stuff you’d think there was a law against using Google or maybe your brain.
There is a problem with this story. Rinat Akhmetshin works for/with Fusion GPS.
Oh. Well. That seems relevant.
It was always obvious that ride hailing (or ride sharing) apps such as Uber and Lyft were going to cause big problems for the cab companies. The traditional taxi operations (and their unions) were either going to have to up their game and offer better service or they would go the way of the dinosaur. But in New York City, the rise of this new business model is being blamed for the downfall of some lenders who specialize in catering to the cab industry. The Associated Press has the details.
I used Uber in London and Kiev and it was fine, always prompt and fairly professional. I used cabs as well. You could sometimes hail them on the street and they were quite a bit more professional. They also cost twice as much. In Warsaw, my Uber site was acting funny, which may have been a result of the controversy there over Uber. There I used a cab, which had to be called for me. Interestingly, you don't need to know the local language to use Uber.
Readers of this blog don't need a defense of Uber. Of course it should exist, thrive and so on. The same goes for airbnb. We used it exclusively, and never darkened the door of a hotel. Why should we? There can be minor inconveniences with airbnb, but you're paying less than half what a hotel goes for. In some locations, such as Berkeley CA, you can get a teeny, tiny hotel room for $300-$400 per night, or a perfectly nice apartment with local touches for under $200. That is what we call a no-brainerino. All hail the sharing economy! I understand there are people who rent out their places in violation of local law and then do not report their earnings on their income taxes. That disturbs me deeply.
More than three years after it thundered out of the Syrian-Iraqi desert on its genocidal rampage and spread its tentacles from northern Africa to central Asia, the so-called Islamic State has suffered its worst week ever. Newly emboldened Iraqi army and militia forces ejected ISIS from its second-largest urban stronghold in Mosul, while Kurdish YPG forces began seizing ground in its so-called capital of Raqqa. Russia and the US signed off on a cease-fire in southwestern Syria which will allow the US and its allies a freer hand to operate in the east against ISIS forces.
And it couldn't happen to nicer fellas (and fellaettes!).
Second, this underscores a point I’ve been shouting at the TV all week: Why the Hell are people taking the word of anyone in that meeting as proof of anything? Before this morning’s revelation, even members of the Trump-hostile press repeated that “nothing came of the meeting” or that “no information was given.” On the Trump Aqueduct, this was translated into the whole story being a “nothingburger.”
Where did the proof of this come from? From the people in the room! Jiminy Cricket, that’s stupid.
I'm having trouble keeping the lies straight, let alone the statements that might be lies. Then, of course, there are justified lies, unjustified lies, and so on. I guess we'll just have to let History sort it out. Ho, ho. Little joke.
I've Worked with Refugees for Decades. Europe's Afghan Crime Wave Is Mind-Boggling. | The National Interest
This brings us to a third, more compelling and quite disturbing theory—the one that my Afghan friend, the court translator, puts forward. On the basis of his hundreds of interactions with these young men in his professional capacity over the past several years, he believes to have discovered that they are motivated by a deep and abiding contempt for Western civilization. To them, Europeans are the enemy, and their women are legitimate spoils, as are all the other things one can take from them: housing, money, passports. Their laws don’t matter, their culture is uninteresting and, ultimately, their civilization is going to fall anyway to the horde of which one is the spearhead. No need to assimilate, or work hard, or try to build a decent life here for yourself—these Europeans are too soft to seriously punish you for a transgression, and their days are numbered.
Oh. Well I guess that could be it.
I've Worked with Refugees for Decades. Europe's Afghan Crime Wave Is Mind-Boggling. | The National Interest
But there was one development that had not been expected, and was not tolerable: the large and growing incidence of sexual assaults committed by refugees against local women. These were not of the cultural-misunderstanding-date-rape sort, but were vicious, no-preamble attacks on random girls and women, often committed by gangs or packs of young men. At first, the incidents were downplayed or hushed up—no one wanted to provide the right wing with fodder for nationalist agitation, and the hope was that these were isolated instances caused by a small problem group of outliers. As the incidents increased, and because many of them took place in public or because the public became involved either in stopping the attack or in aiding the victim afterwards, and because the courts began issuing sentences as the cases came to trial, the matter could no longer be swept under the carpet of political correctness. And with the official acknowledgment and public reporting, a weird and puzzling footnote emerged. Most of the assaults were being committed by refugees of one particular nationality: by Afghans.
Yeah, it's weird.
The Trump administration has told the Supreme Court that a lower court ruling earlier this week altering an executive order on immigration would bring thousands more refugees into the county and requires the justices’ “immediate intervention,” according to filing documents obtained early Saturday by Fox News.
Hawaii's in the 9th Circuit, of course.
Texas’ uniquely jagged borders, off-centered curves and, you know, the fact that it clocks in at about twice as large as many of the other 49 states surrounding it, serves to differentiate it without the help of its residents. Or their penchant for self-branding with tattoos in the shape of its likeness.
Texans are always on about how big Texas is. But if you pounded Idaho flat it would probably be about the same size. (Not true, but it gives Texans who've had a few pause.)
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is sounding the alarm with her Democratic base, warning a Senate run by Detroit bad boy Kid Rock could be the second coming of Donald Trump.
Well Wisconsin has that comedian, whatever his name is. My memory isn't what it was.
Al Franken. Minnesota. Christ.
Friday, July 14, 2017
The calamitous scene unfolded when an unidentified woman crouched for a selfie in front of a row of crowns displayed individually on pedestals and fell backward, triggering an unstoppable domino effect in a room described by the gallery as “a serene space.”
A video, posted on YouTube Thursday, captured the mishap at the 14th Factory as each pedestal fell onto the next.
With a slew of formals and May Balls being organised by societies to mark the end of the academic year, you couldn’t possibly be more nervous about being judged on tea etiquette. Gowns can be rented for a special day. A white (or black) bowtie could be borrowed from that dependable friend. But what if you strike up a conversation with a Cambridge don (with possibly an OBE to boot!) at one of these events and don’t know whether to add the tea or milk infusion first to the sparkling bone-china. There ends your reputation. This question is so sensitive that celebrated English tea connoisseur (and writer) George Orwell famously described himself as a tea-before-milk person. Here we try to assuage such fears by approaching this quintessential question from the perspective of a mathematician. Does it really matter whether you add tea or milk first and can your taste buds detect such an order?
And what should you do with the tea bag?
July 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The confusion caused by Pope Francis in the Catholic Church is out of control. There have been so many incidents over the last four years that the specifics, despite their grave damage, are often forgotten. In an effort to encourage prayer for an end to the confusion and disorientation in the Church, LifeSite presents the following A-Z list of concerns with Pope Francis.
My view was: Collusion? I just don’t see it. But I’m open to empirical evidence. Show me.
The evidence is now shown. This is not hearsay, not fake news, not unsourced leaks. This is an email chain released by Donald Trump Jr. himself. A British go-between writes that there’s a Russian government effort to help Trump Sr. win the election, and as part of that effort he proposes a meeting with a “Russian government attorney” possessing damaging information on Hillary Clinton. Moreover, the Kremlin is willing to share troves of incriminating documents from the Crown Prosecutor. (Error: Britain has a Crown Prosecutor. Russia has a State Prosecutor.)
I don't know. Can you have a crime of attempted collusion? Oh, probably. Conspiracy is pretty vague. I'd be inclined to just let it go, but our betters disagree.
This is Charles Krauthammer, hammer of the neo-cons.
HERE IS A PLACE BEYOND the mountains of the Great Dividing Range, lost to the shining lights of Australia’s suburban sprawl. Known vaguely, if romantically, as the outback, or the bush, it has no demarcated border but refers to the nation’s vast, sparsely populated interior — 73 percent of Australia’s territory — more than two million square miles — dotted with 5 percent of its 24 million people.
It looks a bit like southern Idaho.