Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Happy President’s Day

Monday, February 20th, 2017

In celebration, I’m relinking this classic Presidential knife fight post:

In a mass knife fight to the death between every American President, who would win and why? Someone beat me to the obvious answer that a final showdown would see Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt doing a dagger-wielding version of a Mexican standoff, so I took it too far and walked through how I thought every president would turn out. An hour later the result greatly exceeded the maximum 10,000 character limit for a post, so I’ve decided to blog about it instead.

Read the whole thing, if you haven’t already. It’s pretty much why blogging was invented…

LinkSwarm for February 17, 2017

Friday, February 17th, 2017

Welcome to another Friday LinkSwarm! Absent from this roundup is who really got National Security Advisor Mike Flynn axed, because there’s not enough time in the world to read all those links…

  • Illegal alien convicted of that voting fraud Democrats swear doesn’t exit. Pro-tip: One key to avoiding deportations is to avoid committing felonies… (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • “If a border wall stopped a small fraction of the illegal immigrants who are expected to come in the next decade, the fiscal savings from having fewer illegal immigrants in the country would be sufficient to cover the costs of the wall.”
  • Revised executive travel order coming soon?
  • Former Democratic Senator Jim Webb has a message for Democrats:

    The Democrats have not done the kind of self reflection that they should have, starting in 2010. And I was talking about this in the ’10 elections. You’ve lost white working people, you’ve lost flyover land, and you saw in this election what happens when people get frustrated enough that they say, ‘I’m not going to take this Aristocracy.’ You know Bernie’s a good friend of mine, Bernie can talk about Aristocracies all he wants.

    You know, the fact that you’ve made money doesn’t make you a member of that philosophy. Look at Franklin Roosevelt. But there is an Aristocracy now that pervades American politics, it’s got to be broken somehow, in both parties, and I think that’s what the Trump message was that echoed so strongly in these flyover communities.

    One wonders if Webb was using “flyover country” for emphasis, or if Democrats actually use “flyover country” seriously when taking amongst themselves. If so, they might add that to the list of reasons middle America hates Democratic coastal elites…

  • Obama vastly increased the NSA’s powers on his way out the door. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • This Politico piece on thinkers that have influenced Steve Bannon (and thus President Trump) is neither to be taken entirely at face value, nor dismissed out of hand. It includes mention of Curtis Yarvin AKA Mencius Moldbug AKA “the Urbit guy” that Social Justice Warriors keep trying to keep from speaking, as well as the author of the much-cited “Flight 93 Election” manifesto. They’re interesting thinkers, but I rather doubt they’re at the center of Trump’s political ideas.
  • Over 100 rioters from President Trump’s inauguration indicted on rioting charges.
  • Trump and the GOP congress have already cut $2.8 billion in regulations. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “The EU country whose brutal crackdown on Muslim migrants makes Trump look liberal.” Spoiler: It’s Hungary.
  • Woman who lived under Hitler says Trump isn’t Hitler.
  • Iowa follows Wisconsin’s lead on reigning in the power of public sector unions.
  • Prominent Jewish Democrats are increasing uneasy with Keith Ellison as DNC chair. “‘It’s almost like the Democrats want to entirely destroy their party,’ [Democratic New York state assemblyman Dov] Hikind said. ‘When someone like Ellison can be a leading candidate to be the head of a major party, we’re in a lot of trouble.'”
  • Pro-Palestinian reporter changes his mind after living in Israel for 18 months:

    Before I moved to Jerusalem, I was very pro-Palestinian. Almost everyone I knew was. I grew up Protestant in a quaint, politically correct New England town; almost everyone around me was liberal. And being liberal in America comes with a pantheon of beliefs: You support pluralism, tolerance and diversity. You support gay rights, access to abortion and gun control.

    The belief that Israel is unjustly bullying the Palestinians is an inextricable part of this pantheon. Most progressives in the US view Israel as an aggressor, oppressing the poor noble Arabs who are being so brutally denied their freedom.

    Snip.

    IT WASN’T until the violence became personal that I began to see the Israeli side with greater clarity. As the “Stabbing Intifada” (as it later became known) kicked into full gear, I traveled to the impoverished East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan for a story I was writing.

    As soon as I arrived, a Palestinian kid who was perhaps 13 years old pointed at me and shouted “Yehud!” which means “Jew” in Arabic. Immediately, a large group of his friends who’d been hanging out nearby were running toward me with a terrifying sparkle in their eyes. “Yehud! Yehud!” they shouted. I felt my heart start to pound. I shouted at them in Arabic “Ana mish yehud! Ana mish yehud!” (“I’m not Jewish, I’m not Jewish!”) over and over. I told them, also in Arabic, that I was an American journalist who “loved Palestine.” They calmed down after that, but the look in their eyes when they first saw me is something I’ll never forget. Later, at a house party in Amman, I met a Palestinian guy who’d grown up in Silwan. “If you were Jewish, they probably would have killed you,” he said.

    Snip.

    Even the kindest, most educated, upper-class Palestinians reject 100 percent of Israel ‒ not just the occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank. They simply will not be content with a two-state solution ‒ what they want is to return to their ancestral homes in Ramle and Jaffa and Haifa and other places in 1948 Israel, within the Green Line. And they want the Israelis who live there now to leave. They almost never speak of coexistence; they speak of expulsion, of taking back “their” land.

  • UK journalists heads explode when Trump’s climate advisor tells them the truth. (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Gay liberal New York writer does even-handed profile of Milo…and is instantly ostracized. “I realized that, for the first time in my adult life, I was outside of the liberal bubble and looking in. What I saw was ugly, lock step, incurious and mean-spirited.”
  • The MSM lose their minds when Trump lets outlets other than themselves ask questions.
  • The media spends months complaining Trump won’t let them ask question, then complains when he does because they don’t like the answers.
  • Ann Althouse watches President Trump’s press conference so I don’t have to.
  • The New York Times is very upset President Trump is fighting back. “The constant Moonbat attacks on Trump are one of the reasons Trump won. And Trump knows that the vast majority of the media, which votes Democrat and allows their person political beliefs to color all their coverage, will never give him a chance and or honest coverage so why not fight back?” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Islamic State suicide bomber kills 100 at Sufi mosque in Pakistan.
  • Paris burns again.
  • Putin is cozying up Iran just as it’s suffering the same demographic crash affecting so many nations:

    Iran is dying, and no one knows it better than Vladimir Putin, who worked successfully to raise Russia’s fertility rate, unlike Iran’s theocrats, who have failed to persuade Iranians to have children.

    Russia’s relationship to the only Shi’ite state of significance is less an alliance than a dalliance, motivated by Moscow’s fear of Sunni radicalism and its desire to establish a strategic beachhead in the Middle East.

    But Iran is a depreciating asset whose value will disappear within a 20-year horizon. The question is not whether, but at what price Russia will trade it away.

    Snip.

    First, Iran may well become the first country in the world that will get old before it gets rich. Its fertility rate (the number of live births over the lifetime of an average woman) fell from 7 in 1979 to perhaps 1.7 today.

    That produced an enormous generation of people now in their 20s to 40s who have very few children. As this generation ages, the proportion of Iranians over the age of 60 will soar from about 7% today to around 40% by mid-century.

    Other countries face an aging crisis, but with ten times the per capita income: Iran’s nominal GDP per capita is only US$5,300, compared with US$56,000 for the United States, for example.No poor country can care for an elderly population comprising two-fifths of the total. Iran will undergo an economic disaster unprecedented in history. That is baked in the cake, and nothing its government can do will make much different at this late stage.

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • Louisiana Democrat state senator resigns after repeatedly beating his wife.
  • New York coop provides a microcosm of why Socialism doesn’t work:

    The year isn’t off to a good start for the Park Slope Food Coop. In January, two members of the venerable Brooklyn institution were accused of stealing more than $18,000 worth of goods. Each had been caught shoplifting once, and when police consulted surveillance tapes, it turned out that the two men (one of whom was 79 years old!) had some seriously sticky fingers.

    Snip.

    In 2013, The New York Times reported the shop lost $438,000 in stolen items.

    But that’s only a drop in the bucket compared to the value that’s recently been lost from the coop’s pension fund. The fund — which is for staff, not members — had been invested in small, speculative companies and racked up two years of losses.

    According to the Times, “It appears to have gone into hedge-fund mode years ago, when one co-op member, also a hedge-fund investor, made stock-picking his unpaid job.” Last summer, members were told that the coop had to pour in more than $1 million to keep it flush.

    Snip.

    In 2011, for instance, coop members were caught paying other people — notably their nannies — to take over their 2-hour-per-week shifts at the market. As it turned out, the well-heeled bankers and lawyers and psychiatrists in the neighborhood who bill several hundred dollars an hour for their time didn’t think rearranging the broccoli was worth it.

    Hat tip: Instapundit, who also offers up the following illustration:

  • Blocking a road? Expect the NYPD to haul your ass to jail. (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • More problems for Bill Clinton’s pal: “Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein is accused of luring an underage girl into his elaborate sex trafficking enterprise under the guise of using his wealth and connections to get her into a prestige NYC college.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Bill Maher defends booking Milo Yiannopoulos in the face of liberal boycotts.
  • Dear diabetics: You know that “U.S. ends subsidies for blood sugar testing strips” thing your more credulous friends posted on Facebook? Debunked.
  • Austin health food chain MyFitFoods shuts down.
  • Rare book heist in London: “In the early morning hours of January 30, a gang of thieves, in a carefully coordinated scheme, broke into a warehouse near London’s Heathrow airport and made off with over £2 million in rare books. The books, belonging to three different rare book dealers, were being shipped to the United States for the 50th Annual California International Antiquarian Book Fair this past weekend.” Complete list here. (Hat tip: Bill Crider.)
  • He contains multitudes:

  • He divided them.
  • Video of French Forces Fighting the Islamic State

    Saturday, February 11th, 2017

    Here’s a video of French Special Forces operating against the Islamic State, including some mopping up operations in Mosul:

    A few points of interest:

  • In the first few minutes there’s a glimpse of the tunnel systems that have become common in urban warfare where the defenders have had time to dig in.
  • I’m assuming that boxy weapon the French are shown setting up at 5:27 is a grenade launcher, but I’m not sure I’ve seen that make before. The closest would be the Heckler & Koch GMG, but it doesn’t quite look like it.
  • French drones (6:13) look like funky kit planes, and get launched with a tether assist. Whatever works…
  • Trump Threatens the Establishment

    Saturday, January 14th, 2017

    Here’s an interesting piece on the threat Trump poses not only to the media’s political pieties, but to the entire edifice of politically correct moral authority they had spent decades constructing:

    If all his other cultural blasphemies did not finish off Donald Trump, his grab-them-by-the-pussy line, in the overwhelming opinion of the liberal media, would. That it did not might suggest that many cultural certainties are a lot less firm than most of the media and culture industry thought. Twenty years (or so) of rule tightening about how we talk about sex, gender, race and our multicultural society—what is disparagingly called political correctness, or, more inclusively, the liberal point of view—was put up for review by Trump’s election.

    The ongoing expressions of shock on the part of the cultural establishment—expressed on a daily basis by The New Yorker, New York magazine and The New York Times, anything, apparently, with New York in its title—reflect their fears that the development of a more careful, regulated and corrected world is about to be undone. That the unapologetic white male has returned. You could hardly find a more threatening and throwback version of that than Trump—a rich, voluble, egomaniacal, middle-aged pussy hound. To write him you would need some combination of authors like Norman Mailer, Terry Southern, Harry Crews and Gore Vidal, all notably out of step with current cultural norms.

    The culture norm is as starkly confronted as the political norm with proof that it’s not speaking to the lives of a sizeable part of the nation: that same pussy talk that shocked cosmopolitans turns out not to be of much concern, and even to express a casual day-to-day reality, for many Americans. Media fragmentation has created all sorts of thriving niches that accommodate the views of eager consumers, lessening the need to speak to a broader, more difficult-to-reach audience—the once-great mass market.

    Snip.

    Instinctively or by canny plan, Trump converted the conservatives’ parochial and rate-limiting culture war on abortion and gay marriage into a much more visceral campaign against the political pieties of sophisticated America, with Trump as the ultimate revenge on upper-middlebrow cultural life. It’s the mannered and effete against the profane and immediate.

    For Trump, Hillary Clinton, in her guardedness and suspicion, in her inability to express herself with any openness and spontaneity, summed up out-of-touchness, struggling to attract crowds of a few hundred, while he was pulling tens of thousands.

    Trump’s attacks on the media served to say that his language, his expressiveness, his ability to connect with the audience was more potent than the media’s. (In an interview with Trump shortly after his nomination was secure, he told me he was sure of victory when for the first primary debate, the usual audience increased almost tenfold because of his presence: “I’m more entertaining than the media.”) The media, in thrall to the culture establishment—and signed on to its cultural rules and concerns (hence its Pussygate shock)—was inauthentic and he was the real thing. For “CNN sucks”-screaming Trump supporters, CNN sucks for, in fact, the same reason that it sucks to everybody else—it’s phony and slavish—but Trumpsters were suddenly saying it, screaming it. (Liberals took this as an attack on free speech; on Trump’s side, the view was that the media stifles real speech.)

    This attack on careful, orderly, prescribed culture is what happens when the culture stops talking about real things—at least what a significant part of the country regards as real and important. Or, it is—and certainly is inevitably thought to be by those cultural standard bearers under attack—a sinister onslaught against enlightenment itself.

    In the view of the latter camp, Steve Bannon, one of the masterminds of the Trump campaign, and the new administration’s “chief strategist,” becomes a preeminent retrograde white male bugaboo. The non-Trump culture can only see him as a threat, and sore thumb, and, without the means to describe or recognize anybody too far outside its circle, a racist, misogynist, anti-Semite. And yet, not that long ago, Bannon would have been a perfectly recognizable figure, even an admirable one, an ex-military and up-from-working-class guy, striving, through three marriages and various careers, to make it, but never finding much comfort in the establishment world, wanting to be part of it, and wanting to explode it at the same time—a character for a writer like Kevin Morris. An American man’s story. Republican politics is filled with such strivers—Lee Atwater, Roger Ailes, Karl Rove—great characters reduced to violations of liberal sensibilities.

    Indeed, the election reengages a gender battle that many people on the New York side of the Trump gap had thought was mightily going in only one direction. The vestigial and primitive American man, unreconstructed, baying at the moon (probably high on opiates)—the alt-right in the liberal view—voiceless for many years (or, anyway, wise to shut up), now had Donald “Let me be your voice” Trump. The obvious message of his sudden resurgence of course is that he didn’t go away or reform: He was just shut out. Without any place in upper-middlebrow culture, except as an occasional enemy of reason or subject of scandal, there was no bridge to who he was—no humanity left for him.

    Hence, while the liberal media was helping to eject that ultimate white man devil figure Roger Ailes from Fox News for real and perceived sins against women (it seemed not to much matter which), the country was making a pussy-grabber president. The gap between HR departments and the real world is a story obviously not being told very well. A story whose ambiguities and nuances could not now be written—nor its real language uttered—because the cultural establishment sees no ambiguities and nuances and, for sure, doesn’t allow those words. But meanwhile, a good part of the country—unable to communicate with the cultural establishment—sees only hypocrisy.

    Read the whole thing.

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

    Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

    Sunday, January 1st, 2017

    I’m proud to announce that BattleSwarm Blog has been named to The Fabulous 50 Blog List by Director Blue.

    Quote:

    Best Grassroots Blog
    Lawrence Person’s BattleSwarm: Person’s LinkSwarms extract pure wheat from chaff.”

    Thanks! And there are a lot of other great blogs in the fab 50 list worth checking out.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Thursday, November 24th, 2016

    Here’s Jim Geraghty’s piece on how to survive Thanksgiving with relatives who have been freebasing those “how to talk down to your racist redneck JesusLand freak relatives about Trump” articles from Salon and Vox.

    And to celebrate, here’s the classic “Turkeys Away” segment from WKRP in Cincinnati:

    Edited to Add: Via Ace of Spades comes an alternate take on the subject: “How to Talk to Your Pansy Marxist Nephew at Thanksgiving.”

    Trump Taps Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff

    Sunday, November 13th, 2016

    As one of his first staff announcements, President-elect Donald Trump tapped Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus as White House Chief of Staff.

    It’s a serious pick for a man who evidently aims to be a serious President.

    Priebus did an excellent job at the RNC, helping Republicans grab and maintain House and Senate majorities in 2014 and 2016. He is widely credited with being the diving force behind a huge technology upgrade to RNC efforts, including increased get-out-the-vote efforts for those two elections.

    Another huge plus is that, despite close ties to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (Priebus was previously head of the Wisconsin Republican Party before being elected RNC head), and unlike DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, he didn’t put his thumb on the scale for any of the 2016 GOP Presidential contenders. When Trump clenched the nomination, Priebus put the organizational weight of the RNC behind Trump despite vociferous arguments from the #NeverTrump faction to cut him lose and reallocate the money to House and Senate races. Priebus’ support, and Trump’s greater focus during the last month of the race, is why we have President-Elect Trump rather than President-Elect Clinton.

    My guess is that Priebus will be a great Chief of Staff, and his position there should reassure conservatives worried that Trump will go too far off the reservation. The saying is that “personnel is policy,” and Priebus will be in the ideal situation to make sure policy doesn’t fall pray to Trump’s whims.

    The only downside is the necessity of the RNC to find a capable replacement for Priebus. That may prove a difficult task.

    Clinton Corruption Update for November 1, 2016

    Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

    Obviously there’s too big a flood of Clinton corruption news to do this weekly, so this might be a daily feature (or pretty close to it) until the election, which is (finally!) just a week away.

  • The top 100 most damaging Wikileaks. If you want a single page to get people up to speed on all the Clinton corruption, this is a good one. (As is this one.)
  • Evidently there are 650,000 emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop to scour through.
  • And they now have a warrant to go through them. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Peter Kadzik, a friend of Clinton’s Campaign chair John Podesta, will head Huma Abedin probe.
  • And guess what? His son actually asked to work on Hillary’s campaign!

  • More on the Podesta-Kadzik relationship. (Hat tip: Hot Air, which asks: “At this point, is there anyone working at the Justice Department who hasn’t been tainted by the stench of Clinton corruption?”)
  • And remember: Abedin swore under oath she had given up all devices with State Department emails. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Hmmmmmmm: “Top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin has not been on Clinton’s campaign plane for the last three days, CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin reported Monday.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • John Podesta tells Cheryl Mills “We Are Going To Have To Dump All Those Emails.”
  • Scott Adams: “Allow me to offer an interpretation of events that casts Comey as more of a patriot and hero than an ass-covering weasel….In this movie, Comey did the hero thing. He alerted the public to the fact that the FBI found DISQUALIFYING information on the Weiner laptop. And he took a second bullet to his reputation.”
  • “The only reason that Comey figures in the election at all is that Democrats knowingly nominated someone under FBI investigation.” (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • For those keeping track on the home game, there are now four FBI investigations involving the Clintons going on. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Oh wait! Make that five. (Hat tip: Austin Bay at Instapundit.)
  • “Happy Halloweiner, the night when Anthony Weiner’s undead penis rises from its grave to bite Hillary’s campaign.”
  • The Podesta emails offer a revealing glimpse of America’s ruling elite.
  • More evidence of the Clinton campaign colluding with their “friends and allies” in the media.
  • Google head Eric Schmidt was already collaborating with Hillary Clinton’s team in 2014 to help her Presidential run.
  • “Hillary’s inner circle knew Weiner was messaging underage girl on Twitter in 2011, did nothing.” (Hat tip: Adam Baldwin on Twitter.)
  • James Carville melts down, “Asserts FBI, GOP, and KGB in Cahoots.” He may be the first Clinton toady to completely lose it this election cycle, but I doubt he’ll be the last. (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • OK, I’ve got to go ahead and put this up before another giant wave of Clinton Corruption news breaks…

    A Few Points on Yesterday’s Big DDos Attack

    Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

    If you had trouble getting to a various websites yesterday it was probably fallout from a huge distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack:

    Criminals this morning massively attacked Dyn, a company that provides core Internet services for Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify, Reddit and a host of other sites, causing outages and slowness for many of Dyn’s customers.

    In a statement, Dyn said that this morning, October 21, Dyn received a global distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on its DNS infrastructure on the east coast starting at around 7:10 a.m. ET (11:10 UTC).

    More coverage of the attack here. “At the peak of the attack, average DNS connect times for 2,000 websites monitored by Dynatrace went to about 16 seconds from 500 milliseconds normally.”

    Internet-of-Things-enabled devices appear to be at the heart of the DDoS attack:

    According to Dan Drew, the chief security officer at Level 3 Communications, the attack is at least in part being mounted from a “botnet” of Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices.

    Drew explained the attack in a Periscope briefing this afternoon. “We’re seeing attacks coming from a number of different locations,” Drew said. “An Internet of Things botnet called Mirai that we identified is also involved in the attack.”

    The botnet, made up of devices like home Wi-Fi routers and Internet protocol video cameras, is sending massive numbers of requests to Dyn’s DNS service. Those requests look legitimate, so it’s difficult for Dyn’s systems to screen them out from normal domain name lookup requests.

    Earlier this month, the code for the Marai botnet was released publicly. It may have been used in the massive DDoS attack against security reporter Brian Krebs. Marai and another IoT botnet called Bashlight exploit a common vulnerability in BusyBox, a pared-down version of the Linux operating system used in embedded devices. Marai and Bashlight have recently been responsible for attacks of massive scale, including the attack on Krebs, which at one point reached a traffic volume of 620 gigabits per second.

    Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of the content delivery and DDoS protection service provider CloudFlare, said that the attack being used against Dyn is an increasingly common one. The attacks append random strings of text to the front of domain names, making them appear like new, legitimate requests for the addresses of systems with a domain. Caching the results to speed up responses is impossible.

    At least some commenters have pointed to a possible connection between DDoS attacks and web services firm BackConnect Inc.:

    The latest comes the day after Doug Madory, director of Internet Analysis at Dyn, gave a presentation at an industry conference about research he had done on questionable practices at BackConnect Inc., a firm that offers web services, including helping clients manage DDoS attacks. According to Madory, BackConnect had regularly spoofed Internet addresses through a technique known as a BGP hijack, an aggressive tactic that pushes the bounds of industry.

    Madory’s research was conducted with Brian Krebs, a well-known writer on computer-security issues. Krebs also published an article based on the research last month. Within hours, his website was hit by a “extremely large and unusual” DDoS attack, he wrote.

    Perhaps someone with more computer security knowledge than I (Dwight? Borepatch?) might comment on how best to defend from these attacks in the future. Spin up big on-demand cloud clustered DNS VMs when a DDoS attack is detected?

    GTA 5 Mod Let’s You Use Samsung Galaxy Note 7s as Grenades

    Thursday, October 20th, 2016

    You’ve probably heard that Samsung has recalled and cancelled the Galaxy Note 7 phone after numerous incidents where the battery exploded.

    You may not have heard that someone did a mod for the video game Grand Theft Auto 5 that lets you use Samsung Galaxy Note 7s as grenades.

    Since Samsung has evidently forced YouTube to take down video of the mod in “arguably the worst misuse of the DMCA we have ever come across,” I thought I would share two other videos.