Archive for the ‘Media Watch’ Category

LinkSwarm for October 13, 2017

Friday, October 13th, 2017

Happy Friday the 13th! In October, no less. Might want to avoid Crystal Lake today…

Busy week, so a small LinkSwarm.

  • Who all did Harvey Weinstein donate to? A whole lot of prominent Democrats. Including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Chris Dodd, Chuch Schumer, Al Franken and Kamala Harris, among many, many others.
  • Billionaire Democrat megadonor Tom Steyer says Democrats must support impeaching President Trump if they want to receive any money from him. You may remember Steyer from such previous movies as My Attempts To Elect More Liberals in 2014 and 2016 Were Miserable Failures.
  • When the levee breaks, there ain’t no place to hide: Sexual harassment claim filed against Amazon TV producer Roy Price. Bonus: Accuser is Isa Hackett, one of Philip K. Dick’s daughters. (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • This follows hot on the heels of claims that Price ignored claims from actress Rose McGowan that Weinstein harassed her. Price is now suspended.
  • “Jimmy Kimmel: Guess What’s In My Pants.” (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • Followup: “Remember our old friends Detective Jeff Payne and Lt. James Tracy? The guys who arrested a nurse for refusing to let them draw blood from an unconscious patient without a warrant? Detective Payne has been fired. Lt. Tracy has been demoted.”
  • ABC News chief Matthew Dowd lies about jihad violence claims. (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • Timeline of the Las Vegas shooting. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Ann Coulter makes a valid point: There’s no way Stephen Paddock made a living playing video poker. Money laundering, then? (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Russian intelligence agencies reportedly used Kaspersky anti-virus software as a spying tool to scan for U.S. defense secrets.
  • “The NFL is not just losing white viewers. The NFL isn’t just losing black viewers. No, the NFL is hemorrhaging viewers of all races and ages, and they’re doing so at a frightening pace.”
  • “Sorry, I was still picturing Whore Island.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ>)
  • Drug-using Bernie Bro kills Texas Tech cop.
  • Boris Becker loses millions to a Nigerian scam.
  • Harvey Weinstein, Serial Rapist

    Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

    I had avoided writing on the Harvey Weinstein slimefest because everyone and their dog was on it, but the story has now morphed from “sleazy Hollywood studio exec and Democratic Party megadoner pressured women to watch him wank off” to “sleazy Hollywood studio exec and Democratic Party megadoner is actually a serial rapist.”

    I was told by thirteen women that, between the nineteen-nineties and 2015, Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them, allegations that corroborate and overlap with the Times’s revelations, and also include far more serious claims.

    Three women––among them [Italian film actress Asia] Argento and a former aspiring actress named Lucia Evans—told me that Weinstein raped them, allegations that include Weinstein forcibly performing or receiving oral sex and forcing vaginal sex. Four women said that they experienced unwanted touching that could be classified as an assault. In an audio recording captured during a New York Police Department sting operation in 2015 and made public here for the first time, Weinstein admits to groping a Filipina-Italian model named Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, describing it as behavior he is “used to.” Four of the women I interviewed cited encounters in which Weinstein exposed himself or masturbated in front of them.

    (Note: I’m not a big Ronan Farrow fan, since he made it to his current position in the world off family connections rather than hard work. But this piece seems to be a fair, first-rate work of actual journalism. Good job, kid.)

    This is no longer “Weinstein needs to be fired from his own company [which has already happened], sued for millions of dollars and blackballed from working in Hollywood ever again,” this is “Harvey Weinstein needs to be put behind bars for a long, long time.”

    That’s a big story. An even bigger story is how vast swathes of the media establishment was complicit in hiding his predatory behavior for decades.

    But of course people knew about Harvey Weinstein. Like the New York Times, for instance. Sharon Waxman, a former reporter at the Times, writes in The Wrap how she had the story on Weinstein in 2004—and then he bullied the Times into dropping it. Matt Damon and Russell Crowe even called her directly to get her to back off the story. And Miramax was a major advertiser. Her editor at the Times, Jonathan Landman, asked her why it mattered. After all, he told Waxman, “he’s not a publicly elected official.”

    Manhattan’s district attorney knew, too. In 2015, Weinstein’s lawyer donated $10,000 to the campaign of Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance after he declined to file sexual assault charges against the producer. Given the number of stories that have circulated for so long, Weinstein must have spread millions around New York, Los Angeles, and Europe to pay off lawyers and buy silence, including the silence of his victims.

    That’s Cyrus Vance, Jr., son of Jimmy Carter’s Secretary of State. How strange that a Democrat District Attorney declined to pursue charges against the Democrat megadonor donating to his campaign. What are the odds?

    The real issue, as [New York Magazine‘s Rebecca] Traister notes, was that “there were so many journalists on his payroll, working as consultants on movie projects, or as screenwriters, or for his magazine.” Traister is referring to Talk, the magazine Weinstein started at Miramax with Tina Brown. The catchword was “synergy”—magazine articles, turned into books, turned into movies, a supply chain of entertainment and information that was going to put these media titans in the middle of everything and make them all richer.

    Traister and I worked at Talk together in the late ’90s. There were lots of talented journalists but it was still a mess. Outside of “synergy,” there was no idea driving the magazine, and Tina’s search for a vision was expensive. She spent lavishly on writers, art directors, photographers, and parties. Harvey got angry. Every time Tina went downtown to meet with him he screamed at her the whole time. He humiliated her. At least this was the story that went around the office every time she went down there, a story circulating through, and circulated by, several dozen journalists.

    Or, to put it another way: More than 20 people in one magazine office alone all had the story about Harvey Weinstein’s “mistreatment” of women.

    So why didn’t anyone write it? Not to take anything away from Jodi Kantor’s excellent New York Times piece, but the reality is that everyone had the story.

    The reason no one wrote it is not because the press wanted to get Weinstein, but couldn’t prove the story. No, it’s because the press was protecting Weinstein.

    Why wouldn’t they? He made terrific movies and he was a big mover in Democratic party politics, raising millions for local and national campaigns, including the Clintons. (Hillary, some readers will recall, was on the cover of Talk’s first issue.)

    John Kennedy, Jr. tried to blend politics and entertainment with the magazine he founded, George. His basic insight was correct; but he misunderstood something crucial. And John John misunderstood it because he was, by all accounts, a good man.

    You know the old joke about Washington: That it’s Hollywood for ugly people. Kennedy thought that this was unfair to Washington and that the people in the nation’s capital had the capacity for glamour, too.

    But it turns out that the joke works in the opposite direction: Hollywood is for ugly people, too. That was Harvey Weinstein’s essential insight, and how he managed to combine the worlds of politics, entertainment, and media. They’re all repulsive—and I know they’re disgusting or else they wouldn’t be courting, of all people, me.

    Thus his fortress was quarried from the misshapen material of human vanity, ambition, and greed. Writers and journalists—the intellectuals, in his mind—were nearly as contemptible as actors. They wouldn’t dream of crossing a guy who could turn them into culture heroes with a phone call. Hey, I just optioned your novel and I already know who’s going to make the movie. And oh yeah, please confirm that you don’t, like I think I may have heard, have a reporter looking into a story about me.

    A friend reminds me that there was a period when Miramax bought the rights to every big story published in magazines throughout the city. Why mess with Weinstein when that big new female star you’re trying to wrangle for the June cover is headlining a Miramax release? Do you think that glossy magazine editor who threw the swankiest Oscar party in Hollywood was trying to “nail down” the Weinstein story? Right, just like the hundreds of journalists who were ferried across the river for the big party at the Statue of Liberty to celebrate the premiere of Talk—they were all there sipping champagne and sniffing coke with models in order to “nail down” the story about how their host was a rapist.

    That’s why the story about Harvey Weinstein finally broke now. It’s because the media industry that once protected him has collapsed. The magazines that used to publish the stories Miramax optioned can’t afford to pay for the kind of reporting and storytelling that translates into screenplays. They’re broke because Facebook and Google have swallowed all the digital advertising money that was supposed to save the press as print advertising continued to tank.

    Look at Vanity Fair, basically the in-house Miramax organ that Tina failed to make Talk: Condé Nast demanded massive staff cuts from Graydon Carter and he quit. He knows they’re going to turn his aspirational bible into a blog, a fate likely shared by most (if not all) of the Condé Nast books.

    Si Newhouse, magazine publishing’s last Medici, died last week, and who knows what will happen to Condé now. There are no more journalists; there are just bloggers scrounging for the crumbs Silicon Valley leaves them. Who’s going to make a movie out of a Vox column? So what does anyone in today’s media ecosystem owe Harvey Weinstein? And besides, it’s good story, right? “Downfall of a media Mogul.” Maybe there’s even a movie in it.

    Snip.

    The other reason the Weinstein story came out now: Because the court over which Bill Clinton once presided, a court in which Weinstein was one part jester, one part exchequer, and one part executioner, no longer exists.

    A thought experiment: Would the Weinstein story have been published if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency? No, and not because he is a big Democratic fundraiser. It’s because if the story was published during the course of a Hillary Clinton presidency, it wouldn’t have really been about Harvey Weinstein. Harvey would have been seen as a proxy for the president’s husband and it would have embarrassed the president, the first female president.

    Bill Clinton offered get-out-of-jail-free cards to a whole army of sleazeballs, from Jeffrey Epstein to Harvey Weinstein to the foreign donors to the Clinton Global Initiative. The deal was simple: Pay up, genuflect, and get on with your existence. It was like a papacy selling indulgences, at the same time that everyone knew that the cardinals were up to no good.

    So why all the “courage” in exposing Weinstein now? Simple. As John Nolte notes “Today Weinstein is widely regarded as past his prime. Numerous reports indicate that the 65-year-old is in deep financial trouble. Moreover, he has not produced a hit or come near Oscar gold in nearly five years, and his highest profiles offerings have all bombed.”

    Hollywood and the media can finally tell the truth about Weinstein because he’s a has-been that can no longer help or hurt them.

    There’s talk that Weinstein could go to prison over the scandal. Well, I certainly hope so; last time I checked, rape was still a felony. Maybe he can share a cell with Anthony Weiner.

    Now to finish with a few piquant tweets on the issue:

    All other things being equal, I prefer to go through the day without thinking about Judi Dench’s ass.

    Finally, if anyone in Hollywood knows of other serial rapists and sexual abusers (and you know Weinstein isn’t the only one; he may not even be the worst…), now would be a swell time to come forward before more women (and boys) are raped or sexually abused…

    LinkSwarm for October 6, 2017

    Friday, October 6th, 2017

    Welcome to October! Enjoy your complimentary LinkSwarm:

  • Imran Awan’s lawyer said the House Democrats he worked for asked him to falsify spending reports:

    House Democrats ordered the systematic falsification of records showing how they spend their taxpayer-provided office budgets, according to lawyers for two former House information technology (IT) aides.

    It’s a remarkable accusation that pits sitting lawmakers against the former aides, Imran Awan, his brothers Abid and Jamal, and his wife Hina Alvi. Imran was arrested in July while trying to board a flight to Pakistan, and then indicted on four counts of bank fraud involving moving money to that country. Imran and Hina, who was also indicted, face a court date Friday.

    One of Imran’s lawyers, Aaron Page, acknowledged the invoicing discrepancy Aug. 21, telling The Daily Caller News Foundation, “This is just how things have been done for forever. This is what experienced members of Congress expect: to expedite things, they adjust the pricing.”

    If members or senior staff instructed IT aides to misrepresent how budgets were spent, that could potentially explain why officials have not charged the Awans with crimes related to procurement, even a full year after House authorities gathered documentation showing invoices that claimed expensive technological items cost $499 instead of their true price: potentially an open-and-shut violation.

    Garden-variety Democratic graft is probably the least worrisome lawbreaking the Awan ring could have been up to…

  • How the NFL protests are going to get Donald Trump reelected:

    now believe that the left will re-elect Trump. The ruction over NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem illustrates the point.

    The left has talked itself into believing that Trump’s alleged appeals to white racism were what put him over the top.

    More astute psephologists have pointed out that the actual difference was made by people in industrial states who previously had voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, but switched to Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016. Hard to attribute those decisions to white racism.

    Nevertheless, the left now interprets all of Trump’s actions through the prism of perceived appeals to white racism. If Trump were to tweet, “It’s a lovely day in Washington,” the left would denounce it as a dog whistle to white supremacists.

    Which brings us to the NFL ruction. Players began kneeling during the national anthem reportedly to protest what they regard as racial injustice in the United States. Trump denounced them in Trumpian fashion.

    According to the left, since the players were protesting racial injustice, Trump was endorsing racial injustice by criticizing them. There goes that dog whistle!

    o most Americans, that’s nuts.

    I’m not much of a flag waver. And I’ve never really understood why sporting events begin with the playing of the national anthem. Doesn’t seem a particularly apposite occasion for a display of patriotic fidelity.

    But it is part of American tradition. And traditions matter.

    You don’t have to be a racist to find galling the spectacle of pampered athletics, making millions of dollars playing a game, hosted in taxpayer-subsidized stadiums, benefiting from an antitrust exemption, ostentatiously exempting themselves from the traditional display of fidelity to our country.

    The argument by some that the protest isn’t really about the flag and national anthem rings hollow. If you do it during the national anthem, it is about the flag and the national anthem.

    Snip.

    Generally speaking, white Middle Americans aren’t racists. They don’t long for a return to Jim Crow. They’re just sick of having identity and grievance politics thrown in their faces all the time.

    If the left continues to tell Middle Americans they are racists, Trump will be re-elected.

  • “The media and the NFL did not know what hit them. I do. They hit themselves. Hard.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Pew confirms: Democrats are the extremists.
  • “Senior law enforcement officials from the United States, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras announced here today criminal charges against more than 3,800 MS-13 and 18th Street gang members in the United States and Central America in a coordinated law enforcement action known as Operation Regional Shield.”
  • ICE nabs 498 criminal illegal aliens in “sanctuary cities.”
  • Under President Donald Trump, illegal alien deportations have roughly tripled. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • How Donald Trump’s election caused the mainstream media to drop their masks of objectivity:

    The forces that brought Trump to power are alien to the experience of the men and women who populate newsrooms, his supporters unlike their colleagues, friends, and neighbors, his agenda anathema to the catechism of social liberalism, his career and business empire complex and murky and sensational. Little surprise that journalists reacted to his election with a combination of panic, fear, disgust, fascination, exhilaration, and the self-affirming belief that they remain the last line of defense against an emerging American autocracy. Who has time for dispassionate analysis, for methodical research and reporting, when the president’s very being is an assault on one’s conception of self, when nothing less than the future of the country is at stake? Especially when the depletion of veteran editors, the relative youth and inexperience of political and congressional reporters, and the proliferation of social media, with its hot takes and quips, its groupthink and instant gratification, makes the transition from inquiry to indignation all too easy.

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • Reason is really high on President Trump’s nomination of Justice Don Willett to the 5th Circuit court. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “The media is missing the Republican takeover in New England.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Difficulties in nursing home evacuations: having to punch people.
  • Michael Totten wonders why Turkey is still in NATO.
  • Catalonia might declare independence from Spain.
  • North Korean ship carrying 30,000 rocket launchers seized in Egypt. Biggest surprise? They had been purchased by the Egyptian military in defiance of UN sanctions…
  • Houston still has not resumed jury trials since Harvey wiped out two criminal justice buildings.
  • Democrat mega-donor [Harvey] Weinstein accused of sexual harassment.” [Cue Instapundit] Why are Democrat-dominated industries like Hollywood such cesspits of sexism?
  • What do women who worked in the editorial department of Playboy think about their time there? That it was the best job they ever had.
  • Latest #BlackLivesMatter chant: “Liberalism Is White Supremacy .” Also: “The revolution will not uphold the Constitution.” Way to get ordinary Americans on your side! (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • How the Chicago Sun-Times bought a bar to to document local political corruption. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Houstonian’s rich neighbors aren’t wild about the the working Sherman tank in front of his house. I saw good for him. I also wonder why Fox declined to call it a Sherman rather than the more generic “World War II” tank.
  • Wisconsin gets court pushback in its illegal war against bakers.
  • Netcraft confirms it: Slashdot turns 20. CowboyNeal is now old enough to be Florida Man…
  • Gun Control as Charlie Brown’s Football

    Thursday, October 5th, 2017

    Following the Las Vegas shooting, we were treated to the same weary parade of liberal Democrats making the exact same noises they make after every shooting:

    “Now is the time for a national dialog and common sense gun laws. And by ‘dialog,’ I mean that Republicans shut up and let us shame them into voting for gun control. And by ‘common sense’ I mean ‘complete civilian disarmament of the sane and law-abiding.'”

    There was the ritual denunciation of the NRA. “Column after column is fired off about how much the National Rifle Association donates to congressional candidates (spoiler: it’s not much, about 200K a year). For every breathless declaration that the NRA has blood on their hands, it’s worth noting more journalists have committed mass shootings in this country than NRA members.”

    And don’t forget the four or five national media reports in which basic firearms details are so obviously and egregiously wrong that any knowledgeable gun owner could have spotted the error.

    Let me know where I can buy some of those “automatic rounds.” Ace of Spades has similar thoughts on that piece, including slamming them for this obvious lie about gun experts: “Those who are knowledgeable often don’t want to talk on the record.” Sayeth Ace:

    Are you fucking kidding me with that? You have 100 conservative gun expert bloggers and reporters trying to explain to you the difference between semi-auto action and full auto action (and revolver action, etc.) every time a fucking gun crime occurs, and you put your hands over your ears and say “My ears are hurting” like that childish retard on MSNBC.

    Every single time. This is not our first go-round on this, Media Gun Control Experts. It’s not even our hundredth go-round.

    Actual gun owners and experts are begging to explain the basics to you — but you won’t listen. Instead, you babble on ignorantly about “automatic rounds” and the modifications you need to make to your gun to get it to fire these exotic bullets.

    These rank stupidities get corrected again and again, but major media organizations still don’t bother to give their reporters the training or fact checkers necessary to catch these obvious errors. It’s as though they wear their ignorance on their sleeve as a badge of virtue signaling honor.

    But all this is off my central point: Why do Democrats persist in pursuing the exact same strategies when it is obvious they’ve not convinced voters any previous time before?

    Indeed, the Democrats’ most fervent advocacy for gun control comes during the same period when Democrats where hemorrhaging seats to Republicans. Gun control isn’t the only issue that’s made them unpopular everywhere but urban centers, but it’s certainly a contributing factor.

    So why do Democrats keep pursuing the same strategies over and over again even though they not only aren’t working, but seem to be counterproductive?

    Maybe complete civilian disarmament is the Democratic Party’s core value, and they feel a compulsion to spout it akin to a fervent Christian’s drive to “give witness” by reciting the gospel to unbelievers.

    Like Charlie Brown, Democrats just can’t keep themselves from trying to kick the gun control football, even though they must know by now that the scene ends with them lying on the ground in pain and humiliation.

    A smattering of other related gun pieces

  • 538 writer: “I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise.”
  • Mass shootings are a poor lens through which to view violence involving guns.
  • Larry Correia slams Elizbeth Moon for her foolish, ill-argued opposition to suppressors. I’m friends with Elizabeth, but Correia has the far better argument here.
  • Hugh Hefner Dead at Age 91

    Thursday, September 28th, 2017

    Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner has died at age 91.

    Conservatives will decry Hefner for debasing the culture while libertarians will celebrate his role in unleashing the sexual revolution, but neither view is particularly accurate. Pornography predated Playboy by decades, and various cultural and technological forces (not least of which was the widespread adoption of the automobile, ensuring people could decamp to less restrictive environs at will) were always going to bring about the sexual revolution. Hefner was a canny businessman who understood that he could marry nude pictures of women to an upscale lifestyle magazine. The business model worked, and for many years Playboy paid writers some of the top rates in the field.

    Those same cultural and technological forces were also going to render Playboy obsolete, as the profit centers in the skin trade quickly moved first to video and then to the Internet.

    Today, most attacks on pornography seem to come from the anti-sex feminist left than the religious right.

    Hefner lived long enough to see himself transformed into a media icon, and for his flagship magazine to become culturally irrelevant.

    Liberals Freak Out Over Trump Tweet

    Monday, September 18th, 2017

    (Hey kids! Save that headline and you’ll be able to use it again and again and again…)

    Once again, President Donald Trump retweeted a silly meme and liberal Twitter freaked out:

    That’s Trump hitting a golf ball cut with one of Hillary Clinton’s many, many campaign trail stumbles, with CGI in the later of that ball hitting her, causing the stumble.

    It’s obviously silly, obviously unreal, and elicits a chuckle. It also reminds his followers that the MSM repeatedly covered up this and other Hillary stumbles until leaked footage of her 9/11 collapse made them cover the issue.

    Yet liberal Twitter reacted as if President Trump were advocating assaulting random old women in the street:

    Do they actually think Trump is promoting violence? Will hundreds of MAGA-cap wearing Trump supporters descend on Hillary’s book tour with 9-irons and attempt to hook and slice her to death?

    It’s like people accusing Mel Brooks of wanting to murder black law enforcement officers based on the sheriff-welcoming scene in Blazing Saddles.

    The mockery of same was equally as swift:

    And this is such a big story that the New York Times, the Washington Post and The Guardian all have stories on it.

    The weird thing is, the media ought to know by now that such unbalanced pearl-clutching overreactions hurt them far worse that Trump. They also show Trump’s still using the media’s obsession with him to dominate the news cycle.

    LinkSwarm for August 25, 2017

    Friday, August 25th, 2017

    Harvey has intensified into a Class 2 Hurricane overnight, and is expected to make landfall sometime around 1 AM, then stall and dump as much as 15-25 inches of rain from Brownsville to Houston.

    Naturally Houstonians are stocking up on the essentials: booze.

    Stay safe.

    Now enjoy your regularly scheduled Friday LinkSwarm:

  • “The Very Strange Indictment of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s IT Scammers:”

    To summarize, the indictment is an exercise in omission. No mention of the Awan group’s theft of information from Congress. Not a hint about the astronomical sums the family was paid, much of it for no-show “work.” Not a word about Wasserman Schultz’s keeping Awan on the payroll for six months during which (a) he was known to be under investigation, (b) his wife was known to have fled to Pakistan, and (c) he was not credentialed to do the IT work for which he had been hired. Nothing about Wasserman Schultz’s energetic efforts to prevent investigators from examining Awan’s laptop. A likely currency-transportation offense against Alvi goes uncharged. And, as for the offenses that are charged, prosecutors plead them in a manner that avoids any reference to what should be their best evidence.

    There is something very strange going on here.

  • Jihadists wanted to blow up Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona with a massive truck bomb.
  • DNC fundraising still sucking wind:

    The Democratic National Committee just posted its worst July fundraising numbers in a decade, raising questions about why the party machine cannot capitalize on President Trump’s low approval ratings and whether new Chairman Tom Perez is up to the task.

    The DNC raised $3.8 million last month, compared to $10.2 million for the Republican National Committee. The tally fit a pattern for the Democrats, who have posted a string of depressed fundraising numbers month after month this year, even after new party boss Perez took charge in February.

    Why, it’s almost like Russian conspiracy theories, LARP Nazis and the the imminent threat of Confederate statues doesn’t motivate Democratic donors to open their wallets. Or that Bernie Sanders supporters realize that the DNC is still the the hands of the same corrupt Clinton cronies who rigged the 2016 primaries…

  • “Ask yourself a few questions: Does the typical ‘swing’ voter who made the difference for Trump in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin consider monuments to Robert E. Lee a major social problem?”
  • “Antifa Declares: ‘F**k Your F***ing Constitution, We’re Here to Punch Nazis.'” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Antifa beats their own ally at a rally. Way to win friends and influence people!
  • Arrest warrants are out for three men who skipped their arraignments yesterday after being cuffed following the ‘Free Speech Rally’ on the Boston Common Saturday and massive counterdemonstration.” So if you spot Antifa dumbasses Adan Daroba, Roberto Bonilla or Chad Cruger, contact the police… (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • It’s all fun and games until you take one in the yarbles.
  • Update: Joshua Stuart Cobin, AKA “tear gas in the nads guy” has been arrested for assault, evidently for kicking the tear gas canister back toward police. There are a lot of real crimes numerous Antifa protestors should be arrested for, but this one seems a very dubious charge if that’s all it’s for.
  • Kurt Schlichter wonders just what the hell does #NeverTrump think they’re accomplishing?

    Oh yeah, we’ll repeal Obamacare. Oh yeah, we’ll defend the border. Oh yeah, we’ll defund the baby-butchering cartel. Oh yeah, blah blah blah blah blah. All lies, but they didn’t care. They had their power and prestige and the promise of a fat paycheck down the road when they moved from Congress to K Street. Actual conservative ideology? Well, that was for the rubes. And we were the rubes. We in the base, who are suffering from the establishment’s incompetent mismanagement of the society it had been foolish to try to micromanage in the first place, tried to warn them. But the Fredocons wouldn’t listen, because they’re smart, not like everyone says, like dumb…

    That warning was called ‘the Tea Party,” and the GOP establishment didn’t like it either. Remember how all those activated Republican voters helped recapture Congress, yet most of the establishment types looked at them like they were something nasty that was smeared on their shoes? See, the base isn’t supposed to be activated. It’s supposed to be obedient. It’s supposed to turn out on election day to do volunteer work and write checks. It’s not supposed to try to have input. That’s for our betters, not for us.

    But the thing is, now we’re woke, and we’ve realized that our establishment sucks, and that we’re tired of being the suckees. They didn’t listen to us when we gave them the Tea Party, so now we gave them Trump. And they’re very, very upset with us. That’s a key reason they want to undercut Trump. Some people are just always going to want to trash the guy getting the attention and wielding the influence they think rightfully belongs to them. That’s true whether they are some donkey–looking senator from Arizona or Nebraska pimping a book about his agonizing moral struggles, or some tiresome op-ed scribbler serving as the domesticated house conservative on a failing liberal rag, or the invasion-happy beneficiary of his parents’ success who finds he can’t fill the cabins on his brochure’s cruises anymore.

  • Chief Obamacare Architect Fired, Forced To Settle Fraudulent Billing Investigation In Vermont.” I know we were all hoping he’d be pushed off the Nakatomi Tower…
  • Mike Rowe smacks down a moron who called him a white nationalist:

    You say that White Nationalists believe that everyone who goes to college is an “academic elite.” You then say that Republicans promote “anti-intellectualism.” You offer no proof to support either claim, but it really doesn’t matter – your statements successfully connect two radically different organizations by alleging a shared belief. Thus, White Nationalists and The Republican Party suddenly have something in common – a contempt for higher education. Then, you make it personal. You say that Republicans “love” me because they believe that my initiative and “their” initiative are one and the same. But of course, “their” initiative is now the same initiative as White Nationalists.

    Very clever. Without offering a shred of evidence, you’ve implied that Republicans who support mikeroweWORKS do so because they believe I share their disdain for all things “intellectual.” And poof – just like that, Republicans, White Nationalists, and mikeroweWORKS are suddenly conflated, and the next thing you know, I’m off on a press tour to disavow rumors of my troubling association with the Nazis!

    Far-fetched? Far from it. That’s how logical fallacies work. A flaw in reasoning or a mistaken belief undermines the logic of a conclusion, often leading to real-world consequences. And right now, logical fallacies are not limited to the warped beliefs of morons with tiki torches, and other morons calling for “more dead cops.” Logical fallacies are everywhere.

  • “A Thorium-Salt Reactor Has Fired Up for the First Time in Four Decades.”
  • “One Statistics Professor Was Just Banned By Google.” Statistics professor Salil Mehta, adjunct professor at Columbia and Georgetown who teaches probability and data science, was banned by Google last Friday. “On Friday afternoon East Coast Time by surprise, I was completely shut down in all my Google accounts (all of my gmail accounts, blog, all of my university pages that were on google sites, etc.) for no reason and no warning.” His blog isn’t political and his Twitter account follows several prominent Democrats. (Update: restored.)
  • Mapping terrorist groups operating in Pakistan.
  • “After applying the latest big data technique to six 2,000 year-long proxy-temperature series we cannot confirm that recent warming is anything but natural – what might have occurred anyway, even if there was no industrial revolution.”
  • “For many Republicans, what matters most about Donald Trump is that he’s demonstrated resolve against the enemy — not the Islamic State or the Taliban, but the media.”
  • The Village Voice to end print publication. “Under its current ownership, the paper eliminated sex advertising.” Given that’s the only way “alternative” weeklies make money, I bet that was the final nail in the coffin. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Empower Texas has released their legislature ratings. A lot of Republicans ranked a lot lower than you might think…
  • Go to Cancun, do shots, get raped. (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Freedom Center demands a retraction from the SPLC.
  • San Antonio ends ShotSpotters, one of those acoustic gunshot locator systems, because it doesn’t work. (Hat tip: Say Uncle.)
  • Whole Paycheck no more?
  • Trump’s ‘energy dominance’ strategy starting to crack Eastern European markets.” Shipping coal to Ukraine and LNG to Lithuania to replace Russian sources. (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • Why it took time for electricity to replace the steam engine.
  • “A rising number of young Chinese people are failing fitness tests required to join the army because they are too fat and masturbate too much.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Captain Kirk destroys social justice warrior cling-ons.
  • Heh:

  • Nearing its 50th Anniversary, here’s a look back at how The Prisoner TV show got made.
  • Ladies, important safety tip: never allow a loaded gun in your vagina. (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • CNN Slapped By Their Own Panel: “I don’t trust anything the news media says anymore.”

    Thursday, August 24th, 2017

    CNN convened a focus group of Trump supporters on Charlottesville, evidently expecting that President Trump’s statement that “both sides were to blame” would cause them to abandon him and repent of their apostasy from the MSM Narrative.

    Despite leading, badgering questions from Alisyn Camerota, CNN got a face full of exactly what they weren’t expecting: Continued articulate support for Trump and pushback against the “Saintly Antifa takes on Devilish Neo-Nazis” narrative they’ve been peddling.

    A few choice quotes:

  • “I think it’s ridiculous to have me choose between Hitler and Stalin which is what I consider both groups are.”
  • “I don’t trust anything the news media says anymore.”
  • “I think it was a setup. There were busses coming in, with lots of young people. Protestors coming of the same bus, some wearing Black Lives Matter, some wearing KKK shirts.”
  • CNN: “And you trust Facebook more than news organizations?” Panelist: “Oh yeah! Live video from people who shot it? Yeah.”
  • You might want to watch this before CNN realizes just how bad it makes them look and takes it down…

    (Hat tip: Zero Hedge.)

    Meet the New Westboro Baptist Church

    Monday, August 14th, 2017

    Remember the Westboro Baptist Church?

    They were a tiny band of idiots who traveled the country protesting gay rights at military funerals for some damn reason. The mainstream media reported constantly on their stupid antics as a means to smear, by implication, any Republican opposition to any liberal culture war issue.

    White nationalist Richard B. Spencer and his tiny band of neo-Nazis are the new Westboro Baptist Church.

    In case you were off in a sensory deprivation tank, “hundreds” of neo-Nazis/Klansmen/white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend, where they clashed with left-wing counter-protestors, leaving one person dead of apparent vehicular homicide. (Two state troopers died in a helicopter crash in the vicinity, but at this point there’s no evidence of foul play in the crash.)

    As for why violence was allowed to escalate, police appear to have mishandled the situation:

    Law enforcement in Charlottesville have received widespread criticism from counterprotesters, bystanders, and participants of the white nationalist “Unite The Right” rally. Many called the police’s handling of the event hands-off, often appearing outnumbered and waiting too long to break up skirmishes between protesters and counter-protesters.

    Former police officials in New York and Philadelphia made similar criticisms that, despite a large mobilization of law enforcement personnel — Charlottesville’s mayor put the number at 1,000 — police failed to separate the clashing factions at the beginning of the event, allowing the violence to quickly grow out of hand.

    There’s been some debate over what to call Spencer’s band of neo-Nazis/white supremacists/whatevers. But since they were literally marching down the street with cardboard shields chanting “Blood and soil!”…

    …I suggest we call them “LARP Nazis.”

    (Really, chanting “Blood and soil”? Real nationalists tends to chant about specific historical grievances and causes, not just “blood and soil,” which is an abstraction of an abstraction…)

    Some of the nomenclature confusion stems from vague use (intentional or otherwise) of the phrase “alt-Right”:

    Actually, there are a lot more than two “alt-Rights”, depending on how you count. When the MSM uses the term, they’re frequently lumping in several of the following:

  • Actual neo-Nazis/Klansmen/white supremacists, as seen in Charlottesville, plus some garden variety anti-Semites.
  • People pretending to be neo-Nazis/Klansmen/white supremacists, just to piss other people off. (Seen much more online than In Real Life.)
  • People who take leftwing victimhood identity politics framing to its logical conclusion and see “whiteness” as a victimized group identity.
  • Right/libertarian conspiracy theorists (Alex Jones, etc.)
  • Militia groups
  • Patriotic bikers
  • “Paleoconservatives” (Patrick Buchanan, some of the old Southern Agrarian conservatives, etc.)
  • 4Chan /pol members and other online pro-Trump communities
  • Critics of Social Justice Warriors and feminism (Milo Yiannopoulos, Christina Hoff Sommers, etc.)
  • Libertarians
  • Anyone who reads Breitbart
  • Reagan Democrats
  • Free trade skeptics
  • Tea Party groups
  • Anyone who leans right but has been critical of Trump-hostile conservative media outlets (National Review, The Weekly Standard, etc.)
  • Anyone who leans right but has been critical of the national Republican Party establishment
  • Gun owners
  • Anyone who voted for Trump in the Republican primary
  • Anyone who ever posted a Pepe meme
  • Anyone who believes in limiting Muslim immigration
  • Anyone who believes in enforcing immigration laws
  • Anyone who believes in traditional male/female marriage
  • Republicans
  • Anyone who voted for Trump in the general election
  • Anyone from a state that voted for Trump in the general election
  • Christians
  • This lets the left perform their own dishonest mental shorthand: “If you support Trump you’re supporting Hitler!” Alt-Right is as meaningless a term as “fascist,” having come to mean “someone holding beliefs the speaker dislikes.”

    And if you think I’m exaggerating about liberals doing that:

    Though the LARP Nazis were the ones rallying, they weren’t the only ones committing violence, with antifa getting into the act assaulting people and hurling rocks and bottles.

    People immediately called on President Trump to denounce the hate groups. Guess what?

    Naturally President Trump’s denunciation wasn’t enough, Because Trump, and because it clashed with the liberal elites’ religious belief that Trump’s entire rise has been due to him sending “dog whistles” of “secret support” to white supremacists.

    Also condemning the hate groups were Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio (among many, many others), which lead to even more MSM stupidity:

    So just who paid for the LARP Nazi cardboard shields? Logical or not, the first thought that occurred to me on seeing those was “George Soros.” I was not the only one.

    (We have to be careful not to yell “Soros!” every time something bad happens. (Remember when the left yelled “Koch Brothers!” at every political setback? Good times, good times…) But mass-organizer agitators and agent-provocateurs have been his trademark for many years now, so we should probably at least explore the possibility he was funding both sides fighting in Charlottesville…)

    Nationalism is a poor substitute for real patriotism, and white nationalism is a collectivist mockery of the American ethos of colorblind individualism and judging people based on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. Don’t let the MSM’s hyping of a small crowd of idiots distract you from the fact that it’s a minuscule fringe movement with no power or influence in the Republican Party, the conservative movement, the Trump Administration, or America itself. And, like the Westboro Baptist Church, they’ll disappear from public’s consciousness when deprived of the oxygen of unwarranted media attention.

    LinkSwarm for August 11, 2017

    Friday, August 11th, 2017

    North Korea is making crazy threats again, which at this point is a dog-bites-man type story if ever there was one. They’ve done this sort of crazy lunatic invalid sabre-rattling before and, if President Trump doesn’t end up wiping them off the map entirely, will undoubtedly do it again. But it doesn’t change the underlying dynamic of the situation: North Korea can hurt us, but we can completely erase North Korea from the Prime Material Plane. So unless actual military action occurs, I doubt I have much to say (or link to) on North Korea…

  • NSA says no Russian hack of DNC computers. “Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak—a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable data-storage device. In short, it was an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system.” Will the Trump Derangement Brigades finally let go of their Russian hacking fantasy? (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Why Does the Left Suddenly Hate Russia?”

    The new progressive hatred of Russia is baffling. Of course, Vladimir Putin is a thug and a killer who in the grand tradition of Russian autocracy has no intention ever of holding free elections. But he is perhaps no more a murderer than are the Castro brothers in Cuba, with whom we have concluded a détente and who have no arsenal capable of destroying the U.S.

    Putin is no more or less trustworthy than are the Iranians, with whom in 2015 we cut a deal on nuclear proliferation and who are far more likely than the Russians to send a nuclear missile into Israel someday. Putin’s brutal suppression of the press recalls the ongoing repression by President Recep Erdogan of Turkey — a linchpin member of NATO.

    There is no freedom in China. The Communists still in control have the blood of 50 million Chinese dead on their hands from Mao’s brutal revolutions and genocides. Yet we enjoy all sorts of cultural, political, and economic bipartisan relationships with China, whose nuclear patronage of North Korea has done more damage to U.S. security than any plot from the dark mind of Vladimir Putin.

    In terms of Russia’s macabre history, Putin is a piker compared with Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, who may have orchestrated the deaths of 20 million Russians. After December 1941, the United States concluded a “Big Three” wartime pact with Stalin and supplied 20 percent of the Soviet Union’s wartime resources and arms — some of it later lavishly recycled to post-war Communist uprisings around the globe.

  • “Australian terror suspect planted plane bomb on brother.” And of course the BBC puts this information 17 paragraphs into the story: “The two suspects – Khaled Khayat, 49, and Mahmoud Khayat, 32.”
  • Democrats are screwed in 2018…and beyond:

    Even if Democrats were to win every single 2018 House and Senate race for seats representing places that Hillary Clinton won or that Trump won by less than 3 percentage points — a pretty good midterm by historical standards — they could still fall short of the House majority and lose five Senate seats.

    Snip.

    In the last few decades, Democrats have expanded their advantages in California and New York — states with huge urban centers that combined to give Clinton a 6 million vote edge, more than twice her national margin. But those two states elect only 4 percent of the Senate. Meanwhile, Republicans have made huge advances in small rural states — think Arkansas, North and South Dakota, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana and West Virginia — that wield disproportionate power in the upper chamber compared to their populations.

    Snip.

    Consider: In 1980, there were 18 states where the presidential margin was at least 5 points more Democratic than the national result, 18 states where it was at least 5 points more Republican than the national result and 14 states in between. Hypothetically, over three successive election cycles, all either party needed to do to win a Senate majority was win all 36 of the seats in the friendly states plus at least 15 of the 28 swing-state seats.

    Today, Republicans don’t even need to win any “swing states” to win a Senate majority: 52 seats are in states where the 2016 presidential margin was at least 5 percentage points more Republican than the national outcome. By contrast, there are just 28 seats in states where the margin was at least 5 points more Democratic, and only 20 seats in swing states.

  • 23% of federal prisoners are illegal aliens.
  • Former “sanctuary cities” in Clark County in Nevada and Miami-Dade County in Florida have confirmed they’re now in compliance with federal immigration law. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “For Fear Of Leaks, Google Cancels All-Hands Meeting Over Engineer Firing Fiasco.” Google went full Social Justice Warrior. Never go full Social Justice Warrior…
  • Christina Hoff Sommers: “Google has excommunicated James Damore for crimes against the Pink Police State.”
  • Trump Appoints More Judges in 200 Days Than Obama, Bush, Clinton.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Perhaps the Second Amendment is the black man’s ultimate sign of full citizenship.” Also this: “The National African-American Gun Association he founded has grown from 800 to 20,000 members since 2015.” Though the piece is marbled with the usual leftwing “America the racist” framing. (Hat tip: Shall not Be Questioned.)
  • This is, I think, a grave miscarriage of justice: man convicted of DUI for driving in and out of his own garage while drunk, never leaving his own property, which strikes me as a takings clause violation.
  • Julian Castro forms a PAC. Possibly eyeing a 2020 Presidential run? Well he’s certainly not going to win statewide…
  • Democrats “pro-worker” policies hurt workers. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Why is Spain arresting European journalists on Turkey’s behalf? Swedish citizen Hamza Yalcin is in jail for “treason” which seems to mean “criticizing the Erdogan regime.” (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • How Japan could have won World War II. “Win” in this case is not “pummeling America into submission” (impossible) but “making the costs of a protracted war so high that it avoids defeat.” Not striking Pearl Harbor was one key possibility. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Giant mech fight! Finally, the 21st Century I was promised! (The headline says “robots” but the video clearly shows piloted vehicles.) Now, from an actual military standpoint, that under-armored, under-powered mech is going to last about 15 seconds on a real battlefield and could be taken out by a single RPG (or any 8-year quick enough to jam a crowbar into the exposed, undersized tread gears), much less a real tank…
  • NY Times Editors Deny Reading Their Own Newspaper.”
  • “Emails Show WaPo, NYT Reporters Didn’t Want to Cover Clinton-Lynch Tarmac Meeting.”
  • Paper beats rock. Rock beats Mexican. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • I hate linking to ESPN given its SJW turn, but this profile of fighter Conor McGregor was too good not to.
  • Neanderthal cave structure dated to 176,500 years ago.
  • The fate of Viking settlers in Greenland. (Hat tip: Jerry Pournelle.)
  • Tweets:

    I encourage Antifa to buy a Soviet tank. They’ll discover tanks are cool, which will be a gateway drug to learning that guns are cool, after which it’s only a matter of time until they’re eating BBQ, driving pickup trucks and listening to Garth Brooks…