LinkSwarm for September 22, 2015

September 22nd, 2015

My contract technical writing position ended, so I’ve been busy looking for a new job (if you know of one, drop me a line). As such, this LinkSwarm is a bit out of band. I’ve been busy.

  • Ted Cruz is sitting pretty. And that piece came before Scott Walker’s exit from the race…
  • Gun Owners of America endorses Cruz.
  • Scott Walker’s implosion. Namely Trump and burn rate.
  • All glory is fleeing. Especially when it comes to polls this time of the year.
  • Man pushing RICO lawsuit against global warming skeptics has raked in more than $5.6 million in taxpayer money for himself and his wife since 2001.
  • Free of the pension costs and union contracts that weighed down its previous owners, Hostess has nurtured retail sales of its products nearly back to their pre-liquidation level of more than $1.3 billion in 2012, with a fraction of the workers. The old Hostess—which included other brands—employed some 19,000 people. The Twinkies purveyor these days has just 1,100.”
  • While Europeans wring their hands over Muslim illegal aliens, Egypt floods Gaza smuggling tunnels.
  • “From the 1970s to the present day, organised pedophilia has been a recurring problem for the supposedly progressive movement.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • When do leftists object to a gay pride parade? When it marches through Muslim areas.
  • Moody’s downgrades France.
  • The fences are going up all over Europe, we shall not see them torn down again in our life-time.”
  • Documented case of Islamic State fighters trying to enter Europe as refugees.
  • More than 100 girls poisoned in Afghanistan for daring to go to school, but details seem scanty.
  • Robert Spencer has a new book out: The Complete Infidel’s Guide to ISIS.
  • America’s Unbanked.
  • Larry Correia fisks that idiot Lorraine D. Wilke piece about how writers shouldn’t write fast, where Correia discusses greedy desire that his children wear shoes.
  • Heh: “Extension Cord On Stage Steals Spotlight From Jeb Bush During Campaign Rally.”
  • Congressman John Carter getting a primary challenger?
  • Brain, brain, what is brain?
  • Scott Walker Drops Out Of Presidential Race

    September 21st, 2015

    Just more proof that, when it comes to 2016 presidential race, Nobody Knows Nothing: Scott Walker dropped out of the Presidential race tonight.

    If you had asked me six months ago who would get the nomination, I’d have guessed Scott Walker had the best chance as a candidate acceptable to both movement conservatives and the GOP Establishment. I couldn’t imagine the possibility that Walker would be polling less than John Kasich. Such is the wild, woolly nature of the 2016 race, partially due to Donald Trump widely surpassing expectations of early popularity, and partially due to signs that voters on both sides are Tired Of The Same Old Bullshit.

    Who benefits most from Walker dropping out? Maybe Ted Cruz. With Walker out, Cruz has a bigger claim on being the race’s true conservative candidate, one who (unlike Marco Rubio) hasn’t stumbled on the hot button illegal alien amnesty issue. It also looks like Cruz’s decision to jump in early was much sounder than Walker’s decision to jump in late.

    But a crazy race just got even crazier…

    Edited to Add: Well, that was quick. The Cruz campaign is already poaching some of Scott Walker’s people.

    Blog Shootup/Meetup October 10, 2015

    September 20th, 2015

    Dwight Brown of Whipped Cream Difficulties and I are putting on a gunny/VRWC blog shooting meetup/Tweetup at the Eagle Peak Gun Range in Leander on Saturday, October 10, at 5 PM, to be followed by a group dinner at the Oasis at 7 PM. Bring ear and eye protection as well as any weapon you’d like to shoot (no full metal jacket ammo, as per range rules). You can come to the shoot and skip dinner, or vice versa.

    If you’re interested in attending, drop me a line (lawrenceperson at gmail dot com) so I know how many people to expect at the range and for dinner).

    $500 Million for 54 Syrian Rebels?

    September 19th, 2015

    Anyone paying attention has long known what a miserable failure Obama’s Syrian strategy (such as it is) against Bashar Assad has been. But only recently has it come to light just how ridiculously expensive that miserable failure has been:

    The aim was to identify reasonably secular moderate fighters in Syria, transfer them to third-party countries in the region, train them, equip them, and reintroduce them into the theater of operations. By August of this year and $500 million later, the Pentagon acknowledged that only 54 Syrian rebels had been prepared for combat. Less than a month later, almost all of them had been killed or captured.

    $500 Million for 54 guys? What were they, hand-crafted artisanal rebels? Where did the money go? Did they hire Damien Hirst to make each of their 54 uniforms? Did each of the 54 make a $1 million donation to the Clinton Foundation? Even by the pathetic standards of the Obama Administration that’s a ridiculous amount of graft, fraud and waste. You could easily have trained and equipped an effective mercenary brigade for that much money.

    There were actual reasons to support the removal of Assad early in the Obama Administration, but the rise of the Islamic State rendered most of them obsolete. Now that Obama and Kerry have rolled over to let Assad’s paymasters in Tehran rub their furry bellies, there’s no point in pretending to equip opposition fighters beyond Obama’s desire to keep up the facade of a Syrian policy as a sop to his wounded vanity.

    Since Obama can’t topple Assad and is singularly unwilling to fight a real war against the Islamic State, at this point we should probably just let Iran, Syria and Russia try their hands at crushing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s barbaric caliphate. A long, grinding Sunni-Shia civil war in Mesopotamia is probably among the least bad outcomes available for the region after Obama’s serial bungling…

    (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll on Instapundit.)

    “The left is why they leave the left”

    September 18th, 2015

    When you start grabbing a third pull quote from a piece is when you realize that it needs a post of its own. Such is the case with this Nick Cohen piece on why Jeremy Corbyn’s election has finally forced him to leave the left. Though centered on UK politics, much of it applies to the social justice warrior/victimhood identity politics left in this country as well.

    The shift of left-wing thought towards movements it would once have denounced as racist, imperialist and fascistic has been building for years. I come from a left-wing family, marched against Margaret Thatcher and was one of the first journalists to denounce New Labour’s embrace of corporate capitalism — and I don’t regret any of it. But slowly, too slowly I am ashamed to say, I began to notice that left-wing politics had turned rancid.


    The shift of left-wing thought towards movements it would once have denounced as racist, imperialist and fascistic has been building for years. I come from a left-wing family, marched against Margaret Thatcher and was one of the first journalists to denounce New Labour’s embrace of corporate capitalism — and I don’t regret any of it. But slowly, too slowly I am ashamed to say, I began to notice that left-wing politics had turned rancid.

    In 2007 I tried to make amends, and published What’s Left. If they were true to their professed principles, my book argued, modern leftists would search out secular forces in the Muslim world — Iranian and Arab feminists, say, Kurdish socialists or Muslim liberals struggling against reactionary clerics here in Britain — and embrace them as comrades. Instead, they preferred to excuse half the anti-western theocrats and dictators on the planet. As, in their quiet way, did many in the liberal mainstream. Throughout that period, I never heard the BBC demanding of ‘progressives’ how they could call themselves left-wing when they had not a word of comfort for the Iraqi and Afghan liberals al-Qaeda was slaughtering.

    The triumph of Jeremy Corbyn has led to What’s Left sales picking up, and readers acclaiming my alleged prescience. Grateful though I am, I cannot accept the compliment. I never imagined that left-wing politics would get as bad as they have become. I assumed that when the criminally irresponsible Blair flew off in his Learjet, the better angels of the left’s nature would re-assert themselves.

    What a fool I was.


    The fact remains that the Labour party has just endorsed an apologist for Putin’s imperial aggression; a man who did not just appear on the propaganda channel of Russia, which invades its neighbours and persecutes gays, but also of Iran, whose hangmen actually execute gays. Labour’s new leader sees a moral equivalence between 9/11 and the assassination of bin Laden, and associates with every variety of women-hating, queer-bashing, Jew-baiting jihadi, holocaust denier and 9/11 truther. His supporters know it, but they don’t care.


    The half-educated fanatics are in control now. I do not see how in conscience I can stay with their movement or vote for their party. I am not going to pretend the next time I meet Owen Jones or those Labour politicians who serve in Corbyn’s shadow cabinet that we are still members of the same happy family. There are differences that cannot and should not be smoothed over.

    I realise now what I should have known years ago. The causes I most care about — secularism, freedom of speech, universal human rights — are not their causes. Whatever they pretend, when the crunch comes, they will always put sectarian unity first, and find reasons to be elsewhere.

    Read the whole thing.

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

    Houston Zoo Forced To Remove No Guns Signs

    September 17th, 2015

    Chalk up another win of the rule of law over irrational hoplophobia:

    “Houston Zoo in Texas came under fire recently for signs near its entrance that say the zoo bans guns, leading to the zoo being forced to take the signs down altogether”


    “The Houston Zoo said that on Sept. 10 the City of Houston asked the zoo to remove their 30.06 signage, which bans guns from the zoo. They said it was because the land in which the zoo is operated independently on is, in fact, city-owned.”

    I’m glad Texas’ recently-passed gun laws are having the clarifying affect on local municipalities the legislature intended.

    And where are all those liberals loftily invoking “It’s the law!” over Kim Davis praising the Houston Zoo for obeying the law?

    (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

    Shuffling Deck Chairs on the BattlegroundTanic

    September 16th, 2015

    Battleground Texas announced a new advisory board:

    The Advisory Board will be made up of Naomi Aberly, Jeremy Bird, former Dallas Mayor and Ambassador Ron Kirk, Congressman Joaquin Castro, Eric Johnson, Austin Ligon, Jennifer Longoria, Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez, Eddy Morales, Amber Mostyn, Carrin F. Patman, Carrin Mauritz Patman, Marvin Ragsdale, Kirk Rudy, and Lynda Tran. Jenn Brown, who started as executive director for Battleground Texas, is now chairwoman of the advisory board.

    Sure, that’s Battleground Texas’ big problem: Not enough advisers.

    The real news here, I think, is the demotion-by-promotion of Jenn Brown.

    As for the board itself:

  • Jeremy Bird was last seen not defeating Benjamin Netanyahu in the Israeli elections, after his own disasterous stint leading Battleground Texas. He’s now one of the key players behind Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
  • Joaquin Castro is backing Hillary, and his brother is rumored to be Hillary’s top VP pick.
  • Kirk Rudy is a Hillary backer.
  • Moneybags spouse Amber Mostyn is a noted Hillary backer.
  • Ron Kirk might back Hillary (who he’s donated to), or he might back Biden.
  • I think the advisory board may be a move to cement Battleground Texas more firmly in Hillary’s orbit, thus foreclosing the possibility that Bernie Sanders might start picking up activist support in Texas. After all, she still needs to win the primary before getting to the general…

    Tenth Planned Parenthood Video Drops

    September 16th, 2015

    Is it 10? I may have missed one or two along the way.

    Funny how Planned Parenthood’s defenders always speak as though it is a sacred charity, but when Planned Parenthood personnel don’t know they’re on camera, it’s “an industry.”

    Here’s the unedited version of the main talk for comparison:

    Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet Freakshow

    September 15th, 2015

    I know I should be talking about Trump or immigration or jihad, but fresh takes just aren’t occurring to me this morning. So instead, let’s just talk about newly minted Labour head Jeremy Corbyn’s freakshow of a shadow cabinet. (For those not conversant with UK political terms, the “shadow cabinet” is the cabinet of the opposition party (in this case Labour) which would (theoretically) take over if the Tories were to lose power over a no-confidence vote; since the Tories currently enjoy an absolute majority, it would take a pretty big political upheaval for this to happen before 2020.) Evidently it was quite difficult for Corbyn to even find Labour MPs willing to take positions in his shadow cabinet.

    A few choice examples:

  • Kerry McCarthy, shadow secretary of agriculture, is a hardcore vegan, and I’m sure her absolute opposition to meat will really help Labour win back not only the British butcher industry, but also the working class white voters that used to be Labour’s largest block of support. She’s also a supporter of homeopathic medicine.
  • The new Shadow Chancellor (finance minister) is John McDonnell, who openly states his desire to overthrow capitalism, wants to nationalize banks, praised the IRA for it’s bomb-setting and killing activity, and has fantasized about traveling back in time to assassinate Margaret Thatcher.
  • Shadow defense secretary Maria Eagle’s biggest issues seem to be gay rights and opposition to mink farming, neither of which tend to weigh heavily in defense policy.
  • Diane Abbott, shadow secretary of state for International Development, once said that “blonde, blue-eyed Finnish girls” at London hospitals were unsuitable as nurses because they had “never met a black person before” and that “white people love playing ‘divide & rule.'”
  • This isn’t just a “let’s have a laugh at the expense of the far left freaks” post (fun though that may be). To a large extent, personnel is policy, and this shows how quickly extreme left-wing/Social Justice Warrior ideas can take root at the center of a major political party if they have enough adherents in the overclass. Right now, there’s no shortage of Democratic Party activist who would love to make veganism the official policy of the United States government, and as Obama appointees have shown, would not let little things like “laws” (or the lack thereof) stand in the way of implementing their extremist policies were they be placed in a position of power.

    It can happen here…

    Stupidist “Gun Safety” Gizmo Ever

    September 14th, 2015

    Just when you think you’ve already seen the most idiotic ideas in firearms “safety” gizmos, this comes along. It’s a mini clip-on airbag condom for police sidearms to reduce the muzzle velocity of their first shot to nonlethal velocity.

    This is like trying to prevent automobile deaths by creating a cumbersome device that ensures the parking break is always on.

    Evidently the super-genius developers of this gizmo failed to notice that police already have a wide range of non-lethal force at their disposal, including tasers, beanbag rounds and rubber bullets.

    So: a stupid, unworkable solution to a non-existent problem (fatal police shootings have been declining, not rising) hyped for political reasons (they have to find some way to keep black Americans voting for Democrats) that won’t be purchased by police departments and wouldn’t be used by cops even if the department did.

    I would say it’s a mystery why the people behind this think criminals would be deterred by a nonlethal shot when they’ve already failed to be deterred by a policeman aiming an semiautomatic weapon directly at them and yelling at them to freeze (because that’s just a natural prelude to wacky hi-jinks), but these are probably the same people who thought gun-free zones would work…