Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Holly Sonders

She's nice.

At Egotastic!, "Holly Sonders Golf Hottie of the Year, Again."

And at the Heavy, "Holly Sonders: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know."

Muhammad Ahmad Abdallah al-Ansi, Bodyguard to Osama bin-Laden, Sprung in Obama's Latest Guantánamo Release

I'm shaking my head.


From Thomas Jocelyn, on Twitter:

Obama Commutes Sentence of Puerto Rican Terrorist Oscar López Rivera

I had to look this guy up, at Wikipedia:
Oscar López Rivera (born January 6, 1943) is a Puerto Rican nationalist and one of the leaders of the FALN. In 1981, López Rivera was convicted and sentenced to 55 years in federal prison for seditious conspiracy, use of force to commit robbery, interstate transportation of firearms, and conspiracy to transport explosives with intent to destroy government property. In 1988 he was sentenced to an additional 15 years in prison for conspiring to escape from the Leavenworth federal prison. Lopez solicited unincarcerated supporters to obtain weapons, grenades, and C-4 explosives for use in breaking him and fellow inmates – to whom Lopez had boasted about his leadership role in the FALN – out of prison. President Obama commuted Oscar Lopez Rivera's sentence on January 17, 2017. At the time he was the longest-incracerated member of the FALN.

López Rivera was among the 14 convicted FALN members offered conditional clemency by U.S. President Bill Clinton in 1999, but rejected the offer. His sister, Zenaida López, said he refused the offer because on parole, he would be in "prison outside prison. Resident Commissioner, Pedro Pierluisi, has stated that "the primary reason that López Rivera did not accept the clemency offer extended to him in 1999 was because it had not also been extended to fellow FALN prisoner Carlos Torres and Cordero Nananin." According to New York Times writer John Broder, López Rivera "refused to accept the President's offer to commute their sentences. Mr. Clinton demanded as one of the conditions of their release that the jailed Puerto Ricans renounce the use of terrorism to achieve their aim of independence for the Caribbean commonwealth." Torres and Nananin were subsequently released from prison in July 2010...
And further:
At the time of their arrest, López Rivera and the others declared themselves to be combatants in an anti-colonial war against the United States to liberate Puerto Rico from U.S. domination and invoked prisoner of war status. They stated that U.S. courts did not have jurisdiction to treat them as criminals, and petitioned for their cases to be handed over to an international court that would determine their status. The U.S. Government, however, did not recognize their request...
Well, you can see why the dude's getting sprung. Obama loves terrorists, especially left-wing revolutionary terrorists. O probably idolized this guy. López Rivera has never expressed remorse for his "anti-colonial war against the United States." His terrorist group, the FALN (Armed Forces of National Liberation) was closely allied the Fidel Castro and the Cuban Communist regime. Indeed, Charles Krauthammer suggested on Fox News just now that the release of López Rivera may have been part of a quid pro quo in the Cuban normalization deal. This is a presidential administration that normalizes terrorism.

Thank God we have less than three days until this hated regime, this reviled Obama regime, is driven from office.

Also at the Guardian U.K., FWIW, "Obama commutes sentence for political prisoner Oscar López Rivera: López Rivera, whose commutation was announced with 208 others, has been incarcerated for 35 years for his role in fighting for Puerto Rico’s independence."

Obama Commutes Bradley Manning's Sentence

Well, supposedly it's "Chelsea Manning," but he's a she now, if you're all into the transgender identity thing (and I'm not).

Perhaps because Bradley came out as as woman and attempted suicide while in prison explains the commutation. O's always an advocate for the "oppressed."

This news is breaking.

I saw it first on Mark Knoller's feed:

And Althouse's shock at the president's decision, as well as all the comments there, "Obama frees Chelsea Manning!"

And at the New York Times, via Memeorandum "Obama Commutes Bulk of Chelsea Manning's Sentence."

Expect updates.

National Teach-In Movement Called 'Teach, Organize, Resist'

This is literally criminal.

In California, the education code prohibits partisan indoctrination in public college instruction. These activities, starting at UCLA, are illegal.

At Campus Reform, "Profs pledge to 'use regular class time' to protest Trump":

A national “teach-in” movement is asking professors to set aside class time between Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the presidential inauguration to “protest” oppression and challenge “Trumpism.”

The movement, known as “Teach, Organize, Resist,” is set to kick-off on January 18, strategically “poised between Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the presidential inauguration” as an explicit means of “challenging Trumpism.”

Academics Plan 'Read In' of Michel Foucault to Protest Inauguration of Donald Trump

These people are insane.

But they're leftists, so you knew that.

At the Other McCain, "Academics Protest Trump With Public Reading of French Homosexual’s Book":
Foucault was a gay French philosopher who died of AIDS in 1984. His postmodern (or poststructural) philosophy was typical of the French Left in the decadent political and intellectual aftermath of World War II. The Communist Party was so powerful in France that, when the Kremlin wished to signal a change in the party line in 1945, the chosen messenger was Jacques Duclos, the Stalinist leader of the French Communist Party. It was the infamous “Duclos letter” that spelled the doom of CPUSA Chairman Earl Browder (who had sought to maintain the old Popular Front line) and ushered in the anti-American stance of Cold War Communism. The extraordinary influence of Communism in post-WWII France helps to explain why French intellectuals like Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir were so consistently anti-American, a tradition to which Foucault was an heir, and which made him a darling of American academics, whose hatred of America is their intellectual raison d’etre...
Robert Stacy McCain should have a second career as a professor of political philosophy, heh.

Still more.

Syria Spotlights Impotence of the United Nations

This is great.

At Der Spiegel, "War and Peace: Disunity and Impotence at the United Nations":
The mandate of the United Nations is to preserve peace in the world, but when it comes to the Syrian crisis, the global body has failed badly. Will the UN's new secretary-general be able to finally introduce necessary reforms?

The UN was not created to take mankind to heaven, but to save humanity from hell.
- Dag Hammarskjöld, UN secretary-general, during a May 1954 speech.

The man who, by simply raising his hand, prevented all efforts to end the war in Syria is sitting in a bunker-like room on 67th Street in Manhattan. Chandeliers are hanging above his head, a pendulum clock is keeping the time behind him and the furniture recalls Soviet-era filmography. "We have had this problem with Syria, of course, and ...… I (have) thought a lot about it," says Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations. An ironic expression on his face, the white-haired diplomat leans back in his leather chair.

Churkin is one of the men charged with saving the world. As absurd as it might sound, that is his job. The 15 members of the UN Security Council, in particular the five permanent members -- China, France, Great Britain, Russia and the United States -- bear "primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security," according to Article 24 of the Charter of the United Nations.

It is a heroic task, an idealistic notion that was born out of the ruins of World War II: The peoples of the Earth joining together to protect the only planet we have. Uniting their strength, the world's countries hoped to create a better world, a place where all people can live in dignity. And the prerequisite for doing so is peace.

In 2001, the United Nations and its then-secretary-general, Kofi Annan, received the Nobel Peace Prize "for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world." It is also thanks to the UN that nuclear war has thus far been prevented, that war criminals from former Yugoslavia were forced to stand trial and that we now have a Paris Climate Agreement, which is aimed at preventing the destruction of the world.

But what has been happening in Syria for the last five years is the opposite of peace: a proxy world war being fought on Syrian territory. It has called everything into question for which the UN stands. The images and the calls for help that innocent men, women and children have been sending out to the world via Facebook and Twitter are unbearable. And yet the world stands by, watching as though it were all merely part of a particularly long horror movie...

Heh: 'Conservative Black Chick' Asks Rep John Lewis 'What Have You Done Since Selma?'

I love it.

At Instapundit, "A SPLINTERING COALITION? ‘Conservative Black Chick’ Asks Rep John Lewis ‘What Have You Done Since Selma?’"

The fact is, Lewis is a minor figure in the civil rights movement. I'm sorry he was beaten, but he's just been one sad cranky, corrupt and angry man, for so many years. I can't even listen him.

Mom and Daughter Terrorized by Turkey (VIDEO)

Don't run.

Those turkeys will chase you down like a mofo, lol.

At CBS News 2 New York:

Michelle Malkin: Hollywood Snowflakes Boycotting Trump Inauguration (VIDEO)

It's great to see Michelle back on Fox News.

On Hannity last night:

Yeah, Hmm...

Via Allahpundit, "Hmmm: FBI arrests Orlando terrorist’s wife in San Francisco..."

Yeah, that sanctuary city is for more than just illegal immigrants.

Also at the New York Times, via Memeorandum, "F.B.I. Arrests Wife of Killer in Orlando Mass Shooting."

Ruth Malhotra Pens Open Letter to Rep. John Lewis (VIDEO)

From yesterday's Fox & Friends:

And here's the letter, "Dear @repjohnlewis, I humbly request you not to boycott @realDonaldTrump's Inauguration..."

Monday, January 16, 2017

Kenneth N. Waltz, Theory of International Politics

The classic neorealist text on international relations, still in print.

At Amazon, Kenneth N. Waltz, Theory of International Politics.

A Sense of Uncertainty Grips the World

Such drama.

It's just a new administration. We had an election.

You'd think the world was coming to an end, or something.

At the New York Times, "As Trump Era Arrives, a Sense of Uncertainty Grips the World":

LONDON — The Germans are angry. The Chinese are downright furious. Leaders of NATO are nervous, while their counterparts at the European Union are alarmed.

Just days before he is sworn into office, President-elect Donald J. Trump has again focused his penchant for unpredictable disruption on the rest of the world. His remarks in a string of discursive and sometimes contradictory interviews have escalated tensions with China while also infuriating allies and institutions critical to America’s traditional leadership of the West.

No one knows where exactly he is headed — except that the one country he is not criticizing is Russia and its president, Vladimir V. Putin. For now. And that he is an enthusiastic cheerleader of Brexit and an unaffiliated Britain. For now.

Mr. Trump’s unpredictability is perhaps his most predictable characteristic. The world is accustomed to his provocative Twitter messages, but is less clear about whether his remarks represent meaningful new policy guidelines, personal judgments or passing whims. In the interviews, Mr. Trump described the European Union as “basically a vehicle for Germany” and predicted that the bloc would probably see other countries follow Britain’s example and vote to leave.

Mr. Trump also said Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, had made a “catastrophic mistake” in allowing refugees to pour into Europe.

The barrage of inflammatory comments in joint interviews published Sunday and Monday in Britain and Germany elicited alarm and outrage in Europe, even as Ms. Merkel dryly characterized Mr. Trump’s positions as nothing new.

“They have been known for a while — my positions are also known,” Ms. Merkel said Monday in Berlin. “I think we Europeans have control of our destiny.”

Her clipped response came as officials and analysts struggled with how to interpret Mr. Trump’s remarks, as well as how to react to them.

Some argued that the president-elect’s words should be regarded as tactical, intended merely to keep his options open. But nearly everyone agreed that Mr. Trump had made trouble, especially in criticizing Ms. Merkel, given her importance as a figure of stability in Europe and her campaign for re-election later this year.

For good measure, Mr. Trump had also infuriated China by using an interview on Friday with The Wall Street Journal to again question China’s longstanding One China policy. It holds that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the mainland...
So, everybody wants Trump to play by the international system's Marquess of Queensberry Rules.

It ain't happening.


Also, "As Inauguration Nears, Trump Keeps World Leaders on Edge."

Jackie Johnson's Cloudy Skies Forecast

It was perfect weather today.

I went skateboarding, heh.

Here's Ms. Jackie, back in black!

Jerry Orbach in Dewar's White Label Scotch Advertisement

Just saw the photo on Twitter, and then Googled.

At the New York Times, February 17, 1989, "THE MEDIA BUSINESS: Advertising; 20 Years Of Dewar's Achievers":

''IT made me a Dewar's drinker,'' Jerry Orbach said yesterday, recalling his appearance 20 years ago as a young actor in the first Dewar's Profile for White Label Scotch. ''Any publicity is good when they spell your name right.''

Mr. Orbach was the first of 85 young men and women to appear in the ad, now one of the longest-running campaigns in the United States and a triumph for its creator, Leo Burnett U.S.A., the Chicago-based agency.

As it did for Mr. Orbach, the ad has persuaded many people to drink White Label. ''It helped the success of the brand in a soft market for distilled spirits,'' said Henry Yaris, United States business manager for Dewar's, ''and Dewar's became the leading brand of Scotch in the country.''

Black Trump Supporter Walks Around New York City for 10 Hours, Discovers Leftist Intolerance (VIDEO)

Via Project Veritas, "Watch what happens when a PVA Journalist walks through the streets of Manhattan wearing a Trump T-shirt and hat."

Because leftists are so tolerant.

Lindsey Pelas #MLKDAY Selfie


That's an unbelievable woman.

Anastasia Ashley Surfing Iceland (VIDEO)


Watch, "Anastasia Ashley in Iceland."

PREVIOUSLY: "Anastasia Ashley for Maxim."

Tucker Carlson and Jehmu Greene (VIDEO)

On Twitter, "Tucker Destroys Jehmu Greene: “Why Do You Always Bring It Back To Race?” (VIDEO)."

Also, "‘Unable to answer a question!’: Tucker Carlson clashes with Jehmu Greene (Twitchy)."

Watch, at Fox News, "Political strategist says suspicion of Russian hacking in the election was an attack on US democracy, agrees with Rep. John Lewis that Trump's presidency is illegitimate and sounds off on running for DNC chair..."

Not Much Legitimate About the Sore Loser Democrats

From Adriana Cohen, at the Boston Herald:
Since Donald Trump’s unexpected victory, Democrats have been trying to delegitimize his historic upset.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who sent shock waves through the media echo chamber this weekend when he said in an NBC interview, “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president. I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.” Former Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon went on CNN Friday to chime in as well.

Talk about a snow job.

Clinton didn’t lose the election due to alleged Russian hacking. She lost because she was a flawed candidate who ran a bad campaign. But facts always get in the way when you’re an out-of-touch liberal trying to play the blame game...

Also at NewsBusters, via Memeorandum, "Reporters Plead with MLK III to Attack Trump; Did Lewis Tweets Shake You ‘To Your Core?’."

Oh brother.

Taylor Branch, Parting the Waters


At Amazon, Taylor Branch, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63.

Parting the Waters photo 16003112_10212179390502976_8941879336623783808_n_zpsvnejf7cn.jpg

Trumpian Horrors

At People's Cube, "Trumpian Horrors Magazine."

Farm Girl Jen, 50-Year-Old Fitness Sensation with Rippling Abs, Become YouTube Star

She's in excellent, envious shape!

At London's Daily Mail, "Fifty-year-old farmer becomes a YouTube sensation after revealing the VERY unusual secret to her rock hard abs (and it's helping her rake in $100,000 a year): Jennifer King, from North Carolina, is known as Farm Girl Jen online."

David Hines 'Days of Rage' Tweetstorm

Okay, following-up from last night, "Watch for the Left to Become Even More Ruthless."

I found the thread I was talking about: It's David Hines, and it's now Storified, "DAYS OF RAGE, pt 1+pt2: The first and second tweetstorms about Bryan Burrough's DAYS OF RAGE and political violence in 2017."

BONUS: At the Other McCain, "Marxists Shut Down Campus Speech — Is Trump Inauguration Their Next Target?"

FLASHBACK: Barry Rubin, Silent Revolution

Since I'm blogging about all these violent crazy leftists, who worry me sometimes, here's a flashback to the late Barry Rubin's excellent book.

At Amazon, Silent Revolution: How the Left Rose to Political Power and Cultural Dominance.

 photo 6d85136f-ee68-4647-b707-3246f9ffc1af_zpsd34f9996.jpg

Brian H. Fishman, The Master Plan


A new book on Islamic jihad.

At Amazon, from Brian H. Fishman, The Master Plan: ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Jihadi Strategy for Final Victory.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Watch for the Left to Become Even More Ruthless

Following-up, "American Radicals and the Change We Could Believe In."

I saw this long series of tweets, many with long individual threads, yesterday at Kurt Schlicter's. A couple of folks were linking Bryan Burrough, Days of Rage: America's Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence, and suggesting that some similar "days of rage" might well be in our (near?) future.

I need to troll back through Schlicter's feed for some of the specific tweets. It seems some tweeps were even suggesting that there's current law enforcement and intelligence chatter to the effect of forthcoming political violence. But I'm not sure, so I'll come back with more if I can find it.

American Radicals and the Change We Could Believe In

As Obama's about to depart from office, there's virtually no signs that Democrats and progressives are tacking toward the center.

I spent a lot of time attending events on campus after the election, because as noted I genuinely feel for the students scared their parents will be deported. (I think folks should have information, at least so they'll understand how due process works and where to obtain legal assistance.) In one of the last ones I attending, the president of my union, with whom I've had my battles in the past, appeared positively energized by all the opportunities for radical left activism the coming Trump administration was likely to afford. And as I troll around on Twitter, especially clicking around on radical feminist feeds, etc., I'm forwarded to more and more sites and resources that throw off the same vibe. And American politics is so polarized I'm confident that unless Donald Trump has some very substantial successes, especially on the economy and jobs, he's very liable to becoming a one term president.

In any case, I read this piece at the Nation when it came out in early December, but never got around to posting it. If you check Katrina vanden Heuval's Twitter feed you'll get an idea of how febrile the radical left has become. (I'm also not discounting the possibility of political violence, but I try to put the thought of assassination out of my mind. It's just too horrifying, and I have a feeling with all the things coming down, there are some on the left who've seriously contemplated it.)

In any case, it's Eric Foner, who's now retired as a professor of history at Columbia:

The Great Hate-Crime Hysteria

From Eric Felten, at the Weekly Standard, "Untruth and Consequences":

Scottish teenager Kate Hume was no stranger to tragedy. By the time the great European powers hurtled into war at the end of July 1914, her older brother had already been dead more than two years: Violinist John “Jock" Hume was a member of Wallace Hartley's eight-man orchestra that had played on the deck of the sinking Titanic.

Just a month and a half into the Great War she received news even more devastating.

At the office in Dumfries where she worked as a "clerkess," Kate found herself with a pair of letters. The first had the signature of her older sister, about whom the last Kate knew was that she was working as a nurse in the English town of Huddersfield. The letter read: "Dear Kate, This is to say good-bye. Have not long to live. Hospital has been set on fire. Germans cruel. .  .  . My right breast has been taken away. .  .  . Good-bye. Grace."

The first letter was explained by the other, from one of Grace's fellow nurses, a Miss Mullard. "I was with your sister when she died," the letter said, explaining they had been together at a field hospital set up near the front at Vilvorde, in Belgium. The Huns attacked and burned the hospital, according to Nurse Mullard, killing over a thousand wounded men, including through beheadings. As for the nurses, the ones the Germans captured were grotesquely violated before being murdered. Grace was among them: "She endured great agony," the letter went on, detailing that counterattacking British Tommies had "caught two German soldiers .  .  . cutting off her left breast, her right one having been already cut off."

Kate shared the letters with the press. The story caused a sensation—covered not only in local Scottish papers such as the Dumfries Standard, but in London papers including the Pall Mall Gazette, the Globe, the Westminster Gazette, the Evening Standard, and everywhere in-between. The headline in the London Star was typical: "A NURSE'S TRAGEDY: Dumfries Girl the Victim of Shocking Barbarity."

With such widespread reporting, it didn't take long for Grace Hume to learn of her own grisly death. She saw placards up at the newsstand advertising the big headline "Terrible Murder of Huddersfield Nurse." She bought the local Post and, astonished by what she read, wired her father: "Reports untrue. Safe in Huddersfield."

Kate, it turned out, had made the whole thing up.

Jump forward a century and the case of the Mutilated Nurse has a newfound relevance. For we are in a new age of hoaxes, with frequent tales of Trump-inspired atrocities that have unraveled, as did so many of the stories of atrocities committed in WWI. Understanding the propaganda of the Great War may help us understand the motives and methods of the modern propaganda in what we might call the Hate War.

The Hate War got going in earnest in the immediate aftermath of the election with a raft of reports of malicious Trumpkins taunting and attacking young Muslim women, targeting them for wearing traditional religious head-coverings.

One of the most distressing of the hijab stories was that of Yasmin Seweid, who told police she was assaulted on the New York subway by marauding Trump supporters while fellow passengers did nothing, said nothing. The perpetrators were described as three drunk white men talking about Trump. "They were surrounding me from behind and they were like, 'Oh look, it's an f-ing terrorist,' " the 18-year-old Baruch College student told a CBSNewYork reporter. They pulled at her bag, breaking the strap. She said she begged to be left alone, only to be met with a torrent of abuse: "They kept saying 'you don't belong here, get out of this country, go back to your country.' " The men grabbed at her hijab, and her fellow straphangers, she suggested, were, in their cowardice, complicit: "Everyone was looking, no one said a thing, everyone just looked away."

The police didn't look away. They combed through the subway's security video looking for the men Seweid had described. They found none. Though the case was hugely publicized, no witnesses were found. Then, with the police looking to interview her again, Seweid went AWOL. When she finally turned up, "Suspicion," the New York Daily News reported, "went through the roof." Facing continued questioning by skeptical detectives, the young woman admitted she had been lying all along. The whole thing was a fraud. She was arraigned, charged with making a false report.

(If one thinks that a trifle harsh for a bit of youthful fibbing, it's worth noting that Britain, in the midst of war with Germany, prosecuted and convicted Kate Hume for her lies.)

Seweid's was hardly the only hijab hoax...
Of course not.

In fact, I can't think of a single confirmed hate crime committed by Trump supporters against Muslims or anything other progressive demographic group.

It's been all lies. Leftist lies.

But keep reading.

Matt Ryan and the Falcons Look Nearly Unstoppable

Lindsey Thiry yesterday, in real time, as well as Sports Illustrated after the win:

Eliot A. Cohen, The Big Stick


This looks outstanding!

See, Eliot A. Cohen, at Amazon, The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force.

Sunday Cartoons

At Flopping Aces, "Sunday Funnies."

A.F. Branco  photo Buzzed-600-LI_zpscvxbeeta.jpg

Also, at Theo's, "Cartoon Roundup..."

Cartoon Credit: Legal Insurrection, "Branco Cartoon – Elmer Dud (CNN/BuzzFeed Fake News)."

Recent Storms Helped Southern California

But according to this piece at the O.C. Register, we're still not out of the woods, so to speak.

And check the photos and videos. I used to hang out at Hart Park. The storm channel doubles as a parking lot, when there's no winter storms, lol.

Here, "Recent rain gives glimmer of hope that drought could come to an end in California."

So, if SoCal's still in drought territory, how about Northern California? If the state's not catching enough runoff, who's to blame, man? Build more freakin' reservoirs, sheesh!

Rule 5 Sunday

Leading things off this morning is William Teach, at Pirate's Cove, "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup."

Also, last week's entry at the Other McCain, "Rule 5 Sunday: January Jones."

More at 90 Miles From Tyranny, "Morning Mistress."

At Bro Bible, "Sizzling Viki Odintcova is Hotter Than a Snake’s Ass in a Wagon Rut (30 PICS)."

And the Chive, "Sunday is for the Triple-B: Beers, Babes and Burgers (33 Photos)."

Goodstuff's, "GOODSTUFFs BLOGGING MAGAZINE (276th Issue): Tempest Storm's Burlesque."

At Knuckledraggin', "Your Good Morning Girls."

Political Clown Parade, "Flowing Curves of Beauty."

And from Cousin Odie, "Static Electricity ~OR~ Rule 5 Woodsterman Style."

Also, Proof Positive, "Friday Night Babe: Corinne Foxx!"

The Feral Irishman, "Friday Femme Fatale... (NSFW)."

Still more, at the Hostages, "Big Boob Friday."


BONUS: At Maggie's Farm, "Extinct Creatures." And, from Ed Driscoll, at Instapundit, "ATLANTIC CITY CASINOS REFUSED TO GIVE PROFESSIONAL GAMBLER WHAT HE HAD WON. INSTEAD OF PAYING HIM, THEY SUED HIM: Gambler Phil Ivey Can’t Get His Millions Because Casinos Are Too Big to Fail..."

If You Saw Your Dog and a Stranger Both Drowning in the Ocean, Which Would You Save First?

Here's Dennis Prager:

Pity the Sad Legacy of Barack Obama

It's brother Cornel West, at the Guardian U.K., "Our hope and change candidate fell short time and time again. Obama cheerleaders who refused to make him accountable bear some responsibility":

Cornel West photo 15966088_10212174893310549_802307994992689968_n_zpszhcmvc8p.jpg
Eight years ago the world was on the brink of a grand celebration: the inauguration of a brilliant and charismatic black president of the United States of America. Today we are on the edge of an abyss: the installation of a mendacious and cathartic white president who will replace him.

This is a depressing decline in the highest office of the most powerful empire in the history of the world. It could easily produce a pervasive cynicism and poisonous nihilism. Is there really any hope for truth and justice in this decadent time? Does America even have the capacity to be honest about itself and come to terms with its self-destructive addiction to money-worship and cowardly xenophobia?

Ralph Waldo Emerson and Herman Melville – the two great public intellectuals of 19th-century America – wrestled with similar questions and reached the same conclusion as Heraclitus: character is destiny (“sow a character and you reap a destiny”).

The age of Barack Obama may have been our last chance to break from our neoliberal soulcraft. We are rooted in market-driven brands that shun integrity and profit-driven policies that trump public goods. Our “post-integrity” and “post-truth” world is suffocated by entertaining brands and money-making activities that have little or nothing to do with truth, integrity or the long-term survival of the planet. We are witnessing the postmodern version of the full-scale gangsterization of the world.

The reign of Obama did not produce the nightmare of Donald Trump – but it did contribute to it. And those Obama cheerleaders who refused to make him accountable bear some responsibility.

A few of us begged and pleaded with Obama to break with the Wall Street priorities and bail out Main Street. But he followed the advice of his “smart” neoliberal advisers to bail out Wall Street. In March 2009, Obama met with Wall Street leaders. He proclaimed: I stand between you and the pitchforks. I am on your side and I will protect you, he promised them. And not one Wall Street criminal executive went to jail.

We called for the accountability of US torturers of innocent Muslims and the transparency of US drone strikes killing innocent civilians. Obama’s administration told us no civilians had been killed. And then we were told a few had been killed. And then told maybe 65 or so had been killed. Yet when an American civilian, Warren Weinstein, was killed in 2015 there was an immediate press conference with deep apologies and financial compensation. And today we still don’t know how many have had their lives taken away.

We hit the streets again with Black Lives Matter and other groups and went to jail for protesting against police killing black youth. We protested when the Israeli Defense Forces killed more than 2,000 Palestinians (including 550 children) in 50 days. Yet Obama replied with words about the difficult plight of police officers, department investigations (with no police going to jail) and the additional $225m in financial support of the Israeli army. Obama said not a mumbling word about the dead Palestinian children but he did call Baltimore black youth “criminals and thugs”.

In addition, Obama’s education policy unleashed more market forces that closed hundreds of public schools for charter ones. The top 1% got nearly two-thirds of the income growth in eight years even as child poverty, especially black child poverty, remained astronomical. Labor insurgencies in Wisconsin, Seattle and Chicago (vigorously opposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a close confidant of Obama) were passed over in silence.

In 2009, Obama called New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg an “outstanding mayor”. Yet he overlooked the fact that more than 4 million people were stopped-and-frisked under Bloomberg’s watch. Along with Carl Dix and others, I sat in a jail two years later for protesting these very same policies that Obama ignored when praising Bloomberg.

Yet the mainstream media and academia failed to highlight these painful truths linked to Obama. Instead, most well-paid pundits on TV and radio celebrated the Obama brand. And most black spokespeople shamelessly defended Obama’s silences and crimes in the name of racial symbolism and their own careerism. How hypocritical to see them now speak truth to white power when most went mute in the face of black power. Their moral authority is weak and their newfound militancy is shallow.

PHOTO: That's me and brother Cornel, at Long Beach City College, October 21, 2016.

Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner Model of the Year Awards (VIDEO)

At Harper's:

It's the 'Glammy Gay Package'

Robin Abcarian tweets.

And her L.A. Times story here, "Breitbart provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos is shouted down at UC Davis but gets the last word."