Monday, April 24, 2017

James J. Rawls, Chief Red Fox Is Dead

Rawls' Indians of California: The Changing Image is good. I'm a couple of chapters invested. It reads casually, like an entry-level textbook, and is interesting and informative.

Hence, let me recommend his second book, James J. Rawls, Chief Red Fox Is Dead: A History of Native Americans Since 1945.

I have no doubt this one's a pleasure to read as well.

(I still have much more on California's Indians to post, so stay tuned --- and thanks for your support.)

ICYMI: Jean-Yves Camus and Nicolas Lebourg, Far-Right Politics in Europe

At Amazon, Jean-Yves Camus and Nicolas Lebourg, Far-Right Politics in Europe.

For Calexico, the Border's Just a Line to Cross

At the Los Angeles Times:

Wheaton College Student Killed at 'Hammer Throw' Track and Field Event (VIDEO)

Dang, you gotta keep your bearings man!

You could get killed out there, and this dude did. He got hit in the head.

At CNN, "Student killed at track and field event: A 19-year-old college student died after being hit in the head while standing near a hammer throw event."

Jennifer Delacruz's Patchy Fog Forecast

Here's Ms. Jennifer from last night.

She's so lovely and can't resist her.

French Political Parties Unify Against Le Pen: 'This Is Deadly Serious Now'

The French are forming the "Republican Front" against the National Front, as I predicted earlier.

Following-up from yesterday, "'It is worth underlining that this is the first time in modern French history that neither of the mainstream centre-right or centre-left parties of government that have governed France since the second world war have qualified for the second round of a presidential election...'"

At the New York Times:

Debbie Schlussel is Psycho Scum

I thought this woman died.

Seriously, I haven't heard of her in years, thinking that she'd dropped off this mortal coil.

She needs to drop off, and fast.

Apparently Hannity has issued a rapid and blistering denial and denunciation.

At NYDN, via Memeorandum, "Former Fox News contributor Debbie Schlussel claims host Sean Hannity invited her back to his hotel room."

And at Lawnewz:

Sunday, April 23, 2017

James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans

I'm about a third of the way through this book.

At Amazon, James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans.

I had a copy on my shelf years ago, but never read it. But since Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz excoriates the novel with a most-certainly unsurpassed hatred, I thought I'd go ahead and power it down. I can see why it remains one of the greatest of American classics. Cooper's a fantastic writer. The building excitement of so many of the dramatic scenes truly earns whatever historic praise he's been afforded. Indeed, I think I'll read some of the others in the pentology, The Deerslayer, most likely, to start.

Danielle Gersh's Cooler Forecast

Well, temperatures hit the 90s inland this weekend, so no doubt lots of folks will be welcoming a bit of a cool-down.

Here's the lovely Ms. Danielle, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Sunday Cartoons

At Flopping Aces, "Sunday Funnies."

Branco Cartoons photo Killing-O-reilly-600a-CI_zps6pufu5ec.jpg

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

Cartoon Credit: A.F. Branco, "Killing O'Reilly."

Kenza Fourati Body Painting (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated:

Madison Reed Selfies

At Drunken Stepfather, "MADISON REED’S SLUTTY SELFIES OF THE DAY: Madison Reed is apparently Victoria Justice’s sister, both are pretty hot..."

Four-Year-Old Girl Falls Out of Moving Bus on Highway, Rescued by Volunteer Firefighter (VIDEO)

How could this possibly happen?

Who's supervising the children?

That child is lucky to be alive.


Shop Deals

At Amazon, Today's Deals.

Save on Women's Keds Shoes.

Also, Shop Ray-Ban Sunglasses.

And, Savings on Kindle Books. Plus, check savings on Faye Kellerman's books in Kindle, in particular.

More, Mountain House Just In Case...Essential Bucket.

Still more, AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable - 6 Feet (1.8 Meters) - Black.

BONUS: J.M. Opal, Avenging the People: Andrew Jackson, the Rule of Law, and the American Nation.

Bernie Sanders Wants Democrats to Focus on Economic Populism, Not Social Justice Cultural Marxism (VIDEO)

Following-up from Friday, "What Defines a Democrat?"

Here's more background on the conflict, at Politico, "DNC rally with anti-abortion candidate fuels backlash." And from Melissa McEwan, at Shakesville, "Bernie Sanders, My Autonomy Is Not Negotiable." (Via Memeorandum.) (Ms. Melissa probably gives the perfect argument for the left's social just position. Economic issues just aren't as important as social issues.)

I have to admit I still get a kick out of Bernie, even though he's a doctrinaire Marxist. Frankly, I love him taking it to the radical left's social justice warriors, hammering 'em on the very things that have caused the political obliteration of the Democrats.

Here's his interview on this morning's Face the Nation:

'It is worth underlining that this is the first time in modern French history that neither of the mainstream centre-right or centre-left parties of government that have governed France since the second world war have qualified for the second round of a presidential election...'

That is well worth underlining. The mainstream political establishment is bankrupt. My only sense is that this Macron dude is also bankrupt, and he'll just bury France in the socialist dead end left over from François Hollande.

At the Guardian U.K., "French election: Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen estimated through to second round – live - Independent centrist Macron estimated to have taken 23.7% of vote with Front National leader Le Pen on 21.7%; official results to follow."

And at Blazing Cat Fur, "France faces its own EU referendum as far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who supports an exit, and Europhile Emmanuel Macron split the first-round vote to go head to head in presidential elections."

President Trump's Approval Holds Steady with Base of Supporters

He's otherwise down in approval, but there a virtually imperceptible drop in support from his hardcore base.

At WaPo, via Memeorandum, "Nearing 100 days, Trump's approval at record lows but his base is holding":

President Trump nears the 100-day mark of his administration as the least popular chief executive in modern times, a president whose voters remain largely satisfied with his performance, but one whose base of support has not expanded since he took the oath of office, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Trump’s first months in office have produced some tangible successes. Beyond the continued enthusiasm of his most loyal supporters, a small majority of Americans see him as a strong leader. A bigger majority approves of his efforts to pressure U.S. companies to keep jobs in this country. Those who say the economy is getting better outnumber those who say it’s getting worse by the biggest margin in 15 years in Post-ABC polling.

But the president’s balance sheet overall tilts toward the negative. Majorities of Americans say Trump has not accomplished much during his first months as president. Meanwhile, he shows little improvement on his temperament and honesty, and while he’s gained ground on empathy, over 6 in 10 still say he does not understand the problems of people like them.

With a week remaining before his 100th day in office, Trump has yet to achieve a major legislative accomplishment, having been dealt a major setback when Republicans in Congress decided not to proceed with a vote on a health-care bill supported by the White House. His clearest achievement is the successful nomination of Neil M. Gorsuch to the Supreme Court seat previously held by conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

Executive actions on trade, immigration, climate and government organization have pointed the direction he wants to take the country, though his controversial proposed travel ban that affects a number of Muslim-majority nations remains blocked by the courts. Trump and others in his administration have attacked the courts, accusing them of overreach, but nearly 6 in 10 people see their actions as a legitimate role for the judicial branch.

Overseas, he has demonstrated his willingness to use military force, with targeted strikes in Syria and the use of one of the biggest non-nuclear devices in the U.S. arsenal in Afghanistan. But tensions with North Korea remain high and the administration’s policy in the Middle East remains cloudy.

The 100-day marker is in part an artificial measuring post for any president, but by comparison, Trump has reached this point in his presidency faring worse to much worse than other recent presidents. An electorate that was deeply divided throughout the 2016 campaign remains so today, with opposition seemingly hardened and unyielding on most questions regarding his presidency...
Trump's doing fine. You have to remember that the entire political world is stacked up against him, and that includes foreign governments and their leftist mass-media enablers.

As long as he holds the base, he'll be fine. And with the economy chugging along, and with the administration's outward support for American workers, I expect he'll be cruising into 2020 if things hold up.

Maybe Roger Simon will be a winning prognosticator.

Still more.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Jennifer Delacruz's Summer-Like Forecast

She's so lovely!

And boy, it does feel like summer out there.

Jean-Yves Camus and Nicolas Lebourg, Far-Right Politics in Europe

A quite timely book, at Amazon, Jean-Yves Camus and Nicolas Lebourg, Far-Right Politics in Europe.
In Europe today, staunchly nationalist parties such as France’s National Front and the Austrian Freedom Party are identified as far-right movements, though supporters seldom embrace that label. More often, “far right” is pejorative, used by liberals to tar these groups with the taint of Fascism, Nazism, and other discredited ideologies. Jean-Yves Camus and Nicolas Lebourg’s critical look at the far right throughout Europe―from the United Kingdom to France, Germany, Poland, Italy, and elsewhere―reveals a prehistory and politics more complex than the stereotypes suggest and warns of the challenges these movements pose to the EU’s liberal-democratic order.

The European far right represents a confluence of many ideologies: nationalism, socialism, anti-Semitism, authoritarianism. In the first half of the twentieth century, the radical far right achieved its apotheosis in the regimes of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. But these movements have evolved significantly since 1945, as Far-Right Politics in Europe makes clear. The 1980s marked a turning point in political fortunes, as national-populist parties began winning seats in European parliaments. Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in the United States, a new wave has unfurled, one that is explicitly anti-immigrant and Islamophobic in outlook.

Though Europe’s far-right parties differ in important respects, they are motivated by a common sense of mission: to save their homelands from what they view as the corrosive effects of multiculturalism and globalization by creating a closed-off, ethnically homogeneous society. Members of these movements are increasingly determined to gain power through legitimate electoral means. In democracies across Europe, they are succeeding.

Controversy Surrounds Linda Sarsour Commencement Address at City University of New York (VIDEO)

Oh for crying out loud, let her speak.

If not, conservatives are just as bad as leftists.

At the Daily Caller, "Public CUNY College Commencement Speaker Has Terror Ties."

And CBS News 2 New York:

Nebraska Liquor Stores Lose Licenses

Following-up from last month, "Whiteclay, Nebraska, Beer Portal to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation."

At the Omaha World-Herald, "Appalled' liquor commissioners vote to deny licenses for Whiteclay beer stores."

And at the New York Times:

ICYMI: Paul Chaat Smith, Like a Hurricane

At Amazon, Paul Chaat Smith, Like a Hurricane: The Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee.

BONUS: Akim D. Reinhardt, Ruling Pine Ridge: Oglala Lakota Politics from the IRA to Wounded Knee.

Deals on Classic Turntables

I still have my vinyl record collection, amazingly. How about you?

D'you need a new record player?

At Amazon, Today's Deals.

Also, Savings on Lenovo Desktops.

Plus, Save on Children's Books.

More, Mountain House Just In Case...Classic Assortment Bucket.

And, KIND Breakfast Bars, Peanut Butter, Gluten Free, 1.8 Ounce, 32 Count.

BONUS: Vine Deloria, Jr., God is Red: A Native View of Religion, 30th Anniversary Edition.

Alessandra Ambrosio Spring Break (VIDEO)

Very sexy!

For LOVE Magazine:

Marine Promises to 'take her country back': French Presidential Candidate Marine Le Pen and Europe's 'Far-Right' Movement (VIDEO)

Following-up from earlier this morning, "French Presidential Election's a Battle of Left-Right Extremes."

That's Terry Moran at the video, who interviews National Front candidate Marine Le Pen, for ABC News Nightline:

You Want a Civil War?

At the Liberty Zone, "You want a civil war? Because that’s how you get a civil war."

Also, "Filthy Antifa Whore Lies":
Normally, I wouldn’t call someone a Filthy Antifa Whore (FAW). However, since Moldylocks, who was shown getting punched out at this weekend’s Berkeley protests by some dude everyone claims is a fascist/racist/neo-nazi/somethingorother, is a nasty, unwashed, slovenly sow, and since she did, in fact, demonstrate riot, throw bottles, and assault people at a rally for a President whom she apparently does not like, and since there are photos of said skank on the Internet baring her unshaven, unwashed, beaver and sprocket, that probably reek of week-old garbage and decaying pork, wide for the world – and presumably her parents – to see, I think FAW is appropriate.

No, I’m not giving you a link, pervs. When I ran across it while doing an image search on the protests the other day, I’m pretty sure I developed a severe case of post-traumatic stress, and I may or may not have gone blind for an unspecified period of time, while desperately stumbling around my house trying to find enough brain bleach to erase that image from my mind forever. Suffice it to say that cum-gurgling sausage junkie gives the term “bearded clam” an entire new meaning.

Her mommy and daddy must be so proud!
Keep reading (via Blazing Cat Fur).

The "FAW" is of course "Emily Rose Mitchell."

See, "Leftism 'Weaponized' Berkeley Antifa Girl Emily Rose Mitchell (VIDEO)."

Lisbeth Haas, Saints and Citizens

As promised, I've been posting on California's Indians, and so far I've been able to offer some balanced takes. I'm holding off on the so-called California "genocide" studies, but it's only a matter of time now. I'm reading around myself, so I'll be better able to evaluate the claims of radical scholars and offer refutations.

Meanwhile, here's Professor Lisbeth Haas, Saints and Citizens: Indigenous Histories of Colonial Missions and Mexican California.

BONUS: Albert L. Hurtado, Indian Survival on the California Frontier, and James J. Rawls, Indians of California: The Changing Image.

Last Elk Crosses the Road (VIDEO)

This is great!

Watch, "Massive Herd of Elk in Montana."

Via Sabateur365, "Have a Laugh GIF: The Last Elk."

Harvard Feminist Nian Hu: Men 'Will Always Be Oppressors'

Radical feminists should be institutionalized in mass.

Through in the transgender rights lobby and we'll be half way toward restoring sanity in this country. Sheesh.

At the Other McCain, "Harvard Feminist @Nian_Hu Hates Men, Who ‘Will Always Be Oppressors’."

The woman wrote a piece at the Harvard Crimson called "Beware the Male Feminist," but click through at the link for all the details.

Jeffrey Ostler, The Plains Sioux and U.S. Colonialism from Lewis and Clark to Wounded Knee

I'm getting very deep into this literature now. But I'm teaching a new course in the fall semester --- new for me, "Introduction to Political Science" --- and over the summer I'll be needing to do some considerable reading in political ideologies in preparation. More on that later.

Meanwhile, at Amazon, Jeffrey Ostler, The Plains Sioux and U.S. Colonialism from Lewis and Clark to Wounded Knee.

French Presidential Election's a Battle of Left-Right Extremes

Actually, I don't think right-wing nationalist populism is extreme.

But the French National Front harks back to some darker ideological currents in French postwar politics, especially with its founder Jean-Marie Le Pen.

He's long gone now, though, and everything I've seen about Marine indicates she wants a modern party completely divorced of the stains from Europe's Nazi past (and her father's legacy). It's leftist who cling to such ideas, as a way to hang onto power. Notice how the left-wing extreme, hardcore communism, never comes under the same microscopic scrutiny as the right. You just have to hate leftists for such bastardization of decency, fairness, and common sense.

At Der Spiegel, "A Complete Breakdown: Extremists on Left and Right Push France to the Brink":

With only a few days to go before the first round of voting, a systemic crisis is dominating the campaign in France. It is no longer inconceivable that a Euroskeptic radical leftist or a far-right populist could become the country's next president. This bodes poorly for the French, but also their neighbors in Europe.

It sounds like a political parody -- or like a badly overwritten European take on "West Wing." A right-wing populist party has spent months at the top of the polls, neck-and-neck with the former rising star of an entrenched party who decided to bolt and found his own political movement. Right on their heels is the far-left candidate who is experiencing a late surge and outpolling the centrist establishment. Meanwhile, the incumbent, having governed his way to historically low public opinion ratings, has decided not to run for re-election and his party is dead in the water. And the center-right candidate, who looked strong out of the gate, has become embroiled in multiple embarrassing affairs involving greed, his wife and more greed. But he has remained in the race anyway and still has a shot.

It is, of course, a completely unrealistic scenario, but it is the thrilling truth in France in April 2017. The main players are Marine Le Pen, Emmanuel Macron, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, François Hollande and François Fillon -- and together, they are illustrating a complete breakdown of established politics in France.

Like elsewhere in Europe, France has seen the erosion in stature in recent years of its two main political parties, which once set the course in the country but have diminished considerably compared to the prominence they enjoyed for decades. Populists on the far-right and far-left are gaining in popularity, offering voters the illusion of collective withdrawal: from Europe, from NATO, from globalization, from "the system" and, if they had their way, from the foreigners in our midst.

General Incompetence

If you add together the poll numbers of the French candidates who are calling for such forms of withdrawal in various combinations and manifestations, you would end up with a majority, sufficient for a coalition government united in its aversion to the status quo.

The presidential election in France is becoming yet another end game over Europe's political future. And the poll numbers are currently bouncing back and forth, much as they did in Britain before the Brexit vote and in the United States before Donald Trump's election as president. For weeks, the likely outcome of the first round of voting on April 23 had seemed relatively clear. But now that the election, with 11 candidates in the running, is getting closer, poll numbers are beginning to shift. There is no longer a clear forecast, neither for the first round nor for the second round on May 7, in which the two top candidates from the first round enter a runoff election.

According to pollsters, 40 percent of eligible voters are still undecided, meaning that all possible combinations are possible at the moment, and even nightmares cannot be ruled out. Will the runoff be a duel between radical leftist Mélenchon and right-winger Le Pen, two politicians who believe European unification is a plague, who both see Germany as a threat and whose platforms sound like Christmas wish lists?

And how is it even possible that such questions are seriously being raised? How did extremists become front-runners? How did outsiders become candidates? Where are the forces of compromise? Where is the political center? Those looking for answers are well advised to step off the dizzying election-campaign carousel...
This is written from the establishment perspective, the same perspective that dissed the British majority that voted for Brexit, and the same establishment stateside that dissed the MAGA coalition of voters that put President Trump in the White House. These people are the hardest hit. And frankly, if one of these so-called "extreme" candidates doesn't win the French presidency, things are only going to get worse. We'll have more of the same "consensus" politics over there that's resulted in a permanent state of siege across the continent, not to mention the complete discrediting of Europe's supranational integration program.

In any case, still more.

'Communism for Kids'

Well, this had to be published sooner or later, since our culture is so totally FUBAR.

At Amazon, Communism for Kids.

You see, Marxist-Leninist totalitarianism's just a fairly tale.

Hat Tip: The Daily Signal, "‘Communism for Kids’ Turns Deadly Ideology Into a Fairy Tale."

Friday, April 21, 2017

Charles F. Wilkinson, Blood Struggle


At Amazon, Charles F. Wilkinson, Blood Struggle: The Rise of Modern Indian Nations.

Jennifer Delacruz's Warm Weekend Forecast

Well, it sure did warm up today. A perfect day for the beach.

Should be spectacular tomorrow as well.

What Defines a Democrat?

Well, cultural Marxism, of course.

But apparently old-fashioned Marxism still has some pull, heh.

At the New York Times, "At a ‘Unity’ Stop in Nebraska, Democrats Find Anything But":

WASHINGTON — Rarely has a municipal election in a midsize city ignited such a fierce national debate over what defines a Democrat. But the election this spring for mayor of Omaha is pitting abortion rights activists against economic populists and threatening the party’s unity as it regroups to confront President Trump.

Part of the twist: The populist side’s standard-bearer, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, is not even a Democrat.

“This is very raw,” said Randi Weingarten, the head of the American Federation of Teachers, conceding that “after the presidential election, there is still this ongoing debate about identity politics versus economic opportunity.”

Mr. Sanders and the new leadership of the Democratic National Committee touched a party sore spot this week when they took their “Unity Tour” to Omaha to rally for a mayoral candidate who opposes abortion rights. Mr. Sanders, repurposing the themes of his presidential bid, told a crowd of about 6,000 on Thursday night that the candidate, Heath Mello, 37, would be a future star in the Democratic Party who could help break the grip of big money on the nation’s politics.

Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, a prominent abortion rights advocacy group, called it a betrayal, especially of the women who have fueled the “resistance” that has energized Democrats since Mr. Trump’s unexpected triumph.

“It tells your most active political base that we’re just negotiable political property,” Ms. Hogue said of the statement sent by Mr. Sanders and Representative Keith Ellison, the Democratic National Committee’s new deputy chairman, who appeared with Mr. Mello. “Since the election, women have been engaged on the front lines of every progressive fight. So what message does it send for the party to start this tour with an anti-choice candidate?”

Mr. Mello, a practicing Catholic, supported a Nebraska State Senate bill requiring that women be informed of their right to request a fetal ultrasound before an abortion. The anger over that position reflects a long-running argument among Democrats over whether, or how much, to support candidates who depart from party orthodoxy on abortion.

But the ferocity of the dispute this time reveals a much deeper debate on the left: Should a commitment to economic justice be the party’s central and dominant appeal, or do candidates also have to display fealty to the Democrats’ cultural catechism?

An Omaha mayoral election on May 9 may seem an unlikely place for this fight to play out, but a collision was inevitable. Despite being the most sought-after Democrat in the country today, Mr. Sanders is actually an independent and self-described democratic socialist animated chiefly by class uplift. But the clamor for his attention comes as the party is increasingly defined by its positions on issues related to race, gender and sexuality.

The wounds from his clash with Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary clearly have yet to heal, in large part because the overarching debate between them has yet to be reconciled.

Mr. Sanders has emerged as the most popular active politician in America, according to a new survey by Harvard University and Harris Insights and Analytics, and his presence is demanded in Democratic campaigns no matter the political tint of the region. Yet his recent moves have infuriated some progressives.

First, Mr. Sanders campaigned with Tom Perriello, the Virginia Democratic candidate for governor who supported some anti-abortion measures during a single term in Congress (though Mr. Perriello has apologized for doing so).

Then Mr. Sanders pointedly declined to campaign for Jon Ossoff, a Democrat running for an open House seat outside Atlanta, deeming him insufficiently populist. (Mr. Sanders issued a statement on Friday offering his support for Mr. Ossoff.) Not only is the Ossoff race the highest-profile campaign of the moment, but the Republican nominee, Karen Handel, is loathed by the abortion rights movement for her role as an official at the Susan G. Komen foundation in separating that group, the nation’s largest breast cancer organization, from Planned Parenthood.

Then Mr. Sanders arrived in Omaha for Mr. Mello, after persuading the Democratic National Committee to make the rally a part of a party-sanctioned tour.

Coming against the backdrop of Mr. Trump’s election and the wave of new, female-led activism in opposition to a leader they believe is a repugnant misogynist, many female progressive leaders are adamant about keeping reproductive rights front and center. And they see the matter of Mr. Mello as an opportunity to send a statement to the party’s leadership.

“It is incredibly important that people within the progressive movement and Democratic Party realize that women are sick of this” stuff, said Erin Matson, a Virginia-based abortion rights activist, “and we’re not going to take it anymore.” (She used a more pungent word than “stuff.”) “What Bernie doesn’t seem to realize,” she added, “is that the abortion rights movement has really bucked up and gotten some tough ovaries in the last couple of years.”

Tom Perez, the party’s newly elected chairman, had been campaigning with Mr. Ossoff in Georgia when Mr. Sanders was in Nebraska. But in interviews leading up to the event, Mr. Perez was unapologetic about supporting Mr. Mello, who has recently said that although he personally opposed abortion, he would uphold abortion rights as mayor...
Actually, I don't think you can be a pro-life Democrat. These people are all about killing babies. If you're pro-life, you're out.

But keep reading.

Samantha Hoopes in Curaçao (VIDEO)

She's so beautiful.

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:

Edward Lazarus, Black Hills/White Justice


At Amazon, Edward Lazarus, Black Hills/White Justice: The Sioux Nation Versus the United States — 1775 to the Present.

The Left is Going Nuts Over Sarah Palin, Kid Rock, and Ted Nugent

Here's Ken Taylor on Facebook:
The left is going nuts over the picture of Sarah Palin, Kid Rock and Ted Nugent pointing and smirking at the offical portrait of the Hildabeast during a recent visit for dinner with the President at The White House calling them disrespectful. Just think how they'd react if most of us saw the same picture and what we would do while looking at it! hahaha...

You can read leftist comments at Eschaton.

Also, read all about it at Memeornadum, "Sarah Palin visits White House with Kid Rock, Ted Nugent.

Florida State Senator Frank Artiles Resigns

He probably should have resigned, considering that nasty alcohol-fueled rant he unleashed.

Yeah, he got caught in the web of political correctness, but I have the feeling that the alcohol just worked like a truth serum for him, and out came some nasty bigoted thoughts from deep inside. He even called fellow Republicans "niggas."

I just don't know sometimes. Some things are just about basic human decency, not politics.

At the Miami Herald, "Miami lawmaker resigns over racial slur scandal."

Leftism 'Weaponized' Berkeley Antifa Girl Emily Rose Mitchell (VIDEO)

Following-up from yesterday, "Emily Rose Mitchell."

Don't miss this Ezra Levant commentary on Ms. Emily's radical leftist transformation, at the Rebel, "#Moldylocks: Learn who weaponized Berkeley Antifa girl."

Marine Le Pen Gaining Support After Paris Terror Attack

As soon as I heard news of the attack, I knew Marine Le Pen would get a boost, and it's true.

At Newsweek, "FRENCH ELECTION LATEST POLLS: MARINE LE PEN GAINING SUPPORT AFTER PARIS SHOOTING." (There's auto-play video on that one, so turn down your volume before you click.)

My hunch is she'll make it to the May 7th runoff vote, and then the other parties and factions will join in a coalition against her. The idea that the so-called "far-right" candidate could win sends establishment wussies into convulsions. Daily Beast reporter Christopher Dickey is on video at France 24 whining about how if Le Pen wins, "it's the end of the world as we know it."


'Fight Inequality!' is a Poor Rallying Cry

Americans aren't that bothered by inequality.

Leftists are bothered. Normal people, not so much.

From Tyler Cowen, at Bloomberg View:

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Jennifer Delacruz's Beautiful Sunshine Forecast

It's warming up for the weekend, and it's going to be just wonderful.

And here's the wonderful lovely Ms. Jennifer, for ABC News 10 San Diego:

U.C. Berkeley Flip-Flops on Ann Coulter Speech (VIDEO)

There's video of Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks here.

And see Bloomberg, "U.C. Berkeley Flip-Flops on Ann Coulter, Proposes May Date."

Coulter appeared on Tucker Carlson's yesterday:

Eric Hinderaker and Peter C. Mancall, At the Edge of Empire

At Amazon, Eric Hinderaker and Peter C. Mancall, At the Edge of Empire: The Backcountry in British North America.
During the course of the seventeenth century, Europeans and Native Americans came together on the western edge of England's North American empire for a variety of purposes, from trading goods and information to making alliances and war. This blurred and constantly shifting frontier region, known as the backcountry, existed just beyond England's imperial reach on the North American mainland. It became an area of opportunity, intrigue, and conflict for the diverse peoples who lived there.

In At the Edge of Empire, Eric Hinderaker and Peter C. Mancall describe the nature of the complex interactions among these interests, examining colorful and sometimes gripping instances of familiarity and uneasiness, acceptance and animosity, and cooperation and conflict, from individual encounters to such vast undertakings as the Seven Years' War. Over time, the European settlers who established farms and trading posts in the backcountry displaced the region's Native inhabitants. Warfare and disease each took a horrifying toll across Indian country, making it easier for immigrants to establish themselves on lands once peopled only by Native Americans. Eventually, these pioneers established economically, culturally, and politically self-sufficient communities that increasingly resented London's claims of sovereignty. As Hinderaker and Mancall show, these resentments helped to shape the ideals that guided the colonists during the American Revolution.

The first book in a new Johns Hopkins series, Regional Perspectives on Early America, At the Edge of Empire explores one of British America's most intriguing regions, both widening and deepening our understanding of North America's colonial experience.

Bill O'Reilly Put Fox News on the Map — What's Next?

A nice piece.

At the Los Angeles Times, "He helped build Fox News into a juggernaut. What's next for Bill O'Reilly?":

Bill O’Reilly has long been an imposing presence in cable news and the so-called culture wars.

The 6-foot, 4-inch former high school history teacher from Long Island demonstrated that a strong opinion could translate into a powerful platform and big profits long before social media — or even President Trump — was a thing. O’Reilly helped boost Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel into a $1-billion-plus-a-year business.

But in the wake of his dismissal Wednesday over allegations of sexual harassment, it remains to be seen whether the scandal would mortally wound his reputation or dent his business prospects.

“He had a massive megaphone to talk to the people — and that has been taken away,” said Fred Cook, director of the USC Center of Public Relations at the Annenberg School. “I think he's a little like Donald Trump in that he has a loyal following. Those hardcore supporters will continue to support him and may even be more supportive of him after this.”

O’Reilly, who has been on vacation for the last week, including a visit with Pope Francis at the Vatican, has asserted that the allegations that he sexually harassed women who appeared on his show are “unfounded.” Parent company 21st Century Fox said in a statement: “After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel.”

It is a harsh fall from grace for one of television’s most bankable stars. “The O’Reilly Factor” long has been one of the most popular programs on cable TV, this year averaging 4 million viewers an episode, according to ratings company Nielsen.

O’Reilly masterfully turned his Fox News bully pulpit into a springboard for his publishing pursuits. He is one of the country's most popular nonfiction authors with his “Killing Lincoln,” “Killing Kennedy” and “Killing Jesus” books, several of which have been made into TV movies on the National Geographic Channel (also owned by Fox).

O’Reilly’s “Killing” series books have consistently sold 1 million or more copies in hardcover, a rare achievement in publishing. He had other best-sellers, including “Bill O’Reilly: Culture Warrior,” the memoir “A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity” and his most recent work, “Old School,” which includes passages urging the respectful treatment of women.

“His show was a massive platform for him and supported everything he's doing,” Cook said. “It will be harder for him to reach the same number of people.”

In recent years, the 67-year-old TV host and author mentioned during various talk show appearances that he would eventually slow down. But he remained busy outside his Fox News studio. He has headlined live shows around the country with comedian Dennis Miller called “The Spin Stops Here Tour,” which is still scheduled to make stops in Baltimore, Las Vegas and Anaheim later this year.

“This [scandal] has definitely hurt his brand in the broad sense, but he will undoubtedly bounce back,” said Marlene Morris Towns, an adjunct marketing professor at Georgetown University in Washington. “He will find a home because his super-loyal fan base will still support him.”

Industry insiders suggested that O’Reilly might concentrate his efforts on his books and turning them into TV movies. O'Reilly and coauthor Martin Dugard are due to release another book in the “Killing” series in September, and a spokeswoman for publisher Henry Holt and Co. said that plans had not changed.

Some suggested he could earn big fees by hitting the speaking circuit. And others said he might even re-create some of his cable news success with a show on radio or an upstart Internet streaming service.

O’Reilly also could resurface as a commentator on traditional television, such as for the conservative Sinclair Broadcasting Group, a Maryland TV station chain that has shown an appetite for owning TV content and this month hired Trump’s former spokesman, Boris Epshteyn, to be its chief political analyst. (A Sinclair executive could not be reached for comment)...

And click on at the video above, which features Kirsten Powers discussing her relationship with O'Reilly (she left "The Factor" as a guest for three years, got no help from Fox News on her allegations of sexual harassment, and ended up going back on the show after reaching a personal and cordial accommodation with the host).

Kara Del Toro 'Unforgettable' Premiere in Los Angeles (PHOTOS)

At Saw First, "Kara Del Toro at the Premiere of Film 'Unforgettable' in Los Angeles."

She's lovely.

Stephen Brooks and William Wohlforth, America Abroad

My favorite international relations scholars, at Amazon, Stephen Brooks and William Wohlforth, America Abroad: The United States' Global Role in the 21st Century.

Christopher R. Browning Reviews Volker Ullrich's, Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939

Following-up from last month, "Richard J. Evans Reviews Volker Ullrich's, Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939."

At the New York Review of Books, "Lessons from Hitler’s Rise."

I'm fascinated by the Trump/Hitler comparisons, mainly because they're so stupid and outlandish. Barack Obama was more a threat to the American democracy than is Donald Trump, but leftists are so blinkered it just never occurs to them.

In any case, I do hope to read Ullrich's book soon, although I'll probably wait until it's out in paper.

Anger and Uncertainty at Fox

Following-up from yesterday, "Bill O'Reilly, Replaced at Fox News by Tucker Carlson, Calls His Ouster 'Tremendously Disheartening'."

From Hadas Gold, at Politco, "Fox staffers express relief, anger and uncertainty."

There's Little Diversity on Today's College Campuses

Here's Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, for Prager Univeristy:

Hailey Clauson and Bo Krsmanovic in Finland (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:

Emily Rose Mitchell

Following-up from the other day, "Trump Supporters Crush 'Anti-Fascist' Protesters in Berkeley (VIDEO)."

Here is Emily Rose Mitchell, a.k.a. Louise Rosealma, the woman who was punched in the face by white supremacist Nathan Damigo during the melee.

More at the Ralph Retort, "MEDIA LIES EXPOSED: Antifa Thug Girl Was Using Glass Bottles as Weapons Before Punch."

And at, "The Doxxing Of Louise Rosealma Reveals Link Between Antifa and Porn Industry: Does Antifa recruit from the pornography industry?"

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Amber Lee's Warmup Weather Forecast

Ms. Amber's a hot sweetie.

For CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Ruchir Sharma, The Rise and Fall of Nations

At Amazon, Ruchir Sharma, The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World.

Shop Today

At Amazon, Today's Deals.

And, Arts, Crafts and Sewing.

Also, Best Sellers in Televisions.

More, Shop Laptops.

BONUS: Saul Friedlander, Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1933-1945: Abridged Edition.

'It's Alabama, you'll discover the police behave differently than they do in Berkeley...'

The quote's from Lew Harper's tweet, at Twitchy, "Auburn takes Berkeley to school as police unmask anti-fascists outside Richard Spencer speech."

I don't like Richard Spencer, but neither do I like the so-called "anti-fascists" (who are really fascists).

Paul Andrew Hutton, The Apache Wars


At Amazon, Paul Andrew Hutton, The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History.

Bill O'Reilly, Replaced at Fox News by Tucker Carlson, Calls His ouster 'Tremendously Disheartening'

Following-up from yesterday, "Bill O'Reilly Out at Fox News."

At the Los Angeles Times:

Fox News has officially cut ties with its biggest prime-time star, Bill O’Reilly, following sexual harassment claims lodged against him.

“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” 21st Century Fox said in a statement.

O’Reilly — the network’s signature talent who used his cable news fame to become a best-selling author, live tour attraction and TV producer — has been off the air since April 12. He was scheduled to return from a vacation Monday, but instead he will be replaced by Tucker Carlson, who hosts the 9 p.m. Eastern hour that follows O’Reilly’s show.

On Wednesday afternoon, O’Reilly released a statement saying “it is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims.”

“But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today,” he said. “I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel.”

Carlson, who joined the network’s weekday lineup last year and moved to fill Megyn Kelly’s time period in January, will be a part of a major shakeup of the Fox News program lineup triggered by O’Reilly’s departure.

Fox News is also moving its 5 p.m. Eastern discussion show “The Five” to fill Carlson’s 9 p.m. time slot. The replacement for “The Five” will be a new program hosted by Eric Bolling, who is one of the panelists...
Also at Memeorandum, "Fox News Has Decided Bill O'Reilly Has to Go."

Kori Ali Muhammad

By now you've probably seen this horrific story.

It's at the Other McCain, "Fresno Massacre: Three White Men Murdered by Kori Ali Muhammad."

Ali Muhammad said that Islam taught him to hate white people, and he acted on his faith. What's so hard about that? A lot, apparently. Leftist media outlets again tried to turn this into another "random" massacre. But that's not going to work.

See Noah Rothman, at Commentary, "Terror, Race, and Abject Absurdity: Calling Islamist terrorism by its name."

And at the Fresno Bee, "Shooting rampage could result in a rarity – death penalty for suspect."

Julia Roberts Named 'World's Most Beautiful Woman' by People Magazine for Record Fifth Time

I do like Julia Roberts. Oddly, it was her guest appearance on "Law and Order" years ago that did it. I realized how astoundingly powerful of an actress she was. Very beautiful as well.

The "world's more beautiful"? Probably not, but see WWTDD, "Julia Roberts 'Most Beautiful Woman' For Record Fifth Time."

Bella Thorne Sensational Instagram Photos

At London's Daily Mail, "Bella Thorne shows off her pierced nipple in sensational snaps."

ICYMI: Richard Slotkin, Regeneration Through Violence

I'm well into, and greatly enjoying, Richard Slotkin's, Regeneration Through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600–1860.

I picked up the 1996 Harper Perennial edition, which features Frederic Remington's "The Intruders" as the cover art (and seen below). Not sure, but some websites indicate the painting's dated to 1900. (Remington died in 1909 at the age of 48.)

Plus, my copy of Slotkin's The Fatal Environment: The Myth of the Frontier in the Age of Industrialization, 1800–1890 arrived on Easter Sunday. It's from the original publisher, the University of Oklahoma Press, which does an excellent job on frontier and Native American studies.

In any case, thanks for your support. I really recommend Slotkin if you're looking for super stimulating academic tomes. Indeed, Gunfighter Nation: Myth of the Frontier in Twentieth-Century America completes Slotkin's trilogy on the frontier myth, and boy do those three volumes represent a life's work. It's a pretty astonishing achievement. I'm pretty blown away by these books.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Jackie Johnson's Clearing and Warmer Forecast

The lovely Ms. Jackie's back this week, at CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Professor Caroline Heldman Calls for 80 Percent Tax on the Rich (VIDEO)

My post from a few years ago, "Professor Caroline Heldman Marries Occidental Sociologist Danielle Dirks," was getting lit up on Google earlier this evening, so I was like, "What is up?"

It turns out Professor Heldman got "tucked" by Tucker Carlson, on Fox News:

Theresa May Calls General Election (VIDEO)


From the Prime Minister, at the Telegraph U.K., "Theresa May: An election is the best way to strengthen Britain’s hand as we exit the E.U. (P.M. believes it is in Britain’s national interest to have a General Election now.)":

On Tuesday, I announced my decision to hold a General Election on Thursday 8th June in order to secure the strong and stable leadership the country needs to see us through Brexit and beyond.

I welcome the fact that the other parties have indicated they will support that decision in the House of Commons today.

It is not a decision that I have reached lightly. The priority when I became Prime Minister was to provide the country with stability after the long and passionately fought referendum campaign.

But having delivered that and reflected long and hard about the task ahead, I believe it is in Britain’s national interest to have a General Election now...
More, "Theresa May announces snap general election on June 8 to 'make a success of Brexit'":
Theresa May has called a snap general election for June 8, claiming that divisions at Westminster risked hampering the Brexit negotiations.

The Prime Minister will require the support of two-thirds of MPs to go to the country, with a vote scheduled in the Commons on Wednesday after the surprise announcement on Tuesday morning.

The move stunned Westminster, as Mrs May and Number 10 have repeatedly insisted she would not seek a general election before the scheduled 2020 poll.

Speaking outside Number 10, the Prime Minister said the Cabinet had agreed to call an early election. It later emerged that Mrs May had phoned the Queen yesterday to inform her of her intention.

The move takes place against the backdrop of the country's decision to leave the European Union in last year's referendum.

Justifying the decision, Mrs May said: "The country is coming together but Westminster is not."

She said the "division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit".
Keep reading.

Interstate 20, in Atlanta, Shut Down After Freeway Buckles (VIDEO)

The buckled pavement launched a motorcyclist, who suffered broken bones, apparently.

At CBS News, "Section of I-20 buckles in Atlanta, "catapults" motorcyclist into the air."

And at ABC WSB-TV 2 Atlanta:

Bill O'Reilly Out at Fox News

It's a done deal.

WSJ is reporting, and they should know, being owned by Murdoch, who also owns Fox News.

Also, Hadas Gold at Politico below.

Well, he had a good run, heh.

ADDED: Politico's pulled the Hadas Gold piece, but I'm leaving that tweet up. Maybe Fox is now in fact confirming that O'Reilly's out. Expect updates.

More: Here's the link to the Hadas Gold piece, "Fox News won't confirm O'Reilly's return."

Bianca Balti Gets Flexible at Sumba Island (VIDEO)

She's a clean babe.

Following-up from previously, "Bianca Balti Uncovered for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2017 (VIDEO)."

At Sports Illustrated:

Steven W. Hackel, Children of Coyote, Missionaries of Saint Francis

At Amazon, Steven W. Hackel, Children of Coyote, Missionaries of Saint Francis: Indian-Spanish Relations in Colonial California, 1769-1850.

Out Today: David McCullough, The American Spirit

At Amazon, David McCullough, The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For.

He's a good guy.

On CBS This Morning, yesterday morning:

Christy Clark, British Columbia's Conservative Premier, Backs Off Province's Carbon Tax (VIDEO)


Canadian leftists must want this woman dead.

At the Los Angeles Times, with the hilariously biased headline, "British Columbia was once a leader in fighting climate change. Now, it's embracing fossil fuels":

British Columbia promotes itself as “Super, Natural,” and for many years it was praised for walking that talk.

Nearly a decade ago, the province enacted North America’s first tax on carbon emissions, putting it on the cutting edge of government efforts to fight climate change. The economy grew even as emissions declined. Climate activists around the world admired the move, but so did conservatives like former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, who sought market-driven solutions.

Now, however, Canada’s West Coast is striving toward a very different kind of cutting edge: British Columbia is positioning itself to become a global leader in exporting fossil fuels, with plans to nearly triple crude oil exports through a controversial new pipeline and vastly expand production of liquefied natural gas to be sold in Asia.

And although the revenue-neutral carbon tax is still in place, the province’s current political leadership has halted the annual rate increases built into the original plan. Emissions, meanwhile, are rising again.

“They definitely have horses on either side of the wagon,” Tarika Powell, who studies fossil fuel exports for Sightline Institute, a Seattle think tank, said of the British Columbia government. “And they are going in opposite directions.”

In a province that has been influential in shaping environmental policy in Canada and beyond, the question is which horse will prevail — and one clue to the answer is expected to come next month, when Premier Christy Clark faces reelection.

Clark, who took office in 2011, leads the conservative but incongruously named BC Liberal Party. Her predecessor, Gordon Campbell, was also a member of that party, yet while Campbell pushed the carbon tax to approval in 2008 and still takes pride in it, Clark has shown little interest in climate leadership.

She instead has championed liquefied natural gas, which involves cooling natural gas into a dense liquid to make it easier and cheaper to ship.

If all 19 of the current LNG proposals in the province were built, according to Powell’s research, British Columbia would become the world’s largest LNG exporter many times over, dwarfing the current leaders, Qatar and Australia. Emissions from LNG terminals and refineries could drastically increase the level of greenhouse gas emissions within the province — and much of those emissions would be exempt from the carbon tax, according to analyses of Clark’s plans.

It was Clark who froze the carbon tax in 2012 and has refused to raise it since then, essentially ignoring the advice of a special task force she created to make recommendations. Although Clark does highlight the province’s leadership on the carbon tax, she has cited concerns among some business groups and others that increasing it would hurt the economy.

Her closest challenger next month, John Horgan of the New Democratic Party, has said he supports raising the carbon tax because “it’s the right thing to do,” and he has lashed out at Clark for accepting millions in campaign donations from fossil fuel companies and other industry groups.

Yet a New Democratic Party strategy document obtained and leaked by the BC Liberals made it clear that even Horgan’s party is wary of being cast as supporting tax increases, regardless of the benefits. It also expressed concerns that the province’s Green Party would peel away votes if it took no action.

“The BC Liberals will call it a tax increase — and they’ll holler from the rooftops in rural B.C.,” the leaked document said.

“We must holler back with: ‘Our plan puts more money in the pocket for a majority of B.C. families. Hers doesn’t. Our plan actually accomplishes the goals of a carbon tax — reducing carbon pollution. Hers doesn’t. Our plan creates good jobs that last in a more sustainable economy with more opportunities for the future. Hers doesn’t.’”

The political sensitivity over the carbon tax within the province is striking given its influence outside it...
Keep reading.

Dana Loesch: 'We the People' Have Had It with the New York Times

Following-up, "Dana Loesch: 'Old gray hag, we're coming for you...' (VIDEO)."

Stefan Molyneux Talks to Lauren Southern (VIDEO)

I'm having a problem with Ms. Lauren, in how she's on Twitter cheering out-and-out racist white supremacists. I'm not into that. (See the Modesto Bee, "White supremacist who created stir at Stanislaus State seen punching woman at Berkeley protest.")

And that's my problem with the so-called "alt-right" more broadly. Just because you can do or say something doesn't make it right, and that's particularly true with regards to race and racism. Some of the stuff at Taki's Magazine, for example, goes too far, and that publication's been doing this kind of thing way before Trump's MAGA movement attracted lots of such people last years.

So, while I really like her, I think Ms. Lauren needs to discern more carefully the bounds of political propriety.

PREVIOUSLY: "Lauren Southern Rocks Berkeley!"

Monday, April 17, 2017

Jennifer Delacruz's Tuesday Forecast

Well, it hasn't cooled off quite yet, but there's supposed to be an onshore flow of low pressure headed our way tomorrow. Perhaps it'll be a littler cooler. Either way, delightful weather.

Here's the lovely Ms. Jennifer, for ABC News 10 San Diego:

The Four Issues Driving Trump's Populism

From VDH, at the New Criterion, "Populism, VIII: The unlikeliest populist":
Leftists deride the “bad” populism of angry and misdirected grievances lodged clumsily against educated and enlightened “elites,” often by the unsophisticated and the undereducated. Bad populism is fueled by ethnic, religious, or racial chauvinism, and typified by a purportedly “dark” tradition from Huey Long and Father Coughlin to George Wallace and Ross Perot.

Such retrograde populism to the liberal mind is to be contrasted with a “good” progressive populism of early-twentieth-century and liberal Minnesota or Wisconsin—solidarity through unions, redistributionist taxes, cooperatives, granges, and credit unions to protect against banks and corporations—now kept alive by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Good leftwing populism rails against supposedly culpable elites—those of the corporate world and moneyed interests—but not well-heeled intellectuals, liberal politicians, and the philanthropic class of George Soros, Bill Gates, or Warren Buffett, who make amends for their financial situations by redistributing their millions to the right causes.

The Right is similarly ambiguous about populism. “Bad” populists distrust government in sloppy fashion, failing to appreciate the intricacies of politics that understandably slow down change. “Bad” right-wing populists, given their unsophistication and wild emotions, are purportedly prone to dangerous excesses, American-firstism, social intolerance, and anti-capitalist bromides: think the pushback by the Tea Party or the Ron Paul zealots.

In contrast, “good” conservative populists are those who wish to trim the fat off complacent conservatism, reenergize the Republican Party with fresh ideas about small government and a return to social and cultural traditionalism, while avoiding compromise for compromise’s sake. Good populists for conservatives might include Ronald Reagan or even Ted Cruz.

Within these populist parameters, Trump appeared far more the “bad” or “dangerous” populist.

Despite Trump’s previously apolitical and elite background, he brilliantly figured out, even if cynically so, the populist discontent and its electoral ramifications that would erode the Democrats’ assumed unassailable “blue wall” that ran from Wisconsin to North Carolina. In contrast, sixteen other talented candidates, some of whom were far more experienced conservative politicians, over a year-long primary race lacked Trump’s intuition about the potential electoral benefits of courting such a large and apparently forgotten working-class population.

Critics would argue that Trump’s populist strategy was inauthentic, haphazard, and borne out of desperation: he initially had few other choices to win the Republican nomination.

Trump began his campaign with exceptional name recognition and seemingly with ample financial resources. Yet he lacked the connections of Jeb Bush to the Republican establishment and donor base, the grass-roots orthodox conservative movement’s fondness for Ted Cruz, the neoconservative brain trust that allied with Marco Rubio, and the organizations and reputations for pragmatic competence that governors such as Chris Christie, Rick Perry, or Scott Walker brought to the campaign.

Trump never possessed the mastery of the issues in the manner of Bobby Jindal or Rand Paul. Ben Carson was even more so the maverick political outsider. Nor was Trump as politically prepped as his fellow corporate newcomer Carly Fiorina. Despite his brand recognition, Trump’s long and successful experience in ad-hoc reality television, millions of dollars in free media attention, and personal wealth, he started the campaign at a disadvantage and so was ready to try any new approach to break out of the crowded pack—most prominently his inaugural rant about illegal immigration.

By 2012 standards, Trump, to the degree he had voiced a consistent political ideology, would likely have been considered the most liberal of the seventeen presidential candidates. In the recent past he had chided Mitt Romney for talking of self-deportation by illegal immigrants, praised a single-payer health system, and had at times campaigned to the left of both the past unsuccessful John McCain and Mitt Romney campaigns. Yet in 2016 Trump found a way to reassemble the remnants of what was left of the Tea Party/Ross Perot wing of the Republican Party.

Such desperation might explain his audacity and his willingness to campaign unconventionally if not crudely. Yet it does not altogether account for Trump’s choice to focus on what would become four resonant populist issues: trade/jobs, illegal immigration, a new nationalist foreign policy, and political correctness—the latter being the one issue that bound all the others as well. Trump’s initial emphasis on these concerns almost immediately set him apart from both his primary opponents and Hillary Clinton...
 Keep reading.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Chocolate Easter Candy

At Amazon, Shop Easter Chocolates.

BONUS: C.L. Lewis, Mere Christianity, and The Screwtape Letters.

Jennifer Delacruz's Easter Forecast

She's enough to bring you back all by herself.

Here's the lovely Ms. Jennifer's forecast from last night, at ABC News 10 San Diego:

The Christian Exodus From the Middle East

From Robin Wright, at the New Yorker, "War, Terrorism, and the Christian Exodus from the Middle East":

A decade ago, I spent Easter in Damascus. Big chocolate bunnies and baskets of pastel eggs decorated shop windows in the Old City. Both the Catholic and Orthodox Easters were celebrated, and all Syrians were given time off for both three-day holidays on sequential weekends. I stopped in the Umayyad Mosque, which was built in the eighth century and named after the first dynasty to lead the Islamic world. The head of John the Baptist is reputedly buried in a large domed sanctuary—although claims vary—on the mosque’s grounds. Muslims revere John as the Prophet Yahya, the name in Arabic. Because of his birth to a long-barren mother and an aged father, Muslim women who are having trouble getting pregnant come to pray at his tomb. I watched as Christian tourists visiting the shrine mingled with Muslim women.

At least half of Syria’s Christians have fled since then. The flight is so pronounced that, in 2013, Gregory III, the Melkite Patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem, wrote an open letter to his flock: “Despite all your suffering, stay here! Don’t emigrate!”

“We exhort our faithful and call them to patience in these tribulations, especially in this tsunami of stifling, destructive, bloody and tragic crises of our Arab world, particularly in Syria, but also to different degrees in Egypt, Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon,” he wrote. “Jesus tells us, ‘Fear not!’ “

Syria’s Christians are part of a mass exodus taking place throughout the Middle East, the cradle of the faith. Today, Christians are only about four per cent of the region’s more than four hundred million people—and probably less. They “have been subject to vicious murders at the hands of terrorist groups, forced out of their ancestral lands by civil wars, suffered societal intolerance fomented by Islamist groups, and subjected to institutional discrimination found in the legal codes and official practices of many Middle Eastern countries,” as several fellows at the Center for American Progress put it.

Last weekend, suicide bombings in two Egyptian Coptic churches in Alexandria and Tanta, sixty miles north of Cairo, killed almost four dozen Egyptians and injured another hundred. The Palm Sunday attacks, coming just weeks before Pope Francis is due to visit the country, led the Coptic Church to curtail Easter celebrations in a country that has the largest Christian population—some nine million people—in the Middle East. A pillar of the early faith, the Copts trace their origins to the voyage of the Apostle Mark to Alexandria.

“We can consider ourselves in a wave of persecution,” Bishop Anba Macarius, of the Minya diocese, who survived an assassination attempt in 2013, said on Thursday.

The isis affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula claimed credit for the attacks. In the past two years, it has carried out a series of gruesome killings of Christians, including the forced march of twenty-one Egyptian workers in Libya, all Coptic Christians, each clad in an orange prison jumpsuit, to a Mediterranean beach, where they were forced to kneel and then beheaded. isis threats against Christians have escalated since a suicide bombing on December 11th at St. Mark’s Cathedral, in Cairo, killed more than two dozen Egyptians. After a February attack that killed seven Christians on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the majority of Copts have fled the Sinai, according to Human Rights Watch.

The largest exodus of Christians is in Iraq, where the group has been trapped in escalating sectarian clashes between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, targeted by an Al Qaeda franchise, and forced to flee by the Islamic State. “There were 1.3 million Christians in Iraq in 2003. We’re down by a million since then,” with hundreds more leaving each month, Bashar Warda, a Chaldean bishop in the northern city of Erbil, the Kurdish capital, told me last month. He was wearing a pink zucchetto skullcap and an amaranth sash tied around his black cassock. A large silver cross hung around his neck.

“It’s very hard to maintain a Christian presence now,” Warda said. “Families have ten reasons to leave and not one reason to stay. This is a critical time in our history in this land. We are desperate.”

Last month, I drove to Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city and home for two millennia to one of the world’s oldest Christian communities. Within days of its conquest of Mosul, isis issued an ultimatum to Christians to either convert to Islam, pay an exorbitant and open-ended tax, or face death “by the sword.” Homes of Christians were marked by a large “N” for “Nassarah,” a term in the Koran for Christians.

Some thirty-five thousand Christians fled. Many of their homes were ransacked and then set alight. En route to Mosul, I passed other Christian villages, like Bartella, that had also emptied. Even gravestones at the local cemetery were bullet-ridden. In all, a hundred thousand Christians from across the Biblical Nineveh Plains are estimated to have abandoned their farmlands, villages, and towns for refuge in northern Kurdistan—or beyond Iraq’s borders...
Still more.