Thursday, December 8, 2016

Jonathan Haidt, Can't We All Disagree More Constructively?

Here's a Kindle "Vintage Short" Edition, at Amazon, from Jonathan Haidt, Can't We All Disagree More Constructively?
As America descends deeper into polarization and paralysis, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has done the seemingly impossible—he has explained the origins of morality, politics, and religion in a way that speaks to everyone on the political spectrum.

Drawing on twenty-five years of groundbreaking research, Haidt shows why liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have such different intuitions about right and wrong, and why we need the insights of each if we are to flourish as a nation. Here is the key to understanding the miracle of human cooperation and the eternal curse of moralistic aggression, across the political divide and around the world.

The full volume is Haidt's, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.

He's on Twitter as well.

Abbey Clancy LOVE Advent 2016 (VIDEO)

LOVE Advent has to be the coolest thing for babe blogging ever, heh.

Here's Ms. Abbey:

Donald Trump's Cabinet Picks Signal Coming Deregulation Moves

Well, the Scott Pruitt pick for the E.P.A. sends a particularly strong signal on deregulation.

And now with the nomination CKE CEO Andy Puzder, expect some serious calls to roll back onerous governmental bureaucracy.

Leftists are going to be wiggin'.

At WSJ, "Donald Trump’s Cabinet Selections Signal Deregulation Moves Are Coming":
Business leaders are predicting a dramatic unraveling of regulations on everything from overtime pay to power-plant emission rules as Donald Trump seeks to fill his cabinet with determined adversaries of the agencies they will lead.

The president-elect’s pick Thursday to head the Labor Department, fast-food executive Andrew Puzder, is an outspoken critic of the worker-pay policies advanced by the Obama administration. Mr. Trump’s choice for the next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, is a primary architect of legal challenges on President Barack Obama’s environmental regulations.

Other cabinet nominees critical of regulations advanced under Mr. Obama include Rep. Tom Price to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, financier Wilbur Ross Jr. at the Commerce Department and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. All will require Senate confirmation.

Those picks suggest the Trump administration, backed by a Republican Congress, is determined to advance labor, environmental and financial regulatory policies more favorable to many American corporations, though not all will back his proposals.

Appearing in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday as part of his postelection “thank you” tour, Mr. Trump said he will push to do away with regulations that are crimping job growth. “On regulations, we’re going to eliminate every single regulation that hurts our farms, our workers and our small businesses,” he said.

Business leaders say all Americans stand to benefit from a lighter regulatory touch that would boost profits, growth and hiring, particularly for small and midsize businesses.

“If government can stimulate business to hire more, rather than vilify us, that’s going to be a better milieu,” said Andrew Berlin, CEO of Chicago-based Berlin Packaging LLC, which makes glass and plastic bottles for consumer products.

“The continual onslaught of regulation over the last eight years—that probably has been pretty much our No. 1, overall concern as manufacturers,” said Jason Andringa, CEO of the Vermeer Corp., a Pella, Iowa-based maker of construction and farm machinery. “That there may be some relief from that is very appealing to us.”

Mr. Andringa said mounting Obama-era regulations have drained the time of several employees dedicated to complying with them. That has eaten into profits, despite overall rising sales in recent years. But the company has’t resorted to layoffs in more than a decade, he added.

Mr. Andringa said he does have reservations about Mr. Trump’s trade policies because Vermeer exports around one-fifth of the equipment it makes in Iowa. “We certainly hope not to see tariffs that are implemented here that then cause corresponding tariffs overseas,” he said.

While a push to freeze and rollback new regulations could cheer some CEOs, Mr. Trump’s relationship with the business community has had plenty of rough spots. Throughout the campaign he threatened to impose taxes on companies that moved jobs overseas. He lambasted big banks and multinational corporations in a campaign video that ascribed dark motives to the forces of globalism.

Mr. Trump also has taken to Twitter since the election to confront individual businesses and labor leaders by name over specific disputes, a tactic some economists warn could amplify corporate uncertainty around his policies...

Hollywood Faces Identity Crisis After Donald Trump's Election

I don't expect much to change.

When I took my young son to see "Hell or High Water" a few months back, I remarked as the film ended how it was mostly older white patrons exiting the theater. Those movie-goers wanted to enjoy something other than the far-left fare of Hollywood's politically-correct, identity-obsessed culture mavens.

"Hell or High Water" is mentioned at this piece as perhaps the kind of content of which Hollywood should be producing more frequently.

At LAT, "From panic to possibility: A reeling entertainment industry regroups after Trump's win":
Shortly after Donald Trump was elected president, the executive producer of the CW series “Jane the Virgin” decided to make a few changes: She nixed the Ivanka Trump shoes from wardrobe and urged the show’s writers to make a key character zealous about registering Latinos to vote.

Trump’s victory is redrawing many narratives and story lines across the country, including those at the center of the entertainment industry. In addition to the new activism and footwear, “Jane the Virgin,” a family saga of a young Latina in Miami, will be recalibrated in other ways to address America’s unsettling cultural and political climate.

“The writers and I talked about it a lot, about how we should and can approach it most effectively within our storytelling,” said creator and showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman. “I think our show has to live in this world.”

Those sentiments echo across town. Trump may be a colossus of Hollywood’s own making— it was “The Apprentice,” not real estate, that made him a household name — but his defeat of Hillary Clinton was a stinging repudiation of the political correctness, diversity and liberalism celebrated by much of the entertainment business at a time of bitter argument over the nation’s ideals.

The question now is how will Hollywood, which for years has nudged gay rights and other contentious social issues into the mainstream, speak to Trump’s agitated, disillusioned and God-fearing rural America. Will we see more insightful TV shows about working-class lives, such as the 1990s hit “Roseanne”, or will we encounter an uptick in artistic defiance, as when the cast of “Hamilton” recently briefed Vice-president-elect Mike Pence on multi-culturalism?

Trump’s furious response to that incident could provoke a chilling effect, but conversations with Hollywood creators suggest they will remain resolute in advancing civil rights and artistic freedom while also moving toward programming that seeks common ground. A top ABC executive acknowledged last week that the network could do more to illuminate working-class lives.

“With our dramas, we have a lot of shows that feature very well-to-do, very well-educated people…. They all drive very nice cars and live in extremely nice places,” Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment, was quoted as saying at a media summit in London. “We have not, in recent history, paid enough attention to some of the true realities of what life is like in a day-in and day-out way for everyday Americans in some of our dramas.”

Even more than the drawn-out contest between George W. Bush and Al Gore, this election has left America in the clamor of a culturally defining moment, much like the tumult of the 1960s and the insecure, rattled aftermath of 9/11. Trump’s rightist leanings and nationalist populism, and the angry anxiety they have provoked, will likely influence many of our films, books, songs, social media musings and even the images we hold up as emblematic of our times.

This catharsis over the country’s cultural divide is unfolding even as the media landscape and the power of Hollywood celebrity have been splintered; streaming and platforms such as Netflix and Hulu have made our entertainment pathways and content more vast and diffuse than at any time in our history. A former reality-TV star, Trump’s mastery of Twitter shows how cultural and political narratives, from jingoism to veiled racism, can be targeted and refined to rally audiences in an increasingly us-versus-them atmosphere.

 “It’s a turbulent, unsafe time for most of us in this country,” said Sadie Dupuis, songwriter for the indie band Speedy Ortiz. Dupuis, whose new solo album “Slugger” focuses on empowering feminist themes, will be one of many musicians attending the women’s march in Washington planned for the day after Trump’s inauguration. “What art will take shape will depend on what happens in his presidency,” she added. “He is appointing white supremacists to his Cabinet.”

Trump’s election was a gut punch to a liberal Hollywood that had backed Clinton. Chelsea Handler teared up on her Netflix talk show. Aaron Sorkin wrote a public letter to his 15-year-old daughter that stressed getting involved to fight injustice.“The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah self-medicated during the show’s election-night broadcast with Pepto-Bismol and sobering humor: “This is it, the end of the presidential race, and it feels like the end of the world,” Noah said. “We are going to be making jokes tonight, but I am very much afraid.”

The mixed emotions even prompted unexpected disclosures: Kanye West drew boos at a San Jose concert after revealing that if he had voted in this year’s election (he said he didn’t), he would have chosen Trump — commending the president-elect’s politically incorrect command of social media as a way of galvanizing his constituency. (His comments prefaced a breakdown that led to the cancellation of his tour and his hospitalization.)  Such revelations along with scripts, lyrics and plays will factor into how the cultural map will be redrawn during Trump’s administration.

And this is not only an American cultural moment. The world is reverberating with economic anxiety and racist and anti-immigrant fervor, marked by Britain’s impending break from the European Union and the ascent of right-wing parties and nationalist voices from France to the Philippines. Such forces will challenge Hollywood, where more than 70% of the box office comes from overseas, to tap into the complicated story lines of a planet that may not so easily embrace the simple heroics of a Marvel blockbuster.

The fear of “the other” that Trump leveraged during his campaign is starting to reshape certain story lines. Like “Jane the Virgin,” “Fresh Off the Boat,” the ABC comedy about an Asian American immigrant family, recently took on immigration, in this case against the backdrop of the 1996 race between Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. Viewers learn that Jessica Huang, the matriarch of the family played by Constance Wu, has a green card, but she never applied for U.S. citizenship because she felt intimidated by the process.

“With the results of the election, it just sort of confirmed to us that this is a dialogue that needs to happen,” said executive producer Nahnatchka Khan, who plans to continue lacing the comedy with current themes. “These are issues that, even though the show takes place 20 years ago, are still so relevant — even more so now, with the heightened level of fear and anxiety that people are feeling.”

She added: “You can either retreat and cower away from tackling those issues or you can embrace it. I think we’re going to see a lot of art trending toward not being afraid.”

Cinema and television may be overpopulated by upwardly mobile urban professionals, but sympathetic portrayals of the white middle and working classes fuel shows such as ABC’s “The Middle”, a sitcom about an Indiana family, and this year’s “Hell or High Water,” a film that touches on financial hardship and despair in west Texas. Finding the right blend of such stories will be crucial in coming years if specific narratives on culture and class can extend beyond the typical Hollywood fare to find universal resonance...
You can say that again.

Keep reading.

Shop Christmas Toys

At Amazon, Holiday Toy List.

And thanks to everyone who's been shopping though my Amazon links. It's greatly appreciated. I'm getting ready to splurge on my next round of book orders, heh.

BONUS: Gordon Prange, At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor (60th Anniversary Edition Edition).

Dennis Prager: America is in Jeopardy (VIDEO)

I love Dennis Prager.

I met him briefly at the David Horowitz West Coast Retreat in 2011.

I missed the 2016 PragerU Dinner, however. I'm sure that'd be a treat.

But don't miss Prager's outstanding book, Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.


Is there any wonder why youth culture's so crass nowadays?

I mean, I actually like the song, but the chorus goes, "I'ma mother-fuckin' starboy..."

Such casual profanity. But I guess it's pretty much always been like that, when you think about it. At least since the 1960s. Once you get away from prime-time television, and such, profanity is de rigueur.

Viewer caution on the opening scene at the video, which is pretty intense, considering it's pop music.

And see the Vigilant Citizen, "The Occult Meaning of the Weeknd’s “Starboy”."

Also, at the Bustle, "What Does the Weeknd's 'Starboy' Music Video Mean? There Are a Lot of Images to Comb Through — VIDEO."

Creative Loved Ones Lost to Oakland's 'Ghost Ship' Fire

At the Los Angeles Times, "Artists, college students, music lovers lost to the Oakland warehouse fire":

Em Bohlka was a poet with a master’s degree in literature who could quote Kurt Vonnegut. Donna Kellogg played the drums and inspired peers with her culinary skills. Feral Pines was a recent Oakland arrival, a bass guitarist, a good listener.

They were artists with day jobs, young creatives living off the grid, students dreaming of unconventional paths — at least 36, all taken by fire.

On Monday their names were scrawled on notes left at memorials that bloomed where flames had ravaged an Oakland warehouse. “Travis, we already miss you.” “Thinking of you, Ara Jo.” “Draven, you weren’t the smartest or the funniest or the bravest. That’s probably why we were best friends.”

Once a bastion of hippies and independent artists, the Bay Area in recent years has been dominated by techies and those with deep pockets who can afford the outrageous rents.

But the Oakland fire ripped through a close-knit community of artists ensconced in an underground music scene and committed to staying in the area. Their makeshift homes, their counterculture social scene, existed in a world invisible to those not searching for it.

It was where they felt accepted and safe.

“It’s an interesting group of people that all come together around the craft of electronic music and digital art,” said Josette Melchor, founder of a San Francisco-based arts nonprofit, who knew many of the victims.

“People have been doing this for decades and have been part of this community for so long. We’re not just talking about a rave, it’s really a group of close people that see each other almost every weekend, just kind of gathering around the creation of their own music.”

Melchor’s organization, Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, was inundated with calls after the fire from people looking for any way to help. In response, it established a fund for the families of victims, which had reached more than $300,000 by Monday night.

They had gathered Friday at a concert whose location, until the last minute, remained a mystery. Then came the name on social media, shortly before the doors opened: the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland.

Cash Askew had looked forward to what was to be a gathering of like-minded artists and musicians, many of them “queer femmes.”

A transgender woman, Askew had grown up around independent musicians and it was no surprise when she began to perform. The 22-year-old played in the goth-pop duo Them Are Us Too, which recently released its first LP and had been on tour.

“Everybody just saw this star, just saw this shooting star in her,” said Madigan Shive, a fellow musician who had known Askew for more than a decade.

Askew was accustomed to alternative venues. They felt protected, judgment-free.

“We came to those places and those spaces to share music that was often looked at as strange or esoteric,” said Askew’s girlfriend, Anya Taylor, a performance artist. “A lot of us are people who know music and we’ve been outcast because of who we are. We were making music for us.”

When Askew headed to the Ghost Ship, Taylor stayed behind because of work the next day. “Have fun,” she said. “Be safe.”

News of the fire sent the 23-year-old rushing to the warehouse, where flames had overtaken the building. For four hours, Taylor stood outside.

“I watched the building burn, and I lost the love of my life,” she said...
Keep reading.

Plus, "Building inspectors had not been inside Oakland warehouse in 30 years, officials say."

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt Picked to Head Environmental Protection Agency (VIDEO)

God what a great pick!

At USA Today, "Scott Pruitt: Trump's pick to lead the EPA," and "Trump's choice to lead EPA has a history with the agency."

Also at NYT, "Trump Picks Scott Pruitt, Climate Change Denialist, to Lead E.P.A." (via Memeorandum).

What It's Like to Apply for a Job in Donald Trump's White House

From Julie Davis, at the New York Times (via Memeorandum):

WASHINGTON — When former Gov. Sonny Perdue of Georgia stepped off the elevator on the 26th floor of Trump Tower last week for his interview with Donald J. Trump, he expected a grilling by the president-elect and a phalanx of associates, something along the lines of the confrontational boardroom scenes at the sleek conference table in the television show “The Apprentice.”

What he found instead was Mr. Trump, calm and solicitous behind a desk cluttered with papers and periodicals, in a large corner office with a hodgepodge of memorabilia and d├ęcor that appeared little changed from the 1980s. Nick Ayers, an aide to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, and Stephen K. Bannon, who will serve as Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, listened from the sidelines. Mr. Trump, who offered Mr. Perdue a seat across from his desk, was in charge.

“He was approaching this from a deal standpoint, and he wanted to know if he was on the right track,” said Mr. Perdue, who is being considered for secretary of agriculture and wore a tie adorned with tractors to the meeting. “He believes that we in the United States have been sort of patsies over the years in the way we’ve dealt with our foreign competitors and international trade — and I agree with him — and he wanted to know what I would do about it.”

For more than a decade, millions of Americans tuned in to watch Mr. Trump interrogate prospective employees on “The Apprentice” with a mix of arrogance and disdain. But in private over the past few weeks, a less theatrical spinoff of the spectacle has unfolded in Mr. Trump’s office in Manhattan, and occasionally at his golf resort in Bedminster, N.J., or at Mar-a-Lago, his getaway in Palm Beach, Fla.

Mr. Trump’s interview style in the real world is direct but conversational, according to people who have sat opposite him. He did not take notes or appear to refer to a set list of questions, but he did have dossiers on his visitors and often displayed intricate knowledge of their backgrounds and experience. He rarely drank or ate. He kept his suit jacket on. In New York, he liked to show off the sweeping views of Central Park visible over his shoulder.

Job seekers, who must parade before the news media in the marble and bronze lobby of Trump Tower — “It was almost like walking the red carpet in Hollywood,” said Representative Lou Barletta, Republican of Pennsylvania, who has offered himself up as a secretary of transportation or labor — said that the president-elect often asked open-ended questions and had little patience for meandering answers.

“If you filibuster, he’ll cut you off,” said Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker who was initially in the running to be Mr. Trump’s secretary of state but has since said he is not interested in a cabinet post. “He wants to know what you can do for him.”

Mr. Gingrich said Mr. Trump’s approach to putting together his administration was the same one he has used with his multibillion-dollar business. “He’s used to defining jobs, measuring capability and making a judgment: ‘Do I think you can run my golf course? Do I think you can run my hotel? Do I want your restaurant in my building?’” Mr. Gingrich said.

Mr. Trump has been more hands-on in the interviews than his predecessors were. George W. Bush rarely spoke in person to more than one finalist for each cabinet post, said Clay Johnson III, who directed his transition effort in 2000. President Obama also interviewed a single finalist for each post in most cases, usually in a one-on-one discussion meant to confirm an already well-established conclusion that the candidate would be right for the job, said Dan Pfeiffer, a senior transition official in 2008.

“In some cases, he knew who he wanted and it was a question of convincing them to do it,” Mr. Pfeiffer said, citing examples like Hillary Clinton, who became Mr. Obama’s secretary of state, and Robert M. Gates, whom he persuaded to stay on as defense secretary.

Mr. Obama was also adamant that the deliberations not spill out into the open, but that has not been the case with Mr. Trump.

Members of Congress, generals, business executives and others mingle outside his office, waiting for an audience with the president-elect. Mr. Barletta waited more than 45 minutes for his meeting, passing the time chatting with his Republican colleague Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, who was waiting for his turn to audition for secretary of homeland security.

“It was like a green room, a waiting room of people you know or you know of, all waiting their turn,” said Robert L. Johnson, the founder of the television network BET, who visited Mr. Trump at Bedminster to discuss ways the incoming president could reach out to African-Americans. As Mr. Johnson was coming in, Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York whom Mr. Trump is considering for secretary of state, was going out.

Mr. Trump wants a gut sense for a potential hire, people close to him said, prizing personal chemistry and an entrepreneurial spirit. But he also leans on the judgment of trusted advisers — particularly Mr. Pence and his elder daughter, Ivanka Trump — when assessing a candidate...

I love stories like this.

Keep reading.

Erin Schrode, Far-Left 'Environmentalist', Destroyed by Tucker Carlson (VIDEO)

From Mark Finkelstein, at Legal Insurrection, "Liberal environmentalist compares Trump to Hitler, complains about “toxic rhetoric”."

Heh, "the irony alarm..."

The Burqa is a Sign of Radicalism in the Community

At Blazing Cat Fur, "Brigitte Gabriel: The Burqa is 'a Sign of Radicalism in the Community."

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Anti-Breitbart Blacklist

From Matthew Vadum, at FrontPage Magazine, "The angry Left looks to punish conservative media for Trump’s victory":
Someone behind an anonymous Twitter account is trying to destroy the influential conservative Breitbart News website by smearing it as “racist” – and he’s already scared at least 47 advertisers away from Breitbart.

In the current atmosphere of left-wing hysteria over the surprise election of Donald Trump as president, this blacklisting project has already earned an impressive return on investment. Breitbart is a target of the wrath of social justice warriors because it reports the truth about the Left and it used to be run by Stephen Bannon, now slated to become chief strategist in the Trump White House. Hurting Breitbart hurts Trump and Republicans in general, the thinking goes.

The campaign takes screenshots of advertisements on Breitbart and then harasses the advertisers, demanding that they stop advertising there. It also encourages people who hate Breitbart or Trump to take screenshots of a target company’s ads placed beside content deemed objectionable and tweet the images at advertisers along with a threat to stop patronizing that company.

The cowardly crusader hiding behind this effort to frighten advertisers away from Breitbart by lying about and mischaracterizing the provocative news website’s content goes by the user name Sleeping Giants.

The user’s identity seems safe for the moment but if Breitbart files a defamation lawsuit, Twitter could be forced to disclose the user’s identity.

So far the identity of the individual or individuals behind Sleeping Giants is not known, except to Shareen Pathak, managing editor at the DigiDay blog.

Pathak reports, “The creator of the account said he would prefer to remain anonymous to avoid being harassed by Trump supporters on the internet. He said he started the account because fake news and disinformation, are, in his opinion, two of the reasons why the election turned out in favor of Trump.”

The creator of Sleeping Giants reportedly told DigiDay, “The biggest way that this disinformation will continue is ad revenue, just like any news source. Beyond really wanting to stop this nonsense, this effort was really born out of the need to inform advertisers about the kind of material that they’re sponsoring. This isn’t supposed to be a boycotting effort as much as an information effort.”

The Sleeping Giants (Twitter handle: @slpng_giants) account was created last month. At time of writing the account had 3,144 tweets and 11,200 followers. Sleeping Giants says “We are trying to stop racist websites by stopping their ad dollars. Many companies don't even know it's happening. It's time to tell them.”

Of course Breitbart isn’t even remotely racist but left-wingers don’t let facts get in the way of an activist push. They know that smear jobs work, especially in the timid corporate world where companies routinely surrender to left-wing extortionists like Al Sharpton without much of a fight.

Food manufacturer Kellogg’s has withdrawn its ads from Breitbart, claiming the site is not “aligned with our values as a company.” The company offered no examples of how Breitbart’s values actually differ from its own.

The decision by Kellogg’s will have “virtually no revenue impact on,” the news organization wrote. “It does, however, represent an escalation in the war by leftist companies like Target and Allstate against conservative customers whose values propelled Donald Trump into the White House.”

The decision “appears to be one more example of an out-of-touch corporation embracing false left-wing narratives used to cynically smear the hard working Americans that populate this nation’s heartland.”

Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alexander Marlow is calling for a boycott of Kellogg’s and urging conservatives to sign the #DumpKelloggs petition. Marlow says the breakfast cereal maker’s “war” against the site demonstrates its “cowardice” and “bigotry.”
Breitbart News is the largest platform for pro-family content anywhere on the Internet. We are fearless advocates for traditional American values, perhaps most important among them is freedom of speech, or our motto ‘more voices, not less.’ For Kellogg’s, an American brand, to blacklist Breitbart News in order to placate left-wing totalitarians is a disgraceful act of cowardice. They insult our incredibly diverse staff and spit in the face of our 45,000,000 highly engaged, highly perceptive, highly loyal readers, many of whom are Kellogg’s customers. Boycotting Breitbart News for presenting mainstream American ideas is an act of discrimination and intense prejudice. If you serve Kellogg’s products to your family, you are serving up bigotry at your breakfast table.
Welch’s, a maker of juices and jams, is dropping Breitbart.

Facebook user Mary Dibbern wrote to the company: “Welch’s is advertising on the Breitbart site. I will boycott all Welch’s products, plus post a photo of the ads onto my FB and Twitter accounts if Welch’s does not stop giving Breitbart their advertising business.”

Welch’s promptly caved: “Mary, we assure you that we are taking the necessary steps to remove all Welch’s content from this site, and others like it. Thank you for reaching out.”

Other companies withdrawing advertising from Breitbart include pharmaceutical manufacturer Novo Nordisk, insurance provider Allstate, eyeglass maker Warby Parker, San Diego Zoo, 3M, AARP, Earthlink, L’Occitane, Paperless Post, Saddleback Bags, and U.S. Bank.

AppNexus Inc., a digital ad firm, has banned Breitbart from using its ad service, Bloomberg reports. The firm “decided the publication had breached a policy against content that incites violence.” AppNexus is reportedly second only to Google in the ad serving market for publishers.

AppNexus mouthpiece Joshua Zeitz said, “We did a human audit of Breitbart and determined there were enough articles and headlines that cross that line, either using coded or overt language.”

Zeitz claimed preposterously that Breitbart isn’t being targeted for its conservative inclinations. “This blacklist was solely about hate speech violation,” he said.

The Sleeping Giants effort is the same kind of malicious campaign waged by George Soros-funded groups against conservative organizations.

Led by ColorOfChange, a far-left race-baiting group whose views are largely indistinguishable from those held by Van Jones (a co-founder) and Al Sharpton, activists attacked the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) for its policy stands. Soros-funded ColorOfChange smeared corporations that donated to ALEC as racist because the group supported voter ID laws. The campaign against ALEC also led to the group disbanding the task force that had been responsible for drafting model voter ID laws to be used by state lawmakers, along with “Stand Your Ground” laws.

Soros-funded Media Matters for America (MMfA) claims to have cost “The Rush Limbaugh Show” “[h]undreds of millions of dollars in losses attributable to advertisers refusing to subsidize” the show after Limbaugh’s controversial comments about leftist birth control poster girl Sandra Fluke.

MMfA has also waged war against Breitbart News, Fox News Channel, Ann Coulter, and talk show hosts like Glenn Beck, though generally with little success.

This new attack on Breitbart is happening because left-wingers are still in deep denial over President-elect Donald Trump’s come-from-behind victory over Democrat war horse Hillary Clinton and they’re desperately searching for scapegoats.

They’re blaming purveyors of so-called fake news – which includes Breitbart since it doesn’t toe the leftist line.

For example, useful idiot Craig Timberg recently churned out an outrageous left-wing propaganda piece in the Washington Post, a newspaper that lied over and over again about Trump during the campaign.

Timberg claims a vast Russian conspiracy planted fake news before American eyeballs and that’s the real reason Trump won.

“Russian-backed phony news” was behind “[s]ome of the first and most alarming tweets after Clinton fell ill at a Sept. 11 memorial event in New York,” he wrote, adding there had been “a spate of other misleading stories in August about Clinton’s supposedly troubled health.”

She did in fact fall ill at the 9/11 event, a fact that would never have been reported by the mainstream media if an onlooker hadn’t captured Clinton collapsing as she was entering a vehicle and being held up by two security men. She suffered at least temporary brain damage in recent years when she sustained a nasty concussion. She also experienced coughing fits on the podium.

Russia’s “propaganda machinery also helped push the phony story that an anti-Trump protester was paid thousands of dollars to participate in demonstrations, an allegation initially made by a self-described satirist and later repeated publicly by the Trump campaign.”

Well, the evidence is fairly convincing that the Clinton campaign did in fact pay anti-Trump protesters to participate in demonstrations and foment violence at Trump campaign rallies. Democrat uber-thug Robert Creamer has admitted that Hillary personally knew about the false flag operation which was euphemistically referred to as “conflict engagement.”

Timberg adds, “The final weeks of the campaign featured a heavy dose of stories about supposed election irregularities, allegations of vote-rigging and the potential for Election Day violence should Clinton win, researchers said.”

This is all very interesting except that in the modern era all presidential elections are filled with allegations of electoral irregularities. It’s normal and it happens with or without fanciful conspiracy theories or Kremlin involvement.

But the Left soldiers on, inventing villains and vilifying good people.

These people can’t win on the facts or by offering rational arguments.

All they can do it attack, attack, attack.

And Breitbart won’t be their last target.

Jackie Johnson's Cooler Cloudy Forecast

More weather blogging with the lovely Ms. Jackie.

President-Elect Donald Trump is TIME's Person of the Year for 2016

At TIME, via Memeorandum, "The Last, Greatest Deal."

Stella Maxwell LOVE Advent 2016 (VIDEO)

These videos are the best, heh.

75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Attack

Seems so weird. The years are flying by.

At WSJ, "Pearl Harbor Survivor Prepares for 75th Anniversary Reunion."

And, "Pearl Harbor Survivor Makes a 5,000-Mile Trek."

Plus, photos, "Pearl Harbor’s 75th Anniversary: A Look Back at the Attack."

And at the Los Angeles Times, "At Pearl Harbor's 75th anniversary, a reminder of how America proved its greatness — and why it is still great."

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Senator Sessions Isn’t a Racist, His Left-Wing Accusers Are

From Sultan Knish, at FrontPage Magazine, "They’re coming for Sessions":
They’re coming for Senator Sessions. The Alabama Senator, soon to be Attorney General, has been denounced by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, which bills its poison pen letter as coming from “civil and human rights organizations.” Just don’t ask which ones.

The “civil rights” organizations include the AFL-CIO, which had just denounced its own “ugly history of racism” last year, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, whose leaders have at times defended and excused the anti-Semitic and racist Islamic terror of Hamas and Hezbollah, and the National Council of La Raza, whose name means “The Race” and reflects its racialist agenda.

A thuggish union that concedes its own ugliness and two racist groups, one of which defends Islamic terrorists, are the worst possible people to pass any kind of judgment on Senator Sessions.

But it gets worse.

There’s the Center for Responsible Lending, funded by the Sandlers, who helped cause the economic crisis by peddling subprime mortgages. Lending doesn’t get more responsible than that. And there’s also the National Lawyers Guild, which started life as a Communist front group and arguably continues as such, praising North Korea’s “free healthcare and education systems.” Move over Cuba, North Korea has even more shovel-ready free health care for the oppressed comrades of the working class.

I don’t know why the Conference couldn’t manage to get Al Qaeda to sign on to their letter against Sessions. Maybe Osama bin Laden’s iPhone can’t get any bars at the bottom of the Arabian Sea.

But this motley crew of racists, traitors and terrorists has issued its ruling and found that, “Senator Sessions is the wrong person to serve as the U.S. Attorney General.”

The right person is Vladimir Lenin. Unfortunately he’s dead and not qualified to practice law.

You would think that the “144 undersigned organizations” representing billions in wealth and untold amounts of power and influence, could manage a more coherent smear campaign. Instead the letter rehashes the same old discredited smears. Senator Sessions’ joke about the KKK smoking pot is described as “speaking favorably about the Ku Klux Klan” even while admitting that “he was helpful in the Center’s successful effort to sue and bankrupt the Ku Klux.”

Sessions is accused of undermining “voting rights” by prosecuting the “voting rights activists” who were caught mailing hundreds of absentee ballots. These “voter suppression tactics targeting African Americans” came in response to complaints of fraud by African-American officials like Perry County Commissioner Reese Billingslea and John Kennard, Alabama's first black tax assessor, who said, "The only reason these people are hollering racism now is because they are in trouble for breaking the law."

Then under "Association with White Nationalist and Hate Groups," the letter, which seems to thrive on parading its own stupidity around, proves that Sessions must be a bigot because he had received awards from the "David Horowitz Freedom Center and Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy."

Sessions was honored by the Center for Security Policy at the Smithsonian Postal Museum with its Keeper of the Flame award, which recognizes “those individuals who devote their public careers to the propagation of democracy and the respect for individual rights throughout the world.”

Past recipients have included Dick Cheney, Joe Lieberman, Garry Kasparov and Ronald Reagan.

Perhaps the Conference could specify which white nationalist hate group Lieberman and Kasparov belonged to.

Senator Sessions received the Annie Taylor Award from the Freedom Center in 2014. The next year’s recipient would go on to be African-American Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.

It’s unknown which white nationalist hate group Clarke belongs to. Perhaps the Conference could ask the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose inept smear of Sessions it appears to have relied on, to tell them.

The Annie Taylor Award has gone to Iranian dissident Amir Fakhravar, journalist Oriana Fallaci, Baroness Caroline Cox and Democratic Senator Zell Miller. But perhaps the most notorious white supremacist to receive the award was Ward Connerly, the African-American chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute.

As smear campaigns go, the Conference’s letter is laughably terrible.

“Senator Sessions has a 30-year record of racial insensitivity,” it claims. That’s quite a claim and it isn’t backed up.  If Sessions had spent the last 30 years going around shouting racial slurs, you would think that there would be more evidence of that to present in the left’s poison pen letters.

The Conference insists that the Attorney General has to be approved of by “every member of the public”. If that were the case, we couldn’t get a single Attorney General approved.

It states that Sessions supporting the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder raises questions about his fitness. Is the Conference really demanding an Attorney General who won’t uphold Supreme Court decisions?

The Conference’s letter is short on facts and heavy on innuendo. It’s clueless about its own charges. And mostly it opposes Sessions because he doesn’t agree with its radical policy agenda. The letter accuses him of opposing illegal alien amnesty and being skeptical about Global Warming which, according to the letter, “disproportionately affect low-income families and communities of color.”

World ends. Minorities hardest hit.

Further evidence of Sessions’ unfitness is found in that he voted to defund Planned Parenthood, opposed a push for Green Energy and Obama’s pardons for drug dealers. In short, he’s guilty of being a conservative Republican, not a radical leftist.

That’s really why the Leadership Conference opposes him, but it can’t come out and say so. The failed effort to smear Sessions as a racist isn’t about his record; it’s about blocking anyone on the right while cynically abusing a serious accusation for partisan political gain. No one who knows Sessions, including one of the accusers who serves as the basis for many of these smears, believes that he is a racist.

Furthermore the accusations are coming from actual racists like La Raza and the ADC. The ADC honored Helen Thomas after she called for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Israel. It was where Ralph Nader insisted that, “Jews do not own the phrase anti-Semitism.” The Leadership Conference shows no signs of having a problem with any of this.

Senator Sessions isn’t a racist. His accusers are.

Kendall Jenner LOVE Advent 2016 (VIDEO)

Via Theo Spark.

I do love this young woman Kendall.

I don't know why. I'm supposed to viscerally dislike her, as she's part of the Kardashian klan and all, heh.

Jackie Johnson's Mild Midweek Forecast

Here's the lovely Ms. Jackie.

It's been a bit nippy in the early hours, but otherwise actually quite pleasant.

Via CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

University Student: We Shouldn't Take Finals Because Trump's Election Has Been Stressful


Trump's triggering the college trigglypuffs, lol.

From Ed Driscoll, at Instapundit, "DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: University Student Demands We Shouldn’t Take Finals Because Trump’s Election Has Been Stressful":
Trump? You kids don’t know what real worry is like – when I was in school, our final exams were taken in the shadow of atomic war, nuclear winter, disco, and Fred Silverman’s NBC programming. Not to mention what was on the other channels...
Click through for the video.

Holiday Shopping Portal

At Amazon, Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers. Books, DVDs, and More.

BONUS: Richard J. Evans, The Third Reich in History and Memory.

Donald Trump's Conservative Cabinet (VIDEO)

Things are looking pretty good.

At LAT, "Step by step, Trump is assembling an administration far more conservative than his campaign":

Donald Trump expressed fondness during the presidential campaign for some of the big federal programs that serve the country’s most vulnerable, but whatever warmth he may feel does not seem to be shared by the people he is choosing to run them.

Monday’s selection of Ben Carson, the former pediatric neurosurgeon and Republican presidential hopeful, to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development was the latest move to fit the pattern of stocking the Cabinet with social conservatives deeply skeptical of the government agencies they will be asked to oversee.

Trump chose Carson despite the physician’s protest last month that he lacked the credentials needed to run a federal agency. As a child, Carson lived in what he has described as a housing project in Detroit. Since becoming a doctor, however, he has had little other direct experience with urban policy or housing issues.

He would assume a post overseeing an agency that was elevated to the Cabinet level as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society effort to combat poverty — something that Carson has declared an epic failure.

The job would test Carson’s management ability. The department, with an annual budget of $48 billion, oversees big development contracts and the distribution of lucrative grants to communities, and it has been historically susceptible to corruption in times of weak oversight.

During Ronald Reagan’s tenure, HUD money was regularly misappropriated to contractors with political ties, leading to multiple felony convictions. The agency’s standing in that administration seemed to be crystallized by Reagan’s failure to recognize his HUD secretary, Samuel Pierce, during an encounter at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 1981. Reagan addressed Pierce as “Mr. Mayor.”

Carson’s first test at managing a complex, multi-state operation came in the presidential campaign. He proved gifted at raising money, building a small-donor network that was surpassed only by that of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

But Carson’s campaign and the network of allied super PACs that supported him also stood out for how little money they spent on campaigning and how much was plowed back into payments to contractors.

His lack of experience drew attacks from many prominent Democrats.

“I have serious concerns about Dr. Carson’s lack of expertise,” said incoming Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York. “Someone who is as anti-government as him is a strange fit for Housing secretary, to say the least.”

Schumer vowed Carson would be pushed during confirmation proceedings to prove he “is well versed in housing policy and has a vision for federal housing programs that meets the needs of Americans across the country.”

In Los Angeles, which works closely with the federal housing agency as it carries out a $23-million anti-homelessness initiative, one of the country’s largest such programs, Mayor Eric Garcetti was more cautious.

"Los Angeles stands at the forefront of the very challenges that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development was created to tackle,” Garcetti said in an email. “I am hopeful that as a physician, Mr. Carson will create the much-needed connection between public health and community development in neighborhoods everywhere.”

In 2014, the last year for which full figures are available, 492,000 Californians received HUD-funded vouchers to help with rent. The city of Los Angeles received $52 million in community development grants from HUD that year.

In the Cabinet, Carson would join a list of social conservatives that includes Trump’s pick to run the Department of Health and Human Services, Georgia Rep.Tom Price, and Betsy DeVos, who has been tapped to head the Education Department.

Price is a budget hawk and crusader for cutting Medicaid and Medicare, the latter of which Trump, in the campaign, said he opposed cutting. DeVos, the wealthy former chair of the Michigan Republican Party, is a strong backer of voucher programs, which provide tax money to families to spend on private schools...
Still more.

Shelby Steele, Shame

I bought this book when it came out, but I'm now engrossed in it.

Steele offers perhaps the best explanation yet of our current (crushing) era of political polarization; it's an  merciless indictment of radical left-wing identity politics.

Not to be missed, at Amazon, Shelby Steele, Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country.

Victor Davis Hanson on 'Uncommon Knowledge' (VIDEO)

I listened to this entire interview, over 40 minutes long, and it was worth every minute.

VDH is a national treasure.

His most recent book is The Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost - From Ancient Greece to Iraq.

With Peter Robinson, for the Hoover Institution's "Uncommon Knowledge":

The New York Times Snubs Hillbilly Elegy

Big mistake.

I noticed that Hillbilly Elegy was at the top of the non-fiction bestsellers at the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, and I felt a hint of pride in having read it.

But turns out the New York Times refused to cite the J.D. Vance autobiography in its list of top books of 2016.


See David Forsmark, at FrontPage Magazine, "One of the most talked-about memoirs of 2016 doesn't make the cut for 'notable' books."

Buy the book at Amazon.

Vietnam Veteran Dies With Maggots in His Wounds (VIDEO)

I can hardly believe this story, at the Tulsa World, "Physician assistant who resigned in wake of veteran's death rehired at another Oklahoma VA center."

And video, at Fox News, "4 quit VA facility after veteran with maggots in wound dies: Employees resign after investigation was conducted in Oklahoma; veteran Pete Hegseth reacts on 'America's Newsroom'."

Shop Amazon Home

Here, Home Gift Guide.

I love the Keurig Coffee Makers.

And don't forget your Cuisinart fine products.

BONUS: Bernard Bailyn, The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America--The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675.