Sunday, December 21, 2014

VIDEO: Aftermath at New York 'Pigs in a Blanket' Execution Scene (VIDEO)

Scene of the left's politics of vengeance.

Via Legal Insurrection:

From Ismaaiyl Brinsley to Barack Obama, Leftist Agenda All About Revenge Against Political Enemies

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani put the cop-killing blame squarely on President Obama, saying that our racist Bombthrower-in-Chief has been exhorting his partisans to "hate the police."

Indeed, the left from Obama and Eric Holder on down has been on a jihad against "racist" law enforcement for years now, and thus the cold-blooded ideological murders of Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos are the natural consequence of the left's politics of ideological recrimination and hate-driven vengeance.

According to Politico, President Obama's current viability is based on a revenge-based agenda against ideological foes. See, "Operation Revenge: President Obama is back in his campaign comfort zone: Smiting his political enemies":

Ismaaiyl Brinsley photo ismaaiyl-brinsley-instagram-post_zps179e0f14.jpg
Obama’s turnaround in recent weeks – he’s seized the offensive with a series of controversial executive actions and challenges to leaders in his own party on the budget — can be attributed to a fundamental change in his political mindset, according to current and former aides. He’s gone from thinking of himself as a sitting (lame) duck, they tell me, to a president diving headlong into what amounts to a final campaign – this one to preserve his legacy, add policy points to the scoreboard, and – last but definitely not least – to inflict the same kind of punishment on his newly empowered Republican enemies, who delighted in tormenting him when he was on top.
Obama needs someone to "run against," to demonize and destroy. Indeed, that's the fundamental basis of leftist Democrat Party ideology and politics. And now the chickens have come home in Brooklyn, and this won't be the last of it. It's no wonder that Americans blame the White House for the violent deterioration of race relations in America.

Al Sharpton's New York Protesters: We Want 'Dead Cops!' (VIDEO)

Via Katie Pavlich, at Town Hall, "FLASHBACK: Al Sharpton's Marchers in New York City Chant 'What Do We Want? Dead Cops!'"

Leftists denying responsibility for the murders are lying. The blood is dripping from their hands.

Margaret Hoover's Regrets

I'm gobsmacked by the shameless lack of self-awareness of people like the disgusting faux-conservative Margaret Hoover.

Rape Truthers

At the Other McCain, "Feminism’s New Enemy: ‘Rape Truthers’."


I Can Breathe

From Friday night in New York, via Reason:

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Deep Discounts in Electronics

At Amazon, Shop Amazon - Deep Discounts in Electronics.

NYPD's 84th Precinct in Mourning (VIDEO)

Via CBS News New York:

NYPD Officers Turn Backs to de Blasio (VIDEO)

At London's Daily Mail, "Police officers turn their backs on New York Mayor Bill de Blasio as he is accused of having 'blood on his hands'."

Vicious Hatemonger @CassandraRules 'Spammed by Idiots' Calling Her Out for Her Violent Anti-Cop Agitation

She deserves to be mercilessly trolled for her vicious anti-police agitation, the scummy bitch.

'Al Sharpton Got What He Wanted' — On CNN, Retired NYPD Detective Slams Obama's Race Huckster (VIDEO)

Detective Harry Houck pulls no punches, man.

PREVIOUSLY: "Two NYPD Officers Shot Dead — 'Execution Style — in 'Revenge' for Michael Brown and Eric Garner (VIDEO)."

Two NYPD Officers Shot Dead — 'Execution Style — in 'Revenge' for Michael Brown and Eric Garner (VIDEO)

The fruits of weeks of leftist violence, vandalism, and mayhem nationwide. I dare say this is just a beginning.

At the New York Post, "Gunman executes 2 NYPD cops as ‘revenge’ for Garner."

Two uniformed NYPD officers were shot dead Saturday afternoon as they sat in their marked police car on a Brooklyn street corner — in what investigators believe was a crazed gunman’s ­assassination-style mission to avenge Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

“It’s an execution,” one law-enforcement source said of the 3 p.m. shooting.

The tragic heroes were working overtime as part of an anti-terrorism drill in Bedford-Stuyvesant when they were shot point-blank in the head by the lone gunman, identified by sources as Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, who had addresses in Georgia and Brooklyn.

Moments after killing the two officers, he too was dead, having turned the gun on himself on a nearby subway platform as cops closed in.

“I’m Putting Wings on Pigs Today,” a person believed to be the gunman wrote on Instagram in a message posted just three hours before the officers were shot.

“They Take 1 Of Ours…Let’s Take 2 of Theirs,” the post continued, signing off with, “This May Be My Final Post...”
Keep reading at Memeorandum.

Darleen Click has a tweet of the Instagram message, at Protein Wisdom, "Uh-oh."

More at Jawa Report, "Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley Murders Two NYC Police Officers."

Plus, at the New York Times, "Two Police Officers Fatally Shot in Brooklyn; Suspect Is Found Dead," and "Live Updates on Fatal Shooting of Two N.Y.P.D. Officers."

And of course, the far-left celebrations of the dead cops, at Twitchy, "‘Can they breathe?’ Execution-style killing of two NYPD officers celebrated; ‘Salute the shooter’," and "#PoliceLivesMatter: Michelle Malkin warned in columns of growing anti-police vigilantism."

Plunging Russian Ruble Puts Pressure on Putin

At WSJ, "Plunging Ruble Unsettles Russians, Poses Test for Putin: Russians Rush to Buy Big-Ticket Items and Foreign Currencies as Ruble Hits Record Low":

MOSCOW—As Russian President Vladimir Putin has ratcheted up the conflict with the West for most of the year, the economic fallout on ordinary Russians has been limited.

Suddenly, though, the plunging ruble is reawakening fears of rising prices and the kind of financial crisis Mr. Putin has sought to put behind his country. As the ruble hit a record low, falling as much as 20% against the dollar Tuesday, Moscow residents rushed to buy electronics and other big-ticket items and drained rubles from ATMs to swap them for dollars and euros—signaling a new feeling of vulnerability among Russians and a fresh challenge to their leader.

From St. Petersburg to Siberia, money changers ran out of foreign currency and were raising exchange rates. Sberbank , Russia’s state savings bank, and Alfa Bank, Russia’s largest private lender, said they were experiencing a rush for dollars and euros.

“The demand is enormous. People are bringing piles, huge piles of cash. It is madness,” said Kamila Asmalova, a manager at a Moscow branch of Sberbank. The branch ran out of foreign currency by 2 p.m., she said.

Lanta Bank, a midsize Moscow lender, said its foreign counterparts would be unable to send foreign currency Wednesday as aircraft that typically transport cash are full.

Apple Inc. said it halted online sales in the country because of the ruble’s volatility, and IKEA announced it would raise prices there.

The ruble’s continued fall despite the Russian central bank’s move to raise interest rates to 17% rippled across global markets Tuesday, fueling a selloff in emerging market currencies and stocks. In the U.S., the turbulence was more muted, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.7%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, a traditional haven, fell to 2.07%, its lowest closing level since May 2013.

Abroad, Russia’s crumbling currency—driven by sanctions and eroding oil prices—raises the threat of a currency market contagion, particularly for emerging economies facing headwinds, such as Turkey and Indonesia.

At home, economists say the Russian central bank’s rate gambit is certain to push the country’s faltering economy into recession by raising borrowing costs. Even before the rate increase, the central bank estimated the economy could contract as much as 4.7% next year if oil remains around $60 a barrel. On Tuesday, Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said that the government would introduce some “regulatory measures” on the foreign-exchange market, but that it wasn’t discussing any capital-control measures.

The big question is whether Russia’s economic troubles will turn into a real political challenge for Mr. Putin, whose approval ratings remain above 80% and who retains tight control over politics and the economy...
Continue reading.

Democrat Party Thanks Stephen Colbert for Nearly 10-Years of Leftist Partisanship and Propaganda — Stalker-Troll Repsac3 Signs On!

John Hinderaker got some mileage out of this story, apparently, at Power Line, "DEMOCRATS TO COLBERT: THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!"

And what do you know?

AmPow's hate-addled stalking hate-troll Walter James Casper III totes signed the petition to "thank Stephen Colbert for 9 great years!"

Talk about moral bankruptcy and rank, brainless partisanship and ideological hatred.

But that's our own stalker troll "Hate-sac" for you, boasting about his corrupt media bias and institutional hackery.

FLASHBACK: From Robert Stacy McCain, "Portrait of a Stalker Troll: @Repsac3, Also Known as Walter James Casper III":
Among the significant characteristics of cyberstalkers is the disproportionality of their obsessions. Professor Douglas is not an academic celebrity or influential media personality. He’s a professor of political science at Long Beach City College in California. It is not as if he’s at Berkeley, Stanford, Columbia, Yale or some other big-money “prestige” school, and yet the fact that Professor Douglas is (a) conservative and (b) a blogger is sufficient to justify in Casper’s sick mind the most insane forms of stalking behavior.

Another characteristic of cyberstalkers is their resort to psychological projection: They are not obsessed with you — no! — you are obsessed with them, and don’t you dare accuse them of harassing you — of course not! — you are instead harassing them.

Indeed, the hate-filled, morally bankrupt Repsac is universally reviled across the 'sphere: This kind of “accuse the accusers” tactic serves two purposes for the troll: First, it is a psychological rationalization by which he justifies his behavior and, second, it serves to obfuscate the situation in the eyes of law enforcement or other authorities.
Something else: The conflict between Casper and Professor Douglas is not about politics, nor is it about Professor Douglas.

That is to say, Casper’s espousal of left-wing political ideas is not the reason for his behavior, but simply a pretext, and if he weren’t harassing Professor Douglas, he’d be harassing some other target, selected more or less at random. There is, of course, a specific history to the conflict between them, but it is ultimately irrelevant. There are plenty of people every bit as left-wing as Casper who are not obsessive stalkers, and there are other conservative bloggers who might just as easily become targets for stalking, if ever they attracted the attention of such a grotesquely deformed personality as Casper.

Walter James Casper III has spent years smearing and harassing Professor Douglas, trying to get him fired from his job. This could (and in fact, often does) happen to any blogger who has a day job.

Corruption, stalking, and spreading partisan hatred. Boy, Repsac sure knows how to win friends and influence people, not!

James Holmes' Parents Plead Against Death Penalty

At LAT, "James Holmes' parents plead for their son: 'He is not a monster'":

The parents of shooting suspect James Holmes pleaded for their son’s life in a letter sent Friday, arguing that the man accused in the deadly rampage at a suburban Denver movie theater is mentally ill and should be institutionalized for life instead of facing execution.

Holmes, 27, faces the death penalty if he is convicted of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the 2012 attack on a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. Jury selection is scheduled to start Jan. 20.

The case has reignited arguments over gun control, the death penalty and whether to execute people who are mentally ill. Holmes has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

In a letter sent to the Denver Post and emailed to journalists around the country, Robert and Arlene Holmes wrote: “We are always praying for everyone in Aurora. We wish that July 20, 2012, never happened.”

Of their son, they wrote, “We have read postings on the Internet that have likened him to a monster. He is not a monster. He is a human being gripped by a severe mental illness.”

It was Robert and Arlene Holmes’ first comments except for a brief statement immediately after the attack at the theater.

“Treatment in an institution would be best for our son,” they wrote. “We love our son, we have always loved him and we do not want him to be executed.”
There must be some significant doubt about that insanity plea. If the courts find him competent, the f-ker should fry.


Less Than 25 Percent of Americans Satisfied with Direction of the Country

Following up on the previous post, "The Obama Administration May Represent the 'Peak Left' in American Politics."

Despite all the bullshit MSM hoopla about how Obama's going all 2.0 and such, bedrock Americans --- i.e., real Americans, not the treasonous bastard leftists --- continue to say the country's going to hell.

At Gallup, "Satisfaction With Direction of U.S. Continues to Languish."

Gallup Satifaction photo q7xbys04tkoo_rrgx90anw_zps790eef6b.png
Even though Americans are more positive about the economy than they have been in recent years, it still ranks at or near the top of their list of the most important problems facing the country. In addition to the economy, dissatisfaction with the government has also consistently ranked among the most important problems facing the country in the last two years. As a result, Americans' frustration with Washington's ability to address the country's major issues could be holding satisfaction down, as it likely did in 2006 and 2007 when the economy relatively good. With Republicans taking control of the Senate and the House in January, the prospects for greater cooperation in Washington are not bright.

And the idiot Obama continues to push for policies everything of which are besides the economy. Fucking Democrat morons.

The Obama Administration May Represent the 'Peak Left' in American Politics

Or, to put it another way, the high tide of leftist "progressive" perversion, deceit and moral decay.

From Walter Russell Mead, at the American Interest, "Next Up in America: The Liberal Leftist Retreat":
As the United States staggers toward the seventh year of Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House, a growing disquiet permeates the ranks of the American left. After six years of the most liberal President since Jimmy Carter, the nation doesn’t seem to be asking for a second helping. Even though the multiyear rollout of Obamacare was carefully crafted to put all the popular features up front, delaying less popular changes into the far future, the program remains unpopular. Trust in the fairness and competence of government is pushing toward new lows in the polls, even though the government is now in the hands of forward-looking, progressive Democrats rather than antediluvian Gopers.

For liberals, these are bleak times of hollow victories (Obamacare) and tipping points that don’t tip. For examples of the latter, think of Sandy Hook, the horrific massacre in Connecticut that Democrats and liberals everywhere believed would finally push the American public toward gun control. Two years later, polls show more Americans than ever before think it’s more important to protect gun access than to promote gun control.

Sandy Hook isn’t the only example. There was the latest 2014 IPCC report on climate change that was going to end the debate once and for all. The chances for legislative action on climate change in the new Congress: zero or less. There was Ferguson and the Garner videotape showing the fatal chokehold, both of which set off a wave of protests but seem unlikely to change public attitudes about the police. There was the Senate Intelligence Committee “torture report” that was going to settle the issue of treatment of detainees. Again, the polls are rolling in suggesting that the public remains exactly where it was: supportive of “torture” under certain circumstances. And of course there was the blockbuster Rolling Stone article on campus rape at UVA, the story that, before it abruptly collapsed, was going to cement public support for the Obama administration’s aggressive attempt to federalize the treatment of sexual harassment on campuses around the country.

In all of these cases, liberals got what, from a liberal perspective, appeared to be conclusive evidence that long cherished liberal policy ideas were as correct as liberals have always thought they were. In all of these cases the establishment media conformed to the liberal narrative, inundating the airwaves and flooding the cyberverse with the liberal line. Some of the stories, like the UVA rape story, collapsed. Some, like the Ferguson story, became so complex and nuanced that some of their initial political salience diminished. But even when, as with Ferguson, other follow-up stories seem to reinforce the initial liberal take (the Garner case, for example), the public still doesn’t seem to accept the liberal line or draw the inferences that liberals want it to draw. It’s becoming hard to avoid the conclusion that many Americans will continue to disagree with many liberal policy prescriptions no matter what.

Shell-shocked liberals are beginning to grasp some inconvenient truths. No gun massacre is horrible enough to change Americans’ ideas about gun control. No UN Climate Report will get a climate treaty through the U.S. Senate. No combination of anecdotal and statistical evidence will persuade Americans to end their longtime practice of giving police officers extremely wide discretion in the use of force. No “name and shame” report, however graphic, from the Senate Intelligence Committee staff will change the minds of the consistent majority of Americans who tell pollsters that they believe that torture is justifiable under at least some circumstances. No feminist campaign will convince enough voters that the presumption of innocence should not apply to those accused of rape.

These are not the only issues in which, from a left Democratic point of view, the country is overrun with zombies and vampires: policy ideas that Democrats thought had been killed but still restlessly roam the earth. The finale of the George W. Bush presidency was, for many Democrats, conclusive evidence that conservative ideas just don’t work. The post 9/11 Bush foreign policy led to two long and unhappy wars. America had lost the trust of its allies without defeating its enemies. At home, the Bush tax cuts led to an exploding deficit, and the orgy of deregulation (admittedly, much of it dating from the Clinton years) led to the greatest financial crash since World War II and the most serious economic downturn since the Great Depression...
Still more, and be sure to click through for the links to polling data that show the public's repudiation of idiotic leftist policy positions down the line.

Meanwhile, little Scotty Lemieux, at Leftists, Losers and Perverts, mewls about how Obama's going to be the most "substantial" and "significant" president since LBJ and FDR. Heh, I know. The lulz. They hurt!

Obama Props Up Tyranny in Cuba

At Legal Insurrection, "Branco Cartoon – Abnormalization."

Branco Cartoon photo Cuba-Proped-600-LI_zps449f1044.jpg

Sony CEO Michael Lynton Responds to President Obama (VIDEO)

"We have not caved, we have not given in, we have persevered, and we have not backed down..."

See the Wrap, "Sony CEO Michael Lynton to President Obama: ‘We Have Not Caved’ (Video)."

And watch at CNN:

And ICYMI: "Obama Blames Sony After Failing to Defend Free Speech When it Mattered."

Nikki Finke Said to Be in Talks With Politico

Well, she's the master Hollywood gossip reporter (or she was), and she's sure be a nice fit at Politico, with its "win the morning" ethos.

See the New York Times, "Nikki Finke, Hollywood Chronicler, Said to Be in Talks With Politico":
Ms. Finke grew infamous in Los Angeles for aggressive coverage of the entertainment industry, which made her former website, Deadline Hollywood, into a draw for breaking industry news. Penske Media acquired the site in 2009. But in 2012 it purchased Variety, a competing Hollywood trade publication, which sparked a dispute that resulted in Ms. Finke’s leaving the company.

Ms. Finke and Penske recently came to settlement terms, which prohibited her from writing about the entertainment industry for another company. Writing about Washington might circumnavigate that agreement.
Yeah, her parting with Deadline must burn like a thousand suns. I wrote about that here, "Final Deadline for Nikke Finke?"

And best of luck to the lady.

Believing That Friendly U.S.-Cuba Relations Can Remake the Regime in Havana is the Worst Kind of American Exceptionalist Fantasy

From Gordon Adams, at Foreign Policy, "The Liberal Fallacy of the Cuba Deal":
When the New York Times decides to run a banner headline in virtually every one of its domestic and international editions, it usually means something big has just gone down. This week, it was the administration’s announcement that the United States is reversing the policy of the last 50-plus years, re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba and advocating an end of the economic embargo of the island nation.

I would like to say that this policy change has emerged because non-recognition and the embargo were both stupid and self-defeating policies. And that may be part of it. But the debate that has begun to emerge around the Cuba policy announcement this week actually seems to be going in another direction. Instead of simply ending a policy that was always unworkable, we are at risk of embarking on another misleading debate about American exceptionalism: that somehow U.S. policy, in some way, will lead to the political and economic order that we (not the Cubans) want to see in Cuba...

More Kate Upton 'Sexiest Woman'

Following up from yesterday, "Kate Upton: 'Sexiest Woman Alive'."

And see now this massive photo slideshow of Ms. Upton at the Los Angeles Times, "Kate Upton named 'Sexiest Woman Alive' by People magazine."

Kate Upton photo 002564baec4812f58c1a21_zps3dfe4d8d.jpg

A Reply to Kim's Cyberterrorism

At the Wall Street Journal, "Financial sanctions squeezed the North before and could again":
President Obama vowed in his press conference Friday that the United States “will respond proportionally” to the cyberattack on Sony Pictures, “in a place and time and manner that we choose.” Since the FBI has now concluded the attack was orchestrated by North Korea, a forceful response is essential to deterring future attacks by the world’s rogues. Allow us to offer some suggestions as to what a “proportional” response might be.

As we noted Friday, one good place to start would be for the U.S. government to pay Sony Pictures for the rights to “The Interview” and release the movie for free into the public domain. The comedy, about an assassination attempt on Kim Jong Un, could then be seen by the world and translated into Korean, loaded on USB sticks, and floated into North Korea by balloons.

That would teach Pyongyang a useful lesson in the value the free world attaches to free speech. But the corpulent Korean despot also needs to learn a lesson about the costs of hacking and cyberterrorism, which caused Sony to cancel the movie’s scheduled Christmas release.

The easy place to start would be to once again place North Korea on the list of state sponsors of terrorism—a list from which the Bush Administration unwisely removed it in 2008 in exchange for the late Kim Jong Il ’s fake promises of denuclearization. Putting the North back on the list would be an act of diplomatic hygiene, though it would probably not do much to hurt the Kim regime.

A tougher move would be to reprise the Treasury Department’s 2007 sanctions on Banco Delta Asia, a Macau-based bank that the U.S. accused of being a major money-launderer for Pyongyang. The Kim family is heavily dependent on drug dealing, contraband cigarettes, counterfeit dollars, arms smuggling and other illicit activity for its hard currency earnings, which it then uses as bribes to keep the North’s elite in line. The bank denies the allegations.

The sanctions froze Banco Delta Asia out of conducting dollar-denominated transactions, though their broader effect was to dissuade other banks from doing business with Pyongyang for fear of being similarly sanctioned. It was, by all accounts, the toughest blow the Kim family had ever sustained. “They were not able to pay for gyroscopes for their missile program,” Rep. Ed Royce, the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told us Friday. “Their missile line just shut down. The dictator couldn’t pay his generals.”

The Kim regime squealed. In one of their worst diplomatic moves, then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and President Bush ultimately relented, and it was back to North Korean business as usual. But at least the sanctions demonstrated how vulnerable the Kims were to having their personal finances squeezed. It can be done again...

Lone Wolf Terrorism is the New Nightmare

Once again, a penetrating analysis from Charles Krauthammer, at WaPo, "How to fight the lone wolf":
The lone wolf is the new nightmare, dramatized and amplified this week by the hostage-taking attack in Sydney. But there are two kinds of lone wolves — the crazy and the evil — and the distinction is important.

The real terrorists are rational. Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, had been functioning as an Army doctor for years. Psychotics cannot carry that off. Hasan even had a business card listing his occupation as SoA (Soldier of Allah). He then went out and, shouting “Allahu Akbar,” shot dead 13 people, 12 of them fellow soldiers. To this day, Hasan speaks coherently and proudly of the massacre. That’s terrorism.

Sydney’s Man Haron Monis, on the other hand, was a marginal, alienated Iranian immigrant with a cauldron of psychopathologies. Described by his own former lawyer as “unhinged,” Monis was increasingly paranoid. He’d been charged as accessory to the murder of his ex-wife and convicted of sending threatening letters to the families of dead Australian soldiers.

His religiosity was both fanatical and confused. A Shiite recently converted to Sunni Islam, his Internet postings showed not just the zeal of the convert but a remarkable ignorance of Islam and Islamism. He even brought the wrong Islamic banner to the attack. He had to ask the authorities to provide him with an Islamic State flag.

Which led to a frantic search to find an Islamic State connection or conspiracy. But for the disturbed like Monis, the terror group does not provide instructions, it provides a script. It offers the disoriented and deranged a context, a purpose, a chance even at heroism.

I suspect this is the case with most of the recent cluster of lone-wolf terrorist incidents, from the beheading of a co-worker in Oklahoma to the Queens ax attack on New York City police. We fear these attackers because the psychopathological raw material is everywhere, in the interstices of every society. Normally in and out of mental hospitals, in and out of homelessness, some are now redirected to find a twisted redemption in terror.

Nonetheless, in the scheme of things, the crazies are limited in what they can carry out. They are too disorganized to do more than localized, small-scale damage. The larger danger is the Maj. Hasan with his mental faculties intact and his purpose unwavering.

The still greater threat is organized terror, as we were reminded just hours after Sydney by the Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar that killed at least 148, mostly children...
Still more.

Pamela Geller on the Rick Amato Show: Jihad in Australia

At Atlas Shrugs, "The Faces of Jihad Terror: #SydneySiege hero victims, Young lawyer and mother-of-three died after ‘shielding pregnant friend’ from gunfire and the café manager, 34, shot dead as he tried to grab terrorist’s gun," and "#SydneySiege Jihadist wore headband bearing the war cry: “We are ready to sacrifice for you, O Muhammad”."

Friday, December 19, 2014

Just Finished 'The Hunger Games'

There was something about the latest film, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1," that piqued my interest more than usual. (The problem of totalitarianism really came out, especially at the conclusion.)

I took my kid to see it on the opening weekend. Impressed, I came home and picked up my older son's copy of the first volume in the series, "The Hunger Games."

A great gift item for Christmas, at Amazon, "The Hunger Games Box Set: Foil Edition."

Hunger Games photo photo39_zps587c3e91.jpg

America's Craven Capitulation to Terror

I'm posting this one FWIW, considering the significant doubts on the origins of the Sony hack.

From David Keyes, at the Daily Beast, "The Sony Hack and America’s Craven Capitulation to Terror":
Americans are giving in to North Korean blackmail — and it will only get worse.

If the noble experiment of American democracy is to mean anything, it is fidelity to the principle of freedom. It is to champion the idea that all men and women are endowed with certain unalienable rights—free to think our thoughts, speak our minds, associate with whom we want and express our feelings without fear that a tyrant will silence us. Slavery is not only the physical restraining of the body. It is also the imprisonment of the mind—the instinct to quiet one’s thoughts in the face of terror.

This is a degrading and shameful state which no man or woman should be forced to endure.

Yesterday, Americans not only endured it—they enabled it. Anonymous hackers, possibly associated with the North Korean regime, made unspecified threats to conduct a 9/11-style attack on theaters that showed “The Interview,” a feature comedy film which pokes fun at Kim Jong Un. Major theaters announced they would not show the movie and Sony pulled it.

On Christmas weekend, a North Korean tyrant has decided what American teenagers will see on the silver screen. Some sympathize with the theaters. Who can blame them? Why would any business expose their customers to potential terror?

This is wrong, dangerous and shameful.

By giving an artistic veto to a madman, we submit to the mindset of a slave. We are no longer sovereigns of our thoughts, comedy and art. If anything is worth fighting for, it is this...
Heh, a little dramatic (although not necessarily disagreeable).

More, at the New Republic (safe link), "Why Aren't We Retaliating Right Now for the Sony Cyberattack?"

More Questions on Who's Behind the Sony Hack?

The dissenting voices on NoKo's complicity are extremely compelling.

Recall Wired's piece from yesterday, "Who's Behind the Sony Hack Attack?"

Now here's Marc Rogers (via Dana Loesch), "Why the Sony hack is unlikely to be the work of North Korea":
Whoever did this is in it for revenge. The info and access they had could have easily been used to cash out, yet, instead, they are making every effort to burn Sony down. Just think what they could have done with passwords to all of Sony’s financial accounts? With the competitive intelligence in their business documents? From simple theft, to the sale of intellectual property, or even extortion – the attackers had many ways to become rich. Yet, instead, they chose to dump the data, rendering it useless. Likewise, I find it hard to believe that a “Nation State” which lives by propaganda would be so willing to just throw away such an unprecedented level of access to the beating heart of Hollywood itself....

Finally, blaming North Korea is the easy way out for a number of folks, including the security vendors and Sony management who are under the microscope for this. Let’s face it – most of today’s so-called “cutting edge” security defenses are either so specific, or so brittle, that they really don’t offer much meaningful protection against a sophisticated attacker or group of attackers. That doesn’t mean that we should let them off and give up every time someone plays the “APT” or “Sophisticated Attacker” card though. This is a significant area of weakness in the security industry – the truth is we are TERRIBLE at protecting against bespoke, unique attacks, let alone true zero days. There is some promising technology out there, but it’s clear that it just isn’t ready yet.

While we are on the subject, and ignoring the inability of traditional AntiVirus to detect bespoke malware, just how did whatever Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solution that Sony uses miss terabytes of data flying out of their network? How did their sophisticated on-premise perimeter security appliances miss such huge anomalies in network traffic, machine usage or host relationships? How did they miss Sony’s own edge being hijacked and used as public bittorrent servers aiding the exfiltration of their data? ....

The reality is, as things stand, Sony has little choice but to burn everything down and start again. Every password, every key, every certificate is tainted now and that’s a terrifying place for an organization to find itself. This hack should be used as the definitive lesson in why security matters and just how bad things can get if you don’t take it seriously.
Keep reading.

New 'American Sniper' Movie Trailer

The film's out on Christmas Day.

Plus, an interview with Bradley Cooper, at CBS This Morning, "Bradley Cooper's transformation: New roles on stage and screen." (A really good interview. Cooper reports that Chris Kyle's wife thought she was watching her husband on screen. Amazing.)

FBI Accuses North Korean Government in Cyberattack on Sony Pictures

I guess this is the authoritative determination, despite the extant doubts that Pyongyang is behind the hack.

At NYT, "Obama Vows U.S. Response to North Korea Cyberattack on Sony":
In describing the United States’ evidence against North Korea, the F.B.I. said that there were significant “similarities in specific lines of code, encryption algorithms, data deletion methods, and compromised networks” to previous attacks by the North Koreans. It also said that there were classified elements of the evidence against the North that it could not reveal.

“The F.B.I. also observed significant overlap between the infrastructure used in this attack and other malicious cyberactivity the U.S. government has previously linked directly to North Korea,” the bureau said. “For example, the F.B.I. discovered that several Internet protocol addresses associated with known North Korean infrastructure communicated with I.P. addresses that were hard-coded into the data deletion malware used in this attack.”

The F.B.I. said that some of the methods employed in the Sony attack were similar to ones that were used by the North Koreans against South Korean banks and news media outlets in 2013.

“We are deeply concerned about the destructive nature of this attack on a private sector entity and the ordinary citizens who worked there,” the F.B.I. said.

It added: “Though the F.B.I. has seen a wide variety and increasing number of cyberintrusions, the destructive nature of this attack, coupled with its coercive nature, sets it apart. North Korea’s actions were intended to inflict significant harm on a U.S. business and suppress the right of American citizens to express themselves. Such acts of intimidation fall outside the bounds of acceptable state behavior.”

The F.B.I.'s announcement was carefully coordinated with the White House and reflected the intensity of the investigation; just a week ago a senior F.B.I. official said he could not say whether North Korea was responsible. But it also puts new pressure on President Obama on how to respond. Administration officials note that the White House has now described the action against Sony as an “attack,” as opposed to mere theft of intellectual property, and that suggests that Mr. Obama is now looking for a government response, rather than a corporate one.
Also, at the FBI's homepage, "Update on Sony Investigation."

George Clooney on Hollywood's Epic Cowardice

Clooney's a leftist.

But he's at least got a pair. Jeez.

George Clooney photo George_Clooney-4_The_Men_Who_Stare_at_Goats_TIFF09_28cropped29_zpsf0e60df2.jpg
DEADLINE: How could this have happened, that terrorists achieved their aim of cancelling a major studio film? We watched it unfold, but how many people realized that Sony legitimately was under attack?

GEORGE CLOONEY: A good portion of the press abdicated its real duty. They played the fiddle while Rome burned. There was a real story going on. With just a little bit of work, you could have found out that it wasn’t just probably North Korea; it was North Korea. The Guardians of Peace is a phrase that Nixon used when he visited China. When asked why he was helping South Korea, he said it was because we are the Guardians of Peace. Here, we’re talking about an actual country deciding what content we’re going to have. This affects not just movies, this affects every part of business that we have. That’s the truth. What happens if a newsroom decides to go with a story, and a country or an individual or corporation decides they don’t like it? Forget the hacking part of it. You have someone threaten to blow up buildings, and all of a sudden everybody has to bow down. Sony didn’t pull the movie because they were scared; they pulled the movie because all the theaters said they were not going to run it. And they said they were not going to run it because they talked to their lawyers and those lawyers said if somebody dies in one of these, then you’re going to be responsible.

We have a new paradigm, a new reality, and we’re going to have to come to real terms with it all the way down the line. This was a dumb comedy that was about to come out. With the First Amendment, you’re never protecting Jefferson; it’s usually protecting some guy who’s burning a flag or doing something stupid. This is a silly comedy, but the truth is, what it now says about us is a whole lot. We have a responsibility to stand up against this. That’s not just Sony, but all of us, including my good friends in the press who have the responsibility to be asking themselves: What was important? What was the important story to be covering here? The hacking is terrible because of the damage they did to all those people. Their medical records, that is a horrible thing, their Social Security numbers. Then, to turn around and threaten to blow people up and kill people, and just by that threat alone we change what we do for a living, that’s the actual definition of terrorism...
Keep reading. No one, not a single soul in Hollywood, would sign Clooney's petition in support of Sony. Cowards, the whole lot of them. Pathetic left-wing cowards, kowtowing to tyranny.

PHOTO CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons.

Obama Blames Sony After Failing to Defend Free Speech When it Mattered


'Lights Out'

From Tuesday's drive time, when I had to tie up some end-of-semester loose ends on campus.

From UFO, via the Sound L.A.:

Locomotive Breath
Jethro Tull
11:37 AM

Back On the Chain Gang
11:34 AM

Us and Them
Pink Floyd
11:26 AM

Love the One You're With
Stephen Stills
11:23 AM

Runnin' with the Devil
Van Halen
11:20 AM

You're My Best Friend
11:10 AM

11:06 AM

Fleetwood Mac
11:01 AM

Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights) [Live]
Pat Travers Band
10:52 AM

Twilight Zone
Golden Earring
10:44 AM

Paradise By the Dashboard Light
Meat Loaf
10:36 AM

Lights Out
10:31 AM

Blinded By the Light
Manfred Mann's Earth Band
10:24 AM

City of Blinding Lights
10:18 AM

10:13 AM

Long As I Can See the Light
Creedence Clearwater Revival
10:10 AM

Light My Fire
The Doors
10:03 AM

'Long-Term English Learners'

The Hispanic demographic at my college is over 50 percent of student enrollment. Needless to say, for many, language issues create a major barrier to successful advancement through the curriculum.

At LAT, "California schools step up efforts to help 'long-term English learners'":
After more than 11 years in Los Angeles public schools, Dasha Cifuentes still isn't speaking or writing English at grade level. The U.S. native, whose parents are Mexican immigrants, was raised in a Spanish-speaking household and she acknowledges that the two languages get confused in her mind.

"I should be more confident in English because I was born here, but I'm embarrassed that I haven't improved myself," said Dasha, a junior at Fairfax High.

Now, however, she and other students like her are receiving more attention under a new state law and initiatives by L.A. Unified and other school districts. The law requires the state to define and identify a "long-term English learner," the first effort in the nation to do so.

In its inaugural data released Wednesday, the state has identified nearly 350,000 students in grades six through 12 who have attended California schools for seven years or more and are still not fluent in English. They make up three-fourths of all secondary school students still learning English.

Among them, nearly 90,000 are classified as long-term English learners because they also have failed to progress on the state's English proficiency exam for two consecutive years and score below grade level in English standardized tests.

"These kids need to be visible," said Shelly Spiegel-Coleman of Californians Together, a Long Beach-based nonprofit that promoted the legislation and released the state data. "In many instances, these students are sitting in mainstream classes and are not getting any specialized help."

A 2010 study by the nonprofit found that many students languished because schools failed to monitor their progress, provide appropriate curriculum or train teachers. Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union sued the state for allegedly failing to provide legally required services for students learning English.

In addition, Fairfax Principal Carmina Nacorda said, more than 70% of her 125 long-term English learners have educational disabilities. And many educators say that students who achieve fluency in their first language more easily learn English, but that Proposition 227, the 1998 voter-approved state initiative that severely restricted bilingual education, has impeded them from doing so.

The new focus on such students comes amid a shift in California's long-running language wars. Since Proposition 227, a counter-movement has grown promoting the teaching of two languages in dual-immersion classes. State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) has successfully placed a measure to repeal the proposition on the November 2016 ballot.
Shoot, we'll just have to require Spanish language proficiency for native Californians. That ought to level the playing field!


London Pub's Offer to Feed the Homeless Christmas Dinner Goes Viral

So awesome.

A pub in north London has been overwhelmed by support after their offer to feed the homeless a Christmas dinner went viral.

The William IV pub, on Shepherdess Walk, Islington, tweeted earlier this week: “This Sunday. We are open to the homless and hungry. Proper xmas dinner. Please spread the word and love”.

The tweet was instantly picked up by social media users, who celebrated the pub’s staff and owner’s actions. It has since been retweeted almost seven thousand times.

Chef and manager Adam Hardiman will offer homeless individuals a full roast, including a carvery of turkey, beef and salmon – with all the trimings from 12 to 3pm this Sunday.
So beautiful.

And of course, this is the kind of warm-hearted charity that big-government nanny-staters can't stand. For example, see, "Don't let the Left ruin our crusade... writes food bank pioneer ROBIN AITKEN."

Guaranteed. If the good people of the private sector do good works, leftists will try to ruin it. One way or another, leftists will destroy basic decency and holiday cheer.

Christmas with Rosie Jones

Wouldn't that be lovely.

Via Zoo Today:

Kindergartner is Fourth to Die in Redondo Beach Crash

I saw this story breaking on Twitter in real time the other night, but there was no indication of the scale of death. This is a mind-boggling loss of life.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Crash outside Christmas concert: Kindergartner is 4th to die":
6-year-old boy is the fourth victim to die from his injuries after a crowd of people was struck by a car following a Christmas concert outside a church in Redondo Beach, coroner’s officials said Friday.

Samuel Gaza, a kindergartner who had suffered head trauma and a bruised lung, died overnight at Harbor UCLA Medical Center, said Lt. David Smith of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.

His mother, Martha Gaza, 36, of Torrance, was also killed in Wednesday night’s crash outside St. James Catholic Church. His father remains hospitalized...

The story made the front-page of the Times. See, "'Joyful evening' at Redondo Beach concert, and then a horrific crash."

And video at CBS News Los Angeles, "Community In Mourning Following Deadly Redondo Beach Crash."

Kate Upton: 'Sexiest Woman Alive'

She's still the "it" girl. Can't say she's not sexy, heh.

At People, "PEOPLE Magazine Awards: Kate Upton Wins PEOPLE's Sexiest Woman Award."

Kate Upton photo kate-upton-hot-terry-richardson-outtakes-photos-hot-758487545_zpse0d3f451.jpg

Rupert Friend of 'Homeland'

It's been a phenomenal season, I gotta say.

Mr. Friend is very humble as well, and articulate. Stay with this interview. It's good:

British Prime Minister David Cameron Rips Labor Party Leader Ed Miliband as a 'Complete Waste of Space'

Get a giggle out of this one, heh.

Drone Video of Synchronized Holiday Lights


This is really cool.

Bill Whittle Rips the Democrat-Socialist Left for Welcoming — No, Enabling! — America as Number 2

A great "Firewall" segment from the master commentator, Bill Whittle:

Mark Levin Hilariously Slams 'Munchkin' Republican 'Backbenchers': Says He's 'One Inch' from Leaving the GOP

I started giggling at the "munchkin" line.

Levin gets on an angry roll here, at the Right Scoop, "Mark Levin to the GOP: I AM ONE INCH AWAY FROM LEAVING YOU!"

Peter Wehner takes issue, at Commentary, "Mark Levin Should Leave the Republican Party."

Actually, I'd bet Levin has Wehner in mind when he hammers the "dissembling" Republicans.

Me, I'll all "meh." I'm a neocon. I don't identify as a Republican. I'll vote for them, mainly to stop the Democrat-Socialists. But you gotta give it to Levin for really letting it rip here. Hopefully the idiot "munchkins" boosting rhinos like Jeb Bush will get the message. Sheesh.

Be sure to give it a listen.

Hack Leaves U.S. in Quandary on How to Deal with North Korea

Well first the administration needs to prove NoKo's behind the hack. I'd say that Wired piece was a pretty compelling.

But see LAT, "Sony hack leaves U.S. in quandary on how to deal with North Korea":
With U.S. intelligence analysts quietly pointing to North Korea as having a hand in the destructive hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment computers, Obama administration officials scrambled Thursday to consider what, if anything, they should do in response.

Options are limited, partly because the United States already imposes strict sanctions on North Korea's economy and because the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, relishes confrontation with the West. White House officials are wary of playing into an effort by nuclear-armed North Korea to provoke the U.S. into a direct confrontation.

"How do you sanction the world's most heavily sanctioned country?" asked John Park, a specialist on Northeast Asia at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Hackers caused tens of millions of dollars in damage last month to Sony Pictures' computers, destroyed valuable files, leaked five films, four of them  unreleased, and exposed private employment information including 47,000 Social Security numbers.

In response to the cyberattack and a threat against movie theaters, Sony canceled the Christmas Day release of "The Interview," a comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco that depicts a fictional assassination of Kim.

The Obama administration has stopped short of saying openly that North Korea was involved in the intrusion. Such an allegation would probably bring about calls for a response, and with an unwillingness to lay out its evidence, lack of available economic punishments and little desire for acts of war, the White House so far appears reluctant to make a public accusation...
Well, yeah.

Obama wouldn't want to rush to war, or anything. The leftists might call for war crimes tribunals.

Oh wait. Wrong president.

Capital Punishment's Decline

Well, thanks to the "evolving standards of decency."

At LAT, "Capital punishment in U.S. continues its decline":
The death penalty continued its slow and steady two-decade decline this year, as fewer convicted murderers were sentenced to die and most executions were limited to just three states, according to a report to be released Thursday.

The number of new death sentences plummeted from 315 in 1996 to 72 as of Wednesday, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

The number of executions carried out has fallen sharply as well. This year, 35 convicts were put to death, compared with 98 in 1999. And whereas 20 states were carrying out executions in the 1990s, only seven did so this year.

"The relevancy of the death penalty in our criminal justice system is seriously in question when 43 out of the 50 states do not apply the ultimate sanction," said Richard Dieter, the center's executive director.

Most of the executions took place in Texas (10), Missouri (10) and Florida (8). The other states to carry out executions were Oklahoma (3), Georgia (2), Arizona (1) and Ohio (1).

Even in Texas, the number of new death sentences has fallen sharply, from 48 per year in the late 1990s to fewer than a dozen per year recently.

Experts say the trend reflects a steep drop in violent crime, a growing use of "life without parole" sentences for convicted killers and a skepticism over the death penalty itself...
Well, we'll be just like the rest of the "civilized world" in no time!


New Kelly Brook Bikini Pics!

Hey, an early Christmas present!

At Egotastic!, "Kelly Brook Bikini Shoot for New Look and Old Hard Happy Feelings."

Obama Uses 'Memos' in Place of Congressional Action

A creative dictator.

At USA Today:
WASHINGTON — The White House acknowledged Thursday that President Obama has used various forms of executive action when Congress has not acted, but it said the president was accurate when he said he has issued fewer executive orders than his predecessors.

It's true that Obama has issued fewer executive orders than any president in a century. But he's signed far more presidential memoranda, a lesser-known tool often used to initiate a change in federal regulations, than any other president.

"There's no doubt that the president has sought to use his executive authority to move this country forward within the confines of the law, oftentimes in the face of congressional inaction," spokesman Josh Earnest said. "I will readily concede that this president has used both executive orders and presidential memoranda to move this country forward as much as he possibly can."

Earnest responded to questions about Obama's use of presidential memoranda after USA TODAY reported Wednesday that he had signed more of those executive actions than any other president. Obama and his aides have said he issued fewer executive orders than any other president in 100 years but did not include presidential memoranda in that total.

Scholars call presidential memoranda "executive orders by another name." Earnest said there was "an important difference" between the two.

"Generally speaking, presidential memoranda are associated with more technical issues and are often directives that are related to a subset of agencies," Earnest said. "Executive orders, therefore, are more sweeping and therefore often more impactful."

That's not always the case, said Kenneth Mayer, author of With the Stroke of a Pen: Executive Orders and Presidential Power.

"There's no definitive answer. I imagine that if you stacked up all 200 of these memoranda, some of them would be of great significance, and some of them would be extremely trivial," said Mayer, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "So the upshot is just counting any particular instrument, or any particular type of instrument, doesn't really tell you the whole story."

This year, Obama has used executive orders to impose economic sanctions, establish a non-discrimination policy for gays and lesbians in the federal government and give federal workers the day after Christmas off. He's used presidential memoranda to overhaul enforcement of immigration laws and extend student loan relief, and this week, he declared Bristol Bay, Alaska, off-limits to oil and gas exploration...

Patton Oswalt's Deleted Tweets

My god this is absolutely hilarious.

Via AoSHQ, "The Year in Outrage."

What Drives Leftist Ideological Hatred?

From Spengler, at Pajamas, "Why Liberals Really, Really Hate Us":
They really, really hate us. George Orwell wrote a morning “Two Minutes Hate” session into the daily life of his dystopia in 1984. One blogger notes that 2,000 of Rachel Maddow’s facebook fans wished that Ted Cruz would fall into an open elevator shaft. What would he have made of the hyperventilating hatred that liberals display against conservatives? Over at National Review, Katherine Timpf reports on a hate manifesto published by the chair of University of Michigan’s Department of Communications. Republicans “crafted a political identity that rests on a complete repudiation of the idea that the opposing party and its followers have any legitimacy at all.” wrote Prof. Susan Douglas. “So now we hate them back,” she explains. “And with good reason.”

In fact, they have their reasons to hate us. They are being silly. We know they are being silly, and they know we know, and they can’t stand it. It isn’t quite how we repudiate the idea that the opposing party has any legitimacy at all. But we can’t stop giggling.

“Reductio ad absurdum” does not begin to characterize the utter silliness of liberals, whose governing dogma holds that everyone has a right to invent their own identity. God is dead and everything is permitted, Zarathustra warned; he should have added that everything is silly. When we abhor tradition, we become ridiculous, because we lack the qualifications to replace what generation upon generation of our ancestors built on a belief in revelation and centuries of trial and error. Conservatives know better. G.K. Chesterton said it well: “Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.”

The antics of the “small and arrogant oligarchy” that controls the temples of liberal orthodoxy have turned into comic material that Monty Python couldn’t have dreamed up a generation ago. There are now dozens of prospective genders, at least according to the gender studies departments at elite universities. What do the feminists of Wellesley College do, for example, when its women become men? The problem is that no-one quite knows what they have become, as a recent New York Times Magazine feature complained:
Some two dozen other matriculating students at Wellesley don’t identify as women. Of those, a half-dozen or so were trans men, people born female who identified as men, some of whom had begun taking testosterone to change their bodies. The rest said they were transgender or genderqueer, rejecting the idea of gender entirely or identifying somewhere between female and male; many, like Timothy, called themselves transmasculine.
Use the wrong terminology and you’re burned for a bigot. There used to be jokes such as: “How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, and it’s not funny.” You can’t tell that sort of joke about  Wellesley because the LGBTs never will agree on the lightbulb’s gender. There are rare cases of babies born with ambiguous genitalia, to be sure. There also are a few individuals obsessed from early childhood with the idea that they were born in the wrong body. They have difficult lives and deserve sympathy (but not public mandates for sex-change operations). Gender ambiguity in its morphological infinitude as a field of personal self-development, though, has become the laboratory for cutting-edge liberal thinking, the ultimate expression of self-invention. LGTB Studies (or “Queer Studies”) departments have or soon will be established at most of America’s top universities, classifying, advocating and defending an ever-expanding number of newly-categorized gender identities...
Yep. It's out of control.

Funny, too, how I just blogged about the transgender movement taking over women's colleges --- because if you don't capitulate you're a hater!

BONUS: "Marquette Suspends Professor John McAdams for Exposing Leftist Totalitarian Faculty."