Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Los Angeles 'Travel Crunch' (VIDEO)

Wasn't too bad driving home this afternoon from work, but these videos of the L.A. traffic are murder.

At CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Nice Samantha Hoopes

Ms. Samantha's wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

The Soft Bigotry of School Discipline Reform

This is an amazing piece, at the Fordham Institute:

I am here today because I am very worried about the direction some of our urban and suburban schools are taking.

Over the past four to five years, there have been strong expectations to discipline students differently depending on their race. We were told that too many students of color were being suspended and this looked bad, especially in the case of African American boys. This was definitely the case in Minneapolis.

However well-intended, this policy actually disrespects a whole class of students by lowering the expectations for their behavior, their work ethic, and inevitably their academic progress. When students walk though my classroom door, I have high expectations for them—no matter what they look like.

Another great area of concern is that students are now increasingly emboldened to get together and collaborate to “get teachers in trouble.” Those teachers can lose their jobs and their entire careers. The teachers who tend to be targets are those who have a more traditional way of teaching. By this I mean holding all students to high expectations—such as punctuality, respectful behavior, teamwork, good work ethic, following school rules, politeness, meeting deadlines—and providing consequences for not reaching those high standards.

This has led, in my opinion, to a generation of teachers who are “walking on eggshells,” trying very hard to not say anything or do anything that might remotely get them reported. I believe that many teachers now turn a blind eye to school policies not popular with students: they inflate grades, ignore dress codes violations, don’t give deadlines for handing work in, and put up with bad behavior that would previously had prompted disciplinary action. It is a culmination of these “little expectations” that has led to an erosion of the overall school climate of academic rigor, as well as an erosion of student and staff safety. In addition, if there’s a student exhibiting significantly bad behavior, many teachers feel helpless because they know that a behavior referral will be fruitless; assistant principals will return that student to the same classroom that day or the next day. Order in the classroom deteriorates, and learning suffers.

When you have given twenty-five years to teaching city kids, it hurts to be called a racist, as I have been many times. It’s upsetting to be verbally abused on a daily or even hourly basis, and in some cases even physically abused.

What other profession has to tolerate this?

This is a key reason why we are losing great teachers.

I like to think I ran a pretty tight ship. I like to think that we got a lot of learning done in fifty minutes. I would teach up to two hundred students a day. I was the head varsity coach of two sports in my school. I was in the hallways every day, passing time, keeping order and greeting students. But under the current conditions, I cannot and will not teach any longer in Minneapolis.

African American students will never reach their full potential when they are getting conflicting messages from radical activists who tell them they are, and will be, victims of discrimination, who promote the ideology of white privilege (code for “you have no chance”), and who get them all riled up and angry in school so that they’re protesting at every opportunity. It is tough to learn when you are angry.

These students need to hear the same strong, uplifting, and positive message from teachers, parents, counselors, principals, and district administrators that they can achieve success with hard work, dedication, and determination...
He's right. This is the main problem with our schools. I deal with these things all the time. I'm lucky I'm not white. Seriously. I hate to do it, but I can turn the race card around on anyone who makes any issue about race. It's too easy for progressives to scream "racism." But I'll throw it back in their faces. Ideology has taken over public education. I'm fighting a tough battle, and sometimes I find myself going too easy on my students, because I get tired of playing campus cop all the time, 24/7. But unless you keep up a unified front, things happen, and it takes a cascade of disruptive behavior to remind you you've got to maintain high standards. You have no idea sometimes. (I'd like to retire, in fact, but it's just not happening any time soon, and it's for precisely these reasons).

More at the link.

Beware the Rape Allegation Bandwagon

Folks have been warning about the radical left's virtue signaling on the sexual harassment allegations train. All aboard! You too --- #MeToo --- can make bogus accusations of sexual assault, and bring down your powerful ideological enemies!

There's obviously a real problem going on right now, but just this afternoon I learned of the progressive journalist Jordan Chariton's firing by Cenk Uygur at the Young Turks. This looks like total scam, a scheme hatched to destroy this guy, with the Young Turks throwing the dude under the bus faster than you can say "perv!" (See Politico, "‘Young Turks’ reporter vows to sue over his firing.")

And this reminds me of Michelle Malkin's piece from last month, "#MeToo May Exaggerate Prevalence of Sex Crimes":

#MeToo" is the social media meme of the moment. In a 24-hour period, the phrase was tweeted nearly a half million times and posted on Facebook 12 million times. Spearheaded by actress Alyssa Milano in the wake of Hollyweird's Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal, women have flooded social media with their own long-buried accounts of being pestered, groped or assaulted by rapacious male predators in the workplace.

Count me out.

It's one thing to break down cultural stigmas constructively, but the #MeToo movement is collectivist virtue signaling of a very perilous sort. The New York Times heralded the phenomenon with multiple articles "to show how commonplace sexual assault and harassment are." The Washington Post credited #MeToo with making "the scale of sexual abuse go viral." And actress Emily Ratajkowski declared at a Marie Claire magazine's women's conference on Monday:

"The most important response to #metoo is 'I believe you.'"

No. I do not believe every woman who is now standing up to "share her story" or "tell her truth." I owe no blind allegiance to any other woman simply because we share the same pronoun. Assertions are not truths until they are established as facts and corroborated with evidence. Timing, context, motives and manner all matter.

Because I reserve the right to vet the claims of individual sexual assault complainants instead of championing them all knee-jerk and wholesale as "victims," I've been scolded as insensitive and inhumane.

"TIMING DOES NOT MATTER," a Twitter user named Meg Yarbrough fumed. "What matters is what is best for EACH INDIVIDUAL victim. You should be ashamed of yourself."

CNN anchor Jake Tapper informed me, "People coming forward should be applauded." But applauding people for "coming forward" is not a journalistic tenet. It's an advocacy tenet. Tapper responded that he was expressing the sentiment as a "human being not as a journalist." Last time I checked, humans have brains. The Weinstein scandal is not an excuse to turn them off and abdicate a basic responsibility to assess the credibility of accusers. It's an incontrovertible fact that not all accusers' claims are equal.

Some number of harrowing encounters described by Weinstein's accusers and the #MeToo hashtag activists no doubt occurred. But experience and scientific literature show us that a significant portion of these allegations will turn out to be half-truths, exaggerations or outright fabrications. That's not victim-blaming. It's reality-checking.

It is irresponsible for news outlets to extrapolate how “commonplace” sexual abuse is based on hashtag trends spread by celebrities, anonymous claimants and bots. The role of the press should be verification, not validation. Instead of interviewing activist actresses, reporters should be interviewing bona fide experts...
Keep reading.

Pre-Thanksgiving Shopping

It's that time of year again.

It'll be "Black Friday" day after tomorrow, which officially kicks off the scrambling holiday shopping season. I don't blog for money, but I'd be lying if I didn't say how much I appreciate the reader support over this last year or so of my Amazon book blogging. I'm having a lot of fun. I'm reading more these days than I have since graduate school. Reader purchases help finance my book addiction. It's healthy for me, since I don't get bogged down in all the political and ideological hatred online. I don't watch the news anymore, in any case, as I've noted many times now. So, thanks again. I hope everyone has a fabulous Thanksgiving and a relaxing weekend. Shoot, you might as well watch a little NFL football. All of those Colin Kaepernick protests have hammered the league, so the boycott message has definitely gotten through. Just enjoy. Don't watch the anthem, though, lol. Tune in after the kickoff.

In any case, at Amazon, Today's Deals.

See especially, Atlin Snorkel Mask [Full Face] for Adults, Teens and Kids, GoPro Compatible Snorkeling Swimming & Underwater Mask with 180° Panoramic View Anti-Fog, Anti-Leak with Adjustable Head Straps.

And, Buck Knives 0863BRS SELKIRK Fixed Blade Survival Knife with Fire Striker and Sheath.

More, Car Concealed Seat Back Gun Rack to Hold 3 Rifles. (In stock on November 25, 2017 - Order it now!)

Still more, AmazonBasics AA Performance Alkaline Batteries (48 Count) - Packaging May Vary.

Plus, AmazonBasics Lightning to USB A Cable - Apple MFi Certified - Black - 6 Feet /1.8 Meters.

Also, Samsung UN65MU6300FXZA 65" 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017 Model) Plus Terk Cut-the-Cord HD Digital TV Tuner and Recorder 16GB Hook-Up Bundle.

BONUS: C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.

Masha Gessen Will See Everything Through the Prism of Authoritarianism

I don't have time right now, and will try to watch later, but I'll bet yesterday's Monday's press conference with Sarah Sanders wasn't as bad as Masha Gessen makes out. Gessen's a defector from Putin's Russia, though, and she's also a radical left-wing lesbian, so you can imagine where her ideological affinities lay.

I'll try to follow up, but read this from the perspective of someone who viscerally hates the president and his "minions."

At the New Yorker:

Victor Sebestyen, Lenin

At Amazon, Victor Sebestyen, Lenin: The Man, the Dictator, and the Master of Terror.

Yuri Slezkine, The House of Government


This book looks absolutely amazing!

At Amazon, Yuri Slezkine, The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution.

Rebecca Traister and Ross Douthat Debate the Post-Weinstein Moment

At the Cut, "What Are the Lessons of the Post-Weinstein Moment?"

Beautiful Kelly Brook

I've been neglecting this luscious lady. My bad!

On Twitter:

Clif Bars

I've been enjoyed these bars of late. They're really tasty and satisfying!

At Amazon, Shop Clif Bars.

And especially, CLIF BAR - Energy Bar - Blueberry Crisp - (2.4-Ounce Protein Bar, 12 Count).

Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, A Kind of Freedom


At Amazon, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, A Kind of Freedom: A Novel.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Charlie Rose Fired by CBS, Dropped by PBS, After Sexual Harassment Allegations

At the San Diego Union-Tribune, "Charlie Rose fired by CBS, and PBS drops his talk show over sexual harassment allegations."

And don't miss Norah O'Donnell's comments from this morning's broadcast, below:

Eiza Gonzalez at Baby2Baby Gala in Los Angeles

She's a beauty!

Demi Rose in Revealing Gold Gown

At London's Daily Mail, "Demi Rose comes dangerously close to a wardrobe malfunction in VERY revealing gold gown as she hops to her second party of the night in London."

And at Drunken Stepfather, "Demi Rose - House of CB Christmas Dinner in London."

NFL Owners Mull Keeping Players in Locker Room During National Anthem

Well, you'd think? At WaPo, "NFL owners could change anthem policy next season if protests continue":

Some NFL owners believe there is a strong possibility they will enact an offseason change to the league’s national anthem policy if players’ protests during the anthem persist through the end of this season, reverting to a previous approach of keeping players in the locker room while the anthem is played, according to several people familiar with the league’s inner workings.

“I think that if players are still kneeling at the end of the year, then it could very well happen,” said one person familiar with the owners’ deliberations on anthem-related issues.

That person said it was “too early to tell” for certain if the change to the anthem policy will be made by owners and the league. The person was “not sure” if a formal vote of the owners would be required to enact such a change but said, “I think most owners would support it, particularly if players continue to kneel this season.”

Those sentiments were echoed by several others with knowledge of the owners’ thinking on the matter. They said they did not know at this point exactly how many owners would favor such an approach, and they cautioned that there have been no detailed discussions yet about leaving teams and players in the locker room for the anthem because owners did not consider it appropriate to make an in-season change to the policy...

Steven Stoll, Ramp Hollow

This book is out today, at Amazon, Steven Stoll, Ramp Hollow: The Ordeal of Appalachia.

Flexible Crystal Renn (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated:

Rana Mitter, A Bitter Revolution

Rana Mitter, A Bitter Revolution: China's Struggle with the Modern World.

Linda Gordon, The Second Coming of the KKK

At Amazon, Linda Gordon, The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Karan Mahajan, The Association of Small Bombs

I'm buying my mom some books for Christmas. She loves novels and she devours them. She just devours them fast, one after another, heh.

At Amazon, Karan Mahajan, The Association of Small Bombs: A Novel.

Danielle Gersh's Monday and Tuesday Forecast

Here's the lovely Ms. Danielle from this morning. I missed the fantastic Ms. Jennifer Delacruz this weekend, for some reason. My bad.

It was chilly when I left home this morning around 7:40am, so this is accurate, for sure. Nice in the evening when I left work though.

At CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Eight Women Accuse Charlie Rose of Sexual Harassment

I don't watch news anymore, but I'll still catch tidbits of CBS This Morning now and then, especially if my wife has it on. Charlie Rose is really one of the last on my list to suspect of predatory behavior. I don't care either way. He's pretty left-wing, and not my ideological soulmate, by any measure. Still, I'm blown away by how far and intense this sexual purge (reckoning?) has gone. It's freakin' major.

Here's the blockbuster report, at WaPo, "Eight women say Charlie Rose sexually harassed them — with nudity, groping and lewd calls":

Eight women have told The Washington Post that longtime television host Charlie Rose made unwanted sexual advances toward them, including lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, or groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas.

The women were employees or aspired to work for Rose at the “Charlie Rose” show from the late 1990s to as recently as 2011. They ranged in age from 21 to 37 at the time of the alleged encounters. Rose, 75, whose show airs on PBS, also co-hosts “CBS This Morning” and is a contributing correspondent for “60 Minutes.”

There are striking commonalities in the accounts of the women, each of whom described their interactions with Rose in multiple interviews with The Post. For all of the women, reporters interviewed friends, colleagues or family members who said the women had confided in them about aspects of the incidents. Three of the eight spoke on the record.

Five of the women spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of Rose’s stature in the industry, his power over their careers or what they described as his volatile temper.

“In my 45 years in journalism, I have prided myself on being an advocate for the careers of the women with whom I have worked,” Rose said in a statement provided to The Post. “Nevertheless, in the past few days, claims have been made about my behavior toward some former female colleagues.

“It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior. I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.

“I have learned a great deal as a result of these events, and I hope others will too. All of us, including me, are coming to a newer and deeper recognition of the pain caused by conduct in the past, and have come to a profound new respect for women and their lives.”

Most of the women said Rose alternated between fury and flattery in his interactions with them. Five described Rose putting his hand on their legs, sometimes their upper thigh, in what they perceived as a test to gauge their reactions. Two said that while they were working for Rose at his residences or were traveling with him on business, he emerged from the shower and walked naked in front of them. One said he groped her buttocks at a staff party.

Reah Bravo was an intern and then associate producer for Rose’s PBS show beginning in 2007. In interviews, she described unwanted sexual advances while working for Rose at his private waterfront estate in Bellport, N.Y., and while traveling with him in cars, in a hotel suite and on a private plane.

“It has taken 10 years and a fierce moment of cultural reckoning for me to understand these moments for what they were,” she told The Post. “He was a sexual predator, and I was his victim.”

Kyle Godfrey-Ryan, one of Rose’s assistants in the mid-2000s, recalled at least a dozen instances where Rose walked nude in front of her while she worked in one of his New York City homes. He also repeatedly called the then-21-year-old late at night or early in the morning to describe his fantasies of her swimming naked in the Bellport pool as he watched from his bedroom, she said.

“It feels branded into me, the details of it,” Godfrey-Ryan said.

She said she told Yvette Vega, Rose’s longtime executive producer, about the calls.

“I explained how he inappropriately spoke to me during those times,” Godfrey-Ryan said. “She would just shrug and just say, ‘That’s just Charlie being Charlie.’ ”

In a statement to The Post, Vega said she should have done more to protect the young women on the show.

“I should have stood up for them,” said Vega, 52, who has worked with Rose since the show was created in 1991. “I failed. It is crushing. I deeply regret not helping them.”

Godfrey-Ryan said that when Rose learned she had confided to a mutual friend about his conduct, he fired her...
Keep reading.

This is major, major. Man.

Also at Memeorandum.

Today's Deals

At Amazon, New Deals. Every Day. Shop our Deal of the Day, Lightning Deals and more daily deals and limited-time sales.

See especially, BOSTITCH BTFP02012-WPK 6-Gallon 150 PSI Oil-Free Compressor Kit.

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BONUS: Lisa Ko, The Leavers: A Novel.

Martin Meredith, Mugabe

At Amazon, Martin Meredith, Mugabe: Power, Plunder, and the Struggle for Zimbabwe's Future.

Paul Bjerk, Julius Nyerere

At Amazon, Paul Bjerk, Julius Nyerere.

Robert Kaplan, Hog Pilots, Blue Water Grunts

At Amazon, Robert Kaplan, Hog Pilots, Blue Water Grunts: The American Military in the Air, at Sea, and on the Ground.

Rose McGowan Photographed for New Magazine Layout

At Taxi Driver, "Rose McGowan Topless for Magazine Layout."

Jeffrey Tambor Exits 'Transparent' Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

More from the never-ending story, at Deadline, "Jeffrey Tambor Exits ‘Transparent’ After Sexual Harassment Allegations."

Actually, I thought this show revolved almost entirely around Tambor's character? How's it going to go on without him?

G.W. Bush: 'The fact that there was any doubt in anyone’s mind about who the president was blows my mind,' adding that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld 'didn’t make one fucking decision...'

At Politico:

Migrants Being Auctioned as Slaves in Libya

Well, I blame Obama for regime change Libya.

At the New York Times: