Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Paintsville, Kentucky: When Government Tried to Fix a Coal Town (VIDEO)

Here's the lovely Kelsey Harkness, at the Daily Signal, "Underreported: What Happened When Government Tried to Fix a Coal Town."



Hailey Baldwin London Fashion Week

At London's Daily Mail, "Hailey Baldwin sizzles in TWO barely-there runway looks at London Fashion Week."

Also, "Hailey Baldwin keeps a low profile at Missguided bash during London Fashion Week."

Demi Rose Struggles to Contain Assets During Beach Trip

At London's Daily Mail, "Bikini-clad Demi Rose yet again flaunts her famous curves as she struggles to contain heaving assets during fun-filled Cape Verde beach trip."

Jessica Serfaty Out at Seafood Hotspot in Los Angeles

At London's Daily Mail, "She's a Catch! Ed Westwick's girlfriend Jessica Serfaty flashes some serious sideboob as they enjoy date at seafood hotspot in Los Angeles."

Shop Today

At Amazon, Today's Deals.

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Here, Nestlé Pure Life Bottled Purified Water, 16.9 oz. Bottles, 24/Case.

BONUS: Margaret George, Mary, Called Magdalene.

The U.S. Must Celebrate Unity

From VDH, at the Hoover Institution, "Diversity Can Spell Trouble."

Rose Bertram in Curaçao (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:



Monday, September 18, 2017

Punch a Nazi in Seattle

Hey, it's the in thing.

See some idiot riding public transportation with a swastika armband and mobilize your social media army to track him down and knock him out cold.

I hate Nazis, obviously.

But I hate radical leftist antifa ghouls even more.

At BuzzFeed, of all places, "Anti-Fascists Used Twitter to Find a Neo-Nazi Walking Around Seattle and Beat Him Up." (Via Memeorandum.)

Sofia Vergara in Strapless White Gown at the Emmys

At London's Daily Mail, "VA VA VOOM: Sofia Vergara showcases her curves in a strapless white gown at the Emmy Awards."

Also at Drunken Stepfather, "SOFIA VERGARA AT THE EMMYS OF THE DAY."

Alicia Keys at the Rock'n Rio Music Festival

At London's Daily Mail, "She sure has some front! Bra-free Alicia Keys nearly spills out of her plunging outfit as she takes the stage at the Rock'n Rio music festival."

Suki Waterhouse on the Sidewalk

At Taxi Driver, "Suki Waterhouse Out on the Sidewalk."

Today's Deals

Okay, it's a new week, and I'm teaching.

Blogging will continue as usual, although might be a little lighter than my weekend coverage.

Thanks for your support!

Shop at Amazon, Today's Deals.

Also, Columbia Women's Flash Forward Windbreaker.

And, Ray-Ban RB2132 New Wayfarer Unisex Non-Polarized Sunglasses.

More, Sun Blocker Unisex Outdoor Safari Sun Hat Wide Brim Boonie Cap with Adjustable Drawstring for Camping Hiking Fishing Hunting Boating.

Here, Samsung U28E590D 28-Inch UHD LED-Lit Monitor with Freesync support.

Still more, Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-Inch FHD Notebook (Intel Core i3-7100U 7th Generation , 4GB DDR4, 1TB 5400RPM HD, Intel HD Graphics 620, Windows 10 Home), Obsidian Black.

Now, Under Armour Men's Rival Fleece Hoodie.

And, Samsung UN28H4000 28-Inch 720p 60Hz LED TV (2014 Model).

BONUS: Ann Patchett, Bel Canto.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Robert Jordan, The Eye of the World

So, it's been a very long time, but during my book hunting shopping trips, I decided to go for it: I'm going to get back into sci-fi fantasy fiction. Heh. I read J.R.R. Tolkien when I was 19. It wasn't the big movie thing back then as it is today, and I'm not so interested in going back and re-reading those novels. But I've never read Robert Jordan, and he's apparently among the very best of the genre, so I'm picking up some copies in his "Wheel of Time" series.

Check it out, at Amazon, Robert Jordan, The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, Book 1).

My repertoire now will be historical fiction, literary fiction, science fiction/fantasy, as well as the classics.

More later...



A Jihad Apologist at the Helm of the New York Review of Books

From Bruce Bawer, at Pajamas, "Ian Buruma: A Jihad Apologist at the Helm of the New York Review of Books."
In The Last Intellectuals (1987), Russell Jaboby described the NYRB as a closed shop that kept publishing the same big-name leftists (Noam Chomsky, Susan Sontag, I.F. Stone, Tony Judt) and that ran so many British professors that it was redolent more of “Oxford teas rather than New York delis.” Also, it had no interest in developing younger talent. (I must have sensed that, because when I left grad school and started writing for New York literary journals, I don't think I even tried the NYRB.) In a 2014 article, Jacoby raised a question: although Silvers, then eighty-four, had been “unwilling or unable to groom successors,” eventually “he will have to give up the reins, but when and who will take over?”

The answer came this year. Silvers died, presenting an opportunity to open the NYRB up to non-academic – and even non-leftist! – writers living on the far side of the Hudson. No such luck: it was soon announced that Silvers's job would be filled by Ian Buruma, a Dutch-born Oxford fellow who is sixty-five and has been a NYRB writer since 1987. For me, above all, he's the man who wrote Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance (2006), pretty much the only book about the Islamization of Europe to receive the imprimatur of the New York literary establishment.
Pfft.

I'm not going to be that down on NYR. I subscribed while in grad school and got a lot out of it. Frankly, the journal offers intellectual material and you can take it or leave it. Lately, I've been leaving it, but I'm not going to rag on it. I don't care about Buruma, of course, but I doubt it's going to make much difference who edits the magazine. It's by definition stodgy. Take what you like and forget the rest.

More, in any case.

Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried

At Amazon, Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried.



Jennifer Delacruz's Sunday Forecast

Well, it's been mild, partially cloudy, in the O.C. Not too hot, although it doesn't quite feel like fall yet.

In any case, once again I crashed before I had the chance to post the lovely Ms. Jennifer's weather report last night.

At ABC News 10 San Diego:



M.L. Stedman, The Light Between Oceans

I picked up a copy yesterday.

And at Amazon, M.L. Stedman, The Light Between Oceans.


Neighbors Outraged as Man Kills Deer with Bow and Arrow in Monrovia (VIDEO)

It's not like deer are an endangered species or anything, although I can see why neighbors might be a little upset. Why not just leave the little Bambi alone?

Watch, at CBS News 2 Los Angeles, "Caught on Camera: Hunter Kills Deer with Bow And Arrow to 'Put It Out of Its Misery'."

And at the Pasadena Star-News, "Video: Man shoots deer with arrow in Monrovia neighborhood."

New Deals. Every Day.

Shop Today's Deals, at Amazon.

And especially, Save on Fossil Watches.

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BONUS: Edwidge Danticat, Breath, Eyes, Memory.

#USC Drops to #6 in AP's Top 25 College Football Poll

Both Penn State and Oklahoma State leapfrogged USC in the rankings. USC was #4 last week. I can see why, but sheesh. The Trojans got heart!

At CBS Sports, "Tomorrow's Top 25 Today: Mississippi State jumps in after upset as LSU falls."


Jeff Sessions Returns Department of Justice to Rule of Law

From Andrew McCarthy, at NRO, "On Criminal Justice, Sessions iss Returning DOJ to the Rule of Law":
A response to Joyce Vance and Carter Stewart

wo former top Obama-appointed prosecutors co-author a diatribe against Trump attorney general Jeff Sessions for returning the Justice Department to purportedly outdated, too “tough on crime” charging practices. Yawn. After eight years of Justice Department stewardship by Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, and after Obama’s record 1,715 commutations that systematically undermined federal sentencing laws, we know the skewed storyline.

The surprise is to find such an argument in the pages of National Review Online. But there it was on Tuesday: “On Criminal Justice, Sessions Is Returning DOJ to the Failed Policies of the Past,” by Joyce Vance and Carter Stewart, formerly the United States attorneys for, respectively, the Northern District of Alabama and the Southern District of Ohio. Ms. Vance is now lecturing on criminal-justice reform at the University of Alabama School of Law and doing legal commentary at MSNBC. Mr. Stewart has moved on to the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, fresh from what it describes as his “leadership role at DOJ in addressing inequities in the criminal justice system,” focusing on “alternatives to incarceration,” and “reducing racial disparities in the federal system.”

The authors lament that Sessions has reinstituted guidelines requiring prosecutors “to charge the most serious offenses and ask for the lengthiest prison sentences.” This, the authors insist, is a “one-size-fits-all policy” that “doesn’t work.” It marks a return to the supposedly “ineffective and damaging criminal-justice policies that were imposed in 2003,” upsetting the “bipartisan consensus” for “criminal-justice reform” that has supposedly seized “today’s America.”

This is so wrongheaded, it’s tough to decide where to begin.

In reality, what Sessions has done is return the Justice Department to the traditional guidance articulated nearly four decades ago by President Carter’s highly regarded attorney general, Benjamin Civiletti (and memorialized in the U.S. Attorney’s Manual). It instructs prosecutors to charge the most serious, readily provable offense under the circumstances. Doesn’t work? This directive, in effect with little variation until the Obama years, is one of several factors that contributed to historic decreases in crime. When bad guys are prosecuted and incarcerated, they are not preying on our communities. The thrust of the policy Sessions has revived is respect for the Constitution’s bedrock separation-of-powers principle. It requires faithful execution of laws enacted by Congress.

The thrust of the policy Sessions has revived is respect for the Constitution’s bedrock separation-of-powers principle. It requires faithful execution of laws enacted by Congress.

A concrete example makes the point. Congress has prescribed a minimum ten-year sentence for the offense of distributing at least five kilograms of cocaine (see section 841(b)(1)(A)(ii) of the federal narcotics laws). Let’s say a prosecutor is presented with solid evidence that a defendant sold seven kilograms of cocaine. The crime is readily provable. Nevertheless, the prosecutor follows the Obama deviation from traditional Justice Department policy, charging a much less serious offense: a distribution that does not specify an amount of cocaine — as if we were talking about a one-vial street sale. The purpose of this sleight of hand is to evade the controlling statute’s ten-year sentence, inviting the judge to impose little or no jail time.

That is not prosecutorial discretion. It is the prosecutor substituting his own judgment for Congress’s regarding the gravity of the offense. In effect, the prosecutor is decreeing law, not enforcing what is on the books — notwithstanding the wont of prosecutors to admonish that courts must honor Congress’s laws as written. Absent this Justice Department directive that prosecutors must charge the most serious, readily provable offense, the executive branch becomes a law unto itself. Bending congressional statutes to the executive’s policy preferences was the Obama approach to governance, so we should not be surprised that a pair of his appointed prosecutors see it as a model for criminal enforcement, too. But it is not enforcement of the law. It is executive imperialism. It is DACA all over again: “Congress refuses to codify my policy preferences; but I have raw executive power so I shall impose them by will . . . and call it ‘prosecutorial discretion.’” (In truth, it is a distortion of prosecutorial discretion.)

It should not be necessary to point out to accomplished lawyers that, in our system, “bipartisan consensus” is not a comparative handful of Democrats and Republicans clucking their tongues in unison. Yes, between leftist hostility to incarceration and libertarian skepticism about prosecutorial power, there is common ground among some factions of lawmakers when it comes to opposing our allegedly draconian penal code. But these factions are not much of a consensus. The only consensus that matters is one that drums up support sufficient to enact legislation into law. “Criminal-justice reform” is of a piece with “comprehensive immigration reform” and the Obama agenda: If it actually enjoyed broad popularity, resort to executive fiat would be unnecessary — Congress would codify it.

The criminal-justice “reformers” want mandatory-minimum-sentencing provisions eliminated and other sentencing provisions mitigated. Yet, despite the sympathetic airing they get from the “progressive” mainstream media, they are unable to get their “reforms” passed by Congress. How come? Because strong majorities of lawmakers understand themselves to be accountable to commonsense citizens — people who aren’t “evolved” enough to grasp how reducing the number of criminals in prisons will somehow decrease the amount of crime. Most of us benighted types proceed under the quaint assumption that, even in “today’s America,” the streets are safer when the criminals are not on them.

In light of the caterwauling about mandatory-minimum sentencing by people either unfamiliar with or in a state of amnesia about what the federal system was like before it was instituted, it is worth repeating: Such provisions mean that the public, rather than the judge, decides the minimum appropriate term for serious crimes. As a class, judges are elite products of American universities and tend to be more left-leaning than the general public. That is particularly the case with respect to President Obama’s 335 judicial appointees, many of them — like Obama himself, as well as Vance and Stewart — philosophically resistant to incarceration as a response to crime. We can certainly repeal mandatory minimums, but if we do, it will vest those judges with unfettered discretion to mete out punishment...
Sessions is Numero Uno in my book. I was bummed upon hearing the talk of his possible resignation. We really need this guy at the helm over there. He's MAGA.

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