October 31, 2014
— CDR M
Trick or treat America. An Iran nuclear deal will be the Obamacare of Obama's second term. This will not end well, especially when we treat our friends like enemies.
It is worth recalling Iran's regime and its proxies murdered as many as 1,000 U.S. service personnel in Iraq in the years after 2003. As my FDD colleague Tony Badran notes, the Obama administration has simply airbrushed Iran's role in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut from history. The joint Iranian-Hezbollah terrorist operation, which took place 31 years ago last week, killed 241 Marines.more...
— Ace Well, it's finally Friday, which means I can finally get to Oregon Muse's list of the scariest short stories ever.
I've had five of these open in a tab all week.
From Oregon Muse's Sunday Thread:
We're coming up on Hallowe'en, so here are 50 of the Scariest Short Stories of All Time, or so they claim. Here are some classics from the list you can read online or download:
The Dunwich Horror, by H.P. Lovecraft (I would have preferred The Shadow over Innsmouth, but this one is good, too)
The Monkey's Paw, by W.W. Jacobs (be careful what you wish for)
The Lottery, (the all-time classic) by Shirley Jackson
The Babysitter, by Robert Coover
Lukundoo, Edward Lucas White
The Landlady, Roald Dahl
Rappaccini's Daughter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Willows, Algernon Blackwood (said to be one of Lovecraft's favorites)
Pigeons from Hell, Robert E. Howard (Stephen King called this "one of the finest horror stories of our century.")
Lots of others at the link, but these should hold you for a while.
Now here is some spoooooktacular!!!! muuuuusic.
— Ace Allah's "Quotes of the Day" on this video were pretty good, this one especially.
My own take on this was "This has nothing to do with me." This is a fight between two factions of the leftist coalition -- white feminist women and black and hispanic males.
I think the woman was indeed harassed at several points in the video, but then, I have been repeatedly instructed that I am to never criticize any historically-oppressed minority's culture, and I'm also not permitted to have an opinion on anything that vaguely Affects Women's Health, Well-Being, or Dreams, so I am left without any voice here.
(I suppose that the video should be taken as an indictment of the Designated Villain in all social dysfunctions, that is to say, White Males. But as almost no White Males appear in the video, I decline to accept that indictment.)
The left will just have to resolve this feud among its constituent members itself.
And they are indeed in a bit of a feud, Charles C.W. Cooke report.
As it has grown in popularity, the video has been transformed into a blank canvas, onto which Americas brave advocates of hyphenated-justice have sought to project their favored social theories. Evidently unwilling to let the spot stand on its own, Purdues Roxanne Gay wrote sadly that "it's difficult and uncomfortable to admit that we have to talk about race/class/gender/sexuality/ability/etc, all at once." Alas, she was not alone. Soon, the claims of "sexism" had been joined by accusations of "racism" and of "classism" Hollaback had been forced to acknowledge that it had upset the more delicate among us, and those who had celebrated the video had been denounced as unreconstructed bigots. By this process was its message diluted and appropriated, the country's most prominent peddlers of grievance and discord electing to squabble and bicker over its meaning, and to strip it of its value in favor of their own, fringe fixations.
"The fact that the video chooses to showcase the experience of a white woman experiencing harassment almost exclusively at the hands of black and Latino men," Brooklyn Magazines Kristin Iverson proposed earlier this week, "is a pretty clear indication of who the audience for this video is supposed to be, namely, those who seek to protect and defend innocent white women, aka the already existing societal power structure." This theme was picked up in more explicit terms elsewhere, the less direct references to the "power structure" quickly giving way to overt accusations of white supremacy. "Thousands of satisfied racists are sharing that viral catcalling video," griped Lindy West at the Daily Dot, lamenting that its creators had imposed "manipulative, specific, politicized constraints on the issue of street harassment" and thereby permitted "the bulk of the audience to divorce themselves from the problem."
To be honest, I have "divorced myself from the problem," as neither I nor anyone in my cohort (that is, anyone I could be reasonably expected to socially chide into behaving better) does this.
I've actually never seen it.
Yesterday, the Root's Dion Rabouin dispensed with euphemism entirely, confirming that "some of the videos intentional choices seem to play on the Birth of a Nation trope that white women simply aren't safe from sex-crazed black and brown men." How thats for a thumb in the eye for the millions who shared the spot on their Facebook pages?
I think there are actually some issues here worth discussing, such as different cultures' differing opinions on how forward men can/should be with strange women. We all have heard, of course, that some men in foreign countries are quite forward, for example. Mediterranean countries, largely, though not exclusively.
We could talk about whether or not it's fair or right for the dominant culture -- which is a liberal, college-educated urban-oriented Northern-European White culture -- to impose its own mores on less-powerful undercultures.
We could discuss whether it's entirely fair of women to expect that only attractive men will express interest in them.
We could talk about these things, but we can't talk about these things, because we live in a world of Puritan Repressiveness and Offense-Taking.
We cannot have any intelligent conversations whatsoever. We do not have discussions; we have Coordinated Group Accusations. We also have a lot of Coordinated Hysteria and Scalp-Hunting.
So we can't talk about any of these things. The penalty for venturing an opinion that someone else disagrees with is potentially career-ending.
So I really have nothing at all to say.
These people made this world, in which there is no discussion, only accusation; in which there is no search for truth, only imposition of consequences; in which there is no thought, only political campaigning and recruitment of persons for purposes of ritualized hazing.
I read a good piece by David French on Obama's insult of Netanyahu. I think it states things well.
French states that the viciously trivial mode of college campus invective has infected foreign policy discussions; I would expand that and say it's infected every mode of discourse.
For those who've lived under a rock for the past four-plus decades, the American academy has been characterized by two prime impulses: one substantive, the other stylistic. First, there's the substantive claim that the problems of the world can largely -- if not entirely -- be traced back to America's sins and the sins of our Western allies, most notably Israel. These sins have caused the peoples of the world to accumulate a long list of 'legitimate grievances,' and the problem of anti-American or anti-Israeli violence is therefore best dealt with by dealing with the underlying grievance...
Next, there's the sophomoric, malicious style of campus rhetoric, where stigma is the preferred method of argument. It's hard to overstate the propensity towards name-calling even of "elite" academics, and the culture of the academy is one where groupthink is enforced and reinforced through vicious rhetoric. Their opponents can't be merely wrong. Instead they are racist, bigoted, homophobic, or -- despite professed love of the disabled -- "Aspergery." The arrogance is overwhelming, and the fake tough-guy posture of name-calling elitists is laughable to everyone but themselves.
So this is a particularly nasty dispute between the stigma-flinging, groupthink-enforcement goonsquads of leftist identity politics; I say fuck 'em all, and let them destroy each other with their grotesque tactics.
I'll let the people who live for Identity Politics Attacks & Recriminations do what they do best.
I'll be over here, completely ignoring it all, waiting for the survivors to announce themselves.
— andy Clarkhat of the Popehat blog joins Ace and John to discuss Gamergate and tribalism and then CAC comes on to give our final pre-midterm election update.
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Terrible news about Virgin Galactic crash. pic.twitter.com/SdYulHpNfr— Chris (@forewit) October 31, 2014
They're calling the mishap a "serious anomaly." A Fox affiliate, KABC, has helicopter pictures of the rocket glider crashed in the scrub of the Mojave. The pieces of the glider are all within yards of each other, so the ship was intact until it the ground.
Breaking: 1 dead, 1 seriously injured after Virgin Galactic rocket explodes in test flight (AP) pic.twitter.com/xjmYtDGZEW— Shepard Smith (@ShepNewsTeam) October 31, 2014
One parachute was observed descending towards the earth near the crash. A while ago, someone tweeted:
Seeing reports that one of the two #SpaceShipTwo pilots has died. Cautioning on the accuracy of info from scanner,no official news available— Spaceflight101 (@SPACEFLIGHT101) October 31, 2014
Shep Smith has just updated to report that one pilot has in fact died, and that the other is injured.
Picture of what appears to be a red parachute on the desert ground is here at KABC 7.
Just updated: the rocket exploded upon ignition. The way the rocket glider works is this: It is ferried up to high altitude (around 50,000 feet) by a plane called "White Knight." White Knight brings the glider up, drops it, and then the glider ignites its own rockets to make it to orbit.
Apparently the rockets exploded upon ignition.
I can't wait 'til Shep starts lecturing us about not panicking.
More: From the Blaze, some video of the crash site.
— Ace The judge has ruled that the temporary restraint, imposed on her yesterday, is not binding.
The judge ruled: "She can do, like, whatever, man."
District Court Judge Charles C. LaVerdiere rejected a court order drawn up by Maine health officials that would have required nurse Kaci Hickox to avoid public places and keep a three-foot buffer with other people until Nov. 10, when a 21-day incubation period for the virus will end.
LaVerdiere said Hickox should continue self-monitoring for Ebola symptoms.
She will be permitted to travel -- she just has to let people know where she's going.
The judge further ruled that MSNBC must "immediately begin development on a daytime political news/chat show suitable as a vehicle for the Plaintiff."
— Ace It certainly does appear as if someone is accessing the computer remotely.
Video below, or here.
— Ace This story dates from August but the Blaze published it today, so I guess most haven't seen it.
— Ace As the Joker observed, people will accept horrors so long as those horrors are all part of the plan.
As many as 20 to 30 former Guantanamo Bay detainees -- some of whom were released within the last three years -- are suspected by intelligence and Defense officials of having joined forces with the Islamic State and other militant groups inside Syria, Fox News has learned.
Senior Defense and intelligence officials say the vast majority of detainees released from Guantanamo don't return to the fight -- and of those who do, relatively few have made it to Syria.
Of the 620 detainees released from Guantanamo Bay, 180 have returned or are suspected to have returned to the battlefield.
Oh. Only 180.
— Ace The Patriarchy strikes again.
I found this telling:
The man said he woke up to find someone on top of him, "fondling his genitals" and "attempting to perform fellatio upon him," according to the complaint.
He said he did not know who it was at first and had to use a flashlight application on his phone to find out, according to police. He said he soon realized it was his friend's wife with "her breasts exposed" who had put his penis in her mouth.
Everyone get what happened there? The sequence, I mean?
The guy awoke to discover he was being -- and I'm not really joking here -- sexually violated. He did not stop the act. Instead, he activated his phone flashlight to see who it was, and then made a decision.
Sometimes Instapundit links these stories to note that there are unprosecuted female-on-male rapes, too. Sure, that's true. But you can't help but notice the differences between the situations, and therefore the differences which support treating one as more serious than the other.
Here, the guy is, as a legal matter, being raped, and what's his response? "Let me take a look-see and see if she's hot."
Van Gogh, "Flying Fox" (1885)
— Gabriel Malor Happy Halloween.
There's an interesting Fourth and Fifth Amendment case coming out of Virginia about whether the police can compel a person to unlock their phone with a fingerprint even where they could not compel that person to unlock their phone with a password.
The fugitive Eric Frein was cuffed with the handcuffs of the Pennsylvania state trooper he is accused of killing.
Syfy's take on '12 Monkeys' gets a trailer:
Have a great weekend.
October 30, 2014
"Why would anyone send a kid - especially a son - to institutions that would do this? Would you send a black kid to institutions with disciplinary manuals written by the KKK?"
-- Glenn Reynolds on how universities now investigate sexual assault claims.
Also Half of MIT Students Think It's Possible to "Accidently" Rape Someone. And given how campuses are now defining 'rape' they're probably right.
The Russians Are Tan, Rested, and Ready to Rumble
NATO detected and monitored four groups of Russian military aircraft conducting significant military manoeuvers in European airspace over the Baltic Sea, North Sea/Atlantic Ocean, and Black Sea on 28 and 29 October 2014. These sizable Russian flights represent an unusual level of air activity over European airspace.
Some of the alleged Russian actions seemed petty. In several instances, U.S. officials returned home to find their belongings had been moved or a window left open in the middle of winter. American diplomats have also been trailed more overtly by Russian security agents.
Others attempted to interfere with diplomatic work, like disrupting public meetings with Russian contacts. Uniformed guards provided by Russia to stand outside the embassy, ostensibly for protection, have harassed visitors and even employees trying to enter the building.
Apparently most (maybe all) of EOP's systems were down for at least a week but the Obama administration refused to talk about it. They finally reluctantly admitted this week that it had been hacked.
Further, the administration says the computer problems resulted from "suspicious cyber activity," which suggests action by a hostile power. In an apparent effort to reassure, a second administration spokesman tells us that the outage impacted only unclassified networks, and "there were no indications at this time that classified networks had been affected." This is a distinction that our informant did not draw. Whether it is accurate or not is vitally important, although at this point we have no information about what is stored on classified versus unclassified networks.
And it wasn't just some random kids poking around either:
The administration tells the Washington Post that the hackers responsible for the White House computer outage are "thought to be working for the Russian government."
Oh and guess what: Russia Now Has More Deployed Nuclear Warheads than the U.S.
So uh, good times, good Halloween times I guess.more...
— Ace The Senator from the District of Columbia.
— Ace Howard Kurtz reported a scoop from Sharyl Attkisson's book Stonewalled:
Perhaps the most eye-opening tale involves CBSs 60 Minutes, Benghazi and the president. During the second presidential debate in 2012, Obama challenged Mitt Romney by insisting he had labeled the assault in Libya a terrorist attack the very next day. This became a huge controversy, especially since CNNs Candy Crowley had sided with the president.
Turns out that Steve Kroft had conducted a 60 Minutes interview with Obama the day after the attack, portions of which had never aired. When Attkisson did a story on the flap, her CBS bosses instructed her to use a particular script and a particular sound bite that seemed to back up the presidents version.
She was stunned when a CBS colleague later read her another exchange from the interview:
KROFT: Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word terrorism in connection with the Libya attack.
The correspondent then asked point-blank:
KROFT: Do you believe that this was a terrorist attack?
OBAMA: Well, its too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans.
Attkisson writes, I couldnt get past the fact that upper-level journalists at CBS had been a party to misleading the public.
Under pressure from Attkisson and others, the network posted the exchange on its website the Sunday night before the election, but it got lost in the final hours of the campaign. She says CBS News President David Rhodes promised her there would be an internal investigation, but she never heard another word about it.
John Sexton has some questions for CBS --though they're currently refusing any comment at all on anything to do with Sheryl Attkisson.
Nevertheless, he wrote an email to CBS:
I sent 60 Minutes an inquiry about all of this today. My email recounts the story above and ends with these questions:
Why didnt CBS News release the clip the moment it became a significant part of a major news story, i.e. the Presidents big moment in the critical 2nd debate?
Why was Sharyl Attkisson told to use another clip that backed up the President and not the one that cast doubt on his claim? Who made the decision?
Why did 60 Minutes finally release the clip quietly just hours before the election, weeks after it was newsworthy?
What happened to the investigation CBS News President David Rhodes promised? Was it started? Completed? What did it find?
Finally, if someone were to say this represented a clear case of intentional bias by 60 Minutes/CBS News--and an important one given that it took place at a critical moment in the election cycle--what would be your response?
Sexton has a few more tidbits: Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Susan Schmidt says of the media's relationship to Obama:
"With some exceptions, people don't seem to be digging as hard as they have in other administrations," Schmidt tells the Daily Beast's Lloyd Grove. She adds, "Obama came into office saying he was going to make his administration the most accessible and transparent in history; in fact, the opposite has happened."
He also collects up more information about the hacking of Sharyl Attkisson's computers.
Eric Wemple wrote to the one named cybersecurity expert who investigated Attkisson's hacking. (Two others were identified with psuedonyms.)
Erik Wemple at the Post contacted Don Allison to confirm and possibly expand on the information in Attkisson's book about the hacking. Today he received a response from Korelogic's President Bob Austin. Austin explained that his company signed a non-disclosure agreement (apparently this is standard) which prevents the company from speaking about the work they did for their client. Austin would not even confirm who he was working for when he signed the agreement, though Wemple suspects it was CBS News.
Three experts examined Attkisson's computer, one on her behalf and two on behalf of CBS News. All three found definite evidence of hacking and all three suspected, for various reasons, the hacker was working for the U.S. government. The fact that Attkisson was doggedly pursuing this administration's "phony scandals" while all of this was happening to her computer raises the distinct possibility it was politically motivated. It's a possibility that seems worthy of congressional investigation.
It's a possibility that seems worthy of a CBS Investigation, too, but Good Luck With That.
— Ace Maybe this comes at a useful moment...?
The last poll out of Kansas had the "independent" Orman up by 2.
— Ace Mm-hm.
White House officials are preemptively spinning a midterm defeat, and they're using their own fantasies to do it. They're starting to blame candidates for not supporting President Obama enough. As a top White House official told The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty, "He doesn't think they have any reason to run away from him. He thinks there is a strong message there."
This is pure delusion: Obama is the main reason Republicans are well-positioned to win control of the upper chamber next Tuesday. And Democrats' biggest strategic mistake in this election is that most candidates didn't run away far and fast enough...
Democrats should have recognized that the president was falling out of favor with the public and inoculated themselves a long time ago. Instead, many bought the White House's spin, and are at risk of going down with a sinking ship.
How does Obama believe such nonsense?
Democrat Kristen Powers says that Obama surrounds himself with "Kool-Aid drinkers." He surrounds himself with people of lower status -- the classic Yes Men hangers-on -- who will echo his narcissisms back to him, rather than challenging him.
Even CNN is wising up, noting seven Democrats wishing Obama would just go away.
— Ace @benk84 linked this this morning, wondering: Why did the media never check into Mary Burke's actual history as an "executive"?
She had been the CEO of her family's bicycle company's European division.
In 1993, Tom Albers learned about big problems with Trek Bicycle Corporation's European division. Sales numbers were down, and employees were in a near mutiny against the young woman Trek founder Richard Burke had put in charge.
Albers, Treks Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, served as Burkes second-in-command and suddenly had to navigate a very difficult situation.
The head of Trek's European division was his boss daughter, Mary.
"Her performance in Europe was not good" [Albers] says. "We were losing a lot of money for us at the time. I don't remember the amount, but it was considered significant based on where we were [as a company] at that particular point in time."
"And also, we were encountering personnel/people problems over there. The people were threatening to leave the company. Many of them were."
Primarily, Albers contends, because of the managerial style of their supervisor, Mary Burke.
"Her way of managing was kind of a 'her way or the highway' kind of approach to things," Albers explains, adding that her subordinates "felt that she wouldn't listen to them and was just imposing things on them that didn't make sense."
Gee, I wonder how she wound up being a Democrat politician.
Mary Burke fought back against these late disclosures alleging that they were "ridiculous" and "completely false."
Now she "clarifies" that she wasn't fired -- it's just that the position she was occupying was eliminated, and she was not offered another position at the company.
And then she went snow-boarding for two years.
You know -- not like a firing at all.
— Ace The script seems just about the Benghazi side of things, the attempted defense of the compound, so it doesn't seem to be any kind of expose.
Still, interesting enough.
— Ace As I've mentioned, the CDC has been deliberately misrepresenting the transmission pathway of ebola by stating, over and over and over again, that it was not an "airborne" pathogen.
That relies on a technical meaning of the word "airborne" which scientists understand but which the CDC has been counting on the public to be ignorant of. "Airborne," so used, means that a disease is capable of forming dry motes that can float about in the air.
Ebola can't do that. (Yet. We think.)
But most people hear "airborne" and think about the most likely pathway of transmission through the air -- a sneeze.
And ebola can be spread that way-- that method of contagion is called "droplet" transmission (as each particle of disease lives within a droplet of saliva or phlegm expelled from the carrier).
They just lie and lie, and then say "Trust us."
Ebola is a lot easier to catch than health officials have admitted -- and can be contracted by contact with a doorknob contaminated by a sneeze from an infected person an hour or more before, experts told The Post Tuesday.
"If you are sniffling and sneezing, you produce microorganisms that can get on stuff in a room. If people touch them, they could be" infected, said Dr. Meryl Nass, of the Institute for Public Accuracy in Washington, DC.
Nass pointed to a poster the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly released on its Web site saying the deadly virus can be spread through "droplets."
"Droplet spread happens when germs traveling inside droplets that are coughed or sneezed from a sick person enter the eyes, nose or mouth of another person," the poster states.
Nass slammed the contradiction.
"The CDC said it doesn't spread at all by air, then Friday they came out with this poster," she said. "They admit that these particles or droplets may land on objects such as doorknobs and that Ebola can be transmitted that way."
Meanwhile, the DoD warns that ebola can live on infected surfaces (plastic, etc.) for up to three weeks, under ideal conditions.
And also meanwhile, Kaci Hickox really wants you to know all the f*cks she does not give about your "voluntary quarantine."
Preliminary testing indicates that Ms. Hickox is a "high risk" of being a HuffPo Super-User.
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