Monday, January 26, 2015

The Left is Still looking for a Modern 'Rape Culture' Poster Child

From Ashe Schow, at the Washington Examiner:
The term “rape culture” entered the English lexicon in the mid-1970s, but has never really found a poster child, a name that could be pointed to as an example of this supposed epidemic of sexual violence toward women on college campuses.

Liz Seccuro should be the best example of this, although hers was a gang rape by a stranger who (20 years later) would go to prison for his act of violence. Since rape culture has come to more generally refer to a new, blurry definition of rape that involves he-said/she-said situations, non-strangers and usually alcohol, Seccuro’s case does not fit.

But today’s activists have needed someone that proves police and school officials still don’t do anything about sexual assault accusations, even after decades of information campaigns. Even better if the alleged rape was perpetrated by white athletes or fraternity members who came from wealthy families.

And they have so far failed to find their poster child.

Activists thought they had her in Crystal Mangum in 2006. She was a young working mother and student (the media portrayed her as) who claimed she was gang raped by multiple (in some iterations of her tale as many as 20) members of the Duke lacrosse team. Her story turned out to be a complete lie, yet rape activists at the time claimed that her story was indicative of a very real problem.

But the activists needed a sensational, but true, story to trumpet. They had to wait years for the Duke backlash to settle down, but in 2010, they thought they had their premier victim.

That year, National Public Radio and the Center for Public Integrity produced a report claiming sexual assault was as prevalent on college campuses as underage drinking and as ignored as the lone guitar player on the quad. The report told the story of Laura Dunn, who alleged she was raped by two friends after she drank too much at a party. A year and a half after the incident, Dunn reported the assault. A philosophy professor had discussed rape in class, prompting Dunn to come forward.

Since the alleged assault was reported so long after the incident, the university had no evidence to go on other than he-said/she-said. So Dunn turned to the Department of Education, which also found there was not enough evidence to show an assault happened or that the university handled her case improperly.

Despite Dunn’s story differing between what she told NPR and the Department of Education and the fact that she continued to see the alleged attackers after the incident, Dunn’s story was used as the basis for the Obama administration’s “Dear Colleague” letter that prompted the current hysteria surrounding campus sexual assault. Dunn has been on TV and at White House events involved campus sexual assault, but because the details of her story (the long time to report, continuing to hang out with her alleged attackers and her differing accounts of what one of the men said to her at a party after she reported) keep her from being that quintessential poster child.

So the activists kept looking and thought they found a heroine in Emma Sulkowicz. But Sulkowicz isn’t the best example either. Columbia University found the student she accused “not responsible” for sexual assault. And only after the university failed to find the verdict she wanted, after she told her story to the media and began carrying a mattress around campus and after people began asking why she hadn’t gone to the police did Sulkowicz file a police report. But the police don’t appear to be pursuing the case (Sulkowicz might say its because of police bias, others might say there was no evidence outside of he-said/she-said).

Having Sulkowicz as a spokesperson for campus sexual assault is kind of like having Al Gore as the spokesperson for global warming: They tell people what needs to be done to solve a problem but don’t take their own advice.

Sulkowicz is no longer pursuing charges against the man she accused of raping her. She finds time to go to the State of the Union address and tell her story again and again to major media outlets and MTV and promote her college art project (carrying around the mattress) but won’t do what needs to be done to get the man she accused, who is, according to her, a rapist, off the streets and away from other potential victims.

Finally, the activists thought they had the perfect story. Young college girl? Check. Brutal gang rape (similar to Crystal Mangum and Liz Seccuro)? Check. White fraternity members? Check. A university indifferent to such a horrific tale? Check, check and check.

Also, she had a name that was easy to remember and easy to name a law after: Jackie...
Hmm... Jackie?

You know where this is going, but keep reading anyway, lol.

'Couldn't Get It Right'

Listened to the Climax Blues Band while out to pick up my young son this afternoon, on the Sound L.A.

Down Under
Men At Work
3:56 PM

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
3:52 PM

Jet Airliner
Steve Miller Band
3:39 PM

If You Wanna Get to Heaven
The Ozark Mountain Daredevils
3:36 PM

Proud Mary
Creedence Clearwater Revival
3:33 PM

The Boys Are Back In Town
Thin Lizzy
3:29 PM

Working for the Weekend
3:25 PM

Couldn't Get It Right
Climax Blues Band

Millions Brace as Massive Winter Storm Hits East Coast

Huge coverage at the Weather Channel, "Winter Storm Juno Forecast: Northeast Snowstorm Ramping Up; Blizzard Conditions Expected in 7 States" (via Memeorandum).

And at the Boston Globe, "Baker declares state of emergency, statewide travel ban: Boston public schools to be closed Tuesday and Wednesday, Mayor Walsh says."

And at CNN, "Officials plead with residents amid blizzard preparations."

Added: From London's Daily Mail, "'Worst snowstorm in history' shuts down the East Coast: Thirty five million hunker down as five states declare emergencies, troops are deployed and New Yorkers rush home before 11pm curfew."

Humans Hit Hard by California's New Chicken-Coop Law, Especially the Poor

More on California's anti-human animal welfare law that's causing a shortage of eggs.

At the Wall Street Journal, "California’s Scrambled Eggs":
California has a way of living up to the worst regulatory expectations, as grocery shoppers across the country are discovering. The state’s latest animal-rights march is levying a punishing new food tax on the nation’s poor.

Egg prices are soaring in California, where the USDA says the average price for a dozen jumbo eggs is $3.16, up from $1.18 a dozen a year ago, and in some parts of the state it’s more than $5. The Iowa State University Egg Industry Center says retail egg prices in California are 66% higher than in other parts of the West. National wholesale egg prices also climbed nearly 35% over the 2014 holiday period, before retreating.

The cause of these price gyrations is an initiative passed by California voters in 2008 that required the state’s poultry farmers to house their hens in significantly larger cages. The state legislature realized this would put home-state farmers at a disadvantage, so in 2010 it compounded the problem by requiring that eggs imported from other states come from farms meeting the same cage standards, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

The new standards require cages almost twice the size of the industry norm, with estimated costs to comply of up to $40 a hen. That’s about $2 million for a farm with 50,000 chickens. Some farmers are passing the costs on to consumers, while others are culling their flocks by half for each cage.

Government statistics show that the number of egg-laying chickens in California has fallen 23% in two years. Many farmers outside the state are choosing not to sell eggs to California, leaving egg brokers scouring the country for cage-compliant eggs and paying top dollar to meet demand in a state that has imported more than four billion eggs a year.

This comes when egg demand is growing, in part because soaring meat prices have caused Americans to turn to other foods. Per capita consumption is expected to reach more than 260 eggs this year, the highest since 1983, according to the USDA. The poorest consumers have been hit hardest by the price spike because eggs have traditionally been a cheap source of protein.

California’s cage law is part of the nationwide animal-rights effort to raise the costs of animal food production in the name of more, well, humane treatment. Groups like the Humane Society of the United States failed to get Congress to pass national chicken-cage standards, so they turned to California to set what they hoped would be a de facto national standard because of the size of its market.

There’s a strong argument that this violates the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which bars states from discriminating against interstate trade...
Still more.

And previously, "California Faces Egg Shortage as Far-Left Animal Welfare Law Takes Effect," and "Prices for Wholesale Eggs Expected to Rise 10 to 40 Percent in 2015 as California Animal Welfare Law Kicks In."

Miss Beverly Hills Chanelle Riggan Wardrobe Malfunction at Miss California USA Pageant

Looks like she's about to slip and fall, and don't ask me how her bikini top flies into the air.

But hey, she caught herself and kept on going like a pro.

Video at TMZ, "Miss USA Contestant -- My Bikini Can't Take The Pressure."

Former Fox Station Employee Commits Suicide Outside News Corp. Headquarters in New York

Now this is just sad.

At WSJ, "Former Fox Station Employee Shoots Himself Outside Manhattan Office Building":
A former employee of a Fox television station in Texas shot himself outside the front doors of a Midtown Manhattan office building shortly before 9 a.m. Monday, a law-enforcement official said.

The building houses 21st Century Fox Inc., owner of the station, and News Corp, which owns The Wall Street Journal.

He was rushed to Bellevue Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead about an hour later, police said.

The man, Phillip Perea, 41 years old, of Irving, Texas, shot himself once in the chest outside of 1211 Avenue of the Americas, the official said. Mr. Perea had previously worked for a Fox station in Austin, Texas, police said.

Mr. Perea had also been handing out fliers, which criticized his employer for having “ended my career,” moments before he shot himself, the official said...
Via Memeorandum.

More at CBS News New York, "Police: Ex-Fox Producer Kills Himself Outside News Corp. Building."

Obama's Casual Sacrifice of America's Security and Moral Standing in the Middle East

From Noah Rothman, at Hot Air:
In President Barack Obama’s penultimate State of the Union address last Tuesday, there was no reference to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. This was the first time since 2011 and the eruption of the brutal Syrian civil war that Obama had not mentioned, or even obliquely alluded to, the Syrian dictator’s crimes against humanity.

This was no accident. Little more than one year after the President of the United States addressed the American people in a prime time address aimed at shoring up support for a humanitarian intervention in a war in which Assad had deployed weapons of mass destruction against civilian populations, America’s regional doctrine has evolved dramatically.

“The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way,” read a White House statement in 2011. “For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.” Obama later insisted extemporaneously that “Assad must go,” and set his now infamous “red line” for military action in Syria.

For the sake of political expediency, Obama backed off both his “red line” and his insistence that Assad must be removed. The president did not want to invite scorn by taking a necessary course of action that was nevertheless opposed by a majority of the public. Today, 220,000 lives later and following the precedent-setting use of chemical weapons, the White House has essentially conceded that Assad must stay...
Keep reading.

Chilling Drone Footage Shows Sheer Scale of Auschwitz Death Camp (VIDEO)

Here: "Auschwitz 70th anniversary: Drone footage shows scale of camp."

And at the Irish Independent, "Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation."

Taylor Swift, Lean and Leggy, Romps in the Surf in Hawaii

She looks great.

At London's Daily Mail, "PICTURE EXCLUSIVE: Taylor Swift hits all the right notes in a retro polka dot swimsuit as she soaks up the sun in Hawaii."

Naomi Watts Trips Over Emma Stone's Dress at SAG Awards


Watch, at E!, "Oops! Naomi Watts Trips on Emma Stone's Dress."

That Emma Stone's a riot.

At Fox News, "Naomi Watts trips on stage at the SAG Awards":

Simple, Free Image and File Hosting at MediaFire
Stone’s reaction to the ordeal was priceless — the 26-year-old’s red lips formed one of the widest-mouthed O’s we’ve seen as she said the word “sorry.”

India's Narendra Modi Gives Big F.U. to Obama Administration Demands for Climate Change Agreement


You gotta love it. Remember Modi was barred from traveling to the U.S. before he became prime minister. Those slights are not easily overcome. Besides, New Delhi obviously couldn't give a shit about giving even the appearance of cooperation on climate change, unlike China, which pocketed unilateral concessions from the administration. O's 0-2 with the big Asian emitters, lol.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Narendra Modi dismisses calls for India to match China's climate goal":

The United States and India sought to put a contentious history behind them Sunday by declaring a new partnership on climate change, security and economic issues, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi rejected calls for India to match China’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

As President Obama opened a three-day visit to New Delhi aimed at underscoring the two democracies’ shared ideals, Modi’s blunt dismissal of a sweeping climate agreement reflected the limits of Washington’s assiduous courtship of the popular new prime minister.

Even as Obama announced “a breakthrough understanding” that could clear the way for U.S. companies to build nuclear power plants in India — potentially reducing India’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels — Modi said he felt “no pressure” from any other country to curtail the South Asian nation’s carbon emissions.

Instead, the U.S. said it would cooperate with India in clean-energy initiatives such as expanding solar power, reducing the most toxic greenhouse gases and making air-conditioners more efficient — without demanding that it slow the rapid growth of its coal industry.

“India is a sovereign country,” Modi said during a joint news conference with Obama. “There is no pressure on us from any country or any person, but there is pressure when we think about the future generations and what kind of world we want to give them.”

It was a rare discordant note at the start of a largely ceremonial visit that the Obama administration hoped would demonstrate U.S. commitment to improving ties with India and would energize a strategic “pivot” to Asia.

The countries renewed a 10-year defense partnership and agreed to expand that collaboration. Modi said the countries would “pursue co-development and co-production of specific advanced defense projects.”

The meeting between the two leaders was rich in atmospherics, with Obama and Modi sharing a warm hug at the foot of the Air Force One stairs moments after the plane landed in New Delhi.

After a summit at the White House in September, this visit — coming sooner than many U.S. and Indian officials had expected — was seen as a signal that both countries want to move past years of often difficult relations.

On Monday, Obama is scheduled to be the first U.S. president to attend India’s annual Republic Day celebration, where he would be Modi’s chief guest at an hours-long parade.

Many U.S. and Indian officials saw Modi’s invitation to Obama as a sign that the Indian leader bore no ill will from a decade-long visa ban imposed by the State Department over his failure to stop religious pogroms in 2002 in the western state of Gujarat, where he had served as chief executive.

Both leaders cited progress on an agreement to provide nuclear power to India for civilian use that has been stalled since a pact in 2005. U.S. officials said negotiators from both countries had resolved issues that had blocked implementation of the agreement — accounting for the nuclear material produced by U.S. companies and liability in case of an accident.

“Today we achieved a breakthrough on two issues that were holding up our ability to advance our civil-nuclear cooperation, and we’re committed to moving toward full implementation,” Obama said. “This is an important step that shows how we can work together to elevate our relationship.”...

The nuclear agreement is just one in a series of steps India must take to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Over the next year Obama hopes to help negotiate a global action plan to rein in runaway climate change, but a meaningful agreement would call for a major commitment from India, the world’s No. 3 emitter of greenhouse gases.

Pressure on India increased after the U.S. persuaded China, the No. 2 polluter, to agree in November to cap carbon emissions by 2030.

But as India embarks on a major phase of industrialization, many in Modi’s government believe that building heavily polluting coal power plants, which provide electricity at far cheaper rates than solar and wind power, is the most practical way to speed provision of electricity to the 300 million Indians who lack it.

Modi swept into power in May promising to revitalize India’s slowing economic growth. Since then, Indian authorities have tried to crack down on environmental groups such as Greenpeace that have campaigned against massive coal projects, accusing them of acting against India’s national interests.

But Indian officials have also raised coal taxes to generate money for clean-energy projects and announced plans to boost solar power capacity fivefold to 100,000 megawatts by 2022.

To support that goal, Obama administration officials announced expanded cooperation on green technology, including up to $1 billion in financing from the U.S. Export-Import Bank for clean-energy projects...

Republican Party Faces Its Palin Problem

Palin's Iowa speech on Saturday was disjointed, to say the least. It made me confident that she'll never run for president, and will in fact hang out on the sidelines, firing up the crowd for the home team. I'm good with that. 2016 is shaping up to be an interesting year for the GOP. Scott Walker was very strong, for example. Confident. It's going to be interesting.

In any case, here's Byron York on the "Palin Problem":
DES MOINES — As a chance to evaluate possible 2016 Republican presidential candidates, the Freedom Summit here in Des Moines was a solid success. Several potential candidates — Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, and a few others — left the 10-hour political marathon with their prospects undeniably enhanced.

All that was good news for Republicans. But at the same time, more than a few GOP loyalists came away shaking their heads at the performance of a party star, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, whose long, rambling, and at times barely coherent speech left some wondering what role she should play in Republican politics as the 2016 race begins in earnest.

Palin made news when she arrived in Iowa saying she is seriously considering a run for president. In an interview with ABC the day before coming to Iowa, Palin answered "of course" when asked if she is interested in running in 2016. Then, when she arrived at a Des Moines hotel late Friday evening, she told the Washington Post, "Who wouldn't be interested?" Asked to clarify, Palin told the paper, "You can absolutely say that I am seriously interested."

The news, given big play on the Drudge Report, heightened the anticipation of Palin's speech to the Freedom Summit. After all, there were still memories in the crowd of her rousing speech at the 2008 Republican convention. But when Palin took the stage, it was clear this would be no inspiring effort.

First, Palin embarked on an extended stream-of-consciousness complaint about media coverage of her decision to run in a half-marathon race in Storm Lake, Iowa in 2011. She then moved on to grumbling about coverage of a recent photo of her with a supporter who had made a sign saying "Fuc_ you Michael Moore" in reaction to the left-wing moviemaker's criticism of the film "American Sniper." Then it was on to Palin's objections about the social media ruckus over a picture of her six-year-old son Trig standing on the family's Labrador Retriever.

It was all quite petty, and yet the complaining took half of Palin's allotted time. She then proceeded to blow through her time limit with a free-association ramble on Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, the energy industry, her daughter Bristol, Margaret Thatcher, middle-class economics — "the man can only ride ya when your back is bent" — women in politics, and much more. It would be hard to say that Palin's 35-minute talk had a theme, but she did hint that she is interested in running, although there are no indications she has taken any actual steps in that direction.

"Long and disjointed," said one social conservative activist when asked for reaction. "A weird speech," said another conservative activist. "Terrible. Didn't make any sense."

"There was a certain coarseness to her that wasn't there before," said yet another social conservative who noted that some in the crowd were uncomfortable with Palin declarations like, "Screw the left in Hollywood!" (It's not that they like the left in Hollywood — just the opposite — but the crudeness of Palin's expressions turned them off.)

"I know she is popular, but it is hard to take her seriously given that performance," said Sam Clovis, the conservative Iowa college professor, radio commentator, and sometime political candidate. "Palin was a sad story Saturday. With every speech she gives, she gets worse and worse. If one were playing a political cliche drinking game, no one would have been sober after the first 15 minutes of an interminable ramble. It was really painful."

"I think she has a role in the conservative movement and in the party," Clovis continued, "but she needs to get serious about what it is she can contribute and accomplish."...

Syriza and Europe's Collectivist 'Social Responsibility'

Here's how the radical left views the radical left's victory in Greece.

From far-left political scientist Marianna Fotaki, at Informed Comment, "Greece move left would Give Europe Chance to Rediscover Social Responsibility":
The European Union should not be afraid of the leftist opposition party Syriza winning the Greek election, but see it as a chance to rediscover its founding principle – the social dimension that created it and without which it cannot survive.

Greece’s entire economy accounts for three per cent of the euro zone’s output but its national debt totals €360 billion or 175 per cent of the country’s GDP and poses a continuous threat to its survival.

While the crippling debt cannot realistically be paid back in full, the troika of the EU, European Central Bank, and the [International Monetary Fund or] IMF insist that the drastic cuts in public spending must continue.

But if Syriza is successful – as the polls suggest – it promises to renegotiate the terms of the bailout and ask for substantial debt forgiveness, which could change the terms of the debate about the future of the European project.

It would also mean the important, but as yet, unaddressed question of who should bear the costs and risks of the monetary union within and between the euro zone countries is likely to become the centrepiece of such negotiations.

The immense social cost of the austerity policies demanded by the troika has put in question the political and social objectives of an ‘ever closer union’ proclaimed in the EU founding documents.

Formally established through the Treaty of Rome in 1957, the European Economic Community between France, Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries tied closely the economies of erstwhile foes, rendering the possibility of another disastrous war unaffordable. Yet the ultimate goal of integration was to bring about ‘the constant improvements of the living and working conditions of their peoples’.

The European project has been exceptionally successful in achieving peaceful collaboration and prosperity by progressively extending these stated benefits to an increasing number of member countries, with the EU now being the world’s largest economy.

Since the economic crisis of 2007, however, GDP per capita and gross disposable household incomes have declined across the EU and have not yet returned to their pre-crisis levels in many countries. Unemployment is at record high levels, with Greece and Spain topping the numbers of long-term unemployed youth.

There are also deep inequalities within the euro zone. Strong economies that are major exporters have benefitted from free trade and the fixed exchange rate mechanism protecting their goods from price fluctuations, but the euro has hurt the least competitive economies by depriving them of a currency flexibility that could have been used to respond to the crisis.

Without substantial transfers between weaker and stronger economies, which accounts for only 1.13 per cent of the EU’s budget at present, there is no effective mechanism for risk sharing among the member states and for addressing the consequences of the crisis in the euro zone.

But the EU was founded on the premise of solidarity and not as a free trade zone only. Economic growth was regarded as a means for achieving desirable political and social goals through the process of painstaking institution building.

With 500 million citizens and a combined GDP of €12.9 trillion in 2012 shared among its 27 members the EU is better placed than ever to live up to its founding principles. The member states that benefitted from the common currency should lead in offering meaningful support rather than decimating their weaker members in a time of crisis by forcing austerity measures upon them.

This is not denying the responsibility for reckless borrowing resting with the successive Greek governments and their supporters. However, the logic of a collective punishment of the most vulnerable groups of the population must be rejected...
A perfect summation of radical far-left ideology. Imagine that. This time, at the international level. Still the same, though. Redistribution from those with more to those with less, screw personal responsibility. For the left, Syriza's win isn't about optimizing opportunities to cut ties to Brussels and the economic engines of Europe (especially Germany), but rather to cling tighter and suck harder at the teat of continental collectivism.

Another example of how right and left "fringe parties" differ radically in their ideological tendencies.

Lowlife leftists are scum-sucking dirtbags.

Still more.

The Greek Warning

At WSJ, "Radical parties rise when mainstream parties tolerate stagnation":
The exit polls Sunday night suggested that Greece’s far-left Syriza party will score a major victory in the weekend’s parliamentary election. The fallout for Europe will take time to sort out, but the warning should be clear enough about the political consequences of economic stagnation.

With Syriza poised to capture around 35% of the vote barely four years after it rose to national prominence, its leader, Alexis Tsipras, will have the first chance to form a new government. Mr. Tsipras is a former civil engineer who once favored Greece leaving the eurozone. He has tempered that demand as he sought power, but at a minimum he will try to renegotiate Greece’s bailouts with the troika of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.

A Greek euro exit isn’t likely, at least not immediately or intentionally. Some on the left favor the idea, but polls show most Greeks don’t. They know a return to the drachma would mean a crushing devaluation with catastrophic results for the average Greek’s standard of living.

The Syriza victory is nonetheless a rebuke to European leaders. Greeks believe, not unreasonably, that the conditions imposed by the troika have been disastrous. The 2010 and 2012 bailouts came with draconian fiscal tightening, in the usual IMF fashion, with too little attention to promoting pro-growth reforms. The result has been falling wages and pensions and rising taxes, with no growth in return for the pain.

Those results cost the incumbent center-right New Democracy party led by soon-to-be-former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. His chief failing was a lack of conviction and skill in implementing reforms to labor markets, business regulations and a crackdown on corruption that would have promoted growth.

Instead he chose to meet the troika’s fiscal targets through the growth-killing combination of much higher taxes and deep but unevenly applied spending cuts. As one example: Greeks now pay a 23% value-added tax, while the eurozone average is 20.8%. Ireland also has a high VAT rate but it has a 12.5% corporate tax rate to attract capital. That‘s an example for Greece to follow...
Keep reading.

And see WSJ's main article, "Leftists Sweep to Power in Greece" (via Memeorandum):
With nearly all votes counted, opposition party Syriza was on track to win about half the seats in Parliament. In the wee hours of the morning, it clinched a coalition deal with a small right-wing party also opposed to Europe’s economic policy to give the two a clear majority.

“Today the Greek people have written history,” Syriza’s young leader and likely new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, said in his victory speech late Sunday. “The Greek people have given a clear, indisputable mandate for Greece to leave behind austerity.”

A Syriza victory marks an astonishing upset of Europe’s political order, which decades ago settled into an orthodox centrism while many in Syriza describe themselves as Marxists. It emboldens the challenges of other radical parties, from the right-wing National Front in France to the newly formed left-wing Podemos party in Spain, and it sets Greece on a collision course with Germany and its other eurozone rescuers.
This is what's absolutely fascinating to me: It's a parliamentary system with proportional representation, which facilitates the electoral fortunes of what would normally be fringe parties. And Syriza's forming a government with a "small right-wing party also opposed to Europe’s economic policy..."

That's the populism that MSM hacks keep warning about.

The rough equivalent to that "small right-wing party" in Greece" is France's National Front under Marine Le Pen, which will vie for the presidency in 2017. These are extremely momentous times in Europe. And the onus will be on the so-called mainstream parties to reform political systems and restore robust economic growth with low unemployment. The difference between right and the left, however --- and this is huge --- is that radical leftist parties repudiate the war on terror and they encourage the political power of radical Islamists. Francois Holland took something like 90 percent of the Muslim vote when he was elected to office in 2012. And thus, while both right and left are billed as populists, the actual policy differences (and consequences) of their respective governing regimes are enormous. Ms. Le Pen is committed to pulling up the drawbridge on French immigration, and that entails working to eliminate the E.U.'s open borders regulations allowing the free flow of goods and people across Europe. The effect of these has been to allow terrorists to roam free and organize the jihad conquest. The left parties will facilitate that development rather than fight it. And on other issues as well, far-left parties will welcome the further evisceration of traditional culture and atheistic malevolence.

These are far from insignificant issues to ponder as Europe grapples with the impact of Greece's monumental election.

Double Blow to Germany's Leadership

At the Wall Street Journal, "Victory Shuffles European Politics":
BERLIN—For five years, Europe’s common-currency bloc has squabbled over whether the solution to its economic crisis lies in slimming the state and deregulating markets, or in more expansionary fiscal and monetary policies.

The battle lines just got messier, the way out even less clear.

Since the start of the eurozone’s debt crisis, the bloc’s wealthier countries—led by Germany—have largely prevailed in pushing economic overhauls, not stimulus, as the main way to nurse indebted nations to financial health. Now, eurozone voters are in open revolt against such fiscal strictures, while the European Central Bank just overthrew German monetary orthodoxy.

Sunday’s historic victory for the radical left-wing Syriza party in Greece’s elections is likely to embolden populist movements in other eurozone countries, including Spain, France and Italy, which reject German-sponsored austerity.

Their growth on both the left and right of Europe’s political spectrum suggests the breadth and complexity of voter discontent. Spain’s far-left Podemos party has surged in opinion polls, and elections are due late this year. France’s far-right National Front is roiling the country’s establishment with attacks on austerity as well as immigration. Italy’s populist, euroskeptic Five Star Movement wants to renegotiate the national debt.

Greece is the most extreme example of the fraying of support for the mainstream center-right and center-left parties that have dominated Western European politics for decades. The antiestablishment surge comes amid the Continent’s longest economic slump since the Great Depression.

Meanwhile the ECB’s decision on Thursday to buy eurozone government bonds and other assets to stimulate growth and inflation broke with Germany’s deeply held belief that central banks shouldn’t print money to buy public debt.

The ECB used to back Germany loudly on the benefits of austerity, before suggesting last fall that the eurozone overall had become too austere and that Germany should spend more. Lately, ECB head Mario Draghi has avoided provoking Berlin on fiscal policy while also antagonizing it with his bond-buying program.

The bank and Berlin agree on one thing: the need for market-friendly overhauls to make eurozone economies more flexible. Yet those overhauls are harder than ever to sell to voters.

The three-way standoff between Germany, the ECB, and angry voters in Southern Europe is likely to resonate throughout 2015 in the eurozone, which lags behind the rest of the world in recovering from the global financial crisis...

Jubilation in Central Athens as Thousands of Syriza Supporters Celebrate Landmark Victory

Via Euronews:

Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Jersey High School Student Slams 62-Year-Old Teacher to Floor Over Cellphone

It's something that I would never do (confiscating a phone), since a student's phone is private property. But that said, this is absolutely over the top.

At the Paterson Record/Herald News, "Paterson freshman charged with assault after classroom attack on teacher."

Here's the video, "STUDENT SLAMS TEACHER FOR TAKING HIS PHONE AWAY" (via Weasel Zippers).

Note that's a black student. He'd be right at home with the Ferguson looting mobs.

Boko Haram Murders More than 200 as John Kerry Arrives in Nigeria

The Obama administration continues to demonstrate resolve in (not) fighting global Islamic jihad.

At Twitchy, "Boko Haram kills hundreds as John Kerry meets with Nigeria’s presidential candidates."

And video at Reuters, "Kerry arrives in Nigeria for talks."

Frankly, the Nigerian government is so corrupt it's almost as bad as Boko Haram. The administration of course won't lift a finger to fix that problem, so the terrorists won't be eliminated any time soon.

Added: At the New York Times, via Memeorandum, "Boko Haram Attacks Major Nigerian City in a Sustained Assault."

Car Driving with Dashboard Camera Captures Vehicles Just Ahead Taking Direct Hit in Mariupol Shelling

All the glass flying is the giveaway. The people in the vehicles ahead were shredded instantaneously.

PREVIOUSLY: "War Exploding Anew in Ukraine."

Sunday Cartoons

At Flopping Aces, "Sunday Cartoons."

 photo Cartoon-State-of-the-Kingdom-600_zps4c8xzga7_1.jpg

And see Legal Insurrection, "Branco Cartoon – O-Flate-Gate," and Theo Spark, "Cartoon Roundup..."

Cartoon Credit: William Warren.

Sunday Rule 5

A needed break from all the leftist hatred and destruction.

At Pirate's Cove, "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup," and "If All You See……is extreme rain caused by Other People driving fossil fueled vehicles, you might just be a Warmist."

Babe Blogging - Tessa Fowler photo BuwJHo_CAAIo82x_zpsc4abc0ae.jpg
More at the Other McCain, "Rule 5 Monday: Midnight Snack."

See also Dana Pico, "Rule 5 Blogging: Women in Combat in History."

90 Miles From Tyranny, "Morning Mistress."

And from Ms. EBL, "There is no deflation problem with this Charlotte McKinney Super Bowl ad…"

Also at the Last Tradition, "Rule 5 Sunday - Charlotte McKinney."

More, at Knuckledraggin', "Rockin' Those Stripes."

Now over at Gator Doug's, "THE DALEYBABE,"and "IRREVERENT ROUNDUP."

A View From the Beach, "Rule 5 Saturday - January's Tweet of the Month - January Jones."

Also, at Goodstuff's, "GOODSTUFFs BLOGGING MAGAZINE W/ZOE SALDANA (174th Issue)."

More at Odie's, "Monica Lewinski ~OR~ Rule 5 Woodsterman Style."

At Egotastic!, "Hitomi Tanaka, Phoenix Marie, Samantha Saint at Adult Entertainment Expo in Vegas."


Proof Positive, "Here. Something to take your mind off Tom Brady's balls for a week..."

And see iOTW REPORT, "Stupid, stupid man sidelined from dream Super Bowl job after posting image of security credential to Facebook."

Drop your links in the comments if I've missed your Rule 5.

Until then...

PHOTO: Tessa Fowler.

Mark McMorris Nails Men's Slopestyle at X-Games 2015 Aspen

Just a brilliant run.

Utterly spectacular, for the win.

Islamic State Wants Something 'More Brutal Than the World Trade Center...' (VIDEO)

NBC's Richard Engel repots, "Man Who Escaped ISIS: They Want to Plan an Attack ‘More Brutal’ than 9/11."

Hat Tip: Aleister, at Legal Insurrection, "Former ISIS Prisoner: 'They Want Something Worse Than 9/11'."

'If 'American Sniper' Was About a Turncoat Transsexual..."

"...Then Hollywood Would Love It," argues Doug Giles, at Clash Daily:
Two well known lovelies in Hollywood went in full, Anti-American-Doofus-Mode, this past week over American Sniper; a movie that celebrates our military, patriotism, Christianity and killing terrorists, via a sniper who could bust a jihadist’s noggin at well over one click.

Hollywood hates that type of tale and you can tell they do by how rarely such a film like that tumbles from Tinseltown.

Indeed, in today’s sassy milieu, Hollywood hails only as a military “hero” someone who turns against our armed forces, steals our secrets and sells them to an albino Australian, then gets a sex change and starts going by the name “Chelsea” instead of Bradley.  Heck, if that be the case, then Hollywood’s all over that script and championing that flick like it’s sliced bread and Christmas.  Yum, yum. But a movie that celebrates traditional values and sacrificial soldier work for God and country … nah… screw that.

The two dudes, as you know, who decided to show their true colors by slamming American Sniper and are currently reeling from the massive negative and national backlash are Michael Moore and Seth Rogen.

Moore tweeted out that Americans are “invaders” and snipers are “cowards who shoot people in the back.”  Since that infamous tweet, he’s been tripping over his gelatinous backside trying to explain away what we all clearly understood; namely; that he doesn’t respect our military and he thinks Chris Kyle was a coward.  By the way, I don’t recall Moore ever saying similar, disparaging things about his beloved Cuba or Che or Fidel. Which is telling, eh?

Rogen, similarly took to Twitter and hit the stupid button by comparing American Sniper to a Nazi propaganda film.  He too, has been trying awkwardly and unsuccessfully to dance his way out of that ill-fated tweet by blaming others for misinterpreting him.  Poor, little Seth … no one understands you.

After Americans collectively shat on them, both of these weasels started saying how they really liked the movie and how Bradley Cooper was amazing; but you know what? … we didn’t hear any of that praise until our country told you two clowns to kiss off.  It was then and only then that we saw you blowhards blow kisses in the American Sniper’s direction.

When Moore laid into American Sniper via his tweet, I immediately contacted my buddy, Green Beret Sniper Bryan Sikes, asking him what he thought about Michael Moore’s  calling American Sniper, Chris Kyle, a coward.  Bryan’s response was nothing short of epic.  Check it out…

President Obama's 'Successful' Counterterrorism Strategy in Yemen in Limbo

From Thomas Joscelyn and Bill Roggio, at Long War Journal.

And the White House took a shellacking on its national security policies this morning on "Meet the Press." See, "John McCain: U.S. approach to counterterrorism is 'delusional'," and "As global crises emerge, is the U.S. playing catch-up? (PANEL DISCUSSION)."

'Blitzkrieg Bop'

Listened to the Ramones on the radio while out for some errands earlier, at the Sound L.A.

Lido Shuffle
Boz Scaggs
12:35 PM

Back In Black
12:31 PM

Blitzkrieg Bop
12:29 PM

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
12:26 PM

Couldn't Get It Right
Climax Blues Band
12:23 PM

Games People Play
The Alan Parsons Project
12:13 PM

Evil Ways
12:10 PM

It Can Happen
12:04 PM

Let's Go
The Cars
12:00 PM
Also, Marky Ramone is on tour promoting his new book, Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone.

He was interview at KCAL-9 this weekend. Watch: "Punk Rock Icon Marky Ramone Releases New Memoir."

Radical Syriza Party, Under Greek 'Che Guevara' Alexis Tsipras, Set to Sieze Power in Athens

They're not my cup of tea, obviously.

The party's leader, Alexis Tsipras, zoomed around on motorcycles as a Communist youth activist in his early days. The Greek 'Che Guevara," or so they say.

Still, I can't discount Syriza's anti-EU agenda. The unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels are snuffing out popular democracy across the continent.

At the Guardian UK, "Syriza wins Greek election as Samaras congratulates Tsipras – live updates."

Also at London's Daily Mail, "Eurozone braced for 'catastrophe' as Greek PM concedes defeat in crucial election with radical left-wing anti-austerity party on brink of historic victory."

Obama Will Not Attend 70th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation

And this is a surprise?

At Free Beacon.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will represent the U.S. at the ceremonies. A token gesture, if that.

Sarah Palin at Iowa Freedom Summit: 'Screw the Hollywood Left'

At the Hill, "Palin: 'Screw the Hollywood left'."

Watch, at C-SPAN: "Iowa Freedom Summit, Sarah Palin."

Skate Legends Inspire at El Gato Classic in Palm Springs

At the Palm Springs Desert Sun, "Skater legends inspire locals at El Gato Classic."

And at Blue Tile Obsession, "El Gato Classic / Legends Jam":
I was awestruck today. The El Gato Classic Legends Jam was insane. At one point, there were so many Hester Series and Gold Cup series skateboarders in attendance that I was literally the only mortal on the deck. Just a few: El Gato, Malba, Salba, Olson, Caballero, Hosoi, Jim Gray, Lonny Hiramoto, Scott Foss, Eric Grisham, Jami Godfrey, Steve Hirsch, Freddi DeSota, Lance Mountain, Pineapple Saladino, Doug Marker, Billy Ruff, Mike McGill, Hackett, Wally Inouye, Doug Marker, Kyle Jensen, George McClellan, Alan Gelfand, Allen Losi, Scott Dunlap, Brad Bowman, George Orton, John Lucero, Marty Grimes, Robin Logan, Chuck Hults, Jim Muir, Tony Hawk, Jeff Tatum and others. There was more amazing skateboarding going on than I could take in at one sitting. I was impressed with something that really stood out to me. When Scott Dunlap threw a huge double trucker in the deep end, his head would drop down just like I could see in old photographs of him. When Hackett slashed frontside, his body would twist up… When Scott Foss rode, we all rode with him. Each legend still retains all that made him what he is. The style has remained. There is more mileage but the originality and raw natural talent remains. Impressive.
Also, "El Gato Classic / Vert Demo."

More photos on Twitter at "El Gato Classic" and "#ElGatoClassic."

X-Games Big Air Final 2015 Aspen

Pretty wicked.

Results: "America's Navy Snowboard Big Air Final."

California Faces Egg Shortage as Far-Left Animal Welfare Law Takes Effect

Well, no one saw this coming, or anything.

Eggs will settle in anywhere from 10 to 40 percent higher "than they are right now." Happy chickens though!

At CBS News Sacramento, "New California Egg Law Prompts Egg Shortage Concerns as Suppliers Alter Facilities."

Insane Ferguson Looting Video

When law enforcement is completely absent, anarchy reigns. And there is no moral force powerful enough to restrain the literally primitive black animals scavenging for grub at Dellwood Market.

Via Aleister, at Legal Insurrection, "New #Ferguson Video Released: Looters Invade Market Because #Justice," and Noah Rothman, at Hot Air, "Police release insane Ferguson looting video, are criticized for transparency":
This closed-circuit security camera footage is absolutely amazing. In a video recently released by local police in Missouri, at least 180 looters are shown pillaging a market in the city of Dellwood, a town neighboring Ferguson that was subject to violent riots in the wake of a grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown.

The images of the violent property destruction showcased in that video are positively astonishing...

War Exploding Anew in Ukraine

Yes, and no doubt our Commander-in-Chief is looking to go golfing.

Either that, or GloZell is due to drop off some Fruit Loops at the White House.

At the New York Times, "War Is Exploding Anew in Ukraine; Rebels Vow More":

DONETSK, Ukraine — Unexpectedly, at the height of the Ukrainian winter, war has exploded anew on a half-dozen battered fronts across eastern Ukraine, accompanied by increasing evidence that Russian troops and Russian equipment have been pouring into the region again.

A shaky cease-fire has all but vanished, with rebel leaders vowing fresh attacks. Civilians are being hit by deadly mortars at bus stops. Tanks are rumbling down snowy roads in rebel-held areas with soldiers in unmarked green uniforms sitting on their turrets, waving at bystanders — a disquieting echo of the “little green men” whose appearance in Crimea opened this stubborn conflict in the spring.

The renewed fighting has dashed any hopes of reinvigorating a cease-fire signed in September and honored more in name than in fact since then. It has also put to rest the notion that Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, would be so staggered by the twin blows of Western sanctions and a collapse in oil prices that he would forsake the separatists in order to foster better relations with the West.

Instead, blaming the upsurge in violence on the Ukrainians and the rise in civilian deaths on “those who issue such criminal orders,” as he did on Friday in Moscow, Mr. Putin is apparently doubling down, rather than backing down, in a conflict that is now the bloodiest in Europe since the Balkan wars.

With the appearance in recent weeks of what NATO calls sophisticated Russian weapons systems, newly emboldened separatist leaders have abandoned all talk of a cease-fire. One of the top leaders of the Russian-backed rebels said Friday that his soldiers were “on the offensive” in several sectors, capitalizing on their capture of the Donetsk airport the day before.

“We will attack” until the Ukrainian Army is driven from the border of the Donetsk region, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic rebel group, said in comments carried by Russian news agencies.

“On our side, we won’t make an effort to talk about a cease-fire,” Mr. Zakharchenko said. “Now we’re going to watch how Kiev reacts. Kiev doesn’t understand that we can attack in three directions at once.”

For long-suffering residents of Donetsk, who have lived with constant shelling, chronic electricity failures and, since September, a cutoff of pensions and other government support payments from Kiev, the resumption of military action came as little surprise.

“It was pure illusion that peace could be achieved now,” said Enrique Menendez, a former advertising agency owner who now runs a humanitarian relief operation in eastern Ukraine. “None of the sides has yet achieved its goals. The only real surprise is that the fighting started in the winter instead of the spring.”...

Gloomy Outlook Among the Young in Athens as Greek Election Approaches

A video at Euronews.

The economy remains in the tank, although I'll be surprised if Greek youth are much happier once the communists come to power.

At the Christian Science Monitor, "Greek leftists set for big win. Now comes the hard part: swaying Europe."