Sunday, March 26, 2017

London, Wounded Metropolis

At Der Spiegel, "A Wounded Metropolis: London in the Age of Terror and Brexit":

London is the epicenter of globalization, a glut of money and creativity -- and the antithesis of Brexit parochialism. It is also the best city in the world.


Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of Lithuania: 'Russia is a threat not only to Lithuania but to the whole region and to all of Europe...'

An interview, at Foreign Policy, "‘Russia Is a Threat … to All of Europe’ - Lithuania’s president talks to Foreign Policy about Vladimir Putin's "little green men" and whether Donald Trump really believes in NATO."


Alessandra Ambrosio's 'Endless Summer'

Actually, summer's just around the corner, but I'll take Ms. Alessandra's "endless summer" photos any time of year, heh.



The Dark Side of Gender Segregation in the Military

This is pretty interesting.

I've done pretty much zero reading and study in this area, so just read it all at the link without comment from me.

From Molly Kovite, at War on the Rocks:


Saturday, March 25, 2017

'What losing a war looks like...'

Here's Mike, at Cold Fury, commenting on the Westminster jihad attack, "London calling":
And so I raise the question again: how much blood must be spilled before the Left is willing to confront its failure, its ignorance, its muttonheaded, moist-eyed belief in a total equality among men that in no way represents our harsher reality? How many more of us must die before they admit that their adolescent fantasy is nothing more than just that? How much wanton mass murder must we tolerate before they are willing to let go of their puerile daydreams and acknowledge the world as it exists, rather than clinging so desperately to an ideology that fundamentally misapprehends—brushes off, dismisses, actually—the darker aspect of human nature right out of the gate?

And the answer keeps coming back: MORE. More yet, more still. Not enough, not quite yet.

Which presents another, perhaps more vital and relevant question: how much Progressivist foolishness, their cowardice and juvenile self-indulgence, will WE tolerate before we take effective steps to end this patent madness? When will the sane majority finally decide that enough is truly enough and refuse to grant them and their inane, PC psychobabble serious consideration? When will we shove them aside and deal with a barbaric enemy in the rough and ruthless fashion that is our only hope of ever harnessing the primordial, atavistic belief system that is Islam?

When we will decide to defend our culture, our way of life—our actual, physical LIVES, ferchrissakes, individually and collectively—in the way merited? To stop being ashamed of our flaws, mourning our failures, apologizing for our missteps, and start protecting our precious civilization against a savage enemy who will neither cease nor rest at any point short of our complete annihilation?

I beg your indulgence here, folks, for I am about to say it yet again: In order to defeat our Muslim antagonists, we must first defeat the Left. There is no hope of achieving the one without first achieving the other; as long as Tranzi, multiculti, PC Leftism is still taken even remotely seriously by anything more than a handful of shunned loons skulking quietly about in a few urban enclaves, we will continue to endure the occasional appalling slaughter in our very heartland. We’re still a long, long way from it. In the end, we’re going to have to recognize that, no matter how many of them are massacred, there will always be a certain number who would rather die than fight back; who would rather embrace a failed pipe-dream of an ideology than ever admit error, even in the face of the most direct and dire evidence of said failure imaginable...
Still more.

'Fiery G.O.P. Civil War' Erupts After Collapse of Health Care Repeal Bill

At the New York Times (where else?), via Memeorandum, "Trump Becomes Ensnared in Fiery G.O.P. Civil War."


Violence at Pro-Trump MAGA Rally in Huntington Beach (VIDEO)

Not good, but probably inevitable, given the murderous hatred of the radical left.

At the O.C. Register, "Pro-Trump rally draws 2,000 marchers, some protesters and a violent brawl."



I've Started Fergus Bordewich's, Killing the White Man's Indian

I'm alternating today between Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, and Fergus Bordewich, Killing the White Man's Indian: Reinventing Native Americans at the End of the Twentieth Century.

Sometimes I need a little breather from the unrelenting anti-Americanism of the leftist approaches, especially in Dunbar-Ortiz, who's a revolutionary Marxist.

Bordewich, on the other hand, offers the most balanced interpretation of the American Indian experience I've read, at least among the more recent publications in the genre. (When we go back to some of the older historians, like Robert Utley, they too offer balanced and pleasurable interpretations. It's just that Dunbar-Ortiz, while recommended, is pretty intense --- indeed, I'll have some longer comments on her book when I've finished it.)

Purchase the Bordewich volume at Amazon.

Killing the White Man's Indian photo 51bz78l5onL_zpsxjzfouhn.jpg

Mia Kang Uncovered for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2017 (VIDEO)

Lovely.

Via Sports Illustrated:



Richard Slotkin, The Fatal Environment

I've got this item already loaded up in my shopping cart at Amazon. (ADDED: I'll purchase a new batch of books on the 1st, when my Amazon associates commissions come through, as well as my regular paycheck lol. Thanks for your support!)

I'm excited to read it.

See, Richard Slotkin, The Fatal Environment: The Myth of the Frontier in the Age of Industrialization, 1800–1890.

Henry Nash Smith, Virgin Land

At Amazon, Henry Nash Smith, Virgin Land: The American West as Symbol and Myth.

Kara Del Toro at 'Power Rangers' Premiere (PHOTOS)

She's beautiful.

At I Don't Like You in That Way, "Kara Del Toro Did the ‘Power Rangers’ Premiere in This Dress."

Vogue's First Transgender Cover Model

It's Vogue Paris, but she's so hot you wouldn't know she's trans.

At Evil Beet Gossip, "March Vogue: First Trans Model to Cover the Mag!"

And at Telegraph U.K., "French Vogue to become the country’s first magazine to feature a transgender model on its cover."

Mountain House Breakfast Bucket

At Amazon, Mountain House Just In Case...Breakfast Bucket.

Also, KIND Breakfast Bars, Peanut Butter, Gluten Free, 1.8 Ounce, 32 Count.

Hoover Vacuum Cleaner Anniversary WindTunnel Self Propelled Bagged Corded Upright Vacuum U6485900.

Plus, AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable - 6 Feet (1.8 Meters) - White.

Coaster Home Furnishings 460096 Transitional Bunk Bed, Amber Wash.

More, "U.S. Art Supply 133pc Deluxe Artist Painting Set with Aluminum and Wood Easels, Paint and Accessories.

Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical Trainer.

And, Whiskey & Rum Barrel Aged Coffee Beans Gourmet Coffee Gift Set by Cooper's Cask Coffee, Single Origin Coffee Beans (Sumatra, Ethiopia, Rwanda) - Three 4oz Bags, Whole Coffee Bean.

BONUS: Desmond Morris, The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal.

Without God, All Morality is Mere Opinion

Here's Dennis Prager, "If There Is No God, Murder Isn't Wrong



Epic 'Implosion' of GOP's American Health Care Act of 2017

Following-up from yesterday, "'Spectacular Defeat for Trump'."

Here's today's dramatic front-page story at the Los Angeles Times, "GOP dreams of repealing Obamacare collapse as Trump pulls vote on House bill":

President Trump, elected on a promise to use his deal-making prowess to get Washington working, blinked Friday in the face of defeat, agreeing to halt a House vote on a GOP healthcare overhaul amid crumbling Republican support.

The move came just hours after the White House insisted the vote would go forward regardless of the outcome, and followed Trump’s extraordinary ultimatum Thursday night, when he told rebellious lawmakers that if they didn’t vote for the bill, he would move on to other priorities.

To avoid an embarrassing vote, Trump asked House Speaker Paul D. Ryan to abandon the effort.

The collapse of the bill — legislation that managed to displease both Republican conservatives and centrists — dashed the party’s immediate hopes of fulfilling a longtime campaign promise to repeal and replace President Obama’s signature healthcare law, also called Obamacare.

Trump made a hard, last-minute push for the GOP bill. His spokesman said Friday that the president "left everything on the field."

In an Oval Office appearance after the vote was pulled, Trump described it as a “very interesting experience.” He praised his fellow Republicans and deflected blame on Democrats — who opposed the bill. He also said he’d learned something about “loyalty,” apparently referring to the GOP defections.

Trump predicted the country would eventually need to revisit the issue, saying, “We will end up with a truly great healthcare bill in the future after this mess that is Obamacare explodes.”

Both Trump and Ryan, however, said the Republican Party had no plan to revive the repeal-and-replace effort anytime soon, so the current healthcare law will remain in place.

The defeat exposed Trump’s limits as negotiator in chief and raised doubts about his administration’s ability to achieve the rest of its conservative agenda, including tax cuts, deregulation and trade reform.

The fallout was also a setback for Ryan. Critics say the legislation was crafted too quickly and without enough input from other lawmakers or consultation with industry and interest groups.

"Hopefully there will be a lesson learned that let’s work together to write the bill instead of writing it in private," said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas).

The failure will only complicate the odd-couple partnership between Ryan and Trump. The president may think twice next time about relying on the speaker to lead legislative campaigns. Though Trump signaled his continued support Friday for Ryan to remain in his post, and many lawmakers were standing by his side, finger-pointing over what went wrong is bound to linger.

Ryan could have afforded to lose no more than about 21 Republican votes to reach the 216 needed for passage. Defections were estimated at one point to be 30 or more.

The conservative House Freedom Caucus wanted Trump and Ryan to go further and faster in unwinding Obamacare rules and taxes. Centrist Republicans were worried the GOP plan would leave too many Americans without health insurance.

“Moving from an opposition party to a governing party comes with growing pains and, well, we’re feeling those growing pains today," Ryan said. "We came up short.”

The GOP defeat marked a victory for a broad coalition of patient advocates, physician groups and hospitals, which had mounted an intense and sustained campaign to highlight the damage they said the bill would do to patients' medical care.

Congressional offices reported a huge influx of calls urging a "no" vote on the bill...
More.

So Much Snow in Mammoth Lakes, National Guard Called to Help Remove Snowpack

I love this story.

So much snow, reservoirs spilling over with record water totals, and the state will still say we're in a "drought."

At LAT:



Friday, March 24, 2017

'Spectacular Defeat for Trump'

I'm just reading books. I haven't turned on the TV all day, but saw some news on Twitter.

Of course the New York Times would run with this headline on the GOP healthcare bill, at Memeorandum, "In Spectacular Defeat for Trump, Push to Repeal Health Law Fails."


Christina El Moussa Looks Spectacular in a Bikini

Heh.

Instapundit's posting some Rule 5, "A “REVENGE BODY?” I’ve never really seen the point of that, but whatever. It’s Blog Sweeps Week!"

Also, at People Magazine, "See Christina El Moussa’s cute matching bikini with her daughter Taylor."

And at the Wrap, "‘Flip or Flop’ Star Christina El Moussa Blasted for ‘Completely Inappropriate’ Mother-Daughter Bikini Photo."

It's just a bikini, for crying out loud.

Now, don't get me going about the divorce (that's another story).

Shop Toys and Games

At Amazon, Toys & Games.

And reposting my frontier book links:

See Richard Slotkin, The Fatal Environment: The Myth of the Frontier in the Age of Industrialization, 1800–1890.

Bernard DeVoto, The Course of Empire.

And, Dale L. Morgan, Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West.

Allan Nevins, Frémont: Pathmarker of the West.

More, Robert M. Utley, A Life Wild and Perilous: Mountain Men and the Paths to the Pacific.

Richard White, "It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own": A New History of the American West.

Plus, Anne F. Hyde, Empires, Nations, and Families: A New History of the North American West, 1800-1860.

BONUS: ICYMI, Patricia Nelson Limerick, The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West.

Louis S. Warren, God's Red Son

A brand-new book, out April 4th.

At Amazon, Louis S. Warren, God's Red Son: The Ghost Dance Religion and the Making of Modern America.
In 1890, on Indian reservations across the West, followers of a new religion danced in circles until they collapsed into trances. In an attempt to suppress this new faith, the US Army killed over two hundred Lakota Sioux at Wounded Knee Creek. Louis Warren's God's Red Son offers a startling new view of the religion known as the Ghost Dance, from its origins in the visions of a Northern Paiute named Wovoka to the tragedy in South Dakota. To this day, the Ghost Dance remains widely mischaracterized as a primitive and failed effort by Indian militants to resist American conquest and return to traditional ways. In fact, followers of the Ghost Dance sought to thrive in modern America by working for wages, farming the land, and educating their children, tenets that helped the religion endure for decades after Wounded Knee. God's Red Son powerfully reveals how Ghost Dance teachings helped Indians retain their identity and reshape the modern world.

Motion 103 (VIDEO)

At PuffHo Canada, "M-103: Anti-Islamophobia Motion Easily Passes House of Commons."

Also, from Rex Murphy, at Toronto's National Post, "The anti-Islamophobia motion has passed. And what today has changed for the better?"

And let Faith Goldy tell us all about it:



'Dirty Hippies' No Match for Donald Trump (VIDEO)

At the Rebel, "U.S. grants Keystone XL permit: “Dirty hippies” no match for President Trump."



Why Birmingham's Such a Breeding-Ground for British-Born Terror

Well, all of Britain's gone to hell with jihad.

But see Blazing Cat Fur, "London Attack: Why Has Birmingham Become Such a Breeding Ground for British-Born Terror?"

Judith Matloff, No Friends but the Mountains

An Amazon #1 New Release, Judith Matloff, No Friends but the Mountains: Dispatches from the World's Violent Highlands.

And at the New York Times and Christian Science Monitor:


What's Left of the Communist Left?

Well, the old-line Marxist-Leninists may be out, but Gramscian neo-Marxist post-colonial social justice warriors are still definitely in.

It's a weird paradox, actually, but that's the world we live in.

Read this outstanding review of the scholarly literature on the Russian Revolution, from Sheila Fitzpatrick, at the London Review of Books, "What's Left?"

Under review:


* China Miéville, October: The Story of the Russian Revolution.

* Mark D. Steinberg, The Russian Revolution, 1905-1921.

* S.A. Smith, Russia in Revolution: An Empire in Crisis, 1890 to 1928.

* Sean McMeekin, The Russian Revolution: A New History.

* Tony Brenton, Historically Inevitable?: Turning Points of the Russian Revolution.

Former California Govenor Pete Wilson: No Regrets, No Apologies

He was a man ahead of the times.

Damn right he's got no apologies. He's been freakin' vindicated by events.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Pete Wilson looks back on Proposition 187 and says, heck yeah, he'd support it all over again":

For a time, no California politician was more formidable than Republican Pete Wilson.

Over two decades, the popular former San Diego mayor enjoyed a record of nearly unbroken success, besting Gov. Jerry Brown in 1982 to seize a U.S. Senate seat and toppling San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein eight years later to win the governorship. He served in Sacramento during a time of epic upheaval, staring down a massive budget deficit and a series of biblical natural disasters: drought, earthquakes, fire, floods.

Now, at 83, he is waging what amounts to his final campaign — and certainly his most personal — an effort to shape how he’ll best be recollected.

By most accounts, Wilson was quite successful during eight years as governor, leaving the state in better shape than he found it, though he takes issue with that assessment. “No,” he said, “a hell of a lot better.”

If Wilson is renowned for one thing, however, it is Proposition 187, the controversial ballot measure that sought to stem illegal immigration and address its costs by cutting off state services, including healthcare and public education, to those in the country illegally.

Wilson didn’t draft the measure, nor did he place it on the November 1994 ballot. But he became the foremost champion and central character — or villain — in a narrative that goes something like this:

His reelection apparently doomed, Wilson seized on the provocative initiative and, through a racist campaign, tapped the latent bigotry of Californians to rescue his flailing candidacy, a Pyrrhic victory that has badly damaged Republicans by alienating Latinos in the state and nationwide ever since.

The narrative gained renewed currency with the rise of Donald Trump, fueled by his inflammatory rhetoric toward immigrants — Muslims and Mexicans, in particular — and the wall he promises to throw up along the Southwest border.

(Although he preferred Trump to Democrat Hillary Clinton, Wilson is no great fan of the president. He does, however, see merit in his proposal to wall off the border. “People say, … ‘God, it would cost a fortune,’” Wilson said. “Not nearly as much as failing to build the wall.”)

Setting aside comparisons, there is some truth to the popular account of Wilson’s political comeback.

He started his reelection campaign as a distinct underdog, trailing by as much as 20 points in preference polls. He was helped considerably by his tough-on-immigration stance, which came after years spent hectoring Washington for not securing the country’s borders and foisting billions in costs on states like California.

But Wilson also benefited greatly from his leadership after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake and the wretched campaign run by his Democratic rival, Brown’s sister, Kathleen, which lacked focus and ultimately ran out of cash.

It is also true his tough stance against illegal immigration and, especially, support for Proposition 187 both antagonized and energized a burgeoning Latino population, in California and around the country, abetted by Democrats who knew an opportunity when they saw one.

But Wilson will go to his grave steadfastly denying any racist or malign intent, saying his support for Proposition 187 — most of which was ultimately blocked in the courts — had nothing whatever to do with race or ethnicity.

“It wasn’t scapegoating. What it was doing was laying out the facts of what it was costing state taxpayers for federal failure,” Wilson said in his office high above Century City, where he still maintains an active law practice.

Later, he circled back: “I may have my flaws but racism is not, never has been, never will be, one of them.”

For all his political success, Wilson was no great orator, nor personally charismatic. Rather, his political strength was always as a tactician, far better operating behind the scenes than standing before a TV camera.

Looking back, he dissected the 1994 campaign the way a surgeon might discuss a kidney transplant, his clinical detachment belying not just the fiery emotion surrounding the immigration issue but the hurt he said he has felt ever since...
More.

Myla Dalbesio Wears Nothing But Sand (VIDEO)

Sports Illustrated went all out this year, heh.

Ms Myla's da kine.



Todd Shepard, The Invention of Decolonization

This looks excellent.

Todd Shepard, The Invention of Decolonization: The Algerian War and the Remaking of France.

BONUS: Alistair Horne, A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962.

Talitha L. LeFlouria, Chained in Silence

At Amazon, Talitha L. LeFlouria, Chained in Silence: Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South.

BONUS: Sarah Haley, No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity.

Lauren Southern, Barbarians

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Lauren Southern, Barbarians: How Baby Boomers, Immigrants, and Islam Screwed My Generation.

Elton John's 70th Birthday Celebration Gala (VIDEO)

It's tomorrow night, at the Hammer Museum in Westwood.

From the press release:

ELTON JOHN’S 70TH BIRTHDAY AND HIS 50-YEAR SONGWRITING PARTNERSHIP WITH BERNIE TAUPIN WILL BE CELEBRATED TOMORROW, MARCH 25, 2017, AT A GALA EVENT IN LOS ANGELES

WATCH A SHORT FILM WITH A SELECTION OF HIGHLIGHTS FROM HIS AMAZING CAREER HERE

ROB LOWE WILL SERVE AS HOST

LADY GAGA AND OTHER SURPRISE GUESTS WILL PERFORM AT THE EVENT

THE CELEBRATION WILL BENEFIT THE ELTON JOHN AIDS FOUNDATION AND THE UCLA HAMMER MUSEUM

LOS ANGELES, March 24, 2017 – Tomorrow, March 25, a gala fundraising event celebrating Elton John’s 70th birthday and his 50-year writing partnership with Bernie Taupin will benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and the Hammer Museum at UCLA. Held at Red Studios in Los Angeles, the evening will be hosted by Rob Lowe and will feature a gala dinner and special musical performances by Lady Gaga and other surprise guests.

Watch a short film with a selection of highlights from Elton’s amazing career here https://youtu.be/ngusy7cvA4A

In keeping with Elton's commitment to philanthropy, he is eager to leverage the celebration of his 70th birthday and his amazing songwriting collaboration with Bernie Taupin in order to support two worthy causes that are the driving passions of his life: ending the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, and art in all its many forms. To that end, this event will raise urgently needed money to help fund the grant-making initiatives of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and exhibitions and programs presented by the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

This very special evening will honor the many strands of an unrivalled career and life that still continue to enrich, enthrall, and inspire.  Elton John is a true musical and cultural iconoclast, with a record that speaks for itself. He has achieved worldwide sales of over 250 million records and has 58 Billboard Top 40 singles in the United States. He has written the music for the stage and screen successes Billy Elliot: The Musical, Elton John & Tim Rice's Aida, and Disney's cinematic and theatrical sensation The Lion King. A tireless live performer, Elton has played more than 3,500 concerts in over 80 countries. He has collected 12 Ivor Novello Awards, six GRAMMYS®, two Brits, an Oscar®, and a Tony. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and The Songwriters Hall of Fame, and has received a knighthood from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1998. He is a tireless charitable campaigner and philanthropist, notoriously outspoken for the causes he believes in. Elton John is an undisputed pop culture legend. His knowledge and championing of new music has helped many new artists achieve recognition and success. He is constantly moving forward, never resting on his laurels, never becoming complacent, predictable, or dull.

Of his career with Bernie Taupin, Elton simply says, "It's the same excitement now as when we first started. That this year marks the 50th anniversary of my partnership with Bernie Taupin is mind boggling for me because it seems like only yesterday that I met him. It's an amazing achievement to stay with one person for 50 years on a creative basis, in an industry where that doesn't really happen very much."

On reaching his 70th year, Elton notes, "I'm interested in moving forward all the time, with what I create, my collaborations, and also with discovering the work of other people. I think age is immaterial, provided we keep our minds alive by being open to new things. I can be as excited by a new artist who plays me their demo as I am by a new record of one of my musical heroes. I can be excited by playing a new city I've never played before, or revisiting somewhere I know well and seeing how it's changed. Life is a constant state of flux for us all, and I like to embrace that. I also feel very happy to use my position to bring attention to injustice in the world, and to try to help where I can. At this time in my life I'm the happiest I have ever been."

Bernie Taupin says of Elton, "It's been an unconventional partnership and while we pretty much patented the two-rooms technique I'd venture to say you'd be hard pressed to find a couple of songwriters more in sync with each other and their craft".

See Elton John on tour. Go to www.eltonjohn.com for more information.