Eighteen years ago, Sanford Weill declared the dawn of a new era in banking.More.
Mr. Weill, then chief executive of Travelers Group Inc., had agreed to merge with John Reed’s Citicorp, forging what would become the first financial supermarket to the world.
“Our company will be so diversified and in so many different areas that we will be able to withstand” the inevitable downturns to come, Mr. Weill said in April 1998.
Citigroup Inc., as it was christened, is still intact. But confidence in the model Messrs. Weill and Reed espoused is in decline.
After nearly two decades of breakneck expansion into ever more countries and ever more businesses, global banks are in retreat. For most of them, it is no longer a viable strategy to try to be all things to all customers around the world.
A McKinsey & Co. review of 10 global banks, conducted for The Wall Street Journal, found that those lenders were present on average in 65 countries in 2008. By last year, the average footprint had shrunk to 55 countries. And the McKinsey research doesn’t include Citigroup, which has unveiled plans in recent years to exit retail-banking businesses in at least 20 nations.
The pace has quickened this year. Barclays PLC said it would sell much of its business in Africa, while HSBC Holdings PLC is pulling out of Brazil, one of about 83 businesses around the world it has shed since 2011.
Mr. Weill, who retired as CEO in 2003, still sees value in being global.
“The economy is a global village, and we need global financial institutions that bring it together,” he said in an interview. “What would happen if we had a telecommunications system that was locally based, and couldn’t connect? It wouldn’t be very good.”
That view is now out of favor. Analysts have called for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup to break up, and the issue of whether banks are too big is a recurring topic on the presidential campaign trail.
Pressured by stricter regulations, banks including Citi aren't just shrinking their geographic footprint but also getting out of a range of businesses that require too much capital or make too little money, further eroding the model Mr. Weill helped create.
In Europe, new CEOs at Barclays, Credit Suisse Group AG and Deutsche Bank AG are putting in place restructuring plans that have already been criticized by some investors for not going far enough to slim down the banks.
The expansion of global banks was initially urged on by investors, tempted by the promise of rich returns. Banks built disparate franchises on the basis they could save money by offering a wide number of services. By diversifying, the model offered additional security and the impression that size alone would produce safety.
“The financial crisis laid waste to that theory,” said Fred Cannon, director of research and Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, a boutique investment bank focused on financial companies.
Investors now complain that they can’t get their heads around huge opaque balance sheets. Large cross-border lenders have also been deemed “globally systemic” by regulators and forced to set aside billions of dollars more in capital.
Average precrisis return on equity of 14% has given way to the new normal of about 7% for big global banks.
Investors also worry chief executives can’t control franchises that stretch across multiple countries and business lines.
George Mathewson, who leading up to the crisis helped build Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC into the world’s biggest bank by assets, is among those who now believes the global diversified bank should become extinct...
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
From Robert Spencer, at FrontPage Magazine, "Henceforth only far-Left and pro-jihad views will be allowed."
At ABC 7 News Los Angeles:
I'm back at work tomorrow and Thursday, and then off again starting Friday.
Via CBS News 2 Los Angeles:
BECK SUSPENDED FROM SIRIUSXM AFTER TRUMP CRACKUP... https://t.co/XAPFzVhY9U— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) May 31, 2016
Beck finally weighs in on SiriusXM suspension: https://t.co/pQk0t0um2K— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) May 31, 2016
These are terrible people:
More, Save on Your Favorite Magazines: $5.00 or Less on Selected Bestsellers.
Also, Mac Software: Best Titles for Download.
Plus, SanDisk Extreme 900 Portable SSD 960GB SDSSDEX2-960G-G25.
BONUS: John Guy, Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years.
Here's the boy, Isiah Dickerson, via London's Daily Mail:
This is the four-year-old boy who fell into Harambe's enclosure https://t.co/3iCslqbqSV pic.twitter.com/v1uQOt5wyn— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) May 31, 2016
And probably the best bottom line you're going to get, from USA Today:
And from the Mad Jewess, I don't doubt it: "I could have given the boy a better life than his rotten parents."
And at the Washington Examiner, "Watch: Trump calls ABC reporter 'sleaze'":
Donald Trump on Tuesday pointed to a reporter and called him "a sleaze" at a press conference at Trump Tower in New York.More.
The conference was intended to clear up questions over where Trump had donated money he raised for veterans groups, but it also gave Trump a chance for him to strike at the press, which he repeatedly said should be "ashamed."
"I'm not looking for credit [for the donations] but what I don't want is when I raise millions of dollars, have people say — like this sleazy guy right over here from ABC," Trump said, pointing toward ABC News reporter Tom Llamas. "He's a sleaze in my book."
Llamas asked why Trump called him a sleaze.
"You're a sleaze because you know the facts and you know the facts well," said Trump.
After the confrontation, Llamas wrote on Twitter, "Trump just called me a 'sleaze.' Should be an interesting week."
Llamas took to Twitter to defend himself:
The exchange that led Trump to call me a "sleaze." 👇 pic.twitter.com/dDwsjR4IlF— Tom Llamas (@TomLlamasABC) May 31, 2016
And here's the video:
More at Memeorandum.
BAGHDAD—Iraqi special forces advanced to the edge of Fallujah on Monday but struggled to enter the city, where Iraqi and U.S. officials said Islamic State extremists were amassing civilians to serve as human shields.Continue reading.
The offensive against Fallujah, Islamic State’s second-biggest urban stronghold in Iraq after Mosul, aims to dislodge the Sunni extremists from the Iraqi city they have occupied the longest.
If successful, it could significantly weaken them ahead of an advance on much-larger Mosul, long planned by the government and the U.S.-led coalition supporting its fight against Islamic State.
The Fallujah operation, led so far by Shiite militias and army and police forces, has almost completely cleared the city’s perimeter of Islamic State fighters since it was launched a week ago. But the next, crucial stage of that operation, led by Iraq’s U.S.-trained counterterrorism forces, got off to a fitful start Monday...
Plus, an update, "Iraqi Forces in Fallujah Face Islamic State Counterattacks":
BAGHDAD—Iraqi special forces battling their way into Fallujah faced fierce counterattacks by Islamic State, with commanders of the operation warning that heavily booby-trapped streets in and around the city were hindering the advance.Keep reading.
A day after applauding the beginning of a risky ground assault into the militant-held city, commanders struck a more cautious public tone Tuesday.
The joint-operations center coordinating the government offensive warned about the mines and other explosive devices planted around the city—a tactic commonly used by Islamic State.
The counterattacks took place on Fallujah’s southern edge, Nuaimiya, where counterterrorism forces advanced Monday following a weeklong offensive to surround the city. The U.S.-trained units repelled the two attacks, which included suicide bombers and snipers, said Lt. Gen. Abdelwahab al-Saadi, commander of the operation.
Gen. Saadi said Islamic State was using every possible method it could to slow the government offensive, including flooding farmland.
Fallujah, where aid agencies and Iraqi officials estimate at least 50,000 civilians are trapped, is expected to be a tough and unpredictable urban battleground, even for the elite fighters leading the government push.
While counterterrorism units have battled Islamic State militants inside cities before, including in Ramadi last year, Fallujah is more complicated because of the large numbers of civilians who have been unable or unwilling to flee.
The Sunni city also has long been a stronghold for Sunni extremists, including al Qaeda in Iraq, the predecessor of Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL...
At Egotastic!, "Roosmarijn de Kok Thongtastic tor Victoria's Secret."
Also, from last summer at Sports Illustrated:
"@ignatiusjulius: #SI_Swimsuit: Next up f/t 2016 #SISwim: Casting Calls is Roosmarijn de Kok http://t.co/TRUrhv6BLW pic.twitter.com/jw6NvFTmOn"— Ignatius Jacobs (@ignatiusjulius) July 24, 2015
The YouTube clip is here, "Roos Plays Never Have I Ever - Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Casting 2016."
Monday, May 30, 2016
At the Los Angeles Times, "L.A. gathers for ceremony at National Cemetery, home to '80,000 stories of bravery'":
The weather was warm and sunny with a soft breeze, a perfect day to head to the beach, fire up the grill or hit the outlet sales. But for Rafael Vila, the only destination that made sense Monday was the flag-dappled lawn of Los Angeles National Cemetery.More.
“I don’t know if there’s any place else I’d rather be than honoring people who served,” said Vila, a Vietnam-era Navy veteran from Long Beach. With graves stretching in perfect lines behind him, he said the sacrifice of the military made possible the freedoms Americans love.
“They are the reason people are able to go shopping at the mall today,” Vila said.
Vila and his wife, Angelica, were among hundreds who gathered at the cemetery Monday morning for a ceremony featuring music, prayer, reenactors on horseback and a salute to the Tuskegee Airmen, the all-African American World War II flying squadron that paved the way for military integration. Eight members of the group, including Walter Crenshaw, a 106-year-old believed to be the oldest living Tuskegee Airman, attended and received a standing ovation.
The crowd was enthusiastic, but many said it should have been larger, especially given the number of Americans currently deployed abroad. More than 88,000 veterans and family members are buried on the 114-acre Westwood property, which opened in 1889.
“God bless you for taking the time to be here,” the keynote speaker, retired Army Lt. General Rick Lynch, told the gathering. Lynch, whose four-decade military career included commanding 25,000 in the Iraqi surge, said he starts every morning in prayer for the 153 of his troops killed in that campaign...
That's a lot of veterans buried there, along with family members. And the cemetery's right across the street from the Wilshire Federal Building, where the hard-left anti-American radicals routinely hold protests. The clash of values has never escaped me. Frankly, it's always front and center in my consciousness whenever I'm there. (Remember, from 2014: "Communists, Hamas Solidarity Protesters Demand Israel's Extermination in Los Angeles — #ANSWERLA.")
Watch, at ABC News 10 San Diego, "Marine in defaced veterans mural talks to 10 News: The Marine modeled for the mural 24 years ago and is now working to restore it after it was vandalized."
I'm taking the day off tomorrow as well, to spend with my wife. Back to school on Wednesday and Thursday, and then just one more week until summer vacation. Yay!
Here's Ms. Amber, via CBS News 2 Los Angeles:
More, via CBS News 2 Los Angeles:
At Amazon, Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 8950/90, Special Wet & Dry Edition.
And, Callaway Men's Fusion Pro Golf Glove. Also, Save on Callaway Golf Products.
More, U.S. Polo Assn. Men's Taylor Wingtip Oxford.
BONUS: Bruce Cumings, Origins of the Korean War, Vol. 1: Liberation and the Emergence of Separate Regimes, 1945-1947, and Origins of the Korean War, Vol. 2: The Roaring of the Cataract, 1947-1950.
A great video!
The Angels might not be contending for a playoff spot this year. They're struggling. Hopefully I'll be able to see a lot of Dodgers games then. They definitely have a shot, especially with ace starter Clayton Kershaw.
Here's the Los Angeles Times on last night's come-from-behind win:
Adrian Gonzalez stopped a few feet from first base, turned toward the Dodgers dugout and pumped his fist. With one swing, he had rescued his manager.More.
Standing on the steps in the ninth inning of a 4-2 victory, Dave Roberts saluted his first baseman. He would not wear the weight of a defeat. His team flew to Chicago late Sunday evening with six victories in the last seven games after capturing this series over the Mets.
“These guys are resilient,” Roberts said. “There’s been some adversity earlier. They’re banding together. They’re not letting a lot of things affect them.”
The offense provided a swift answer after a pitching change by Roberts backfired. In the eighth inning of the 51st game of the season, Roberts visited Clayton Kershaw on the mound for the first time in his managerial career. The two men did not have a conversation.
Kershaw fumed into his glove as Roberts informed the umpire about his call to the bullpen. Kershaw clutched the baseball in his left hand, aware that his ownership of the evening would soon end. He looked away from Roberts as he bequeathed control. The Dodgers (27-24) would soon pay for his departure.
With two outs and left-handed hitter Curtis Granderson batting, Roberts took the baseball away from Kershaw, the sport’s finest pitcher. He did not hand it to closer Kenley Jansen, who was warmed up in the bullpen. Roberts chose left-hander Adam Liberatore.
Liberatore surrendered a game-tying triple. The hit diminished the line on Kershaw, who went 72/3 innings, gave up two runs, struck out 10 and walked none. But Mets closer Jeurys Familia stumbled for the second time this weekend in the top of the ninth inning. With the bases loaded, Gonzalez stroked a 99-mph fastball into center field to reclaim the lead.
“There was no emotional letdown,” Gonzalez said...
And here comes David Horowitz for another round, at FrontPage Magazine, "Kristol's Betrayal Gets Serious" (and Big Government, via Memeorandum):
Open borders, Sanctuary Cities, importing unvetted Muslim refugees from the Middle East are but the tip of the iceberg in assessing the threat that the Democratic Party and its candidate (whoever it is) pose to America’s national security. For twenty-three years since the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, the Democratic Party has been the party of appeasement and retreat in the holy war that fanatical Muslims have declared on us. The first bombing of the World Trade Center misfired but still killed 6 people and wounded 1,000 others. Clinton never visited the site while his administration insisted on treating it as a criminal act by individuals who needed to be tried in criminal courts, an attitude that would culminate in Barack Obama’s refusal to recognize that we were in a war at all, and certainly not one with fanatical Muslims. To a man and woman the Democratic Party’s elected officials continue to participate in and support this denial.RTWT at the link.
Following the first World Trade Center bombing, there were three more devastating attacks on American assets by al-Qaeda’s barbarians during the Clinton administration, with no response and no change of mind towards the nature of the threat. There were also massive security breaches, including the theft by Communist China of America’s nuclear arsenal and the publishing of all our hitherto classified data from America’s nuclear weapons tests. Clinton’s leftist Secretary of Energy published the reports for the world to see, as she put it, “to end the bomb-building culture.
Following the 9/11 attacks the Bush administration focused on Afghanistan, which had provided al-Qaeda with a base to attack us, and Iraq, which had violated 16 Security Council resolutions designed to enforce the Gulf War truce, which Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein had repeatedly violated and prevent him from reviving the massive chemical and nuclear weapons programs we had destroyed. In 1998 Saddam threw the U.N. weapons inspectors out of Iraq, a further violation of the Gulf War truce and a clear sign of his determination to revive his weapons programs. Embroiled in the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Clinton fired 451 cruise missiles into Iraq, a pointless response that was correctly seen by critics at the time as an attempt to deflect attention from his appearance before the grand jury looking into his personal disorders.
The Bush administration put 200,000 troops on Iraq’s borders, which prompted Saddam Hussein to re-admit the inspectors, but then to throw obstacles in their path. Bush went before the UN and secured a 17th Security Council resolution, unanimously passed, in the form of an ultimatum to Saddam to destroy any weapons of mass destruction he possessed and provide proof that he had done so. Bush also went to Congress and got an authorization for the use of force from Senate but not House Democrats. The ultimatum date came and went, and to prevent the word of the United States and the commitment of 200,000 troops from meaning nothing, Bush proceeded to invade Iraq. But before he did so he gave Saddam the option to quit the country in which case the invasion would be called off. A simpler measure would have been to assassinate Saddam, since he was the Iraq problem. But thanks to a law passed by the post-Watergate Democrats the CIA is prevented from assassinating foreign leaders, which made the invasion necessary.
Within three months of the invasion, with American troops still in harms’ way. The Democrats who had authorized the use of force and spoken in favor of the removal of Saddam turned against the war and began a five-year campaign to sabotage it. The Democrats reversal – and betrayal of our men and women in arms - was triggered by a presidential primary in which a leftwing candidate, Howard Dean, was running away with the Democratic nomination. This betrayal prevented us from pursuing Saddam’s generals and chemical weapons into Syria, and bringing Assad to heel. Bush managed to rescue the war effort and defeat al-Qaeda on the battlefield through the “surge” that Democrats opposed. But then Obama took charge and implemented, the Democrats’ America-is- guilty platform of appeasement and retreat, creating a power vacuum in Iraq and Syria that ISIS quickly filled. At the same time, the Democrats have systematically taken down our military which is now at its lowest levels since World War II.
This is the issue that defines the coming election. A party in denial about the Muslim holy war against America and its allies, whose basic instinct is to weaken America’s defenses and enable her enemies, is opposed by a party that wants to rebuild America’s strength, secure our borders and put the safety of our people first.
The Kristol attack on the Republican Party and its candidate Donald Trump, is an attack on all Americans, and needs to be seen in that light.
This lady's pretty rad.
Watch, at Playboy, "Pollyanna McIntosh Defines Badassery, Brandishes a Cat-o’-Nine-Tails."
Sunday, May 29, 2016
BONUS: John Toland, The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945.
And at Instapundit, "ANTI-AMERICAN HATE CRIME: Vietnam War Memorial Wall In Venice Tagged With Graffiti."
A great white too. That's major.
At the O.C. Register, "UPDATE: Newport Beach lifeguards spot possible shark bite victim in distress, rescue her."
And at CBS News 2 Los Angeles, "Beach Closed After Alleged Great White Shark Attack."
Tabitha Renee Brubaker Attacks 'Hate Preacher' with Baseball Bat, Arrested for Aggravated Assault (VIDEO)
The ghouls at Raw Story are down with it, via Memeorandum, "Preacher carrying ‘you deserve to be raped’ sign hit over the head by baseball bat-wielding woman."
Basically your free speech ends with an aluminum baseball bat to your head.
Watch, at ABC News 15 Phoenix:
And from KTVK 3 Phoenix, "Young woman accused of attacking self-proclaimed preacher with baseball bat [WARNING: Graphic video]":
PHOENIX (KPHO/KTVK) - Glendale police have arrested a 19-year-old woman suspected of attacking a controversial street preacher with a baseball bat outside Apollo High School.Still more.
Tabitha Renee Brubaker was taken into custody Thursday. She is facing an aggravated assault charge in connection with the April 26 incident.
The sound of a metal bat striking a hard object was captured on cell phone video.
"I was so distraught hearing that, and seeing that that's being posted on my sister," said Kayla Brubaker. "My sister, she's not that type of person."
The victim, Dean Saxton, known as Brother Dean, was using a megaphone to preach his beliefs to kids at the school across the street.
"Many of you Apollo High schoolers are going to hell!" he shouted.
Saxton has made headlines in the past for holding signs that say women who dress immodestly deserve to get raped. During the demonstration at Apollo High, he told gay students they were going to hell and disparaged Muslims as "dirty."
Within minutes, several students and parents approached Saxton and urged him to leave. While speaking with one parent, someone struck him over the head with a bat...
They usually get a pass, but leftist attacks have been increasing, so it's getting harder for MSM outlets to ignore. In this case, the story's getting coverage because progressive media types think the guy deserved it.
Trump won because when a Native American activist (posing as a journalist) declared that "Pocahantas" was "very offensive" as used in regard to Elizabeth Warren -- dishonestly, I might add, as everyone knows the term is used to deny she's an Indian, not to denigrate her as an Indian, and everyone knows this, and only a liar pretends otherwise -- Trump did not begin falling over himself to make apologies and keep the well-wishes of the increasingly unreasonable left-wing hegemony...RTWT.
Ace is great.
There's video at Channel 4 News UK, showing the gorilla becoming riled up, and dragging the boy quite aggressively, if not violently. No doubt this would have been a terrifying experience to watch, not least of all for the parents. Zoo officials must have been horrified not just at the scene, but at the prospect of killing that prized gorilla, a huge silver-back. See, "A gorilla has been shot dead after a boy fell into its zoo enclosure. The 4-year-old is set to make a full recovery."
More, at NYT, "Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla, was killed by Cincinnati Zoo staff after a 4-year-old boy entered his enclosure."
And at the Cincinnati Enquirer, "Cincinnati Zoo's 17-year-old gorilla killed after 3-year-old falls into enclosure," and "Video shows gorilla react when child falls into Cincinnati Zoo enclosure."
Plus, "PETA primatologist says zoo enclosure should have been surrounded by a “secondary barrier”", and "Boy who fell into zoo gorilla exhibit is out of hospital and 'going to be OK'."
1/4 Yet again, captivity has taken an animal's life. The enclosure should have been surrounded by a secondary barrier to prevent this.— PETA (@peta) May 29, 2016
2/4 Gorillas have shown that they can be protective of smaller living beings & react the same way any human would to a child in danger.— PETA (@peta) May 29, 2016
3/4 Even under the "best" circumstances, captivity is never acceptable for gorillas or other primates & in cases like this it's even deadly.— PETA (@peta) May 29, 2016
4/4 This tragedy is exactly why PETA urges families to stay away from any facility that displays animals as sideshows for humans to gawk at.— PETA (@peta) May 29, 2016
Still more, at CNN, "Witness: Gorilla pulled the child's pants up; a woman who filmed video of an incident where a zoo gorilla dragged a child throughout an enclosure speaks to CNN."
Also, Cuisinart CGG-306 Professional Portable Two-Burner Gas Grill.
More, 50-70% Off Calvin Klein.
Plus, from Roger Simon, I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already.
And from Yuval Levin, The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of Individualism.
BONUS: David Kennedy, Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (Oxford History of the United States).
Via ABC News 10 San Diego:
Also, Tools & Home Improvement.
More, Father's Day Gifts in Patio, Lawn & Garden.
Plus, Andrew Roberts, The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War.
And, by A.J.P. Taylor, The Origins of The Second World War.
Still more, from Richard Overy, Why the Allies Won.
BONUS: From John Dower, War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War, and Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II.
Volunteers to Place 1000s of Miniature American Flags Alongside Graves in Memorial Day Tribute (VIDEO)
During his 18 years as president of Lebanon Valley College during the middle of the past century, Clyde Lynch led the tiny Pennsylvania liberal arts institution through the tribulations of the Great Depression and World War II, then raised $550,000 to build a new gymnasium before he died in 1950. In gratitude, college trustees named that new building after him.Wetback? I'd never use that word in class, not even to explain it. It's bad enough I've gotta say the "N-word," even though I'm biracial and have been called a "nigger" many times, especially when I was a kid.
Neither Lynch nor those trustees could have predicted there would come a day when students would demand that his name be stripped from the Lynch Memorial Hall because the word lynch has “racial overtones.” But that day did come.
When playwright Eve Ensler wrote The Vagina Monologues, which premiered in 1996 and has been performed thousands of times by actors, celebrities and college students, she probably did not foresee a day when a performance of her feminist agitprop would be canceled because it was offensive to “women without vaginas.” And yet that day did come—at Mount Holyoke, one of the nation’s premier women’s colleges.Graduates of the Class of 2016 are leaving behind campuses that have become petri dishes of extreme political correctness and heading out into a world without trigger warnings, safe spaces and free speech zones, with no rules forbidding offensive verbal conduct or microaggressions, and where the names of cruel, rapacious capitalists are embossed in brass and granite on buildings across the land. Baby seals during the Canadian hunting season may have a better chance of survival.
Their degrees look the same as ever, but in recent years the programs of study behind them have been altered to reflect the new sensitivities. Books now come with trigger warnings—a concept that originated on the internet to warn people with post-traumatic stress disorder (veterans, child abuse survivors) of content that might “trigger” a past trauma. Columbia’s English majors were opting out of reading Ovid (trigger: sexual assault), and some of their counterparts at Rutgers declined an assignment to study Virginia Woolf (trigger: suicidal ideation).
Political science graduates from Modesto Junior College might have shied away from touching a copy of the U.S. Constitution in public, since a security guard stopped one of them from handing it out because he was not inside a 25-square-foot piece of concrete 30 yards away from the nearest walkway designated as the “free speech zone”—a space that needed to be booked 30 days in advance. Graduates of California public universities found it hard to discuss affirmative action policies, as administrators recently added such talk to a list of “microaggressions”—subtle but offensive comments or actions directed at a minority or other nondominant group that unintentionally reinforce a stereotype.
More than half of America’s colleges and universities now have restrictive speech codes. And, according to a censorship watchdog group, 217 American colleges and universities—including some of the most prestigious—have speech codes that “unambiguously impinge upon free speech.”Judges have interpreted the First Amendment broadly, giving Americans some of the most expansive rights of speech in the world. But over the past two decades, and especially the past few years, American college administrators and many students have sought to confine speech to special zones and agitated for restrictions on language in classrooms as well. To protect undergrads from the discomfort of having to hear disagreeable ideas and opinions, administrators and students—and the U.S. Department of Education—have been reframing speech as “verbal conduct” that potentially violates the civil rights of minorities and women.
American college campuses are starting to resemble George Orwell’s Oceania with its Thought Police, or East Germany under the Stasi. College newspapers have been muzzled and trashed, and students are disciplined or suspended for “hate speech,” while exponentially more are being shamed and silenced on social media by their peers. Professors quake at the possibility of accidentally offending any student and are rethinking syllabi and restricting class discussions to only the most anodyne topics. A Brandeis professor endured a secret administrative investigation for racial harassment after using the word wetback in class while explaining its use as a pejorative...
It's a dangerous academic environment, brought to you not just by extremely powerful civil rights laws and regulations, but by the left's endless search to silence ideological enemies.
More at the link. And see Ed Driscoll:
And note that the author of this piece is Democrat operative with a byline Nina Burleigh, who famously said in 1998, “I would be happy to give him [Clinton] a blow job just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.”
This time around, the theocracy is entirely on your side of the aisle, Nina. But all revolutions eventually devour their own eventually.
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Shameful Obama Panders to Antiwar Pacifism at Hiroshima, Says U.S. Bears 'Responsibility' to 'Curb Such Suffering Again...' (VIDEO)
And note that the Japanese government has no plans to reciprocate Obama's shameful kowtowing. At Politico, "Japanese PM Abe: No plans to go to Pearl Harbor."
More, at LAT, "In historic visit to Hiroshima, Obama calls on the world to morally evolve":
President Obama came face to face with the horror of nuclear war Friday in a somber visit to Hiroshima, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to tour the site of the atomic bombing 71 years ago that killed tens of thousands in an instant and ushered in the nuclear age.More.
In a sweeping address that reflected on the obligations of humankind, Obama wrestled with the inherent contradiction that centuries of technical advancement have both made it easier to bind people together and given them the capacity for the carnage seen in this city. And he confronted the cold reality that his own goal of a world without nuclear firepower remains frustratingly out of reach.
Speaking slowly and solemnly, a tempo that seemed intended to underline his reach for history, the president noted that as battlefield weapons and tactics evolve, accompanying norms about whether to use them advances only in fits and starts.
"Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us," Obama warned. "The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution as well. That is why we come to this place."
Obama did not apologize for the nuclear attacks here and in the city of Nagasaki, strikes he believes ended the perils of Japanese aggression and brought about the end of World War II.
But, as the leader of the only country ever to have deployed nuclear weapons, Obama said it is the duty of those who hold terrible power to accept the consequences of its use.
"We have a shared responsibility to look directly into the eye of history and ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again. Someday the voices of the hibakusha will no longer be with us to bear witness," he said, using the Japanese term for survivors of the nuclear blasts.
The Peace Memorial park he visited Friday afternoon marks the darkest days of Hiroshima, where about 350,000 Japanese civilians and military personnel were living on Aug. 6, 1945, the day the bomb fell...
It makes me sad to be an American with this president in office. We're moral. Japan is not.
Hateful Anti-Israel Thugs Denounce Henry Kissinger, Michael Oren, and Shimon Peres in Toronto (VIDEO)
A majority of U.S. adults – 62% – get news on social media, and 18% do so often, according to a new survey by Pew Research Center, conducted in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. In 2012, based on a slightly different question, 49% of U.S. adults reported seeing news on social media.1Still more.
But which social media sites have the largest portion of users getting news there? How many get news on multiple social media sites? And to what degree are these news consumers seeking online news out versus happening upon it while doing other things?
As part of an ongoing examination of social media and news, Pew Research Center analyzed the scope and characteristics of social media news consumers across nine social networking sites. This study is based on a survey conducted Jan. 12-Feb. 8, 2016, with 4,654 members of Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel.
News plays a varying role across the social networking sites studied.2 Two-thirds of Facebook users (66%) get news on the site, nearly six-in-ten Twitter users (59%) get news on Twitter, and seven-in-ten Reddit users get news on that platform. On Tumblr, the figure sits at 31%, while for the other five social networking sites it is true of only about one-fifth or less of their user bases.
It is also useful to see how, when combined with the sites’ total reach, the proportion of users who gets news on each site translates to U.S. adults overall. Facebook is by far the largest social networking site, reaching 67% of U.S. adults. The two-thirds of Facebook users who get news there, then, amount to 44% of the general population. YouTube has the next greatest reach in terms of general usage, at 48% of U.S. adults. But only about a fifth of its users get news there, which amounts to 10% of the adult population. That puts it on par with Twitter, which has a smaller user base (16% of U.S. adults) but a larger portion getting news there...
Friday, May 27, 2016
The press has done a lousy job of protecting American freedoms in recent years. But I have a modest proposal for improving press performance: Elect a white male Republican.Keep reading.
When Bill Clinton was inaugurated as president, actor Ron Silver, then a Democrat, was there. And when fighter jets flew over the Lincoln Memorial, he was reportedly at first upset at the military symbolism, but then reminded himself that since Democrat Clinton was being sworn in, ”those are our planes now.”
We’re seeing something of a reverse-version of this phenomenon as large swathes of the commentariat realize that we might wind up with a President Trump. Suddenly, sweeping executive power (fine with many under President Obama) is being portrayed as a possible threat to the republic. Which, to be fair, it is. But only now do they care.
At National Review, Charles C.W. Cooke poses this question to folks on the left: “Has Donald Trump’s remarkable rise done anything to change your mind as to the ideal strength of the state?”
A sensible view is that we might not want the government as a whole, and the president in particular, to possess more power in general than we would be willing to allow when our political enemies were in power. Because experience demonstrates that, just as for Ron Silver “their planes” became “our planes” when the White House changed hands, so too “our president” becomes “their president” when it changes in the other direction.
But while that view might be sensible, it doesn’t seem especially common. Though a few people are evenhanded on executive power — law professor John Yoo, for example, who supported sweeping antiterror policies under both President Bush and President Obama — most seem to regard stretched authority as necessary and proper when a president of their party does it, and as an imperial presidency when the other party does.
Here’s a hint: It’s the imperial presidency pretty much all the time.
But it’s nice to see the prospect of a Trump administration reminding folks on the left of this, particularly as the journalist and pundit classes are dominated by lefties. It’s terrible, we’re told, that Trump is issuing veiled threats to journalists — though Obama joked about auditing his enemies, seized journalist phone records and threatened a journalist who refused to reveal sources with imprisonment. Trump would be a warmonger, we’re told, although in fact Barack Obama has been at war longer than any other U.S. president, if without any particular success. Trump would arrogantly ride roughshod over any opposition, though Barack Obama famously used “I won” as an excuse to ignore opponents and bragged that he had a “pen (and) a phone” to bypass congressional disagreement. (And he’s used them a lot.)
Many of the journalists and pundits who see Trump as the next imperial president were silent over these Obama actions. Like Ron Silver with his fighter jets, they saw Obama’s envelope-pushing as fine because it was by their own president...
A lot of my students this semester wrote their papers on President Obama's DAPA (Deferred Action on Parents of Americans) program, in which the White House issued executive orders granting work permits and preventing deportations for at least 4 million undocumented migrants. The case is before the Supreme Court, which is tied 4-4 and likely to uphold the lower court's ruling against the administration (striking down the unilateral executive amnesty). Students to the one supported DAPA and wanted the high court to sustain Obama's executive actions. None of them considered what might happen if the shoe was on the other foot, if a President Trump had the same unchecked executive power on U.S. immigration policy. In theory, a President Trump could use those same sweeping executive powers to reverse Obama's DAPA (and DACA, Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals) and begin rounding up illegal aliens for deportation. Students looked positively glum when I posed that possibility to them. But no one said they didn't want Obama to have those powers. American politics is completely tribalized, all the way down to the low-information (non-voting) students at community college.
But it appears there's more to it, a lot more. Bruisingly more, in fact.
At People Magazine, via Memeorandum, "Amber Heard Accuses Johnny Depp of Domestic Violence with Graphic Photo of Bruise."
And more, at the Daily Beast, "Amber Heard Says Johnny Depp Beat Her. It Will Ruin His Career. Just Kidding!":Amber Heard submitted this photo as evidence for her domestic violence restraining order https://t.co/sA3BZc3D6f pic.twitter.com/VjHxoobna6— People Magazine (@people) May 27, 2016
When you Google the term “actors charged with domestic abuse”—as I did following the TMZ report that actress Amber Heard is seeking a restraining order against Johnny Depp, whom she filed for divorce from after one year of marriage this week—you are greeted with a slideshow of 80 celebrities who have been charged with the crime.Keep reading.
Ten times the number of people who attended my last birthday party.
Half the people who will attend my sister’s wedding.
The number of those celebrities for whom those charges negatively affected their careers? Roughly, zero.
This most casual jaunt of investigative reporting—literally just a Google search—was spawned by TMZ’s scandalous headline reporting that Heard arrived at court Friday for divorce proceedings alleging that Depp physically assaulted her during their short marriage. According to TMZ, she arrived with photographic evidence of bruises she says Depp inflicted. As the celebrity news site writes, “Three days after Depp’s mom died, Amber filed for divorce. And one week after his mom died, she’s claiming domestic violence.”
It’s important to note, I guess, that these are allegations. As we always do, we will wonder whether this is a victimizing cash-grab ploy by the woman. The celebrity couple did not have a prenup and Heard is seeking spousal report, which Depp is asking the judge to reject. Depp is reportedly worth $400 million.
It is also important to note how Hollywood reacts to male celebrities when there are allegations of domestic violence, which is not at all...
And no prenuptial? What's up with that?
Perhaps Edward Scissorhands thought he was really in a storybook wedding?
At Amazon, Camp Chef OS-144 Indoor/Outdoor Movie Screen.
Also, Sunbeam Renue Tension Relief Heating Pad, Brown.
BONUS: From John Dower, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II.
Dr. West is particularly loathsome pick, though, considering his execrable leftist Jew-hating and Israel-bashing. UCLA Professor Judea Pearl excoriated Dr. West for becoming "a leading propagandist for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement."
Here's the background from Jonathan Chait, at the New Yorker, "Why Did Bernie Sanders Put an Obama-Hater on the Democratic Platform Committee?"
Plus, David Horowitz has a chapter outing Dr. West's radical left-wing hatred in his recent book, Radicals: Portraits of a Destructive Passion.
And from the Politico piece linked there:
Over the last several months, POLITICO has interviewed more than two dozen current and former Salon employees and reviewed years of Salon’s SEC filings. On Monday, after POLITICO had made several unsuccessful attempts to interview Salon CEO Cindy Jeffers, the company dropped a bombshell: Jeffers was leaving the company effective immediately in what was described as an “abrupt departure.”Well, they fully and unabashedly embraced their genuine inner leftism. The freakazoid Id of progressivism is what you see, and that's actually the true face of radical progressivism that's infected our politics. It's a pandemic disease and should be eradicated.
While the details of Salon’s enormous management and business challenges dominate the internal discussion at the magazine, in liberal intellectual and media circles it is widely believed that the site has lost its way.
“I remember during the Bush years reading them relatively religiously,” Neera Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress, told POLITICO. “Especially over the last year, they seem to have completely jumped the shark in so many ways. They’ve become — and I think this is sad — they’ve definitely become like a joke, which is terrible for people who care about these progressive institutions.”
So, what happened?
I mean when shrieking psycho-harpy Joan Walsh jumps ship for the Stalin-apologists at Katrina vanden Heuval's The Nation, you know Salon's really circling the drain.
But keep reading.
What a lady.
Watch, at CBS News 2, "Fit Tips on 2: Workouts that can help you get a better night's sleep. Jackie Johnson reports."
PREVIOUSLY: "Here's That Jackie Johnson Fitness Stretching Video You Were All Eagerly Awaiting!"
I literally LOLed when CNN shows Alex Trebek and the "SNL" clip with Will Ferrell and Darrell Hammond (as Sean Connery), "Suck it Trebek!"
Watch, "Buzzy Cohen has an eight-game winning streak going on "Jeopardy!" But his celebrations and taunts to host Alex Trebek have drawn a mixed reaction on the internet."
Hat Tip: Egotastic!, "Kelly Rohrbach Chesty Bikini Photoshoot (And A Link to Her Caught With No Top On)."
41 million Americans served in US military since 1776 meaning 7% have preserved the liberty & freedoms of the other 93 % of us. #MemorialDay— SalenaZito (@SalenaZitoTrib) May 27, 2016
They died protecting you. You owe them a wealth of gratitude, not only for yourself but for your family's future. https://t.co/zr1OUf4flV— SalenaZito (@SalenaZitoTrib) May 27, 2016
There's a lot to question about any war but courage & sacrifice remain virtues Americans still honor in our soldiers https://t.co/zr1OUf4flV— SalenaZito (@SalenaZitoTrib) May 27, 2016
The perfect symmetry of alabaster headstones, majestically holding formation along this national cemetery's pastoral hills, reminds you that our soldiers are sentinels guarding our republic, even in death.
On a sunny spring day, a lone figure held a tiny flag blowing vigorously in the wind as he knelt before a headstone. He held a conversation with a lost service member, perhaps a son or daughter, alternating between amusement and grief.
Taps played from off in the distance.
Only the heartless could fail to be touched by the raw emotion of that moment or by the somber presence of all of these soldiers who died serving our nation through the ages.
Tomorrow is the day that we as a country honor Americans who put their lives and their loves on hold, stepped forward to say “Send me, I will go,” and never came back.
Memorial Day began as Decoration Day immediately following the Civil War to give tribute to the 620,000 soldiers who died in that carnage, according to historian David Pietrusza.
“The ceremonies to mourn the dead on both sides subtly reminded Americans that such a division must never recur,” he said.
Today it honors all fallen American soldiers who risked everything to protect our homeland, our values, our Constitution...
Even far-left NPR is doggin' idiot leftist Katie Couric.
See, "Manipulative Editing Reflects Poorly On Katie Couric, Gun Documentary."
And watch, at Reason TV, "Katie Couric Responds to Deceptive Editing Charges in Gun Documentary."
Thursday, May 26, 2016
At NYT, "Peter Thiel, Tech Billionaire, Reveals Secret War With Gawker":
A billionaire Silicon Valley entrepreneur was outed as being gay by a media organization. His friends suffered at the hands of the same gossip site. Nearly a decade later, the entrepreneur secretly financed a lawsuit to try to put the media company out of business.More.
That is the back story to a legal case that had already grabbed headlines: The wrestler Hulk Hogan sued Gawker Media for invasion of privacy after it published a sex tape, and a Florida jury recently awarded the wrestler, whose real name is Terry Gene Bollea, $140 million.
What the jury did not know — nor the public — was that Mr. Hogan had a secret benefactor paying for the lawsuit, to the tune of about $10 million: Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and one of the earliest investors in Facebook.
A 2007 article published by Gawker, “Peter Thiel is totally gay, people,” and a series of articles about his friends and others that he said “ruined people’s lives for no reason” drove Mr. Thiel to mount a clandestine war against Gawker, funding a team of lawyers to find and help “victims” of the company’s coverage to mount cases against Gawker.
“It’s less about revenge and more about specific deterrence,” he said in his first interview since his identity was revealed. “I saw Gawker pioneer a unique and incredibly damaging way of getting attention by bullying people even when there was no connection with the public interest.”
Mr. Thiel said that Gawker published articles that were “very painful and paralyzing for people who were targeted.” He said, “I thought it was worth fighting back.”
Mr. Thiel added: “I can defend myself. Most of the people they attack are not people in my category. They usually attack less prominent, far less wealthy people that simply can’t defend themselves. He said that “even someone like Terry Bollea who is a millionaire and famous and a successful person didn’t quite have the resources to do this alone.”
Mr. Thiel said that he had decided several years ago to set in motion a plan to secretly fund multiple cases to try to cripple Gawker. “I didn’t really want to do anything,” he said. “I thought it would do more harm to me than good. One of my friends convinced me that if I didn’t do something, nobody would.”
The revelation that Mr. Thiel was covertly backing Mr. Bollea’s case as well as others has raised a series of new questions about the First Amendment as well as about the role of big money in the court system — specifically the emerging field of litigation finance, in which third parties like hedge funds and investment firms pay for other people’s lawsuits.
Roy D. Simon, a professor emeritus of legal ethics at Hofstra University School of Law, suggested that the practice has helped “level the playing field” by providing resources for people to mount cases against big institutions that would be impossible otherwise.
But he said there was a risk when a lawsuit was funded by a single person with a potential agenda. “I am troubled by Thiel,” Professor Simon said. “I guess that one guy is much more likely to have an agenda driven by revenge or personal dislike or wanting to prove a point.”
But other legal experts said that the mere fact of Mr. Thiel’s involvement did not change the case. And while there is no legal requirement that underwriters like Mr. Thiel reveal their involvement to the opposing side or the jury, it is considered fair game for lawyers to ask questions about financial backing — something that Gawker Media did on Wednesday in court as part of its efforts to overturn the Hogan judgment...
Plus, "Florida Judge Denies Gawker's Motion for New Trial in Hulk Hogan Case."
And still more, from Michelle Malkin:
Flashback to celebrate denial of Gawker retrial: Thnx, Hulk Hogan! Gawker Smear Machine Gets What It Deserves==> https://t.co/CxT7ExX7xG— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) May 25, 2016
Thiel's a Trump supporter, heh:
The only living Trump supporter in Silicon Valley | John Naughton https://t.co/gHAMwwOpXw— The Guardian (@guardian) May 22, 2016
And at Vogue Australia:
BONUS: At the Independent UK, "Game of Thrones season 6 episode 4: Emilia Clarke on Daenerys' nude scene - 'It ain't no body double."
And at CBS News 2 Los Angeles:
Mother of Second DePaul Protester is Juanita Johnson, Who Serves as Chicago Police Department's Director of Administration
At Big Government, via Instapundit, "CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Meet Kayla Johnson, The DePaul Protester Who Took a Swing at Milo":
The second lead protester at last night’s event at DePaul University has been identified as Kayla Johnson, the daughter of Juanita Johnson, who serves as the Chicago Police Department’s Director of Administration.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Hillary Clinton has said for more than a year that her use of a private email server as Secretary of State violated no federal rules and posed no security risk. Only the gullible believed that, and now everyone has proof of her deceptions in a scathing report from State Department Inspector General Steve Linick.Still more.
The report obtained by news outlets Wednesday is ostensibly an audit of the email practices of five secretaries of State. But the majority of the report, and the most withering criticism, focuses on Mrs. Clinton. The IG concludes that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee broke federal record-keeping rules, never received permission for her off-grid server, ignored security concerns raised by other officials, and employed a staff that flouted the rules with the same disdain she did.
“Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary,” says the report. “At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.”
State still has never received emails from her private account for the first six weeks after she became Secretary, and the IG notes that it found (by other means) business-related emails that Mrs. Clinton did not include among the emails she has turned over.
The report says she has also stonewalled requests to obtain her server. And “through her counsel, Secretary Clinton declined [the IG’s] request for an interview.” Former Secretaries Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and current Secretary John Kerry all sat for interviews.
Mrs. Clinton’s staff abetted her bad practices. The report says the IG “learned of extensive use of personal email accounts by four immediate staff members (none of whom responded to the questionnaire). . . . The material consists of nearly 72,000 pages in hard copy and more than 7.5 gigabytes of electronic data. One of the staff submitted 9,585 emails spanning January 22, 2009 to February 24, 2013, averaging 9 emails per workday sent on a personal email account.”
The IG—who had better hire a food-taster—also found that Mrs. Clinton neither sought nor received permission for her private communications. The former Secretary also understood the security risks this posed because she was warned several times...
And at WaPo, via Memeorandum, "State Dept. inspector general report sharply criticizes Clinton's email practices."
At AoSHQ, "Is It Getting To Be About the Time When the #NeverTrumpers Should Go Radio Silent?":
When I flipped to hardcore anti-Trump myself a few months back, it was due to Trump's horrifying poll numbers and the grim probability he'd lose and we'd get 3-5 liberal justices. Enough to seal the Republic's fate.
Well, flash forward two months, and Trump isn't doing too badly in the polls. He might even have a decent shot at winning. [And] yet the "Principled Conservatives" who ought to be the most concerned about gifting the Supreme Court to the liberals for the next sixty years are blowing the subject off like it's just a big lark.
Please explain to me the continuing hardcore commitment to #NeverTrump.
1. Disliking the fact that the Upper Middle College Educated Class controlled the party for decades, and made a sport of ignoring the Working Class, but now the Working Class has reasserted itself and taken over and the members of the displaced Upper Middle College Educated Class just can't stand not being in a poll position any longer?
2. Showing off to one's liberal comrades that one isn't One Of That Kind of Conservative? That is, Virtue Signalling?
3. Attempting to save one's professional reputation? I get this one myself -- someone asked me why I was so anti-Trump, and I said the man was so vulgar, stupid, and crass that he made it necessary to oppose him simply to preserve one's professional standing.
So I get that idea. I get that idea an awful lot.
But we happen to be talking about the Republic at this point.
One of two people will be president in January -- Hillary Rodham Clinton, a sociopath who was a corrupt politician even before she entered politics (remember Whitewater? Her $100,000 cattles future trading) or Donald Trump.
What is the fear, here? That Donald Trump might be nearly as bad as Hillary Clinton certainly will be?
Name one issue on which Hillary Clinton is superior to Trump. The most I ever here is "We don't know what Trump will do, he could be just as bad as Hillary."
Oh? He could be that bad?
Look, Drew asked a while ago: What makes obviously liberal-cultural-values Republicans actually Republicans, apart from habit?
Maybe it's time for the great re-sorting to begin. It's time for actual Democrats, who are most comfortable with Democrats, and feel the most affinity for Democrats, to make their party allegiance official and simply declare for Hillary Clinton and join the Democratic Party.
Because I cannot see any "conservative" continuing to say "Oh yeah, I want to expand Dear Colleague directives to college and put more men in kangaroo court trials for hoax rapes just to show those Trump people how little I think of their ilk."
You don't have to get on Team Trump, and you don't have to love him. Trump did not suddenly become well-informed or virtuous simply because he won the nomination.
However, at the moment, he is the only plausible tool by which we can prevent President Hillary Clinton, and if that isn't enough to at least get you to bite your tongue or find some other interest (politics isn't especially interesting, you know; there are a thousand fields more interesting and rewarding), then you're not merely #NeverTrump, you're closer to #NeverReallyAConservative.
Believe me, if Trump tanks in the polls, or if some really terrible info comes out about him (which I think is fairly likely), I'll be the first guy explaining to the Trumpheads why we must pull the bathtub drain on Trump to save the Republic.
But we're not at that moment.
And at Reason, "Milo Yiannopoulos Assaulted by Crazy Student Protesters at DePaul, Cops Do Nothing" (via Memeorandum).
And more, via Twitter:
Holtschneider expresses disagreement with Milo Yiannopoulos, apologizes to College Republicans. https://t.co/g4qJS2ADo4— Kirsten Onsgard (@KirstenOnsgard) May 25, 2016
In 2012, the mountaineer Ralf Dujmovits captured a now-iconic photo of dozens of climbers ascending Everest in a virtual conga line. Ten people would die that year under clear skies, most because the large crowds meant that climbers were stuck in the high-altitude, low-oxygen “death zone” below the summit while waiting to ascend or descend. If a climber spends too much time there, the chances of succumbing to a fatal version of altitude sickness increases substantially. That appears to be what happened to at least three of the climbers who’ve died over the last several days.Well, maybe leftist virtue-signalling has something to do with it.
At WaPo, "Woman trying to prove ‘vegans can do anything’ among four dead on Mount Everest."