Monday, August 21, 2017

Margaret George, The Confessions of Young Nero

This book's enthusiastically blurbed on the jacket, including an effusive plug from Steven Saylor, author of Roma.

At Amazon, Margaret George, The Confessions of Young Nero.

Evelyn Taft's Warm-up Forecast

Well, we keep hearing it's going to warm up, but it's been so mild this summer it's crazy. I guess I shouldn't complain. No doubt we'll get a nasty intolerable heat wave in September, and I've got to be teaching. Sometimes the air conditioning in the classrooms isn't so great. You can't set the thermostat. So, students open the windows and that makes it worse by the afternoon.

In any case, school starts next Monday. I'm enjoying my last week of lollygagging, lol.

Here's the lovely Ms. Evelyn, for KCAL 9 News Los Angeles:

Victor Davis Hanson, A War Like No Other


At Amazon, Victor Davis Hanson, A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War.

Steven Pressfield, Tides of War

At Amazon, Steven Pressfield, Tides of War: A Novel of Alcibiades and the Peloponnesian War.

Radical Leftists Are Never Considered 'Fringe'

Here's this, at the far-left NYT (safe link), "The Showdown Over How We Define Fringe Views in America":
Today in the United States, sweeping majorities of the public say they support fair housing laws and the ideal of integrated schools. Nine in 10 say they would back a black candidate for president from their own party, and the same say they approve of marriage between blacks and whites. That last issue has undergone one of the greatest transformations in polling over the last 50 years. In 1960, just 4 percent of Americans approved.

More than a triumph over private prejudice, these numbers reflect changing social norms. The country hasn’t extinguished racism. But society — universities, employers, cultural institutions, the military — has made clearer over time that people who hold racist views had better nurse them off in the corner.

But these norms may be fraying. Since the last presidential election, and particularly since white supremacists rallied this month, unmasked, in Charlottesville, Va., the line between acceptable and ostracized views has started to become less stark. When President Trump declined to condemn white supremacists more forcefully, he ignited a fight that at its core is about how we define norms in America: Who gets to be part of civil society, and whose views belong on the fringe?

That fight is being waged by opposing protesters across the country and by pundits daily on TV. The president’s critics fear that he is inviting white supremacists out of the corner, helping ideas that have become widely reviled in America to be redefined as reasonable opinions — just part of the discussion.

“They are explicitly trying to do that,” Tina Fetner, a sociologist at McMaster University in Ontario, said of members of white supremacist groups. Until recently, they were ignored. But now the president is repeating their memes and the distorted versions of history that prop up their views, she said. As a result, the news media is broadly covering them, too.

“This is exactly the process of how social change happens,” Ms. Fetner said. “It’s not because all of a sudden there is more racism now than there was a few weeks ago. It’s that the absolute condemnation of those most abhorrent views is crumbling away because the president isn’t fulfilling that role.”

Ms. Fetner has studied the transformation in views on gay rights and same-sex marriage. The shifts around race and gender similarly reflect not just widening acceptance of equality, but also the rising condemnation of anyone who vocally opposes it.

Polls don’t necessarily capture how people truly feel; they capture what people are willing to say to a pollster. But the idea that some people might lie in surveys illustrates how social norms work. And political scientists suspect that part of what Mr. Trump has done, through his anti-immigrant and nativist appeals, is encourage people who might have kept silent in the past about their racist views to express them in public.

“For all these years, this is a group of people that’s been very bitter about the fact that they feel like they can’t speak,” said Sarah Sobieraj, a sociologist at Tufts. “It’s not just that their policies haven’t been popular.” And then Mr. Trump says similar things, with a powerful platform, without apology.

When norms of acceptable behavior and speech start to shift, it can disturb the shared beliefs, values and symbols that make up our culture. “It’s really all of those things that we’re watching right now — they’re all up for discussion,” Ms. Sobieraj said...
This, of course, is all B.S., because it's only the alleged "alt-right" whose views are considered "fringe" and unacceptable. You never get wall-to-wall coverage of major stories like just last week when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's son stated that radical leftists are the far bigger threat today. (See the Times of Israel, "Yair Netanyahu says leftists more dangerous than neo-Nazis.")

As I've said for years, the Democrats' motto is "no enemies on the left," and that motto is now the default position of all the major actors of the institutional left. See John Fund, at NRO (via Memeorandum), "‘No Enemies on the Left’ Is Still the Mantra of Too Many Liberals."

I haven't been following politics, or blogging politics, all that much this last couple of weeks. And you can see why. We're in the middle of an all-out war on the Trump administration and his supporters, and there's no depth the leftist mass media won't sink in its campaign against truth and decency.

Radical leftists are the real threat to American freedom, prosperity, and security. And to defeat the radical left, you have to defeat all the institutions of cultural, economic, and political domination now working against traditional America. It's a cold civil war at this point, but that's just temporary. Regular folks will only take so much before they put up a fight. And as the radical left is never satisfied (as evidenced by the current leftist campaign to remove Confederate statues from the public sphere across the country), there comes a time when you have to stand up and be held to account for your values.

That's where we are today in America. There will be blood.

Faith Goldy's Statement on #Charlottesville (VIDEO)

It turns out she made a final video at the Rebel before leaving the outlet.

Following-up, "So, the Rebel Media's Having Some Problems..."

So, the Rebel Media's Having Some Problems...

Following-up from the other day, "Faith Goldy Fired from Rebel Media."

I just saw this Reuters piece, linked at Mediagazer, "Canada's conservative Rebel Media site down after service cut." And reading it I find that, in addition to Goldy, "Several other contributors have left the online publication over the past week and some prominent conservative Canada politicians have also sought to distance themselves from the site .... The defections include co-founder Brian Lilley, who according to the Globe and Media was uncomfortable with the site's increasing harsh tone and growing association with the likes of white nationalist Richard Spencer."

Oh, ahem, that's pretty major.

So, googling around I see this piece at the Daily Caller, "Rebel Media Implodes" (safe link):
It’s chaos this week at Rebel Media, one of the few conservative media resources available in Canada.

In the last week, the news service has lost at least four employees to resignation and another to a firing while Rebel founder and editor-in-chief Ezra Levant now says he is being blackmailed over alleged misuse of fundraising dollars.

And forget the November cruise where Levant promised up close and personal interaction between Rebel personalities and supporters. Norwegian Cruise Lines is no longer sponsoring the Caribbean voyage, citing the Rebel’s politics being “inconsistent” with their own vision of the world.

New Canadian Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer cancelled a Friday interview with the Rebel, citing in a statement the need to change the “editorial directions” of the news service.

The cancellation just the latest in a series of corporate rebuffs that have hurt Rebel Media’s advertising base.

The trouble all started last weekend when headline reporter Faith Goldy — fired on Thursday — was covering the Charlottesville protest. Her on-scene commentary was perceived as favorable to the white supremacists that leadership candidates in the newly-minted United Conservative Party of Alberta began to complain and insist that the party distance itself from The Rebel.

Levant sent a memo to supporters — and obtained by The Daily Caller — on Tuesday that disaowed any support for the alt-right; but it was not enough to satisfy malcontents within the organization.

Co-founder and commentator Brain Lilley quit on Wednesday. That resignation was followed by the departures of contributors Barbara Kay and John Robson.

Levant announced Thursday that provocative right-wing commentator Gavin McInnes had also left the company.

Now Levant says he is being blackmailed by former British contributor Caolan Robertson, who released a video on Thursday on YouTube that alleges Rebel Media has been conducting dishonest fundraising campaigns for the express purposes of raising money for the organization and increasing into database...

And see Ezra Levant himself, at the Rebel, "Blackmail: Setting the record straight."

It's hard out there.

Pamela Geller Banned (Then Restored) by PayPal

If anyone knows it's a multi-front war over the battlespace, it's Pamela.


Norman Mailer, The Naked and the Dead

At Amazon, Norman Mailer, The Naked and the Dead (50th Anniversary Edition).

What #PresidentTrump Gets Right About #NATO

This is great!

From Professor Michael Mandelbaum, at Foreign Affairs, "Pay Up, Europe":
Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, has a point about Europe and NATO. In May, in a speech at the alliance’s headquarters, in Brussels, he told his fellow leaders that “NATO members must finally contribute their fair share.” In July, he repeated the warning in Warsaw. “Europe must do more,” he said.

European leaders may find these demands grating, especially given Trump’s unpopularity among their constituents, but they should heed them. In recent years, Europe has become a dangerous place. In search of domestic support, Russian President Vladimir Putin has turned to aggression abroad, invading Ukraine and intervening in Syria. Since any one military adventure can provide only a temporary popularity boost, Putin will always need new victims. That makes him an ongoing threat. Just when NATO has once again become necessary for Europe’s security, however, Trump’s election has thrown the future of the U.S. role in the alliance into doubt.

For these reasons, Trump is right: to strengthen NATO and encourage the United States to continue its commitment to European security, the alliance’s European members should contribute more. Just as important for European and Western security, however, is for the United States to lead other multilateral initiatives to defend the interests and values that North America and Europe have in common. Without that leadership, Europe—and the rest of the world—will be a harsher place.


For the two and a half decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the word that candidate Trump used to describe NATO—“obsolete”—was largely accurate. It no longer is. In 2014, Russia put an end to the post–Cold War European peace. It invaded Ukraine, backed pro-Russian politicians in eastern European countries, and has since meddled in elections in the United States and France. This renewed aggression stems from Putin’s need for public support to sustain the kleptocracy over which he presides. During his first two terms as president, from 2000 to 2008, the skyrocketing price of oil, Russia’s largest export, allowed Putin to buy popularity. But in 2014, two years after he returned to the presidency, the price of oil collapsed. He was forced to turn to the only other reliable source of support at his disposal: aggressive nationalism. That year, in response to a popular uprising in Ukraine, known as the Euromaidan revolution, that deposed the corrupt, pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, Putin launched an invasion, initially disguised as a spontaneous reaction by local forces. Russian troops seized the Crimean Peninsula and began a campaign to support pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s eastern provinces.

Putin claimed that Russia’s actions were necessary because the Euromaidan revolution stemmed from a Western plot to isolate, humiliate, and ultimately destroy Russia. The Russian public largely believed him. His approval ratings rose sharply, and then got a further boost from his intervention in the Syrian civil war on the side of the brutal dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Although Putin and his regime bear the primary responsibility for the return of war to Europe, the West, particularly the United States, has unintentionally helped bring about this dangerous state of affairs. In the 1990s, NATO expanded eastward, against the wishes of Russians across the political spectrum, even those favorably disposed to the West, and in spite of earlier assurances by Western leaders to their Soviet and, later, Russian counterparts that no such expansion would occur.

The West also pursued other policies to which Russia objected in vain, including the U.S.-led wars in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Iraq and the unilateral U.S. withdrawal in 2002 from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, an agreement that had restricted the number of missile defense systems the Soviet Union and the United States could build. Together, these initiatives created a constituency for Putin’s claim, used to justify his aggressive foreign policies, that the West was pursuing an anti-Russian campaign that he was acting to thwart.

Whereas NATO expansion mobilized Russia, it tranquilized the West. To gain domestic acceptance of the policy, Western governments portrayed it as a harmless gesture of goodwill made by an organization that was transforming itself from a defensive multinational army into a benign club of democracies. Expansion, its sponsors claimed, would require no exertion or expense on the part of current NATO members. Nor would Russia object to it, they added, in spite of considerable evidence to the contrary. These false claims have left the ultimate arbiters of NATO’s fate—the voters of the alliance’s member countries—unprepared for the renewed threat in Europe and the need for increased efforts to meet it...
Keep reading.

Demonstrators in Laguna Beach Decry Racism (VIDEO)

Normally, I'd go down to these local protests and take photos for my blog. But I quit covering these things after radical leftists physically attacked me in Anaheim a few years back. Unless I have my own posse as a security detail, I can't attend. It's too dangerous (and I'm too well-known, and thus targeted).

In any case, at LAT (FWIW), "Counter-protesters swarm rally against illegal immigration in Laguna Beach":

With protesters and counter-protesters facing off in tense confrontations across the country this weekend in the wake of the deadly clash in Charlottesville, Va., activists in Orange County wanted to try something different.

An “America First!” rally against illegal immigration was scheduled for Sunday evening. Counter-protesters, including the city’s mayor, staged their own protest but scheduled it a day earlier.

“As we’re constantly reminded to act and not react, we’re also reminded not to serve the racists’ purpose and provide them with a platform to spread their hatred,” organizers of the Saturday event wrote on Facebook.

To the several hundred protesters who showed up Saturday, Laguna Beach Mayor Toni Iseman said: “Tell your friends that being here today means you won’t be dancing with the bad guys tomorrow.”

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“They want a fight; we’re not going to engage,” Iseman said.

Still, hundreds of counter-protesters showed up anyway at the “America First!” rally Sunday evening. A police spokesman estimated the crowd of protesters and counter-protesters grew to about 2,500 — only a few dozen in that crowd were there for the “America First!” rally, billed as a vigil for victims of crimes committed by immigrants in the U.S. illegally.

The protests remained largely peaceful, if tense and loud, for much of the evening. As of 8:30 p.m., police had made two arrests; one counter-protester was arrested after shoving a Trump supporter, another for disturbing the peace with a knife. It was not immediately clear which side the person with a knife was protesting.

Shortly before 9:30 p.m., as the protests wound down, police escorted the “America First!” group out of the area. Police declared the event an unlawful assembly and ordered the crowd to disperse.

Crowds started gathering hours before the planned protest. The modest cluster of anti-immigration demonstrators met in a circle on the beach, separated by the boardwalk and a phalanx of police officers in riot gear and on horseback from hundreds of counter-protesters chanting and drumming from the other side. Some yelled insults between the officers’ legs.

Waving signs that read “Curb your Nazism,” protesters on one side shouted, “Immigrants welcome here” and “Hey hey, ho ho, white supremacy’s got to go.”

"It's ridiculous. I don't understand this. They're the ones with all the hate," said Jesse Hernandez, who was attending the “America First!” rally. “It's just a vigil of patriots that recognize what illegal immigration has done to some Americans."

One of his fellow “America First!” protesters yelled, "We're not Nazis!" and said what upsets him the most is that people don't understand the difference between people like him and extremists. "There are no Nazis here," he said, shaking his head.

About 200 officers from Laguna Beach, Anaheim, Newport Beach and Irvine were at the rally to try to ensure that the protests would not erupt in violence. Orange County sheriff’s deputies on horseback were also separating the crowds.

Laguna Beach police spokesman Jim Cota said authorities strategized to spread protesters along the length of the beach rather than have them build toward the waterfront...

Jennifer Delacruz Enjoying Summer

Following-up, "Jennifer Delacruz's Monday Forecast."

Well, since I've been lagging on my Ms. Jennifer blogging, here's a selfie from her weekend recreation activities. What a lady!

Jennifer Delacruz's Monday Forecast

ABC 10 San Diego uploads these weather videos quite late, otherwise I'd be posting my lovely Ms. Jennifer in the evenings.

No matter. She's the best!

Still quite mild this August, although it should clear up later today enough to view the eclipse.

Bonnie Rochman, The Gene Machine

Following-up, "The Disturbing, Eugenics-Like Reality Unfolding in Iceland."

At Amazon, Bonnie Rochman, The Gene Machine: How Genetic Technologies Are Changing the Way We Have Kids--and the Kids We Have.

The Disturbing, Eugenics-Like Reality Unfolding in Iceland

At Quartz:
Recently, a CBS news crew traveled to Iceland, producing a report titled “Inside the country where Down syndrome is disappearing.” As much as it sounds like it, the headline is not clickbait or hyperbole: In Iceland, nearly every women who undergoes prenatal testing and whose fetus receives a diagnosis of Down syndrome decides to end her pregnancy. Each year, according to their sources, only a child or two is born with Down syndrome in Iceland.

Up to 85% of pregnant women in Iceland choose to take prenatal testing. The specific test in question, which CBS calls the “combination test,” takes into account ultrasound images, a blood draw, and a mother’s age to determine the likelihood that a fetus has Down syndrome. (Older mothers are more likely to have babies with Down syndrome because chromosomal errors are more likely as women age.)

In essence, pregnant women in Iceland—and presumably their partners—are saying that life with disability is not worth living. It is one thing to decide that a child who will never walk, talk, feed herself, or engage with caregivers may not have a good quality of life. But children with Down syndrome do not fit this description. If a woman doesn’t want to have a child with Down syndrome, their bar for what qualifies as a life worth living is set quite high. Are babies who are born deaf destined to lead a worthwhile life? What about babies with cleft palates, which can be corrected but leave a visible scar?

Here’s the interesting thing: Down syndrome, or Trisomy 21 as it is also called, is actually one of the less severe chromosomal conditions. Unlike many other trisomies (genetic conditions in which a person has three copies of a chromosome instead of the standard two), it’s compatible with life.

People with Down syndrome have an extra copy of their 21st chromosome, which causes intellectual delays and readily identifiable facial features such as almond-shaped eyes. But the way that Down syndrome expresses itself in an individual can be highly variable. About half of babies born with Down syndrome have heart defects that require surgical correction. Some children with Down syndrome grow up to be adults who go to college and get married; others never live independently...

Philippa Gregory, The Other Boleyn Girl

At Amazon, Philippa Gregory, The Other Boleyn Girl.

Alison Weir, The Six Wives of Henry VIII

At Amazon, Alison Weir, The Six Wives of Henry VIII.

Alison Weir, The Life of Elizabeth


At Amazon, Alison Weir, The Life of Elizabeth.

G.J. Meyer, The Tudors


G.J. Meyer, The Tudors: The Complete Story of England's Most Notorious Dynasty.

Female Trump Voters Defend President Trump's #Charlottesville Response (VIDEO)

NYT had this last week, "Deal Breaker for Trump’s Supporters? Nope."


And watch, at CBS News This Morning:

Enough is Enough: President Trump's a Threat to Our Democratic Institutions

And to think, I still subscribe to this rag of a paper. Don't ask why. I mostly just read the sports and entertainment pages nowadays. I'll blog the occasional front-page story as well. But you can see my exasperation.

From the idiot editors at LAT, "Enough is Enough." (They've been running a year-long series of editorial arguing the president's not fit for office. Yeah, we have the First Amendment, but it's still treasonous. The leftist media's been mounting an attempted coup.)

MiniJello in Instagram

Here, "MiniJello is a student at the University of Delaware and her boobs are so big that she has garnered almost 100 thousand followers on Instagram!"

She' seen taking a selfie with Bill Murray, who is a cool guy, lol.

Helen Hunt Bikini on the Beach

At Taxi Driver, "Helen Hunt in Bikini While Changing on the Beach."

10 Sailors Missing as USS John S. McCain Crashes Into Oil Tanker East of Singapore (VIDEO)

At the official Pacific Fleet Headlines, "USS John S. McCain collides with merchant ship near Strait of Malacca" (via Memeorandum).

"10 sailors missing" likely means "10 sailors trapped below the water line and presumed dead," but I'll update. Either way, it's unconscionable. This is like Groundhog's Day for the Navy. It's unacceptable.

University of Texas Removes Confederate Statues

The Austin campus is the flagship of the UT system. Authorities swept down in the cover of night to seize the statues from history.

At the Texas Tribune, via Memeorandum, "UT-Austin removes Confederate statues in the middle of the night."

And at USA Today, "University of Texas removes Confederate statues from campus."

Steven Ozment, A Mighty Fortress

At Amazon, Steven Ozment, A Mighty Fortress: A New History of the German People.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Gareth Sampson, Rome Spreads Her Wings

At Amazon, Gareth Sampson, Rome Spreads Her Wings: Territorial Expansion Between the Punic Wars.

Guy de la Bédoyère, Praetorian


At Amazon, Guy de la Bédoyère, Praetorian: The Rise and Fall of Rome's Imperial Bodyguard.

Big Sur by Alice Hawkins VIDEO)

"Follow Highway 1 as it traces the edge of the West Coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco – the Santa Lucia mountains rising out of dense redwood forests on one side, the Pacific Ocean crashing against the craggy shore on the other – and you will find Big Sur, where a thousand-strong community lives scattered across the landscape..."

For Love Magazine:

Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

At Amazon, Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon.

Robert Tombs, The English and Their History


I'm lining up some books on British history. Like Rome, it's a big subject. Besides the general history book here or there, I'll start with the Tudors and work back and forth.

For now, though, check out Robert Tombs, at Amazon, The English and Their History.

Americans Don't Trust the Media, and for Good Reason

From Sharyl Attkisson, at the Hill:
Trust in the mass media is at an all-time low. Two-thirds of Americans believe the mainstream press publishes fake news.

Yes, there’s still much good journalism to be found, if you know where to look. Yet, ask reporters who’ve been around a while,  and many will tell you that a lot of good journalism is being left unpublished. Good journalists hate what’s happening to the news.

We have only ourselves to blame...

David Mattingly, An Imperial Possession

At Amazon, David Mattingly, An Imperial Possession: Britain in the Roman Empire.

The Left Normalizing Police Hatred (VIDEO)

It's Tomi Lahren.

Look for her to get a gig at Fox News in no time, thanks to Sean Hannity's promotion especially.

Robin Fleming, Britain After Rome

At Amazon, Robin Fleming, Britain After Rome: The Fall and Rise, 400 to 1070.

Dodgers Acquire Curtis Granderson

So I saw Curtis Granderson featured at the Dodgers' Twitter feed, and I thought "Why's he putting on a Dodger jersey? Must be doing cross-team MLB promotions, or something." Then I thought, "Wait, the Dodgers traded for Curtis Granderson?" And I googled it. Yep, they snagged the dude from the Mets. Granderson's got tremendous energy and charisma. I've seen him play clutch baseball here and there, but I've never really followed his game closely. His acquisition by the Dodgers illustrates the team's intent to win the World Series, and of course Granderson's totally stoked.

Here's Bill Plaschke, at LAT, "The Dodgers' front office swings for the fences with acquisition of Curtis Granderson":

It happened again. They did it again.

Late innings, out of nowhere, a screaming line drive, a sprint toward home, dust flies, fans gasp, victory appears.

It happened again. The Dodgers’ front office did it again.

The magic of this wondrous baseball team is nearly being matched, walk-off for walk-off, by the magic of the guys who have assembled it. Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi went deep in extra innings for the second time in less than three weeks Friday night, picking up October-honed outfielder Curtis Granderson from the New York Mets for virtually nothing, and now can there be any question?

In their third season here, Friedman and Zaidi understand Dodgers fans’ anguish. They connect with their desperation. They share their hope. They get it, and they’re going for it.

Even with the team steamrollering to what might be the best regular-season record in baseball history, possibly breaking the fabled 116-victory mark, Friedman and Zaidi are still shaking things up, adding a veteran left-handed hitter, sending down former top prospect Joc Pederson, emphasizing that their only goal is one shared by anyone who has spent the last 29 years going out of their blue minds.

“We’ll take the 11 wins in October over the 116 wins in the regular season any day,” Zaidi, the team’s general manager, said in a phone interview.

Remember when everyone was worried that they were satisfied with building for the future at the expense of today? About five minutes before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline, with nothing big happening, folks everywhere were beginning to gripe about two guys who cared more about the process than the present.

Then, boom, they walked it off with the deal for starting pitcher Yu Darvish, who has done just enough to help the team win all three of his starts. And now, wham, they have walked it off again by acquiring Granderson, a great clubhouse guy who has 18 home runs since May 1, who can still work up some serious exit velocity against right-handed pitching, and who has played in a dozen postseason series, including two World Series.

He is a big-swinging starting outfielder against right-handers. He is invaluable bench depth on other days. He is 36, he has seen it all, he batted .389 against the Dodgers in a 2015 division series, hit three homers in the 2015 World Series, and becomes yet another gleaming chess piece that can shine under the lights.

“He has the kind of grinding mentality that plays in October,” Zaidi said...

Courtney Friel Update

Following-up from eight years ago, "Courtney Friel, Political Scientist."

She's updated her Twitter profile photo, plus another pre-broadcast selfie:

New York Times Applauds Far-Left Violence

It's Glenn Reynolds, linking Power Line, at Instapundit, "THEY’RE NOT AGAINST VIOLENCE WHEN IT COMES FROM THEIR SIDE: New York Times Applauds Far-Left Violence."

Have We Crossed a Line in Media Coverage of the Presidency?

My short answer is no. As soon as a Democrat retakes the White House, we'll be back to fawning, far-left news coverage starring journalists with Democrat bylines.

But see the Los Angeles Times, "Has the Trump presidency permanently changed how the media cover the presidency?":

Quick quiz: Name just one press secretary who served under President Obama or George W. Bush.

If you’re Googling for answers, congratulations, and condolences: You’re no different than most Americans.

Now ask yourself the same question about President Trump’s administration. It’s likely you’re rattling off names as spontaneously as a freestyle rapper: Spicer, Scaramucci, Huckabee Sanders.

Drop the mike. Take a victory lap. All those hours of flipping among CNN, MSNBC and Fox, watching wall-to-wall coverage of the Trump White House and everything that touches it, have finally proved useful. Addiction has it rewards.

And make no mistake, watching cable news is no longer just a casual pastime or a way to stay informed. It’s an addiction, an American epidemic that started with a gateway drug known as the Trump presidency.

Checking in with first-name commentator anchors like Anderson, Rachel or Tucker for the latest developments, drama and crises emanating from the White House is now habit, like checking your smartphone for messages, after you just checked it two seconds ago, after you just checked it three seconds before that.

And most of what we’re getting is opinion. The phrase “let’s ask the panel” has become the mantra of the 24-hour news cycle — Trump just tweeted threats to North Korea, let’s ask the panel; the Russia probe is looking into Trump family connections with Moscow, let’s ask the panel.

Pundits may argue that President Trump hasn’t accomplished much in his first six months in office (no Obamacare repeal, no Hillary incarceration, no wall other than the one Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions bangs his head on nightly), but the Showman Trump has turned cable news into a must-see spectacle that’s hard to resist.

His lasting influence could very well be altering the way in which we consume politics and news, turning coverage of how the nation is governed into a talk show about an unhinged reality show. To quote a phrase popular with the president: It seems we’ve “crossed the red line” for how we ingest news, and it’s unlikely we’ll ever be able to turn back to simpler times, when Senate hearings were C-Span fodder and press briefings an exercise in protocol.

Americans have come to rely on the continuous feed of wacky, sad and terrifying White House moments for entertainment, even if the ultimate effect jangles nerves and overloads synapses.

When Sean Spicer resigned six months into Trump’s presidency, you could almost hear the collective disappointment — “Awe. Spicey’s out! Who and what are we going to watch next? Will they be as entertaining and outlandish?” Enter Scaramucci. Hooray! Next.

The news machine is hooked on Trump’s superlatives, which are more Barnum & Bailey circus barker (“Like the World Has Never Seen!”), John Wayne (“Locked and Loaded!”) and Cersei Lannister (“They’ll be Met With Fire and Fury”) than presidential.

“What Trump Said” and “Words Matter” were the taglines that flashed on the screen during an hour of panelist prattle devoted to Trump talk last week on prime-time CNN. Everyone from the network’s outspoken star commentator Ana Navarro to former Defense Secretary William Perry to Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio deconstructed POTUS’ ultimatums to Kim Jong Un, Trump’s threat of military intervention in Venezuela, his taunting of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (give this to Trump: He’s an equal opportunity mocker; Republicans feel it as much as Democrats).

Absent from broadcasts: Actual reportage on real news, especially if it doesn’t directly concern Trump or the partisan warfare that’s distorted our world view. Even when there is real news — like the horrific violence spurred by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va. — it’s subsumed by angry debates about what the president should have said and the frightening foothold the alt-right has gained in our nation. Lots of sound and fury to be sure, but not much significance.

All Trump talk, all the time, is a ratings bonanza. Cable’s three major news networks saw double-digit ratings growth in the second quarter of this year. MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell” are up 86% in prime-time viewership compared with the same period in 2016.

CNN saw a 39% leap in viewers ages 25 to 54, and that’s after having its most-watched first quarter in 14 years. Even Fox News, which took major hits the last year with the loss of founder Roger Ailes and its star host Bill O’Reilly, saw record numbers for daytime viewership for any cable news network.e highest-rated quarter of total day viewership

So why would they ever go back to old-fashioned “boring” coverage? And would that satisfy the need for our hourly political fix?

The wall-to-wall coverage we’ve come to expect now didn’t start with the inauguration in January. It’s been unprecedented drama all the time for the last two years, ever since Trump threw his hat in the ring for the presidency...
Still more (FWIW).

And, at the video at top, "Watch CNN's Kate Bolduan shut down a Republican Senate candidate for claiming the problem is 'the violent left'."

Let's Get One Thing Clear About #Antifa

"Antifa is an Anarcho-Communist cause."

Note to CNN and the "alt-left" fake news outfits:

CNN's Hot Take on #Antifa: 'Peace Through Violence'

From John Sexton, at Hot Air.

What the Symbols and Slogans Used by White Nationalists and Their Counterprotesters Mean

From the fake-News Washington Post, "Deconstructing the symbols and slogans spotted in Charlottesville: Each side comes to rallies armed with chants, banners, shields and flags. Here’s a closer look at the political context and history behind the words and the logos":

As well-coordinated and meticulously organized white nationalists converged to rally in Charlottesville, they brought with them chants, banners, slurs, shields and flags. Counterprotesters, including anti-fascist groups and local residents, church groups and civil rights leaders, had their own symbols and slogans. Each of the icons spotted carried its own political context and history.

Symbols on display ranged from exact replicas of the Confederate flag to altered versions of a National Hockey League team logo. Some date from the Crusades, while others were designed in the wake of President Trump’s election. Those marching with far-right groups were generally well organized, with many wearing group uniforms and carrying shields. Those protesting in opposition were less consistent in their branding. Here’s what was seen on the streets of Charlottesville...
Keep reading.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Harry Turtledove, How Few Remain

Well, I enjoyed American War, but little did I know about Harry Turtledove and his "Southern Victory" saga, an alternative history in which the South wins the Civil War. I swear, this is just what I need right now, lol.

More about these books later.

Meanwhile, at Amazon, Harry Turtledove, How Few Remain (Southern Victory).

Anton Myrer, Once an Eagle

This book's apparently required reading in the Marine Corps, said to be one of the best books ever written on moral leadership.

At Amazon, Anton Myrer, Once an Eagle.

Stephen Kotkin, Stalin

This is one I'm really excited about. It's out on Halloween.

At Amazon, Stephen Kotkin, Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941.

Anna Funder, Stasiland

At Amazon, Anna Funder, Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall.

Svetlana Alexievich, Secondhand Time

At Amazon, Svetlana Alexievich, Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets.

Shop Today

At Amazon, Today's Deals.

More, TGS Gems 25 Watt Himalayan Salt Lamp Light Bulbs Incandescent Bulbs E12 Socket-12Pack.

Also, Core Power by Fairlife High Protein (26g) Milk Shake, Chocolate, 11.5-ounce bottles, 12 Count.

Here, Super Absorbent Shammy: Super Chamois - Extra Large 20" X 27" Super Absorbent Cleaning Cloth - 6 Pack Orange Shammy - Holds 20x Its Weight in Liquid.

And, Motor City Tools 10210 10" Orbital Polisher/Waxer Kit.

More here, Impact Canopy 10x27 Portable Garage Carport Canopy Shelter - Outdoor Party Event Shade Cover - White.

Plus, Mountain House Just In Case...Classic Assortment Bucket.

Still more, KIND Breakfast Dark Chocolate Cocoa and Peanut Butter Variety Pack, 16 Count.

BONUS: William Manchester, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Visions of Glory, 1874-1932.

Steve Bannon Out

Well, this is the crazy big news at Memeorandum.

Here's the story at the Los Angeles Times, "Steve Bannon out as Trump's chief strategist."

He's not the kind of guy to sit around and pout. Apparently he was chairing Breitbart's editorial meeting yesterday, with big plans for a post-White House agenda.

See, "Steve Bannon Speaks After White House Departure: 'I'm Going to War for Trump'." (At Memeorandum.)

Wilber Smith, River God

At Amazon, Wilber Smith, River God: A Novel of Ancient Egypt (Novels of Ancient Egypt).

Alexa Ray Joel Gets Sexy (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:

Margaret George, The Autobiography of Henry VIII

At Amazon, Margaret George, The Autobiography of Henry VIII - With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers: A Novel.