Ed Driscoll

Ed Driscoll

The Urban Dictionary defines the British word “blagger” (and yes, I reflexively typed it with an “o” before correcting myself) as a salesman “who could sell ice to the Eskimos.” The London Daily Mail reports, “A blagger pretended to be part of Leonardo DiCaprio’s entourage to get ringside at the ‘fight of the century’ and was even defended by Floyd Mayweather after he was rumbled by security:”

Steve Carruthers, 24, from Hull in East Yorkshire, put on his best suit and waited outside the MGM Grand Garden Arena ahead of Manny Pacquiao and Mayweather’s big fight on Saturday.

When he spotted the A-list actor he followed behind his team straight into the VIP bar, where he mingled with the likes of Christian Bale, Donald Trump, Michael Keaton and Paris Hilton.

Even after the fight he thought he’d try his luck once more in a bid to meet the fighting legends and joined journalists filtering past security teams and waiting outside their dressing rooms.

But the business graduate, who is on a six-week trip to the U.S., was caught out by the MGM security team when he asked Mayweather for an autograph.

He thought his luck was up but to Mr Carruthers’ surprise Mayweather turned to one of the guard’s and said ‘I’ve got him’, before inviting him to his press conference and posing for photos.

It’s all fun and games when you’re backstage and partying with the Hollywood stars, until you have to apologize the next day to Raquel Welch.

Spot on observation by Ace, who spots bipartisan attacks on Pam Geller in the overculture and responds “I have long ago decided that I do not wish to be on the list of the Acceptable Ones, and will take no action whatsoever to secure my place upon it. Maybe I have an advantage here: I do not seek the approval of those who bestow Respectability, as I simply do not respect them.”

Noting that “as a personal matter, I have had sharp differences with Ms. Geller. We do not get along. But this is entirely besides the point,” he adds:

A woman spoke.

Men with guns shot at her for speaking.

Do we really need to take an “on the one hand, on the other hand” approach here.

And we need not talk about “tone” or whether Ms. Gellar speaks for us on all things.

One does not award Style Points on a battlefield.

This is why we have no actual conservative movement worth a damn: Because our political officers and our thought leaders are all drawn from, and aspire to advance in, the same Upper Middle Class Northeast-and-California cultural consensus of “respectability.”

Some people are ideologues are are intensely and primarily interested in Ideas.

Most are not.

And thus most people’s first loyalty is not to any abstract Idea, but the more tangible Class they come from, and which gives them Identity, which gives them Place in the world, and which is, for far too many thinkers, a major source of pride and, I dare say, egotistical joy.

The current dominant class, the class that controls the political-media establishment, is this Upper Middle Class, leftism-inflected consensus, and until people can begin seeing this and seeing past it, and until they can begin making their first loyalty to Idea and Principle, which are universal and eternal, rather than Class and Cult, which are nothing but happenstance and ego, we will continue having an “opposition” which continues genuflecting to leftist conformity rather than standing up for ideas.

Which also explains why some elites on both sides of the aisle could defend Charlie Hebdo — a French socialist publication, by its very nature, has a certain amount of exotic, elitist cache — and turn their backs on an American conservative woman, largely because of her tone. But then, tone and class are often interchangeable signifiers for elite status. They explain why William F. Buckley, P.J. O’Rourke and Tom Wolfe could move fluidly through the elite (left-dominated) overculture, and why say, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and the late Andrew Breitbart were never accepted.

Oh, and just to place the past couple of days into perspective, Katie Pavlich writes at Towhall that “ISIS has officially taken responsibility for the attack Sunday night on a Muhammad art exhibit in Garland, Texas. This is the first official ISIS attack to be be carried out on U.S. soil.”

Which the Washington Post demands the principal victim apologize for.

charlie_hebdo_wtc_1-30-15-1

“Event organizer offers no apology after thwarted attack in Texas,” the Washington Post has the gall to write after Pam Geller, her speakers and/or guests were nearly murdered on Sunday. Not surprisingly, in a post titled “JFK offers no apology after Lee Harvey Oswald shoots him in the head,” Geller tells the leftwing paper to pound sand. “What apology exactly do I owe for almost being murdered?”

“Abraham Lincoln offers no apology after John Wilkes Booth lodges a bullet in his brain”

“Julius Caesar offers no apology after Cassius and Brutus stab him to death”

“Jews offer no apology after Nazis kill six million”

As Twitchy asks, “What exactly should she apologize for? What’s, next? Maybe, ‘Pam Geller attacked by Islamic fanatics because her skirt is too short”?”

Old: I object to your statement but will fight to the death for your right to say it,” The Draw and Strike blog tweets. “New: I object to your statement, and if some religious fanatic kills you over it, you totally deserved it.”

“I expected that in the wake of the attempted terrorist assault on a “draw Muhammad” event in Texas, people would write dumb things about speech,” Ken White writes at the Popehat blog, “American journalists have not disappointed me:”

Responding to an equally egregious attack on Geller’s First Amendment rights from two “journalists” at the McClatchey wire service, White notes:

You can talk to me all day about how Geller is a nasty, scary nutjob, and I’m unlikely to disagree much. But that has no bearing on whether her speech is, or should be, protected. We don’t need a First Amendment to protect the soothing and the sensible.

Read the whole thing.

Quote of the Day

May 5th, 2015 - 12:10 am

The welfare state has led to remarkably similar trends among the white underclass in England over the same period. Just read Life at the Bottom, by Theodore Dalrymple, a British physician who worked in a hospital in a white slum neighborhood.

You cannot take any people, of any color, and exempt them from the requirements of civilization — including work, behavioral standards, personal responsibility, and all the other basic things that the clever intelligentsia disdain — without ruinous consequences to them and to society at large.

Non-judgmental subsidies of counterproductive lifestyles are treating people as if they were livestock, to be fed and tended by others in a welfare state — and yet expecting them to develop as human beings have developed when facing the challenges of life themselves.

One key fact that keeps getting ignored is that the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits every year since 1994. Behavior matters and facts matter, more than the prevailing social visions or political empires built on those visions.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

[Regarding] the attack in Texas, we’re learning more about the gunmen who opened fire at an event where an anti-Islamic group held a contest on who could be the nastiest – draw the lastiest [sic] the nastiest cartoon of Mohamed. Do you believe that people set that kind of a mousetrap?

…I remember the old days when the Nazi Party and the Communist Party would sort of team up in a weird, sick, symbiotic way. One would have an event, and the other would attack it, you know? Well, I think she caused this trouble, and whether this trouble came yesterday, or it came two weeks from now, it’s going to be in the air as long as you taunt.

—”Chris Matthews: Pamela Geller CAUSED Texas shooting by setting a TRAP for Muslims, compares to Nazis,” transcription of video at The Right Scoop, tonight.

There is a history of retaliation for perceived slights to Islam. Back in 1989, a fatwa, or death sentence, was issued for Salman Rushdie because his book Satanic Verses was considered offensive to Islam. In 2004, we all know this story, dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered on the street by a killer who considered van Gogh’s work anti-Islamic. In 2005, when a Dutch newspaper published cartoons lampooning Muhammad, the artists and publishers were met with death threats.

I want your view because you’re so optimistic on this. What do you make of what happened today? Do you think it is an odd occurrence? Or is this the start of something that we’re going to have to live with for decades? Where people — this whole thing being disaffected. Tough luck you’re disaffected. You’re living in France. The country is called France. It’s French. Liberty, equality, fraternity. Get with it. If you don’t like living there, move! This idea that somehow France has to adjust to your thinking about what constitutes blasphemy is outrageous.

—”Chris Matthews: This Idea That France Has To Adjust To Your Thinking Is Outrageous,” Real Clear Politics (with video), January 7, 2015.

Related: “Charlie Hebdo editor warns western media: ‘We can’t be the only ones to stand up for these values.’”

Because that’s what the DNC-MSM is currently attempting to do now, as the JournoList-style narrative gets cemented down. But as Jonathan S. Tobin writes at Commentary:

The editors of Charlie Hebdo, Wilders and Geller need to be defended not because they are right about everything they say, write or draw. They aren’t right about everything as is inevitable with anyone who ignores nuances and seeks to inflame rather than analyze and illuminate. But, contrary to many of the talking heads on television today, they aren’t the problem. The problem is that a variant of Islam that commands the loyalty of hundreds of millions around the globe thinks it is okay to kill those who blaspheme against Islam. It is that faith that leads terrorists to cut off the heads of non-believers and to wage a war of conquest across the Middle East that threatens the security of the region and the United States. Nor is it a coincidence that this same not insignificant splinter of Islam is also promoting vicious anti-Semitism and helped fuel a rising tide of Jew hatred across Europe.

So, just as it is offensive to speak of the slain editors of Charlie Hebdo as being unworthy of our defense because of their harsh views, it is just as inadmissible for today’s discussion to center on whether or not Wilders or Geller are too provocative or show bad taste in their attacks on Islam. That may be hard for some in the Muslim world to accept. It may also be equally hard for many on the left, both here and in Europe, who have wrongly come to accept the idea that Islam may not be offended because it is a victim of imperialism and the West or the Jews who must always be seen as the villain. But the struggle against intolerant Islamism is one that hinges on the right and even the necessity to make it clear to the world that Muslims must learn to tolerate other views of their faith. Free speech can’t be sacrificed to Islamist sensibilities. Until it is safe for Wilders and Geller to speak without massive security measures, let us hear no more about the evils of Islamophobia.

The “I support freedom of speech but…” approach is a curious one for the media to take, especially since:

But then, as Charles C.W. Cooke writes at NRO, “the Bill of Rights Would Never Pass Today.” And as we’ve seen since early 2009 when the Tea Party initially emerged, the media are very angry that “the wrong people” have the right to free speech. They have been for many years, but today gave them the opportunity to really drop the mask. The rest of us should be glad the media aren’t disguising their hatred of the First Amendment today, and very worried about what they’ll do next to weaken or eliminate it.

Update: Andy McCarthy writes, “it will not do to blame the messenger for the violence:”

The shooting last night was not caused by the free-speech event any more than the Charlie Hebdo murders were caused by derogatory caricatures, or the rioting after a Danish newspaper’s publication of anti-Islam cartoons was caused by the newspaper. The violence is caused by Islamic supremacist ideology and its law that incites Muslims to kill those they judge to have disparaged Islam.

Christians were offended by Piss Christ, but they did not respond by killing the “artist” or blowing up the exhibiting museum. If any had, they would have been universally condemned for both violating society’s laws and betraying Christian tenets. In such a case, we would have blamed the killers, not the provocative art. There can be no right against being provoked in a free society; we rely on the vigorous exchange of ideas to arrive at sensible policy. And the greater the threat to liberty, the more necessary it is to provoke.

As McCarthy writes, “You may not like the provocateurs’ methods. Personally, I am not a fan of gratuitous insult, which can antagonize pro-Western Muslims we want on our side. But let’s not make too much of that. Muslims who really are pro-Western already know, as Americans overwhelmingly know, that being offended is a small price to pay to live in a free society. We can bristle at an offense and still grasp that we do not want the offense criminalized.”

Meanwhile, the Daily Beast’s Dean Obeidallah condemns Geller in the form of defending her “Right to Hate.” I’m sure he’s equally incensed by this earlier mockery of religion — as Photoshopped by the Daily Beast.

CNN: The Bitch was Begging For It

May 4th, 2015 - 1:25 pm

“CNN’s attacks on Geller all day Monday can be summed up in just a few words: ‘The Bitch was begging for it,’” John Nolte writes at Big Journalism:

The victim-blamers at CNN are furious at Geller. First off, she’s an outspoken conservative. Secondly, this terror attack against her stepped all over CNN’s desire to re-ignite the riots in Baltimore. Now CNN has to change the topic to stories anathema to CNN’s Leftist/anarchists: Muslim as terrorists; heroic cops (in Texas, no less), and a conservative survivor/victim.

CNN’s fury against Geller started first thing morning at the hands of “New Day” co-anchor Alisyn Camerota. Forget all the good memories you have of Camerota at Fox News. She went the full-CNN against Geller, attacking the activist as a bigot who is unnecessarily provocative. Camerota’s victim-blaming was disgraceful, and Geller ran circles around her.

Would Camerota ask a rape victim if her clothes were too provocative? Of course not. But Camerota insisted the Geller’s speech-skirt was too low, that she provoked her attackers.

Not to be outdone, hideous mean girl Carol Costello grabbed the anchor baton from Camerota and brought on guest after guest to repeat CNN’s belief that Geller was begging for it.

First,  Costello brought on black-baby-mocker Dean Obeidallah, who attacked Geller for five full minutes with no specifics, only ad hominem attacks. Then a guest from the far-left Senior Poverty Law Center (SPLC) was brought on for another free-wheeling five minutes of ad hominem attacks against Geller.

Not once did Costello challenge her guests or demand specifics. Maybe she was too busy reliving the glory days of the assault on Bristol Palin.

The baton was then passed to CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield, who dug up yet-another hater from the SPLC to repeat the same ad hominem against Geller. Not once did Banfield challenge her guest or demand specifics.

Nolte isn’t done — and likely the new puritans at Time-Warner-CNN-HBO aren’t either, given their long hatred of the right and their long de facto support of Islam.

Allahpundit-esque Exit Question: How many women in the DNC-MSM attacking Geller today for being too provocative in her tone and style have a “Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History” bumper sticker attached to their Volvos and Priuses?

Related: From Katie Pavlich at Townhall: “CAIR: We Condemn The Terror Attack In Texas, But Pamela Geller Totally Had It Coming.”

‘In Texas, We Shoot Back’

May 4th, 2015 - 1:05 pm

“Elton Simpson was the first figure identified in the latest eruption from the Religion of Peace™ — an attempted massacre at an exhibition of anti-Islamist cartoons in suburban Garland, Texas, which ended in the shooting of Simpson and his coconspirator, because Texas is where terrorists go to get out-gunned at an art show,” Kevin D. Williamson writes at NRO today. “Simpson and his pal are as dead as a tuna casserole — in Texas, we shoot back:”

We got lucky when luck wasn’t what we needed.

Simpson was, like the overwhelming majority of murderers and most of those who commit serious violent crimes, already known to the authorities. He had been investigated by the FBI on the suspicion that he was attempting to travel to Somalia to engage in jihad. He was convicted of lying to the FBI in that episode, and sentenced to . . . probation. The average sentence for a tax-related crime in these United States is 31 months in a federal penitentiary, but for attempting to join up with a gang of savages who are merrily beheading, torturing, enslaving, and raping their way around the world? Probation, and damned little subsequent oversight, apparently.

* * * * * * * *

We got lucky in Garland, but we needn’t — mustn’t — rely on luck. (As the IRA told Margaret Thatcher after its failed attempt to assassinate her: “We only have to be lucky once. You will have to be lucky always.”) We have professionals for this sort of thing. Yes, it is tons of work to keep an eye on sundry peripatetic villains, and yes, in many cases that laborious effort will produce nothing that is going to earn any fed or local cop a plaque on his wall or a commendation. But we give these police agencies princely budgets and resplendently compensated managers, along with remarkable investigatory powers and other generous resources, to do that job.

So do the damned job.

Federal authorities weren’t doing their job on 9/11. They weren’t doing their job before the attack in Garland, either. No, nobody can stop every crime or detect every criminal, much less every jihadist. But this one had a great big flashing neon sign over his head reading “terrorist.”

If nobody saw, nobody was looking.

Read the whole thing. And if you’d like to see Kevin D. Williamson discussing the first and second Amendment and Texas while in Texas, sign up for our Bullets and Bourbons event in December, where Kevin will be speaking with my PJM colleagues Glenn Reynolds, Roger L. Simon, Steve Green and Dr. Helen, and Ed Morrissey, Dana Loesch, and Mark Rippetoe.

Related: Regarding Elton “Lone Wolf” Simpson, here’s your official Lenny & Squiggy Trigger Warning from Australia’s Tim Blair.

How Will Mad Men End?

May 4th, 2015 - 11:13 am

After its initial PR splash for its first season on AMC in 2007, the audience for Mad Men these days is a bit like the audience for the Velvet Underground. As Brian Eno was quoted as saying in the early 1980s, while the Velvets’ first album only sold 30,000 copies, everybody who bought one started his own rock group. (Guilty as charged.) Based on its ratings, it seems like Mad Men only has about 30,000 viewers left — and the ones who are left are blogging about it and on Twitter. (Again, guilty as charged. Thanks for indulging this post.)

With two episodes left, how will the series end? Its cryptic last scene in yesterday’s episode offers all sorts of possibilities to be resolved in the final two weeks. Don drives his sharp mid-’60s Cadillac through what looked like the highway that divides the cornfield with the murderous crop-duster in North By Northwest (with Cary Grant as the prototype for both James Bond and Don Draper). He picks up a hitchhiker who looks a cross between late period Jim Morrison, Charles Manson, and maybe a touch of the symbolic Indian in Oliver Stone’s weird biopic of the Doors. Filthy hippie gets in and the two drive off — to the music of David Bowie’s epochal “Space Oddity.” Does Don get mugged? Fall asleep and crash the car? Steal the filthy hippie’s identity and proceed to spend the rest of his days walking the earth like Samuel L. Jackson at the end of Kung Fu? (I may be mixing up my pop culture metaphors on that last one.)

Or does he go off to head up McCann’s new office in St. Paul? Tune in again next Sunday, Same Don-Time, same Don-Channel.

If you’re still watching as well, what’s your take on how the series ends? Let me know in the comments below.

Fresh off her assault by Muslim terrorists last night, Geller gets assaulted by Time-Warner-CNN-HBO spokeswoman Alisyn Camerota, who as John Nolte of Big Journalism writes is “victim-blaming her.” in the above clip. In 2012, this was a network that defended Trayvon Martin after he tried to cave in the skull of George Zimmerman, and Michael Brown after he robbed a convenience store and attempted to steal a policeman’s gun and use it against him. But someone actually employing her legal First Amendment rights is smelling salts time for the network, which speaks volumes about its worldview. Or as Nolte tweets, CNN must ALWAYS have a right-wing villain. So even though she was targeted for murder, CNN is demonizing Pam Geller.”

Ant not just that left-wing network; as Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air, Camerota is far from alone, both at CNN and the DNC-MSM at large, that Geller and her panel had it coming: Rothman rounds up quotes from CNN’s Marc Lamont Hill, the New York Times’ Rukmini Callimachi, and the London Daily Mail, which ran a piece last night headlined “The woman behind anti-Islamic Muhammad cartoon contest and her long history of hatred.” As Rothman writes:

One of Charlie Hebdo’s surviving cartoonist, an artist who goes by the moniker Lulz, revealed last week that he would no longer draw the images of Mohamed that got so many of his friends killed. The assassin’s veto is upheld. For the AP and others, another murderer’s claim apparently deserves a fair hearing. If only Geller hadn’t worn that short skirt…

Meanwhile on Twitter, Iowahawk spots further examples of what Salman Rushdie calls “the But Brigade”employing similar arguments that Islam gets its heckler’s veto against free speech.

At the Federalist, Robert Tracinski offers a useful tip for speed-reading the But Brigade today: “Everything before the ‘but’ is BS.”

Currently being updated by Brandon Darby of Breitbart Texas:

Police have the area blocked off and have removed reporters for up to half a mile away. Helicopters are patrolling the skies and police are standing in the intersection, blocking the roads and are armed with M-16s.

UPDATE, 8:51 PM: A senior officer has said that the officer taken to the hospital will be OK, and that the two suspects will not be OK. The 100 people being held inside singing the Star-Spangled Banner to comfort themselves.

UPDATE, 8:45 PM: Police appeared to have escorted a few individuals through a conference room, and continue to patrol the perimeter.

UPDATE: Suspects had two AK-47’s according to police on the scene. The officer has been transported to the hospital. The suspects are still on the ground at the scene. They are not moving and are not being touched at this time until a bomb squad checks out their bodies.

Approximately 100 people are being held by police in a secured facility inside the event.

The incident occurred in Garland, a suburb of Dallas; Darby notes that “Armed police officers rushed in to the Mohammed Art Exhibit and Contest and quickly removed Pamela Geller and whisked her away to safety after a gunfight erupted outside of the event.” More as it comes in.

Some related tweets:

 

 

And the Dallas Morning News begins the MSM spin that the victims had it coming:

 


Update: Jocelyn Lockwood, a reporter with the Dallas NBC affiliate, is live tweeting the aftermath of the incident. She notes that “two men pulled up got out of a vehicle and started shooting,” resulting in an officer being hospitalized after he was shot, and the nearby Walmart being evacuated as a precaution while “Garland PD setting up perimeter around vehicle near event, planning to search it.”

Plus at least one report of “Possible third suspect reportedly in Walmart with grenade.”

Meanwhile, Twitchy notes, “Tweeters bring the hate after shooting at Muhammad art contest in Texas,” and those praising the attack:

While Fox has live coverage, as of 7:14 PM PDT, apparently CNN is still working out the angle on the narrative and/or doesn’t want to break into its pro-pot documentary with actual breaking news:

At Breitbart Texas, Brandon Darby updates his post; he speculates “the shooting was timed for the end of the conference so that the gunmen could target the crowd flooding out into the parking lot. The event went longer than expected, which potentially prevented further casualties. The event was initially scheduled to end at 7 PM.” And from Daniel Greenfield at David Horowitz’s FrontPage Website, “Muslims Praise Texas Mohammed Cartoon Attack, Claim Responsibility.” In video at Ezra Levant’s The Rebel Website, “David Menzies reports from terror attack on Garland, Texas ‘Mohammed cartoon’ event.” The New York Times goes for “the victims shouldn’t dress and/or talk so proactively” route…


…Which is a curious approach to take for a paper that hired Piss Christ “Artist” Andres Serrano to illustrate one of its daily rants on Abu Ghraib back in 2005.

Late Update:

 

George Orwell will be spinning in his grave like a dreidel tomorrow, as the DNC-MSM ransacks their thesauruses to find new and unique ways to all say variations on “I believe in free speech, but…”

“UN scientists warn time is running out to tackle global warming — Scientists say eight years left to avoid worst effects,” screamed a London Guardian headline on May 4th, 2007. The article’s lede is equally classic boilerplate “Grauniad:”

Governments are running out of time to address climate change and to avoid the worst effects of rising temperatures, an influential UN panel warned yesterday.

Greater energy efficiency, renewable electricity sources and new technology to dump carbon dioxide underground can all help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the experts said. But there could be as little as eight years left to avoid a dangerous global average rise of 2C or more.

The warning came in a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published yesterday in Bangkok. It says most of the technology needed to stop climate change in its tracks already exists, but that governments must act quickly to force through changes across all sectors of society. Delays will make the problem more difficult, and more expensive.

As Power Line’s Steve Hayward quips, “Those eight years run out tomorrow.  So I assume that climatistas will shut up tomorrow night.”

Oh, of course — just like they did after being embarrassed by NASA’s James Hansen claiming in January of 2009 that Obama had only four years to save the planet,  Al Gore declaring in December of 2008 that “the entire North ‘polarized’ cap will disappear in 5 years,” (and Gore later selling out to Big Oil) and the classic March 2000 headline from the London Independent quoted above.

Those of us who grew up in the 1970s recall an era when the media was awash in doomsday, paranormal crankery and conspiracy theories — Bigfoot, looming global cooling, mass starvation and lurking UFOs. Regarding that last example from the fever swamps, a decade ago at Tech Central Station,Internet Killed the Alien Star,” Douglas Kern wrote:

Yet in recent years, interest in the UFO phenomenon has withered. Oh, the websites are still up, the odd UFO picture is still taken, and the usual hardcore UFO advocates make the same tired arguments about the same tired cases, but the thrill is gone. What happened? Why did the saucers crash?

The Internet showed this particular emperor to be lacking in clothes. If UFOs and alien visitations were genuine, tangible, objective realities, the Internet would be an unstoppable force for detecting them. How long could the vast government conspiracy last, when intrepid UFO investigators could post their prized pictures on the Internet seconds after taking them? How could the Men in Black shut down every website devoted to scans of secret government UFO documents? How could marauding alien kidnappers remain hidden in a nation with millions of webcams?

Just as our technology for finding and understanding UFOs improved dramatically, the manifestations of UFOs dwindled away. Despite forty-plus years of alleged alien abductions, not one scrap of physical evidence supports the claim that mysterious visitors are conducting unholy experiments on hapless victims. The technology for sophisticated photograph analysis can be found in every PC in America, and yet, oddly, recent UFO pictures are rare. Cell phones and instant messaging could summon throngs of people to witness a paranormal event, and yet such paranormal events don’t seem to happen very often these days. For an allegedly real phenomenon, UFOs sure do a good job of acting like the imaginary friend of the true believers. How strange, that they should disappear just as we develop the ability to see them clearly. Or perhaps it isn’t so strange.

The Internet taught the public many tricks of the UFO trade. For years, hucksters and mental cases played upon the credulity of UFO investigators. Bad science, shabby investigation, and dubious tales from unlikely witnesses characterized far too many UFO cases. But the rise of the Internet taught the world to be more skeptical of unverified information — and careful skepticism is the bane of the UFO phenomenon. It took UFO experts over a decade to determine that the “Majestic-12″ documents of the eighties were a hoax, rather than actual government documents proving the reality of UFOs. Contrast that decade to the mere days in which the blogosphere disproved the Mary Mapes Memogate documents. Similarly, in the nineties, UFO enthusiasts were stunned when they learned that a leading investigator of the Roswell incident had fabricated much of his research, as well as his credentials. Today, a Google search and a few e-mails would expose such shenanigans in minutes.

Global cooling / warming / climate change / climate chaos was kept alive by old media from the first Earth Day in 1970 (which really taught the value of composting…) until the rise of the World Wide Web in the 1990s. Any scientist seeking plentiful government funding and/or any politician wishing to reduce his constituents’ freedoms could appear on the nightly news and mutter, all but wearing a sandwich board that “we only have five years/ten years/eight years” to save the earth, and no sympathetic media figure would ever refute such a statement with earlier expired final countdowns — perhaps the scientist or politician’s own. Today, as with UFOs and Nessie, it’s far easier to illustrate a multitude of failed predictions of doomsday. Speaking of which, for our (by no means complete) collection of some of the previous not-so-final countdowns from the eco-crank left, start here and keep scrolling.

Related: My colleague Bill Whittle dubs it all “Loch Ness Socialism:”

So, Al Sharpton walks up to a microphone in Baltimore and the following words somehow arranged themselves and emerged from his mouth:

Sharpton said, “we need the Justice Department to step in and take over policing in this country. In the 20th century, they had to fight states’ rights in — to get the right to vote. We’re going to have to fight states’ rights in terms of closing down police cases.”

Insert a Taranto-esque “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA” (or simply “eff off,” if you prefer) here in response to the man who made the words Tawana Brawley and Freddie’s Fashion Mart household names. Meanwhile, Glenn Reynolds explains to USA Today readers why this is a staggeringly bad idea. As the Insta-Professor writes, “Want a lawless police force? Federalize it:”

The third problem with unifying police authority under a national umbrella is that it’s much more prone to political abuse by the party in power. As we’ve seen with the IRS — which, interestingly, shows little interest in frequent White House visitor Al Sharpton’s unpaid taxes — federal bureaucrats are all too willing to serve the interests of their political masters even when doing so violates the law. Putting most law enforcement in the hands of diverse state and local authorities helps limit the potential for abuse. Putting everything under federal control, on the other hand, magnifies it.

Instead, if we’re really serious about increasing law enforcement accountability, we should end civil service protections for federal employees, while outlawing public employee unions. We should also abolish governmental immunity for federal, state, and local employees, forcing them to face civil lawsuits for illegal behavior, just as the rest of us must do.

Instead of centralizing law enforcement, we should promote decentralization, and accountability. Accountability is a good thing. Sharpton should try it some time.

By the way, remember the good old days when the left hated and demonized Republican attorney generals such as John Mitchell, Ed Meese and John Ashcroft, and looked the other way while their predecessor Robert F. Kennedy wiretapped Martin Luther King? Good times, good times. Now Sharpton wants to give the attorney general even more power — forgetting that it’s all fun and games for the left until the president has an (R) after his name.

 Related: “The NY Times: A Study In Fakery.”

The Final Cut

May 3rd, 2015 - 12:51 pm

“Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters slams ‘rogues and thieves’ who run free streaming sites and steal from musicians,” the London Daily Mail reports:

Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters has slammed the ‘rogues and thieves’ who run free streaming sites, saying they make it impossible for young musicians to earn a living.

The songwriter and guitarist said the power of the digital music providers in Silicon Valley makes him ‘angry’ as they ‘steal’ from musicians and use the money to buy mega-yachts and planes.

‘These… thieves! It’s just stealing! And that they’re allowed to get away with it is just incredible,’ he said in an interview for The Times Saturday Review.

So now Waters is angry with theft? When the Argentinian junta seized the Falkland Islands in 1982, as Mark Steyn wrote in Margaret Thatcher’s obit two decades later, “After Vietnam, the fall of the Shah, Cuban troops in Africa, and Soviet annexation of real estate from Cambodia to Grenada, the British routing of the Argentine junta stunned everyone from the politburo in Moscow to their nickel ’n’ dime clients in the presidential palaces, all of whom had figured the ‘free world’ no longer had any fight in it.” It certainly stunned Waters; his last album with Pink Floyd, 1983′s The Final Cut, is a dated, dreary recitatif on how horrible it was for Britain to fight to protect its property, made tolerable in spots only through its beautiful production, soaring guitar solos by bandmate (and future Floyd leader) Dave Gilmour and orchestral arrangements by the late Michael Kamen.

And don’t get the insufferable Waters started by mentioning to him the importance of Israel protecting its borders from theft and terrorism. He was reduced to playing the infamous I have “many very close Jewish friends” trope after refusing to play Israel, railing on against the “Jewish lobby,” which he described as “extraordinarily powerful,” and flying what one concertgoer described as “a black balloon in the shape of a wild pig – bearing a Jewish Star of David as well as symbols of dictatorial regimes from around the world” above the audience at a 2013 show in Belgium.

Funny though, when confronted with theft of his own property, Waters is quick to anger and fighting back. But then, as Cold War historian Robert Conquest’s First Law of Politics states, “Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.”

Tell Me More About Earth Hour, Tom Brady

May 3rd, 2015 - 11:58 am

“McCarren airport so packed with private jets of the rich and famous that officials had to close it to new flights,” the London Daily Mail reports after the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight yesterday.

The article also has a photo captioned, “The star members of the New England Patriots — including quarterback Tom Brady — took a private jet to attend both the Kentucky Derby and the boxing match in one day.”

So we’re done now with this pose, right Tom?

As of 2008, The World Wildlife Federation’s mission statement, which produced the above PSA featuring Brady, boasted of “protecting natural areas and wild populations of plants and animals, including endangered species; promoting sustainable approaches to the use of renewable natural resources; and promoting more efficient use of resources and energy and the maximum reduction of pollution.” What would they say about one of its spokesmen jetting across the country yesterday to merely take in a boxing match and horse race? (Not to mention all of the jet travel the quarterback does for his day job in the fall.)

Actually, they’d want to know if Brady can come along on one of their private jet-based “eco-tours” of exotic far-off lands.

As the Insta-Professor is wont to say when confronted with hypocritical eco-warriors (is there any other kind?), “I don’t want to hear another goddamn thing about my carbon footprint.”

Related: “WikiLeaks: Environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio Used Sony Private Jet Like a Taxi Between LA and NYC.”

What Would Arianna Do?

May 3rd, 2015 - 11:20 am

Question asked and answered:

“Sexism and Anti-Semitism Charged in Al Jazeera America Lawsuit,” the New York Times reports:

Matthew Luke, formerly the network’s director of media and archive management, filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court claiming wrongful termination. Among other allegations, Mr. Luke said he was fired after he complained to the company’s human resources department about his boss, Osman Mahmud, who, Mr. Luke said, told him to exclude female employees from meetings and not involve them in projects that they had previously worked on.

In the suit, Mr. Luke asserted that Mr. Mahmud mistreated female employees and exhibited anti-Semitic behavior, including expressing a desire to replace an Israeli cameraman with a Palestinian. A female senior vice president who resisted fulfilling that request was later transferred to another position, the lawsuit says. The suit further claims that Mr. Mahmud said that “whoever supports Israel should die a fiery death in hell.”

Mr. Mahmud did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In an interview with The Washington Post, he denied making the comment about Israel, saying, “I have never even thought of that at all.” He called the accusations that he had mistreated women “a pack of lies.”

So what does Mahmud think about Israel and the prospect of its continued existence? And note this in the next paragraph:

The network said that it did not comment on pending litigation. “The company takes these matters seriously and will respond in the appropriate forum,” an emailed statement said. “Al Jazeera America’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is fundamental to its mission.”

“Diversity and inclusion?” From a network owned by Qatar? As Hugh Hewitt asked Al Jazeera’s Soledad O’Brien last year, “‘Businessweek’ today has a story on Qatar, which owns Al Jazeera, and the headline calls Qatar a patron of Islamists. It says that Qatar funds and arms Islamists fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad and bankrolling Hamas in the Gaza Strip. So here’s an honest question. How can you take money from them?”

Because, as Eliana Johnson of NRO wrote last year, “In New York’s brutal TV-news world, Al Jazeera has become a warren of the displaced, a home of last resort for many anchors, reporters, and producers who have been fired, laid off, or otherwise discarded by better-known networks.” Such as the perilously far-left identity politics-obsessed and Obama/ Rev. Wright-worshipping Soledad O’Brien, for whom Al Jazeera represents the completion of her far-left TV trifecta, having stopped first at MSNBC and CNN. And note this passage in Johnson’s article last year, which foreshadowed the new lawsuit against the network:

The situation is particularly poignant for Jewish producers, some of whom had to choose between unemployment and relatively well-paying work for a channel whose parent network has exhibited virulent anti-Semitism. A cynical joke making the rounds of television Jewry refers to “Jews for Jazeera,” a subtle play, of course, on “Jews for Jesus.”

The previous employment of Matthew Luke, who instigated the new lawsuit against Al Jazeera, included local CBS and ABC affiliate stations. Other staffers and on-air talent have come from the aforementioned MSNBC and CNN, and PBS. As Johnson wrote last year, “It’s an odd place to be, getting paid good Arab oil money to produce somber, liberal news programing that nobody watches. Is this really a career, or it is journalism’s version of mowing the grass at the Astrodome?”

And she’s not kidding about nobody watching the network:

As of last month, it was averaging approximately 10,000 viewers at any given point during the day. It has been on the air for just seven months, sure, and it’s available in just half the number of homes its competitors are. But that 10,000 statistic is minuscule, especially compared to what AJA’s competitors are logging. In February, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News averaged 272,000, 349,000,and 924,000 viewers a day, respectively.

As even the Times admitted in its article on the recent lawsuit against the network, “in the nearly 20 months since Al Jazeera America went on the air, it has struggled to match the ratings of its frail predecessor, Current TV.”

Socialism: if you build it, they will flee — whether it’s in the real world, or the fictional construct of leftwing “news” and opinion.

B.B. King in Home Hospice Care

May 2nd, 2015 - 12:31 pm

There was some confusion yesterday when singer Ben E. King of “Stand By Me” fame died that it was actually legendary bluesman B.B. King. Today, we learn that while B.B. is still alive age 89, he’s not well. “King remains in hospice care Saturday at his home in Las Vegas,” USA Today reports:

King’s longtime business manager Laverne Toney says the musician had a good night and she welcomed the concern about his health. Toney has legal control over King’s affairs.

King first informed his fans Friday via Facebook.

“I am in home hospice care at my residence in Las Vegas,” wrote the blues legend. “Thanks to all for your well wishes and prayers.”

The Clarion-Ledger reports King was briefly hospitalized Thursday for the second time in a month. The Hall of Fame member was diagnosed with diabetes decades ago.

Last night, the London Daily Mail ran an article with the harrowing headline, “BB King was being abused by his manager before he was hospitalized with a minor heart attack, according to blues legend’s daughter:”

Patty King said the blues legend’s long time handler Laverne Toney refused to let her take him to hospital after he’d suffered a heart attack.

According to TMZ, there is an ongoing battle between Patty and Toney, who lives with the 89-year-old in Las Vegas.

Patty reportedly became worried when her father wouldn’t eat and his urine turned orange, and decided to take him to hospital

But when Toney — who has the power of attorney over the guitarist — refused, his daughter called the police.

Responding officers concurred that he needed medical attention and summoned paramedics, who then brought him to hospital.

It was there doctors diagnosed he had had a mild heart attack.

Patty and her boyfriend have already accused Toney of elder abuse, as well as burglary. In November they filed a police report accusing her of fleecing up to $30million and several items of jewelry from the 16-time Grammy winner, as well as withholding his medication.

While police investigated the accusations, no charges were filed against her.

Whatever is going on there, it doesn’t sound good. As the Daily Mail notes, King “toured as recently as last year, but was forced to drop out suffering from dehydration and exhaustion after a show in Chicago.”

B.B. King was one of my teenage idols when I first started learning the electric guitar. I used to love watching King’s regular appearances on the Tonight Show, backed by Johnny Carson’s crack orchestra, with his powerful vocals and incredible vibrato on the guitar, his fingers transforming bent single-string notes into alternately sweet and stinging tones. I was fortunate to see him in September of 2007 Concord Pavilion in northern California. King, then 81, headlined a show with the opening acts of Etta James and the great soul-singer Al Green. By this period of his career though, B.B. King’s set resembled that of another electric guitar legend in his later years, Les Paul. King, once a powerful performer (Four words: Live at the Regal) was seated throughout his entire set, which was filled with sentimental shaggy dog stories between numbers, and only occasionally playing guitar, unlike the old days when he could simply wail on “Lucille,” his Gibson semi-hollowbody electric.

Still though, as with Les, I’m very glad I got to see B.B. King live – and I hope that many others will too going forward, but the articles over the past two days don’t sound promising.

Manolo, the world’s first superstar shoeblogger finally comes clean as H.D. Miller, chair of the Department of History, Politics and Philosophy at Lipscomb University in Nashville:

In April of 2002, I launched a political rant blog under the title “Travelling Shoes”, a blog that lasted three years, was widely read, and has since thankfully disappeared from the internet, taking with it opinions about politics that I would like to forget I ever held. After that, my history as a writer took a surreal turn, and in October of 2004 I became one of the first fashion bloggers, a pseudonymous figure cited in the press as both one the funniest things on the internet, and a model of how fashion blogging was changing commerce. I did very well from that venture, well enough to quit being an academic and move to Argentina for a year. Unfortunately, that year was 2008, the year of the economic crash. By early 2009 advertising had dried up and my business was in trouble, and so I moved back to the States and went back to work in the real world, back to the academy.

I met H.D. around 2008 when he was still deep undercover as Manolo; it was a brilliant strategy, creating a niche for himself as a pioneer in the then-new world of fashion blogging (which is now ubiquitous, with loads of one-person fashion blogs and photo-oriented Tumblr sites, and established publications adding blogs to their Websites after initially sneering at the notion in the early naughts). And simultaneously, a way to completely depoliticize a blog by establishing a new identity, along with the outrageously affected tone of the European panache that was the shoe-blogging style of the Manolo.

Has the Manolo persona been retired? If so I will miss him. Perhaps I will wear the shoes of the blue suede in his honor today.

Or not. “I Felt A Great Disturbance In The Narrative,” Kate McMillan writes at Small Dead Animals:

Kate links to this spot-on observation by Ace in the wake of the racial equality of the six Baltimore officers accused of killing Freddie Gray: “‘Anti-Americanism’ is a culturally-approved safe harbor for expressing one’s own (forbidden) jingoism,” and building on Mr. Obama’s infamous remark early in his first term that “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism:”

A Greek man thumping his chest at how jingoistic Americans are — he’s not saying “we’re all equal.” He’s saying Greeks are superior. He’s saying Americans are stupid for getting the question of “Who is Best?” wrong.

Likewise, many minorities now employ a constant, codified, ritualized attack on White People as their method of engaging in some bumptious, egotistical Racial Triumphalism.

And this becomes more obvious every single day.

Guys? If you think your own culture or race is the best, stop being dishonest, and just express your honest chauvanistic and/or racist feelings.

Stop using the nasty passive-aggressive subterfuge of always strongly, strongly implying that you are Superior to Whitey as your chickenshit method of proclaiming racial superiority.

Just come out and own your own ego-driven, hateful, backwards, ignorant cracker-ass racism, for god’s sakes.

Which brings us to Jazz Shaw at Hot Air, who writes that Baltimore city’s state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby “just bought herself some trouble over Freddie Gray” Note this line from Mosby, who sounds very much like she’s already prejudged the case:

“To the people of Baltimore and demonstrators across America, I heard your call for ‘No Justice, No peace,’” she said. “Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man.”

“This should be alarming to anyone in the justice system,” Jazz writes:

Cries in the streets of “No Justice No Peace” are certainly protected, First Amendment speech, but they are also a strongly implied threat of lawlessness which stands apart from whatever perceived injustice is being protested. To have the State’s Attorney echo that on the steps of the courthouse was off-putting to say the least. What’s more, it was a very direct signal that the crowds threatening the state with “no peace” had secured a victory by having Mosby stand up in public and declare that she would “deliver justice” for Freddie Gray long before there has been a trial, to say nothing of a conviction of officers who are innocent until proven guilty. How does one promise what justice will look like before a determination has been made?

Well, yes. But then, as PJTV alumnus Steven Crowder tweets: