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Ed Driscoll

Has Man Reached His Intellectual Peak?

August 22nd, 2014 - 3:38 pm

Well considering it’s Friday afternoon, for this week, probably. But as the London Daily Mail recently asked, “Are we becoming more STUPID? IQ scores are decreasing — and some experts argue it’s because humans have reached their intellectual peak:”

Evidence suggests that the IQs of people in the UK, Denmark and Australia have declined in the last decade.

Opinion is divided as to whether the trend is long-term, but some researchers believe that humans have already reached intellectual peak.

An IQ test used to determine whether Danish men are fit to serve in the military has revealed scores have fallen by 1.5 points since 1998.

And standard tests issued in the UK and Australia echo the results, according to journalist Bob Holmes, writing in New Scientist.

The most pessimistic explanation as to why humans seem to be becoming less intelligent is that we have effectively reached our intellectual peak.

Between the 1930s and 1980s, the average IQ score in the US rose by three points and in post-war Japan and Denmark, test scores also increased significantly — a trend known as the ‘Flynn effect’.

This increase in intelligence was due to improved nutrition and living conditions – as well as better education — says James Flynn of the University of Otago, after whom the effect is named.

Now some experts believe we are starting to see the end of the Flynn effect in developed countries – and that IQ scores are not just levelling out, but declining.

Scientists including Dr Flynn think better education can reverse the trend and point out the perceived decline could just be a blip. However, other scientists are not so optimistic.

Better education? Well, there’s certainly lots of room for improvement there, considering how political correctness has transformed history education into a grievance industry and dramatically dumbed-down textbooks in general, as Bill Whittle recently noted, comparing a century-old sixth-grade reader with today’s equivalents:

But the dumbing down and related coarsening of the culture is a trend that dates back to at least the 1960s, particularly in England, as Peter Hitchens noted in his bracing 1999 book, The Abolition of Britain. In his chapter on the collapse of Britain’s culture — both its highbrow and pop divisions — Hitchens wrote:

The novelist Kingsley Amis, deeply depressed by the collapse of knowledge and good judgement in the literary and  political worlds, wrote a withering satire on the decay of national culture at the end of the 1970s (Russian Hide and Seek, 1980). Just as Evelyn Waugh had once suggested that the Labour government of 1945 was similar to living under foreign occupation, Amis suggested that the trashing of our culture and literacy were so severe that only a ruthless foreign invader could possibly make them worse. [See also: collapse of American education system -- Ed] His book is a portrait of a nation without a memory, its ancient buildings demolished, its trees hacked down, its people barely educated and bottomlessly ignorant of their origins and past, living on stewed beets, pork bellies and windfall apples. A small and dwindling group of ‘pre-wars’ maintain the memories of what has been lost, but those memories are fading, and so all trace of them will die with this elderly generation. Amis describes an attempt to revive enthusiasm for Shakespeare after half a century of Soviet occupation, during which British history, literature and religion have been ruthlessly suppressed. A group of Soviet ‘liberals’ are trying to give the people their culture back, and are staging a performance of Romeo and Juliet in along-closed provincial theatre.

The actress playing Juliet, an English girl brought up long after the occupation, attempts to speak some lines from the play. She does not understand the rhythm of the verse, the classical allusions to Phoebus and Phaeton mean nothing to her, in fact she hasn’t a clue what she is saying. But nobody notices. [See also: MSM's lack of reaction to President Obama's weird ignorance of much of American history and culture -- Ed]

At this point, Hitchens quotes from a character in Amis’ novel, the “Armenian cultural commissar” who’s overseeing the play’s production, despite having absolutely no sense of the subjects of any of Shakespeare’s plays. He describes Romeo and Juliet as a play in which “a young man meets a girl at a party and feels her up in public, in front of her parents, in fact,” along with noting that “it’s so hard to understand these characters and to make out what’s one meant to think about them.” Still though, he thinks that the play’s violence will help sell it, “and the costumes and sets are going to be spectacular.” See also: mindset behind recent Hollywood comic book-style adaptation of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

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Harry Reid’s Latest Racist Gaffe

August 22nd, 2014 - 2:04 pm

“Sen. Harry Reid Launches Racist Jokes Before Asian Audience,” as spotted by Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler:

The Daily Caller has a story on this remarkable video of Sen. Harry Reid speaking before the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce. In it, Sen. Reid engages in ethnic humor. First he jokes about Asians being smarter than everyone else — a racial stereotype, albeit a positive one. Later, he jokes that he “can’t keep his Wongs straight.” That joke has a bit more bite. Would Reid joke to a white audience that he can’t keep his Smiths straight? Is he suggesting that all Asians look alike?

I’m asking as the husband of a Japanese woman…

Sen. Reid has a history of making racial remarks, as when he noted that Barack Obama was a viable black presidential candidate because he is “clean and articulate.” He had to apologize directly to Obama for that one.

The Senator’s efforts did not help his chosen candidate for Nevada lieutenant governor. He sought the Asian Chamber’s endorsement for Democrat Lucy Flores. But the Chamber backed Republican Mark Hutchison instead.

Hey, it’s not like Harry Reid routinely holds whole masses of people in contempt, right?

Yes, of course he does:

Hey, it’s not like Harry Reid has a long history of saying a variety of vile things and putting his Florsheim in his mouth on a regular basis, right?

Again, of course he does:

Democrat house organ the New York Times has already entered into “addition through subtraction” mode that of course it would be great for Hillary if Republicans controlled both houses of Congress next year. Harry Reid, already risking a bruising 2016 reelection bid as a result of his punitive leftwing anger at pretty much the entire world may have just made their job easier. The GOP now has a way to nationalize this fall’s elections: Give us back the Senate, and move unrepentant racist Harry Reid to the back bench where he can do as little harm as possible.

“Bank Of America Reaches Record Settlement Over Mortgage Meltdown,” NPR reports. (Link safe, goes to the Brothers Judd blog):

The settlement “addresses allegations that Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and Countrywide each engaged in pervasive schemes to defraud financial institutions and other investors in structured financial products known as residential mortgage-backed securities, or RMBS,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said.

The securities typically included a high percentage of subprime mortgages and the sellers misrepresented to investors the degree of risk involved, Justice alleges. When the housing market collapsed, many of the RMBS became worthless.

Holder said the subprime mortgages bundled into the securities “contained material underwriting defects; they were secured by properties with inflated appraisals; they failed to comply with federal, state, and local laws; and they were insufficiently collateralized.”

Even so, he said, “these financial institutions knowingly, routinely, falsely, and fraudulently marked and sold these loans as sound and reliable investments. Worse still, on multiple occasions — when confronted with concerns about their reckless practices — bankers at these institutions continued to mislead investors about their own standards and to securitize loans with fundamental credit, compliance, and legal defects.”

As one of the Brothers Judd’s commenters notes:

Holder’s statement is ahistorical. BofA bought Countrywide (who no doubt did defraud) and Merrill (much less clear on fraud) at the virtual demand of the US Government.

Perhaps Eric should have asked his pals Jamie Gorelick. Franklin Raines, Jim Johnson, Rahm Emanuel, and Andrew Cuomo about mortgage standards and fraud. Or he could have checked with Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and Maxine Waters.

Exactly. Who pushed banks to the high-risk low-income housing market in the first place? But hey, government is just another word for the things we do together to wreck economies:

‘De-Legit to Quit’

August 21st, 2014 - 3:24 pm

MSNBC’s got a feeeeevah — and five words it wants to pound into the ground over and over and over again, making one long for the Hello, Larry and BJ & The Bear era of unwatchable NBC programming. “In this new supercut, watch liberals Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews, Al Sharpton and the gang repeatedly reel off favorite accusations against Republicans of “unprecedented obstruction” and trying to ‘delegitimize this president.’”

“‘Dead broke’ no more: Bill Clinton fancies $1,000 cigars, world’s most expensive stogie maker says,” the London Daily Mail reports:

Bill Clinton is among the clientele of the most expensive cigar make in the world, it was revealed on Thursday.

The once ‘dead broke’ former president is a connoisseur of His Majesty’s Reserve cigars, which cost $1,000 a piece, Gurkha Cigars owner and CEO Kaizad Hansotia told Bloomberg during an interview about the company.

‘Bill Clinton loves the beauties. He loves the Gurkhas,’ Hansotia said. [It's when the beauties and the Gurkhas intersect that problems for Bill can really occur -- Ed]

The Dominican Republic-made cigar is the ‘Rolls Royce of the cigar industry,’ Hansotia said, and boxes cost $25,000 a piece.

That price is set to rise to $30,000 next year. Only 20 boxes of the cognac-infused cigars are produced a year, the cigar boss said, and there’s a three-year waiting list.

The perfect cigar to light up inside your “presidential suite” hotel room, as your wife pockets up to $300,000 per speeches that position her as a formerly “dead broke” champion of income inequality. (Pun definitely intended.)

Which brings us to…“Elizabeth Warren on Hillary Clinton’s qualifications for 2016: No comment.”

Pass the popcorn. (And the Gurka.)

Oh, That Liberal Fascism

August 21st, 2014 - 1:08 pm

“Michael Brown and the paramilitarized Ferguson Police Department are two sides of the same coin,” Richard Fernandez writes at the Belmont Club:

Yesterday’s post about the inexorable expansion of government can be read in conjunction with Roger Simon’s current piece about how the Great Society laid the foundations for the riots in Ferguson.

Ironically, Michael Brown and the paramilitarized Ferguson Police Department are two sides of the same coin. They are the joint product of the politics of grievance and the growing expansion of government. The taxes that made the mobs dependent also armed the paramilitary police that contain them.   You have one government department handing out Obamaphones and another handing out MRAPs to the cops. HHS gives out Obamacare and the IRS enforces it.

A giant bureaucracy tasked with providing all “positive rights” rumbles on, even as progressive politics unleashes more “community organizers” while erecting a giant political machine to meet those same growing expectations.  It calls to and answers itself. The result on a community scale is Ferguson. The result on a national scale is Barack Obama.

Dependence is met with welfare; crime countered by replacing the family — after destroying it first — with state adoption and child protection agencies.  Two monstrous excrescences grow from the soil to dizzying heights. It was supposed to be a win-win: the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth (represented by the youths) would be governed and fed by the All-Seeing Eye of Agamotto. In charge of it all would be our very own Dr. Barack Strange Obama, who would preside over both the youths and their keepers.

And it continues apace. Soon Eric Holder will tell us whom to blame. And as Foxtrot Alpha explains, maybe systems like the “Wide Area Aerial Surveillance, the all-seeing eye in the sky that will change our lives forever” will tell us whom to find. Yet both, as Roger Simon notes, will utterly fail to spot the real culprit: the system that created this dynamic in the first place.

If only there was a book that explored the dangers of socialism run amok and how we got here.

Britain’s anti-Semitic Whiff of Weimar

August 21st, 2014 - 12:46 pm

“There is a whiff of Weimar in the air in Britain,” Douglas Murray writes in the UK Spectator:

There is a whiff of Weimar in the air in Britain. Barely a week now passes without some further denigration caused by anti-Semitic, sorry, pro-Palestine demonstrators targeting businesses run by Jews/stores selling products produced by the Jewish state. You know, like Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Marks and Spencer, Starbucks and so on. Most of this fairly random targeting of whatever business sounds a bit Jewish goes unnoticed. Sometimes protestors manage to get the business closed – as with the Ahava store in liberal, enlightened Brighton. Generally they just succeed in intimidating shoppers and making it easier for people to shop elsewhere in some non-Semitic store.

Sometimes the protestors, like this young man in Manchester, are open about their feelings and taunt any nearby Jews by telling them, for instance, how highly they think of Hitler (‘I love Hitler. I’m big on my boy Hitler’ says this nicely integrated young man):

It’s quite a disgusting video, but actually Britain went Weimar almost three quarters of a century ago when in the immediate aftermath of vanquishing National Socialism in Germany, English elites decided to inflict a nationalizing socialism all their own upon the nation.

The bill is both literally and figuratively coming due, both home and abroad — such as Iraq — where, as Mark Steyn writes, “American Decapitated by Englishman,” given the accent of the terrorist who decapitated American journalist James Foley:

His executioner — the man standing next to him in the picture at right — was speaking with a British accent. That’s to say, he’s one of thousands of citizens of western nations — British, American, European, Canadian and Australian — who’ve flocked to join the planet’s coolest new gang and saw the heads off anyone who gets in their way: Christian, Yazedi, Kurd, Shia, Alawite, and, indeed, plenty of little schoolgirls in pretty pink dresses.

See also: the aftermath of those who became jaded and bored by the decadence of the original Weimar.

Dispatches from the CNN Style Guide

August 21st, 2014 - 11:33 am

This is satire:

This is reality — or the lack there of inside the addled mind of CNN newsreader Don Lemon, as spotted by Jim Treacher of the Daily Caller, who notes that “An Automatic Weapon Is Whatever CNN’s Don Lemon Says It Is:”

Lemon: “For me, an automatic weapon is…”

That says it all, doesn’t it? For people who live in consensus reality, an automatic weapon is an automatic weapon. For Don Lemon and people who agree with Don Lemon, an automatic weapon is any weapon they want to call an automatic weapon, whether or not that weapon is, y’know, automatic.

Once Don Lemon has made that pronouncement, once he’s changed the definition to suit his argument, any disagreement is merely semantics.

A couple of days ago, my colleagues Bill Whittle and Andrew Klavan debated “What Is Truth” — short answer: Not likely found on CNN:

Oh, and Malcolm Muggeridge — call your office.

Update: National Review’s Charles Cooke on “Don Lemon, Automatic Weapons, and the Integrity of Language:”

Under the law, “automatic” is the word we use to describe weapons that continue to fire for as long as the trigger is depressed. “Semi-automatic,” by contrast, is the word we use to describe weapons that will fire once with each trigger pull. In some states, one can indeed walk into a gun store and, having undergone a background check and filled in some federal forms, walk out with a semi-automatic rifle. One cannot, however, do this for automatics, which are regulated heavily under the 1934 Firearms Act and which cannot be purchased without special permission from the ATF. What Lemon is talking about having bought is a standard semi-automatic weapon — an AR-15 or somesuch. It is not an automatic weapon.

Having been corrected, what Lemon should have said was, “you’re right, I meant ‘semi-automatic.’” But he didn’t. Instead, he said:

“For me, that’s an automatic weapon.”

What?

It does not especially matter that Don Lemon doesn’t know the difference between ”automatic” and “semi-automatic” rifles. Lots of people don’t. But it really does matter that, having been told he was wrong on national television, Lemon contended that his prior ignorance — and not objective physical and legal reality — should prevail. Legally and functionally, the item that the panel is discussing was a semi-automatic weapon. There is no “dispute” over this. This is not an ongoing “debate.” It’s not a matter of “opinion.” It’s not an issue on which we can “agree to disagree.” It’s not an “altercation” that can give way to “compromise.” It’s a fact. An undisputed fact. And yet, for some reason, Lemon seemed to believe that he could talk his way out of his mistake.

“Let’s call this LemonSplaining,” John Nolte quips at Big Journalism.

And CNN wonders why it long ago lost the trust of a nation.

It’s Probably a Coincidence

August 21st, 2014 - 10:51 am

“Jewish Student ‘Punched’ by Pro-Palestinian Student at Temple University” in Philadelphia, Paul Miller writes at Breitbart.com’s Big Peace:

First reported by Franklin Center for Government & Integrity contributor Daniel Mael on Truthrevolt.org, Daniel Vessal was “punched in the face by a violent member of the anti-Israel organization SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine). “

Vessal claims he approached the SJP table to “see what angle they were coming from,” and began a dialogue. He told his fellow students working the booth, “You shouldn’t be protesting Israel; if anything, protest the terrorists.”

“This one girl sitting at the end of the table was just laughing and laughing at me,” Vessal explained,  “and people at the table were calling me a ‘baby killer.’” He responded that when they were done laughing, “maybe we could have a genuinely peaceful conversation.”

He continued, “And then this kid just rocks me in the face as hard as he can. My glasses flew off. After a two-second blur I had no clue what had happened. I couldn’t believe this kid actually hit me.”

Eyewitnesses Josh Josephs and Alex Winokur told Mael:

“Daniel went up to talk with them and have an educated conversation and try to rationalize their opinions,” said Josephs. “The conversation shortly escalated to the Palestine group being very arrogant and irrational. The people behind the table starting attacking Daniel, calling him a ‘Zionist, racist, baby killer.’”

When Temple University security appeared on the scene, Vessal began explaining what occurred. According to multiple witnesses, the SJP students were shouting at him, “Zionist pig!” Witnesses also told Mael they heard the SJP students yelling “Kike” at Vessal as he lay on the ground.

Temple University, you say? Go figure:

Or as Roger L. Simon recently noted, “Welcome to the 1930s.”

Obama’s Golf War

August 20th, 2014 - 8:55 pm


Kudos to the New York Daily News, a center-left newspaper, for having a rare moment of clarity, even as its crosstown rival pulls its punches and retracts its own golf-related punch at their boss, and unlike the Daily News a likely accidental one, to boot.

But then, as John Hinderaker writes at Power Line, “In recent months, Barack Obama has crossed an important threshold. He has always shown contempt for his opponents; now he shows contempt for his supporters. He has quit pretending to be a leader, and more or less quit pretending to be a president. On the right and the center, he has become a joke,” as demonstrated by the Michael Ramirez cartoon that Hinderaker links to in his post.

Ace compares Mr. Obama’s contempt for — at this point, well, pretty much the entire world — as something akin to the mammoth level of OCD displayed by the Sheldon Cooper character on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory sitcom. But the subtext of the show is that Sheldon really is genius-level smart — and as a side-effect of his enormous intellect, clueless about how to deal with the rest of the world.

Setting aside the inherent limitations of the modern PC Ivy League education (I’m looking at you, Fareed and Matt), Barack Obama is no dummy — nobody who gets to the White House is — but he’s clearly not the Nietzschian uber-intelligence that he thinks he is. His hauteur isn’t a byproduct of OCD, it’s just leftwing arrogance and contempt for the entire world. Also, Sheldon is a comparatively lowly theoretical physicist at Caltech, with few people to remind him when he’s screwing up. Mr. Obama merely has his entire staff, both houses of Congress, and the entire American media as a performance gauge. And as Hinderaker writes, he’s increasingly flipping the bird to them all and hiding out from the rest of the world in the bunker — and the sandtrap.

The Hollywood Reporter has an intriguing look today at Saturday Night Live’s reactionary leftwing politics, both onstage and off.

When Don Pardo, SNL’s venerable announcer passed away this week, I was reminded that while I haven’t watched an entire episode of Saturday Night Live since the late Phil Hartman left the now-ancient series in 1994, I loved the show’s first five seasons — there was simply nothing else like it when it debuted, even if the misses greatly outweighed the hits. So in a way, I’m glad that its creator, Lorne Michaels, who is still with SNL, has what is essentially a comfortable NBC-funded retirement plan, no matter how unwatchable his current product is.

QED:

Robert Smigel, writer: It wasn’t until my last season that the network refused to air a “TV Funhouse.” It was a live-action one that was meant to be about racism and profiling, an airline-safety video with multilingual narration, and whenever you heard a different language, they would cut to people of that nationality. First, typical white Americans, then a Latino family, then a Japanese family, all being instructed about seat belts, overhead compartments, et cetera. Then it cuts to an Arab man, and the narrator says, in Arabic, “During the flight, please do not blow up the airplane. The United States is actually a humanitarian nation that is rooted in the concept of freedom,” and so on. … When the standards people freaked, Lorne fought them. Standards pushed back hard. They even got someone at NBC human resources to condemn it. … Lorne said, “I have a plan.” Obama was doing a cameo in the cold open. Lorne told me he would show my sketch to Obama. “If Obama thinks it’s OK, they won’t be able to argue it.” I thought it was a brilliant idea, except why would Obama ever give this thing his blessing? What if word got out? “Hey, everybody, that guy over there said it was cool. The one running for president of the country.” But I loved Lorne for caring this much and being willing to go that far to get this thing on TV.

Michaels: Obama said, “It’s funny, but no, I don’t think so.”

No wonder Obama tends to think of NBC as his personal TV network — complete with his own heckler’s veto, which he’s employed at least three times now.

welcome_back_carter_t-shirt-4-3-11

And the bad 1979-era flashbacks just keep on coming: “U.S. military attempted secret rescue operation for James Foley this summer,” claims a report from ABC, the House of Stephanopoulos (link safe, goes to Hot Air):

U.S. special operations forces early this summer launched a secret, major rescue operation in Syria to save James Foley and a number of Americans held by the extremist group ISIS, but the mission failed because the hostages weren’t there, senior administration officials told ABC News today.

President Obama authorized the “substantial and complex” rescue operation after the officials said a “broad collection of intelligence” led the U.S. to believe the hostages were being held in a specific location in the embattled Middle Eastern nation.

When “several dozen” U.S. special operation members landed in Syria, however, they were met with gunfire and “while on site, it became apparent the hostages were not there,” one of the officials said. The special operators engaged in a firefight in which ISIS suffered “a good number” casualties, the official said, while the American forces suffered only a single minor injury.

The American forces were able to get back on helicopters and escape.

Gee, that story rings a bell, doesn’t it? (Not to mention its source at ABC, which turned the Iranian Hostage Crisis into a relentless drumbeat against their fellow Democrat in the White House, via the innovative late night news program, Nightline.)

We already noted earlier today the New York Times‘ “Mush from the Wimp”-styled headline — “Obama, Outraged Over Beheading, Vows to Stay on Course” — right to the 18th hole of the country club. It’s deja Jimmy all over again; somewhere, a Killer Rabbit licks his chops in glee.

Update: A blog commenter at Hot Air wonders if the Underwear Gnomes at the White House are hard at work:

Loving the progression here…

1. Foley murdered.

2. White House knew it was going to happen.

3. Report comes out..”We really tried to save him!!”

4. ???

Meanwhile, the headline writers at the otherwise reliably supine-left Associated Press are also feeling a little salty this week.

Related: Of course: Obama’s fellow Democrat operatives at the New York Times fix embarrassing golf-related headline. More mush from the wimp’s wusses.

The News Anchors Who Didn’t Bark

August 20th, 2014 - 3:44 pm

“MSNBC Wouldn’t Be This Calm If Tea Party Protesters Threw Rocks at Their Hosts,” Larry O’Connor writes at the Washington Free Beacon:

So, imagine if you will: The scene is a small town in Missouri and the tea party is holding a protest against high taxes, illegal immigration and Obamacare. Chris Hayes is reporting on the scene and conservatives wearing masks start throwing rocks at him and screaming at him to “tell the real story.”

Would Hayes’ response be “People are angry, man”?

Of course not. Why? Because Chris Hayes agrees with the rioter in Ferguson but not the tea party protester? I think there’s more to it than that. I think maybe it’s also because in Chris Hayes’ own arrogant, intellectually self-satisfied superiority, he actually expects less from the rock-throwers Monday night than he does other members of society. And that’s the real problem with progressivism.

But we don’t need a hypothetical like this to tell us how MSNBC would react to this scenario. In 2012, an MSNBC producer physically assaulted a person at the RNC convention merely for heckling Chris Matthews over his famous “thrill up his leg” comment. No rocks involved in that incident, just good, old-fashioned free speech.

As I mentioned yesterday, why should an MSNBC anchor be upset at a rock thrown at him, while covering a protest ginned up by his fellow MSNBC anchor?

We can see a similar dynamic at work at CNN, which has been fanning the flames of race hatred at Ferguson almost as badly as MSNBC, even without having Al Sharpton on their payroll.

Compare and contrast: as Jim Treacher notes today at the Daily Caller, “I’m not sure if [CNN's Anderson Cooper] thought bringing the diminutive racist and former filmmaker [Spike Lee] on the air would help him in his nightly battle with MSNBC for second place in the ratings, but at least Spike said some really stupid crap.” In 2012, as Treacher notes:

The last time America’s race-baiters and their helpful idiots worked themselves into a frenzy over someone shooting a violent criminal in self-defense, Spike Lee gave out the home address of an elderly couple who had nothing to do with it. If you think he’s learned anything from that experience, you don’t know much about Spike Lee.

Flash-forward to last night, when Lee ranted to Cooper:

“When people get to a point, [unintelligible] that tipping point, they can’t take it anymore. And I’m not saying that people should burn down stuff, riot, and loot. And I don’t even want to use the work ‘riot.’ I’m gonna use the word ‘uprising.’ But this is not the first time we’ve seen this. And I just hope that things will really blow up if the people aren’t happy with the verdict of this upcoming trial.”

As Treacher notes, “And Cooper just lets all that go. He wouldn’t want to question Lee’s judgment and ongoing public advocacy of mob rule, because then somebody might say, ‘Hey, Anderson, you’re a racist!’”

Compare that 2009, when CNN Democrat operatives with bylines field reporters were insulting Tea Party members to their faces, and Democrat operative with a byline CNN anchor Anderson Cooper played along with self-hating homophobic “tea-bagging” jokes himself.

Don’t get me wrong — part of me is quite happy that the MSM dropped the mask at some point in the last ten years, and we know precisely what their biases are, even if they’re not always honest about them. But perhaps, given that the leftwing MSM consists, on TV, of CNNCBSNBCABCMSNBCPBS and more, and right-leaning media to be Fox News, perhaps instead of income inequality, it’s time to start discussing media inequality instead.

Related: “What if the Rioters Were White?”, Walter Hudson asks at the PJ Tatler. “If Ted Nugent talked about white empowerment, would it be tolerated like Al Sharpton talking about black empowerment?”

Update: “Fox’s Kurtz: CNN’s Jake Tapper ‘Grandstanding’ in Ferguson.”  Oh sure, next you’ll be telling me there’s gambling going on in Rick’s place in Casablanca.

Blog Comment of the Day

August 20th, 2014 - 3:28 pm

“Missouri cop was badly beaten before shooting Michael Brown, says source,” according to Fox News. Glenn Reynolds adds that “The Narrative Seems to Be Breaking Down.” His first blog commenter outlines exactly what the narrative du jour is:

There seems to be a pattern: 1) unarmed young black guy is shot, 2) there is a vast media outcry over the young “honor student’s” death, 3) family provides photos of the dead guy taken when he was 11 years old, well before he had opted for the ghetto thug look, 4) it comes out that the “honor student” has been committing felonies, 5) witnesses say the honor student was beating the hell out of the person who shot him, 6) Democrat politicians call for the shooter’s conviction, and 7) prosecutors, fearing rioting, black voters, or what have you, prosecute the shooter anyway.

Have I missed anything?

And as another blog commenter writes, expect things to get worse as a result:

We will soon see an almost complete lack of Policing in inner cities following the lynching of this officer. Why on Earth would a cop risk jail for enforcing the law? Of course the people that will suffer the most are the citizens of Ferguson and similar areas. They will soon degenerate into Jungles; the biggest and most aggressive will run rampant, and rob, and beat, and kill, without fear of the law.

See also: Detroit, a quarter of a century ago.

More Mush From the Wimp

August 20th, 2014 - 12:25 pm

As Wikipedia notes, “‘Mush from the Wimp’ was a joke headline accidentally passed through to publication at the top of a Boston Globe editorial in 1980:”

On Saturday, March 15, 1980, the Boston Globe ran an editorial that began:

Certainly it is in the self-interest of all Americans to impose upon themselves the kind of economic self-discipline that President Carter urged repeatedly yesterday in his sober speech to the nation. As the President said, inflation, now running at record rates, is a cruel tax, one that falls most harshly upon those least able to bear the burden.

There was nothing exceptional about it except the headline: “Mush from the Wimp”. The headline — which was supposed to have read “All Must Share The Burden” — was corrected during the press run after 161,000 copies had already gone to circulation.

In November 1982, Globe editorial page editor Kirk Scharfenberg wrote an op-ed piece discussing his creation of the phrase and the use of “wimp” as a popular political insult afterwards. “I meant it as an in-house joke and thought it would be removed before publication,” he explained. “It appeared in 161,000 copies of the Globe the next day.”

In the meantime, Theo Lippman Jr. of the Baltimore Sun declared “Mush from the Wimp” the second most famous newspaper headline of the 20th century, behind “Wall St. Lays an Egg” and ahead of “Ford to City: Drop Dead”.

The New York Times inadvertently had its own “Mush from The Wimp” headline today, which manages to combine Obama’s feckless Middle East policy, his monolithic lack of introspection, which prevents him from admitting mistakes and reassessing his administration’s goals, with his penchant for long hours out on the links into one inadvertent brilliant headline.

As Orrin Judd noted recently, it’s only a matter of time before the killer rabbit emerges onto the back fairway as well. But Glenn Reynolds warned us very early into former President Obama’s administration, “A Carter-rerun is now looking like a best-case scenario. . . .”

Related:

Update: The president vows to stay relentlessly on course:

2016 Might Not Be Much Fun for Harry Reid

August 19th, 2014 - 2:31 pm

Of course, no year is really fun for Harry Reid — simply because, hey, he’s Harry Reid. But as Moe Lane writes, “Everybody Harry Reid’s ever viciously attacked is getting ready for 2016:”

But in some ways it’s irrelevant: contra the Politico article, I suspect that most of the groups that will be going after Harry Reid would be going after him if Reid’s opponent was Bozo the Clown.  And they’re going to do that because while getting Harry Reid out of office is business, for these guys it’s personal, too.  Harry Reid made it personal.  Harry Reid has been accusing his opponents of being a bunch of secret anti-American totalitarians, and he did so in the nastiest way possible. I am not a libertarian, per se, but I am familiar with the people who are – and Harry Reid is everything that they detest in an American politician. He has no fixed principles. He has no shame. He has no compunction against feathering his own nest with public funds. In fact, Harry Reid flaunts the fact that his riches comes not from actual work, but from manipulating the system and collecting favors.

Read the whole thing. Of course, you can ruin this year for Harry Reid as well, by helping return him to minority leader of the Senate.

“Bear Flag State Turns Bearish,” Steve Green writes, linking to a column on the formerly golden state at Investor’s Business Daily. Of course, for those of who still live here, our first thought is, “Turns?”

his time last year, liberals around the country were trumpeting the big fiscal comeback of the Golden State in the wake of Jerry Brown’s giant tax increase — Proposition 30.

That initiative was passed by voters on Nov. 6, 2012, and it raised the personal income-tax rate on taxpayers making over $250,000 for singles and $500,000 for married couples to as high as 13% — which is the heaviest tax penalty on working and investing in the nation outside of New York City.

What was especially devious is that the tax hit was made retroactive to January 2012. Sacramento was so desperate for money that nobody seemed to mind this after-the fact taxation is really a form of confiscation.

In the short term, it worked and revenues climbed a whopping 21% because California’s top 2% had to pay taxes twice in 2013 — once on their current-year income and a supplemental check to pay for the retroactive tax on income from the year before.

As Steve adds, “So it turns out that ‘California Comeback’ was based on smoke and mirrors.” I wouldn’t recommend smoking whatever Jerry Brown’s sycophants are puffing (just ask Maureen Dowd) and those mirrors can be be deadly:

Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant’s concentrated sun rays — “streamers,” for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair

Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year and watched as birds burned and fell, reporting an average of one “streamer” every two minutes, are urging California officials to halt the operator’s application to build a still-bigger version.

And thus, the radical environmental left comes full circle:

Wasn’t it obvious that when Al Gore titled one of his books “The Assault on Reason,” he meant it as a how-to guide?

And finally, in other news from the socialist state, at City Journal, Rory Cohen writes, that Los Angeles’ “infrastructure crumbles as public-employee compensation balloons.” But then, that describes much of the rest of California as well, which has some of the worst roads — even NPR admits it — and the most graffiti in the nation.

Far Left Activist Calls for Mass Vandalism

August 19th, 2014 - 11:56 am

“Erica Payne, founder and president of the left-wing Agenda Project, is encouraging people to deface the cover of Paul Ryan’s new book, which is hitting shelves today,” Daniel Halper writes at the Weekly Standard:

“Hi Daniel,” Payne writes in an email. “Just a heads up, Paul Ryan’s new book comes out today and his publisher is furious! It turns out that they accidentally shipped it with the wrong cover, and they need your help to make things right.

“We have the correct cover and it’s up to us to get it on as many of his books as possible, as soon as possible. The real cover is right here. Just print it out, take it to your nearest bookstore, and place it over the book jacket. Rep. Ryan is counting on us, let’s not let him down!”

Of course, it’s a lie. Payne is encouraging people to deface Ryan’s book with this phony cover:

Click over to see the Payne’s proposed cover, which vandalizes Ryan’s book with a Photoshop of him — of course — pushing a terrified grandmother in a wheelchair. (Perhaps granny is simply frightened by the growing amount of taxes she’s paying.)

I was also spammed by Payne; as was Scott Johnson of Power Line, who writes that thanks to her proposal, “A window opens onto the left-wing mind:”

Payne is about as funny as cancer. I wrote her back:

Hi Erica: I appreciate your including me on your email distribution, but I think you are encouraging the criminal abuse of property. Are you so desperate to discourage Ryan’s ideas from seeing the light of day?

Scott

I’ll post an update if I hear back from her.

Heh. That’s a debate I’d love to observe.

To be fair, at least she’s “only” proposing mass vandalism of a book whose ideas she’s frightened of, unlike San Jose State’s Meteorology Department, which prefers to burn them.

Related: Click here to listen to my interview with Daniel Halper last week on his new book, Clinton, Inc. As we discuss, Halper has also run afoul of the left’s Thought Police with his new book.

Just MSNBC the Mobius Loop

August 19th, 2014 - 11:38 am


“MSNBC’s Chris Hayes was reporting live from Ferguson, Missouri Monday night when protesters began throwing rocks at him,” Mediaite reports, complete with video.

So just to confirm, an MSNBC newsreader received collateral damage during a riot whose flamed have been stoked by MSNBC’s Al Sharpton.

On Sunday, fellow Democrat operative Andrea Mitchell lied on NBC’s Meet the Press that Sharpton is in Ferguson “on a peace mission.” I wonder if Hayes agrees with that assessment today.

I hope the brass in NBC’s news division — once the home of grownups such as John Cameron Swayze, David Brinkley and John Chancellor — are proud of themselves today. But then, they probably are. As MSNBC President Phil Griffin told NPR in 2011, “I’m a big fan of the Reverend Sharpton. I’ve known him quite a bit. he’s smart. He’s entertaining. He’s experienced. He’s thoughtful. He’s provocative, all the things I think that MSNBC is.”

Perhaps the most inadvertently honest words that Griffin, or anyone associated with MSNBC, have ever spoken.

Update:

And it’s not just the Democrat operatives with bylines. Their boss is a superhero as well by that standard. As Steve Bartin noted yesterday, “Chicago Murder Total Under Mayor Daley 14,653 : Chicago Murder Total Under Rahm Emanuel 1475 So Far- Yet Barack Obama Sends Eric Holder to Missouri.”

Heckuva job there, Barry, Al, Eric, and Rahm.

More: “MSNBC News Crew Chastised By Ferguson Police For ‘Endangering Lives.’” Which brings us back to Phil Griffin’s quote above.

As does this post, as well.

1998_ap_style_guide_small_8-18-14-2

Click to enlarge.

The most recent copy of the Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual I own is dated 1998; I scanned the relevant page and highlighted the text in question. I also own a copy from my college days with a 1977 copyright on it. They both have the same guidelines for referring to someone as a “youth:”

youth Applicable to boys and girls from age 13 until 18th birthday. Use man or woman for individuals 18 and older.

“AP violating own style guidelines to refer to Michael Brown as ‘teenager’?”, Allahpundit asks at Hot Air. “Question mark in the headline because the AP Stylebook’s not available online, so I can’t confirm that it’s true. But I’m going to trust Eddie Scarry” of Mediaite:

The Associated Press Stylebook states that in reports referring to a person’s age, the figure for the age number should be used. It also states that reports should “use man or woman for individuals 18 and older.”

Why, then, are AP reports on the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown solely referring to him as a “teen” and “teenager”?

“Don’t know’ if Missouri teen shot with hands up,” reads one AP headline from Monday. “County autopsy: Unarmed teen shot 6 to 8 times,” reads another.

And an excerpt from yet another AP story, emphasis added: “Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon lifted a curfew but ordered the National Guard to step in to help restore order. Holder over the weekend ordered a federal medical examiner to perform a third autopsy on the teenager, Michael Brown.”

Unless the rules have changed at AP after 1998, then yes, they violated their Style Guide. But hey, that narrative doesn’t write itself, you know.

Update: “AP Violated Stylebook at least 11 times with at least 7 reporters,” frequent PJM contributor Tom Blumer writes.