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Ed Driscoll

Blogging since 2002, affiliated with PJM since 2005, where he is currently a columnist, San Jose Editor, and founder of PJM’s Lifestyle blog. Over the past 15 years, Ed has contributed articles to National Review Online, the Weekly Standard.com, Right Wing News, the New Individualist, Blogcritics, Modernism, Videomaker, Servo, Audio/Video Interiors, Electronic House, PC World, Computer Music, Vintage Guitar, and Guitar World.

Why Is the World Becoming Such a Nasty Place?

Victor Davis Hanson knows why:

Glance about — Central America, Venezuela, China, Russia, Ukraine, Crimea, Gaza, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Turkey, etc. — and the world outside the West is mostly a nasty place.  The three common denominators in all these catastrophes are the usual demagogic leaders blaming someone else for their people’s own self-inflicted miseries, a comfortable West that shrugs that somehow all these depressing things and mean people will just go away — and a tired global enforcer whose community organizer leader went into retirement and offers “make no mistake about it” warnings between swings on the golf course.

Read the whole thing.

Posted at 6:32 pm on July 27th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Hillary Clinton Praises George W. Bush

You go, Hill!

“George W. Bush is very popular in Sub-Saharan Africa. Why? Because of the president emergency program for AIDS relief whether you agree or disagree with a lot of what else he did — and I disagree with a lot of it — I am proud to be an American when I go to Sub-Saharan Africa and people say, ‘I want to thank President Bush and the United States for helping us fight HIV/AIDS.’ We spend a lot of money and a lot of time and effort trying to be influential around the world when I think we would be able to succeed more effectively if we were clearer about who we are and what we stand for and the values that we hold.”

Actually, I’d be really curious to hear which of GWB’s policies that Hillary disagrees with, as Bush #43 was, in many ways, an extension of the Clinton administration* — which made the left’s permanent seething all the more ironic to watch.

* Which Hillary is effectively running against, even as she attempts to conjure up nostalgic memories of that period.

Posted at 3:55 pm on July 27th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

John Kerry, Reporting For Duty

“Astoundingly, the secretary’s intervention in the Hamas war empowers the Gaza terrorist government bent on destroying Israel,” David Horovitz, the founding editor of the Times of Israel writes. Though I’m not at all sure why he spelled “absolutely par for the course for feckless archleftist John Kerry” using the word “astoundingly:”

The Netanyahu government has had no shortage of run-ins with Kerry in the mere 18 months he has held office. The prime minister publicly pleaded with him in November not to sign the interim deal with Iran on its rogue nuclear program, and there has been constant friction between the two governments over thwarting Iran’s bid for the bomb. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in January ridiculed Kerry’s security proposals for a West Bank withdrawal, calling the secretary “messianic” and obsessive” in his quest for an accord with the Palestinians that simply wasn’t there. The collapse of the talks in March-April was accompanied by allegations from Jerusalem that Kerry had botched the process, telling Israel one thing and the Palestinian Authority another, including misrepresenting Israel’s position on Palestinian prisoner releases.

But none of those episodes, though deeply troubling and relating to issues central to Israel’s well-being, provoked the kind of outraged disbelief at Kerry’s performance that has been emanating from the Israeli leadership in the past 48 hours. Leaked comments from unnamed senior government sources to Army Radio, Channel 2 and other Hebrew outlets have described the secretary as amateurish, incompetent, incapable of understanding the material he is dealing with — in short, a blithering fool.

But actually, it’s worse than that. What emerges from Kerry’s self-initiated ceasefire mission — Israel had already accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal; and nobody asked him to come out on a trip he prefaced with sneering remarks about Israel’s attempted “pinpoint” strikes on Hamas terror targets — is that Jerusalem now regards him as duplicitous and dangerous.

As Bookworm adds, “For John Kerry, when it comes to an American ally and a deadly enemy, it’s 1971 all over again:”

In acceding to Hamas’s demands, John Kerry is injuring not only an American ally (that would be Israel), but America too, since Hamas is, as I mentioned, an official terrorist group, not to mention a sworn enemy of the West.

So, a two-fer, then.

 

Posted at 2:37 pm on July 27th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

From the City That Brought You Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, Rahm, and Barry

“SHOCK: Jewish students shown ‘photos of ovens and told to get in’ by classmates in Chicago:”

CHICAGO – A school principal has been reassigned after a series of shocking bullying incidents that targeted Jewish students.

DNAinfo Chicago reports Ogden International School of Chicago principal Joshua VanderJagt asked to be reassigned because “challenges” arose after two students – one 14 years old and one 8 years old – suffered repeated threats by classmates.

The challenges surrounded allegations from Ogden parent Lisa Wolf Clemente that her 14-year-old and 8-year-old sons were bullied at both campuses by classmates for their Jewish heritage.

The Gold Coast resident said her teen son was shown photos of ovens and told to get in during lunch periods, intended as a reference to the Holocaust.

At the Streeterville campus, Wolf Clemente said her 8-year-old was invited to join a team called “Jew Incinerator” on the popular game app Clash of Clans. The team was allegedly created by Ogden eighth-graders.

In a screenshot provided by parents, the team description reads: “We are a friendly group of racists with one goal — put all Jews into an army camp until disposed of. Sieg! Heil!”

After the incidents, the bullies were suspended for two days – one in school and one out of school. They were also barred from “eighth grade graduation ceremonies,” according to the news service.

As I’ve written before, I shudder to think of how we’ll collectively remember World War II by the time this decade is out. If at all:

Oh, and speaking of Chicago, “Rahm Emanuel: Illegal Aliens are Fleeing Violent Conditions, So Let’s Move Them to Chicago.” Or as JWF quips, faced with the ongoing violence of Chicago, “perhaps the ‘migrants’ might fare better at home.”

Posted at 1:01 pm on July 27th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

US Evacuates Embassy in Libya

“The United States suspended operations at its embassy in Libya Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort amid a significant deterioration in security in Tripoli as fighting intensified between rival militias, the State Department said,” according to a Fox News report:

“Due to the ongoing violence resulting from clashes between Libyan militias in the immediate vicinity of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, we have temporarily relocated all of our personnel out of Libya,” spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

The withdrawal underscored the Obama administration’s concern about the heightened risk to American diplomats abroad, particularly in Libya where memories of the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in the eastern city of Benghazi are still vivid and the political uproar over it remain fresh ahead of a new congressional investigation into the incident. A senior military official told Fox News the Pentagon has been advising the State Department leave the post for weeks.

“Securing our facilities and ensuring the safety of our personnel are top department priorities, and we did not make this decision lightly,” Harf said. “Security has to come first. Regrettably, we had to take this step because the location of our embassy is in very close proximity to intense fighting and ongoing violence between armed Libyan factions.”

American personnel at the Tripoli embassy, which had already been operating with limited staffing, left the capital around dawn and traveled by road to neighboring Tunisia, according to Harf. Roughly 70 embassy staffers were driven out of the city in a caravan by 80 Marines, Fox News has learned.

Former President Obama is on the case, though.

Nahh, just kidding. He’s on the links, of course:

As Twitchy notes, “Ouch! World in turmoil, President Voting Present golfs; Newt Gingrich brutally nutshells:”

Mark Steyn brutally nutshells as well:

Dinesh D’Souza has a new movie out called America: Imagine A World Without Her – but we don’t really have to “imagine”, it’s happening before our eyes. Nothing difficult and complicated about it: in this decline and fall, the Emperor simply went fundraising.

At any rate, Jamie Weinstein sat in for Hugh Hewitt this week, and took me on a brisk trot round current topics:

MARK STEYN: Well, what’s going on in the world is of very little interest to President Fundraiser. He’s got other priorities, and the rest of the planet, as I believe it’s marked on the State Department maps, can go take a hike… There’s a vacuum of American power. And John Kerry is the physical presence of American absence. Nobody wants to see him. Nobody wants to do the handshake. Nobody wants to pose for photographs.

Finally, at the Belmont Club, Richard Fernandez contrasts additional news of fresh global disaster and concludes, “This is Obama Tranquility Base bidding you goodnight.”

Posted at 12:05 pm on July 27th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Israeli Ambassador Tells CNN You Do Your Viewers a Disservice

“Israeli ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer slammed CNN for its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Thursday on OutFront, telling host Erin Burnett the network did a disservice to viewers by not providing facts and context in their reports on the violence there,” as spotted by the Washington Free Beacon:

Dermer reminded Burnett Hamas has been using schools, hospitals and other non-military installations as weapon depots.

“It would be a disservice to your viewers for a reporter from Gaza not to mention that in the last week we had two different UNRWA schools where we had actually rockets found in the schools and handed over to Hamas,” he said.

Dermer grew angrier when he mentioned he’d watched two hours of CNN and not heard a single reporter tell the viewers of this practice.

“I have not heard a single person say what I just said to you now, and I think that that does a disservice to your viewers to not give them the context they need to make these judgments,” he said. “Hamas is placing missile batteries in schools, in hospitals, in mosques, and there must be outrage by the world at Hamas to end this.”

I’m forced to watch about a half hour of CNN in the background on the monitor above my treadmill at the local gym each night, and while it’s always been a train wreck, sadly, the events of the past two week have been tailor-made for the only thing left that the low-rated Time-Warner owned network can apparently still do: bash Israel and report on horrific plane crashes.

Say, does anybody know Jeff Zucker’s whereabouts when the Air Algerie flight was shot down over Africa this week…

 

Posted at 11:04 am on July 26th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Questions Nobody is Asking

“What would it take to make you cut off your own leg? The most terrifying ethical dilemmas in torture porn horror movies,” asks Salon

Considering the terrifying lobotomy the once more-or-less respectable Salon chose to administer to itself at some point in the last decade, perhaps it’s a question the publication should kick around in its own offices to diagnose how things went so horribly wrong.

Update: Slate, which played Newsweek to Salon’s Time magazine in the early days of the World Wide Web (or was it the other way around?) has also self-lobotomized in recent years, with similarly painful results.

Posted at 10:35 am on July 26th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Quote of the Day

So, I’m skeptical of the death penalty’s administration because the criminal justice system is a disaster. But, assuming guilt, I don’t really care much about the morality of killing people. The nation-state is all about killing people. Its sole reason for existing is that it’s better at killing people in large numbers than any other form of human organization. If you don’t like the idea of the state killing people, you don’t like the idea of the state. If you don’t realize this, it’s because your thinking is confused.

—Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit.com, today.

Posted at 5:52 pm on July 25th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

‘Obama: Stop Me Before I Invade Iraq!’

As Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page, “This is probably one of the more confusing stories to come out of a completely confused administration:”

The Obama administration is calling on Congress to fully repeal the war authorization in Iraq to ensure that no U.S. troops return to the country, which is under siege by the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).

White House national security adviser Susan Rice petitioned Speaker of the House John Boehner (R., Ohio) in a letter Friday to completely repeal the war authorization, officially known as the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq, or AUMF.

“With American combat troops having completed their withdrawal from Iraq on December 18, 2011, the Iraq AUMF is no longer used for any U.S. government activities and the administration fully supports its repeal,” Rice wrote. “Such a repeal would go much further in giving the American people confidence that ground forces will not be sent into combat in Iraq.”

Wait, the Obama administration is actually claiming it will cooperate with a GOP-led Congress? Perhaps they could demonstrate their sincerity by first complying with its subpeonas. I know — I keed, I keed.

In the meantime, Greenfield has the perfect metaphor for this latest absurdity from the administration led by the recently retired President Obama. (Language alert, for obvious reasons. Please address all complaints to Mel Brooks and/or Warner Brothers Pictures, a division of Time-Warner-CNN-HBO):

Posted at 4:04 pm on July 25th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

‘If You Want To Drive a Volt, Happy Motoring. But Don’t Force Me To Pay For It.’

Obama-VW-Lemon-Parody-8-6-10

“The very expensive death of the Chevy Volt,” as diagnosed by John Hayward at Breitbart.com:

I’ve been a student of the Chevy Volt electric-car debacle since the first time I took a stab at figuring out the actual per-unit cost of each car, with the subsidies figured in.  The thing launched with a sticker price of $41,000, but direct state and federal subsidies – i.e. taxpaying chumps forced at gunpoint to pay for part of your shiny new electric car – could take it down to $33,500 or less.  But if you figured in all the subsidies those taxpayer chumps were forced to give manufacturers, they really cost at least $81,000 apiece.  You paid $33k or so, while people who will never drive a Volt, and maybe never buy a Chevy, covered the rest.

Later Voltologists suggested I was being far too generous to this boondoggle, because the subsidies indirectly drawn into production of the vehicle and its battery were far larger than the direct nuts-and-bolts subsidies I was counting.  It has been suggested the real unit cost was closer to $200,000 per car.

Hayward goes on to note:

Well, here we are in 2014, and it can be decisively stated that skyrocketing Volt sales are not in the cards.  In fact, Detroit News reports that the European version of the Vault is being scrapped completely.  As for domestic sales…

Volt sales have also struggled and never met GM’s initial forecasts for sales growth.

Volt sales fell 34 percent in June in the United States to 1,777 and are down 12.6 percent this year to 8,615. GM cut prices of its plug-in hybrid Volt last year. It’s also offering hefty incentives for its slow-selling plug-in Cadillac ELR, which has sold just 390 vehicles in the first half of the year.

Last September, then GM CEO Dan Akerson told The Detroit News the automaker would take on upstart EV automaker Tesla Motors. Akerson said the Detroit automaker plans to confront Tesla via its Cadillac brand.

“If you want to compete head-to-head with Tesla, and we ultimately will, you want to do it with a Cadillac,” he said.

Yes, and you want to do it with your own money, you corporate parasite.  What’s the big strategy for the crippled Volt taking down the arthritic Tesla in the Who-Gives-A-Damn electric car micro-market?

While GM will cheerfully continue rake in tax payer dollars to build their hybrids, their deep down sense of shame is perhaps reflected in their recent ad for the coal-powered Cadillac, whose strutting theme is the antithesis of the welfare state, corporate and otherwise:

Posted at 3:31 pm on July 25th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Whitewashing Israel

“Mainstream-media outlets in the West love to run photographs of Palestinians, typically looking sympathetic in the ruins of bombed-out buildings. On the rare occasions when editors include photos of Israelis, the images bear a striking similarity to one another: All the people in them are white,” Nathaniel Zelinsky writes:

In reality, Israelis — including thousands of soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) — are not uniformly white or even Jewish. Consider the commander of the Golani Brigade, one of the country’s elite infantry units, currently fighting in Gaza as part of Operation Protective Edge. Colonel Rasan Alian is an Arab Druse who has served in the IDF for over two decades. Recently wounded in the eye and hospitalized, he returned to the front lines as quickly as he could to lead his men. In Alian’s own words, quoted in the Israeli press, “I want to go back to Gaza, and get to as many terrorists as possible.”

Do you find it intriguing that an Arab abhors Hamas and has spent 20 years of his life defending the Jewish state? Well, CNN doesn’t. Its investigative journalists prefer to malign Israelis as “scum.” Apparently Rasan Alian just isn’t a compelling story.

Or what about Chief Warrant Officer Baynesian Kasahun and Staff Sergeant Moshe Malko, two of the Israeli soldiers tragically killed in combat? They are both black. In fact, peruse the entire list of those who have given their lives to stop Hamas’s reign of terror. There is a lot of diversity there.

Funny how the MSM, which is obsessed with skin color, can’t see its diversity when it comes to those whose ideology they despise.

Posted at 1:18 pm on July 25th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

‘Chubby Checker, HP Settle Lawsuit Over Penis-Measuring App’

Greatest. Headline. Ever. Courtesy of Reuters and Yahoo:

The singer Chubby Checker has settled a lawsuit in which he accused Hewlett-Packard Co of using his trademarked name without permission on a software app that purported to measure the size of a man’s penis.

HP denied liability in agreeing to settle with Checker, whose given name is Ernest Evans, but agreed not to make future use of his stage name, likeness or related trademarks.

The settlement was disclosed in a Tuesday filing with the San Francisco federal court. Other terms remain confidential. It is unclear whether money changed hands.

He said hands. [Insert Beavis and Butthead chuckle here.]

But what exactly was the once staid and respectable firm of Hewlett-Packard thinking, when they created or began marketing what Reuters describes as an app “which purported to let women estimate the size of a man’s genitals based on his shoe size” in the first place?

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Posted at 12:56 pm on July 25th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Obamacare’s Orwellian Godfather

“‘He who controls the past controls the future,’ observed George Orwell. ‘He who controls the present controls the past.’ This, in one pithy, symmetrical little maxim, has been the story of Obamacare from its conception to the present day,” Charles C.W. Cooke writes at NRO:

Today, we are witnessing the fall from grace of the progressive health-care wonk, Jonathan Gruber, a primary architect of Obamacare who is renouncing his previous testimony with all the giddy enthusiasm of a veteran clerk in the Kruschev administration. Once upon a time, Gruber was admirably honest on the subject of how his creation worked, and what it did and did not permit the federal government to achieve. On a tour of the country in 2012, Gruber urged recalcitrant states to set up their own health insurance exchanges, explaining in no uncertain terms the consequences of their declining to do so. A video unearthed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute shows Gruber not merely laying out how the law works, but why it works as it does. “What’s important to remember politically about” Obamacare, Gruber explains, in what he happily refers to as a “verifiable, objective” presentation, “is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits.” Why not? Because, while the federal government is permitted to establish an exchange per se, it is not permitted to offer any tax subsidies through it. “The law,” Gruber records flatly, “says if the states don’t provide [the exchanges], the federal backstop will. The federal government has been sort of slow in putting out its backstop, I think partly because they want to sort of squeeze the states to do it.” This, Gruber contended, was a “blatant enough political reality,” and one that he hoped would be enough for states to “get their act together and recognize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges” — billions of dollars, he went to great lengths to clarify, that would not be available through a federal exchange. No state exchange, he explained, no money.

“Fast forward a year or so, though, and you will see Gruber radically change his tune,” Cooke writes, adding, “We have always been at war with Eastasia.” Read the whole thing.

But then, we have always been at war with Eastasia:

Posted at 12:37 pm on July 25th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

‘Make that Juicebox a Double’

As Twitchy reported, a video showing Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber admitting in 2012 that residents of states that don’t establish their own health insurance exchanges won’t receive Obamacare subsidies has been making the rounds and sticking in liberals’ already-crowded craws. But as we all know, it’s not really a party until Ezra Klein shows up. Fortunately for us, the King of the JuiceVoxers didn’t disappoint:”

ezra_klein_juicebox_meltdown_7-25-14-1

Click to enlarge schadenfreude.

But actually, someone did tell Ezra:

yglesias_sophistry_8-10
Oh, and Matt’s surprised he got played as well. “Definitely a weird thing that happened!”

 

Posted at 11:30 am on July 25th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Fly the Unfriendly Skies

Gerard Baker of the Wall Street Journal tweets, “2014 is already the deadliest year for air travel since 2010, data show.”

Meanwhile, PJM’s David Steinberg spots an alarming bit of synchronicity in a Drudge-linked post: “Boeing 777s, After 18 Spotless Years, Crash Three Times Since July 2013:”

The disappearance of MH370 certainly appears to have been terror — the pilot intended to at least hijack the flight, though I have yet to hear evidence that he chose a 777 for any reason relating to the product itself. And MH17 most definitely was taken down by terror, though intercepted recordings point to the malicious operators of the Buk having not intended to target a passenger craft, much less a 777 specifically.

The San Francisco crash, strange at was, was stranger still in that a fatality occurred when a survivor was struck by an emergency vehicle.

In a year, 540 people have perished on one of the safest, soundest transports ever created — and it’s still just as safe as ever. Crazy world.

It’s always been a crazy planet; as Michael Ledeen recently wrote, “The World Is Returning to Normal:”

Of all the popular myths about “how the world works,” the most dangerous to us at this moment is the one that goes “peace is normal, war is an aberration.”  Truth is, war is normal and peace very unusual.  We’ve lived through a happy time, ever since the Second World War.  Thanks to American superpower, and the destruction of the totalitarian regimes in Rome, Berlin and Moscow, we’ve had a happy period of relative peace.  Very few big wars.  Little genocides (China is exceptional, but they changed to accommodate the global pattern).  Deterrence (as in “mutual assured destruction”) mostly worked.

That was a rare time.  Now we’re getting back to normal.  There’s a good reason for that old Roman wisdom “if you want peace, prepare for war.”  It’s because “peace” most always happens when somebody wins a war, and then imposes conditions on the losers.  That’s what “peace conferences” are all about.  Our recent happy time was the result of war, and our adoption of the Roman wisdom.  We smashed our enemies, we created military alliances to deter our new enemies (NATO, etcetera), we built and maintained a big arsenal on land, air and sea.

We prepared for war to make peace possible.

As Michael notes, in the past, the world was made safer when men who had America’s best interest at heart were in power and the notion of America as the world’s policeman was met with, well, perhaps a sneer from our enemies, but not a dismissive eye roll and chuckle.

Related: “President To Dem Donors: ‘You’re Chronicling The Slow Deterioration Of Barack Obama.’” And funding the rapid deterioration of America itself. (Not to mention the rest of the world as well.)

Posted at 3:05 pm on July 24th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Happy 14th Blog-versary to Kaithy Shaidle!

Glenn Reynolds’ Instapundit began in August of 2001. Pushback against the MSM’s formula coverage of 9/11 resulted in the first wave of new blogs arriving shortly thereafter. But a year prior, Kathy Shaidle began her first blog, and has been going strong p***ing off all the right left people strong ever since:

After writing about crazy evil Muslims 24/7 since 9/11, I decided to (mostly) leave that topic to my husband.

Life is too long to read and write about their bullshit anymore unless I feel so inclined.

It’s like how I (mostly) gave up blogging about religion, and turned the original site, RelapsedCatholic, into FiveFeetOfFury.

I can’t foresee what I’ll be blogging about 14 days or weeks or years from now, but I’m pretty sure I’ll still be here (despite the “Death of the Blog” that I’ve been hearing about since, well, about three years after I started…)

Thanks again for sticking around, for reading my stuff at other sites, like Taki’s and PJMedia, and for reading my books (and saying nice things about them.)

Your support amazes me.

It’s always fascinating to go back to what was being written in the late 1990s, 2000, and pre-9/11 2001 to remember how simpler and much more optimistic things seemed back then. (James Lileks’ first Bleats should be placed in a time capsule for what day-to-day life in the late 1990s was like.) Of course, it helped that there was still optimism over how the then-still nascent World Wide Web would transform, well, if not the world, at least how we got our news and pop culture.

Of course, what we didn’t know is that the nightmares that would haunt us in the coming decade were even then being crafted, both internationally:

And domestically:

Not to mention another topic that would dominate the news cycle of the past decade:

Because pop culture had started to fracture thanks to the initial breakup of mass media in the 1990s, that decade never had the feeling of a unified overculture that the 1980s had, and while we were living it, the nineties seemed remarkably chaotic. But today, it’s obvious that 1990s-era nostalgia is rapidly growing. It will be fascinating to watch Hillary Clinton attempt to profit from it, even as she denounces all of the ways her husband’s policies — either on his own, or attempting to steal the GOP’s lunch — made it happen.

Posted at 2:05 pm on July 24th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Today’s News of Fresh Disaster Sponsored by Time-Warner-CNN-HBO

“Let me save you a bunch of time: All the news overseas is bad this morning. Bad, bad, bad,” Jim Geraghty writes:

Breaking news out of Algeria:

An Air Algeria-operated MD83 carrying 116 passengers and crew disappeared en route from Burkina Faso in Africa to Algiers, the aircraft’s owner said.

The plane, which took off in the west African country shortly after midnight, was supposed to land at 05:10 a.m. local time, Swiftair, a charter company based in Spain said in a statement today. The plane carried 110 passengers and six crew.

“There has been no contact with the plane until now,” Swiftair said. “Emergency teams and the company’s personnel are working to figure out what happened and will notify people as further information is available.”

Ukraine: “While Kiev made significant advances against rebels in the country’s east in recent days, Ukrainian and U.S. officials say Russian weapons are continuing to pour over the border. The escalation in fighting suggests Russian President Vladimir Putin has no intention of dialing back his support for the separatists, denting Western hopes that international attention from the airliner crash would force him to change course.”

In contrast, a “tiny bit of good news” spotted by Jim out of Israel…

“Under pressure from Israeli and American officials, the Federal Aviation Administration lifted a temporary ban on flights by American carriers to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport late on Wednesday night.” The European airlines are reinstating flights.

…Followed by more grim news from Europe, which reads like the continent is reverting back to 1930s-era antisemitism.

Meanwhile, Time magazine, as Ed Morrissey notes at Hot Air, is running the following cover:

time-putin_7-24-14

Naturally, Time-Warner-CNN-HBO has a serious case of amnesia as to how we got here. To refresh their memory, here’s the man they propped up in 2008 holding a copy of Time columnist and CNN droning head Fareed Zakaria’s then new book, which portrayed the brave new “Post-American World” as if it were a good thing. Here’s CNN clearing a path for Barack Obama in mid-2008 via “The Wright-Free Zone”:

In November of 2008, even before he took office, Time magazine declared Barack Obama the next FDR. Apparently, now Time-Warner-CNN-HBO is surprised to see a similar amount of moral relativity from this president in regards to Russia and Putin as FDR displayed towards Stalin and the Soviet Union.

No one perhaps more so than Candy Crowley of CNN, who asked Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) if she “believes that U.S Russian relations are now at cold war levels.”

Feinstein responded yes.

Gee, who knew?

And who did everything she could to derail Romney’s chances in 2012? But of course:

I’m not sure which is worse — Time-Warner-CNN-HBO feigning surprise that the world has ended up as ugly as it has during the administrations that they greased the skids for twice, or their amnesia regarding their complicity. But in any case, today’s news of fresh disaster was sadly all too predictable — and avoidable.

Update: “How Our World Fell Apart,” from Ed Klein at Townhall. For my interview earlier this week with Ed, click here.

Posted at 12:02 pm on July 24th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Breaking News: ‘Socialists Are Cheaters, Says New Study’

Well, of course. But it’s always nice to have confirmation:

“The longer individuals were exposed to socialism, the more likely they were to cheat on our task,” according to a new study, “The (True) Legacy of Two Really Existing Economic Systems,” from Duke University and the University of Munich. The team of researchers concluded this after working with 259 participants from Berlin who grew up on opposite sides of the infamous wall.

When playing a dice game that could earn them €6 ($8), subjects originally from the East, which was for four decades under socialist rule, were more likely than their market economy counterparts in West to lie about how they fared. The Economist explains the task:

The game was simple enough. Each participant was asked to throw a die 40 times and record each roll on a piece of paper. A higher overall tally earned a bigger payoff. Before each roll, players had to commit themselves to write down the number that was on either the top or the bottom side of the die. However, they did not have to tell anyone which side they had chosen, which made it easy to cheat by rolling the die first and then pretending that they had selected the side with the highest number. If they picked the top and then rolled a two, for example, they would have an incentive to claim—falsely—that they had chosen the bottom, which would be a five.

The results were that “East Germans cheated twice as much as West Germans overall,” leaving the researchers to conclude the “the political regime of socialism has a lasting impact on citizens’ basic morality.”

And then there’s the game that asks: who goes national socialist? 

Popular during the predecessor regime to the former East and West Germany and increasingly en vogue today.

Update: QED.

Posted at 8:03 pm on July 23rd, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Tweet of the Day

As one person writes on Twitter, “Netanyahu’s expression in this photo with John Kerry speaks for all sane human beings who see through the bullsh**.”

Related: “Kerry to Mother of Fallen IDF Soldier: ‘How’s Your Day?’”

Posted at 4:40 pm on July 23rd, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Dispatches from Airstrip One

“Did I Hear This Correctly? (From the BBC Files),” a Ricochet poster asks:

Was just watching BBC World News which I do when seeking the Global Left line on the news.  According to the BBC, the “International Community” (who are those guys?) have two demands:

1.  Ukrainian separatists must stop launching missiles which threaten commercial aircraft and the Russians must stop supplying such missiles.

2.  Israel must stop attacking those who are launching missiles which threaten commercial aircraft.  No mention as to what those who are supplying such missiles should do.

It’s not at all a coincidence that Orwell was inspired to create the “Ministry of Truth” and Room 101 from his days at the BBC.

Or that the BBC views 1984 as a how-to guide:

Posted at 3:50 pm on July 23rd, 2014 by Ed Driscoll