» Muggeridge’s Law

Ed Driscoll

Muggeridge's Law

al_sharpton_daughter_hiking_5-19-15-1

Like Al Sharpton himself, his daughter Dominique has a plan to stick to the man — and like Al himself, she’s her own worst enemy in implementing it:

The Rev. Al Sharpton’s island-hopping, mountain-hiking daughter — who is suing the city for $5 million after purportedly injuring her ankle on a Soho sidewalk — posted more damning Instagram pics Monday of her frolicking in Indonesia as legal experts said her social-media activity could cost her big bucks.

“#Balidays on the Gilis!!!’’ Dominique Sharpton, 28, wrote with two snapshots of herself at what looked like a posh Gili Island retreat.

The new entries came the same day The Post revealed others in which the supposedly hobbled Dominique boasted of climbing a mountain there.

Since allegedly spraining her ankle in October, she has also been pictured in high heels at a hippie party and climbing the dicey terrain of Red Rock Canyon in Nevada.

The photos kill even the slightest chance Dominique had of collecting big bucks from the city, legal experts said, even as the de Blasio administration has been shelling out more money than ever to settle lawsuits.

The New York Post quotes a legal expert who predicts that as a result of her photos undermining her case, Sharpton’s daughter would collect only $5,000 to $7,500. “That would leave her with a net gain of about zero after paying off expert witnesses and her lawyer, he said.”

No word yet on when NBC will be forcing her father to pay his tax bills; “Records reviewed by The New York Times show more than $4.5 million in current state and federal tax liens against him and his for-profit businesses,” the Gray Lady reported last year in a rare moment of journalism from the former newspaper.

Great Moments in Self-Awareness

May 15th, 2015 - 11:07 am

Or the lack thereof:

Despite this outrageous setup and all the attention to it over the past 20 years, the status quo is still firmly entrenched, especially when it comes to health research. All of us — physicians, policymakers, journalists, curious patients — can’t access many of the latest research findings, unless we fork over a hefty sum or it happens to be published in an open-access journal.

Because of these now well-known problems, it’s not unusual to hear statements like those from The Lancet editor Richard Horton that ”Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.” He continued: “Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”

“Science is often flawed. It’s time we embraced that,” GE-funded Vox.com, today.

You know what other “literature” may simply be untrue? The material published by the JuiceVoxers themselves. Just ask ‘em:

yglesias_sophistry_8-10

(H/T: Small Dead Animals; as one of the commenters notes, “What an odd story to be published in Vox since their history is steeped in ‘the science is settled.’”)

Two Condé Nasts in One!

May 14th, 2015 - 7:23 pm

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

Data center emissions account for small percentage of global emissions, Greenpeace information technology analyst Gary Cook tells us. That’s not much compared to 14 percent that goes towards agriculture or the 13 percent that goes to transportation. But data center emissions are growing by at least 13 percent per year, Cook says. And within two years, information technology in general, including manufacturing servers and other gear, is expected to be to account for between seven and 12 percent of all electrical use, according the report.

Data centers are expected to account for about 21 percent of that usage, mostly because of the explosive demand for streaming video. Cook explains that even though streaming can offset some emissions, such as the manufacture and delivery of DVDs or BluRay disks, the convenience of streaming is leading us to consume more content. Instead of buying a few videos and watching them again and again, we’re now binge-watching entire seasons of shows in a sitting, which ends up creating a bigger carbon footprint overall.

“Your binge-watching is making the planet warmer,” Wired magazine, owned by Condé Nast publications. (Link safe; goes to excerpt at Hot Air.)

Condé Nast Entertainment has begun streaming more than 600 episodes of digital video content on Roku, the “over the top” set-top box that streams programming to the Internet. “CNE now produces up to 40 new episodes a week on a growing portfolio of regular shows,” writes Steve Smith.

And in mid-March the glossy publisher’s Brides magazine will begin streaming its second version of “Brides Live Wedding,”  a weekly Web series “where readers can plan a couple’s wedding via social media by voting on everything from the dress to the flowers,”  writes Lucia Moses in Adweek. “Every aspect of the wedding will have a sponsor, from the registry (Target) to hair and beauty (Neutrogena) and wedding bands (Simon G.).”

“Conde Nast Starts Streaming Digital Content On Roku,” MediaPost, December 9, 2013.

As the Insta-Professor likes to say, I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people who tell me it’s a crisis start to act like it’s a crisis themselves. If Condé Nast don’t want to look like hypocrites, they need to not only immediately cease streaming their videos, but close down their Websites, which are also housed in data centers and server farms.

Flashback: From 2010, “Springtime for Algore:” Condé Nast’s Traveler‘s Romantic Pilgrimage to Germany’s ‘Eco–Anschluss.’

Barack Obama, Crack Military Historian

May 14th, 2015 - 6:08 pm

“Chlorine itself historically has not been listed as a chemical weapon,” Mr. Obama said today when discussing Syria walking all over the many red lines his administration has placed in front of it.

No, really. Wait’ll Mr. Obama discovers that little internecine scrum we like to call World War I. Moe Lane theorizes what the befuddled gaffe-prone semi-retired president likely meant:

What Barack Obama probably meant to say is that chlorine gas is too useful in too many industrial processes to be successfully banned as a chemical weapon. Unfortunately, President Obama is that worst of public speakers: which is to say, a bad one who has been told once too often that he’s a good one. So it goes.

Moe also advises that said befuddled gaffe-prone semi-retired president fire the staffer who wrote the above quote. But it has a nice symmetry, doesn’t it? Mr. Obama’s second term play-acting at being president was kicked off by not noticing or caring that speechwriter Jon Favreau* had inserted the dreaded Chamberlain-esque phrase “peace in our time” into his inauguration speech, nicely foreshadowing the International horrors to come under his watch. If the president and his young staffers don’t know basic World War II history, who would expect them to know a detail of WWI that a fifth grader should know?

(Not that Mr. Obama, the self-proclaimed “constitutional law professor” knows a whole lot about American history either: recall in 2011 when he declared, “Texas has always been a pretty Republican state, you know, for historic reasons,” which would certainly be news to Lyndon Johnson, John Connally, and Ann Richards.)

* Pictured here on the front lines of the Democrats’ infamous war on women.

Update:

And tomorrow’s headlines today!

Flashback: Past performance, no guarantee, etc.:

“Oh Look: Michelle Obama’s Complaining Again.” Jon Gabriel of Ricochet on the never-ending kvetching tour of our perpetually-aggrieved FLOTUS:

Last week, first lady Michelle Obama lectured the leaders of The Whitney Museum at their grand opening, insisting that American museums are unwelcoming to “people who look like (her).” Her stable, middle-class childhood and her Ivy League education — topped with wealth, power, and privilege — can ‘t mitigate her fury at perceived ill-treatment at the hands of a racist America.

This week, FLOTUS registered a new complaint about the bad hand America has dealt her. In a commencement address, she inspired graduates of Alabama’s Tuskegee University by lamenting the pain and emotional distress she has endured as the first African-American First Lady.

Read the whole thing. And then check out Michelle Malkin, who lowers the boom on Michelle O. “It’s hard to take Mrs. Obama seriously, because she has been caught so brazenly lying about the racial discrimination she supposedly still faces today even as first lady of the United States:”

“Even as the first lady,” she bemoaned, “not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me” at a Target store “was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf.” Remember: ABC News reported that Mrs. Obama claimed such “incidents are ‘the regular course of life’ for African Americans and a ‘challenge’ for the country to overcome.”

The anecdote turned out to be a tall tale — with the emphasis on “tall.” The reason the 5-foot-11 first lady was asked to get detergent off the Target shelf was that her vertically challenged fellow shopper couldn’t reach it. How do we know this? Because Mrs. Obama said so herself in a radically different version of the Target story she told David Letterman three years ago.

“I reached up, ’cause she was short, and I reached up, pulled it down,” the first lady described with that megawatt grin, and the shopper said, “Well, you didn’t have to make it look so easy.” Far from psychologically debilitated by any racial “sting,” Mrs. Obama told Letterman, “I felt so good” helping out the short woman.

I don’t care what color you are: This arrogant exercise of first lady privilege — invoking false stories to stoke racial hostility and score political points — is patently offensive. There’s enough demagoguery in the public square. The Aspen ski-vacationing, haute couture-wearing, Hollywood elite-chumming first lady’s delusional discrimination fables are fuel on a raging fire her husband has failed to alleviate with billions of dollars of government “investments,” programs, summits and photo-ops.

It is especially irresponsible of Mrs. Obama to be spreading her cultural gasoline on college campuses, where the excesses of identity politics and multiculturalism continue to poison young minds.

Don’t like suffering the “daily slights” of questions about your honesty? Stop lying.

In recent weeks, Mrs. Obama seems to have entered the political equivalent of the late career decadent phase in which many ’70s rock stars wallowed, during the financial peak of that industry, in the copycat wake of John Lennon’s confessional first solo album after the Beatles split up in 1970. Traffic’s “The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys,” Bob Seeger’s “Turn the Page,” The Who’s Who By Numbers album, Led Zeppelin’s Presence and Pink Floyd’s double album The Wall all made ’70s-era audiences shell out their hard-earned money to hear how truly awful it was being a millionaire rock star. Oh, the psychic horrors of touring by private plane and the endless brandy, coke and groupies after the stadium shows. The horror. The horror. Dire Straits’ mid-’80s smash “Money for Nothing” was a witty turn on the same concept; song from the point of view of a jealous blue collar major appliance installer wondering why he’s not entitled to the same lifestyle. But the underlying message was the same: recording and touring is such hard work, you peons.

Similarly, Michelle Obama is demanding the privilege of speaking to audiences (transported via private plane and surrounded by security, both taxpayer-funded amenities) to remind them that as First Lady of the United States, set for life as the wife of the president, about to experience unending taxpayer-supplied luxury and as much leisure time as she desires at the end of next year, that she’s a victim.

The horror.

Ahh, another year, another moment when Daily Beast/USA Today columnist and Fox News token lefty Kirsten Powers gets “surprised” by reality. Add the above link to her discovering, the hard way, in October of 2013 that conservatives were right when they predicted she’d lose her healthcare, despite being a rah-rah Obamacare cheerleader just a few months before.

Earlier that year, she surprised that her fellow leftists in the media did everything they could keep the Kermit Gosnell abortion mill trial out of the press, and wrote in USA Today, “We’ve forgotten what belongs on Page One.” “We” didn’t “forget” — news that’s doubleplus ungood for the Inner Party will of course be tossed down the memory hole.

Last year, Powers discovered that those on the right really aren’t the demonic alien Other of her childhood nightmares:

Cannon began by asking Powers how she is treated by her Fox colleagues. He recalled that New York Times’ conservative columnist David Brooks was not well-received when he first started writing for the Times and asked if Powers had encountered a similar experience.

“People are really nice at Fox,” Powers revealed. “It’s been good for because I – before that, I lived in a real liberal bubble.”

“All my friends were liberals and I grew up in a really liberal family,” she continued. “I had a lot of ideas about conservatives and then I got to Fox and just, I was like, ‘Oh, they’re not all evil and stupid.’”

As I wrote at the time:

I realize she’s speaking glibly and off-the-cuff, but the inference is that on some level, Powers actually did believe that all conservatives are evil, thus butting up against fellow Fox News pundit Charles Krauthammer’s law of politics from over a decade ago. “To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil,” Krauthammer wrote in 2002.

And now Powers is discovering the hard way that the modern left really does hate free speech and independent thought. As someone responded today on Twitter:

She seems like an earnest person, and it’s nice for a change to see someone sympathetic on the left rather than the usual gargling with rusty nails and gasoline that self-described “nuanced” “liberals” often employ when forced to deal with the other side of aisle. Ronald Reagan has been quoted as saying, “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor,” and I’d extend that percentage much further than 80 percent. But I’m not sure how someone so prominent in the media can go through life continually being surprised by reality.

Update: At Reason J.D. Tuccille writes “Lefties Are Too Good and Right to Talk to You and Me:”

Frankly, Powers has plenty of fodder for her contention that much of the political Left has gone from arguing with its opponents to screaming “shut up!” and clamping delicate hands over easily offended ears. But, as mentioned, she has a slot at Fox News. She’s also a born-again Christian. That will probably make it easier for her nominal political allies to wave off her warnings of crimes against free thought and free speech. Whatever Powers’ bona fides among progressives, though, the evidence of a real problem on the Left speaks for itself.

In the latest example, just days before the pub date for Powers’ book, Rebecca Roache, a Lecturer in Philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London, reacted to the unexpected Conservative win in the U.K. election with a…tantrum. She announced online that she was “unfriending” all of her Conservative Facebook friends.

Why?

Because their preferred policy prescriptions are supposedly, on their face “as objectionable as expressing racist, sexist, or homophobic views.”

OK…So yet one more lefty academic is emotionally ravaged by disappointment at electoral outcomes. Big whoop. Except that this post wasn’t on a personal blog, it was on the University of Oxford’s Practical Ethics blog. You know—a place to discuss ideas and stuff. That’s wonderfully ironic (as pointed out in the interesting comments) and also wildly problematic in terms of her relations with colleagues and, especially students (also pointed out in the comments). This window into the hermetically sealed thinking inside academia has turned the incident into a minor event.

In contrast to Powers’ nuanced tones and continual surprise, Kurt Schlichter is far more blunt at Townhall: “Speak Free or Die.”

Maybe that’s because in the 1990s, Schlichter saw the tribal endgame of “Progressivism” up close and personal in Kosovo.

Bill Nye, The Antediluvian Guy

May 11th, 2015 - 2:50 pm

There are some films that audiences enjoy watching over and over again, but this is one rerun we’ve all seen so many times, we can recite the dialog with the actors, Rocky Horror Picture Show-style.

Or in this case, maybe Reefer Madness. “Bill Nye Compares Combating Climate Change to Winning World War II,” Joseph Rossell writes at NewsBusters today:

Overcoming climate change is a challenge for those “coming of age,” much like World War II was for the Greatest Generation, Bill Nye “The Science Guy” asserted.

Nye claimed that climate change was “certainly the most serious problem facing humankind right now” while on HuffPost Live May 7 with host Josh Zepps.

“So what I want to do is create the next Great Generation,” Nye said. He said the members of the Greatest Generation “pitched in” to win World War II. “And so I want the people coming of age now, the president’s kids and stuff, to work together to address climate change. I think they can, I’m sure they can do it.”

Zepps asked if climate change was a “sufficiently galvanizing purpose” and motivator as World War II and the Cold War. Nye admitted that “getting people on board with this” had proved challenging.

“Now when people have to really kind of leave Miami, then it will be serious and people will take it seriously,” Nye contended. “But then there will be so much carbon in the atmosphere, it’s a really hard thing.”

Since the public hasn’t stepped up, Nye demanded the government step in.

“We’re gonna need some regulation to get people on board, and just like they had in World War II,” Nye said, citing examples of “rationing tires,” “collecting bones to get the calcium” and “victory gardens.”

Hey, Ira Einhorn is waaaay ahead of you in collecting bones for his victory garden, Bill.

But seriously — or about as seriously as this antediluvian crankery warrants, Nye is a made-for-television pseudo-scientist, so it’s no wonder he’s trafficking here in reruns even older than when his trademark bow-tie was in fashion. Nye is employing the “Progressives’” hoary old “Moral Equivalent of War” argument, which dates back its first use by William James at the dawn of the 20th century, and was employed by Jimmy Carter in his pathetic 1977 energy policy speech. In his 1989 New York Times op-ed, in which Al Gore signaled his pivot from posing as a relatively conservative Democrat in the 1980s to his current stance as a far left corporatist technocrat, Gore employed a World War II metaphor as well, describing global warming as “An Ecological Kristallnacht.” In 2008, Time-Warner-CNN-HBO made the same argument yet again by running a cover of Time magazine in which the American flag raised by the Marines on Iwo Jima’s Mt. Suribachi in 1945 was replaced via Photoshop with a tree, as NewsBusters reported back then:

The Time cover story by Bryan Walsh calls green “the new red, white and blue.” But Donald Mates, an Iwo Jima veteran, said this goes a little too far. He told the Business & Media Institute on April 17 that using the famous Iwo Jima flag-planting photograph for the global warming cause was a “disgrace.”

“It’s an absolute disgrace,” Mates said. “Whoever did it is going to hell. That’s a mortal sin. God forbid he runs into a Marine that was an Iwo Jima survivor.”

Mates said making the comparison of World War II to global warming was erroneous and disrespectful.

“The second world war we knew was there,” Mates said. “There’s a big discussion. Some say there is global warming, some say there isn’t. And to stick a tree in place of a flag on the Iwo Jima picture is just sacrilegious.”

Exactly. It’s worth noting that Nye is comfortable making a similar argument a quarter century after Gore and seven years after Time magazine, without fear that his sympathetic interviewer will ask the obvious question: Fine, if you consider global warming to be the equivalent of World War II — what will mark its conclusion? Everyone fighting knew that World War II would end when the Nazis and Imperial Japan were defeated. Tell me the end conditions for your particular brand of open-ended warfare? (And why are we needlessly beating up an enemy that waved the white flag almost two decades ago?)

Update: If global warming is Nye and Gore and Time’s moral equivalent of a world war, then things are looking rather quiet on the arctic front, perhaps the ultimate example of the infamous Gore Effect — although casualties are mounting.

Speaking of which, if the HuffPo agrees with Nye’s recycled thesis that global warming is the equivalent of WWII, perhaps it needs to rethink it’s own walk-on part in the imaginary war and consider the ultimate sacrifice for the good of the team.

‘How to Leave the United Kingdom’

May 8th, 2015 - 11:02 am

The London Independent, which previously promised that “Snowfalls Are Now Just a Thing of the Past” in 2000, are gobsmackingly gobsmacked that the Tories won their election last night, and their lips are none too stiff — they’re running a column titled ‘How to Leave the United Kingdom:’

The nation awakens to five more years of Tory rule this morning, after Labour were decapitated by the SNP in the general election overnight and the Liberal Democrats were left with more tears than MPs.

Here are your options: Respect the flow of democracy and get on with life, don’t protest vote next time, actually vote next time, or chuck it all in and move to a warmer country where they won’t be trying to privatise oxygen and offer tax breaks for purveyors of parmesan cheese.

“The majority of people emigrating from the UK are emigrating for work” the government’s website still states, poorly prepared for the outflux of people who simply can’t bear to witness George Osborne’s smirk for another 1,825 days.

Before moving or retiring abroad, you must:

  • Tell your council
  • Notify relevant benefits offices
  • Contact the International Pension Centre

I’m sure all of these fine socialists can offer expert advice on how to leave an otherwise socialist country when a nominally conservative party wins an election.

Update: “George Galloway gracious in defeat.”

(Via SDA)

“Are art museums welcoming enough to minorities? While it’s probably a question that never occurred to you since, if you are so inclined, you simply pay the admission and enter, it it apparently a pressing issue to some people,” Derek Hunter writes at the Daily Caller:

One of those people to whom this though has occurred is first lady Michelle Obama.

At the opening of the new $420 million Whitney Museum in New York City, the first lady spoke of a “feeling of not belonging” in museums when she was a growing up on the south side of Chicago.

In her speech, Obama said:

You see, there are so many kids in this country who look at places like museums and concert halls and other cultural centers and they think to themselves, ‘well, that’s not a place for me, for someone who looks like me, for someone who comes from my neighborhood.’ In fact, I guarantee you that right now, there are kids living less than a mile from here who would never in a million years dream that they would be welcome in this museum.

And growing up on the South Side of Chicago, I was one of those kids myself. So I know that feeling of not belonging in a place like this. And today, as First Lady, I know how that feeling limits the horizons of far too many of our young people.

Just as a reminder, Chicago hasn’t had a Republican mayor since the days of Al Capone. Michelle Obama was born in 1964; Richard Daley was mayor for life of the Second City, from 1955 until his death in 1976. According to Wikipedia, Michelle Obama’s father was a cog in the Daley machine as a Democrat precinct captain. And then there are the city’s museums themselves; as Derek Hunter noted above, “you simply pay the admission and enter.” Were Chicago’s museums, very likely in the mid-’70s staffed top to bottom with perilously leftwing archliberals (if they were anything at all like say, New York’s Museum of Modern Art during that period), a seething hotbed of racism, eager to turn away black customers or alienate them via “that feeling of not belonging in a place like this”?

I don’t recall any black students in my classes at Doane Academy being turned away at the gate or returning home feeling afterwards feeling alienated when we visited Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute or the Museum of Art (where Rocky Balboa famously leapt up the stairs) in the mid to late 1970s. At Ricochet, Jon Gabriel doesn’t recall the firehouses being let loose on any patrons of color when he toured Chicago’s museums during that period, either:

I have been to several Chicago museums on many occasions. Whether I was at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, or the Museum of Science and Industry, the bustling crowds were made up of every ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Buses brought in schoolkids from each neighborhood in Chicago and every ‘burb surrounding it. I’m sure a young Michelle Obama participated in similar field trips many times.

And it’s not as if she grew up in poverty, relegated to the South Side’s infamous housing projects like some of my friends. The First Lady had a thoroughly middle-class upbringing in a stable, nuclear family. Her excellent grades got her into Chicago’s superb Whitney Young Magnet High School where she was given one of the finest secondary educations in the state.

Did this smart, successful student actually think Chicago’s many popular museums were closed to “someone who looks like me, for someone who comes from my neighborhood?” Did she “never in a million years dream” she would be welcome in these cultural centers, even though her school must have had field trips to most of them? I find this very hard to believe.

After college, I would make multiple trips a year to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. I don’t recall Michelle’s fellow Democrats Bull Conner or Robert Byrd barring the entrances there, either. (Though what Philip Johnson thought about MoMA’s diverse patrons is possibly another story…)

As the commenters at Ricochet note, what the FLOTUS could be discussing is the sort of self-limiting mindset that declares going to a museum as “acting white:”

The museums are off-limits to people of color as long as people of color tell people of color that people of color going to the museums are “acting white.”

* * * * * * * *

There is no such evidence. Anyone can go who has an interest in going, and everyone knows that, including La Obama.

But that doesn’t mean that a black kid won’t get a lot of grief from his peers for acting white by going to a museum, or even wanting to go. I have a hard time imagining a group of inner city black kids discussing a trip to the museum.

* * * * * * * *

I don’t know any white kids who want to go to a museum.

Worst class trip ever.

I remember my 8th grade vote being to go see the diving horse in Atlantic City, but noooooo!  Teacher had to get her way.

Let me ask a question:  At what point do white people stop politely accepting false allegations of racism?   When do we say enough is enough and fight back?

I’m so tired of it.

Over to you, Hillary.

Ed Schultz, you wacky scamp, you:

Even The Washington Post is picking up juicy gossip from The Daily Caller. A long-running lawsuit against Ed Schultz from NBC producer Michael Queen revealed e-mails from Schultz “in which he’s less than complimentary about his now-MSNBC brother, Chris Matthews.”

In a May 2008 e-mail to Queen, Schultz mocked Matthews: “Do you think it’s a good idea if I spit all over myself like Chris Mathews [sic] during the pilot?…What the f***? Every time he gives a commentary he’s foaming at the mouth? Does the guy have some condition we don’t know about?”

Many have speculated

The Secret Masonic Policeman’s Ball

May 6th, 2015 - 6:27 pm

Note to California Democrats, the Big Bang Theory was not intended to be a how-to guide. Honest.

Shot:

Uniformed Pasadena Policeman: Your friend here called 911 to report a robbery.

Leonard: Oh, my God, what did they get?

Sheldon: What didn’t they get? They got my enchanted weapons, my vicious gladiator armor, my wand of untainted power, and all my gold.

Leonard: You called the police because someone hacked your World of Warcraft account?

Sheldon: What choice did I have? The mighty Sheldor, level 85 blood elf, hero of the Eastern kingdoms, has been picked clean, like a carcass in the desert sun. Plus, the FBI hung up on me. [Sheldon begins to hyperventilate.]

Policeman: [Breathe] into the bag.

Sheldon: They took my battle ostrich.

Leonard: Oh, no, not Glenn?

Sheldon: Yes, Glenn! The only bird I ever loved.

Policeman: Good luck, fellas.

Leonard: Thank you, officer.

Sheldon: Wait a minute! You’re not going to do anything?

Policeman: Mr. Cooper, there’s nothing…

Sheldon: Doctor Cooper.

Policeman: Seriously?

Leonard: Not the kind with access to drugs.

Policeman: Fine. Dr. Cooper. I’m sorry for your loss, but the Pasadena Police Department doesn’t have jurisdiction in Pandora.

Sheldon: That’s from Avatar; World of Warcraft takes place in Azeroth! Goodness gracious, how are you allowed to carry a gun? Can you at least refer me to a rogue ex-cop?

Policeman: What?

Sheldon: You know, one who was drummed off the force because he refused to play by the rules, and now he hires himself out to impose his own brand of rough justice?

Policeman: No.

The Big Theory, Season 4, Episode 19 – “The Zarnecki Incursion,” March 31st, 2011.

Chaser:

masonic_police_department_badge_5-6-15-1This week, the three people were charged with impersonating police officers. They are David Henry, who told Johnson he was the police chief, Tonette Hayes and Brandon Kiel, an aide to state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris.

It turns out Henry, Hayes and Kiel had allegedly introduced themselves to police agencies across the state, though it is unclear why. A website claiming to represent their force cites connections to the Knights Templars that they say go back 3,000 years. The site also said that the department had jurisdiction in 33 states and Mexico.

“When asked what is the difference between the Masonic Fraternal Police Department and other police departments, the answer is simple for us. We were here first!” the website said.

* * * * * * * *

Employees at the Backwoods Inn restaurant in Santa Clarita remember a day about a month ago when Henry — a regular customer — walked in with a swagger.

He wore a dark blue police uniform with badges and insignia on both arms. He told the staff at the country western-themed eatery off the Sierra Highway he was a police chief and handed out his business card with pride.

It read MASONIC FRATERNAL POLICE DEPARTMENT in capital letters and identified Henry as Chief Henry 33.

“He was very big on saying ‘I’m the chief, I’m the chief,’” said one server who talked to him when he stopped by two or three times a week. She spoke on the condition that her name not be used.

* * * * * * *

The exact structure of the purported police department was unclear. But on the website, Henry is referred to as “Absolute Supreme Sovereign Grandmaster.”

“Bizarre fake police force included Kamala Harris aide, prosecutors say,” the L.A. Times reports. Naturally, the party that Harris, the state’s attorney general belongs to isn’t identified. Two guesses as to which party that is, given that it’s the L.A. Times.

Not surprisingly, Ace is having lots of fun with the copy on the homepage of the “Masonic Fraternal Police Department” Website, which sounds even more like a Big Bang parody, except that Sheldon & Co. actually know how how to spell, use apostrophes and quotation marks, and know something about history:

You’re not going to believe this — despite not being real, and also being crazy, and also being criminals, and also being Democrats, they have a website.

The Masonic Fraternal Organization is the oldest and most respected organization in the “World.”

The “world.” Not the world, but the “world.”

We’re off to a roaring start here, folks. Either they are illiterate, or they are paranoids who aren’t sure the “world” is the world.

Grand Masters around the various states are facing serious safety concerns for their Jurisdictions and their family members. The first Police Department was created by the “Knights Templar’s” back in 1100 B.C.

The “Knights Templar’s.” What is that apostrophe doing in there? It’s Knights Templar.

And the Knights Templar were created around 1100 A.D., but that’s Democrat education for ya.

The Masonic Fraternal Police Department, (M.F.P.D.) is the Knights Templar’s!

Here’s a screen cap of the above portion of their homepage in case, like the original “Knights Templar’s” themselves, it disappears into the mists of history:

masonic_police_department_5-6-15-1

Click to enlarge. But only if you can tell me first, what is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

So what does it all mean? Hey, as Moe Lane writes, plunging the sword of Excalibur into the carcass of  this one great state, “What’s that? Oh, the fact that California AG Kamala Harris has somebody trying to establish a Masonic foothold in American law enforcement? …Dude, it’s California. They do weird stuff out there even when they’re not in a drought. Imagine how the state will get when everybody is thirsty all the time…”

Related: And speaking of “weird stuff,” “Lawsuit spells out ‘nightmare’ for California man accused without evidence,” Ashe Schow writes at the Washington Examiner, on a horrific Kafka-esque story out of the formerly Golden State.

Update: “An Emmy-winning producer and a top government aide who wanted to be a US Senator — but are any more of the LA elite are in the ‘Masonic Police’?”, asks the London Daily Mail, which also plays the “Name that Party” game for Harris.

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.

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.”

What Would Arianna Do?

May 3rd, 2015 - 11:20 am

Question asked and answered:

Our Source was the New York Times

May 1st, 2015 - 12:54 pm

First class journalism and/or photo editing there, fellas.

This is CNN:

Gee, really, Wolf — did you forget all of this? I know things go down the memory hole quickly at CNN, but that’s ridiculous, even for the Clown-car News Network. Meanwhile, the single smartest thing the mayor of Baltimore has done over the past three days:

CNN certainly got their full quota of riot porn tonight, and we’ll try to cover some of the “highlights,” by mashing together some of our short earlier posts tonight. But first, talk radio’s Larry Elder and John Nolte of Big Journalism explain how old media’s Mobius loop works:

 

A CNN camera crew discovers firsthand that their network’s Mobius loop has a nasty slingshot effect: Shot:

Chaser:

Still waiting to see the omelet, but those eggs won’t break themselves, right, Sally? A similar incident happened in Ferguson back in August, when MSNBC’s Chris Hayes was pelted with rocks, after Al Sharpton arrived early on what Andrea Mitchell Orwellianly described as “a peace mission.” While CNN is now largely in the business of running documentaries, aside from occasional interruptions for plane crashes and riot porn, we shouldn’t exempt Time-Warner-CNN-HBO’s original entertainment division from our coverage of Baltimore. Shot:


Chaser:

Lawrence Meyers at the wonderful Breitbart site Big Hollywood had an excellent takedown of David Simon last week. Simon, author of the brilliant book Homicide and creator of the excellent television show The Wire, is also, according to the book Difficult Men, a self-obsessed and bullying leftist. Recently, he attacked conservatives and, indeed, the U.S. Constitution they are trying to defend. Simon says:

If original intent included the sadism and degradation of human slavery, then original intent is a legal and moral standard that can be consigned to the ash heap of human history. Hardcore conservatives and libertarians who continue to parse the origins of the Constitutions under the guise of returning to a more perfect American union are on a fool’s journey to decay and dishonor.

I leave it to Meyers’s strong piece to take down this nonsense, as indeed he does.

But here’s what bugs me. The Wire (which is, to some extent, based on the year Simon spent with the Baltimore Homicide Squad while researching Homicide) takes place in a city without conservatives, even without Republicans. There has not been a Republican mayor of Baltimore since 1967. And much of the show’s genius lies in its depiction of the brutalized life of black people in the city’s ghetto.

So we have a writer who has seen for himself, and who has shown us, the effects of Democrat governance on a city, the dehumanization of the poor that is the direct result of leftism and the corruption that inevitably springs from it. And yet Simon blames conservatives!

“The Unbearable Blindness of David Simon,” Andrew Klavan, November 10, 2013.

Related: Meanwhile, back at the other entertainment/propaganda division of Time-Warner-CNN-HBO:

 

 

Elsewhere within the hermetically sealed cocoon of old media, as the left continues to devour itself, an NBC spokesman implies Baltimore’s mayor is racist. Shot:

Chaser:

So is the NBC spokesman saying that the Baltimore mayor is another “Lying Ass Bitch,” as he’s wont to imply in his personal war on women?

Fortunately, Baltimore’s mayor is calling on another NBC employee to ease tensions in her beleaguered city. Ease them? I meant wildly inflame them of course, by calling in the prince of peace himself, Al Sharpton. This will end well:

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake gave an emotionally charged press conference on Monday night, calling the people looting the city “thugs” trying to tear the city apart.

“I am at a loss for words,” she said. “It is idiotic to think that by destroying your city you’re going to make life better for anybody.”

The massive protests came the same day as the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died a week after sustaining mysterious injuries while in police custody.

Rawlings-Blake instituted a 10 p.m. curfew for the entire city*. She said people who want peace should come to quell the unrest, mentioning Al Sharpton specifically.

Gee, what could go wrong?

And note this: “Anderson Cooper catches B’more mayor in a contradiction: Blames press for broadcasting negative images, will use them to track down rioters.”

* Starting tomorrow. “Hear that, looters and rioters? The mayor is really going to start cracking down starting 10 pm tomorrow night!”, As Jim Geraghty tweets. Using the failed Democrat mayor’s own Oberlin-approved rhetoric, another Twitter user adds, “Tonight there is a safe space for those who want destruction.” And speaking of safe spaces to riot and burn down the city, Maryland’s governor wonders why Rawlings-Blake waited so long to call in the National Guard.

And finally, at the PJ Tatler, Robert Wargas looks at the blue-on-blue violence of war-torn Baltimore and asks, “How Long Does America Have?”

Late Update: Mary Katharine Ham of Hot Air spots “one Baltimore mom (or other relative) [who] delivered the symbolic slap pretty much everyone wanted to deliver unto punk looters and rioters.” Our blogging software is balking at the Instagram code, so click over to watch. As MKH writes, “Nicely done, Mom. The world was uncharacteristically united on Twitter in applauding her…forcefulness.”

Breaking News from 2007

April 24th, 2015 - 12:04 pm

 

Failed presidential run followed by botched tenure as Secretary of State? Earning lots of wealth outside of the free market? Lots of botox? Speaking in Orwellian doublethink?

As Twitchy asks, rounding up response to the usual JuiceVox socialist sophistry, “Is Hillary Clinton cementing herself into the pantheon of rich liberal windsurfing hobbyists? If so, Vox declares it a good thing.” It looks like you’re going to need a much more limber, not to mention waterproof and gyroscopically balanced exoskeleton if Hillary will be hitting the high seas.

Another area though, where both archleftists are similar, is in their cold and aloof hauteur. In his column today, asking “Will the Clinton-Cash Scandal Doom Hillary’s White House Bid?”, Jonah Goldberg describes Hillary as a “Tudor of the Ozarks:”

Sure, the Clintons like money. That’s obvious. But the money is incidental to what’s really behind all of this: a mixture of entitlement and machine politics.

The Clintons are like the Tudors of the Ozarks. They believe they are royalty, but they also understand that even monarchs need friends. The Clinton Foundation is the perfect vehicle for their ambition. Like the medieval Catholic Church, it blurs the lines between ideals and interests. On the one hand, it does yeoman’s work in the Church of Liberal Dogoodery, but it also provides a conduit for business interests, foreign governments, academics, activists, and journalists to gain access to the imperial court-in-waiting.

Even if Hillary hadn’t conveniently wiped her servers clean, I suspect there wouldn’t be a lot of e-mails about quid-pro-quos. Such transactions aren’t made in the language of the bazaar, but in the lingua franca of loyalty, friendship, and noblesse oblige. Yes, Clinton Inc. needs money, but the money is likely seen more as tribute than bribery, a bit of coin offered up as a sign of loyalty to the coming Ozarkian Restoration — a restoration that may just have to wait for Chelsea.

There is one big difference though between Hillary and the British monarchy. “The House of Windsor is certainly more transparent” than the House of Clinton, Mark Steyn told Hugh Hewitt yesterday:

MS: Hugh, there is no ‘Clinton Foundation’… The only purpose of this foundation is to enable this family to lead the lifestyle of a head of state after it has ceased to be head of state. They spent $70 million dollars on travel at the Clinton Foundation. By comparison, the entire Royal Family, to fly between their various realms – the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, that’s a lot of air miles – the entire Royal Family in one year spent $7 million dollars. So in other words, the Clintons have ten times the airplane costs of the Royal Family, who are heads of state of dozens of bits of real estate around the world. The Clinton Foundation is a hollow shell foundation playing the usual shell game with U.S. taxation. There’s no need for a Clinton Foundation except for them to rake in money from Kazakhs and Ukrainians and Iranians and Saudis and everybody else…HH: Well, let me ask you. There are two questions. Which is more transparent – the Windsor or the Clinton family? And which is less tacky – the Windsors or the Clintons?

MS: Well, one can make arguments about the last point, but the House of Windsor is certainly, the House of Windsor is certainly more transparent. You can go to I think it’s Royalty.gov.uk, and the Lord Chamberlain who runs the Queen’s Household posts every itemized bit of travel. So if you were to ask the Queen, if you happened to be meeting the Queen and you happened to say why did Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester, spend $700 dollars getting from Calgary to Bermuda in 2009, she’ll give you a straight answer. Whereas if you ask a similar question to Hillary Rodham Clinton, she’ll say ‘Oh, well, these are just more distractions from the right-wing Koch-funded media, and I’m just here to talk to everyday Americans as long as they’ve undergone a background check and have been pre-screened so that it’s safe for me to pretend to interact with them…’

If Hillary acts like she has much to hide, it may be because she has much to hide. Mitt Romney, a very different Massachusetts Brahmin than Kerry, was succinct yesterday while speaking with Hugh:

“You know, I’ve got to tell you, I was stunned by it. I mean, it looks like bribery. I mean, there is every appearance that Hillary Clinton was bribed to grease the sale of, what, 20% of America’s uranium production to Russia, and then it was covered up by lying about a meeting at her home with the principals, and by erasing emails. And you know, I presume we might know for sure whether there was or was not bribery if she hadn’t wiped out thousands of emails. But this is a very, very serious series of facts, and it looks like bribery.”

Exit quote: “This time it wasn’t about logos or burritos, but rather uranium, foreign affairs and serious corruption. The New York Times published an exposé on ties between the Clintons and a sketchy deal which left Putin in control of a significant portion of America’s uranium; uranium it can now sell to Iran and other bad actors in the world.”

As Always, Life Imitates the Onion

April 23rd, 2015 - 10:26 am

“Alzheimer’s Disease Causing Baby Boomers To Misremember 1960s Even More.”

—Headline, the Onion, February 4th, 2010.

“Marijuana users may have ‘false memories’: Brain scans reveal how cannabis smokers can live in their own reality.”

—Headline, the London Daily Mail today.

As for the latter story, Barack Obama could not be reached for comment.

obama_smoking_joint_3-16-12

…By continuing to reduce the noxious emissions of state government:

No seriously — if you’re going to make the environmentalist catch-22 argument as Democrats John Kerry and Claire McCaskill have, that a shrinking economy is good for the environment because of less carbon emissions, then you have to agree that the same holds true for shrinking the government as well. Radical environmentalism isn’t my religion, but the Book of Saul demands that its practitioners stay faithful to their own tenets.

“Contra Mother Jones, though: I don’t think that Scott Walker deliberately set out to lay off those folks on Earth Day itself,” Moe Lane posits.

“Instead, I simply think that Scott Walker doesn’t give a flying leap about Earth Day one way, or the other. Which is, frankly, more entertaining.” As Jonthan Chait’s bete noire would say, heh, indeed.™

Certainly, Walker’s doing more for the environment than this plutocratic carbon-destroying One Percenter.

Shot:


Chaser:


That level of carbon waste is so bad, Hollywood director Joss Whedon is pondering if he would withhold penicillin from the president should, Gaia forbid, he become ill. Particularly since Mr. Obama has been jetting away on “Earth Day” since the very start of his administration:
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Update: I don’t think I need to remind most regular Ed Driscoll.com readers of this factoid, but for those newly tuning in: