INSOMNIA THEATER (INTERNATIONAL CENSORSHIP EDITION): This week’s video features my interview of Index on Censorship CEO Jodie Ginsberg, which I conducted while I was visiting London in 2015. In addition to giving an insightful overview of the state of free expression and censorship efforts across the globe, Jodie covers a variety of other topics, including her former work as a journalist and the political power of music and comedy. Watch the full video below, and make sure to also check out the Index on Censorship.
February 7, 2016
February 6, 2016
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HORRIFIC footage has emerged of a group of young men, including five migrants, laughing, dancing and singing in Arabic as they gang rape an unconscious 17-year-old girl.
It is believed the attack happened after the girl passed out after drinking at a party.
One of the rapists later told police: “She can’t complain. Women must obey men.”
The shocking assault happened in November but was only discovered this week by a teacher at a school in Ostend, Belgium.
A police probe was launched after a 14-year-old boy at the Ostend Technical Institute bragged about a photo of himself dressed in military fatigues and holding a sub-machine gun.
Funny how you never hear anything from feminists about this actual rape culture. I guess it’s all about the feminist hierarchy of values.
MUSIC: Aux 88 Member Keith Tucker’s Guide To Detroit Electro. (Via the Detroit Techno Militia on Facebook).
HE’S STEVE GREEN, AND YOU’RE NOT:* Live From New Hampshire, It’s Saturday Night G.O.P!
* And your liver says thanks.
WAIT, I THOUGHT DIVERSITY WAS OUR STRENGTH: White Flight: German Families Abandoning ‘Diverse’ Schools. In a virtue-signaling, preference-falsification environment, people will say all the right things. But what they do when their kids are at stake is more revealing.
THANKS TO FRACKING, THAT TSUNAMI SHOULD BE DRYING UP SOON: ‘Tsunami of money’ from Saudi Arabia funding 24,000 Pakistan madrassas.
While other people talk, the frackers are doing more to save Western Civilization than those allegedly charged with its preservation. And all despite the hostility of the Obama Administration, and many other Western governments.
UH OH: COLBERT KING IN THE WASHINGTON POST: Clinton email scandal: Why it might be time for Democrats to draft Joe Biden.
Kinda destroys Hillary’s claim that this is just a bunch of VRWC FUD.
Meanwhile, Joe’s tanned, rested, and ready.
MY BROTHER DOES A SONG TO THE TUNE OF “COCAINE,” ENTITLED “ROGAINE:” Researchers making progress on understanding why people lose their hair as they age.
Something like this:
When it’s hair you lack and it ain’t comin’ back, Rogaine,
When you’re not quite bald, but you’re not wall-to-wall, Rogaine.
Rub it on, rub it on, rub it on — Rogaine.
Not sure how J.J. Cale would react. . . .
THE 21ST CENTURY ISN’T TURNING OUT AS I HAD HOPED: Unicef Report Finds Female Genital Cutting to Be Common in Indonesia.
All the talk about “rape culture” seems to exclude the one the West’s leaders are eagerly importing.
I’M SO OLD, I REMEMBER WHEN DEMOCRATS ONCE BELIEVED IN THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. Madeline Albright: ‘There’s a special place in hell’ for women who don’t back Clinton:
“A lot of the younger women don’t think — that think it’s been done. It’s not done. And you have to help. Hillary Clinton will always be there for you,” Albright said. “And just remember — there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”
Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones and Gennifer Flowers all likely agree with that last sentence.
The mad voter checks in from deep in the heart of media ground zero in Manchester, New Hampshire.
NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE: The paper on Second Amendment Limitations that I presented at the Georgetown Second Amendment symposium in November. In it, I suggest that some previously accepted limitations on Second Amendment rights may be crumbling under lower-court scrutiny.
Download it early and often!
UPDATE: This is a nice endorsement.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: PUERTO RICO ATTEMPTS TO PLUNDER WASHINGTON. “The economic giveaways and corrupt political cronyism allowed Puerto Rico to live beyond its means for decades. But the day of reckoning has finally arrived and Puerto Rico’s booty has been squandered. As viewed from the economic crow’s nest, financial ruin lays ahead…Puerto Rico has a small population of only 3.6 million people, nearly eleven times smaller than California. Yet, with $72 billion in debt, Puerto Rico nearly matches the Golden State’s state-funded debt of $97 billion. Walt Disney’s beloved pirate, Jack Sparrow, from Pirates of the Caribbean, said it best: ‘The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.’”
Be savvy and read the whole thing, mateys.
QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED: Why Are There New Editions of Tabletop Roleplaying Games?
Sometimes it is kind of about the money. But not always, Moe Lane writes.
OF COURSE, INSTAPUNDIT READERS HAVE KNOWN FOR YEARS THAT BMI IS A BOGUS MEASUREMENT WHEN APPLIED TO INDIVIDUALS: Some 54 million ‘overweight’ or ‘obese’ Americans are actually healthy, say scientists.
Watch the Mr. Olympia, and every one of those ripped bodybuilders with 3% bodyfat is “obese” according to BMI.
WELL, HILLARY DID TAKE SEVERAL WEEKS OFF: New research shows why rest after a concussion is critical.
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THEIR POLICIES DON’T BEAR DETAILED ANALYSIS: Sanders and Clinton Get Substantive. That’s Where They Go Wrong.
In previous debates, we got bogged down in the need for a new Glass-Steagall. Since the old Glass-Steagall hadn’t actually gone away, and no specific aspects of the theoretical new one were described, this had the ethereal, almost theological flavor of monks discussing how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. To put it in math-esque terms: The possible set of policies included in the phrase “new Glass-Steagall” was so large as to include nearly all possible outcomes, good and bad.
Last night, on the other hand, Clinton decided to stop mucking about with vague promises to bring Wall Street to heel. Instead, she claimed that she was a financial regulator of rare foresight and rarer steely will, hated and feared by the denizens of New York’s financial district. Presumably we are supposed to see that $675,000 she was paid by Goldman Sachs to make three speeches less as a warm gesture between close friends, than as the bags of gold left outside the city gates for the Visigoth king who is threatening to sack the place.
“But what I want people to know,” said Clinton, “is I went to Wall Street before the crash. I was the one saying you’re going to wreck the economy because of these shenanigans with mortgages. I called to end the carried interest loophole that hedge fund managers enjoy. I proposed changes in CEO compensation.”
Finally, specifics! And yet — this was a somewhat surprising claim. Those of us who were writing about financial regulation in 2007 do not recall Hillary Clinton as a fiery crusader against the financial industry. We remember her as being — like all New York senators — rather friendly to the place.
So I went looking for the support for this remarkable statement. Politifact rated a similar statement as true, based on some speeches she gave in 2007, and a plan she put forward in 2008. It is hard, however, to read this collection as a “warning that Wall Street is going to wreck the economy.” It would be more properly termed “Grousing about consumers who can’t afford their bubblicious subprime mortgages,” and vague remarks about transparency and oversight.
WHY ARE DEMOCRAT-RUN CITIES SUCH HELLHOLES OF OPPRESSION AND POLICE ABUSE? An obscure law from the 1970s is being used by the NYPD to boot people from their homes and businesses when they are suspected of crimes, often in cases where no charges are ever filed.
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HOW MUCH WORSE COULD IT BE RIGHT NOW? Bernie Sanders will ‘absolutely’ change US-UK defence relationship if elected president. Sanders campaign says US tired of ‘defending the rest of the world’ as surging candidate closes gap with Hillary Clinton in national polls.
Imagining the very worst, immediately after entering the Oval Office, I could see him taking a bust of Winston Churchill that’s been in the White House for years, and mailing it back, just to symbolically flip England the bird. Then just to childishly pour salt in the wound, he’ll give the queen an iPod full of his speeches. He’ll claim he’s too exhausted to host the prime minister. Then he’ll declare that in reality, France is our strongest ally, and keep up the socialist virtue signalling by constantly referring to the Falklands as “the Maldives.”
BLUE ON BLUE. Reminder: Bernie Madoff Donated Mostly to Democrats.
And it was mostly Democrats* who donated to Madoff, thus completing the circle.
* While feeling oh-so-superior to the naive rubes in the big empty space in the middle of Saul Steinberg’s “View of the World from 9th Avenue” New Yorker cover.
During Thursday night’s Democratic debate in New Hampshire, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont told the audience that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton represents “the establishment.”
His evidence for this was the backing she had gotten from some major political figures in Vermont.
“She has the entire establishment or almost the entire establishment behind her,” Sanders said. “That’s a fact. I don’t deny it.”
Not such a big deal, but Clinton’s response should have floored the audience. Not only did she, yet again, play the gender card and remind the audience (seriously, does she think her voters are stupid?) that she is a woman, but she claimed her gender meant she was not part of the establishment.
So vagina-Americans can’t be part of the establishment now? Who knew?
Because I’ve seen his workout video.
As the Zika virus reaches the United States and the nation’s capital, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are calling for an urgent response to prevent its spread, and are scheduling briefings and committee hearings to address it.
District of Columbia health officials confirmed this week three cases of the virus in D.C., including one pregnant woman. On Friday, Senate Democrats wrote to President Barack Obama, calling for an “urgent and aggressive response” to the virus.
“We believe that a well-coordinated interagency response plan, coupled with strong investments in our research and response programs, is critical to addressing the Zika virus,” the senators wrote.
They called on the president to take a series of steps including directing USAID and the Department of Health and Human Services to analyze gaps between international and national responses; developing a national strategy to monitor, identify and report infections; increasing research efforts; and coordinating federal agencies.
If only there were some . . . substance that would kill mosquitoes en masse.
MICKEY KAUS ON THE RUBIO MENACE: For “a particular vision of America, in which even unskilled, non-bright citizens can work a full day and earn a respectable living — Marco Rubio is a state-of-the art K-Street kill shot, a sudden existential threat. We may have only a few days to recognize this.”
Read the whole thing.
IT’S BEEN A BAD YEAR FOR DARTMOUTH ON A LOT OF FRONTS: In new sorting of colleges, Dartmouth falls out of an exclusive group.
SO, THE FIX IS IN? Hillary Clinton ’100 percent confident’ FBI won’t find wrongdoing.
Hillary Clinton said Thursday she’s “absolutely” certain the controversy over her personal email server when she helmed the State Department won’t blow up her presidential campaign and “100 percent confident” the FBI probe would find no wrongdoing.
Speaking at Thursday night’s Democratic primary debate, Clinton blamed Republicans for seeking to gin up controversy, likening the email controversy to the GOP’s investigation around her response to the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya.
“Before the emails it was Benghazi and the Republicans were stirring up so much controversy over that, and I testified for 11 hours and answered their questions,” Clinton said. “They basically said ‘yeah we didn’t get her, we tried, that was all a political ploy.’ “
Poor Hillary. People are always conspiring against her. Everywhere and all the time.
DOES THE NY TIMES KNOW THEY’RE ENORMOUS RACISTS? PERHAPS IT SHOULD PUT LAYERS AND LAYERS OF FACT CHECKERS ON IT: “Identity Purity” and Republican Frontrunners – Did NY Times Reveal Its Racism?
IF SUBSTANCE COUNTED WE WOULDN’T HAVE OUR CURRENT PRESIDENT: Hillary won the debate — if substance counts.
I HOPE NOT, WE ALL REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME THEY CALLED SOMETHING THE JV TEAM: Is the White House writing off Zika as a ‘junior varsity’ virus?
THANK YOU, LORD FOR MAKING OUR ENEMIES RIDICULOUS AND INCOMPETENT: Report: Man Ejected From Somali Plane in Midair Was Suicide Bomber.
THAT SOUND YOU HEAR IS THE DIVE BELL, DIVE, DIVE, DIVE. PUT YOUR HEAD BETWEEN YOUR LEGS AND YOU KNOW THE REST: A Shipping Update.
OF COURSE THEY THINK TAX CUTS ARE SPENDING, BECAUSE ALL YOUR MONEY IS BELONG TO THEM: Dems cave, agree to massive federal spending cuts.
February 5, 2016
COURT RULING: Brett Kimberlin Failed To Refute Charges That He Is A Pedophile. “Mr. Kimberlin … [had] to prove that they were false … — a statement that is defamatory but true isn’t actionable. And although he keeps saying he has shown falsity, he declined to take the stand to deny the allegations.”
JACK SHAFER: Time for Chelsea Clinton’s Easy Ride to End: Why is the press treating a wealthy, 35-year-old political operative like she’s still a White House kid? Because she’s a Clinton.
This happened to me when I was a kid once, during the days of still-regulated flights. The stewardess sat and chatted with me for most of the way, and I was old enough (12) to appreciate the attention. Nowadays here in the States I suspect they’d find some pretext to cancel the flight rather than fly with a single passenger.
THE RELIGION OF ANTI-RACISM CAN BE QUITE BIGOTED: In the Safe Spaces on Campus, No Jews Allowed. “It was a prevailing sentiment that I felt at the conference and in the progressive community, that because I am Jewish, I cannot be an activist who supports Black Lives Matter or the LGBTQ community. When I heard that among my peers that ‘the Jews are oppressors and murderers—How can you care about students of color on campus when they’re murdering our people abroad?’—it quickly dawned on me that it wasn’t that they don’t like us because we’re pro-Israel—they don’t like us because we’re Jews. We were targeted.”
Yeah, it’s as if all this “anti-racism” talk is really just a cover for the same old hard-left agitation or something.
A LOT OF LAW SCHOOL DEANS WOULD HATE THIS, BECAUSE THEY NEED THE WARM BODIES: Is It Time To Set An LSAT Minimum For Law School Admission? On the other hand, below a certain LSAT score, the likelihood of passing the bar declines precipitously. At the very least, students should be told this.
WHAT A PANIC ATTACK LOOKS LIKE, ACCORDING TO STOCK PHOTOS.
NEARLY TEN PERCENT OF COUNTRY UNEMPLOYED UNDER OBAMA, BERNIE SANDERS CLAIMS:
“There’s another government statistic that comes out at the same time that does not often get reported, which looks at unemployment not only for those who don’t have jobs, but those who are working part-time when they want to work full-time,” Sanders said at an event in Manchester, N.H.
“And that’s a lot of people in this country. And those people in high unemployment areas who have given up looking for work,” he added. “When you add all that together, you’ve got 9.9 percent unemployment, which is a serious problem.”
And speaking of “All the President’s Stenographers,” naturally The Hill soft-pedals Sanders’ claim under the milquetoast headline, “Sanders lukewarm on jobs report.”
Unexpectedly — as Obama’s stenographers at Bloomberg have been saying since early 2009 whenever there’s bad economic news.
However, the Islamic Society of Baltimore is affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America, which federal prosecutors in 2007 named a radical Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas front and an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator in a scheme to funnel more than $12 million to Hamas suicide bombers.
Moreover, according to Investor’s Business Daily, the mosque was led for 15 years by a radical cleric — Imam Mohamad Adam el-Sheikh — who once represented a federally designated al-Qaida front group. El-Sheikh also has argued for the legitimacy of suicide bombings. And ISB board member and vice president Muhammad Jameel has blamed American foreign policy — namely, U.S. support for Israel — for terrorism and the rise of Osama bin Laden.
I appreciate the sentiment that made President Obama want to visit a mosque. But by failing properly to vet the venue, and indeed reportedly letting the Council on American-Islamic Relations choose the site even though the FBI has banned this outfit from outreach because of known ties to the Hamas terrorist group, it’s questionable that Obama did the the cause of interfaith understanding any good.
Related: “Say, where’s that Obama/Khalidi tape? Why won’t the L.A.Times release it? Oh, who am I kidding? They won’t release it because it would make Obama look terrible. What other reason can there be?”
I definitely approve her answer on the eternal dogs versus cats debate.
I’M SO OLD I REMEMBER WHEN PROFILING WAS BAD: Utah Fusion Center Warns Cops: Watch Out for Don’t-Tread-on-Me Flags.
The report includes several “visual indicators” to help police determine whether they’re dealing with “extremist and disaffected individuals.” These range from images associated with specific political groups, such as the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, to a more generic patriotic symbol, the Gadsden flag—a famous Revolutionary War banner featuring a coiled rattlesnake and the slogan “Don’t Tread on Me.” One of the “indicators” is a slightly altered version of a picture popular with fans of the Grateful Dead; the guide does not note this potential source of confusion, describing it only as “common sovereign citizen imagery.”
Homeland Security remains a joke.
REVEALED: HOLLYWOOD OFFICIALLY OUT OF NEW IDEAS. MacGyver Movie Reboot And New TV Series Pilot On The Way.
Back in 1992 when Bill Clinton was running against George H.W. Bush, if Israel was your issue, you voted for Clinton because he was rightly viewed as more pro-Israel than Bush.
Twenty-four years ago, supporting Israel carried no cost for Clinton. According to Gallup, in 1992, 52 percent of Democrats were pro-Israel.
On the other hand, Bush was probably harmed somewhat for the widespread perception that he was anti-Israel. In 1992, 62% of Republicans were pro-Israel.
Over the past 15 years, the situation has altered considerably.
Today, Republicans are near unanimous in their support for Israel. According to a Gallup poll from February 2015, 83% of Republicans support Israel.
Only 48% of Democrats do. From 2014 to 2015, Democratic support for Israel plunged 10 points.
The cleavage on Israel is particularly acute among partisan elites.
As Caroline Glick writes, “Part of the reason Obama is acting with such urgency and intensity is that he knows that regardless of who is elected to replace him, the next president will not be as viscerally hostile to Israel or as emotionally attached to Islam as he is.”
That really would be a welcome change. Read the whole thing.
Related: A February 2015 post at the Israel Matzav blog titled “Can’t say we didn’t warn you: Most Democrats don’t sympathize with Israel” has the Gallup poll chart illustrating the plunge that Glick describes above
GUNS VS. MISSILES, THE LATEST ROUND: Can howitzers and naval guns shoot down incoming ballistic missiles? The U.S. Secretary of Defense says yes. “The novel project will turn U.S. Army field artillery into ballistic missile defenders. Each U.S. Army Armored Brigade Combat Team has a battalion of 18 Paladin howitzers, meaning the platform is already integrated into the structure of heavier Army brigades. There’s no mention of whether or not the lighter M777 towed howitzer used by light infantry, airborne, air assault and Stryker brigades is capable of using the new projectile. The M777 is also used by the Marine Corps and allies such as Canada and Australia.”
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The Holocaust as ‘white on white crime’ and other signs of intellectual decay at Oberlin. “I found the entire Facebook post of great interest, not just as a troubling sign of emerging hostility to Jews and Jewish concerns among self-proclaimed social justice advocates on left-wing campuses, but as an equally troubling sign of the degradation of intellectual discourse at such campuses more generally, as reason, compassion and just plain old decent manners are replaced with shrill sloganeering based on which group can most successfully proclaim itself to be a victim.”
On the one hand, higher education is more expensive than ever. On the other hand, it’s less valuable than ever. On the gripping hand, what are we going to do about this?
IF TRUE, THIS IS AN EARTHQUAKE: Quinnipiac puts national Dem primary at dead heat? But how reliable are polls these days?
OF COURSE IT’S DIFFERENT — THE STATE DOESN’T GET ITS CUT: Is Playing Daily Fantasy Sports Any Different Than Playing Powerball?
As Reverend Lovejoy noted, “Once the government approves something, it’s no longer immoral!”
Shot: “We’ve recovered from the worst economic crisis since the 1930s.”
Chaser: “President Obama Explains How Surging Bartender Jobs Are Unequivocally Good.”
The econo-bloggers there ask, “We wonder which ‘economy’ President Obama will discuss…The ‘Bartender’ Recovery,” which links to a chart showing the growth of waiter and bartender jobs versus manufacturing jobs since December of 2007. “Or the ‘Foreign Worker’ Recovery,” followed by a chart which shows the massive expansion of foreign-born workers since December of 2007.
Hangover: “Citi: World economy seems trapped in ‘death spiral.’”
As Ambrose Evans-Pritchard adds at the London Telegraph, Jaime Caruana, general manager of Europe’s Bank for International Settlements, “said an ‘illusion of sustainability’ has blinded borrowers and debtors, lulling them into a false of security when credit was easy and asset prices were rising. This illusion can die in the blink of an eye. ‘The turning of the financial cycle can be quite abrupt,’ he said.”
We’ve seen this movie before, haven’t we? Just ask President McCain:
Update: And speaking of shots, chasers, and hangovers, “‘Incredible’! Obama admits lingering ‘hangover’ in jobs report (but guess who’s to blame!).”
Presumably, all those bartenders he’s given jobs to? (Err, including me, as I’m duly licensed by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission…)
Not to mention their intense paranoia over model airplanes and Estes rockets within 32 miles(!) of Levi’s Stadium.
NATURE’S WAY OF SAYING “HOW’S THAT SPACE PROGRAM COMING ALONG?” A Small Asteroid Will Pass An Astronomical Hair’s Breadth From Earth in March; Projections call for a pass as little as 11,000 miles from Earth … less than 5 percent of the way to the moon.
WHEN EVEN AL FRANKEN HAS FIGURED THINGS OUT: Liberal Senator Al Franken is Questioning Occupational Licensing: Why Aren’t More Arkansas Legislators?
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YEAH, THEY’RE ALSO PRETTY MUCH DEFYING OBAMA: Lone Star Shale Producers Defy OPEC.
For a state that prides itself on being “bigger” in every sense of the word, Texas is managing to handle smaller oil profit margins awfully well, as a number of producers in the state’s two shale basins are keeping output up despite plunging prices. . . .
And even as some producers find ways to turn a profit with today’s profits, many in the industry that have seen their margins erased are nevertheless still busy pursuing a forward-looking strategy: drilling but not yet fracking wells. This approach essentially lines up projects to bring online the minute prices rise high enough to justify them. This so-called “fracklog” is a widespread phenomenon, and it’s growing. For Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world’s petrostates, that’s a terrifying prospect, because it means what if and when we see the global glut erased and prices start trending back upwards, these new American supplies will flood the market and bring those prices right back down again.
And while producers amass this fracklog, plenty of companies are innovating ways to keep output up despite the fact that America’s oil benchmark is currently lingering below $32 per barrel. The shale boom isn’t done yet.
The Frackers are doing more to save Western civilization than pretty much anyone else. Certainly more than the Obama Administration or the EU.