LIGHT AND DARK: Winter makes me SAD. Help!
August 24, 2016
IT’S DÉJÀ BRADLEY ALL OVER AGAIN! KELLYANNE CONWAY: TRUMP DOING BETTER THAN PEOPLE REALIZE BECAUSE OF ‘UNDERCOVER VOTERS.’
—PJ Media.com, today.
—Forbes, September 16, 2012.
The same articles were being written in the fall of 2008: Will Obama suffer from the ‘Bradley effect’?
—CNN, October 14, 2008.
Regarding Trump’s imploding post-Democratic Convention (read: post Khizr Khan) numbers, as Ace recently wrote, in a post titled “Dana Perino: I’m Not Going to Lie To You. The Odds of Winning in November are Slim,” “Yeah she’s right. No, the polls aren’t ‘rigged.’ Like Dana, I fell for that bullshit in 2012, and like Dana, I was sickened — stunned — to see Obama winning states quickly and states where I thought Romney was ahead (like North Carolina) taking forever to be called.”
“The polls are right. Deal with it,” Walter Hudson added on Monday at PJM, in a post headlined, “Trump Republicans Must Pop Their Alternative-Reality Bubble.”
In 2010 and ’14, polls predicted the GOP would retake the House and the Senate, respectively, early on in the campaign season. And while much can happen between now and November this year, I’m not going to play the “Yes, Hillary’s ahead, but…” fool’s game of attempting to read the tea leaves at the bottom of this month’s allegedly “skewed” polls.
And speaking of the Senate – gulp.
DISPATCHES FROM THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH: AP Claims ISIS Recruits Have a Poor Grasp of Islam.
Related: In 2014, American and Iraqi intelligence analysts said that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS has a doctorate in Islamic studies in Quranic studies, obtained while attending Saddam University in Baghdad, Wikipedia notes, linking to a New York Times profile of al-Baghdadi.
THE POWER TO TAX IS THE POWER TO DECARBONATE: Soda Consumption Falls After Special Tax in California City.
The peer-reviewed research is the first to measure the impact of the penny-per-ounce tax. It found that consumption declined 21% and many residents switched to water after the tax went into effect in March 2015, according to the study published online in the American Journal of Public Health.
The study states that the results “suggest’’ that the tax lowered consumption but acknowledged other factors also could have been at play, including increased awareness about the health impact of sugary drinks.
The American Beverage Association, an industry group, said the Berkeley study has flaws and there is no indication the tax has had a measurable impact on public health. Street surveys relying on people’s recollections are “inherently unreliable,” said Brad Williams, an economist who does consulting work for the association.
Even so, the study is likely to provide ammunition to public-health officials pushing for similar levies in other parts of the country.
Nanny-staters gotta nanny state.
LOST IN SPACE: NASA Regains Contact With ‘Dead’ Solar Mission.
A signal from the long-lost spacecraft, called STEREO-B, was detected Sunday evening (Aug. 21) by NASA’s Deep Space Network, a collection of space tracking stations that follows the agency’s space missions across the solar system and beyond. NASA scientists had kept vigil for STEREO-B, making monthly searches for the probe until it phoned home Sunday at 6:57 p.m. EDT (2257 GMT).
Right now, it’s unclear how healthy the spacecraft is after drifting in space for nearly two years. NASA lost contact with it on Oct. 1, 2014, after commanding a reset from Earth. The spacecraft’s twin, STEREO-A, is still working normally.
“The STEREO Missions Operations team plans further recovery processes to assess observatory health, re-establish attitude control, and evaluate all subsystems and instruments,” NASA officials wrote in a statement.
Evidently the spacecraft became disoriented, and as a result can’t keep its solar arrays directed at the sun for long enough to recharge its battery.
Or it could be the beginning of a real-life sci-fi horror movie.
THERE’S A HELL OF A GOOD SOLAR SYSTEM NEXT DOOR . . . LET’S GO! Proxima Centauri b confirmed! Potentially habitable planet orbits the star next door.
Donald Trump has a point. When he asks black voters what the hell they have to lose, he misses nuances and conflates things that shouldn’t be conflated. But he has a point.
And we are the living proof of his point here in Dallas. Last week the three African-American members of the Dallas school board killed a program aimed at saving the lives of poor black inner-city kids in Dallas. Their votes against a tax hike aimed at enriching inner-city schools were perfectly in line with local and national Democratic Party postures that oppose school reform as a threat to teacher tenure.
Call it the “Teachers’ Jobs Matter” movement.
The nature of the movement was reflected clearly in last-minute anti-school-reform revisions to the national Democratic Party platform that successfully rolled back reform goals set by President Obama. Shavar Jeffries, president of Democrats for Education Reform, said the revisions, “inexplicably allowed the process to be hijacked at the last minute.
Read the whole thing.
FROM MY UT COLLEAGUE MAURICE STUCKE AND ARIEL EZRACHI OF OXFORD: Is Your Digital Assistant Devious? As much as its creators can manage, I suspect.
THIS ISN’T THE 21st CENTURY I WAS EXPECTING: Wedding planner vouches for Seahawks QB Russell Wilson’s bizarre obsession with gender neutral bathrooms.
“The natural gas boom, in particular, has led to the displacement of high-carbon coal with low-carbon natural gas producing fewer emissions,” [Energy Secretary Ernest] Moniz reportedly said during the Seattle field hearing.
Since the Environmental Protection Agency’s advisory board published a study earlier this month debunking the widespread claim that fracking contaminates drinking water, environmentalists have attempted to double down — claiming that the study didn’t have enough scientific evidence in it to back up its findings. Moniz’s testimony at last week’s hearing was meant to dispel these criticisms and confirm to the public that fracking doesn’t just drastically reduce the cost of energy, it also helps the environment.
The science is settled.
HMM: First randomized trial shows IVF culture media affect the outcomes of embryos and babies. I think early development has a bigger effect than we know.
Behind the scenes, Obama overruled advisers who wanted to do what America had done at similar transitions from dictatorship to democracy, and signal America’s support.
Solomon reports that Obama ordered the CIA to sever contacts it had with the green movement’s supporters. “The Agency has contingency plans for supporting democratic uprisings anywhere in the world. This includes providing dissidents with communications, money, and in extreme cases even arms,” Solomon writes. “But in this case the White House ordered it to stand down.”
Well, that’s because he didn’t want the mullahs overthrown.
THIS ISN’T THE 21st CENTURY I WAS PROMISED. Perfect: ‘Sausage Party’ Lesbian Taco Character Riles Up SJWs:
Have a progressive headache yet? It may help to note that Salma Hayek was not, in fact, playing a Hispanic woman. She was playing a taco.
It’s food, for crying out loud. Delicious food. (And yes, I’m craving tacos right now. Don’t judge me.)
Autostraddle goes on to note that in general, they try to make sure that all writers share a trait with a character, or something along those lines.
The reality is that this mea culpa illustrates where SJWs priorities really lie: making sure that superficial features are treated as our most important characteristics, not our souls.
Your DNA equals your worth. Sounds like fascism to me.
Well, yes. I know somebody who wrote a whole book on that topic.
Remember Walter Pinchuk? His name came up last year in an ongoing series of exposés regarding influence-peddling at the State Department through the Clinton Foundation. The steel tycoon got some face time with a “top Clinton aide” to argue on behalf of the Moscow-backed Yanukovich government in Ukraine, the Washington Post’s Tom Hamburger reported last October. The Wall Street Journal’s Peter Nicholas did a deep dive on newly released e-mails from the State Department to discover that Pinchuk didn’t just get face time with an aide while donating big bucks to the Clinton Foundation — he got Hillary Clinton to host an official State Department dinner in June 2012 for Pinchuk and other foundation donors:
While she was secretary of state, Hillary Clinton hosted a dinner involving Clinton Foundation donors, including a Ukrainian businessman who had given money to the organization and who had retained a lobbyist to arrange State Department meetings.
The dinner attended by Victor Pinchuk four years ago was mentioned in a new batch of State Department emails obtained by the conservative group Citizens United through public records requests and released on Tuesday.
The Clinton campaign has tried to make hay of Donald Trump’s supposed sympathies for Vladimir Putin through the now-dismissed Paul Manafort. This shows a much more corrupt tie to Putin’s allies, and the danger is not just in regard to Russia. As Newsweek reported in April 2015, Pinchuk allegedly violated sanctions on Iran even while Hillary feted him.
The email exchange about Bahrain shows the Clinton Foundation’s top executive Doug Band in 2009 asking Clinton’s State Department aide Huma Abedin to set up a meeting between Clinton and Crown Prince Salman, who had recently been named the deputy supreme commander of Bahrain’s armed forces. Band referred to Salman as a “good friend of ours.”
Abedin told Band that Clinton had initially rejected a previous request for a meeting with Salman because “she doesn’t want to commit to anything for thurs or fri until she knows how she will feel.” Soon after, though, Abedin told Band that the State Department was now offering Salman a meeting with Clinton.
Salman has directed $32 million to a Clinton Foundation program, and the Kingdom of Bahrain has donated up to $100,000 more. As Bahrain money flowed into the Clinton Foundation, State Department documents showed that between 2010 and 2012 the Clinton-led State Department approved $630 million worth of direct commercial arms sales to Salman’s military forces in Bahrain. That was a 187 percent increase from the period 2006 to 2008, and the increase came as Bahrain was violently suppressing uprisings.”
But don’t worry, because Hillary has promised to stop taking foreign money — after she’s won election.
SHALOM, Y’ALL! Israel and Texas: A Growing Alliance, says Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush.
Well, I’m rather fond of both places. Read the whole thing.
Photojournalist Massoud Hossaini is live-tweeting from inside.
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY IN AFGHANISTAN IN KABUL UNDER ATTACK: “CBS News’ Ahmad Muktar reported that several American professors and possibly hundreds of students are inside, though many have appeared to escape through emergency doors. Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press photographer Massoud Hossaini tweeted that he and others are trapped inside the school. Hossaini tweeted that he heard shooting and an explosion.”
Reporting on today’s news, the Washington Free Beacon adds, “American University in Kabul was shuttered earlier this month after gunmen kidnapped two foreign professors, one American and one Australian, close to the campus in the capital of Afghanistan on Aug. 8. The campus reopened three days after the incident.”
IN THE MAIL: From Todd Moss, Ghosts of Havana (A Judd Ryker Novel).
And, also today only: Gotham Steel 10-Piece Kitchen Nonstick Frying Pan and Cookware Set, $89.99 (55% off).
Analysis true: wallowing too deeply in nihilism can sadly lead to attacking your own country.
WE DON’T NEED NO EDUCATION: ACT Scores Drop as More Take Test.
This year, 38 percent of test takers met the benchmarks in at least three of the four subject areas tested (English, math, reading and science), which according to ACT shows that they have “strong readiness for college course work.” That’s down from 40 percent in 2015. The percentage of test takers who did not meet any of the benchmarks increased to 34 percent from 31 percent.
Many educators have worried about the lingering (and in some cases growing) gaps among different racial and ethnic groups on the ACT and also on the SAT (average scores for which won’t be released until next month).
The Wall Street Journal adds:
Sixty-four percent of 2016 high school graduates sat for the standardized test, up from 49% in 2012. The jump comes as more states—including Mississippi, Nevada and South Carolina—require districts to administer the tests, in the hope of increasing students’ awareness of college pathways.
Yet as the pool of test-takers better reflects the population of high-school students across America, and not just a self-selecting group of driven young adults for whom college is an automatic next step, it reveals significant shortcomings in their educational achievement.
Somebody should write a book about the poor performance of our K-12 schools.
The much-anticipated October opening of “The Birth of a Nation,” the story of Nat Turner’s 1831 slave rebellion, is now clouded by past rape allegations against director, writer and star Nate Parker. Already, critics are lined up against the film. In a New York Times op-ed, Roxane Gay declared she won’t see it; a black popular culture site refused to review it. A blogger for the Seattle alternative paper, the Stranger, has called for the studio to “pull the plug” on the movie altogether.
The twist: Parker was actually tried, and acquitted, on the rape charge 15 years ago.
For many, it seems, an accusation of rape now equals guilt not only before there is a conviction but even after a not-guilty verdict. This may look just to those for whom “believe the survivors” is an article of faith. But such “justice” will inevitably shatter lives — and may hurt victim advocacy by lending credence to fears that rape accusations are a danger to the innocent.
I’m beginning to think that’s true myself.
“We are constantly monitoring our systems with the latest available intelligence and tools,” Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy told the newspaper. “We have seen no evidence that any of our internal systems, including our systems in the Moscow bureau, have been breached or compromised.”
Earlier on Tuesday, CNN, citing unnamed U.S. officials, reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other U.S. security agencies were investigating cyber breaches targeting reporters at the Times and other U.S. news organizations that were thought to have been carried out by hackers working for Russian intelligence.
“Investigators so far believe that Russian intelligence is likely behind the attacks and that Russian hackers are targeting news organizations as part of a broader series of hacks that also have focused on Democratic Party organizations, the officials said,” CNN reported.
The 1980s called, and want their foreign policy back.
ROGER SIMON TALKS WITH THE WEEKLY STANDARD ON NARCISSISM, O.J. SIMPSON, AND THE MOVIE HOLLYWOOD SHOULD MAKE.
Roger’s new book, which hit the streets (and Amazon’s Kindle servers) in June, is titled I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already.
LAW AND DISORDER: Philippines war on drugs: ‘1,900 killed’ amid crackdown.
Ronald dela Rosa was speaking at a senate hearing into the sharp rise in deaths since Rodrigo Duterte became president.
He said police operations had killed about 750 people, but the other deaths were still being investigated.
Mr Duterte won the presidency with his hard-line policy to eradicate drugs.
He has previously urged citizens to shoot and kill drug dealers who resisted arrest, and reiterated that the killings of drug suspects were lawful if the police acted in self-defense.
He also threatened to “separate” from the UN after it called his war on drugs a crime under international law.
An equivalent number of deaths in the US would be about 6,000.
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NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: The Russians Have Penetrated The NSA. “While many intelligence services have tried to steal secrets from NSA, only the Russians have been able to do so consistently. Kremlin penetration of NSA has been a constant.”
Plus: “In fairness to NSA, the record of our Intelligence Community, indeed our whole government, in counterintelligence is nothing less than dismal. And it’s gotten markedly worse during Barack Obama’s two terms in the White House, with their unprecedented losses of America’s secrets to spies, traitors, and hackers. However, given the importance of NSA to our collective security—it’s the backbone of counterterrorism operations across the Western world, our vital shield against jihadism—it’s important that the agency at last starts getting serious about security. Catching some Russian moles would be a solid beginning.”
MY LATEST CREATORS SYNDICATE COLUMN: This week the International Criminal Court convicted an Islamist terrorist on the charge of destroying cultural heritage sites. Does it matter when radical Islamists believe the conqueror who brings the true religion has the right to erase the false gods?
VA POLL PUTS TRUMP DOWN NINETEEN IN TWO-WAY RACE: “Unfortunately, the Roanoke poll isn’t exactly an outlier,” Ed Morrissey writes at Hot Air.
JOHN SCHINDLER: The Real Russian Mole Inside NSA.
The recent appearance on the Internet of top secret hacking tools from the National Security Agency has shined yet another unwanted spotlight on that hard-luck agency, which has been reeling for three years from Edward Snowden’s defection to Moscow after stealing more than a million classified documents from NSA. As I explained, this latest debacle was not a “hack”—rather, it’s a clear sign that the agency has a mole.
Of course, I’ve been saying that for years. It’s not exactly a secret that NSA has one or more Russian moles in its ranks—not counting Snowden. Now the mainstream media has taken notice and we have the “another Snowden” meme upon us.
James Bamford, who’s written a lot about NSA over the decades, has taken up this meme. It should be noted that Bamford is less than a reliable journalist who’s known to embellish sources when not outright fabricating them. That said, there’s no doubt that NSA has a penetration problem.
This shouldn’t be shocking news since the agency has suffered from moles since its birth in 1952. While many intelligence services have tried to steal secrets from NSA, only the Russians have been able to do so consistently. Kremlin penetration of NSA has been a constant.
Read the whole thing.
The US Pacific Command tracked the missile over and into the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, approximately 300 miles off the coast of North Korea.
This was the first time a North Korean missile entered Japan’s air defense identification zone, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.
“This is a threat to Japan’s security and an unforgivable reckless act that significantly damages the peace and stability of the region,” Abe said Wednesday morning.
The launch comes amid the annual joint military exercise between the United States and South Korea, which kicked off on Monday.
In a completely unrelated story, “U.S. to deploy F-35 fighters in western Japan next year,” in one of first overseas deployments of the stealthy attack jets.
BULLYING’S EVOLUTIONARY EDGE: According to the BBC “bullying has been observed in fish.” And “High-ranking spotted hyenas also bully their subordinates.” Indeed — we see that at the DNC. Later: “This seems to suggest a bleak conclusion. If so many creatures bully, perhaps bullying is innate in us, something we cannot escape.” Not necessarily. Ambush. Remember that term. It’s the sensible military man’s solution to bullying.
A bit later:
In more subtle ways, adults also bully. There are many instances of workplace bullying and “psychopathic” bosses, while politicians use “scapegoating” to incite antagonism against minority groups. This approach “creates a common enemy when there are tensions in a society,” says de Waal.
In Chicago and at the White House this is called “community organizing,” except the goal is to incite antagonism among groups –majority, minority, it doesn’t matter.
That’s the violence. Now for the sex:
…bullying helps dominant animals to intimidate their subordinates, and that this has clear evolutionary benefits. It ensures that the dominant individuals have better access to food and to the opposite sex.
All this article’s missing is drugs and rock and roll.
The political fallout from years of highly disappointing Italian economic performance is soon to be tested at the polls. At a yet-to-be-specified date in November, Italy is scheduled to hold a referendum on constitutional reform, mainly involving a proposed streamlining of its two-chamber parliament. With Prime Minister Matteo Renzi committed to resigning should he lose the referendum, the opposition has converted this referendum into a vote of no- confidence on the government.
A prolonged period of political uncertainty is the last thing that a sclerotic Italian economy now needs. Its banking system is burdened with non-performing loans that amount to around 18 percent of its outstanding loans, and its public sector debt has risen to 135 percent of GDP.
Italy’s banks, businesses, and government are saddled with debts in a currency they can’t afford to pay back and aren’t allowed to devalue.
Different federal agencies define rape differently, and activists looking to make it look like there’s a rape “epidemic” occurring across the country can take their pick of data related to those definitions.
The Government Accountability Office, in response to a request from Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo, discovered the disagreement among federal agencies of what is and is not rape. McCaskill herself is one of the biggest advocates for basing draconian legislation on of a broad definition that results in flawed statistics.
The GAO found “at least 10 efforts to collect data on sexual violence, which differ in target population, terminology, measurements, and methodology.” It also found “23 different terms to describe sexual violence.”
These definitions lead to vast differences in the number of victims of rape and sexual assault. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting system found 84,175 American rape victims in 2011, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — using a much broader definition in a self-reported survey — estimated there were 1,929,000 victims in 2011. That’s a 2,200 percent increase.
While the FBI used actual reported crime statistics based on the legal definition of rape, the CDC used a definition so broad it included things like stolen kisses or merely “unwanted contact” that could have been the result of misread signals.
Of course, those pushing an agenda that sexual assault and rape — especially on college campuses — has reached “epidemic” proportions will use the broader definition, even if it is only backed by a self-reported survey. They use this information to promote bills like the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, which insists all accusers be believed and takes steps to ensure accused students have no ability to defend themselves.
ALL-TOO 21ST CENTURY HEADLINE: British woman, 21, killed in Australian backpackers’ hostel attack by knifeman ‘shouting Allahu Akbar’
We may never know his real motive.
GREAT MOMENTS IN POLITICAL CORRECTNESS: TSA agents stop nine-year-old boy with a pacemaker from flying home because ‘some terrorist plots use children fitted with the devices.’
Better dead than rude, to coin a phrase.
HE’S LIKE A BIZARRO WORLD 2000 YEAR OLD MAN RIFF: ‘Borders are the worst invention ever!’ EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker widens rift with European leaders as he calls for open borders.
(Classical allusion in headline.)
At a brewers’ conference this spring, an alcohol lobbyist fired a warning shot in what has become a multimillion-dollar global battle. Public-health officials “want to tell you that alcohol causes cancer,” Sarah Longwell, managing director of the American Beverage Institute, told the crowd. The industry, she said, was in danger of losing its “health halo.”
For decades, beer, wine and liquor producers have been helped by a notion, enshrined in a number of governments’ dietary advice, that a little alcohol can provide modest coronary and other health benefits.
Rapidly, that advice is shifting as health-policy officials around the world scrutinize their previous advice in the light of research pointing to possible cancer risks.
As far as I’m concerned, the science is settled.
FRANCE VERSUS THE BURKINI: The Economist offers its in-depth analysis. Here’s a long pull quote:
When the French began to debate a ban on the burqa in 2009, for instance, Barack Obama declared in Cairo that Western countries should avoid “dictating what clothes a Muslim woman should wear” under “the pretence of liberalism”. Some civil-liberties groups within France have tried—but so far failed—to get the burkini ban overturned in the courts. Yet French governments bristle at the notion that their various attempts to defend laïcité amount to intolerance or an infringement of the freedom of expression. They may note that in 2014 the European Court of Human Rights upheld France’s burqa ban. What outsiders fail to understand, the French argue, is that such body wear is not just a casual choice but part of an attempt by political Islamism to win recruits and test the resilience of the French republic. Mr Valls dismisses as naive those who see it as being no different than a wetsuit. The burkini, he says, is part of a “political project”, and complacency plays into the hands of Islamists.
Worth the read.
HILLARY’S STRATEGY ACCORDING TO POLITICO: Run out the clock. 75 days left in the campaign so the clock’s running. Trump needs to pound away on her corruption and sleaze. If she’s running out the clock (in the basketball sense) I guess that means he needs to run a full court press. But he doesn’t have the press, does he? I don’t think the AP report has cracked Hillary’s Media Privilege. Media Privilege is why Team Hillary thinks it can ride out the scandals by opening pickle jars and cackling.
PAY TO PLAY: “More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation. It’s an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.”
Meanwhile, as Ace writes, “Trump is demanding the appointment of a special prosecutor to give an independent review of the legality of this — forcing the media to admit the existence of special prosecutors for the first time in Barack Obama’s presidency. See, the concept of a special prosecutor disappeared at the end of the Bush presidency.”
Will it be enough of a springboard for Trump to cut into Hillary’s lead as she appears to be pulling apart from him in the polls?
WELL, EVIDENCE OF CRIMINALITY CAN DO THAT: Emails threaten to shadow Clinton through Election Day.
The fallout over Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server appears certain to dog her until Election Day, after a federal judge ordered the State Department to accelerate its production of nearly 15,000 previously-unreleased emails uncovered by the FBI.
The State Department is under intense pressure from Republicans to release the full set before Nov. 8.
But sorting through all 14,900 documents is a gargantuan task. The first batch likely won’t be released until mid-October — just weeks before Americans head to the polls.
It’s also not clear what the emails contain. They weren’t in the original trove of 30,000 documents that Clinton voluntarily turned over to the State Department in 2014. And their release could put her on the defense in the critical final stretch of the election.
The revelation of the thousands of additional documents dovetailed with Monday’s release of another set of emails that exposed uncomfortably close ties between Clinton’s staff and the Clinton Foundation during her tenure as secretary of State.
It was only the latest development in a long controversy Clinton has struggled to move beyond.
The FBI discovered the new documents during their investigation into whether Clinton illegally transmitted classified information through her private server.
Clinton deleted 30,000 emails prior to turning over the other half to the State Department in 2014, arguing that they were personal correspondences.
But in July, Director James B. Comey said investigators uncovered “several thousand” work-related emails that were not in the group Clinton returned to State.
Investigators pieced together the deleted emails from Clinton’s correspondence with other officials and reconstructed “fragments” from old servers and machines connected to her email domain.
There are many lingering questions about the emails and the process and timing for handling them is complex.
IF ONLY THERE WERE SOME WAY TO KILL LARGE NUMBERS OF MOSQUITOES INEXPENSIVELY: Zika Images Show ‘Worst Brain Infections That Doctors Will Ever See’
A series of medical images published Tuesday offer the most complete picture, so far, of how the Zika virus can damage the brain of a fetus.
“The images show the worst brain infections that doctors will ever see,” says Dr. Deborah Levine, at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, who contributed to the study. “Zika is such a severe infection [in fetuses]. Most doctors will have never seen brains like this before.”
The images — published in the journal Radiology — are part of a special report put together by neurologists in Boston and doctors in northeastern Brazil who care for babies with Zika infections.
“Our goal is to illustrate for heath care professionals around the world what they could expect to see with a Zika infection during pregnancy,” Levine says.
Heartbreaking photos at the link.
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: Turkish Military Begins Major Offensive Into Syria in Fight Against ISIS.
Turkey mounted on Wednesday its largest military effort yet in the Syrian conflict, sending tanks, warplanes and special operations forces over the border in a United States-backed drive to capture an Islamic State stronghold in Syria.
The offensive on the city of Jarabulus began hours before Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was set to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara to discuss tensions raised by the failed coup in Turkey last month. The joint operation in Syria seemed intended to send a message that the countries are still cooperating in the fight against the militant group.
Turkish officials said the operation started at 4 a.m. with Turkish and United States warplanes pounding Islamic State positions in Jarabulus. The special operations troops entered Syria to clear a passage for a ground operation by Turkish-backed rebel groups, the state broadcaster TRT reported.
ISIS was Putin’s excuse for pounding his real enemy in Syria: anti-Assad rebels. There’s real danger here of Turkey using the same excuse to pound the Kurds.
PROFESSORS’ BID TO BLOCK CIVIL RIGHTS LAW FAILS: Judge: Academic Freedom Doesn’t Bar Campus Carry: Ruling denies injunction professors sought to block new Texas law.
Specifically, the professors sued to define a right of faculty members to bar weapons from their own classrooms and argued that their First Amendment right to academic freedom gave them that right. The judge rejected that claim.
The ruling is only on a request for a preliminary injunction, and the professors’ lawsuit remains alive. Likewise, the ruling is only about the Texas law, not other laws or legislation in other states on campus carry. But the judge’s ruling on the academic freedom issue — one cited by faculty members in Texas and elsewhere to oppose guns in classrooms — suggests that the professors nationwide could face long odds in making the case as a matter of federal law that academic freedom gives them the right to keep guns out of their classrooms.
The academic freedom argument made in this lawsuit and by many professors nationally is that the presence or potential presence of guns in a classroom effectively limits the ability of faculty members to discuss controversial topics.
Judge Lee Yeakel rejected the argument.
Well, that’s because it’s a stupid argument. Like saying your little white girl couldn’t be expected to learn in a classroom where she had to sit next to a big scary black guy. Which people did say once upon a time.
PAPER BALLOTS, AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME: And none of that vote by mail machinery of fraud, either. Princeton professor easily hacks voting machine in seven minutes flat.
OH, HI GREENS, RADICAL ECOLOGISTS AND ALL THOSE WHO THINK HUMANS SHOULD JUST DIE. HERE IS YOUR MIRROR:
“It was a quirk of Nazi philosophy, so inhumane to humans, that animals were treated with the utmost care and kindness,” writes Letts. “In a cruel and ironic twist of fate, the German invaders, whose express aim was to relocate, enslave, massacre and eventually annihilate Poland’s human inhabitants, prized the well-bred Polish horses.”
Read the whole thing. Why US troops risked their lives in WWII to rescue horses kidnapped by Nazis
POOR LITTLE HUMA JUST PLAYED PIANO IN THE PARLOR: How could she know what went on upstairs? Huma Abedin denies active role at radical Muslim journal.
August 23, 2016
CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: No evidence Tammy Duckworth paid back taxpayers for misusing state vehicle.
IN AUSTIN, TEXAS SPEECH TRUMP TALKS BORDER SECURITY: Not at all surprising. He also continued his pitch to ethnic minority voters. Tough line here: “We reject the bigotry of Hillary Clinton, who sees communities of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future. She is a disgrace.”
YOU CAN’T BE ANTINUCLEAR AND CARE ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT: Nuclear power is the greenest option, say top scientists: Environmentalists urged to ditch their historical antagonism and embrace a broad energy mix.
RIP STEVEN HILL, STARRED ON ‘LAW & ORDER’ AND ‘MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE,’ DIES AT 94. The Times quotes Dick Wolf, Law & Order’s creator, who describes Hill as “the Talmudic influence on the entire zeitgeist of the series.”
But Hill paid a heavy price for his Orthodox faith: He was fired before the second season of Mission: Impossible and replaced with Peter Graves. “His refusal to work late on Fridays, because of his observance of the Jewish sabbath, was also reported to be a problem…Mr. Hill’s co-star Martin Landau is quoted as saying, ‘I felt he was digging his own grave,” the Times notes, adding later in their obit that “Hill gave up acting from 1967 to 1977 and, in the interim, took a variety of jobs, including real estate sales. When he returned to show business, he was welcomed back and appeared in a string of 16 feature films in the ’80s,” before joining Law & Order for the show’s first decade. That show’s classic early line-up, with Hill, Michael Moriarty, Jerry Orbach and Chris Noth was a riveting spin on the police procedural, set in the bad old days of Dinkins-era Manhattan, before what we now call Social Justice Warriors drove the show’s writing hard left.
HUH. I THOUGHT THESE WERE KILLED OFF BY HAWKING QUANTUM EVAPORATION LONG AGO. Countless tiny black holes might be hurtling through space like cosmic bullets.
ALSO DOUBLES AS BATTLEFIELD PREP FOR LEFT: Former Fox News Host Andrea Tantaros Sues Ailes, Network for Sexual Harassment.
REUTERS OWES US A NEW TITLE TO THIS STORY: Currently it’s titled Special Report: Massacre reports show U.S. inability to curb Iraq militias. Here’s the historically correct title: Special Report: Massacre reports show the Obama Administration’s inability to curb Iraq militias. By historically correct, I refer to the titles of media reports of massacre and mayhem during the Bush Administration. Obama Administration strategy shaped the Fallujah operation the report analyzes. It’s almost like Obama’s not president, isn’t it?
800 MILLION YEAR OLD AIR: New research on the rise of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere. Here’s to breathing.
DISASTER PREP: Here’s what the German government is telling citizens to keep on hand against an unspecified disaster. My own suspicion is that ISIS is the excuse, but Putin is the real reason for this. Not that it isn’t good advice in general.
FALLEN ANGELS IS JUST A SCIENCE FICTION STORY, RIGHT GUYS? RIGHT? GUYS? The North Atlantic: Ground Zero of Global Cooling.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS DISCOVERS CLINTON DONORS RECEIVED SPECIAL TREATMENT AT THE STATE DEPT: The AP publishes a rather detailed look at The Clinton Foundation, its donors, and Hillary’s State Dept shenanigans.
Here’s the AP’s claim:
The AP’s findings represent the first systematic effort to calculate the scope of the intersecting interests of Clinton foundation donors and people who met personally with Clinton or spoke to her by phone about their needs.
I think there have been several attempts to conduct a systematic analysis, but those attempts encountered stonewalls. The AP has examined phone logs and email traffic and come up with some interesting numbers.
THE IRIDIUM SATELLITE NETWORK IS GETTING OLD: Customers are worried that service will degrade. The Pentagon is an Iridium customer. The company wants to replace its entire fleet by the end of 2017.
I REMEMBER WHEN ZERO TO SIXTY IN FIVE WAS SO AMAZING THAT IT INSPIRED A SONG: Ludicrously quick Tesla Model S is now quicker, apparently; Records 2.65-second zero-to-sixty time.
CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation. “It’s an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.”
SADLY, THIS IS EXACTLY THE 21ST CENTURY I’VE COME TO EXPECT: A special task force has been set up to try and stop the drones from dropping off contraband to prisoners.
WHY ARE DEMOCRAT-RUN CITIES SUCH CESSPITS OF DEGRADATION AND DESPAIR? Prostitutes dancing on the sidewalk, fires in the street and a man being run-down by a car: Chilling video shows what it is like driving through Detroit at night.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Minnesota (-33%), Oregon (-43%) Law Schools Welcome Much Smaller 1L Classes Compared to 2011.
THERE WERE PLANS TO DO THIS WITH SPACE SHUTTLE EXTERNAL TANKS: NASA Funds Plan to Turn Used Rocket Fuel Tanks Into Space Habitats.
NASA is very good about being on the cutting edge of space exploration, but it’s less good about making non-cutting edge space exploration efficient and cost effective. The agency is acutely aware of this, which is why it’s been trying to get commercial carriers to handle deliveries of (now) supplies and (soon) astronauts to the ISS.
The next step is for private companies to take over space station construction for (soon) Earth orbit and (eventually) deep space. To that end, NASA has selected six partner companies to develop full-sized ground prototypes and concepts for deep space habitats, with the eventual goal of deploying habitats near the moon as a stepping stone to Mars.
Five of the partners, including Bigelow Aerospace, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, and Sierra Nevada will be designing habitats that are built on Earth and launched into space on rockets. It makes sense to do this, because it’s how habitats have always been sent into space. The sixth partner, NanoRacks, is teaming up with Space Systems Loral and United Launch Alliance to try something completely different: taking empty fuel tanks from the upper stages of rockets and turning them into space habitats on-orbit.